Scottish Greens have today called for a 'more caring nation' as part of the #CareDay celebrations around the country.
Five charities representing children in care and care leavers are joining together to connect and support these young people to shape policy and effect change across the UK and Ireland. As part of the 5 Nations, 1 Voice alliance launch, Friday 19 February 2016 has been named #CareDay.
The Scottish Greens are urging more support to level the playing field for care leavers, as well boostin early intervention and support services that would prevent families from reaching crisis point.
Scottish Green Party spokesperson on Health, Wellbeing and Sport, Alison Johnstone, highlighted that children in care and care leavers are still more likely to suffer from mental ill health, more likely to be homeless and less likely to access igher education than their peers.
Zara Kitson, Scottish Green Party MSP candidate for Glasgow, highlighted that while the Scottish Government had pledged to increase early support and intervention to make sure families don't reach crisis point, cuts to local council budgets are undermining this commitment, local authorities unable to deliver the necessary services.
Kitson will be speaking at a Who Cares Scotland? hustings in Glasgow today (19 February), alongside Aileen Campbell.
Alison Johnstone said:

“Children and young people in care and leaving care have to deal with challenges that most of us never face, and they deserve our support and admiration.
“It’s been great to see the experience of young care leavers grab the attention of the public and of politicians over the past few years, but there is still so much more to achieve - people who have lived in care are still more likely to suffer from mental health problems, more likely to end up homeless and less likely to get into further or higher education than their peers. It’s our duty to make sure that every young person in Scotland has the same life chances, and that means we must level out the playing field for children in care and care leavers.”
Zara Kitson said:
"While it's absolutely vital that care leavers are supported to reach their potential and overcome barriers, we must not forget the crucial work done throush early prevention and support services. These services can help families from reaching crisis point, but cuits to council budgets are leaving these precious services with an uncertain future.
"Every Scottish child and young person deserves to grow up in a loving, caring environment, and we must do all we can to make that possible. I urge the Scottish Government to make sure it's removing barriers for care leavers and supporting councils to work with vulnerable families."