Need urgent advice

DB182
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:37 pm

Need urgent advice

Post by DB182 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:09 am

Hi I'm new here so please bare with me. My son and ex partner had a baby in 2018 and a few months later they split up. She stopped him from seeing him and at the time us to.but 6 months later she started letting me and my partner see him. Since then we agreed to us having him every 4 weeks. She got a new house in may of last year and we provided her with stuff to help her out. Anyway in September I had concerns how she spoke and acted with the baby and he was always dirty so I decided to ring child services. It said the call was going to be recorded so I put the phone down because at the time I was scared of her stopping us seeing him like shes done in the past. Anyway my sil rang for me. Someone went out I think the day after and checked on them. They rang my sil back and said everything was fine. Even though the house is dirty. They said my gs was already on there list which at the time made me feel better.... she had a family nurse what use to visit every 2 weeks I thought it was me being over protective....because if anything was wrong they would of picked up on it. Now I'll cut the story as short as possible but if u want any further information I'll try to provide it.....7th of jan she took him to walk in... baby had been crying since the 1st of jan I told her then to take him she told me on the 3rd she had but that was lies what's been proven. So when she took him to the walk in on the 7th they sent her to the hospital with him... they safeguarded him as the injuries was questioned...on the 8th social services turned up. The 9th he had a body scan then the 10th they had a meeting and she was told she couldn't stay at the hospital.on the 13th they went to court and took him off her...now when social services first came on the seen they asked her who would you like to care for (child) she told them me she said she wouldn't trust no one else so they took my details from her...they asked her about her mum she said no I've not seen her in over a year and told then some private stuff regarding her and her mum...I confronted her on the lies after I found out about the baby so the next day she got her mum to go to the hospital... then she told social services oh I dont want him going there because when he comes back he's always got bruises...as you can imagine I'm fumming. If that was the case why would she let us take him and from oct we was having him every 2 weeks us making the journey all the time because we live over a hour away....so on the 13th jan they placed him with foster cares😭 because of her lies.we went to court the second time but it was just to see if everything was running on time. I've been made a party to proceedings. But I cant get legal aid because of my partners wage. A solicitor wants alot of money just to do a statement because I've supplied the police and social services with pics and messages...we go back to court in april. I had my first assessment done with social services 2 weeks ago still not heard back..only had my medical done yesterday and my partner as his done on the 21st. Should the local authority be covering my legal cost.
Last edited by Suzie, FRG Adviser on Tue Feb 18, 2020 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Identifying information contained within

DB182
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:37 pm

Re: Need urgent advice

Post by DB182 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:19 am

On the 13th when social services went to court to get a urgent care order we wasn't informed I'd spoken to the social that morning and she said they was looking at going to court either that day or they day after. Now they told my son a different story they said they was trying to get into court sometime that week but they would let him know a time and date. Hes same he lives a hour away well a hour and half from court. It wasn't until his solicitor rang saying they had gone to court so she had sent a barrister to speak for him....

DB182
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:37 pm

Re: Need urgent advice

Post by DB182 » Wed Feb 19, 2020 6:40 am

Hi quick update so I've received a second medical report from when gs had a check up. It says there sticking to the time frame of 10-14 days from what they see on the scans. Which obviously takes us out of the pool of perpetrators so I asked my solicitor she says which what that report says then yes but there still waiting for a specialist to check and report....this is good news upto now(crying happy) but still so upsetting knowing my little man is still with foster carers when his nanna could be giving him all the snuggles and kisses he soooooo deserves.

DB182
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:37 pm

Re: Need urgent advice

Post by DB182 » Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:37 am

Well it's been 4 weeks since our viability assessment still haven't heard anything back rang cs over a week ago they said they was going to chase it up still haven't heard. Maybe they cant give us a positive or negative because we was (well) still in the pool of perpetrators.. I hate being stuck in limbo not knowing what's going on when we go back to court in april it's for another FCMH. Then they will decide if anyone else needs to be made a party because originally she said only her and me had cared for him and that her boyfriend had never been left alone. Hes already been made a party. But then stated her father and sisters have had him as well..... why cant she just of told the truth from the beginning and save us all this heartache.

DB182
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:37 pm

Re: Need urgent advice

Post by DB182 » Thu Feb 27, 2020 4:15 pm

Can you please advise what is going to happen our court date is the 8th of april but on the 3rd of april theres a advocates meeting...I've paid a solicitor to do my statement for court and that's it I'm going to be representing myself from here on. I've received a email from the solicitor saying shes forwarded my statement to other parts and shes asked them to do the same from now on I'm classed as a
litigant in person and ensure that she participates in advocates meeting etc. . So my question is what is a advocates meeting on the 3rd and do I have to attend....omg I'm scared

DB182
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:37 pm

Re: Need urgent advice

Post by DB182 » Sat Mar 07, 2020 8:29 am

I really need some advice....on Thursday my son went to contact and noticed that my gs had a bruise inside his ear. They have removed grandson now from the foster carer. My son ask could he have him as he didn't want him to go into another foster home. And they told him no. He said well let him go to my mum they said no because shes still in the pool of perpetrators he told them well with that medical report stating 10-14 days shes not because that indicates it happened around the end of December and she last had him beginning of dec. She said well that's to be sorted at court......they have that report why are they making this so hard why cant he just come to us instead of being put somewhere else.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 637
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: Need urgent advice

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:50 am

Dear DB182

Welcome to the family and friends carers discussion board and thank you for your posts. I am very sorry to hear of the difficulties your family are experiencing. I am also sorry that we have not been able to respond to your posts sooner. Hopefully, you may have managed to speak to an adviser on our freephone advice line by now; if not it is always worth trying to speak to an adviser on 0808 8010366 (Mon to Fri 9.30 to 3.00 pm) if you are awaiting a response.

