Improved support for kinship and foster carers has been recommended by a new report: Final report and recommendations of the national review of care allowances
After consulting with about 1000 young people and carers the report makes 11 recommendations to be taken forward by the Scottish Government and COSLA based around 2 main strands:
- Improve consistency and transparency in the delivery of child allowances
- Improve consistency and transparency in the delivery of information and support for families and carers
The report states that ” the needs of children in foster and kinship care are often greater than for a child who is not care-experienced and that any allowance should reflect this.”
As well as improving the information available the report also recommended that:
“To achieve consistency for children and young people in foster and kinship care, Scottish Government and COSLA should consider a Scottish Recommended Allowance”
In the discussions other issues arose beyond the payment of allowances. Kinship carers face different challenges to foster carers.
The report recommended that local authorities provide kinship carers with a ‘Carers Letter’ which would explain to them the allowances and support available to them.
Many young people indicated that they would like someone to talk to or have fun with – a befriender.
Also recommended was a knowledge hub where best practice can be shared across agencies.
Maree Todd, Minister for Children and Young People in the Scottish Government said:
“The support that foster and kinship carers receive makes a real difference for them and the children and young people they look after.
“Services and allowances are different across the country, and this welcome report highlights the importance of ensuring that transparent and accessible information, guidance and support is available for kinship and foster carers, regardless of where they live.
“I am grateful to the members of the National Review of Care Allowances Group for their work and all the young people, carers and representative organisations who contributed their views. I look forward to working with local government partners to agree how we can put these recommendations into action.”
Cllr Stephen McCabe, COSLA Children and Young People Spokesperson said:
“COSLA welcomes the work of the Review Group and will work jointly with the Scottish Government over the coming months to give full consideration to the recommendations.
” The report highlights the importance of clear information being made available locally, and this is something we can work together to take action to improve quickly.
“As corporate parents, local authorities are keen to ensure that all looked after and care experienced children and young people and their families and carers feel supported.”
Reporter: Fiona Grahame