Parliament to consider Kinship Care Bill
Published: 16th March 2023
6 minute read
Following the introduction of the Kinship Care Bill to Parliament last year by Munira Wilson MP, the Bill is now scheduled for second reading in Parliament on Friday 17th March. Family Rights Group is pleased to have worked with Munira to develop the Bill.
Second reading is the first time MPs get to debate the substance of a bill. With private members bills of this kind parliamentary time of debate can be more limited.
The Kinship Care Bill would:
- Introduce a single definition of kinship care written into law;
- Provide all kinship carers with a weekly allowance comparable to foster carers;
- Give kinship carers time off work when a child starts living with them;
- Support children in kinship care whilst at school, by giving them their first choice of school and by giving their school extra funding.
This is a vital opportunity to raise awareness of kinship care and the challenges faced by children and families, in Parliament. We need to ensure the Government’s actions live up to its rhetoric on kinship care over recent months.
While it is rare for private member’s bills to succeed without support from Government, this is a good opportunity to lay down a marker on what support kinship carers should be receiving. The Bill has support from cross party MPs and Peers, kinship families and organisations across the sector – Government and other political parties need to hear that chorus of support.
Jordan Hall, public affairs and partnerships manager at Family Rights Group, said:
“The Kinship Care Bill sets out three crucial areas where support for kinship carers needs to improve. It would help to tackle the financial hardship that too often impacts on families stepping up for children in times of crisis, and the educational disadvantage faced by the children they are raising. Family Rights Group is pleased to have worked with Munira and her team in developing the Bill.
“The inclusion of a single definition of kinship care written into primary legislation, based on our Time To Define Kinship Care proposals, is also a particularly vital step. Too often kinship care is not properly recognised nor understood. Without a broad definition in law, some carers are completely invisible to public services and are unable to access support.
“We urge the Government to match their warm words for kinship care with action, starting with taking forward the Bill’s measures. Supporters can get involved by reaching out to their MP and asking them to back the campaign.”
To help, contact your MP and ask them to:
- Show their support by attending the debate tomorrow
- Tweet that they support the Bill with the hashtag, #StepUpForKinshipCarers
- Write to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children, Families and Wellbeing, Claire Coutinho, encouraging her to back the Bill.
You can find the name and email address of your MP here.