Support for kinship carers

Kinship carers urged to check Scottish Child Payment eligibility.

Kinship carers are being urged to check if they could be entitled to the Scottish Child Payment, after eligibility was expanded to include more of them last year.

The call comes at the start of Scottish Kinship Care Week, which celebrates the role of extended family or friends who care for children when they cannot remain with their birth parents.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon met with a group of kinship carers this morning at an annual big breakfast hosted by the Big Hearts Community Trust at Tynecastle Park in Edinburgh to thank them and highlight the extra support available via the Scottish Child Payment and other Scottish social security benefits.

Big Hearts’ Kinship Care programme was launched in 2015 and offers a range of support for young people and their carers, including after school clubs, coffee mornings, and wellbeing advice.

The First Minister said:

“We owe kinship carers an enormous debt of gratitude for the role they play in providing loving and secure homes for children and young people, and it’s vital they receive every penny of support they’re entitled to.

“In line with our commitment to tackling child poverty, we increased the Scottish Child Payment to £25 a week per eligible child last year, and expanded the eligibility criteria to include more kinship carers. We want to ensure everyone gets the financial support they are entitled to, so I’d encourage carers to check whether they’re entitled to receive the Scottish Child Payment and any other Scottish Government benefits.

“In addition to the fantastic support provided by charities like Big Hearts, there are a range of events for kinship carers taking place across the country this week, and free advice and guidance is also available from the Kinship Care Advice Service for Scotland website.”

Craig Wilson, Big Hearts’ General Manager said: 

"It was fantastic to welcome Scotland's First Minister to Tynecastle Park for the start of Scottish Kinship Care Week. We are so proud to work with so many amazing kinship care families and for many years we've strived to raise the profile of kinship carers and highlight the support they can and should receive.

“There's no doubt that today adds to that and we want kinship carers to know there is always a warm and welcoming place for them here at Big Hearts."


Kinship Care Programme | Big Hearts

When the Scottish Child Payment was increased in November last year, the eligibility criteria for Scottish Child Payment, Best Start Foods and Best Start Grant were widened to include kinship carers who had a pre-existing relationship with a child they care for, even if they are not related to the child.

Families, and carers can find out more and apply for the Scottish Child Payment at or by calling Social Security Scotland free on 0800 182 2222

The Kinship Care Advice Service for Scotland provides free, confidential, impartial advice to kinship families and professionals working with them. For more information go to or call 0808 800 0006, Mon-Fri 10am-2.30pm


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