Supporting Scotland’s Kinship Carers: Caring For Those Who Care
This briefing will consider the invaluable role that kinship carers play in looking after disadvantaged children and young people in Scotland and how we can best support them to create loving homes.
The number of looked after children placed with kinship carers is increasing: from 1,731 in 2006 to 4,279 in 2016. It is also estimated that thousands more children and young people live in informal kinship care arrangements, with the 2011 Census suggesting there were between 11,000-17,000 children living in kinship care.
The evidence shows that children in kinship care can be more likely to achieve a permanent home and have improved wellbeing and behavioural outcomes. However caring for a young person or child who has experienced neglect or trauma is challenging and many kinship carers tend to be older, have lower incomes, poorer health and less education than non-kin foster parents.
Scotland’s kinship carers need support. This event will explore the current resources available, including the National Kinship Care Service, and ask what more we can do to ensure that they are empowered to care for Scotland’s children.
Key issues to be addressed
- Challenges facing kinship carers and young people and the difference that kinship carers can make to children’s lives
- Juggling finances: impact on employment, the kinship care allowance, and benefits
- Kinship care and the children’s hearing system
- Building relationships and kinship care: attachment, children’s wellbeing, self-care and relations with parents
09:15 Registration and refreshments
09:55 Opening remarks from the chair
Tam Baillie, Former Children and Young People's Commissioner Scotland
Session 1: Kinship Care in Scotland
In this opening session we will look at the experiences of kinship carers in Scotland, reviewing the latest evidence and research.
10:00 Kinship care and me: kinship carers and their families share their experiences
Heather McVeigh, Director, Mentor Scotland
Heather will be joined by kinship carers from the Scottish Kinship Care Advisory Group
10:20 The latest evidence on the kinship carers in Scotland
Gill Westwood, National Co-Ordinator - Kinship Care Service, Citizens Advice Scotland
10:40 Creative engagement: gathering the views of kinship carers to inform services
Kim Hall, Graduate Tutor, Social Work, Education & Community Wellbeing, Northumbria University
11:00 Questions and discussions
Session 2: Stable Homes For Scotland’s Kinship Carer Families
There can be uncertainty about the length and permanency of kinship care placements. This is turn can affect the wellbeing of the child or young person in care. In this session we will look at how we work with kinship carers and the young people they care for to help create stable homes.
11:30 Kinship Care: benefits, allowances and advice
Alison Gillies, Welfare Rights Worker, Child Poverty Action Group Scotland
11:50 Kinship care and Children’s Hearings
Malcolm Schaffer, Head of Practice and Policy, Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA)
12:10 Achieving Safety and Stability for Children Without Delay
- The impact of drift an delay in decision making on children
- Embedding change – a model for improvement
Carol Wassell, Permanence and Care Team Lead, CELCIS
12:30 Questions and discussion
Session 3: Love, Wellbeing And Kinship Carers
In a recent article Duncan Dunlop of Who Cares? Scotland stated 'Young people want to be loved. They want the freedom to love people back […] Let’s talk about how we bring young people up in an environment that is stable and secure but also, shows them that we love them.' Kinship carers, particularly when given effective support, can provide that loving environment. This final session will explore how we can work with kinship carers to help Scotland’s Looked after Children stay in loving homes which nurture their wellbeing.
13:30 Health Matters in Kinship Care
Anne Wilson, Development Officer, Children’s Health Scotland
13:50 Respite for kinship carers
Jane Timoney, Respite Co-ordinator, Geeza Break
14:10 Questions and discussion
14:20 Interactive workshop: How stories, songs and rhymes develop relationships and lead to better outcomes for kinship carers and children
Tracy Cooper, Early Years Programme Development Manager, Scottish Book Trust
15:05 Closing reflections from kinship carers
Micheleine Kane, Chair, Scottish Kinship Care Alliance
15:15 Closing remarks from the chair
15:20 Close of event
*Agenda subject to change
Central Edinburgh, venue to be confirmed in due course.
Delegate rates (excluding VAT):
- Discounted rate: £145 (Voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m)
- Reduced rate: 1 place £245 | 2+ places £195 (Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, universities, colleges, NHS, police, professional associations and voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m)
- Full rate: 1 place £295 | 2+ places £245 (Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP)
For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0131 285 1635