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la in east lancs and travel expenses

(15 Posts)
damsonjammy Thu 09-Jun-11 14:07:09

hi
do any of you foster for the LA in east lancs?
are you having trouble getting your travel expenses?
i ask because i recently was told by my ssw that all expenses claims now go before panel.
my problem is that i submitted my forms 10 weeks ago and i still havent received payment.
my ssw assures me she has completed the paperwork and sent them off but the man that deals with it at preston, andy, says he has not received anything and thye are most likely at panel??
the thing is it shoudltn be taking 10 weeks should it?
im wondering whether to refuse travelling until they cough up.
to date they owe me 4 months worth of expenses.
am i being taken for a mug?
is anyone else having this trouble?

mumsiepie Thu 09-Jun-11 21:49:08

Seems madness to put expense forms before a panel???? Surely it is easy enough for sw's to check if you have done the journeys you have said! My social worker just needs to sign my forms and I get the money immediately. Petrol is so expensive. I don't think you should be so long out of pocket.
You shouldn't have to threaten them but maybe be assertive!! Do you see any other foster carers in east lancs?

damsonjammy Fri 10-Jun-11 16:39:50

yep its not just us, several other carers have had the same issue.
one lady has been waiting 3 months for expenses and has informed them that she cannot take the child to contact now until they start paying her.
i dont want to do that but its getting beyond a joke now.

mumsiepie Fri 10-Jun-11 22:30:42

It is unbelievable! No wonder they were advertising for over a hundred new foster carers before Christmas!! I noticed on their web site the allowance is really low, too, so they do have a bit of a cheek! I wonder if the sw's have to wait that long fopr their expenses! Did you keep a record of the expenses you submitted but has been lost?

scarlet5tyger Sun 12-Jun-11 19:59:40

My LA don't pay travel allowances at all for contact visits! It costs me £30 per week as I have two children in place.

mumsiepie Sun 12-Jun-11 22:34:35

I'm just realising how lucky I am!

Scarlet, do you get a better allowance because of this? I am doing so much driving at the moment I would be broke if I didn't get it back.

scarlet5tyger Mon 13-Jun-11 11:20:35

My support worker told me that our LA pays one of the lowest allowances in the country (£200 per week). I survive by claiming benefits and having no treats!! On the plus side, I've discovered how great the Sun's £9.50 holidays are!

As for the "crying out for foster carers" line, I'm beginning to wonder if it's true. I have a friend who's applied to our two neighbouring LA's as they pay better but has been turned down by both - she wants to do 0-5 and they told her straight out that they've more than enough carers for that age.

mumsiepie Mon 13-Jun-11 20:59:07

That's tough Scarlet. It should be the same all over I think, don't you? (well not low all over obviously!) I can't belive it is so low and you have to pay for mileage too.

I think the crying out for foster carers mean they want to always have a surplus so they are never without. What ages do you take?

Machakos Mon 13-Jun-11 22:48:44

£200 a week sounds good. We get just under £150 a week for a child aged 5-11, slightly less than that for a child under 5, and slightly more for a child aged 11 or over. No additional fee. We do get travel expenses though.

mumsiepie Tue 14-Jun-11 12:43:43

Machakos!! Is that counting the allowance for child as well? Please tell me it is.

scarlet5tyger Tue 14-Jun-11 19:35:05

£150 per week is shocking, but not unheard of. I know someone who fosters for about £100 per week, but she does get everything she needs paid for on top - ie clothes, nappies, milk, petrol as well as a new cot, pram etc for each child. That probably works out a better deal than the money I get!

Mumsiepie, I foster mainly drug addicted babies but am outside my approval at the moment with a 2 year old, plus baby. I heard recently that all new carers are being automatically approved for 0-18 to make it easier for children to be placed. Ridiculous! There's no way I could take an older child as I don't have the skills. Likewise, I doubt someone who's used to working with teens would want a screaming newborn.

mumsiepie Tue 14-Jun-11 22:34:23

It is ridiculous to approve everyone for 0-18. Imagine the pressure some people would find themselves under to take someone who wasn't appropriate for them or their families. Although having said that I have been, and so have others I know, acting outwith my registration many times.

Well done for caring for drug addicted babies. I have never done that and know how exhausting it can be from seeing others. What a rewarding thing though when they come through the other side. xx

scarlet5tyger Fri 17-Jun-11 16:20:34

Thank you. I've got one at "the other side" (or as near as they get!) now and it's a joy to look after him now. There was a point when I didn't think we'd ever get here with this one though! I always admire carers who take in teens - give me sleepless nights and dirty nappies any day!

fostermumtomany Mon 27-Jun-11 00:51:44

our la now pays 108 per week and we have to provide everything out of that except travel expenses. im also with lancs la and the allowance is shockingly low.
it was until recently 75 a week.
so yes 108 per week is our lot. (i care 0-2 withdrawal babies) we do (occasionally) receive an intial clothing allowance but that is at the childs social workers discretion so usually we get told no or they will give us £50. which is laughable as the paperwork we got recently states that initial clothing allowance currently stands at £409 per child aged 0-4.
im still using the cot i got for my first placement.
we were also told last week that from now on if we need any new equipment we will have to provide it ourselves. so i recently had to buy a buggy and a travel cot, plus bottles, and as our little one is starting to walk (but has a slight mobility issue) we have to buy special shoes for her at £60 a pop!
that has to come out of the allowance too.
every week we end up out of pocket.

mumsiepie Mon 27-Jun-11 12:02:21

Can't imagine they have many satisfied carers! Would you ever consider moving to another LA? Shame on East Lancs! I used to live there before I fostered....so glad I am where I am. I am in Scotland and my LA is more or less the same as several other neighbouring LA's. It is well over double what you are getting.

I know they don't want carers to foster for the money but still! This must be the same for all the caring professions but you don't see nurses etc working for nothing! They should trust their judgements and weed out carers who are in it to make a packet at the child's expense.

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