s.s recommending an s.g.o

worriedmum81
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:37 am

s.s recommending an s.g.o

Postby worriedmum81 » Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:09 am

My case goes back to 2012 and is a very complicated case, where my youngest 2 children were adopted and i had to fight to stop my youngest daughter who was then nearly 5 from also being adopted.
The judge in these proceedings stated if he had known the true facts in the beginning, that the children would never have been taken off me. Unfortunately after they were taken and i was due my youngest i was advised by social services to move into a womens hostel as that is the best way for me to prove he would be safe and away from his dad. This meant i was classed as homeless, they refused to allow the baby to go to the refuge with me, despite having a family room and professionals saying i should have been allowed to take him home. So now the boundaries had changed, i had to do c.b.t and live independently for 18 months before being allowed to apply for them home.
I beat my depression and anxieties, got a job, a flat and paid for my own cognitive behaviour therapy, i originally applied for it through nhs but the ss told my dr i didnt need it so i was on the bottom of a long waiting list.
When i went back to court to stop my youngest 2 from being adopted it was decided that as it had been 18 months as the judge originally stated it had to be to prove myself), all the children were now settled and happy, and it would be unfair to disrupt them by letting any of them cone home.

Fast forward to now, my eldest 4 are in long term foster care, my eldest has just moved back to my home town to a childrens home near me, where i am allowed unlimited unsuervised access, and soon he is allowed overnight visits.
My 11 and 13 year old live together on a farm near me and my now 8 year old daughter lives near them. My contact with them all has been cut from the judges ruling of twice a month to once a month at the ss decision. They have constantly refused to let me have unsupervised access or contact in the community with them.
At the most recent lac review i have found out the ss has been in talks with my daughters foster carers about a special guardianship order, although they said they dont feel they will yet but its potential for the future. The social worker said they were also going to speak to the goster carers of my older children to see if they would consider one.
Im struggling to work out what my best option would be as i dont want to disrupt their lives but i dont want them having an s.g.o in case we lose all contact. Any advice would be brilliant.

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

Re: s.s recommending an s.g.o

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:53 pm

Dear worried mum81,

Welcome to the parents forum and thank you for sharing your story.

I am sorry to hear about your children being removed from you. You clearly have a lot of strength and have worked hard to change your circumstances.
Now you have extensive unsupervised contact with your older son and monthly with your younger children. You are exercising your legal parental responsibility by attending the looked after reviews.

Children services are talking about your younger children being made subject to Special guardianship orders.

What does it mean and what are your options?

In effect a SGO would mean that that the foster carer would become the legal parent. They would get enhanced parental responsibility so could make many decisions without consulting you. (Although you would still have parental responsibility). Children services would no longer have a care order and so no parental responsibility.

Instead of decisions about your children’s care being made at “looked after reviews”-they will be made by the special guardian.
If you did not agree with a decision, you would have the option of applying to the court to make a decision. The court would consider what is in the best interests of your children.

To get a special guardianship order, the foster carers would have to apply to the court and you and anyone else with parental responsibility would be a respondent. Children services would prepare a court report in support. You could oppose the application and seek another order such as a contact order.

What are the alternatives?

Your children could remain under a care order until they are 18
or the care order could be discharged and the children returned home to you.

Has consideration been given to the care order being discharged?
For this to happen, you would need to show the court that there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the care order was made AND that it is in the best interests of your children to return home to you.

If this was an option, you would want to discuss how it would work with children services. They have the power to make the application themselves, If they did not agree, then you would need to make an application to court to discharge the care order.

If the children are settled with the foster carers, then it may be particularly difficult to show that is in the children’s best interests to return home.

Here is our advice sheet about special guardianship orders for parents

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

You could also discuss further with an adviser on our free and confidential advice line on 0808 801 0366.

Best wishes,

Suzie

worriedmum81
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:37 am

Re: s.s recommending an s.g.o

Postby worriedmum81 » Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:28 pm

Thank you for your reply suzie. Ive had a lac review today about my son. He will be 16 in november, and chomping at the bit to move back in with me and my partner. The social workers have now said he will have to wait until after Christmas at least so they can do any neccessary assessments before he is allowed to visit home for tea. He presumed that once he turned 16 he would be old enough to say im independent i want to move in with my mum, but was told today that he might stay as a looked after child until he is 21 unless i go to court to discharge the order.
I am torn about it as i want him home full time and as soon as i can, but i know he also needs support that i dont know if i can give him enough of, as he has behavioural and educational difficulties. I think living where he is and spending evenings and weekends at home is his better option.
My 13 year old daughter has started saying that on her 1yth birthday she is moving in with me and her brother who is 11 agreed and said he will as well. I know they love living where they are on the farm and wouldnt want to disrupt their life or their education, but i can see how much they want to be with me.
Im wonderingif there is a happy medium for them, where i could apply for the care order for all 4 (i have an 8 year old daughter also in long term care, but living seperate from her siblings), they could continue to live where they are (voluntary foster care) but get to spend more time with me in preparation for eventually moving home.
Again i asked the social workers if there is any reason i cant see the children outside of contact, but they said i have to ask their new social worker when they get one and reiterated that i am not, and never have been a danger to any of my children.
Do you think a half way plan could be considered in this type of situation? X


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