Can I get my kids back

MY1508
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:27 pm

Can I get my kids back

Postby MY1508 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:54 pm

Hello, I am writing on behalf of my friend. About 2 weeks ago her 3 kids 5 8 and 11 got taken, one with an aunt one with a grandparent and one with a foster parent. The reasons was because of her mental health and has hit her self in thepassed infront of her children. Her adult social worker said that with 2 years of therapy she should learn to control everything and should be fine. But the school said they came in scruffy a few times due to the kids keep ripping their clothes or forgetting to put on socks. They eventually told her to move out and left the kids with the father but they had an anonymous call to say that he has left and met the Mum when the court has only allowed them to see each other during school hours and they said he puts the needs of his wife before his kids which he doesn’t but he tries to balance everything at ones. They said they can’t get them back till 18 but if the therapy takes 2 years then that mean the dad won’t have to look after her as much and can care for the kids better and they will be much older will they not be able to get the court order discharged? They also have to older children 16 an 14 which still live with them but they do not allow them to see their siblings unsupervised which distresses them as they was a really close family and siblings. The social worker has often come across ignorant to their needs and emotions as a family and rather to help them they have just though taking the kids would be the easiest option. What can they do to get their kids back? If that is possible and can their siblings fight for them

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 2048
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Can I get my kids back

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:28 pm

Dear MY1508

Welcome to the parents’ discussion board. I see that you have posted on behalf of your friend whose children have been removed from her care.

Your friend and her family seem to be having a difficult time adjusting to the children being away from home. It appears that there was a plan for the children to remain in the care of their father but he failed to adhere to the restrictions which were in place and, as a result, it was considered that he was not the best person to care for the children. A person’s mental health problems does not always mean they cannot look after their children but it depends how it is managed and the impact it has on the care the children receive and their emotional wellbeing as well. The children’s welfare is the paramount (that is, most important) consideration for the court when making a decision about their future. There is an expectation that the children’s needs will be put first by parents or other persons caring for them.

In your post you say the children were removed two weeks ago from their parents so this means that children’s services may decide to seek orders from the court so it can make decisions about the children. If the matter has only recently gone to court your friend should have a solicitor representing her and her husband should have one as well. Please see our advice sheet relating to Care (and related) proceedings. The advice given below relates to the situation where the court has made orders about where the children will live as you say they have been told children cannot return until they are 18. It will be for the court to make a final decision about this at the end of the case.

It may be that children’s services have interim care orders or the children have been placed with the parents’ consent under s.20 accommodation. If the children are in s.20 accommodation this is voluntary and the parents’ should seek legal advice whether they should withdraw their consent. Doing this could, if the matter is not already in court, lead to children’s services making an application to the court for care orders.

However, as it not clear from your post how the children are placed, it is possible that the children may all be subject to interim care orders at present or may be as stated above are subject s.20 voluntary care.. I have included our advice sheet relating to the duties children’s services have when children are in the care system. url=http://bit.ly/FRG-advice-sheet-11]Duties on Children’s Services when children are in the care system [/url].

The court could make a final care order in respect of all the children or a child arrangement order this states with whom the child lives. The person in whose favour the order is made will have parental responsibility and this is equal with the parents. A special guardianship order is a private law order just as the child arrangement order. However, unlike a child arrangement order, the special guardianship order gives the person in whose favour it has been made parental responsibility which they can exercise over and above the parents’. Please read our advice sheet url=http://bit.ly/FRG-advice-sheet-20]Special Guardianship: what does it mean for birth parents?[/url].

All of the above orders would last until a child is 18. It is, however, possible to apply to the court to discharge an order if it can be shown that it would be better for the child to return home. The court will need to be satisfied that the concerns that led to the children being removed from the parents’ care no longer exist. Parents would have to have evidence to show the court. Only if the considers that it is best for the child would an order to discharge any order. An application cannot be made to the court within 6 months of an order being made.

As your friend needs to have therapy for a period of 2 years, it is very important that she has this so her health can improve.

Regarding the children’s contact with their siblings, you do not say why it is considered necessary for contact to be supervised. It may be to give the other children time to settle in their new placements and unsupervised contact might mean that inappropriate things are said to the children during contact which could lead to the placements being disrupted.

I hope you find this helpful but should you or your friend wish to speak to an adviser, please telephone our free 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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