to be really angry and feel let down by Social Services!

(75 Posts)
JaquelineHyde Fri 08-Feb-13 10:48:55

My sister has serious mental health problems (drug induced psychosis) and is also a pretty horrible person who has made many, many poor choices when perfectly well.

Her first DD was removed at 3 months and placed with my Mum, after my sister had all the help and support in the world thrown at her she still failed to show she would care for her DD appropriately and my Mum applied for and got a special guardianship order (which is basically an in family adoption).

This process was an utter nightmare for my Mum and Dad as I'm sure you can imagine, they not only took on a baby from 3 months old (my Mum was 58 at the time) but they also had to try and deal with my sister and the problems she had at the time (including being sectioned etc). They excelled through all the assessments and were praised by everyone from the foster panel to the final hearing judge and told that SS wished they had more Grandparents like them come forward. However, they were never supported financially by SS, they managed to source all the items they needed themselves for my DN (with help from family members) and then finally when the SGO had been given they began recieving a small weekly allowance.

Fast forward 4 years and my sister is again pg angry sad and despite having more help and support than anyone I know my sister has failed to engage and continues to make poor choices (not mental health related she is perfectly well at present) and so her unborn child has been placed on the at risk register and will be removed at birth and placed again with my Mum as a family foster placement who will then again begin the process of applying for an SGO.

My sister is due in 6 weeks and SS have said all the way through that they would do what they could to help my Mum financially so she can buy all the bits she needs for a newborn. My mum has said they need help to buy the pushchair, cot, mattress and car seat as these are must haves. The rest they have said they will fund themselves.

My Mum has now been told they won't and don't have to provide and finances to help my Mum get the equiptment required. angry She has been asked what she did with all DN's stuff and my Mum made it clear that they never expected this to happen again and so gave away the baby stuff when they moved house (she also made it clear that she had paid for and provided everything last time as well) SS then asked whether the rest of the family could provide for the baby angry angry

So my Mum is stuck with nothing, her and my Dad are both pensioners on state pensions with no spare cash lying around. The family cannot afford to pay for all the new baby stuff.

I am due to give birth myself in 10 weeks and so we have just had to buy all our own stuff and yet my sister who has applied for and recieved the £500 sure start grant has spent it all and not bought a thing for the baby.

AIBU to be furious that SS won't help out even a little bit financially towards all the equiptment you need with a newborn.

I say all this as a trainee Social worker by the way and I feel quite ashamed by it. I would also like to say that the anger I feel towards SS at the moment is nothing compared to the anger I feel towards my sister at the moment but that is an entirely different thread grin

Sorry for the epic ranty post, so AIBU? Be gentle please smile

Floggingmolly Fri 08-Feb-13 10:52:35

Why did your sister qualify for the SureStart grant when her child was to be fostered from birth? shock. It sounds like a really difficult situation for your poor mum sad

RedHelenB Fri 08-Feb-13 10:52:42

NYANBU but I suppose rules are rules & if they haven't got the budget to give your mum the money then they haven't got the budget. Maybe they could source some second hand stuff?

diaimchlo Fri 08-Feb-13 10:54:52

YADNBU.... what a nightmare for your family, I can most probably get hold of baby goods from my family, 2nd hand of course but would gladly give them to you.... just PM me

The SS should be funding something it would be far cheaper than having to place the baby in care.....

diaimchlo Fri 08-Feb-13 10:57:27

Just as an after thought, if your sister has spent her Sure Start money on anything other than stuff for the baby, surely she can be made to repay it back from benefits that she will be in receipt of.

Dannilion Fri 08-Feb-13 10:59:04

YANBU but I guess their hands are tied, they can't just magic the money up from somewhere because your sister made some less than responsible choices. I would start looking on freecycle, placing ads in your local paper for free/cheap baby stuff etc. It won't be much longer until car boot sale season, or see if there are any indoor ones. Our local council sells new car seats for £30 and will give you a grant as an incentive to use re-usable nappies so it may be worth giving yours a call. smile

jojane Fri 08-Feb-13 11:00:45

I have a cot, if you are anywhere near south Wales?

