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Last Updated: Friday, 7 March 2008, 18:10 GMT
Row over kinship carers funding
Children playing
Kinship carers are at odds over the planned conference
Plans for a 30,000 conference for carers in Dumfries this month have divided the people it is intended to benefit.

The conference is specifically aimed at kinship carers such as grandparents who look after their grandchildren.

They are treated differently from foster carers and some of them are angry that money is being spent on a conference they say they do not want.

Others have argued it will be a valuable opportunity to have their say.

The one-day training and awareness seminar on kinship care is being staged by Dumfries and Galloway Council.

'Really insulted'

Isabelle Nicol - who has full-time responsibility for her three-year-old granddaughter Kaylie Bell - believes the money could be put to better use.

She said: "I'm really, really insulted and I feel deflated because of what's happened with this money."

The conference is for health and social services professionals as well as the carers and will feature expert speakers on a wide variety of subjects as well as practical workshop sessions. David McKie, a member of the Council's social services committee, said it was the best use of the money.

Other carers agreed. Penny Halliday from the support group "You're Not Alone" said it "gives kinship carers a chance to be heard".

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