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SGO and parental contact

Posted: Thu May 18, 2017 1:39 pm
by Sam123
    Couple questions.I am looking after my grandson while court proceedings go ahead i am being assessed as foster carer but they are talking about an SGO.if this goes ahead are sw still involved and who makes the decisions on how often parents can see their son and would this be supervised by them

    Re: SGO and parental contact

    Posted: Fri May 19, 2017 3:55 pm
    by Suzie, FRG Adviser
    Dear Sam123

    Welcome to the Family and Friends Carers’ Discussion Forum and thank you for your post.

    I see that you are currently caring for your grandson. Just to clarify the position was your grandson with you before the court proceedings started or has he just been placed with you under an interim care order so you are now being assessed as a foster carer.

    Usually, in care proceedings it is expected that the local authority will parallel or twin-track their planning. This means that they have to look at alternative long term care if the child is not able to return to his or her parent(s) care. Special guardianship is seen a long term arrangement for a family member or friend to care for a child until they reach 18 years old. This type of care is considered better for a child so he or she can remain in the extended family rather than living with foster carers or even adoption. The final decision will be made by the court based on what is best for the child.

    If you were to be assessed for a special guardianship order, then there should also be an assessment of the child’s needs and the support both financial and otherwise that might be needed to ensure the child can be cared for long term and its needs met. Please see our advice sheet here which explains in more detail how an assessment for special guardianship is carried out and what you can expect.

    A copy of our advice sheet relating to care proceedings is also included here for your information as th likelihood is that a special guardianship order will be made within the care proceedings. This will give you an idea of process.

    As far as contact is concerned, you will need to say that you will support contact and give an indication of what you think will be manageable for you. The social worker will discuss any issues relating to contact with you and it will depend on the parent or parents’ behaviour. As a special guardian you will be able to make decisions about contact as time goes on. The local authority will not remain involved except where you might need support with contact or other matters as a special guardian. If you feel that contact need to be supervised, you will need to say this to the social worker and ask that they provide this even if only in the initial stages. It may be that you can supervise contact yourself or make arrangements for it to be supervised.

    The level of contact will depend on the child’s needs and what would be best for him. At the time the special guardianship order is made the court could also make an order setting what contact the parents can have or leave it for you to arrange with them. Ultimately, the decision about contact will be yours provided it is reasonable. The parents will retain their parental responsibility for the child although you would be able to exercise your parental responsibility over and above theirs.

    Should you wish to speak to an adviser, please telephone our free and 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 (except Bank Holidays).

    I hope this is helpful.

    Best wishes


    Re: SGO and parental contact

    Posted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:04 am
    by Sam123
    Ty for advice.things are progressing daughter has since split with her b/f and at present we are having contact together with contact supporter and soon will be having contact at mine .if all goes well she can move back home so will not have to go for guardianship but still have to go through all foster procedures.will keep you updated.

    Re: SGO and parental contact

    Posted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:21 am
    by swampydrill
    Suzie, you state that ultimately it is Sams decision on contact as long as it is reasonable. How and whom establishes what is reasonable ? I am currently having discussions with SS in regards to this as they say their is an assumption that you would keep contact as it was, 2 solicitors told me that i could do as i wish because i am the one responsible and in doing so are breaking no laws, there is no and should be no assumption in law.