SGO Order

IAS
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:43 am

SGO Order

Postby IAS » Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:04 pm

Hi,

My partner and I have been assessed and approved for an SGO for our niece and nephew who are currently in care and have been since January 2016. It all goes to court in December 2016 and we have informed it is likely we will become their SG. Unfortunately no one has really explained us what will happen after court if this happens. We are currently in a 1 bedroom flat with our 2 year old son. We literally have no room for the 2 children in our property. Social Services have said they will help move us. I was just after some advice on what to expect in regards to the transition process. How long after the court awards the SGO will the children come to us and will it be a gradual process? I just want to be prepared.

If anyone has any advice and guidance I would very interested in hearing it.

Many Thanks

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ied53
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Re: SGO Order

Postby ied53 » Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:57 pm

Hi and welcome to the boards. Once the SGO is granted they will probably move quickly to contact if you haven't already had it and over night stays then move in. It often depends on the age of the children as to how long it takes. They need to be discussing a plan with you for this and the level of contact with the birthparents if any . As this needs to be manageable.
Irene
Grandparent carer in Lincolnshire
Tough times never last tough people do

IAS
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:43 am

Re: SGO Order

Postby IAS » Tue Nov 29, 2016 6:59 pm

Thank you for your reply.

Should they be going through the plan before or after court?

The children are 5 and 7 and we have seen them 4 times since they were taken into care. SS have advised us that the mother should have monthly contact and the siblings should be fortnightly.

I would also be really interested in hearing anyone's experiences after SG is ordered.

How did people manage work etc. I currentry work 4 full days a week. I love my job and I am worried that I may need to go term time only but this could make my job vunerable. If i don't then I don't know what we will do in summer holidays etc. I am willing to do what I need to for these children but my work is also important to me.

Thanks

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

Re: SGO Order

Postby Robin D » Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:40 pm

Hi @SAI

I second Irene's welcome here.

In answer to the second part of your question about housing, you MUST get in writing from the Local Authority precisely what they are offering in 'helping you to move'. Too many people have taken SS at their word and found that once the order is made, the 'help' is either not forthcoming, or is not what they expected. 'Help' could mean anything from actually arranging rehousing, through paying removal costs to giving you the contact details of the housing dept that you can find easily anyway. Other folks have been 'promised' money for extensions that have never materialised. The list goes on. Once that order is made, any chance of financial assistance will just disappear into the ether unless you have it in writing and in detail. SS will prevaricate, and possibly threaten to withdraw their support for the SGO, but you must stick to your guns. The lives of those children will be really adversely affect if they leave you in your current accommodation.
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.

IAS
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:43 am

Re: SGO Order

Postby IAS » Wed Nov 30, 2016 6:39 am

Thank you Robin,

We have it in writing how they will help financially. I originally setup with the local housing association for us to switch properties with the mum as suggested by SS but then they decided this could impact negatively on the children. They have since told us on several occasions they will now find us a house and if we have to rent privately then they will help us with the estate agent fees and deposit. We had to refuse to take the children until we were in a bigger property because we are in a 1 bedroom flat and the kitchen is open plan so there literally no room and it would be too dangerous.

Thank you for your advice. I will definately not let them walk over us. We will get what we need in order to help these 2 children.

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ied53
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Re: SGO Order

Postby ied53 » Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:55 pm

Yes they must discuss the plan how do you know what you are agreeing to do. Monthly may seem fine now but it really curtails what you can do as a family unit. Where will contact be who will supervise how long will contact be for 2 hours 4 hours all day. You really need to get this sorted . And in writing. As Robin says once granted it is too late. You won't see a sw for dust. Words are fine it means nothing . Sorry you seem too trusting. Many a carer has been left aghast at this
Irene

Grandparent carer in Lincolnshire

Tough times never last tough people do

IAS
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:43 am

Re: SGO Order

Postby IAS » Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:39 pm

Yea I think your right I am too trusting. I am going to seek legal advice and I will speak to the sw. I do tend to give people the benefit of doubt but I will fight to get what we need for these children. SS have advised us for contact to be monthly but I thought this would all be discussed in or after court depending on the outcome.

