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.

LIZS Fri 21-Mar-14 08:28:17

If longer term custody with your dm is a possibility I would have thought the sw could arrange foster care.

expatinscotland Fri 21-Mar-14 08:29:59

No. Your mother is being manipulative. I doubt SS will release to a person who is so overcrowded, anyhow.

You have enough on your plate and this would mean separating from your h and caring for 4 kids whilst your mum swans off.

How handy for her.

TeenyW123 Fri 21-Mar-14 08:30:04

No, you're not being selfish. You have your own family to get to grips with without taking on someone else's responsibility.

If we're talking selfish, why doesn't DM cancel her holiday? Surely her grandchild would come before that?

Pot, kettle and black methinks.

DrankSangriaInThePark Fri 21-Mar-14 08:32:53

Of course it's not your fault. It's a huge undertaking to even contemplate, and even temporarily. This is a child you barely know- you probably know your own children's friends better!

If anyone or anything is to blame it is your brother. And I am afraid I'd be calling pots and kettles on your mother.

I was in a vaguely similar position. My no-mark half sister had her 3 children removed (and for a damn good reason, and she'll see me in court as a character witness as to why she should NEVER get them back, if the day comes) and I was contacted and asked if I would be willing to consider adopting, or have any objection to them being adopted. No, and no. The youngest child I had, at that stage, seen twice.

This is not your fault, and not your responsibility. flowers

DrankSangriaInThePark Fri 21-Mar-14 08:33:29

X posted with Teeny.

Well you're all being selfish - and I don't mean that negatively - you are all thinking of your own family/holiday first. None of you are likely the right person to have him unless you can dedicate your life to it. No judgement!

I think foster care is likely to be the best thing - long term placement where someone can dedicate the time necessary to make this boy feel valued.

Your DM is prioritising a trip with her partner over her grandson's future and has the gall to tell you you're being selfish?? YANBU.

Onesleeptillwembley Fri 21-Mar-14 08:41:42

Your mother wants him but only after the trip? Fucking hell she's not planning on winning grandma of the year award, I hope. Poor kid.

Anniegetyourgun Fri 21-Mar-14 08:43:56

Would SS even agree to such a solution, I wonder? "Well I will take him on full time, only I'm going away for three months, so my daughter is going to move in, with a baby (or leaving her baby behind? confused, and look after him in a 2 bed flat containing at least 4 people; is that all right?"

I don't think they'd be doing their job if they agreed to that, do you? Would they even think that someone who thinks it is a good idea is the best person to look after a child? If they do they're even madder than your DM.

PastPerfect Fri 21-Mar-14 08:48:02

None of you (brother, mother or you) are covering yourself in glory.

Your poor nephew.

Gen35 Fri 21-Mar-14 08:50:06

Just a personal opinion based on my family, but it's not clear to me that being fostered by DM is in dn's best interest, it will allow db to continue to have a flakey relationship with dn where he continually lets him down and DM makes excuses and probably also dn's mum. And if DM cannot even bypass a blimmin holiday for dn then it says a lot. I don't think the buck stops with you and you do have to put your dh and ds first.

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Fri 21-Mar-14 08:51:37

SS won't agree to that arrangement anyway.

Your mother should cancel her holiday if she wants to take on the responsibility of her grandson.

ghostinthecanvas Fri 21-Mar-14 08:53:57

Highly unlikely that your mum has room for your nephew anyway. YANBU actually you are being very strong and sensible.
You could still be involved in DNs care plan, see him sometimes. I would advise talking to his SW about that. There has been a change in the law recently regarding significant people/guardians in foster childrens lives. Perhaps you could research that and you will still have a role in his life. Your mum however.....selfish. if my grandchild was in that position I would drop everything.

Lweji Fri 21-Mar-14 08:54:18

Not your fault, but can't you take him in permanently?

expatinscotland Fri 21-Mar-14 08:55:47

With such a small child, she might not be able to, Lw, and her husband has to agree to it, too.

smallandimperfectlyformed Fri 21-Mar-14 08:55:54

I'm sorry you're in this situation but it's not your fault and I think anybody reasonable could see that you couldn't leave your own family. I hope there's a solution soon flowers

millymolls Fri 21-Mar-14 08:57:13

sorry, I know this might not sit well with people and I know all situations are different, but there is no way in hell I would let my nephew end up in care through no fault of his own! Its not his fault that his parents are useless for whatever reason. Poor lad. He's 10 years old, and been abandoned by his parents and now apparently by other extended family.

