care order to a section 20

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care order to a section 20

Post by worriedmum81 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:17 pm

After 5 years of my children being in care, 4 years of long term foster, and so many changes in my life, with one of my children already home full time, I would really want to discharge the care order for my children. Ive done research and it appears that social services are supposed to consider discharge at LAC reviews but there have been no considerations at any of the reviews we have had. My research says parents taking it back to court have a limited chance of success, and due to not being allowed to ask my children what they want, i no longer know if my children want to come home. My older daughter has said repeatedly that she does and that she wants to see me outside of contact but local authority say that she doesnt want to and if she mentions it I have to stop her from discussing it, or my contacts will be reduced. My thoughts at the minute are i have LAC reviews coming up, I could raise the idea and if they refuse to consider it, could look at speaking to a solicitor (i cant get legal aid but the half hour of free advice and a limited amount of time i can afford would be useful), then in the new year i could apply to go to court to apply to discharge the care order. I would be happy if the children where on a section 20 instead as that is voluntary. I would be able to see the children unsupervised, and my children would have the freedom to come home if they wished.
What advice would anybody have on this action plan? I feel like at the moment im going round in circles mentally no matter how much im trying to push forward so any comments would be helpful.
Thanks in advance

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Re: care order to a section 20

Post by heartbroken80 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:59 pm

Hi there,

You are automatically granted legal aid when you are going through Children's public law.
From my experience there is not a very good chance of getting a care order discharged.
You really need to get a lawyer and explain your case, I'm surprised that this has not been done before now.
Do you have any further information as in why your children were subject to a care order?
You would have been present in court, why were you not represented?
Good luck

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Re: care order to a section 20

Post by worriedmum81 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:34 pm

The day my children where taken into care, i was in labour with my youngest and had a mini stroke so couldnt attend court. When the midwife phoned my solicitor on my behalf, and explained that I was being rushed to hospital my solicitor said we would have to just let them take the children and fight back afterwards to get them home. (If only it was that easy). The reason they took the children at that point was because I was being stalked by my babies dad. I had proof from the police that I had been going to them and reporting exactly as I should, whereas local authority were saying i wasnt going to the police and therefore not protecting my children. I was then advised by the l'a to move into a women and children refuge so I can take the baby home. I did as advised, straight from hospital and having had a mini stroke and in slow labour, when I moved into the refuge. Instead of the baby coming home when i had him, he got took straight to care, as the meeting to decide where he went wasnt held at hospital as promised, but at court, with neither myself, my solicitor or my defence (health visitor, support workers etc) being able to get there as we werent told until too short notice. This meant again I couldnt defend myself when the l'a said there was a risk I might not stay in the refuge and would put the baby at risk by moving back home. A few months later it went back to court. I was still at the refuge, as advised so i could be monitored and had applied for a new house but was on a waiting list. I was criticised for having now been homeless (due to being in the refuge), so was then told i had to not only have my own new house, but also live independently for 12-18 months to prove I could do it (despite having lived independently for 15 years previously), because of the ages of my youngest 2, they said this time scale was too long to wait, so where put up for adoption, despite the fact I had an in depth assessment by indépendant social workers which was extremely positive and recommended the children where returned as soon as possible.
The reason for the children being in care was changed from being me not safeguarding the children from the babies dad as the police reports proved my case, to neglect, using old reports from over a few years, including a previous case where i had proven my case so well the case was thrown out of court, and another where i had statements from family support which disproved what the local authority said.

I have actually spoken to a solicitor today who gave me 2 pieces of advice, i should speak to my original solicitor for advice from someone who knows the case better, and the second, "if the children are settled, accept the status quo". Its easier said than done though, knowing how unfair it is that the children where taken, (the judge actually said if he had seen the evidence in the first place, he would never have ruled the children be taken, but after they were taken, it changed the threshold), and at the moment, seeing the children are slowly bit surely being isolated from the family.

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Re: care order to a section 20

Post by M*y-m*y » Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:36 pm

Hi I’m going through this, I had 2 children took off me in May, nd the LA are lying to me as well, the court as told me to withdraw the care order, the agreement what court as said as been broken, they are saying that my kids don’t want to talk to me nd I know it’s untrue, my children have said they want to come home but LA have changed contact, which is stopped me seeing them regularly, I have no idea how I can do this but I need help with getting legal,

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: care order to a section 20

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:32 pm

Dear M123

Thank you for your post and welcome to the parents’ discussion forum.

I see from your post that you feel frustrated by the current situation with your children having been removed from your care in May (I assume 2017).

You do not say what the local authority children’s services are lying to you about. Am assuming that the court made full care orders in May placing your children in the care of the local authority. Your most does not mention why the local authority had concerns about your care of the children.

The local authority children’s services have certain duties when a child is in the care system and a copy of our advice sheet regarding this is here for your information. Children’s services should not change the care plan without having a review meeting especially in relation to contact. If your contact has been reduced without a contact review meeting, I suggest you make contact with the independent reviewing officer (IRO) to discuss this. If you do not know who the IRO is, then you can ask the social worker allocated to your children.

Regarding discharge of a care order, my advice would that there has to be a significant change in the circumstances that led the court to make the care order in the first place, before making the application. I suggest that you read the judgement given by the judge at the final hearing to see exactly what the judge said about why the children could not remain in your care. Your solicitor should be able to provide you with a copy. Having read the judgement you will need to have addressed each of them with evidence to support it. For example, if there was issue of drink or drug use that you have attended appropriate services or that you have had therapy or whatever is required.

Please read our advice sheet about reuniting children in care with their families . This will give you details about how to go about taking steps to have your children back in your care. You should understand that any decision will be made by the court on the basis of what is best for the children. All the parties who were involved in the original court case will be party to an application to discharge i.e. the local authority, the guardian etc.

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

Best wishes


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