Applying for Residence Order do we need SGO?

Helen1708
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Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:28 pm

Re: Applying for Residence Order do we need SGO?

Postby Helen1708 » Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:37 pm

Hi Polly

Sorry to hear about your situation. You've had some fantastic advice on here already but just a couple of things from me.

1. Dont let SS push you into anything regardless of whether they are going to pay for the court costs. They agree to pay these because in the long term it costs them far less to do that than it does if they have to put children in care. Get as much knowledge as you can on each order, kinship foster care etc and decide whats best for you not SS! Read everything you can on this site, it's a goldmine of information!

2. Get a financial package sorted and agreed in writing before you go for any court orders, it's very hard to fight for this after the order has been granted. It's only really when the child comes to live with you that you get the full picture of the financial implications so dont feel embarrassed or intimidated into feeling that 'you're in it for the money' (as i did and am now suffering the consequences)

3. Make sure that you will get support after the order is granted as SS can and (not wanting to be doom and gloom) will abandon you afterwards. Children such as your nephew can initially appear to be happy and settled but often develop problems later down the line and whilst not wanting to be at all negative it's something you need to think and be aware about and indeed have the support in place if needed.

Basically all of the above are the things I wish I had done before going for the RO that SS told me to and not arming myself with enough knowledge before doing it (I didn't discover this site till too late, SOB!!! ) However, remember it's an amazing thing you're doing and take the advice of all the other people on this site cos they're amazing too!

Lots of luck and keep us all informed.

H x

Helen
Helen

Sharon_M
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Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2010 6:03 pm

Re: Applying for Residence Order do we need SGO?

Postby Sharon_M » Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:01 pm

]Good luck for the court date [:)]

In my case, the child's Mother would still hold PR if we had a SGO, RO or if the child was taken into care and we fostered her. If we had gone for an SGO (can't remember for the RO) we would have held shared PR with the Mother - but to me it was hardly worth it because we would basically be in the same position if we fostered the child as we would still have to obtain permission for certain things. Also, with the SGO and RO, they would have been means tested, which did not guarantee any financial help, whereas being a Foster Carer did guarantee the financial help.

I agree with Helen's advice (and other posters) - make sure you know everything you possibly can about each order the SS are offering you and don't let them push you into anything! Don't feel bad about making a fuss about needing financial aid, it's a reality that it's needed.

Each case is different and each of us will have a different level of satisfaction from the outcomes. For me, looking after the child as a Specific Foster Carer was the best solution. It is difficult with the Mother having involvement in the child's life and she has also tried the "I've changed" routine as well. Luckily, we now have a good supportive social worker and are awaiting a CAMHS referral for the child.

Piglets-House
Posts: 108
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 12:36 pm

Re: Applying for Residence Order do we need SGO?

Postby Piglets-House » Tue Sep 07, 2010 4:24 pm

quote:
Originally posted by Sharon_M

]Good luck for the court date [:)]

In my case, the child's Mother would still hold PR if we had a SGO, RO or if the child was taken into care and we fostered her. If we had gone for an SGO (can't remember for the RO) we would have held shared PR with the Mother

When you have an SGO you hold PR to the exclusion of all others, with a RO you hold joint PR with the parents but in reality you have a greater share because the child lives with you on a day to day basis. eg if the parents wanted to send the child to a school near to where they live and it is impractical for you to do this trip then your circumstances would override theirs.- but to me it was hardly worth it because we would basically be in the same position if we fostered the child as we would still have to obtain permission for certain things. Also, with the SGO and RO, they would have been means tested, which did not guarantee any financial help, whereas being a Foster Carer did guarantee the financial help. You are in a far more secure position with an SGO as it gives you over riding PR and prevents the parents from taking you back to court every 5 minutes for trivial things. They require the leave of the court to return to court and have to convince a judge here has been a significant change before the judge will allow it to a court. Unlike a RO where you can be bounced in and out of court as much as the parents wish to make it difficult
I agree with Helen's advice (and other posters) - make sure you know everything you possibly can about each order the SS are offering you and don't let them push you into anything! Don't feel bad about making a fuss about needing financial aid, it's a reality that it's needed. Even though an SGO and RO financial packages are both means tested it does not mean you would not get anything, but both orders are securer for the child which is the most important thing, I would not wish to be a foster carer to my two as I know from experience the untold grief simple things can cause, such as school permission slips, holiday permission, the fact that the LA hold over riding PR even though they do not live with the child makes me very uncomfortable

Each case is different and each of us will have a different level of satisfaction from the outcomes. For me, looking after the child as a Specific Foster Carer was the best solution. It is difficult with the Mother having involvement in the child's life and she has also tried the "I've changed" routine as well. Luckily, we now have a good supportive social worker and are awaiting a CAMHS referral for the child.



I have no doubt that some people get on really well with their social workers and LA but there are many who do not and there are many who would prefer not to have their involvement for some of the above reasons. As Sharon has said every case is different and needs to be viewed on it's own merits but generally people are glad when SS are no longer involved with these kids, not just because of the stigma attached but also the general fact that they are looked after/accomodated children. Good luck and let us know how you get on. BTW if the LA are going to withdraw funding just because you won't go for an SGO or RO go it alone I did and it is really easy!

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David Roth
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Re: Applying for Residence Order do we need SGO?

Postby David Roth » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:46 am

The legal set-up that will suit any particular family and friends care arrangement best is something that carers will have to judge for themselves. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and how important these are will depend upon what is most important for a particular kinship care arrangement.

Broadly speaking, fostering a child will ensure you are provided with a greater degree of support, while RO and SGO provide a greater degree of legal security for the placement.

The matter of the parents' PR has been raised. The parents actually retain their PR in all legal circumstances other than the child being adopted. If the parents object to the child being placed with you, then SGO does provide a higher level of security against them taking you back to court, as they have to prove there has been a significant change since the order was made in order to even get the leave of the court to go back to court.

