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Grandparent contact

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:55 pm
by Nannygems
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.

Re: Grandparent contact

Posted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:32 pm
by Suzie, FRG Adviser
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,


Re: Grandparent contact

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:49 pm
by Nannygems
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

Re: Grandparent contact

Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:59 pm
by Nannygems
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.

Re: Grandparent contact

Posted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:31 am
by Nannygems
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.

Re: Grandparent contact

Posted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:54 pm
by Nannygems
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.

Re: Grandparent contact

Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:28 am
by Suzie, FRG Adviser
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


Re: Grandparent contact

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:24 am
by Nannygems
Things have gone from bad to worse recently. 3 of the boys are now in long term care . The youngests case is in court next week for 7 days. We have found so much out recently and social services have done wrong by this family. There is far to much to put here for you to understand and me to get furather advice. Bottom line is I still have no contact with youngest boys but the ombudsman has passed my case to the investigation team.
This is such a complex case and far to much to put here. But if court goes against the family with the youngest whom ss wants to put for adoption, what further can we do to prove ss have done wrong by this family.

Re: Grandparent contact

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:19 pm
by Suzie, FRG Adviser
Dear nannygems

Thank you for your further post. Sorry to hear the situation is still so difficult. As you describe, your youngest grandson’s case is complex and is being considered in court at the moment. This is where decisions will be made about his future including any possible contact with family members such as you, his grandmother. I hope that your daughter is working closely with her solicitor – it is always best to try to resolve any issues or challenge appropriately during the current care proceedings rather than trying to do so afterwards when it is much harder to do. Is the court fully aware of your relationship with your grandson and your views regarding contact?

It is good that the Ombudsman is investigating your concerns and, as ied53 says, your MP is also a useful contact regarding any bad practice or system problems. However, the current court hearing is the most important thing at the moment.

I am attaching a link to Adoption: what does it mean for birth parents? for your information as you are worried that this is what children’s services are seeking.

I understand that this is a challenging week for your family.

Take care