New user - case conference

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

Re: New user - case conference

Postby sasha » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:17 pm

Hi David,
I am unable to say too much at this point as the matter is before the courts at this moment.
However, I can say, even in the courtroom, the process and evidence is a mess.
I do not fully understand some of what I have heard but I definately know 'unfairness and lies' when I hear it.
Even their complaints department are struggling to obtain answers to their questions so obviously, it's the blind leading the blind and I will have no hesitation raising this matter to the powers that be to ensure this is never repeated.
'Long term solution to temporary problem'. Even the solicitor/advocate agrees.
I sincerely hope I will be able to get my daughter the relevant treatment she is entitled to in order for her to cope with this horrible nightmare.
I will come back to you when I have more information which I am able to share.

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David Roth
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Re: New user - case conference

Postby David Roth » Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:36 am

Sasha, your description of what is happening as being a 'long term solution to a short term problem' is very interesting. It would be interesting to know whether, if your grandson is to be adopted, it would be his present foster carers who would adopt him. If this was to be the case, it would be very much in line with the government's current agenda for adoption.

The government published a bill last week (the Children & Families Bill) that would make the process of children being removed from parents and placed with adopters far quicker, and with far fewer safeguards than there are now. Some courts are already implementing some of the government's proposals, for example that care proceedings should take place within a six month time limit, instead of taking as long as it needs to come to the right decision.The reason given is that they say delay can be harmful, particularly for babies.

There is a danger that by rushing to make a decision, the wrong decisions will be made. For example, there is a real danger that if family and friends carers don't come forward early enough then they won't be considered, and children will miss out on the possibility of a placement within the family.

Please do come back if you have any particular questions about the process your daughter and her son are caught up in, and I will try to provide answers if I can.
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

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

Re: New user - case conference

Postby sasha » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:16 am

Hello David,
I am aware of the Children's and Families Bill to which you refer and I strongly suspected that was behind this case. I have made enquiries as to whether or not the FC was applying to adopt my GS but I am not being given a straight answer. In fact, the answer I have received is that the FC wouldn't be able to foster another child for 2 years if they did. Which makes me very angry because it would appear they (FC's) are only in it for the money.
With that said, the SW has been able to view her opinions on the stand regarding the relationship between my daughter and me, to which I have been unable to confirm or deny, not being called as a witness! My daughter fought our corner as best she could on the day but to me it wasn't handled very professionally and my daughter was left to travel home on the train alone following the decision that my GS was to be adopted, since her partner failed to attend the hearing.
It has been more than a week now and my daughter has not heard from her solicitor with regards towhat happens now, albeit my daughter was advised by her advocate that they would ensure her housing and treatment would be sorted out via her solicitor.
Once again the system has got what they wanted and my daughter is still left in a dispicable emotional state to fight for her right to proper treatment, yet due to the postcode lottery, none exists within min 50 mile radius. It will probably get answered when I take the mater to the media?
I have advised the complaints team that the decision has now been made so they can continue with the complaints process but what answers we will get from that, I have little faith in.
What if any, answers are you able to give me to a system which treats its community in this way?

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David Roth
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Re: New user - case conference

Postby David Roth » Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:32 am

Sasha

I am very sorry to hear that your daughter has lost her case, and your grandson is to be adopted. This must be devastating for you and for her. It sounds particularly frustrating that you do not think the process has been fair, by not including you as possible support to help your daughter manage her son.

If you are going to help your daughter understand what this means, and what is going to happen next, it may be useful to read our advice sheet 23 Adoption: what does it mean for birth parents?. You can find it and our other advice sheets here: http://www.frg.org.uk/need-help-or-advice/advice-sheets

In terms of what happens next with regard to housing and treatment for your daughter, if the advocate said that they would ensure it was going to be sorted out, then it might be best to start with the advocate and ask them what is the latest. They may have wanted to give your daughter some space after the blow of the court's decision, so if you make contact then it could let them know that they are still needed in order to follow these issues up.

I know how difficult a time this must be for you, but I can only repeat what I have said earlier, that it is important for you to keep looking after your own health issues, even at such a time as this. Please do not neglect your own needs.
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

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

Re: New user - case conference

Postby sasha » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:08 pm

Hello David,
I telephoned your support line last week and had a very emotional conversation with a counsellor. I appreciated the sounding board but I didn't get answers. Answers which my daughter should be getting from her solicitor but even though it has been 3 weeks since the courts decision, she has been unable to have an appointment with her solicitor - too busy in court on other cases!!! It's not for the want of not trying, my daughter has made numerous attempts to get an appointment and arranged to have her advocate present, but the solicitor cancelled it 24 hours prior, saying they would be still in court. Bazaar!

The manager of the SW telephoned me last week and left a voicemail message advising they would contact me the next day (Friday) and I am still waiting!!!

My condition is stable and I have elected to have my surgery after my farewell contact.

Is there a minimum distance the adoptees have to be from the birth family?

Still frustrated.........

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David Roth
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Re: New user - case conference

Postby David Roth » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:51 pm

Hi Sasha

I'm glad you found your call to our advice line useful as a sounding board, even if we couldn't provide the answers you are looking for. Sometimes it is helpful just to be able to talk. I think it is probably important that you keep trying to make the appointment to meet your daughter's solicitor, to at least get some understanding of why the case went the way it did, and what is going to happen next.

