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Kinship carers in Scotland face unequal treatment

Children's charity, CHILDREN 1ST, has recently carried out research into the support kinship carers receive across different local authorities. The study revealed that the level of financial help available to carers varies considerably, depending on where they live.

According to CHILDREN 1ST, over half of local authorities (18 out of 32) make a deduction for child benefit from the allowance they pay kinship carers, leaving these carers with £20.30 a week less than those in areas where this deduction is not made. The charity has also found that kinship carers are the only group of carers that have child benefit deducted from their allowances.

CHILDREN 1ST and kinship carers have produced a manifesto calling for an end to the hardship caused by local authorities making these deductions.

Alison Todd, Children and Family Services Director at CHILDREN 1ST, said:

“It upsets kinship carers that where you live in Scotland influences how much you receive in kinship care allowance for your children. The effect of this postcode lottery is magnified by a majority of local authorities deducting child benefit from some families’ allowances. It means that there are huge differences in the funds being received by kinship care families to help meet their children’s needs. Yet the cost of raising a child is largely the same no matter where they live and the news that the country has dipped back into recession only adds to the financial pressure for these families."


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