Grandparents As Parents

Campaigning for the rights of Grandparent carers and all Kinship carers in the U.K.

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WELCOME! This website belongs to all Grandparent and Kinship Carers: We are first and foremost an independent campaigning group fighting for the rights of all grandparent and Kinship carers within the U.K. If you want to join the forum : email grandparentsasparents@hotmail.com DONT FORGET WE ARE NOW ON FACEBOOK!!! at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Grandparents-as-Parents/353979264687

#1 2006-02-07 12:35:24

sue
member

Foster allowance con

can anyone help i am looking after my 3/4 yr old grandson he was in foster care after a while the ss told me to apply for a residence order which we did  i then went to a gap group and was told that because my grandson was in care prior to me i could claim foster carer allowance of 120- 140 per week  I was delighted as I really need the money   but I was then told by the SS that i couldnt claim it as i had a residence order I work part time and dont know if there are any other benefits I am entitled to I feel as though i have been misled by the SS
can any one help !!!

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#2 2006-02-07 13:49:40

warilla1
member

Re: Foster allowance con

once you have taken out a residence order the s/s do not have to pay you, but if the child was in care prior to the residence order the s/s should pay an allowance. Write to the Director of Social Services in writing and keep a copy complaining that you were being misled.

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#3 2006-02-08 08:04:23

mtg_evg
Member

Re: Foster allowance con

Social Services have the choice as to whether to pay residence order allowance and it can be very small.  As you said it depends on whether the child is classed as being 'In Care' and what type of 'Care'.  If the child was what they class as 'Accommodated' and not with a Full Care Order (this requires an order of court) then the local authority can pay you nothing because they can claim that it was more of a private arrangement.  With a Full Care Order kinship carers have to be assessed as foster carers or take on a Residence Order.

What I am researching is Special Guardianship Orders brought into effect last December but there is a very grey area regarding financial assistance.  Financial assistance seems more available with Residency than with Special Guardianship.
 
As grandparent carers in retirement we think that it is the right of grandparents who take on the care of their grandchildren to receive an non means tested allowance.  We love our grandchildren and have given up much to care for them but as we did not plan on having another family we should not be made to pay for them.

It should also be remembered that some of us take on the care of very emotionally damaged grandchildren displaying extreme behaviour problems and Social Services don't want to recognise this.

Last edited by mtg_evg (2006-02-08 14:17:29)

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#4 2006-02-08 10:09:51

aydee
Member

Re: Foster allowance con

Hi sue

have you claimed for child benefit and child tax credit/ working tax credit.?
we didnt think we would get any of these, but we applied and were suprised when we got child tax credit. Its not much but it helps. so its worth looking into.

Last edited by aydee (2006-02-08 10:11:45)

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#5 2006-02-08 19:08:59

sue
member

Re: Foster allowance con

Thanks for the replies just to put you a bit more in the picture
We hadnt seen my daughter for a long while
My grandon had been in care (unknown to us) and was with foster parents but as he was hyperactive they couldnt handle him so the SS  brought him to me and my husband as they couldnt find my daughter we were assessed  by the SS before he was brought to us but were given no foster allowances I thought that the assessment was just to see if we could cope and that the house was suitable
At no time was foster carers allowance mentioned  and we in our ignorance never asked about it
eventually we got child banefit and working tax credit but then the strain was to much for my husband he became ill and has been off work 6 mths
My daughter stared visiting not often but the SS worker told us to get a residence order  which they did really quickly now we have found out that because he was with foster carers they should have given us foster allowance but now its to late I have wrote to the director of social services as suggested by the above but still no reply what shall I do next????? any ideas

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#6 2006-08-13 23:09:29

mtg_evg
Member

Re: Foster allowance con

Hi.  I also wish that more grandparents who looked after their grandchildren full time would use this board.  It can be quite lonely being a grandparent carer when most of your friends lead very different lives.  It is only really grandparents in the same situation who can really appreciate what it is like for people like us.  We love our grandchildren but the situation and involvement with SS can bring with it many other problems that no-one else can appreciate.  There are our own children whom we brought up and loved and cared for who very often turn against us because we have been given the responsibility of bringing up their children.
Surely other grandparents in the same situation must feel the same and need the support that we can give one another?

