Initial assessment errors

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Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2018 5:17 pm

Initial assessment errors

Post by Aloevera » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:28 pm

I had put myself forward for a connected person's assessment for my nephew. The initial assessment was concluded that they would not recommend me for the full assessment.

However the report has a few major errors/misinterpretations of what was said and have inflicened the conclusions made.

The letter said I have 14 days to challenge the assent and notify the court. But how exactly do I go about clearing up / recterfying those errors? I've tried to get hold of the social worker but has been difficult over the Christmas period.

Thankful for any help!

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

Re: Initial assessment errors

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:40 pm

Dear Aloevera

Welcome to the Family and Friends Carers discussion board and thank you for your post. I am sorry to hear that you have not been recommended to be fully assessed as a connected person for your nephew. You have rightly reviewed the assessment and have identified that there are factual errors and misinterpretations that have gone against you.

It is really important that you challenge these as soon as you can, as you have been trying to do. You should have been provided with a letter from children’s services explaining what you can do if you disagree with the outcome of the assessment or if there are things in it which are wrong.

Have you seen ... -GUIDE.pdf Initial Family and Friends Care Assessment: A Good Practice Guide which explains all about the process of being assessed but most importantly in your case describes what to do if an assessment is negative.

The options are set out as:

● Accepting the decision;

● Writing a letter that explains why you disagree, or whether you think things in the report are wrong. That letter can then be attached to the report so that anyone who reads it sees your side;

•Getting independent legal advice. You can ring Family Rights Group’s free independent specialist advice line. You may wish to seek advice from a lawyer on the Law Society Children Panel, although this may not be free, and it will therefore be important for you to find out first what it would cost to get this advice;

● Going to a court hearing to ask the court to make a legal order that the child come to live with you if the child can’t be with their parents.

It may be that you would want to pursue more than one option, and if you disagree with the outcome of the assessment it is likely that you will want to explain that to the local authority, get independent legal advice, and perhaps also attend court.

I know that you have been trying to get hold of the social worker and hopefully you have managed to but I think that you should write in to the social worker, their manager, copy in your nephew’s Independent Reviewing Officer, Legal Services and Complaints setting out your concerns and request for amendments to be made. Seek a receipt or proof of delivery too. In addition, in your correspondence you could consider any negatives that were raised and respond to them as best you can.

If you are able to get advice from a solicitor with children panel accreditation you can do so but please be aware that legal aid is very restricted.

You can write to the court to inform that you are challenging the negative assessment and why and providing any additional information that addresses any concerns raised in the assessment. If the court accepts the assessment is flawed or not conducted properly they may ask the local authority or in some cases an Independent social worker to do a new assessment. If you search “failed viability assessments” on this family and friends’ carer’s board you will also find examples from other relatives who have been in this situation, some of whom successfully overturned negative assessments.

You might also want to think about whether you would like to apply to the court for a legal order to care for your nephew.

Do have a look at the FRG advice sheet on care proceedings as this explains more about the different orders a court can make e.g. child arrangement orders and special guardianship orders , if a child cannot return to their parents’ care.

If you would like to speak to an adviser please call the Freephone advice helpline on 0808 8010366, Mon – Fri between 9.30 and 3.00 pm.

With best wishes


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