Advice

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charlie11
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:35 pm

Advice

Post by charlie11 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:50 pm

Hi

Just wanted a bit of advice. My daughter has a baby of 20 months, she was only 16 having her and has lived with me since the birth, when the baby was about 6 months old my daughter went through a bit of a bad patch where was out all the time and left the baby with me, I had a job to get her to turn up to have the baby for me to go to work. So I had to change my shifts so that if she didn't turn up my mother would be able to look after her. I feel like I have supported her through everything and have mainly brought up the baby as she gets distracted by things which take president over everything else. At one point she has turned round and said I don't let her be a mother, too which I did say I had no choice as she wasn't concerned about the baby and someone had too be. Last october ish she moved her b/f in with us (not the baby's father) which I was ok with for a while then when they expect me to clean up after them all the time and have the baby and work got to much so I told her I wanted him out, she was offered a house with the council which she was supposed to be doing up to move into, well anyway to cut a long story short, she had yet another arguement with her b/f this weekend and after this has been nasty all week to which the outcome last night was her to leave with the baby and say she's not coming back and is going to ask my mother for money to get a bond and move somewhere else, I begged her not to go and take the baby as feel I am the constant in the babies life and because she gets distracted, I really don't know where to go or what to do, she has been to see my mother today and my mother said she couldn't mention my name as she would start shouting as everything is my fault her and her b/f arguing etc, I hope the baby be ok but I don't want her to be at risk and just wonder what I could do etc. I am heart broken and worried and crying alot.

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Robin D
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Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: Advice

Post by Robin D » Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:09 am

Welcome here Charlie11.

As I'm sure you are aware, you have few rights. However the child has many and it may be that these are being ridden roughshod by your daughter. That said, at the moment she holds most of the power and you have to accept that.

My advice would be to sit it out in the short term as you daughter may soon find she needs you more than you need her. However if you believe the child is at risk of physical or emotional harm, then the whole ball game changes. You may want to ring the advice line confidentially on 0808 801 0366. If having discussed it with you, they believe the child may be at risk and that the authorities are unaware, they could make a referral so the child is protected without you being involved. You could also contact the NSPCC in total confidence or even anonymously via their web-site.

Ultimately, you could apply to the courts for contact or even care of the child, but I would think very long and hard before embarking on that route.

Best wishes ....... Robin
Former F&F carer, foster carer, adopter and respite carer for umpteen children. Now retired and when with kids, making sure they 'go home' at the end of the day.

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

Re: Advice

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:09 am

Dear Charlie11
My name is Suzie. I am an advisor here at Family Rights Group. Thanks for posting on our board.
I am really sorry to hear about the situation you describe, it sounds difficult and you must be very worried about the baby. You say you are concerned the baby might be at risk, but you don’t say whether any social workers are involved.
You have a few options here, but the first question is: with the right help and support, do you think your daughter can care for the baby? Or, would you like to be the primary carer for the baby yourself?
If you think your daughter can look after the baby (either under your roof or elsewhere), then it’s a matter of trying to calm things down, so that your daughter will accept your help, and the help of others. One thing you could do here is contact Children’s Services (the new name for Social Services) and ask them for a “Family Group Conference”. That’s a meeting of family members, chaired by a trained facilitator, to try to make a plan for the care of the baby. Sometimes getting everyone together in a room to help discuss arrangements can really help. You can read more about this in our advice sheet on Family Group Conferences here. advice sheets

(In fact, I am linking you to all our advice sheets as there are a few others you should read, as I mention below.)
Of course, you don’t have to contact Children’s Services. You can also try to solve this with the help of other professionals, for example a family mediator. Or maybe you won’t even need to get a professional involved. Maybe your daughter will cool down and realise she needs your help, and the two of you can sort things out yourselves. As angry as your daughter is, I’m sure she knows that you want what’s best for her and the baby. Maybe if things calm down, you can talk it out and come up with an arrangement for how you help each other to care for the child.
If you really don’t think the baby is safe with your daughter, then you should call Children’s Services, to report your concerns. They can get involved to assess the situation. They may offer help, or take further steps if they feel the baby is at risk of harm. You may want to call and speak to one of our advisors before you do this, as there can be both advantages and disadvantages to this. Please look at Advice sheets 4 and 9.
Finally, you could also go to court to try to get a “residence order” – meaning a judge would order that it’s in the baby’s best interests to live with you. It’s a big step for a court to remove a baby from its mother, so I‘m not saying you would win. Also of course taking your daughter to court would be bound to make your relationship with her harder. But it is an option, so I have to mention it. You can read more about that in advice sheet 18.
So, there are several ways forward and a lot to think about. Do feel free to call us to discuss your situation further.
I hope this helps.
All the best,
Suzie

