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Category : Children's care services > Friends and family carers

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 07 Aug 2017

Summary

Ms B complains the council did not tell her she could apply for a Residence Order Allowance for looking after her grandson. It did not carry out a financial assessment for a number of years despite her repeated requests for assistance.

The complaint

Ms B complains that the council failed to advise her in March 2011 that she could apply for a residence order allowance for looking after her grandson, D. After Ms B complained to the council in October 2015, it started a financial assessment in December 2015, but only completed it in June 2016. It has only backdated the allowance to the start of the assessment in December 2015.

Finding

The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found fault causing injustice.

Recommendations

To remedy the injustice caused, the council has agreed to:

  • apologise to Ms B for the failings we have identified;
  • pay Ms B as if she had been a family and friends foster carer for D (taking into account her means and D’s needs, less any state benefits provided to Ms B for D and any payments it has made to assist her during this period, such as £800 for carpets) from 14 March 2011 until 2 December 2015;
  • pay Ms B £500 for the frustration and time and trouble caused by not carrying out a financial assessment sooner;
  • ensure in future if it is involved in the arrangements for a child to be cared for by a private family arrangement that it ensures all parties are aware of the nature of the arrangement and where financial support may come from. It should also ensure it carries out a financial assessment in accordance with its policy when an order is made.

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