feeling lost and Confused

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

feeling lost and Confused

Postby Nanny G » Tue Dec 29, 2015 6:22 pm

Hello,
Quick update/outline.
My 3 y/o Grandaughter is now in temporary foster care under an ICO. With my partner i am trying to get assessed for SGO. We originally put forwards to be carers for the interim, leading to long term if needed but had a negative assessment.
we put notes into the court with our response and SW was told by the court to come back to see us and discuss the points we raised. He came back with an attitude of no intention of changing his mind or discussing things, just said over and over again this is what he had said before and the resulting addendum he wrote just said the same thing , with a few mis- quotes.

I have since sought legal help, and the solicitors have asked the LA to assess us as guardians. Now she is in care the SW has changed and I had a phone call from the new one, saying she had heard from my solicitor regards being assessed, and would like to come out and meet us. I specifically asked her if she was coming to do an assessment, or if it was just a visit. She said it was to discuss with us what was involved in being SG,to discuss the position with the addendum assessment and also that she wanted to meet us anyway, being PGP and having heard about us, so it was just to meet us.

She came to see us, and talked about SGO and the assessment process, and and what the assessment process would involve, should we be assessed. She spoke about the previous reports/assessments and said that they wouldn't normally consider further assessments following a negative report, but as i had asked through the Solicitor she was here today to explain it all. When she left she said it was not her decision, that she needed to talk to her manager and legal team and they would decide whether or not to take it further and she would be in touch.
While she was here she said they (CS) didnt see either parent as being viable options so would be looking for somewhere else for my Granddaughter to go, and that they preferred not to have children 'in care' for long if they could help it, which is why they would look for guardianship if possible.

Over a week later she rang to say she had spoken to her manager and legal and they had decided not to do any further assessments, that there were some things the other SW had said that she was ok about, but others, just not and that although we would get a copy in the post she would like to come and discuss it with us.

In correspondence between my solicitor and CS legal team there was mention of yet another 'addendum' report. My solicitors response to that was had the court given leave for another addendum, and my sons solicitor response 'was this an addendum to an addendum!?

It is 2 or 3 weeks since she came to see us to 'chat to us' and we still have not seen or heard what is in the second addendum, and are unlikely now until new year.

I am confused, as firstly we were told we were not being assessed when she visited us, but has now written a report to update the one asked for by the court. I understand when visiting she will make observations, it is her job and one couldn't help but observe people when meeting anyway, but do feel we have been lied to.

Secondly, i haven't managed to get an answer from the solicitor yet, but i am confused as i didn't think they could go making addendums to addendum's without the court asking them to? Or is it all part of their case that they put forward?

I am feeling lost and confused and any light anyone can shed on this for me would be much appreciated.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: feeling lost and Confused

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Tue Jan 05, 2016 11:07 am

Hi NannyG

I am Suzie- FRG's online adviser.

It is obviously a little while since you posted. Have you been able to speak to your solicitor since then for further clarity?

As you indicated, the local authority are not entitled to put evidence before the court unless they are instructed or given permission to from the court. It is possible that this permission will be granted in order to have the fullest picture of the local authority's decision not to assess you further.

As Children's Services have taken a very clear and firm view regarding your suitability as carers for your Granddaughter, your only option would seem to be to request that the court orders an independent assessment of you. Is this something that you have discussed with your solicitor?

Do let us know how things are going.

Best Wishes

Suzie
FRG Adviser

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

Re: feeling lost and Confused

Postby Nanny G » Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:23 pm

Hello Suzie,
Happy New Year, and thank you for your reply.

That clarifies it a little - so basically they are not supposed to put further addendum's into court unless asked, but having now done it, they would likely get permission in retrospect in view of the situation with us continuing to challenge their decision.
Although it was at the same hearing in September the ICO was granted, that the SW was told to discuss our points with us.

I still feel a little 'cheated' that the second SW said she wanted to come over and discuss the latest addendum and explain SGO to us, but omitted to tell us she was actually writing a second report to the courts based on our discussion.
Had i known she was here to find out more about us, i would have been more forthcoming and made the effort to talk more, however being slightly social phobic i guess i dont tend to talk to people unless i feel the need and put me in a room with more than one person and i will let others do the talking - i tend to be a listener and observer more than a talker.

