Council denied grandparent financial aid to help care for grandchild

The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman instructed Edinburgh City Council to apologise to the grandparent, referred to as C to protect their anonymity.

Edinburgh City Council apologises after denying grandparent financial aid to help to care for grandchild Google Maps

Edinburgh City Council has apologised after refusing to offer financial help to a grandparent who became the primary carer for their grandchild.

The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) instructed Edinburgh City Council to apologise to the grandparent, referred to as C to protect their anonymity.

C complained after the council declined their request for financial kinship care assistance in respect of their grandchild, referred to as A.

C complained that the council failed to adequately consider their eligibility when there was a change of circumstances in the family home and they became the primary carer for A.

In responding to C’s complaint, the council upheld their original decision to decline C’s request for kinship allowance on the grounds that the decision for A to reside with C had been a private family arrangement.

The council acknowledged that conflicting information was given to C regarding their eligibility for kinship allowance.

They also acknowledged that the provision of information regarding eligibility on the council’s website was lacking, and the process for challenging the council’s decision on C’s application for kinship allowance was unclear.

The council therefore agreed to take a number of improvement actions in response.

After taking independent advice from a social work adviser, the SPSO found that there was multiple other failings and upheld C’s complaint in full.

The watchdog found that the council failed to carry out an assessment of A’s wellbeing or seek their views to determine whether they were a child at risk of being looked after.

They also found that the council’s assessment of C’s request was lacking in detail and “reasoning”.

The SPSO stated that the council’s position that C was not eligible for kinship allowance failed to adequately take into account the “relevant legislation and national guidance” or the changed circumstances in the family home.

They added that the council failed to provide a full and informed response to C’s complaint.

A spokesperson for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “We take all learning from complaints seriously.

“We have apologised and fully accepted the SPSO’s decision.

“We have reviewed practice and put in place improvement actions to ensure this does not happen again.

“This forms part of our wider quality assurance activity.”

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