I was delighted at the recent news that kinship care families across Scotland are due to receive an extra £10 million in support from the Scottish Government.
Too often I have had constituents in my office who are struggling because they have stepped in to look after children due to bereavement, substance abuse or other reasons.
It is absolutely right that children looked after by relatives are entitled to the same support as those placed with foster care families. The extra £10.1 million that will be provided to councils will raise kinship care allowances to the same level that foster care families receive.
Vulnerable children in kinship care families deserve to be treated the same as other children who are not able to live at home. When a relative takes a child or a young person into their home, the reasons are often heart-breaking and/or complex for everyone involved. Having a family relationship provides the stability that a child needs, but support is vital for all concerned.
This investment of over £10 million will improve the lives of around 5200 children, and recognises the incredible commitment that kinship carers make every day. The government will work with local authorities, kinship carers and other partners to make sure that families know what they are entitled to and how they can access it.
Along with other organisations such as the Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland, I very much welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to supporting kinship carers.
Chris Oswald, of the Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland, said after the announcement that at a time when there was pressure on public sector budgets, he was pleased that the Government and CoSLA had responded positively to concerns regarding kinship carer support.