Please sign and share our petition opposing the appointment of adoption and fostering agencies AFA and AUKS to run the National Kinship Service

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Full petition wording below..

We the undersigned condemn the appointment of Adoption UK (Scotland) and the Adoption and Fostering Alliance Scotland (AFA and AUKS) to run the Scottish Kinship Care Advice Service as of September 1st 2020.

Despite years of campaigning to ensure that we are included in decisions made about our lives, we are extremely disappointed that we were not consulted on the appropriate provider for this essential service. Kinship carers and the Scottish Kinship Care Alliance were happy with the previous provider, Citizens Advice Scotland, with whom we had a trusting relationship, finding them to be a pragmatic and neutral supporter of kinship care.

Unfortunately there is a lack of trust with AFA and AUKS as these services have not supported kinship carers in the past, and many kinship carers see themselves as entirely different to foster carers and adoptive parents, due to the comparative lack of support kinship carers receive, and their blood bond with the children they support. Kinship carers have felt that AFA and AUKS and their predecessors have successfully lobbied for enormous government support and have benefited from high levels of funding and public awareness raising campaigns, while kinship carers remain grossly underfunded, unsupported and unrecognised.

Kinship carers look after 28% of Scotland’s LAC population (4,103 children in 2018) as well as an estimated 20,000 on Section 11 or Kinship Care Orders, and many more in entirely informal placements.

The National Care Review agreed with many previous studies that children unable to live with their parents should be placed within the family if at all possible, as family placements consistently achieve better outcomes for those in their care. We also agree with the Review that more children could be placed with families if these placements were properly valued and supported by Local Authorities. Kinship carers feel we are here to keep our family members from falling in to foster care or adoption, which should be considered as a last resort, not promoted as the only option for vulnerable children.

As a result we feel the appointment of AFA and AUKS to run the Scottish Kinship Care Advice Service is inappropriate as well as a potential conflict of interest.

We hereby request that the contract is reviewed and Scottish Kinship Care Alliance and other kinship carers are included in discussions to appoint an appropriate service provider.

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