Case Studies

Case Study: Shirley, 68

Shirley a 68 year old widow has been caring for her two grandsons, Simon 8 and Rhys 7 for the past six years. Unbeknown to Shirley her daughter was known to social services due to a variety of issues and out of the blue Shirley was asked to take her grandsons and a small bag of their belongings from a police officer and social worker at 1.00am.

Apparently the boys were placed there on a Child Protection Order from the Court. Endless meetings were held, assessments conducted, and attendance at numerous Children’s Hearings; Shirley lived in a daze. She couldn’t sleep. She was caring for her grandchildren while trying to control the many emotions of anger, guilt and worry that she felt towards her daughter. She felt alone. All her savings and pension went on beds, clothes and toys for her grandsons – she had to spoil them to compensate for her daughter’s behaviour.

Then the boys started to act up. Simon would hit his brother and Shirley, throw temper tantrums, smash things. Shirley did not know what to do or where to turn. Shirley phoned her social work office and demanded help. They referred her to specialists for help for Simon and they suggested a kinship support group for her.

After much dilemma Shirley attended a support meeting near her home. She was nervous but the group made her very welcome and she soon opened up. The support group changed her life. She found a group of people who understood, supported and gave practical help.

Things are good now. Simon is receiving specialised help from a psychologist and Shirley’s a committed member of her local kinship care group. Now she offers help and advice to others and hopes it can make a difference to their lives too.

Financial case studies…

The following case studies are examples. Please note that not all Local Authorities pay in the same way. Always check with the appropriate body as listed on the previous pages.

Lois

Lois is a single pensioner. She receives: ++  A state pension and an occupational pension  ++  Pension Credit  ++

Lois agrees to care for her granddaughter, Susie, who is two years old. Susie has been placed with Lois by the Local Authority following a decision by the Children’s Hearing to make Susie the subject of a Compulsory Supervision Order, with a condition of residence with Lois. She is therefore a ‘looked after’ child.

Now Lois receives:
  • A kinship care payment from her Local Authority, paid through Section 50 of the Children Act 1975
  • Child Benefit – should be payable in these circumstances (it is advised that Lois tells HMRC when she applies for Child Benefit that she is receiving a Section 50 kinship care payment from the Local Authority)
  • Her state pension and occupational pension, as before
  • Pension Credit, as before (the amount of Pension Credit is not affected by either the kinship care payments or the Child Benefit that Lois now receives)
Lois will not receive:
  • Child Tax Credit – Section 50 payments are intended for maintenance of the child and this excludes Lois from being eligible for Child Tax Credit

Peter and May

Peter and May are a married couple in their twenties, both working full time. They receive: ++ No state benefits as their incomes are too high ++

They agree to look after May’s seven year old niece, Sally. She is placed with them by the Local Authority under Section 25 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 and is a ‘looked after’ child. May gives up her job because Sally is disabled and has significant care needs.

Now Peter and May receive:
  • A kinship care payment from their Local Authority, paid through Section 22 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995
  • Child Benefit – should be payable in these circumstances (it is advised that Lois tells HMRC when she applies for Child Benefit that she is receiving a Section 50 kinship care payment from the Local Authority)
  • Disability Living Allowance (for Sally, but paid to May as her appointee)
  • May could claim carer’s allowance because she is caring for Sally who is disabled.
They will not receive:
  • Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit as Peter’s income on its own is still too high

RACHEL

Rachel is unemployed and lives with her 15 year old daughter, Vicky. She receives: ++ Jobseeker’s Allowance ++ Housing Benefit ++ Council Tax Reduction ++ Child Benefit ++ Child Tax Credit ++

Rachel agrees to care for her four year old nephew, Dylan. He has been placed with Rachel by the Local Authority following a decision by the Children’s Hearing to make Dylan the subject of a Compulsory Supervision Order, with a condition of residence with Rachel. He is therefore a ‘looked after’ child.

Now Rachel receives:
  • A kinship care payment from her Local Authority, paid through Section 50 of the Children Act 1975
  • Income Support – Rachel can now claim IS and does not have to be actively seeking work
  • Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction, as before
  • Child Benefit – Rachel’s Child Benefit for Vicky will not be affected. Child Benefit should also be payable in these circumstances for Dylan (it is advised that Rachel tells HMRC when she applies for Child Benefit for Dylan that she is receiving Section 50 kinship care payments from the Local Authority)
  • Child Tax Credit – Rachel’s Child Tax Credit for Vicky will not be affected.
She will not receive:
  • Child Tax Credit for Dylan – Section 50 payments are intended for maintenance of the child and this excludes Rachel from being eligible for Child Tax Credit for Dylan.