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Heather
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 11:30 pm

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Postby Heather » Sat May 25, 2013 1:05 pm

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Last edited by Heather on Tue Jun 18, 2013 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 1687
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Any advice please?

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Tue May 28, 2013 10:12 am

Hello Heather

My name is Suzie and I am an adviser at FRG. Welcome to the forum and thanks for your post.

I'm really sorry to hear about the difficult and distressing situation that you are facing.

You have explained that the care plan for your son was for him to remain in long term foster care and be placed with a family member. Sadly, this placement has now broken down.

From what you have said, I am assuming that Children’s Services have a full care order on your son. This means that they have parental responsibility (PR) for him. Although this PR is shared with you, Children’s Services do have a greater share and can overrule you when making decisions for your son.

Because the care plan for your son was for long term foster care, Children’s Services have every right to move him to a new placement if they assess that this is in his best interests. They should have an urgent looked after child review meeting, however, to discuss the breakdown of the placement and the new plan. Perhaps this is the meeting that you are going to attend this week?

If Children’s Services are considering adoption for your son, this would be a significant change to his care plan. They would, therefore, have to go back to court for agreement to this new plan. They would also have to ask the court for a new order (a placement order) before they could place your son with a potential adopter.

Any decisions about your son need to be focussed on what is in his best interests. I would advise that you prepare for your meeting with Children’s Services by making some notes about your position and your views,
• Highlight that your son is your priority and that you want to work in partnership with the local authority in his best interests
• Set out what plan you want for your son (e.g. for him to be placed in long term foster care) and explain why you believe this is best for him.
• You may wish to emphasise the relationships he has with you/ other family members and the importance of maintaining these. If you are having regular contact with your son, emphasise how positive this is for him and the importance of it continuing.

The law is clear that it is best for children to be raised by their family if possible. Is there anyone else in your family (or another connected person such as a friend) who may be in a position to care for your son? It may be useful to request a family group conference to explore this fully.

I do not know the reasons that your son was removed from your own care or your current situation. If there has been a significant change of circumstances since the decision a year ago, you could argue that it is appropriate for your son to be placed back in your care under the care order. Obviously there is no guarantee that Children’s Services will agree this is the right way forward.

If your meeting this week is not a looked after child review meeting, I would advise that you ask the social worker when this will take place and ask for your son’s independent reviewing officer (IRO) to contact you urgently to discuss planning for your son and your views about this.

I wonder if you have been back to the solicitor who represented you through the care proceedings. Although you do not have legal funding presently, they may be able to give you some brief advice about the current situation and your legal options. I would definitely advise you to give them a call to check this out.

I hope this is a useful start Heather. Please do contact us again if you have any more specific questions. You are also welcome to call our free and confidential advice line on 0808 8010366.

Take care

Suzie
FRG Adviser

Heather
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 11:30 pm

Re: Any advice please?

Postby Heather » Tue May 28, 2013 4:04 pm

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