Since writing we have now had a copy of the second addendum in the post, and while in some ways it takes a more realistic view, i still feel we have been misunderstood, and feel things have been over simplified.

While she was here, by what seemed way of conversation, the SW mentioned that my Granddaughter was displaying signs of being quite strong minded and needed firm clear boundaries, and also seemed at quite a loss if there weren't any. SW said to us that G/D would have a tantrum easily if she didn't get what she wanted. My immediate reaction to that was 'That's her mothers influence' i quickly realised how it may have sounded (that my son's a perfect person and parent) and explained that the Mother was the one who was, at 19, proudly admitting to having a tantrum in the middle of Tesco's at 17 when Daddy wouldn't by her the DVD she wanted! Tantrums and 'hissy fits' were what Mother did best, and my reason for saying that was that my G/D behaviour was learnt behaviour form her mother. I also said i appreciated my Son was too weak to stand up to either Mother or his Daughter and that was his downfall that he lacked the ability to give firm boundaries. It was also said by SW that G/D said 'Daddy is my friend' which they felt was him being too soft with her...

In the report she has said that when she told us that, we lacked understanding of the potential dangers of my son to his daughter and therefore they were concerned of our 'motivation' to keep G/D safe from him. Also that in the beginning, before we were totally aware of the web of lies told by Son and the Mother, that we didn't then see a problem with Son having unsupervised contact. Since we have found out more of what went on, we both agree that based on track record of lies of saying he was not seeing Mother when he was, he cannot be trusted to. This has since been said to CS but our original comment, based on less knowledge, is still being quoted.

These are just a few of the points that i feel are unjustified. I also note that the first SW when told to come back to do an addendum assessment was also told to interview my partner and myself separately, which he didn't.

We have since had a visit form the Children's Guardian, which i feel went well. She seemed to take yet again a more positive, realistic view of us, and did at one point say she thought we could care for my Grandaughter. She left saying she hadn't completely made up her mind yet, that she wanted to read through the other reports before making her decision.
We have not heard back on that one yet.

I havnt yet managed to speak to my Solicitor since writing the last post, as obviously Christmas and the new year being in the way. She was however back to work on Monday 4th, so i am hoping to hear something soon.

They are trying to get the legal aid sorted so we can proceed with an application to the court to be assessed.

The Solicitors themselves are a little frustrating as well, i understand it all takes time and legal aid want proof of income, benefits etc, but we had an appointment with the assistant to asses us immediately for Legal Aid, who took details and evidence in saying as far as she could see we would get legal aid , that she now had to put all the information into an on-line application then get me to go back to sign it and finish it. When i got back for the second appointment where she had done the on-line form, she had also noted with the form they needed the lasted bank statements, which at the time of giving them to her were up to date. However if she had told me before i went for the appointment i could have taken them with me...! The solicitors are not very local to us, as being legal aid and specific in care proceedings the two most local to us are taken by my son and the mother, so we are half an hours drive away, so it is very frustrating to be told to 'drop the bits in the door later'!

So not having a very easy time at the moment, but i am hoping things will get better once legal aid finding comes through and the solicitors can start acting and getting something done. The next court date is 29th January.

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ied53
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Re: feeling lost and Confused

Postby ied53 » Thu Jan 07, 2016 7:16 am

So you have the report right a reply of your own to put forward. Most of the children under "want "or worse still "need". Either way you learn to cope with them. All children need boundaries or what do they test against? Kinship children damaged by neglect need firmer ones ( not rigid) You have to learn to be firmer. This helps the children settle and progress forward. You also sometimes need to treat the children much younger then their years to rebuild them as the foundation years of care may well be missing. I found the issues were more that the SW expected us to know this without experience. We fostered first and attended full fostering training which I found invaluable. Often these children are placed in foster care with well trained carers but handed to family with no experience of emotionally and often physically damaged children.
Love shines through we learn as we go on indeed as we did as first time parents. There are support groups, There are places to get help from. There are hundreds indeed thousands of kinship carers in the same situation. This also helps the children as they realise they are not alone in this
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: feeling lost and Confused

