Forced SGO

catty
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:24 am

Forced SGO

Postby catty » Tue Nov 11, 2014 12:07 pm

Myself and my partner have been fostering his nieces for 6 months and the authority are in the process of taking parents through court and placing them permanently with us. We have discussed in the long term of doing the SGO but at this stage we are not in a position to do it. (relations have broke down with parents so we would not be comfortable supervising their visits any time soon and our nieces and our selves are still in need of a lot of support and training that we wouldn't have access to under a SGO)
Although the authority and our social worker are in agreement with us and have recommended in their reports to court that the SGO is not suitable at the minute they have said we ought to seek legal advice as ultimately the SGO is something the court can say we HAVE to do.
Does anyone have any advice or experience in this...Can we be forced to do the SGO??
Thanks

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ied53
Posts: 2122
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2006 11:26 pm

Re: Forced SGO

Postby ied53 » Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:35 am

Rubbish the court would not suggest that you HAVE to go for SGO as they would have no knowledge of your intent unless the soc servs have put in an application. The ideal scenario is that you will seek an order for permanence. Ideally all children should be out of the care system for their general wellbeing and to get rid of the stigma of "in care". Don't be pushed until you are ready. Make sure everything you need is in the "care plan" and try and get the allowance agreed until age 18. Though after the initial period usually 2 years as you are fostering it will be means tested annually as you circumstances may change. Ask if they will agree to supervise the contact / agree to fund a contact centre. It is part of the course I'm afraid to put up with grief from the birth parents. Some carers also find grief from other family members. he road is rocky but the knowledge the little ones are safe outweighs all of that. You are still very new to all of this. We fostered for two years before SGO I know of some who permanently foster. Stick to your guns. and big hugs to you
Irene
Grandparent carer in Lincolnshire
Tough times never last tough people do

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 469
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: Forced SGO

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:40 am

Dear Catty

I am sorry to hear that you are faced with so much uncertainty at this time. The decision to become special guardians must be one that you feel comfortable with, after careful consideration of the implications. Our special guardianship advice sheet for family and friends carers provides detailed information on this.

With regards to the special guardianship order, there is an expectation on Local Authorities to provide a robust special guardianship support plan that meets the child's needs (as outlined in the care plan) and to balance this against the Local Authority resources.

In some instances, but not all, these documents are signed by the parties which increases accountability to deliver the specified services and to timescale. Therefore, it is important to fully participate through consultation with the Independent Reviewing Officer and or your solicitor (if you have one) to assist in this process in the negotiating stage.

Furthermore, you can use the support plan to specify what training may be available to you. This should be in line with that accessed throughout the year by Local Authority foster carers, and could be beneficial to the long term placement stability.

In respect of the contact plan, it is possible that the Local Authority may agree to supervise short term contact as part of any assessments. However, they are not generally resourced to off to supervise contact in the longer term, were you to become special guardians. After the initial period, it would be advisable to appoint an agreed and designated contact supervisor to assist in the supervision of contact.

If you have not done so already, can I suggest you attempt to seek further advice from a law society solicitor. You could access the thirty minutes free legal advice or ask if the Local Authority would be willing to fund a two hour consultation on your behalf.

I hope this helps.

Best Wishes

Suzie

Polly
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Oct 28, 2013 6:06 pm

Re: Forced SGO

Postby Polly » Sun Nov 16, 2014 12:06 am

In a similar situation but found we would be £2500 a year worse off. SGO best for children but can't afford risk

catty
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:24 am

Re: Forced SGO

Postby catty » Sun Nov 16, 2014 7:05 pm

Thanks all, that really helps. since the post our social worker has asked how long we would wait until considering the SGO again and we advised at least year but they said it would give parents opportunity to take authorities back to court should they wish, so they have put a report together for court advising it is not in anyone's best interests for the SGO at the moment but they will be planning on doing a 6 monthly review. It is proposed that the girls remain with us on a care order until then. it is certainly useful to know that we can request the authorities help with contact even under SGO such as a contact centre and the need to formalise financial backing. We will be seeking legal advise but its finding the time to do it as all our spare time is taken up with the girls, meetings/reviews/training/visits and assessments. I actually miss being able to work..at least you can have a cut off and holiday from that. lol.

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ied53
Posts: 2122
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2006 11:26 pm

Re: Forced SGO

Postby ied53 » Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:57 am

We fostered for two years before getting SGO. If the cs have a court order protecting the children ( which they will if you foster) then the court would only entertain pleas at hearing that cs have arranged I believe they would have to prove exception changes in the life choices and behaviour. It is always a risk but the courts are well aware of sudden improvements and would want to see it sustained.
Irene

Grandparent carer in Lincolnshire

Tough times never last tough people do


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