help required-viability check for niece

(10 Posts)
auntycupcake Wed 05-Dec-12 20:56:01

thanks everybody for taken time to help me and for your kind words! smile
i am hoping that it is right that i can get an emergency assessment as it looks likely that things are going to happen within a few days.
i think i have pretty much everything covered and work will not be an issue as i work at a private day nursery!
i have already spoken to my directors regarding issues and they have agreed to do anything at all to help me including childcare, time off, etc.
just about to check out that website!
thank u all again so much

MrsDeVere Wed 05-Dec-12 17:15:48

Relatives can get an emergency assessment (I cannot remember what its called, sec 36 or something). That means that your DN can move in whilst the full check is going on.

The initial check can be done in a few days. They need to look at your home, talk to you and your partner and your children.
They will do CRBs but me and OH had up to date ones already (although they did new ones).

They then have something like 8 weeks to complete the full assessment.

Dont quote me on the exact times. It been 9 years since our DN came to live with us smile. Get on to the Friends and Family section of FRG website or phone their helpline and they can tell you the legal bits.

LaurieBlueBell Wed 05-Dec-12 12:19:08

Agree with MrsDeVere re support. You are doing a lovely thing but you need to be tough about finances. SS would much rather place a child with family but they can be slow in helping out financially. Don't be afraid to ask them about financial help.

LaurieBlueBell Wed 05-Dec-12 12:14:47

I'm a foster carer and have just moved a child to live with her aunt. Her viability assessment included SWs talking to her and her children to make sure they knew the implications of taking a young child into their family. She had to provide references which were followed up. Financial checks were done and she needed to evidence she could provide good childcare while she worked. She was also expected to take a break from work to allow bonding (not sure that this is always the case).
She has received financial help from SS in the form of a lump sum to buy equipment. She will also get a weekly allowance.
The assessment can take several months so it is possible that your niece will spend some time with a foster carer.

Good luck smile

LoopsInHoops Wed 05-Dec-12 10:29:43

smile

MrsDeVere Wed 05-Dec-12 10:09:37

Hello,
I have not heard it called a viability test but I assume it's an initial assessment.
The rules on kinship carers are supposed to be 'softer'. This means you shouldn't be excluded just for not having a spare room or going out to work etc.

I would strongly urge you to contact www.frg.org.uk before the social worker comes.

You need to be very clear on what grounds your niece will be placed with you.
Kinship carers can find themselves in difficulty if the placement is classed as 'voluntary' one.

I know you want to care for her and you would do it regardless of finances etc but you really have to think practically as well as emotionally.

If you want to care for your DN and you want it to work you need support.

I am sorry if that all sounds a bit blunt but I'm at work and just dashing off a quick reply. Feel free to pm if you want to. I'm quite friendly really smile

LoopsInHoops Wed 05-Dec-12 09:50:52

MrsDV would be a good person to help you. I'll try and PM her.

In my experience (not up to date) you need to show that you are willing and able to have her - eg. you have space, time, finances to do so.

Fosterangel Wed 05-Dec-12 09:42:42

I don't know very much but I do believe that I am right in thinking that it is a requirement that all wider birth family members are contacted by social services to see if the child being taken into care can be looked after by a relative before they place them in foster care. If so this will always be considered first before foster care and is called Kinship Care.

Hope you get some more in-depth advice soon. Sounds like you are already more than ready to look after your neice so good luck and hope it all works out.

SilverBaubles33 Tue 04-Dec-12 22:54:31

Hi so sorry I know nothing about this area, just wanted to say how lucky your niece is that you're looking out for her. I hope that someone more expert will be along soon.

Can you get back to the sw you spoke to and get more information from her? Or someone else in her department?

auntycupcake Tue 04-Dec-12 22:21:32

Hi there!

i am completely new to mumsnet and am hoping that you are able to help me with any advice/experience you may have??

Il start at the beginning....there has always been a sw involved with my niece and up until now they have been satisfied that she is being cared for adaquately.
unfortunately the last few weeks have proven otherwise and i have spent so many sleepless nights worrying about my niece whilst trying to keep the peace to ensure my access to her. i made myself known to ss quite early to let them know who i was should she ever be taken into care as i would be more than willing to have her.

last week i received a phonecall which confirmed my fears sad

the sw explained that they need to seek different living arrangements for my niece as they have made an application to the court.

i have been contacted by the same sw today who wants to conduct a viability test asap! i have made an appointment for later this week and have tried researching on the internet but not really finding much useful. (prob looking in the wrong places!)

what can i expect from a viability test??

more importantly what will happen to my niece if the court case goes ahead before the viability test?? will she be taken into care temporarily?

i have tried to encourage my nieces mum to hand over legal responsibility to me but failed!

any help would be greatly appreciated at this very worrying and uncertain time

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