Help with social services

Bubbles
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:24 pm

Help with social services

Postby Bubbles » Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:06 pm

Hi
Without going into much detail. I am looking after my niece and nephew after they went under police protection. Social services seemed to be agreeing with our concerns but ever since we said we will only look after the children as kinship foster cares and not SGO they have now changed are more sympathetic with the mother saying she is sorry and they would like to assess her (we are currently bieng assessed to). The mother does not want us to look after the children she would rather someone else did. She is also saying we told the children to raise the accusations against her. Case is in court and we cannot accept SGO because we would not qualify for financial support and dealing with the mother would be a nightmare . One SW even said we can be forced to take the SGO. The children have now settled and are in school there are criminal charges against the mum to

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 488
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: Help with social services

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Dec 17, 2014 11:05 am

Dear Bubbles

Welcome to Family Rights Group Family and Friends Discussion Board.

My name is Suzie and I am an Adviser at Family Rights Group.

I am sorry that you are feeling confused and frustrated at the moment at the attitude of Children Services in you caring for your niece and nephew.

It is not clear what stage the court proceedings have reached but if the children are with you this will be either under an interim care order or they are accommodated under s.20 agreement. Either way, Children Services have to consider the permanent arrangement for the children. Depending on the children’s ages this will be either adoption, long term foster care, special guardianship order; child arrangement order or if the parents address the concerns which brought the children into the care system return to the parent(s). I have included a link here to our advice sheet on care proceedings this will give you information on the court process.

You have said in your post that you would not qualify for financial support. Has Children Services carried out an assessment and told you this? With a special guardianship assessment they have to offer a support package for the child or children’s needs. As looked after children the special guardian would be entitled to receive an allowance for 2 years following which it would be reviewed and means tested. Please read our advice sheet here for family and friend carers.

As far as the mother is concerned the final decision will not be hers but the court’s based on the welfare of the children and how best their needs can be met. The court could also make a supervision order along with the special guardianship order which would mean that Children Services would remain involved. A supervision order can be extended if considered necessary after the first year.

You will have parental responsibility under a Special Guardianship Order and exercise it to the exclusion of the parents. This means that you will not need to have their consent to decisions you make for your niece and nephew. The court can make orders regarding the future contact the mother has with the children.

It is absolutely not the case that you can be forced to have a Special Guardianship Order. The court will consider the children’s welfare as paramount and imposing an order on someone who did not want it would be unacceptable. However, permanence for the children is an important factor to be considered by the court.

You can ask that Children Services pay for you to have legal advice regarding your position if you had a Special Guardianship Order. This way you will be able to make an informed decision.

I hope you will find this information helpful. However, if you wish to speak to an Adviser you can telephone our free advice line on 0808 801 0366 which is open from 9.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Best wishes

Suzie

Bubbles
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:24 pm

Re: Help with social services

Postby Bubbles » Thu Dec 18, 2014 6:05 pm

Thank you for your very clear and detailed advice. The mother did not want to sign the section 20 prior to court proceedings but decided to sign the section 20 during the first court hearing. The mother refuses to leave her current partner who also abused my niece and nephew. If the children continue to live with us on a permanent basis will be what we wish for however the reason we cannot accept an SGO is because our income is over 100000 per annum and we have been told it is means tested. We have three young children and taking on 2 more children will impact our family financially in a negative way and will mean a big lifestyle change. I know it any sound selfish but my husband is the sole earner. We can deal with any other impact to the family. We have also been excluded from the family group meeting by the mother but have stated our requests.
My niece and nephew have settled well with us and enjoy their current school it will be such a shame to uproot them. We have been called for a meeting by the manager of our current social worker. The father of the children lives abroad and has not been privy to any of the court proceedings and much information neither have we.


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