Strengthening Social Security: research into the five family payments

CPAG in Scotland, with funding from the Robertson Trust, are currently undertaking a research project into Scottish child payment, best start grants and best start foods.

Aim of the project

Strengthening Social Security is a two-year research project that aims to reshape the way Scottish child payment, best start grants and best start foods are delivered to families within Scotland.

The project will identify the circumstances under which families are missing out on SCP and other Scottish national and local family payments, highlighting where the payments are creating financial uncertainty for families. The project also aims to deliver a set of policy solutions that will address this financial instability.


The project is running from December 2023 to December 2025.

The evidence

The project will combine analysis of Early Warning System data, interviews with welfare advisers from across Scotland, and the experiences of low-income families. 

  • Early Warning System database of cases about difficulties claimants face accessing SCP 
  • Interviews with advisers supporting claimants trying to access SCP  
  • Interviews with claimants excluded from, or on the margins of SCP entitlement 
  • Evidence shared by NGO stakeholders and Social Security Scotland 

What the project will deliver

We aim to make recommendations for reshaping SCP to ensure greater financial stability for those excluded by or on the margins of entitlement. Our outputs will include:

  • Two briefings in the first year of the project - sharing the evidence we've collected and detailing the gaps in the systems that we've found.  
  • A series of themed reports - making detailed policy recommendations and documenting the processes used to develop the policies. 
  • Findings from focus groups of people with lived experience and welfare rights and policy experts - developing and testing policy solutions. 
  • Series of roundtable discussions with key stakeholders and Scottish government officials and local authority representatives to explore proposed solutions and build consensus for change.  

Who the project is aimed at

We will share the findings with Social Security Scotland, Parliamentarians, and other stakeholders.

  • DWP, Social Security Scotland 
  • Accountability bodies (such as Social Justice and Social Security Committee, Social Security Advisory Committee, Work and Pensions Select Committee) 
  • Welfare rights advisers working with SCP claimants  
  • NGOs advocating for, or working with, low-income families accessing SCP 
  • Parliamentarians 

Get in touch

If you'd like to learn more about the project, please contact Matilda Bryce at [email protected]