Industry News: Dickensian Tory cuts tearing kids away from parents.. condemning next generation of Scots to a life in care
THE Daily Record has been told by a senior council official that the Tory assault on the poor has plunged parents into despair, debt and mental illness.
CRUEL Con-Dem benefit cuts are separating children from their parents in Scotland.
A senior council official yesterday told the Daily Record how David Cameron’s assault on our poorest families is plunging desperate mums and dads into despair and mental illness – and forcing their children into care.
It’s a Dickensian nightmare, and a grim indictment of five years of rule by the Tories and their Liberal Democrat allies.
Stephen Brown, Head of Children, Families and Criminal Justice Services at North Ayrshire Council , told us: “Welfare reform cuts are having an impact on parental mental health and impacting on some people’s ability to care for their children.
“The impact of welfare reforms has tipped some of them over the edge.”
Councils also warned yesterday that there are not enough foster places to cope with the crisis, partly because potential foster families are themselves struggling to make ends meet.
And as a result, kids as young as SEVEN are having to be placed in children’s homes.
Earlier, Stephen told Holyrood’s Welfare Reform Committee that the growing number of children needing help had “increased the pressures on our fostering service”.
He admitted that children of seven or eight had been placed in children’s homes because of a shortage of foster parents – a situation he described as “unfortunate” and “far from ideal”.
And the crisis is far from confined to Ayrshire.
Richard Gass of Glasgow City Council told the committee they tried constantly to recruit foster parents, but added: “Perhaps the economic climate is a barrier to folk coming forward.”
Alistair Gaw, vice-president of Social Work Scotland, described the situation in Edinburgh. He said there were 1000 children in foster homes, children’s homes or living with relatives in the capital alone.
Alistair said finding enough foster parents was a constant struggle, and family members caring for children separated from their parents were also feeling the impact of the benefit cuts.
Sara Lurie, director of the Fostering Network in Scotland, told the Record Scotland was short of 750 foster care places.
She added: “There is a year-on-year increase in the number of children finding themselves in care. There are many factors behind that. Financial pressure is one.”
Child poverty is on the rise in Scotland under the Con-Dems. The proportion of kids below the poverty line increased in 2013 from 19 per cent to 22 per cent.
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