Grandparent contact

Nannygems
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:17 pm

Grandparent contact

Postby Nannygems » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:55 pm

Hi could you please advise me. My daughters 4 boys have all been put into care, 2 are in a care house and 2 in foster care. They were taken in April and they have contact with parents at a contact centre. The oldest is 17 he is with his brother 14 in supported house, he has mental health problems and the 14 yr old has been recently diagnosed with autism. The 2 younger ones are in separate foster care in different towns. One has adhd and the other has emotional problems. That's the basics of it, I have tried helping to the best of my ability as I have bad health problems of my own and cannot go out. I do see the older 2 as their carers bring them almost weekly to see me, I am the only Grandparent in their lives as paternal grandparents both died at an early age , and my x husband never sees them . I have always been close and supported the children as I do my other grandchildren. I am at breaking point as have not been able to see the 2 youngest since April as cannot go to the contact centre because of my I'll health. The social worker is fully aware of the situation but she just doesn't seem to care as have spoken to her on several occasions. It's breaking my heart especially when I see other grandchildren I almost feel guilty about it. Have you any advise what I can do please.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 444
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: Grandparent contact

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:32 pm

Dear Pollydan,

Welcome to the Friends and Family Carers Discussion Board. I am so sorry for the delay in responding to your post.

I can understand how upset you are about not seeing your younger grandchildren. You are also worried about the unfairness to them as you have regular contact with the older children.

There is a presumption in law that it is better for children in care to maintain contact with their family-including grandparents.
The social worker is expected to carefully assess and plan for this. Each of your grandchildren will have a care plan which should outline what contact they will have with their family.
Government guidance and research sets out why it is so important to maintain contact between children in care and their family, if it is the best interests of the child.

Some of the positive things that research shows:
1)that the wellbeing of children nearly always improves if they can maintain contact with their family;
2)continued contact between children in care and the grandparents is nearly always wholly beneficial;
3)children who see their family are more likely to return home form care early;
4)grandparents and other relatives provide a sense of family history.

I suggest you write/email the social worker to ask that contact is arranged between you and your younger grandchildren.
Point to government guidance and research that suggests how important for the children contact is. (See page 8 and 9 of our advice sheet here.
Remind her how well contact is going between you and the older children.

If you do not get a quick response then consider contacting her manager or the independent reviewing officer. The Independent reviewing officer’s job is to manage your grandchildren’s care plans, which includes looking at what contact they have with the parents and extended family.

You can find out the name and contact details of the independent reviewing officer from the social worker or the reception of children services.
If you are not happy with any decision made, ask for the reasons in writing and consider challenging the decision by way of complaint.

I hope this advice is helpful. If you have any questions at all, please post again or call our advice line to speak to one of our advisers.

Best wishes,

Suzie

Nannygems
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:17 pm

Re: Grandparent contact

Postby Nannygems » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:49 pm

Thank you for the advice, I have emailed to the people you suggested. I will get back to you when I get a reply.
Kind regards P

Edited by Suzie to maintain confidentiality

Nannygems
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:17 pm

Re: Grandparent contact

Postby Nannygems » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:59 pm

I have not as of today received anything back from them. I am sending another email with a time limit when I expect to get a decision. Will keep you informed if I need further assistance.
Regards

Nannygems
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:17 pm

Re: Grandparent contact

Postby Nannygems » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:31 am

They are not budging had a reply from social workers team manager who states they have given me a reply. The original reply was that the 2 youngest boys were asked and they don't want contact with me. I find this very hard to believe because of the closeness we had. As a family and because of the not very good relationship with the Social worker that the children are being coerced. I do not say this lightly as a lot has happened recently and I have complained to the ombudsman regarding discrimination by social services. Can you please advise where I can go from here as time is of the essence now.

Nannygems
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:17 pm

Re: Grandparent contact

Postby Nannygems » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:54 pm

Yet another email denying me contact I have now gone to Stage two of the complaints procedure with social care. I am running out of options and feeling so frustrated.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 444
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: Grandparent contact

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:28 am

Dear Nannygems

Thank you for your further posts,

I am really very sorry that the children’s services are still of the view that you should not have contact with your grandchildren.

You have already made a complaint and this process is on-going. I think you can wait for the complaint process to reach its conclusion and if the outcome is negative, make an application to the court for contact. A copy of our advice sheet relating to contact with children in care was sent to you in a previous post. I suggest you read carefully the information about making an application now.

If you make an application to the court it will be a judge who makes the final decision about contact although he or she will consider children’s services views why they do not consider contact with you would be beneficial for your grandchildren. Children's services will need to show the court why contact would not be good for the children.

I imagine it must feel both upsetting and frustrating to be denied contact. Do you know if the court said anything at all at the time the care order was made about contact for parents and the wider family? As children’s services have parental responsibility under the care order they are able to make decisions about contact but should make such decisions taking account of a child’s needs.

Apart from making a complaint or taking the matter to court, I am not able to suggest anything else at present other than suggest you seek assistance from your local Member of Parliament (MP).

Best wishes

Suzie


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