Contact under an SGO

clairesally
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Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 6:35 am

Contact under an SGO

Postby clairesally » Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:35 pm

Hello
I will try to make this brief as in truth it would take a forum of my own to explain the history of my sister and her behaviours since she was 16.

She is now 39 and has two children, a boy of 17 and a girl of 3. She left her son with his father when he was two and came in and out of his life as it suited and as her drink and drugs habit came and went. 3

When her daughter was 17 months, she left her daughter with me and went to visit her son. This was actually untrue, as she never returned and her daughter has been with me her maternal aunt since the 18th Nov 2012.

In January 2013 I applied for a residency order, my sister was given 5 hearings to turn up, as was her daughters father who had just been released from prison, neither of them choose to.

The judge awarded me leave to apply for guardianship ( this was actually his suggestion and not my request) social services supported this, as did Cafcass and my nieces health visitor.

August 2013 I was awarded an SGO , social services agreed a guardianship allowance and we went to get on with our lives.

In the same month my sisters sons father ( different to her daughters father) died of alcoholic poisoning and her son contacted me after being unable to contact his mother. I brought him to my home, and here he has been now for a year ( there are loads of bits of detail regards drugs and crime with his mother and father, and all sorts of issues that I was experiencing for the first time, but we have managed, without support, without social services but purely alone).

During this time my mother has struck up a relationship again with my sister - who had been sectioned, and was partaking in heroin.

My sister has moved back from London with the aid of the NHS that sectioned her to my home town, by ommission of the fact that she had two children here ( I found out she was back when she called my mother and asked her to visit her in the psychiatric unit) and now wants access to her children ( only once every two weeks on a wednesday afternoon) with her daughter, but not her son, as he has stated very clearly he has no wish to communicate with her at all. She does not want responsibility for either of them or to contest the SGO as she does not feel 'up to it' but I have the final decision as granted to me by the court and I do not believe that this intermittent contact ( until she gets bored again or distracted again) would be of any benefit to her children and I would be allowing her daughter to risk having the same life as her son.

I believe and all of those around me who have known her history agree, and I am sure Social services who have a thick file on both of the children as well as my sister would support my decision, but how often does a court look through all of the facts and see purely the biological mother... not the neglectful or selfish.... but the one that gave birth.

If I could adopt her children I would, to protect them, but as a sister I can not, I am genuinely worried for them that even contact will hurt and confuse them both particularly if she vanishes again in 18 months, which has done every 18 months for the last 20 years...I have tried for 20 years to help, I have housed her, supported her financially, emotionally, picked her off the streets, mediated with the family for her, and as my brother died aged 50 three months before she did this again, I now want no contact with her ever again.

Can anyone give me a view or a similar situation. I have been served court papers and I am there on 18th August ( again)... i hope she does not turn up but if she does???

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

Re: Contact under an SGO

Postby ied53 » Thu Jul 31, 2014 7:58 pm

Just because she is applying for contact doesn't mean she will get it. She may be granted " in direct" . She may have to prove herself as you say she disappears. Contact is for the benefit of the children not the parent the court will decide . You are expected to facilitate contact best to be approachable and Encouraging that way you are less likely to have stuff forced on you. At least you will have good reason to stand up to her with evidence.
Irene
Grandparent carer in Lincolnshire
Tough times never last tough people do

clairesally
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 6:35 am

Re: Contact under an SGO

Postby clairesally » Fri Aug 01, 2014 9:40 am

Thank you Irene, very wise words. My initial plan was to ask for full assessment of her mental health and drug habits and also a social service assessment, and by the time that passes, a sense of commitment to work, and where she lives... if she could prove that the old habits will not reoccur then maybe contact in the future... which I think is what you are suggesting. Thank you for taking the time to reply... if there are any legal or specialist views to I would really appreciate them

Useyourhead
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Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2014 8:31 am

Re: Contact under an SGO

Postby Useyourhead » Mon Aug 04, 2014 11:24 am

You could look into a 'No contact order' - using the situation and your thoughts as good grounds for you being in control of the contact - it would seem very reasonable to me - we have an SGO for our GD and we went into court requesting this after persistent challenges from the mother for contact which were not conducive to the child - we came out with what we requested as the Judge agreed - we were for the child pure and simple! Though we were litigants in person and did not have a solicitor. Just put it forward as it was.

Auntie1964
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:13 pm

Re: Contact under an SGO

Postby Auntie1964 » Wed Aug 06, 2014 1:19 pm

Hi, I just wondering about peoples experiences of going into potential contact hearings without a legal adviser. My eldest sister has SGO of my younger sisters 3year old little girl. I fully support this arrangement but it seems profoundly unfair that my younger sister (who has an 18year history of Class A misuse, child neglect etc) seems to be able to access legal aid in the form of solicitors letters and now an application to court for a review of access), when my older sister (who works hard in her own business) is left to respond by paying for solicitors fees costing several hundred pounds each time.

My questions are - Is it possible to present these attempts ourselves? - Would I be able to assist my eldest sister in any hearings or would that not be allowed? - how is it fair that she seems to have access to random legal aid attempts despite refusing to attend 4 hearings during the initial application.

My eldest sister works hard to provide for the child but as head of a business she cannot just afford to keep dealing with these costly hearings. Her absence has a direct financial impact on her business which in turn would direct affect those people she employs. My feelings towards my younger sister for this selfish, deliberate, continuing action are, frankly, unrepeatable....

thanks in advance for any hope!

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

Re: Contact under an SGO

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Aug 06, 2014 3:13 pm

Dear clairesally

Welcome to the Family and Friends discussion board. My name is Suzie one of FRG's online advisers.

You may find it help to refer to our advice sheets on special guardianship orders, support for relatives caring for someone else's child and the child arrangement order advice sheets, which give detailed answers to some of the queries you raise.

Auntie1964, it would be up to your sister to request if the other parties would agree to you attending court with her, but you would need their agreement on this first.

You may receive support from other members of the discussion forum. Alternatively, you may wish to contact the Family Right's Group advice line on 0808 801 0366 Monday to Friday 09.30 am to 03.00 pm.

I hope this helps.

Best Wishes

Suzie

Auntie1964
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:13 pm

Re: Contact under an SGO

Postby Auntie1964 » Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:25 pm

Hi Suzie, thanks for your advice - we did not follow up on asking the court for permission for my attendance as it would seem two sisters v one would be unhelpful. However, younger sister has brought a court hearing on 18 August but we have just been informed that court appointed case worker cannot make contact with my younger sister as she is not returning her calls - we don't even know if she will turn up on Monday! My question is - how many times/or how frequently can she do this before we can suggest her actions are unreasonable. Once again this is costing my eldest sister financially and emotionally .....

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

Re: Contact under an SGO

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:49 am

Dear Auntie 1964

Your eldest sister would now have attended court on 18th August regarding your younger sister’s application for Child Arrangement Order (contact). The Cafcass officer would have been trying to contact your sister to carry out an initial risk assessment to report to the court on whether contact should go ahead or if there would need to be further assessment of the mother.

It would be good to have an update of the outcome of the hearing.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes

Suzie


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