Can I refuse my child to leave the city overnight? (Section 20)

MrsS016
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Can I refuse my child to leave the city overnight? (Section 20)

Postby MrsS016 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:02 pm

My son has been on a section 20 for just coming up to 6 months now, we are in a rehabilitation transition at the moment.
I've just found out that my daily contact with my son will not be taking place on April 10th and 11th, because the carers he is with will be over 100 miles away.
They plan on spending 1 night away - WITH my child. Am I wrong to be utterly infuriated by this? As he is on a 20, and I still have parental rights, can I refuse this and demand they find alternate care for him?
Would this go against me in any way?

trigger9
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Re: Can I refuse my child to leave the city overnight? (Section 20)

Postby trigger9 » Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:18 pm

Yes you can we have a daughter on section 20 and we still have parental rights, if we say no they have to find her over night accommodation. Hope that help you .that is what happend to us .

MrsS016
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Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2016 10:41 am

Re: Can I refuse my child to leave the city overnight? (Section 20)

Postby MrsS016 » Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:28 pm

Thank you, yes that's really helpful. I'll be seeing his social worker in the morning as we have our first home visit tomorrow.
I'm really angry about it, and (shockingly) I'm not even angry at the social worker, he only found out at the planning meeting on Thursday, when I did.
He just thinks that because we're just starting 4 hour contacts this week, going from that to what would be an 18hr overnight contact would be too much. And sadly, I actually agree with him. I'm just really angry that it's only been mentioned now, when it's been planed for months. We could have worked towards something that would have meant that overnight would have been possible.
I'm doubly angry as my son actually has a hospital appointment here where I am for his eyes on the Tuesday, that they're insinuating he miss!!

trigger9
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Re: Can I refuse my child to leave the city overnight? (Section 20)

Postby trigger9 » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:40 am

*MrsS016* wrote:Thank you, yes that's really helpful. I'll be seeing his social worker in the morning as we have our first home visit tomorrow.
I'm really angry about it, and (shockingly) I'm not even angry at the social worker, he only found out at the planning meeting on Thursday, when I did.
He just thinks that because we're just starting 4 hour contacts this week, going from that to what would be an 18hr overnight contact would be too much. And sadly, I actually agree with him. I'm just really angry that it's only been mentioned now, when it's been planed for months. We could have worked towards something that would have meant that overnight would have been possible.
I'm doubly angry as my son actually has a hospital appointment here where I am for his eyes on the Tuesday, that they're insinuating he miss!!

That is OK MrsS016 if I can help you in any way I will try take care .

*amended by Suzie to comply with board rules*

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Can I refuse my child to leave the city overnight? (Section 20)

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:42 pm

Dear Mrs S016

Welcome to the Family Rights Group Parents’ Discussion Forum. I see that you joined some time ago but have only recently posted.

My name is Suzie, online adviser at Family Rights Group. I am sorry that you are feeling so angry and upset at the prospect of your son being taken for a break with his foster carers.

It is true that you still have parental responsibility for your son as he is only accommodated by children’s services at the moment with your agreement. Section 20 is a voluntary arrangement to allow children’s services to make arrangements for a child who is being looked after by them. It does not give parental responsibility to children’s services.

In your post you say that you son will be away with his carers for 1 night and you are unhappy about this and want him to be placed with someone else. I think you need to consider what is best for your son, he is currently with carers whom he knows and is settled in their care. It would not be in his interest to have a change of carers which could be unsettling for him. If he had to go to someone else he might find it difficult.

As I have said above you do have parental responsibility and, as such, can refuse permission but children’s services might see this as you not putting your son’s needs before your own. If you do not agree to your son being away overnight, children's services have to take your views into account as you (and the child's father if he has parental responsibility), have parental responsibility and children's services does not.

Since you will be missing two of your contact sessions, I suggest that you speak to the social worker to ask when this missed contact will be made up to you. You say that you are going through rehabilitation transition at the moment, I think it will show that you are considering what is best for your son if you agree to him being away with his carers for one night rather than disrupt his placement with a move to strangers.

To help you understand the duties children’s services have when a child is being accommodated under s.20, I have included a copy of our advice sheet advice sheet for information.

I hope you find this helpful but if you would like to speak to an adviser, please telephone our free, confidential advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

Best wishes

Suzie

MrsS016
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Re: Can I refuse my child to leave the city overnight? (Section 20)

Postby MrsS016 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:24 am

Thanks for your reply!
I have spoken to my sons Social Worker and outlined my concerns, and asked what my options are and what does HE think is the best option.
Due to my mental health condition, he said that the best option is the one that I am most comfortable with.
He was really supportive of me deciding on respite care, and didn't for a second try to make me feel like I was making the wrong choice.
He said all my concerns and points were valid, and he could see that I wasn't choosing this out of spite.
My sons needs are paramount to me, and I am really upset that his routine will have to be unsettled, but I believe the benefits of him not going overnight outweigh that. He will be spending 5/6 hours of both of the days with me, and he will be able to attend his hospital appointment on Tuesday.
It's been brought to my attention that there are family friends of the foster carers who are respite carers themselves and have met my son, and they will be the first carers contacted regarding this arrangement.

Thanks all for your advice!

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Can I refuse my child to leave the city overnight? (Section 20)

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:51 am

Dear MrsS016

Thank you for posting again.

I am very pleased that you have been able to have a good discussion with the social worker and he has taken a sympathetic view of your concerns regarding your son's overnight stay. I am sure that your son's best interests is your main consideration.

I hope that the foster carers' friends will be able to have your son so that he will be with someone who he knows and not be too unsettled.

The very best of luck to you for the transition to rehabilitation and do enjoy your contact times with your son.

Best wishes

Suzie


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