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.”
The 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.
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.