EEek! Social worker coming to visit tomorrow -what to expect

Nanny G
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:47 pm

EEek! Social worker coming to visit tomorrow -what to expect

Postby Nanny G » Mon Sep 14, 2015 2:58 pm

Hello Everyone,
just a quick one to say at a recent FGC i put my name down as a possible alternative carer for my granddaughter (sons daughter). CS are going to court on 28th of this month for a care order and interim care order to get my Grandaughter away from her mother. The court documents say there are no plans to return the child to her mother, and as yet not for adoption as she has family who should be suitable.
The child is currently staying with her maternal Aunt and concerns are the mother will have access to the child still and subsequently she will still be at risk of emotional harm and abuse.

So what do i expect from the visit tomorrow?

Thanks in advance for any advice
NG

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: EEek! Social worker coming to visit tomorrow -what to ex

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:30 pm

Dear Nanny G,

I have just seen your post and note that the social worker is visiting you tomorrow.

Have a quick read through our advice sheet about being assessed as a friend and family foster carer.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes.

Best wishes,

Suzie

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ied53
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Re: EEek! Social worker coming to visit tomorrow -what to ex

Postby ied53 » Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:35 pm

A quick look round the house so work our what might be a problem from health safety issues and say you will resolve it by ...... comment about fire guards etc. If you have a dog tell them it is always fed away from kids etc. They may notice if you leave medication / cleaning goods around so comment it would be under lock and key
Irene
Grandparent carer in Lincolnshire
Tough times never last tough people do

Nanny G
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:47 pm

Re: EEek! Social worker coming to visit tomorrow -what to ex

Postby Nanny G » Mon Sep 14, 2015 6:56 pm

Thank you both,
I will look through the leaflets this evening.
No Dogs, but 3 cats, who are fed in the hall way. She can be involved in feeding or keep away. They are not aggressive over their food like a dog might be.
Yes, already thgouth of medication, my partner is on medication so would definitely keep them locked and out of reach.
Open fire, we have a fireguard, but it is not fixed to the wall. We dont currently have child locks on kitchen cupboards, but as yet have had no need. Would do if she came to stay.
We have also put forward a possibility that as my Son is lodging in a 2 bed bungalow and has nowhere for his daughter that they could come here together is that was required.
Thanks for the advice

Nanny G
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:47 pm

Re: EEek! Social worker coming to visit tomorrow -what to ex

Postby Nanny G » Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:23 pm

Well it is now 10 days since the SW came to visit and said he would be back to us within a week. I heard from my son this morning that he his Solicitor had had contact from CS legal team saying that we were not suitable and the child will not be place with us. No reason was given, and the solicitor has asked for the reason. As yet, we still have not had any official confirmation to ourselves.
Whilst no one can be sure until the Court has made a decision it is now seeming the outcome of the court on Monday will be that the child does not go back to her mother again due to mum not being able to make sensible judgements on her partners and keeping the child safe. She will not immediately go to my Son due to his inability to say no to mum and the lies they both told whilst concealing their continuing relationship behind CS backs. As we were the only potential carers put forward other than both parents, the child will now go into temporary foster care with professional fosterer's for the interim period while my Son works his guts off to prove he is finally growing up and capable of being a parent himself as opposed to a spoilt child..!

Do we get a second shot at being carers or is the first decision final? As i say, i have as yet not had any confirmation form the SW that we are not to be carers, let alone a reason why.
I understand everyone wants the child to be safe, but i am gutted that we are not able to help.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: EEek! Social worker coming to visit tomorrow -what to ex

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:35 pm

Dear Nanny G,

I understand that care proceedings have been issued and that the first hearing is taking place today.

We advise possible friend and family carers to go to court, if they can. Although you wouldn't be allowed into the actual court room (unless the court allows you to) A lot of the discussion and planning takes place in the rooms outside the court. You would also be able to meet the guardian and ask the social worker for the outcome of the viability assessment.

It might be too late to go today. Could you telephone or email the social worker and asking for a copy of the assessment. If it is negative, consider challenging the negative assessment in writing. my understanding is that you have only been seen on 1 occasion. Is that right? Has it been thorough enough? What have they missed?
You should also consider whether to apply to be a “party” to the court proceedings and ask for the court to sanction a re-assessment.
Is anyone else in your family and friend network who could be assessed to care for your granddaughter. If so, encourage them urgently to contact the social worker and ask to be assessed.

