Fast forward to 21 minutes in to watch the full interview here.
The Sunday Politics Show for BBC Look North East and Cumbria asked whether MPs are doing enough to support kinship carers.
They interviewed Frank Harrison, a grandparent and kinship carer who said, “we’re not asking for much, just a level playing field.” He continued with the heartfelt ask that many kinship carers will know all too well – “Just come and help us a little bit and we don’t have to feel like outcasts.”
Frank is not alone. It’s estimated that 1 in 50 children are growing up in kinship care in the North East, as high as anywhere in the country.
Ancha Stoodley, our Programmes Manager in the North said, “they constantly tell us that they feel forgotten, they feel isolated and just not heard. Around half of kinship carers gave up work to care for children, plunging themselves into poverty as a result. It’s absolutely critical that we have further legislation put in place, that the government is actually in a position to put funds towards local authorities to enable them to better support kinship carers.”
MPs are increasingly taking notice of kinship care, with a parliamentary taskforce collecting evidence from kinship carers in the North East, and the rest of the country. Anna Turley, Labour MP for Redcar said, “there is almost an unrecognised army of carers out there across the country who are stopping children being taken into care.” She continued, “government just isn’t really recognising kinship carers in policy making, and local authorities are also just so stretched, so underfunded.”
You can watch the full show here (21 minutes in), along with the debate between Robert Goodwill, Conservative MP for Scarborough and Whitby and Catherine McKinnell, Labour MP for Newcastle North.