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Director of Communications and External Affairs | Kinship

Join Kinship’s Senior Leadership Team as their new Director of Communications and External Affairs, to help shape and implement their communications, marketing, public affairs and influencing work. You will bring experience of managing multi-disciplinary teams and a track record in successfully influencing decision makers to bring about policy and legislative change.

  • Location: Vauxhall, London
  • Salary: £55,000 - £65,000 (London office-based 2 to 3 days per week)

About Kinship

Kinship care is when a child lives full-time or most of the time with a relative or friend who isn’t their parent, usually because their parents aren’t able to care for them.

We use our experience, expertise and strength to change lives. We support kinship carers in their homes and communities, giving advice and helping them work through problems to find the best way forward.

We connect carers together in our national community and network of local support groups, so they don’t have to face the fight alone.

We help professionals understand kinship families and improve support for them. And through our research and campaigns we make sure kinship care is understood and government knows what changes are needed.

We’ll not rest until the recognition and support is there for every kinship family.

Overall Purpose

The new Director of Communications and External Affairs will be joining Kinship during an exciting period of organisational development and growing awareness of kinship care. You will play an integral role in raising awareness about kinship care and our work, to ensure that the voices of kinship carers are heard by decision makers and the public.

This role will be part of the senior leadership team and will play an active role in contributing to a positive culture and high performing team. You will contribute to the charity’s long-term strategy and objectives, as well as preparing regular reports to the board of trustees.

Overseeing a team of six, with four direct reports, the new Director of Communications and External Affairs will lead on the development and delivery of an integrated communications and influencing strategy. This role will position Kinship as the leading kinship care charity with key decision makers and opinion formers in the UK and devolved government in Wales. The Director will develop and implement a stakeholder engagement plan and will be working closely with the Chief Executive to enable meetings with key MPs and opinion formers.

Line managing the Senior Campaigns Officer and Media Manager, this role will lead on the development and delivery of a campaign strategy to transform kinship care support through long-term government investment and legislative change. Further to this, it will lead on the growth of local and national campaigning capacity through our network of support groups.

Also line managing the Head of Marketing and Engagement, this role will have oversight of the marketing and digital team. It will also work closely with the fundraising and business development teams to provide marketing and communications support for income-generating activities.

The successful candidate will be an experienced senior public affairs and communications professional with a track record in leading multi-disciplinary teams. You will have a demonstrable track record in developing and delivering successful policy and awareness campaigns and have experience in proactive and reactive media relations. A knowledge of the children’s social care or family sector is highly desirable. Experience working with fundraising teams is desirable.

For more information on the role, please contact Toby Roberts on toby@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07950 309028

Closing date: 9am, Monday 14th June 2021

Equality and Diversity

Kinship is committed to inclusivity and representing the diversity of the communities we serve. We therefore welcome applications from all backgrounds and all sections of the community. Applicants will be treated fairly throughout the recruitment process and we will ensure there is no unfair discrimination on the basis of race, ethnic origin, disability, gender, religion or belief, age, sexual orientation or any other relevant characteristic. For this role we are actively seeking applications from black and minority ethnic applicants who are currently under-represented at management levels in the charity.

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Toby Roberts

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Welcome from Lucy Peake, Chief Executive

Thank you for your interest in the Director of Communications and External Affairs at Kinship. We’re thrilled that you are considering joining us at a time of growing interest in kinship care and our charity.

Kinship care is when a child is raised by a relative or family friend, because their parents aren’t able to care for them. The majority of kinship carers are grandparents, but older brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins are also taking on responsibility for raising the children. Our research shows that around half of children (52%) are in kinship care as a result of parental drug or alcohol misuse, although other reasons include bereavement, imprisonment, parental abuse or neglect and parental ill-health. Almost half of children in kinship care have special needs (49%), most commonly emotional and behavioural difficulties.

When children are at risk of entering the care system, kinship care is a positive alternative. It keeps children in the family, leads to better outcomes for children and economic benefits for society. Yet kinship care has been marginalised and poorly supported for too long. It’s time for change.

During the pandemic we spoke out for kinship carers, secured funds and extended our support services across England and into Wales. We are proud to have advised and supported more kinship carers than ever before and we are determined to build on our success.

