Foster carer says Hampshire County Council owe her thousands as IT error affects hundreds

  • ITV News Meridian Chlöe Oliver has been finding out the impact the missed payments have made on foster carers in Hampshire.

A foster carer from Hampshire says the county council owe her thousands of pounds after an IT fault means she hasn’t been paid in months.

An online meeting earlier this month revealed over 120 foster carers are in the same position, with their weekly payments backed up since December and some even earlier.

Mary Whitmore has been a foster carer for nearly a decade, welcoming vulnerable children into her home, but a technical fault has left her nearly £5000 out of pocket with no payments since October and over Christmas.

Normally, foster parents like Mary receive a weekly payment for each child in their care which goes towards food, clothes and activities such as sports or day trips.

  • Mary says the lack of payments over the Christmas period has been challenging caring for a teenager.

Mary says: "It's been tricky because it's been Christmas so people have been off work and trying to get hold of people has been difficult.

"They've obviously been inundated with emails. Nobody really seems to know what's going on, so that's very frustrating.

"You just kind of go day to day and then, you know, prioritise what you're going to spend money on.

"So whereas you might have gone out for a meal or gone to the cinema with the children, you watch a film at home and get some popcorn."

  • Hampshire County Council say they're working as fast as possible to pay carers after a new system failed to send out payments.

Last month, Hampshire County Council changed to a new computer system, called MOSAIC, which sends out those weekly payments to over 1800 foster carers.

But an error in the transition meant over 300 carers didn’t receive their payment.

Cllr Edward Heron, Hampshire County Council, says: "We're very sorry for those foster carers who have experienced difficulties. They really are incredibly important to us and more importantly incredibly important to the children that they support.

"What we have been doing is making contact with carers and we've got in place emergency payments."

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