I'm confused and a bit scared

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: I'm confused and a bit scared

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:34 am

Dear P17613P

Thank you for your posts, I will refer to all of them in this response. From what I read I understand why the process feels like it is spiralling out of your control. However, I have read positives in your post too such as Children’s Services taking your grandson out of stranger foster care and placing him in your care – can I assume that they did an assessment of you and were completely satisfied that you could meet his needs.

From your original post I understand some of the reasons that you were being cautious about taking on the full time care of your grandson and I think that the social workers responsible for him understood too and as you say agreed with you. I think, however that there was going to be a point where the local authority had to make a decision about his long term care and from what you describe the series of events that led to this were:

(a) timescales – three years as a looked after child may be considered rather lengthy and permanency must be considered.
(b) your daughter’s sobriety – if a parent is or has addressed the issued which affected their parenting to the satisfaction of a local authority reunification may be ‘on the cards’.
(c) your daughter’s lack of sobriety – you have indicated that your daughter has again misused alcohol this too ‘has forced the local authority’s hand’.
(d) perhaps too, in a very small way, the fact that you were not able to wholly convince the current social worker that you wanted to become your grandson’s special guardian.

In terms of the process, the family group conference (FGC) and the naming of another family member who will be assessed. The family group conference will be a good opportunity to talk about and make decisions about the future care of your grandson, please read our advice sheet. In terms of assessing the aunty, perhaps your daughter was asked by the social worker if there is anyone else who could care for the child and she named her aunt? Your idea that the aunt agree to be assessed only if something should happen to you may not, at this time, be agreeable to the local authority. At present you say that you are in good health and have been so since you began caring for your grandchild, so assessing the aunt only if you become unwell may not fall within the timeframe of the court case. Do have a wider discussion about this at the FGC.

With regard to contact, I understand your concern about your daughter disrupting your grandson’s schedule but Children’s Services have a duty to your grandson and promoting contact with between parents and their children is one of them. However, it might be useful for you to document the affect contact has on your grandson and discuss this with his social worker. In your later posts I read that your grandson’s behaviour is becoming more difficult to contain after contact with his mother, please do speak with the social worker about this. In terms of support for managing your grandson’s autism and other needs, if you become a special guardian your grandson may qualify for help/support/assistance from the Adoption Support Fund.

With regard to care proceedings and care orders, a judge can make the decision to grant an SGO as an outcome of the proceedings, our advice sheet, Care (and related) proceedings will tell you more. Please also read our advice sheets about special guardianship orders, what they mean for birth parents and support available when care for someone else’s child.

I hope this response answers your queries, I have touched on some of your later posts within it. If you would like to discuss the matter in confidence, do try and call our advice line (which has been busy of late). Our advice line is open Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 3.00pm, on 0808 801 0366.

Best wishes


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Re: I'm confused and a bit scared

Postby P17613P » Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:37 pm

Hello Suzie , thank you for your informative response

The trouble I am having is because I m so emotionally tied to my Grandson and love him to pieces my EMOTIONS ie fear , anxiety , worry etc naturally come into play!

So I need to seek support with that as well as find my way through what is to me a legal minefield in a RATIONAL way but it does not help if I do not UNDERSTAND what is going on as SS are not making it clear to me at present! ( and tbh are being a bit evasive )

I had a LAC review and the LRO decided for my Grandsons sake to reduce the contact further 2 2 times a week which is much more manageable even though my GS is still showing signs of anxiety and appears to be insecure and unsettled atm :-(

It would help if at least I understood what is going on as at present we both don't ;-)

I have been told by the SW that she was asked to find some 'failings' about me as I ''looked too perfect on paper'' ... I do not particularly trust this to be true as she has submitted a report to the court about me adding some very negative points now about some concerns they had before my GS was placed with me ( there have been no concerns since he has been in my care )

I have also had 2 unannounced visits close together by the SW which is unusual and the sceptic in me wonders if they are trying to ''catch me out'' and find something to use against me??

She said they will be firing questions at me at court and to be prepared and she said she was not sure that I was going to be party to the proceedings but the addition of the 'concerns' they have a bout me were added after I asked to become a party to the proceedings

To me it feels ''I had my chance to go for an SGO and blew it'' and so now they are going for a care order and do NOT seem to be supporting me going for an SGO now :-(

So it FEELS like I will be 'fighting' both them and my daughter in order to go for guardianship now

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Re: I'm confused and a bit scared

Postby ied53 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:43 am

Hello those unannounced visits really throw you don't they . Don't worry they are normal. After all anyone can be neat and tidy etc for an arranged time . They are part of standard procedure. As for seeming too good on paper lets remember the sw is used to looking for faults. Yet we are experienced parents. You would not believe the comments I had !! Of course you are stressed the trick is smile and scream after they have left !! Don't be afraid to say that you would seek help and support we all need it . How many times have we had a cuppa with a friend and discussed our children? It can be as basic as that . work out who your support is . Disability worker , ESN teacher at school, best friend, GP, support groups, Just remember they have to justify to the court that you are able to fully care for someone else's child. Regardless of your relationship to the child . Children's services may not be able to make it clear at the moment as they need decisions from the court . The sw that visits you needs to get things verified by the manager. They recommend they do not decide. Approaching the court case is a very stressful time . Just remember there is clear evidence that the child is happy and thriving with you .
Grandparent carer in Lincolnshire
Tough times never last tough people do

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