charlie11
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:35 pm

Re: Advice

Post by charlie11 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:18 pm

Thank you both so very much for the advice, I am trying to leave everything calm down and hope she comes to her senses. I do want her to look after the baby and be a mother and hope that having put herself in the deep end she will come through, but I don't want to take chances and leave anything to chance where things get to bad. I will give the advice a ring on Monday when I'm off and hopefully go from there, also many children services to get the mediation thing going for contact but I don't want to jump straight in as am trying really hard to give her time before I go jumping in the deep end and make matters worse. I will give the advise sheets a read while I am pretending to work this afternoon.

nanaJ
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Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2009 6:11 pm

Re: Advice

Post by nanaJ » Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:52 am

Hello Charli, I could have written this myself nine years ago and five years ago. My daughter had her first child at fifteen and started off brilliantly, then slowly but surely reverted to going out all the time and returning drunk at 4 am. I was powerless to stop her as she said she would leave with the child. She eventually left him with us, then tried to get him back as it would secure a home for her. We refused as the home she was in was full of men drinking and all the neighbours were complaining and calling for her to be evicted. We won a residence order, but it was absolutely awful. The child's father came on the scene when my grandson was two and he and his parents have made our lives hell ever since.

The courts awarded him every other weekend and refused to believe he had anger management, drink and violence issues supported by CAFCASS. He has recently been convicted of GBH, the circumstances to awful to go into detail here. He got away with ABH earlier in the year.

History repeated itself with my second grandchild but this time she took him. Other posters are right, you have little rights without a RO. We did our best to help him, but SS and the court took the side of my daughter as our concerns carried little weight - they do look for independent concerns.

Six weeks after she left, I was called to collect him by the Police at 4 am in the morning. He is now six and has lived with us under a RO ever since.

It is awful feeling so helpless, but matters do tend to right themselves. It could well be that having the baby with her is a barrier to her own selfish pursuits and she will realise that she does need your help and support. However, do be careful that she does not come and go, threatening to take the child when the mood suits as you will then be on an emotional rollercoaster and the child will have no security.

I am sorry I cannot be more positive for you at this stage. As others have said, the courts do not really want to separate mother and child, but the situation may become intolerable and you will have to take action.

Kate
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2005 5:33 pm

Re: Advice

Post by Kate » Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:54 pm

Hi Charlie

I can't add to the advice already given other than to suggest you keep a log of anything relevant during this time of waiting to see how things pan out. Record all contact with your daughter and baby - phone calls, visits, etc, with dates, circumstances, how it went, etc; any concerns you have about your daughter's care of the baby; any contact with any agencies involved - eg health, children's services - and date everything. Keep it factual rather than your own opinion or interpretation of events. Some simple examples might be: during visit (date) baby crying constantly / had soaking nappy and nappy rash on 2 consecutive visits/ was in very dirty clothes / mother appeared the worse for drink on last visit (date) / mother reported by neighbours (date) due to level of noise and visitors day and night. Mother left baby overnight with me (date) and did not come back until 3 hours after agreed time next day, despite knowing I had to go to work ... etc.

I know this might feel like snooping but it can make all the difference if concerns for your granddaughter's safety become more serious. Wishing safe keeping for the baby and strength for you during this very difficult waiting period.

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Robin D
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Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: Advice

Post by Robin D » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:57 am

Can I second Kate's excellent advice to keep a good diary of events. It will prove absolutely vital at some stage I'm sure and having it written down as it happens will mean that you do not forget it, and it removes any doubt of what happened when and it what order.
Former F&F carer, foster carer, adopter and respite carer for umpteen children. Now retired and when with kids, making sure they 'go home' at the end of the day.

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