Help! Social services and SGO

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Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:07 pm

Help! Social services and SGO

Post by Milesy18 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:05 pm

Hi guys please help. On 3rd Nov my daughter was removed from my care (she is 6) my 16 is still with me. My bail conditions stated I couldn't contact her unless arranged by SS and supervised. My daughter is with my mother. I didn't realise I didn't have to sign the section 20 (I thought I would be committing an offence because of my bail) so I signed it. SS informed me they would be seeking my mother to get an SGO. I thought it was temporary so agreed initially but later found out what it truly was. I have not had a social worker visit me since 8th Nov nor have they done a parenting Assessment on me. On the 6th January my bail conditions were dropped and no further actions would be taken so I emailed SS to say I am withdrawing section 20 and stated my reasons why. The Social worker emailed to say they are taking me to court and would serve me my papers by midday Friday just gone. I have heard nothing. Why the silence I wonder? I have only had social services involved twice before after an altercation with an ex partner but the case was closed both times after an initial visit as they didn't have any concerns. I feel SGO is so harsh. Why haven't they offered me PLO? I took my eye off the ball once (the incident they removed her for) but I really feel I don't deserve to lose her forever. Could SS silence mean they could be now considering assessing me or going PLO route? Any opinions gratefully received X

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Help! Social services and SGO

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:26 pm

Dear Milesy18

Welcome to the parents’ discussion forum and thank you for your post.

My name is Suzie, online adviser at Family Rights Group. I am sorry that you did not receive a response to your post before now.

I see from your post that you are distressed by the situation you find yourself in following your daughter being removed from your care on 3rd November. At that time you signed s.20 to allow children’s services to accommodate your daughter with your mother. Children’s services cannot remove a child without the parent’s consent or a court order. In your case, it appears that you had been arrested and your daughter needed to be looked after by someone else. If you had not signed a s.20 , then children’s services could have asked the police to remove your daughter under police protection or make an emergency application to the court.

It is concerning to read in your post that children’s services has not been in touch with you since 8th November. Are you having no contact with your daughter? You want to know why children’s services have not been in touch. Unfortunately, I am unable to answer this and there is no reason why they should not be discussing their plans for your daughter. You have parental responsibility for your daughter and they should be involving you and seeking your agreement in respect of decisions relating to your daughter.

Children’s services have certain duties when a child is in the care system. Your daughter is a looked after child as she is being accommodated by children’s services. Your mother should have been assessed as a foster carer in order to care for your daughter. Has this happened?

Please read our advice sheet Duties on Children’s Services when children are in the care system for more information about what should happen and whether you have been given all the appropriate documents for example, placement plan and care plan.

I think it is very important that you seek advice from a solicitor regarding the way you say in your post that you have been treated by children’s services.

You said that you agreed to your mother getting a special guardianship order (SGO). Has she made an application to the court already for this order? If so, you would be part of the court proceedings and can object to the order being made on the basis that you have not been given an opportunity by children’s services. Only the court can make a special guardianship order and the court will consider if this is the best for your daughter. You can read information in our advice sheets about special guardianship order and what it means for birth parents.
DIY Special Guardianship Orders - information for family and friends carers and Special Guardianship: what does it mean for birth parents?

A special guardianship order mean that your mother would have your daughter live with her and make decisions about her upbringing as she will have parental responsibility. You would not lose your parental responsibility but she would be able to exercise hers above yours. It means your daughter would remain in the birth family rather than being in foster care long term if there was a care order.

Obviously, I do not have background information regarding your previous involvement with children’s services but if your daughter was on a child protection plan or other plan and you failed to work with them then this could lead them to decide that you are not able to safeguard your daughter. You say that you have had 2 previous occasions when children’s services were involved and the cases were closed. Our advice sheet Child protection procedures

On the basis of what you have stated in your post, it appears that children’s services have not worked with you appropriately in denying you the opportunity to have clear advice about s.20. You have withdrawn your consent to s.20 and therefore can remove your daughter from your mother’s care but I would suggest you seek advice from a solicitor before doing so. Children’s services has already informed you they intend to apply to the court, so this could lead to them making an emergency application which would, if the court makes an order, mean that children’s services would share parental responsibility with you and would be able to make decisions about where and with whom your daughter can live. Please read our advice sheet Care (and related) proceedings

Children’s services should consider doing a parenting assessment unless they have already done so. Usually, they go down the PLO route if a child protection plan is not working to the child’s benefit. There is not enough information in your post about your involvement as you have mentioned that you took your eye off the ball and this led to your daughter being removed.

You may wish to consider making a complaint about how your case has been managed and, if so, you may find it helpful to read our advice sheet Challenging decisions and making complaints

Should you wish to speak to an adviser, please telephone our advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday.

I hope this is helpful.

Best wishes


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