Local MP Alex Cunningham, a member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, last week raised the issue of Grandparent Carers during a Committee evidence session on the Universal Credit White Paper.
Alex recently met with a group of local Grandparents who care for their Grandchildren but receive little if any support from the Government. Many of these children would be in care if their Grandparents were unable to support them.
Emily Holzhausen, representing Carers UK, told the Committee that:
“There are quite a few areas where grandparents who don’t have legal parental responsibility find themselves in very straitened financial circumstances, and those families do need recognition within the system.”
“I raised this issue during last week’s Committee Meeting because I know from speaking to Grandparents in Stockton North that the Government needs to be looking at this problem.
Many Grandparents are stretched to the limit due to the cost of looking after Grandchildren who find themselves in difficult family circumstances yet receive limited if any support from Government.
Now is the time to look at this issue and ensure that Grandparents, many of whom do an excellent job caring for their Grandchildren, are supported where appropriate for the contribution they make to caring for our young people.
We need to make sure the role that these Grandparents take on is understood and that the work they do is not taken for granted.”
Now Alex hopes he gets the opportunity to raise the issue directly with the responsible Minister who is due to give evidence to the Committee in February.