contesting a failed assessment

mamma
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Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2014 2:48 pm

Re: contesting a failed assessment

Postby mamma » Thu Apr 02, 2015 6:55 pm

i really feel for you, Ive been going through it since last august keeps getting defered for more info. i started all this to get my g/s out of care its all so frustrating. has your contact been stopped now ??

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

Re: contesting a failed assessment

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:19 am

Dear TheMA

The dates and most recent episode of depression will be viewed as significant factors as will the fact that you may be ambivalent about the Local Authority concerns. In relation to the last point, they will want to know that you could act as a protective factor, and make safe decisions whatever happens when the majority of professional support has been withdrawn.

In addition, your commitment to work with professionals both in the past and in the future, and willingness to seek support for yourself and your grandchild as appropriate, will also be taken into account.

Furthermore, normally the children's views (as far as it is possible to obtain these appropriate to their age) and the fact that they are already in a stable placement may be key issues for the court in any decision making process.

I hope this answers your queries.

Best Wishes

Suzie

TheMA
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Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:14 pm

Re: contesting a failed assessment

Postby TheMA » Thu Jun 11, 2015 4:14 pm

Hi all,

Soooo.... I managed to get my GP to elaborate on my history and this has satisfied the Guardian that there is no concern surrounding my mental health.

So... Now the LA (who are still not supporting me) are now having to submit to court a transition plan.

Can you please just give me a little advice as to what this may entail, how long this phase may go on for etc?

Any info would be great.

thanks again

TheMA

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: contesting a failed assessment

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:57 am

Dear TheMA,

I am glad that the guardian has taken on board the medical report that you received from your GP.

I am not sure what “transition plan” might be in your case. However, I am guessing that the court is asking the local authority to come up with a plan including any support that they will provide to help your nieces move from the short term foster care placement they are in to a new home with you or other person.

Until the court makes a final decision about where your nieces will be living long term-there will be different possible plans for them which will run in parallel.

So this might be the following:

• Back to the parents
• Any assessed connected persons (friend or family) such as you
• Long term foster care
• adoption.

Can you ask the guardian or children’s services what the court means by transition plan? If it is about a transition to you, then you need to be consulted about the plan as you will need to think about your current arrangements-such as with work and your home and what support or help you would need for your nieces to come to you.

Best wishes,
Suzie

TheMA
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:14 pm

Re: contesting a failed assessment

Postby TheMA » Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:09 pm

Thanks Suzie, I have now had their proposed plan (I dont think they have thought very well about the logistics and are proposing the children start to visit then over nights on the very next working day following the Final Hearing... I currently work full time and will need to give and work notice, they did not discuss this with me ahead of filing this plan.

I am representing myself in court and know I will be cross examining the witnesses in this case.

I am really at a loss as to what I will need to be asking of who.

Is there anywhere that I could turn to get some advice on this area that you may know of?

Thanks in advance

TheMA

TheMA
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:14 pm

Re: contesting a failed assessment

Postby TheMA » Tue Oct 06, 2015 2:48 pm

Hi all,

As an update, we went to final hearing in July and got no where as one of the children's putative fathers rocked up and threw a spanner in the hearing - Fortunely this also gave me ample time in which to undergo a psychiatric assessment as well as the LA time to submit an addendum to the SGO assessment.

Following a positive psychiatric report the addendum is now in favour of placing the girls with me under an SGO (finally!!). I am a litigant in these proceedings and throughout i have been writing statements and evidence based on the LA being against me, now that they have turned this corner, im not so sure what i should be angling my final evidence towards.

Any advice?

Thanks

TheMA

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: contesting a failed assessment

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Oct 07, 2015 1:01 pm

Dear TheMA

Thank you for the update. I am pleased to see that things have changed in your favour.

I do not think you have to worry too much about what you said in the past about the Local Authority. At the time you were speaking from a position where they were not supporting you. The Local Authority have now considered the situation further in light of the psychiatric report and are now supportive.

Your final evidence really only need to acknowledge that the Local Authority are now supporting you and you are happy with that as you will be able to care for the children as you always wanted. You need to concentrate on working with the local authority and ensure that you are involved in the plans being made for the children if the court decide that they should live with you. One thing you will need to make sure of is that there is a support package for the children including financial support. If the children are likely to have long term needs for therapy ask for this to be included in any package. You may also want to ask for the support package to continue to age 18 for the children.