Please post back for further support. or call our advice line on 0808 801 0366.

Best wishes,

Suzie

Nanny G
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:47 pm

Re: EEek! Social worker coming to visit tomorrow -what to ex

Postby Nanny G » Mon Sep 28, 2015 4:15 pm

Hello Suzie,
Thank you for your reply. Yes, the initial hearing was today. I had a phone call from my son saying they were in and out within 5 minutes due to lack of evidence.

The mother, obviously realising she has lost, is saying she wants the child to stay with her sister (child's Aunt) as she is happy, settled and in familiar surroundings. The CAFCASS guardian, CS and my son are all in favour of temporary foster care while further assessments are done on my son. The child's Aunt has said she finds it a struggle to give the child the attention she needs with 4 of her own children so will keep her until the court date, but not long term.

Apparently it came to light today, that the Aunts partner of who the child is with was raided for cannabis by police recently, despite claims that he 'used to smoke a bit, but doesn't any more and hasn't for 10 years now' so the court wants more details on that, as well as allegations on him abusing his own children. Something the mother has said to me in the past that he would hit the kids, so she liked to have them to her house to give them a break (when she had my son to look after them for her).

Also mum is making more allegations of assault and also harassment against my son but has nothing to back it up with as has made no formal complaint to anyone about it.

I wasnt aware i could be of any help at the court today so didn't attend.
Yes, you are right in that CS have only visited us once. My sons solicitor has a copy of the report on us now and has picked out the main points to my son for us being refused. These were, that my partner has aspergers syndrome, so doesn't feel emotions, our financial situation as we are on benefits, my partners health as he has osteoarthritis in his spine but mainly as when asked our opinion on contact arrangements we said we wouldn't favour my son, what went for one would go for another, that rules are rules. No special privileges of 'pop round for a cuppa' or joining us on days out just because he is family. We said we didn't trust mum not to try and run off with the child with the backing of her family, and due to allegations made against us we felt the only way would be at a contact centre supervised for her. If all went well there, we would be happy further down the line to supervise contact at our home for her. As for my son, we said we had no problem with him having the child on his own, as he had nowhere to run with her. He lives with a neighbour, we are in a small village and his two main places would be here to us or to where he lives in the next road. That if we had the child in our care we would know a lot more of what he was doing, he would not be able to lie to us any more and if we had the slightest suspicion he was meeting mum again we would say so. We did stress that this was our opinion, and the SW discussed it all at length with us, and we said that at the end of the day, whatever contact arrangements were put in place by the court, we would adhere to. Be it an hour a month or every evening, it was what was decided was best for the child.
As for the aspergers, my partner does feel emotions, has successfully raised 3 of his own children form a distance while not living with them and maintained a good relationship with them all. He and my son had their differences (my son being a very possessive and hormonal pre teen when we met) but now they both agree it is behind them. My partner, once he has taken someone into his family (like my grandaughter) will take them on as his own and do whatever is needed to protect them.
My partners health wouldn't be a major issue, he does have problems, but i am about so there would be very little need for him to be left alone with the child at any point or have to do much with her. Obviously he is capable of having a child in the house, and would do whatever was needed towards her care. I would not be acting as single parent.
As for finances, we have enough to keep ourselves. We live life very simply, on the make do and mend principle. My partner is a very good cook and will make lots of 'child friendly' foods himself like his own fish fingers, chicken nuggets etc as well as rebuilding the bed in her room himself and making it into a 3 y/o bedroom instead of the teenage one it is now. As long as the child's expenses were covered , which one way or another we would make sure they were that would not be a problem either.

Your response above also now makes sense of what else my son was trying to explain earlier on the phone too.
You should also consider whether to apply to be a “party” to the court proceedings and ask for the court to sanction a re-assessment.

My Sons solicitor has suggested that he [solicitor] does this on our behalf, which we are agreeable to, and that we can be part of the proceedings as well, saying in court how and why we would be able to care for the child.