I have no doubt it would be an upheaval for you to take him in and offer a home but I would do anything, anything to ensure that he came to us and to everything I could to offer a permanent loving home.

Poor poor lad

Countessfosco Fri 21-Mar-14 09:03:12

what millymolls said exactly. Of course it is not your fault he is in this position, but for you and your mother to put a holiday and a few months of difficulty before your nephew is beyond my comprehension.

MoominIsWaitingToMeetHerMiniMe Fri 21-Mar-14 09:03:19

millymolls Yeah but it's always easy to say that when it's not you in that situation, isn't it? You can bleat on now about "poor lad", "been abandoned by his extended family", "I'd do anything to ensure he came to us" - but when it's really, physically happening, and you've sat and worked out that it just isn't possible, isn't fair on your own son, probably wouldn't be allowed to happen anyway because of the age of her son - can you understand how reading such a post might make the OP feel awful when she has no need to?

OP you are not being selfish; I agree with those saying your mum is for putting her holiday above her grandson. If you don't feel like it would be the best environment for him and for your family, then you are being selfless in saying no, not selfish!

ghostinthecanvas Fri 21-Mar-14 09:03:36

There is a chance you are going to get flamed here. Askto be shifted to fostering.
not knowing the ins and out, making a mumsnet armchair diagnosis, your DN is 10. Has he been living in a disorganised, chaotic and unsafe home his entire life? He may have problems of his own sadly. You have a baby, make sure SS are honest with you. Also you don't say if SS are supporting him in his home or if he is already being fostered. All these things are important but perhaps not for this thread. There is probably a lot of xposts while I was writing this, I hope you are ok and things progress positively for your DN.

SanityClause Fri 21-Mar-14 09:04:02

I'm inclined to agree milly.

There are probably good reasons why the OP is not considering taking him, and she certainly doesn't have to justify them to us.

But if it were my nieces and nephews, I wouldn't even think twice.

Lweji Fri 21-Mar-14 09:04:24

Tbh, I'd have been very disappointed if my husband had said no in such situation, unless this particular 10 year old was very problematic.
10 year olds are not that much extra work and your child is hardly a newborn.
But I understand that there may be reasons why not and that's why I asked if that was possible.

MoominIsWaitingToMeetHerMiniMe Fri 21-Mar-14 09:05:22

If the OP took him in for 3 months while her mum went on holiday, what's to say that next year, the same thing won't happen. And poor nephew will be shipped off to another aunt for 3 months. Where's the stability in that?

Sayjustjackwithjazzhands Fri 21-Mar-14 09:07:42

I agree its easier to say from a distance, 'i'd drop everything' untill its actually happening to you, its very different.

We live in a 1 bed flat so no space, plus its too far to travel to his school.

diddl Fri 21-Mar-14 09:09:37

If your mother is serious about custody & you having your nephew for three months would ensure that then I think that you should give it serious consideration.

But I would have thought not cancelling the trip won't do her any favours.

Were the other family members automatically approached or did they "put themselves forward"?

expatinscotland Fri 21-Mar-14 09:10:25

There may be very valid reasons why the OP is unable to take him, none of which are our business.

Poppylovescheese Fri 21-Mar-14 09:10:42

Actually from someone who has been in this situation and short term fostered my niece until she returned home I do think you are being selfish. I wouldn't normally say that to anyone but if you have to ask a bunch of strangers you clearly know it anyway

Tobagostreet Fri 21-Mar-14 09:10:45

To answer your question, it is 100% not your fault that he may go into care.

In your position, if you have a real desire to be involved, I'd look at offering him temporary care at your own home until something can be sorted on a more permanent basis (long term foster care/mum sorting herself out/adoption - though unlikely at 10 yo).

If your not in a position to make this commitment to your nephew, then don't get involved. It will only cause you and him even more heartache.

No judgement on you at all, but similarly to other posters above, I would do anything to make my own DN feel loved and wanted, including rearranging my own family life to make it 'fit'.

In most cases though, that would be easier said than done, so I appreciate that everyone s different.

I really hope for this wee lads sake that he finds some security in his home life soon.

I'm sorry that you have been put in this position OP.thanks

HopefulHamster Fri 21-Mar-14 09:14:38

Poppy, OP has a one bed flat and a baby. It's not easy for her to say no or yes! Whereas her mother could just cancel her holiday. It's easier to change a holiday arrangement than where you live.

