Can my DD take the children in these circumstances?

(252 Posts)
IceCreamSnob Sun 13-Dec-20 02:57:16

Sorry this will be long: I desperately need advice

For background - My DD has two small daughters (both under 7) with her ex partner. They split up two years ago, he still see's the children but my DD has custody of them both. She and the kids live with us (myself and DH) at the moment. DD has some learning difficulties related to an accident she suffered as a teenager and struggles to care for her children without heavy support. Because of this myself and my DH do a lot of the childcare for our dgd's.

About a year ago DD told us that she had a met a new boyfriend online. She bought him round to see us soon after and introduced him to the kids. A couple of months later she asked if he could move in because he was being evicted from his accommodation. I said no. DD had a huge strop at me and declared that she would move out then. I said fine. Heard no more about it from her (she quite often says she'll do stuff in the heat of the moment then doesn't bother) until I came back from work on Tuesday. DD was not at home and most of her stuff was gone. I rang her and asked where she was. She said she was with her boyfriend (in his hometown) and they were moving into a flat together that day.

The flat (that she hadn't told us about) is nearly 100 miles away from us and all her close family (it's in the same area that her boyfriend is from) . She's now saying that she and her boyfriend are going to come back and take the children to live with them on Monday.

I have serious concerns that the children won't be looked after.

The few times that DD has had the children alone (without support) have not gone well. She doesn't spot potential hazards (ie: she left on a hot iron unattended in DGD's bedroom and one of the kids caught her arm on it) another time the younger dgd was nearly hit by a car because she didn't hold dgd's hand whilst crossing a main road.

She doesn't plan anything in advance or think ahead. This often means she doesn't have food in the house or she'll forget to collect the kids from school unless we remind her. She has no new school organised for them currently, she says she'll look for one after Christmas...

The few times I have met her boyfriend I have been concerned about his behaviour towards dd. He's very posessive and overbearing. If we went out for a meal for example then he wouldn't let DD go to the loo by herself for example. He would insist on waiting outside the toilet door. He also answers her phone for her and opens her post. He has his own children but he has no contact with them

When they turn up on Monday can I refuse to let the children go with them? I've suggested to DD that she comes back and we discuss it but she's insisting on taking them Monday. I'm very concerned for their welfare

Thanks for reading

OP’s posts: |
katy1213 Sun 13-Dec-20 03:05:51

I've no experience of this - but I do think you need to call social services first thing Monday morning.
Where is the children's father? Will he be any help?

Thisusernameistakenagain Sun 13-Dec-20 03:08:32

I think you need to ring the police for advice OP. This is very much a 'it depends' situation.

Have any authorities been involved with your DD before? SS/Police/Any agency?

Is she diagnosed with anything?

Does she have full parental rights?Is it known basically, what the situation is with her,and with her parenting, and with you and your GC?

I absolutely would ring 101 and explain the situation and also log a concern for your DD with her local police force.

But ultimately, morally if you're concerned your GC will be neglected or abused, you must not let her take them.

Thisusernameistakenagain Sun 13-Dec-20 03:13:41

Also if she DOES take them, could she look after them with support (ss etc)?

If not, you need to make sure it is known that you're willing to take the children if needs be. Where is their father(s)?

allthewaterinthetap Sun 13-Dec-20 03:17:08

I hope SS can give some kind of emergency advice. It would be a very very bad idea to let her take them.

Notapheasantplucker Sun 13-Dec-20 03:21:54

I think you need to contact SS as soon as you can and see what their advice is.
Has she been told she's only allowed supervised contact with the kids or is this just what you and your DH say?

AwaAnBileYerHeid Sun 13-Dec-20 03:27:05

There will be an emergency out of hours social work team who you can ask for advice. Don't wait till Monday. Look on your local councils website for this information.


that1970shouse Sun 13-Dec-20 03:30:01

In the absence of anything like you having been granted parental rights, I don’t think you can stop her taking them. Definitely contact SS for advice and to alert them to the danger to the children. Be aware though that they are under huge pressure at the moment and may not have the resources to deal with it urgently.

Notthe9oclocknewsathon Sun 13-Dec-20 03:31:26

Very likely from a legal point of view she can just take them. You would then raise concerns and SS would investigate, give her time to improve etc. Eventually the children may be removed and likely into your care if you’re assessed as suitable kinship care. This is all a very drawn out process.
Is there any way of working this out with her more amicably? Could you offer to take the kids for a visit and bring them back with you again to keep them safe? I’d also be worried about them having another baby. Definitely call SS for advice.

RAOK Sun 13-Dec-20 03:36:50

Yes get urgent advice today.

