The Government has done a u-turn over tax credits for kinship carers of more than one child who have a child of their own.
Secretary of State Esther McVey has announced that support for children who may otherwise be in local authority care is to be extended in Universal Credit and Child Tax Credit.
The current benefits policy provides support in Universal Credit and Child Tax Credit for a maximum of two children in a household unless exceptions apply.
The government says it recognises that in some situations parents cannot make the same choices about the number of children in their household and has introduced a number of exceptions for third or subsequent children in those cases, for example, multiple births, adoption and children who would otherwise be taken into care but instead are looked after by a non-parental carer. This may be where a family member has stepped in to care for children.
The Government says the exceptions will now be extended to provide support for these children regardless of the order in which they entered the household since they previously only applied to kinship carers who had children before they took on kinship duties. The u-turn follows a high court ruling on kinship carers earlier this month which found the policy “perverse and unlawful”.