Kinship care is the care of children by their extended family or a close friend of the family.
This includes children who are looked after by the council as well as arrangements that are made privately between family members.
Unless there are clear reasons why family care would not be in the child's best interests, care within the extended family and community will be the first option.
We have special duties where a child in kinship care is 'looked after' by us. These are in the Looked After Children (Scotland) Regulations 2009.
Kinship carers are assessed and once approved they are eligible for the Kinship Care Allowance. The Kinship Care policies and the allowances available to carers are currently subject to review and will be published in the near future. For more information on this please contact your local social work office.
Kinship carers should also get independent legal and financial advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau.
If you are a kinship carer you can also call the ParentLine Scotland helpline for advice on 0800 028 2233.
For more information see Citizens Advice Bureau - Kinship Care in Scotland.
The Scottish Government has commissioned Children 1st to provide training and support to kinship carers.
Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland have produced a very useful easy to read up to date factsheet on kinship care and benefits/tax credits which you might find useful.