Carers needing vital cash help

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A WIGAN family is calling for more financial support for carers of children whose parents have died.

The mother of a 35-year-old man from Ince says he is struggling to continue supporting the child of his ex-partner, who died nine years ago, because he is not entitled to fostering allowance.

The man, who can not be named for legal reasons, claims to have saved thousands of pounds of public money by becoming legal guardian to the youngster, who is now 13.

But the guardian’s mother believes he should not miss out on financial support because he has been granted a residence order, giving him parental responsibility of the child, rather than offering to be a foster carer.

She said: “We’ve always looked out for the child’s best interest. But there was no information or advice on whether a residence order would be the best option.

“We’ve had no financial support and my son has given up his job and his home to care for the child.”

Shortly after his ex-partner’s death in 2002, the Ince man was advised to apply for a residence order to look after her five-year-old child.

This provides parental responsibility to the holder of the order until the child turns 16 years of age.

Foster carers receive an allowance to cover the cost of caring for a child. National guidelines recommend basic levels of allowances for carers.

Wigan Council is one of 10 North West authorities who have joined the You Can Foster campaign, which is aiming to recruit 150 foster carers in 150 days.

There is a current shortfall of 10,000 foster carers in the UK.