A Kent carer is celebration victory payout from Camden
A Sittingbourne carer who took on the London Borough of Camden is celebrating the payment of a five figure back-payment claim. The woman is the Aunt of the child. She was asked by Camden to care for her niece in July 2008. Threatened with the prospect of the child going to live in foster care, the Aunt agreed. A Social Worker from Camden brought the child to her Aunt’s.
Commenting, Nigel Priestley, Senior Partner of Ridley & Hall, Solicitors, Huddersfield who specialises in supporting kinship carers said:-
“What happened was disgraceful. Camden had been involved in the child’s family for many years. Social Workers found the child in a terrible situation in her mother’s care. She had witnessed repeated domestic violence and needed to be cared for in a safe place. But the Aunt needed financial support. She wasn’t expecting to have to suddenly care for a 6-year old child – she didn’t have the money to do so”.
He went on:-
“Camden brought the child – and then just walked away. The Council had a legal responsibility to treat her and pay her as a foster carer. Instead, Camden tried to pass the buck to Kent County Council”.
The Aunt, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said:-
“For over two years, Kent and Camden played pass the parcel as to which Local Authority should be supporting my niece and me. I love my niece but I simply couldn’t get the support I needed. Kent said Camden should pay. Camden knew I was in financial difficulties but did nothing. They said it was some sort of “private arrangement”. I was saving Camden thousands of pounds – and it was never a private arrangement. They contacted me.
It was only after fighting for two years and getting nowhere that I heard of Nigel Priestley and the team at Ridley & Hall”.
Mr Priestley explained what happened next:-
“Camden were threatened that if they did not accept their financial responsibility to the child, they would be taken to court. Faced with that threat, they backed down”.
The aunt concluded:-
“I’m delighted to be paid as a foster carer and to get over £10,000 back pay. I feel like my prayers have been answered. My niece had a very difficult start in life. It’s not easy suddenly to take responsibility for a child whose behaviour can sometimes be quite challenging. It has been a life changing experience and we still have to take one day at a time. But It would have been increasingly difficult without financial support.
I don’t know what would have happened if I hadn’t had the support of Mr Priestley. In the end, it has taken almost three years to sort out. I now get paid £180 per week – but for two years, Camden expected my niece and me to live on fresh air”.
Ridley & Hall are one of Yorkshire’s leading firms of disability and community care lawyers. The firm has Franchises in Community Care, Welfare Benefits and Debt Advice. They have commenced a number of Judicial Reviews involving local Councils across the country and are at the forefront of the battle to ensure that friend and relatives are paid the sums that are due to them.
For further information, contact Nigel Priestley, Senior Partner at Ridley & Hall, Solicitors, Queen’s House, 35 Market Street, Huddersfield, HD1 2HL.
Tel: 01484 – 538421.
Fax: 01484 – 533076.