MaryWestmacott Fri 21-Mar-14 09:17:45

It is not your fault. Your DM might have to make a decision about what she wants most, and the 'trip of a lifetime' might have to be cancelled. Or could she speak to SS, they might be prepared to arrange foster place for him until she's back...

Plus she would be overcrowded, has she looked at the possiblity of getting a bigger property? does she own or rent? if she owns, she could rent out her flat and rent something larger that's more suitable. If she rents, would she be entitled to any financial help to get a larger property if she takes responsibility for DN?

millymolls Fri 21-Mar-14 09:18:25

of course its easier to say than do. I am aware of that. But I still personally believe that I would not hesitate and would make the best of it to avoid putting my own 10 year old nephew into care.

Sorry, but I can't personally comprehend the notion of allowing that just because it would be an upheaval for me. I know not everyone will agree with that notion.

This lad must be really scared, sad and lonely now wondering what is going to happen to him.

nipersvest Fri 21-Mar-14 09:19:22

op, you have my sympathy, we have been through similar recently with my sil's dc's. to those saying they would instantly take on nieces/nephews if it was needed, can i just say it is never quite that straight forward. it would be great if it was, but having gone through a lot with social services recently with regards our nephew, the whole process was a nightmare. there is a heck of a lot more to consider than a simple 'oh, he can come and stay here'.

"10 year olds are not that much extra work" - it's not just the 10 year old though, in taking him on, you end up embroiled in social services, weekly meetings, care plans, if the parents retain parental responsibility every little decision has to go through them (even a haircut), his parents personal problems etc...

snoggle Fri 21-Mar-14 09:20:24

What arrangements has your mum made for your sisters while she goes on holiday? Has she just assumed you can look after them or had she planned something when she arranged the trip? Her priorities sound a bit odd

giggly Fri 21-Mar-14 09:20:52

I would expect my family to accomadate my children should ever the need arise regardless of the size of their home, as I would theirs. Despite the best efforts of great foster carers I believe families should intervene. I would be looking at the grans cancelation policy. Sorry but holiday of a lifetime or caring for grandsonshock , shocking.

Jinsei Fri 21-Mar-14 09:21:07

I'd do it in a heartbeat if I were you. However, if I were your mother, I wouldn't think twice about cancelling my holiday either.

NearTheWindymill Fri 21-Mar-14 09:21:32

This boy has been let down by:

His mother
His father
His mother's close and extended family
His paternal grandmother

If your mother is the sort of woman who will not cancel a holiday for her grandchild then it is perhaps not surprising her son has grown up with an inadequate sense of responsibility.

You sound very grounded in the circumstances OP and are rightly putting your family unit and dependent infant first. That is what you should be doing and if others had done that for dn nobody would be in this situation at all.

You are way way down the pecking order in the blame game and should stick to your guns. You are not responsible for the decisions of your brother and your mother but you are rightly and properly taking responsibility for your own child.

Those who say otherwise are, I think, being unkind and unfair.

Higgledyhouse Fri 21-Mar-14 09:26:17

I don't think you are selfish - however in your shoes I would 100% take my nephew in to my home for a period of 3 months, longer if needed to prevent him going into care, regardless of any of the issues you have raised.

I think your mum is very caring to compromise her life in this way, after all she has parented once and is now prepared to do it again. She may feel she could do with a few months to prepare for this long term commitment, get her head around it all etc. After all she will be unlikely to go on another holiday like this for another 8 years or so.

If I were you, I would support my mum with this.

Good luck - it's sounds very sad for you all.

nipersvest Fri 21-Mar-14 09:29:07

my mil had to cancel going on holiday the day she was due to do as sil had been arrested (again) and her 3 dc's needed care. 3 weeks later, mil was at breaking point with all the stress and we got involved albeit at a distance as we don't live in the same part of the country.

iit is not as straight forward as having a nephew to stay. it is messy and hugely complicated.

EverythingCounts Fri 21-Mar-14 09:37:19

Your mother should cancel the holiday. And she should be having strong words with your brother, not you, about how he is letting his son down with his unreliability. Poor kid. But this would be a massive upheaval for you, OP, compared to the changes others would have to make but are not prepared to. Not your fault.

titchy Fri 21-Mar-14 09:52:50

How in earth are SS going to agree to OP's mother having him anyway - there is no spare bedroom for him. Or are your sisters going to move out? I assume they're old enough to live independently if your mum's not having anyone in to look after them?

Booboostoo Fri 21-Mar-14 09:59:50

Your mum is being incredibly selfish, she should cancel the holiday.

