Anne and Sheila
Anne is retired and is the Kinship Carer of her two grandchildren, aged 4 and 10, who came to live with her following a Children’s Hearing and who are Looked After children, through a Supervision Order. Anne learned that her local authority make Kinship Care allowance payments of £96 per week for children aged 0-5 years and £118 per week for children aged 6-10 years.
Anne’s friend, Sheila, who is also retired, lives in a different local authority to Anne and is also a Kinship Carer. She cares for her grandson, aged 15, who was removed from his mother’s care by the local authority and, with her formal, written agreement, placed with Sheila. He is also a Looked After child, and Sheila discovered that her local authority makes Kinship Care payments of £50 per week, regardless of the age of the child.
Both grandmothers sought advice from their local Citizens Advice Bureau to find out if they would be better off receiving Kinship Care allowance or electing to receive Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit (in Anne and Sheila’s case, a combined sum of approximately £82). Because of their different circumstances, the ages of the children and the differences in the amount of financial support offered by their respective local authorities, Anne was better off choosing a Kinship Care payment, while Sheila was better off choosing to apply for Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit.
As this case study shows, the law around Kinship Care is complex – that’s why we recommend getting expert advice.