The supporting guidance on the Looked After Children (Scotland) Regulations 2009 states that foster carers are charged with providing not just basic care but optimum care for looked after children. The Regulations sets out expectations that allowances should cover:
- a healthy diet and good physical care;
- opportunities for stimulation and exercise;
- development of social skills and participation in activities in the community;
- building self-esteem, including good presentation and acceptability by peers;
- a safe and comfortable environment;
- full inclusion in special celebrations such as birthdays, Christmas or other cultural or religious events and promoting and developing educational opportunities
On 1 October 2015, an agreement between Scottish Government and local authorities came into force to ensure that kinship carers receive the same allowances as foster carers within their local area and that the allowances for kinship carers should meet the expectations set out above. There is currently no statutory guidance that stipulates a minimum or maximum payment to meet the needs of children in kinship and foster care. In addition, local authorities have a statutory duty to have clear and accessible policies to reflect foster and kinship allowances.
With regard to adoption allowances, each local authority is able to develop their own adoption allowance scheme within the parameters of the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007 and it should be noted that there are a variety of models used, and considerations are often made based on individual circumstances and based on the needs of the child adopted. Regulation 10 of The Adoption Support Services and Allowances (Scotland) Regulations 2009 outlines the purpose of an adoption allowance and the circumstances where it may be paid. .
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