Anxious about 15 year old Daughter's return to family home

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Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:19 am

Anxious about 15 year old Daughter's return to family home

Post by chefone1 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:18 pm

Our Adopted Daughter who is 16 years old in November has been in Foster Care under section 20 at our request since March 27th 2013. Her birth Brother who is 17 in November still lives in our Family home, and at present we have no concerns about his teenage behaviour.

Since December 2009 aged 12 years old we noticed a change in our Daughter’s behaviour and unnecessary risk taking was increasing greatly, going missing, posting risky photos and comments on Facebook to random strangers.

My wife and I tried to manage the situation without the assistance of the Children’s services, issues in School not attending lessons causing chaos, running away from the home and school, getting drunk, use of drugs, smoking,caution for shop lifting

We approached Children’s Services for their help around Nov/Dec 2010, Jan 2011 and they had no interest in our situation, until our Daughter made an allegation against me about physically harming her to the Police Feb 2011, then Child Protection and Social Services where all over us like a "rash" now and showed a great interest, but as expected could find no evidence of her allegations.

We continued to have their “support” but her behaviour and risk taking was becoming more serious, self harming through cutting herself, overdosing on pain killers, punching shop windows to cut herself, threatening my Wife with a kitchen knife. We managed to eventually have her sectioned March 2013 after the second crisis meeting at our local hospital in 10 days and this was for her own safety to be assessed over a 14 day period in a secure unit. This security was dropped after 7 days due to showing no signs of mental health issues, (we have tried to engage our Daughter with CAHMS since February 2012 but she is not willing to participate, but has had several assessments but does not commit to further appointments and refuses to attend). We had contact with our Daughter for the remaining 7 days for meal times and she was allowed friend contact and returned in a taxi at approx 9.30pm each evening.

After careful consideration due to 30 plus incidents involving the Police over the duration, a move to a second secondary school (for which as I write she is on a 20 day permanent exclusion) and alternative provision for YR11 is now being devised we agreed to a section 20 from March 27th 2013 in Foster Care, which has given my Wife, our Son and I tremendous rest and recuperation from the chaos see is still causing. We have had hourly contact for which she has disappeared from at the collection time, she has runaway from the Foster Carer home on several occasions, even overnight ( forgot to mention stayed out overnight FEB 2013 and brought home by a 20 year old male the next afternoon).

We decided several weeks ago to try and manage a move back home with her staying from Thursday – Saturday morning for 3 weeks, before the Foster Carer goes on her family holiday and notice is served on the placement. We felt comfortable about this until we attended a meeting with Children’s Services Fri 21st June and we felt pressurised into agreeing to her returning to us permanently mid July 2013, plus prior to this Sunday 16th June she was picked up by the Police for threatening to jump from a bridge, Saturday 22nd June and Sunday 23rd June missing and intoxicated with alcohol, returned to Foster Carer twice by the Police but runaway again, and also threatened to jump from a bridge once again.

My Wife and I are feeling very anxious about having her return to our home on a permanent basis due to both working and we have to battle to get her out of bed in the morning, there is not current plan for education until Sept 2013 and managing her social and risk taking habits once again. Not returning home and getting 3-4 hours sleep ourselves per evening whilst waiting for the Police to return her home.

Do we have to agree to her return?

Do we need to sign a document on her return for the S20, due to signing a S20 to accommodate her?

If so do we have to accept her behaviour in our home once she is 16 in November 2013, can we ask her to leave the home?

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Anxious about 15 year old Daughter's return to family ho

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Jun 27, 2013 3:25 pm

Dear chefone1,

Welcome to the parents board.
I am sorry to hear about the extremely difficult time you and your family have had over the last few years. Your daughter’s behaviour, which appears very challenging and dangerous to both herself and other people, must be very worrying for you.

Before a child returns home after being in the care system-an assessment must take place. This should identify any support that is needed, to ensure that the return home goes smoothly and that your daughter does not end up coming straight back into care.

Has this assessment taken place and do you and your daughter know what help will be given to the family? What support will she receive from children services, education and health? A plan should be written identifying what professional is responsible for what.

Does the assessment take into account the recent developments-her threat to jump from a bridge, for example? Or does the assessment need to be updated?

Is a Looked after children review meeting planned to take place before/if she returns?
You could speak to the independent reviewing officer about your concerns for your family and her safety. Is this in fact the best plan for her? There are alternatives. Have children services considered other types of placements for her? For example, did the assessment consider therapeutic placements for her?

What are your daughter’s wishes and feelings? Does your daughter have access to an advocacy and advice service? If not, you could ask the independent reviewing officer about services in your area or you could contact Voice.

In answer to your questions:

Do we have to agree to her return?
No-you don’t have to agree to her returning. You and your wife have parental responsibility for your daughter-so you are legally responsible for her. However, in the complex circumstances that you mention, it may not be the best plan for your daughter to return home if there is not the right support in place.

