Child in Foster Care (Section 20)

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Child in Foster Care (Section 20)

Post by SafetyFirst » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:04 pm


I don't know where to start. But I will try, so please bear with me.

My sister has three daughters (16, 14 and 5). The 14 year old, was sectioned section 3 between July-December 2019. And is now in foster care under a voluntary section 20.

The history is that she has said that she has been gang raped, groomed and other related gang related abuse. The parents had gone to professional since late 2016 to say the was something wrong. But everyone (GP, school, CAMHS, etc.) said she was just being a teenager, obviously the parents didn't know what had actually happened to her. The daughter concerned started self-harming, missing school and later tried to commit suicide in July 2019, which is when she was sectioned. Early 2019 is when she first made disclosures that she had been raped in the community. She started a police interview but due to her mental health she was unable to complete the interviews. This investigation is still open. She was than threatened by phone and had seen a gang member on the secure ward. She then made more/separate disclosures against her father, then her mother and then her holder sister. To help the family, I then took on the role of Nearest Relative given the allegation against the father. At this point there was a new allegation against me. The police opened new investigations against the family members, which they fully investigated and closed. The 14 year old daughter said she was threatened by phone and that the perpetrators have compromising photos and told her to point the finger at her family or her parents and sisters would be killed. She have also said to professionals that she was forced to make allegations against the family.

Despite all of this the whole family is now under suspicion from Children Services and all three children are subject of a child protection plan. They have also sent a letter of intent to start court proceedings against the parents in early January but have not actually started anything yet.

The 14 year old is in foster care continuing to self harm and recently tried to overdosed again. The other to kids are with the parents and the father is to be supervised at all times. I am trying to help my sister navigate the red tape, meetings and try and make sense of what is happening.

From day 1 the family have been fully compliant with all Children Services recommendations and plans.

We are in limbo, with no light at the end of the tunnel. Children Services do not believe the family and do not accept the retraction of the later allegations by the 14 year old daughter.

The police are dragging their feet on the community rape allegations and have not prioritised any evidence on the phone.

The daughter wants to come home but given what's happened, can't at this time have the daughter home due to self harm, risk of further untrue allegations against family members, self harm exposure to the other kids, and the unknown risk in the community.

It is a constant battle with Childrens Services. Family and I am hanging in because the 14 year old is our blood and family. The easiest thing to do would be to walk away but it would be like ripping your heart out and we cannot do that.

You never think you could ever be in a situation like this, but we are in this nightmare.

Does anyone have any advice to offer. Please, please, desperate need of some charitable advocacy support.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Child in Foster Care (Section 20)

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Feb 28, 2020 2:48 pm

Dear SafetyFirst

I am sorry to read about your family’s situation and to read that your niece is not getting the support she needs.

I would like to signpost you to some specialist organisations who may be able to give your sister more information. Firstly, PACE, this organisation’s remit is to help parents fight against child sexual exploitation. Young Mind’s may be helpful too as well as NYAS who may be able to provide some advocacy services for your niece.

Please also have a look at our advice sheet Children looked after by Children’s Services under a voluntary arrangement. If you or your sister would like to speak to one of our advisers, our service is open Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 3.00pm. Our number is 0808 801 0366.

Best wishes


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