Update on family and friends care
Family Rights Group on behalf of the Kinship Care Alliance, has produced a briefing and recommendations on family and friends care: raising children within their wider family as an alternative to care. The report raises specific concerns including fears about the effect of proposed Government changes to the benefits system including the cap on housing benefit.
The report recommendations include:
A national financial allowance for friends and family carers who care for a child as an alternative to them being taken into care, where there is professional or judicial evidence that the parents are unable to care for the child.
Family and friends carers who are permanently raising a child should be exempt from income support rules which currently require that if the youngest child they are looking after is aged 7 or over they must comply with specific jobseeking requirements.
Family and friends carers should be exempt from the proposed total cap on welfare benefits, like families caring for a disabled child.
Family and friends carers chould be exempt from the proposed caps on housing benefit.
We have held a meeting with officials from the Department of Work and Pensions and will be meeting Government Minister Steven Webb MP later this month to press the case.