Pre procèedings

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concernedgrandma
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2019 5:35 pm

Pre procèedings

Post by concernedgrandma » Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:30 pm

I really hope someone can give me some hope. Four of my grandchildren were put on the protection register April 2018. They were removed from the house and my son and his friends went through the house, painting cleaning and putting down new flooring. My son's girlfriend has mental problems and got him into a lot of debt. He left because of her mood swings. For a while he was allowed to see the children if she was having a good day. As he was no longer in the house things deteriorated again. She had also been drinking, she didn't wash and smelt like a tramp. The children gave been removed on a few occasions since due to threats of suicide, the state of the house and her getting arrested for assault.
To cut a long story short we are getting no information from child services. The first 26 weeks was up last sept/Oct but for some reason nothing happened. Then things have got worse and my son has not been allowed to see his children, another meeting took place in January which stated children were still at risk.
The girlfriend is in court for 2 counts of assault and 1 criminal damage in March and recently my son has been told that in the next 6 weeks the children will be put in care.
Last year my husband and I were asked if we would take on the SGO of course we said yes, but now they have said this is not being followed up because it's not fair to the ex girlfriend.
We are at our wits end my son has a solicitor in place with legal aid to persue getting the children but apparently she cannot do anything until she has had some sort of info from the social. Social keep saying they will send it over and then they don't.
We do not know where to turn or what to do next.
We have asked for an explanation of why they are not following up the SGO, all we can think is that it's because we live 200 miles away but we did agree to take them back for contact dates, but despite emails and phone calls we have no answers.
They don't reply to emails don't return your calls when voice messages are left.
Please can you give us some idea of what we need to do next to stop these children being put in the system.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 542
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: Pre procèedings

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:19 pm

Dear concernedgrandma

Welcome to the family and friends carers’ discussion forum.

My name is Suzie, online adviser at Family Rights Group. I am sorry to see that children’s services is currently involved with your four grandchildren. At present, both you and your son are feeling frustrated by the lack of information.

I am sorry that due to volume of work your post was not answered earlier.

The children are currently on child protection plans but it is not entirely clear if they are living with their mother or someone else. You have described in your post what seems to be a really difficult situation for the children and the care they are receiving from their mother. Is there any reason why your son has not made an application to the court for a child arrangement order to care for his children if he is unhappy about the care provided by their mother? You say that children’s services mentioned last year you and your husband obtaining special guardianship orders (SGO) is this because they do not believe your son could care for them himself.

I am unable to understand why children’s services would refuse contact between the children and your son unless they have concerns about your son. From what you know, was there any domestic violence in the parents’ relationship, this could be a reason why children’s services are concerned about contact. Your son should ask them to explain, their reasons for refusing contact, in writing. If they do have concerns that he poses a risk to the children, then they should carry out a risk assessment of him.

In your post you say that the children are to be placed in care in 6 weeks. Do you have any idea why they would be placed in care is this because there are concerns the mother might receive a prison sentence in March? They can only be placed in care by the court making an order.

You may find it helpful to read our advice sheet Child protection procedures

If your son intends to apply for a child arrangement order and already has legal aid to do so I am not sure what his solicitor needs from children’s services to make this application. Perhaps, children’s services are intending to issue care proceedings but he would not normally get legal aid until care proceedings are started or he is to attend a pre-proceedings meeting. Please see our advice sheet relating to Care (and related) proceedings

Your son may wish to make a formal complaint about children’s services failure to keep him informed about his children. Is your son named on his children’s birth certificate, if so, he shares parental responsibility with the mother and should be kept informed by children’s services about his children and any concerns they have about the mother’s care of them.

The children can only be placed in care if children’s services has the agreement of the parent or person with parental responsibility or a court order. They are also required to look at parents, then family members or friends before placing children with stranger foster carers. Although you live 200 miles away this does not prevent children’s services assessing you to care for the children. Children’s services can assess family members even if they are in a different country and the parents are not able to have the children in their care. Children’s services are required to consider what is best for the children so it is not whether it would be unfair on the mother for the children to be in your care?

Please read our advice sheets:

DIY Special Guardianship Orders - information for family and friends carers
Support for relatives and friends who are looking after someone else’s child
Family and Friends Care: becoming a foster carer

If you son wishes to make a complaint then he might find it helpful to read this advice sheet Challenging decisions and making complaints

I suggest you put in writing to children’s services that you wish to be considered and assessed as carers for your grandchildren. Ensure you keep a copy of your letter to them. If there are other family members or friends who could provide support in caring for the children then you can ask the social worker to arrange a family group conference. Please see our advice sheet Family Group Conferences.

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

Best wishes

Suzie

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