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  • Alistair Strathern

Local Kinship Campaigners celebrate Alistair Strathern MP’s landmark debate

This week Alistair Strathern, MP for Mid Bedfordshire, reached a milestone securing the first ever parliamentary debate on the Kinship Care Strategy (Wednesday 6th March).

The debate was oversubscribed and saw MPs from all parties, sharing constituent’s heartbreaking stories and pushing the Government to go further and faster with reform plans for the Kinship Care Strategy and listen closely to the views of kinship carers on what needs to change.

It was a moving debate and Alistair’s own constituents, Amanda Barnett and Carol Brown sat in the audience to watch.

Commenting, Alistair Strathern MP said:

“I am so pleased to have secured such a landmark debate for our kinship carers and it was an honour to put be able to put their voices at the heart of it.

“Kinship carers take on a role like no other, stepping up to look after children at a really traumatic time and they simply do not get the recognition or support that they deserve. I owe huge thanks to Mid Bedfordshire kinship carers, such as Amanda and Carol who have gone above and beyond to give the children in their care the best possible start in life.

“We’ve made good progress already, pushing the PM to recognise their vital role and now an oversubscribed debate, I’m determined to do all that I can to keep championing our kinship carers and pushing for change.”

Commenting, Kinship Carer and activist Amanda Barnett said:

“I can’t thank Alistair enough for all the hard work he is doing for kinship carers. I really appreciate it.”

Commenting, Kinship Carer and activist Carol Brown said:

“It was an amazing day, I feel so honoured to have the opportunity to be part of it.

“Alistair’s speech was both supportive and moving and brought me to tears, I can’t thank him enough.”

Notes to Editors:

Kinship care is when someone steps up to raise the child of a family member or friend, because the child’s parents are not able to. There are estimated to be more than 130,000 children being raised in kinship care in England, more than twice the number in foster care.

Mr Strathern led the debate, attended by, MPs from all sides of the house, the opposition, and the Government. With Kinship Carers watching on from the public gallery, all sides agreed on the vital and often overlooked importance of kinship carers, and agreed that more support was needed.

Pressure from campaign groups and kinship carers from across the country led the first National Kinship Care Strategy. However, the strategy does not go far enough to meet the needs of carers, with, for instance financial and kinship parental leave support limited.

Many of the programmes suggested by the strategy will come in the form of temporary, region-specific pilots, rather than permanent national action.


Alistair previously raised kinship care with the Prime Minister in PMQ in January 2024. 

You can read the debate and all the contributions, here.

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