About the Kinship Peer Support Service

Kinship carers supporting each other. Building powerful supportive kinship communities together.

Two small boys playing rough and tumble on a sofa. They're both smiling and laughing. In the background, an older couple sit smiling on a different sofa.

What is the national Kinship Peer Support Service?

Funded by the Department for Education, we’re supporting kinship carers across England to set up sustainable peer support groups in their local area or online.

Kinship carers told us they wanted more support, more access to expert advice and information and more opportunities to connect with each other.

What we’re doing is making sure that where there is little, or no peer support at the moment, that we’re actively helping kinship carers to build new communities and relationships.

Kinship carers are more powerful when they come together.

As part of the national peer support service, we have:

  • consulted and worked with kinship carers to understand their experiences and what they want to see
  • set up this dedicated Kinship Compass platform – one place where kinship carers can find what they need. A local support group, access to one-to-one advice and information and free group workshops
  • worked with experts to develop free online workshops to support kinship carers in their caring role
  • created a Peer Support Group Library, a free resource library open to everyone, where kinship carers can find information about how you can set up your own peer support group
  • built an on the ground delivery team supporting kinship carers to set up their own groups with one-to-one support and training
  • created a postcode search tool where kinship carers can find peer support groups that work for them, either in their local area or online
  • piloted an Online Chat service (now on hold), where kinship carers reached out to trained kinship carer volunteers to get emotional support
"Before I joined this group, nobody really understood what it was like. You know, your friends, your family, obviously say all the right things. 'Oh, you're very brave. I couldn't do it. It must be really hard for you.' But talking to the group, we learn from each other or we can just listen and we can understand. You know, it's a shoulder to cry on, someone to trust."
Elaine, kinship carer talking about peer support
A portrait of Elaine, one of our peer support group leaders.