In a stunning 6 week period, over £165000 has been awarded to grandparent carers, and two kinship carers. The money is back payments of fostering allowances to help to them care for children placed with them by local authorities. It takes Ridley and Hall fight for money for carers to well over £1million.
Susan Cawtherley, solicitor at specialist Huddersfield law firm Ridley and Hall said “The grandparents and the kinship carers’ have finally been awarded the financial support that they were due from 4 local authorities.
The background to these cases is the parents were unable to care for the children. The local authorities made arrangements for the children to move in with their grandparents or relatives. Social services are leaving children with grandparents or siblings and this is happening all over the country.
We are very pleased that these local authorities have agreed to pay the financial support our client’s richly deserve”.
If our clients’ had not taken these children into their care, they would have been placed with stranger foster carers. The cost to the local authority for foster carers could have been much higher. Local authorities have now to pay grandparent and kinship carers the same as unrelated foster carers.
In addition all the research shows that it is better that children are looked after by a family members. They fare much better than those in the care of Stranger foster parents.
Local authorities need to acknowledge the vital role grandparent and siblings play in the lives of theses children. Financial support should be provided at the very start to ensure the stability of these families.
In all these cases the carers have had to come to us to get legal advice because they’ve been banging their heads against a brick wall trying to get the local authorities to pay what they are meant to.
Our client’s have struggled financially to pay for the up keep of the children. Experts at the Fostering Network research shows it costs more to look after child who has had a chaotic lifestyle and has had to be fostered.
Grandparents Legal Centre
Nigel Priestley, Senior Partner commented,
Ridley and Hall is the leading firm in the country fighting for the rights of Grandparent and Kinship carers. We represent carers from across the country – in these cases they were from the Midlands, the North West and from Yorkshire. Carers come to Huddersfield from all over because they know we understand their problems and will fight for them.
Since we began challenging local authorities to comply with their legal duties in 2004 our clients have been paid back pay of well over £1 million – these recent payments have come at just the right time for hard pressed families. On top of these back payments carers have begun to receive weekly fostering allowances.
These carers cannot be identified for legal reasons. They are pleased they have got this far. These families need this support and it should have been in place from the start. The carers should not have been put in a position where they were forced to take legal action.
Ridley and Hall set up the Grandparents Legal Centre because grandparents are entitled to the best advice available.
“We have a brilliant team – the picture shows how much the clients appreciated the work Susan Cawtherley and her assistant Kelly Thornton-Lawrence. They sent them a bottle of Bollinger Champagne!”