Special Guardianship Support and Assessment

“Does the council follow the DfE (Department for Education) method of assessing Special guardianship allowance? If not please provide information as to the method used.

DCC uses a formula developed from the DfE model means test.

What is the maximum payment for a child ?

0 to 4 years               £144.72

5 to 10 Years            £164.80

11 to 15 years           £205.24

16 to 18 years           £249.71

These reflect the mainstream fostering rates before any deductions for child benefit or other state benefits awarded to the family to assist them to care for the child.

DCC has recently introduced a new core fostering rate of £213.01, regardless of age and we will be reviewing current and future packages using this figure.

Is the maximum payment based on recommended core foster care rates? If not what is the maximum payment based on?

The Council uses the core fostering rates to determine Special Guardianship Order (SGO) allowances.  We have recently introduced a new core fostering rate of 213.01, regardless of age and we will be reviewing current and future packages using this figure.

Does special guardianship rise each year in line with the increase in core fostering rates?

Any “uplift” to core fostering rates is applied to SGO allowances but may not be raised annually.

Is the financial assessment where children were previously LAC (looked after children) different to the financial assessment for children who were not LAC?

No.

What deductions, if any, are made from Special guardianship allowance, ie, Child benefit, Child tax credit.

Deductions are made in line with the model means test and any/all state related benefits are considered.

If a carer is in receipt of Income support are any deductions made from Special Guardianship allowance, ie, Child Benefit, Child tax credit

Deductions are made in line with the model means test and any/all state related benefits are considered

Are Special guardianship allowances time limited? If so how long for?

Payments are made in line with the Special Guardianship Regulations 2005, (as amended).

Where the carer is a former foster carer the “remuneration” payment will cease after two years, unless DCC has agreed other arrangements

It is expected that arrangements are recorded within the Special Guardianship Support Plan, which is ratified by the court on the making of the order.

How many special guardians in the authority are currently being financially supported

336 children are being supported.

How many Child arrangement orders are currently being financially supported

44 children are being supported.

How many friends and family, (connected persons) foster carers are in the authority.

30 friends and family are fully approved.

 

Please be aware that Devon County Council (DCC) is currently undertaking a review of support to special guardians. This review will also consider financial support.