BBC Home
Explore the BBC
weekdays at 7pm on BBC One
BBC One
Consumer

Need to shed some light on a tricky issue? Get tips from experts and while you’re there add your own expertise to the subjects we love to tackle on the One Show.

Kinship carers: Useful information

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flashinstalled. Visit BBC Webwisefor full instructions

There are an estimated 200,000 - 300,000 children living with relatives or friends (also known as 'kinship carers') because their parents cannot raise them.

The addition of children to a household can mean that bills grow, space reduces and workload increases. There is financial help available for kinship carers, but the amounts carers will receive does depend on how their relationship with the children is defined in law.

For The One Show, Anita Rani met carers who told her of their experiences of 'residence orders' (they determine with whom the child should live) - and that they believe the process of securing adequate funding for their children should be made easier.

 

"Get proper advice..."

 

Anita also met Nigel Priestley, a solicitor who represents kinship carers. He recommends that new carers should seek independent advice before finalising their care arrangement with the local authorities.

He said of residence orders:

"Kinship carers should, at the very least, be receiving in terms of payments the same as a foster carer. That's the theory. In practice, it doesn't always happen. Very often local authorities encourage carers to apply for a residence order which may be inappropriate. So get proper advice before you go down that route, because once you've gone down that route sadly there's not much going back."

 

More information - useful links

 

Family Rights Group.

Family Rights Group - factsheet.

The Fostering Network

British Association for Adoption and Fostering.

 

Are you a kinship carer? Share your experiences.

Comments

  • 1. At 7:16pm on 17 Mar 2009, Jean - jhmelea wrote:

    This dosen't surprise me at all as a disabled birth parent who was told (off the record by the social worker) it was cheaper to have my daughter adopted than to provide a live in carer to aid me to parent her alone.

    Complain about this comment

  • 2. At 7:44pm on 17 Mar 2009, KerBerRobFamily wrote:

    Hi Folks,

    I have been looking after a child for 10 years , 7 of those 10 years were unpaid, We are in SCOTLAND I must add.

    A few years back we were granted carers allowance of £72 per fortnight which has just very recently changed to Kinship Carers allowance.

    We have been told numerous times by Childrens Hearings Panel Members Social Workers and the like to get a residency order in place and to take the stigma of being under supervision away from the child.

    Last month we found a Family Lawyer who took our case on stating " You have to find out for sure that your Kinship Allowance will not be affected" He then went on to say He doesn't know the legal aspect of the residency order and it is something to consider.

    I contacted Social Worker to be told it SHOULDN'T affect the Kinship Allowance and that we would hear back from her as soon as she knows.

    1 week has passed and we haven't heard anything and the lawyer has started the ball rolling with our case,I am worried.

    I must add that this isnt the first time we have STARTED the ball rolling for a residency order and had to stop it due to lack of support and information from Social Work.

    If I do not have it confirmed soon I will be asking yet again that this new lawyer stops the case and doesn't go ahead.

    I feel very confused as does the child none of us know whether we are coming or going.

    Having the child was never about money but since having children of my own and realising that this is my duty to the child I feel I need finacial support to be able to continue it and I need that finacial support in black and white documented and verified with no going back.

    Anyone from Scotland have any advice ?

    Much Apprieciated.

    Complain about this comment

  • 3. At 8:11pm on 17 Mar 2009, KerBerRobFamily wrote:

    Ooops forgot to add Kerry Scotland for above comment

    Complain about this comment

  • 4. At 8:27pm on 17 Mar 2009, elainebower wrote:

    Hi to Kerry Scotland

    As far as I am aware when a residency order has been made it is up to the individual Local Authoritie's discretion as to whether they pay a 'residence' allowance and I am sure it is not a legal requirement. I know that this has been the case in other Local Authorities and the residence allowance has been the same amount as the full fostering allowance.

