C requested an independent review of the council's decision on their community care grant application. C had moved to a bigger property partly to help them gain overnight access to their children who were in kinship care. C also suffered from health problems and reported that they previously had substance misuse issues.
The council assessed that C did not meet any of the qualifying criteria and therefore were unable to make an award. They noted that social work confirmed that overnight access was not being given therefore there was no plans for their children to be returned. C requested a first tier review, however, the council did not change their decision for the same reason.
We reviewed the council's file and contacted C and their social worker for further information. C’s social worker confirmed that while there was no timescale set for C to regain custody of their children, overnight access had been agreed but had been taking place at another location due to the condition of the property. The social worker stated that carpets would help create a warmer more comfortable environment for the children on their overnight visits. On the basis of this information we disagreed that the application did not meet the qualifying conditions associated with exceptional pressure. We changed the council's decision and instructed them to award carpets for the living room and two bedrooms. We provided feedback that the council appear to have confused the information provided by social work with respect to whether custody or overnight access arrangements had been agreed. While custody had not been agreed, C had been granted overnight access and we deemed this to be relevant.