DOC

SOCIAL SERVICES DEPARTMENTAL PROCEDURE NO

By Miguel Matthews,2014-05-19 13:52
5 views 0
SOCIAL SERVICES DEPARTMENTAL PROCEDURE NO

    CHILDREN AND FAMILIES/FINANCE RESIDENCE ORDERS RESIDENCE ORDER

    ALLOWANCES

    18/09 CHILDREN’S SERVICES DEPARTMENTAL PROCEDURE NO:

    RESIDENCE ORDERS AND RESIDENCE ORDER ALLOWANCES

DATE: 6 April 2009

EFFECTIVE 6 April 2009

    DATE:

CATEGORY: Children and Families/Finance

KEYWORDS: Residence orders Residence Order Allowances

    ISSUED BY: Steve Crocker, Assistant Director, Children and Families

CONTACT: Gill Horrobin, Strategic Service Manager, Children Living Away from

     Home gill.horrobin@hants.gov.uk (01962 847263)

     Richard Trim, Devolved Finance Unit richard.trim@hants.gov.uk

    (01962 847547)

    PROCEDURES

    CANCELLED Proc 13/08 is cancelled

    OR AMENDED:

REMARKS:

SIGNED:

DESIGNATION: Assistant Director, Children and Families

     YOU SHOULD ENSURE THAT:-

    ; You read, understand and, where appropriate, act on this information

    ; All people in your workplace who need to know see this procedure

    ; This document is available in a place to which all staff members in your

    workplace have access

     1 Residence Order Allowances (Proc 18/09 April 2009)

CHILDREN AND FAMILIES/FINANCE RESIDENCE ORDERS RESIDENCE ORDER

    ALLOWANCES

    PURPOSE

    The purpose of this procedure is to set out the mechanism for approving plans for children who are in care or at risk of entering care, to be cared for by way of a Residence Order. It also sets out who can be paid a Residence Order Allowance to support the plan for the child.

SCOPE

    It relates to children looked after by Hampshire County Council and in foster care with carers approved by Hampshire Fostering Service, or with foster carers approved by another fostering agency, where those carers apply for a Residence Order in respect of that child. It also relates to children who would be in the care of Hampshire County Council if a Residence Order were not made, and where the Children’s Services Department is involved in planning for the child prior to an application for a Residence Order being made.

    Where simultaneous permanent plans are being made for a number of children in a sibling group, the plans should all be presented to one decision making forum. i.e. where adoption is being proposed for one member of the sibling group, the plans for all the children should be presented to Adoption panel. POLICY

    Hampshire County Council is committed to achieving permanence for children who are in care. Where a permanent arrangement for the child to return to his or her parents is not possible, the child should be supported to live with family or familiar other adults, wherever possible. Children should be enabled to live with siblings wherever this is compatible with each child’s best interest.

REFERENCES TO LEGAL, CENTRAL GOVERNMENT AND OTHER EXTERNAL

    DOCUMENTS

    Children Act 1989 and associated guidance (Particularly Vol 3 Family Placement)

    Fostering Services Regulations (2002)

    Adoption and Children Act ( 2002)

HAMPSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL AND SOCIAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT

    REFERENCES

    Fostering Allowance Procedure ( 12/09)

    Adoption Allowance Procedure (09/09)

    Adoption and Permanence Policy ( 2005)

    Executive Member Decision Day 12 March 2009 ‘Fees and Allowances’

     2 Residence Order Allowances (Proc 18/09 April 2009)

CHILDREN AND FAMILIES/FINANCE RESIDENCE ORDERS RESIDENCE ORDER

    ALLOWANCES

    DEFINITIONS

    An approved foster parent is a person who has been assessed and approved through the Fostering Panel and Agency Decision maker on behalf of the Director of Children’s Services, to foster children,

    or a Foster Carer approved by an Independent Fostering Provider, registered with Ofsted. A child in care means any child who is in the care of the local authority under S20 or S31 of the Children Act 1989.

ROLES

    Payment of allowances/reimbursements must be made in accordance with the procedures and must be authorised by the District Service Manager (DSM) for the child.

    The officer authorising a payment must not be the same officer who has recommended/proposed the allowance.

AUTHORITY TO VARY THE PROCEDURE

    Requests to seek authority to vary the procedure in individual cases only should be referred to the Assistant Director, Children and Families. Full details of the individual cases should be included with the request.

