Thursday, 26 January 2012

Supporting Families debate

JACKIE Baillie MSP has put forward a Supporting Families resolution in the Scottish Parliament today, and Aileen Campbell has been seeking to amend it. The issue in debate is what has - and has not - been done to support carers, and by whom.

The resolution (S4M-01828 ) reads: That the Parliament recognises the crucial role that kinship carers play in supporting the most vulnerable children and believes that they should be supported financially at an equivalent level to foster carers; notes the commitment given by the First Minister on 27 September 2007 to fast-track £10 million to fund this; further notes commitments made by successive ministers for Education and Lifelong Learning and Children and Early Years that this promise would be met via the concordat with local government by 2011 at the latest; regrets that these promises to kinship carers and the people they care for have been broken, and calls on the Scottish Government to ensure that local authorities are provided with the funds to ensure that kinship carers are properly supported and that this promise is finally met.

The amendment wishes to: leave out from first “notes” to end and insert “welcomes that substantial resources have been provided to local authorities to allow them to provide financial support to kinship carers; recognises that, unlike its predecessors, the 2007-11 Scottish administration acted to introduce regulations to allow financial support to be provided to kinship carers; supports wider efforts to empower families, including the development of a national parenting strategy, the Play, Talk, Read campaign and the roll-out of the Family Nurse Partnership; condemns the UK benefits system as not being fit for purpose as it penalises kinship carers and other vulnerable groups, and calls on the UK Government to fairly support kinship carers.

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