Caring for a child, requires a financial commitment as they grow, this may be until the child reaches 18 years old and possibly beyond. As a kinship carer, additional monetary matters need to be considered and each circumstance will be unique, however points kinship families and workers will want to consider include:
- Potential adjustment to employment and/ or working patterns, this may be to accommodate childcare, attend meetings, or provide fulltime care.
- Eligibility to benefits and impact on existing benefit entitlements.
- Cost of childcare, depending on age and needs of the child.
- Family’s current financial circumstances if you are experiencing significant financial hardship how will this be managed.
In line with Scottish Government guidance, Aberdeen City Council offers payments to help in the raising of a child. This is called Kinship Allowance.
Who can apply for Kinship Allowance?
Eligibility to Kinship Allowance depends on how the child came to be Looked After. The calculations and application process are the same in all cases.
The financial support that Aberdeen City Council provides, depends on how you became a kinship carer and/or the child’s care status.
It applies to:
- all formal kinship carers where the child has looked after status.
- some informal kinship carers, where the child is not a looked after child but is subject to a Section 11 Order (to be known as a Kinship Care Order), and is or was:
- previously looked after.
- placed with involvement from the local authority.
- at risk of becoming looked after
How much is Kinship Allowance?
Aberdeen City Council determines Kinship Allowance based on the Kinship Childs care circumstances and is paid in line with age related fostering allowance rates, less any eligible child related benefits.
It is paid under section 22 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 to assist towards the wellbeing of the child.
The weekly allowance rates before any deductions, as described below.
|0-4 years||5- 10 years||11-15 years||16- 18 years||18- 21 years|
An additional sum which incorporates the child’s birthday, religious festival and summer break payment will be added to the weekly allowance at a standardised rate.
Kinship allowance is not means tested.
If you become a Kinship Carer and have not been asked to complete an application within 2 weeks of a child coming to live with you, please contact the Kinship Team directly.
Are there any other financial support available?
Whilst the Kinship Team hopes that our kinship carers are not experiencing significant financial crisis, there is a recognition that the introduction of Universal Credit and money worries are of concern for many families. It may be that the addition of another child into the home requires urgent access practical items to meet their care needs, we work closely with charities and partner agencies who may be able to provide time limited assistance.
Kinship Allowance will not be considered in private kinship arrangements or where a birth parent resides in the same home. These kinship carers may still be entitled to claim universal benefits for a child and seek support from your local Citizens Advice centre or access information via Kinship Care Advice Service for Scotland on 0808 800 0006.
Am I entitled to financial assistance for legal costs of a kinship order?
Financial support towards legal fees is dependent on the child’s legal status and eligibility.
If you believe you may be eligible for financial assistance toward the cost of reasonable legal fees, you should contact the Kinship Team directly.
In all instances where financial support is requested you must first check your entitlement to Legal Aid, which is means tested and an assessment of income will be undertaken by the chosen legal firm.
If you are entitled to full Legal Aid this will cover the cost of the Kinship Order and you and the Local Authority will not have to finance any legal fees. In some cases, partial legal aid will be awarded.
Where financial support is requested, you must wait for the outcome of this decision in writing before providing further instruction to your solicitor. This may take up to 21 working days. Prior to any written confirmation of financial support, the kinship carer will be liable for any legal fees incurred.
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