Some good news for those kinship carers in Derry / Londonderry , Northern Ireland :
https://www.derrynow.com/news/christmas ... hed/197935
Christmas comes early for kinship carers in Derry.
Kinship carers and the children they look after have benefited from over £1 million pounds in financial support over the last four years through engaging with the charity, Kinship Care NI.
Kinship care is an arrangement where a child who cannot be cared for by their own parents goes to live with a relative or family friend. It is estimated that around 10,000- 12,000 children are living in this type of arrangement in Northern Ireland.
The award winning charity was set up in 2010 to provide help and support to kinship carers and their children. The organisation has received funding from the Big Lottery Fund over the last 4 years.
Through their “Caring for Kin Project” based in Mid Ulster and “Kinship Care Support Service” in Derry, projects both funded by the Big Lottery Fund, Kinship Care NI has been successful in securing around £1 million to support kinship carers and young people. They received a grant of £635,720 for carers through the Caring for Kin Project and received £366,120 through the Kinship Care Support Service. Allowances such as Kinship Fostering allowances, Residence Order Allowances, Child Benefit, Child Tax Credits, Guardian’s Allowances and other financial support has provided kinship carers with the vital support they need to support them in the care and upbringing of the children in their care.
“In the last four years, we have raised awareness of the support available to kinship carers and their children to ensure they are aware of their legal entitlement to financial support, said Jacqueline Williamson, Chief Executive of Kinship Care NI,
“Very often extended family members and friends step in and take on the care of children with no consideration for how they will be able to financially meet the needs of the children they are looking after. This leaves kinship carers and their children living in situations of severe poverty.
Jacqueline went on to say“the law is very clear when it comes to supporting kinship care arrangements. Kinship carers who have had children placed with them by social services are entitled to the same type and level of financial support as that paid routinely to foster carers. This includes a weekly allowance and additional support with small things, like school uniforms, birthdays and Christmas as well as help with the purchase of essential equipment to ensure the stability of the placement. Securing over £1 million in 4 years is a great achievement for our staff and has made a significant difference to the families who come through our organisation for support”.
Ann Melrose, aged 67, has cared for her great-niece since she was 5 weeks old and she is now 17. Ann said “I had no idea what financial support I was entitled to. I stepped in to look after my great-niece because I didn’t want to see her taken into care. I struggled a lot to make ends meet but at the time it didn’t really matter because I loved her and I got through the best I could. The staff at Kinship Care NI wrote letters on my behalf and now I receive Residence Order Allowances for my granddaughter. I can’t tell you what this has done for us as a family. I am even putting a little away for when she goes to University”.
Julie Harrison, Big Lottery Fund Northern Ireland Chair, said: “We are delighted to have been able to support these projects, which are making a real difference to children and young people in kinship care and their families. I want to say thanks to the National Lottery players who are making this work possible.”[/b]
Kinship and / or family carers ?
Parent works , child looked after by a grandparent ... disabled or healthy ?
If disabled , a family carer ?
Still no clear distinction ... as if any reader would want to start classifying carers ?
The problem is one a little deeper ... LAs have , apparaently , more obligations to a kinship carer.
One which will continue to be " Unclear " ... high time for progress to be made.