New user - case conference

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 534
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: New user - case conference

Post by 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

FRG Adviser

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

Re: New user - case conference

Post by 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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Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:14 am

Re: New user - case conference

Post by 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: ... t-register
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

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Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:11 am

Re: New user - case conference

Post by sasha » Fri May 16, 2014 2:18 am

Hello David,
You have a very good memory. Yes my health has improved but sadly my husbands continue to decline. That is to be expected, although sad.
I do have a little good news in that with effort, I managed to collect my letterbox letter on Wednesday from the LA office :) It is identical to my daughters letter but I expected that. It is almost written like a childrens story, so predictable but I mustn't complain, at least they wrote. They say they intend to tell my Grandson of his birth family in time, but time will tell.

On the point of meeting the adopters, who would I need to approach for that to be considered? If you say the SW, then I don't think that will be passed on. However, if the person responsible for finding the family has any say in the matter I would feel more confident of any response being the truth, if you follow my drift? Same for the later-life letter, don't trust the SW to keep on file. I would certainly consider it if I could trust someone but the way they have handled this and many other cases I don't hold out much hope sadly.

The adopters have applied to the courts for the formal adoption hearing and we have a date to attend (if my daughter chooses to) in a few months. I'm guessing they concentrated on this matter before our letterbox.

I am aware of the adoption contact register and will be leaving my details there.

Just a thought, if someone has not been party to proceedings what action might be taken against them if they were to ruffle a few feathers in the system, government, media etc? Would they lose their letterbox contact or would there be more serious consequences?

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