How can I take this further?

Laura81
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:47 pm

How can I take this further?

Postby Laura81 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:57 pm

My husbands sister is due to have her 5th baby in three weeks and the baby is going to be removed at birth, which we agree with. We have no contact with her but are very close to her other children (two are grown up with their own flats and two are placed as a looked after children with husbands brother).

When we heard the plan was for removal, we contacted SS and put ourselves forward to take the baby in. We want more than anything to help and feel strongly that the baby should have the opportunity to grow up within its family, like the other four have. As his auntie and uncle we are happy to bring him up.

We had a viability assessment and this was a very positive experience- the social worker said she was satisfied that we would provide a brilliant placement, that we have a good, realistic understanding of what we are dealing with, and would work in partnership with SS. She said she would type it up the following day and recommend us as she has no concerns. She would then need to do the full assessment.

We were ecstatic but the next day she phoned and said that actually, there is a weak point on the assessment which meant we won't be considered after all. The weak point was that we hadn't said we would adopt the baby and unless we agreed to adoption, he wouldn't be coming to us. We are quite taken aback by this and didn't know what to make of it, and said we weren't sure we could commit to that- husband feels uncomfortable about becoming 'dad' to his sisters baby and we also feel that we would need support, not just have him signed off to us and left to get on with it. We did say that perhaps this could be considered in the future though, it's just a lot to get our heads around at the moment. We did reassure them that we are committed to permanence though if that's what they were worried about, we do not want to mess about we ether bring him up or we don't!

I was wondering is this justified that they are failing us on this? I thought there was a duty to place within the family if at all possible? He would have all his siblings, cousins, aunties, uncles and grandparents waiting. Everyone is fine apart from husbands sister, it is a great family, why deny him this? We can't bear the thought of him being adopted out to an unknown family when we are all willing and waiting, and passed the assessment, but I don't know how to fight it. I feel it may be about money saving and adoption targets but that probably wouldn't be the wisest thing to say!
Last edited by Laura81 on Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Re: How can I take this further?

Postby ied53 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:09 pm

Sorry but under current guidance families are persuaded not to go for adoption as it alters the family dynamics. Special guardianship or residence orders are the preferred.,I have sgo for little ones in my care as we felt it gave the children and us better protection so I would suggest you contact them and ask why you could not be considered for sgo.
Irene
Grandparent carer in Lincolnshire
Tough times never last tough people do

Laura81
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:47 pm

Re: How can I take this further?

Postby Laura81 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:24 pm

Brilliant I will ask them if this could be considered, and if not, why not. Thank you. From what I understand of the different orders I feel this one would be much more reasonable for us to take on.

Do you happen to know what guidance it is? Don't worry if not I will try and find out.

Thanks again for reply.

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ied53
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Re: How can I take this further?

Postby ied53 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:37 pm

Look up the advice sheets on this site
Irene

Grandparent carer in Lincolnshire

Tough times never last tough people do

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David Roth
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Re: How can I take this further?

Postby David Roth » Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:04 pm

Local authorities and the courts will usually want children, particularly young children and babies, to be placed under a legal order which provides a permanent legal bond between the child and the carers who are raising them. Adoption and special guardianship are both options for providing this.

Every case has to be decided on its own merits, but in general adoption is the preferred option where a child is going to someone they have no previous conections with. It severs all the legal ties that the child has with its birth family, and the adopters become legally the child's parents, as if the child had been born to them.

With special guardianship, the special guardians acquire parental responsibility for the child, but the parents do not lose it. However, the special guardians have the exclusive right to exercise their parental responsibility. The child though does not lose all their legal ties with the parents, and SGO is often preferred for children who are placed with family and friends. The children will often still have some contact with their parents, and as Irene said the SGO can help avoid confusion for the child over who is who within its family network.

There is no legal guidance stating that SGO HAS to be used for family and friends though, as each case has to be decided on its own merits. It is just more likely to be used for family and friends.

If you look at our advice sheets, you will find a lot of legal information, including in AS19 a guide to making your own application for a SGO: http://www.frg.org.uk/need-help-or-advice/advice-sheets
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

Laura81
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Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:47 pm

Re: How can I take this further?

Postby Laura81 » Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:51 pm

Thank you David I really appreciate you taking time to reply. It is becoming clearer to me now why they would want this, I guess they can't just take your word for it that you are committed to bringing them up. We want to be kinship carers but that wouldn't be satisfactory for such a young baby. I will see what happens during our discussions over the next few weeks but I will be suggesting SGO as an alternative. I may be back! Thanks again.

Laura81
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:47 pm

Re: How can I take this further?

Postby Laura81 » Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:13 pm

We have been told a number of times now that our viability assessment is positive, police checks have been done and they have progressed us to a full assessment so expect a phomecall. However, they are still phoning around as many family members as they can and organising more viability assessments?! I don't understand this as it seemed all systems go with us. They said 'the more people we can get to come forward, the better'. Is this normal? This is almost making us think forget it then, go ahead and find someone else.

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ied53
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Re: How can I take this further?

Postby ied53 » Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:38 pm

They are obliged to look at all family that come forward
Irene

Grandparent carer in Lincolnshire

Tough times never last tough people do

Laura81
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:47 pm

Re: How can I take this further?

Postby Laura81 » Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:58 pm

I know, that's fine I understand everyone is entitled to be assessed. No one has come forward though, they are actively phoning around asking if anyone can have the baby and if they'll agree to be assessed. They have one other couple agree so far, I know who it is and I feel the baby will go to them now. We are absolutely devastated as we were led to believe he was being placed with us and now they do this!


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