Around 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.
Scottish 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.”
Please join Kinship Carers from across Scotland outside the Scottish Parliament on Friday 20th June at midday to tell the Scottish Government to stop their plans to continue discrimination against children in kinship care in the new Children and Young People Act.
Please be there in your numbers with placards and banners and loud voices!
We will be telling the Scottish Government: – to stop discriminating between children in kinship care and foster care in the new Children and Young People Act.
– to stop plans to reduce, or fail to increase basic support services and financial allowances for kinship children in poverty and affected by trauma in the new Act. – that this discrimination is a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights, articles 8 and 14. – that ALL children in kinship care should be treated the same as comparable children in foster care with the same access to services and support.
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 parliamentlast 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.
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.
Kinship 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!
48 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.
Today 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..
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. More details below… Continue reading →
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).
On Thursday 26th April Kinship Carers in Glasgow and Edinburgh demonstrated at Council Chambers demanding justice and asking council candidates to sign four pledges to support the vulnerable children in their care.
See our press release below..
Kinship Carers demand justice outside Glasgow City Chambers, April 2012.
ACROSS SCOTLAND KINSHIP CARERS TAKE TO THE STREETS DEMANDING JUSTICE
Kinship Carers demonstrate to demand that local election candidates agree to their national manifesto.
36 Council candidates from all main parties meet with carers in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Basic support for vulnerable Kinship children still not in place after years of campaigning.
Grandparents from across Scotland took to the streets today unperturbed by the rain, demanding that council election candidates from all parties sign a pledge to support vulnerable children living with non-parental family and friends.