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Stop the Kinship Care Order!

Stop the Scottish Government reducing support to vulnerable children in kinship care as part of the new Children and Young People Bill!

There are at least 20,000 kinship care arrangements in Scotland (thats 1 in 71 children) and the majority of kinship carers suffer poverty and distress caused by taking on extra children according to the Buttle UK's 2013 report 'The Poor Relations'. Yet kinship care is the best, and most stable and loving place for children unable to live with their parents.

The Kinship Care Order planned as part of the Children and Young People Bill will reduce, or fail to increase, support for children in kinship care by:

a) Reducing the number of kinship children with Looked After status over the coming years, instead placing them on a Kinship Care Order which does not entitle them to the same level of support. The Financial memorandum openly states that this will save the Scottish Government and local authorities money over the coming years.

b) Limiting the number of kinship care placements which can receive financial support, start up grants and support with the court costs of obtaining an order.

c) Failing to ensure that often traumatised kinship children have priority access to psychological and educational support, which Looked After status currently entitles them to.

d) Failing to ensure that Local Authorities provide a minimum financial allowance to all kinship care families to provide for the basic costs of childcare.

 

Support for kinship care children needs to be increased and made equitable across Scotland, not reduced or kept at the current inadequate level. Kinship children should not have a worse life-chance than those in other forms of care, and should have access to same support services in recognition of the comparable need of these children to those in foster and residential care. Basic financial support to keep these families out of poverty should also be provided at a fair and equitable rate across Scotland. Support should be given according to the child's need not the legal status of the kinship care arrangement.

Without this basic support children in kinship care are being stigmatised, discriminated against, excluded from school due to behavioural difficulties caused by unrecognised traumas, and left in poverty as their carers struggle to cope. This situation is unjust and counter productive as it is a disincentive to others to become kinship carers for vulnerable children in their family, putting a greater pressure on the taxpayer by increasing the need for foster and residential care services.

 

This petition was delivered to:
  • The Scottish government and MSPs


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