You are worried about your grandson and hoping that you will be able to care for him soon. You have explained some of the background information in your grandson’s case.

He is in foster care at the moment under an interim care order as he has sustained some injuries and there is a concern that they are non-accidental. You are currently classed as being ‘in the pool of possible perpetrators’ as you were involved in caring for him – you are hoping that you will be excluded from the pool imminently as there is a medical report that hopefully will be able to clarify that you were not involved in caring for him during the timescale that the injuries occurred. However, the court has not considered this yet.

In the meantime, you have had a viability assessment but not had the outcome. You are a party to the proceedings, have had some help from a solicitor but are now having to represent yourself as a litigant in person. Your grandson has very recently been seen to have a bruise inside his ear and because of this was removed from the foster carer who was caring with him and placed with a different foster carer.

You (and your son) would like him to be placed with you as soon as possible.

I will try to answer some of your questions and also provide you with some information and signpost you to additional sources of advice and guidance to assist you. However, the situation is quite complex. Your son, who is a parent and therefore should be entitled to legal aid to have a solicitor represent him, may be able to put some queries to his solicitor that may be relevant to you too.

Our advice sheet on care proceedings is a good starting point about the court process and what the possible outcomes may be.

The main questions you ask are:

1. Should the local authority be covering my legal cost?
2. You have not had the outcome of the viability assessment yet.
3. What is an advocates meeting and do you have to attend?
4. What can’t your grandson just come to you instead of being put somewhere else?

1. At this stage the local authority would not cover your legal costs but if you are excluded from the pool of possible perpetrators and they are supporting you as a carer for your grandson they may pay for you to get some legal advice. They should have a policy on this which you can ask the social worker to provide to you. Do also make sure you have a copy of the local authority’s family and friends care policy too; you may be able to find a copy here.

2. Here is a copy of our good practice guide to viability assessments . You can find Information for family members in appendix D; this also includes tips on what to do if your assessment is negative. Part of the viability assessment does include a risk assessment so will include the current situation where you are at the moment still included in the possible pool of perpetrators. When you posted, children’s services were chasing this up, so you may have had an update by now. If not do pursue this vigorously (contact the team manager, the legal department and the complaints department if you need to).

If you are going to be assessed further this will probably be as a family and friends foster carer and/or as a Special Guardian. You can find out more about each of these in our specific advice sheets on family and friends carers: being assessed as a foster carer and DIY Special Guardianship Orders: information for family and friends carers.

3. You are worried about attending an advocates meeting, as a litigant in person. The purpose of an advocates’ meeting is to allow the different advocates to have discussions and ideally meet before the case management hearing to identify the key issues. You should be invited as a litigant in person; the court may give directions about how you should be included. It would be a very good idea to attend. Remember that you have as much right to be there as anybody else. Try to be organised before you attend, with your paperwork and ready to make notes. It is a good fact-finding opportunity for you, a chance to hear what the other parties have to say and to ask any questions that you have – you could write them down in advance to help you. If you don’t feel confident to speak you don’t have to and can just take notes but if you have any urgent questions this may be a good chance to raise them.

Remember that the lawyers are required to behave in such a way that does not put a litigant in person at a disadvantage; they should make their points clearly and explain where necessary. There are specific guidelines that they should follow. So try not to worry too much.

As you are a litigant in person; you might find Advice Now’s film on representing yourself in the family court helpful.
There is also some practical advice on child protection resource online website .

You could look into whether you may possibly be able to get some free legal help from Advocate – but you have to be referred by a referral agency and to apply in good time.


4. Your grandson cannot come to you at the moment as you are currently still in the pool of possible perpetrators and you have not yet been positively assessed or approved as a carer for him. Of course, it is very distressing that he has already been in two foster placements when you are willing to care for him. However, you are doing all that you can; you are involved in the court process and have had a viability assessment. The situation will become clearer as part of the court and related processes that are happening at the moment.

There is some advice and information about possible non-accidental injury cases on the following websites which I hope may be of some interest to you:

Child protection resource online/non-accidental injury
child protection resource online/common concerns we hear from parents when the social worker tells me my child has been hurt
parents accused.co.uk/which expert

I hope this is helpful to you. Please do not hesitate to post again as the situation progresses or contact the Freephone advice line to discuss with an adviser.

With best wishes.

Suzie

DB182
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:37 pm

Re: Need urgent advice

Post by DB182 » Thu Mar 12, 2020 4:34 pm

Thank you for replying suzie I rang the freephone number and got some helpful information on tuesday. So I emailed the manager of social services Tuesday evening and I've given them 2 days to reply to my email...

DB182
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:37 pm

Re: Need urgent advice

Post by DB182 » Sat Mar 14, 2020 8:13 am

Hi after the email I sent Tuesday evening they still havent replied to me.. I give them 2 days to reply seeing as we had the viability assessment done on the 28th of January.....they left us with some forms that day....dbs form reference form and medical form.on the 30th January we took the dbs and reference forms back to them and handed them in....I had my medical done on the 12th feb and my partner had his done on the 21st feb.

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Robin D
Posts: 1893
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: Need urgent advice

Post by Robin D » Sat Mar 14, 2020 10:39 am

Did you get confirmation they have read the email? Remember email is not 100% reliable. I suggest you print the email, put a covering letter with it and either send by post 'signed for' or take it into the office and demand a receipt. Two days in the current climate might be seen as unreasonable, so I'd give them perhaps a week.

Assuming it's your local authority, contact your own councillor and ask them to intervene. You will find your councillor contact details on the local authority website.

They can be experts at ignoring people and then wriggling!
Former F&F carer, foster carer, adopter and respite carer for umpteen children. Now retired and when with kids, making sure they 'go home' at the end of the day.

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