Need help and advice

Halfway house girl
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2017 2:56 pm

Need help and advice

Postby Halfway house girl » Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:23 pm

Hello i am currently looking after my nephew under ss care there is a section 20 in place but having priblems with my own child who is 16 and having to share his bedroom with his 11year old nephew and it is causing a lot of stress and problems ss have told me to get legal advice and become party to proceedings and to fight aabout getting an extra bedroom made in my house but solicitor said this was going to cost me and my husband a lot a lot money as i won't get legal aid but this still does not help me with the situation at the moment i am at the end of my tether any advice would be grateful

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 469
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: Need help and advice

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:24 pm

Dear Halfway house girl

Welcome to the Family and Friends Carers discussion board.

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

I can understand why you are feeling stressed in your current situation. You say you are looking after your nephew under a s.20 arrangement and, as a result, difficulties have occurred with your own son.

As you have mentioned being made a party to proceedings, this suggests that there are currently care proceedings before the court brought by the local authority. It is possible for you to apply to the court to be made a party to the proceedings and it will be the judge’s decision whether this will be allowed. Are you being assessed by children’s services to be the long term carer for your nephew if his parent(s) are not able to care for him? Is this to be under a special guardianship order child arrangement order or as a long term foster carer? If you are being assessed alongside your nephew’s parent(s), then depending on the order to be made, you are entitled to ask for financial assistance as part of a special guardianship package or an allowance under a child arrangement order. In both cases, children’s services will need to do a financial assessment. Please see our advice sheet relating to care proceedings which will give you more information about the court process.

Under a special guardianship order, if you are able to ask for financial assistance from the local authority for an extension to your home. This would be a loan which you would be expected to repay. This is something the social worker should discuss with you. If the placement with you would not be possible only because of lack of space, the court could ask the local authority to consider making this offer to you. If you are able to convert your home without the need for an extension then you can ask for this to be done. Our advice sheets relating special guardianship order and child arrangement order for your information.

Children’s services will have to consider as part of their care plan for your nephew what would be the most appropriate placement and if it is not working at the moment with your 16 year old son, it may be that you may not be the best placement. As your nephew is 11 years old the likelihood is he would be placed in long term foster care either with you or other foster carers. As a foster carer you would receive a fostering allowance and children’s services would remain involved under a care order. This would give them parental responsibility for your nephew and decisions will be made by children’s services in relation to contact and where he lives. The mother retains parental responsibility and so will the father if he has parental responsibility for your nephew.

Please see our advice sheets about becoming a foster carer and the support you can receive whilst looking after someone else’s child.

Has the solicitor carried out an assessment for legal aid or submitted an application it may be that legal aid could be granted up to an assessment being done or other event. You could of course represent yourself at court. The courts are quite used to persons representing themselves since the changes made to the availability of legal aid in the last few years.

You may wish to speak to an adviser, so please telephone our free, confidential advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday (except Bank Holidays).

I hope this is helpful

Best wishes

Suzie


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