Kinship Care Northern Ireland helps and supports children who cannot be cared for by their own parents to live safely and securely within their own families and communities.
Kinship Care NI was founded in 2010 by mother-of-one Jacqueline Williamson MBE, supporting services in Derry / Londonderry, Antrim and Magherafelt. Jacqueline and her older sibling were raised by their grandmother, but following the death of their grandmother they were taken into care.
Jacqueline has overcome homelessness, the death of her sister and being a single mum to start the charity, which supports families raising children when their parents cannot. Her ethos is about keeping families together.
Central to Kinship Care NI’s work is the volunteer team, which has moved from strength to strength over the past eight years with help from the National Lottery. This support means that more children affected by domestic violence situations, mental health issues, imprisonment of a parent or drug and alcohol issues, still get to grow up among family.
Funding has supported many projects, including a free telephone helpline service, training and support to kinship carers, Kin Together Support Groups, drop-ins, walking groups, support at social service meetings, and mentoring programmes. Activities provided vary, depending on age and stage. It also hosts events such as baby and toddler groups, art workshops and homework clubs, and runs a second-hand shop collecting donations and raising funds for essential items for families.
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