advice needed.

lindyloopy2002
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Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:29 pm

advice needed.

Post by lindyloopy2002 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:37 pm

Hi , I am new to this forum, and was wondering if anyone can give me advice please, Ive 3 grandchildren living with me ,have been for 2.5 yrs , ages 11, 9 and 6, social services are aware of the children as there are another three,whom are now being cared for by other family members,but for me social services have just ignored me and the three children who live with me, i was under the impresssion they were to keep regular checks and to help financially, i dont get neither ,therefore have had to claim ctc and cb, wich is not a lot, i am 57 and my husband is 59, and obviously not getting any younger, i love the kids to bits, but finding it really hard financially..we have no time to ourselves nowadays ..and our pleas for help just fall on deaf ears..

lindyloopy2002
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:29 pm

Re: advice needed.

Post by lindyloopy2002 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:33 am

Hi ,ied53 , they were sent to me originally in a taxi 5/09/2010,i informed social services of this, and i got a visit from them, so whilst they accessed the situation, i was asked to keep hold of them , ive no order for them , as i am still awaiting for an assessment of the situation , i have been to see a solicitor who wrote to social services , but that also fell on deaf ears ,in fact they where ignored, but now the situation has got worse and ive been asked also to keep hold of my other 4yr old grandaughter .. i feel like i am banging my head against a brick wall with them..

lindyloopy2002
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:29 pm

Re: advice needed.

Post by lindyloopy2002 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:46 am

No, this was with there say so, as a week previous to that, the mother had locked them in the house , and left them alone ( 9 & 11 year old 6&8 at the time) phoned the police on them , I was on holiday at the time i had just lost my mum 6 weeks earlier , i was still grieving my head was all over the place ,in the June of 2010 ,i was made redundant , i could of gone back to work ,but needed to spend the time with my mum ,,so when i came back from holiday,i needed to find work ,that was my aim ...but as ive said three kids turned up in a taxi, straight away i rang social services,( who incidently were dealing with the family) ,they came out the following day to put me in the picture of what was going on, i had explained my situation to them , telling them i couldnt have them here , and they need to go back to there mother , or to find foster care for them, as financially it was not viable,.they begged me to keep the kids , as the bloke she was seeing was violent, and should not have been around children,. But they had allowed this to happen for more than six months , I was gobsmacked , so eventually they pursuaded me to keep hold of them short term , no clothes , shoes etc ,had to get 2 busses for them to attend school,this went on for 6 weeks , no support , no money ( mum was still getting the benefits for them ) , again i contacted ss , to be told they were assessing the situation and could i just keep them a little while longer, eventually i changed there schools as it was taking me 1and a half hours to get them there..id had enough of being fobbed of by ss ,after 6 months and told them i was taking them back to the mothers , to be told she was in prison (pregnant) and could we have another one of the kids, as her mum was unable to look after two little ones, after much deliberating and heart searching , we agreed , again no financial help or support , but having just sold mums house financially at the time we were ok,...so know the eldest and the youngest have also been taken of her and they are being looked after by family members also , I am the paternal grandmother , my son due to illness couldnt look after them ( 4 are his)... the youngest one i had went back for a visit on his birthday january 2012, we had him in school settled doing well , when we recieved a phone call of there mother saying she was keeping him and has a new school for him, straight away we rang the social worker, who came out to visit us (4th social worker in 12 months), it turns out she had told there mother to keep hold of him so she could get a 3 bed house because she was in a hostel , we were livid, but hands were tied as we had nothing legal ,, 6 weeks later still no school anyway he eventually came back ..and that social worker was never seen after that. incidently, i asked her for financial help, the reply was , when hell freezers over, thats when i sort legal advice , but ss ignored all correspondence , which i said earlier , now a new social worker is on the scene.. and he was taken a back when we told him the full story of whats gone on , but again once you mention money ,, they avoid you like the plague..

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: advice needed.

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed May 01, 2013 1:53 pm

Hello Lindyloopy

My name is Suzie and I am an adviser at Family Rights Group.

