What help should we get/ask for?

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Bobsyouruncle
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:11 pm

What help should we get/ask for?

Post by Bobsyouruncle » Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:59 am

Looks as though we will be f&f Foster Carers to our 6 grandchildren. My husband works but due to the ages of the children and my unsociable hours at work I will have to leave my job. Fortunately we have a home big enough for them all.
What are the things we can ask financial assistance for?
Ideally We would need a large car (10 seats) as we have children of our own although currently no family car.
Would they help us with that?
They would also need basics such as bedroom furniture,beds, bedding, clothes, uniforms toys etc.
I’m unsure what we can ask for but we are taking on a massive commitment having 6 siblings coming to live with us. Don’t get me wrong I’m not doing this for the money and we only want what is best for the children but we simply can’t afford to care for 6 children with only one income and i’d Rather they came with us than get split up and kept in care with strangers.
Any advice is much appreciated

Many Thanks

Bobsyouruncle
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:11 pm

Slight change to what I said above.

Post by Bobsyouruncle » Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:56 pm

It looks as though We will be getting 2 grandchildren and will initially be F&F Foster Carers. if court decides parents will not have the kids back we will have our full assessment and also have the other 4 grandchildren. However, they will then all be SGO rather than F&FFC.
We were informed by CS that the SGO payments are significantly less than fostering payment. Practically half!
We’re not made of money and we still have two children at home of our own, we pay or bills and save for a two week holiday every year if we’re lucky, and as I said before I would have to leave work due to the children’s ages and lack of childcare as I work unsociable hours. Ive just done a few rough calculations of the child Ben and tax credits We MAY be entitled to (dependant on husbands wages) and it will works out that We will be claiming roughly the same as I would be earning in employment but having 6 extra mouths to feed and clothe. It really will put us into financial difficulty. We also don’t have transport for all 8 children either.
Now this is a massive commitment we are making, almost unheard of with so many siblings and huge upheaval for everyone involved but I don’t want to resent having them because they end up being a financial burden. Don’t get me wrong we’re not doing this for the money but surely it shouldn’t leave us struggling financially either? This really is such a worry.
I did bring this up with the SW who said that an SGO is better for the child as it’s more permanent and we have PR etc and can claim child Ben and tax credits, Fair enough. but she then said if we paid you the fostering allowance and fee then they may as well stay where they are. But surely being with family is better than strangers? I don’t want to ruffle feathers here but i’m Not going to do this and it leave us struggling.
Is there a way round this? Could we refuse to have them as SGO and ask for it to stay as f&f carers? Could they then get funny and refuse us because of this? Could I ask in court for a substantial financial package and this is such a massive commitment for 6 children? Would this be frowned upon?
I really would appreciate some advice asap.

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

Re: What help should we get/ask for?

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:52 pm

Dear Bobsyouruncle

Thank you for posting again and welcome to the family and friends carers discussion board.

It is good to see that you now know that your are going to have two of your grandchildren placed with you as foster carers but you are concerned about the kind of support you are likely to receive should all 6 of your grandchildren come to you under a special guardianship order.

First of all it is important to understand that family and friends carers are always assessed as back-up carer should the parents be ruled out from having their children returned to their care. It is great for the children that you have been assessed positively.

You have been told that you are likely to receive substantially less than a foster carer would if you have your grandchildren under a special guardianship order. I think it is a little premature for the social worker to tell you this as a proper assessment of the children’s needs in your care would have to be carried out. Special Guardianship allowance is means tested and therefore will depend on what you have coming in and what the children are likely to need to ensure that the placement is not jeopardised. Please read our advice sheet relating to DIY Special Guardianship Orders - information for family and friends carers from page 38 there is detailed information about the support that special guardians can get to look after a child.

I think you may find it helpful to read the whole advice sheet as it will help you to understand more about the procedures as they relate to applying for and obtaining a special guardianship order. The court is able to make a special guardiaship order even if a formal application has not been made if this is the best course for the children.

There is also an advice sheet Support for relatives and friends who are looking after someone else’s child which offers more information. Taking on a special guardianship order should not mean that you fall into poverty and, if you have to give up work to care for the children, this is something that should be taken into account as it is part of the children’s need to be cared for properly.

Whether you would be able to get help with a car is something that you would have to discuss with children’s services. If you are able to show that it is necessary for the children’s needs then this is something they might consider but it will depend on their assessment of the situation at the time.

It is correct that with a special guardianship order you would have parental responsibility and can make decisions about the children but you would lose the support of children’s services as the children will be your responsibility. You will be able to claim benefits as well please see Social security support for relatives and friends looking after someone else’s child. If the children remained on full care orders to the local authority and lived with you as long term foster carers this would be the permanent plan for the children. In this this situation, the local authority would have parental responsibility and make decisions for the children.

You can read about Duties on Children’s Services when children are in the care system.

If you consider that remaining fosters carers would work better for you then you can tell the social worker this and it should not affect how you are treated by children’s services. You are entitled to say that you think it would be important for the children to remain looked after especially if there are 6 children to be cared for so that the placement can be supported. The children may have differing needs depending on the impact the parenting they have received has had on them emotionally. Having the children in your care for a period of time as foster carers might therefore be helpful to ensure that the placement is going well before applying for the special guardianship order.

Once you are assessed for a special guardianship order there will also be a support package to meet each of the children’s needs and this includes financial support as a special guardianship allowance. A special guardian should not be in a worse position then a foster carer because they are related to the children. You should be able to get legal advice (paid for by children's services) about special guardianship and the support package on offer.

You may also find it helpful to see the procedure following during Care (and related) proceedings which is included for your further information.

Should you wish to speak further with an adviser do telephone our free advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday.

I hope you find this helpful.

Best wishes

Suzie

Bobsyouruncle
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:11 pm

Re: What help should we get/ask for?

Post by Bobsyouruncle » Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:27 pm

Thank you for your reply. I will have a look at the advice sheets and discus with my husband what would be our best options. Initially we were told we would be friends and family Foster Carers which was fine and would also mean our Daughter would have time to maybe prove herself and sort out her problems and troubles and become a better parent (with the chance of getting her kids back).with an SGO there’s no chance of her getting them back. There was never any mention of SGO before. We have since been informed that the SGO would start 6 weeks after they all come into our care. If they wont return the kids to their parents that’s fine, all we want is what’s best for them and right now they need to be together and i’m Sure they would be better emotionally and have more stability with us than strangers?. I really would prefer us to be Foster Carers as opposed to SGO for at least the just so we have more support and go-to people should we come across any problems. Including our own dedicated social worker. Their emotional well-being needs to be taken into account too as they will have had 4 months of not living together as siblings but also without their parents. And the last few years have not been the best for them. The SW keeps emphasising that it’s Our CHOICE to take this kids and MY CHOICE if I give up work. I can’t help but feel we’re being bullied into taking the SGO.

Nannyloves2
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:03 am

Re: What help should we get/ask for?

Post by Nannyloves2 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:51 pm

Hi I'm going through same thing.
However I decided on a sgo so my grandchildren had security and I had full parental responsibility.
You'll be offered financial support package. Set amount per week per child.
However I doubt they'd help with a car. We need a larger one but they say to finance one from sgo allowance. Which I guess is understandable really.
Also get legal advise when they draw up your support plan (which the la will pay for) as they often don't include a settling in payment!
Hope it all goes well.

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