Postby Nanny G » Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:21 pm

Thanks Irene,
Yes, as you say all children need boundaries, and a child at 3 who has had a turbulent and unsettled life so far is going to be particularly strong minded. It is about what both my partner and i would expect and did also say this to the SW, but apparently we seemed to lack insight and seemed unconcerned....
It keeps going over in my head, and i still feel very strongly we have been misunderstood at very least.
Trouble is it all stems from my son in an early parenting assessment, while he was still under the influence of the Mother, saying his childhood was horrible once my partner came to live with us and my partner was too strict and Son even had 'to ask permission to go to the loo'! He has since said to SW and to me that he was 'persuaded' to make it sound bad by the Mother who wanted his side to sound and look as bad as possible so she looked better...
The other side of the story is that when my partner moved in my son was on the verge of puberty, and had always lived on his own with me where i had no need to challenge him being just the two of us. So a pubescent boy felt 'challenged' by the presence of another male in the house and did everything he could to undermine out relationship. As for asking to use the loo, we were home educating him due to the failure of the system, and where we were trying to get him to work independently without me sitting next to him talking him through it (at 13) he was getting up and down every 5 minutes saying he needed the loo.. ! no one needs the loo that often so we told him to ask before he left the room to 'go to the loo' or 'get a drink' or 'i need a quick break (after 5 mins of work i have to have 30 mins break).
So because neither my partner or i come across very well in social worker situations, it has been decided he is an abuser who is over strict and i am too weak to stop him so therefore he would be too strict, i would be soft behind his back, and due to his asperges he is unable to give emotional warmth... that is where we are failing!
Everything else is pretty much ok now. She wasn't worried about the house, says our income is low, but so are our outgoings so we would get financial help, and that we were more than capable of meeting the basic care needs of a child and obviously loved her and wanted to care for her and for her to stay in the family
I am more than happy to attend support groups, parenting classes anything they feel may help. Its been a while since i had a 3 y/o - about 20 years since my son was that age, and 13 since my partners youngest was that age.

When we get the legal aid funding i will send the solicitor more notes on how we feel about the second addendum. Will draught them up bit by bit now, so not so much to do when needed.

I have heard from my solicitors secretary. They have put the legal aid application in, and meantime are trying to get a copy of the SW second addendum report for themselves, we do not get to see the guardians report as we are not parties to the court (yet, at the moment).
Not sure what happens with that then, do we just assume hers was negative as well...?

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ied53
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Re: feeling lost and Confused

Postby ied53 » Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:06 am

If you get party to proceedings you should get everything including the reports and statements of the parents. Do remember when writing your response never to directly attack the sw verbally always advise they have" misunderstood". "Not heard" don't go one on one with them. Get statements from folk who know you. Also you will be asked for referees in the assessment process you think wisely.
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: feeling lost and Confused

Postby Nanny G » Sun Jan 10, 2016 1:18 pm

Thank you Irene.
The solicitor has asked me to write our response and email it to them. So i am working on that. As you say, keep it 'above board' as misunderstandings.
Going through the report again, she comments on how my partner and i obviously love and care about my granddaughter a lot and could obviously meet her basic car needs of routing, schooling, stimulation etc, but then goes on to say she feels due to his aspergers and admission of struggling with emotions my partner would not be able to give emotional warmth and this is a child who needs an empathic, nurturing, understanding and caring upbringing due to emotional traumas suffered in her small life so far and firm boundaries due to behaviour put down to her traumatic life.
We have explained, over and over again, that i am an emotional empath, i feel others emotions as if they were my own, and at times this can cloud judgement when saying no to a child if you feel the hurt they feel. My partner on the other hand finds it easier to say no, as he doenst pick up the emotions. Between us we work, we meet in the middle, but they dont seem to understand this.

