Need some advice for friend

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seekinghelp
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:19 am

Need some advice for friend

Post by seekinghelp » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:07 pm

Hi Im looking for some advice for a Friend
My house mate had her Son taken into care over 2 years ago during a difficult time where she resorted to Alcohol and drugs to cope, Mainly weed, Prescription Drugs and Cocaine
She also turned to Escorting to fund all this, and the cycle contains.
Last October the court gave guardianship to her sister and she was told she would need to be stable and clean for 18 months
Last week we were told it would be at least 2 years and as it wouldn’t be good for him to go back
She has been registered with Swansell/Iris this week and went for her health checkup.
I know her sister wants to do more contact but she refuses to do it with her sister for the time being.
I want to know if we can show 3-6 months of clean results can we get more contact with her son, I know It will be down to her sister and Social, etc
Is their anyone we can speak to about this

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 597
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: Need some advice for friend

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Sep 26, 2019 12:02 pm

Dear seekinghelp

Welcome to the Family and Friends Carers’ discussion board and thank you for posting your query on behalf of your friend. My name is Suzie, FRG’s online adviser. I am sorry that we were not able to respond to your post sooner due to the current volume of work.

I am very sorry to hear of your friend’s situation but it is good that the child has remained in the family network, under a Special Guardianship Order to his aunt.

Your friend is making good progress. Please to encourage her to keep this up, to look after her health, address her alcohol and substance use and any other needs she has. This will definitely benefit not only your friend but her son as she will be able to respond to him more effectively and be in a better situation if she wants to argue for more contact or a return home (this would have to be considered to be in his best interests).

Do you know if the court made an order Child Arrangements Order setting out the arrangements for your friend and her son to spend time together or if this was left to the Special Guardian’s (SG) discretion? If there is no order then it is currently up to the SG to agree what contact should take place.

Also if a social worker has remained involved with the child?

Either way, if your friend able to show consistently that she is not using drugs or alcohol any more thereby reducing concerns about her contact with her son this will be helpful.

If possible, she should reassure her sister, the SG that she is dealing with all of the issues.

As a parent affected by special guardianship, she is entitled to seek support from children’s services in relation to contact; this could include mediation. Children’s services are not obliged to assist though. Contact is always about the child’s needs so if your friend can show she is more able to be an attuned parent and to work with professionals to demonstrate this.

It is not possible to say if a specific period of clean results will all lead to increased contact but it would help. All decisions should be based on what is best for the child.

If need be, your friend could consider taking the matter back to court, if all else including mediation were not successful.
your friend should have a look at our advice sheet Special Guardianship for birth parents especially pages 13 and 14.

If there is still a social worker involved she can call FRG’s freephone advice helpline on 08008 801 0366, Mon to Friday 9.30 am to 3.00 pm.

If she would like to get some private law advice she can contact Rights of Women family law advice service or Child Law Advice or go to see a solicitor.

I hope this helps.

With best wishes

Suzie

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