finance help

granytree
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:12 pm

finance help

Postby granytree » Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:16 pm

hi I am new to this but we desperately need help and advice our great Nephew has been living with us since jan 2013 we have a R.O. at the moment we are also being assessed for s.g.o. mother has now decided to contest it. we know "mam" very well and we are concerned that if she was to get little one back and found that she could not cope that she would not think twice about placing him back in care. we asked S.W. if the L.A. will be supporting our s.g.o and she said that if everything is positive then they would support us she added that the risk of mother always putting her own needs first before the little one was a big risk however she said that she had concerns about our finances. S.W. carried out a financial assessment but said it was rejected because we are now on benefits we receive income support. my husband was made redundant last year, I also had to leave the N.H.S. 4 years ago due to spinal surgery we have asked for a re-assessment to be carried out but S.W said it is unlikely to change and has asked how we can show that we can support little one financially. furthermore we are receiving £85 a week until our claim for child benefit and tax credits were awarded. Award for both have now been completed and S.W is now going to make a stop on the £85 which will make it look like we have even less to support him . Any advice would be grateful we are so worried

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

Re: finance help

Postby David Roth » Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:23 am

Hi grannytree, and welcome to our family and friends carers' discussion forum.

I am sorry to hear that you are worried about your financial circumstances, in bring up your great-niece. I hope that we can provide you with some helpful information.

One of the first questions that occurred to me was to wonder how your great-niece came in the first place to be living with you under a residence order. If the local authority played the major role in placing her with you, and did not ensure you had information about the legal options, then it is possible that she should have been a looked after child (i.e. in the care system), with you being paid a full fostering allowance. It would not be possible to undo the residence order that has been made, but it might be possible to make a complaint to the local authority about the way they went about things, and ask for them to pay you the amount you would have received if you had been fostering her, backdated.

I also note that you are on Income Support, but the local authority states that they will pay you a lower SGO allowance once you receive child benefit and tax credits. However, this goes against government guidelines on SGO allowances, which states: "If a family is in receipt of Income Support, we recommend that the local authority pay the family the applicable maximum payment without assessing their income/expenditure in this test. The figure paid to the family should not include any deductions for child benefit (as they are in receipt of Income Support)."

Both these principles were upheld by the Local Government Ombudsman recently, in a finding against Liverpool City Council. You can read a summary of the LGO decisions here, and download the full report from the same page: http://www.lgo.org.uk/decisions/childre ... 2-006-209/

If you are going to raise these issues with your own local authority, I would suggest reading this report first, and then you can point out the relevant points when you go to them. However, if you do have any queries about what the report says, or anything else, please do come back and ask.
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

granytree
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:12 pm

Re: finance help

Postby granytree » Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:17 am

Hi David,
thank you so much for taking the time to help us, I am not sure if little ones is "looked after" my husbands niece gave little one up voluntary section 20 I think was the term used . then L.A. placed him with foster cares ,my brother in - law fund out and as L.A. if he could be removed from foster care and placed with him they agreed. than my brother in law had give up caring for him due to work and other commitments there was a meeting for all the family and S.W. explained that they were issuing "care proceedings " they all also said that little would be placed in long term Forster care or even placed for adoption . at that point my husband and i ask if we could put ourselves forward we were told yes and the S.W said we would party to proceedings whatever that means, anyway we have been to court twice the first time we were giving an interim R.O. and theb judge ordered S.W. to carry out a section 37 and s.w. informed everyone that they were no longer issuing care proceedings as "mother" was not contesting the 2nd time we went to court we informed everyone that we would like to apply for sgo on advice from our solicitor . so judge ordered an assessment to be carried out . we have never received any help financial from L.A. except for the £85 which they agreed to pay until little one benefit came threw. his benefits have now came threw and S.W. has said they are going to stop the £85 .i hope this makes some sense i am not great at writing as you can tell.
so I am not sure if little one is "looked after" or not my husbands niece gave up care of little one due to her poor mantle health self harming etc
thank you so much David

granytree
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:12 pm

Re: finance help just another question

Postby granytree » Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:37 am

granytree wrote:Hi David,
thank you so much for taking the time to help us, I am not sure if little ones is "looked after" my husbands niece gave little one up voluntary section 20 I think was the term used . then L.A. placed him with foster cares ,my brother in - law fund out and as L.A. if he could be removed from foster care and placed with him they agreed. than my brother in law had give up caring for him due to work and other commitments there was a meeting for all the family and S.W. explained that they were issuing "care proceedings " they all also said that little would be placed in long term Forster care or even placed for adoption . at that point my husband and i ask if we could put ourselves forward we were told yes and the S.W said we would party to proceedings whatever that means, anyway we have been to court twice the first time we were giving an interim R.O. and theb judge ordered S.W. to carry out a section 37 and s.w. informed everyone that they were no longer issuing care proceedings as "mother" was not contesting the 2nd time we went to court we informed everyone that we would like to apply for sgo on advice from our solicitor . so judge ordered an assessment to be carried out . we have never received any help financial from L.A. except for the £85 which they agreed to pay until little one benefit came threw. his benefits have now came threw and S.W. has said they are going to stop the £85 .i hope this makes some sense i am not great at writing as you can tell.
so I am not sure if little one is "looked after" or not my husbands niece gave up care of little one due to her poor mantle health self harming etc
thank you so much David

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

Re: finance help

Postby David Roth » Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:51 pm

Grannytree, I wonder whether you might find it useful to call up our advice line?

There is a great deal of information to take in about the situation you have described, and the law can be quite complex. If you are new to dealing with social workers and working out your legal rights, it can be confusing at first. If you speak to one of our advisers, they might be able to take you through your circumstances step by step.

It really is important to make sure you get all the financial support you are able to. The Ombudsman's decisions that I provided the link to should help you to make your case to the local authority that they should not be cutting the allowance they pay you - once the Ombudsman has made a decision about one local authority (Liverpool), then other local authorities in the same circumstances ought to respect the decision, or they would lose as well if their case was taken to the Ombudsman. You might find our advice sheet 25 useful, Challenging decisions and making complaints: http://www.frg.org.uk/need-help-or-advice/advice-sheets

If you would like to talk the situation through with an FRG adviser, you can call our freephone advice line 0808 801 0366, 9.30am-3pm Mon-Fri.
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser


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