SGO with new child protection plan.

swampydrill
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:05 pm

SGO with new child protection plan.

Postby swampydrill » Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:04 am

Me and my wife are currently SGO's for our 2 grand-children, aged 4 and 5. Our story started when my grand-daughter was 4 weeks old and her parents noticed a mark on her skin, they took her to hospital due to being concerned about meningitis. The doctor said he felt these marks may have been made deliberately and informed social services, my son has a past of some mental health issues and aggression but never against children and they had said the baby was asleep on mum for 4 hrs. We got the children placed with us while a court case went ahead, we were basically told if you do not believe your son caused those marks then we may look to get these 2 children adopted, at the same time i got an independent paedietrician to examine the scans of the baby and her report stated these marks could easily have been caused by sleeping on mum for a prolonged period. Due to my sons passed history, the children were put into our care with us being the SGOs, the judge agreed that the mark on the baby was not caused deliberately, he also stated he would look at the parents regaining full parental responsibility in the future. We had 1 yr supervision order from SS with a contact order whereby the parents saw the children 2 days a week. At the end of the court hearing, 2 solicitors told us that once the year was up, we were free to do as we wished as we then had full responsibility for the children. During the next year, the parents went on parenting courses. We gradually increased contact after a year and over the next 2 years it gradually got to where the children were sleeping at their parents 4-5 times a week and them taking them to school. My son recently got in trouble with the police which cause SS to get involved again. They now say that they are not happy that we allowed the parents to have so much contact with the parents and are now possibly looking to reduce contact to 1 day a week. All the reports from medical people, schools etc are glowing for the children, they cannot find any issue but because of my sons passed they say there is still a risk and want contact reduced to 1 day per week, i find this totally wrong. Have i broke any law ?, i don't believe so. One of my major issues with SS is they say they are concerned but when it comes to visits and checking things they are totally inadequate, even 2 weeks ago they said the children must be seen every 10 days, still not seen them. I feel we will be railroaded into accepting whatever they wish as they have threatened court action if needed

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 432
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: SGO with new child protection plan.

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:02 pm

Dear swampydrill

Welcome back to the discussion forum.

I am sorry that you are having difficulties with children’s services’ involvement with your family at present. Apologies that you did not receive an earlier response due entirely to pressure of work.

You say that you have special guardianship orders for your grandchildren and have done for a while now. The current situation arose because your son became involved with the police. Did this police involvement have anything to do with the concerns that children’s services had in the past when they brought care proceedings? If so, this might explain why they are concerned about the level of contact he children have been having with their parents.

Children’s services appear to have significant concerns as they have gone down the child protection route following what, I assume, was a referral from the police. A copy of our advice sheet relating to child protection procedures will give you more information on your current situation.

Regarding contact, there is already an order in place stating the amount of contact the children should have with their parents and children’s services cannot force you to breach the court order by saying that contact should be reduced to one day. Only the court can change the terms of the order.

In answer to your question ‘have I broken any law’, the answer is no. As a special guardian you can make decisions about the amount of contact the children can have if you think it is in the children’s best interests. Alternatively, if you considered that the children were not benefiting from contact with their parents you could have gone to court to ask for the level of contact to be reduced. You can exercise parental responsibility over and above that of the parents. Children services do not share parental responsibility unless they have an order from the court.

If children’s services consider that the children are at risk in your care then, it is open to them to make an application to the court for an order. They will of course need to prove to the court that the threshold for a care order is met. This states 'threshold criteria' means that:
At the time Children’s Services first got involved in protecting your child, s/he was suffering or was likely to suffer significant harm; and that
The harm was due to the care being given to your child before the case started not being ‘what it would be reasonable to expect a parent to give to him/her’ or because s/he was out of your control.41 Harm in this context includes children witnessing violence or the ‘ill-treatment’ of another person in your home.’

As the children are now subject to child protection plan, you will need to do all you can to adhere to the plan and what you need to do. If you believe that children’s services are not doing what they should be doing or are not acting professionally then can consider whether you wish to make a formal or informal complaint. Please see our advice sheet relating to complaints.

Should you wish to speak to an adviser, please telephone our advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays).

I hope this is helpful

Best wishes

Suzie


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