NEED HELP URGENTLY PLZ

pineapple head
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Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 11:58 am

NEED HELP URGENTLY PLZ

Postby pineapple head » Mon Oct 19, 2015 2:48 pm

Hi everyone, where do I start? Sorry but this may be quite long. We have a 15yr old boy staying with us. His father died 6yrs ago, his mum is an alcoholic with bi-polar. He hasn't lived with her since he was 4, he just turned 10 when his Dad passed. We all lived abroad but after being diagnosed, father's family didn't want responsibility of child and sent back to mother! He was petrified as he'd witnessed many fights and rows with parents and even his mum attacking dad with a knife and was arrested countless amount of times. His father's wishes was for boy to live with us but his family wouldn't allow it. eventually father died in England which left boy vulnerable with people arguing over where he should live in England. so we left everything to come back and fight for child, after 2 weeks we were told child was sent back abroad to live with family that didn't want him.
over the last 5 yrs, We have been working so hard to buy a home again in England and eventually we got a huge loan and bought a home living on a over 50's residential park.
Now the problem, the child has returned to England with aunt, contacted us immediately and we began contact again. But we found that he was shipped from one aunt to another, this latest one has been mentally and physically abusing him and one day he ran from her claws and rang us. I rang MASH urgent line and was asked if he was safe to stay with us? I said ye but we live on over 50's park and cant afford another mouth as we are struggling ourselves. She said we would be able to become Friends and Family foster carers and get carers allowance if we passed assessment. In last 7 weeks, we've had to different counties arguing over who should take on the case as we live in different area to his mother with PR. We were told by one that he has to go back to his mum for other SS to take control as they were closing the case. We strongly disagreed against this and went to other SS for help. We didn't get it and he ran away, SS rang us to pick him up and I said only if you place him with us. However, this poor lad was left outside his school, neither SS picked him up, he rang 999 and they got my local SS to ring us and sent him to us in taxi 4 hours after school closed, cold and hungry!!
Next day, local SS who closed case, took him out of school and drove him straight to mothers in other county! he was crying over phone petrified!! I told him to put me on loud speaker and I told SS worker 'you cant take him to mothers as she is very dangerous and registered with mental health act', she said 'he has to go and try for at least a week!!'. Unbelievable!! and guess what?? yes, he ran away again and straight to other SS office. they rang us and asked if he could stay and promised they would help. They have tried but cant afford to help with our finances.
Well after 7 weeks, we have been told it can only be a private arrangement as ss didn't place him but they would get care arrangement order to help overrule over 50's rule. I found him a great school close to us, I got him counselling as he has never been aloud to speak about his dad and I take him to army cadets too! But the extra cost is crippling us.
We now get CB but that doesn't even cover petrol every week let alone food etc. I get text abuse from his mother daily too. You see, we can not get any other benefits that are means tested because my husband earns 26k a yr. Doesn't matter that we are struggling and knew we would for 5 yrs to pay loan off but at our age, it meant we could retire at normal retirement age. I lost my job 4 wks b4 child arrived and due to all this stress, I cant even think about what job I can apply for with my disabilities and to top it all off, we have been issued with a 'breach of contract notice' to either remove child or they will seek possession of our site!! both SS's know this but new SS said it will take weeks to conclude situation, weeks we haven't got!. It's such a mess, can anyone help? I rang Corum but hubby earns too much, usual story everywhere, to get legal advise. We love this child so much but we can't lose our home, we have fought so hard for. What can we do?
Please, I'd love some advise ASAP as breach order ends 2/11.

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

Re: NEED HELP URGENTLY PLZ

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:32 pm

Dear Pineapple head,

Welcome to the friends and family carers forum.

I am sorry to hear that you and the 15 year old boy you are looking after have been passes from one children services department to another. It looks like there was a dispute between the two local authority areas as to who is responsible for him.
Is your local authority taking responsibility for him now?

The second issue that has not been resolved is about what support might be available to help you look after the child.

Each local authority should have a written Family and Friends Care policy setting out this. Family Rights Group asked local authorities in England and wales for copies of their policies. Have a look if your local authority’s policy is here


Government guidance says that support could include
• Help to obtain suitable accommodation with housing and social care working together to ensure that family and friends carers housing needs are prioritised;
• Financial help, both as a one off and on an on-going basis. Children’s Services should have in place eligibility criteria about help for children who are ‘in need’ including financial help for children living with family and friends carers.
• Information about the legal framework and the powers and duties of Children’s Services.

In your case, find out what help they can offer in respect of accommodation.

Also, I am not sure that children services have made the right decision by saying that you are looking after the child under a private arrangement.



Fostering assessment

Should you be assessed as a foster carer instead? (You will then be entitled to a foster care allowance at the same rate as stranger foster carers.)

I suggest you challenge children services assertion that it is a private arrangement.
You could do this by emailing the social worker and copy in her manager. Ask that this decision is re considered and that you are assessed as a foster carer on the basis that the child was placed with you. Children’s services were involved in making the arrangements. They telephoned you to look after the child. Finances were discussed and they promised that they would help.
The child is now settled with you. You have found him a school and have looked for counselling for him. He is settled with you and is not running away. Set a timescale for them to respond.


If they refuse to re consider their decision, you could challenge this via children’s services
complaints.

Have a look at the LGO’s report Family Values


Child arrangements order

I wonder whether a child arrangements order is the right order for you.
It will give you legal parental responsibility to make decisions but given the child is 15, he may be making a lot of those decisions himself.

Ask children’s services why they think this order is suitable and what support you will receive from them.
You would not be able to claim foster care allowance if you have this type of order.
There may be a Child arrangements order allowance but it is means tested and wether it is paid or not would be in the discretion of children services.

