Grandparent’s Experiences of Kinship Care – Repair and Rescue, rather than Pleasure and Leisure.

This is a reblogged post written by Gemma Carney at Queens University in Belfast, about a seminar I presented at today (Wednesday 7th June 2017) as a Visiting Fellow to the Arc Ageing Programme. I gave two presentations, including one about male kinship carers and ageing masculinities and a second on the inequalities faced by kinship carers. Both presentations were filmed and are likely to be available for viewing soon (watch this space!). I really enjoyed the experience of presenting to a varied audience and hope that in sharing research messages about kinship carers that we can give them a voice and really start to raise their profile, recognising and celebrating the highly significant, yet invisible, care that they do.

A short policy briefing based on the event is also planned.


Ageing Issues

So often grand-parenting is presented as a fun and fickle leisure activity of wealthy Baby Boomers. For many grand-parents, the idyll of days out, holidays and baby-sitting is a remote possibility. Research by Grandparents Plus has found that in England alone there are 153,000 children living with relatives, and over half of these carers are grandparents – known as ‘kinship carers’. These grandparents play the role of replacement parent with all of the accompanying responsibility, costs, labour and laundry.

BSG NI and Paula Devine’s ARK Ageing programme teamed up with former member of BSG NI Robert Hagan (now based at Keele University) to explore this issue. The seminar Exploring Ineqaulities in caring: grandparents’ experiences of kinship care from multiple perspectives  provided a 360 degree perspective on this complex set of issues. Two panels, one academic, and another based on practice, made for a rich and holistic learning experience.

Speakers included academic…

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