JaquelineHyde Fri 08-Feb-13 11:01:19

The rules are very basic for the sure start grant flogging. She is pg, she is in receipt of the required benefit and she doesn't have any other children in her household. The fact her first child (which she also got the money for) has been removed from her care and the fact her newborn will be removed at birth do not come into it.

That's just it red, it's not rules it's just that they claim they don't have it in there budget. Which is fine I have worked with budgets (and it sucks from all angles) but to wait until now to state this is infuriating. My Mum has gone through several assessments, MDT meetings and legal meetings just to get to this point and it was only when she asked the question in the last meeting (to get it in the minutes) that everyone went all coy on the subject and started umming and ahhing about checking and getting back to her.

Second hand is the way forward, we are researching furiously to get the best deals. I am on a million facebook selling groups grabbing what I can and Mum is visiting all decent charity shops...We will get everything we need I'm sure, but it shouldn't be this difficult smile

Fairylea Fri 08-Feb-13 11:02:31

If you are in the Norfolk area I have a Moses basket, mattress and baby rocker that you can have that is just sitting here from ds 7 months who is now a big chunk ! Just message me.

Such a difficult situation.

LittleChimneyDroppings Fri 08-Feb-13 11:04:29

I'm not surprised, SSD are really cutting back on their funding. Having said that, its true that those who shout the loudest are likely to get. I would help your parents write a complaint to SSD explaining everything that you have here. They will have to respond to that, and if its not satisfactory then I would appeal it. They may get a one off payment. I would also look in the charities handbook (I assume as a student social worker you will have one in your office / library) to see if you can apply for charity funding to buy these items. Really their social worker should be doing that, but they obviously aren't.

They don't have the money, there are serious cutbacks for children actually in care (I'm a foster carer).

There are plenty of ways to get hold of free baby stuff from friends/jumble sales/free cycle. Ongoing money they need but they really don't need new stuff.

It's just not a priority. This baby is one of the luckiest in the world as it will be surrounded by its loving family who it's actually related to and brought up with its own sibling.

Will they get child benefit? That will go some way towards the babies needs if so won't it?

Sure, if they put it into care it would get a bit more cash spent on it but it wouldn't get the priceless gift you can offer.

If your sister spent the SSMG then why should SS be paying now?

They probably should have stepped in and ensured that your sister didnt get the money in the first place.

JaquelineHyde Fri 08-Feb-13 11:06:27

Thank you for the offers of items it is greatly appreciated. We are on the South East coast so not near enough for collections.

I am certain we will get everything we need second hand close to home, my Mum is amazing at sourcing bargains (she has to be after having 7 children, well 9 if you count my sisters 2) it is just annoying we are having to do this now.

MariusEarlobe Fri 08-Feb-13 11:08:12

Yanbu. If baby went into normal care they would fund these things.

When this happened to my mum's neighbour she got it twice as there was more than a two year gap and they couldn't have reasonably foreseen another child.

Where in country are they?

CloudsAndTrees Fri 08-Feb-13 11:08:13

It's not Social Services fault to be fair. They just don't have money to give. Your sister and whoever got her pregnant should be the ones giving your parents money.

Either way, it's very wrong that your parents are expected to fund the things this baby will need.

MrsMushroom Fri 08-Feb-13 11:08:20

Its awful but I am so glad the baby will be going to people who care for her/him and to be with a sibling too. Your poor parents. It's very hard....thank God some people know the importance of

Dannilion Fri 08-Feb-13 11:08:44

JaquelineHyde.. We're from the same town! If you don't already have now by ESK have a cot for £30. Also ring the council, I haven't got the carseat or grant myself, but a friend said she got it about a year ago so it may still be going smile

I also have been given an abundance of babygros etc, not really big stuff but more than I will need. Your DN is more than welcome to them smile

Eebahgum Fri 08-Feb-13 11:08:52

If you give a rough idea of the area you're in I'm sure you'll find lots of kind people in here willing to donate things to your mum. X

Eebahgum Fri 08-Feb-13 11:10:05

Sorry - was so slow posting I see you've already said where you are. X

MariusEarlobe Fri 08-Feb-13 11:10:22

We have a charity near us that helps in these situations, is there anything like that nearby, local churches/salvation army can be very good.

