The Money Carer Foundation was approached back in May 2010 by the Social Services department of a London local authority. The Money Carer Foundation has assisted the local authority since the beginning of 2010 in relation to a number of service users due to The Money Carer Foundation’s expertise in assisting vulnerable people all over the country who are not able to manage their own financial affairs.
A social worker at the Local Authority approached The Money Carer Foundation as they were concerned about a patient of theirs named Elizabeth. The social worker suspected that a member of Elizabeth’s family was abusing their position of trust and misappropriating Elizabeth’s money whilst Elizabeth recovered in hospital.
Representatives from The Money Carer Foundation met with Elizabeth and her social worker at the hospital in London. The social worker had subsequently discovered that there had been a number of erroneous cash withdrawals from Elizabeth’s account whilst Elizabeth was ill in hospital.
As part of the safeguarding process that was put in place by the Local Authority it was decided that The Money Carer Foundation should act as appointee to Elizabeth. The DWP appointeeship that was set up enables the Money Carer Foundation to oversee Elizabeth’s finances and welfare benefits, ensures her bill payments are made on time and protects her finances from financial abuse. This appointeeship was set up whilst Elizabeth recuperated in hospital and upon returning home Elizabeth confirmed that she was happy to continue with the arrangement due to the protection it afforded her finances.
One of the methods used by The Money Carer Foundation to protect Elizabeth’s finances, in conjunction with the Local Authority, was that a Carer’s Shopping Card was issued to Elizabeth’s main carers. The card was “topped up” using Elizabeth’s money by The Money Carer Foundation team which then enabled Elizabeth’s carers to purchase food and other items on behalf of Elizabeth. The card can be used in the same way as any other Mastercard, subject to the amount of money that is “topped up” on the card.
The advantage of the Carer’s Card to Elizabeth is that the card helps to reduce the risk of financial abuse to her. Elizabeth’s carers also benefit from The Carer’s Client Card as they do not need to pick up cash from Elizabeth’s home. This flexibility frees up valuable time for Elizabeth’s carers and also brings the purchases that they make on behalf of Elizabeth into the card audit trail.
In addition to helping to safeguard Elizabeth from financial abuse, The Money Carer Foundation also worked alongside Age UK on Elizabeth’s behalf and arranged for a local handyman to come to her home to carry out essential maintenance work.
Upon returning home, Elizabeth decided not to pursue the allegations against her family member. Elizabeth now feels secure knowing that her finances are being managed for her as a result of The Money Carer Foundation’s partnership with the Local Authority.