Contact with birth mother

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NannyDuck56
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2021 9:08 pm

Contact with birth mother

Post by NannyDuck56 » Tue Mar 16, 2021 11:31 pm

Hello, I have held a SGO on my 2 granddaughters for 5 years. Their mother has been in a community rehabilitation for 3 years. She has now been back in the community for one year, throughout this time, she has had regular contact with the children. The court order did not stipulate any restrictions on contact with their mother. 9 months ago, she had a lapse (one day she drank) but she quickly picked herself up, got involved with substance misuse services and was back on track. There have been no further issues since then. I am due to be away for work reasons in a couple of months and the children are desperate to stay with their mum (she has her own accomodation). She lives very close to us and my partner (who jointly holds the SGO with me) who will be seeing her and the children daily, I will also be face timing/skyping in the evenings. Am I able to allow the children to stay with her? Social services have always said that contact is at our discretion and when their mother returned to the community, they were made aware as she was living with is initially, they met with all of us including the children, carried out an assessment, and said they had no concerns. We made them aware at that time that we intended increasing contact, and they said the same, that it was at our discretion. So I am sure this arrangement would be ok, but I just wanted to double check really. Thanks for your help.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 725
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: Contact with birth mother

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Mar 25, 2021 1:06 pm

Dear NannyDuck56

Welcome to the family and friends’ carers’ discussion board and thank you for your post.

You are wondering if you can allow the children to stay with their mother in a couple of months when you are away for work purposes.

As you have almost exclusive parental responsibility under the SGO and as contact is at your discretion, you are able to make decisions for your grandchildren about contact with their mother including overnight stays. From what you say, she has been doing well but did have a lapse some months ago which she recovered from.

You don’t say how long you will be away for and therefore how long the proposed arrangement may be for (this could be a significant factor in risk assessing the situation), or how how old the children are. You have devised your own safety plan including regular visits from your partner (another SG) and regular online contact.

Children’s services have previously indicated that they were happy with you extending contact and confirmed that it is your decision. It comes down to your assessment of the situation (including thinking about what difficulties may arise) as a carer with almost exclusive parental responsibility. If this proposal is due to be in a couple of months, perhaps you could consider trialling an overnight stay before you go, to see how everyone manages. If the children's mother is still working with the alcohol services agency, together you could get an update. You could also specifically run the current proposal past children’s services (Special Guardianship Support Team) as they have fuller knowledge of the situation and may be able to provide you with additional guidance or reassurance, if you need it.

I hope this helps.

Best wishes



Suzie

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