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#25Bringing families together

Families are changing. They come in all different shapes and sizes and this diversity can make shaping and communicating our offer a real challenge.

Two organisations that are both increasing the quality of experience for families and also improving marketing to reach more and different families are Starcatchers, Scotland’s national arts and early years organisation, and Kids in Museums who work with museums across England and Wales to make them more welcoming for children, young people and families.

Starcatchers worked in partnership with Children 1st, Scotland’s national children’s charity to deliver a two-year pilot project, Creative Kin. This groundbreaking project offered space for kinship families[1] to spend time together away from life’s challenges.

Working alongside community artists with expertise across a range of different art forms and with support from Children 1st staff, participants are supported to explore their innate creativity. Photography, film-making, music, drama, puppetry, and visual art are just some of the activities carers and children have explored during weekly sessions.

“Creative Kin has been good — it has given us a chance to bond as a family. We never get the chance when he is at school.” (Participant)

Starcatchers’ genuine partnership approach has allowed them to enable families to carve out time to be creative together, play together and build attachment.

“ The group has helped me to play with my granddaughter. It takes things off my mind when I’m here.”  (Participant)

Kids in Museums has a vision that all families will be welcomed, involved and belong in museums so every child and young person is part of the experiences and opportunities a museum offers.

Their Kids in Museums Manifesto is a set of simple guidelines for museums created with children, young people and families. It sets out what they feel makes a museum a great place to visit. You can join the 900 museums and heritage organisations that have signed up in support of their Manifesto and use it as an audit tool, to show your visitors your values and to promote your museum to a family audience.

From flexible family ticketing to a guide on welcoming families with a wheelchair user and much more, AMAculturehive hosts several resources created by Kids in Museums to support your work with families.

These are just two of many examples of organisations sharing their learning and family resources on AMAculturehive including case studies, guides, research and lots of ideas.

[1] Kinship care is the care given to a child whose parents are unable to provide the care and support for a child and this responsibility is taken on by a family member such as a grandparent, aunt, uncle, sibling or other connected adults to the child such as godparents or close friends of the family.

Image courtesy of Starcatchers ©.

Image of a mother and a child with face paintingStarcatchers’ artist-led programme Creative Kin. Image courtesy of Starcatchers ©.

AMAculturehive’s spotlight on Families automatically updates as new, relevant resources are added and shares both success and challenges to support your work.

Also read JAM 64 (Autumn 2016) — Families — in the Members’ Area. You will need your member’s login to access.