Emergency Fostering - what are SS's responsibilities?

(112 Posts)
CouthyMow Mon 27-Jan-14 02:45:41

For various reasons, mostly to do with the safeguarding of my younger DC's, and to try to get my DD the MH support she so desperately needs, I have had to refuse to allow her to come home after she is taken to court in the morning.

She is 15, with SN's and has been self-harming again (only discovered in police custody).

I had to have her arrested yesterday for criminal damage, partly for my safety, partly for the safety of my younger DC's, and partly tbh for her OWN safety.

Because it has been logged as a DV incident, and I am the victim, and for the reasons outlined above, I cannot have her home.

I thought in these circumstances, SS were OBLIGED to find an emergency FC placement?

DD has been in cells since 2.30pm yesterday afternoon. The Officer in Charge of the case has had a massive row with the duty SW as they have refused to find a placement for DD - apparently there isn't anywhere.

Tomorrow morning, she will be taken by security, with no appropriate adult, to a youth court in a town over 30 miles away, as my local court isn't open tomorrow. They didn't WANT to take her strait to court, but as SS have refused to place her, the police have no choice.

After court, she will be taken down to the Court Cells until YOTS can see her. YOTS will have to contact SS. Then DD will STILL be waiting in cells until a SW can get there.

I don't know if it will be a SW from MY area or a SW from THAT area. That area is in the South of my County, and I am in the North of my County.

I have no transport, what will I do about visiting DD?

I'm not doing this because I WANT to, but because it's the last resort, and I have to safeguard my younger DC's from her violence - as well as smashing my house up constantly for the last 4 days, and absconding repeatedly, she has also threatened to beat my 11yo black and blue and to push him down the stairs.

Are they discharging a proper duty of care to my vulnerable, depressed, self harming 15yo with SN's and Moderate Learning Difficulties??

Leaving her in cells for maybe 24 hours or more in total? She was arrested at 2.30pm yesterday afternoon, and will be taken to court at 8/9am tomorrow, to be heard at some random point after that. Then she will have to wait for YOTS (not her first court appearance for criminal damage) and THEN wait for a SW...

Is this normal with such a vulnerable teenager if the parent, for reasons of her younger DC's safety, cannot take them back home?

NanaNina Tue 28-Jan-14 17:25:52

I think these stories about £60 per month pocket money in FC are somewhat exaggerated. FC allowances in some areas are actually being cut, and they are expected to buy clothing out of their allowance, and so this is going to affect pocket money to the young person.

I'm a retired social worker/manager and under the terms of the Children Act there should be a Placement Agreement Meeting as soon as possible after the child is placed. That is to sort out the day to day stuff about who does what. I would contact the duty team (as it is unlikely your DD will have an allocated sw) and ask when this meeting is taking place. These meetings are usually held in the home of the foster carer, but different LAs will have different arrangements.

I really feel for you as you have clearly been struggling for a long time. I have a horrible feeling that once your DD is 16 then SS will say they no longer have any responsibility to her. It is true that a young person is a minor until aged 18 but many young people aged 16 are made to leave foster homes and put into shared housing or hostels if there are any in the area. This was happening when I was last working 2004 and things are so much tighter now because of all the budget constraints.

It might be a good idea to contact your local councillor who will alert the Director of SS to your plight and this may help in ensuring she is cared for beyond 16 years. Incidentally are you getting DLA for your daughter, and a Carers Allowance and any other benefits you might be entitled to.

I'm not exaggerating. The pocket money for a 15 year old in my area is £14.75 a week pocket money, plus £16.65 clothing allowance - so that's £120 ish a month. Plus £10 for phone.

We have just had the document for foster care allowances for the next year and they have increased from last year.

CouthyMow Tue 28-Jan-14 18:25:08

Have spoken to SW AND DD.

SW : DD had a 'kick off' when asked to go to bed last night (sounds very mild compared to the ones she has at home, mind you...). They can see DD urgently needs input from CAHMS, and DD is having a full CAHMS assessment...TOMORROW!! shock

(Fuck me, it's usually a 4+ month waiting list. And her kick off sounded bloody mild to me...)

The SW apologised for the previous 15 fucking years lack of support. DD MUST have CAHMS input before returning home. They have also urgently referred her to Dbit, which deals with adolescents at risk of being taken into care and/or custody. Apparently they have quite good results in these situations.

The SW said that she wants our experience of SS to be a "far better experience than those we have had previously".

I am seeing the SW at home on Thursday afternoon, and there will be a placement planning meeting within the next week.

It sounds like the placement is ok for a while.

They are looking at taxi to school. The placement is close enough that DD can be driven to school, but is rural and NOT close enough for DD to 'hang out' with her bloody mates.

CouthyMow Tue 28-Jan-14 18:27:52

Spoke to DD. First of all she demanded her phone (lol, typical DD!), and a list of other stuff.

Then we had a breakthrough...DD said she understood why she was there, and that she KNOWS now that she needs some help. shock

And she said she loves me at the end of the call too. grin

I now feel much happier knowing that this was absolutely the right thing to do for ALL of us!

CouthyMow Tue 28-Jan-14 18:32:11

Oh - also got a call from DD's science teacher. DD had neglected to tell me that it is parents evening TOMORROW! I now have to ring the school in the morning and arrange appointments with her teachers. DD has known for 2 weeks plus...

That's brilliant news. All of it. Really pleased for you.

SanityClause Tue 28-Jan-14 21:36:33

So pleased to hear things are looking up.

poopooheadwillyfatface Tue 28-Jan-14 22:12:58

Brilliant news smile

BrianTheMole Tue 28-Jan-14 22:30:23

Brilliant. At last.

Sherlockmaystealyourpug Tue 28-Jan-14 23:14:54

So glad that DD realises that things cannot carry on as they are, and that she is having a CAMHS assessment. I am a lurker but wanted to let you know i'm thinking of you and your family.

mistlethrush Tue 28-Jan-14 23:34:54

That sounds really positive Couthy!!!

Livvylongpants Wed 29-Jan-14 07:22:10

I knew they'd pull there finger out when THEY had to deal with her behaviour. It's good of them to apologise to you but still doesn't make up for the years of lacking support.

It's sad that it came to this before help was accessed, when the situated could possibly had been resolved a long time before and been considerably cheaper for them

I have been thinking about you a lot and hope all works out for you and you daughter the way it did for my sister. Her and my mum have a great relationship now, its great your daughter understands why she's there, maybe it will make her think hard about her actions

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