Child protection plan advice

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Jenna
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:04 am

Child protection plan advice

Post by Jenna » Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:32 am

Hi

The situation that am in is that my sister ( whom i have not heard from for 16 years ) has had four children removed from her and recently place under the child protection plan due to neglect I have the two youngest children aged 2 years and 5 years old has a private arrangement on a tempory basis the two children came to me with a carrier bag of clothes and a travel cot I have clothed the two children , bought them beds and provided for them financially has I've had little corrispondance from the social services who have only visited me once at the beginning to drop children off asked me to sign a form to take care of children and that was it I have asked what was the neglect issue which I was told he couldn't tell me ask my sister ? And if she was to try and take the children I am to stop her , ring police & ring social services ( easier said than done ) after finding out the details of neglect which are drinking excessively , cocaine abuse, suicide attempts and very violent outbursts ( she has been arrested for this and court proceddings ) which since having the children I have witnessed this first hand myself and not impressed by social service not disclosing the information knowing that I have four young children myself living with me and my husband and am told that she is to have as much contact at my property to see her children I was also told that my sister should provide financially for her children but she hasn't whatsoever I am now understanding that this tempory care is not going to be tempory and that my sister will not be getting her children back anytime soon but when I have phoned social service I get told " we can't put a time on it "? What I need advice on is the whole situation regarding visits and is there any financial help at tall available

Kind regards Jenna :cry:

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David Roth
Posts: 2022
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:14 am

Re: Child protection plan advice

Post by David Roth » Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:42 pm

Hi Jenna, and welcome to the discussion forum for family and friends carers.

Thanks for outlining your situation. You are raising your sister's two youngest children, but children's services have provided you with very little information and no financial or other support. However, they do expect you to prevent your sister from removing her children.

One of the first things I think you need to clarify with children's services is the legal basis under which the children are living with you. The crucial question is whether the children are looked after (i.e. in the care system) or not. If they are looked after, then you ought to be getting paid a full fostering allowance, the same as they would pay to any other foster carers, and giving you other types of support and advice. If the children are not looked after, i.e. it is a 'private arrangement', then it is up to the local authority how much financial support they give you, and in a lot of cases they won't assist financially at all.

Not surprisingly, a lot of local authorities will try say that the children were placed under a private arrangement, when because of the way they were placed they really ought to be looked after.

The crucial difference, in cases like yours, depends on how the children came to be living with you. If the local authority played a major role in the children coming to stay with you, and if you weren't able to make an informed choice between which of these two legal statuses you would prefer, then the children ought to be considered as looked after children.

If you read what I have just written, and you think the children ought to be considered as looked after, you may want to point this out to the local authority. You could tell them the case law decision that my advice is based on. It is called the Southwark judgment, and the reference for the decision if you want to quote it is Southwark LBC -v- D [2007] EWCA Civ. 182; [2007] 1 FLR 2181

If you want to have a discussion with one of our expert advisers before you take this up, you can call our advice line on 0808 801 0366, open 9.30am-3pm Mon-Fri.

You also raise in your post the question of the long-term plans for the children. You will need to consider whether you would be willing to keep them permanently in your household, and if so under what legal arrangement - the one that is mostly used in circumstances like the ones you have described would be a Special Guardianship Order, which provides a high level of security for the children. In part, your decision can be based on finding out about what support the local authority would be willing to provide for you and the children. Again, they may not want to be very forthcoming about this, but they are able to financially support relatives who become special guardians, or who get a residence order (another option).

I know there is a lot to digest in this post, but please take time to read it through and absorb the information, and come back with any queries you may have.
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

Jenna
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:04 am

Re: Child protection plan advice

Post by Jenna » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:21 am

Thank you for the advice but things have dramatically changed over the past weeks were the children are now LOOKED AFTER and a no contact rule in place the only contact is at a secure contact centre also the case is now being transferred to a PLO TEAM not exactly sure what all this is or were this is all going to end ??? But for now we have still got the children and very little support or financial help has been given to us over these stressful times for both us and the children nothing has been explained to us other than they are now looked after but the children's mother must be informed of the proceedings before we are but with the drunken , violent , abusive behaviour from her they are finding it extremely hard to communicate with the mother ?? We just don't know we're to turn and has harsh as it sounds we don't know weather we can continue to care for the children with the lack of information and violence towards us especially when every question we ask in reply " I have to ask my manager before I can get a answer for you " but he's off today ( this manager only works a hour a week the rest of the week he's off )

Jenna
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:04 am

Re: Child protection plan advice

Post by Jenna » Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:54 pm

I have another dilemma here were the youngest of the children is really sick and needs medical treatment now I have nothing at to say am allowed to give the course of antibiotics and other medication ....now the mother who has the parental responsibility has refused me to give any medication whatsoever to her child and let the child suffer and is getting her solicitor to do something to me legally ??? Am totally unsure if am cut of for this but in the best interest of the child and with the verbal ok so to say from the doctor and children's services I have given the child the medication and the child is now getting better but the stress of treating a young child who's not your own has totally freaked me out to the point of tears on have I done the right thing and what am I facing regarding the mothers solicitor ????

