Advanced search

Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on fostering.

LAC review

(11 Posts)
MissVerinder Sun 17-Jul-11 07:19:36

What are the options here? What can they decide?

Contact hasn't been great, with parent turning up late the first time (very late, we were only still there as the contact worker and I had been chatting) and she's missed the second as she was ill.

Next week is the first full week of contact, three sessions all together and the review is the week after.

I've been to one before for work, but it was very different as the young person in question then was a teenager.

DFC has only been with us for just over 2 weeks now, so at the time of the review it will be just over three weeks. I'm not sure how much evidence/information or whatever you'd call it SS can gather in this time to make even a half informed decision, although I'm fairly sure there have been previous issues.

I'm confused...

HarrietJones Sun 17-Jul-11 07:36:59

It won't be to make decisions. It will be to check everything is ok. It's statutory to have a review within 28 days of a move.

maypole1 Sun 17-Jul-11 09:34:38

Sorry to bring bad news but my fd had 3 years of no shows by mum and different reasons why she couldn't come, wasn't even coming to court, wasn't coming to any of the meetings and they only stopped the contact last week, depending on the childs sw and the strength of the contact centres views they very well might not do anything just let things roll on.

We even had mum say once she had forgot were the contact centre was shock

Hopefully your Childs sw is a bit more tough with your fd mum but mine i a total flake

We even got to a stage were sw was paying mum to try and get her to turn up

psiloveyou Sun 17-Jul-11 11:21:08

I've never known contact plans be changed in a LAC review.
I think maypole is right. This will probably go on for much longer before changing the plan. They do have to give the parents a good oppertunity to get things right. Often at the risk of the child suffering even more emotional harm sad.

NanaNina Sun 17-Jul-11 12:47:09

LAC reviews are a legal requirement for LAC - every 6 months, though Harriet says one due 28 days after move and I suppose I am a bit rusty, but can't remember the 28 day one. Anyway you will fine the sw will always visit before a review so that they are "clued up" for the review. They are chaired by an independent chairperson, and it is as others say to review the case to see if things are going ok, and if not, to take whatever action needs to be undertaken. Reviews do have to look at whether a child should return home - this is a statutory requirement and indeed can only be made at a 6 monthly review. Contact will also be discussed and the nat parent should be at the review.

Your part in it will be to tell the review about how the child has been in your care. As you say you have only had the child a short time, so won't be able to contribute much. Just about her eating, sleeping, playing routine really.

You mention "evidence gathering" - this is not really the purpose of the review, though of course if mother is being assessed (which she probably will be) such issues as contact will inform part of the assessment. You don't need to worry about the SSD side of things, but your link worker should be able to explain matters to you, so just ask her to do this.

I think quite a few foster carers (as demonstrated on this thread) feel that the child's needs are over-ridden by the needs of the parents. To some extent this is true unfortunately because every decision taken should be in the child's best interests. I think that the reasons for this is because if in fact rehab with NPs is ruled out and the LA initiate care proceedings, then they have to have a cast iron case, and lawyers acting for NPs will pick on anything and everything to prove that the NPs haven't been given a fair chance to prove their suitability to parent in a safe way. I reckon the reason the sw was paying the NP travel money for her to attend contact (and this is often done if the journey to the contact centre is a long one including 2 buses or something) was anticipating the NM complaining that she couldn't afford the fares to get to contact. It probably isn't true in most cases, but defence lawyers will make much of this in court.

Social workers and indeed all professionals involved in care proceedings need to be able to evidence all the comments that they make in their reports. It really is a tough business and they are subjected to hours of cross examination by defence lawyers, which is fair, but very very stressful.
Unless the Judge is satisfied that the NPs have been given every opportunity to demonstrate that they are suitable parents, he/she will not make the Order, be that a Care Order or Placement Order (for adoption).

In some cases the defence lawyers (acting for the parents) will request the Judge to agree to an independent assessor of the parents and this has to be agreed by all parties in the proceedings. Since my retirement from SS in 2004 I was until last year, working on a freelance basis and was appointed by the court to carry out an independent assessment. Incidentally all parties have to agree on a named person to carry out the assessment, so you havbe to get yourself known as a credible assessor in the courts.

In the vast majority of cases after thorough investigations I have been in agreement with the LA. In 2 cases, I thought that the mothers had not had the opportunity of a residential assessment with their child, and it was agreed that this would be arranged. In the one case the mother left the residential placement without her baby, and in the other one the Res Centre had grave concerns about the care of the child, so when the cases came back to court, the appropriate Orders were made.

There will be fewer of these independent assessments made now, because the Legal Services Commission are refusing to pay the rate for the job.

Sorry I'm going on to much...............

HarrietJones Sun 17-Jul-11 12:55:12

28 days might not be everywhere but certainly in our LA

MissVerinder Sun 17-Jul-11 22:54:54

Thannls, guys, esp. Nananina.

Feel a bit clearer now on what to expect smile It's contact first thing, so I hope NP turns up. Fingers crossed!

scaryfairy28 Mon 18-Jul-11 06:34:14

Definately meant to be 28 days in scotland but often doesn't happen!

SeenButNotHeard Tue 19-Jul-11 21:37:24

How old is your fc?

It would not be unreasonable to ask that the parent(s) arrive at the contact centre 30mins prior to contact commencing if non-attendance is a regular problem.

The statutory obligations in regards to timetabling reviews is first review within 28 days, second review within 3 months of the first and subsequent reviews every six months. Many local authorities will, as a matter of good practice start the review process again when there is a change in placement.

The new regulations actually say that children should not be moved without this being agreed in a LAC review first.
Reviews can also be brought forward to consider any significant change in Care Plan, or at the descretion of the IRO.

MissVerinder Wed 20-Jul-11 22:16:34

SBNH She's two.

There have been soooo many mix-ups over contact it's unreal.

DFC social worker e-mailed me with days, the days in the diary at the contact centre were different, a contact worker was an hour late and the contact was extended (didn't mind too much- mum was pleased to get extra time with DFC) meaning I spent an HOUR in the centre, with DFC, her mum, myself and my DD!!! A contact worker and myself turned up on a day the social worker said was "wrong," mum didn't turn up, but then social worker rings and says sorry, it's the days you said, not the ones in my
e-mail?!?!?!?! So, now, I don't know if Mum, the contact worker, the contact centre and me all have the same days... Eeeeeep.

I am tres confused, but at least nobody missed anything because I wasn't there.

MissVerinder Wed 20-Jul-11 22:17:01

Oh, and thanks for the info on the timetabling smile

Join the discussion

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

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: