Ombudsman backs kinship carer in Liverpool

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David Roth
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Ombudsman backs kinship carer in Liverpool

Postby David Roth » Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:11 pm

The Local Government Ombudsman has decided in favour of an aunt-carer who took her complaint to them, and as a result she has received over £10,000 in backdated payments.

There are four strands to this decision:
1. The council did not treat the child as a looked after child when they should have done, and did not pay the carer the fostering allowance she should have been receiving.
2. The council did not pay a fostering allowance that was in line with the government's minimum allowance for foster carers.
3. The council did not pay a special guardianship allowance that was linked to the level of fostering allowance the carer would have received.
4. The council deducted child benefit from the SGO allowance, even although the carer was living on benefits, and the government recommends that CB should not be deducted from the allowance when the carer is on benefits.

As a result of the decision, Liverpool are reviewing their payments to another 340 carers.

This is an important decision for any family and friends carers who are not being treated as foster carers, when they ought to be, or who are not receiving level of SGO allowance they are entitled to. If you are complaining to your council about these things, you will be able to refer to this finding.

You can read more, including the full report, on the LGO website: http://www.lgo.org.uk/news/2013/aug/liv ... 40-carers/

Congratulations to the lady concerned for successfully making her case!
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

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David Roth
Posts: 2022
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:14 am

Re: Ombudsman backs kinship carer in Liverpool

Postby David Roth » Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:05 pm

At the suggestion of family and friends carers who contacted Famly Rights Group, we have drafted two letters that you could use to write to your local council, if you are a family and friends carer in these circumstances:
- if you are a Special Guardian on Income Support, and the council is deducting child benefit from the special guardianship allowance it pays you
- if you are a family and friends foster carer (some councils refer to kinship foster care or connected person foster care), and the council is paying you less than the government's National Minimum Fostering Allowance.

Templates of these letters are both in a new part of the Help & Advice / Family and Friends Carers section of our website, called Helpful Letters. You can get directly to them here: http://frg.org.uk/need-help-or-advice/f ... ul-letters

We decided not to put out letters dealing with all of the points in the Ombudsman's findings, as the other two points depend a great deal on individual circumstances, such as how the child came to be placed with you, or what happened if you were means tested. However, if you think the Ombudsman's findings might apply to you, you can post with a query here, or call one of the expert advisers on the Family Rights Group advice line to discuss it - call 0808 801 0366 9.30am-3pm Mon-Fri.
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser


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