Grandmother granted 6 figure backdated sum in respect of fostering payments
When a Local Authority place a child in the care of a family member, they are responsible for that child and have duties to support them and the family they are placed with. Quite often, at the Grandparents Legal Centre, we see cases where Local Authorities have placed a child with family and failed to provide the level of support that a carer is entitled to.
Helen Moody, talks about one of her success stories where she obtained a 6 figure backdated sum in respect of fostering payments.
“In January 2023, I spoke with a client who told me that she had been caring for her 2 grandchildren for almost 4 years following their removal from their mother’s care due to concerns surrounding drug misuse and domestic violence.
My client advised that she went to her daughter’s house one day and was greeted by a Social Worker who told her that unless she was able to care for her grandchildren, they would be placed into foster care. Following this, Social Services continued to have involvement with the family including supervising contact between the children and their mother and visiting the family home. When my client asked about financial support, she was simply told that as she was the grandmother, she was not entitled to any support. My client had no reason to believe that she was being told incorrect information and therefore continued to raise her grandchildren without receiving a penny from the Council.
I wrote to the Local Authority asking them to confirm that the children should be regarded as “looked after” and that my client should have received a fostering allowance for the children which should be backdated to the date the Social Worker asked her to care for the children. The Local Authority agreed that they were responsible for the children and that a backdated payment would be calculated, together with ongoing weekly payments to be put in place until further order was made.
It was calculated that the Local Authority owed by client approximately £105,000 in backdated payments. My client could not believe it. She was completely overwhelmed and could not believe that the Local Authority had pulled the wool over her eyes for such a long time”.
The Grandmother commented; “I just cannot believe it. This is a completely life changing amount of money for the children and I. To think that the Local Authority denied the children this money and watched as I struggled to make ends meet whilst all the while knowing what I was entitled to. The money is for the children. It is to give them the life that they deserve and it makes me angry to think that they were denied this.”
Helen Moody further commented; “My client is absolutely right to be disappointed in the way in which she was treated by the Local Authority. Unfortunately, this happens to many families who are not given the right information from the Council. This can often result in months or even years of a kinship carer struggling to make ends meet and potentially risks a breakdown of family placements. We are seeing an increase in the number of kinship placement breakdowns which could often be prevented if the Local authority provided the correct support”.
If you consider that you are in a similar situation and require legal advice, please do not hesitate to contact us on 08432897130 our via our free 24/7 live chat facility on our website where we can arrange an appointment with one of our kinship team.