SGO Placement not Working

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SGO Placement not Working

Post by Coxsam » Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:04 am

Hi all

Hoping for some advice regarding what process to follow for a SGO placement which has not worked out.

My partner and I were awarded an SGO for my two nieces 7 & 14 in November 2018 and they have been living with us since December 2018. The girls were under the care of XXXXXX Council and as we are based in XXXXXX we have has very limited support from children's services.

Following numerous arguments at home the older child has expressed her wish to no longer remain under our care. Unfortunately her mother is not in a position to have her returned to her care and the child has been clear they do not wish to move back to XXXXXX.

We have spoken to social services regarding changing the SGO to my sister (child's aunt) and all parties would be happy with this arrangement, but my sister would require financial assistance to support this. Social services have advised this can not be transferred and we will need to revoke the SGO but have not confirmed the process for the child.

We do not wish for her to go back into foster care as this was very traumatic for her previously but we can not enter into a private agreement. Any advise on how to proceed or who we should speak with would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks
Last edited by Suzie, FRG Adviser on Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Post moderated to protect anonymity

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: SGO Placement not Working

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Jan 20, 2020 5:48 pm

Dear Coxsam

Thank you for your post. You have posted on the parents’ board but I will respond to you here and ask that any future posts from you should on the family and friends board.

It is unfortunate that the placement for your niece appear to have broken down and she no longer wishes to reside with you. Your sister (her aunt) is willing to have your niece live with her and having discussed this with children’s services they would be in favour of this arrangement.

A difficulty arises because your sister is not able to care for your niece without financial support. She was not assessed for the special guardianship allowance or to care for your niece long term so children’s service are not going to agree to pay the allowance to her. .Since your niece does not want to live with you and you do not feel able to continue caring for her, you could agree to sign s.20 for children’s services to place her with your sister. As you say your niece cannot or does not wish to remain in your care and her mother is unable to have her, children’s services will need to consider how best she can be accommodated. Before they could place her, as you have parental responsibility they would need your consent and, in those circumstances, should consider family and friends before stranger foster care. Your sister would have to be assessed initially as foster carer and then for special guardianship. You or she could apply to discharge special guardianship order.

If your sister looks after your niece under s.20 she would be a ‘looked after child’. Children’s services would assess your sister for special guardianship in the same way you were and consider the support package for your niece. Please see our advice sheets Family and Friends Care: becoming a foster carer and Support for relatives and friends who are looking after someone else’s child

Please also read our advice sheet Duties on Children’s Services when children are in the care system

The only difficulty that might arise is if children’s services become concerned about the possibility of a further breakdown of a family placement for your niece.

With regard to applying to discharge the special guardianship order, you would need to complete the appropriate form, a C1, pay the court fee and the case would then be listed by the court. You can obtain the appropriate forms from the court or online.

I would advise that you think about a s.20 placement because this would mean your niece has the benefit of being a looked after child prior to an order being made in your sister’s favour. You may wish to consider obtaining legal advice from a solicitor before making your decision.
Child Law Advice on 0300 330 5480, will be able to advice you on making the application, provided you do not have a solicitor.

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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