Kinship Carers

Date: 11th March 2011
Category: Family Environment and Alternative Care

A new national training and support service - to provide better help and guidance to Scotland's estimated 20,000 kinship carers - was launched by Adam Ingram.

Kinship carers are friends or relatives who look after a child because they cannot be looked after by their parents.

Children 1st will be given around £75,000 in 20010-11 and around £245,000 for each of the next three financial years to run the new service which will include:

  • A comprehensive telephone advice service via ParentLine 0808 800 2222 with dedicated staff and volunteers trained in kinship issues
  • Training for kinship carers on issues that they and the children they care for can face, including alcohol and drugs misuse and managing relationships within families
  • Work to help existing local family support groups or address gaps in local support, as well as the creation of a national forum for kinship carers to strengthen their voice in future policy development
  • The provision of family group conferencing - a way of bringing the whole family together to find solutions for problems affecting children within a family
  • Training on the working of the children's hearings system and implications for families

Mr Ingram said:

"Kinship carers provide support, care and love to some of Scotland's most vulnerable children, often in very difficult circumstances. We are determined to do what we can to help them and the children they care for and have been discussing options with them and their representative groups.