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4.17 Administering Weekly Payments to 'Prescribed Children'


S17(5) payments in respect of a 'prescribed child' under the age of 18, must be made to the child's parent or guardian, i.e. for use for, or to the benefit of, that child.

On occasion and in the presence of family discord, prescribed children have sometimes chosen to leave home and live with an adult who is not the court appointed, legal guardian. In that case, the delegate should react pragmatically and pay the S17(5) benefit to the adult who actually has the daily care and maintenance of that child.

In rare cases, a prescribed child who is under 18 years old may leave the care of all responsible adults and live as a homeless transient, i.e. as a 'street kid'. In that case, delegates should arrange to have the S17(5) paid into a MRCC trust fund till that child has turned 18.

Where prescribed children over the age of 18 are entitled to receive Ss17(5) payments, these weekly amounts should be paid directly to the 'child'. Persons over the age of 18 are legally adults and are not prevented from receiving a benefit in their own right.