Family member applying for guardianship

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Nevergiingup86xx
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2020 4:44 am

Family member applying for guardianship

Post by Nevergiingup86xx » Wed Mar 04, 2020 5:33 pm

Long story short.
My 3 children were taken into care 2 years ago and made subject to a full care order,
My now 13 year old was moved into an out of Borough placement in a children's home as he was constantly running away getting into trouble etc
I have completey turned my life around since then and sw keeps saying im being assessed for a re unification.
I have weekly unsupervised contact (2 hours) and during school holidays have 4 hour unsupervised.
Obviously i want all 3 children home bur i am so fearful for my 13 year old boy he was missing again at the weekend for 32 hours in a strange town miles away.
My assessment dosnt seem to be moving at a pace he needs us to be doing,
My sister and her husband want to become foster carers for him and want to be assessed and have him back within the family unit with the end result of all three coming back.
What does she have to do apply to the courts for a guardianship order?

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 2632
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Family member applying for guardianship

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Tue Mar 24, 2020 5:59 pm

Dear Nevergivingup86xx

Welcome to FRG’s parents’ discussion board and thank you for your post. My name is Suzie, FRG’s online adviser. I am sorry to hear of the difficulties you and your family have experienced. I am also sorry for the delay in responding to your post.

Your children are in foster care at the moment under a care order but you and your family are hoping that:

• They will be returned home to your care; or
• That your sister and her husband will be assessed as foster carers for your 13 year old; you are particularly worried about him because he is vulnerable to running away and being exploited
• That your sister will obtain a Special Guardianship Order – I am not sure if that would be for your son just or for all three children.

From what you have said, you have made some major improvements in your life and you are able to spend time with your children quite regularly and without supervision. The social worker says you are being assessed for reunification but you don’t sound too sure if this is happening and if so what the timescale is.

If you are being assessed you should be fully informed about the process, receive regular feedback and a copy of any completed assessment. Ask the social worker to confirm (in writing) what is happening in relation to an assessment with a view to the children returning home. Here is our advice sheet on reuniting children in the care system with their families to assist you.

Have the children had a recent Looked After Child Review (LAC)? This is where all plans for the individual children should be reviewed and where you as a parent should be fully involved and able to put forward your views about these plans and have your views taken account of.

Here is our advice sheet on duties on children’s services when children are in the care system which explains this in more detail.

Have all the above possible options been recorded in the most recent LAC review? If not, it is important that there is clarity about any potential changes to the children’s care plans . You can contact the children’s social worker and the Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) to ensure that the plans are being reviewed and agreed actions taken.

Is your son having independent return (from running away or going missing) interviews when he is back to understand and address the reasons why he has run away and any risks or harm to him when missing? Make sure to ask his social worker how they can best protect him and confirm if they are planning to assess your sister as a family and friends foster carer as a possible alternative to your son’s current out of borough placement.

You wanted to know what your sister would have to do to apply for a Special Guardianship Order – this is different to fostering as it gives the carer parental responsibility and takes a child out of the care system.

This advice sheet (for family and friends carers) sets out what is involved. If children’s services are not in agreement with an application for a SGO then your sister would need the court’s permission to apply. It would be more straight-forward if any application was with the agreement (and support of) children’s services – they would have to do an assessment and present a report to the court anyway.

Your sister may find our family and friends carers discussion board useful.

I think that a family group conference might be the best way to bring your family network together to consider the potential different options. This is something you can ask the social worker and IRO to arrange if they are thinking about a new placement for your son and a return home for the children.

I hope this helps.

If you have any further queries please do post again or if you prefer to speak with an adviser please call our freephone advice helpline on 0808 801 0366, Mon to Fri, 9.30 am to 3.00 pm (excluding bank holidays).

With best wishes

Suzie

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