Stop the Kinship Care Order!

Picture 3Stop the Scottish Government reducing support to vulnerable children in kinship care as part of the new Children and Young People Bill!

Please join our national demonstration at the Scottish Parliament from 12 – 2pm on 19th February 2014, to catch MSPs before they go into parliament for the Stage 3 debate on the Children and Young People Bill!! Bring placards and loud voices. This is one of our last chances to stop support being reduced as part of this Bill.

Also please sign our petition and/or cut and paste the letter below to send to your MSP. You can find your MSP and email them using this link, and then copying the letter below into the text box, with any alternations you want to make. Please send this to all your friends. We need as many letters and signatures as possible before the 19th Feb.

Read below to find out why this is so important..

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48 PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS ON KINSHIP CARE ANSWERED

national demo 2013The Scottish Government has now given its reply to the 48 Parliamentary Questions on Kinship Care filed by seven MSPs from cross parties in September. The replies confirm much of what we already knew: that the Scottish Government has not adequately researched the needs of children in Kinship Care, or the success of its initiatives to support them to date; that there is discrimination between the support offered to children in Foster and formal Kinship Care on the same legal standing who have comparable needs; and that provision for the majority of children in Kinship Care who are on section 11 orders or none at all is virtually non-existent. The report below gives more detail on the answers and some of the issues raised. The full list of questions and answers can also be found at the bottom of this post.

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48 Parliamentary Questions lodged on Kinship Care

national demo 201348 Parliamentary Questions on the issue of Kinship Care have been lodged in the business bulletin of the Scottish Parliament by a group of cross party MSPs. Six questions were lodged on Friday last week by John Finnie (Independent), while the remaining 42 appeared in yesterday’s bulletin, while more than 100 Kinship Carers chanted and protested outside the parliament. The questions were lodged by Jean Urquhart (Independent), Neil Bibby (Labour), Michael McMahon (Labour), Jackie Baillie (Labour), Alison Johnstone (Green Party), Bob Doris (SNP). The full list of questions is below.

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100 GRANDPARENTS PROTEST AT HOLYROOD ON NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION FOR KINSHIP CARE

national demo 2013Today more than 100 Kinship Carers and their supporters from across the Scottish regions descended on the Scottish Parliament demanding fair treatment for the children in their care. Carers came from Angus, Stirling, Kirkcaldy, Falkirk, Edinburgh, Mid Lothian, Glasgow, Dumfries, Inverclyde and West Dunbartonshire. They chanted slogans such as ‘We won’t stop, we will fight, Kinship kids have human rights!’, and ‘Scottish Government: Shame on you!’, sung songs and held banners and placards with various demands. Many placards stated ‘justice for kinship kids’, while others said ‘Kinship kids are humans. Stop the discrimination!”. The National Day of Action was declared by the Scottish Kinship Care Alliance – the national body representing Kinship Carers across Scotland.

A Kinship Care support group for North Ayrshire simultaneously protested outside the Irvine council offices as part of the Day of Action.

 

Please see below for pictures, a full report, and links to the huge amount of press coverage we received!       Massive thanks to everyone who made today possible..

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The Herald covers national Kinship demo

Kinship Carer Eleanor Brownlie from West Glasgow spoke to the Herald.

Kinship Carer Eleanor Brownlie from West Glasgow spoke to the Herald.

23rd September 2013, From today’s Herald newspaper: 

MORE than 100 grandparents will demand local authorities are given funding to support those who look after their ­vulnerable young relatives as they protest outside the Scottish Parliament.

They say kinship carers such as themselves are discriminated against by being denied many of the supports offered to foster carers, including basic financial allowances, educational support and child therapy.

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Call out! Join us for a National Day of Action on Kinship Care

Kinship Carers from North Glasgow demonstrate outside parliament in 2010

Kinship Carers from North Glasgow demonstrate outside parliament in 2010

25th September, 11.30am – 12.30pm. The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh.

Join us to tell the Scottish Government to stop discriminating against tens of thousands children in Kinship Care, and invest in supporting some of Scotland’s most vulnerable children.

Parallel local demonstrations will be held in other Scottish regions.

Please join us with placards, banners and loud voices! We need to show that Kinship Carers are not an isolated group, but have wide support. Come show your solidarity!

