Choose between son or grandson

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Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:50 pm

Choose between son or grandson

Post by Rockyted19 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:11 pm

Hi all.
My grandson aged 9 is in care and has been for a year. His dad my son lives here with us and is an adult but has no one as in relationships etc. He went through an awful time and it has changed him enormously!
My grandson XX is now in permanent foster til he's 18 and is with a lovely mixed family. Very happy he seems too.
He stayed with us constantly since he was born but his dad has never even said hello as he told her he wouldn't and that he didn't want the child. He was 16 and she was 22 which made me very suspect of her. Anyway she finished with him then informed me she was having his baby which he didn't know about.
Well to keep him safe he stayed every day that I could have him. He grew up knowing my son wouldn't be a dad to him. Yes at times it has broken my heart but we live with it.
From being in care we have him 2 weekends a month and a Thursday for tea.
We have now received notification that social services think it is bad for him to be with us if our son is here. They have literally told me to choose. Something I can't do. If we want him to come to ours and stay we have to send our son away. My grandson is so used to the situation he's been here for 9 years and never batted an eyelid.
Surely they can not make me make that sort of decision!! It has broken our hearts and my grandson got upset when I told him too. Does anyone know what I should do. I think my basic human rights are being taken away. If my son was in a relationship it would be different and I would ask him to move out but he has no one so what am I meant to do?
Please help. I know it sounds crazy but honestly it is workable as it has for 9 years
Last edited by Suzie, FRG Adviser on Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: First name was used

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

Re: Choose between son or grandson

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:58 am

Dear Rockyted19

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

I am sorry to hear that your grandson has been in foster care but it is good that you are satisfied that he is with a lovely family and is happy.

I am guessing that your grandson’s situation was considered by the court and that they made a care order for him. From what you have said he is in a long-term foster placement. If there is a care order in place this means that the local authority are the main decision-makes for your grandson but must also consult with his parents and keep them informed.

You have a very strong and important relationship with your grandson and have been involved in caring for him and having him stay with you since he was a baby. From what you say, he has continued to stay and visit with you regularly since he has been in foster care. This would have been agreed in recognition of your strong bond with each other and that your grandson benefits from this. Did the court make a contact order?

Although you are very close to your grandson, your adult son (your grandson’s father) who lives with you, is not. In fact, it sounds as if he has no relationship whatsoever with his son. I know that you feel that your grandson is used to and accepts this arrangement but it does sound quite unusual and is possibly having a greater emotional impact on your grandson than you think? Certainly, children’s services who are responsible for reviewing all contact arrangements as part of your grandson’s care plan seem to be worried that this is no longer right for your grandson and so have said that your son cannot be in your home if your grandson is to come to you. Have they said that they would like him to move out permanently or just to ensure that he is not there on Thursdays and on the weekends your grandson comes to you? I think it is important to know exactly what is being requested of you.

Also what is your son’s response?

Of course you have loyalties to both your son and grandson and you feel torn in this situation. Grandparents are often put in the difficult position of supporting their adult child or their grandchild.

Contact between children and their grandparents is almost always beneficial for the child and I think children’s services fully recognise this but are worried about your son’s attitude to his son. Now that your grandson is in foster care, children’s services are your son’s ‘parent’ too and they have a duty and the power to make decisions for him which they believe to be in his best interests.

I would suggest that you:
• Ask children’s services to put in writing the reasons for their proposal and what they will do if you don’t comply (I guess they will say your grandson will not be able to stay/visit with you and that any contact would have to happen away from your home)
• Consider what they have said – from the point of view of your grandson’s needs and his rights. (Contact is always about the child).
• Clarify exactly what they want – as highlighted above.
• Maybe ask for a meeting with your grandson’s social worker and Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) to discuss further or to put forward any proposals you have or to explain why you think the current arrangement is workable.
• Then make an informed decision, taking into account that your grandson is a child and that decisions are made on his behalf by children’s services and that your son is an adult and a father.

It might be helpful for you to have a look at our advice sheets on contact with children in care and duties on children’s services when children are in the care system . I hope they will be of use to you.

If you remain unhappy with children’s services’ response then you could make a complaint.

Maybe other grandparents who have faced similar situations will be able to offer some advice based on their experiences too?

With best wishes


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