Advice Needed !!

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Anna56
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Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 2:16 pm

Advice Needed !!

Post by Anna56 » Mon May 09, 2016 10:43 am

Hi

My 3 year old girl is in care . . . i came from working abroad where i had addiction problems came back to the uk with my child in the hope of a fresh start things quicjly spirralled out of control and my child ened up staying with a family member i then got her back only for social services to take her again due to my drinking problems. Shes been with a foster family for 9 months and so far at every court date they have not let me have her back. Her father lives abroad and they are sending someone out to see him. My mum and her partner have come forward to have him under a special guardianship what are the chances they will get her over the dad ? he lives in a small village on his own with no close family or support if she goes with her father how will i be able to see her. Im hoping the judge will let her stay here she has a british passport sje is a british citizen. Will i have any say ? Also what are the contact arrangements when there is a special guardianship ? I see my daughter for 2 hours 2 times a week supervised will the judge likey make a contact order social servives have said it will be a long while before i will be allowed un supervised. Do i have any say over who my daughter sees when she is with my mum ?

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

Re: Advice Needed !!

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon May 09, 2016 4:41 pm

Dear A…56

Welcome to the Parents Discussion Forum.

My name is Suzie online adviser at Family Rights Group.

I am sorry that are feeling worried about the outcome of the court case you are currently involved in regarding your daughter and the plans being made for her future care.

As you are in care proceedings at the moment, have you been able to seek help and support in respect of your addiction problems. It is important that you try to do this as this will have an impact on the kind of contact you can have with your daughter or your ability to care for her.
A copy of our advice sheet relating to care proceedings is here so you can have a better idea of the plans Children Services are making that the court process. Unfortunately, unless you are able to show that you have addressed your drinking and anything else which is of concern, your daughter is not likely to return to your care at this time.

I have also included a copy of our advice sheet about the duties that children services have when a child is in care.

The general view is that wherever possible it is best for a child to be brought up by his or her parents or within the extended birth family. It is therefore important from the court’s point of view that your daughter’s father should be assessed as a possible long term carer for her. The assessment will take account of how your daughter will be affected as she grows up and whether it is in her best interests to be placed with her father. This will be assessed by the person going to visit him.

If your mother and her partner have put themselves forward as possible carers, then they will be assessed and if positively assessed it is possible that your daughter might be placed with them. This will depend on whether it is considered the best for her. Your daughter’s welfare is the paramount consideration for the court when making a decision about where she will live.

If the court decides that your daughter should live with her father, how you can have contact will be discussed and you may have to think about the best way you can have contact whether by visiting; social media, telephone calls etc. I suggest you speak to your solicitor about this so should it become necessary you will be prepared.

You will be able to let the judge know how you feel about your daughter living abroad and your legal team will do this on your behalf by making sure your views are in your statement and in any evidence presented to the court on your behalf.

As far as contact is concerned, if your mother is granted a special guardianship order, then she will make decisions about contact. However, contact is for the benefit of the child and it is possible for the court to specify the amount of contact she will have with you. The court could also make a supervision order to the local authority to monitor the placement with your mother and her partner for a period of time usually 6 to 12 months.

Your mother and her partner will, if a special guardianship order is made is their favour, have parental responsibility which they can exercise exclusively of your parental responsibility and the father’s if he also shares parental responsibility. You will not have a say about who your daughter can see as they will make decisions relating to your daughter’s upbringing.

A copy of our advice sheet regarding special guardian and what is means for birth parents is here for your further information.

Children Services will, of course, be able to put forward their recommendations in their care plan for your daughter. The Guardian will also have a view about what will be best for your daughter's long term care.

I suggest to engage with your solicitors and make sure that he or she is aware of any concerns that you have. Your solicitor will be able to advise you as your case progresses.

Should you wish to speak to an adviser, please do telephone our free confidential advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open Monday to Friday from 9.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m.

I hope you will find this helpful.

Best wishes

Suzie

Anna56
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 2:16 pm

Re: Advice Needed !!

Post by Anna56 » Wed May 11, 2016 12:44 pm

hi

Thanks for the reply.

What are the chances the court wont make a contact order and my mum can decide when i see her ? Or is it more likely the court will decide on one or if my mum asked for one will they consider that ?

