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Woman wins right to be paid as her granddaughter’s carer

A grandmother has won the right to be paid the same rate as a foster carer for looking after her granddaughter.

The woman, who is aged 64, has looked after the girl since 2005 when the council told her the only other alternative was to take the girl into care as her parents were unable to cope. The council then decided to treat the case as if it were a private, family arrangement and refused to pay her the full carer’s rate.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, took legal action and the High Court ruled in her favour. The judge said the payment should rise from £63 weekly to £146 in line with the average rate for foster parents with no family connections.

The judge granted the authority permission to appeal because the case has implications for other local authorities and potentially thousands of grandparents all over the country.

It means there could yet be further developments, but the High Court decision shows that the law can come down on the side of grandparents who find themselves looking after children at a time in their lives when they thought they had put child-rearing duties behind them.

It highlights the increasing value being placed on the role of grandparents as family life becomes ever more complicated.

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