The 2017/18 Programme for Government contained a commitment to review foster, kinship and adoption allowances, bringing forward proposals for national kinship care and foster care allowances in summer 2018. This commitment followed a SNP manifesto pledge in 2016 to continue to provide practical and financial support for kinship and foster care families, and introduce a new national allowance for kinship care and foster care. The manifesto commitment sharpened the scope of previous work on foster and kinship care allowances, in considering options for a national scheme.
It is important to note, that this work also builds on A National Review of Foster Care, which considered what improvements to foster care allowances could be introduced as well as the wider support available and many of the conversations that are happening at a local and national level around support for kinship and adoptive families.
The financial and practical support provided to kinship, foster and adoption families allows parents and carers the space required to focus on the needs of the children in their care. However, we know that there is significant variation in the rates of allowances paid to families across local authorities. The purpose of the Review was to consider the feasibility of a national scheme of kinship and foster care allowances and to submit recommendations to the Minister that addresses parity, equity and sustainability.
The task of considering the feasibility of a Scottish rate of allowances for children in kinship and foster care was a complex one and impacts on a wide and varied audience. To support the development of this programme, a Group was established, which included representatives from Scottish Government, COSLA, local authorities, Social Work Scotland, third sector stakeholders and Scotland Excel. The Group was chaired by Iona Colvin, Chief Social Work Adviser. The Terms of Reference and list of members can be found at Annex A.
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