Permanent arrangements for the Scottish Welfare Fund

Working in partnership with COSLA, we set-up a Reference Group. The aim of the Group is to support the Scottish Government and COSLA to achieve a successful transition to permanent arrangements for the Scottish Welfare Fund by Spring 2015. The first meeting of the Reference Group took place on 27 June 2013.

Note of Reference Group meeting:

Latest developments

Review leaflet

We have produced a Scottish Welfare Fund applications leaflet that gives applicants infomation about how they can challenge decisions. A supply of these leaflets have been issued to local authorities.

New promotional materials available

We have been working on a range of new promotional materials for the Scottish Welfare Fund (SWF). This is now available to download and for you to use to promote the Fund in your local authority.

  • A3 poster
  • Tri-fold A4 leaflet for general awareness, and details of how to apply
  • An information toolkit
Consultation on the draft Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill

The consultation on the draft Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill has now ended. It ran from 15 November 2013 to 7 February 2014. We received fifty-eight responses. You can view some published consultation responses from those respondents who gave us permission to do so on our webpages.

We are now working on the analysis of these responses, that will help us in our development of the permanent scheme.

Event to promote the consultation

On 21 November 2013 we held an event to promote awareness of the consultation. This event was chaired by Lesley Fraser - Director of Housing, Regeneration and Welfare, Scottish Government, and was attended by representatives from Local Authorities, the Third Sector, and other stakeholder organisations. The audience heard presentations from the Scottish Government, the Citizens Advice Bureaux, the City of Edinburgh Council, and COSLA's previous Development Officer.

You can see the powerpoint slides of the presentations on:

NEW Guidance. From April 2014, we have further amended the SWF guidance.

The amended full guidance for the Scottish Welfare Fund is now available.


Resources for Local Authorities and support workers

  • The Data Monitoring Specification, for use in developing IT systems, identifies the variables and formats of the data which should be sent to the Scottish Government, and the validations which will be used to check the data. Data monitoring guidance is also available to help caseworkers completing the return.


The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) abolished the discretionary social fund and transferred funding for Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans for living expenses to the Scottish Government.

Scottish Ministers agreed with COSLA that Local Authorities will deliver the social fund successor arrangements - the Scottish Welfare Fund - on an interim, and permanent basis.

You can see an outline of the plans for the Scottish Welfare Fund here.

The development of the Scottish Welfare Fund