Should we put ourselves forward as potential carers

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David Roth
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Re: Should we put ourselves forward as potential carers

Post by David Roth » Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:40 am

RobB, it sounds as though your relationship with the local authority has some tensions, making it even more important that you should make a favourable impression on the children's guardian. If you don't yet have an appointment to meet with the guardian, I would suggest that you request one, on the basis that you are potential carers for the children about whose welfare the guardian will be reporting to court, so it is important that he/she meets you. The guardian's report is probably the most influential that will go before the judge, and guardians are generally quite independently-minded and don't just go along with the social workers unless they actually agree with them.

If there isn't time for a full SGO assessment before the final hearing, you can request that the children are placed with you under another arrangement, either fostering or a residence order, while the SGO assessment is carried out.

In this context, the issue of your contact with the children is an important one, that you should not let go of even if there are difficulties. The court will probably prioritise the parents' contact with the children over yours, and they will not want to confuse the children with too many different people having too high a level of contact, but it will certainly help if you can establish some sort of regular pattern of contact with the children.
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

RobB
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Re: Should we put ourselves forward as potential carers

Post by RobB » Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:00 pm

Thanks for reply David. We have decided to apply as a fall back for a residence order. Children's services are not going to support our application to foster. We will try and arrange a meeting with the guardian when she gets back from leave next week.
We are not sure about filling in the C2 and C100 form.
We think the respondent 1 and respondent 2 are the father and mother of the children. Don't think I know the address of the father. Also the mother does not want father to know her address. I assume I should fill in form C8 "Confidential contact details " for this. Or do I put address of solicitors acting for them. As others, do I put the children's social worker, guardian and foster carers. If I contact Cafcass will they tell me who the respondants and others should be with the contact details?
I wondered if they would help me complete the forms correctly.
Also in C2 under retails of application I would write We are applying for a Residence Order with the reasons

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David Roth
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Re: Should we put ourselves forward as potential carers

Post by David Roth » Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:05 am

RobB, have you read our advice sheet 18, which deals with making your own application for a residence order? This explains, for example, that you would have to fill in both the C2 and the C100 forms. The C2 is an application to get the leave of the court to apply for the RO, and also for you to be joined as a party to the proceedings. You need to get the court's leave for the application, as you are don't fall into any of the categories of people who have the automatic right to apply. You can file the C2 and the C100 forms together.

The advice sheet explains this and much else - if you have any queries after reading it through, please do come back with them.
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

RobB
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Re: Should we put ourselves forward as potential carers

Post by RobB » Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:56 pm

Yes I read the forms but was not clear as to who the respondents and who the others were. Eventually the after phoning around the LA legal services helped me. I think I now can fill in the forms correctly. I hope to present them to the court tomorrow. I will let you know how it goes.

RobB
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Re: Should we put ourselves forward as potential carers

Post by RobB » Wed Aug 14, 2013 2:44 pm

Our C2 application for leave has been accepted. We now need to send copies of our applications to all parties. There is to be an urgent directions hearing on 21st August. Brief details of our reasons for our application for leave are in the statements in our C2C100 and RO and C1A (allegations of harm and domestic violence) forms . Should we expand on these reasons for the directions hearing, sending a copy to all parties or just send copies of the above 3 forms as they are.
Is it the directions hearing that will decide whether we can apply for a RO? Will we then be asked at the hearing our reasons. If so we will need the paperwork and be clear in our heads all the reasons for our belief that the father will not be a good enough father and we would be more suitable carers for the children. Can we be questioned by the other parties at this hearing? It is only 45 minutes so presumable not much detail can be examined.

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Robin D
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Re: Should we put ourselves forward as potential carers

Post by Robin D » Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:09 pm

Hi Rob.

Just get the forms out. Best sent signed for if you can to prove they were delivered.

If you then choose to share your other reasons with the parties ahead of the directions hearing, that's a totally separate issue.

A directions hearing will rarely hear evidence and even less rarely allow full cross examination.

I don't expect you to be asked for your reasons, but if you do you can cite doing the best for the children. The level of contact you've had so far, and staying close to where they have been up to now are two factors, plus the concerns about father's suitability.

If no guardian is currently appointed, and you get made a party, you might suggest it to the court given that you feel you may not get an even handed response from the local authority.

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.

RobB
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Re: Should we put ourselves forward as potential carers

Post by RobB » Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:37 am

Thank you so much for your help and advice. We represented ourselves at the family court and were given leave to apply for a RO at the final hearing in 2 months time. We have another direction hearing next week to arrange a parenting assessment. The magistates and the court clerk were very sympathetic to us and explained things and procedure as we went along. It was still though a quite anxious experience as it is a complicated case and we were opposed by 3 of the 4 parties involved, supported only by the mothers solicitor. We are we think going to get a solicitor to go on from here as I really don't think I could adequately represents ourselves not alone deal with the stress of a 3 day hearing, cross examinations etc dealing with domestic violence, drug misuse and child neglect.
Rob

kinwah
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Re: Should we put ourselves forward as potential carers

Post by kinwah » Sat Aug 24, 2013 4:05 pm

good luck with everything. i'm heading towards a contested RO (I think) and am following your endeavours with great interest. different case and different complexities, but still learning by your experiences all the same!

RobB
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Re: Should we put ourselves forward as potential carers

Post by RobB » Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:02 pm

Hope it goes well with you Kinwah. Only just checked the posts, Having a bit of a break after last weeks full on, with form filling and the successful ( for us ) directions hearing. Incidently the magistrates did ask us why we were applying for a RO and we wished at the time that we had spent more time preparing our statement. However the magistrates, as I said, tried to put us at ease and obviously took our rather nervously stated views seriously. I'll keep an eye on the thread and would be very happy to enlarge on our experiences if it may be of use to anyone one.

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