Applying for Residence Order do we need SGO?

pollypocket
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Applying for Residence Order do we need SGO?

Postby pollypocket » Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:26 pm

We are currently caring for my partners 2 yr old nephew. Long history of drug abuse/violence with Mum and he has been on Child Protection for 18 months. Mum has admitted numerous occasions she cannot cope but also will not follow through with giving up parental responsibility. We have instructed a solicitor to apply for Residence Order (and interim) and SGO but I need advice as to if this is necessary? We have N0 money to fund this court battle and have no assets to cash in. We have support of SS in writing from the legal dept - our only issue is childcare as we both work full time and would need to pay
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Help 1870
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Re: Applying for Residence Order do we need SGO?

Postby Help 1870 » Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:05 am


Hi pollypocket, and welcome to the forum,[:)]

I have to ask, how did the child come to be living with you? the detail of that will be very important in establishing his current legal status and what (if any) obligation the LA have to you.

Another Question, How long has the lad been living with you? There are certain restrictions who can apply for SGO.

SGO is by far the safer order, you would hold the majority of PR, Mum will have to apply to the court for leave if she wants to vary/discharge SGO and will need to show a significant change in circumstances to do that. Under a RO, PR is shared equally, you have to consult with her on everything and if she does not agree then if its an important decision you would have to ask the court to decide, she can bounce you in and out of court many times before they get fed up and put an order on blocking her from doing that, this could be a major part of your choice to which order you go for especially if mum throws her PR around already. You are more likely to get support, including financial under SGO than you will under RO, they will have to assess you financially at least.

Assuming there is no involvement from SS other than the child being on CP then legally you cant do anything, you have no legal right to obtain medical/dental treatment, enroll in nursery or school, take abroad on holiday. So yes, you need some kind of order to give you power to do that. Which one you go for is dependent on many factors though.

You can represent yourself, and there are several people here on the forum who have done that successfully.

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

Postby winni » Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:08 am

When we had my g/d who was also on the at risk register it was a very hard battle with Mum being given chance after chance,but eventually the S.S. came through and funded an R.O. However after having her for six of her eight years Dad has now come out of the woodwork and is challanging it.with hindsight I would definately try for an SGO.The S.S. also paid childcare until the R.O.If you could persuade them to do this then I think you should be able to claim child care costs if your working,I am not 100 per cent sure but someone on here will know.Or you could phone the help line or maybe the citizens advice can tell you precisely what you can claim if you you get residency.Sorry I can't give you any factual advice.Good luck
Winni

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

Postby fatcat » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:30 am

once you have interim RO you can apply for SGO, and you say that you have written support from Local Authority. you should be able to take this letter to a solicitor who can then represent you, if the letter says that it will fund this.

as for childcare, you should be able to claim tax credits and childcare tax credits, the latter of which can be worth up to £175 per week.

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

Postby pollypocket » Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:46 pm

We have little one as Mum gone AWOL, was placed at significant risk of harm due to her associates. SS in support of residence and sgo, have agreed to pay toward court costs so we are currently awaiting a court date. Mum has said to ss that she cannot cope and he will be best with us but wont agree to 'custody', we have support of biological father but it appears that SGO would make us more secure? Mum is not in contact and currently we and Police/SS have no idea of her whereabouts - she has had no contact w her son at all, not even phone calls. It seems a familiar story on this forum.

Any pointers in terms of what to expect in court would be v helpful. This is all new to us and we have no children of our own so this has been a real baptism of fire!

Do you think we should push ahead with SGO...it is the costs that concern me as we have no savings and no mortgage to pull money from etc etc, I imagine she would contest.

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

Postby pollypocket » Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:49 pm

Also awaiting advice re childcare costs - prob is the nursery that would have funded places is right in the middle of the estate that he was placed at risk and full of violent families that could take revenge and therefore place him in danger so we arent happy for him to be there....costs are extortionate and we arent getting any funding for him currently.

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

Postby David Roth » Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:17 pm

SGO would give you more protection against parents taking you bak to court to try to have it revoked. It is possible for parents to do this repeatedly when carers have a residence order, but with SGO they have to get the leave of the ourt first, and they have to show there have been substantial changes in circumstances since the SGO was made before they would get the court's leave to take it back to court.

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old bear
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Re: Applying for Residence Order do we need SGO?

Postby old bear » Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:39 pm

Any advice regarding the minefield we are about to enter would be gratefully rcvd.
hi polly,
you're right it's a minefield. but you're already in a good place because you have little one with you.
= remember to keep every single bit of paper that comes your way, and get every promise from sw/ss/la in writing ~ especially any promise they might make about future funding (before the order is granted you have more power to get what you need ~ afterwards they will wash their hands of you and child)
= choosing ro/sgo can make a difference to the funding and support available (as well as your security against multiple future court hassles)
= read all the relevant frg help sheets
= phone the helpline for advice (despite it's being oversubscribed and difficult to get through)
= make sure your solicitor is au fait with children act
= never trust anyone (completely)
= ask questions on this site before making moves ~ there's almost always someone who's been there & done that, who can advise about the pitfalls
= trust to your own instincts ~ about things like geography of nursery
and good luck and much strength from us all
old bear

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

Postby pollypocket » Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:32 pm

SS have today agreed to pay one day a week childcare for 8 weeks - I guess they are waiting to see if we get the interim residence order...? Are they able to 'wash their hands of him'? This is what the social worker told me today...despite the fact RO only gives us joint PR with Mother. We have a court date for 3 weeks time for the interim residence order - does anyone know how long that is likely to last for? Do SS have the right to stop any payments once we have this? It has been like getting blood out of stone for this tiny amount despite the fact that we have been told that little one would have been placed in the care of the local authority by now because of the significant risks to his mother's life by her associates. It makes no sense that they wont pay us a small amount when the alternative is to pay alot more for him to be in care - we asked if he could be placed formally with us but were told giving him to the authorities would be a risk as they would 'fast track' him to adoption because of his age.

We are getting lots of conflicting info from social services and via the mother who is still AWOL yet saying she wont sign him over...

Feeling like we are the only people that actually care about this little boy and his welfare and it seems utterly crazy.

PP

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

Postby Help 1870 » Sat Aug 28, 2010 12:45 am

quote:
Originally posted by pollypocket

Are they able to 'wash their hands of him'?



Simple answer to this is yes, and the cynic part of me says they probably will.

quote:
Originally posted by pollypocket

Do SS have the right to stop any payments once we have this?



Again, Yes, and again, (the cynic in me) they probably will unless you have it in writing, how much, what for and for how long.

An SGO would be a far safer order, and you would have a much better chance of getting some financial support as well as other support such as with contact issues with that than with a RO.

No one can tell you what to do, but maybe you should consider seeking some legal advice about retracting your application for a residence order and applying for an SGO instead. Id be wary of them suggesting you take the IRO while they do the SGO paperwork too.

Even if the child was formally placed with you and considered LAC, they cant fast track adoption, any adoption. (Adoption is not a quick process) They have to look at all options, including placing with family under either an SGO or RO. If the SW told you this then it sounds like s/he is putting the frighteners on. At worse all they could do would be parallel plan an adoption just in case their preferred choice fell apart.

You dont have to 'give him to the authorities' (I assume for them to hand him back) either, they can assess you under section 38 of the fostering regulations with the child already in placement. You would then become his foster carer.

The legal status of this little boy still doesnt seem clear. How did he come to be with you? was he already with you when mum went AWOL or did SS ask you to look after him.


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