Ruth Kilcullen -
Ruth and her partner Matthew have two adult children and before their kinship journey began were just beginning to enjoy the freedom that having older children allows you… concentrating on work and the occasional night out. Ruth’s professional background is in the education and charitable sector. Her most recent role was as Community Fundraising Area Manager of the South and East of England for a disability charity. Then, literally overnight, Ruth and Matt became kinship carers to their 10 month niece and 7 year old nephew. Would they change anything? Nothing. ‘Having the children is sometimes a challenge, but it’s not the children themselves that cause the problems. Initially, it was the lack of support from Social Services that left us feeling like we were drowning at some points. The children arrived with just the clothes they were wearing and a pushchair. Everything else, we had to beg, borrow or buy. Balancing relationships within the family has also been a struggle, but we’re getting there.’ Ruth says that meeting other kinship carers through Kinfest and the online support group has been invaluable and hopes that Kinfest continues to grow to support even more families and their kinship children.