CPAG in Scotland Children and families Project

This project focuses on two main issues: disabled children and their families; and situations where a child is living away from her/his birth family. This project aims to increase awareness and raise expertise in advising these client groups on getting their full entitlement of benefits and tax credits. This is through producing the Children's Handbook Scotland, and providing training, factsheets, an e-bulletin and ongoing second-tier support to advisers via our advice line.

Children’s Handbook Scotland: A benefits guide for children living away from their parents 2011/12

This project has produced the Children's Handbook Scotland, which gives comprehensive guidance on benefits and tax credits issues where a child is living away from their parents. This might be if the child is at residential school, in residential care, being looked after by the local authority, or in foster care or kinship care. These situations throw up complex benefit and tax credit issues which this Handbook will help demystify.

The new edition is updated with all changes to benefits and procedures. The content includes:

  • Benefit and tax credit entitlement when children are living away from home
  • How payments made by local authorities to carers affect benefits and tax credits
  • Local authority responsibilities to care leavers

The Handbook is fully referenced to legislation and caselaw and includes practical examples. It is aimed at advisers and frontline staff such as social workers. It is available in print and is available online.

September 2011 978 1 906076 54 2 £13.00

‘This is an area of social security law which can cause much confusion...the clarity of the information and clear structure of the chapters means this book will prove to be a valuable resource for advisers’ THE ADVISER (CITIZENS ADVICE)


Around 65,000 children in Scotland have a disability or additional needs, putting them and their families at a higher than average risk of poverty. For many of them the benefits and tax credits system is an important (or the only) source of income. Yet less than half of those children eligible for disability benefits are estimated to be receiving them. For those that do claim, the process can be difficult and confusing.

We have produced two factsheets which provide information for advisers on benefits and tax credit topics relevant to those working with families with a disabled child.

Benefits for disabled children and their families – a checklist

This factsheet lists the range of benefit, tax credit and other help available to families with a disabled child or young person up to the age of 20.

Disabled young people

This factsheet outlines entitlement to benefits at 16: when a parent can and cannot continue to claim for a young person and whether the young person staying at home will be better off claiming in his or her own right if they are unable to work.

We have also produced the following factsheets which you can download:

Kinship care and benefits – the essentials (updated September 2011)
Children looked after away from home by the local authority – impact on family benefits and tax credits
Care leavers and benefits: giving good advice (produced in conjunction with Scottish Throughcare and Aftercare Forum)

To request printed copies of any of our factsheets please email


We have developed training courses aimed at frontline advisers, social work staff and support staff working with children and families. These courses are in our 2011/2012 training programme and can also be booked on an in-house basis.

Benefits for young people leaving care

Looked-after children – benefits for carers and families

Benefits for kinship carers


The below two basic level courses are at the special price of £25 per person for organisations in Scotland. We also provide these courses in-house for organisations in Scotland for £150 in total for up to 20 people at your workplace or a venue which suits you.

Benefits for disabled children and their families £25

Transition to adult benefits for disabled young people £25


Our quarterly benefits for disabled children e-bulletin keeps you up to date on benefits for those working with families with disabled children.

You can read recent editions below, or you can sign up to receive the e-bulletin here. Please note, we will not pass your details to anyone outside CPAG, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

November 2011 (opens new page)

July 2011 (opens new page)

April 2011 (opens new page)

Past benefits for disabled children e-bulletins

Advice line for advisers in Scotland

We offer advice and information to advisers in Scotland on all aspects of the welfare benefits and tax credits systems through our advice line.

For further information:

If you are interested in this project and wish to be kept up-to-date with progress, please contact:

Alison Gillies (Children's Handbook Scotland)

Tel: 0141 548 1056

Jon Shaw (Disabled children)

Tel: 0141 552 3545


This project is funded by the Scottish Government.