help and advice - Nieces welfare

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complicated
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:33 am

help and advice - Nieces welfare

Post by complicated » Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:40 pm

Hi sorry this is going to be a long winded one, Hope i can get some help and advice!

My Niece (now 6) has been in the care of her grandmother since the age of 6 months due to my Brother passing away and my Nieces Mother been a drug addict a child protection plan was in place due to the drug abuse.
My Mom was granted residence order but has never really settled into caring for my Niece leaving the day to day care of my Niece with my Nan. My mom constantly battles with depression and dependent on alcohol. recently she has attempted suicide. Since then she has had no help from any professionals. We feel we have done everything we can to help her over the last 6 years and failed, she will not accept any help or help herself.
so we took the decision to seek help from social services (yes a bit late!) we feel without my Nan being there my Mom could not care for my Niece. Told them the whole ins and outs and how My Nan had been covering to protect her Daughter and Granddaughter. After a meeting social services said they would seek help for my Mom, and try and work with her to get her back on track. i phoned for an update and they said they had been unable to get in touch with my Mom. A recent conversation with my Mom left us greatly concerned about her own and my Nieces welfare. As she is still feeling suicidal. There are other issues which also make us concerned for my Nieces welfare but its a long story.
Because my Nan has been stepping in, to protect my Niece social services will not take action to remove my Niece from the situation due to her not being in immediate danger. she has a protector. But My Nan is feeling it is getting too much with her age and health.

So my question is....is it possible to request my Niece comes into my care? Maybe through SGO or RO. i would want it to be permanent for my Nieces best interests or do i have to wait for social services to follow their procedures?

Just dont know where to turn, its very complicated and something needs to be done for my Niece and Mom.

Thank you for taking your time to read.

complicated
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:33 am

Re: help and advice - Nieces welfare

Post by complicated » Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:50 pm

Ok, I am 25 live with my Husband and two children.

Thank you for replying

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David Roth
Posts: 2022
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:14 am

Re: help and advice - Nieces welfare

Post by David Roth » Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:32 am

Hi complicated, and welcome to Family Rights Group's discussion forum for family and friends carers - and for those who are thinking about becoming carers.

You say that your mum has a residence order for your niece. The law has recently changed, so that residence orders (RO) have been replaced by child arrangements orders (CAO) - residence orders currently in place will still be just that, but for any new applications the order to be made would be a child arrangements order. If you wanted to get the same order that your mum now has, then it would be a CAO that would be granted.

However, a relative of a child is only entitled to apply for a CAO after the child has been living with them for at least a year. If that isn't the case for you, then you either have to get the leave of the court to make the application, or you have to have the agreement of all the people with parental responsibility (PR) for your niece. From the situation as you have described it, the two people who will have PR for your niece will be her mother and your mother.

I'm not sure from the way you've described it whether these two ladies would be willing to agree to your application. If they would find it difficult - and people do sometimes find it hard to accept something which is an implicit public statement that they're not doing their parental duty - it may be that the local authority could help by arranging a Family Group Conference (FGC). This is a managed meeting where the family are in control of finding a solution to a particular problem, and it has worked successfully to help a lot of families to deal with their problems together.

I would suggest that you read our Advice Sheets 3 (FGCs) and 18 (CAO): http://frg.org.uk/need-help-or-advice/advice-sheets

If you want to talk this through with an adviser, you can call our freephone advice line on 0808 801 0366, lines are open 9..30am-3pm Mon-Fri.
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

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