With just 10 days to go until Scotland heads to the polls, CCPS members and children’s organisations, supporting tens of thousands of children and families, have united in demanding that political parties enter into ‘a new relationship with Scotland’s families’.
The organisations have penned an open letter to those contesting the May 6th election, urging them to commit to a ‘radical expansion and enhancement of the support available to families to make sure every family gets the support they need to recover from the pandemic.’ Campaigners will be using #FamiliesHaveARightToSupport on social media to promote the letter.
Covid placing families under strain like never before
The charities say family support is needed more than ever before due to the ongoing pandemic. They highlighted that the impact of Covid-19, particularly the resulting lockdowns, has placed many families under immense stress and strain.
They also point to research showing that Covid-19 has increased family mental health pressures due to fear of the virus through to dealing with loss of loved ones. Lockdown has also seen many families spending most of their time indoors and unable to access their usual support networks of friends and family. At the same time, financial worries, including poverty added another layer of stress for families as many suffered the loss of a job, or reduced hours, at the same time household spending increased on food, heating, and electricity because of Covid lockdown. This mix of emotional and economic woes has also seen some families seeking support for the very first time.
The authors of the letter declared that:
‘Ultimately Covid-19 has accelerated the underlying structural crisis in family support provision. Too often our organisations have witnessed families not receiving the support they need and want’.
What are the organisations asking of the political parties?
The letter urges political parties to ‘enter into a new relationship with Scotland’s families to build trust, empathy, and openness, to fund and develop mutual learning and support services which will create resilient families’.
The organisations laid out the basis of what this new relationship with families would involve, including:
- All families have a right to family support, as with other public services free at the point of need.
- A bold funding commitment is given to match the scale of this ambition.
- There is a fundamental redesign of existing structures and services, with the views and voices of families and young people at the heart of this redesign.
- Family support services are not a ‘one-size-fits all’ but tailored to what individual families want and need.
Read the letter here.