Grandparents need protection from welfare and council budget cuts because their efforts are vital in keeping children out of care, according to the organisation that represents them.
Grandparents Plus says one in three grandparent carers receive an allowance from their local authority but it is discretionary and vulnerable to spending cuts. Grandparents who give up work to look after their grandchildren could suffer under the new welfare reforms.
The charity says grandparent carers should be counted to ascertain how many families need this form of kinship care and how many children they might be saving from entering the care system.
“Here are grandparents doing the right thing, picking up the pieces in times of crisis and all too often they take a financial hit and their health suffers as a result,” said Sam Smethers, chief executive of Grandparents Plus.
A survey conducted by the group found that two-thirds of grandparent carers have a household income of less than £300 a week and 7% do not receive a benefit or allowance for looking after a child.
Four in 10 are raising a child alone and more than half have given up work or reduced their hours to take on care.
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