William Eichler 11 October 2017

Council charges foster family for free school transport

Council charges foster family for free school transport image

Councils are putting foster children at a disadvantage compared to their peers when it comes to school transport, ombudsman says.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGO) found Warwickshire CC told foster carers whose children had to attend schools beyond statutory walking distance that they must pay for school transport out of the fostering allowance despite the children being entitled to free school transport.

Using the fostering allowance in this way meant those children received less support than foster children who live closer to their school, the LGO said.

They were also being treated differently to children who live with their birth families and attend schools beyond statutory walking distance, who would have free transport.

‘For many foster children, who have often had a turbulent start in life, councils sometimes decide it is important they maintain the stability of attending the same school regardless of where they are living,’ said LGO Michael King.

‘The children and their foster carers living further away should not be penalised for this.

‘I am aware there are a number of other councils across the country taking the same incorrect approach as Warwickshire. I will be writing to those I have identified to make them aware of these findings.’

‘I am pleased that by the end of the investigation Warwickshire County Council accepted its policy was wrong,’ Mr King continued.

‘I would now urge others to check their own policies as a matter of urgency to ensure they are treating fosters carers, and the children they look after, fairly when it comes to school transport.’

Warwickshire CC has agreed to apologise to the carers and reimburse them for the period they transported the child to school.

Sampling COVID’s impact on Surrey image

Sampling COVID’s impact on Surrey

Michael Coughlin describes how Surrey CC is developing a ‘rich and granular’ understanding of how its residents, communities and the local economy are being impacted by the pandemic.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Senior Social Worker - LD & Autism

Essex County Council
£30906 - £42254 per annum
Senior Social Worker / Senior Occupational Therapist/ Senior Practitioner With us, you can achieve more - for yourself as well as those you work to s England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Worker - Assessment and Intervention

Essex County Council
£30906 - £42254 per annum + + Free On-Site Parking & Benefits Package
Social Worker - Assessment and InterventionPermanentFull Time£30,906 to £42,254 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Worker - Children with Disabilities

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Social Worker - Children with DisabilitiesPermanent, Full Time£30,906 to £42,254 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Duty Manager (South Woodham Ferrers Leisure Centre)

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 5 - Starting at £22,944 per annum, rising to £25,284
South Woodham Ferrers Leisure Centre is one of Chelmsford City Council's excellent leisure facilities which offers a variety of sporting activities... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Assistant Director - Inclusion

Suffolk County Council
£75,745 - £93,245 pa
We are seeking a highly skilled Assistant Director Ipswich, Suffolk
Recuriter: Suffolk County Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue