Scottish Government proposals to help “kinship carers” appear to be an attempt to save money and improve statistics rather than provide effective support, according to a care network.
Neglected children who are cared for by grandparents, siblings or other family members may soon be entitled to support under a “kinship care order”, which is part of proposals being considered at Holyrood in the Children and Young People Bill.
The Scottish Kinship Care Alliance, a grassroots network of carers, will take its concerns that the order is “not fit for purpose” and may reduce support for kinship carers to Holyrood’s Education and Culture Committee today.
In a submission to the committee, the alliance said: “We are concerned that the Bill is attempting to save money and improve statistics by taking kinship care placements off looked after status, rather than aiming to increase the support for, and therefore effectiveness of, kinship care placements.
“We believe the kinship care order is not fit for its stated purpose of supporting more kinship carers, or increasing permanence in kinship care placements.
“Primarily this is because there is no guarantee of additional support as part of the proposed order, and no additional resourcing to increase services and support.”
It added: “Rather than investing more in resourcing kinship care placements, the Bill will actually save money over the coming years by reducing the support offered to kinship carers overall, mainly by taking them off looked after status.
“The only increase in spending necessary by local authorities will be a total of £2.6 million across Scotland to account for the transition to a new legal framework. There will be no increase in funding for financial allowances, psychological or educational services, respite, or any other form of support for Kinship Care children or their carers. This can only mean less support overall.”