    I think you are right it's not about the money, it's about what's in the best interests of the child, and if that is to take the child off a supervision requirement and make their childhood as 'normal' and unstigmatised as possible for them, then surely the placing Local Authority can contribute financially to achieve the best outcomes for the child. How much would it cost the LA in the long run if this child was put into 'foster' or residential care and what would be the LONG TERM COSTS to the child?

    regards
    Elaine

    Complain about this comment

  • 5. At 8:45pm on 17 Mar 2009, heavyraisin wrote:

    We've been kinship carers for the past 3 years to our nephew. We were told we could not foster as we are blood related. We chose a residence order as no-one else had parental responsibility (his mum had just died & don't know who dad is) and we needed to know his future was secure. Were initially told this would cost us £175. I argued that by securing PR through a residence order, we were saving the local authorities thousands in foster care & they eventually paid the court fee. We pursued financial assistance and after about a year of receiving £30 per week, we were awarded a residence order allowance of £80 per week. This has recently been reduced to £42 per week as our income from work has increased. Not in it for the money but how is what we do any different from foster caring?? It's not, we're just a cheap option for the authorities and avoid adding to their already pressured workloads. We have 2 of our own children - they lose out in a lot of ways - my time, having to share a bedroom now, less money as one extra mouth to feed, clothe, provide holidays, presents, etc, etc, etc. But then they gain from having a brother....I feel that foster care allowances are excessive - it does not cost that amount to raise a child but on the other hand, kinship care should be supported far more than it is. Reduce foster care allowances and increase kinship care allowances for everyone. Or is that too simple?

    Complain about this comment

  • 6. At 9:24pm on 17 Mar 2009, mrsmuddles wrote:

    Hi everyone, I have been a kinship carer and am now a Special Guardian for 3 years to my two grandchildren. In response to elainebower, when you apply for a residence order you are classed as a foster carer for a very short time and as such you should get the same allowance as a foster carer, once the residence order is granted your local authority can, and usually does review this payment and invariably it either reduces it or stops it altogether, this is why social services actively encourage people to take out residence orders and they usually deal with them fairly quickly. I don't know if anyone knows but Special Guardian order enables the services to pay an allowance, it is means tested but it is also negotiable. Also if the services have asked you to become a kinship carer, special guardian or apply for residence order they are obliged to pay for your legal representation, they have access to solicitors that are experts in this field, they just don't let you know about it.
    I am not sure how the law works in Scotland but in England Social Services have to provide a breakdown of financial help and support before you can go ahead with any of the above orders, this is so you can get a fair idea of what to expect. As you state that your allowance has already been changed to Kinship do you get the 3 extra payments a year (Summer, Birthday and Christmas) if you do, these will invariably stop when a residence order is given, other than that the money should stay the same as they have reclassified it as kinship allowance, if you don't get the extra payments then you are most certainly safe on the money side, if you do go ahead with the order make sure you have a good support package in place especially a named key worker who you can talk to and get advice or respite care from.

    I totally agree that none of us are in it for the money, my children are grown up and have left home so this was certainly not part of the "plan" but we are saving the government and local authority masses of money. I am lucky as our social services have been upfront and honest from the beginning just not to forthcoming in the support department, but I know that we are in the minority as most local authorities just want to save as much cash as possible.

    whatever life throws at us, just remember a smile and a hug are the best rewards, OK so they don't feed and clothe a child but they are great all the same.

    Complain about this comment

  • 7. At 9:27pm on 17 Mar 2009, sensibleTilly1 wrote:

    Forgive me if I am wrong but I thought it was the remit of social services to "promote" the welfare of "Children in need" within their borough.
    They hide behind thier self perpetuating "Stigma" excuse. (People dont't want social services snooping about or they will be viewed with suspicion). Even the Queen had a drugs problem within her family. Get over it!!!!! Social services always hide behind that one. Will someone please tell them. They are now supposed to be transparent.......
    I wonder if I did the right thing. If my granchildren had remained in care they would have had access to one to one tuition. Even if they didn't fall behind . (to help them excel!) I cannot afford that on residence order allowance. It's wrong!

    Complain about this comment

  • 8. At 9:28pm on 17 Mar 2009, elainebower wrote:

    Hi heavyraisin

    I think the long term aim is not to penalise 'looked after children' by reducing the existing foster care allowances but to standardise all payments across the board to kinship carers and foster carers.