You are being a bit selfish, this is the rest of a boy's life that's at stake, three months is not such a long time for a sacrifice on your part.

Having said that, I also can't believe SS would agree with this plan.

Lancelottie Fri 21-Mar-14 10:14:26

I don't see why ANYONE is saying the OP is being selfish. Why does her blood relationship to this boy make her automatically a better choice for this child than someone who wants to foster him?

He might be very distressed at living with an almost unknown aunt, who will necessarily be distracted by her own young baby, at a time when he needs considerable help.

nipersvest Fri 21-Mar-14 10:23:59

foster care can be a positive experience. the youngest 2 of sil's dc's went into care for 5 months and their behaviour improved, school work improved, self confidence improved. the foster carers were fully supported and trained.

Anniegetyourgun Fri 21-Mar-14 10:27:02

I miss the bit where SS asked the OP to consider taking the nephew in. As far as I can tell that has not happened so to say she's selfish for not doing it is a little premature if nothing else. In fact her mother hasn't been asked to either; she "wants to put herself forward" and has thought up this wizard wheeze where her daughter fills in the gaps, which sounds really quite impractical and not at all in the nephew's interests. However, if SS don't buy it she will of course be able to blame her daughter for not going along with the holiday cover plan.

As for a strange ten-year-old who has had heaven knows what upbringing so far, I am surprised to learn he wouldn't be much trouble to look after. He will if you're doing it right! I might have taken on a nephew had the circumstances arisen (they didn't), but that's because I had a couple of boys around the same age; one more would have made less difference than it would to a family with just a one-year-old baby who arguably have no experience with 10-year-olds. (And, let us not forget, a one bed flat to keep him in.)

Cut the OP some slack for goodness' sake.

Sayjustjackwithjazzhands Fri 21-Mar-14 10:33:11

Thanks for your thoughtful replies, I'm grateful for all.

I can't talk to anyone in RL so its good to get it off my chest. Its heartbreaking and I've been in tears all morning thinking of my dn. Its a horrible horrible position to be put in and I wish it wasn't the case.

In DMs defence this has happened v quickly, she wanted to assume custody as a last resort expecting dn mothers family would come through, and was told after the first the SS meeting that she 'is the best person to have dn, and is very likely to get custody'. So way after the holiday had been booked and paid for.

I have my own personal probs to deal with and as expected poor dn is very troubled, and I don't think I'm mentally capable of taking him on, especially without dm being around to support me. He spent lots of time with me as a baby but in the last 3/4 years I've seen him a handful of times. I love him dearly and I would be willing to offer some help a few days a week but being his full time carer sounds would be very difficult for me.

littlebluedog12 Fri 21-Mar-14 10:37:46

I think you ALL need to decide what is really in the best interests of DN and do whatever is reasonably in your power to make that happen. Only you know whether your mum is actually in a reasonable position to take him in.

In your situation I think I would be chasing down your brother and forcing him to take some responsibility for his son.

BrunoBrookesDinedAlone Fri 21-Mar-14 10:38:54

If your mother won't give up a holiday for this, then she isn't the right person to take in your DN. She's full of sentimentality and short on real commitment.

If your mother is angry at you, but there's little comment on how this is actually the fault of your arse of a brother, then she's also not the right person to take in your DN, as she's unlikely to be able to appropriately protect your DN from being messed about more in the future by him. How will you feel when your mum beamingly announces that her dear darling son has come good this time, honest, and is going to start trying to look after DN again?

And most of all, if at this absolute crisis point your mum's solution to the problem is to go on holiday but it's all ok because YOU, with a baby to care for, will be moving in to look after all three other children...well, prepare to be on call and expected to step in from now on, I'd say.

I would think hard about taking in your DN yourself, but from what you've posted I'd never assist your mother to do so. She seems unlikely to be able to cope with a situation like this if even appreciate how hard it is likely to be. And the person to suffer for that will be your DN.

Tell her that when she sulks at you. And that before she plans anything to talk to SS because holidays or not, the fact that she's already overcrowded will probably mean she can't be considered anyway.

Lweji Fri 21-Mar-14 10:39:02

OP, I don't think you are being selfish and I understand your reluctance given the circumstances.
However, I'd consider approaching SS to enquire about possibilities, such as getting extra funds for a bigger place, knowing the child better and what would be involved. You may well decide in the end that you can't or won't.

In the end it might be better for him if he gets good foster parents than inadequate care by his relatives.

