Children's Minister Aileen Campbell said kinship carers needed to be legally recognised and treated the same as parents.
Ms Campbell said kinship carers will be recognised in law in the forthcoming Children's and Young People bill, but refused to say they would be paid an allowance equal to foster carers.
Glasgow has the largest number of kinship carers in Scotland, often grandparents or aunts and uncles, home to around 1000 children in the category.
Ms Campbell was speaking to the Education Committee before it debated a petition calling for the 2007 commitment to pay kinship carers the same as foster carers to be honoured.
A campaign group for kinship carers want an equal allowance paid, in line with the agreement between the Scottish Government and local authority umbrella body Cosla in 2007, but which has never been fully implemented.
On kinship care, the concordat between the government and councils said they should be providing allowances for kinship carers of "looked after children" to treat them on an equivalent basis to foster carers.
Currently only five out of 32 councils pay the allowance at the same rate.
Glasgow City Council pays an allowance of £40 a week per child to those caring for children who are officially 'looked after' but are living with kinship carers. Foster carers in the city however, can claim up to £227 a week.
The situation is complicated by the Department for Works and Pensions deducting allowance amounts from benefits.
Ms Campbell said: "We believe kinship carers are closer to parents and need to be recognised for the parenting role they carry out.
"We need to work with local authorities to ensure there is consistency across the country."
Labour MSPs Neil Findlay and Neil Bibby asked the minister if she believed kinship carers should be paid an allowance the same as foster carers.
Ms Campbell said it was for local councils to decide the amount, but repeated that the government wanted to see consistency.
A statement from Cosla to the committee blamed the economic downturn and anomalies with the benefits system for the disparity in payments.
A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: "Kinship carers play an extremely important role in looking after children in Glasgow.
"But kinship carers do not have the same responsibilities as foster carers and do not undergo the same assessment processes as foster carers."