Section 3A: Setting up your kinship peer support group

Learn more about what you need to think about when starting your kinship peer support group. Where to begin and how to create a strong foundation for your group to grow.

Close-up of three men sitting in a semi-circle listening to someone talking.

Setting up a kinship peer support group – where do I start?

So you’ve decided to start a peer support group for kinship carers to come together. This is an incredible commitment for other kinship carers.

But, where do you start?

It can seem overwhelming at the beginning. Not knowing what to do first or which group structure is best.

Section 3 of the Peer Support Group Library takes you through all of the big decisions you need to make when starting a group. Listen to the experiences of other peer support group leaders, download checklists and more to support you.

What do I need to think about?

Section 1 introduces what sort of group might work best for you. Now we can start to dig into the details. How is your group going to look and feel? Where will it be held?

We’ll take things one at a time:

  • how to meet – in person or online?
  • naming your peer support group
  • thinking about choice and control in your peer support group
  • finding a great venue for your peer support group
  • how to start an online peer support group with Zoom
  • building trust in your group

Take your time

It’s worth remembering that setting up a group can take time. It will take patience to get a group going with regular attendance. But it can be done and has been done by many others.

The trick is to work through things at a pace that works for you and around your family.

Some decisions might not take long, just a few minutes, like whether to have an online or in person group. But other things will need some planning or research and time to go out and explore, like finding the right venue.

Try to set yourself some mini goals, maybe doing one thing each week. This will help to break it down and keep you focussed on what you need to do next. Time spent planning can be really helpful. The kinship peer support library can help too.

"It certainly has been a learning curve. I think you've just got to go with the flow and some things you get right, some things you get wrong. The main thing is obviously helping others with support as well as it being beneficial to myself too."
Gillian, kinship carer in Gateshead (special guardian for her grandson) and support group leader
An older woman with grey hair looking to camera.

Need help to set up a peer support group?

If you’re kinship carer living in England, our Peer Support Service can help you set up a peer support group in your local area. Training, support and your own volunteer coordinator. And it's free!

Have an informal chat

Other support from Kinship

Here at Kinship, we offer a range of free support for all kinship carers, including workshops, online advice and information, and peer support groups.

Contact our advice service to speak to an adviser or book an appointment.