I would like to see her 2 times a week for 2 hours and every weekend but that would mean my mum having to supervise me can it be at a contact centre ?

Thanks

Anna56
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 2:16 pm

Re: Advice Needed !!

Post by Anna56 » Mon May 16, 2016 1:35 pm

Looks like the family fostering is going through they have already applied for the SGO , I want to share custody have her weekends but im not allowed to be un supervised how will i be able to get weekends would i have to have someone approved to be with me ? They dont want me to have every weekend as they say it will be to disruptive. Can they ask for a contact order ?? i dont think anything will be agreed mutually

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Advice Needed !!

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed May 18, 2016 11:25 am

Hi Anna,

The court are very unlikely just to leave contact in the complete discretion of your mum.

Instead, the court will consider what contact (whether it is supervised or not, how often contact will take place, the type of contact -face to face or indirect such as telephone or social media etc) is in the best interests of your daughter.

To do this, the court will listen to your views, your mum’s views as well as what children services and the guardian are saying about contact.

Any order or agreement would need to reflect how your contact might change if you are no longer having addiction problems. Also as your daughter grows up, contact may change. Any order or agreement should reflect how you and your mum could agree changes in contact.

So it is really important that you discuss all aspects of your contact with your legal team so they can put forward your views and suggestions.

If it is in your daughters’ best interests, the court may make a contact order to define how much contact you will have.
But the down side of a court order can be that it is less flexible. Instead, the court would prefer the amount of contact to be agreed between you and your mum and to be in the best interests of your daughter.

You say that you would prefer contact to be supervised at a contact centre. However, this might involve an expense so is likely to mean that you have less contact than if your mum supervised it. Can anyone else in your network be assessed by children services to supervise contact if you feel that it might be difficult with your mum?
If not, what can you do to mend any difficulties you have with your mother? It will be a really important to look after your relationship and recognise the role she plays in caring for your daughter.

To find out more about contact centres in your area you could contact the National Association of Child Contact Centres


Children services can provide support to help contact take place. This might be help with contact centres but also mediation services if there are problems with contact in the future.

You should ask for your local authority policy on support that is offered to promote contact when children are cared for by friends and family.

Family Rights Group did research about contact. Have a look at FRG’s report Managing Contact



It shows the type of issues that might come up around contact which you could then anticipate now while you have the support of a legal team.

I hope this guidance helps but please post back if you have any questions.

Best wishes,
Suzie

Anna56
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 2:16 pm

Re: Advice Needed !!

Post by Anna56 » Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:33 am

Hi

My daughter will be moving in with my mum very soon its all been agreed that she will foster her . . what happens next contact wise who decides this ?

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

Re: Advice Needed !!

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:37 am

Hi Anna56,

Welcome back to the Parents Forum.

Has your daughter has been placed with your mum while court proceedings are still ongoing? Or has a final full care order been made?

Is your mum going to be applying for a special guardianship order or is there a long term plan that your daughter remains with your mum under a fostering arrangement?

Let me know the answer to these questions and I will be in a better position to advise you.

Also, have you discussed contact with your solicitor?

If not, you should do so as soon as you can.

I look forward to you posting back.

Best wishes,

Suzie

Anna56
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 2:16 pm

Re: Advice Needed !!

Post by Anna56 » Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:06 am

Hi ,

shes been fostered by my mum and she is also applying for SGO at the moment im still seeing her 2 times a week at a contact centre if my mum gets SGO will they cut my contact ?

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Advice Needed !!

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:56 pm

Dear Anna56

Thank you for your further post.

I can see that you are worried about the contact your will have with your daughter if a special guardianship order is made in your mother’s favour.

Please read our advice sheet about what special guardianship means for birth parents which I am including again for you.

Your mother as the special guardian will be able to make decisions about contact in the future. However, if the court makes a supervision order for a specific period of time, then children services could still be involved to monitor the placement and might also be involved in the arrangements for contact.

If you think there might be difficulties in arranging contact directly with your mum if the special guardianship order is made, then you could ask the court to make an order specifying the contact that you will have with your daughter.

I hope you find this helpful but, should you wish to speak to an adviser, please do telephone our free confidential advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open Monday to Friday from 9.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m.

Best wishes

Suzie

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