grandmother contact

lumiru
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:19 am

grandmother contact

Postby lumiru » Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:57 pm

Hi,

We have a child under a care order, after a long process in court that last more than one year.

From the judgement:
Type of order
1) All parties are agreed that there should be a care order.
2) I also agree.
3) In due course, I very much hope that the ongoing need for such an invasive order evaporates. In the meantime, this is a family in need of significant intervention by social services, in providing advice, in referring to more expert services, CAMHS for example, if needed, in supervising contact and in convening 3-monthly (as is agreed) Looked After Child reviews in order to ensure that X’s needs remain appropriately assessed and at the forefront of planning and service provision.
4) Subject to the various amendments which have been made orally through the course of the hearing and which can be included in a final document in due course, I approve the local authority care plan.

Conclusions as to X’s Future; Orders
5) I consider that X’s welfare dictates that he should move from the care of her maternal grandparents to live in the family of Mr and Mrs ZZ.
6) I am firmly of the view that a care order is, at least for the time being, required in order to safeguard X’s interests.
7) I approve the care plan as amended and in particular the proposals for contact between X and Grandmother.
8) Accordingly I make a care order in favour of XPTO Council.

From the Care plan:
Is therefore proposed that X is placed with Mr and Mrs ZZ's care under the auspices of a Care Order. It is felt that at this stage the tension between family members may get further strained if X is to move to Mr and Mrs ZZ's care.

Therefore local authority proposed that a Care Order is to be granted in respect of X for one year to ensure that X is settled in her new placement and the required support is offered to X and the family. this will also give local authority an opportunity to oversee and monitor future contact arrangements between X and extended family, especially grandmother.
...
Mr and Mrs ZZ are pleased with the proposed plan and stated they are happy to look after X long term. Initially this will be if agreed by the court under the auspices of a care order however they would hope than in the not too distant future this order be discharged in favour of a Special Guardianship Order. the Local authority propose that a period of 9 to 12 months would be appropriate timescale and will ensure that the placements stable and meeting the needs of X. contact arrangements should be settled and working well by that time.

Now... the question/problems:

- we have X for 7 months and contact between X and grandmother started weekly (2 hours) in a playgroup, playground or venue with full supervision by social workers.
Contact between X and Grandmother after 3 months changed to weekly (3 hours) at grandmother's house with full supervision by social worker.
Contact between X and Grandmother is going to change next month to weekly (5 hours) semi-supervised. until now social workers and Grandmother pick up X from nursery and drop X at Nursery. From next month social workers will supervised pick-up and drop-off but Grandmother will be with X on her own.
We had serious concerns, judge, Guardian, Pedo Psychiatric, Social workers had same concerns regarding grandmother not accepting court decision and undermining us with X.
We still have serious concerns, grandmother did not change position, social workers are the ones to tell us this because we do not have contact with grandmother but despite those concerns social workers say the contact need to move forwarder and that they cannot supervise it forever.
Not sure what more to say to Social workers and not be interpreted as unreasonable but grandmother is going to make X life miserable and we will be picking up the pieces.

- We mentioned to Social worker about SGO and her reply was "not until contact is ok"... but if grandmother is the one creating problems why are we being penalised?

Not sure how to move forwarder without became confrontational with social workers.
X is almost 4, call us dad and mammy and to our oldest daughter calls her "my big sister".
She loves us, she is well integrated and the bound with us is very strong but grandmother tries to break that bond and she will try and try and she will not give up because "we stall her granddaughter from her" and does not take responsibility.
Last edited by lumiru on Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:49 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Robin D
Posts: 1848
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: grandmother contact

Postby Robin D » Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:13 pm

1st things first, You have mentioned the child's name in paragraph 5. You've tried so hard to make the rest anonymous. Please edit the post to delete it.

It's all about money I'm afraid. Supervision costs money.

However, unless the court expressly ordered that contact should continually increase (To what final level?) then you can say quite validly, that the increase in contact was not ordered. If you were represented in court, get your solicitor to drop the LA legal dept a note asking why they are putting the child at risk of increased emotional harm, and if they persist, you will have no option but to return the matter to the court.

Of course you do not need the LA go-ahead to apply for a SGO, but you do need to notify them. Not sure that's particularly helpful advice, apart from the fact that you need to know it!

