FOI Request Kinship Care and Financial Matters

Request 101001582802

1. What is the process currently applied by Moray Council when an individual applies for kinship care status?
2. What advice is given to individuals who apply for kinship care status both generally and specifically in relation to their qualification for financial assistance?
3. Are children whose parents are subject to section 11 orders under the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 subject to processes or given advice (via their prospective kinship carer or otherwise) which differs to children whose parents are not subject to S. 11 orders?
4. Are children who are subject to residence orders subject to processes or given advice ( via thier prospective kinship carer or otherwise) which differs from children who are not subject to residence orders?
5. Are kinship carers in Moray currently subject to equivalent financial assistance as foster carers in Moray?
6. Does financial assistance between 'formal' and 'informal' kinship carers differ in Moray?
7. Does Moray Council currently advise or encourage new or existing kinship carers  to undergo a full benefits check to ensure that they are able to claim all financial assistance for which they qualify?

Response 22-08-2017

1. We assess kinship in relation to looked after children. Initial interest would be dealt with by the child’s social worker / kinship worker this may led to a full assessment. The applicant is provided with a range of information – one produced by the Moray Council that outlines our processes and also the National Mentor UK info pack.

2. As above this reply is in relation to LAC. If the child is already in placement, Carers will receive an interim payment while the assessment is undertaken moving to full payment following the assessment. There is also a “start up” grant that can be accessed. There is also support with legal costs if a section 11 or direct adoption order is the recommendation of the LAC review.

3. The child may still be eligible for continued social work support – depending on their assessed needs. The carer will be able to access ongoing advice and guidance, there have also been incidents of short term work / support. The parents may be eligible for support via adult or specialist services

4. See above, in practice the case will often close when the order is granted or soon afterwards

5. Kinship carers and foster carers receive omparable allowacnes for the children they have care of..

6. We only pay allowances in respect of looked after children and therefore these are “formal” kinship.  If funding is needed for “informal” kinship they would be referred to citizen’s advice for a benefits check – or to the Scottish welfare fund if appropriate.

7. Yes – this is advised as part of the assessment process

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