Supervised contact - who pays it?

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lumiru
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Supervised contact - who pays it?

Post by lumiru » Thu May 10, 2018 10:26 am

Hi,

We are moving from a Care order to a SGO.
Because of problems with contact between the child and the grandmother, social services are recommending that contact with maternal grandmother should reduce in frequency (at the moment is once a week) to every two weeks, fully supervised.
In order to be supervised social services identified a contact centre and they informed the Grandmother that she needs to pay for it.
Grandmother is refusing to pay and it is now accusing social services for not allowing her to see granddaughter.

Is there a way out of it? We would like to promote contact between grandmother and the child, maybe once a month but it needs to be fully supervised. We can't supervised because the animosity that exists between the family.
Who is responsible for the payment?

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

Re: Supervised contact - who pays it?

Post by lumiru » Fri May 11, 2018 7:43 am

I agree with you ied53. somethings are just not meant to be.

Grandmother came with an alternative, a contact centre that it is free but they don't supervise. they just support contact.
SC recomend supervised and we agree, so we will decline grandmother alternative.

she is aledging that SC do not have the "power" to tell her to pay... Knowing grandmother I think it will end in court.

lumiru
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Re: Supervised contact - who pays it?

Post by lumiru » Mon May 14, 2018 8:36 am

We had LAC review and Social worker recommended fully supervised contact in a contact centre paid by grandmother.
Grandmother contested, saying that she cannot afford.
IRO went along with grandmother and told SW that contact should be reduced and moved to a contact centre but social services to supervise or pay for contact.

lumiru
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Re: Supervised contact - who pays it?

Post by lumiru » Mon May 14, 2018 11:10 am

Grandmother suggested a contact centre, free, but they do not supervise.
We didn't accept this solution, Social services and CAHMS recommended supervised contact and we totally agree.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Supervised contact - who pays it?

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed May 16, 2018 1:13 pm

Dear Lumiru,

I can see that the issue around who pays for the supervised contact centre has now been resolved. Children services have agreed to pay for the contact centre.
The regulations that govern special guardianship orders, state that children services can help with contact arrangements to enable a child to stay in touch with their parents and any other relatives/other person they have an existing relationship with. This can be cash to help with the costs of contact. (this is not means tested).
Mediation can also be offered to resolve difficulties which may arise on contact.

If you need further advice, please post again.
Best wishes,
Suzie

lumiru
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:19 am

Re: Supervised contact - who pays it?

Post by lumiru » Wed May 16, 2018 2:34 pm

LA did not agreed to pay for it neither grandmother, sorry, I didn't explained properly.
LA recommended contact supervised in a contact centre but grandmother refuses to pay.
IRO told LA that they need to supervise it or find a way around it.
LA at the moment are telling me that they can't supervise for much longer and they don't know what to do.
LA keeps asking us for a solution, either us supervising it or find a friend that we trust, it is a impossible solution.
Not sure how to solve this problem.
We would like to go for a SGO but with this problem pending...
LA don't want to pay or do it... any ideas how to move forward?
If grandmother can't afford every two weeks for two hours what about every 3 weeks, every four weeks, just one hour?

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Supervised contact - who pays it?

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed May 16, 2018 5:03 pm

Dear Lumiru,

I think it was my mistake! I have clearly mixed things up. Thanks for posting again.

Your granddaughter is under a care order so she is a "looked after child".
Children services should be promoting contact between her and the extended family unless it is not consistent with your granddaughters welfare.
The IRO has said very clearly that children services should pay for a supervisor or supervise. Is this now written down in the care plan? If so, why is the social worker still looking for alternatives and saying that this isn’t going to happen? You or the other grandmother could refer the matter back to the IRO who has the power to take it up the management scale on the grounds the care plan is not being followed.
I think Irene’s advice to you is very sound.
In the end, if you cannot offer the supervision then either children services have to, or contact should not take place-given what CAMHS and children services have said.
Grandmother will then need to consider going back to court. The respondents in the court proceedings will be the local authority, parents and the guardian. You will not be a party until you make an application. Can the local authority afford this?

Before you decide whether to go for a special guardianship order, it would be good to get confirmation (in writing) about what support will be offered around contact. My earlier post sets out what support could be available.
Hi hope this post is more helpful.

Best wishes,
Suzie

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

Re: Supervised contact - who pays it?

Post by lumiru » Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:55 pm

LA proposed contact to be supervised once a month in a contact centre and LA to fund it.
We went to the contact centre for a meeting and we were told a few weeks later that they could not accept the case because they never managed to talk to grandmother, by email, text os message because she never replied them back or answer the phone.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Supervised contact - who pays it?

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:37 am

Dear lumiru

Thank you for your further posts.

I am sorry to see that there are still difficulties with the child’s grandmother around contact.

Since the child is still subject to a care order the issue of contact is really the responsibility of the local authority as they have a duty to promote contact with the child’s extended family where it is in the child’s best interest to do so. If they do not believe contact is beneficial to the child it is open to the local authority to make an application to the court to stop contact.

If the grandmother does not wish to engage with the contact that is arranged and fails to take up contact, then I do not think there is very much you can do about it. The grandmother should, I think consider the impact on her grandchild if she fails to attend contact.

The responsibility for contact rests with the local authority as long as the care order is in place. Please read our advice sheet Duties on Children’s Services when children are in the care system for more information.

I hope this is helpful but should you wish to speak to an adviser please telephone our advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 3pm.

Best wishes

Suzie

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