Is my fault he's going into care?

(115 Posts)
Sayjustjackwithjazzhands Fri 21-Mar-14 08:25:06

Very long story but don't want to out myself so will try make it brief but understandable.

My nephew is 10 and is under the care of social workers. He is 'd'b's son and due to db having various personal problems we have not been in touch properly for a few years. My nephews mum has had lots of issues over the years but it came to light recently that she is not a stable mother and cannot be trusted to care for her son. I have seen my nephew a handful of times in the past few years due to the bad relationship between her and db. To prevent him being taken into care a few of her family members have been interviewed etc but are not deemed stable to take care of him full time. Db has refused to step up, been avoiding calls, breaking promises to attend meeting etc and being generally unreliable.

DM is understandably devastated and wants to put herself forward for full custody, however she has planned a once in a lifetime trip with her partner that will last at least 3 months. She has asked me to take responsibility for dn until her return. I thought about it for a while and although I haven't said officially said no, I think this will be my answer.

I live with dh approx 10 miles away and our 1yr old DS. It would mean effectively moving into dm's house for that length of time. Dm lives in a tiny 2 bed flat with my younger sisters so it would be cramped with us all there. My dh works local to our home so couldn't move in with us, let alone not having the space.

This is awful and I feel like its my fault dn will have to go into care. Dm is refusing to speak to me and says that I'm being selfish. I've tried telling her that its not me who has caused this and its at db that she needs to direct her anger not me but its falling on deaf ears.

Why doesn't she understand? Am I being selfish? Not sure what I'm asking but feels good to write it out.

Technical Sat 22-Mar-14 07:43:01

To be clear I never said I thought OP should take the boy, I actually think she shouldn't, as others have said he will have complex needs and challenges which she (or GM) is not well placed to met.

My point was that the practical problems she raises as reasons she can't take him, living arrangements, schools could be overcome if it was decided that was in the best interests of all concerned and she wanted to.

MrsDeVere Sat 22-Mar-14 10:12:36

I am a passionate advocate of kinship care. I believe that children are most often better with a good enough extended family member than they are with even the lovliest of adoptive parents or foster carers.

BUT it is not always the best solution, much as it pains me to say it. It has to be what is best for the child and sometimes the amount of disruption, trauma uncertainty and lack of resources does not stack up against the advantages of being with family, particularly if when the family are unknown to the child.

I don't know what the deal is with this sad story. None of us do. I hope it works out for the boy. At least he has got family who are thinking of him. There are plenty of kids in and out of the care system who have no one.

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 22-Mar-14 11:07:27

No, it's not your fault. And in addition to Mrs DeVere's wise words I'd add that this is a classic case where love and blood ties just might not be enough to support this little boy.

I'm beyond furious at a GM who would still go on holiday in these sorts of circumstances, but leaving this to one side what your nephew needs is stability, security and possibly therapeutic support. Moving him around from pillar to post won't achieve this. If there is genuinely no one suitable within the extended family (and I'm not entirely sure why your brother isn't being made to step upto the plate - though in my experience SS aren't really switched on to the father being made to take responsibility), it sounds as if long term foster care may be the best option for him.

I'm sorry you are all in this position. I've come close to it a few times myself, and know that it really really isn't as easy as some people make out to "just take them in".

Sayjustjackwithjazzhands Sun 23-Mar-14 09:58:07

Glad some of you really understand. Thanks

BarbarianMum Wed 26-Mar-14 20:53:03

What a bloody depressing thread. I would love to know how many people on it have actual experience of a troubled child. Sure, let's just force his feckless father (the one who can't even turn up to meetings) to look after him. Or what about his teenage aunts -sure they could give him the emotional support he needs. Or the OP could just let him kip on her sofa for a few months - ideal. As for 10 year olds not being much work -really?
Op you are not being unreasonable. Not even convinced your mum is either - taking on another 8 plus years of parenting is a huge commitment.
This poor kid needs a suitable home. This may not be something his family can provide.

