Child arrangement order - residence

Olivevoir
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 11:48 am

Child arrangement order - residence

Postby Olivevoir » Fri Apr 08, 2016 11:08 am

Hi, I'm a single adoptive mum to my 19 year old dd. Last summer she had a baby. Babes dad is not involved and dd and dgs live with me. I work full time as a teacher and by Christmas it was very clear that she was not coping and left the family home without him meaning that I had to take time off work and find a childminder (at considerable ongoing expense). On Christmas Day we visited my brother and has family and she disclosed to his wife, who is a health visitor, that she had shaken and thrown the baby on the bed. I notified SS who came and visited and put a Child in Need plan in place. Im not allowed to leave dd and grandson alone together for any length of time and so I've remortgaged the house to fund a childminder for the foreseeable future ( giving up work is not an option). SS have been putting pressure on me to apply for a SGO for which I've been resisting as I feel it's too early for us to give up on her ability to parent him long term. However I have reluctantly agreed to apply to Child arrangement order to ensure that she can't take him if she decides to leave home (or I kick her out). My dd I think would be happy for me to do that as she doesn't really enjoy or want to look after him (though she's pretty good with him on her own terms, I am the one who does 75% of the day to day care). I love him to bits and really is a gorgeous baby and meeting all his developmental milestones.
I've just been looking up how to apply and it seems very confusing. We would need family mediation before I can apply - even though SS are pushing for it and my dd isn't objecting? I can't get an appointment with LA law centre for another month and so I'm here asking if anyone knows what I need to do now? Thank you

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 474
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: Child arrangement order - residence

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:03 pm

Dear Olivevoir

Welcome to the Family Rights Group Family and Friends Carers Discussion Forum.

My name is Suzie online adviser at Family Rights Group.

Thank you for your post. I am sorry that you have been put in this position as a result of Children Services (new name for social services) involvement with your grandchild.

Your daughter is the only person at present with parental responsibility for her son unless the father’s name is on his birth certificate which would mean he also has parental responsibility.

As your grandson is on a child in need plan, Children Services could make a payment for his childminder. His mother is, after all responsible for him and it is his parent that they should be supporting under the child in need plan. They would have to pay a foster carer if you were not willing or able to do what you are at the moment. A copy of our advice sheet about child in need support is attached

Has Children Services carried out any assessment of your daughter and her parenting? Before deciding that she cannot care for her son a parenting assessment should be done. You say the father is not involved at the moment, has he been contacted by Children Services?

Normally, for a baby Children Services would want a more permanent order which would be the Special Guardianship Order. This order gives the Special Guardian parental responsibility which can be exercised exclusive of the parents. A parent can apply to discharge a Special Guardianship Order but would need to seek permission from the court before doing so. A copy of our advice sheet relating to special guardianship is here for your information.

I have also included a copy of our advice sheet equal opportunities relating to Child Arrangement Orders for your use. When applying for either of these orders there is a requirement to attend mediation. This can be arranged by finding a local family mediation service which you could find on the internet. Alternatively, you could ask your local family court for details of mediation services.

Please read our advice sheet which is here relating to the support a family and friends carer may be entitled to from Children Services. They may also pay for you to have legal advice to help you make an informed decision about which order would be more appropriate for you. I suggest that you speak to the social worker about this.

As the local authority should have a policy for family and friends care, you may wish to go to their website to find this. The policy may be referred to as kinship carer or connected person. Alternatively, you can ask the social worker to provide you with a copy.

An application for a Child Arrangement or Special Guardianship is private law proceedings and you may wish to contact Coram Children's Legal Centre on 0300 330 5480 for advice.

Should you wish to speak to an adviser after you have considered your position, please do telephone our advice line on 0808 801 0366 regarding Children Services involvement. The advice line is open from 9.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. Monday to Friday.

I hope you will find this helpful.

Best wishes

Suzie


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