BrunoBrookesDinedAlone Fri 21-Mar-14 10:41:43

X-posts. If she's been told she's likely to get custody-turn you simply reply to the emotional blackmail by saying 'Mum, if you are the right person to get custody you'd be cancelling the holiday, sorry. If the holiday's more important to you, maybe that's a sign that he needs to be somewhere that takes his situation more seriously.'

Lweji Fri 21-Mar-14 10:44:34

Sorry, hadn't read your last message.
I stand by my last sentence.

Puzzledandpissedoff Fri 21-Mar-14 10:45:30

If the lad's immediate family are as toxic as they sound, might there be benefits in him making a completely fresh start elsewhere, perhaps through long term fostering or adoption?

Our late neighbours insisted "we're family" and took on custody of their grandson who'd been damaged by terrible parenting. Trouble is, they all continued to play each other off at the boy's expense until he didn't know up from down; tragically he committed suicide at 17

It's often better if children make new starts as young as possible - maybe 10 is a little late? - but anyway it's just an idea to add to the mix

Lweji Fri 21-Mar-14 10:46:45

In your situation I think I would be chasing down your brother and forcing him to take some responsibility for his son.

The problem is that he's likely to be an inadequate parent anyway and a poor role model.

littlebluedog12 Fri 21-Mar-14 10:57:11

Lweji actually you're probably right. I guess I was just projecting what I would do if it was my brother. But then he would never run out on his kids.

Sorry but I think that you are all being selfish, I am biased to say this though as I know from a sibling the effects that care can have. Your DM should be giving that holiday up, going in to care will effect his entire future, he will have to live with people he has never met (or in a care home with many other troubled young people. He will basically lose any family he did know, most likely.

If it was me with a DN, I wouldn't think twice even though I have enough of my own problems, if it was temporary.

That's me though, I just couldn't live with the guilt knowing that I could have changed the outcome.

Cringechilli Fri 21-Mar-14 11:06:39

Your mum is choosing a holiday over her grandson. That has nothing to do with you.

cleoowen Fri 21-Mar-14 11:08:39

Where can't your nephew stay at your house? Why would you need to move?

I personally would do it. It might be hard for three months and not ideal for you and your family but what's three months when you're preventing your nephew going into care until he's 18? I would take the stress so can stay in the family and have a happy life with his family. I think your mum is right.

cleoowen Fri 21-Mar-14 11:11:04

Can your mum take him on holiday? If not she should prioritise a person over a holiday and should cancel. It may be a once in a lifetime holiday but it's also a once in a lifetime opportunity for her to prevent her grandson going into care. Personally I wouldn't be able to enjoy my holiday knowing what was happening at home.

DrOwh Fri 21-Mar-14 11:13:31

I hope this boy finds suitable adults to care for him away from your family.

Lweji Fri 21-Mar-14 11:13:35

BTW, going into care is not forever, should the OP, or anyone else, at some point decide they are willing to take on this boy, I'm sure it will be possible, unless he's adopted.

In fact, if nobody is capable of taking care of him, I'd insist with brother to allow adoption.

Wantsunshine Fri 21-Mar-14 11:16:28

So who is looking after your sisters at your mums house while she is away?
Sounds like the boy would be better off without your family if it is too much trouble to move 19 miles down the road or cancel a holiday. Very sad.

MoominIsWaitingToMeetHerMiniMe Fri 21-Mar-14 11:47:06

Cleo they have a one-bed flat. With a one year old son. Doesn't sound like the ideal living space to be taking on a ten year old with a complicated background.

HappyGirlNow Fri 21-Mar-14 11:53:04

I agree your mother is being selfish but so are you.. No matter what the situation, it's only 3 months!

Groovee Fri 21-Mar-14 12:03:51

I know where you are coming from. My 2 nieces were about to be placed with my mum and dad when my dad took very ill. He ended up having a transplant and 2 young children would have been too much. I was the next family member approached and after a long hard talk with dh and a social worker it was decided that we shouldn't take the girls on.

Instead they were placed in a foster home where they were the only 2 children and were nutured and supported in a way I could never have managed to give them at the time. Today they are 2 lovely girls in their late teens, one at uni and the other about to go to uni. Considering their start in life, they are very stable lovely girls.

I don't regret saying no, it was hard and I often feel guilty but they got the best support where they did end up and they don't hold it against us.

If your nephew has been messed about then the upheavel may be too much for him and your family unit. It's not an easy decision but sometimes saying no is the right thing for the child concerned.

cleoowen Fri 21-Mar-14 12:19:51

Not not an ideal situation and as I said it would be stressful and difficult but I would personally prefer that if it prevent a family member going into care.

