HELP discharging care order

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Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:12 pm

HELP discharging care order

Post by AM123 » Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:43 pm

My children are in LTFC and have been for 5 years. I had mental health problems but haven't for the last 3 years. PAMS assessement was pretty good, but not 100%. They won't give help in the areas we didn't pass, although they were small things that could be worked on. They are refusing to return the children based on my mental health, even though I have letters to prove I was discharged and am no risk to anyone. I work in care and with children with clean DBS so it makes no sense. We've been told to apply to discharge the care order but I don't have any of the original paperwork as I destroyed it because it was too painful. Do I need to get copies of all paperwork held by court and ss? I want to apply to court but not until ready. Is there any point in trying to work with them and provide character references/letters from GP etc to see if they change their minds? Can I write to head of ss? I have complained but noone seems to listen, even though I can prove I am not mentally ill.

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

Re: HELP discharging care order

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:30 am

Dear AM123

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

My name is Suzie, online adviser at Family Rights Group.

I am sorry that you are feeling unhappy about children’s services’ refusal to agree to a planned return for your children to your care. In your post you say that you have had a good assessment although not 100 per cent. You have not mentioned what needs to be worked on. However, it seems that if your assessment was a good one and there are things that could be worked on, that children’s services could offer you support in those areas.

The main thing that you need to think about when considering an application to discharge a care order is whether the concerns that existed at the time the care order have been addressed and there has been significant changes. In order to be sure what things the court thought were important and led to the care order, it is important that you read the judgement given by the judge at the final hearing. You say you have destroyed all the documents you had, but you can ask the solicitor who represented you for a copy from your file. You may be charged a small fee to get the file from storage, normally solicitors keep their files for 6 years, so you should be able to get the judgement. Once you have the judgement, you will need to read carefully to see what the judge said was the reason why your children could not return to your care. A copy of our advice sheet about Reuniting children in the care system with their families will give you more information.

It will not be necessary for you to get all the court papers from the previous case in order to make an application to discharge the care order. You should have evidence of the changes you say you have made since the care order was made as the court will want to see this information.

I suggest you write a letter to children’s services requesting that they explain what further work they would expect you to do to satisfy them that your children can be rehabilitated home. It is important that you are willing to cooperate and work with children’s services. Ask that they identify specifically the things that they are still concerned about and whether any support can be offered to address these things.

A copy of our advice sheet about the Duties on Children’s Services when children are in the care system .

Having good regular contact is also important to show that the children have maintained a strong bond with you. You could ask for increased contact depending on the amount you are having now. You can discuss your concerns about the children returning to your care and more contact with the independent reviewing officer (IRO). If you do not know who this is, ask the social worker. Do read our advice sheet about Contact with children in care.

Please see our advice sheet relating to Challenging decisions and making complaints. This should help you with the complaints process as you say you have already complained.

Should you wish to speak to an adviser, please telephone our advice line on 0808 808 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday (except Bank Holidays).

Best wishes


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