We support vulnerable people from all walks of life. As a social enterprise, the profits that we generate are ploughed back into the business to fulfill our social agenda. We do not have shareholders. Our focus is on providing tailored daily money management services and solving related problems on a national basis.
We are a national organisation based in Cheshire and we work with clients from all groups and ages with various care arrangements. Our clients are referred to us from a wide range of professionals and organisations as well as from friends, families or individuals. We work with our own network of Independent Social Workers to undertake visits and to write reports to better support the decisions we make about our clients.
The majority of our clients pay for our service through part of their disability benefits, as lack of mental capacity to manage finances is not considered a statutory duty and a Local Authority has no obligation to provide it. (The Care Act 2014) However some Local Authorities now regard the Money Carer Foundation and our fee as a “Disability Cost” and are exempting it from a person's income when undertaking a financial assessment under the Fairer Charging legislation (Fairer Charging Policies for Home Care and other non-residential Social Services Department of Health 2013).
We have also found that, for clients that are subject to Section 117 Aftercare (The Mental Health Act 2007/1983 legislation.gov.uk www.rethink.org/living-with-mental-illness/mental-health-laws/section117-aftercare) our service has been included as part of their health and care needs upon being discharged from hospital, therefore our client does not have to pay our costs. Our monthly fee is less than the cost of one support hour a week.
Since 2009, we have tailored our services to meet our client’s needs, focusing on our client’s well-being and going above and beyond to make their lives more comfortable. We pride ourselves on our “can do” attitude to resolving daily money management needs and welfare. We do this by working with clients, their support workers, social workers and family/friends to look at how to manage their finances and help everyone in the client’s circle of care so our client can live a more fulfilled life.
We believe that money is a catalyst for bringing about improvements to someone's life and we seek to work in the best interests of an individual in order to achieve this. Please, take a moment and have a look at our anonymised case studies based on actual Money Carer Foundation clients here which gives examples of how we work with individuals.
We have a unique approach when it comes to managing our client’s finances. Our service is tailored to our client’s needs and no approach is the same. Most of our services are delivered once we become a corporate appointee under the Department of Work and Pensions where we take on the legal responsibility of receiving and managing a person's welfare benefit entitlements. We do this by applying to become an appointee either with the client’s agreement or where a health or care professional has undertook a mental capacity assessment to state that an individual no longer has the mental capacity to manage their finances.
It is only after the appointeeship has been granted by the Department of Work and Pensions, which can take up to six weeks, that benefits will be paid into a new bank account opened in the name of the individual and operated by The Money Carer Foundation for our new client. It is only when the appointeeship has been granted that the individual becomes our client.
This process is managed by a Personal Account Manager at The Money Carer Foundation who can pay all bills from this account and issue one of our pre-paid MasterCards card operated by a pin number. Our award wimning card system can be used by any client with capacity, or anyone in the client’s circle of care. Personal Account Managers liaise with clients themselves or support workers to identify the best way to provide the client’s money to them. This can be done through regular deposits into their bank account or via our card system for example. Personal Account Managers will also work with our client or their support team to generate a budget that will may also include a schedule for paying off debts, should this be necessary, or a plan to accumulate savings for future big purchases such as furniture or holidays.
If an individual's finances are more complex and they have savings in bank accounts, private pensions, property or investments then an application to the OPG or Court of Protection will be required which can either be a Lasting Power of Attorney, if an individual has the mental capacity to agree to our services; or a Deputyship Order, if an individual no longer has the mental capacity to agree to to our services.
Depending on complexity, granting a Lasting Power of Attorney or Deputyship Order could take between 4 – 8 months and may require the social worker to complete a Court of Protection 3 Form. Where there is no longer an active social worker involved to complete this form an Independent Visiting Officer or psychiatrist can be commissioned to undertake this role.
This legal process will be managed by Hillyer McKeown, our Partner Solicitors, and there are some associated costs charged by The Office of The Public Guardian/Court of Protection for these orders. Please see here for further information about this. It is important that when clients are referred to us that the most accurate and complete information is provided to us. Please see our referral form here to see the range of information we are looking for.
As part of ongoing work with our clients we will sometimes ask Visiting Officers approved by the Office of The Public Guardian, who are members of the Association of Independent Visitors(UK) (www.aivuk.org.uk) to review our clients to see how things are going or on occasion complete benefit forms if no other professional is able to complete these. We have found this to be the best way of ensuring that individuals have suitably qualified and experienced professionals to complete these forms to the timescales and standards required by the Department of Work and Pensions so that an individual does not lose their benefits. Please see our Review form here.
A rising number of referrals to The Money Carer Foundation are for people who have been the subject of safeguarding investigations where there have been concerns about potential financial abuse from friends or family. As part of the principles of good practice in Making Safeguarding Personal (Making Safeguarding Personal Executive Summary ADASS 2009) The Money Carer Foundation can work with Social Services Departments to become part of any safeguarding plans to quickly protect an individual's finances but at the same time still provide as much control as appropriate over their finances by ensuring bills are paid, savings accrued whilst the individual has regular amounts of money transferred onto their card or into another account.
As briefly mentioned earlier, our Carer's Card or shopping card is an excellent way to safeguard these individuals. This card can be used by those who are involved in supporting individuals so that fixed amounts of money can be transferred to pay for regular shopping or one off purchases that an individual may not be able to organise for themselves. This card can also be used by clients who have the mental capacity to manage their finances but may not be physically able to get out to do their shopping. This service is included in our full service but can also be provided as a stand-alone service should a client wish to not have the full service from The Money Carer Foundation but would have a shopping card in a carer's name with associated bank account in the client's name. For further information about these range of cards please see here.
If you have any questions or concerns or you would like to make a referral please do not hesitate to contact us.
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