Publication - Advice and guidance

Advance Payment Scheme - supporting documents: guidance

Published: 26 Nov 2020

Guidance for people applying to the Advance Payment Scheme about how to obtain ‘a supporting document’ – some kind of ‘record’ which shows you spent time in care in Scotland as a child.

Advance Payment Scheme - supporting documents: guidance


The Advance Payment Scheme has been in place for 18 months, and so far 518 applicants have received payments (at November 2020). To date, all of our eligible applicants have been able to find some kind of 'supporting document' or 'record' to show that they were in care –sometimes even if they had been unable to do so in the past.

Since the Scheme opened, some applicants have told us that they are happy to try to find a supporting document on their own, or with the help of friends or family - if this applies to you then this guide provides some useful information to help you. However, we know this is not the case for everyone – finding supporting documents and records can be difficult, frustrating and whether records are found or not, it can be upsetting. We at the Advance Payment Team understand this and can help. We are here to talk through options, answer any questions, and, if you wish, link you in with organisations that can help with finding records as well as offering emotional support. We will respect your privacy and follow guidelines on confidentiality regarding any information that you share with us. Applicants have told us how much they have valued our help and support and we would always prefer that you make contact with us early in the process to discuss the options that might be available for you.

Important Please Note -

  • Applications to The Advance Payment Scheme only require one document showing you were in care – fuller records are not necessary.
  • This guide provides information to help you understand the process involved but it does not mean that you need to take things forward on your own
  • You do not need to try to find records or make contact with organisations on your own – support and advice is available and we would always prefer you get in touch with us first
  • If you choose to request your full records, we would strongly recommend that you contact the Advance Payment Team to discuss the supports available (see section 'More than a piece of paper' – what about support?')
  • Covid – 19 public health restrictions means there are currently challenges for some organisations getting access to records they hold and requests are taking longer than usual - but we will do everything we can to support you to access the documents you need