There are no hard and fast rules about the distance an adoptive placement will be from the birth family, every case would be decided individually. Whether or not there was going to be birth family contact would be quite an important factor. Generally, local authorities would look to place children for adoption far enough away that there would be little or no chance of the child and birth family bumping into each other accidentally.

There are still number of important matters for you and your daughter to consider:
- Is there going to be any form of post-adoption contact? While your daughter may not be able to have direct contact with your grandson, she could ask for letter-box contact - it may not be agreed though.
- Will your daughter get the chance to meet the adopters? Although this sounds difficult, it can be helpful for birth parents and adopters. Birth parents can be reassured about who will be raising their child after they've met them, and for adopters it can help them to see birth parents as people and not 'problem families', which can make a difference to the way they talk to the child about their birth family.

The government has published National Minimium Standards for Adoption, which includes a section on how adoption agencies ought to work with birth families. You can follow this link and look at Standard 12: https://www.education.gov.uk/publicatio ... option.pdf
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

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

Re: New user - case conference

Postby sasha » Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:14 am

Time is drawing near to our farewell meeting and I have made a few enquiries with reagrds to gathering information.
Does anyone know how I would go about submitting a 'Subject Access Request' to my local authority? I am familiar with the SAR basic's but would like to know if all LA have their own forms and processes and who I would address my request to. I'm presuming their 'Data Controller'?
What information am I able to obtain and will my LA deliver the information being requested?
This site is a huge source of information so I hope you will be able to assist me with this matter.

Many thanks.
Sasha

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

Re: New user - case conference

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:48 am

Hello Sasha

A "subject access request" is a request to see information that is held about you. A person with parental responsibility for a child can also request to see information on behalf of that child if they are too young to ask themselves.

You should make your request, in writing, to the Children’s Services department which is holding the information about you, stating clearly what information you want and that you are asking for it under the Data Protection Act.

You have a right to see, and have a copy of, all information held in your social work files about you and your children but exceptions can be made in certain circumstances e.g. 3rd party information where consent has not been obtained for the information to be shared. In addition, information that forms part of court evidence will be restricted due to the confidential nature of such proceedings.

I hope this is a useful start. I would advise you to read our advice sheets about access to records for more detailed information. In addition, feel free to call the advice line if you have any further, specific queries.

Best Wishes

Suzie
FRG Adviser

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

Re: New user - case conference

Postby sasha » Fri May 09, 2014 2:24 am

Hello everyone,
It has been quite awhile since I last posted here so I thought I would just drop in to give you an update.

My Grandson is currently with his 'new family', albeit, he is not yet officially adopted. We were promised our first letterbox contact a couple of months ago but this has failed to materialise and however much we have chased this, we are no further forward with an explanation as to its delay.

My daughter went on to have another child (unfortunately, and I am somewhat angry at this) and this child has the same fate as their older sibling, having the courts ruled in LA favour last month.

We did however get the opportunity to have my daughter Psychologically Assessed and most of the court hearing was spent arguing about her diagnosis because of differences in opinions between medical professionals involved. However, it appears now the Judge has sided with the LA (as expected) and has diagnosed her with EBPD and will require 12-24 months of treatment, which I have to say the NHS was not prepared to offer without my intervention, so would have been unable to access the medical treatment she requires, therefore condoning her to being childless indefinately.......

In a few weeks we will be saying our farewells to another grandchild and based on the lack of communication from the first adoptors, I hold no hope out for the letterbox contact with either of my grandchildren until such time they choose to seek their birth families. As Letterbox contact is not legally binding, I do not hold much hope out for the carrot that was dangled before me by the LA as we are still awaiting our first letter :(

I wholeheartedly hold NHS & LA fully responsible for this decision together with the judicial system for failing to recognise that a parent who has NOT been given the opportunity to have a full parenting assessment, cannot therefore be judged on a few inaccurate 'cut & paste' reports by the LA and a one hour appointment with a Pyschiatrist to make a lifelong decision for a childs future.

SW's have a lot to answer for considering the one involved in both these cases has been on long term sick leave almost through out, hence the inaccurately prepared 'cut & paste' reports - NO JUSTICE for genuine cases.........

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David Roth
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Re: New user - case conference

Postby David Roth » Wed May 14, 2014 10:28 am

Sasha, thanks very much for coming back here to update us on what is happening with your grandchildren. I remember what a difficult time it was for you last year, and it sounds as though things are still not easy. I recall that you and your husband were both facing health problems as well, and I hope things are at least no worse for you on that front.

I wonder if there is any chance of you meeting either of the adoptive parents your grandchildren are with or will be going to? Adopters meeting birth families doesn't always happen, but it can sometimes be helpful. Birth families can put a face to the information they have about the child's adoption, and hopefully be reassured about who the child will be growing up with. It also allows the adopters to see the birth family as real people, when they may have built up a picture from negative information about the parents' failings, and it might help them to take part in letterbox contact if they have a picture of the people this contact will be with.

The adopters may not agree to a face-to-face contact, but it could be worth making the request. In some cases, adopters can be more willng to meet grandparents than parents.

You might also want to consider writing a 'later-life letter'. This is a letter that could go on the social workers' adoption file, from you to the adopted child, that they would be able to read as an adult if they ever tried to trace their birth records. It can tell them, from the family's point of view, about why they could not stay in the family, and let them know that even though they could not stay they were a loved child. You can also leave your details on the adoption contact register, which the adopted child could use to contact you after they are 18: https://www.gov.uk/adoption-records/the ... t-register
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser


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