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#7 2006-11-02 20:41:16

maryann
member

Re: Foster allowance con

Hi I am new to this site although i have come accross it in the past. I get really angry when i hear how ss appears to have misled so many of us by suggesting we get a residence order (and in my case then denying it) so that leaves us with no fight for foster care allowance. We should somehow campagn against this. I have on occassions heard that government  sometimes mention how grandparents should get foster care allowance when they care for their grandchildren. i am not sure that any residence order holders would be included in that. We are in the same position but at a most vulnerable time were told that to get a RO would be the best thing to do. This leaves us with little weight when it comes to trying to get a childs needs paid for. I have had my grandson live with me for the past 5 years. e is now 6. I dont want to make money out of him but feel ss should pay for his needs without having to go cap in hand. I have been so let down by ss over the past 5 years. We give up a lot to look after our grandchildren. I am not meaniong to sound unloving  or reswentful as I give him all the love and fun I can. However peoples careers go, and life as a single parent is not fun. I am restricted to what hours I work and as we all know any extra money you earn is taken back by having less working tax etc. MOving house is not possible as childcare costs are taken into consideration but not childcare tax benefit. I feel we are punished for wanting to earn more.  Anyway for the next oooh ten minutes i will get off my soap box.  What do you thinhk? We are still young!

Maryann

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#8 2006-11-02 20:47:10

Bonnie
Guest

Re: Foster allowance con

We all agree with you, the burden of finances while so called parents get what they want, have kids, want no resposability, but take us to court when they spit their dummies out!
Bonnie xx
P.s jump on your soap box whenever you want to, thats what we are here for, to listen and support each other xx

 

#9 2006-11-02 22:22:11

NanaRose
Super Member

Re: Foster allowance con

maryann,

"I have had my grandson live with me for the past 5 years. He is now 6. I dont want to make money out of him but feel ss should pay for his needs without having to go cap in hand. I have been so let down by ss over the past 5 years. We give up a lot to look after our grandchildren. I am not meaning to sound unloving or resentful as I give him all the love and fun I can."

Don't worry about sounding unloving or resentful.  Of course you love your grandson.  The GAP is for sharing and supporting but it is also for venting.  You vent all you want.  It's good to get stuff off your chest, and this is the place to do it.  Then you can deal with the 'people in charge' with a cool, clear attitude.  We are here and we are listening.  Okay?

Last edited by NanaRose (2006-11-02 22:28:06)


Just when we thought it was time to relax...  Our kids started having kids!

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#10 2006-11-09 14:23:20

maryann
member

Re: Foster allowance con

Thankyou for all your comments and support. Am sorry I havent popped in lately. Am supposed tobe doing CAB training but havent done as much as i should.
I am on MSN by the way. So sorry you had to cancel your wedding Bonnie. Why? I think we deserve all the happiness we can have. Our grandchildren and children are important but we mustnt forget that so are we. For a while you can lose sight of that when you blame yourself for things -  and I am sure there are elements that we may have contributed to, however they made their life choices.  Am appealing against some of the decisions made from a recent (but very stretched) complaint against social services..... Will only appeal against the real important parts as some of it wont make any difference further down thew line whatever the decisionh. I  just dont understand why we cant have proper funding for our grandchildren. If we did then maybe I could have some regular babysitters and be able to pau them.  Am claiming benefit for the first time in my life and realise that residence money is included in your income....... Am i getting boring now??
Have just had to give notice to my childminder too. i hope I can adapt to fetching him from school. Not sure if I am as patient as I was, but I do try to be.

