Monday, 10 March 2014

Kinship carers campaigned outside Scottish Parliament

The children and young people (Scotland) bill sets out a new legal status called a kinship care order, which the government claims will finally recognise kinship carers in law and increase the support they are offered. However, a closer look at the proposals reveals they are billed as saving the Scottish government and local authorities money by reducing the number of kinship children with "at risk" or "looked after" status, which entitles them to crucial services and financial allowances. The financial memorandum of the bill states that only a fraction of those applying for the new kinship care order are expected to be entitled to start-up grants, the legal cost of applying for the order or a basic allowance to support their caring role.

A report published last year by the charity Buttle UK in association with Bristol University showed that more than one in 71 children in Scotland are in kinship care and that the majority of these placements are informal, ie, unsupported by the local authority. Buttle UK claims each informal kinship carer saves the taxpayer between £23,500 and £56,000 a year, despite many of these carers finding themselves in poverty, with 31% of these families unable to provide all the eight basic items that most of us consider necessities, such as heating and winter clothes.
Is this what they call Getting it Right for Every Child ?

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