Our call for the new First Minister of Scotland


Today, Humza Yousaf has been nominated as the new First Minister of Scotland. The Fostering Network have written a letter outlining our number one priority ask for 2023 – to implement a national minimum allowance, now.  

Scotland is the only country in the UK without a national minimum allowance and we at The Fostering Network have been campaigning for its implementation for many years. 

Currently, children in Scotland are experiencing a postcode lottery of support. Due to the lack of a national minimum allowance, the level of allowances foster carers are given to care for a child's needs vary significantly depending on their geographical location. In a year, this difference can be a staggering £6,954.72 per child. 

This means children in Scotland are not getting the same level of support and opportunities as others, all depending on luck of the drawn of where they live – this is unacceptable and must be addressed urgently. 
Jacqueline Cassidy, Director of Scotland at The Fostering Network said: 

‘The commitment to introduce a national minimum allowance dates back over 10 years, including a commitment in the 2016 Scottish National Party manifesto and more recently in The Promise, which committed to implementation in 2022. However, we seem to be at a standstill and there are currently no time frames as to when this will be introduced, despite cross-party support. 

Foster carers play a vital role in supporting children and young people who have experienced significant trauma and provide them with a stable and loving home. Yet we know that foster carers are struggling and are having to dip into their own pockets, use up their own savings and take out loans to care for a child on behalf of the state, and this is not right. 

We are also finding that many local authorities are on hold while they wait for an announcement and funding, meaning many are freezing their allowances due to the continuous delays and continued promises.  

But the people this impacts the most are the children and young people. They are the ones who are missing out on support and opportunities to thrive, such as school trips, extracurricular activities and perusing their hobbies and interests, which can significantly improve their outcomes and successful transition into adulthood.  

So today, we have written to the new First Minister urging them to consider, as one of their first acts in the role, to implement a national minimum allowance for foster carers. They can put an end to the years of broken promises for the 4,500 children in care in Scotland that are currently being left behind.’