JaquelineHyde Fri 08-Feb-13 11:18:16

LittleChimney I am on maternity leave now until Jan 2014 woohoo so don't have access to my office but I shall get my Mum to ask about the charity book etc.

Laurie yes the baby will have something that no money can buy and I wish that all children could have this. However, SS should never have promised somethng they had no intention on following through on. My Mum is making a formal complaint, the only new things she wanted were a car seat and mattress as we are all told over and over we should buy new. The rest would have been second hand (well maybe the pushchair new if money allowed but we knew that was wishful thinking grin )

Child benefit and tax credits will not be paid until the SGO is awarded which will take about 9 months (it took a year and half half first time round but the process has been speeded up thankfully) until then my Mum will get a small weekly allowance...Which actually she didn't get last time as no one told her she was entitled to it but with my new knowledge and her work with the fostering network she is more prepared and knows what she is 100% entitled to grin

wannabe SS have nothing to do with the sure start grant and no one can dictate what the money is spent on. It is awarded on the criteria I stated above. I don't understand why my sisters inability to provide for her child should mean that the child and my parents should go without. Actually my Mum could apply for her own sure start grant once the SGO has been awarded and she has full PR of the baby however, because she has a child under 16 in the household (my sisters other child) she would be refused it angry pretty wank really I'm sure you agree.

GetOrf Fri 08-Feb-13 11:19:05

Jesus what a bloody awful situation for your family. Your parents sound great - good on them for stepping in in this hideous situation.

It seems really off that SS cannot help in any way - presumably if the baby went into foster care the foster carers would be paid to get some supplies (I have no clue how it works so I may be talking shite). Your poor parents. Will they get an allowance for looking after the baby - not just child benefit (which won't help much).

I can't help with stuff as I don't have a baby but I can ask family members who have just had a baby if they have any stuff they can spare.

JaquelineHyde Fri 08-Feb-13 11:24:50

Dannilion Hello <waves> I got my cot in furniture now for £25 it's lovely a Mamma and Pappas with changing top grin I shall grab my Mum this afternoon and shoot down to see if the other one is still there. I know she is in a few times a week anyway. Didn't think to contact the council I shall give them a buzz and find out, it would be great if she could get the carseat sorted as that will be the most expensive thing I'm sure.

Just to point out my anger is more about how this has been handled. If we had been told 6 months ago that the money wasn't there we would have been prepared and sorted all this before now. I understand budgets, and how badly the cuts have effected services, I worked with it everyday in my training and previous jobs however, I have always managed people expectations which to me is one of the most important aspects of this kind of job...I just want to stop my Mum feeling any additional stress, she amazes me with everything she has done.

JaquelineHyde Fri 08-Feb-13 11:31:10

Dannilion any idea which council department I need to speak to as no one appears to have a clue what I am talking about grin Could it be the county council?

littlewhitebag Fri 08-Feb-13 11:37:40

I am a SW (but in Scotland). I know that all the SW budgets have been cut so much that departments have literally no money to buy such items, as much as they might like to. Foster carers generally have equipment at the ready and they get allowances for each child. This is the carers job so it is only reasonable. Families are expected to sort things out themselves which might seem unfair but there is just not enough money in the pot. I really wish there was more we could do. I always feel so mean saying we can't help.

Dannilion Fri 08-Feb-13 11:39:42

Jaqueline I have no idea, but I've just left a message with my friend as to how she went about it, will let you know as soon as I do smile

Dannilion Fri 08-Feb-13 11:43:32

In the meantime, this is the one I was going to buy before DB bought me one

cheap seat

JaquelineHyde Fri 08-Feb-13 11:45:50

Thanks Dannilion, I have bookmarked that carseat to show my Mum later.

