UK Families

Dad: Picking Up Where We Left Off?

Naomi Barrow | Posted 20.06.2016 | UK Universities & Education
Naomi Barrow

Working out how we all relate to each other as a family is just one more difficulty in the mountain of change that occurs when someone dies. I know that we will get there and I'm really glad we're close enough to work through these things together.

Building Babies' Brains Through a Better Start

Clair Rees | Posted 20.06.2016 | UK Parents
Clair Rees

Infant mental health (IMH) refers to how well a child develops socially and emotionally. Because babies' worlds are mostly made up of their parents or carers, their mental health is heavily influenced by the care they receive and quality of the baby-carer relationship.

What Do Health Visitors Contribute to Infant Mental Health?

Clair Rees | Posted 16.06.2016 | UK Parents
Clair Rees

We all need someone we can trust in our lives, and it's crucial for a baby's future mental health that they build early trusting relationships with their principle caregivers, who will be the safe haven as they grow up, when needing to make sense of any negative experience faced.

Foster Care Is All About Gruffalo Time

Martin Barrow | Posted 16.06.2016 | UK Parents
Martin Barrow

As foster carers we are used to receiving children who are strangers to the world in which we live. They are perplexed by many of things we take for granted. A well-stocked larder. Vegetables. Clean sheets. A tidy garden. Flowers in a vase. Please and thank you.

11 Homemade Father's Day Gifts You Can Make With Your Kids

The Huffington Post | Amy Packham | Posted 07.06.2016 | UK Parents

Nothing says Happy Father's Day more than a homemade gift from kids, no matter what the creation ends up looking like. Help your kids rustle up a pers...

Be the Stranger Who Makes All Things Possible

Martin Barrow | Posted 23.05.2016 | UK Parents
Martin Barrow

We spent the middle Sunday of Foster Care Fortnight in the best way possible, in the company of foster children present and past. And no better meeting place for two rumbustious extended families than Groombridge Place, deep in the Kent countryside.

How to Plan for the Best Summer Holiday Ever My #sweetsummerchallenge

Lisa Barry | Posted 20.05.2016 | UK Parents
Lisa Barry

The thought of the approaching 6 week summer break may bring you feelings of dread or excitement but either way you can't stop them coming, equally th...

Primary School Lengthens School Day To Enable 'Term-Time' Holidays

The Huffington Post | Amy Packham | Posted 19.05.2016 | UK Parents

A primary school has chosen to extend its school day to enable parents to save money by taking their kids on term-time holidays. Chiddingstone Primar...

The Five Things You Need to Be a Foster Carer

Martin Barrow | Posted 15.05.2016 | UK Parents
Martin Barrow

The Fostering Network estimates that 11,000 new fostering families are currently needed to ensure that children are able to benefit from the most appropriate placement for their increasingly complex needs. Foster Care Fortnight 2016 may inspire you to open your home to a child or young person in need of a loving family.

Cancer Destroyed My Health and My Bank Balance

Devry Souayed | Posted 10.05.2016 | UK Lifestyle
Devry Souayed

New research from Macmillan Cancer Support shows that the average British family cannot afford cancer. That was certainly true in my case. I had to make some impossible decisions simply just to keep a roof over our heads.

11 Money Saving Tips If You're Going Through Cancer

Emma Cross | Posted 09.05.2016 | UK Lifestyle
Emma Cross

As a Macmillan Cancer Support Finance Expert, I often speak to families struggling to make ends meet when they're hit with a cancer diagnosis. I've written a list of money saving tips to help you cut costs if you're affected by the disease...

School Launching Peer-To-Peer Support For Parents

The Huffington Post | Amy Packham | Posted 05.05.2016 | UK Parents

Parents of teenagers will work with other families to pass on advice about how to look after their children's mental health, for a new project being l...

We All Grieve for Baby Keegan

Martin Barrow | Posted 05.05.2016 | UK
Martin Barrow

I was going to write an uplifting blog in celebration of Foster Care Fortnight, which takes place this month. But it is so difficult to be cheerful and optimistic about safeguarding children when the news is dominated by the murder of an infant at the hands of the woman entrusted with her care...

