Kinship CARE

Kinship CARE is a comprehensive training package for trauma-informed care and practice among kinship carers and professionals who support them. Kinship CARE is tailored to the experience and training needs of kinship carers. Kinship CARE recognises that, for kinship carers, relational connection is important. Kinship CARE supports enriched relational connections. Kinship CARE also recognises that children and young people who cannot safely be cared for at home or are recovering from a tough start to life have additional care needs. Kinship CARE supports having an understanding of what those additional care needs are and how they may be addressed therapeutically. Kinship CARE acknowledges that kinship carers have much to contend with, and that advice and guidance needs to be practical and realistic. Kinship CARE supports the development of Therapeutic Care Plans that are tailored to the characteristics and capabilities of individual kinship households. Kinship CARE acknowledges the persistence of kinship carers in challenging circumstances. Kinship CARE offers a practical approach to thinking about and implementing self-care.

Kinship CARE supports caregiver engagement with training. Kinship CARE focuses on the assets kinship carers bring to the role. Empowerment of kinship carers is a central aspect and intended outcome. Kinship CARE acknowledges strengths.  Through complementary training for kinship carers and the professionals who support them in the role, Kinship CARE supports a common knowledge, language, and approach. In doing so, Kinship CARE supports equality, effective communication, and alignment in the care team.

Kinship CARE is delivered in a manner that makes it accessible to kinship carers ( and professionals who support them). Delivery utilises verbal content, practical demonstrations, videos, and individual and group reflective activities. Kinship CARE follows adult-learning principles. Embeddedness is supported through trained professionals modelling the Model in their own interactions with kinship carers.

Kinship CARE encourages the implementation of a therapeutic care environment around the kinship child, in the pursuits of an optimal psychological environment and developmental outcomes within the kinship child. Kinship CARE incorporates the CARE1 (Consistency, Accessibility, Responsiveness, Emotional Connectedness) and Triple-A Models2. Drawn from psychological science, the CARE and Triple-A Models represent evidence-informed frameworks for understanding what good caregiving and psychological functioning looks like, and the impact of early adversity on the developing child. Kinship CARE applies thinking and caregiving strategies that support optimal developmental outcomes for children.

Kinship CARE is derived from the Kinship CARE Project. Initially a two-year joint-initiative of Secure Start® and the Department for Child Protection (DCP), the Kinship CARE Project was delivered to 250 kinship carers across 7 regional and 17 metropolitan locations. Twelve percent (12%) of participants identified as being of indigenous descent. Session by session evaluations from the first eighteen groups show that more than 98% of participant kinship carers indicate that the training was informative, practical and useful, that they were satisfied with the training, and that they would recommend it to other kinship carers. Eighty-four percent (84%) of participant kinship carers who completed the training and a three-month follow up survey report that they are experiencing improved relationships with the children in their care, eighty-nine percent (89%) report that they feel more confident in the role, ninety-eight percent (98%) report that they have learnt strategies that have helped them in the kinship role, and one-hundred percent (100%) report that they have received helpful information. Analysis of pre-post questionnaires for the first twelve implementation groups identified that kinship carers were more than twice as likely to refer to behaviour being an expression of needs after four training sessions.

Kinship CARE recognises the prevalence of family trauma and loss among kinship and indigenous families. Kinship CARE incorporates language and content that is respectful, inclusive and non-shaming.  

Displayed with the permission of the Artist
Rose Ward, Noongar Woman

For more information about Kinship CARE, visit our Kinship CARE Project Page here and our Kinship CARE Curriculum page here.

To access training in Kinship CARE, see our upcoming training here.


  1. Pearce, C.M. (2016) A Short Introduction to Attachment and Attachment Disorder (Second Edition). London, Jessica Kingsley Publishers
  2. Pearce, C.M. (2010). An Integration of Theory, Science and Reflective Clinical Practice in the Care and Management of Attachment-Disordered Children – A Triple A Approach. Educational and Child Psychology (Special Issue on Attachment), 27 (3): 73-86

A straightforward guide to keeping things on track in the home during tough times. Includes printable worksheets – see preview below. 18pp

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About colbypearce

I am a practising Clinical Psychologist with twenty-seven years’ experience working with children and young people recovering from abuse and neglect. I am also an author and educator in trauma-informed, therapeutic caregiving. My programs are implemented in Australia and Ireland, and I am well-known for my practical and accessible guidance for caregivers and professionals alike.
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