     3 Residence Order Allowances (Proc 18/09 April 2009)

CHILDREN AND FAMILIES/FINANCE RESIDENCE ORDERS RESIDENCE ORDER

    ALLOWANCES

    PROCEDURE

    This procedure is arranged in the following Sections:-

    1. Policy Statement

    2. Eligibility Criteria

    3. Procedures

    4. Financial Support

    5. Performance Standards

    APPENDIX A- Notification of Decision from DSM

    APPENDIX B- Financial assessment

    1 POLICY STATEMENT

    1.1 Where children are unable to live in their own families, permanent arrangements for their care

    should be made as quickly as possible to enable the child to feel secure. 1.2 A permanent legal arrangement for a child’s care outside of the public care system is usually

    preferable to the child remaining in the care of the Local Authority. The making of a

    Residence Order is one way of achieving this.

    1.3 In some cases the Local Authority has the power to make a contribution to the cost of caring

    for the child.

    2 ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

    2.1 Where a child is already in care, or would be unless a Residence Order were made. 2.2 Where a Core Assessment has been carried out which concludes that the child is in need of

    care or protection.

    2.3 Where the DSM for the child has confirmed that the making of a Residence Order would be in

    the best interests of the child.

    2.4 Where the Local Authority is aware of the application prior to it being made, and has been

    involved in the planning for the child.

    3 PROCEDURES

    3.1 Where a child is part of a sibling group, and the plan for one or more of the siblings is

    proposed to be adoption, the plans for ALL children should be presented to Adoption Panel,

    along with evidence as to why different legal arrangements for permanence are in each child’s

    best interest.

    3.2 All proposed applications for Residence Orders must be presented to the DSM prior to an

    application being made to the court. The following paperwork should be prepared or gathered

    by the child’s social worker and submitted to the DSM:

    3.2.1 FF/K forms (sections 1, 4 and 5). Please note that the FF/K is currently in the process of

    being updated.

    3.2.2 Copy of all statutory checks in respect of all adults in the household as described in FF/K

    Section 5 ( see above).

     4 Residence Order Allowances (Proc 18/09 April 2009)

CHILDREN AND FAMILIES/FINANCE RESIDENCE ORDERS RESIDENCE ORDER

    ALLOWANCES

    3.2.3 Copy of child’s Core Assessment and care planning meeting/copy of most recent CiC Review. 3.2.4 Family Group Conference minutes and plan if held

    3.2.5 Evidence of views of birth parents and child.

    If a child has been or is looked after and an up to date Form E or the child’s Permanency

    Report already exists, this can be used instead of the forms suggested above. The same

    applies if the proposed carer is already an approved foster carer and an up-to-date Form F

    already exists. Up to date means completed within the last two years or with a substantial

    update covering the period since the child was placed. These could be submitted along with a

    linking report, to the child’s DSM.

    For carers who are being supported by the Children’s Services Department in their application

    for a Residence Order on a child, a financial assessment should always be carried out at this

    early stage unless the carer is an existing foster carer who has cared for the child as a fostered

    child for a minimum of 6 months prior to the application being made. This is because a

    Residence Order allowance cannot be backdated (see paragraph 4.4 below)

    If it is identified that the carers need support or training from the Department, in order that

    they can meet the on-going needs of the child, they can be referred to the Kinship Care

    Support Workers.

    3.3 Once the DSM has confirmed that the proposed arrangements will meet the child’s needs, the

    Form at Appendix A should be completed by the manager and returned to the child’s social

    worker.

    4 FINANCIAL SUPPORT

    4.1 Where the child is in the care of the local authority and placed with foster carers who have

    been approved by the Hampshire fostering panel, and who wish to apply for a Residence

    Order in respect of the child in their care, the following will apply:-. 4.1.1 In these circumstances a Residence Order Allowance will be paid to the child’s carer/s which

    is not financially assessed. This is described as a Transitional Residence Order Allowance,

    and is only payable in cases where the child has been fostered by the applicants for a

    minimum of 6 months. If the fostering arrangement has lasted for less than six months, the

    carer/s will need to be financially assessed as in 4.3.