Sayjustjackwithjazzhands Fri 21-Mar-14 12:23:56

Sisters are 19 and 21.

Thanks Grovee, I'm sure you can really empathise with my situation. Glad your nieces are doing so well.

Things are still in the air and none of this has been discussed with SS so don't know if its even an option.

I've asked for this thread to be moved into fostering.

Lweji Fri 21-Mar-14 12:24:03

I don't think the 3 months at the mother's flat is at all feasible in these conditions and I don't think it would be good for the OP or the boy, TBH.

Lweji Fri 21-Mar-14 12:25:29

If they are of that age, why can't they take care of the boy for 3 months?

Many women are mothers at that age.

Sayjustjackwithjazzhands Fri 21-Mar-14 12:30:51

Lweji they are both in full time education

akaWisey Fri 21-Mar-14 12:34:35

The main priority at this stage will be finding appropriate parental figures who can provide an immediate, long-term placement.

The last thing this boy needs is to be told he's going to live with A who will then be going away for 3 months (a long time in a child's mind), moved into a flat with temporary care from B who won't be a permanent figure in his life in that sense, and who's life would be made more complicated by having left her own family to do so, introduced to numerous family members….it's a big ask of a small child. He needs thestability of carers who can form an attachment to, and claim him as their own when HE needs it, not when it suits THEM. He needs a bedroom of his own, a sanctuary which has been created with HIM IN MIND.

You're not being unreasonable OP, nor are you to blame if he is placed with foster carers. It's a tragic situation for him but one which was not of your making.

Slippydippysoap Fri 21-Mar-14 12:39:58

Only the most feckless SW would allow a 10 year old to move into a 1 bed flat with three other people so anyone suggesting the OP should magically become the solution are very misguided.

Quinteszilla Fri 21-Mar-14 12:43:58

You are not selfish. Your mum is, and it does not sound like she is the right one to be his "mum" either. If she gets full custody, she cant pick and chose when parenting him will be convenient.

Lweji Fri 21-Mar-14 12:46:29

So? I am doing a full time job and have a 9 year old.

Lweji Fri 21-Mar-14 12:48:01

Although the housing situation at your mother's is not ideal either.
She'd need a bigger place.

magoria Fri 21-Mar-14 13:25:01

You are not being selfish. There is a lot more to think of than just he is family I would do anything to do it.

That is over simplistic and naieve.

It brings SS crashing into your life, having to arrange to be at any of their meetings etc.

I did it with my sister's eldest two. Hind sight is a wonderful thing. I would not have done it again.

ghostinthecanvas Fri 21-Mar-14 13:30:47

Lweji does your 9 year old have meetings you have to attend on their behalf? Does your 9 year old have their own space in your house? Would you take a stranger into your home, with behaviours and history you know nothing about and feel safe? Especially if perhaps your 9 year old was a vulnerable 1 year old. Would you trust inexperienced young adults to give appropriate care and attention to the troubled 10 year old?
Social Services will not place the child in inappropriate accommodation anyway. Op is upset. She doesn't need judged. I am surprised her mother has been told she is suitable as she has 2 bedrooms with 3 adults. It is a very stressful thing for all concerned.

Lweji Fri 21-Mar-14 13:41:58

I'm not in any way judging the OP, do read my posts.

Lweji Fri 21-Mar-14 13:46:19

And I have just said that they'd need more space to have this boy with the grandmother.
Just saying that between two actual adult women, they should be able to hold on for 3 months, without having to have in the house someone else living elsewhere, with a 1 year old in tow.
The two sisters should not be less capable than the OP. And most students at that age skip occasional classes very easily.

MoominsYonisAreScary Fri 21-Mar-14 13:56:59

Your mother should cancel her trip if she is serious about looking after your dn

Technical Fri 21-Mar-14 13:58:44

I think there is a solution here, if there was enough will.

OP's living arrangements ATM aren't suitable but there's nothing to say they can't change. If she were to foster the boy she would get financial support to do so. He could change school.

It doesn't sound to me that the GM is well placed to care for him and I am very surprised that SS seem to be going with this idea.

Have SS said the child can't stay with DB, his father? Can't he move into GM's flat, if SS agree?

If it were my DSis' children I would be doing everything possible to have them and if that included moving house then so be it. It wouldn't be necessary though because my parents' wouldn't think twice about cancelling the holiday

But by DNephews have thus far been brought up in a loving, stable home. Taking them on would be incredibly difficult and cause a huge amount of upheaval for all involved. I am under no illusion that it would be very hard indeed, but it would be easy compared to taking on a child who has had the life of OP's nephew so far.

