Important appeal court win for grandparents

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David Roth
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Important appeal court win for grandparents

Postby David Roth » Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:48 am

It's just been announced that grandparents who were taking Kent County Council to court, in order to try to get the financial support they were entitled to receive, have won their decision in the appeal court. This upholds the principles of the Southwark judgment, that when local authorities play a major role in placing a child with family and friends carers, they are also responsible for making sure that placement gets proper financial support.

The carers were represented by FRG trustee Nigel Priestley, who specialises in representing family and friends carers.

You can read about the case on the Ridley and Hall website here: http://www.ridleyhall.co.uk/news/1328/
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Important appeal court win for grandparents

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:08 am

thats really good news!

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Robin D
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Re: Important appeal court win for grandparents

Postby Robin D » Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:39 am

Well done Nigel and all power to the grandmother who refused to give up. :D
Former F&F carer, foster carer, adopter and respite carer for umpteen children. Now retired and when with kids, making sure they 'go home' at the end of the day.

Kate
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Re: Important appeal court win for grandparents

Postby Kate » Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:05 am

Great news :D

confusedinfrance
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Re: Important appeal court win for grandparents

Postby confusedinfrance » Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:24 am

I read this account with particular interest, as the similarities between this and our case are extremely close. I am currently at loggerheads with KCC over financial support for our granddaughter, aged 12, who was basically, dumped on us in December 2010, with the normal overtones of, "well if you don't take her she will be placed in care". The main difference is our geographical location, as we are resident in France, and have been since Jan 2006, a fact that was abundantly clear to KCC, when the child was placed here. This means that not only am I unable to access any UK based benefits, such as child benefit, tax credits etc, we are also faced with the burden of providing finance for items that would normally be FOC in the UK. These consist of top up medical insurance, third party insurance to attend school, transport on the school bus, school dinners, school books, the list goes on, but those are the main items, albeit when we were granted the residency order the judge stipulated that the child should have contact with both of her parents. At present I have had to meet the costs of bringing her back to the UK, which in itself is not an inexpensive exercise. I have been kept wandering up that garden path by staff at KCC, who keep promising that a financial package which will reflect the needs of the child, and that will not leave me financially disadvantaged, is on it's way. I have quoted this case to them and advised them that the precedent has been set and if I do not receive the proper level of payments by the end of February 2012, I will be instructing solicitors to take it up. It seems that water off a ducks back is the KCC motto, they don't seem to give a monkeys whether we are put in a position of financial ruin or not. In fairness to them they are currently giving us a derisory £80 per week and they have also paid approx £2000, to cover the costs I mentioned earlier, so they have accepted the fact that they are indeed financially liable to give support for the child. I am not quite sure if they are, or can, mount further appeals against this landmark decision, and perhaps that is the reason they are holding on to the purse strings. All I can say is that dealings with them are becoming very tiresome and tedious, and I am fast losing patience. If anyone can advise me of the best way forward , I would be most grateful.

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Robin D
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Re: Important appeal court win for grandparents

Postby Robin D » Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:04 pm

If they don't reply, make sure you contact Ridley and Hall as at the start of this thread before speaking to any other solicitor. I know they are a long way away, but they are also the ones who have become the real specialists in this field.
Former F&F carer, foster carer, adopter and respite carer for umpteen children. Now retired and when with kids, making sure they 'go home' at the end of the day.

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David Roth
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Re: Important appeal court win for grandparents

Postby David Roth » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:59 am

Ridley and Hall will obviously be aware of the case, as the law firm who were involved in winning it. However, if you are using another law firm for any reason - maybe you have already started the case with another lawyer - then it would be useful to be able to give them the reference for the case. You should quote this reference to them: A –v- Kent Local Authority [2011] EWCA 1303 - they will be able to use that to trace it and see how it can be used in your own case.
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

confusedinfrance
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Re: Important appeal court win for grandparents

Postby confusedinfrance » Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:09 pm

I am unsure as to whether I can continue with my case here or start a new thread, hopefully if the latter is the case then perhaps admin will move it to the appropriate section. Having sent off various e-mails to KCC yesterday giving them the ultimatum as to either pay up or face legal proceedings, I have received today a reply giving some light in the tunnel. Basically after quoting a load of blurb containing policy relating to the fact that they, KCC, are not legally liable to provide any financial support whatsoever, they have agreed to increase my payment from the £80 per week to £173 per week, which includes an allowance for child benefit. Whilst I am appreciative of any increase they deem to award me, I am rather disappointed with the condition they have imposed on this offer. Now this is where it becomes rather embarrassing, as I always have been of the opinion that it seems as if it is becoming a profitable enterprise, instead of the main objective of providing a safe environment for my granddaughter. However facts have to be faced, especially when we are on a very low private pension, and to return to the aforementioned condition, it appears that they will not be liable to any future one off payments to meet financial outgoings related to the fact that we are resident in France. The figure they have quoted me is , I believe, exactly the same figure I would be receiving had I still been resident in the UK, it doesn't, therefore, give any credence to the fact that the education system is slightly different here and there is an outlay required to send the child to school, there is also an additional outlay to cover medical costs, as the state only provides 70% cover, so additional private medical insurance is required. At this moment I have a residency order, but I am being coerced by KCC into seeking an SGO, which they say would give me a better financial package, it transpires that it is £20 a week LESS, so how that is better is beyond me. I have re read various e-mails sent to me regarding this whole fiasco and they quite clearly state that a financial package has been promised which will reflect the fact that we do live in France and have additional costs which need to be taken into consideration, so I am at a loss to understand how this is now being achieved. Should I take the increased amount and argue about the additional afterwards or refuse the whole lot and start proceedings.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Important appeal court win for grandparents

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:39 pm

This is a difficult judgement call, and ultimately, one for you to make. You have been advised by KCC that a condition of acceptance of their offer is that KCC is not liable for any further costs relating to the fact that you reside in France. I would therefore NOT assume you would be successful in raising any such costs in the future. If you accept this offer, you should only do so on the understanding that this is the case.
Realistically, the offer you have now been given may be the best you will get. It’s not clear to me whether you have already consulted a solicitor specialist in this area. My advice would be that you do so, if you are not prepared to accept this offer.
All the best,
Suzie

confusedinfrance
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Re: Important appeal court win for grandparents

Postby confusedinfrance » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:59 pm

The problem is that some solicitors advertise that they give free advice, Now I don't expect to receive hours of free consultative information in something that someone has studied for many years to achieve a level of expertise in, but my experience of an initial consultation "free of charge" is that they advise you of what their hourly rate is. If you could go to one and say, this is the situation, give me a yes or no as to whether or not I have a case, no guarantees, I would gladly say,"sort it out for me then, and send me a bill". I am not adverse to paying a couple of hundred quid for someone who knows what they are talking about to give me a straight yea or nay, but they all seem to be at odds with the fact that we are not UK residents. I would think that the best way forward is to accept the offer and then try and negotiate at a later stage, as the people employed by KCC in this department seem to be transient workers from across the globe and are there one minute and gone the next, and they seem incapable of remembering what they have stated from one e-mail to the next.


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