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Speaker Biography

Sam Smethers

 Sam Smethers
Sam Smethers has been the Chief Executive of Grandparents Plus since 2008 and is the former Director of Public Affairs of the Equal Opportunities Commission. She has worked as a communications consultant and also has eight years experience of working in parliament. Sam is a trustee of Gingerbread. She has four children and was brought up by her grandparents.

Grandparents Plus is the national charity which champions the vital role of grandparents and the wider family in children's lives - especially when they take on the caring role in difficult family circumstances. Under Sam’s leadership the charity has made a number of high profile interventions into the family policy debate during recent years, challenging the focus on the nuclear model of family life and demonstrating the contribution that grandparents and the wider family make. The charity wants to see the grandparental role better recognised, valued and supported.

Grandparents Plus has a particular focus on grandparents and family members who are raising children who cannot live with their parents, keeping them out of care, provides advice and peer support to carers in that situation and campaigns with them to improve policy, services and support at national and local level. Grandparents Plus also works to support social workers and other professionals who work in kinship care, recognising the practice challenges they face.


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