On 28th October - UK Grandparents day, the Poverty Truth Commission and commissioner Johann Lamont MSP will co-host a 'kinship carers tea party' in the Scottish Parliament. MSPs and other officials have been invited to join thirty incredible grandparent carers to drink tea and hear their stories and plight before they return to the chamber to debate the Carers Strategy.
At the same time 120 grannies and the children they care for will gather in Westminster for a campaign day organised by Grandparents Plus (www.grandparentsplus.org.uk). A demonstration will take place outside council buildings in Glasgow, and call outs for support and recognition will also come from Dundee and Edinburgh carers.
The Poverty Truth Commission has campaigned alongside kinship carers since its inception. We have highlighted the important role of this hidden army of carers who are giving at least 13,400 of Scotland's most vulnerable children the best possible chance in life, while saving governments £536 million per year in care costs. But kinship carers are struggling massively to do this job for society without adequate support from central or Scottish government and local authorities.
Citizens Advice Scotland's recent report 'Relative Value' claimed that kinship carers are being let down by the system as 'too often, the modest level of assistance that can make all the difference to a kinship care household is either missing or the route to accessing it is long and tortuous.'
Watch this space for more details, photos and a full report of the day's events.
Citizens Advice Scotland's advice service for kinship carers can be reached through their website (www.cas.org.uk), at a local CAB office or by calling the CAB service’s confidential Kinship Care Helpline on 0808 800 0006.