Travel and Overnight Stops

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Joined: Sun May 29, 2016 5:57 pm

Travel and Overnight Stops

Post by SueReal » Fri Jun 03, 2016 6:44 pm

I hope this is an appropriate question to ask here. My partner Chris is the special guardian for his 9 year old grandson. We are both in our seventies and recently he has been ill and so the grandson has been placed in respite care with a foster family. This is likely to become permanent although my partner is now on the mend. He still has the SGO.

One problem we encountered was who can accompany the grandchild when travelling. We have learned from the social worker that, now the child is looked after, I am not authorised to look after the child overnight in a hotel. We had thought that, because my partner is still the guardian, then he could delegate me to take care of the child for short stays in a hotel.

We are not clear what the reason is. One reason we were given by a social worker is that I am not a relative. We do not understand why that matters.

Has anyone had experience of a similar situation?

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

Re: Travel and Overnight Stops

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Jun 06, 2016 12:28 pm

Dear SueReal

Welcome to the Family and Friends Discussion Forum.

My name is Suzie, online adviser at Family Rights Group.

I am sorry that your partner is unwell and that as a result difficulties have arisen in respect of his grandson. You say that your partner is the special guardian which suggests that although he is your partner you were not included in the assessment relating to the special guardianship order, this may of course have been your choice.

It is right that your partner as the special guardian can make decisions about his grandson. However, it depends on whether his grandson is being looked after under s.20 agreement, which means that he has agreed for his grandson to be placed with foster carers. If this is the case, then the placement is voluntary and only your partner and the child’s parents have parental responsibility (the father would have parental responsibility if he is on the child’s birth certificate or was married to the mother).

Alternatively, if children services obtained an order from the court for your partner’s grandson, then they would share parental responsibility and can make decisions relating to the child. If children services do not have an order and there is only s.20 agreement, they do not have parental responsibility and it is for the special guardian to make decisions about his grandson. The fact that his grandson would be a ‘looked after child’ under s.20 does not mean that children services can make decisions without your partner's involvement. A copy of our advice sheet relating to the duties children services have in respect of children in the care system is included for your further information.

I suggest, that if your partner is able to then he should write to children services asking why you are not able to travel with his grandson if he is happy for this to happen. If it is the case that you and your partner were living together with his grandson and he knows you, it seems unusual that children services do not consider it appropriate for him to travel with you. Would your partner also be travelling with you and his grandson? Your partner should ask children services to give a written explanation of their objections. A copy of our advice sheet relating to family and friends cares is here for your information.

The fact that you are not a relative should not of itself mean you cannot care your partner's grandson and children services should give a proper explanation to your partner.

Should your partner or you wish to speak to an adviser, please do not hesitate to telephone our confidential advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m Monday to Friday.

I hope you will find this helpful.

Best wishes


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