Sign up to support kinship carers!
Monday 25 August 2008
CHILDREN 1ST is asking as many people as possible to sign a petition that calls on Westminster to improve support for kinship carers.
Kinship carers are family and close friends who care for a child full-time when they can no longer live with their parent(s). Often these carers are left bearing the full costs of bringing up a child, even though many of them are already retired or living in poverty.
The petition on the '10 Downing Street' website asks the UK Government to recognise the costs borne by these carers, and to introduce a national non-means tested allowance for kinship carers to cover the costs of raising a child.
This is a measure CHILDREN 1ST strongly supports because of our experience of working with children living in kinship care and their families.
Maggie Mellon, director of children and family services in CHILDREN 1ST, said: "We all know that bringing up a child is expensive, and many of these kinship carers are already living in poverty. In fact, these carers are currently saving the benefits system money because they cannot claim the same income support as parents."
"Councils cannot be expected to pick up the costs that the benefits system is avoiding. It is time for the Government to fully recognise this, and no longer let kinship carers on low incomes suffer financially and live in poverty because of their willingness to care."
"Of course, it is not only the carers who suffer but also the vulnerable children for whom they care, many of whom are going without decent clothes and food, and for whom cinema trips and holidays are only a dream."
"We urge everyone who cares about the experiences of vulnerable children in Scotland to sign up to this petition and lend their support to the campaign for better support of kinship carers."
You can access the petition, placed by the Family Rights Group at http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/kinshipallowance/
CHILDREN 1ST has recently produced a policy briefing outlining a range of steps that policy makers now need to take to better support kinship carers. You can read this briefing below.
Last updated: Saturday 11 April 2009