Jenna
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:04 am

Re: Child protection plan advice

Post by Jenna » Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:49 pm

Thanks for the reply I did contact the mother to say the youngest child is ill and that I had been the doctors and got prescribed antibiotics for the child ....the mother went ballistic and gave me a mouthful of verbal abuse for not asking her permission to go the doctors but with the mother being extremely drunk at the time and not listening to what I was saying I went without her ....and in front of plenty of people she said ". I don't f*****g care about the children let them suffer the little b******ds " but then uses the excuse of the children to Create an violent argument saying no one upsets my children ?? The social services are witness to the violent outbursts from the mother and have real concerns for the children when anywhere near her ??? I just don't know we're this is going to end ???

Jenna
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:04 am

Re: Child protection plan advice

Post by Jenna » Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:55 am

There is talk of care proceedings being started though court but this has not been explained to me what it exactly means ? Other than the court can make the mother somehow comply with the plan in place if the mother wants her children back ? ( not sure how this will happen ) or what will happen if she doesn't comply .... a police marker has now been placed on my home regarding the situation and the social workers and school staff have documented all the violence in a statement for the police and there own records the attitude the mothers has is that she feels untouchable and plays the victim to a crowd of people or bystanders saying you can't take my children away , you can't stop me from seeing my children trying to make out we're the bad guys in this the more reaction the mother gets the worse she becomes and suddenly stops and runs as soon has she hears a police siren we really are at our wits end with the carry on out of the mother and not ever being in this position before we really don't know we're to turn for any help or guidance ? Or do we just give up on her children and let them. Go into care ? We just don't know what to do for the best ? :?:

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David Roth
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Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:14 am

Re: Child protection plan advice

Post by David Roth » Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:46 pm

Jenna, I am very sorry to hear about the situation you are in. It sounds as if you are having to look after two children in the midst of very distressing family upheavals, with very little support from the social workers.

Unfortunately, the key to getting social work and financial support often hinges on whether the children are 'looked after' (i.e. in the care system) or not. If they were looked after, you would be entitled to get a full fostering allowance and regular social work support. Unfortunately, many local authorities go to great lengths to avoid children becoming looked after when they are placed with family and friends carers, so they won't have to pay an allowance or support the carers. They try to claim it is a 'private arrangement', when legally the children ought to in reality be looked after. If you read my earlier post, I provide some information about this. If you think the children really ought to be looked after, then making a complaint might be the only way of getting the local authority to give you the support you and the children need.

You may find that when the proceedings start, the local authority asks you to get an Interim Residence Order on the children. This is another tactic local authorities use to avoid providing finance and support. The children could easily be looked after while they are with you, and while the proceedings take their course. And if at the end of the proceedings you become their special guardian, then you would have a higher level of entitlement to finance and support if they were previously looked after.

You ask what the start of care proceedings means. Basically, it means that the local authority is applying for care orders on the children. This means that they believe the children to be highly at risk if they live with their mother. There will be a court case lasting about 6 months, and at the end the council will present their case for saying the children have suffered or are at risk of suffering 'significant harm'. In order to contest this, the mother will have to prove otherwise, that the children would be safe with her, and she would have to prove it by keeping to plans and consistently demonstrating good parenting skills. If the council wins, then the court would make orders to ensure the children would grow up away from their parents. That might be Care Orders, with a view to the children being adopted, or it might be Special Guardianship Orders to you and other people who are the children's family and friends.

This is all quite complex, particularly if it is new to you. You may find it helpful to call our advice line on 0808 801 0366, open 9.30am-3pm Mon-Fri, where you will be able to talk it through and have your questions answered by one of our expert advisers.
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

Jenna
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:04 am

Re: Child protection plan advice

Post by Jenna » Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:42 pm

Thank you for your reply David but the children are LOOKED AFTER and we get an allowance of £37.50 per child per week off the social services for the care of the children ....from today with all the antics of the children's mother a public law outline is now in place with the intentions of the mother following the plan ?for how long this is to last depends on the mothers behaviour .......There is also a second IRO meeting shortly regarding the first plan which has not be followed whatsoever ....and also from today all visits between the mother and children will now be held at a secure children's contact centre ....we now feel that we are now getting somewhere after the weeks of torment .......we have tried numerous times to ring your advice line but get a message to try at an early time has we understand there must be a lot of people who need your advice with the complicated world of child care and the ever increasing problems that comes with it I for one thank you for your forum has it gives me a release to actually write something down and get it of my chest so to speak has well has finding useful information

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