I am sorry to read about the difficult situation you have been dealing with over the past few years and the struggle you have had to get some support for you and your grandchildren.

If Children’s Services place a child in the care of a relative or other connected person, this child then becomes “looked after” and the carer should be supported in the same way as other foster carers, including in terms of financial support.

Children’s Services are only allowed to place children with approved foster carers. They are able to place with a connected person after carrying out only basic checks but would then have to conduct a full assessment to formally approve the person as a foster carer.

If children go to live with a relative but are not placed by Children’s Services, or if Children’s Services are involved in the placement but make it clear from the outset that they are not considering the child as “looked after”, then, as Irene has said, this is a “private family arrangement”. For more distant relatives, the situation would be viewed as a private foster care arrangement and Children’s Services would have to be involved in assessing and monitoring the placement. This is not the case for grandparents and other close relatives, however.

From what you have described, I would say that there is a good argument to say that your grandchildren were placed in your care.

Clearly Children’s Services were involved right from the point of the children arriving with you. You indicated that you were unable to care for the children without support and asked for a foster placement to be arranged. It was in discussion with the social worker and their assertion that support would be provided that you agreed to accommodating the children.

The difficulty you have with the older children is the length of time they have been in your care. Although it may be quite right that the children were placed with you, it is likely to be very difficult to evidence this now. In order to agree that the children were placed, Children’s Services would have to accept that the children had, in effect, been illegally placed with you for over 2 years, which they are clearly going to resist.

My understanding is that Children’s Services are now requesting to place a forth grandchild in your care- is that right? I would advise that, for this child, you are very clear and firm with Children’s Services from the outset. State clearly, in writing, that you believe it is in this child’s best interests to be placed with you but that, as far as you are concerned, this is a local authority placement and the child will be “looked after”. You therefore expect foster carer’s payments to be put in place from the date the child arrives with you and for a foster carer's assessment to be carried out as soon as possible. It is important to be aware that, if you are receiving foster carer's allowance for a child, you are not entitled to claim child benefit/ child tax credits for that child.

Regarding the older children, you have a number of options.

Foster care
You could insist that, in your view, the children were placed with you by Children’s Services and should be considered “looked after children”.
Put this in writing, outlining the legal basis and your expectations and asking for a written response, which details their reasons for not agreeing if this is the case.

Children in Need
You could state that, while you feel it is appropriate to consider the children as looked after, your priority is simply to ensure the children’s continued successful placement with you and to ensure that their needs are being fully met etc.
Ask (again in writing) that the children are assessed as “children in need” urgently so that packages of appropriate support can be arranged to meet their needs. It would be useful to outline what specific needs you have identified and what support would address these needs (this might include financial support to you to assist in caring for the children)

Legal order
You could raise your concern about the vulnerable legal status of the children. As you are aware, the current situation is that you have no parental responsibility for the children. Mum retains this responsibility and could legally remove the children from your care at any time. She should also be involved in making significant decisions about the children and is the only person who is legally able to make certain decisions about schooling/ health etc.
Outline the above and state that you believe it may be in the children’s best interests for you to obtain a legal order in respect of them (a residence order or special guardianship order). Indicate that you would be willing to consider such an option but would need a guarantee from the local authority that they would support this by, for example, paying your legal costs and committing to an ongoing package of support.

I would advise you to read our advice sheet about support for family and friends carers. We also have a number of template letters you could adapt and send to Children’s Services. Unfortunately, these are not available on our website but, if you would like to send me a private message with your email address, I can forward them to you.

The other option that I think you should consider is making a formal complaint. You may decide to make this complaint now, outlining the ways in which you feel you and the children have been let down and setting out the above as a way of resolving your complaint.

Alternatively, you may wish to try to move the situation forward via negotiation with the local authority. If you do not get a satisfactory response, you can then address these via a complaint.

Clearly your situation is very complex and you are welcome to ring our free and confidential advice line to discuss your options more fully with an adviser if you would like.

I hope this is helpful lindyloopy.

