I want my daughter to live with me or my sister

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Tmvan5
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2020 1:28 pm

I want my daughter to live with me or my sister

Post by Tmvan5 » Mon Jul 06, 2020 11:12 am

My daughter is 5. She lived at home with me through the court process and my son (age 12) did too. The LA applied for Care and placement order for her at the final hearing which happened remotely. A care order was made for her in June 2020 and the placement order has been adjourned for 4 months to see if she will cope with the idea of being adopted. She has gone to a foster carer.

When we were in court, I had assessments done (parenting assessment and psychological). These were negative of me and my husband together and on our own. I disagree with them but the judge made Care Orders anyway.

We had a family group conference as well and my family offered support but the social worker said it was not enough.

Last week, my sister has changed her mind and said she will be assessed to have my daughter for me. Will this get to happen? She has her own children and no social involvement. My sister is really supportive of me and she doesn’t agree with my daughter being taken away. She wants to help me by having my child.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 2690
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: I want my daughter to live with me or my sister

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:53 pm

Dear Tmvan5

Welcome to the parents’ discussion board and thank you for your post. I am sorry that we have not been able to respond to you before now and to hear of the current situation.

Your daughter has been made subject to a care order although the proposed care plan for her is adoption – the court has not yet made a placement order and will decide at the reconvened hearing in September. It must have been very difficult having such important decisions made at a remote hearing.

In the meantime your sister is now willing to be assessed as a potential carer for your daughter, to allow her to be raised in her family, if she is successful.

Here is our advice sheet on adoption which explains in much more detail what a placement order is and how, once a placement order has been made, there are only very limited circumstances in which you can later apply to end it or argue against adoption, particularly if a child has been placed with prospective adopters.

So you and your sister need to act promptly.

It is really important that you and your sister are proactive now in requesting that her completed viability assessment urgently. Here is some information to assist her in preparing for it. The guide has been recently updated to include assessments taking place during the current Covid 19 pandemic.

If her viability assessment is positive she should then be assessed, possibly simultaneously, as a kinship foster carer and/or a special guardian . If successful, as a foster carer she would not acquire parental responsibility for your daughter as the local authority would retain that and she would be expected to work closely with them. Under special guardianship, if successful, your sister would acquire parental responsibility and be the main decision maker for the child. Sometimes children’s service would also ask the court to make a supervision order alongside a special guardianship order so that they could oversee the arrangement for a year or two. Here is our advice sheet on special guardianship for further information.

Part of the assessment will involve your sister’s ability to protect your daughter until adulthood. There will be an expectation that she understands the risks that have been identified already through the court process and that she is able to prioritise the child’s needs over her loyalty and support for you, her sister. The social worker’s report for the court will include the prospective special guardian’s:

Understanding of the child’s current and future needs, particularly any needs that are as a result of harm that the child has suffered, their ability to meet those needs now and in the future;

Ability to protect the child from any current or future risk of harm from the child’s parents, relatives or any other person particularly in relation to contact between that person and the child.

So your sister will need to consider how to demonstrate this in any assessment.

You have probably already done this but if not, make sure to inform the following people that your sister is asking to be assessed (she should also directly contact your daughter’s social worker and independent reviewing officer, in writing):

• Your solicitor
• The Guardian and the court
• Your daughter’s social worker
• Your daughter’s independent reviewing officer.

You do not mention what the court decided for your 12 year old son. The relationship between siblings is very significant and a potential family placement could make this continued relationship much more possible so this can be argued too. It should certainly be raised at every suitable opportunity including at LAC reviews.

If your sister would like any advice about being assessed she could contact the freephone advice helpline on 0808 8010366 Mon to Friday 9.30 am to 3.00 pm or she could post on our dedicated family and friends carers discussion board. You are of course also very welcome to post again with a new query or to call the helpline instead.

With best wishes.

Suzie

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