Your granddaughters’ headteacher will be obliged to report your concerns as a safeguarding issue; call them on Monday morning and tell them what you’ve told us. Email first thing Monday morning saying you need to speak to someone urgently regarding a serious safeguarding issue or explain to the receptionist that you need to speak to a Designated Safeguarding Lead immediately.

I’m sorry you are in this extremely difficult situation. Your granddaughters are lucky to have you to advocate for them.

IceCreamSnob Sun 13-Dec-20 03:49:27

Thank you so much for the advice - I'll make some phone calls ASAP.

To answer questions, her ex partner now lives abroad. He comes over and spends time with the girls whenever he can be it's obviously been more of a challenge this year. He rents a 1 bedroom flat from his employer (he has to live onsite as part of his job contract) so I don't think he'd be in a position to have them full time at the moment. They both have parental rights.

I'll try and update this thread once we have (hopefully good) news

OP’s posts: |
August20 Sun 13-Dec-20 04:06:03

She most likely has the right to take them but I encourage you to be in contact with social services.

Please also look into Clare's Law / Sarah's Law. You know nothing about this man she has moved in with and have concerns about his behaviour. I would be worried about his access to your grandchildren.

August20 Sun 13-Dec-20 04:07:18

I meant to say the fact he has no contact with his own children is concerning. Is that by choice? Or by court order?

If it's by choice why is a man who doesn't like children dating a woman with two daughters?

If it's by court order or another person's decision, why isn't he allowed near his children?

BethlehemIsInTier1 Sun 13-Dec-20 04:22:55

You need an Emergency prohibited steps order preventing your daughter removing your grandchildren from your care, for the reasons you stated. If your daughter has any care workers/Gp, School/SS involvement because of her disability, get them involved.

Thisusernameistakenagain Sun 13-Dec-20 04:23:15

Clare's law has to be done by a potential partner or a professional agency on same's behalf.

Sarah's law-yes possibly, but I am uncertain it may have to be the one in a parental role to request it. Worth an ask OP.

BethlehemIsInTier1 Sun 13-Dec-20 04:24:11


There will be an emergency out of hours social work team who you can ask for advice. Don't wait till Monday. Look on your local councils website for this information.

This, ring them ASAP

August20 Sun 13-Dec-20 04:32:05


My understanding is that a third party can make the Clare's law request but the police might make the disclosure to someone else:

Who can ask for a disclosure?

A disclosure under this scheme is the sharing of specific information about an individual, with either a potential victim or a third person, for the purposes of protecting you from domestic violence. Any concerned third party, such as a parent or friend, can make an application about an individual who is in an intimate relationship with another person and where there is a concern that the individual may harm the other person. However, a third party making an application would not necessarily receive the information about the individual concerned. This is because it may be more appropriate for someone else to receive the information such as the potential victim or another person who is best placed to protect them.


ClaireP20 Sun 13-Dec-20 04:38:11

Good luck OP. If you type into google 'out of hours social services' followed by your area, they will advise you. The out of hours team are really good, in my opinion, and you should call them tomorrow rather than Monday.

FourPlatinumRings Sun 13-Dec-20 04:40:40

I would probably contact the GC's dad to let him know the situation too. He should be in the loop on this.

Eviebeans Sun 13-Dec-20 04:51:18

Ultimately you could apply to the court for a special guardianship order - this would put the current arrangement on a legal footing. Contact duty team soon. Don't wait til Monday - if she does turn up to take them you may not be able to stop her if you haven't received advice.

SendHelp30 Sun 13-Dec-20 05:00:06

I have no other advice OP, just wanted to wish you luck and let you know the DGDs are very lucky to have you. I’ll be hoping for a positive update.

AutumnColours9 Sun 13-Dec-20 05:00:31

My ex H did all the things you listed eg leaving irons on (DD got burned) and not holding their hands. It really upset me at the time and he still kept doing over and over. In his case sheer laziness! I've seen lots of parents do it too. It scares me and i don't know why some people are so laid back.. bikes on the main road etc!! Mistakes and poor judgement can happen to any parent too i guess.

GlowingOrb Sun 13-Dec-20 05:25:53

If the children are in imminent danger, then anyone would have the responsibility to step in and protect the children. However, while it may be a monumentally terrible idea for her to take the children to live with her boyfriend, the kids aren’t in obvious, immediate danger.

I would start by calling social services. Don’t wait until Monday. Then I would call the kids dad.

Boomclaps Sun 13-Dec-20 05:55:17

Just echoing what others have said & sending a big hug.

Gingerkittykat Sun 13-Dec-20 05:58:27

What a sorry excuse for a human being the father is. Firstly he impregnates a woman with a learning disability twice and then leaves the country leaving the grandparents to pick up the slack.

Women don't get to use the excuse that they need to work abroad to skip out of parenting, so why should he? Even being unemployed or working in a low paid job and actually being a father is a better option for those kids.

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