They were met by 36 council candidates from all parties with another 15 sending apologies. In Glasgow 32 council candidates and councillors met with the 60 Kinship Carers gathered and publicly signed the pledge. They included Councillor Billy McAllister (Deputy Leader SNP), Councillor David McDonald (Social Care spokesperson SNP), Deputy Lord Provost Allan Stewart, Councillor Gordon Matheson (Labour group leader) Councillor Kenneth Elder (Scottish Lib Dems), Councillor Martha Wardrop (Green party) and Graham Campbell (Solidarity). A complete list of attending candidates and more information about the pledge is available on our press release.
The Carers shouted slogans such as 'Justice for our kids!' and 'oh when the kids come marching in, we'll be there in our numbers' in the style of Oh When the Saints. In Edinburgh grandparents from the Kinsfolk Carers support group met with representatives of all parties and were asked back to make a presentation to councillors in the chambers after the elections.
Sadie Prior, a Kinship Carer from the North of Glasgow and a Commissioner for the Poverty Truth Commission says:
“We have been campaigning for justice for years and have seen nothing but broken promises from government at Local, National and UK levels. We are not going away and as long as our children continue to suffer the lack of the most basic support we'll be in parliament and in the streets demanding change. We are saving the government millions in care costs and it's time they recognised us.”
Yvonne Ramsay from Edinburgh Kinsfolk Carers said:
“The numbers of children in Kinship Care are alarming for all. These children are Scotland`s future. Council`s need to be doing the very best for them, not avoiding the issue or just putting policies on paper and not into practice. Kinship carers are doing their very best for these children, its time Local Authorities gave these children and carers the support they undoubtedly deserve.”
Rev Ian Galloway, Convener of the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland agrees:“Kinship Carers are the bedrock of our society and politicians need to acknowledge that without them the state could not provide appropriate care and it is time that they recognised this.”