    This is a definite aim of the Scottish Executive and rightly so, i believe.

    Statistics show us that 'looked after children' already have poorer outcomes in life in terms if academic achievement, employment, health & mental health issues, housing ,offending, and substance misuse.

    The answer is to improve outcomes for all children and young people looked after by foster carers and kinship carers.

    This means recognising the valued contribution that ALL carers play in caring for (often damaged,vulnerable and disrupted) children, and help them to achieve their full potential. This deserves to be fairly and financially recognised by thr goverment.

    Complain about this comment

  • 9. At 10:11pm on 17 Mar 2009, mrsmuddles wrote:

    Hi me again. sensibletilly1 you are quite right Social Services should be working in the best interest of the child, never doubt that you did the right thing, we are all special for doing what we do, we have always been the silent majority, has anyone seen anything about kinship caring until just recently, no, everything centres on fostering and carers for sick relatives (both worthwhile cases but so are we), if we do not speak out who will know our stories.
    you say you are worried about the children's schooling, one to one tuition is wonderful but it does not take the place of a cuddle or the invaluable history that you hold, granted when they are older, children in care can find out some things about their birth family should they chose to but you can teach them and show them as they grow. Also if they went into care you would have no rights to have any contact with them and family contact far outweighs anything.

    in answer to Elaine.. I kind of agree with heavyraisin but for different reasons, in my opinion foster carers usually have the same age group and therefore don't have the same financial outlay as kinships, most local authorities provide set up packages for new foster carers whereas kinships have to invariably provide everything themselves. Most of us have grown up children so don't have the luxury of re-using existing equipment,, I think a fairer way of dealing with this would be for new kinships to be given financial help with the equipment they need. our authority didn't help when my grandson came to live with us at 14 months but they did provide everything for my grandaughter who was 2 weeks old, we then passed the equipment back to social services when we had finished with it so that they could re-use it, they didn't ask us to we just felt that this was the right thing to do, maybe this could be the way to go with an equipment, toy and clothing bank for new kinships, this would ease quite a large financial burden on us to begin with but we do need to be in the same financial league as foster carers, after all we have the same financial outlay, it would be nice to have extra payments at christmas, birthday and summer when they are most needed. ranting over for now and off my high horse, sorry guys but I get really passionate about this subject and tend to get carried away.

    Complain about this comment

  • 10. At 00:00am on 18 Mar 2009, geordieangel2 wrote:

    post 1, jhmelea, I think its a disgrace you were spoken to in such a way, off the record or not, it's abominable to suggest you should give up your child, just because it is cheaper for the social, I sincerely hope you and your child are keeping well.

    Complain about this comment

  • 11. At 09:42am on 18 Mar 2009, politetinytina wrote:

    Hi all ...just want to tell my story ..though it's similar experiences to u all .....Im 34 i took on my sister s 4 children 10 years ago to prevent them from going into care . I had 3 kids of my own at the time and had another son within that year of taking on my sisters kids . 3 of my sisters kids have learning difficulties , one is adhd and has a heart condition that will need surgery later on !!! So in short i have 8 kids on my own and i love them all to bit's and i wouldnt change it for the world !!!!!
    However in saying that ...it hasnt ever been easy ..my case isnt the norm ..no 25 year old has responsibility of 8 kids but i was young and knew i was doing it for love ...and for those children .
    Ive never really had alot of support , i was encouraged at the time to go for a residentual order ...and if im honest i should of took the kids on under foster care ..as time has gone on the kids , all, have questioned and reacted to me having took on the kids ...we are a family but reality is it's a real stressful situation to have been in, and to be in ...the kids were all young 8 kids under 8 originally !!! and now an 18 yr old , 2 x15 yr olds ,2x 13yr olds , an 12yr old , an 11 yr old and an 8 yr old . Ive never been offered kinship allowances they came out after i took on the kids ..im on income support ...i cant work as i couldnt support us all ..and if i knew then what i know now i would of gone down the foster route , for support and so that i could work and build a life where my kids see me working maybe to buy a house etc !!!
    I know what a difficult situation i took on but i never wanted to change that no matter what ive been through !!! and i wont ....but i wish i had the support , and that the kids had the support they are entitled too .

