special guardians

xjessyx
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2015 7:32 pm

special guardians

Postby xjessyx » Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:25 pm

I need some advice my sister had a baby a week ago in the hospital social services gave me two choices either the baby would be placed into foster care or I have my sis an baby with me as they taking it to court so I have had them both here for the past week witch has not been easy . I have been assessed an its positive . I have a five year old myself and I work full time my concern is I may have to leave my job at least for a few months . I'm doin this because I love the child but would I get any financial help till I can go back to work or am I gunu be left to do it all by myself . The court date will be an the next week or so an I have been told the chances are I will be made special guardian I just need to no if I will be in it alone so I can prepare myself

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 435
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: special guardians

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:41 pm

Dear sjessyx

Welcome to the Family and Friends Forum.

My name is Suzie and I am an Adviser at Family Rights Group.

You deserve to be congratulated for agreeing for your sister and baby to stay with you although you might feel you had little choice. Well done.

Has Children Services already carried out an assessment of your sister and or the baby’s father to assess if either of them can care of the baby separately or together? If your sister is not able to care for the baby and you are willing to take on care of the baby. Then, you could be assessed as a foster carer, to look after the baby or to obtain a court order either a Child Arrangement Order or a Special Guardianship Order. You say that you have had a positive assessment what was this for?

If your sister only had a baby a week ago it seems rather quick for the court to make a Special Guardianship Order at the first hearing (if that is the case). Has Children Services issued an application themselves regarding the baby, I am assuming they have because it would need to be shown that your sister is not able to care for her baby at all.

I do not know how old your sister is but as children services has placed the baby and her with you, you should ask for financial support in having them with you.
It seems from what you say that you have an expectation that a special guardianship order will be made. Has Children Services prepared a Special Guardianship Report with a support package. The court will expect to have this report and the support package in place before making an order.

I suggest that you ask the social worker to pay for you to have independent legal advice so you can make an informed decision about a special guardianship order or alternatives and to discuss the package being offered especially if, as you think, you may have to leave work.

It seems that the situation you are in is that of a mother and baby foster placement and as such you should be receiving a foster allowance. Please ask the social worker to explain the basis upon which you are caring for this baby, is he/she a looked after child. Since you were told either that they stay with you or foster it is arguable that is the case.

I am sending you copies of our advice sheets , support, foster care relating to a family member looking after someone else’s child.

Please also look at the family and friends carer section of our website here.

The social worker involved should certainly have given you more information about the placement. Were you aware of Children Services being involved with your sister during her pregnancy or before?

Should you require further information, please feel free to telephone our advice line which is open from 9.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. Monday to Friday. The telephone number is 0808 801 0366.

I hope you find this information helpful.

Best wishes,

Suzie

xjessyx
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2015 7:32 pm

Re: special guardians

Postby xjessyx » Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:03 pm

Well my sister already had 5 children remove from her but I was in no position to take on 5 children as I was Only 20 and pregnant with my little girl witch was hard but I diet feel like I would be doing the children any good as 5 is a lot when I was pregnant myself . All of the 5 children was adopted this was 5 years ago. Social services have been involved from the moment she sed she was pregnant . I was assessed for the care of the baby wile she was still pregnant the farther of baby is unknown and the case should be in court next week . I was at the Baby's birth an social services asked me the next day to take them in till the court case. Social services told me when court is over the chances are my sis will Av to leave my house and baby will be placed with me then they will make me his special guardian.

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ied53
Posts: 2103
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2006 11:26 pm

Re: special guardians

Postby ied53 » Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:07 pm

Tell them you would like to foster the baby while the case is sorted then you will get fostering allowance. Also you would get the allowance for two years once you get SGO as you have fostered . The allowance is then means tested but could be paid until the child is 18 if you qualify to continue with the allowance.
Irene
Grandparent carer in Lincolnshire
Tough times never last tough people do

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 435
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: special guardians

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:26 am

Dear xjessyx

Thank you for your further post.

Children Services has placed the baby with you even though your sister is also there. Are you expected to monitor your sister and how she looks after the baby? What are their expectations of you as far as the baby is concerned at the moment; can your sister leave with the baby if she wanted? It seems that you should be assessed as a foster carer now as suggested by ied in her post.

Children Services is carrying out an assessment of your sister at present. If it is decided that your sister is not able to care for the baby following the court case, you will then already have been assessed as a foster carer for the baby to remain in your care until you make a decision about which court order you would like to have. Children Services should not place a child except with a foster carer.

There are two different orders as stated in the earlier post. Children Services should pay for you to have independent legal advice so you can make an informed decision especially about the package to be provided if you are granted either a Child Arrangement Order or Special Guardianship Order. I have included our advice sheet about Special Guardianship for your information.

It is not for Children Services to make you a Special Guardian; it is for you to decide if you wish to be. They have to provide a Special Guardian Report including support package to the Court. They can make the recommendation but the Court makes the decision whether or not you are granted a Special Guardianship Order.

The baby is likely to become a looked after child if the court grants Children Services an interim care order at the hearing. In those circumstances, you will be entitled to the 2 year package of support. As ied states in her post this period can be extended depending on the child’s needs.

Please do read the advice sheet included in the previous post about support for looking after someone else’s child.

You can of course telephone the advice line on 0808 801 0366, Monday to Friday 9.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. to speak to an Adviser.

I hope you will find the information helpful.

Best wishes,

Suzie


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