Speak again soon

Maryann x x

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#11 2006-11-09 18:56:44

mtg_evg
Member

Re: Foster allowance con

Just thought that I would let everyone know that although I don't post very often I regularly visit this site and it is good that it is picking up.

I too feel that it is very wrong when SS encourage grandparents to take out ROs and then refuse to help them financially.  They tried this with me but I chose to go down the fostering route.  Now I want to go for SGOs having had my grandchildren for six years.

We are not in it for the money but because we love our grandchildren.  However, children needs are expensive and they should not have to suffer.

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#12 2006-11-09 20:47:58

maryann
member

Re: Foster allowance con

I thihnk there a lot of angry grandparents out there who were lured and encouraged by ss to get a RO. I had no idea that there was an alternative. i do think that the law should look at this and not just accept that all grandparents who have a RO did so of their own sensible decision. Not sure that I was that level headed at the time. However i feel that even grandparents who have a RO for the safety of their grandchildren should still be entitled to Foster care alowance. Something should be done......
Anyway I expect most of them are all nice and snug in bed now.... Oh, that may be only the younger ones. It is lovely to know that he goes to bed now and that is peace til the morning, compared with when he first came and would suddenly scream for no apparent reason.  Bless! We can only do what we can do....  And as for tiddlywinks tonight at bedtime....... I got slaughtered!!!
Maryann
xx

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#13 2006-11-09 23:31:49

mtg_evg
Member

Re: Foster allowance con

So you got slaughtered at Tiddlywinks!

I couldn't agree more that all grandparent carers should get financial help.  We didn't want to be foster carers and actually have had a great deal of bullying from Social Services.  Hence the wish to go for an SGO but trying to secure the finance with an SGO is a nightmare and to try to get it promised for the duration of the order is another problem. We are not in it for the money but in our sixties with one of us retired the children would suffer if we didn't fight for an allowance.  The teens can be a very expensive time.

We love our grandchildren and I don't know how I would have lived with myself if we had not taken them in.  When one is blackmailed by SS when they say 'If you don't have them they will be adopted' it is very hard to keep one's head.  I remember going through hell at the time.

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#14 2006-11-29 11:19:45

linda
Administrator

Re: Foster allowance con

Re:sue
New member
Registered: 2006-02-07 
Sue came to our office in February and we helped here in every way we could  She now lives quite close to the office and we have supported her in every way we could
she called in today to thank us all for finding her a solicitor who took on her case free of charge and finding her rented accomodation plus furniture and clothing for her grandson Sue has no computer at the moment (We are trying to get her one) so she is using the office computer to post a message

Hi everyone this is Sue:
I would  like to thank all the grandparents who gave me help and advice many thanks to everyone here at the church for all their support since february
I want you all to know that I am now managing although because of all the trouble my husband has had several small strokes I hope to be back on line before Christmas then I can bring you all up to date thanks for your support Suexxxxxxxxxxx

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#15 2006-12-01 22:38:30

mtg_evg
Member

Re: Foster allowance con

Hi Sue

I am really pleased that you are now managing.  We know what it is like to have a lot of worry and our health has deteriorated due to stress.  I do hope and pray that now things are better for you that your husband can regain his full strength after his strokes.

Look forward to hearing from you when you are back on line.  It is a pity that you did not live in the Midlands because I am sure that our grownup son could have fixed you up with a computer that would have enabled you to go online. However, it looks as though you are being well looked after up there.

Eileen

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#16 2006-12-01 22:48:31

linda
Administrator

Re: Foster allowance con

Dear eileen Re: Sue our church have now found her a computor and we are installing it on Monday the 4th December so she should be back on line next week x x x

