FOR the first time the number of children in the UK being brought up by a relative instead of their parents has been revealed in a major study by Buttle UK and the University of Bristol.
The study, ‘Spotlight on Kinship Care’ is the first of its kind to state how many children are being looked after family members. Using data from the 2001 Census it shows that around 173,200 children were being raised by family members.
For the last two years the Poverty Truth Commission, which included Kinship Carers from some of Glasgow’s most disadvantaged areas, has been challenging the Scottish and UK Governments, Local Authorities, Health Boards and Kinship Carers to work together to improve the quality of life for this highly vulnerable group of children and young people. The Commission has worked hard to pass on the message that Kinship Carers should be around the table at the heart of the process, keeping it relevant and grounded in reality.
In the Herald on 16th June, 2011, the Poverty Truth Commission’s Secretary, Martin Johnstone, commented “This is seen as an ever-growing issue and I would expect the actual figure will be considerably larger when the 2011 census is taken into account. One of the really worrying things is that although the Scottish Government, the UK Government and the local authorities have all tried to do things to address the issues, not enough has been done collaboratively.”