Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has been elected as the chair of the new All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Kinship Care.
The elections took place at the groups inaugural AGM on Monday 8 March. Seven Vice Chairs were also elected; Catherine McKinnell (Labour), Tim Loughton (Conservative), Ian Byrne (Labour), Miriam Cates (Conservative), Helen Hayes (Labour), Baroness Armstrong (Labour) and Steven Bonnar (SNP).
The group is looking to build on the work of the cross-party Parliamentary Taskforce on Kinship Care, a group of MPs and Peers from across Parliament which produced an important report in September 2020 with recommendations for improving the system for kinship care, so that families are the first point of call in the care system and kinship carers are valued and properly supported.
Kinship care is when children are raised by family members or other adults with close family-like relationships with them when biological parents are unable to do so. There are estimated to be between 180,000 and 200,000 children in the care of relatives in the UK.
The group will be supported by the charity Family Rights Group, which works with parents whose children are in need, at risk or are in the care system and with members of the wider family who are raising children unable to remain at home.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“I am delighted to have been elected Chair of this new group, which will build on the important work of the Parliamentary Taskforce on Kinship Care.
“Across the country, tens of thousands of kinship carers provide love, support and protection to children, but all too often they are forgotten, facing a system that doesn’t always work.
“As a group, we are determined to change this, improving the care system so that kinship carers are at the very heart, rather than an afterthought.”