matters are not helped by my son, who as a teenager was very rebellious and rebelled against the fact i had a b/f that he hadnt chosen and who came in and took over the role of man of the house when my son was 12. My son takes everything personally, say a kind word, you his fiend for life. Say an offhand comment that sounds slightly unkind he takes it as hate.. then say a kind word after and you're his best friend again... hence his toxic relationship with his ex (child’s mother) So, in a moment of self pity and under influence from the ex (he admits both now) he gave a very poor account of his childhood in his parent assessment saying he was physically and emotionally abused by my partner (disciplined to you and i ). Obviously this has upset CS a little, but my son has tried explaining to them since he was feeling sorry for himself and the ex wanted him to make him out to be worse as it might make her look better, and said he was wayward, and needed the discipline which was strict. Now they say it is disturbing that he feels he 'deserved to be abused' and feel that it must be due to my partners aspergers and lack of emotion which would have negative effect on my Grandaughter and pattern would be repeated. ...
They also didn’t like the fact my partner spoke about his own 3 children and described my son as 'the black sheep of the family' and sounded 'disparaging' when talking about my sons lack of parenting skills...
well,i talk more fondly of my son (despite everything) than I do my step children, my son is the black sheep of the 4 of them as he is the only one who hasn’t listened to advice and has ended up in this much trouble. Admittedly none of the other 3 yet have children, but have reasonably sorted lives, and my step daughter is due to have a baby in a couple of weeks. As for parenting skills, the SW herself had just been telling us that they were not happy with my sons parenting, or the mothers hence wanting to put forward for adoption..!

im not sure how much to say in my response or not – suggestions? I'd be happy to send you a copy of the report privately if you think you could help?

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ied53
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Re: feeling lost and Confused

Postby ied53 » Sun Jan 10, 2016 3:43 pm

They won't understand "emotional empath" they would understand I have a good understanding of reading peoples feelings. As with all couples we have differing strengths and weaknesses but together we work as a team. Neither of us is concerned about telling the other we were wrong or need to try harder.
As for your would they prefer you to have a blinkered view. You acknowledge his faults . We give our children roots and wings If they make the wrong lifestyle choices that is down to them not us.

It is typically British to hide ones emotions even in the days when families had nannies the parents were still adored even if it was for 1 hour before bed!
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: feeling lost and Confused

Postby Nanny G » Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:47 pm

Hi Irene,
Thank you, again, you are a great help.
My son came round yesterday with the paperwork from the court that CS set out their 'evidence' as a case for adoption.
It outlines how the pair of them lied to and deceived Sw for most of a year and how in that time the child was caught in the middle of a 3 way volatile relationship (Mum, her new b/f and my son) and became emotionally abused as a result. Child was living with Mum at the time and mum refused to engage with the professionals and was never available for unannounced visits, and often didn't attend or wasn't available for health visitor or sw on arranged visits or appointments. Child often didn't attend nursery due to 'not being well' and when she did she would be tired or withdrawn. They say they had little information about her life at the time due to non cooperation of Mum, but on more than one occasion mum said she had separated form her B/f (who she is pregnant with and due this month) but turned out to have lied. During this time she and my son were concealing their relationship also and when the SW once mentioned that he had heard rumours they both denied it.
Since the child has been in care they say she has been noted to lack 'stranger danger' awareness and would happily talk to any adult she met. When sw went to take her to her foster home her reaction apparently was 'ok lets go' and she settled in very quickly due to her apparent lack of fear of people she didnt know.
the report says since being in care she has settled down and responded well to firm boundaries, but seems almost lost without them. She has been heard to wake up screaming in the night 'Mummy, no'. Contact apparently says child is more relaxed around her father, but quite disobedient after she has seen him. With mum she seems uneasy and quite withdrawn after.
Most of the report was based around the mum as she had had care of the child. Obviously it was a big thing for them both to lie so much for so long, which did put the child in an emotional abuse situation. However going forward, mum has yet again lied and said she was separated from the B/F, but very recently been found to have not, by her own admission when she refused to open the door to a police welfare check when someone in the block of flats had reported concern. As a result the police had to break the door down, to enter to find her there apparently quite happy and unconcerned and wondering how she didn’t hear them.... then told her housing manager she was going to stay with her b/f for a few days...! Mum also has bailed out of a counselling group/class she was supposed to be attending as she 'missed 2 sessions due to being unwell,' so decided 'it wasn’t worth going back' and is still not available for unannounced visits, the first the Sw knowing of her not being there due to door being broken was when then went to the property to visit and were told by neighbour!

