GD in care since March 2020. Why is it all taking so long?

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Jnan
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Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:53 am

GD in care since March 2020. Why is it all taking so long?

Post by Jnan » Mon Oct 19, 2020 2:49 pm

Hi, thanks for accepting my request. My 18mo gd has been taken into care after a visit to A&E for an accidental cut on her tongue. She was born prem, has varying medical and developmental issues because of this. V long story short, health care workers ignored calls for help and my daughter was fobbed off. When she was taken to A&E the same doctor that had turned her away previously called ss, because of the injury, said my gd was malnourished And showing signs of neglect. My daughter and her partner were arrested and released on bail. There were various signs that my gd wasn’t thriving but none of these were picked up by the health care prof. I have put myself forward as a poss SGO and have gone through various assessments, checks. I have virtual contact with gd now. So does my daughter after actual contact didn’t work out. My gd didn’t see her mum for 4 months. I live in Spain at the moment but will probably have to return to the UK if I become SG. SS are happy with this. SS have arranged for me to come to the UK to have actual contact and see how it goes. I’m sure It will go well. All my feedback has been v positive so far. My daughter is constantly getting negative feedback and criticised for doing similar things as me? We feel SS are stacking the odds against her in my favor. There is still an ongoing criminal case. She has been regained until Dec 22. Family court is happening on the 26th October.
Last edited by Jnan on Sat Nov 07, 2020 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Re: GD in care since March 2020. Why is it all taking so long?

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Oct 23, 2020 5:46 pm

Dear Jnan

Welcome to the Family and Friends Carers’ discussion forum and thanks for your post.

I am Suzie, online adviser at Family Rights Group.

It must be very distressing for the family that your granddaughter has been placed in the care of the local authority following a visit to hospital where she was found to have an injury. Whilst I can understand you frustration with the progresss of the case, I think you should understand that where a child has suffered an injury and there are other concerns about how he/ she is being cared are there has to be a thorough investigation by children’s services and the court to looked into the harm suffered by the child and how best he/she will be cared for long term.

Care proceedings generally take up to 26 weeks to conclude. This is because if medical or other assessment are necessary they must be completed and the evidence provided to the court. You say your granddaughter was found not to be thriving and malnourished. These are serious issues which must be looked into. If the parents need additional support this is also something that can be considered in any parenting assessment of them.

I should point out that a criminal investigation is separate to the care proceedings and, even if, the police do not continue with their case against the parents, this will not remove the concerns about care of your granddaughter. It is really good that you have had positive assessments and you are willing to care for your granddaughter long term if her parents are not able to have her in their care

The issues that you have mentioned in your post regarding your daughter seeking help, is information that she should provide to her solicitors so this can be part of her evidence to the court. The judge at the final hearing will look at all the circumstances and the evidence that has been given to the court.

If your daughter is unhappy with the amount of contact she is having with her daughter then she should discuss this with her solicitor. The solicitor will be able to advise her and, if necessary, ask the court to consider more contact if children’s services does not agree.
J think you may find it helpful to read the following advice sheets:

Duties on Children’s Services when children are in the care system
Care (and related) proceedings
DIY Special Guardianship Orders - information for family and friends carers

Your daughter may find it helpful to look at this website for more information about working with children’s services and her solicitor here

Should you wish to speak to an adviser, you can telephone our free confidential advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday.

I hope you will find this helpful.

Best wishes

Suzie

Jnan
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:53 am

Re: GD in care since March 2020. Why is it all taking so long?

Post by Jnan » Sat Nov 07, 2020 9:55 am

Thank you for your reply. This site has been a life saver for me. Knowing I’m not alone and some great resources to help my research. Can you tell me whether I amable to have access to the notes, assessments before they go to court? I am concerned that my daughter has been given positive feedback in the past but this wasn’t reflected in her written feedback. Also, her contact was at a contact centre, a long drive from where my gd is staying. My gd has cerebral palsy and hates being in her buggy or car seat so was distressed when she arrived, needed feeding, nappy change. The carer kept intervening and taking my gd from her mum without giving her a chance to settle her. For me they’ve paid for my flights, car hire and hired a holiday cottage for two weeks. I will be visiting my gd at the carers home so she is in familiar surroundings and not stressed, I have had coaching on how to behave around my gd because strangers scare her. Does this sound like they are priming me to pass the assessment and give my gd to me. Also, I’ve asked what initial help there Is in setting up home for my gd, buying specialist equipment, Plus ongoing financial support So far I’ve had a financial assessment which has shown me weekly figure but nothing else. Is there an obligation for the LA to support me and my gd financially? Thanks again. So many questions.

