National review of care allowances: consultation report

This report provides the findings of a consultation exercise carried out as part of a national review of care allowances.

2. Consultation with carers, young people, practitioners and service providers

2.1 Approach

In May 2018, an online survey of foster and kinship carers, local authority practitioners and service providers was conducted by the Scottish Government. This was disseminated via members of the National Review of Care Allowances Group, as well as other interested parties, including 3 rd sector and voluntary agencies, representative bodies and wider stakeholders.

The overarching aim of the survey was to gather views on the principles of a core allowance and what is required to support children in foster and kinship care. This included gathering views on:

  • Current core/additional allowances;
  • Ease of access to information on allowances/benefits;
  • Views on approach to use of age-bands to calculate allowances;
  • Views on establishing a national minimum allowance;
  • Additional support for carers and their families.

Focus group materials were developed to support Communities of Interest in 6 local authorities across Scotland and across a number of third sector organisations. Each Community focused on a particular theme – adoption, kinship, fostering and 3 rd sector. The questions within the focus groups mirror those within the online survey, to allow for comparison. Summaries from the 6 discussion groups have been incorporated throughout this report. Additional material has been developed to support engagement with children and young people and 3 discussions groups were held with young people. As the questions were framed differently, a separate annex is attached, which summarises the results of this work.

2.2 Online survey sample

A total of 860 responses from across all 32 local authorities in Scotland were received, with the majority being foster carers (75%), followed by kinship carers (14%), local authority representatives (5%) and Providers (1%).

One quarter of carers (25%) reported having a child in their care who was funded by a different local authority to the one in which they were based.

Carers reported currently looking after a range of between 1 and 5 children.


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