Letters of support to the Scottish Government and statements of support for the demonstration are also welcomed. Please get in touch with us at scottishkinshipcarealliance@gmail.com. More details below…
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SKCA OPPOSES KINSHIP CARE ORDER in CYP BILL

Kinship Carers tell of their plight at the SKCA launch

Kinship Carers tell of their plight at the SKCA launch

29th July 2013. On Friday the Scottish Kinship Care Alliance submitted its comprehensive response to the Education and Culture Committee’s call for evidence on the Children and Young People’s Bill. In April the Scottish Government released more information on the new measures for Kinship Carers which is had proposed in the Bill. This revealed that far from increasing provisions for some of Scotland’s most vulnerable children who are in Kinship Care, they are intending to save money and decrease the support available! This will largely be achieved by taking children off Looked After status (which is currently the only way to guarantee any adequate support) and putting them onto a new legal status called a Kinship Care Order.

Our response not only decries this despicable move to keep Kinship children and their carers in poverty and distress, but also points out that this discrimination between children in Kinship Care and their oftentimes brothers and sisters with comparable needs in foster care, is a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. The SKCA will expose the Scottish Government’s disregard for Human Rights law in the coming year.

Kinship carers and politicians and policy makers at the SCKA launch

Kinship carers and politicians and policy makers at the SCKA launch

One of the most disappointing elements of the Bill’s ‘progress’ is the way in which the views of Kinship Carers have been outrightly ignored by the Bill team and the Scottish Government. We have had several meetings with the Bill team, and, along with other respected agencies such as the Scottish Human Rights Commission, the Scottish Commission on Children and Young People, Social Work Glasgow and the Poverty Truth Commission, have made the needs of Kinship children for basic support abundantly clear. However, the team have ignored our emotional stories and plentiful evidence and done the opposite. We are deeply concerned that there is an institutionalised discrimination within the Scottish Government, which has already condemned children in Kinship Care to the scrap heap.

We will not back down and are building alliances to ensure Kinship children do get access to essential services and are given the chance these innocent children deserve in life.

Please see the full response below. Continue reading

LANDMARK RULING FOR FAMILY AND FRIENDS CARERS

Royal Courts of Justice, London

Royal Courts of Justice, London

9th July 2013.  A case in Tower Hamlets, London, has resulted in another landmark ruling that Kinship Carers are entitled to the same level of support as foster carers. The ruling recognises that foster and kinship carers take care of children with comparable needs and vulnerability, and essentially do the same job, yet foster carers are very well supported and many Kinship Carers receive very little or even nothing.  It is worth noting that the situation in Scotland is much worse than the case mentioned here, as very few Kinship Carers would receive the £200/week stated here. In fact the average Kinship allowance (which varies across Scotland and is only available to Kinship Carers on certain legal orders) is around £60/week.
 It is time a similar case was taken in Scotland to challenge the institutionalised discrimination between children in foster and kinship care here.  Any lawyers do get in touch!

Read the full story below, and another article – ‘Unsung heroine’ wins landmark foster care case against Tower Hamlets Council in High Courthere. Continue reading

SCOTTISH CARERS FORM ALLIANCE IN WESTMINSTER

 

Jessie speaking at Westminster

Jessie speaking at Westminster

May 1st, 2013.   Scottish Kinship Carers from the Alliance spoke at Westminster in May, on the invite of the Global Women’s Strike – a global women’s network who have been campaigning for many years for women’s rights and recognition for women’s unpaid work. Jessie Harvey from Kinship for the Future (North) in Glasgow, and Anne Swartz, Kinship Alliance chair and chair of the West Dunbartonshire group joined other carers from around the UK to launch a petition calling for a living wage for all mothers and carers in recognition of the crucial role they carry out in society.

Jessie gave a moving speech to MPs and other carers which can be seen on youtube here.  A letter to the Guardian newspaper entitled Kinship Carers also need support’  was subsequently published, and the Alliance is now working closely with Global Women’s Strike.

The petition can be found here. Please do sign and watch the other moving speeches on the Global Women’s Strike Website

GLASGOW COUNCIL’S FIRST EVER PETITION CLAIMS DISCRIMINATION AGAINST KINSHIP CARE CHILDREN

Picture 2Glasgow City Council’s Public Petitions Committee today heard their first petition since the scheme began in May 2012. The petition was lodged by Kinship Carers from the New Fossils Grandparents Support Group in East Glasgow who claim that the children in their care are victims of institutionalised discrimination by the City Council. Three Kinship Carers from the New Fossils group appeared before the committee and made their case.

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