Posters will all have their own reason for choosing the order that suits them best - or sadly in some instances feeling that an order they don't want was imposed.

David R
FRG Policy Adviser
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

Sharon_M
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Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2010 6:03 pm

Re: Applying for Residence Order do we need SGO?

Postby Sharon_M » Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:50 am

Thank you for clarifying that David. I was told by SS that parent(s) retain PR unless the child is adopted - which is one of the many reasons I chose the fostering route over the RO and SGO route.
I don't know the legal in's and out's of all these procedures, and don't pretend to, but posted my story in the event that it may help somebody in a similar situation - and I still hope it might.

I realise that if you have an RO and SGO it does not mean you won't get financial aid - which I why I said it was means tested - but for me, it was a chance I couldn't afford (literally) to take not to have financial help.

As I mentioned in my post, each case is different and each of us will have a different level of satisfaction from the outcomes.

Oh, for the record, I've had my fair share of awful social workers along the journey (as many of you have encountered) I just happen to have one at the moment who seems to be very helpful! The child I am fostering has a very good relationship with her too, and actually looks forward to seeing her - which I realise is definitely not a situation familiar to everyone.

Again, I wish Pollypocket and everyone else still working their way through the whole SS and SW minefield lots and lots of luck. [:)]

pollypocket
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Re: Applying for Residence Order do we need SGO?

Postby pollypocket » Fri Sep 10, 2010 3:47 pm

Thank you all so much for your detailed advice. I have had meetings with legal firms and have a case opened by the portfolio holder for childrens services in our area. We were advised by all to push for the interim residence order as we had no legal status in relation to the little one. We were in court yesterday - Mum didnt show, biological father sent representation in support. SGO date is set for December, our legal rep pushed for fees and for childcare costs in the immediate and the legal rep from social services acknowledged that if it werent for us little one would have been taken into care and the judge made comment on that.

Our solicitor said that he had made the point re costs to the social services rep who agreed to go back to the department again but nothing was agreed, I am v scared that on here the point seems to be that SS will pay nothing if we dont get things agreed in writing prior to the orders being made, we couldnt get anything in writing prior to interim residence order...aside from some support for legal costs and one day a week childcare for 8 weeks only. I am totally aware that due to little ones exposure to violence and upset we are likely to get problems later but when I questioned the solicitor about raising these cost issues in front of the judge he said no, that he had spoken to the legal rep.

My instinct tell me SGO will be our best route as although mum still retains PR we have it to the exclusion of her which essentially means day to day we need not bother with her. We wouldnt need to change little one's name either. But I am also aware that my husband and I are very green when it comes to these matters (not unintelligent just unfamiliar with ss and courts etc) so feel quite unsure about what will happen next.

Should our solicitor have pushed more for finance in writing for the interim order? We felt we had to get this as Mum started showing up nearby and indicating that she would be 'picking him up soon'. We didnt want to gamble with him and take the risk that SS would remove from her care in case firstly they didnt and secondly that they did and then him not get placed with us.

We dont have children - have adjusted our entire lives for all of this and are scared stiff that we wont have the money to do it and he will end up in care or worse back with mum.[:(]

pp
pp

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Help 1870
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Re: Applying for Residence Order do we need SGO?

Postby Help 1870 » Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:53 pm

quote:
Originally posted by pollypocket

We didnt want to gamble with him and take the risk that SS would remove from her care in case firstly they didnt and secondly that they did and then him not get placed with us.



There seems to be either a misconception or misinformation here.

The child is already with you. To formally place the child with you they do NOT have to physically take him away to then give him back. If this is what has been told to you (rather than your own interpretation) then it can only IMO have been done to instil fear that you could possibly lose this child to push you down a route you may not have taken otherwise.

pollypocket
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 3:21 pm

Re: Applying for Residence Order do we need SGO?

Postby pollypocket » Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:23 pm

SS told us that to formally place him with us themselves that we would only be 'considered' and that because of little ones age they would look to place on the adoption register. We had begged and begged for SS to remove from mother's care and place with us but they refused, but then advised us to go for SGO with their support. We will be going for SGO as with mother being the way she is, its the legal security that is most valuable but the simple fact is that if we cannot afford childcare/expenses etc we would have no choice but to give little one to SS anyway which is what we are trying to avoid. Legal advisors have told us SS should be doing alot more, especially as they said in court that if it werent for us little one would be in care.

We now are being assessed for SGO (waiting for this all to begin) and have a 3 month wait - Mother is saying she will contest and I just dont know how much more we can cope with, I have an anxiety attack pretty much every time she makes contact (which incidentally is never with us, she hasnt spoken to or seen her child in 2 months).

Solicitor now on annual leave....thank you again for all advice, we do feel very alone.

pp
pp

youngagain
Posts: 172
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:50 pm

Re: Applying for Residence Order do we need SGO?

Postby youngagain » Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:27 pm

I really feel for you, we had some of the same from our social workers saying they were going to adopt little one and making all sorts of bad comments.We went to see our local M.P. and he was very good, wrote a letter to the head of the council.
It was a really bad time for us as well,the L.A. have a duty to place little one with you so I suspect that they are just pushing you in to a corner so that you will agree to everything they want.
You can access a support package as if the L.A. suggest an sgo then you become a prospective special guardian.That means that they have to provide you with information on how to request an assessment for support services including financial.This is different from the assessment as to your suitability to become a special guardian and should identify all the needs of the child.
In our case we were not aware that we were entitled to request an assessment for support services as the L.A. provided the usual smoke and mirrors.I do hope you feel better about things, there are some good articles on managing anxiety on the net, its not very nice, I know. Best of luck


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