Tryharder Fri 08-Feb-13 11:50:50

I don't agree that newborns need mountains of stuff that costs lots of money. How do you think babies born in developing countries manage?

I would like to suggest: Freecycle, car boot sales, NCT sales, charity shops, jumble sales, Gumtree, Facebook for sale pages etc etc ......

I am not particularly poor but have never bought new stuff for any of my DCs. Just don't see the point.

There are Moses baskets galore going begging on my local freecycle. Be realistic. I am sure Social services are strapped enough for cash as it is without having to fund brand new nursery furniture and matching wallpaper for your niece/nephew.

Presumably, your mother will be able to claim the CB and tax credits once the baby is born and living with her.

JaquelineHyde Fri 08-Feb-13 11:58:26

Tryharder have you read the thread or just the OP.

My Mum never expected new stuff, she never has not for any of her 7 children (9 if you count my sisters 2)

She doesn't do matching nursery furniture and has already decorated (with a nice cream paint) the babies bedroom.

We are very realistic, unfortunately SS are not. They have promised and promised and promised over and over again that they would provide some finances so that my Mum could source the items she needs. They then, 6 weeks before birth, have said no sorry, no money in the budget can your family not pay for it all.

My Mum will not be able to claim CB or tax credits until the SGO has been awarded by the courts which will take about 9 months. She will recieve a small allowance to cover the day to day costs of the child until then.

I'm not sure who you are not agreeing with but no one on this thread has suggested once that babies need mountains of new stuff. I am also due to give birth in 10 weeks and nearly everything I have bought has been second hand from the places you have listed. You are preaching to the converted and in my mother's case you are literally teaching a Grandma how to suck eggs grin

PearlyWhites Fri 08-Feb-13 12:05:36

Your sister will not have received a sure start grant as you are no longer entitled to one if you have a child under 16 even if they no longer live with you, unless she lied and therefore committed fraud.

MrsMushroom Fri 08-Feb-13 12:10:24

pearly you are wrong. I just got this off the DWP site

Re payments for Mothers whose first born child is not living or who is under 16 and not resident in the home...

*we will provide for payment to parents whose older children are not members of their
family i.e. they do not live in the same qualifying benefit family unit;*

floatyjosmum Fri 08-Feb-13 12:11:57

Hi. I am a sw and she is entitled to financial support.

Are they issuing care proceedings? - if so your mum should be assessed as a foster carer for the baby (not as a general foster carer) and she would be entitled to the same allowance paid to foster carers.

If they aren't because your mum had stepped in and this is the reason why they aren't she is entitled to financial support attached to the sgo or ro as that is the criteria as well as the financial assessment.

I would say she needs to ask for financial support prior to baby being born and placed with her. Also if your sisters mh issues are such that she can't make appropriate decisions ss need to be doing something so that either them or your parents have pr.

If they drag their heels I would advise seeing a solicitor. If thru aren't entitled to legal aid have they offered to cover the cost of the sgo?

floatyjosmum Fri 08-Feb-13 12:13:21

She can also claim cb and ctc if not receiving an allowance the same as a foster carer

JaquelineHyde Fri 08-Feb-13 12:14:13

She is entitled and the child does not live with her, and she has had the money.

No fraud has been committed, she was helped to apply for it by her midwife.

Her first child has by all accounts been adopted so has no link to her at all financially or legally.

itsallinmyhead Fri 08-Feb-13 12:20:24

I have a Moses basket and stand if your in Manchester? And lots of baby boys clothing.


HecateWhoopass Fri 08-Feb-13 12:24:28

What would happen if your mum said sorry, I cannot afford this. You will have to find a foster carer outside the family.

I'm just thinking that foster carers do normally get an allowance and I think it's disgusting that if you're related to the child you're fostering, this doesn't apply. I think it should.

