Relative experience

Supporting kinship carers in London and the North East

Are you a guardian, special guardian or kinship carer? Are you bringing up a relative or friend’s child? Are you thinking about taking on the care of a grandchild? Throughout England and Wales around 200,000 grandparents and other family members are raising children in what’s known as ‘kinship care’ because their parents are unable to care for them.

grandparents big.jpg

When you’re a kinship carer, it’s often difficult to know where you can turn to for help, and that’s where we come in. We are working in partnership with Grandparents Plus to provide you with support through our relative experience programme.

How Relative Experience can help you

Individual support – from a Grandparents Plus project worker. They are independent from social services and will help identify the best way we can support you.

Drop-in coffee mornings – in your local area with an experienced kinship carer who can offer advice and support.

Local support groups – that meet regularly and are a safe place for kinship carers to share concerns and meet others in a similar position.

Befriending service – we have a team of trained and dedicated volunteers, trained by Family Lives and often kinship carers themselves, who can provide a listening ear and extended one-to-one support for up to three months.

Campaign for change – we’re part of the Grandparents Plus Support Network, which you can join for free, and campaign for improved rights for kinship carers locally and nationally.

Areas we cover 

If you’re a kinship carer, or someone who works with kinship carers, why not find out more about how you can benefit from Relative Experience.

We help kinship carers living in Tyne and Wear, Northumberland, Teesside, and Co Durham. For more information, get in touch on 0191 2572504 or contact  

We also provide help to kinship carers living in the London boroughs of Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey and Islington. For more information, get in touch on 020 8981 8001.

Find the support you need and meet other people in your situation.

Helplines for support and advice  

You can call the Grandparents Plus kinship care advice service on 0300 123 7015 if you’re a kinship carer. Professional advisors can offer free, confidential and impartial advice on welfare benefits and other financial support as well as a wide range of other issues including employment, housing, debt, social care and education.

Family Lives offers a confidential and free national helpline service on 0808 800 2222, providing information, advice, guidance and support on any aspect of parenting and family life.


Relative Experience is a programme run by Grandparents Plus and Family Lives.


Relative Experience is funded by the Big Lottery Fund