    Complain about this comment

  • 12. At 09:47am on 18 Mar 2009, politetinytina wrote:

    My names Tina and im from Coventry. I'd like to know if there are any support groups for kinship carers run by kinship carers ?? although who has the spare time !!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 13. At 11:34am on 18 Mar 2009, mags1234 wrote:

    We were told by social services to take out a residence order,and when i asked them for half of the court costs they said no, and if we didnt want to pay it then they could always put the child with foster parents.
    So for the sakes of them paying £150 towards costs,they would rather fork out £170 a week to a foster parent. But No they know you are not going to let a child go into care.

    So is there no way of getting any help whatsoever once you have a residence order.?

    Complain about this comment

  • 14. At 12:51pm on 18 Mar 2009, MsSensible wrote:

    Once you have a residence order you may be able to apply for a residence order allowance. This depends on the Local Authority's policy. The first step is to request a copy of the policy and then see if you may be eligible for a residence allowance.

    As previously mentioned a residence allowance is subject to the Local Authority's discretion, so it depends on their policy how much you can receive.

    Complain about this comment

  • 15. At 1:10pm on 18 Mar 2009, politetinytina wrote:

    I think all knship carers should be entitled to the same support package ...not just financial but councilling and the kids miss out on support too as it's a difficult situation to be in and inevitably questions arise ...and at times social services need to be a support and a soundboard for all ...or otherwise we are left having to explain, resolve all the issues that sometimes social services have a major part in and an accountability !!!we may not all have took children on in the same ways but weve made major sacrifices for the overall good of these children etc but social services are keen to close the door when the opportunity arises .....sometimes they dont open it again when it needs opening !!!! case closed shouldnt be said at any time things can change over time , over life experiences and the support needs to be there......

    Complain about this comment

  • 16. At 1:18pm on 18 Mar 2009, ladyschamberlain wrote:

    This is a response for Tina in Coventry and any other kinship carers looking for support groups.
    I am a Kinship carer and have been for around 8 months now and have found great difficulties in finding support groups, help and advice from other Kinship carers locally. I literally live about 14 miles away from you!
    As a result of the lack of support i have taken it upon myself to set up my own support group for other Kinship carers as there appears to be no other. currently i am still working on my website and expect to have it launched by the end of April.
    I hope i can do my little bit to help other kinship carers that have been left isolated like me!

    Complain about this comment

  • 17. At 1:36pm on 18 Mar 2009, ladyschamberlain wrote:

    Allowances! umm lots of views on this!
    To be a kinship carer i had to go through the foster panel process , initially this was purely to offer respite for these children as my husband and i both work full time.
    Things changed drastically in the day of the court I now have full time kinship of 2 children with 24 hours notice.
    However we believe to be in receipt of a kinship carers allowance, not a foster carers allowance, when i asked why this was the case when we had to go through a fostering process, i was advised that because foster carers have to attend training courses and so on as part of their role where kinship carers dont! But what if i did go on all the courses, doesn't mean they will pay a fostering allowance!
    My husband and i work full time anyway and find these classes difficult to attend which as a result means we all lose out as we are not supported in dealing with challenging behaviours and we can't afford to give up work!

    Complain about this comment

  • 18. At 2:34pm on 18 Mar 2009, tracie170 wrote:

    I agree with all of the comments made..my niece had a child with whom she wasnt able to cope the baby was taken into care and looked after by a foster carer with a view to eventually reuniting them. It became apparent that this was not going to happen and social services needed to find a long ter m soloution.

    They asked me if I would be prepared to look after him, I of course said yes and became (obviously after a long process, deservedly so) his foster carer. I was being paid just over #100 p.w. After about 1 year it became clear that this situation was working for every one, and I was encouraged (quite alot) by social services to apply for a residency allowance, as a single parent of one already, I made sure I asked the questions about financial support, I was reapetedly told that it should roughly the same.

    How wrong that statement was, I now receive a residency allowance that is a little under half of what I had been receiving, and of course no help with extra money at all. I feel strongly that Social Services, on seeing on well we were coping were keen to get me "off their books". How come I have been penalised for coping well with the situation?? It makes no sense to me.