    4.1.2 The Transitional Residence Order Allowance is be paid from the date the Residence Order is

    made, until the Order expires or until the child leaves home (whichever is earlier).

    st4.1.3 Please note that Residence Orders granted prior to 31 December 2005 usually expire on the thchild’s 16 birthday, unless the applicant demonstrated that there was a need for the Order to thbe extended to the child’s 18 birthday. No allowance can be paid once the order has expired.

    stth4.1.4 Residence Orders granted after 1 January 2006 will normally expire on the Child’s 18

    birthday unless a specific request was made at the time the order was granted, for the order to thcease on the child’s 16 birthday. The allowance will continue to be made until the order

    expires unless the child ceases to live in the household prior to reaching 18yrs. 4.1.5 The rate of payment of the Transitional Residence Order Allowance will be equal to the

    current fostering allowance, minus child benefit (and tax credits where a carer is in

    employment.) The carer will cease to be paid any Skill fee which they received under the

    fostering arrangement. NO additional payment in respect of holiday, birthday or religious

    festival will be paid under the Transitional allowance scheme.

     5 Residence Order Allowances (Proc 18/09 April 2009)

CHILDREN AND FAMILIES/FINANCE RESIDENCE ORDERS RESIDENCE ORDER

    ALLOWANCES

    4.1.6 Child benefit will be assumed to be at the lower rate i.e. ?13.20 per week and tax credit will

    be assumed to be ?10 per week unless otherwise stated. The allowance rate will be adjusted

    accordingly.

    4.1.7 The DSM for the child should confirm their approval of the payment of the allowance on

    Form AF368. A copy of the AF368 should be submitted to the South East finance team and to

    the County Service Manager (Adoption) for information.

    4.2 Where a child is in the care of the local authority and placed with Foster Carers approved by

    another agency, the following will apply:-.

    4.2.1 In these circumstances a Residence Allowance will be paid to the child’s carer/s which is not

    financially assessed as described in 4.1.1. This allowance is only payable in cases where the

    child has been fostered by the applicants for a minimum of 6 months. If the fostering

    arrangement has lasted for less than six months, the carer/s will need to be financially

    assessed as in 4.3.

    4.2.2 The rate of payment will be equal to the fostering allowance paid by the foster carer’s

    approving agency minus child benefit and tax credit, where a carer is in employment. In cases

    where the amount paid by the agency exceeds the Fostering Network Recommended

    Allowance rate, the FN Recommended rate (which is the rate paid to Hampshire foster carers)

    will be used to define the amount of Residence Allowance

    4.2.3 The Residence Order Allowance is be paid from the date the Residence Order is made, until

    the Order expires or until the child leaves home (whichever is earlier). Paragraph 4.1.3 to

    4.1.6 as above also apply in these circumstances.

    4.2.4 The DSM for the child should confirm their approval of the payment of the allowance on

    Form AF368. A copy of the AF368 should be submitted to the South East Finance Team at

    Havant Area Office and to the County Service Manager (Adoption) for information. 4.3 Where the child is not in the care of the Local Authority, but would be unless a Residence

    Order were made, the following will apply:-.

    4.3.1 Where financial circumstances of the applicants may be a barrier to their being able to care

    for the child or young person, a Residence Allowance should be considered. 4.3.2 The Social Worker will send a Financial Assessment Form (AF360) to the applicants who

    should complete it and return it, with supporting evidence of income, so that the finance team

    can assess eligibility. An AF361 should be completed and submitted by the Social Worker,

    attaching the AF360 and supporting evidence, to the South East finance team who will

    undertake the assessment of eligibility. The finance team will notify the social worker of the

    outcome using electronic spreadsheet. The social worker will notify the applicants. 4.3.3 Even if the result of the assessment is that the applicants do not qualify because of the level of

    their income, the fact that an assessment has been carried out should be recorded. This will

    mean that, should the applicants circumstances change in the future, they will be able to

    request a new assessment, and an allowance could commence at a later date. 4.3.4 The DSM for the child should confirm that they are prepared to approve the payment of the

    allowance on Form AF368. A copy of the AF368 should be submitted to the finance team and

    to the County Service Manager (Adoption) for information.

    4.3.5 All recipients of a Residence Allowance will be contacted by the Devolved Finance Unit

    (DFU) towards the end of each financial year, asking for confirmation that the child is still

    living with them. In addition, those who are subject to a financial assessment will be asked to

     6 Residence Order Allowances (Proc 18/09 April 2009)

CHILDREN AND FAMILIES/FINANCE RESIDENCE ORDERS RESIDENCE ORDER

    ALLOWANCES

    complete an up to date declaration of their financial circumstances, which may affect the

    amount of allowance paid.

