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Anyone familiar with the Irish fostering system?

(13 Posts)
IsabelMarant Sat 06-Feb-16 13:00:58

We have had dd's 16 year old friend staying with us for the last month. Her parents are not around and she has been living with her grandmother for the last few years, but things have been difficult. Everything came to a head over Christmas and now the girl doesn't want to go back and the grandmother doesn't want her back. The social worker has said it will be very difficult to find her a place to live other than a hostel. The grandmother wants us to keep her, but she would retain guardianship. We feel that if she's going to live with us permanently it would be better if we had guardianship. She wants to pay us monthly for the girl's upkeep, etc.. We just feel really uncomfortable with this arrangement, we would much prefer to do this via official channels. Unfortunately I couldn't get the social worker on the phone yesterday, so wondering if anyone could advise? Thanks

Soapmaker34 Sat 06-Feb-16 13:02:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FarelyKnuts Sat 06-Feb-16 13:03:53

The very very new guardianship laws may work in your favour here but they've only just been written into law and not yet tested.
In theory you can go to court and apply for guardianship of a minor and it is up to the judge to decide the best interests of the child.

IsabelMarant Sat 06-Feb-16 13:10:22

Thank you both. I think the granny wants to avoid anything official which makes us keen to do it the correct way. I talked to the SW and she said if granny isn't going to have the girl living with her then she needs to inform SW, but then when the SW called her she told her she'd consider having the girl back in a few weeks. I know she won't have her back in a few weeks, she told us so in an email after the conversation with the SW. I don't trust the granny, we want to do what's best for the girl not what's convenient for the granny.

Soapmaker34 Sat 06-Feb-16 13:51:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IsabelMarant Sat 06-Feb-16 14:12:02

Ah thank you Soapmaker! We just want to the right thing, she's a lovely girl who's had a desperate start in life.

Financially we are ok now, but I am concerned that next year she'll turn 18 and will be going to college/uni. We have 3 dc of our own to finance through that process, I don't think the budget will stretch to 4.

I find dealing with the granny very stressful, my time on MN makes me suspect she is a narcissist, she is so difficult. If we didn't have her to deal with the whole process would be much less fraught

FarelyKnuts Sat 06-Feb-16 16:16:09

Unfortunately if the granny keeps telling the SW that she'll have her back then you might find it very difficult to get any kind of financial help.
You'd have to be vetted as foster parents if you were to make it formal which is a long process and the granny would have to agree to it which sounds unlikely?

IsabelMarant Sat 06-Feb-16 18:42:21

The granny wants to appear to be the dutiful grandparent but not actually look after the girl. I think the SW has the measure of her. The SW more or less said the granny is messing us around and taking advantage of the fact that we are nice people who won't allow the girl to be homeless. The girl was supposed to go back to the granny a couple of weeks ago, but the granny changed her mind at the last minute. I find the granny to be very manipulative, and at this stage the girl can't cope with her and would rather stay here. She initially wanted to go into care but the SW says there is no hope of finding her a place in a children's home or with a foster family.

Farely, what do you think of the arrangement the granny wants? if it is done with the knowledge of the SW do you think we should accept given that we just want the best for the girl? It doesn't seem like the ideal arrangement but maybe the most expedient. Thanks for your input, much appreciated

FarelyKnuts Sat 06-Feb-16 19:17:22

Honestly I think if you can live with the uncertainty of it then it may be the best you can do under the circumstances.
As long as the SW is happy with the arrangement.
As she is 16yo they are honestly not going to be working too hard to find alternatives if you are saying you'll keep her. They'll have way too many higher need and younger kids on their books and just be glad she has a roof over her head with a family who is kind enough to offer it.
I'd be aiming to hit up the granny for the money to care for her and for her children's allowance to be transferred to her own name or to you.

FarelyKnuts Sat 06-Feb-16 19:18:40

You're welcome to PM me by the way. I work in the area.

IsabelMarant Sat 06-Feb-16 22:22:14

That's really helpful, thanks so much. Thanks for the offer of the PM, I might take you up on it 😊

fasparent Sun 07-Feb-16 15:07:36

Can share parental residential roll's jointly, as at 18 will be an adult, any problems with legal , child can evoke Hague convention . , or Gillick competence rules , which would say if ruled in her favour is capable of her own judgments. A polite solicitors letter on a amicable solution should suffice thus preventing disagreements.

willitbe Sat 20-Feb-16 20:21:19

Hi, IsabelMarant, if by any chance you are not aware, there is aftercare provision for those in care, to help with the financial element of going to college. www.tusla.ie/services/alternative-care/after-care/

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