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ied53
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Re: SGO Order

Postby ied53 » Fri Dec 02, 2016 7:22 am

The plan will be presented at court as agreed so effectively will be "rubber stamped" the court listen to each side if there are arguments against. Get legal advice from a solicitor on the childrens panel not just family law they really need to be on top of these situations. Unless the bp loose interest contact will be forever. You will need to juggle your lives around this , will both parents have contact? together or separately ? what if other relatives want contact too? where will it be ? who will supervise? Personally I think monthly is too often but it depends on the circumstances of course and the reason the need to be with you, We had up to 2 hrs every 8 weeks some have had 4 times a year. They need to know their parents but they also need to feel secure with you.
Irene

Grandparent carer in Lincolnshire

Tough times never last tough people do

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 432
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: SGO Order

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Dec 02, 2016 10:49 am

Hi SAI,
Welcome to the friends and family carers forum.

I can see that Irene and Robin have given you a lot of advice about how practically the children will move to live with you and about the level of contact the children might have with their parents.
Here is our research about contact when children are placed with friends and family carers.
Also have a look at our advice sheet about special guardianship orders From page 39 onwards there is a lot of information about being assessed for support-which includes support around contact.
Children services also have the discretion to pay towards your legal fees.
The court will look at the plans for contact and decide whether or not a contact order is made or whether contact will be left in your discretion, as special guardians ? Generally, it is better that there is no court order-so that contact can reflect the needs of the children, which may change over time.

Irene and Robin have also highlighted the need for you to ensure your housing situation is also addressed.

You are giving up a secure tenancy with a housing association for a private rented home. As well as being less secure (private landlords, after the fixed period has ended, can give very short notice that they want the property back), your rent is also likely to be higher.

Before you agree to do this, can you seek legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in housing to see what options you might have.
Or you could seek advice about this from Shelter a housing law charity.

Children services and the housing department have a duty to work together under Section 27 of the Children Act 1989. What efforts have been made to do this? Is there an option for you to secure larger accommodation within the same or a different housing association?

What is the guardian's view? His/her job is to act in the best interests of the children.
As Robin and Irene say, it is important to ensure all the detail is addressed in writing and before the court proceedings have concluded.

If you have any questions, please post back.

Best wishes,

Suzie

Tryinghard69
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2016 8:19 pm

Re: SGO Order

Postby Tryinghard69 » Fri Dec 23, 2016 2:44 pm

Hi
Good to hear from someone who is taking on a niece/nephew. We have our niece living with us along with our own children. Very often it seems the SGOs are to grandparents, who have a different set of issues to those of us who are also trying to bring our own children up along with the SGO child. it is VERY hard work.

Fight against a contact order in the court. I refused one and am so glad i did. After the false accusations of physical harm from birth mum i was able to cease contact legally and SGO child has not seen birth mother for over 3 years. If there had been a contact order i would not have been able to do that. DO NOT underestimate the vitriol of birth parents in these cases and the extreme impact on family dynamics. My children have lost their extended family due to this process as grandma/grandad find it very hard to keep their feelings about their daughter's (birth mother) "loss" of her child out of their relationship with us.

I have not received a penny of financial support from social services as apparently i earn too much - like you my work is important to me and i continued working. It is very very hard bringing up 4 children (which i now have) and it looks like you will be taking on 2 on top of your existing child. Do not underestimate the financial impact - even when you are given financial assistance it does not compensate you for the fact you permanently need a bigger car, can't go on certain holidays as the room set up does not allow for this, school dinners cost a fortune, as do school trips, the fact that getting anyone to babysit 4 children is very very difficult so you never get a rest.

Good luck - get EVERYTHING in writing and make sure you get legal advice. I didn't and i regret it all the time.


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