Benefits advice relative to a SGO

Harry Hardly
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:10 am

Benefits advice relative to a SGO

Postby Harry Hardly » Tue Mar 01, 2016 4:03 pm

Hi,

My partner and I have had the care of my step-daughters eldest child since she was 21/2 yrs old. Over the last 20 months we have been involved in protracted and at times bewildering Child Protection procedings via the Courts. These procedings were initially only in relation to the eldest childs 3 siblings. We have ended up applying for SGO's for all four children. We had the first child originally on a voluntary agreement, however since these procedings started the court decided to award a residency order in relation to the child currently living with us, mainly to protect her from being removed from our care.

It is looking increasingly likely that all four children will be placed with us on SGO's this month. Due to the changing nature of the procedings, the SW from Childrens Services has only just started a financial assessment, and is trying to arrange the provision of extra beds, car seats etc. etc. All of this we understand and are aware of.

Our concerns revolve around finances. My partner is registered disabled and I am her carer. (I am also named as the nain carer for the children if placed with us). Ny paryner is on higher rate DLA for both care and mobility. I claim Carers Allowance and Income Support. My partner already receives Child Benefit for the child living with us. We claim Housing Benefit, currently paying "Bedroom Tax" on what is classed as a "spare Bedroom" though if the children are placed with us we then become fully occupied so would not have that to pay.

If, as we believe we should, we qualify for the equivalent of the Local rate if Fostering Allowance, do the benefits mentioned above get included in any means testing related to that payment, or are they exempt?

Secondly if in receipt of an allowance from the local authority, would we qualify for Child Tax Credits, and how would that affect any local authority allowance paid for the care of the children?

I have found some fantastic infirmation in the documents you publish here, but I am trying to prepare myself for any financial discussions with childrens services based on our specific circumstances.

Thanks for your attention and any help.

viglenx
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2016 8:21 pm

Re: Benefits advice relative to a SGO

Postby viglenx » Thu Dec 15, 2016 6:01 am

Hi av you found any advice from anyone yet matey my wife and i are in a simlair situation to yourself we had five five girlz to take care of but one as recently left being 16 shes found her own voice and gone back with her mother but ss have done nothing about it well after 7 and a half years with the children this is were we are matey finanicaly we put in for a special guardinship order which after 7 and half years we have been told this was the worst thing we could of done well in the first 3 yrs with the kidz ss give us £1600 a month then after the three yrs we got dropped to £500 now its at £432.00 but we have had a letter they are going to drop it to around £100 a month we are fighting this at this present time we are fighting on the grounds that we should be getting equivelent to foster allowance but we don't hold much hope we have found that there is'nt much help out there

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 426
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: Benefits advice relative to a SGO

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Dec 16, 2016 1:40 pm

Dear viglenz,

Welcome to the Friends and Family Forum.

I am sorry to hear about your struggle to secure financial support to care for the girls.
It sounds like you have been assessed for special guardianship order allowance which is means tested and in the discretion of children services.

However, children services have reduced the amount on re- assessment.

The special guardianship regulations expect decisions about finance to be put in a report with a plan. The report should explain any decision made. Has this been done in your case? You would; then have time (normally 28 days) in which to challenge a decision you were not happy with. Please see page 43 of our advice sheet about special guardianship orders.

Has this process been followed in your case and what has been the outcome?

Best wishes,

Suzie

ozzy3396
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:05 pm

Re: Benefits advice relative to a SGO

Postby ozzy3396 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:41 pm

My with gets PIP ( enhanced rate ) I'm her carer. We have an SGO for our granddaughter. I claim , HB , CTB , IS , CA , CB and CTC's. Our LA give us the full fostering allowance. Also the allowance makes no difference to the housing benefit or council tax benefit.

ozzy3396
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:05 pm

Re: Benefits advice relative to a SGO

Postby ozzy3396 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:44 pm

Also i was informed that as i claim income support the full fostering allowance should be paid in full.

viglenx
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2016 8:21 pm

Re: Benefits advice relative to a SGO

Postby viglenx » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:49 pm

hi suzie
No such plan as ever been put in place we have had about 6 different social workers seem to change them everytime we ask questions on finnancial help i neva got back in touch with you straight away as we have hd a social worker out to visit asking us to get all reciepts for petrol , clothes holiday xmas there dancing we did'nt have the dancing reciepts as she does'nt give u any holiday we can't afford one so how can we produce that one it was bf xmas so did'nt have reciepts for toys but we did get a reciept off the bloke who makes there dresses for dancing that receipt was £450 well they hve been paying us about £490 each month cause we put that reciept in they have offered us £500 so thats them offering us £10 back for the dancing gear so we put to our social worker you's might aswell put the kidz in foster care were they will be able to have holidays and things they want as we can't afford them you have got us on the bare min on everything we did put other reciepts in petrol etc but have'nt had help off them its all wrong this we all should be treat the same as we do the same job the older the kidz get the more expense they are x

viglenx
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2016 8:21 pm

Re: Benefits advice relative to a SGO

Postby viglenx » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:51 pm

oops the social worker rang his boss to be told they are going to start proceed getting the kids off us

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 426
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: Benefits advice relative to a SGO

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:16 am

Dear viglenz,

That is a very worrying telephone call to receive from the social worker.

Was this something that had been discussed with you before? Is there currently a child protection plan in place?

As you have special guardianship orders in respect of the girls, you will have the legal parental responsibility to make decisions about their upbringing, including where they live.

Children services are saying that the girls will be removed from you. However, this can only happen if you agree (section 20 accommodation) or if children’s services obtain an order giving them parental responsibility, such as a care order.

Unless it is an emergency, children services should follow a pre proceedings protocol before they issue care proceedings.

So have they considered a family group conference to look for support within your friends and family network ?
You should receive a pre- proceedings letter that you can take to your solicitor and it will entitle you to legal aid.
The letter might say what you need to do to avoid things going to court. Please see page 8 of our advice sheet about care proceedings.

For them to obtain a care order, they would have to prove that the girls had suffered significant harm or were likely to suffer significant harm due to your parenting or because they were beyond your parental control.

Removal of children should be a last resort, so support should be considered first of all, to help you parent the girls.

Do you know why they think the girls are suffering significant harm or are at risk? Do you know what you can do to reduce any risk and address children services worries?
I suggest you also consider seeking legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in children law.

If you want to discuss this worrying situation in depth, please call or advice line on 0808 801 0366 or please post again.

Best wishes,

Suzie

viglenx
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2016 8:21 pm

Re: Benefits advice relative to a SGO

Postby viglenx » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:41 pm

sorry you have picked me up wrong or i have written it down wrong its us who have said you might aswell put these up for foster care as your not willing to help us more finanically we were trying to bluff them with giving the kids up but they are saying well if this is what you want and they have gone and left us without knowing much really it was a mp who told us to bluff them see as i said earlier they have hounded us for receipts for petrol holidays xmas presents clothes we have'nt got all receipts but ones we have put in they have'nt helped us out much really 7 and half years i've been saving them thousands it would'nt harm them to help us out more why is it you read everywhere that there supposed to pay us near enough the same as a foster carer but when you put this to social services they state there is know set figure plus no one will back you up with financies we have gone 7 and half years struggling so we have'nt been doing it just for the money as some people try to suggest we love these kids to bits we are just trying to get a better life for them wots wrong with that but you need money to do it i feel like i'm scrongeing off the ss all the time honestly i'm at my wits end now i've had four heartattacks i feel another is not far away who can i turn too please x

viglenx
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2016 8:21 pm

Re: Benefits advice relative to a SGO

Postby viglenx » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:58 am

:( :( :( :( :( ?


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