I'm just wondering if they think that they'll have to find a foster carer and that person WILL be paid the full allowance, etc - if they might manage to be a bit more helpful?

JaquelineHyde Fri 08-Feb-13 12:25:03

Hi floaty My Mum is already an approved foster carer and has gone through the new assessments needed to bring it all up to date. The Baby will be subject to a CO as soon as it is born (and they can get the court to hear it) so SS will have PR until the SGO is awarded when it will transfer over to my Mum (which will take about 9 months)

Last time round the foster allowance wasn't paid when it should have been because no one bothered to tell my Mum about it. However, this time round we are aware of it and will have it paid once the baby is placed with my Mum, probably a few days after birth.

However, the problem we now have is with the money (grant) that SS have promised my Mum for many months now to help with the costs of buying all the equiptment you need for a newborn (new or secondhand). It has all been agreed for months yet now with 6 weeks to go they are saying they have no money in the budget and have asked our family to pay for everything shock Now this would have been all fine and dandy if we had been told this from the start as we could have got all the stuff bit by bit over the following months but to do it in 6 weeks when you have nothing is ridiculous and not the kind of stress a 62 year old woman needs to be going through, when she is already caring for a 4yr old (including managing contact single handedly with my sister) and trying to cope and prepare for dealing with a newborn and seeing her daughter probably spiral out of control again and get sectioned again.

Managing peoples expectations for me is the most important part of social work as it is crucial in order to build strong relationships. Which is after all one of the cornerstones of social work. This is why I feel angry and let down not because SS can't magic the money up from somewhere.

itsallinmyhead Fri 08-Feb-13 12:30:53

Sorry hmm didn't see the post about you living down south.

floatyjosmum Fri 08-Feb-13 12:31:42

Totally agree with you - I'm just glad they're not dumping the baby on you all and running which I have heard off in some la's.

Only think I can think off if they don't change their minds is brining it up at the first lac review and with the guardian. Even if you don't manage to get the money back at least it can be brought up their not keeping to what they've said

JaquelineHyde Fri 08-Feb-13 12:32:24

I do have to say just quickly that if we forget this really annoying part of the whole process SS have been amazing this time round with the whole thing.

They have got everything ready to go, all organised and now just waiting for the birth. They have given my sister every chance to engage and have offered support most of us could only dream of. My Mum has jumped through all the hoops needed and SS have kept distruption to them down to a minimum.

For this they do deserve praise.

floatyjosmum Fri 08-Feb-13 12:33:00

Also there is now the 26 week rule for proceedings so should hopefully be sorted a little quicker

littlewhitebag Fri 08-Feb-13 12:35:31

I understand your anger. SW should not have promised what they couldn't deliver on. It may not be the fault of your SW who is dealing with the case but further up the chain. I have been caught out like this before and had to go and break the news to a family that we could not give them what we initially said we would - all because a manager further up the chain looked at it and said no.

FellatioNels0n Fri 08-Feb-13 12:42:55

Good God your poor parents, what a bloody nightmare. sad I can't add anything of practical use, I'm afraid, where the finances are concerned, but are they determined to have this child live with them? I can't help thinking in situations like this that it would be better for this unborn child to just be adopted outside of the family at birth. Your sister clearly hasn't changed and it is unfair on your parents and both of the children for them to grow up with this constant unresolved baggage all around them. However good a job your parents do, those children will grow up in the knowledge that their mother was dysfunctional, and a constant source of pain, frustration and disappointment to the family. That can't be a nice thing to carry your whole life. Almost everyone I know (there have been a few) who have been brought up by relatives, knowing full well that their parents were either not capable of doing it properly, or just not willing, have been emotionally scarred by it one way or another. I think it's misguided to always assume that keeping a baby in the birth family is the best thing for it.