TBH, If SS really are happy that GM is the best person to care for DN, they would sort out temporary care for him while she was away. They are IMO very unlikely to agree to the arrangement OP's mother suggests.

So, no OP I don't think it's your fault if he goes into care, I think it's highly unlikely that would change, even if you did agree to your mother's proposal.

If SS have approved the grandmother as long term foster carer they would provide short term foster care for 3 months BUT it sounds unlikely as she won't have space for him, and would take the hit and cancel the holiday if she was genuinely committed to being his parental figure for the next 8 years. As somenody said, it sounds as if the grandma is sentimental but not, when it comes down to it, actually committed or capable enough to take her grandson on.

Can your mother honestly not get any of the money back from booking this holiday? Surely for a three month trip she would be able to get at least most of the money back due to the circumstances. I just can't imagine her explaining to her grandson in years to come why he was given up "well I thought about taking you in but decided to go on a cruise instead" hmm.

BoysMum1 Fri 21-Mar-14 14:58:48

I'm a foster carer with 3 long term placements. My foster dc have a wonderful life with great holidays, all the material possesions they want/need, and they are very much loved by us.

However, hell would freeze before I let my dn go into foster care. I very much doubt SS would approve your mum anyway but you are all being selfish.
Your poor dn.

MaryWestmacott Fri 21-Mar-14 15:17:47

Well, even if the 19 and 20 year olds are in full time education, can your mother not pay for a childminder to do wrap around care before and after school for DN and they look after him in the evenings/weekends? Why does it have to be you that moves away from your family and obviously, if you can't bring your 1 year old with you, arrange childcare for your 1 year old while your DH works? You doing the care is not a sensible solution, there are various solutions your family could do, and the main one being your mother delays her 'holiday of a lifetime' for a year or so until your DN is settled with her and she can properly arrange childcare while she's away.

ghostinthecanvas Fri 21-Mar-14 16:12:37

How many of us would move house with a 1 year old to spend 3 months with a 10 year old who may have issues? Yes, he is the Ops nephew. She wants to do best by him but is not is a position to do so.

So? I work full time.......blah......9yr old Judgy. Looking after birth children or well known family members is nothing like fostering family life.

I too look after foster children. I too would take in DNs or grandchildren. We have existing, loving relationships. I know them. If my SW called me up to take in a 10 year old I don't know much about, thats not an easy decision. It would impact on my family and my kids are old enough to understand.

So much wrong with this thread. I am hiding it now. Good luck with it all Op.

MrsDeVere Fri 21-Mar-14 16:22:57

I cannot see who DN moving in with his unknown aunt for a few weeks would be anymore beneficial than going into short term foster care.

Either is going to be traumatic and disruptive and a professional fc is better placed to deal with this than an unexperienced aunt with a young child.

Taking in someone else's child, particularly at this age, is NOT something that should be done lightly.

The more placements this boy has the worse for him.

In these circumstances I think an experienced foster carer would be the better option.

The GM should cancel her holiday if she is desperate for him not to go into care. He is not a parcel that can be left on a shelf until she is ready or passed round until she gets back.

MrsDeVere Fri 21-Mar-14 16:26:08

This child will NOT be adopted.

He is ten, he is a boy, he has not yet been freed for adoption which could take another 2 years.

Any idea how many twelve year old boys are adopted each year?

Sayjustjackwithjazzhands Fri 21-Mar-14 16:59:03

Thanks again to all of you for your replies.

I'm agreeing with most of them, if I was an outsider looking I'd be saying that I was selfish too as it seems very black and whit when you're not in it. However I am in it and it so complicated.

He needs a lot of 1:2:1 attention and support understandably and with a 1yr old DS I cannot give him that. Although I'm his aunt we have not spent any 1:2:1 time together so effectively it'll be another upheaval for him and then another adjustment to be with my mum. He doesn't need further disruption as mentioned by PP.

I don't know that if I don't have him he'd be in care forever or of its temporally until his mum can sort herself out? I don't know

lougle Fri 21-Mar-14 17:21:14

I don't think you're necessarily being selfish, but I do think you'd need to be very honest with yourself regarding the reasons for saying no.

You say in your OP "I live with dh approx 10 miles away and our 1yr old DS....My dh works local to our home so couldn't move in with us, let alone not having the space."