    I do agree I did not enter into this for financial gain, but all I ask for is the same recompense as a foster carer.

    Complain about this comment

  • 19. At 6:26pm on 18 Mar 2009, politetinytina wrote:

    Ladyschamberlain...i will be interested in supporting or even helping in what ever way i can with the support for kinship carers ...i currently volunteer for homestart as i cant work..as a family support worker , previously i volunteered for Nspcc.... i dont know what ican do but i have some spare time and will love to promote our plight ...

    I think as a group we have a story to tell and experiences to share !!! and even just a shoulder to cry on ..or soundboard for each other !!!!

    It's good to talk and realise that the experiences or hardship's we face are similar across the board ....

    Complain about this comment

  • 20. At 6:38pm on 18 Mar 2009, mrsmuddles wrote:

    hi everyone it's me again, in response to the question of support groups, I have been trying to get one started in Oxford for the past 2 years, the local authority were supposed to pass my details on to people who were starting out or who needed advice, to date I have heard nothing. They keep saying that it would be difficult as kinships don't want to join in, personally I think they are worried that we may start discussing who is paid what!! It is becoming apparent reading all the posts that each individual authority has different systems in place and I am feeling increasingly lucky to have dealt with Oxfordshire Social Services as they seem to be in the minority, we had our solicitors fees paid in full for both the residence orders and the special guardian orders, we have a fairly good payment level (although it took some strong negotiating by our solicitor to obtain it) the only thing they fall down on is regular support..
    I am also disgusted by some of the tactics used by the various authorities up and down the country, threatening to put kids in care etc.. if you don't comply with their requests, according to recent reports our situations are all too common these days and as such I think the government should sit down and address the problems and try to draw up a plan for all authorities to work with which would include proper payments, help with starting up (equipment etc) and regular help so we are not made to feel second class to foster carers, my key worker has always said "foster carers choose to foster as a vocation, kinship carers choose this path as a result of the loss of a loved one or because someone they love is having problems" we should not be financially penalised for doing the right thing ever!!! Maybe we should all get together and march on Downing Street and maybe then they will get the message, I think we have all been silent for too long, anyone interested!!

    Told you I tend to rant over this, if anyone is interested there is a fantastic support group on facebook, just type in Kinship carers,

    Complain about this comment

  • 21. At 6:58pm on 18 Mar 2009, mrsmuddles wrote:

    sorry guys me again, just as an excercise, if you could change the law and foster carers, kinship carers, special guardians and residence orders were all treated equal, what is the one thing you would like to see happen, not including payments of course as that one stands to reason and we all want the same thing there.

    Personally I would like to see a yearly conference which all kinship carers etc.. were invited to so that you could discuss any problems, (the carribean sounds the ideal place to me.......) and bounce ideas around, similar to the ones they have for the carers of the elderly or sick, over to you now...

    Complain about this comment

  • 22. At 7:05pm on 18 Mar 2009, politetinytina wrote:

    I will definately be interested !!! I think if we all stand up and be counted and find out what were entitled to. And tell all how our situations affect us and the children we care for .... i think it will make social services and government sit up and listen !!!! and in the end we'll be all the more stronger for it !!!

    Bring it on !!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 23. At 7:12pm on 18 Mar 2009, politetinytina wrote:

    Mrs Muddles ...I too would ideally want the support as in councilling, fun days and updates on changes and at least someone from social services checking in once in a while to see if all is ok ???

    As kinship carers ...we go through alot more than foster carers ( who do a brilliant job ) because were normally family or close to those we care for and i could no more give up on my nieces and nephews , than i could give up on my own children !!! i know from my point of view my whole family has gone through alot !!! but i couldnt and wouldnt give up !!! and thats purely because it's my family !!!!!

