Tag Archives: care

Alliance lobbies hard at final stages of Kinship Care Order

kinship demo june 2014The Scottish Kinship Care Alliance submitted their final response to the last consultation on the Kinship Care Order in early October, raising a number of remaining concerns with the proposals in the Act. The full response can be read below.

On 8th October members of the Alliance met 12 MSPs from cross parties including the Minister for Children and Young People – Aileen Campbell, and the Cabinet Secretary – Mike Russell. They raised concerns and asked the MSPs to:

1. Demand that the overdue review of financial allowances for kinship carers is released immediately (due December 2013), and possibilities for incorporating the recommendations into the secondary legislation are investigated (as recommended by the Stage 1 report on the Bill).

2. Demand an official review of the impact of the Kinship Care Order two years after becomes law, to gauge its success and the ongoing needs for support.

3. Build alliance of cross party MSPs who are concerned about kinship support, to raise questions on the Kinship Care Order, and debate the Act when it reaches parliament in January.

The Kinship Care Order will be debated in parliament in January 2015 and become law in April. We continue to demand recognition and proper support for kinship care children and their carers across Scotland, recognising that they have comparable needs to children in other forms of state care.

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Kinship care demo tells SNP to stop dicriminating against vulnerable children

kinship demo june 2014Around 40 kinship carers and their supporters from across the Scottish regions descended on the Scottish Parliament today chanting and singing loudly. They held banners and placards telling the SNP government to stop their plans for Kinship Care in the proposed in the Children and Young People Act, which the Scottish Kinship Care Alliance claim will maintain and even increase the differential treatment of children in foster care and kinship care with comparable needs. The angry group of kinship carers from the Scottish Kinship Care Alliance questioned the SNP government’s commitment to ‘make Scotland the best place for children to grow up’, claiming that the vulnerable children in their care are discriminated against and under-supported. Other placards stated that discrimination between foster and kinship children is a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. Aileen Campbell MSP, Minister for Children and Young People, met with a delegation from the Alliance on Thursday evening to hear their concerns but did not promise any changes to the legislation which is being developed, angering the Alliance further.

See the coverage:    STV Kinship carers in Scottish Parliament protest over ‘discrimination’

Evening Times Kinship carers stage protest at Holyrood

Daily Record Scottish  Kinship Care Alliance protest against Children and Young People Act at Holyrood

kinship demo june 2014Scottish Kinship Care Alliance Chair and kinship carer Anne Swartz said,

 

The Scottish Government claim they are ‘getting it right for every child’ but kinship children remain stigmatised and discriminated against. This is a wake up call to the SNP to stop trying to limit support in the Children and Young People Act, put serious finances behind kinship care, and make Scotland truly the best place for vulnerable children to grow up.”

 

 

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Vulnerable children and their carers are being let down by Scotland’s politicians

Anne Swartz (on right) outside the Scottish Parliament

Anne Swartz (on right) outside the Scottish Parliament

5th March 2014.  This article by Alliance Chair Anne Swartz appeared in the Guardian Comment is Free today.

Kinship carers fulfil a vital need for the children they care for while saving taxpayers money, yet their right to assistance is under threat

Kinship carers – relatives or family friends who permanently care for children who would otherwise be in the care system – held a large demonstration outside the Scottish parliament last week. They are rightfully distraught that, despite years of campaigning for recognition and support for the vulnerable children in their care, the Scottish government is planning to reduce, rather than increase, their right to assistance.

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.

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Kinship carers protest new Bill outside parliamentary session

Feb 19th parliament demo19th February 2014.

Today around 60 kinship carers and their supporters and children from across the Scottish regions protested loudly, chanting and singing outside the Scottish Parliament. They spoke to and leafleted MSPs arriving at Holyrood for the parliamentary debate on the Children and Young People Bill which took place at 2pm, urging them to vote for amendments which attempt to increase the support available to kinship care families in the Bill. Kinship carers claim that if these amendments do not go through vital support for vulnerable children in kinship care will be cut.

The demonstration was covered on STV, BBC radio (6.49mins in), BBC news, the Evening Times before and after the demo, Edinburgh Evening News and more.

Feb 19th parliament demo kidsKinship carers and the children in their care faced the cold weather today, waving placards and banners reading ‘stop this Bill’ and ‘end the discrimination now’. One banner pointed out that ‘we are saving the Scottish government £600 million per year’ – a reference to avoided care costs from keeping kinship children in the family. They chanted loudly using a megaphone and loud voices and sang versions of popular songs. A number of MSPs came down to meet and hear from the carers before going into the parliamentary session. One commented that the demonstration could be heard inside the committee rooms!

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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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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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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

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

NATIONAL KINSHIP ALLIANCE LAUNCHED AS REPORT REVEALS THE TRUE COST OF KINSHIP CARE

  • Lord Provost Sadie Doherty with SKCA Chair Anne Swartz

    Lord Provost Sadie Doherty with SKCA Chair Anne Swartz

    Scottish politicians and public figures join 100 Kinship Carers at City Chambers to celebrate launch of Scottish Kinship Care Alliance.

  • Buttle UK launch groundbreaking study on informal Kinship Care.
  • Carers claim there is ‘institutionalised discrimination’ against their children in Scotland and demand to be included in policy making.

More than 100 Kinship Carers(1) from across Scotland(2) descended on Glasgow’s City Chambers today for the launch of their national Alliance which has been formed to campaign for the rights of the children in their care. The launch was attended by a range of MPs, MSPs, Councillors and civil servants as well as heads of Social Work, Police, and Scotland’s Human Rights Commission and Children’s Commission(3) and was hosted by the Lord Provost of Glasgow – Sadie Doherty.

Please read on for a report of today’s high profile launch and links to the extensive press coverage (at the bottom of the post).

See the video from the event here.

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