Can I get financial help SGO order pending.

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Tired Tina
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:19 pm

Can I get financial help SGO order pending.

Post by Tired Tina » Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:37 pm

Hi everyone,
We as a family have been going through hell since March. Our grandson is currently being fostered by the LA. My partner and I are going through an SGO process and it looks as though the LA are going to recommend the he comes to live with us for at least 6 months, where in they will review my daughters progress. When assessed by their financial team, I was informed that they would support our SGO at £20 per month? This isn't about money whatsoever but as it is costing us personally £20 per week just for 1hr contact we are struggling. We receive wtc hb ctb. I do not work as I support my partner in his self employed job due to learning disability. Last year was a particularly bad year and his accountant worked out his wage to approx £50 per week. The LA involved are a different borough completely. They say as we have approx £50 per week they can only contribute this amount even though they will be expecting me to personally fund visits on a daily basis to my daughter 70 miles from where we live. I have asked them for their figures but although they agreed to send them 4 weeks ago they still have not. I have also asked for funding for independant legal advice but they have said no. The whole process is due to end late September and if you could advise me as what I can do please I will keep all updated and hopefully help others.

Tired Tina
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:19 pm

Re: Can I get financial help SGO order pending.

Post by Tired Tina » Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:06 pm

I have found this link that may be helpful to someone althoug i am not sure if this is how sgo means tested allowances are calculated.. It is my own downloaded pdf file

Pdf file removed by Suzie in accordance board rules

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 777
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: Can I get financial help SGO order pending.

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Aug 30, 2018 3:05 pm

Dear Tired Tina

Welcome to the family and friends carers’ discussion board.

My name is Suzie, online adviser, at Family Rights Group.

I am sorry that you are having such a difficult time with children’s services regarding the support package that is likely to be offered to you once your is placed with you under a special guardianship order.

The figures you have quoted in your post seem derisory. Your grandson is currently in foster care which means that he is a looked after child and, as such, the local authority must carry out a financial assessment as part of the support package to be offered to you as a special guardian. As a special guardian you should not receive less than children’s services would pay in allowances to unrelated carers.

Please see our advice sheet Support for relatives and friends who are looking after someone else’s child which provides information regarding the support a person should receive when looking after someone else’s child.
Regarding contact expenses children’s services can assist with the cost and my advice is to ask that they do so. See our advice sheet Duties on Children’s Services when children are in the care system. Further, children’s services can also assist the mother with her expenses to attend contact. I suggest you ask the social worker about special guardianship support services.

As you are considering and being assessed as special guardians, you can also ask children’s services to cover legal costs for you to receive advice from a solicitor regarding special guardianship and the support package you are offered. It is important to do this so that you can make an informed decision about the support package and whether it would be adequate for your grandson’s needs.

You may find it helpful to read the government guidance relating to special guardianship regulations here.

The local authority should also have a family and friends care policy and you can ask the social worker for a copy of this or go to their website. The policy might be referred to as kinship care or connected persons’ policy. This will give information about how the local authority deal with people caring for other people’s children.

Should you wish to speak to an adviser about your situation, please telephone our advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday.

I hope this is helps.

Best wishes

Suzie

Tired Tina
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:19 pm

Re: Can I get financial help SGO order pending.

Post by Tired Tina » Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:59 pm

Thankyou Suzie for taking time to reply..
Since last post we have completed our SGO assessment and have been given the thumbs up. The local LA have agreed to pay for legal advice and after speaking to a wonderful solicitor she is now seeking information as to how the LA arrived at their figure of approx £5 per week funding..As expected they are not open about calculations and she is still awaiting their response.
We were back in court last week and grandsons guardian phoned me to discuss SGO and asked if I had considered a CAO instead..Hadn't ever been discussed as an option by CS... Well in court CS said they would not support a CAO and would be seeking SGO. I actually might prefer a CAO as this then stops CS of walking away from what they have done to my family and would make them have to re assess daughter who needs therapy before any final decision is made..I feel it may give her hope of getting her son home quicker. So back to solicitors this week with CS having to fund further legal advice. Oh after stating they would not support SGO phone call on Monday now saying they will? Final court over 2 days next week where everything will be decided for us as we were not made privy to proceedings due to too late in hearing...exhausted..

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 777
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: Can I get financial help SGO order pending.

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:54 am

Dear Tired Tina

Thanks for your further post. Well done on your successful SGO assessment and for getting children’s services to fund your legal advice. It is also good that you have had a phone call from them suggesting that they will support your SGO but of course you need to be given a proper detailed (written) support package that you can discuss with the solicitor who is advising you. Remember that, when deciding how much to pay you, children’s services must be guided by the amount of fostering allowance they would pay you if you were your grandson’s foster carer. You can find more about this in part three of our advice sheet: DIY Special Guardianship Orders - information for family and friends carers .

You mention that the final hearing is this week so I hope that you did manage to get further legal advice and to discuss the recent developments. Just to let you know that a child arrangements order is often seen as a less robust and less permanent order than a SGO. A SGO gives you more authority to make decisions than a CAO. A CAO also does not usually offer the longer term children’s services’ involvement you suggest nor does it mean that they must re-assess your daughter. Whilst children’s services can support families where there is CAO in place (including providing an allowance which is means-tested and discretionary) they usually stay involved under a child in need process if they assess that the child needs this support. So you cannot necessarily count on any extra support. However, SG regulations state that children’s services must make arrangements to support those affected by special guardianship e.g. the child, the child’s parents and the special guardian. It can be easier for a parent to go back to court to revoke a CAO whereas with a SGO they must first get the court’s permission to do so.

Make sure that you consider which is the best order for you and your grandson and discuss this with the solicitor. You can find out more in our advice sheet: DIY Child Arrangements Orders: information for family and friends carers.

I hope this helps and that everything works out for you and your grandson.

Please do post again or call the freephone helpline on 0808 801 0366 Mon – Fri 9.30 – 3.00 p.m. if we can be of any further assistance.

With best wishes

Suzie

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