residents payments

amanda
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:14 am

residents payments

Postby amanda » Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:12 pm

I have been looking after my nephew for 10 months since his father passed away,he is unable to live with his mother as he was removed from her by social services and placed with his father. I am in the process of getting a residents order as recommened by social services. my nephew is classed as a child in need. social services have said i am going to receive residents payments which i was told about months ago but still nothing. i have 5 children of my own and work part time,money is very tight and with christmas on it's way im feeling like ive just been left to it! Any advice would be much appreciated, Thank you

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

Re: residents payments

Postby David Roth » Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:14 pm

Hi amanda, and welcome to our discussion forum for family and friends carers.

I am sorry to hear about the death of your nephew's father - is he a brother or brother-in-law? It is very lucky for him that you could be there to keep him in the family. I am not surprised that you say money is tight, given the commitments you were already dealing with of raising your own five children.

My first question, which could be crucial for advising what support you are entitled to, is how your nephew came to stay with you after his father's death. Did local authority social workers bring him round to you, or call you and ask you to look after him? If this was the case, then you have a good case for saying that he should be considered a 'looked after' child. This would mean that he was in the care system. You ought to be given temporary fostering approval while a full fostering assessment is carried out, and in the meantime you ought to be getting a full fostering allowance.

However, if the local authority was not involved, then unfortunately you are not entitled to receive any financial support as of right. However, the local authority still has discretion to support you financially. As he has been accepted as a 'child in need', they can pay you a regular allowance and/or one-off payments - this is usually referred to as 'section 17' support, as it is authorised by section 17 of the 1989 Children Act. And if you apply for a Special Guardianship Order or a Residence Order (it is worth looking into both options and not just accepting the local authority suggestion of the RO), then they can pay you an allowance under either option.

You may be eligible in the meantime, if he is not looked after, to apply for a Guardian's Allowance. This is a government allowance of £15.90 per week payable to anyone who is bringing up a child whose parents have died. It can be paid in some circumstances where one parent has died and the other can't look after the child - it could be worth calling the government's Guardian's Allowance Unit to discuss your situation: https://www.gov.uk/guardians-allowance/how-to-claim
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

amanda
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:14 am

Re: residents payments

Postby amanda » Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:16 am

Thank you for your reply, he has always been under the care of social services from the day he was born as both parents were heroine addicts,his mum was working as a prostitute to fund her habit,it was my brother in law who was his father.he had cleaned himself up and 3 years ago his son got placed with him due to the lifestyle of his mum,she had taken him on the streets looking for work and the police got involved and thats when he got removed he was 5 at the time. the day he died we got a phone call off his grandparents,and picked him up.the social worker phoned the next day to ask if he was ok with us over the weekend. we then got a visit from them on the monday and they suggested he was better off staying with us as his uncle who lives with his grandparents is also a heroine addict. so it was in his best interest to stay with us. my son's were then left sharing a bed for weeks until we could afford bunk beds as we didn't get any offer of any help to to buy him a bed! he came to us in a pair of pyjamas so we then had to buy him clothes,shoes,school uniform etc. we have attended court twice and his mum has not turned up and social services now can't seem to contact her! so we have another hearing next week which should be the last one. it is social services who told us about these residents payments but i don't know much about it,when should we have started to receive it,how long would we get it for,what can it be used for,will it be classed as income for working tax credit purposes? is it worth claiming it as i've read you can't claim child tax if your getting the residents payments,its all very confusing! and get fobbed off from the social worker who doesn't seem to know or want to offer any advice. Thank you once again for your reply :)

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

Re: residents payments

Postby David Roth » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:22 am

Amanda, it is really important when you become a family and friends carer that you get your head around the different sort of legal arrangements that can apply.

For example, when you say 'he has always been under the care of social services from the day he was born', it is important to know whether this means he was actually in care, that is to say the local authority made arrangements for him to live away from his parents, or does it just mean the local authority was very concerned and took an interest in making sure he was being kept safe but he stayed with his parents?

The sort of financial support you are entitled to varies according to the legal status of the arrangement.

