No Contact with my grandchildren

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Bluebird1
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2020 8:25 am

No Contact with my grandchildren

Post by Bluebird1 » Thu Mar 12, 2020 8:34 am

Hi, I will try to keep a long story short. My grandchildren where taken from there mothers care, 2 years after my son had left the relationship. The maternal grandmother has a Guardianship order until the children are 18 . Before the court SS told me I could not have contact with the children until they where settled into there new lives. After a few months I wrote to there Gmother and her husband .Asking to speak to the children ,contact ect..No reply. I wrote many times practically begging for contact ,asking her how she would feel if her grandchildren just disappeared out of her life and you had no idea how they where and if you would ever see them again. No reply ,I had a bit oh hope last summer when my son was on his (2hour contact) the step grandfather allowed the kids to video call. It was so great to hear there voices they asked when can they see me and the rest of the family Aunties ect ..they said they missed us and why haven't we seen them..After the call the GFather said that I should write and he will get the kids to video call me. then we could move on from there. So I wrote sent photos, I sent stamped addressed envelopes for them to write back. I also sent the Gmother a letter , thanking her for understanding ect. It was a few weeks I heard nothing back. My son had his contact and the Gmother told him the kids where not getting the letters and photos , and no contact with me or any other family member on my son's side until they are 18. I couldn't believe my ears. I wrote to her and explained that the kids want to see me and how deviated we all feel at the prospect. No reply. I called SS where the children live and they say that they do not get involved with contact ,it's between myself and Gmother. Get legal helpI am at a loss ,I do not have money for legal help. I have been very understanding and respectful towards her as she has taken on the responsibility of the children, I miss them so much as they miss me ,I feel a loss everyday without them in my life ,we where so close ,it has been 2 years without them and I feel as though I am grieving for them ,. Some days I want to go and knock on her door and ask to see them ,but my family say that would be inappropriate. But i feel what she is doing denying contact is wrong. Please help

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 637
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: No Contact with my grandchildren

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:22 pm

Dear Bluebird1

Welcome to the family and friends’ carers discussion board and thank you for your post. My name is Suzie, FRG’s online adviser. I am sorry that I was not able to respond to your query sooner.

I am also sorry to hear of the distress that you are experiencing as you have not been able to have contact with your grandchildren for a couple of years. You are their paternal grandmother and they are living with their maternal grandmother who has a Special Guardianship Order for them – she is telling you that the she will not allow the children to have contact with your or other members of the paternal family until they are 18. Prior to this you did try a video call and writing to the children but this is not being allowed by their other grandmother. You also contacted children’s services local to the children but they said it was a private matter. You are understandably finding this situation very hard.

There are a couple of points I would like to make. Many children who are under an SGO will remain in contact with most, if not all, members of their family as long as this is in their best interests. If the court did not make arrangements for a relative to stay in touch at the time of making the SGO it is left to the special guardian to decide and in your case it seems that she is not willing to support contact at this time. Have you tried to clarify what the reasons are?

There are two possible ways forward:

1. Children’s services may provide support services (e.g. mediation) to help with contact arrangements. They can (but don’t have to) support anyone affected by special guardianship including grandparents. Depending on when the SGO was made you could ask the children’s services’ department who were involved when the order was made, if the children were fostered first (in the first three years) or where the children live (after three years). They could do an assessment to decide whether to help you based on the result of their assessment of your need, your grandchildren’s need and the special guardian’s need for this support but do not have to. You have already tried to get some help this way but could formally ask again (in writing) and if need be consider making a complaint.

2. The other way forward is to try to make an application to the court. The court can make a child arrangements order (CAO) to allow a relative to keep in touch with children even if the special guardian does not agree, it the court concludes that this is best for the children. So this is a step that you can certainly consider. I know that you have explained that you cannot afford legal advice but it can be possible to apply for a CAO yourself, as a litigant in person. Before you apply you would need to try mediation first. You can find out more about this on Child Law Advice’s website or from the direct gov website.

I hope this is of some help to you.

With best wishes

Suzie

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