IN LAST weeks edition of the Big Issue Commissioner Sadie Prior shared her thoughts on the issue of Kinship care as part of their 'What's your revolution?' feature. She wrote:
"Kinship Carers are often grandparents, aunts and uncles looking after children when the parents can't provide care themselves. I look after my seven-year-old in north Glasgow because of her mother's problems with addiction.
We feel like we're taken for granted because we're family. We're certainly not getting the same kind of support as a foster parent. The weekly payment from Glasgow City Council has gone up from £40 to £50 a week. But what really angers us is that it's a postcode lottery across the country - it varies depending on the council. In the Highlands kinship carers get the same rate as foster carers (between £72 and £144 a week).
Here in north Glasgow we've got some of the worst drug problems in the country. Many of these children need psychological help becasue they have problems stemming from their mothers' drug abuse. Some get six weeks' treatment but it's not enough. Another problem is the delay getting child benefit transfered from the mother, which can take 18 months.
We've been out protesting to make the politicians aware of these things. We love our grandkids, but we're not getting the help we need. We're saying: recognise these children. We want to protect them from the same problems as the generation that was lost to drugs."
For resources on kinship care go to www.povertytruthcommission.org and http://aboutfamilies.org.uk/topics/topicsareasmini-topic-kinship-care.