10 miles is nothing at all, my DD1 travels that far for school everyday (special school) unless of course your DH doesn't drive or the public transport options are awful.

I don't think you're unreasonable to be concerned about all this, but that wasn't a great reason not to help.

SolomanDaisy Fri 21-Mar-14 17:32:57

Surely your mum is going to have to either move or ask your sisters to move out? So if she does that before the holiday, it becomes a bit more practical for you. But it clearly isn't a good solution for anyone and presumably will raise questions about her commitment.

nipersvest Fri 21-Mar-14 18:12:03

"If she were to foster the boy she would get financial support to do so. He could change school"

really? we couldn't take our 2 younger niece and nephew as neither wanted to change school, and it was decided as school was the only constant in their lives at the time, it was best they stayed in their area and went into foster care so they could stay at the same school than move away temporarily to stay with us.

and financial support?? where from? my mil had 3 grandchildren for 3 weeks, then continued with the older one for 5 months. she didn't get any help or support financially or otherwise from social services. they were quite happy to just leave her to it despite her being 74, and our oldest nephew came with a whole heap of issues, smoking, repeatedly being excluded from school, fighting, bunking off etc.

Owllady Fri 21-Mar-14 18:15:32

You don't get financial support if you are family one. My friend took on his grandson and they (ss) t left him to it. He bas adopted him now, so it was the best short and long term plan for the bit BUT it isn't always that straightforward

Technical Fri 21-Mar-14 18:22:41

You've quoted me out of context - I did finish by saying I thought OP was doing the right thing and that things are rarely as simple as they seem in the scenario I described at the beginning of my post.

The children didn't want to change school but they could have if that was what was necessary to get them the best possible solutions in other areas of their lives. I wasn't suggesting they could change schools for the 3 months GM is away but if OP took them long-term

I think there is financial support for familial fostering within certain income limits but I apologise if I'm wrong

SuperScrimper Fri 21-Mar-14 18:26:01

I can't believe anybody would actually put a crappy holiday above their own Grandchild going into care shock

People like this actually exist?

expatinscotland Fri 21-Mar-14 18:38:13

This child needs someone who is experienced in working with a child with the types of issues he has. A young woman with a toddler in a one-bed flat is not.

Yes, plenty of 19 and 21-year-olds are mothers, but not foster carers to 10-year-olds with troubled backgrounds.

MrsDeVere Fri 21-Mar-14 18:43:36

Financial support for family carers is patchy, hard to come by and means tested.

Other kinds of support are even rarer. This boy is likely to need a lot of support and we don't know what sort of contact, therapy, review, medical schedule he is going to have.

In a three month sample period my DS (who I was fostering at that time) had SIXTY appointments.

I paid all expenses. I had to accompany him to all of them. I had no say in when or where these took place.

suzylee73 Fri 21-Mar-14 18:50:57

I'm sorry you have had a few negative responses. I suspect they are from people who have had no experience of this kind of situation so pay no attention smile
Obviously none of us know the full details of your families situation but if you can't look after him then don't beat yourself up about it.
Foster care is the best option sometimes and I see damaged children thrive with the right carers all the time. Staying with extended family isn't always the right thing for the child as there are constant reminders that makes it hard for them to move forward.
His needs should come first not family doing things out of guilt or social services looking for a cheap alternative to foster care.
Hope it works out

Sayjustjackwithjazzhands Fri 21-Mar-14 20:16:49

Thank you suzylee

scarlet5tyger Fri 21-Mar-14 21:17:23

Friends and family carers are entitled to the same allowance as other foster carers in their local authority, providing the fostering arrangement is through social services (ie not a private arrangement). It's no longer a cheap alternative to foster care.

OP I don't think you're being selfish, just realistic. Your nephew is sadly very likely to be badly affected by his chaotic home life and could very well be difficult to handle. I wouldn't take in a ten year old with a 1 year old baby - and I foster. It wouldn't just be your nephew moving into your flat either - for the first few months of a placement there are meetings galore and a stream of new faces in your house. I'm two months into a new placement at the moment and next week is the first week that I get a day with no appointment.

You'd also be expected to facilitate contact with your nephew's family - who may resent you for "helping" social services "take" their son.

All things that need considering.

MrsDeVere Fri 21-Mar-14 21:25:35

But it is unlikely that this will be considered a fc arrangement in which case SS may well get round the whole family carers being entitled to the same allowances (in any case the allowances do not include any 'enhancements' for training/experience etc).

SGO allowances are means tested.

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?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now