Private arrangement with mother

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Sarah2019
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:39 pm

Private arrangement with mother

Post by Sarah2019 » Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:03 pm

Hi
Im new to the group but am hoping someone maybe able to advise me on current situation. My grandchildren came off child protection around 8 weeks ago. A week later mum had put them at risk again and were brought to me(maternal grandmother) my question is should s.s provide suoervised contact? They are on child protection again but as my daughter agreed foir them to stay with us its a private arrangement. S.s said at confrence that all her visits have to be supervised. Until 3 days ago i was able to do that but she is getting very volitile towards me and isnt being consistent which is disrupting us trying to settle the children into a routine and ofcoirse feel settled. Ive asked s.s to do the supervised vists but they are sayimg that its down to us to arrange .there is no family close enough to do it instead. Although i feel i cant have her here i still know how important it is for the children to see her. Im at a loss of what to do. S.s are supporting us applying for s.g in 6months time if she doesnt take the steps to safeguard the children. T.i.a

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 542
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: Private arrangement with mother

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Mar 04, 2019 2:04 pm

Dear Sarah2019

Welcome to the Family and Friends Carers’ board and thank you for posting. My name is Suzie and I am FRG’s online adviser. I am sorry that we were not able to respond to your query sooner. I am also sorry to hear about difficulties you and your family are experiencing.

You mention that the children were brought to you when their mother put them at risk. Was it their social worker who contacted you to ask you to care for the children and who brought them to you, with their mother’s agreement, because they were at risk of harm? If so then it is unlikely to be a private arrangement unless you agreed with the local authority at the time that it was to be a private arrangement. In fact it may be a section 20 voluntary arrangement.

The reason I am asking about how the arrangement came to be made is that it can make a big difference to the children’s legal status and also to the support that you and they are entitled to. If it is a section 20 voluntary arrangement then you should be temporarily and then later fully approved as a kinship foster carer and you should be paid as such. It also means that you would have a stronger argument for support (in the form of a Special Guardianship allowance ) if you do apply for a SGO later.

Have a look at our advice sheets on relatives and friends taking on the care of a vulnerable child in an emergency and family and friends care; becoming a foster carer which explain more about this. Also click on this link to find a copy of your local authority’s family and friends care policy which should set out what help they should provide.

If you want to post again to clarify how the arrangement was made or prefer to phone to speak to an adviser please do so. We can provide further advice to you about how to make sure that children’s services fulfil their duties if they made the placement not you and your daughter independently.

Your specific query is about difficulties managing contact because of your daughter’s volatility. It sounds as if you are working very hard to provide stability and safety for the children and recognising the important for them of seeing their mother too. Yet, Children’s services are leaving you to manage this by yourself, although the children have child protection plans – which is a statutory process and certainly not something private between you and your daughter. Do you have a core group meeting coming up? If so, this may be a good opportunity to highlight the difficulties that you are having and to get support from children’s services to improve the contact arrangements. Contact is always about the children’s needs and their social worker should take on board any issues that arise and help to sort this out; including working with your daughter about this.

Make sure you tell the social worker what is happening and your concerns about the impact on the children and how they are going to address this. It is not good enough for the social worker to say that it is down to you and your daughter to arrange when there is a child protection plan in place.

If you feel that the social worker is not responding to your worries then you can ask to discuss with (or you can write to) the team manager. It may be that other professionals in the core group such as the children’s school can help you and the children in raising concerns about the lack of support you are being offered in managing contact.

If the children’s placement with you is a voluntary arrangement (S20) then contact is one of the areas that must be planned for and children’s services can supervise visits, where needed.

Has there been a family group conference (FGC) at all to consider what is best for the children? This could be very useful in helping in identifying long-term plans for the children as well as dealing with practical difficulties. The person with parental responsibility (PR) (your daughter and the children’s father if he has PR) would need to agree to this though.

If you would like to speak to an adviser about all the situation please do call the Freephone advice helpline on 0808 801 0366 Mon – Fri 9.30 – 3.00 pm.

I hope this helps

With best wishes

Suzie

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