If you do decide to go to court, make sure that you are assessed for the CAO allowance before any court application is made and any support offered is put in writing.

I have given you a lot of information so please post back if you have any questions or call our advice line for in-depth advice.
Best wishes,

Suzie

pineapple head
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 11:58 am

Re: NEED HELP URGENTLY PLZ

Postby pineapple head » Wed Oct 21, 2015 9:54 am

Thank you so much Suzie

Finally...one of the LA have stepped up and said, 'look this child has been through enough, its not our area legally but we need to help!' They are willing to get a CAO or SGO and help financially which wont be means tested! RESULT no??

No; Problem now, they contacted the park owners and they say 'no matter what order you get, this is an over 50's park and the child has to go!'

LA say they wont go for an order now and he has to go into care! We are with an association who are brilliant and are so helpful but the president is on holiday til next week....if it doesn't rain it pours!! :(
Boys counsellor is not giving up either, she has now contacted our local MP.

Our daughter has said she'd look after him but she is living at her in-laws house and there's no room for him, would LA help with housing Suzie? She doesn't want him in care either and is willing to stand by him too. She's a nursery nurse. x

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

Re: NEED HELP URGENTLY PLZ

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Oct 22, 2015 4:26 pm

Dear Pineapple Head

I am sorry to hear that things have taken a turn for the worst.

With regards your housing situation, I would refer to the statutory guidance for family and friends carers in your relevant area.

Furthermore, the Local Authority does have the power to offer support when a family needs to be re-housed under section 17 Children Act, but dependent on their specific circumstances, this support may be limited.

Given the complexities of your situation, you may also wish to consider the possibility of applying for a special guardianship order, as a means of obtaining parental responsibility for your 15 year old grandson.

It may also be helpful to report on any consultations you may have had with your MP. Failing this you may wish to speak to an independent housing lawyer who could be contacted through the Citizens Advice Bureau .

I hope this helps.

Best Wishes

Suzie

pineapple head
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 11:58 am

Re: NEED HELP URGENTLY PLZ

Postby pineapple head » Wed Oct 28, 2015 6:18 pm

Thanks Suzie, we have finally got an emergency meeting tomorrow as child will be homeless on Friday.
If my daughter goes for special guardianship, what benefits can she claim for caring for him? she earns 14k a year and lives with her in laws but she has stepped forward and offered to care for child if LA can help find 2bed flat. She doesn't have to leave in laws, its just for child.
LA also trying to pressure her in laws if they can take him in, but they won't, they don't want any children in house. Can LA force them as they have council house? x

pineapple head
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 11:58 am

Re: NEED HELP URGENTLY PLZ

Postby pineapple head » Wed Oct 28, 2015 6:20 pm

Sorry I forgot to ask, what's best, SGO or Care Protection order? and can you still claim CTC and WTC? xx

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

Re: NEED HELP URGENTLY PLZ

Postby ied53 » Thu Oct 29, 2015 9:17 am

As a Special Guardian ( Hubby and I) I would always advocate the SGO ( available England and Wales only) we are in control and do not share the PR so I make decisions. I am not familiar with a care protection order. Yes you can claim them if you are entitled. of course that should read we.
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: NEED HELP URGENTLY PLZ

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Oct 30, 2015 5:29 pm

Dear pineapple head

I am pleased that you have now been able to have a meeting and I hope it will go well.

Regarding your daughter applying for special guardianship, she would get parental responsibility once an order is made but the process is longer than applying for Child Arrangement Order. With the application for Special Guardianship Order (SGO), you need to give the local authority notice (3 months) of your intention to make the application. They will have to carry out an assessment as the court requires this report before a SGO could be made.
If you daughter applied for a Child Arrangement Order (CAO)the application can be dealt with quicker and she can also apply for a SGO but will have parental responsibility quicker under the CAO.

Just to clarify what ied53 said in her post. With a SGO you continue to share parental responsibility but are able to exercise it over and above the mother's and the father’s if he has parental responsibility as well. As ied53 states in her post a Child Protection Order, I am not familiar with this. Did you mean Child Arrangement Order? Or are you outside of England and Wales as, if so, the advice here relates to the position in these two jurisdictions only.

Regarding the housing situation, Children Services cannot force the in-laws to have him even if they are in a council house.

Once she has parental responsibility can claim the benefits to which she would be entitled. She can claim Child Benefit if the child is living with her and she does not need parental responsibility for that. I am attaching a copy of our advice sheet relating to the support that someone looking after someone else’s child can get. Your daughter should also look on her local authority’s website for their policy regarding family and friends carers or kinship carers. This will give an indication of what help they provide as well.

Please do telephone our advice line on 0808 801 0366 if you wish to speak to an Adviser. The advice line is open from 9.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m.

I hope you will find this helpful.

Best wishes

Suzie

pineapple head
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 11:58 am

Re: NEED HELP URGENTLY PLZ

Postby pineapple head » Fri Oct 30, 2015 8:59 pm

Thank you both so much, the meeting yesterday, really seemed like a waste of time going round in circles! BUT today, CS have rung me so many times and have come up with a respite carer until nov 9. then on Monday they will be looking into helping my daughter get accommodation but it can still take weeks to sort out.
Anyway, he's happy as respite round corner of my daughter, so he knows she is close by.
CS, the cheeky buggers, only asked me to find out bus and train times for him on Monday and to keep looking for accommodation for my daughter! I tell you what, I have done most of their work for them! They didn't even have the police report yesterday or even know the pc's name! I got child into new school, I got him into counselling and I take him to army cadets. I now have to look up buses?? they really are pushing it lol.
Again many thanks x


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