Advice please

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Pinkpoppy
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Joined: Tue May 24, 2016 8:57 pm

Advice please

Post by Pinkpoppy » Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:23 pm

Hi my 9 month old is in foster care, he was removed by the police on EPO due to poor home conditions. He is now on a section 20 under SS,. He was classed as being at significant risk of neglect and put on a CPP. I have just been informed by his SW that at the upcoming CP review he will no longer be on a CPP as he is still in foster care and we have agreed for him in court to remain there on a section 20 that he will go on a looked after plan instead. What I really want to know is, is this a positive step to him being returned to us as that was SS plan all along to return him home or just more of a way of SS putting the ball in their court so to speak. Sorry for waffling on, any advice would be gratefully received. K H.

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

Re: Advice please

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Jul 01, 2016 4:42 pm

Dear Pink poppy,

Welcome to the parents forum.

I am sorry to hear that your son is in foster care and that there are court proceedings.
You have asked a very important question about different types of meetings so do not worry-you are not waffling and even if you were-that's alright.
Looked after reviews

Have a look at some information about Looked after child reviews

Because your son is in foster care, children services must hold a looked after children review (LAC review) within 4 weeks of going into care. (Then further reviews, if he is still in the same foster placement at 3 months later and 6 months after that.)

This type of review will be chaired by an independent reviewing officer (IRO .

The purpose of the review is to check that your sons care plan is appropriate and that his needs are being met. (So for example, that any health, emotional and physical needs are being met by the foster carer.)
You should have received your sons care plan within 10 working days of him being in foster care.

Child protection conferences

Child protection conferences provide monitoring and support when a child is still living at home. Although a child protection plan can remain open, it is usual it to close when a child goes into care.

When a child goes back home, after being in foster care, there may be a further child protection conference to see whether a new plan would be needed.


In answer to your question, whether this is a positive step or not, I do not think you can compare the two different meetings because they are concerned with different things.
The looked after review is to make sure children services are meeting all your son’s needs while he is in foster care.
The child protection conference is concerned with ensuring that support is put in place to protect your son from suffering neglect when he was living at home.

However, the most positive things you can do is to make sure that you work well with your solicitor and cooperate with children services.
Make sure you understand what the worries are about your parenting and how these worries can be addressed.
So for example, are you attending all the courses or support that you need to?

Make sure you go to all the meetings and if you have to miss one to tell your solicitor so that she can advise the social worker. Do not miss any of the contacts with your son.
Have you got family and friends who can help you or who could be assessed to care for your son in case the court decides that you are not able to meet all of his needs?

Here is an advice sheet about care proceedings

I hope this information is helpful but please post back if you have any questions at all. Or call our advice line on 0808 801 0366.

Best wishes,

Suzie

Pinkpoppy
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue May 24, 2016 8:57 pm

Re: Advice please

Post by Pinkpoppy » Fri Jul 01, 2016 6:50 pm

Thank you for responding my son has been in care since the 23 October 2015 he was only 6 weeks old when removed by police. Due to an undiagnosed heart condition at birth he had only recently came home from hospital after having open heart surgery. It was a visit from the community midwife that kick started his removal from our care, everything happened so fast after that. Children's services only started care proceedings in may as that wanted a ICO but on the court day they changed their minds and didn't apply for one but we are still under a 26 week court plan to decide whether he will come back to our family or be adopted. We have a new house now and are undergoing a 12 week intensive parenting plan which we have nearly completed and if that goes ok as have said that they may start phase returning our son but nothing is definite I have and will do all that ask/want me to do including under going a psychologist assessment but I am so worried that it will all be for nothing and that as will try and fix it at the end in court that he cannot return to my and my husband's care.

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

Re: Advice please

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Jul 08, 2016 2:46 pm

Dear Pinkpoppy

Thank for your further post.

I understand that it must be very distressing for you to be away from your baby son and involved in care proceedings as well.
You say that children services started proceedings only in May although your son has been in care since October 2015. Did something happen that led to children services deciding that they needed to share parental responsibility for your son.

It may be that when children services attended court they decided that the court was unlikely to make an interim care order (ICO). What are the concerns that children services still have about you and your husband’s ability to look after your son either separately or together?

You have already been sent a link to our advice sheet relating to care proceedings and I suggest that you read this as it will help you to understand the court procedures a little more. Also, you should make sure that you ask your solicitor to explain anything that you do not understand relating to your case.

It is correct that care proceedings have to be finished within 26 weeks unless there are very good reasons for the court to extend the time. This will usually be to a maximum of 8 weeks. If more time is needed then would it have to be looked at again by the court. At the final hearing the judge will consider all the evidence written and from witnesses, he or she will then decide what is in the best interests of the child for the future.

You have had a parenting assessment carried out and hopefully it will be a positive assessment. If it has been suggested that there could be a phased return of your son that is something positive. The psychological assessment may well give recommendations of any support that might be needed to ensure a safe return.

Children services have to consider parallel planning when making decision about a child or children in care proceedings, this can include adoption if a child cannot return home to live with parents or other family members.

It will be for the judge at the final hearing to make the final decision whether there should be a care order and if you son can return to your care.

You should continue to do all you can to work with children services so that you can have the best outcome for your family.

Should you wish to speak to an adviser, you are free to call our 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

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