    Im going to look on facebook ...and im on facebook myself so hopefully meet u all there x

    Complain about this comment

  • 24. At 7:46pm on 18 Mar 2009, mrsmuddles wrote:

    right then everyone, instead of sitting down and taking all the proverbial they throw at us, lets get this started, if any of the BBC moderators are reading these posts, come on and put your money where your mouth is, you have started the ball rolling now help us to get our views across to the government in a positive way and help us to change the archaic way we are treated, think of the stories behind all these posts and the good you can achieve by giving us some pointers on how to go about this, and helping us. oooh now I have come over all millitant (I'm not really, as I have stated before, I am just extremely passionate about this) thus endeth the latest rant, now lets come up with a really catchy name any ideas.....

    Complain about this comment

  • 25. At 9:26pm on 18 Mar 2009, heavyraisin wrote:

    Hi, I'm Karen from Northampton. An annual conference sounds great and yes - I think we should all rally together. I totally agree with the comment that Foster carers choose to be Foster carers......kinship mostly do not have that choice - we had the choice that we did it, or our nephew would end up in care.

    I was told by Northamptonshire Social Services that me & my husband could not foster our nephew as we were blood related - this seems in complete contrast to what others have been told!!! It makes me wonder what truths we actually have been told!

    I walked away from Northampton General Hospital on 7th November 2005 having lost a much-loved sister-in-law (my husband's sister) and having gained a son. No space to grieve - had to be strong for that little boy and my own 2 small children.

    Yes I still hold a lot of bitterness about the situation - losing a loved one and feeling that we (as a family) have been screwed (sorry!) by the system. It's about time the authorities recognised just what a fabulous job we all do, as well as how much we save them in time, paperwork and money!!

    I'm a member of the facebook group and it's about time we stood together and were counted! Great respect to everyone who's posted on here - it feels so good to know we are not alone in our plights. x

    PS - buy Love It! magazine this week (17th-23rd March issue) - they've run an article this week on our kinship caring situation. x

    Complain about this comment

  • 26. At 10:12pm on 18 Mar 2009, heavyraisin wrote:

    NORTHAMPTONSHIRE KINSHIP CARE SUPPORT GROUP

    I've recently found out about a support group in Northamptonshire. Contact details are:-

    Rose French, tel 07921-404501, e-mail ..... rfrench@northamptonshire.gov.uk
    and/or
    Lorraine Glenn, tel 01604-237620, e-mail ..... lglenn@northamptonshire.gov.uk

    I think they meet once a month and I intend going to the next meeting. Will keep you posted. x

    Complain about this comment

  • 27. At 10:34pm on 18 Mar 2009, heavyraisin wrote:

    Just found this on the web too:-

    http://www.frg.org.uk/support_groups_for_family_and_friends_carers.html

    Complain about this comment

  • 28. At 10:00am on 19 Mar 2009, politetinytina wrote:

    If anyone wants to add me in facebook they can ..i joined the kinship carers groups too even the Australian one's ...if we see how they deal with things and how carers are trated in different countries !! who knows where we will be when were all together fighting the same cause !!!

    So join the groups and add me !!! My names Christina but ive always been called Tina !! look forward to adding more friends !!! and one's that understand xxx

    Complain about this comment

  • 29. At 10:39am on 19 Mar 2009, ladyschamberlain wrote:

    Yes come on BBC, let us stand up and be counted!
    I have been told also that there are no support groupls because Kinship carers are intersted, Does this blog not show differently!

    I am prepared to help organise an annual meeting that i can also advertise on my website for other Carers that are not aware of this blog.

    Which facebook groups are you all members on, so i can join and lets get this ball rolling and make a difference!

    Politetinytina, as we are nearby it would be good to chat further over this. Im on facebook too so i will see if i can find you somehow.

    Complain about this comment

  • 30. At 4:28pm on 19 Mar 2009, mrsmuddles wrote:

    Hi guys, the main site on facebook is Kinship Foster Carers, this one is about the best I have found, I am also on Twitter and asked No 10 direct about our plight, would you believe it they didn't even acknowledge the question let alone reply to it... If anyone wants to find me on FB I am Shelly and I have a beautiful sunset as my pic. I think it is now time for all of us to start calling in any favours and get as much support as we can so that we see where to go from here, I notice BBC haven't replied yet, the support groups for families site is good if you are in one of their areas, they might be worth mailing to join the cause.. see you all on facebook I hope..