Do we need to sign a document on her return home?

As children services will have assessed your daughters needs, there should be a document or written agreement setting out what support will be offered. If not, you should ask that the support been offered is put in writing.
If they ask that you sign an agreement-ask for time to think about what you are signing and also seek legal advice or you could call our advice line for advice. It would be better for you and your family to have a written agreement which you csn then refer to.

Once she is 16 in November 2013, can we ask her to leave the home?

The short answer to this is yes-you can ask her to leave-however, she will still be considered to be a child until she is 18 years. As she will be 16-the law about accommodation says that a parent will not be able to agree to her going into the care system or take her out of the care system. Only she herself will be able to agree or not agree.
If you feel that it might not be the right plan-ie too eary for your daughter to safely come home-ask for a meeting with children services and the other professionals who are working with your daughter.
What does the mental health team think? What’s going to happen over the summer break-before she returns to school?
You could prepare an agenda for the meeting outlining all your concerns. I know not long ago you did feel equipped to have your daughter back living with you. What has changed-how can you get support so that you may be back in the same position?

I hope this advice helps but if you have other questions, please post again or call our advice line.
Here is a link to our advice sheet about Duties to children in the care system
Best wishes,

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Re: Anxious about 15 year old Daughter's return to family ho

Post by chefone1 » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:36 pm

Thank you for your response an advice to our questions and concerns, they are and will be very useful for a forthcoming review meeting Tuesday 9th July.

Our 1st meeting with the Independent review officer was on Friday 19th April 2013, and we then received a copy of a document titled "....Decisions and recommendations of review meeting" on May 31st 2013 which contained incorrect statements for which we returned a copy of the document dated 1st June with a covering letter explaining what we felt was incorrect recording of the meeting and requested these to be amended.
We received a phone call from the Reviewing Officer who explained that this is how these reports are written, we are still waiting to see the amended report due to us not agreeing to its accuracy.

A key point in our view from this report is "They feel they are not able to have her return at this time as further work is required"

Our written response to the RO is "Plans for further work to assist our (Daughters name) needs not stipulated"

As I am writing this response we have our Daughter staying with us for planned contact till tomorrow morning 11am, and a new Social worker (due to our previous 1 leaving this week,and the Team Manager now on our fourth Social worker since Feb 2012) visited our Daughter this afternoon to explain boundaries and rules for returning home on time, 1st night 20 minutes late and this evening 30 minutes late, this may not seem a great issue to readers of this post, but we now have an added complication to our family life that my Wife was admitted to hospital 4 weeks ago for 2 nights and after a CT scan is now in preparation to be either admitted to a hospital in Basingstoke which is over 200 miles away from our home, or we may be lucky and the specialists in our local hospital may be able to perform the Surgery.

Children Services have been aware of this complication from the offset but appear to be dismissing that my Wife will be recovering in Hospital for 2 weeks after surgery plus further lengthy bed rest at home for several months.

The independent Foster Carer is willing to have our Daughter, and has even organised accommodation for her during their forthcoming family holiday mid July.

The problem appears to be the Director of our Children Social Services is terminating the placement due to costs and trying to in our view emotionally black mail us to have our Daughter returned home to us to manage even in more difficult circumstances of my Wife's hospital treatment (especially if the venue is Basingstoke), or placed in a less favourable Foster Care environment.

There appears to be a great haste now from Children Services in the last 48 hours to get health assessment forms and further documents signed by ourselves in preparation for the review meet on the 9th July, which we thought should have been done urgently from the date our Daughter was placed on the S20.

Any further advice and guidance on this matter greatly appreciated.

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Re: Anxious about 15 year old Daughter's return to family ho

Post by Elzyte » Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:57 pm

I am so sorry for this girl.. Her adoptive parents never loved her as would love biological Mom. They still look at this girl as at any thing: radio, for instance-if it broke up, you can just throw it away.. Does biological loving Mom ever give up her daughter to Foster parents? Do Foster parents can make miracles and can change 15y.o. behaviour?
It is just another one tragic story where does lead forced adoption in UK-to confused adoptive parents, to heartbroken biological mothers and children with lost identity. I am sure-this girl just whole her life needed her biological Mother. And her behaviour is kind of protest against this system.
Loving biological parents could never voluntarily give up their children for foster care!

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Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:19 am

Re: Anxious about 15 year old Daughter's return to family ho

Post by chefone1 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:07 pm

If her biological Mum loved her so much in your opinion why did the biological Mum try to kill her when she was less than 12 months old ? Hence the reason for our Daughter to have been placed in to care.

Our Daughter and her natural sibling an older brother have had as much love as a normal birth child would have had. Unfortunately yes 1 of the "radios" is broken and has been returned to the repairers on many occasions, but leaves the shop before it can be repaired, all the tools have been available to repair the situation over the last 4 years.

For the radio to be repaired it will need to be retuned.

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