would section 20 be useful for us

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Joined: Sun Dec 27, 2015 10:53 am

would section 20 be useful for us

Post by poppypob » Mon Jan 11, 2016 12:26 pm

Hello A sw brought my niece to her grandmothers to live iIlive in the house also. We are currently going through a looked after child assessment .We were wondering if section 20 would allow us to have my niece here without formal ss intervention and just with her mothers parental consent? as we are all finding the ongoing interviews and questions for us (i will be having my first interveiw with them tomorrow i really do not want to answer any more then i need to)and our referees quite intrusive and worry about the level of control ss will have when we are on the payroll?

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

Re: would section 20 be useful for us

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:51 am

Dear poppypob

Welcome to the Family and Friends Carers Discussion Forum.

My name is Suzie an online Adviser at Family Rights Group.

I am sorry that you are feeling that Children Services involvement with your family is so intrusive.

You have received some good advice from ied53 but I would like to add to this in order to help you understand the process a little better.

As Children Services placed your niece in her grandmother’s care this would be with the mother’s consent under s.20, so this means your niece is being accommodated by Children Services and therefore a looked after child. Children Services have a duty to carry out an assessment under regulation 24 for placement purposes. This would mean, if the assessment is positive, that the grandmother, or both of you if you are to care for her together, would be approved as foster carers. Children Services can place a child with family in an emergency without carry out this assessment but within 8 weeks of the placement has to do the full assessment. This appears to be the process that you are in at the moment.

I have included a copy of our advice sheet about a child being placed in an emergency for your information. Also, a copy of our advice sheet about becoming a foster carer is here.

If it is the case that the grandmother (and you), wish to care for your niece without Children Services, then as ied 53 suggests you could apply to the court for a Child Arrangement Order (CAO) for her to live with you. This order, if granted, would give the person applying parental responsibility for the child. The parental responsibility would be shared with the child’s mother and the father if he also has parental responsibility. The father will have parental responsibility if he is named on the child’s birth certificate, he was married to child’s mother, by agreement or court order. Whoever is caring for the child needs to have parental responsibility in order to make decisions on the child’s behalf for medical treatment and other things. A copy of our advice sheet is attached.

There is another order which the grandmother and you could apply for in order to have parental responsibility. A Special Guardianship Order would also give you parental responsibility. The process to obtain this order is longer than for a Child Arrangement Order and a full in depth assessment would be carried out as the court needs this before making a decision.

Copies of our advice sheets about Child Arrangement and Special Guardianship Orders has been included for your information.

Should you wish to speak to an adviser, please feel free to telephone our free and confidential advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open Monday to Friday from 9.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m.

I hope you will find this helpful.

Best wishes


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