And your parents deserve a rest from all the stress - not to just have it all repeated ad infinitum. Where will it stop? People like your sister have an unhappy habit of repeated PGs in spite of being told that they will not be allowed to keep the child. sad I'm sure your parents will love the child just as much as the first, but the circumstances were different then - the bond was already there I guess they hoped your sister might just be going through a bad phase and that she'd come right in the end.

As it's clear that won't happen I can't help thinking it would be fairer for everyone if this second child went straight to a permanent family who will be young enough and financially stable enough to cope with the responsibility. That child should grow up without the confusion and the stigma of having its useless mother discussed in hushed voices.

Shellington Fri 08-Feb-13 12:47:58

OP - where do you / your DP's live?
We have a travel system we may consider passing on smile
PM me if easier.

JaquelineHyde Fri 08-Feb-13 13:09:31

Fellatio They thought long and hard about this and have swung between doing it and having to walk away.

They/we are very, very careful not to discuss my sister ever within earshot and my sisters relationship with my DN is a healthy, sisterly relationship (although you cannot trust my sister to be alone with any children)

I think all the concerns you have raised are valid and it makes me feel very sad, however, these issues are not linked only to kinship care but to all children cared for by anyone other than the birth parents so most of those issues would remain regardless of who adopted the child/children.

Anyway, if my parents decided they weren't going to take on this child I suspect I would have put myself forward as I am not sure I could cope seeing a direct blood relative of mine go into care. Luckily, I wasn't faced with having to make this decision smile

KenLeeeeeee Fri 08-Feb-13 13:51:26

If you can get to Bucks to collect, I have a Quinny Buzz 3 pushchair with carrycot you can have.

FellatioNels0n Fri 08-Feb-13 16:32:56

I understand Jaqueline. It is a very hard, unenviable situation for your family to be in. I realise that abandonment issues are complex, and may raise their heads in all adoption cases, but I feel there is more of a likelihood of it when a proper mother-child relationship with the birth mother is dangled like a carrot on a stick; always tangible but never an achievable reality. Whereas in straightforward adoptions outside the family the child (hopefully) would never feel they were stuck in limbo and that mummy might one day sort herself out iyswim.

When they are old enough to start analysing the whole adoption process I hope for their sakes that they would start visualising the BM as someone wonderful and loving who gave them up for wholly altruistic reasons, even if that is a fantasy (and let's face it, these days it probably is, in most cases) whereas it is sadly inevitable that in your DN's situation she will learn the truth about who her mother is, and feel let down, and not lovable enough to cure her of her need to put herself and her addictions first.

I would hope that any newborn baby of a known unfit mother would go straight into the arms of loving adoptive parents. It breaks my heart to think they may languish in care for any length of time because of the rights of feckless, dysfunctional parents, who may or may not exercise their right to change their minds, and take their time, while totally neglecting all their responsibilities, and ruining that child's chance of a decent, early adoption and a happy, normal life.

I applaud, and empathise with what your parents are doing, but I can't help feeling it's not a rational decision. Rather that is one based on some sort of primeval need to keep the family together and to try to somehow make sense of, or make up for of what has gone wrong with their daughter.

But I understand, and I suspect I would make the same choices in the same situation. smile

SirBoobAlot Fri 08-Feb-13 16:41:26

OP you say you're iin the South East. I'm just outside Brighton. I have a cot and mattress here that is yours if you can get someone to collect it.

HelloBear Fri 08-Feb-13 16:42:44

Just wanted to say that I'm so sad that as are not living up to promises. It's disgusting makes me angry.

But I promise you there will some poor SW who is really sad at having to break this news to your parents. They won't be able to express it to them because of keeping la face but obey they have had a good old rant at how upset they are to be letting your parents down. It will be a managers decision.

Speaking from bitter experience...hence looking for a new job.

HelloBear Fri 08-Feb-13 16:43:14

Sorry as was supposed to be ss

HelloBear Fri 08-Feb-13 16:45:02

And obey was supposed to be I bet. Sorry typing with baby in arms.

Oh and good luck with your birth!

goldenstarpine Fri 08-Feb-13 17:25:50

Your mum could try applying for a community care grant.
She can get the application form from her local jobcentreplus.