    4.3.6 For information about how to record a Residence Order and Residence Order Allowance in

    Swift, please refer to the Swift Manual- Children & Families- Care Episodes- CLA

    Placements’. The Family Placement team will create the person/s holding the RO as Providers

    (see Swift Manual).

    4.3.7 Where a case no longer requires input from a social work team, but where a Residence Order

    Allowance is being paid, it is not necessary for a key worker or key team to be recorded in

    Swift. The case should, however, remain open, i.e. the Referral should not have a close date

    recorded. An involvement will be created of an organisation ‘C&F Finance Team ( Social

    Care)’. This is not a key team involvement. An Involvement role for the team will be created

    by ‘Residence Order Allowance payments’. No person involvement will be created.

    Any new notification that is received about the case will be routed via the relevant R&A team.

    For management information purposes, cases recorded in this way will be counted as

    allocated.

    4.4 Backdating of allowances

    4.4.1 A Residence Allowance cannot be backdated to a date prior to the Order (or an Interim Order)

    being made. Social Workers must ensure that applicants who meet the criteria described in

    Section 2 of this Procedure, are notified of the existence of a Residence Allowance and are

    offered the opportunity to be financially assessed at the earliest opportunity, usually before

    the Order is made.

    4.5 Payment of legal expenses, including the cost of application

    4.5.1 Consideration will be given to the payment of or contribution to the cost of legal expenses

    ONLY where the plan has been agreed by the DSM prior to the making of a Residence Order.

    4.5.2 The primary criteria should be that the Local Authority supports the application, and that the

    matter may be contested by another party, resulting in legal costs which could prevent the

    application proceeding.

    4.5.3 The cost centres are set up on Swift and are linked to the care item ‘ C&F- Residence

    Order/SGO Legal expenses .The cost centres for Residence Orders are as follows:-

    H4135 Residence Order North

    H4136 Residence Order South East

    H4137 Residence Order South West

    5 PERFORMANCE STANDARDS

    The DFU and Strategic Service Manager (Children Living Away from Home) will review the

    procedure on an annual basis in order to:

    ; Address any legislative/policy changes;

    ; Update the rates in line with those agreed by the Executive Member, Children and

    Young People.

APPENDIX A

     7 Residence Order Allowances (Proc 18/09 April 2009)

CHILDREN AND FAMILIES/FINANCE RESIDENCE ORDERS RESIDENCE ORDER

    ALLOWANCES

    NOTIFICATION OF DECISION FROM DISTRICT SERVICE MANAGER IN RELATION TO A RESIDENCE ORDER APPLICATION

This is to confirm that I have seen all the required background information in respect of

………………………………………..……………………………..…child, ( d.o.b……………)

and the proposal that ………………………………………………....apply for a Residence Order in

    respect of that child.

    The child is currently Looked After, or at risk of becoming Looked After

I am satisfied / not satisfied that the proposed arrangements are in the child’s best interest.

I have seen confirmation that the applicants have been notified of possible financial support for the

    arrangement.

Signed………………………………………..

Date……………………………………

Print name………………………………………………

……………………….District Service Manager, Children and Families

APPENDIX B

     8 Residence Order Allowances (Proc 18/09 April 2009)

    CHILDREN AND FAMILIES/FINANCE RESIDENCE ORDERS RESIDENCE ORDER

    ALLOWANCES

    1 FINANCIAL ASSESSMENT

    All financial assessments are carried out by the South East Finance Team. Reviews are carried out at least on an annual basis, by staff in the County Council’s Devolved Finance Unit (DFU).

    stAll new assessments carried out since 1 April 2006 follow a formula recommended by the

    Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF). In Hampshire, the same formula is used to assess eligibility for Adoption, Residence Order, Special Guardianship and Kinship Care Allowances. This scheme is described as ‘ Revised Scheme Four’

    Reviews of allowances will be carried out according to the formula applied at the time when the allowance was first granted.

    st2 Reviews of Earlier Schemes, prior to 1 April 2006

    Applicants will be asked to fill in a form with details of their income and expenditure on form AF360.

    Income and expenses/allowances need to be expressed as weekly amounts for the purpose of this assessment scale. Where the applicant(s) has shown a fortnightly, monthly, quarterly, annual figure etc. and then calculated a weekly equivalent, the calculations must be checked by the FSU.

