New user - case conference

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David Roth
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Re: New user - case conference

Postby David Roth » Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:50 am

Sasha, I am very sorry to hear about your own health problems. I hope your treatment goes well.

Help has made an excellent suggestion, and one you should seriously consider.
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

sasha
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Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:11 am

Re: New user - case conference

Postby sasha » Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:44 pm

Hello Help & David,
I have previously spoken to the court guardian for my GS to try to establish if this was available and she felt that as my daughter understands what the proceedings are about (her son's welfare/care etc) that it is not necessary for an OS to be involved.
I have read the thread indicated and will contact them myself tomorrow for guidance, thank you.
We have received the response from her 'old' solicitor by email today and they have managed to twist most of the complaint to suit their business, but I didn't expect anything else really,
We have visited a 'new' solicitor who has identified that the recent so called parent assessment carried out on my daughters partner is certainly unacceptable and not in a format that the courts would accept. Also, that as no one from S.S has contacted my daughter in respect to her sons health during the past 7 days and that no contact has taken place in excess of a week, they have failed to advise the courts and this will be dealt with in court on Wed as we have requested an emergency hearing due to the contact arrangements having been changed without consent 3 weeks ago. The solicitor will raise the relevant concerns we have discussed today and hopefully, this will ease some of the trauma my daughter is experiencing right now.
The new solicitor is also requesting via the courts, an independent SW to be appointed to carry out the full parenting assessment and to extend the court case to take this into account. It can't be guaranteed that this will be accepted but at least my daughter and I feel that someone is finally listening and will try to address some of our concerns.
This may not change the outcome, but at least my daughter will know that she has done everything within her power to fight for her son.
We have a 'Statutory' LACC review tomorrow also to attend and I will be very interested to hear the FC's comments on my GS care.
I will see what information the OS dept provide tomorrow and will keep you posted.
Sincerely appreciate your support guys, thank you.
Sasha

sasha
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Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:11 am

Re: New user - case conference

Postby sasha » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:36 am

It has been some time since I have posted here because the situation has been a fraught one over the festive period. Contact was reduced to 3 days a week prior to Christmas which has not been maintained by the authorities for one reason or another and because the S.S are continuing their application for the permanent residency, the courts have agreed for it to remain at 3 days and the duration has been reduced to 2 hours for my daughter and my husband and I are allowed once a week for 1 hour.

My husband and I have not been able to visit on our contact days since Christmas Eve due to ill health but will see our GS tomorrow which I am really looking forward to.

My daughter has received a report from the adoption agency (via post direct to her home address) which states that my GS was examined mid December (which my daughter knew nothing about) and apparently he has 'Torticollis' and the FC was given advice as to how to handle him. However, NO information has been shared with my daughter regarding this and we remain exasperated on the handling of this matter by officials involved.

During the LAC review in December matters concerning the communications book were raised and the chair person has stated that the FC is under no pressure to contribute to this and the facility has been removed. I find this totally unacceptable as we have struggled to gain information from the FC from the start. We have asked on numerous occasions for the FC to clip my GS finger nails as he has caused damage to his mouth to make it bleed, apart from other marks and the FC replies "if I get time", "I'm too busy" etc and these have been written in the book. When raising this with the authorities they seem to fall on deaf ears. I have asked the FC to provide information as to how my GS is during a typical week-end, what they do together and her response is " a baby does what babies do, eat, sleep and have nappies changed". Am I asking too much? Is this not information any GM would like to know? Her attitude to any contact information is appalling and has been noted by the contact workers who collect him and return him to the FC for contact to take place but they won't commit themselves to assist us with our complaint!!!

The LAC review also provided a form to my daughter for her to complete regarding the adoption process, to provide information about her childhood for it to be placed on my GS adoption file. I understand they operate a dual processing system but I strongly disagree with a permanent solution becoming available for a temporary problem.

My daughters' solicitor has sent the relevant paperwork to the Psychiatrist to attend the Final Resolution Hearing next month to answer questions and I have asked if I can attend to provide support and to answer questions, should they feel it will help. My daughters solicitor has asked if I would draft a statement up and let her have it ASAP to go over its contents and I would appreciate your assistance as to what type of information might be helpful to highlight to the judge why I feel my daughter is not being given the opportunity to raise her son, with support if necessary?

They, (SW'S and court guardian) have reported that my daughter still continues to ignore her mental health which is totally fabricated information. We have persued several lines of medical assistance for my daughter and her GP has supported this in a letter to her solicitor.