PearlyWhites Fri 08-Feb-13 18:37:44

Thanks mushroom didn't realise that, it's very selfish she claimed knowing she wasn't keeping the baby

notnowbernard Fri 08-Feb-13 18:42:22

Apologies if this has been said already, but try Freegle for the baby stuff

NatashaBee Fri 08-Feb-13 18:54:28

It's lovely to see how many people have stepped up and offered items on this thread. I hope you are able to take at least some of the items and save your parents buying them - they are doing an amazing thing.

redandblacks Fri 08-Feb-13 18:55:42

I just wanted to suggest freecycle - in an average week you can get hold of all these essentials and what is not listed you can request

frustratedworkingmum Fri 08-Feb-13 19:03:19

If you are in the southeast have a google for "necessary furniture" they are a charity that sells secondhand furniture at very low prices (not sure if free or not) to those in need of it. Maybe they can help. I have a cot if you need it.

Try not to be angry with your sister, i know it must be hard and frustrating but how awful to not be able to care for your own children.

Isabeller Fri 08-Feb-13 19:13:13

I just had a look at the government website for the SureStart grant and you can claim as a foster carer (within 3 months of the baby's birth) and I can't see where it says it can't be claimed twice for the same baby which you'd expect but as you say it's not the most subtle application process.

Just a thought.

JaquelineHyde Fri 08-Feb-13 19:58:44

Thank you everyone for all the posts on this thread, the offers of items, bits of advice and pointing in the right direction, but most of all for the support and just letting me vent.

Isabeller the SureStart grant will not be paid to my Mum as she already has a child under 16 in the household (my sisters 4yr old) we have checked and tried to get around it but to no avail.

I will go through and investigate all the suggestions and pass it all on to my Mum. The baby won't go without anything of that I am certain but this should have been handled so much better.

Now I am going to get back to caring for my 3 DCs and enjoying the last 10 weeks of my pg and maternity leave. grin

Pigsmummy Fri 08-Feb-13 20:39:15

PM me, I can send some clothes. You and your parents sound fantastic x

jackierussell Fri 08-Feb-13 22:23:32

Pm me I am on the south coast and have some bits that might be useful, well done this must be hard for all of you.

As sad as this is social service budgets are being cut to hell and back. We are losing our social worker who is our safeguarding specialist so as awful as it seems in terms of what is happening this will not be a huge priority for them.

JeeanieYuss Fri 08-Feb-13 22:49:18

I thought you only got the sure start maternity grant for your 1st child now and not subsequent other children...
If so how has she managed to get it again, a midwife has to sign the form so surely she would of known the circumstances that the baby is going to family/care?

JeeanieYuss Fri 08-Feb-13 22:59:25

I see pearly and mushroom have already discussed what I said, lol..

Good luck OP, hope it gets sorted smile

cumfy Sat 09-Feb-13 01:50:39

I've not read complete thread, but am concerned whether your DP are getting appropriate financial support. re SGOs states:
Financial support
No one should be disadvantaged through offering a ‘looked after’ child a permanent
home. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea will ensure special guardians have
enough money to provide for a child until they are 18. The allowances are generous and
all special guardians will receive one unless the gross household income is more than
£50,000. If the gross household income exceeds this amount they will not get a special
guardianship allowance.

May be worth finding out what the specific policy is for your council.

nailak Sat 09-Feb-13 01:58:35

hi, are your parents in touch with their local sure start centre? as I know mine recently gave sacks of toys and equipment to those in need through some funding it had, maybe yours has a similar scheme that you are unaware of? They dont generally advertise these things, it is given to identified in need or at risk parents who attend the centre.

Mimishimi Sat 09-Feb-13 02:05:30

YABU to be angry at Social Services but YANBU to be worried about your parents. They probably should not take on the child. My cousin was one of three dumped by her mum on her parents. We all pitched in but particularly one of my great-uncles.

cumfy Sat 09-Feb-13 02:22:54

I think it depends a bit on how much income DP will be receiving in total.