I have included a copy of our advice sheet about the support a family and friends carers can expect to receive from the local authority.

If you are being supported as long term carer I do not think it is necessary for you to write long statements about the local authority at this stage.

Very best of luck for the final hearing.

Best wishes

Suzie

TheMA
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:14 pm

Re: contesting a failed assessment

Postby TheMA » Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:32 am

Thanks Suzie, I really appreciate all the advise you and your members have provided :D

There is also a suggestion that there is a supervision order alongside the SGO, I have looked into this order a little but would like to know what this actually entails and how much involvement with SS this will require?

For example, monthly/weekly meetings/reviews?

I will want to get the girls into a firm routine as quickly as possible and ensure they start to live a normal life instead of being pulled in all directions and hope that any meetings/reviews will be minimal.

Thanks

TheMA

TheMA
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:14 pm

Re: contesting a failed assessment

Postby TheMA » Mon Oct 26, 2015 11:13 am

Hi all,

So we have had the full final hearing and are now just awaiting judgement. Another 3 week wait!!

There was another change of position from the children's guardian mid week of the hearing to suggest a care order with a working agreement for some time which i will then need to apply for a SGO once LA are happy to end the care order, however the LA still have a plan of an SGO with a supervision order + Working agreement. Im worried that the former plan will send the wrong message to mum in the initial phase of the placement as she will still share PR with the LA whilst i will hold none.

Is the right if both the guardian and the LA have a long term plan of a SGO in either plan?

Does this leave opportunity for mum to try and go for return to home if the girls are under a care order and not an SGO?

Thanks

TheMA

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: contesting a failed assessment

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Oct 26, 2015 5:13 pm

Dear TheMA

Thank you for updating us. The court case just seems to go on! I was looking back at your posts and seeing how things have progressed. It is excellent that the children will be coming to you.

Have you been through the working agreement and understand what it expects of you?


Do you know why the guardian wants to local authority to keep parental responsibility? What is she worried about?

Care order with working agreement with you applying for an SGO.

Under this arrangement the local authority will have parental responsibility to make decisions about the children. This included the power to remove them from you into the care of the local authority.

Mum will still have parental responsibility and will be consulted by the local authority and may attend the looked after children meetings when the care plan of the children are considered.

You will not have parental responsibility and you would be classed as a foster carer. As a foster carer you will be paid foster care allowance.

The children would be known as “looked after”. This means that an independent reviewing officer will be reviewing their plan and checking that their needs are met. It will help with accessing support for the children. This might be helpful when they are settling in with you and for longer term support.

This legal situation is a lot more cautious as power remains with the local authority until you apply for a Special guardianship order.

For mum having contact, she would be allowed reasonable contact but as Irene says, I would expect children services to be fully involved in the decision making. If anything the contact plan is likely to be heavily managed by the local authority. Mums contact might be reduced for a while to allow the girls to settle with you.
After about 4 weeks of being placed with you, there will be a looked after children meeting where contact will be one of the things discussed.

In answer to your question, after 6 months of there being a care order, Mum can apply to court to discharge the care order. However, she would have to show that there has been a change in circumstances since the care order was made and that it is in the best interests of the children. This may be very difficult to do after such a short time.
She would not get automatic legal aid to instruct solicitor either.

When you apply for a special guardianship order, she would be a party to the proceedings so would have the opportunity to oppose the application at this stage.


Special guardianship order, Supervision order and working agreement

You would have enhanced parental responsibility and will be making most of the main decisions about the welfare of the children.
Mum will still have parental responsibility.
Children services will no longer have parental responsibility. Their role will be drastically reduced to that of the supervision order and working agreement.
Have you had an assessment for support for the special guardianship order?
Any support such as special guardianship order allowance will be means tested and in the discretion of the local authority.
You should know what support you will be given and this should be set down in a written plan before the court order is made.

If mum wanted the girls to return home, she would need to apply for “leave” or permission from the court to make an application to discharge the Special guardianship order.
She would have to show that there had been a substantial change in circumstances and that it is in the best interests of the girls. The court will look at how likely the person is to succeed in their main application to end the SGO.

Let us know what the court decides.

Best wishes,

Suzie


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