Having read through the contact reports there is only one occasion whereby they have eggagerated one incident that my daughter may have over fed my GS, this I believe has been blown out of proportion by the FC because (they, the FC's) were feeding him a larger amount to that of what they were signing for within the feed diary, photo copies have been kept of all entries including an entry by the FC that my daughter had fed her son on a date and time when quite clearly, her son was on holiday with the FC's. There is nothing to substantiate that my dasughter would harm her son what so ever and I vehemently disagree with the accusation of such an allegation. This will be at the cost her her son for the next 18 years or more and I totally disagree with a system which works in this manner.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: New user - case conference

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:54 pm

Hi Sasha

I just wanted to give you a brief response, as you are in the process of drafting your evidence for the court.

In the first place I would ask your daughter's solicitor to provide you with a format that includes specific headings, he thinks would be useful areas for you to address, in your statement to the court.

This information would be in addition to the specific concerns you raise about the assessment process of your daughter's parenting, foster placement, contact, routines, food diary and your response to the Local Authority concerns and their care plan for your grandchild, many of which you have stated (in detail) on your posts to this discussion board.

This would allow the solicitor to advise how much detail they require, for instance whether they are looking for a brief overview of 1 - 2 pages, or a detailed statement containing all relevant events (from your perspective), over the past few months.

Sorry not to be more specific, but the solicitor (even though they are not representing you), would be best placed to advise you about how your input would best support your daughter at this time. They have all the facts, and will be fully aware of the main legal arguments in the court case.

I hope this helps.

Best Wishes


Suzie

sasha
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:11 am

Re: New user - case conference

Postby sasha » Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:07 am

Hi Suzie,
Thank you for dropping in.
I have contacted my daughters solicitor as suggested and await their reply.
In the meantime, I have started to draft something up based on the report being submitted by the court guardian and will amend as appropriate when a response is received from the solicitor.

I am conscious that time is of the essence here.

However, some good news received yesterday. My daughter has been offered an interview at a residential centre next week. Not sure what will be decided from that but it gives us a little hope. Albeit, the court guardian and the local authority will be against the idea.

Thanks again.

Sasha

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David Roth
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Re: New user - case conference

Postby David Roth » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:52 am

Hi Sasha

The issue of the foster carer's attitude towards your daughter does need to be addressed. Foster carers are supposed to encourage and support positive contact getween a looked after child and their parents and wider family. The Fostering Services Statutory Guidance states this in para. 3.27: "Subject to the child’s care plan, foster carers and fostering service staff must help to promote, support and encourage children to maintain positive and constructive contact with their parents and wider family, friends and others who are important to them." http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/fi ... idance.pdf

The Care Planning, Placement and Case Review Regulations & Guidance 2010 also expect carers to work positively with parents: "A.14 Most children return home from care or voluntary arrangements to birth parents and support for those relationships while the child is in care or being provided with accommodation is key to a successful return home. It is important that a child has a sense of emotional permanence through a positive attachment to an adult carer, even if s/he is no longer living with them. Even where a return home is not planned and the child is not being adopted into a permanent new family, enabling the child to have a positive view of birth parents to take with him/her into his/her adult relationships is an important developmental and emotional task. This will require skilled work from the social worker and carers"

Also: "A4 The effective health care that most parents provide for their children is related to their intimate daily contact with them, and is generally learned by experience. Because they know the child so well most parents are aware of the significance of small changes in appearance or behaviour in the context of the child’s health history, and can take appropriate action immediately. This is why placement stability is so closely linked to healthy development. When a child is looked after by a local authority these responsibilities pass in full or in part to a public body, and a number of problems have the potential to arise. First, there is the problem of knowledge, both factual and intuitive, about the child’s medical history and normal state. Then there is the division of responsibility between social worker and foster carer or residential social worker. This makes the effective sharing of relevant and appropriate information important" (my emphasis).

The Care Planning Regs & Guidance are here: https://www.education.gov.uk/publicatio ... 5-2010.pdf

It may be helpful to draw attention to these expectations in your complaint.
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

sasha
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:11 am

Re: New user - case conference

Postby sasha » Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:31 am

Hello David,
I have read and re-read your post to try to absorb its contents and have gone to the links suggested. I am reading the links gradually this evening, but as you can see by my response it has taken me into the early hours :)
I have raised several points within our complaint letter but the response we appear to be receiving is that whilst the matter remains 'in court' they are unable to respond to those issues. In respect to the FC's attitude, who do you advise we should be contacting? Would this be through their link worker, the usual complaints team or another local authorities body?

I do have concerns on who has access to our medical information and its usage. You have highlighted a very valid point as to the factual and intuitive. I am also concerned to read in the Children's Act that their are policies laid down which SW's should be aware of, that there will of course naturally, be occasions when decisions have to be made for our GS's best interest and these should have been ironed out at the commencement of the proceedings and stated clearly in his careplan, however, this hasn't been the case. In particular, his innoculations. This has been an upward struggle to discuss when it could quite easily have been agreed early on.
Once again contact has been cancelled due to the severe weather conditions, but I guess that is to be expected but will be closely monitored.

