How to revoke an SGO

CLY3662
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:15 pm

How to revoke an SGO

Post by CLY3662 » Thu Jan 17, 2019 11:54 pm

Hi

My son was placed under an SGO 16 months ago, I was just wondering how you go about discharging it? I want my son home and I’ve looked at making positive changes and I’ve got over the worst part of the depression to the point I’m no longer on any medication for it & I’m now ready too start what I can too get him home as I’m a lot more level headed and stable minded.

I see my son once a week at my mums as he’s under the SGO with her, I’ve been looking at how you start to discharge one, if I can’t fully discharge it could they change the order so I could take him out on my own or have him over night a few times a month? As I currently have supervised contact with him but it’s supervised by my mum, I just want my life to go back too normal, I miss him and don’t want him thinking I’ve completley given up on him and not tried too fight for him.

Does anyone know of a very good family law solicitor in the *** area? The solicitor I had was quite judgmental so don’t really want too have to go back too him if I don’t have too

Thanks.
***Suzie amended to ensure confidentiality.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: How to revoke an SGO

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:23 pm

Dear CLY3662

Thank you for your further post.

Your son is living with your mother under a special guardianship order and you have weekly contact. Having managed to make, what you say are positive changes, in your life in the time your son has been living away from you, it is now your wish to discharge the special guardianship order so that your son can return to your care.

Having looked back over your previous posts, your son suffered a broken leg when he was living with you and his father. During care proceedings the court was unable to identify who caused the injury to your son and this was, probably the main reason he could not be returned to you. This would be an important consideration for the court in any application you make to discharge the order even if, you have made significant changes to your life.

You also mention being able to have more contact with your son. Have you discussed this possibility with your mother? It may be more helpful to see if you can agree with your mother to have increased unsupervised contact. Even if there is an order stating the amount of contact you can you have, if your mother believes that your son would be safe in an unsupervised setting, then she might be willing to agree to contact being unsupervised. It seems to me that your mother would want to be satisfied that you have made meaningful changes before agreeing to unsupervised or overnight contact.

If your mother does not agree to unsupervised or an increase in contact, you could consider making an application to the court for increased contact including overnight contact.

Before making an application for a child arrangement order for contact, you would need to attend family mediation with your mother, this is expected by the court before the application is made.

With regard to an application to discharge a special guardianship order, you would need to have the court’s permission to make the application. Please read our advice sheet Special Guardianship: what does it mean for birth parents? for more information.

You may also find it helpful, l if you do decide to make an application to the court for increased contact or to discharge the special guardianship order, to contact Child Law Advice on 0300 330 5480. This organisation offers advice in respect of private law children's issues which your application would be. They do not offer advice if someone already has a solicitor.

If you wish to speak to one of our advisers, please telephone the advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday and Friday.

I hope this helps.

Best wishes

Suzie

QuestionMark
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Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2018 5:10 pm

Re: How to revoke an SGO

Post by QuestionMark » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:03 am

Hi Suzie,

I was wondering if you could help me in relation to the above? My parents are being given an SGO over my son; the court have told them that how and when I see him is at their "discretion". My barrister has also briefly mentioned revoking it due to the talk and evidence around why I should be removed from a pool in relation to my late son (not the same baby).

In the meantime, my parents and I want to return to normal life as best as possible; they work full time, are exhausted and they believe in me (and I've had two positive parental assessments so no worries there). They want to enable this return to normality by - very gradually - allowing my son to stay overnights with me throughout the week. I'm guessing from what I've read above, from what my barrister told me (she said that this would be ok) and from what I've read about SGO and this is, indeed, ok?

I really hope everything is going well for CLY3662
Last edited by QuestionMark on Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

QuestionMark
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Re: How to revoke an SGO

Post by QuestionMark » Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:20 am

Also, what does this mean for my sons dad - or, more importantly, my son having a relationship with his dad?

