Important step in Keeping the Promise.
For the first time foster and kinship carers across Scotland will receive at least a standard national allowance to support them in caring for the children and young people they look after.
Funded by £16 million from the Scottish Government, the new Scottish Recommended Allowance will benefit more than 9,000 children.
The introduction of the payment means every eligible foster and kinship carer will receive at least a standard, national allowance which recognises the valuable support they provide, no matter where they live.
Following agreement with COSLA, this marks the first time a set rate, which all local authorities must pay, has been introduced across Scotland.
The weekly allowances, which will be backdated to 1 April 2023, are:
- 0 to 4 year-olds: £168.31
- 5 to 10 year-olds: £195.81
- 11 to 15 year-olds: £195.81
- 16-years-old and over: £268.41
Children’s Minister Natalie Don said:
“Introducing the Scottish Recommended Allowance for foster and kinship carers is another important step in our commitment to Keep the Promise and ensuring all care-experienced children and young people grow up loved, safe and respected.
“Our foster and kinship carers play such an important role, and now for the first time every eligible foster and kinship carer in Scotland will receive at least a standard, national level of support to help them in ensuring that care experienced children have the same opportunities as their peers.
“This support will benefit thousands of families, helping them to provide the standard of living and wellbeing that the children and young people in their care deserve – and can be used to cover the cost of things like clothing, hobbies, activities and school trips.
“The new national allowance will make a significant difference to the daily lives of some of the most vulnerable children and young people in Scotland.”
Cllr Tony Buchanan, COSLA Children and Young People Spokesperson said:
“COSLA is pleased to have agreed the Scottish Recommended Allowance for our foster and kinship carers. We realise this has taken some time and are grateful to The Fostering Network, the Association for Fostering, Kinship and Adoption Scotland and Social Work Scotland for supporting COSLA and the Scottish Government in this area.
“COSLA is absolutely committed to The Promise and we realise this is an important milestone in supporting foster and kinship families.”
Jacqueline Cassidy, director for Scotland at The Fostering Network, said:
‘We are really pleased to finally see action taken today to fulfil the commitment made in The Promise to introduce these recommended allowances in Scotland, most of which will result in an uplift in foster carers’ incomes to help them cover the costs of caring for children. The Fostering Network has been campaigning, along with our foster carer members, for the introduction of recommended allowances for some time so this news is welcome.
‘Foster carers play a vital role in supporting children and young people who have experienced significant trauma and provide them with a stable and loving home. It is only right that the Government ensures they are receiving allowances which cover the full cost of providing this care.”
Allowances are currently provided by all local authorities. However, this is decided at a local level and so varies across Scotland. The introduction of the SRA provides a recommended allowance that all local authorities must pay as a minimum, although they can also choose to pay more.
Where local authorities are already paying above the national minimum allowance, this will continue so that kinship or foster carers currently in receipt of the allowance will not be worse off because of this commitment.
In 2020, the Scottish Government committed to The Promise to ensure that Scotland can be the best place in the world for care-experienced children and young people to grow up. Last year, ministers published The Promise Implementation Plan which sets out how the Government can support the aims of The Promise.
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