Assessment of grandparents

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Peg
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Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2021 4:02 pm

Assessment of grandparents

Post by Peg » Tue Apr 20, 2021 4:16 pm

My first grandchild was removed from my daughter at three days old. Police arrived at the hospital where my daughter and husband were “kept hostage” in my daughter’s words. She found the experience of giving birth traumatic. The pethidine and other pain relief given to her would have affected her judgement. She was accused of being unable to hold her baby safely. The baby “could have been suffocated”. It seems the midwife tried to show my daughter how to hold her baby but gave up and called police. I understand health workers are under huge strain. This is an example of the lack of resources being put into maternity care. My daughter was told that normally mothers are sent home after only one day so she packed for only one day. It was unfair to misjudge my daughter(autistic spectrum) when she was obviously traumatised.
My first grandson was placed in foster care. I booked a flight from XXXXX hoping that I could do something to prevent the horrible process of court cases and eventual adoption.The day I arrived at the airport the parents were reunited with their son in a placement with 24 cctv monitoring, a type of prison where the parents are taught things that their grandparent could easily teach them. So I am still waiting to meet my grandson.
A social worker talked with me for an hour today, the start of the long assessment process that the system requires me to go through before I can be allowed to hold my first and maybe only grandson in my arms.
The process might take 12 weeks or more. Alongside this she mentioned the legal process taking 26 weeks or more. I have absolutely no confidence that the system will be fair or just. Time is precious.
This is theft. It is distressing enough for parents. Grandparents are hurt too. Babies in this sick generation seem to belong not to their parents but to the state. The parenting assessment centre decides which parents are suitable to keep their children,
This is another example of taxpayer money being wasted. Parents need support in their own homes, not in an artificial prison environment. The social worker told me it is one of the best in the country and what a privilege it is to be placed in it.
It is shameful that grandparents have no rights. The lack of respect toward them is shocking. The grandmother in XXXX is livid with the English welfare state. I agree with her 100%.
Grandchildren being stolen by the state. Society can not get much sicker than this.
Last edited by Suzie, FRG Adviser on Wed Apr 21, 2021 9:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Moderated to protect anonymity

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

Re: Assessment of grandparents

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Tue May 04, 2021 2:26 pm

Dear Peg

Welcome to the kinship carers’ discussion board and thank you for your post. My name is Suzie and I am Family Rights Group’s online adviser. First of all, congratulations on the birth of your first grandchild, a little boy. I know that the circumstances, however, are very difficult and this is both frustrating and distressing for you.

I am sorry that I have not been able to respond sooner. You may already have received some advice by now so I will focus on ensuring that you have information about the process to help you understand what is happening and also what you can do to support the parents and your grandson.

Hopefully, your daughter and her husband now both have solicitors to represent and advise them through the process. It is important that they work closely with them and raise any issues or concerns sooner rather than later. These tips may help. The court will decide what is the best plan for your grandson at the conclusion of the case based on your grandson’s welfare and what is in his best interests. The assessment carried out at the residential assessment centre will be considered by the court, alongside all other relevant assessments and evidence.

I can see how this devastating it is for you and your family to be in this situation and that the circumstances which led to your new-born grandson initially being placed in foster care were very difficult. It must have been very stressful for all involved. A decision to call the police to a maternity hospital would not be taken lightly and does signify a serious concern for your grandson’s welfare. However, it is not clear what steps were taken to support your daughter and her husband to correctly care for him first or to try to manage the situation sensitively. The positive now is that the family are together again although in the strictly supervised environment of the assessment centre. It is important that the parents have every opportunity to bond with and care for their baby but also that they understand the concerns and take on board advice to develop and support their parenting.

Your daughter is on the autistic spectrum and her individual needs in relation to this should be considered in the assessments she is having. Her solicitor is best placed to advise on this, to make sure that she is treated fairly and to consider whether she should have an advocate to help her. She may have a specialist PAMs assessment (depending on her additional needs) and be asked to agree to a psychological assessment . You don’t mention if her husband has any additional needs but of course he is also your grandson’s father and his parenting and ability to safeguard the baby are also being assessed. Here are some links to services and support for parents with a disability.

This guide to care proceedings summarises what to expect during care proceedings and may be helpful to both you and the baby’s parents. You are right that the timescale for proceedings is approximately 26 weeks.

You responded straight away when you became aware of the situation and travelled to support the family. You are now being assessed to have contact with your grandson and, I think, to potentially care for him, if needed?

You may find it helpful to look at our specialist advice materials for kinship carers especially our FAQ on initial or viability assessments .

You mention your grandson’s paternal grandmother too. If there is a family group conference arranged to harness family support and identify potential carers if need be she could also be involved, virtually, if needed.

You are understandably wanting to be able to spend time with your grandson and this is being explored with his social worker. You can highlight children’s services’ duty to promote contact with wider family members as set out here. Plans for your grandson must be regularly reviewed by his Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) – these includes plans around contact – so if you have any concerns that are not being resolved at court or by the social worker, let the IRO know too.

You haven’t asked any specific questions but if you do have any, especially as your grandson’s case progresses please do post back.