    Form AF360 in conjunction with form AF362 is used to calculate the amount payable. Applicant(s) must write the word 'none' on each line of form AF360 where no entry is made and must sign the declaration (section D). If either of these two requirements are not met, the form will be returned to the applicant for completion. Similarly if the required proof of earnings is not provided, FSU staff will contact the applicant to obtain this.

    2.1 Net Earnings

    It is necessary to verify earnings by either having sight of the applicant(s) original payslips covering the last 2 months or 8 consecutive weeks, or sending letter SAS9 to the employers. Applicant(s) are asked to attach payslips to form AF360 wherever possible. Photocopies sent by applicant(s) are not acceptable.

    Net earnings are the total earnings including overtime, fees, bonus, commission and regular gratuities less pension contributions, sick pay, national insurance contributions and income tax. Net earnings must be expressed as a weekly amount following the advice below:

    ; For monthly pay, add the last 2 consecutive months, multiply the answer by 6 to give

    an annual figure and divide by 52.

    ; For fortnightly pay, add the last 4 consecutive pay amounts and divide by 8. The weekly figure should represent the average earnings expected for the foreseeable future. Any annual/quarterly bonuses, commission etc. declared by the applicant(s) should be equated to a weekly amount and be included in the weekly net earnings. If any income and/or deductions included in the last 8 weeks or two months is thought to be a one-off and therefore not representative of the applicant(s) earnings, consideration should be given to disregarding that amount in calculating the weekly net earnings and/or checking the earnings in the period immediately preceding the 8 weeks.

    Original payslips should be photocopied by the DFU and the originals returned to the applicant(s) as soon as possible.

     9 Residence Order Allowances (Proc 18/09 April 2009)

    CHILDREN AND FAMILIES/FINANCE RESIDENCE ORDERS RESIDENCE ORDER

    ALLOWANCES

    2.2 Earnings of Self Employed Applicant(s)

    Most self-employed people prepare accounts at least once a year so they know what profit their business is making. When the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) agrees these accounts, a final Notice of Assessment (tax bill) is sent. If the accounts and tax return are not submitted, or the DWP is not satisfied that the stated profits are correct, or the business has only recently started trading, an estimated Notice of Assessment is issued by the Tax Office.

    The tax assessments are made for tax years which run from 6 April in one year to 5 April in the following year. The Notice of Assessment will show the following information: ; the period covered by the tax assessment (normally one year unless it is the first or last

    year of the business)

    ; the profit of the business

    ; the tax payable after taking account of all allowable expenses including depreciation on

    capital items e.g. vehicle, equipment and machinery

    ; the national insurance contributions (both Class 2 which are paid to the DWP by the

    individual and Class 4 which are collected by the Inland Revenue)

    ; pension contributions

    Self-employed persons must submit the original copy of their latest final notice of Assessment with the form AF360. An estimated notice should not be used unless:

    ; it is a review of the allowance and the estimated tax assessment is higher than the last

    final one.

    ; The self-employed person has recently started trading and the first final Notice of

    Assessment is not yet available.

    In these circumstances the person must be advised that the estimated tax has been used pending a final Notice of Assessment being submitted to the DFU within one or two months - whatever seems the shortest reasonable timescale in a particular case. On receipt of the final notice, the assessment should be reviewed and any change in the level of taxation reflected in the allowance paid.

    If the final notice of assessment is not received from the self-employed person within a timescale determined as being reasonable in a particular case, the DSM must decide whether the payment of an allowance is suspended.

    Where the applicant declares that there have been material changes since the latest Notice of Assessment, up-to-date business accounts prepared by Accountants must be provided. The tax payable from the business profits is calculated and notified to the individual, completely separately from any tax liability on private income or investments.

    2.3 Child Benefit

    The amount shown on form AF360 must be checked against the latest DWP Child Benefit rates and the number of children in the family. Child Benefit for the child adopted or the subject of a Residence Order should be ignored because it is taken into account in setting the maximum HCC Adoption/Residence Order rates payable for the age of the child. Similarly, any Child Benefit being paid for a child for whom another local authority is financially responsible or is accommodating must be disregarded.

     10 Residence Order Allowances (Proc 18/09 April 2009)

Report this document

For any questions or suggestions please email
cust-service@docsford.com