Foster and kinship carers in Scotland to receive national allowance for first time

  • Date: 30 August 2023
  • In: UK

Thousands of children and young people in Scotland are set to benefit from a new standard national allowance for foster and kinship carers.

Funded by £16m from the Scottish government, the new recommended allowance is expected to benefit more than 9,000 children. The funding means that every eligible foster and kinship carer will receive at least a standard weekly allowance to help them support the needs and wellbeing of the young people they look after so they can reach their full potential.

It is the first policy of its kind to be introduced across Scotland and will provide a much-needed boost to carers' income so that they can cover the costs of looking after children. The money can be used for everyday essentials like clothing and to ensure care-experienced children and young people have the same experiences as their peers such as school trips or hobbies.

As part of the agreement between the Scottish government and local councils, all local authorities must pay the set weekly allowance rate as a minimum, which will be backdated to April 1, 2023. The weekly allowances are £168.31 for children up to four, £195.81 for five to 15-year-olds and £268.41 for 16-year-olds and over.

Pete Kent, programme development director at Railway Children, said: "Railway Children welcomes the announcement that there will be a standard national allowance paid to foster and kinship carers in Scotland, who play a crucial role in looking after children and young people.

“This is another example of Scotland leading the way in introducing progressive policies to better support vulnerable young people and their families, which is especially important given the current cost-of-living crisis. These allowances should help ensure thousands more children can remain in a loving family setting, which we know is beneficial for their overall wellbeing."