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Guidance on accommodating children in need and their families

guidance on accommodating children in need and their families-25

There are various sources of information about this including local authorities' own benefits advice services; the Citizen's Advice Scotland Kinship Care project; or the Child Poverty Action Group advice service.

A Concordat between the Scottish Government and local authorities running until 2011 includes an expectation that kinship carers should receive an equivalent amount to the allowances paid to foster carers but excluding any fee element.While there are clearly overlaps, at all stages from the initial placement, through the arrangements for carrying out the assessment to the agreements reached and the support and reviewing of the placement, there are features that are particular to kinship care.This should balance the accountability of the local authority for the safety and wellbeing of children who may need to be looked after with a service for kinship care that is proportional and makes sense to the children and families.Section 110 of the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007 provides the power for Ministers to make provision for payments to kinship carers.This is taken forward in Part VIII regulation 33 of the regulations in terms of including kinship carers covered by the regulations in the general provisions for the payment of allowances.While finance may feature heavily in a number of kinship placements, local authorities should also be alert to the potential range of services that may enable these placements to meet the children's need - this includes other practical provision, such as equipment, one off payments for an identified purpose as well as broader support, advice and training.

Regulations 10-16The regulations cover:-For a number of these elements there are parallels with the regulations about foster carers.

The impact of kinship care allowances on universal welfare and tax benefits continues to be complex and every kinship carer of a looked after child should be encouraged to seek an expert benefits check to ensure that accepting any allowance from a local authority does not mean that they are worse off.

This is a changing area and subject to legislation so local authorities will need access to up to date information and also be prepared to explain the Scottish dimension when the use of these regulations means that kinship carers are no longer approved as 'foster carers'.

Introduction The study by Jane Aldgate and Miranda Mc Intosh in 2006 for the Social Work Inspection Agency " Looking after the Family ' focused attention on the value of kinship care for many children who become looked after and recognised this form of care in its own right.

This was followed by The National Fostering and Kinship Care Strategy published in December 2006 which identified support as central to further development of kinship care.

Kinship care arrangements which need to be formally recognised are where the child is "looked after" by a local authority and therefore in a legal relationship with that local authority.