A Festive Message from Stand Up For Siblings

A Festive Message from Stand Up For Siblings

The Stand Up For Siblings partners would like to offer best wishes in this festive season to all of our allies in the fight to protect the rights of brothers and sisters involved with the care system. We would also like to express our gratitude for your support throughout 2019.

We have made significant progress in recent months, particularly the commitment made by Scottish Government to strengthen the law to promote sibling relationships. Even without a change in the law though progress is being made. We hear stories daily of efforts made by corporate parents and practitioners to promote and protect relationships between brothers and sisters through creative use of resources and a commitment to the children in their care.

It has been a privilege to be invited to contribute to the Independent Care Review this year. The review has placed children and adults’ experience at the heart of their work and has inspired us here at Stand Up For Siblings to keep pushing for change. While consensus is building that change is urgently needed, we are also aware that there is much that still needs to be done.

We are not campaigning for more of what we currently have but instead a much more radical mindshift. Our imagination about what is possible is to some extent stifled by the current language around ‘placements’ and ‘contact’ rather than relationships. As we move into a new decade we are feeling optimistic that change is possible.

To kick off the New Year we will be posting over seven days our reimagined 7 steps to sibling relationships. These are bolder than the previous seven steps.

Please look out for these in mid January and let us know how you can help us realise these ambitions.

Stand Up For Siblings award success

Stand Up For Siblings award success

Stand Up For Siblings has won the prestigious Herald Society Partnership Award. Fourteen representatives from the multi-agency partnership attended the award ceremony in Glasgow on Wednesday evening.

Stand Up For Siblings joined 250 guests to celebrate the 12th annual Herald Society Awards, held in association with Wheatley Group, at the DoubleTree by Hilton. Organised by The Herald, the awards are supported by evh, Turcan Connell and YouthLink Scotland.

Dr Christine Jones, co-founder of Stand Up For Siblings, said: “What an honour. We are delighted to win the partnership award. We were up against some really tough competition, so congratulations to everyone who was shortlisted.

“This has been a fantastic year for Stand Up For Siblings. We celebrated the first anniversary of our launch in March with a very welcome announcement by the Minister for Children and Young People, Maree Todd MSP.

“The Minister announced that there were plans to make improvements to the law for brothers and sisters who are in the care system. The law is to be strengthened in relation to keeping brothers and sisters together when they are placed in local authority care when it is in their interest to do so.

“We hope that our partnership has made some positive strides, but we know there is so much more still to do to protect the rights and promote the wellbeing of siblings in Scotland. Thank you to everyone involved in Stand Up For Siblings, this award has been down to everyone in the partnership working together to make positive changes to legislation, policy and practices.”

SUFS shortlisted for award

SUFS shortlisted for award

Stand Up for Siblings is delighted to be shortlisted for the Herald Society Awards 2019.

The movement is a finalist in the Partnership category. The award ceremony takes place on Wednesday, November 6 2019 in Glasgow.

Dr Chris Jones who co-ordinates SUFS said: “It is an honour to be shortlisted for such a prestigious award.

“We are up against some really tough competition, so we are delighted to get through to the final.”

Dr Gillian Henderson from SUFS added: “Everyone in the partnership has been working tirelessly to protect the rights and promote the wellbeing of siblings and we are working together to influence the law, policy and practice.”

Kinship Care report

Kinship Care report

A new report has been published by the Family Rights Group on Kinship Care.

In it, they report that around 70% of the kinship children included in their study have a sibling or half sibling who is not living with them. Around a third of these are placed elsewhere in adoptive, fostering or residential care placements, a fifth are living with kin and just over a third are living with birth parents. 

In the report,  the Family Rights Group on Kinship Care, point out the anomaly in the current Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010 which address sibling contact where both siblings are looked after, but do not refer to contact with siblings who are not looked after. They call for an amendment to these Regulations so that children who are looked after are better supported to have contact with siblings who are not in the care system, such as a brother or sister living in kinship care under a special guardianship order. 

You can read the report in full here.

Call for views on Children (Scotland) Bill

Call for views on Children (Scotland) Bill

The Justice Committee has launched a call for views on the Children (Scotland) Bill. Stand Up For Siblings will be making a submission. You can find out more here. The deadline for submissions is Friday 15 November 2019.

In the meantime, Stand Up For Siblings has already responded to the Scottish Government’s consultation on the Review of Part 1 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 and creation of a Family Justice Modernisation Strategy. You can review the initial response here.

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