Children's mother pregnant again

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kaipie15
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:24 am

Children's mother pregnant again

Post by kaipie15 » Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:18 am

Hi all, hoping someone could give me some advice.

My husband and I are currently kinship carers for my 7 year old niece who was placed in our care just before Christmas 2018. We also have two girls of our own. My sister (my nieces mother) is an alcoholic and was very neglectful of my niece and my niece's father is in prison.

This is not the only children my sister has had taken into care. My mother has been a kinship carer to another 2 nieces for the past 10 years. At the time my sister was a heroin addict and neglected the children. They have a different father to the niece i have in my care. He is still a heroin addict and has had no contact with the girls in the 10 years my mother has had them.

My sister has since moved out of town and is living with a new partner. She recently told us she is pregnant and due to give birth in November. She is still drinking heavily although presents sober at any appointments she has to attend. Social services are keeping a close eye on things this time and I know she is still waiting to for a risk assessment to be carried out. Her partner seems much more grounded than her previous partners and is a few years older than her. He has a19 year old son from a previous relationship who he sees and has never had issues with drugs or alcohol.

Myself and my husband have discussed the possibility of taking the baby if need be however we are currently in limbo wondering if she will be allowed to keep the child given that her partner may be able to be primary care giver. Just wondering if anyone has any similar experience and what the outcome was.

Thank you šŸ˜Š

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 2832
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Children's mother pregnant again

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Aug 24, 2020 12:54 pm

Dear Kaipie15

Welcome to the parents discussion board and thank you for your post. My name is Suzie and I am Family Rights Groupā€™s online adviser. I am sorry that I was not able to respond to your query sooner. As you are a kinship carer you might find it helpful to know that we have a specialist family and friends carersā€™ discussion board where you can post a question and get support and advice. I will answer your current post on the parentsā€™ board but if you have any further questions please do use the family and friends carersā€™ board instead.

Your sister is currently pregnant, the baby's father is a new partner and childrenā€™s services are involved as she is not caring for any of her previous children who are placed either with their grandmother or in your nieceā€™s case, with you, her aunt. You are rightly thinking ahead about whether alternative carers will need to be found for the new baby when they are born if their parent/s are not able to. You are considering coming forward to care for the baby, if needed. This would keep the baby in their maternal family and also mean that they could be brought up with their sister.

Here are our faqs for family and friend carers for your information.

At the moment, your sister is having a pre-birth assessment. This will look at her history and the concerns that led to her being unable to safely care for her other children. But it will also consider the current circumstances. These include that your sister is in a new relationship, she may no longer have heroin misuse issues although still has alcohol problems, what she is doing to address her alcohol use, the father-to-be has experience of parenting with no concerns about him at the moment. The social worker will need to consider if your sister and her partner would be able to care for the baby safely together or separately, with a support or child protection plan in place if necessary. They will also assess if it is necessary to explore how the family network could support the parent/s to care for the baby or identify family carers if need be.

It is not possible to predict the outcome of the assessment but it is wise to let your sister and her social worker know that you would be willing to care for the baby if need be. Childrenā€™s services may offer a family group conference to harness the family network which ideally you should be part of. Your sister could ask for this if it is not suggested to her and she would like it to happen.

Here is some information for parents about pre-birth assessments that you might be interested in.

Although plans can be drawn up for a baby child in need or child protection plan before they are born, no court application can be made until a baby is born.

If childrenā€™s services placed the baby with you, you would be their kinship foster carer initially or you could get parental responsibility if the court made a child arrangements order (CAO) or special guardianship order (SGO) to you.

Perhaps when the outcome of your sisterā€™s pre-birth assessment is clearer and if you have any further queries you might want to post on the family and friendsā€™ board or ring FRGā€™s freephone advice helpline on 0808 8010366 Mon to Fri, 9.30 am to 3.00 pm, to discuss the situation with an adviser.

I hope this helps.

Best wishes

Suzie

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