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Friends nephew in Kinship caring.

(3 Posts)
Rubyx Tue 13-Sep-11 13:20:41

I'm posting this on behalf of my friend. Her nephew ( sisters son ) who is fifteen, has reported his parents to the social services due to physical violence from mum and dad. Social Services asked his nan if she could take him in.
My friend wants to know if her mum ( his nan) should be getting any financial assistance from Social Services. She is 66 and working part time, still has a mortgage as her husband died and left her in financial difficulties. My friend lives with her mum but has a baby so can't afford to bring up her nephew as well. He was given no clothes. Social Services seem to have dropped him there and aren't too bothered, they said he can go home. From what i know the dad beats him, regularly, now the mum has started too, over stuff like he doesn't want to go out with them, or was wearing a cap indoors, silly stuff teenagers do but don't deserve beating over. I have met him and he seems like a good enough kid, doesn't smoke, drink, go out til late.

So i looked up kinship carers payments but this appears to be quite hard to get so wanted your advice.

Thanks

BusterTheDonk Tue 13-Sep-11 13:51:10

I'm no expert at all, but my SSW mainly deals with Kinship Carers and she has told me in the past that they don't normally get an allowance although she has fought in the past for some of her carers (don't know the individual circumstances) and they have been granted an allowance.

Sadly, at 15 I doubt SS will be that helpful.

If she works part time wouldn't she now be eligible for WTC if she is looking after him? (16hrs minimum work, although even Kinship caring may be classed like fostering as en 'eligible job').. just a thought..

Hopefully someone else with bags more experience will be along soon smile - good luck.

NanaNina Tue 13-Sep-11 21:19:11

The problem here is that it all depends on exactly what basis the boy has been placed with relatives. Social Services have a liking for these kind of placements which they call "Family Care" which doesn't really exist in law. Needless to say they do not pay allowances as it is a family arrangement. They can however pay out of S.17 budget for children in need.

Social services should have assessed whether this boy needs to be removed from his parents, and if so would they need the consent of the parents, and if that was not forthcoming and they believed that he was at risk of significant harm. They appear to have decided on the one hand that he should be removed, hence asking if nan could have him. On the other hand they say he can go home, seemingly to be further ill treated.

My guess is that they are waiting for him to be 16, when they won't really have any responsibility for him. In law children are minors until they are 18 but in social services I'm afraid they see it as 16. Their only duty then would be to "advise and assist" him and this can mean giving him addresses of hostels or lodging houses, private rents etc. If he is homeless they should provide the deposit for private rents and the first months rent, which is required by the landlords. From thereon he would have to claim Housing Benefit to get help with the rent. Connexions is a good place for young people to get advice and support but this damn govt is closing them all down, slashing all public service budgets, leaving children and vulnerable young people at serious risk of harm.

I can only suggest that your friend's nan contacts the social services and ask for payment for caring for the boy. If they refuse, ask them for a copy of their complaints procedure (this usually tells them that you mean business) and follow it through. The other way is to complain to your local MP - who will pass your complaint through to the chair of the Social Services Committee, who in turn passes it through to the Director and it eventually gets passed down to the relevant team manager. I can tell you from experience that when this happens, team managers jump, because the director is asking for an immediate response, because he/she has to get back to the Chair of the Social Servies Committee (who are really the employers of the Social Services Dept.

It would look good on the front of the local paper wouldn't it "OAP asked to care for 15 year old boy and Social Services won't pay her a penny"

It depends how far you want to push it and how close this boy is to 16. The one problem is that SSD have said the boy can go home, so it could look like your friend's nan is choosing to care for him.

Kinship carers have to be approved as foster carers for their relative and then they are paid a mandatory allowance for day to day expenses (rates vary between LAs) but kinship carers don't often get paid a fee, which is payable to carers looking after non relatives. There is no way the LA are going to assess your friend's nan to be approved as a carer, given that the boy is 15 and more importantly because they are saying he can go home.

They can't have it both ways can they 1) Will his nan have him
2) He can go home???

I'd want their response to this contradiction.

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