confused and looking for impartial advice regarding sgo

auntycupcake
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:46 pm

confused and looking for impartial advice regarding sgo

Postby auntycupcake » Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:41 pm

hey! new to this site....but i have to say the factsheets are amazing! just looking for some advice/personal experiences to be honest. currently my neice is with me under an interim care order but the social worker has said that as a "back up plan" she needs to do a sgo assessment....she hasnt really explained why they need this plan or given a timescale but i have assumed that it is just in case my neice cannot go back to live with her parents (my brother and sise
ter in law)?
in general i feel completely misinformed by social services, i raised these concerns at a LAC review on monday but am still waiting for anyone to contact me regarding my concerns, mainly about sgo and finance.
i understand that i will be the one applying for a sgo and not the social services recommending it. anybody had to do this? i feel incredibly uncomfortable doing this especially as my brother and sister in law was only made aware of this sgo assessment officially during the LAC review. they feel that everything is being done "behind their backs" and they feel confident that my neice will be returned to them after 8 weeks so theres "no point in doing the assessment" (their words).
when would i have to apply for the sgo? is there a timescale?
my neice has only been with me for 3 weeks and everything still seems "up in the air!" this hasnt been helped by a visit from the babys independent guardian in court who has taken the view that a lot of underhandment has been carried out by social services which led to my neice being remkved from parents. i know and understand that a judge has to have enough evidence to remove a child from their parents but this comment has confused me and made me wonder why an sgo assessment needs to be carried out so soon (which is long term) when an interim care order is short term! almost feels like social services have assumed that they are going to fail! anybody have any firsthand experience of applying for a sgo when you have an amicable relationship with parents? any guidance/information which you wish you had known at the time? sorry if i have rambled or confused anyone....still getting used to this lack of sleep thing! thanks cor reading

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Robin D
Posts: 1848
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: confused and looking for impartial advice regarding sgo

Postby Robin D » Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:38 pm

Hello and welcome.

What social services are doing is known as 'parallel planning' where they look at alternative plans if 'plan A' fails. They do have a duty to not let the case hang about leaving 'permanence' for the child in limbo. However, they do seem to be in some haste on this occasion. It's true that you have to apply. Social Services cannot do it for you, but they can support you (and indeed pay your costs).

I suggest you discuss the SGO assessment with the guardian. Their views carry a lot of weight with the court and its worth explaining that you don't want to upset the apple cart with your brother and sister-in-law and I suggest you follow their guidance.

Hope this has been of some help.

Best wishes ....... 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.

MumGrandmaAuntie
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:24 pm

Re: confused and looking for impartial advice regarding sgo

Postby MumGrandmaAuntie » Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:48 am

Hi, I'm new and sorry to piggyback someone elses page but I wanted to clarify Robin's point about who should apply for the SGO. We have had our nephew with us as fostering since December. There is an Issues Resolution Hearing next week and the LA have recommended he remain with us on an SGO and the CAFCASS Guardian is supporting this outcome. Birth dad is not opposing the SGO and Mum is not in contact with anybody, even her own solicitor so not sure if she's going to turn up in court. Have heard on the grapevine though that she wants him back so is likely to oppose the SGO if she does show up. My concern from Robin's comment is we have not applied to the court for an SGO and we are not parties to the court case as have been told this is not necessary. We have had independent legal advice and they have not suggested we must apply to the court ourselves. I am confused!

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Robin D
Posts: 1848
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: confused and looking for impartial advice regarding sgo

Postby Robin D » Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:51 am

Hello and welcome.

To be fair, I'm not bang up to date, but my from memory you have to make a written request to the LA of for an assessment 3 months before you make an application for the order. The helpline or solicitor should be able to advise.

You will hold the SGO, so you are the applicant.

I also believe that the court can make the order as part of proceedings of its own volition, but given the need for assessment, I don't know that it ever happens.

As for being a party, your solicitor may already have done that. If not, I suggest you speak to them.

Best wishes ...... 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.

MumGrandmaAuntie
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:24 pm

Re: confused and looking for impartial advice regarding sgo

Postby MumGrandmaAuntie » Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:58 am

Hi, Thanks for replies. We made LA aware last October that we wanted to be considered as alternative carers if required for our nephew. A back-up plan if you like as we recognised the situation and where it might lead. The baby's social worker did a viability assessment over 3 visits and then passed us to another team who started a fostering assessment in November. This concluded in late January with recommendation for approval. Meanwhile an interim care order was issued in December and baby came to us on reg 24 fostering approval. Due to delays with court process this has just been extended for the once-only (reg 25?) approval which covers us to mid june. We have not been to fostering panel in person as this has been deemed not necessary. Both parents were not opposed to placement with us at that time.
The LA hope the SGO will be granted before this temp approval runs out but I guess it depends how much the court allows if Mum opposes the SGO. Considering she hasn't seen her 8 month old son in the last 3 months and no evidence of change in her lifestyle hopefully not too long. Her main opposition to the SGO I think is that she believes he will be back with her if she opposes it but court deemed her as unsuitable to parent him last October and he was single-parented by Dad for 2 months before the care order.
So my question is - does the above process by LA and ourselves constitute enough for a court to award the SGO without us being applicants or are we missing an essential part of the process that is going to trip us up with the court?
ied53 - how long did it delay things when birth mum opposed the SGO in your situation?
Thanks for your help guys.

suzy1959
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Dec 03, 2013 12:54 am

Re: confused and looking for impartial advice regarding sgo

Postby suzy1959 » Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:42 pm

hi, i have been to court for residence order and the judge made an order for me to be assessed for a sgo which i was suprised at to say the least so yes it can happen

ozzy3396
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:05 pm

Re: confused and looking for impartial advice regarding sgo

Postby ozzy3396 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:19 pm

That is good news suzy. I agree with Irene . The child comes first ... always. We have had a few tense periods due to the parents but hey nobody said it would be easy....although it is getting easier now we have got a lot stronger. My only advice would be not to be scared to say no to the birth parents , your in charge not them ! Best of luck and i hope all goes well... Touch wood !


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