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Social Security Support for Kinship Carers

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 11:00 am on 18th October 2017.

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Photo of Melanie Onn Melanie Onn Shadow Minister (Housing) 11:00 am, 18th October 2017

My hon. Friend makes an excellent point. Indeed, this morning I was contacted by a constituent who has previously been to my office for assistance and who wanted to raise the issue of carers more generally. Her daughter had a brain injury at birth, and 24 years later she is still caring for her. She was keen to ensure that I understood the financial, social and emotional impact of taking on the responsibility of caring for another family member. We must always remember that many people around the country do excellent work in caring for their relatives, and their friends and neighbours in some instances. Too often we forget them and they are an overlooked group in our communities.

Due to reductions in funding to local councils, local authority allowances for carers have been cut. Although foster carers can receive fast-tracked support from social workers or child mental health services, kinship carers usually are left to get with on with it themselves. With regards to the support that does exist for kinship carers, a survey by the Family Rights Group and the Kinship Care Alliance found that 80% of carers do not know enough about the legal options and support that are available to them.