I hope that information helps.

Best wishes

Suzie

Peg
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2021 4:02 pm

Re: Assessment of grandparents

Post by Peg » Sat May 08, 2021 6:46 pm

Hi Susie,
Thank you for the information.
The process does seem excessively long. After one month of assessments my son-in-law claimed there were no concerns about their parenting.
I still feel lived at the injustice done. My daughter was unfairly judged after giving birth, There was no warning during her pregnancy and there no concerns expressed. This sudden removal was based on one ignorant midwife’s opinion that an autistic mother would be cruel to wear ear defenders as she thought it would mean my daughter would not hear her baby cry. The hospital made no allowance for my daughter having sensory issues, the main one being her hypersensitive hearing. She finds excessive noise painful. The hospital was noisy. She wore the ear defenders to block out the noise of other babies crying, nor her own. The baby could not latch on. Instead of helping her to find the correct position they gave up and called police because they were afraid she would hold the baby too tightly and he would suffocate. This shows the maternity ward was unsympathetic and lacked patience to help my daughter. It is something that I find too shocking to accept. It means that autistic mothers are not safe giving birth in hospital. I want justice to be done. Somebody must apologise. Who will take responsibility? It is too easy for authorities to blame parents.
My daughter was accused of trying to kill her baby! This is a serious allegation which needs to be dealt with. The parents’ social worker asked me if my daughter had ever been malicious. I was horrified when she asked me that. I told the social worker that my daughter had never been malicious.
I wrote to this social worker and told her I was horrified that she asked me that question. She then denied that she had asked me that question. So now I not trust her and have asked all contact to be in writing only.
I have started my assessment process. The first meeting did not happen because this social worker did not attend the meeting. The second meeting was just one social worker named *** asking me for my life history summarised in an hour. There were some very intrusive questions included. These left me feeling shattered.
I wrote to *** asking for future meetings to be conducted in writing. He replied that this would not be feasible. The panel who assess foster carers would not accept that.
Social Services are unreasonable. They make mistakes but are never accountable for their own mistakes and lies.
Their main goal is not to protect children but to protect themselves from being sued.
I can tell you that they deserve to be sued for their corrupt methods and for the distress caused to families.
*** moderated by Suzie to remove identifying information.

Peg
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2021 4:02 pm

Re: Assessment of grandparents

Post by Peg » Sat May 08, 2021 6:52 pm

Peg wrote:
Sat May 08, 2021 6:46 pm
Hi Susie,
Thank you for the information.
The process does seem excessively long. After one month of assessments my son-in-law claimed there were no concerns about their parenting.
I still feel livid at the injustice done. My daughter was unfairly judged after giving birth, There was no warning or concerns expressed during her pregnancy. This sudden removal was based on one ignorant midwife’s opinion that an autistic mother would be cruel to wear ear defenders as she thought it would mean my daughter would not hear her baby cry. The hospital made no allowance for my daughter having sensory issues, the main one being her hypersensitive hearing. My daughter has always found excessive noise painful and stressful. It causes her anxiety levels to rise. The hospital was noisy. She wore the ear defenders to block out the noise of other babies crying, not her own baby. The baby could not latch on. Instead of helping her to find the correct position they gave up and called police because they were afraid she would hold the baby too tightly and he would suffocate. This shows the maternity ward was unsympathetic and lacked patience to help my daughter. It is something that I find too shocking to accept. It means that autistic mothers are not safe giving birth in hospital. I want justice to be done. Somebody must apologise. Who will take responsibility? It is too easy for authorities to blame parents.
My daughter was accused of trying to kill her baby! This is a serious allegation which needs to be dealt with. The parents’ social worker asked me if my daughter had ever been malicious. I was horrified when she asked me that. I told the social worker that my daughter had never been malicious.
I wrote to this social worker and told her I was horrified that she asked me that question. She then denied that she had asked me that question. So now I do not trust her and have asked all contact to be in writing only.
I have started my assessment process. The first meeting did not happen because this social worker did not attend the meeting. The second meeting was just one social worker named *** asking me for my life history summarised in an hour. There were some very intrusive questions included. These left me feeling shattered.
I wrote to *** asking for future meetings to be conducted in writing. He replied that this would not be feasible. The panel who assess foster carers would not accept that.
Social Services are unreasonable. They make mistakes but are never accountable for their own mistakes and lies.
Their main goal is not to protect children but to protect themselves from being sued.
I can tell you that they certainly deserve to be sued for their corrupt methods and for the distress caused to families.
*** Moderated by Suzie to remove identifying information.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 753
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: Assessment of grandparents

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed May 26, 2021 2:14 pm

Dear Peg

Thank you for the update, I am sorry to read that the process is still difficult for you.

It may be useful for you to have a read of our guide about good practice in family and friends care assessments as well as the information we have on our website about kinship care.

We have some tips about working with social workers (and other professionals) and information about how to make complaints too.

If you would like to speak to an adviser about your situation our advice lines are open Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays) on 0808 801 0366, from 9.30am-3.00pm.

Best wishes

Suzie

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