A South Yorkshire MP has called for more support for grandparents who take on the full-time care of their grandchildren.
John Healey, Wentworth and Dearne MP, asked in Parliament for better recognition and backing for kinship and family carers – grandparents, who raise children who can no longer live with their parents.
He asked Edward Timpson, children and families minister: “Most grandparents who take on the formal responsibility of raising their grandchildren just want to keep them in the family, but taking on full-time caring in their 50s or 60s can come at a high price, often without any proper recognition.
“Does the minister agree much of the same recognition and support available for foster carers and adopting parents ought to be there for grandparents who take on this role?”
Mr Timpson agreed and said there was a need to do more – whether through pay and conditions or more holistic support.
Mr Healey has been calling for more back and support for several months and recently helped Karen MacGregor, a grandparent carer from Wath-upon-Dearne, set up a South Yorkshire support group.
She said: “People need to realise we are saving councils thousands and thousands of pounds.
“I’m not saying we should get the same money as foster carers, but we need the same rights, support and access to social services.
“We don’t get anything. I know people who have lost their homes and their relationships because they’re a kin carer. Some look after several children.
“Some have to fight social services to keep the children to start off with.”