Judge has Granted SGO but asked for mediation.

neverendingstory
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Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 4:59 pm

Judge has Granted SGO but asked for mediation.

Postby neverendingstory » Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:12 pm

Hi all, after three long years, we finally got our SGO for my nephew in january 2012.

We were advised by the judge on the 10th hearing to get legal representation for final hearing.
We instructed Ridley & Hall. The judge didn't want to rule on costs so asked us to go into mediation with LA and if they wouldn't play ball, then he would make a ruling in April 2012.

We have so far spent £2,500 on solicitors costs and want to claim compensation for the unbelievable stress our whole family have suffered. The Team Manager actually stood up in court and said "it would be unethical for me to say that this was not a placement", so my nephew was classed as a LAC from March 2009 until January 2012. I have been told that after one year a foster carer is entitled to level 2. payments. We haven't a clue what to claim for so any advice on this subject would be appreciated. We have been made to feel guilty for every penny that we have asked for, not that any amount of money can take away all the stress that we have suffered, but we want them to make right how they have treated us and for it not to happen to anyone else in their Borough. Would so love to hear from anyone that has gone through this and come out the other end. Many thanks.

rank67
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Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:57 pm

Re: Judge has Granted SGO but asked for mediation.

Postby rank67 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:38 am

Were having some bother we look after our granddaughter whos mother died nearly 3 years ago then last september we were asked to look after our other daughers child by lac team we eent up in front of pannel last friday everything was compleated . Only to be told its geting put back for 12 weeks for more reports they keep saying were not fit as long term carers for the trust .we have jumped through hoops did what they asked yet still its not good enought for them eveytime . Im just wondering why yes there have been some problems with my past but if we leagly can look after one granddaughter we have full recendecy order of her till shes 16. Both kids have lived with us since birth we have met all milestones for them school playschool I think we are been unfairly judged by the fostering pannel and inside 12 weeks we have to do a lot of work to prove were fit enought to bring child B up there not interested in child A .were wondering what to do next any help would be really appreacated thanks

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David Roth
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Re: Judge has Granted SGO but asked for mediation.

Postby David Roth » Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:03 pm

neverendingstory, you state that the judge said he would make a ruling in April 2012. Did this happen, and what was the ruling?

As a general rule, if it is accepted that the child was placed with you by the local authority and hence it was a foster placement, then you ought to be paid the full fostering allowance. That is to say, you would be paid the basic fostering allowance which covers the cost of raising the child, plus any enhancement that is related to the cost of raising the child, for example if the child has to follow a special diet, or needs special equipment because of illness or disability. You would not be able to get the wages or fees that some foster carers receive.

Every council sets its own fostering allowance, but the government has a recommended weekly amount, which varies according to where you live and how old the child is. If you look to the right of the webpage I'm going to link to, you'll be able to download the government's recommended fostering allowances for this and the next two years: http://www.education.gov.uk/childrenand ... carers/nma

In your negotiations with the council, you may find it useful to let them know that you are aware of the Local Government Ombudsman's recent findings against Liverpool City Council, which concerns family and friends carers not being paid adequately by the council. You can download the full LGO report here: http://www.lgo.org.uk/news/2013/aug/liv ... 40-carers/
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

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David Roth
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Re: Judge has Granted SGO but asked for mediation.

Postby David Roth » Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:06 pm

I just spotted that neverendingstory's post dates from March 2012!

Rank67 - I'll get back to you tomorrow.
David Roth
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David Roth
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Re: Judge has Granted SGO but asked for mediation.

Postby David Roth » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:05 am

Rank67, I'm sorry to hear that the Fostering Panel has put back making a decision about approving you by 12 weeks. That is a long time to be living with the uncertainty of not knowing if you will be approved or not.

The Panel's decision is actually just a recommendation, the final decision about whether to approve you or not is made by a senior manager who is the official Agency Decision Maker. You could ask whether the recommendation has gone to the ADM, and if so whether they support the recommendation to postpone your approval.

You ought to receive notification in writing of the reasons for the decision. It is worth checking exactly what is said, in case you are not completely clear about what was being said at the panel, which might be the case if you found the experience of going to the panel and being told there is another delay upsetting. In my view, some fostering panels don't appreciate that family and friends foster carers have to be held to a different set of standards from unrelated foster carers. There is a lot of research which demonstrates that although family and friends carers may have disadvantages such as health problems, overcrowding or loss of income, the children they are raising do just as well, and in some respects better, than children in 'unrelated' foster care.

If the panel does turn you down, you can always ask for the case to be independently reviewed. The government has set up an Independent Review Mechanism, which foster carers or adopters can go to if they are unhappy with an agency's decision about them. You can read about the IRM here: http://www.independentreviewmechanism.o ... ring#gloss

I do wonder if the council are hoping you will get fed up and apply for a Residence Order or Special Guardianship Order for the youngest grandchild? Local authorities often see this as being a cheaper option for them, as they have to provide full fostering allowances and support services to family and friends who are approved foster carers, but they often provide less if you have RO or SGO.

If you want further advice once you have received their letter, please do come back here then.
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

Roger Roger
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Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:45 pm

Re: Judge has Granted SGO but asked for mediation.

Postby Roger Roger » Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:41 pm

Tell me about it..... we had an SGO for my great nephew 14 months ago.... they promised the earth but delivered bugger all without me getting the serious hump with them and then it had to go to decision panels etc..... social services have not helped a jot since with any problems with contact etc.... so frustrating.


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