Care order

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Scared Nanny
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed May 26, 2021 5:29 am

Care order

Post by Scared Nanny » Thu May 27, 2021 9:54 pm

My son and his girlfriend are pregnant. There are many issues in their home including domestic violence (her to him) , mental health issues and drug use.
A social worker contacted me recently and advised me that there is a high probability that baby will be removed at birth in 9 weeks and asked if I would be prepared to take baby?
Would baby come straight to me or go into foster care first? My understanding is that the assessment process takes months and we’ve not even started yet.
I’m the main breadwinner in my home and my husband is disabled. I can’t get paid leave for this, will I receive any financial help?
This is so incredibly stressful...

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 777
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: Care order

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Jun 03, 2021 1:45 pm

Dear Scared Nanny

Welcome to the Kinship Carers’ forum and thank you for your post. My name is Suzie and I am FRG’s online adviser.

First of all, congratulations on the imminent arrival of your grandchild – I know it is a stressful and uncertain time though.

It sounds as if there are serious concerns about the welfare of the unborn baby and I think there may be a child protection plan in place already for them. Your son and his partner should ensure that they seek legal advice (they will get free help from a solicitor if they are in pre-proceedings or children’s services start care proceedings when baby is born).

It is good to hear that the social worker has already been in touch with you to begin exploring placements within the family, if needed.

Children’s services need parents’ consent or a court order to remove a baby when they are born. The court would first need to consider if the baby can remain with a parent/parents, in a residential assessment unit or a mother and baby unit. But if it is decided that this is not safe for the baby then a placement with a (temporarily approved) kinship foster carer should be considered before placing with an unrelated foster carer.

So, yes, it is possible that the baby could be placed with you when born as long as you have already been temporarily approved as a foster carer. The social worker should be doing an initial viability assessment and considering temporarily approving you if you have a positive assessment. You are right that fuller assessments (which will be needed) do take a number of months but the initial assessment and temporary approval can be done quite quickly. Here is the information you need to know about this. You could also take a look at the information sheet for family and friends carers in Appendix D on pages 49 of this guide. If you are temporarily approved as a foster carer and the baby placed with you, this will be known as a regulation 24 placement.

If the baby is placed with you, with parents’ voluntary agreement under section 20 or under an interim care order, you will be entitled to a fostering allowance in exactly the same way as an unrelated foster carer. Here is a link to recommended minimum fostering allowances to give you an idea of what you should receive. If you needed help with ‘setting up’ costs this should be offered too.

You can also try to find the local authority’s family and friends care policy via this link to find out more about what help they can offer to grandparents etc who step in to care for children.

If the baby were not placed with you initially, for whatever reason, you could still be assessed for their long-term care, this would probably be as a Special Guardian.

If you do become the baby’s foster carer and there are care proceedings, you won’t automatically be a party to the proceedings or have legal representation but this could be looked into, if needed.

Our kinship care and care proceedings hopefully should provide answers to many of your questions as they arise. It is really good that you have sought advice early and so please do post back or all the freephone advice line on 0808 810366 (Mon to Fri, 9.30 am to 3.00 pm) if you have any further questions.

With best wishes

Suzie

Scared Nanny
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed May 26, 2021 5:29 am

Re: Care order

Post by Scared Nanny » Thu Jun 03, 2021 5:32 pm

Thank you so much for your reply.
I have already advised them to get legal advice/representation.
Many thanks

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