Mediation advice

Rose22
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:55 pm

Mediation advice

Postby Rose22 » Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:53 pm

Hello

I am new to the forum. I have SGO for my niece, when the final order was made it was decided that contact would be arranged between myself and my brother. The level and conditions of contact was guided by advice from s.s at the time.
The relationship between myself and my brother no longer exists and wish I had received more advice about this from both social services, social workers, solicitors and courts at the time. I seemed to have being left to sort my brother out myself, he was deemed violent, abusive, very difficult and a reluctant communicator at the time so I don't understand why I have now been left to try and do this with him.
We are now in the process of mediation and wondered if anyone knew the cost of this to myself, or if I should have to pay this at all?

It seems that special guardians get a raw deal. I have had to give up my career, take a massive pay cut, pay solicitors fees and go through an emotional roller coaster with very little or no support. Special guardians give up so much to prevent children going into care and give emotional support to children, although I can say it is the best thing I have ever done as my niece is a happy child who is achieving in her school life I wondered where the support after the court hearing to cope with family members - which I don't see as part of the role as a special guardian

Thank you

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ied53
Posts: 2122
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2006 11:26 pm

Re: Mediation advice

Postby ied53 » Thu Mar 17, 2016 7:11 am

Hi Rosie, yes it is up to us to sort the contact as we have custody and PR the soc servs have no legal standing in this though some LA do have support workers (not many) . Was there any discussion over the level of contact? I am thinking it must be supervised? make arrangements for a local soft play of "fun farm" indoor play type place. and tell him the date . See if he turns up. When I started out a roped in a couple of friends to conveniently be there too . They sat apart but we had a code word . I also spoke to the staff before hand and advised them it was a contact and the children should only leave with me. That made me feel more confident. Why mediation at this stage? This is usually done before the SGO. I'm not sure of the costs but if your brother wants it tell him to meet the costs. Your relationship may not currently exists but it may also improve once he gets used to the fact you have his child if not with adoption he would have had no contact. Once you both get used to this and he accepts the restrictions then you can choose to alter the plans for contact once you are satisfied it will go well. I got to the stage when I would sit at next table ( able to supervise but able to let them get on with it ).
Irene
Grandparent carer in Lincolnshire
Tough times never last tough people do

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

Re: Mediation advice

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Mar 17, 2016 6:18 pm

Dear Rose 22

Welcome to the Family and Friends’ Discussion Forum
.
My name is Suzie and I am an adviser at Family Rights Group.

I am sorry that you are having such a difficult time with your brother regarding contact with your niece.

Unfortunately, Special Guardians do not always get the help and support they need when the order is made and, as in your case, issues like contact are left open ended for them to manage. It would have been quite reasonable for you to have said at the time that you wanted an order setting out the contact your niece would have with her father. This would have prevented the current difficulties.

However, the problems that Special Guardians experience has been recognised and in the Special Guardianship Regulations 2005 (as amended by the Special Guardianship (Amendment) Regulations 2016, it provides at Regulation 3 for the provision of special guardianship services. This is under s.14F of the Children Act 1989(as amended), “the local authority must make provision for the provision of special guardianship support services.”

This includes at regulation 3(1) (c)

“assistance, including mediation services, in relation to contact between the child and their parents or relatives or any other person with whom the child has a relationship that the local authority considers beneficial to the welfare of the child”

I suggest that you ask the local authority to provide assistance for the contact arrangements to be made for your niece to have contact with her father.

As a special guardian, you are able to decide on the amount of contact that should take place in the best interest of your niece. The Order means that you can exercise your parental responsibility over and above that of the child’s parents.

If you feel that Children Services failed to give you adequate information about the parents or your niece prior to the Order being made you could consider making a formal complaint.

Perhaps you could ask your local children services department what their policy is for family and friends carers. I have included here a copy of our advice sheet relating to the support you can expect to receive when looking after someone else’s child.

I am sure you enjoy caring for your niece and she is thriving in your care.

You could consider the suggestions for contact given by ied53 to see if contact can go smoothly. A copy of our advice sheet about what Special Guardianship means for birth parents is included for your information.

Should you wish to speak to an adviser, please feel free to telephone our free confidential advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. Monday to Friday.

I hope you find this helpful.

Best wishes,

Suzie

Rose22
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:55 pm

Re: Mediation advice

Postby Rose22 » Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:25 pm

Hi Suzie.
Thank you, this really helps. Do you think contacting the last/previous social worker is the best route?

Thank you again

Rose22
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:55 pm

Re: Mediation advice

Postby Rose22 » Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:27 pm

Also thank you to Irene for your advice, I really appreciate it.

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

Re: Mediation advice

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:37 am

Dear Rose22

I doubt if you would be able to track down the previous social worker because she will no longer be allocated to your niece. However, if you wished to obtain the special guardian support plan, if you had a specific query about what support was agreed around contact, you may be able to request a copy of this from the relevant team manager.

Best Wishes

Suzie

Rose22
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:55 pm

Re: Mediation advice

Postby Rose22 » Thu Mar 24, 2016 4:46 pm

Thank you suzie, no specific plan was given.


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