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Everything posted by Robertxc

  1. Well, Kenny, I pressume you come under Highland Council? If so, they are among the worst payers in cotland, and suffer from a very severe shortage of carers.
  2. Hmmm, these are only the recommended changes Kenny, they haven't been adopted by every cooncil yet.
  3. The other point I wanted to make is that the idea that foster carers should only do it out of love is totally false, and not a little patronising. The argument goes that a very altruistic person (probably a single middle aged woman, who doesn't work), should 'take kids in' and care for them. That person shouldn't ask for any money because that's not how 'normal' families operate, because to do so would in some way contaminate the child's life. The obvious paradox here of course is how the carer is supposed to provide the child with all the thing he/she needs and wants if they can't work and don't get paid? I can assure you, looked after children want all the same [email protected] that your kids want, and they will be no less shy in demanding iPod, Playstation, Bratz etc etc etc. Foster carers working for nothing is not only unrealistic, it' actually not particularly desireable anyway. We get paid a professional fee by Fife Council, regardless of the number of children we look after. What that means is that if we have a space available and they need to place a child in an emergency they can call us up and more or less oblige us to take them in (subject to certain boundaries of course). If on the other hand we were doing it out of pure altruism, it would be much more difficult for them to impose upon us. On top of that, nowadays we also have far higher expctations placed upon us in terms of professionalism. Would you be prepared to let The Care Commission carry out a detailed inspection of your house if you were an unpaid volunteer? I certainly wouldn't.
  4. But surely if you qualify for the tax relief you must also qualify for NI contributions? We actually get two whole weeks paid holiday a year where we're supposed to put the foster kids into respite care while we and our kids go to Disneyland. What a lot of people reading this thread might not realise is that if all foster carers were paid properly - to the extent that it bacame a realistic profession for more people - the savings to their local authority would be enormous. Consider this: The eldest sibling of two of our kids is in a care home not far from here. The care home only houses four kids. It's a good place, which is well run and the kids are, for the most part, pretty happy to be there. To keep one child there costs an average of £1,500 per week. Do you think I'm exagerating? £1,500 per child per week = £312,000 per year. The care home will have a full time manager (£30,000+), plus at least eight care workers working three shifts a day, seven days a week. Add to that all the transportation, pocket money, professional services etc. etc. etc. I think the couple of hundred quid a week that foster carers get paid looks like pretty good value compared to keeping kids in care home.
  5. That is interesting. I thought that you had to be a carer for a local authority to be eligible for Foster Carer Relief. The point I was making was that it's difficult to make sweeping judgements about what carers get paid, because there is so much variation. For example, I konw one carer who'se total financial package for one child come to about £150,000 per year. Needless to say, the child is profoundly handicapped and they have just about every agency you can think of in their lives. A huge sum of money, no doubt, but they and their family's comitment to that child is for life. I personally wouldn't work for an agency, even though it would undoubtedly mean more money (apparently Swiss pay £500 per child per week! :o). Agencies tend to get the chjildren that the local authority couldn't place internally, which often (but by no means alwayss) means serious bahavioural issues. Also, as has been pointed out on this thread, agencies don't tend to pay anything if you don't have a child, wheras our local authority pay the fee element regardless.
  6. Interesting thread. The issue of foster carers funding has been rumbling on for a long time, and part of the problem is the disparity that exists in different parts of the country. There's also a difference between being a carer for a local authority and being employed by an agency. The other thing to bear in mind is that the tax allowances for income from fostering are so high (£10,000 per annum, plus £250 per child per week), that it's unlikely they will ever pay tax on their fostering income. Another issue that muddies the waters is that foster carers are treated as being self-employed for tax credit purposes - with the total receipts being disregarded as income, which means that if neither of the foster parents does anything other than fostering, and they have children of their own, they will be eligible for the full whack of tax credit, plus council tax and housing benefit (if they rent their home).
  7. Are you sure you only want 512k for the graphics? Would 512MB not be a bit better?
  8. Yup. I picked up the link instantly. probably too much time spent in David Hume Tower at Edinburgh University.
  9. I think it's going to turn out that Faraday is the cause of it all - sometime in the past. The only problem I can see with the island running at a different speed of time from the rest of the worls is that if that were true then how can they speak to each other on the phone? For example, if a minute on the island lasts two minuted everywhere else, then anything Jack said to Sayid on the boat would have sounded very slow and slurred to Sayid, and Sayid would have sounded super fast to Jack. :-|
  10. I wouldn't read too much into Natwest/Cobbett saying they intend to defend - that's standard. No-one really knows what timescale we're looking at for the test case. There seems to be a notion floating around that the judgement will come down sometime around easter, but it's worth noting that the judge himself made it clear that he had 'no idea' when it would be. To be honest, it's anyone's guess what sort of timescale you'll be looking at if things go as we hope with the test case. For a 'normal' bank charges claim that was settled out of court the average amount of time seems to have been about 12 weeks from initial demand for payment to receiving the cheque. I have to say however that there have been some wide variations on this. In your case, since you'll also be challenging the limitation period, I wouldn't be surprised if they actually take it to court (assuming that some outcome from the test case doesn't require them to hand back all charges). The compound interest might also complicate things. If I had your circumstances I wouldn't be counting on an early settlement. I would be expecting them to at least try and get it thrown out over the limitation issue, and if that fails then settle. On the other hand, if the banks lose comprehensively and they end up having to hand back huge sums of money I wouldn't be surprised if they just pay out without a fuss. If you're worried about the amount of notice you will be given that the stay is to be lifted, I strongly recommend giving the court a call and asking one of the clerks. They are invariably friendly and helpful. They may not be able to give you a definitive answer, but they'll certainly give you an idea of what to expect.
  11. I wonder what this guy would make of it? The Sneeze - Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions.
  12. By 'mixed' do you mean the pasties are mixed with lips, eyelids and @r$eholes?
  13. Ahhh, the Ginsters Cornish Pasty...or the 'Folded Cat Sandwich' as it's known to fife commuters.
  14. Yes, but how would you categorise his music? I agree he's a brilliant songwriter, in fact I believe the songs he's written for other people have actually been more succesful for him than the stuff he's released himself - which is no mean feat!
  15. Just before Liberty X and just after Barenaked Ladies...why?
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