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Care & carers

Grandson wants to stay

(14 Posts)
IreneH Sat 17-Oct-15 18:02:47

My 16 year old grandson has been staying with us for over a month following rows with his mum. She can be difficult to get with along due to trauma experienced some years ago.

He has now decided that he wants to live with us on a permanent basis and we have told him we're happy to have him here. He's still at school and hopes to go to university when he is 18.

While we're not in dire straits, it has crossed my mind that this will cost us a fair bit if we have to support him financially for the next 5 years or so. We are still financing our youngest through uni and were hoping to retire in the next few years as I am 57 and hubby 62.

We are not entitled to any benefits but wondered if there was any allowances we could claim towards his keep. His mum is still claiming child benefit for him but hasn't offered us a penny of it and I doubt she will in the future. Would we be able to claim this on his behalf instead - or would it be means tested as I think hubby is above the threshold to receive it.

This is all new to me so any advice would be gratefully received!


jinglbellsfrocks Sat 17-Oct-15 18:22:07

I think you should think long and very hard about that! What does his mum think about it? Would she be upset? It's not only the boy that has to be considered. And don't all teenagers have rows with their parents? Is there a dad on the scene?

And he might change in nature as he gets older. He could be a lot to put up with.

Envious Sat 17-Oct-15 18:53:37

I can remember being sixteen. I never caused any problems but I had a mother that kept up with me when all my friends had working parents and much more freedom. If you can be firm and not let him take advantage it might be a benefit to both of you. If he respects you and continues to do so then I'd give it a try.

merlotgran Sat 17-Oct-15 19:00:01

If he has been staying with you for over a month you must be getting along well or neither he nor you would want to put it on a permanent basis.
He is lucky to have your support at such a tricky time of his life and I take my hat off to you for wanting to do so much for him.

There will be problems of course.....girlfriends, school and his relationship with his mother to name but a possible few. I would think you are entitled to the child benefit so maybe you can look into claiming it yourself and then it would no longer be paid to his mother.

Good luck!

downtoearth Sat 17-Oct-15 19:12:53

Mum should not be claiming child benefit for him as he no longer lives there,child benefit office need to know,and you may be eligible to receive it.
Also depending on your level of income you may be able to claim child tax credits for him,again if mum receives this and this arrangement is a permanant one you may be eligible for this also,Tax credits are claimed through HMRC

Nelliemoser Sat 17-Oct-15 19:43:37

I am with "down to earth" on that if the child is not living with mum then she should not be claiming child benefit.

It might be better to diplomaticallly suggest to her that as she is not looking after him she could get into trouble for still claiming benefit.
However that situation is not easy to approach.

I think that at sixteen a child can still choose who he wants to live with.
Is there a young peoples advice centre near to you?
Does he have any support counsellors or pastoral care staff at school?
He or you (as his current carer) could perhaps arrange to discuss this with school. They should know about this situation and what stress he is going through.

I don't think children's services would touch this situation with a barge pole, they would be afraid of somehow getting lumbered with financing it and they are highly unlikely to do so.
There might be some useful information on here.

IreneH Sat 17-Oct-15 20:28:56

Thanks for the replies. Dad isn't on the scene and Mum (my daughter) isn't in a good place at the moment and can't see beyond her own needs & wants.

I've suggested that he talks to his guidance teacher at school as he needs unbiased advice & information. If she can't do this herself then hopefully she can suggest somebody he can talk to.

I have also raised the thorny issue of the child benefit money with mum and she assures me that she will contact them. Once she's done this, I'll make enquiries myself as to whether or not we'll be entitled to it. Other than that, I'd prefer arrangements to be kept as informal as possible, he may even want to return home if his mum is able to cope again.

We'll just have to see how it goes - at least it isn't so long ago since I had a teenager in the house!!

Alea Sat 17-Oct-15 23:01:47

I think they are very lucky to have such a flexible gran to hand! Of course you want to help your DD and DGS as much as you can, but not everybody would be wiling or able to make this commitment.
Good luck to you all, I am sure you will make the very best of what could have been an unhappy ituation. smile

WilmaKnickersfit Sat 17-Oct-15 23:37:26

The rules might have changed, but his Mum is still entitled to the Child Benefit for a certain period of time. This is in case the change of circumstances is only temporary or at least definitely not permanent. It used to be 8 weeks and then she is required to notify the change of circumstances. Of course, there's a presumption that during this time the money is being handed over, but I don't think this is compulsory again because the change might be temporary. Also, she might be able to notify the change of circumstances and still be the claimant as long as the money is being handed over, but a formal arrangement would be made (sorry, can't remember how it worked).

You definitely need advice on this before you make a decision. There's too many things to be considered, mainly because his Mum is still around. I am sure you can make it as informal or formal as you want, but you need the advice to avoid getting anyone in to trouble.

WilmaKnickersfit Sat 17-Oct-15 23:51:56

I have just remembered. If you don't want to claim the Child Benefit, his Mum can still claim it as long as she is paying it to you (after the 8 weeks). If you decide to claim yourself (perhaps because she's not handing over the money), then there will be competing claims. His Mum can choose to stop claiming so you can claim instead, but if she won't do that, then a decision will be made based on who is the primary carer - and that will be you.

downtoearth Sun 18-Oct-15 14:15:23

I am a kinship carer through different circumstances,but my GD is also 16 and at this age group are required to be in either full time education,or a college,or apprencticeship placement,depending on your financial circumstances you may also be able to claim child tax credit,as you already have an older teen who you are supporting this will be an expensive time for you,good luck I hope you and your grandson and your daughter are able to get all the support you need.

geeljay Sun 18-Oct-15 23:04:13

Call a spade a spade. Have a round the table chat, tell your GS/GD that you would love to have them stay with you, but if they could contribute a little via a part time job, life might be more tolerable.You might just find how helpful they can be.

petallus Mon 19-Oct-15 10:22:27

Ten years ago I was in a very similar situation. My 16 year old GS came to stay because of problems with his stepfather. I was 62 at the time.

I was apprehensive but determined to cope. I would hope never to turn away one of my grandchildren.

Grandson is still here, now aged 26. On the whole, his presence has enriched the last ten years and given us a few laughs and adventures. Also we have the satisfaction of feeling we helped him out when he really needed it.

We did not get any financial assistance because of DH's salary level but DD did hand over the child benefit.

downtoearth Wed 21-Oct-15 14:20:49

And they keep you young always a bonus smile,I never regret bringing up E and having her with us,only the circumstances which made it necessarysunshine