Ultimately, the court would have been hoping that given a bit of time, that that grandma would have come to terms and begun to put the child first. If that's not happening, I suspect it's quite reasonable to ask the court to look at it again, especially given the new guidance that comes in Monday that courts should take into account the risk of 'coercive control and psychological abuse'. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41440829 for more information.

Hope you find a way through this.

Robin
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.

lumiru
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:19 am

Re: grandmother contact

Postby lumiru » Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:08 am

Robin D wrote:1st things first, You have mentioned the child's name in paragraph 5. You've tried so hard to make the rest anonymous. Please edit the post to delete it.

Done, thank you!

It's all about money I'm afraid. Supervision costs money.

It is true and it is painful to fight this war

However, unless the court expressly ordered that contact should continually increase (To what final level?) then you can say quite validly, that the increase in contact was not ordered. If you were represented in court, get your solicitor to drop the LA legal dept a note asking why they are putting the child at risk of increased emotional harm, and if they persist, you will have no option but to return the matter to the court.

Court order does not say much about what type of contact should exist. It only states the following:
"Dr N expressed the view that, so strong is grandmother’s rejection of the suitability of Mr and Mrs ZZ as carers for X, she may simply find it impossible to accept such a position, with the corollary possibility of her undermining the placement, whether deliberately or inadvertently. For this reason, he recommended that contact between grandmother and X be fully, carefully and professionally supervised. Further, while he recognised the hugely positive role grandmother could play in X’s life as a fully involved grandmother, he acknowledged that, if she were unable to accept this change of role and to act appropriately and positively, then she may have to be effectively excised from X’s life.
This evidence caused the local authority to change its plan for contact. It now proposes - with the guardian’s agreement - that contact between grandmother and X should be fully supervised until such time as relevant professionals and other adults are satisfied that grandmother is able to manage her emotions appropriately in contact.
Accordingly, it seems entirely appropriate both that contact be supervised in the first instance and that professionals retain the flexibility to react to prevailing circumstances. Decisions as to frequency, duration, appropriate activities and the need for supervision cannot be pre-emptively made, divorced from the realities of X’s life at any particular time."

Of course you do not need the LA go-ahead to apply for a SGO, but you do need to notify them. Not sure that's particularly helpful advice, apart from the fact that you need to know it!

I am not sure if I should go "against" Social services and have them as enemies.

Ultimately, the court would have been hoping that given a bit of time, that that grandma would have come to terms and begun to put the child first. If that's not happening, I suspect it's quite reasonable to ask the court to look at it again, especially given the new guidance that comes in Monday that courts should take into account the risk of 'coercive control and psychological abuse'. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41440829 for more information.

Hope you find a way through this.

Robin


That is the big problem, grandmother is not accepting and will never accept and social workers recognise that but seems that do not want to cause another problem because grandmother might go to court again.

lumiru
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:19 am

Re: grandmother contact

Postby lumiru » Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:32 am

Some updates.

Contact with grandmother was once a week and because all concerns raised during court procedures the contact was arranged to be supervised for 3 hours.
7 months have passed and supervised contact never raised problems and grandmother requested unsupervised contact.
Concerns were raised by us and social works because grandmother still does not accept that the child is placed with us, she is quite open about it, but they decided to go ahead with contact semi-supervised once a week and in a month time change from week days to weekends and 100% unsupervised.
After two weeks of contact the child is anxious, nervous, her behaviour is not her normal one, sucking her arms to the extent that it has a bruise, scratching her body, telling us that we are not her family, that our house is not her house, etc.
Social works noticed the change and agree with us that something is happening at contact but that cannot relate with 100% certain to grandmother and their hands are tight.
Social worker words:
- "If we remove contact she will go to court"
- "we know that grandmother will never accept you has carers"
- "we need to give it a go for a while and see if grandmother does something that we can use".

Grandmother handed over a seek note to her employer stating that she has "stress related problems", we told social workers and they didn't think it was relevant.

We do our best to keep the child safe, happy and we want her to have a normal life. We have support of every member of paternal and maternal family except grandmother that it was always a "pain" and it will continue to be.
It looks like that Social workers are more interested on grandmother welfare that the little girl welfare.

What else can we do to protect the child? We strongly believe that grandmother is not good influence to the child, every member of the family thinks the same way and even social workers think the same but it looks like that they want an easy way out and not a court case again.


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