Fay* stepped in to raise her grandson when her daughter was unable to provide him care and support. She believed this would be a temporary arrangement, however when her daughter left the family home Fay found herself being a full time mum again.

She struggled alone to apply for a Child Arrangements Order, which was eventually confirmed by the court. Unfortunately, Fay was diagnosed with serious health issues, which meant she was unable to work. This and financial difficulties impacted her mental and physical health.

Around two years ago Fay called us for advice regarding financial support for her grandson. We advised her that she could write to the local authority to request a financial assessment, however, as the arrangement is regarded as a private arrangement, any support would be discretionary and means tested. Fay did not hold out much hope.

Fay wrote to the local authority for a financial assessment, which was refused. Following our advice, she made a complaint through the local authorities complaints procedure. An assessment was made, but financial support was refused. Fay, was tired and wanted to give up, she called our advice team again who told her to keep going – thankfully she did.

As a result of her perseverance, advice and support from our Advice Service and her Local Citizens Advice Bureau, Fay received a backdated payment of Child Arrangements Allowance, which amounted to £11,000. She is also receiving weekly payments, which has increased her income by £9,412 per year.

*not her real name

Fay’s story is not unique. If you are a kinship carer, or know a kinship carer who needs advice, please get in touch. Alternatively if you are in a position to support our work, please donate here.

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