At a guess if it's more than £7-8k/annum for both children, I can easily understand LA thinking it can be funded out of income.

ThisIsMummyPig Sat 09-Feb-13 02:49:42

I'm not clear if the DPs are getting a fostering allowance, as the OP says that they are living on state pensions.

It may be that they intend to claim when the baby is placed with them, but that doesn't help with set up costs.

lotsofdogshere Sat 09-Feb-13 08:38:10

Do your parents get special guardianship allowance for your sister's first baby? I know things are much worse due to cuts - but there was a budget for local authorities to support grandparents in exactly these situations and I have experience of many grandparents/aunts/family members who've had some financial support during the phase when they are "foster carers" to relatives children, and before the special guardianship order is made. There was a legal test case come years ago which said relative carers should have the same financial support as foster carers. Sorry, can't recall the name of the case, but a family lawyer should be able to give you that advice.

Your mum can make a complaint to the local authority. It's a statutory complaints process and the social worker is obliged to tell her how to make the complaint. She does not need a solicitor to do this. She should get the response to investigation in no more than 20 working days. If she isn't satisfied then she can ask for a stage 2 investigation which is more in depth and involves an independent person who is not employed by the authority.

From the information here it does sounds as though she should get a fostering allowance for the baby until the SGO is in place because she can't claim child benefit or income support for them. As it's going through the social work process they can't argue its a private fostering arrangement which wouldn't attract the allowance.
I couldn't comment on the issue of the maternity grant, I suspect that the view would be your sister should buy the items to give to your mum or should give her the allowance.
I work in social care complaints for a local authority and have had two cases about fostering allowances not being paid in the last few months. In both cases the social work team had acted incorrectly and we upheld the complaint and backdated payment was made from the date the child came to live with them.

The grandparents association may be a helpful source of support.

thebody Sat 09-Feb-13 10:57:44

So your mum is now 62 and will be effectively mum to a new born and a 4 year old.

Jesus the woman is just amazing and your dad too.

I just hope your sister doesn't continue with her bloody selfish life because they can't keep adopting her children can they?

Best of luck to you all.

JaquelineHyde Sat 09-Feb-13 16:21:47

Hello everyone, thank you again for all the replies.

I appreciate that everyone is really busy and can't always read whole threads so I shall quickly explain again.

My DM didn't recieve any financial help when she took on my sisters first DD, we as a family grouped together and bought everything that was needed for my Mum. They recieved no foster allowance for the year and a half the process took (SS should have legally provided this and didn't) and could not during this time claim CB or tax credits. Once they were awarded the SGO they could recieve CB, tax credits and a small SGO allowance.

Fast forward 4 years and here we are again, my Mum knows her rights this time and will ensure that once the baby is placed with them (probably within a couple of days of birth) they will be paid the foster carers allowance. Once the SGO has been awarded they can apply for CB and tax credits and should be paid an SGO allowance.

The problem is that SS have promised for the past 6 months that they were going to pay a small lump sum grant to my Mum so that she can afford to go out and buy everything she would need to take on the newborn baby.

This promise has been repeated several times over the months until now 6 weeks (5 weeks on Tuesday) before the baby is born when they have tuirned round and said 'Sorry no money in the budget' angry

This in my opinion is a disgusting way to behave and has left my Mum with 5-6 weeks to somehow find the money to buy everything they need. This is on top of everything else my Mum is currently having to cope with.

That is why I am angry at SS and that is what this AIBU is about.

Mimishimi thank you for your insight, my Mum is the most experienced parent and carer that I know. She should absolutley take on this new baby if it is what is best for the baby and she feels she can cope.

JaquelineHyde Sat 09-Feb-13 16:25:43

Thebody My Mum is amazing grin as she also manages to keep all of her other adult children (apart from my sister) in order as well. My 43 year old Detective Inspector brother is still her little baby boy grin grin

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