Owllady Wed 26-Mar-14 21:05:48

I agree with the last few posts. So.stones caring about someone means more than caring for someone if they would get more specific help elsewhere

minipie Wed 26-Mar-14 21:21:12

OP if you say no, do you think your DM will cancel her holiday?

in other words is she definitely set on the holiday even if it means foster care, or is she just asking you to cover the 3 months in the hope that there is a way she can take in DN without having to give up her trip... ?

also, just an idea on the housing issue - could your sisters move into your place and you into DM's - I don't really see 10 miles as a big commute...

all that said, I agree you shouldn't feel obliged or guilty here.

alita7 Thu 27-Mar-14 22:17:47

Op you are not being selfish at all.

As others have mentioned the op would not be allowed by ss to take on the child without a room for him. And in actual fact I don't think your mother would be allowed either.

In any case the situation would be detrimental to your child and your nephew. your nephew doesn't know you well, and this child would need tonnes of attention so either your son or him would loose out. again you may not be able to go to all those meetings and he should definitely stay at the same school to keep one thing stable and constant for him.
This child could have learnt all kinds of behaviours, we don't know that he wouldn't be violent to your child, if he's been abused himself.

I don't have nephews or nieces but I would take on my cousins who are 4 and 6 if needed but I have a very good relationship with them and I wouldn't take on my 7 year old cousin who I barely know.

If your mother wants him she should give up the holiday and move. ss can support her to move. as a grandmother she would find it easier to get the relevant benefits than you. Also if your sister is 20 surely you could support her to look after him while your mum is away. It's a big ask but my 10 year old step daughter lives with us and I'm 20 (DP 31) and I care for her 50% of the time. Maybe you, your brother or your husband could go over and check on them and sort dinner or baby sit for a bit every evening and he could stay with your brother every weekend? that's if ss would even authorise him to live with your mum.

tell her to step up its not you who should. although really every one seems to be blaming everyone else instead of your brother who should grow up and be a parent! DP and i didn't think twice when dsd was taken from her mum.

MerryInthechelseahotel Fri 28-Mar-14 09:18:41

i don't think I am mentally capable of taking him on

Why are people still saying you should do this and offering practical solutions!

MerryInthechelseahotel Fri 28-Mar-14 09:22:52

*What a bloody depressing thread. I would love to know how many people on it have actual experience of a troubled child. Sure, let's just force his feckless father (the one who can't even turn up to meetings) to look after him. Or what about his teenage aunts -sure they could give him the emotional support he needs. Or the OP could just let him kip on her sofa for a few months - ideal. As for 10 year olds not being much work -really?
Op you are not being unreasonable. Not even convinced your mum is either - taking on another 8 plus years of parenting is a huge commitment.
This poor kid needs a suitable home. This may not be something his family can provide.*

Well done BarbarianMum very wise post smile

MerryInthechelseahotel Fri 28-Mar-14 09:24:17

Bold fail

alita7 Fri 28-Mar-14 13:34:46

also mini pie, 10 miles is a lot if you don't have a car, maybe that's the problem - it could also have a huge financial impact on the op.

anyway this is all silly as I don't believe social services would pplace him somewhere he doesn't have a room.

Fathertedfan Fri 28-Mar-14 23:02:19

I certainly wouldn't contemplate taking your nephew at the moment. Most children who come into care have very complex needs and attachment issues and this boy may not be suitable to live with your own child. If he is taken into care, you could ask to have regular contact with him, to build up a relationship with him?

Mummra13 Mon 31-Mar-14 02:06:06

You have to put the needs of the child before anyone else. I realize that can be painful, however sometimes foster care or adoption is for the best. You and your family should get together and have an honest converstation of what is in your DNs best interest.

SlimJiminy Tue 15-Apr-14 15:30:43

Forgive me if I'm missing something, but does it really have to be all or nothing? Could he go into short-term care until the permanent arrangement with his GM was viable? Not that I think "sorry we're swanning off around the world for a few months first" will be considered an acceptable excuse, but it's very, very unfair to accuse you of being selfish when she's thinking of her round the world trip, not he grandson. Temporary care doesn't mean he'll be locked in a cell and let out when she's back. It will be a normal home with people looking after him. No idea if this would work, but could it at least be considered?

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