After months of discussions, COSLA and the Scottish Government have agreed on a Scottish Recommended Allowance (SRA) for Foster and Kinship Carers. Although allowances have been paid by all local authorities, this is the first time there has been an agreement on a minimum recommended allowance. Our members have for a long time raised concerns over 'post code lotteries' when it comes to financial support so this news is very much welcome.

For the first time foster and kinship carers across Scotland will receive at least a standard national allowance to support them in caring for the children and young people they look after.

Funded by £16 million from the Scottish Government, the new Scottish Recommended Allowance will benefit more than 9,000 children.

The introduction of the payment means every eligible foster and kinship carer will receive at least a standard, national allowance which recognises the valuable support they provide, no matter where they live.

Following agreement with COSLA, this marks the first time a set rate, which all local authorities must pay, has been introduced across Scotland.

The weekly allowances, which will be backdated to 1 April 2023, are:

  • 0 to 4 year-olds: £168.31
  • 5 to 10 year-olds: £195.81
  • 11 to 15 year-olds: £195.81
  • 16-years-old and over: £268.41

In local authorities who currently pay over these amounts, the amount will not change, ensuring those foster and kinship carers are not made worse off by the SRA.

Cllr Tony Buchanan, COSLA Children and Young People Spokesperson said:

“COSLA is pleased to have agreed the Scottish Recommended Allowance for our foster and kinship carers.  We realise this has taken some time and are grateful to The Fostering Network, the Association for Fostering, Kinship and Adoption Scotland and Social Work Scotland for supporting COSLA and the Scottish Government in this area.

COSLA is absolutely committed to The Promise and we realise this is an important milestone in supporting foster and kinship families.”

Fraser McKinlay, CEO of The Promise Scotland said: 

"The Promise Scotland welcomes this agreement on minimum recommended allowances between the Scottish Government and COSLA. This is an important step forward in ensuring foster and kinship carers have the financial support they need. 

Finally reaching this stage is a positive development. It should act as a catalyst for wider action - to support the call of the Independent Care Review and see Scotland support its foster and kinship carers to be the best parents they can be, by ensuring they feel valued, cared for and supported to care."

Children’s Minister 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.”