Councils face legal challenge on allowances for kinship foster carers

Fostering and adoption groups have warned local authorities to
remove discriminatory policies against kinship carers or face legal
action, writes Shirley Kumar.

Solicitor firm Ridley and Hall has already targeted Kirkless,
Leeds, Bradford, Bolton, Hampshire, Surrey and Peterborough
Councils following a string of calls from kinship carers.

The move follows the landmark ruling in September 2001 that
Manchester Council had to pay all foster carers according to the
needs of the child for whom they are caring. Mr Justice Munby
concluded that discriminating against kinship carer was against the
European Convention on Human Rights.

Following several legal challenges to its policy, Kirklees
Council agreed in April to pay kinship carers a higher fostering
allowance, backdated to the 2001 judgement. They also agreed to pay
an amount equivalent to the long term fee to all carers who care
for a child aged 8 or over.

The Fostering Network welcomed the news, saying it believed no
carer should be out of pocket as a result of looking after

“We encourage local authorities to remove discriminatory
polices against family and friend carers,” a spokeperson
said. “Where they do not, they open themselves up to judicial

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