Where do I go from here....

EpicGinger
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:49 pm

Where do I go from here....

Postby EpicGinger » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:13 pm

So it's a long one. I'll try to include as much information as possible. Here goes....

So my eldest is in long term foster care. She's been on a full care order since December 2013.

It started in December 2012, when my daughter started making allegations I was harming her. Social worker and police came out. Police decided there was no further action on their part. Social services closed the case shortly after.
January another knock, another allegation.
April another knock. My daughter had friction burns around her elbows. Stated I had dragged her across the floor which to this day I still deny. I honestly don't know how the injury came about. I was honest about this. She was taken for a medical, and the paediatrician said they couldn't work out how it had been done. SW at this point offered respite. I had another child (2) and 7 months pregnant. I agreed. Signed a section 20. For the next few months I jumped thro their hoops. The weekend of giving birth to my youngest my eldest had court ordered contact with her father (different father to my younger two). She went back to the foster carer with a hand print across her face. Which apparently had happened on the Saturday. She returned on the Sunday. Her contact was every 2 weeks. They failed to tell me till the Thursday before contact again (she was due to go on the Friday). I was told they were going for an ICO. I felt I had no choice but to not contest it. If I contested she would possibly go for contact again and maybe be harmed again. So I left them to get it. I continued to work with them. Contact with her father had been completely stopped with the ICO. In August the social worker started talking about bringing my daughter home. The end of August my daughter disclosed that she had been being sexually abused by her paternal grandfather. Social services then decided they were going for a full care order. I fought. Then we got their bundle for court and the guardian's. Both suggested LTFC in a therapeutic placement. My solicitor told me to stop fighting because the courts would listen to the guardian so I had no hope. So I listened :( in December 2013 they got the full care order. Threshold stated that our attachment wasnt what it should be, that she was beyond parental control at times, she was likely to suffer emotional harm, that me and her father had an acrimonius relationship, and that her care was passed between me and her father (he had contact back in 2011 and refused to return her so a custody battle ensued. A month before the hearing he gave me an hour to collect her or he was "dumping her on SS doorstep". I got a residence order a month later). Care order said contact would be 6x a year for 3-4 hours a time. So they started to reduce my contact. Grandfather was on trial in May 2014. Unanimous guilty. He got 14 years minimum of 7. My contact became 6x a year for 2 hours a go. 2 years ago or so they reduced my contact further. 3x a year for 1-2 hours. Apparently contact was negative and my daughter felt I was always telling her off. And that's how it's been.
Last Monday I get a phone call from the SW. Carers have given notice. Placement has broken. It's her 8th one since April 2013. They aren't trying foster carers anymore they are going to look at a residential home. I asked if she could come home instead. Social worker agreed to take it to panel but said I'd need to have an assessment again.
Panel agreed I could be assessed. Along side that they look for residential. They are putting her with temp carers till after Xmas when they hope to have a residential place for her. SW has said that if she settles in the residential placement, no matter the outcome of the assessment they probably won't move her home for the time being.
So I guess my questions are: do I have to go down the assessment route first? What would happen if I tried to get the care order discharged? Is there any chance of getting it discharged. My younger two have been in my care all this time. They signed them off a month after the FCO was granted on my eldest and haven't been involved with my younger two since. Idk what to do. I feel like they are getting my hopes up for nothing :( i also don't agree that a residential placement is any good for her. But I understand that they can't keep putting her with carers for it to break 6 months down the line....

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 1985
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Where do I go from here....

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:47 pm

Dear EpicGinger

Thank you for your message and welcome to the Board.

From what you describe you have been through a difficult few years with your eldest child and the involvement of Children’s Services. You have not said how old she is but an assessment of your family before she returns home seems appropriate and must be carried out so that your daughter’s needs as well as the family’s can be met should she return. From what you say it does not seem that Children’s Services doubt your ability or capacity to meet a child’s needs.

It may be useful for you to think about how your daughter will be reintegrated to your family life, especially as you say that her siblings have not had much contact with her and have not lived with her; they will have to adjust to having a ‘big sister’ at home too. Also it seems that your daughter has not had much stability because of the placement breakdowns, I doubt that you would want this to be the case if she returns to your home – a good assessment will contribute to a well thought out care plan that should meet everyone’s needs. We have an advice sheet that might be helpful to you it’s about reuniting children with their families.

In terms of the residential placement, it might be useful to ask the social worker why the local authority thinks that this is a good option for your daughter, and how, if she is placed in residential care, that will improve or enhance the care that can be provided to her versus coming home to you. If your daughter is placed in a residential unit you might want to offer weekend or holiday respite with the view to her coming to live you permanently in the future, perhaps having a conversation with the independent reviewing officer (IRO) may help too.

In terms of discharging the care order, this may be possible, our advice sheet about care and related proceedings has some information about this starting on page 39.

I hope this information is useful.

Best wishes

Suzie

EpicGinger
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:49 pm

Re: Where do I go from here....

Postby EpicGinger » Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:03 pm

Hello,

Thanks for your reply. Unfortunately things have escalated and atm they are looking at a home in the same town as her paternal family, which puts her at risk should they find out. My daughter is 11. My middle child was nearly 3 when this began.
I'm worried because if I try to revoke the order, it says that I have to serve on everyone with PR. I don't know where her father lives, and I don't want to alert him to the fact that his daughter is moving to his town. So I have no idea what to do at this point :(

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 1985
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Where do I go from here....

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:43 pm

Dear Epicginger

Thank you for your updating post.

I think the position remains much the same as stated in the response to your earlier post.

However, as things appear to have moved on, has your assessment started? The best thing for you to do at the moment would be to put in writing to children’s services the concerns you have about the proposed placement and why you believe it would not be in your daughter’s interests to be placed in the home. You will need to explain why you think your daughter would be at risk from the paternal family as she would be in the safety of a residential home and, unless, there is contact with the paternal family children’s services may take the view that there is no risk.

Were you to make an application to the court to discharge the care order, you are correct in saying that you would have to inform everyone with parental responsibility (PR). This would be the case in application to the court. If the matter was in court, then the court and the guardian would need to consider whether that home would be the most appropriate for your daughter.

The court would have to balance your daughter’s needs including what sort of therapeutic input would be provided for her by the home against any possible risk. Do you have a solicitor advising you at the moment, if so, I suggest you discuss with your solicitor your concerns about the placement.

I have included here for your information our advice sheet relating to the duties that children’s services have when a child is in the care system. You may also find our advice sheet about reuniting children in care with their families helpful.

If you do make an application the court can make enquiries about the father’s whereabouts in order to serve court papers on him. Even if your daughter’s father is aware of a possible placement in his town it does not mean he will have contact as the court will consider whether contact is in your daughter’s interests.

Should you wish to discuss this matter further with an adviser, please do telephone our free, confidential advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 3pm.

Hope this is helps.

Best wishes

Suzie


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