Carer claims bias over allowance

A man who has been caring for his sister’s children for two years
is taking Kirklees Council to the High Court claiming
discrimination over fostering payments.

The Huddersfield man, who is making a joint application with his
partner, believes the council is “short-changing” foster parents
who are friends or relatives of the children in their care because
it pays them a lower allowance than other foster parents enjoy.

The couple, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claim the
council is breaching the European Convention on Human Rights and
the Children Act 1989.

They want the council to introduce a parity policy and are seeking
thousands of pounds in lost allowances. They are also calling for
the council to raise rates to levels recommended by the Fostering

The couple receive £52 a week for the eight-year-old and
£63 for the 12-year-old – less than half the Fostering
Network’s recommended rates. The council pays unrelated long-term
carers £114 a week for each child.

The Fostering Network’s head of services, Sue Gourvish, said the
High Court had ruled against Manchester Council in a similar case
last year.

Kirklees Council said it was reviewing its policies in light of the
Manchester judgement.

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