I am due to meet with my daughters solicitor shortly to discuss case update and I hope to have a better understanding of where we are and the likely outcome.

I must re-charge and will return to the links tomrrow.

Thank you so much David for once again returning to my dilemma, it is appreciated.
Sasha

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David Roth
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Re: New user - case conference

Postby David Roth » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:52 am

Hi Sasha

I hope you find the regulations and guidance I linked to useful, as they set out how the local authority should manage foster placements so that children's needs will be met as fully as possible. I feel I should explain the difference between what regulations are and what guidance is. Regulations are the more legalistically written bit at the end of the Care Planning regs & guidance. Local authorities HAVE to do what is in regulations. They OUGHT to do what is in guidance, unless there is a good reason for them not to - the requirement is not quite as strong. Some local authorities think they can ignore what is in guidance, because the requirements are less strong, but they should not do this, since as I said they still ought to do it unless they can show there is a good reason for them not to.

If you are concerned about the way the local authority has been meeting the baby's health needs, then you should find the guidance and regs I have linked to useful, as they do outline what is expected in terms of healthcare for looked after children. There are other volumes I could provide links to, but I do not want to overburden you with these - the ones I linked to should provide you with the most useful information.

I do know that complaints about matters where there are also care proceedings will often not be heard until the proceedings are over. While this can be frustrating for some people, for example if they think a social worker has behaved unprofessionally but this can't be looked into until after a long delay, it is also understandable not to have the same issue being dealt with in two places at once, with the court taking priority.

I would suggest that you try raising your concerns about the foster carer next with the manager of the fostering team, or with the manager of the whole fostering & adoption unit, or family placement team, or whatever they are called in your local authority. But as court cases are often moving to a quick timetable, I would advise you not to leave it too long if you don't feel you are getting anywhere with that person, and take it instead to the next level of management, which would be the director or assistant director of the department. You might also think about going to a councillor - either your local ward councillor, or a member of the cabinet with responsibility for this area.
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

sasha
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:11 am

Re: New user - case conference

Postby sasha » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:35 am

Hello David,
Just a little update.
It appears that our concerns are falling on deaf ears and will not be visited until after the court hearing which I am quite angry about. I do not seem to be able to get our concerns looked at seriously.
Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the appointment at the solicitors due to personal reasons and I sent an email to my daughters solicitor 2 weeks ago explaining my predicament and asking her for headings to assist me with drafting a statement in preparation for the court hearing. To my disappointment I have still not received a reply. My daughter has raised this with her solicitor's office on several occasions and yesterday I was told (via daughter) that neither I, nor my statement will be permitted in court for the hearing and not to bother with a statement of any description!!!
My daughter has been asked last week by her solicitor to get as many character references as possible and I believe this is too short notice for people to have to respond. Is this usual practise?
This whole experience has been very poorly handled by all professionals and I will certainly be raising this with the powers that be as soon as I am able, whatever the outcome of the court hearing.
I appreciate there maybe cases in society that the LA need to apply their powers to ensure children are kept safe from harm but I strongly believe that their needs to be a serious and complete overhaul of the services being provided and how they are delivered and until this is actioned, innocent families will continue to suffer at the hands of incompetent SW's and due process can not be handled correctly.
Naturally with the court hearing imminent I am bound to have strong feelings on this matter but time will tell how this will turn out.

Regards
Sasha

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David Roth
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Re: New user - case conference

Postby David Roth » Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:59 am

Hi Sasha

I'm sorry to have taken a little while to reply to you, I've not been about for a few days.

I'm very sorry to hear what you say about the way things are going with regard to the court proceedings.

I think that the reason you are not able to participate in the proceedings will be that you are not putting yourself forward to be carers for the baby. If you were being considered as such, you could probably have become parties to the proceedings, and had your own copies of all the court papers. Still, it is worth checking with the solicitor that your daughter has accurately reported what he has said. It seems strange that they want character reference-type statements from other people who know her, but not any statement from you.

With regard to the character references, although they can play a part in court proceedings, the main point that the judge will be considering is going to be your daughter's parenting skills. If you are going to pursue these character references, they should be from people who have seen your daughter being responsible for children, and who could testify to her competence to look after them, giving if possible practical examples of things she has done well.

I know the solicitor may not want to speak to you without your daughter's persmission, or without her being present, so perhaps you should try to arrange another joint appointment before the hearing starts.
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser


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