My son, on advice of his solicitor, has been in touch with the domestic violence people and has an assessment with them on 7th. He does seem to be sorting himself out now, only time will tell. I still feel a touch of distrust when he tells me he went out with his mates last night, and find myself wondering if it was mum, but from what he tells me of what they did and about this boys car etc etc, i feel he is telling the truth now. It will take a while for me to build up complete trust for him again, he has a lot of proving to do all round to everyone. I hope for his daughters sake he manages it.

Thank you again for your help

NG

Nanny G
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:47 pm

Re: EEek! Social worker coming to visit tomorrow -what to ex

Postby Nanny G » Thu Oct 01, 2015 7:24 pm

I have still hard nothing from the SW. It is now 2 1/2 weeks since he came to see us, and 2 weeks from the deadline he said he would be in touch by!
I have rung, left a message on his voice mail, twice now but no reply yet.
My son says he will not see his solicitor now before the next hearing which is 13th (not 17th), However i am anxious to know now how soon would i need to apply to the court to become a party? Would this need to be done before the next hearing? As far as i gather from my son his solicitor wants to go through the assessment with us and go over what can be done and was also suggesting we became party to the court and that he applied on our behalf...
Any suggestions anyone?

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: EEek! Social worker coming to visit tomorrow -what to ex

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:02 pm

Hi Nanny G,

Now there are court proceedings, the time for making the final decision about where you granddaughter will live long term will be made within 26 weeks.

I suggest you:
• Email the social worker and his team manager.
Say that you have left a number of telephone messages. Ask for a copy of the assessment or details of the outcome of the assessment and the reasons for it. Ask for it in 48 hours. If you have not had a response within a few days, then email the service manager.

• Telephone the CAFCASS guardian. Let him/ her know of your wish to care for your granddaughter and that you want to be fully assessed. Say you have not got a copy of the assessment. Let them know that you want to challenge the assessment of you, and will be considering applying to be joined as a party at the next hearing. Ask her /him for their position. Do they support this or not?

• Contact dad’s solicitors about the help that has been offered to make the application to be joined as party.


To challenge the assessment you will need to see a copy/ or have the reasons you failed the viability assessment. The sooner you have it the better. However, if it is not forthcoming, you can let all the parties and court know in writing of your intention to apply at the next hearing to be joined as a party to the proceedings and for a direction that you are assessed/ re assessed.
Consider asking for an independent social worker to carry out the assessment. (The guardian might have names of independent social workers)

Is there any other family members/friends who could be assessed? if there is, they should also put themselves forward as soon as possible.


I am glad that your son is taking the advice of his solicitor and is getting in touch with the domestic violence organisation to be assessed and seek support for his domestically abusive behaviour. Until he has had the full support and then been further assessed-as safe-he will be seen as a risky father.

As part of the assessment of you, children services would look at your ability to protect your granddaughter from potentially witnessing domestic abuse. Although you know your son very well, children’s services and the guardian have to assume the worse about him at this stage.
So it is good that you are emphasising how you will listen to children services and not allow him unsupervised contact unless this has been approved.

You will need to show that you can put your granddaughter’s needs before your sons. So for example, if mum and dad were in breach of an agreement not to see each other, that information would need to be passed on to children’s services.

Please post back or to discuss in depth you could call our advice line on 0808 801 0366.

Best wishes,

Suzie

Nanny G
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:47 pm

Re: EEek! Social worker coming to visit tomorrow -what to ex

Postby Nanny G » Fri Oct 02, 2015 1:21 pm

hello Suzie,
thank you for your reply.

How would i get the SW email address? My son doesnt have it, and it was not in the court documents.

I have just sung CS main office and said i have tried to get hold of SW. Actually got through to adult services, who are going to find him and get him or someone to call me back and explain why he hasn't been in touch!

There are no other family members who could put themselves forwards unfortunately. My Brother lives in France,as does his 30 y/o daughter. I would love my brother in law and wife to put themselves forward, but my sister in law feels it would be too much for her with her own two young children as well as studying law herself.

We only have another week to go before the next hearing, and as i say, i am getting anxious now.
As for putting my granddaughters needs before my son, that is exactly what i will do. He has had his chance, he has lied to everyone all round and now its come to light - no more chances!


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