This week we received a copy of a heartfelt letter from Elizabeth Philip, a Kinship Carer who like so many others is now facing a very bleak autumn and winter. Elizabeth is also a type 1 diabetic and uses her fridge to keep her insulin safe and fresh. Now she will need to switch it off during the day whilst she tries to save some money and choose between eating or heating.
Elizabeth has given us permission to publish her letter which was addressed to the Leader of her local Council. To summarise it states that every aspect of the future for the children and young people we support and those they love are now at risk. We need action now to to protect their right to the best possible health and ensure they can afford to comfortably eat, and heat their homes, this year.
Kinship Care and the cost-of-living crisis
“I write today to express my immediate concern regarding the upcoming cost-of-living impact on our household and that of all other Kinship Carers in the locality. Yesterday I received my projected 12-month gas & electricity costs from October 2022.
“I was almost brought to my knees when I read that our bill (which is currently between £150-170 per month) will rise to over £500 per month! That is an increase of £330-£350 PER MONTH on top of what we already pay out. This is not an estimate, this is based on our actual consumption.
“Where does this money come from? I live in “reality street” and our income will not cover this one rise as it is not going to increase. We, as with many other Kinship Carers are self-employed and not on benefits. We get an allowance straight from the Council. But we cannot absorb this ludicrous increase in one area of our lives. On top of food and fuel there is very little room as it is. I think most families would agree that there is always room for improvement within their budgets and lifestyles, but this particular cost is unattainable for most. £500 p/m is more than our mortgage!
I cannot express just how concerning this is.
“What does the future look like for these children if we cannot afford to house them in a safe warm environment. This is not just our household, but all Kinship Carers are looking at the same fate due to this crazy imminent situation. Will the Council now consider this a crisis? And further consider putting in place measurements to support Kinship families to continue to be Kinship families by offering some form of support package. “