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#17 2007-01-26 09:56:02

maryann
member

Re: Foster allowance con

Hello all. Well anyone out ther. I am back for now. Grandmaj. I think you are absolutely right not to agree toa take on any order. I had my appeal meeting with SS this week. Not sure if anything will change but did ask for a few policy changes. haha We know that isnt likely. What I did find interesting though is  (and this became quite a discussion with a very red faced and flustered childrens and families manager) I explained how carers needs are never considered. He said that they do not have services for this!! I am not going to bore you of what I mean with that as most of you will have been there. sleepless nights, maybe scared if you child will be found dead somewhere from overdose or murder, and having other children to consider.  Not sure that most of us are that stable at the time we agre to look after our grandchildren. Well I argued that how can SS snot  have aresponsibility to carers when they say that the interest of the child comes first?? I kept at it asking him how he balances that out. A cerer who may not be well looking after what could be a very vulnerable child. I argued that they kept children with families regardless of how people felt or were emotionally. I mentioned how i had at one time told a social worker that  I  had been horrible to my grandson recently and he looked at me as if he hadnt heard. Anyway i will get a response next week if you are interested. They strongly deny encouraging me to obtain a RO.... Anyway my grandson is really happy, loved and an amazing little boy now. I am stiill angry with social services abut am doing my best and like the rest of you I love him so much. It is hard being a single parent again as you rarely go out. There were many facets to my meeting but I thought I would share this one with you. I am considering tryin to lobby government to change the amount of RO but am not sure there are enough of us on here to get the numbers of unhappy grandparents.

bye for now

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#18 2007-10-17 23:53:48

NannieJane
member

Re: Foster allowance con

Hi
I stumbled on this website after surfing around trying to find some help. I am a grandmother of 9 and 4 of these have been in the clutches of the dreaded social services for 7 years. They came to us back in 2000 and remained for 3 years until they were allowed to return to their mother. (Our daughter seems drawn to violent partners and the children have and are suffering emotionally as a result).
They've never actually been in foster care because my husband and I stepped in straight away. There has been experience within the wider family of nephews and a niece who were given up by their mother and ended up in foster care and were abused both physically and sexually by those people who they were entrusted to...so foster care with strangers is NOT an option for 4 of the 9 apples in our family basket.
My point is that you should fight for fostering allowance. Get yourself a good solicitor. You are entitled to fostering allowance and if you have been vetted you should be paid. They won't automatically offer financial assistance and will drag their heels.
After 7 years experience of dealing with Social Services my husband and I know you have to keep badgering them for the basic maintenance payment, the payment for skills element and petrol allowance.
I know this sounds mercenary as they are our own flesh and blood BUT take into account you might feel it necessary to give up your job to care for your grandchildren, you certainly give up your life to care for them. We don't have to do this for them but we do AND it's a full time job. We've brought our own children up, we've done our bit and then something unfortunate happens. Sometimes it's through our child's own fault and sometimes not. Children don't ask to come into this world...that's the parents decision and therefore our duty to care for them until they fledge the nest.
Our natural reaction is to take them on..it's a natural instinct. My own grandmother used to say it's a poor hen that can't scratch for her own chicks. I really don't want to have 4 children ranging from 12 years old down to 6 years old under my feet at my age. This should be a time for my husband and I to relax and enjoy life. Sleep late if we want to, go out on a whim, take off on holiday when we think we will if finances allow. It's damn hard work dragging children from their beds five mornings a week, rallying them round to get washed, fed and dressed for school and then facing the onslaught of the the school run... BUT...  do I want to be awake at nights worrying that they're safe and being cared for properly...the answer to that is a simple No. There are some very dedicated bona fide foster carers out there but it's also a sad fact that there are the "other kind" too. Do we risk our babies babies out there..I know that I can't...and this is where we grandparents get taken for granted.
Yes if you take an RO then the SS stop payments and Yes you have to fight to prise open social services purse for a fostering allowance.
I apologise if I offend but I do feel very strongly that we must protect our grandkids as best we can.
So far I've only skimmed the surface of the messages here but it is quietly reassuring that hubby and I are not alone. The system lets these kids and other less fortunate ones without grandparents down badly for want of stronger words.
I have so far written two letters of complaint. I am about to send a third, this time to the SOCIAL SERVICES OMBUDSMAN. I ALWAYS copy letters to my solicitor AND the CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF SOCIAL SERVICES. This way the lower ranking staff who you actually have the futile task of dealing with knows that someone higher up their department ladder knows what's going on.

