Local MP introduces new Bill to step up support for Kinship careers

By Eli Haidari

7th Jul 2022 | Local News

Twickenham and Teddington MP, Munira Wilson, introduced the Kinship Care Bill during a debate in the House of Commons on Tuesday afternoon. 

The Bill calls on the Government to put practical support in place for family, friends and relatives who step up for a child in crisis and provide them with a home whilst keeping them out of the care system.

Lib Dem leader Ed Davey, who was raised by his grandparents, Conservative Education Select Committee chair Robert Halfon MP and former Children's Minister Tim Loughton, have all pledged their support behind the bill. 

Speaking to Nub News, the Lib Dem's education and children's spokesperson, Munira Wilson said: "Every year, thousands of friends and relatives make huge personal and financial sacrifices when they step up to support a child in crisis. 

"Yet as the cost-of-living crisis bites, kinship carers should not have to choose between paying the bills and looking after a loved one. 

"The government should back my bill to provide these carers with the financial and practical support their children need. Liberal Democrats will stand up for carers, so that we can provide them with a better start in life, no matter their background." 

If passed, Ms Wilson's bill will: 

  • Provide a weekly allowance to all kinship carers at the same level as for foster carers
  • Give kinship carers the right to paid leave when a child starts living with them
  • Support the education of children in kinship care, such as by giving them Pupil Premium Plus funding and priority for their first choice of school

Yesterday's debate in parliament came shortly after the launch of a survey by the charity Kinship, revealing that kinship carers were particularly feeling the bite of the cost-of-living crisis: 

  • 44% of carers surveyed said that they could not pay for all their household bills 
  • 18% could not keep up with rent or mortgage payments 
  • 26% could not afford food for their families 

The current national weekly allowance for foster carers is: 

Ms Wilson's bill is supported by the Family Rights Group and by Kinship, view how the Teddington MP laid out the proposals in her new Bill in Parliament on Tuesday afternoon.

     

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