Trying to split siblings

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ijustdontnoanymore
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:27 pm

Trying to split siblings

Post by ijustdontnoanymore » Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:46 am

Hi
I am a connected persons Foster Carer for my 21 month old granddaughter unfortunately my daughter got pregnant again and now my 2nd grandchild is with her mom in a mother and baby foster placement going threw court
Well just to add she is now under a different local authority. I had a call Friday from the baby’s social worker Friday saying I had failed my assessment to care for the new baby.
So upset with them as they have not contacted my own local authority at all to see how the placement as been going with my 1st grandchild which is going really well there as been no concerns her development is above and behind belief she is an amazing little girl
Does anyone now no how I can go forward with this I have been told the guardian and the judge are all on my side and want what I want but why would social services make a decision to split the girls for life when there is no viable reason I have not had the report to find out why I failed
Is it also right a person from the connected persons team does the viability assessment as with my 1st assessment with my 1st grandchild I had an independent social worker do it and she took time to get to no me the social workers from the new local authority as never hardly spoke to me

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 525
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: Trying to split siblings

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:25 pm

Dear I justdontnoanymore,

Welcome to the Friends and family discussion board.
I can see that you are a foster carer for your 21 month old granddaughter.

Your daughter has had another baby who is currently placed with her in a mother and baby unit. You have been assessed to care for this baby but have failed this assessment. You say it is a different local authority involved and the assessment was done by the social worker not an independent social worker.

I agree, you need to know why you passed the first assessment but not the second. However, we hear that connected persons fail an assessment only to pass it when it is done again. So do not despair. The courts may order an independent social worker assessment in these circumstances.
You do not say whether the assessment you have failed is a viability assessment (part 1) or the full assessment.

Even the part 1 (viability) assessment should meet certain standards. Have a look at guidance we prepared about viability assessments.
The law says that all realistic options for a child should be fully explored. A judge will want to have an opportunity to consider the pros and cons of all the viable options for where a child might live in the future.

What should you do now?

I suggest you:
• Ask the social worker to urgently forward you a copy of the assessment or ask her to set out in writing, the reasons why you have failed this assessment. You need this so you can challenge any inaccuracies or opinions you do not agree with.

• As well as doing this, because time is of the essence, you should also get in touch with the local authority legal department and also ask for the assessment or reasons; for the details of the other solicitors in the case; for the next court date. (If mum is keen that you are assessed for your younger granddaughter, mums solicitor may be able to help or guide you in relation to a court application).

• You should then send an email to the court explaining that you had a successful fostering assessment for your older grandchild and were surprised to be turned down for your younger grandchild. You would like the court to make you a party to the proceedings and order that there be an independent social worker assessment of you.

• You need to send a copy of this email to the local authority legal department and to the solicitors for mum, dad and your grandchild’s solicitor.

• When you get the assessment, address any issues in a statement or a further letter.

You could also seek advice from a solicitor who is experienced in children law.
A legal aid solicitor will be able to advise whether you qualify for legal aid. To find a solicitor, look at the Law Society finds a solicitor .

The weareadvocate charity provide free barristers in some cases. You could be asked to be referred to them.

It is really important that you know the next court date so that you can go to court. As you will not be a party to the proceedings (until the court order it), you will not be allowed into the court room but you will be able to meet the guardian and solicitors outside in the corridor and in the conference rooms and let them know why you are suitable to be a foster carer for your granddaughter.

Here are our advice sheets .

Look at:
22-Family and friends carers fostering assessments-it sets out what to expect in a fostering assessment and ways to challenge a refusal.
15 –care proceedings.


Here is an FAQ’s that suggests what to do when you fail an assessment. see the last suggestion.

I hope this advice helps but please post back if you need further advice, or call our advice line for help on 0808 801 0366.

Best wishes,
Suzie

ijustdontnoanymore
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:27 pm

Re: Trying to split siblings

Post by ijustdontnoanymore » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:34 pm

Thank you for your reply
Currently I received the assessment the night before court (shocking) there is not much I can say I failed on really the information in the assessment I have no idea where they got it from but I challenged it in writing and sent it by email to the social worker and the guardian as she called me and was outraged I had failed as she was the same guardian for my older grandchild she updated me on court and the judge was just as outraged as she is the same judge as my older grandchild the judge ordered my local authority take over the assessments and go straight to the connected persons assessment I am more confident now with my own local authority doing the assessments as they have worked with me all through my older grandchild’s case and no I have done a good job they have already offered more support services to take a bit of the strain of 2 young children the main reason they failed me was because the 2 children was young and thought I wouldn’t cope which is nonesence and my house is not big enough I have a 3 bedroom house I have a 14 year old son and my granddaughter in realistic terms the 2 granddaughters would share but I already told them I am getting support off my local authority to get a bigger house and already got a house exchange going through so the reasons of the fail was not really viable as my own local authority as already advised them they would have no issues with me copying at all

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