Kinship care

When a child is looked after by their extended family or close friends, if they cannot remain with their birth parents


Are you a kinship carer?

Under the Looked After (Scotland) Regulations 2009, Kinship carers are defined as 'a person who is related to the child (through blood, marriage or civil partnership) or a person with whom the child has a pre-existing relationship'.

Kinship care includes children who are looked after and are placed in a formal kinship care arrangement by the local authority. The Looked After Children (Scotland) Regulations 2009 gave local authorities the power to pay an allowance to kinship carers of looked after children living in kinship care.

Kinship care also includes non looked after children, who live in an informal kinship care arrangement. These children may be subject to a section 11 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 or may be living in a completely private arrangement with extended family, with no local authority involvement.

New rules

The Scottish Government announced in September 2015, that formal kinship carers should be paid an allowance which should be the same as the foster care allowance. In addition, the Scottish Government announced that some informal kinship carers may also be entitled to this support.

If you are currently a kinship carer in receipt of an allowance, your social worker will visit you to complete a financial assessment. Any changes in allowances will be dated from 1 October 2015.

Some kinship cares will be eligible for child-related benefits.  If the kinship carer is in receipt of any child-related benefits, these will be deducted from the amount of allowance that is paid to kinship carers.

In addition, the Scottish Government has extended funding for kinship care to cover some other informal care arrangements where the following criteria is met:

Where the child is not looked after but the child is subject to a section 11 order and is or was:

  • Previously looked after;
  • Placed with involvement from the local authority; or
  • At risk of becoming looked after.

If you are caring for a child and you think that the above may apply to you please write to:

Housing and Social Work

Kinship Care Inquiries

3rd Floor

Scott House

73-77 Merry Street



Or email us at:

Alternatively you can call us on 01698 332675.

Current kinship care allowances

Below is a table of the current kinship care allowances as of 1 April 2016.

Age bandWeekly kinship allowance (2015/2016)
0 to 4 years£141.41
5 to 10 years£161.08
11 to 15 years£200.51
16 to 18 years£243.89

Help and support

For all carers there is a range of help and support available from both national and local organisations and these are detailed below:

Citizen's Advice Scotland

National Kinship Care Helpline

Telephone support 0800 028 2233 -

Mentor UK

have published a Kinship Care Guide -  call 0131 334 8512 

Children 1st Parentline


Nurture Scotland

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