Totally confused by Social Services.

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oldrocker72
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:57 am

Totally confused by Social Services.

Post by oldrocker72 » Sat Nov 14, 2020 3:18 am

Hi Everyone,

I've been in here for a while but never posted till now anyway back in Oct 2017 our son and daughter went onto a interim care order then in Feb 2018 they were put onto a full care order, and at first we had weekly contact but as soon as it went full time they changed it to once a month with our daughter and every 6 weeks for our son,

Our children are fostered in separate homes due to social services saying that they hate each other and liked to fight with each other that's why the contact with them is different, anyway we have had 5 different social workers and all of them have refused to consider reunification and have also refused to tell us why I've asked at least 3 times and asked 2 different director of children's services and the only answer they give me is because it's not part of the care plan,

But suddenly this year they have put in place unsupervised contact with our daughter and they have told us that contact with our son should be the same by next year we have had an assessment which the social worker did by using the parenting placement assessment and the social worker told us that they no longer have any safe guarding issues with us but she later changed it in the email to me to no safe guarding issues with the house, but it does mean the kids are going to be able to stop overnight, our daughter will be with us during the Christmas holiday she hasn't done that since 2016,

And yet when I asked if this is part of the reunification process they said no it's not it's just a bog standard assessment that we do from time to time but from what little information I have found out it very much looks like at least a partial reunification assessment that's being used they have even said they will look at increasing contact with our son again so we are completely confused by this and they are refusing to give us a straight answer on what they are doing,

Anyway if someone knows what they are doing please let me know because we certainly don't, I guess if they are doing reunification but they are just not telling us I wouldn't put it past them but then again they may not be doing anything,

Many Thanks.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 2832
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Totally confused by Social Services.

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Nov 19, 2020 2:53 pm

Dear oldrocker72

Welcome to the parents discussion forum and thank you for your post.

My name is Suzie, online adviser at Family Rights Group. I see from your post that you are feeling confused about the current situation with children’s services as you have not received a proper explanation about their plans for your children who are in long term foster care.

Your children were made subject to final care orders in 2018 and now live in separate placements with foster carers. It appears that children’s services have reviewed the contact arrangements now that your children are more settled in their placements and a decision has been made to increase their contact with you. Children’s services should review contact arrangements when children are in care. You do not mention your children’s ages but their wishes and feelings is taken into account as well.

It is a very positive step that contact is being increased and that your daughter will be able to spend time at home with you over the Christmas period.

Have you been able to attend Looked after Child (LAC) meetings relating to your children? If so, these meetings are the forum for discussions about contact and other plans for the children concerned. If you have not attended meetings then, I suggest that you ask the social worker for copies of the minutes. You should be invited to LAC meetings.

The social worker should explain and be open with you about the reason for the assessment. I assume from what you say in your post that it might have been done because of the change to contact.

You may find it helpful to read our advice sheets:

Duties on Children’s Services when children are in the care system

Contact with children in care

I suggest you write a letter to the social worker asking for a written explanation of the reason for the assessment which has been done. You can also arrange to have a discussion about your concerns with the Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) who oversees the care plan and issues regarding your children's welfare. The IRO is usually the person who chairs LAC meetings.

Regarding reunification, it is important that you consider the reasons why the children were removed from your care and what the judge said about why it was best for them to be made subject to care orders. It is important for you to do whatever you can to address those issues relating to safeguarding. If you believe there have been significant changes and the situation has changed, you can request that children’s services assess you with a view to the children returning to your care.

If there are significant changes and you can provide evidence of this, you may wish to consider making an application to the court to discharge the care order. Please read our advice sheet Reuniting children in the care system with their families for more information about reunification.

I hope this helps but if you wish to speak to an adviser you can telephone our free confidential advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday.

Best wishes

Suzie

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