The protest is targeting the local elections on 5 May 2022.
Wed 27 April, 11am, George Square, Glasgow
Scottish Kinship Care Alliance (SKCA) is demanding that all kinship carers – whether “voluntary” or formally appointed through social services, across all 32 counties in Scotland – be legally entitled to the same National Kinship Care Allowance. SKCA demands an end to the “guidance” which has allowed councils discretion as to whether or not they will give any financial support and to whom.
Support Not Separation (SNS), which is based in London, supports this important action for parity and against discrimination.
For more information contact: 020 7482 2496 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Scottish Kinship Care Alliance (SKCA) says:
The national allowance should pay every carer the same rate. It should also be law not guidance as guidance means local authorities can do as they please. Some local councils stop the allowance for what they term “voluntary arrangements”. For example, when bereaved carers lose an (adult) child to mostly addiction or domestic abuse and take over the care of a grandchild, social services claim this is “voluntary” and deny any support!! Absolutely barbaric to impoverish a grieving mother/grandmother who is following her natural human instinct.
Most kinship carers are single grandmothers who do not receive the full kinship care allowance as local councils deduct child benefit and child tax credits from it. But foster carers are paid a wage and the full national allowance on top.
Local authority foster carers have protested against Glasgow council about their fees, and the council agreed a 10% rise to the Care Allowance which had been frozen since 2013. The allowance should be 24% higher in real terms. But we are supporting the 10% higher rate, although it is not enough, because the allowances we get as kinship carers for our own grandchildren living with us, are based on care allowances of foster carers.
We share SKCA’s outrage that councils pay 2.5 times more for private foster care, which is getting higher. The fostering and adoption industry, much of it privatised, makes millions from mothers and grandmothers’ poverty. If mothers and other primary cares had the money we deserve for our caring work our kids would not be taken into “care”! Who is more deserving of support than those who keep children in the family and out of institutions?
SNS brings together organisations and individuals who have experienced or witnessed the damage caused by the arbitrary separation of children from their mothers (or other primary carer), and are determined to change this desperate situation. We hold monthly self-help meetings and a monthly protest outside the central family court in London, and campaign for an end to court hearings held in secret and away from public scrutiny, and a care income for mothers and other primary carers for the vital work of protecting and raising children.
We know that 28% of UK children live in poverty and children from the poorest areas are 10 times more likely to be removed from their families than those in wealthier areas. Single mothers, especially if we are of colour, immigrant and/or have a disability, or have grown up in “care”, are disproportionally targeted. Adoptions are at their highest point since data collection started: 90% of adoptions are without parental consent.
On the same day kinship carers are protesting in Glasgow, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, chaired by Harriet Harman MP, is holding a round table to give feedback on evidence it has taken on historic forced adoptions between 1949-76. Hundreds of thousands of “unmarried mothers” were shamed into giving up their children. But this injustice did not stop in 1976 when legislation was introduced because the family courts have not protected mothers and children. The Committee has refused to hear evidence about the thousands of forced adoptions taking place today! SNS wrote to the Committee:
Mothers are demanding an end to a heartless sexist practice that devalues the bond between mother and child, denying the legal and human rights of both. Will the Human Rights Committee hear this evidence?
Mothers and kinship carers across the UK stand united against the devaluing of the bond between children and their mothers/grandmothers, and the lack of financial support for our families while a growing and increasingly privatised industry profits.