Stormont debates Kinship Carers

MLAs in the Northern Ireland parliament heard a plea for kinship carers to receive the same same support and allowances provided for foster parents, on 17 April 2012.

Kinship Care is not just an issue in Scotland but across the UK and Europe. This week in Northern Ireland a debate was held in parliament sponsored by Michelle McIlveen (DUP) over whether there was adequate support for children in Kinship Care. The BBC’s Democracy Live reported:

The DUP’s Michelle McIlveen explained that one third of looked-after children in Northern Ireland lived in kinship care arrangements.

Sue Ramsey, chairperson of the health committee, said family members became kinship carers because their instincts told them it was better for the child not to be taken into the care of the social services.

These were often casual arrangements, she added. The vast majority of kinship carers were unlikely to come into contact with the social services and were not receiving the support they required.

This was partly due to fear, Ms Ramsey explained, citing an example where social services threatened to remove a number of children because their carers had not bought a fireguard.

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