Residence order

charlie11
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:35 pm

Residence order

Postby charlie11 » Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:59 pm

Hi

My daughter was sectioned last Friday, have spoken to social services and because the children are safe with me at the moment they deem them to be safe, I don't know what state she is going to be in when they let her out but don't want to take any chances so would like some kind of care or residences order in place so she can't take them and do something extreme with the. Any advice would be great since social service just told me to search the internet and do it myself!!!!!!!!

Thanks

charlie11
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:35 pm

Re: Residence order

Postby charlie11 » Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:26 pm

Nobody placed the children with me, social services and the mental health social worker just asked where they were and seemed ok with it but didn't give me any help or advice on what to do next!

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

Re: Residence order

Postby David Roth » Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:02 pm

Hi Charlie, and welcome to Family Rights Group's discussion forum for family and friends carers.

I'm very sorry to hear that your daughter has mental health issues that have resulted in her going into hospital. It must be a very difficult time for the whole family.

Your main concern is what is going to happen when she is able to leave hospital, as you don't know when this will be, or what mental state she will be in.

A good starting point would be to speak to the children's social worker, if they have one. There would probably be a separate social worker from children's services than the one from the mental health team, and the children's services social worker (if there was one) would deal with arrangements for the children and making sure they were safe. You don't mention whether there was any involvement already by children's services social workers - for example were the children under a Child Protection Plan? If they were, you could ask their social worker what are the plans for ensuring the children's wellbeing when their mother leaves hospital.

If there isn't a social worker involved already, you could ask for their support, but you may find them reluctant to get involved. You could suggest that they liaise with the mental health team, as they should have protocols for working together, although in practice these don't work very well with many local authorities. You could also suggest that in view of their mother's mental health issues, they could consider whether the children are 'children in need', who could be provided with support services.

If you want an order to say that the children should live with you, and to give you Parental Responsibility (PR) for them, then you could apply for a Child Arrangements Order (CAO, which as ied53 states has replaced Residence Orders) or a Special Guardianship Order (SGO). Both of these involve you making an application to court. Both give you PR without taking it away from their mother, but the SGO is a stronger order. It makes it clear that you will be the only one with the authority to make key decisions about the child.

You may find it useful to read some of our Advice Sheets: 4 deals with Family Support, including Children in Need; 18 and 19 deal with CAO and SGO, including how to make your own application without using a solicitor http://frg.org.uk/need-help-or-advice/advice-sheets

If social workers had been involved in arranging for the children to come to you, or had actually placed them with you, then you would have a good case for saying that they ought to be treated as looked after children. This would mean that the local authority should assess you to be the children's foster carers and pay the fostering allowance for them. However, if they only became involved after the event, when the children were already staying with you, then you do not have a case for arguing that they HAVE to treat the children as being looked after. However, you can still make a request of them to do so. I would advise you though that most local authorities are reluctant to treat children placed with relatives as being looked after children, unless they have no alternative.

If you would like to discuss this in more detail with a Family Rights Group adviser, you can call our advice line 0808 801 0366, lines are open 9.30am-3pm Mon-Fri.

I wish you well in finding a way of dealing with your concerns about what is going to happen to your grandchildren.
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser


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