Liberal Democrat MP for the Far North, Jamie Stone, has co-sponsored the ‘Kinship Care Bill’ in Parliament, which calls on the Government to better support friends and family that care for children who can’t live with their parents.
The bill was tabled by Liberal Democrat MP, Munira Wilson, in Westminster.
The bill calls for:
- A weekly allowance of at least £137 a week (the same level as foster carers).
- The right to paid leave when a child starts living with a kinship carer.
- Education support for children in kinship care, such as by giving them Pupil Premium Plus funding and priority for their first choice of school.
Mr Stone commented:
“Day in, day out, thousands of friends and relatives step up for children who can’t live with their parents – but they get less support than foster carers do.
“The Kinship Care Bill will push the Government to step up for grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, and other relatives or friends who step up for a child in crisis.
“Weekly allowances – just like foster carers receive, time off work – like parents receive, and extra funding for schools to support children in kinship care.
“These are three simple steps to improving the lives of kinship carers, 44% of whom can’t afford their household bills.
“In Scotland, kinship carers ‘should’ get financial support at the same level as the fostering allowance rate, but that rate is a postcode lottery depending on local authority.
“It’s time that this rate is universalised and mandated across the UK, without discrimination.
“And should this bill be adopted by the UK Government, I would hope to see the right to paid leave and allocated school funding replicated north of the border as well.”