    Complain about this comment

  • 31. At 4:18pm on 07 Apr 2009, mimiblog wrote:

    I'm a relatively new kinship carer for what should be a temporary placement. It's been 9 weeks so far and no funding has been mentioned. I asked a social worker last week about the 6 week assessment they need to do and she took some notes of dates etc and said she would look into it. But surprise, surprise we have had no contact since. We have also had little or no support from SS. They pretty much dumped the children on us and ran.

    Complain about this comment

  • 32. At 8:30pm on 22 Apr 2009, rabelaine wrote:

    Hi, I live in scotland and am an "approved" kinship carer!! to 4 children, at the moment in scotland they have agreed to pay kinship carers on a par with foster carers by the year 2010/2011, this is still a bit of a postal lottery because different areas pay different rates!!, although in dumfries and galloway they have initially set up payment of £45/wk to ALL kinship carers ie those that have supervision orders and those that have residency orders with a view of raising this to £118.60 0 -4yrs,
    135.10 5 - 10yrs, 168.10 11 - 15yrs and 204.55 for 16 - 18yrs old, although I have today had several people unofficially tell me that people with residency orders may get a reduced rate. One of the reasons for this is that once people accept the kinship care allowance then they lose entitlement to child tax credit and have to go on to working tax credit because the child/children are being "wholly or partly maintained by the local authority" This has the unfortunatly means that at the present rate of £45 you are more than likely going to lose entitlement to the "passport benefits" which include all the school dinners, clothing grants etc including prescription charges and help with cost of glasses etc, this when added up makes a considerable dent into the present £45 per week. As for getting financial help from social services, initially we had 2 grandkids living with us (to prevent them from going into care) and we went for 2yrs with no financial help, it was only when we found ourselves giving a home to 2 other grandkids that we finally asked/stated that we needed financial help, maybe if we had pushed the matter initially we would have got sooner!!! I do think that Kinship carers are used as a cheaper alternative and that unless you push for financial assistance they will not offer it, the latter 2 grandkids had prior to coming to us been in foster care costing hundreds a week. I wholeheartedly agree that for the majority becoming a Kinship carer is through unfortunate circumstances and NOT for any financial gain, but I view it this way these children should not be penalised (ie not able to get new bikes/computors/clothes etc) like others in care can and do get just because their wider family has stepped in to prevent them from going into care/adopted etc. My grandkids have lost enough through no fault of their own and I will do my utmost to try to make up for this. The "cost" of providing a happy and worry free homelife has a price tag not only regarding the material things in life but even down to petrol in a car to just go for a day out or even to be able to pay for a babysitter so that you can get some time out to "charge your batteries". There is a support group in dumfries and galloway called YANA their e-mail address is:- yanastranraer@btconnect.com, Telephone :- 01776 889 929 I hope this and the above is of some help to someone..... otherwise all I can say is keeping asking/demanding etc and eventually Kinship Carers countrywide might eventually get treated better both financially and with respect

    Complain about this comment

  • 33. At 8:02pm on 05 Sep 2009, tinkertaylor4 wrote:

    hi i live in england so idont know how the s,s work over there . but i have residence order for my niece, and ive have found out recently that all this means is that it s,s way out of providing me with any finance support, i am a single mum with 2 children of my own, my mum looks after her brother she has done that for 11years with this order and she gets no finance support at all from them and never has. this why i joined this site in hope to find information on getting the order removed. i really dont know who or where to turn to as we have been lied to left right and centre by s,s so if i was you i would not go for this till u have it down in writing that u will get the support you need. i was told that if i didnt take my neice in she would be put up for adoption so we would never be able to see her. so i felt guilty if i didnt take her.

