Sgo advice

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Clemma
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:42 am

Sgo advice

Post by Clemma » Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:41 am

I am currently caring for an almost 12 week old baby who has been with for almost 10 weeks. We (my partner and I) are almost to the end of the fostering/SGO assessment and my connected carer has said its all positive for her right now. That bit is all great. However, an aunty on the paternal side has come forward to be assessed. If she, too, has a positive assessment does that automatically mean baby will go to her? Baby will be with us until the end of court proceedings which will be end of September or October. The aim is for him to go back to his bm but it's not a certainty right now - she has many, many support needs and it's not clear if she would be able to care for a baby/child. With baby being with us for so long, if he can't return to bm, then we would obviously want him to remain here. We are not related. Bm is my step daughter from a previous marriage and we're very close (she still sees me as her step mum even though I divorced her day 10 years ago). Baby is our grandson, we're his Nannie and Grandad, I just don't know whether the the fact we're not related will go against us when choosing the people to care for him long term under an SGO. Bm wants baby to remain with me. Any help or advice would be appreciated.

EDIT I maybe should add that baby is here under an ICO. Social services asked for us to undergo both the fostering assessment and the SGO assessment. The fostering assessment needs to be completed before August 13th as we are only temporary foster carers at the moment (after a positive viability assessment). The SGO is being done alongside so it's ready to be put to the court should that be the outcome of the case.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 662
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: Sgo advice

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Jul 22, 2020 1:02 pm

Dear Clemma

Thank you for your post and welcome to the family and friends carers’ discussion forum.

I see that you are currently caring for a baby under an interim care order and you are being assessed for long term foster care or special guardianship. The fact that the baby is with you under in interim care order means that you have been approved as a foster to care for him at the moment. All your assessments have so far been going well and seems to be positive.

Your concern is whether a paternal aunt who is now being assessed would have the baby automatically placed with her if she has a positive assessment. The decision about where the baby will live long term will be decided by the court at the final hearing. Whilst the care proceedings are ongoing it is not usual to move a child until there is some certainty about a placement. He is currently settled with you and the guardian, children’s services and the mother will be able to give their views to the court about which placement they think would be best for the baby. The Judge will look at all the evidence and make a decision based on what the child’s welfare and what is best for him long term.

The reason other family members are assessed during court proceedings is because children’s services are required to consider parents, family and friends before a child is placed with stranger foster carers. Should neither parent have a positive assessment and the decision is that a child cannot live with either of them, then the family member or friend who is considered the most appropriate placement is likely to have the child placement in their care. For a baby, a special guardianship order is most likely the order that the court would make to ensure permanence for the child.

As stated above, the decision of who a child is placed with will depend on what is best for the child and, whilst a family member may have a positive assessment, it does not necessarily follow that another person who is not a blood relative cannot be the best placement for him or her.

Please see our advice sheets Care (and related) proceedings and DIY Special Guardianship Orders - information for family and friends carers for more information about the court proceedings and being a special guardian.

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 helps.

Best wishes

Suzie

Clemma
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:42 am

Re: Sgo advice

Post by Clemma » Fri Jul 24, 2020 12:56 pm

Thank you for your reply. Neither BF or GM (BF still lives with her) want to be assessed and have refused and the Aunt works full time (she is single so no other adults in the home to care for him). He will either be in childcare or the BF/GM may try and become his carers whilst she works. This concerns me greatly. He is very settled here, has formed strong attachments and is doing very, very well. The thought of him being placed elsewhere to be then cared for by whomever can care for him seems very wrong to me. The BM wants him to remain here and I have had a positive conversation with the guardian in the past. I can only hope that the judge awards us the SGO. Thanks again. It's incredibly stressful at the moment.

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