A grandfather has been awarded £30,000 after Kirklees Council failed to assess him for support to look after his grandson.
The man, who has not been named, had agreed to look after his grandson in July 2012, rather than see him placed in foster care. There were no other relatives who would agree to take care of him or who would be deemed suitable.
The man, whose sole income was benefits, had asked the social worker whether the council would be able to support him financially as he would struggle with another mouth to feed and his grandson had arrived at his house with only the clothes he stood up in.
He said: “The social worker basically told me that because I was his grandfather there would be no support for me. I was made to feel guilty for asking for help when they were the ones who asked me to care for him!”
Eventually, in 2016, he contacted Huddersfield law firm Ridley & Hall for advice.
Solicitor Helen Moody, who took up the case, asked the council to consider making a payment of backdated allowance to the grandfather on the basis that he should have been assessed when he first requested support in 2012.
Eventually Kirklees agreed they should have assessed him for his eligibility for an allowance. After assessing his current income, the council agreed that he should have been getting £162.73 a week and that he would receive just under £30,000 in backdated allowances.
Mrs Moody said the grandfather had struggled for four years to care for his grandson. He had not envisaged bringing up his grandson and had thought that his parenting days were over.
She said: “He told me that the last four years had been challenging and it would only get more challenging financially as his grandson got older.
“This is yet another case where local authorities ask a family member to care for a child and then do not support them. Allowances are available for kinship carers where they have had children placed with them by social services.”
The grandfather said he could not believe that he had been left to struggle without support, especially when he had made it clear that he needed help, adding: “If I had received the weekly allowance since my grandson came to live with me, I could have given him a much better lifestyle.”