Best Wishes

Suzie
FRG Adviser

lindyloopy2002
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:29 pm

Re: advice needed.

Post by lindyloopy2002 » Tue May 07, 2013 11:14 am

Thankyou so much Suzy.. everything you have told me, my solicitor has more or less said, ( trying the legal route again) .. ss have now told me they need to get a tempory ro in place asap, and today he is seeking funding, but tells me this could take some time,, anyhow its so complicated,my head is spinning with it all ,the kids deserve better than all this messing about, its hard work, but i love them.. appreciate you reply Suzy thanks again.. and i will let you know how it all works out..x

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Help 1870
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Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:54 am

Re: advice needed.

Post by Help 1870 » Tue May 07, 2013 12:04 pm

lindyloopy2002 wrote: ss have now told me they need to get a tempory ro in place asap,
Be very cautious about this 'temporary' RO. Once any kind of order that gives you PR is granted it gives the local authority the chance to walk away leaving you to it.

Telling carers to get RO's is a standard trick, dont fall for it. Why dont you suggest to the SS that you might apply for a SGO instead and see what they say.

Im curious as to who put the children in the taxi and sent them to you.

I would also suggest perhaps getting rid of your current solicitor and getting one who specialises in kinship care to unravel this mess. It certainly sounds as if at least one child may have been placed with you if they asked you to take him/her.

lindyloopy2002
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:29 pm

Re: advice needed.

Post by lindyloopy2002 » Tue May 21, 2013 12:18 pm

it was there mother who put them in a taxi , it was late on a friday evening, so needless to say i contacted her social worker straight away on the monday , they came out within a day or two , to assess the situation and to see were they were sleeping,i told them straight i could not keep them ,but pursuaded me on a tempory bases to keep hold of them, also to make sure they attended school which at the time was a 12 mile round trip twice a day...with no financial support, kids had no clothes shoes etc.. came to me in there pyjamas..

lindyloopy2002
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:29 pm

Re: advice needed.

Post by lindyloopy2002 » Fri Dec 13, 2013 2:02 pm

I know have an sgo for 5 children granted 11/12/13.. back in court for there half sibling next week for an sgo ..childrens services have renaiged on so much , and they have stated to me the amount of money I am saving them.. their half sibling would be coming to us on the understanding there was help in extending my home (I own it) but they are trying to get out of it ive just had enough of them,, and don't believe were fully equipped for the little one..even the social worker says he is going to resign if this doesn't happen.. I don't no were to turn..

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David Roth
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Re: advice needed.

Post by David Roth » Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:40 pm

Hi lindyloop, and first of all congratulations on getting the Special Guardianship Orders, and on making sure your grandchildren were able to stay in their family.

Having said that, I am sorry to hear that you are having such problems with Children's Services. You may find it useful to phone our advice line to discuss what is happening with one of our expert advisers. The number is free to all LANlines and most mobiles, it is 0808 801 0366 - lines are open 9.30am-3pm Mon-Fri (with a break over Christmas).

It can be worth making a complaint if you feel you have been treated unfairly. Even if the council's own complaints procedure doesn't suppport you, you can then take it to the Local Government Ombudsman, who has recently published a report criticising local authorities for treating family and friends carers unfairly.

You can read our advice sheet 25 on making complaints here: http://www.frg.org.uk/need-help-or-advice/advice-sheets

You can read the Ombudsman's report, only published very recently, here: http://www.lgo.org.uk/news/2013/nov/fam ... ombudsman/

(Despite its title, the Ombudsmand's report doesn't just deal with family and friends foster carers, there are findings in favour of people with special guardianship orders and residence orders in the report as well.)
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

lindyloopy2002
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:29 pm

Re: advice needed.

Post by lindyloopy2002 » Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:21 am

I would like to thank all on the forums , for all advise recieved , at last ive managed to knock down the brick wall , extension starts April 2015 financial support in place for all six kids its been a long hard five years , but worth it as ive managed to keep all six together ...all doing well especially in school ..there hard work but worth it ..thanks again...

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