New and clueless

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Maxyboy
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:49 am

New and clueless

Post by Maxyboy » Tue Feb 04, 2020 12:48 pm

Hi
I was asked sw to agree to care for my 3 Yr old gs, this agreement was set out with his parents and sw after a hospital admission, sw are taking this to court. His parents have supervised access which I supervise. He has been with me for 6 weeks now and the only time we see anyone is the obligatory 5 mins the day before any meetings, should they have started my assessment process as they have said this is going to take months. I have also taken unpaid leave from work as he is only part time in school. What should ss be doing by now? Thank you

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

Re: New and clueless

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:43 pm

Dear Maxyboy

Welcome to FRG’s family and friends carers’ discussion board and thank you for your post. My name is Suzie, FRG’s online adviser.

I am sorry to hear that your young grandson has had a hospital admission. Children’s services are involved and are going into care proceedings. You don’t say if the local authority involved is in England or Wales. The following information applies to England so do come back to us if it is a situation in Wales.

As you state that children’s services asked you to care for your grandson following an incident then this indicates that they placed him with you and means that you should have been temporarily approved as a kinship foster carer for him. They should also have begun the process of fully assessing you. They are required to complete a full fostering assessment within 16 weeks (or exceptionally 24 weeks).

From what you say, your grandson’s placement with you seems to be a voluntary arrangement under section 20 (as his parents agreed) but if children’s services obtain an interim care order for him at court this will give them parental responsibility for him and allow them to make decisions for him. They are only allowed place a looked after child with a family member who has initially been temporarily approved and who is later fully approved within the required timescale. Has the social worker confirmed that there is a current section 20 voluntary arrangement in place? If not, ask them to urgently confirm to you in writing your grandson’s legal status.

It is a very good idea to press the social worker to complete their fostering assessment of you so that the time does not run out – this would mean that the placement with you would become unlawful.

A temporarily approved kinship carer is entitled to a fostering allowance from the date the child was placed with you and the allowance should be paid at the same rate that an unrelated foster care would get. Please do read the following advice sheets which explain much more about what should happen and what to expect in these circumstances:

Relatives and friends taking on the care of a vulnerable child in an emergency (this explains in detail what a ‘placement’ by children’s services is and what that means for the child’s carer); and
Family and Friends Care: becoming a foster carer .

There are a number of regulations that children’s services must follow if a child is looked after; have a look at this advice sheet on their duties to find out more.

I would also suggest that you get a copy of the local authority’s family and friends’ care policy to see what help they set out that they can provide. Hopefully, you should be able to find a copy here .

If you need some childcare support do discuss this with the social worker and ask them to look into this and let you know what help they will provide or what they recommend. As your grandson is 3 and if he is considered a looked after child and you his kinship foster carer you may (if eligible) be able to access an additional 15 hours nursery support – see this announcement from the department for education in 2018.

You may be asked to consider becoming a special guardian if the court decides that your grandson cannot return to his parent/s care. Here is our advice sheet on special guardianship orders which explains more about this.

You may want to consider applying to be a party to the care proceedings – as a relative/carer for the child (who does not have parental responsibility) you will not automatically be a party but you can ask the court’s permission to join the proceedings. If so, you would need to complete court form C2.

I hope this helps. Perhaps you would like to post back if you have further queries or if you would like to speak to an adviser please call FRG’s freephone advice service on 0808 8010366, Mon- Fri, 9.30 am to 3.00 pm.

With best wishes

Suzie

Maxyboy
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:49 am

Re: New and clueless

Post by Maxyboy » Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:17 pm

Hi Suzie. Thank you for replying, we do live in Wales. I have asked sw for a copy of their friend's and family policy already. I have asked about financial help but have had no response as of yet, we still don't see any sw unless a meeting is due. I was told last week that someone will be getting in touch about the assessment process but we are still waiting, hence asking for a copy of their policy so they can see I'm not backing down with getting this done in time. Does the 16 week assessment process start from 1st court date or the date my geandchild came to stay? And I will ask if there is a section 20 in place. Thank you.

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

Re: New and clueless

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Mar 06, 2020 12:03 pm

Dear Maxyboy

Thank you for posting again and apologies for not responding sooner.


As you have confirmed you are in Wales I should point out that it is no longer s.20 in Wales. Accommodation is now dealt with under s.76 of the Social Services and Well-being Act (Wales) 2014. The Code of Practice in Part 6 sets out the functions of social services.
A link to the code of practice is here for your information.

Although there are similarities between England and Wales, you should find it more helpful to have the information that relates specifically to Wales.

Hope this helps

Best wishes

Suzie

Maxyboy
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:49 am

Re: New and clueless

Post by Maxyboy » Sat Mar 07, 2020 9:08 am

Hi Suzie
Thank you for your reply. We have now had our viability assessment which I pleased to say was a very strong positive and also the 1st Court hearing, in which the judge recommended that our gs stays in our care until end of proceedings. So now we are waiting for the full assessment with baited breath and fingers crossed.

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

Re: New and clueless

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Mar 11, 2020 4:10 pm

Dear Maxyboy

Thank you for the updating post. Very pleased that you have had a positive viability assessment and best of luck going forward.

Best wishes

Suzie

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