A New Baby - An Emotional Time

Thomas Lynch | Posted 25.04.2016 | UK Parents
Thomas Lynch

Both me and my wife talked and talked about whether we would try again for another baby or accept that one beautiful boy was good enough for us. It was one of those conversations that went on forever and had different outcomes every time.

Our Memories as Foster Carers Are Precious

Martin Barrow | Posted 12.04.2016 | UK Parents
Martin Barrow

An unexpected reunion with a much-loved former foster child brings memories flooding back. She came to us as a new-born and left just before her first birthday. She is thriving with her forever family, who are as dear to us as our own.

Mamas and the Panama Papers

Vanessa Olorenshaw | Posted 11.04.2016 | UK Politics
Vanessa Olorenshaw

So there we have it. Some men are more equal than others - in exposure to tax liability, at least. The Panama Papers have revealed just how deviously and unethically many wealthy individuals protect their assets, reduce their exposure to tax, and pay as little into or back to their communities as they can get away with.

Seven Reasons Why I Love My Mixed Race Family

Fariba Soetan | Posted 10.04.2016 | UK Parents
Fariba Soetan

Although there are the struggles that mixed race people feel when out in the world battling to 'fit in' and identify themselves in the carefully chosen boxes that exist, there's so much more that our mixed race kids will experience and can explore because of their multiple heritages. Here are a few of my favourites...

For the Sake of the Children, Foster Carers Deserve Better

Martin Barrow | Posted 31.03.2016 | UK Parents
Martin Barrow

We have witnessed the wonder of adoption first hand. As foster carers we were present when the baby we had cared for since birth met her new parents for the first time, and we have been blessed to be part of their lives ever since.

A Tale of Three Mums

Martin Barrow | Posted 01.03.2016 | UK Parents
Martin Barrow

The message about mothers and motherhood is clear and simple, and the pressure on children whose reality does not chime with the narrative presented by television and radio, or displayed in shop windows and restaurants is intense.

Supermarkets Opening Longer On Sundays Could Threaten 'Human Flourishing', Warn Churches

The Huffington Post UK | Louise Ridley | Posted 28.02.2016 | UK

Allowing shops to open for longer on Sundays will disrupt community life and threaten the "common good", a group of Christian leaders has warned. T...

Domestic Violence Knows no Postcode

Martin Barrow | Posted 19.02.2016 | UK
Martin Barrow

Yes, looked-after children are more likely to have lived in poverty, and they are more likely to have parents whose own lives were blighted by neglect and abuse. But we have also provided a home to children and young people who attended private schools, who wore preppy clothes and carried the latest smart phone in their back pocket. We have cared for children who told stories of foreign holidays and family days out just like our own.

Kitchen of Life

Martin Barrow | Posted 03.02.2016 | UK Parents
Martin Barrow

It has taken time but our foster children have finally got used to me doing the washing up, peeling potatoes and preparing lunch, although they still expect me to cut a finger when I chop carrots.

Running on Empty: Why Food Poverty Can No Longer Be Tolerated

Jackie Brock | Posted 14.01.2016 | UK
Jackie Brock

In a developed nation, such as the UK, food poverty in this day and age is totally unacceptable. Not only does it weaken wellbeing, damage educational achievement and squander potential, but it is unjustifiable in a modern society and a country with plenty.

The Realities of Being an Identical Twin

Laura Jopson | Posted 07.01.2016 | UK Lifestyle
Laura Jopson

It's a little like being asked what it's like having a pair of lungs. I don't know - Good? Useful? Essential? Being a twin makes up my DNA: my twin-ness sits snugly inside each and every cell that makes up my body. It's why we have the same colour eyes; the same colour hair and tiny wrists. It's why I am me and she is, well, she.

When the Numbers of Foster Care Don't Add Up

Martin Barrow | Posted 04.01.2016 | UK
Martin Barrow

How many children have we fostered? From now on, that will remain between us and the children, thank you.