    Complain about this comment

  • 34. At 04:45am on 04 Oct 2009, grahambro wrote:

    i am 39 years old had to take on my grandaughter to stop her going into care.
    had to quit my job go holmless and wait a year to get a house and have had little or no help what soever for social works have ended up in lots of debt and was ordered to adopt my grandaughter witch i refused to do so was ordered to go for residecy or kaci would be put into care have had bad advice and lots of critisism. i stoped residency by luck and contacted my mp who got some things sorted i now am on kinship but thats not mutch help i recive 40 pound per week and was told that was all the help i get from social works they pick up there pay but do little or no work for it they say they care but in my opinion they would'nt no care if it bit them..
    yours frustrated grandfather

    Complain about this comment

  • 35. At 11:54pm on 19 Oct 2009, audreymclay wrote:

    Hi,,I am new to this group.I am a kinship carer to my 4 nephews due to my sister being murdered in 2007.She was killed by her partner of 16 years who is also the boys dad.I was asked by the police on the day of the murder to come and collect the boys from the police station as they had been there since they had found the boys mum dead when their dad phoned them at 8-30 that day.They phoned me at 3pm that day,and because i offered to take the boys home with me and was not asked by the social worker (who was away when i got there) to take the boys i lose out on a lot of help as the boys are not classed as under social work care.I get hardly any help with the boys who have behaviour and mental problems as they witnessed their dad kill their mum.I get tax credits and child benefit plus guardianship allowance.I tried every other day from the week after their mum died to get the boys counseling but to no avail.The social work take a back seat except to harass me etc.When i asked for help with the boys behaviour i was told that i knew what i was taking on.I am still waiting for Kinship Allowance to be completed and sorted out.I think there should be more help for all us carers.We take on a lot of extra difficulties and financial problems that we do not expect when we take on the kids.Even if we had the extra cash to take the kids on trips out etc.it would help out a lot.I am finding it hard to find a group near me to contact.It would be great to speak to other carers.I stay in Cumbernauld,,Glasgow.

    Complain about this comment

  • 36. At 8:38pm on 25 Nov 2009, Trish Walls wrote:

    Hi Everyone,

    I am new to this site having chanced upon it whilst surfing for information on 'Kinship Fostering'.
    My nephew was placed in my care 7 months ago as an emergency short-term placement following the relationship breakdown with his mum. His SW asked me to apply for a Residency Order...I asked for an explanation as to what this entailed and also asked what the alternative was?
    As a single parent, earning a low income, it was apparent to me that a residency order would not benefit either my nephew nor my own family - as there would be no sopport/after care from the SS and indeed the financial resourses would have been much less to boot!
    Having read all your comments I am happy that I refused to take out the order. However, the lack of support from the SS is appalling, as I was promised that they would work towards getting my nephew back home to his family, that they would mediate and make arrangments for a 'gentle reunification'. I found that for the most part I am always chasing payments that are overdue and the issueing office for payments (City Treasurers Dept) are reluctant to provide any information, quote "speak to your Social Worker"....whom always appears to be on leave of absence!
    After many hours of research on the rights of 'Looked After Children' (LAC)...it became obvious that procedures were not in place as set out in the Governments own Safeguarding Children Policy. I made a formal complaint against the SS when attending a Health Check-up with my nephew. Before long a LAC review was set up and my nephew was represented (so I believe) by my City Council Quality Assurance Department. Issues were addressed...knuckles were wrapped (proverbially!) and measures are supposedly to be put in place (time will tell?)to benefit not only my nephew but also to alleviate hardships brought on my own family by his placement. It is true that you are made to feel that you are all about the money....but my advise...is that we all need to develop a 'thick skin' to this response...bang on as many doors as we have to get the advice we need...find out our rights and then start demanding they are adhered to!
    Our ignorance to our rights is bliss to the Authorities.....so I for one am determined to find out what they are and force someone to take responsibility for kinship foster carers and would be more than happy to join any support group (visiting FB next).
    It may be of some interest to some of you, that a grandma in our position won a court case a few years back to be paid the same rate as a registered foster carer.... certainly information I will be using being as I live in the same Borough!
    I feel much better now that I have had a chance to express my feelings on here........apologies for the long windedness of my comment, hope it may help even 1 of you!

    Complain about this comment

View these comments in RSS

This is The One Show's blog about consumer issues and current affairs.

Please leave your first name and location on your blog comment, if you'd like it to be mentioned on The One Show programme.

Archives

« April 2009

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30