My son on the other hand, has now kept to his word, has attended rigidly a domestic violence and abuse session which is still ongoing, has started attending parenting classes and given the choice he went for a longer more in depth group and is engaging with professionals as much as possible and keeping everything out in the open, right down to a girl he is friends with and taking time out when needed and on the verge of loosing his job over it due to the amount of time he has needed off! He has kept a job for nearly a year, which while he was with mum was unheard of, the longest he managed then was 9 months of 3 lots of probation of 'really, seriously, sort your life out or else'.
Apparently he lacks confidence in telling his daughter off sometimes in contact, but according to their notes the last couple of sessions they have recorded have been positive. The main thing now with him seems to be mostly that he lied to them for so long they can never trust him again, which i can understand their point, but i feel he should be given the support and chances the mother was given.

Anyway, thats him, and not me, but it has left me feeling quite down today as you can imagine.

Soo.. back to my statement, and what i want to say. Is it worth mentioning what i have said here in a previous post about how my partner and i react to new people? How much should I explain, yet again as the SW have been told, that just because my partner has aspergers, it doesn’t mean he cant give emotional support to a child, that he will feel very strong emotions of love, hate and anger and once the bond is there (which it would be for a small child living with us) he will kill or die for the child. How do I put this one across to the court?
re your comment on the stiff upper lip, my partner is very much this way; he went to the dr with broken ribs, when asked why he thought they were broken, he showed the dr how they moved outwards, and said 'it stings a bit' - Think Monty Python, black knight lol! He is very much big boys don’t cry, but girls are there to look pretty and be nurtured, but loves to see an educated girl also.
How do I put it across that we are aware of my sons faults, that was why my partner would have sounded 'disparaging' when he referred to my sons parenting, and also the big boys dont cry theory. Obviously this is a document to be read in court, and not just by the Sw, so will need to explain things to an 'outsider' as it were.
I would like to point out to the court too that going forward my son seems to be heading in the right direction, but that will just look like I still favour him so I suppose that’s for him to argue? Also should I mention that I don’t feel the SW was open and honest with us about her reason for visiting?

Thanks again, so much, for your help,

NG

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ied53
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Re: feeling lost and Confused

Postby ied53 » Mon Jan 11, 2016 7:42 pm

Hi Nanny G
Potentially your son lied in the hope of gaining favour with mother to be allowed to see the child if he helped her keep child. She would have lied to and misled him just as much. But do state that is for him to resolve.
Neglected children rarely see danger in an adult who shows them an interest they need to co-operate to get something so will do as told, For a child to have stranger danger awareness they need to be taught it. Maybe a stream of visitors to Mum maybe normal and child complies or carves attention. Will settle with a good well trained FC as that is what they do. Also the rules give the child a sense of belonging and they have an inbuilt need to be good so the good care lasts.
Children very often play up after contact they have an inbuilt need to stay loyal to parents.
BF will show lack of confidence to discipline ( not tell off) discipline corrects and guides towards more appropriate behaviour. Has he ever need to discipline or even been in a position to do so. Of course as he lied to sw thinking he would be rewarded by mother if he hadn't and she had kept child she would have used it against him but leave him to argue his case.
It is entirely appropriate to be aware of sons faults and comment on them to not do would suggest you and partner could see no wrong. It evidences that he cannot pull the wool over your eyes and you will stand up to him. The fact son has woken up to himself would make it positive for contact on both sides you won't let him get away with things and he is trying. when ever a sw visits always accept they are on the look out never let your guard down. They are after all seeking to place a child in a permanent placement.
I not only threw my son out I never allow him to the family home !! because we acknowledged his faults we were considered a better option.
Irene

Grandparent carer in Lincolnshire

Tough times never last tough people do


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