Statutory recognition for kinship carers

ANGUS parliamentarians MP Mike Weir and MSP Graeme Dey have welcomed Scottish Government plans to formally recognise the parenting responsibilities and rights of kinship carers.

Kinship carers are family members, often grandparents, who take care of a relative’s child. Angus Kinship Carers’ Group has been active in the community since reforming earlier this year.

Minister for Children and Young People, Aileen Campbell, has launched a consultation on the Children and Young People Bill designed to support children and families.

The new Bill will also compel councils to use Scotland’s national Adoption Register and increase provision of free, flexible and family friendly childcare for three and four-year-olds and looked-after two-year-olds from 475 hours to 600 hours per year – the best free nursery care package in the UK.

Mr Dey, who recently met with local kinship carers at the Scottish Parliament, welcomed the bill.

He said: “The SNP has unveiled the best package of flexible childcare in the UK because we are committed to supporting families in Angus and throughout Scotland, putting our children and young people at the heart of our society.

“This bill builds on the action the SNP has already taken to support kinship carers.

“In 2009 it was the SNP in government that established the ‘Looked After Children Scotland Regulations’ which for the first time gave local authorities the power to pay an allowance to kinship carers.”

Mr Weir compared the progress made by the SNP to the UK government’s attitude to kinship carers.

He explained: “Having supported kinship carers throughout Angus I am pleased the SNP Scottish government continue to work hard to improve financial support for kinship carers and believe they should be able to claim all the same benefits other parents and foster carers are entitled to.

“The UK government’s failure to act on this issue demonstrates how vital it is that decisions on benefits that affect the people in Angus and the rest of Scotland, should be taken here in Scotland.

“I would encourage as many people as possible to participate in the consultation and voice what support they would like to see for Scotland’s families.”

He concluded: “The SNP is devoted to making Scotland the best place in the world for children to grow up.”