Please help

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Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:15 pm

Please help

Post by SFK88 » Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:39 am

This is a long one so I’m sorry for that bear with me please I really need some help. My niece called me the day after her mums birthday as there had been violence and drink at her house. She asked me to come and get her she livess miles away. I asked her parents ( in that state ) and they said yeah between the mouthing off and being abusive. We collected her and brought her here as I was worried for her safety. She had been her over a month and then she spilt the beans. Her mum and dad have been abusing her since she was 4 neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and heavy alcohol and drug abuse. We informed social services ( they have been involved since 2015) and did interviews ect it’s now going to conference. My niece is 11 she has told social that she wants to stay here she doesn’t want to return at all she doesn’t even want contact right now. The mother believes it will be her choice where her daughter goes and she’s adamant she will be returned to her. It’s only to control the situation. There are police reports the school is worried and the other children have verified what’s going on in the house too. What I want to know does the child’s voice matter enough to keep her here or can the mother an abuser still make the call? I really need some help I’m going mad here. The girl is terrified she knows they won’t change when social we’re involved last time they hid the drink refused certain drug tests and coached the children to be quiet or they would never see us again.
How can I morally or ethically send her back to that ??

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: Please help

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:14 pm


Welcome to the Friends and Family carers Forum. My name is Suzie and I am one of Family Rights Group’s advisers.
I am sorry to hear that your niece who is 11 has been through so much. How difficult for her and how resilient she must be to call you to come and collect her. How lucky she is to have you there.

You say that there is going to be a child protection conference. Have a look at our FAQ’s about child protection . The meeting will be virtual because of the covid virus. You may be invited to it as you are her carer.

You question is whether your nieces views will be taken into account when decisions are being made about where she will live and who she will see.
Children services should be carrying out an assessment that can take up to 9 weeks to complete. The social worker will also provide a report for the child protection conference. Both these reports will outline your nieces’ views. Her views will be considered when decisions are being made about her contact with her parents and other family members such as any siblings she might have. Her views are also relevant when consideration is made as to where she will live. As she is 11, her views will be important. How much weight will be given to her views will depend on how mature she is for her age.

Here is the welfare checklist which is one of the guides that is used when decisions are being made about children.

During the assessment the social worker will explore all the options for your niece. If children services decided it is not safe for your niece to return, they may consider going to court to ask for a court order giving them parental responsibility to make decisions about where your niece should live.
Sometimes, children services will support a relative such as yourself to apply to court for an order giving you parental responsibility
This could be for a [special guardianship order ] (SGO) or child arrangements order (CAO). The order with more potential support is the SGO.

Have a look at our FAQs for kinship carers .

As there is no court order, mum and dad must have agreed to your niece staying with you. They still have legal parental responsibility to make all the decisions about your niece. If they try to take her back, do you know what you are to do? Are you expected to call the police?

At this stage, you should ask the social worker about timescales. How long are they wanting your niece to stay with you? You can let them know your views.
You have not asked about support that might be available. Have a look at our advice sheets 21a and 21b that outline support that might be available.
Ask them about support they give you while you are caring for your niece.

I hope this advice helps. If you have any questions or need further advice, please post again or call our free and confidential advice line on 0808 801 0366.

Best wishes,

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