‘Good Relations: A Rights-Based Approach to Kinship Care in Liverpool’

Mar 26 2019 Posted: 09:25 GMT



‘Good Relations: A Rights-Based Approach to Kinship Care in Liverpool’

By Dr. Aoife Daly

Date: 29th March 2019
Time: 1pm -2pm
Venue: Seminar room, Irish Centre for Human Rights

Kinship carers – family or friends who take on the care of children who cannot be cared for by parents – are the unsung heroes of the child care system in England and Wales. They are usually grandparents, frequently have health problems, and often live in poverty. They step in to care for children at a time of crisis. Yet they are primarily left by the state without financial or other support to provide this particularly vulnerable group of kinship children with what they need. Relevant rules are complex and unclear, and kinship carers are often unaware of their legal position. This seminar outlines how a project in Liverpool aimed to frame kinship care as a rights issue, using the framework of rights and law to progress understanding amongst authorities of the experiences and needs of kinship families, and to assist them in accessing assistance and entitlements. Professionals working with kinship families were asked their views on and experiences of kinship care as a rights issue. It is concluded that their views on rights are complex and often subtle, with varied understandings as to the meaning of rights and various degrees of ambivalence as to their legitimacy. This is considered in light of Klug’s framework of human rights as part law, part philosophy, and part political movement. It is finally concluded that human rights should be presented to professionals as both a journey and an end point towards and for better practice and outcomes.

 Dr Aoife Daly is Senior Lecturer at the School of Law, University of Liverpool. She is also Deputy Director of the European Children’s Rights Unit which seeks to progress children’s rights through research. She recently published Children, Autonomy and the Courts: Beyond the Right to be Heard with Brill Nijhoff (2018).


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