SGO - do I need a solicitor?

Worriednanna
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Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:02 pm

SGO - do I need a solicitor?

Postby Worriednanna » Mon Jan 19, 2015 6:39 pm

Hi,
I would be really grateful if someone could advise on whether we need a solicitor (we are not entitled to legal aid), SW said only initial consultation would be paid by LA.
The SGO is not being contested by mother or social worker and the father is not contactable.
We have just passed the SGO assessment (such a relief!) for my 2 grandchildren (6 and 4yrs). They have been with a foster carer for past 6-7 months due to negligence. I have been verbally told the results of the financial assessment (but don't believe the figures are correct as they are low and neither of us are working) - how do we go about querying this? I was advised by SW that she had completed her paperwork and sent to court on Friday 16/01 and a date for hearing should be for approx. 7-10 days time. Are we automatically part to proceedings as we are going for SGO?
Social worker is not being helpful at all and is more interested in the mother than the children.

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

Re: SGO - do I need a solicitor?

Postby ied53 » Mon Jan 19, 2015 10:17 pm

If the soc servs are supporting you they should be paying to bring this to court it is possible to represent yourself. Even if parents not contesting now they often do at final hearing as it makes them feel better. Are you being offered an allowance in line with fostering have they agreed it will be guaranteed until age 18 is this in writing no you are not automatically party to proceedings. There will be advice sheets on the site. If they are offering to pay for legal advice session I strongly advise you to take it make sure all offer are in writing.
Last edited by ied53 on Tue Jan 20, 2015 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
Irene
Grandparent carer in Lincolnshire
Tough times never last tough people do

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

Re: SGO - do I need a solicitor?

Postby Robin D » Tue Jan 20, 2015 8:32 am

Hi Worriednana.

I agree with all Irene has said. Of particular note is that you will not be party to proceedings. In my view you need to be so you can hear all that is being said. You can apply directly to the court, but there is a fee to pay. (£155?). You may get the LA to pay this, but I suspect its unlikely.

If you are unhappy with the financial assessment and the offer, or there is nothing in there about continuing until the child is 18, you need to appeal to the local authority first. I suggest you contact the manager of the social worker, and say you are very concerned that you may not be able to agree to the order purely on financial grounds and that if, as I suspect, the offer is only for two years, it simply is not good enough and is not putting the needs of the child first so would they please review? No placement should be refused or terminated purely on those grounds.

If that doesn't get you anywhere, you need to look up the LA Childrens Services complaints procedure (on the LA web-site) and submit a complaint. You would then need to ensure you attended court to explain why you cannot proceed with the order.

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.

MinnieMoo
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2014 9:28 pm

Re: SGO - do I need a solicitor?

Postby MinnieMoo » Mon Feb 16, 2015 8:02 pm

Hi Folks,

So am I correct in thinking that the LA can pay until the child is 18?
The reason I ask is that I will be a pensioner by the time DGD is 15 YO.
Its going to be challenging enough to afford the nursery fees....

Min x

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

Re: SGO - do I need a solicitor?

Postby ied53 » Mon Feb 16, 2015 8:55 pm

Any allowance is available until age 18 and is means tested. Unless you are fostering and or the child was LAC it is discretionary. Some carers (few and far between) have been granted guaranteed until age 18. It is in the regulations for it to be means tested. Hubby and I get no allowance we are 61 and 60 the girls are 12 and 10
Irene

Grandparent carer in Lincolnshire

Tough times never last tough people do


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