Dear frustrated mum
Firstly, I am sorry that you feel so worried and frustrated by your daughter’s situation.
As you say your daughter is in long term foster care, I assume there is a care order to the local authority. As a looked after child Children Services have specific duties to children in the care system. I have included our advice sheet
relating to these duties here for your information.
The difficulty you have is your daughter’s age as she is 17 and a care order is likely to end when she is 18. However, having said this, as a child leaving care Children Services have additional duties in respect of the support they provide for a child leaving care. Your daughter should have a personal adviser and a Pathway Plan should be prepared for her including the support she will receive to help her make the transition from care to independent living. A copy of our advice sheet about support for care leavers is here
for your information.
Additionally, social workers involved with your daughter have to take account of her wishes and feelings in making plans for her. This may mean that your views will not be over and above hers although you are her parent. Once a child is 16 is he or she decide to remain in care there is little that you can do to prevent it even if there is no care order.
In relation to the bail conditions which you say you daughter breaches, it will be for the police to ensure that these are enforced and she could find herself in custody for persistent breaches of her conditions.
Your daughter is already in the care of the local authority so she will not be made subject to child protection investigations. You could speak your daughter’s social worker or the Independent Reviewing Officer about your concerns and whether she could be placed in secure accommodation for her own safety.
If there is a care order to the local authority then, they will be able to exercise their parental responsibility for your daughter over and above yours. Is there any likelihood that your daughter may want to return home to you? Do you have regular contact with her?
As far as Children Services are concerned, if you feel the decisions they are making for your daughter are wrong it is open for you to make a complaint. Our advice sheet about challenging decisions and making a complaint is here
for your information.
I hope you will find this information helpful but if you wish to speak to an Adviser, please feel free to telephone our advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open Monday to Friday from 9.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m.