Friday, 6 July 2012

Kinship Carers share their experiences

AS part of Carer's week, the Daily Record reported about the experiences of Anne, Catherine, George and Susan, Kinship Carers from the West Dunbartonshire Kinship Carers Support Group.

In the article they share the stories of the struggles that they face in being Kinship Carers. Anne commented "I have two children who have got learning difficulties. In 2005, I took care of my daughters eldest daughter, who had just turned five and was two weeks into school. We ticked along fine and I was still working as a university lecturer. But in 2006, I knew the situation at my sons house also wasn't great and it got to the point where I got a phone call to go down there. That year I got the care of his two children. I was promised all kinds of support and help and initially that was there but I was still hanging on to my job by a thread. Very soon after that I decided I had to give up my work."

On the same day that this article was published the Church of Scotland's Church and Society Council Convenor wrote on her blog in response to the statistic recently reported that "as many as two in five kinship carers are sacrificing their own health by putting off medical treatment because they are looking after someone full time". She challenged Churches to support Kinship Carers in their communities as reports.

Rev. Sally Foster-Fulton commented "What can we do for the more than 650,000 kinship carers in Scotland who are at risk? They are the embodiment of the values we as a faith community uphold - selflessness, love, and consistent compassion. They deserve not only our respect, but our active and practical support. The Church of Scotland is in a prime position to offer assistance on the ground - volunteers offering to step in so carers can attend appointments or providing additional support for families when a carer is unwell. We can be pastorally being attuned to the struggles they daily encounter and we can be advocates for more support and funding from the statutory providers at the centre. Kinship carers save the government millions of pounds, but more importantly, they give the gift of love and dignity. Because of their care, people are given the opportunity to stay at home and be as independent as they can for as long as they can."

The Poverty Truth Commission recognise the massive contribution which kinship carers are making to the quality of life for children in their care and challenge the Scottish and UK Governments, local authorities, heath boards and kinship carers to work together to improve the quality of life for this highly vulnerable group of children and young people.

Photograph Credit: Taken from

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