Kinship carers to be given statutory recognition

Plans to formally recognise the parenting responsibilities and rights of kinship carers and work towards making Scotland the best place in the world to grow up have today been unveiled.

Minister for Children and Young People Aileen Campbell today launched the consultation on the Children and Young People Bill designed to support children and families.

The new Bill will also compel councils to use Scotland’s national Adoption Register and increase provision of free, flexible and family friendly childcare for three and four year olds and looked after two year olds from 475 hours to 600 hours per year – the best free nursery care package in the UK.

Clare Adamson, member of the Scottish Parliament’s Education Committee, welcomed the bill and said:

“The SNP has unveiled the best package of flexible childcare in the UK because we are committed to supporting Scotland’s families, putting our children and young people at the heart of our society.

“This bill builds on the action the SNP has already taken to support kinship carers.

“In 2009 it was the SNP in Government that established the Looked After Children Scotland Regulations’ which for the first time gave local authorities the power to pay an allowance to kinship carers.

“That is in stark contrast to the Labour-led Scottish Executive that between 1999 to 2007 failed to do anything for Scotland’s kinship carers.”

Ms Adamson, SNP MSP for Central Scotland, compared the progress made by the SNP to the UK Government’s attitude to kinship carers.

“We are working hard to improve financial support for kinship carers and believe they should be able to claim the benefits other parents are entitled to – such as child benefit and tax credits.

“We’ve already won concessions from UK Government to support carers through the benefits system, putting a stop to some allowances they receive being ‘clawed back’, meaning some carers are now up to £50 per week better off.

“The UK government’s failure to act on this issue demonstrates how vital it is that decisions on benefits that affect the people in Scotland, should be taken here in Scotland.

“I would encourage as many people as possible to participate in the consultation and voice what support they would like to see for Scotland’s families.

“The SNP is devoted to making Scotland the best place in the world for children to grow up.”