Jnan
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:53 am

Re: GD in care since March 2020. Why is it all taking so long?

Post by Jnan » Sat Nov 07, 2020 10:02 am

Hi, I have now been invited to attend the next court hearing on the 3rd December to indicate whether she seeks joinder as a party” I’m assuming this means whether I wish to continue to apply for SGO for my granddaughter? The hearing will be outlining the schedule of assessments up to the final hearing in April.
Do I need legal representation? I don’t have the money for a solicitor. Can I represent myself? Thanks.

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Robin D
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Re: GD in care since March 2020. Why is it all taking so long?

Post by Robin D » Sat Nov 07, 2020 12:55 pm

Copied from standalone thread.

Let's deal with the technical bit first. If you want to add to an existing thread/conversation, just scroll to the bottom of the thread where you will see either a quick reply box, and/or a 'post reply' button.

It doesn't matter but does help to answer someone if you have the full story in a single thread. 👍

The joinder question is to see if you should join the proceedings as a party. I would in your situation as it means you get to s everything the court sees.

You do not need legal representation. You may find the solicitor for the child very helpful on dealing with the procedure, so see if you can find out if one has been appointed by the guardian. Don't forget that no-one will be expecting you to know how to do things.

Good luck.

Robin
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.

Jnan
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:53 am

Re: GD in care since March 2020. Why is it all taking so long?

Post by Jnan » Tue Nov 10, 2020 4:07 pm

Thanks Robin.

Further to the post before this one my contact with my gd was cancelled due to lockdown. I cancelled it as my gd was in hospital and I wasn’t allowed to see her and didn’t know when she would be out. The SW couldn’t tell me. I wouldn’t have been able to see her once lockdown was in place due to the carers bubble etc. The final court case has been postponed until April 2021. It was due to be heard 26th October. This means my gd will have been in care for over a year. All my assessments are going really well and videocontact is always positive. The SW agrees with me that actual contact would’ve been great as well. She has said that we can try again for actual contact once lockdown is over. There is a hearing on the 3rd Dec to lay out the timescales for future assessments. Is there any chance that at this hearing I could ask to have my gd with me until the final hearing in April? I am really concerned that she is becoming attached to her foster carer. It’s lovely how close they are but I’m worried the longer she stays with her the more traumatic it will be when/if she leaves. Thanks

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Robin D
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Re: GD in care since March 2020. Why is it all taking so long?

Post by Robin D » Tue Nov 10, 2020 6:24 pm

If you don't ask, it will not happen.

I suggest you speak to the guardian and say you would like the placement with you as soon as possible because you are concerned the longer it's deferred, the harder it is on your granddaughter. If they are broadly in agreement, then they should guide you.

There is nothing to stop you asking the court on the day, but if the guardian has already discussed it with the LA, then it's less likely to get a flat no.

Make sure they are aware that you are happy for an enhanced level of supervision by the SW if that helps, and are ready to agree to anything that ensures the child will stay safe including preventing the parents from having lone contact with the child.

The issue may be one of geography. Would you consider having a home within jurisdiction (eg England and Wales assuming the child is in that area) for the rest of the court process?
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.

Jnan
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:53 am

Re: GD in care since March 2020. Why is it all taking so long?

Post by Jnan » Wed Nov 11, 2020 5:53 am

Thank you again!

Jnan
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:53 am

Re: GD in care since March 2020. Why is it all taking so long?

Post by Jnan » Mon Jan 11, 2021 10:10 am

Hello again, well the court hearing for me to join proceedings has been postponed until this month due to lack of reports from various departments. I had an email from the SW 3 days ago letting me know that she has only just submitted my application for SGO. I completed the paperwork in August last year. Is this a good or bad sign that they have only done this now? I am getting great feedback on the virtual contact calls and have been hinted to by SS that my GD will be coming to me. The only blocker is that we haven’t had face to face contact due to the restrictions.
With this in mind, can somebody please advise me on the financial support available to me if my GD, who has major medical needs, impaired vision, movement, capacity to learn, and frequent hospital visits comes to me. I’m specifically concerned about specialist equipment, mobility vehicles, and adapting our home to accommodate her and any equipment. What can/should the local authority provide and which benefits will she/we be entitled to. We will be relying on a pension so I’d assume would be classed as low income. I’m hoping this information will eliminate some of the uncertainty and anxiety Im feeling right now. My life seems to be on hold until this matter is resolved. Again, thank you so much for any advice you can give.

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