Our ‘Caring for Kin’ Project supports grandparents, great grandparents and older kinship carers who are raising their family and friends’ children.
As well as providing a free telephone helpline service, the Project also provides training and support to kinship carers and runs a several ‘Kin Together’ Support Groups in the Antrim, Magherafelt, Cookstown and Draperstown areas.
- Drop in Service
- Specialist Advocacy Service
- Counselling Service
- DillyDallies Walking Group
- Breakfast Club/Coffee Mornings
- Kin Together Support groups
- Grandfamilies Matter Training Programme
- Family Recreation
- Free Telephone Helpline Service
For more information on our Caring for Kin Project and the services we offer to kinship carers, you can download a leaflet here
Our Helpline responds to around 100 calls each year. A small team of highly trained staff and volunteers provide advice and information on the legal and financial entitlements associated with caring for a family or friends’ child.
Who can contact the Helpline?
Kinship carers, prospective kinship carers and professionals working with kinship carers and their children in the community can contact our Helpline for advice, information and support.
How to contact the Helpline
You can call the Helpline on 0800 022 3129 (Monday-Friday:- 9am-5pm. Closed Saturdays/Sundays/Bank Holidays)
Calls to our helpline are free from UK landlines and all major UK mobile operators. Other networks may charge.
What can I expect when I call the Helpline?
Whatever your concern, you can be confident our Helpline staff will understand the issues you might be facing, and the advice and information you receive will by clear and up to date. We will also let you know where else you can go for further support and information.
Callers to the Helpline can expect that:-
- We will be available to take your call at any time during our advertised opening hours.
- We will aim to answer your call within three rings whenever possible.
- We will respond to voicemail messages within 4 hours.
- We will explain to you the reasons we ask you for specific information about yourself and others so we provide you with the right advice and information.
- Where the helpline is busy and you leave your contact details we will return your call in strict rotation within 4 hours.
- Requests for literature will be processed free of charge within three working days.
- We will respond to letters requiring an individual response within three working days and no later than five working days.
- We will ensure appropriate follow-up of your case in accordance with agreed timescales.
- We will not pass on your details unless this has been agreed between you and Helpline staff.
- We will consult with you on how we can improve and develop our helpline service.
- We will send you a ‘Helpline Evaluation Survey’ with a free post envelope if you request it, or include it alongside any literature/information you have requested.
- Complaints regarding our service will be dealt with in line with Kinship Care NI’s Confidentiality Policy, Equal Opportunities Policy and Complaints Procedure.
I got a lot of help from ringing the helpline. My daughter had passed away and I was caring for my two grandchildren. The staff member I spoke to on the helpline was great. She explained everything to me and then helped me apply for a Residence Order. Then she put me in touch with a grandparent bringing up her grandson who lived only a few miles from my home. I now have a new friend and we go for a cup of coffee every week. I really don’t know what I would have done without the helpline
The Helpline is a confidential service. This confidentiality is maintained between clients and Kinship Care NI, and the Helpline team in the first instance.
The Helpline team uses your personal information (such as name and address) for the purposes of dealing with your enquiry. They will not pass on your details to anyone else without your permission.
However, there are some exceptional circumstances where we may pass on personal information from callers. For example:
- We believe a caller is at serious risk of harm, either from themselves or others
- We suspect a child may be at risk of harm
- A caller poses a serious risk of harm to others
- A caller threatens or abuses our staff
- A caller is deliberately misusing the service, which prevents the service from being delivered to others
- We receive a court order requiring us to divulge information
- We are passed information relating to an act of terrorism.
- The Helpline will not store your personal information (unless it is to record that we have disclosed it in one of the exceptional circumstances listed above). Some demographic information is collected at the end of the call but this is stored anonymously in a way that cannot identify a living person.
For more information, you can download our Helpline policy here