Kinship carers are relatives, and sometimes family friends, who care for a child or children when their parents are unable to do so.

Are you a kinship carer?

There are 2 types of kinship care:

Formal kinship carer of a looked after child

We, or a Children's Hearing, have placed a child, or children, in your care. We have to approve you as the child’s kinship carer. To do this, we will assess whether we think you can care for the child. As an approved kinship carer of a looked after child you will receive an allowance to cover the costs of caring for that child. This allowance, taking benefits into account, equates to that paid to a foster carer.

Informal kinship carer

You are caring for a child who has not been placed in your care by us or a Children’s Hearing. We will only be involved in informal arrangements like these if we are concerned for a child’s welfare.

Financial help for kinship carers

The duties of local Councils have changed. The Scottish Government has announced that children living with kinship carers on a supervision order have the same status as children placed with a foster carer. They should therefore get the same level of allowance. This already happens in Falkirk. The Scottish Government also stated that they want some carers who have a section 11 (residence) order to get this allowance too. You can see full details on the Scottish Government web site.

The eligibility criteria for payment of the allowance to kinship carers with a section 11 order has been published on the Scottish Government web site. What exactly this means is still being discussed at a national level, and there is likely to be more legislation and guidance in future. Payment of a section 11 allowance at the moment remains a discretionary power for local authorities.

Once we know what the eligibility criteria means for those caring for a child on a section 11 order, we will review our financial support to carers. It is likely that carers who have cared for a looked after child and where we agreed with the decision to make this placement permanent via a section 11 order - those carers will be provided with an allowance.

As soon as the new policy is agreed we will write out to the carers affected by the changes.

Any kinship carer with queries should contact their social worker or our kinship care service at

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How to get more information about kinship care

You can get more information from our dedicated kinship care social worker.