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Anniesland MSP Bill Kidd joins young care leavers at Christmas

Bill Kidd MSP has joined care leavers as they call on Scotland to grant their wish for a better Christmas this and every year.

 

 

For the first time ever a group of care leavers gathered outside the Scottish Parliament and asked politicians and the public to show they care by pledging their commitment to help change the futures of generations of care leavers to come.

Figures consistently show that young people in care are more likely to suffer from mental ill health, more likely to be homeless, and more likely to suffer periods of unemployment.

Who Cares? Scotland, the leading charity for young people in care was joined by Young Scot, the National Union of Students and Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People in asking MSPs to help get a fairer deal for youngsters as they enter Stage 2 of the Children and Young People Bill.

Bill said:

“I am proud to add my support to the Who Cares? Scotland campaign.

“Those who leave care should be entitled to expect the same opportunities as everyone else. Unfortunately the evidence suggests that young people from the care system are more likely to encounter homelessness and suffer unemployment. That needs to change and I am pleased that the Children and Young Peoples’ Bill, which is presently going through parliament, is working towards this goal.”

Ashley Cameron, young care leaver said, “At this time of year it’s hard being away from your family. When you are in care at Christmas it can be really emotional especially if you know your friends are going to have a Christmas at home with their families. It makes you think about all the problems in your life and can leave you feeling like there is no hope. All we want at Christmas is to know that people really do care.”

Duncan Dunlop, Chief Executive of Who Cares Scotland said, “The young care leavers here today are excellent examples of success with many of them dedicating their careers and free time to helping create a brighter future for other generations of care leavers – as well as showing amazing resilience to overcome a range of issues in their young lives."

“We want to make Scotland the best place to grow up for all children and young people. Who Cares? Scotland is thrilled that Bill has pledged to support young care leavers this Christmas.”

On behalf of the 16,000 children in care in Scotland and the 1,300 care leavers each year, the young people asked politicians to grant their Christmas Wish List containing five top wishes.

• All care leavers in Scotland live long and happy lives, that they control with support where needed
• No care leaver in Scotland ever experiences homelessness
• All care leavers in Scotland are surrounded by stable, loving relationships and get a chance to fulfil their dreams
• Scotland continues to care for care leavers.
• Scotland listens to the voice of young people with care experience.

Who Cares? Scotland is also asking for members of the public to support the young people’s Christmas wishes by pledging their commitment to its It’s time to listen campaign.

Already 2,500 people have shown their support. To pledge to listen to children in care, please visit the website: http://www.whocaresscotland.org/pledge/

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