Likelyhood of SGO Success

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aj456
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:26 pm

Likelyhood of SGO Success

Post by aj456 » Tue May 19, 2020 1:17 pm

Hello,

I hope everyone is staying safe in these crazy times. I have a question regarding the viability assessments of SGO. I'll try to summarise the story so far:

My niece has been taken from her mum under a PPO around a month ago, since then she was placed with her half-sister who is being assessed (I guess as my nieces current foster carer and for an SGO going foward).

We have been told that Children's services are looking into an SGO. However myself and my wife have been asked to apply as well. We have been told we are going down as a backup and that my neice's half-sister is who they are focusing on but that we are assessed in case she falls through or withdraws, or if the court decides my niece should live with us.

My question is how likely is that to happen? From what I can gather SS seem happy with my neice's half-sister and she seems to be passing the assessments thus far. Is the court likely to rule that my neice should live with myself and my wife? What factors would it take into account to do this and has it ever happened?

Thanks.

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Robin D
Posts: 1929
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: Likelyhood of SGO Success

Post by Robin D » Tue May 19, 2020 5:46 pm

Hi.

It is very common to parallel plan in case they found something they, or the court, don't like late in the assessment. Otherwise they are then starting from scratch again meaning that achieving permanence for the child is delayed.

I can't answer how often it happens, indeed I don't remember seeing any data on this particular situation. @Suzie here may have access to information I've not seen. I'm sure she will post if that is the case

Under normal circumstances, the court will only be asked to make an SGO for the primary candidate, or the second. The court does not consider both and decide which they prefer

I may have misread your intention in posting, but if you feel unable to offer your niece a permanent home, you should say so now. Please don't feel pressured. It's one huge commitment.

Hopefully this helps.

Best wishes .. 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.

aj456
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:26 pm

Re: Likelyhood of SGO Success

Post by aj456 » Wed May 20, 2020 8:25 am

Hi,

Thanks for your reply - it's not that we don't want her here, we would love to have her. We've spent most of her life with her since she was born.

Our concern is that in terms of a support network we live quite far away from the rest of her family so we think it's best for that reason (hard though it was to say) that she stay with her sister. Plus she has been living there for at least a month now so it would break her sister's heart to have to give her up (even to us).

So that I can be super clear in what you are saying, children's services will be the ones to put a candidate forward to the court? The court will either reject or accept that candidate and then children's services would put someone else forward?

I presume the other alternative is that children's services put us forward first but I don't think that's likely based on their conversations.

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Robin D
Posts: 1929
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: Likelyhood of SGO Success

Post by Robin D » Wed May 20, 2020 1:10 pm

Yes that's right. One or the other goes forward although the court is likely to be aware of the parallel plan.
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.

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

Re: Likelyhood of SGO Success

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:21 pm

aj456 wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 1:17 pm
Hello,

I hope everyone is staying safe in these crazy times. I have a question regarding the viability assessments of SGO. I'll try to summarise the story so far:

My niece has been taken from her mum under a PPO around a month ago, since then she was placed with her half-sister who is being assessed (I guess as my nieces current foster carer and for an SGO going foward).

We have been told that Children's services are looking into an SGO. However myself and my wife have been asked to apply as well. We have been told we are going down as a backup and that my neice's half-sister is who they are focusing on but that we are assessed in case she falls through or withdraws, or if the court decides my niece should live with us.

My question is how likely is that to happen? From what I can gather SS seem happy with my neice's half-sister and she seems to be passing the assessments thus far. Is the court likely to rule that my neice should live with myself and my wife? What factors would it take into account to do this and has it ever happened?

Thanks.
Dear aj456

Thank you for your post.

I see that Robin has already provided a response to your post which I believe you found helpful. I thought I would a little more information in respect of viability assessments although events may already have moved along since you posted.

Normally a viability assessment is a short assessment which, if positive, will lead to a fuller more in depth assessment of the person or persons concerned. As your niece is living with her sister, she would have had an initial assessment to ensure that she could at least care in the short term. The fuller assessment would be to ascertain if long term care recommended. This can sometimes be as a foster carer or special guardian.

As Robin stated in his post, children’s services will always undertake twin track planning in respect of long term care which can include adoption if parents or family and friends are not approved as carers.

The parents are usually considered first, then family or friends before strangers. It is always helpful to have family as back-up carers as it can help to ensure that a child remains in the birth family. If your niece’s sister is approved as a long term carer, then it is likely she will remain with her as it would mean to does not have to move to new carers. Whether or not you are asked to look after your niece will depend on what happens to the other persons being assessed and, of course, whether you have a positive assessment.

You may find it helpful to look at our advice sheets Care (and related) proceedings and
DIY Special Guardianship Orders - information for family and friends carers which will provide more information on both the court process and the assessment for special guardians.

Should you wish to speak to an adviser, please telephone our advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday.

I hope this is helpful.

Best wishes

Suzie

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