My sons dad disengaged from our sons care proceedings before they were even formally begun; when our son was 1 month old. I feel several factors played into this decision; 1) SW kept pressuring him to give up his job and told him that she "wouldn't be promoting their relationship" if he couldn't care for our son full-time (which is ludicrous in my view as plenty of parents have jobs and have care of their children - including the SW herself!) 2) he was only given 2 hours a week supervised contact with our son, even though the only reason he was involved in the care proceedings is because he is our sons dad - no findings against him at all.

However, he also has a daughter from a previous relationship that he walked away from when he was 18 and so, it could just be something he does - ultimately I feel that nothing should stop a parent trying to be their for their child. I've remained in contact with my sons dad throughout as I know the importance of trying to maintain a relationship between them. I always told him that, if our son was returned to me by the court then he can visit whenever he likes - I hoped we'd have discussions around his involvement in our sons care. Now that the court has decided on an SGO, what does this mean for him and our son?

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: How to revoke an SGO

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri May 17, 2019 2:59 pm

Dear QuestionMark,

I am sorry for the delay in responding to your posts asking for advice. I will try and answer all the questions you raise in this one post but if have missed anything please post back.

You say that the judgment from the care proceedings has finally been handed down. It confirms that the court has made a special guardianship order to your parents respect of your son and for your contact with him to be at their discretion.

Do you have a transcript of the judgment so that you can see the reasons why the judge reached this decision?

You say that you being in the pool of perpetrators was no longer a factor by the time of the final hearing-(I know at one of the later LAC reviews it seemed to be the main reason).
The guardian and children services say your lack of “insight” was the main reason. Does the court judgment talk about what this means in your case? Do you know what steps you can take to continue to improve your insight?
Also, evidence has come out at the inquest for your son–later than the care proceedings-to say that you should be removed from the pool. id your legal team will be dealing with this?

1.What is the best process to enable your son to come and live with you?

Your ask about your son coming to live with you. Your parents plan for your son to move to you gradually with you having increased overnight contact. Your barrister agrees with this plan. (I advise you to get your barrister/ solicitor to confirm this in writing). Children services have now closed their case.

The court very recently agreed the threshold criteria (that there was evidence your son would be at risk of suffering significant harm if he was
returned to live with you).
Although your parents can return your son home to you gradually-without returning back to the court as they have the enhanced parental responsibility to make that decision, they may risk children services becoming involved with your family again. So your parents should advise children services of their plan or seek legal advice about this.

Alternatively, you or your parents could apply to the family court to discharge the special guardianship order. A CAFCASS social worker would most likely be appointed to undertake a section 7 report to decide whether this was in your son’s best interests.
If you applied to court,(instead of your parents) you would need to take the additional step of obtaining the courts permission –so show that there has been a change of circumstances since the order was made and that it is in the best interests of your son. The Child Law Advice line or Rights of Women could advise you further about the process of going back to court.

2. Dad having contact with your son.

You say if your son returned home to you, you would allow his father unsupervised contact. He disengaged from the care proceedings and had lost touch with his older daughter so you may be worried that he may possibly lack commitment to your son. However, you understand that it could be in your sons best interests for his father to be involved.

Do you know whether he could be risky? Was he ever assessed?
If you are worried that he may be a risk, you could ask the police to check whether he could be risky to children due to domestic abuse or sexual abuse. See the domestic abuse disclosure scheme.

If you or your parents go to court to discharge the special guardianship order, then dad will get copies of the application (if he has legal parental responsibility) or notice of the proceedings (if he does not have legal parental responsibility). So this would give him a chance to be assessed by CAFCASS.
However, he can just contact your parents and ask to see his son. If they were unsure about whether this was in your son’s best interests, they could ask children services for support around contact.
See page 39 of our advice sheet about special guardianship orders.


I hope this advice goes some way to answering your questions. But please post again or call our free and confidential advice line on 0808 801 0366 for further help and assistance.

Best wishes,
Suzie

QuestionMark
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Re: How to revoke an SGO

Post by QuestionMark » Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:34 am

Hello, thank you for the response and sorry I'm just replying - I've been having difficulty logging in but it's sorted now.

I have recieved the transcript of the judgement and it's very vague. The following are the reasons;

1) I lack "insight". The guardian said I had "some insight" and had it been "more indepth there would have been discussions about my sons return". My barrister later raised this point and the judges response was that there was "no evidence of the guardian stating this" - even though we all remember her saying this on the witness stand! No one has been able to explain to me what "insight" is or how I achieve it.

