29 August 2023

New national allowance for foster and kinship carers announced by the Scottish Government

The Scottish Government has today (29 August) announced that, for the first time, there will be a set standard national allowance for foster and kinship carers across Scotland to support the care of children and young people.

The introduction of the Scottish Recommended Allowance means every eligible foster and kinship carer will receive this weekly rate no matter where in Scotland they live. Ministers have allocated £16 million to support this and it is expected that 9,000 children will benefit.

Allowances are designed to help ensure that care experienced children have the same experiences and opportunities as their peers. It provides financial support for clothing, pocket money, school trips and other costs.

The Minister for Children, Young People and Keeping The Promise, Natalie Don said:

“Introducing the Scottish Recommended Allowance for foster and kinship carers is another important step in our commitment to Keep the Promise and ensuring all care-experienced children and young people grow up loved, safe and respected.

“Our foster and kinship carers play such an important role, and now for the first time every eligible foster and kinship carer in Scotland will receive at least a standard, national level of support to help them in ensuring that care experienced children have the same opportunities as their peers.

“This support will benefit thousands of families, helping them to provide the standard of living and wellbeing that the children and young people in their care deserve – and can be used to cover the cost of things like clothing, hobbies, activities and school trips.

“The new national allowance will make a significant difference to the daily lives of some of the most vulnerable children and young people in Scotland.”

The agreement on the allowance was reached with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) and means that all local authorities must provide as a minimum set weekly rate of £168.31 for children aged up to four, £195.81 for children aged five to 15 and £268.41 for those aged 16 and over. This will be backdated to 1 April 2023, and where local authorities already pay more than the national minimum allowance, that will continue.

Claire Burns, Director of CELCIS, said:

“We welcome the introduction of a Scottish Recommended Allowance for fostering and kinship families and the parity this offers regarding how children, their families and carers are financially supported regardless of where they live in Scotland. The allowance will make a vital contribution in supporting carers to provide the best care for children and young people. It is particularly welcome in the current context of the cost-of-living crisis and the additional pressures this has caused.”


Read the Scottish Government announcement