Privacy settings

LGO logogram

Review your privacy settings

Required cookies

These cookies enable the website to function properly. You can only disable these by changing your browser preferences, but this will affect how the website performs.

View required cookies

Analytical cookies

Google Analytics cookies help us improve the performance of the website by understanding how visitors use the site.
We recommend you set these 'ON'.

View analytical cookies

In using Google Analytics, we do not collect or store personal information that could identify you (for example your name or address). We do not allow Google to use or share our analytics data. Google has developed a tool to help you opt out of Google Analytics cookies.

Liverpool City Council (12 006 209)

Category : Children's care services > Looked after children

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 24 Jul 2013

Summary

The council failed to recognise that when the complainant cared for her nephew, the child should have been considered as a ‘looked after child’ and the council should have provided her with appropriate financial support.

The complaint

The council failed to recognise that when the complainant cared for her nephew, the child should have been considered as a ‘looked after child’ and the council should have provided her with appropriate financial support. She also complained that when she obtained a Special Guardianship Order for her nephew in 2012 the council’s decision as to what it should pay her was flawed.

Finding

The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found fault causing injustice.

Recommendations

The Council has agreed to take the following action to remedy the injustice.

  • Pay the complainant the family and friends fostering allowance at the correct rate for the 18 months it now accepts her nephew (and for a period his two siblings) were placed with her under the Council’s duties to accommodate such children.
  • Notify the complainant about what Special Guardianship Allowance rate it will pay her and why.
  • Pay the complainant the Special Guardianship Allowance without the deduction of Child Benefit while she receives Income Support. It will also carry out a review of its practice of deducting Child Benefit from those on Income Support and the budgetary implications.
  • Pay the complainant Special Guardianship Allowance at a rate equal to the National Minimum Fostering Allowance rate for children aged 0-4.
  • As a result, the complainant was paid £10,912 in backdated allowances.

For the other people identified in this investigation as suffering an injustice as a result of fault by the council, the council has agreed to take the following action.

  • Pay its Special Guardianship Allowance at the same rate as its Fostering Allowance rate from April 2010, and at a rate in line with the National Minimum Fostering Allowance from April 2011. This affects around 146 people who are in receipt of Special Guardianship Allowance.
  • Pay all foster carers caring for children aged 0-4 Fostering Allowance in line with or above National Minimum Fostering Rates from April 2013. It has also agreed to backdate the allowance to ensure they receive the National Minimum Fostering Allowance rate from April 2011. This affects around 194 foster carers caring for children aged 0-4.
     

Ombudsman satisfied with council's response: 12 June 2014

Print this page