Financial support for people seeking to become kinship carers in Glasgow is to rise from £500 to £1500.
Glasgow's Health & Social Care Partnership (GCHSCP) is to offer increased help with legal fees for people applying for Kinship Care Orders.
Kinship Care is when a child is looked after by extended family or close friends if they cannot be looked after by their birth parents. Formal arrangements require people to go to court to obtain a Kinship Care Order. Many applicants are eligible for legal aid but it can cost those that aren't, between £2000 and £5000 in non-contested cases and over £10,000 in prolonged contested cases.
Since March 2017, GCHSCP has provided £500 towards these costs, but this is to rise to £1500 following a meeting of the Integrated Joint Board today (Wed 19.9.18). The increased payment will be available to qualifying people with ongoing legal cases and those who were granted Orders after April 2016.
Councillor Mhairi Hunter, Chair of GCHSCP, said: "Kinship Care has been shown to provide considerable benefits for children who can't be looked after by their birth parents. "Keeping families together, when safe to do so, is a key priority for the Partnership and the stability Kinship Care offers children can have very positive effects on their development.
"I'm delighted that GCHSCP has been able to offer increased funding to assist relatives with the legal costs involved in applying for Orders which, when granted, also entitle carers to additional benefits and other payments to help bring up a child."
GCHSCP currently supports 1302 young people living in formal Kinship Care arrangements and since November 2015, Glasgow's Kinship Carers have been paid comparable rates to Foster Parents.
The Partnership has invested £70,000 in a Quarriers Kinship Care Family Support programme and is currently considering tenders for a considerably extended service.
Glasgow is also piloting genealogy research to identify potential Kinship Carers when children are at risk of becoming looked after by social services. Since March and December 2017, almost 2000 relatives have been traced who were not previously known to social work - increasing the chance of children remaining with their families.
Local Kinship Care support groups also receive £50,000 a year to hold events, activities and trips for children and carers. Large scale annual events are also organised offering information on issues highlighted as of interest by existing carers.
People with experience of Kinship Care have also helped develop a webpage for others considering it. Find out more at https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=22498