contact

Post Reply
Roger Roger
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:45 pm

contact

Post by Roger Roger » Mon Nov 17, 2014 12:32 pm

Hi. I am new to the forum. We have an SGO for our great nephew. He has contact with both his parents 5 times per year. Our boy is 3 and does call us mummy and daddy as we have a 1 year old daughter and was advised by social services for this to happen so as not to confuse our daughter. Contact with his mum is very difficult and he doesn't enjoy it. She doesn't play with him and spends her time just trying her best to fall out with us.
She now says she is taking us to court about the mummy and daddy thing saying she will get a court order to stop it but really it's a year too late and he knows us as mummy and daddy and her as mummy (name).
Also we want to reduce her contacts as we think it's having a negative affect on the lad.
any advice?
Last edited by Roger Roger on Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Robin D
Posts: 1924
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: contact

Post by Robin D » Mon Nov 17, 2014 1:27 pm

I suspect its all bluff and bluster, but if she does apply, you simply repeat the advice you were given earlier by the social worker about your natural child. No court will tell you to stop a child of that age calling you what they are most comfortable with.

Contact depends mainly on whether a contact order exists. If it doesn't, simply reduce it. Mum will no doubt threaten this, that and the other, but if you feel its distressing or disrupting the child, then it could be argued that you have a duty to prevent the child from being so affected.

If a contact order exists it gets a bit more complicated, but the basic thought process should be the same. You may just need to have a higher level of evidence that the contact is affecting the child, or think of other ways of doing it that give less opportunity of Mum having a poke at you. You are I hope keeping a detailed diary of every contact, what happens, how mum interacts with the child etc, and the effect on said child and your own? If you can get any witnesses, so much the better.

You might also go back to Children's Services and ask if contact can be supervised by them, or at a contact centre, especially if they were party to any contact order discussions at the time.

Good luck .... Robin
Former F&F carer, foster carer, adopter and respite carer for umpteen children. Now retired and when with kids, making sure they 'go home' at the end of the day.

Roger Roger
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:45 pm

Re: contact

Post by Roger Roger » Mon Nov 17, 2014 1:56 pm

Hi thank you for your advice.... no contact order but it was discussed in court .... we already have the mothers contacts in the contact centre but we also go.... she whispers rubish into the lads ears every chance she gets to try to confuse him . social services don't really want to know now and just pass the buck whenever we try to speak to them. We do keep detailed reports from every contact as evidence for the future. It's such a shame as we didn't want it to be like this
cheers

User avatar
Robin D
Posts: 1924
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: contact

Post by Robin D » Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:40 pm

I suggest after the next contact, a 'friendly' letter to Mum letting her know that the whispering is upsetting the child and has to stop or you will have to consider putting the child's needs first. Point out that you really want contact to be positive, but at the moment its negative for him.

That will send her into one initially, but hopefully will then change the pattern. If she does it at the following, cancel the next, letting her know why.
Former F&F carer, foster carer, adopter and respite carer for umpteen children. Now retired and when with kids, making sure they 'go home' at the end of the day.

User avatar
Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 681
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: contact

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Nov 19, 2014 4:15 pm

Dear Roger Roger

Welcome to the Family and Friends Carers Discussion Board.

My name is Suzie and I am an Adviser with Family Rights Group.

You are to be commended for taking on the care of your great nephew under a Special Guardianship Order.

I am sorry that the issue of contact between your nephew and his mother is causing you difficulties at the moment.

You have said in your post that the mother is very difficult and contact with the child is not going well. I wonder if you have considered why the mother is upset at the moment. It may well be because of her own actions why her son is not in her care. However, she no longer has him with her and he is now calling someone else mummy. This is may make her feel undermined as his mother.

Whilst I note that you say social services advised that to prevent confusion with your own child, your nephew should call be allowed to refer to the Special Guardians as mummy and daddy. Her calls his birth mother by her name albeit with mummy added. Did anyone discuss with the mother that this was going to happen and why? What about the confusion for the 3 year old having now calling someone else mummy?

Also, you go to contact with your nephew and it depends what happens and whether the mother feels that she is being scrutinised and watched. It might be helpful to have a meeting with the mother to try and discuss the issues that cause her to be so upset at contact. If you and the birth mother are able to develop an amicable relationship this is likely to be beneficial to everyone concerned.

Regarding your wish to reduce contact, as special guardian you can make this decision but the mother can make an application to the court to have more contact. The court considers contact to be for the benefit of the child.
You are able to reduce contact between your nephew and his mother if it is causing him distress. However, it may be the mother feels she is being pushed out and the lead to the current behaviour. If an understanding can be reached this may resolve the current difficulties with contact.

A special guardianship order unlike an adoption order does not sever ties with the birth parents and it will be important for your nephew when he is older that he has a sense of his identity and background with his birth family and his mother. Contact will help your nephew to maintain a bond with his mother.

I would advise you to consider attending mediation with the mother to try and resolve the current difficulties without the need for court proceedings. The advice you have received suggest you inform the mother of your intention regarding contact if the situation does not improve which could also help.

You may wish to seek further advice regarding the reduction of contact with the Coram Children Legal Centre on 0808 802 0008 and their is website.

I hope you will find this information helpful.

Best wishes

Suzie

Post Reply