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#19 2010-05-11 23:57:49

miranda
member

Re: Foster allowance con

Oooh The Frustration!!! Grrr!!!

Hi Everyone, I'm so pleased I've found you and thanks to Linda for running this fab forum.
I really, really need to let off some steam so please bear with me.

I'm 50, still have two out of five of my daughters at home, aged 15 and 10 and since August have had 2 of my 6 grandchildren living with me under child protection aged 2 and 4. It looks as though they will be with me for the forseeable future and
to reduce the risk of constant trips to court I've been advised to go for special guardianship.

Like many of you here, I did not ask for this situation but I couldn't live with myself if they ended up in the system because we love them to bits.

As you can imagine, it's caused havoc in the house because as a single parent myself, with 2 little ones here, I can't just jump into the car and do what I used to with my own kids, which they strongly resent! Evenings are a particular problem, especially for out of school activities, most of which finish too late for the little ones' bedtimes. It's so stressful!

Anyway that's not my main moan... lol

Before this happened, I was self employed, worked a lot of hours for not a lot, but
we managed.
My daughter, their mother, and her partner decided to claim tax credits for the kids
which I was in receipt of, so they took it off my wftc. It's gone to appeal but in the
meantime, I couldn't claim childcare to allow me to work.

Consequently, I have had to give up work and claim income support this week.
I am gutted!
I have discovered that not only are we discriminated against as grandparent carers in the foster carer stakes, we are also  discriminated against in the social security system!
I own my own home with a mortgage, which has always been paid and is up to date.
The mortgage is 384 pounds (can't use the pound sign because there isn't one on the keyboard! lol)

Now can anyone tell me why, for that amount, I have to go to the building society
cap in hand and grovel for clemency?
Someone in the same situation, with 4 kids in rented accommodation would get
their rent paid automatically and I know that in our area, rents of 500 and more are being paid and thats just with 3 kids!

Even though I've been told that they will probably pay the interest on the mortgage,
that will still leave me with about 70 quid a week to pay out of the money that people in rented housing could use on their family.

Is life not flaming hard enough without all of this to deal with as well???

Has it paid me to be motivated and get off my backside ,find work and this-is-a-scam us a
house, meagre though it might be? Has it hell!!

If I rented my house out to someone on income support, the rent would get paid,
therefore my mortgage would get paid plus I'd make a profit.
Yet, I take on the care of my gorgeous grandchildren out of love and a deep sense
of responsibilty and what happens? Our lives go into a downward spiral!!
No matter that I'm saving the system 600 quid per week per child - that's still not a
good enough reason for the system to keep the roof over our heads while I can't work to look after them!!!

It is just causing more stress for me than I've already got.

Why is there no safety net for people in our situation? Why does no one seem to
care or do anything to help us?
Honestly, I feel so frustrated I could go and find a field in the middle of nowhere and scream my head off!!!

Thank you for listening

Maria
xxxx

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#20 2010-05-12 16:47:49

miranda
member

Re: Foster allowance con

Hi again. Here's an update, contacted the building society today, cap in hand and was told they can't do anything unless I'm in arrears but they couldn't tell me what
that help would be. They told me that they can't  change the mortgage to interest
only even though the interest would be paid.
Double Grrrr!!!

Maria
xxx

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#21 2010-05-13 16:32:14

linda
Administrator

Re: Foster allowance con

Hi Maria dont forget if you need legal advice you can contact nigel priestley Ridley & hall senior solicitor: as sometimes he can get things sorted out or you can ask him a question either here or on our facebook    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Grandpare … 687?v=wall


or  contact Nigel Priestley on 01484 538421 or 07885 430085 or email: nigel.priestley@ridleyandhall.co.uk


hope this helps best wishes Linda x

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