What you refer to as 'residents paymants' is probably a Residence Order Allowance. This is an allowance local authorities can pay to someone who has a residence order for a child. However, they don't have to pay it, it is up to them. It should not affect your child tax credit or any benefits you are receiving. You should be able to claim child benefit for a child you are raising under a residence order.

There are other legal arrangements, where your entitlement to financial support would be different. For example, if the children were looked after and you were fostering them, the local authority would HAVE to pay you their full fostering allowance. If you had a Special Guardianship Order, you could ask them to assess your need for financial and other support.

You may find it useful to read our Advice Sheet 21 Support for relatives and friends who are looking after someone else’s child. This gives full details about the financial and other support you might be able to get, and goes into more detail about how this works under the different tpes of legal arrangement that are possible: http://www.frg.org.uk/need-help-or-advice/advice-sheets

This can be a lot to get your head around when you've never had to deal with it before. If you would find it easier to get things clearer by talking them through with someone, you could ring our advice line: 0808 801 0366, open 9.30am-3pm Mon-Fri. Our advisers are all friendly and helpful.
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

amanda
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:14 am

Re: residents payments

Postby amanda » Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:05 pm

Thank you! he was put under the care of social services for concern of his well being and safety. My last hearing at court was today,i didn't have to attend,i am waiting for my solicitor to let me know the outcome! It is a lot to get your head around! The money is not really important although it would be nice to have that little extra to do more things with him to keep him occupied,he has just started to have some play therapy at C.A.M.S,to see if this can help open him up,as he doesn't show any feeling's and is very flat,or to see if it could be another issue? Thank you once again.

pop
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Dec 03, 2013 5:24 pm

Re: Fostering payments

Postby pop » Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:38 pm

I was wondering if someone can help me. Me and my husband have started the fostering assessment and due to go to the panel soon. We both have been wanting to help unfortunate children for a while but before we committed I wanted to ensure I was as ready and flexible as possible. Now the dilemma I have is even though me and my husband earn a decent salary from our current work, and we have enough to live comfortably without debts other then our mortgage, I have been told by the social worker that foster carers don't get paid anything for looking after the child except the allowance for the child (which is around £132pw) and at times I may have to pay for things out of our own pocket?

We are not fostering for the money but I want to be aware and be prepared if this is the case? As we have our own child's needs also to consider. We are fostering with LA.

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David
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 12:35 pm
Location: South West England

Re: residents payments

Postby David » Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:54 pm

This web site might be useful https://www.gov.uk/foster-carers/help-with-the-cost-of-fostering . Although the minimum rates are given, I understand that most local authorities have schemes where extra payments are made for various "skill levels". I suggest that you look at your own local authority web site to see what they have to offer, or talk to their Childrens Services department.
David - grandparent carer with Residence Order (now Child Arrangement Order)

pop
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Dec 03, 2013 5:24 pm

Re: residents payments

Postby pop » Wed Dec 04, 2013 2:01 pm

Thank you David, I will check out the website.
I did check the LA website and they have a scheme that I think you gain per yer with training. I didn't really want to ask the social worker again as I don't want her thinking we are just doing it for money.

pop
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Dec 03, 2013 5:24 pm

Re: residents payments

Postby pop » Wed Dec 04, 2013 2:02 pm

Also I tried googling and everyone has put they are getting so e kind of fee for fostering as well as the allowance....

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

Re: residents payments

Postby David Roth » Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:48 pm

Hi pop

This isn't really a website for foster carers - it is specifically for family and friends carers, i.e. people like grandparents or older brothers and sisters who are bring up a child who can't stay with their parents. Some of them are foster carers, but most have some other legal arrangement such as a special guardianship order.

However, you are free to foster for whomsoever you choose, and if you do not think your local authority pays enough you are quite at liberty to go to a neighbouring authority or to an independent fostering agency.

You will find that The Fostering Network has useful information: http://www.fostering.net/

There is also a fostering advice service called Fosterline that you can phone: http://www.fosterline.info/
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser


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