At the moment, kinship care is riven with inequality. Access to support is determined by the legal order of the child, and financial allowances and other services are a postcode lottery. We want kinship carers to have the right to support for them and their children, wherever they live and whatever the legal order of the child. We want that right enshrined in legislation – a Kinship Care Act.

Interest in kinship care is growing and we’re building a powerful case for investment. Our strengths are our unique social action approach, our pioneering programmes developed and delivered in collaboration with kinship carers and local authorities, as well as our unrivalled breadth and depth of engagement with kinship carers, kinship care professionals and academics. We are leading the improvement of support on the ground, delivering impact and building evidence for investment in kinship care, building a powerful movement of kinship carers and young people.

This Director of Communications and External Affairs is a pivotal new role leading our work to raise awareness, ensure the voices of kinship carers and their children are heard by decision makers and the public, and bring about policy and legislative change. You’ll be strategic, creative and responsive, ready to use your skills and be hands-on when needed, leading from the front to inspire your team, the wider organisation and the kinship care community.

Overseeing a team of six, you will provide strategic leadership to develop and grow the communications and external affairs directorate to amplify the voice of kinship carers and young people and build a powerful network of campaigners. This role would suit an experienced communications and external affairs specialist with experience of campaigns as well as a track record in leading a team.

You will be joining a growing charity with clear objectives, and this role will be hugely rewarding. You will receive a great deal of support as an active member of our leadership team. We are passionate about what we do and we love our jobs. We’re looking for someone who will bring expertise and ideas and share our excitement about the opportunities ahead for Kinship.

It’s time for greater recognition and support for kinship families and I know that our new – and first ever – Director of Communications and External Affairs will help make this a reality for over 200,000 children and their carers.

Thank you for your interest in Kinship, and I hope to meet you at interview stage.

Lucy Peake
Chief Executive

About Kinship

Kinship is the leading kinship care charity in England and Wales. We are here for all kinship carers – the grandparents and siblings, the aunts, uncles, and family friends who step up to raise children when their parents aren’t able to.

We won’t rest until every kinship family has the recognition, value and support they need and deserve.

Why we exist

Kinship care begins in crisis. A child whose parents are unable to care for them, for whatever reason. It’s frightening, confusing and heart-breaking.

Instinctively, a loved one steps in – a grandparent, brother, sister, aunt, uncle or family friend. They are now a kinship carer, bringing up the children they love. There’s no chance to prepare. Plans are pushed aside. Relationships, jobs and savings are sacrificed.

It’s life changing and challenging raising children who’ve been hurt or neglected, but kinship carers do it anyway because they put the children first.

Kinship families raising over 200,000 children are on the brink of going under because there’s no recognition or support. They feel invisible. They are desperate, but they are fighting.

We know how hard life can be for kinship carers. But we’ve seen the amazing things they’re capable of with someone by their side. With the right support, children raised in kinship families flourish.

That’s why we support, connect and campaign. To keep kinship families stronger by keeping them together.

What we do

We use our experience, expertise and strength to change lives. We support kinship carers in their homes and communities, giving advice and helping them work through problems to find the best way forward.

We connect carers together in our national community and network of local support groups, so they don’t have to face the fight alone.

We help professionals understand kinship families and improve support for them. And through our research and campaigns we make sure kinship care is understood and government knows what changes are needed.

We’ll not rest until the recognition and support is there for every kinship family.

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    Application method: CV and a covering letter outlining how you meet the job description and person specification. The supporting statement should be no more than two sides of A4.

    To discuss the role in detail, please contact Toby Roberts | toby@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07950 309028.

    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Director of Communications and External Affairs, Kinship” into the subject field.

    Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

    Kinship is committed to inclusivity and representing the diversity of the communities we serve. We therefore welcome applications from all backgrounds and all sections of the community. Applicants will be treated fairly throughout the recruitment process and we will ensure there is no unfair discrimination on the basis of race, ethnic origin, disability, gender, religion or belief, age, sexual orientation or any other relevant characteristic. For this role we are actively seeking applications from black and minority ethnic applicants who are currently under-represented at management levels in the charity.

    Timetable

    Closing date: 9am, Monday 14th June 2021
    First stage interview: Thursday 24th June
    Second stage interview: Monday 5th July

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and Kinship are committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse, inclusive, and recognises and develops the potential of all, we need to appreciate the profile of candidates who apply for positions. We would therefore be most grateful if you would complete equality monitoring form.

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