2) "History of domestic abuse relationships"; they've basically said that as I'm not currently in a relationship, they can't be convinced that I can have a healthy relationship until I am actually in a relationship (despite all the work I've done with Womens Aid, the NSPCC and the freedom programme). It was also odd that they said "history" since they accused me of lying about my first abuser (which is why he now has residency of our daughter)

3) Apparently the 10 courses I have completed are "not relevant to the findings"; the freedom programme, baby and child first aid, child protection course, separated parents programme etc etc - all irrelevant (baffles me).

4) Because there's evidence and talk of my removal from the pool, the judge was heavily critical of the local authority for just relying on this and he decided that the main issue was "future prediction of emotional harm" just in case I enter into another relationship in which domestic abuse features (bringing me back to point 2)

5) Also something that baffles me if that the judge said that I was "not open to therapy" but had I been "further assessment" would have been ordered. This baffles me (and has became a real sore spot) because I literally explained to the judge on the witness stand that I had self-referred for therapy and therefore these further assessments should have happened..


My legal team have secured legal aid and we're going to address the pool.

Thank you for the information regarding the SGO. I've been informed that the local authority have been told and are fine with a co-parenting scenario. With regards to my sons dad, he has shown no interest at all in seeing him, disappointingly.

QuestionMark
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Re: How to revoke an SGO

Post by QuestionMark » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:00 pm

Suzie I'm really confused; we've been told that my parents can decide how often I see my son and how. Yet there appears to be a court order stating once a week for 3 hours, supervised. My parents have SGO and want me to have a big role in my sons life as explained above. Can you help me make sense of this? There's also a bit saying that if they want to vary the order they need to contact the judge, is this regarding the SGO order specifically?

QuestionMark
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Re: How to revoke an SGO

Post by QuestionMark » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:03 pm

I'm also really confused as judge states in judgement that he 'can only set this particular train on track' and that 'contact will find it's own way' as i's up to my parents.. I've been seeing my son regularly and now I'm so confused

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: How to revoke an SGO

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:24 pm

Dear Questionmark

Thank you for your further posts and apologies for the late response.

I am sorry that you are feeling confused about the arrangements for you to see your son. The issue of contact with your son under the SGO has been discussed on this forum before but as there is still a lack of clarity I would suggest that you check with your solicitor and review the court papers to clarify if there is a court order (child arrangements order for contact) in place specifying that your contact with your son is for 3 hours per week supervised or not. Sometimes an order is not made and contact arrangements are left to the Special Guardians’ discretion. Decisions about contact depend on the specific circumstances of the situation.

Both you and your parents need to be clear about this, as you are confused, but you and your parents can check the arrangements by looking at the court papers including any orders, by checking with your solicitor(s) and with children’s services.

The court would need to make any decision about varying a court order, perhaps the judge indicated that this should be put before them again? You and your parent should check what was recorded about this and with your solicitor(s) too.

You may find our advice sheet special guardianship: what does it mean for birth parents useful and you can also contact Coram Child Law advice if you no longer have a solicitor and want advice about private law matters.

You could signpost your parents to our Family and Friends’ Carers discussion board if you think that would be useful to them.

I hope this helps.

With best wishes

Suzie

QuestionMark
Posts: 145
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2018 5:10 pm

Re: How to revoke an SGO

Post by QuestionMark » Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:54 am

Hello,

There’s no child arrangement order made. It seems to me that the judge set the 3 hours a week as a minimum, as he acknowledged that it’ll probably increase.

He did the same with my daughter; a court order states that her paternal grandmother is meant to be supervised, but she is now not supervised and my daughter stays there overnight at least once a week. We’ve spoken to the social worker about this and she told us that it’s up to her dad as he has a CAO so that’s that.

My parents spoke to the foster team social worker about myself and them co-parenting my son and this social worker was happy with that arrangement.

None of the orders have been explained to me and my legal aid finished months ago so I can’t talk to my solicitor

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