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Bonding at the start of an SGO(10 Posts)
I am probably going to be granted an SGO for my nephew. The social worker is recommending that my brother (birth parent) only sees him once per month when he is first bonding with me. My brother and I both think this doesn't seem right. My brother has been having contact with his son three times per week, and desperately wants to be allowed to be full time dad, but sw think he's not up to the job. I think he will be fine with just a bit more experience. Why does the social worker want to exclude my brother from my nephew's new placement with me? (he's not a danger or anything like that btw). Should I follow her advice, or ignore it? My Nephew has been in foster care since he was a couple of weeks old and will be 8 or 9 months old when he comes to me, if that's what the court orders . And while we're here, is there anything else I should look out for when taking on this SGO?
If the contact is court directed and you ignore this you run the risk of losing you nephew into the care system.
It may not seem fair that your DB has lost his on in this way but he would have been assessed as a Carer for his son and he has failed.
This is very sad for you all but for now you need to be very careful.
Being a kinship Carer is always complicated by family dynamics but it goes with the territory.
If SS get a whiff of you 'ignoring their advice' your DN may very well be removed from you.
I don't think you understood my question. If a sw is going to recommend what seems to me to be a cruel and heartless thing for baby and dad, there must be some evidence to back this up, mustn't there? If someone can show me this evidence, I'm going to find it easier to accept their advice. All I've been offered by them is phrases like "in my experience" when their experience isn't long enough to have seen the children they've placed grow up. I need to hear real life stories please.
And no, I don't think it will be ordered by the court, just recommended and up to my discretion how long to follow that plan, so it's quite open to my interpretation, as far as I know.
I am sorry if I didn't understand your question but you are not clear about the situation.
Did the birth mother put your DN into care voluntarily?
Does your DB have PR?
If your DB has PR there should be no reason why he cannot remove his son from care.
It becomes more complicated if your DN was removed for CP reasons and your brother was a part of that process.
Particularly if he has been assessed to parent his son and SS have decided this is not going to happen.
Because they would have to have evidence (whether you agree with it or not and I am making no judgement on that) to take to the courts in order to deny his application to get his son out of care.
And that is why I am giving you my opinion (based on my experience) that if you ignore the advice of social workers you are likely to be in trouble.
Unfortunately Kinship Care is not popular with everyone involved in social services because they doubt that families are able to keep safe boundaries with regard to birth parents. It is often used and an reaso to NOT grant ROs and SGOs to family members.
If you want my opinion on contact....I absolutely agree that it is in the child's best interests to have a relationship with the birth parents whenever possible. It is great that your DB wants to be involved in his son's life.
I am not trying to hint at anything when I say this but do you know why the SW is 'advising' limited contact? That is the important issue and its not something you need to tell me but something you need to think about.
If it is a welfare issue you need to be very careful.
It it is because she thinks your DN needs time to settle with you before his father starts having increased contact, she has a point but I can understand why that seems unfair.
www.frg.org.uk can give you loads of information about SGOs and your rights as a carer and your DB's rights as a birth parent.
The above is based on my personal experience of being in a position similar to yours.
Mrsdevere.... Very kind of you to take the time to post about your personal experience, especially as the op was very disparaging of your first comment.
This is why I like the adoption board, people are so kind and willing to help.
BomDia, listen to MrsDeVere - she knows what she is talking about.
It isn't up to you to decide whether or not your brother is fit to take care of his son full time. It is up to social services to make that decision, and they (and your brother) may not be telling you everything.
The fact that they are giving him to you under a SGO means that you and you alone are going to be his "parent" for the foreseeable future. He needs time to bond with you as his parent. It will be very confusing for him if your brother appears and disappears and does some of the parenting.
Once the situation is stable, once your dn is settled and happy, you can (with ss permission) try to gradually include your brother in his life - but only if that doesn't cause him too much disruption. In the meantime, your brother can use the time to settle his life, improve his situation and try to overcome whatever objection ss have to him.
I'm not sure if my advise will be any help but as your situation is very similar to mine I hope I might be able to at least give the perspective of someone who has been where you are.
I have been raising my niece since birth, she's now 18 months. When she was first placed with us my sister was having contact 3 times a week. It was the right thing for us all at that time and I supported it wholeheartedly.
What struck me most about your original post was how your feelings of your brother and your nephew mirrored my feelings at that time. Only time does not standstill and though I still feel strongly that good contact with birth parents is important I no longer look at the situation as a sister but as a parent to my niece. She is my priority and I'm afraid my sister whom I love dearly comes second. It's actually very hard to keep up that level of contact without losing a certain amount if attachment yourself. I say this as a experienced parent of 4 birth children and not as a flippant remark. After the initial highly emotional start to placement life has and must return to normal and that level of contact (3 times a week) is just not sustainable. If you are applying for a sgo I'm assuming you understand that its a permanent placement whereby you are raising this child throughout their minority and not a temporary fix until your brother is able to take over the role of primary carer? It took me sometime to truly take this onboard. The nature of these situations don't allow us 9 months of pregnancy to get our heads around what's ahead of us. What I suppose I'm trying to say is keep an open mind around contact. If your brother was considered a viable option by ss his son would be placed with him. The fact that ss are recommending a Sgo mean they are not looking for either birth parent to care for him in the future. Having been where you are I can say with some authority that if you make it known to them you see this as a temporary measure until your brother is able to parent his son full time then you run the risk of losing your nephew to someone who is looking to give long term permanent care.
I'm sorry if that sounds harsh and maybe I'm wrong, after all I don't know your situation but what I have learnt from my experiences in a similar situation I would urge you to think carefully. You don't need to sever contact with your brother and you can where appropriate encourage and nurture your brother and nephews bond but it has to be about what is best for your nephew and that may mean you have to rethink your family dynamics. I have,and so far so good. I wish you the best of luck on this journey.
I have contacted the FRG via the recommended website, and they have been very helpful. Thanks for taking the time to reply.
I am glad they helped.
Good luck with it all.
It can be very stressful but it worth it in the end.
I hope all goes well.
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