‘Unsung heroine’ wins landmark foster care case against Tower Hamlets Council in High Court

PUBLISHED: 18:15 11 March 2013 | UPDATED: 18:15 11 March 2013

Royal Courts of Justice

Royal Courts of Justice


An “unsung heroine” has won a landmark discrimination case against Tower Hamlets Council over foster care.

A High Court judge said the council’s different treatment of foster parents related to children in their care and those who are not was unlawful.

The woman – who cannot be named for legal reasons – complained after being paid less than an unrelated foster parent would be for caring for three of her brother’s children, all of whom have learning difficulties.

Despite being blind in one eye, the woman gave up her job and moved house to care for the “demanding and exhausting” children at the request of Tower Hamlets Council.

Delivering his judgement, Mr Justice Males paid tribute to “one of the unsung heroines of our society” after she stepped in to help.

“I am absolutely delighted with the result”, said the woman.

“However I am disappointed that it has taken a High Court ruling and all the additional legal expenses to make the council do what the government directed them to do in early 2011.

“At this difficult economic time, I expect the legal expenses will add to the financial pressures faced by the council.”

Acting for the woman, Rebecca Chapman of Ridley and Hall solicitors in Huddersfield said criticised Tower Hamlets Council for not following the government’s 2011 guidelines on fostering allowances.

“Although the guidance was pointed out to the local authority they decided to continue with their discriminatory policy”, she added.

Tower Hamlets Council claimed it was not alone in distinguishing between related and unrelated foster parents, adding the demands on unrelated fosterers were often greater.

The ruling is set to pave the way for thousands of other carers who look after relatives’ loved ones receiving up to double their present level of financial support.

Tower Hamlets Council has three months to review its policy following the ruling.

Latest East London News Stories

Yesterday, 16:14

The mayor of Tower Hamlets has voluntarily had a blood test for Aids in a council campaign for public awareness for people to take part in HIV Testing Week starting tomorrow.

Yesterday, 18:21

Police have found the body of a missing student with links to east London.

Yesterday, 13:48

Campaigners have called for support ahead of a national unity demonstration against racism and fascism.

Yesterday, 11:45

Police are appealing for help in finding a vulnerable man who has been missing for more than a week.

Thu, 19:00

Tower Hamlets Council is to overhaul the way it awards grants to community and voluntary organisations (VCS) in the borough.

Thu, 14:41

Yobs have been banned by magistrates from going onto a housing estate in Whitechapel which has been plagued by drug addicts.

Thu, 11:49

Older people in Tower Hamlets are being trained in classical dance by the English National Ballet to commemorate a century since the end of the First World War.

Thu, 08:18

Police are looking for the driver of a suspicious vehicle which sped away as they approached and was a then in a hit-and-run incident in Spitalfields yesterday.


Are you a landlord looking for a fixed rental income, paid whether the property is empty or not? Steve Westley, general manager at estate agents Elliot Leigh, explains their Guaranteed Rent Scheme and how it takes the stress out of letting your property.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now