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What will happen to this little boy?

(16 Posts)
Conundrumish Mon 01-Aug-11 20:19:18

I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask. A little boy from school is now parentless as his mother commited suicide and the dad is not around. He is 11.

What are the chances of him finding a long term home? who is it up to if he does? I really worry about him sad.


HarrietJones Mon 01-Aug-11 20:28:17

Short term he would to to FC. They would look for family/DadGrandparents/hope friends of the family would come forward. Then either make assessments of them or look for long term FC. Which unfortunately isn't always easy,sad

HarrietJones Mon 01-Aug-11 20:28:55

Sorry 'they' meaning Social services.

NanaNina Mon 01-Aug-11 20:36:11

If there are any close relatives who can care for this child, then that will be done by a family arrangement I assume. When you say dad is "not around" - maybe he could be located and it might be possible for the child to live with his dad.

If there is no-one who can care for him, then he will be Looked After by the Local Authority Social Services Dept. They have a duty to find out if there is anyone in the child's extended family who could care for him. Sometimes this is possible, even though relatives haven't come forward initially. It also gives greater protection to the relatives because if Social Services "place" the child with the relatives, then they are obliged to support the placement, and give financial support. The next step would be for the relative carers (known as kinship carers) to be formally approved as kinship carers, or they could apply for a Special Guardianship Order on the child.

If there are no relatives at all, then social services will place him with short term foster carers initially. The child is clearly going to be traumatised and will need a lot of emotional support. It won't be easy to find permanent foster carers for this boy because people who want to permanently foster like younger children. If he does well in the short term placement, then that can be converted to a permanent foster care placement and this would be much the best way, but so much depends on the carers and their own family and the child in question.

One thing is certain this little boy will be cared for one way or another.

Conundrumish Mon 01-Aug-11 21:57:59

No relatives that will have him. He doesn't want to go to his father and I am not sure his father would be allowed to have him (can't say more here).

How long would permanent foster care be for - until he is 18? (if so, then what?)

HarrietJones Tue 02-Aug-11 07:08:39

18 with support through Uni to 21 by possiblyFC or at least the leaving care team.

Are you interested in looking after him?

TulipsfromAmsterdam Tue 02-Aug-11 14:55:04

No advice but wanted to say my heart goes out to this little boy and hope that everything turns out well for him.

NanaNina Tue 02-Aug-11 17:56:02

Sorry to say that foster care/residential care doesn't always last till 18 although it should. Some LAs have supportive lodgings for 16 -18 year olds, but sadly many 16 year olds are put in hostels or have their own flat. They should get support from the Leaving Care Team, and help with budgetting and practical matters, but far too many of the most disadvantaged young people in our society are struggling to live independently at far too young an age. The average age for leaving home is 25 and as the cuts bite further and further this is likely to be extended in cases where young people are jobless and have no hope of getting their own home.

Like Harriet I was wondering if you were interested in looking after him. If so please come back for advice, because it is most important that you know the way to proceed (or not) as the case may be.

maypole1 Wed 03-Aug-11 13:11:47

Yes me too is their any way you would consider having him, is he is your childs class

Lenni Sun 11-Sep-11 11:39:27


What would be the way to proceed if the OP was interested? I know someone at work - am also a teacher - in a similiar scenario (although the YP is 15.5yr old) so not sure what will happen. YP is on verge of going into care, but looks like SS just holding out for him to reach 16 so may not happen. A friend has considered fostering for a long time but has waited until her eldest had left to free up a room. She has had a mentoring role with the child for about 6 months and knows he would be a good fit for the family and is in need but I personally think it can't happen. Would SS consider her or is there professional conflict? She has not yet started the application process. Would she be able to house him at 16?

I've been reading forum as also interested in fostering, but due to my job being working with vulnerable teenagers I think it would place too greater emotional drain on me. Work is hard enough emotionally!

NanaNina Sun 11-Sep-11 17:38:15

Hi Lennie - when you say "on the verge" of being accomodating (same as going into care) what exactly do you mean? You may be right about SSD hoping things will hold till he is 16, and then if there are still concerns they would only have a duty to "advise and assist" (words may be different in the legislation) but that's what it amounts to. If he was homeless SSD would have a duty to assist him to get accommodation (usually a private rent or hostel) and they would possibly pay the deposit and months rent in advance for a private rent. This is quite awful to be honest because we expect the most deprived and disadvantaged YPs in society to become independent at 16! Of course it is all to do with money.

I think the thing about your friend and the suitability or otherwise of this boy being placed with her is irrelevant while he is presumably still living at home. IF (and it's a big if) things take a nose dive then SSD would initially negotiate a voluntary arrangement with the parents for the boy to be accommodated under S.20 of the CA 1989, and if the parents agree then SSD would only have a duty to "advise and assist" if he had turned 16.

If the boy was younger and a relative or friend wishes to be assessed to care for a child then if deemed suitable, the child can be placed for a period of no longer than 6 weeks before the rel/friend is approved as a foster carer. Having said that I've done kinship assessments (same a rel/friends) where child has been in place for years sometimes and the carers have never been approved as foster carers!

I don't think there is a chance that SSD will want to place him with your friend (if it comes to that) on the basis of fostering, as he would be beyond 16 by the time the assessments had been done etc. The most she could hope for would be for SSD to do an initial assessment on your friend and place him under the "Supportive Lodgings" scheme. Some LAs have them and other's don't so I'm afraid the answer is "it all depends"

If this boy remains at home till he is 16 he would not be eligible for any services under the terms of the Leaving Care Act 2000 because he wouldn'gt be leaving care. Sorry I can't be more definite but each LA acts differently. The thing that is the same for ALL LAs (as I'm sure you know) is that they were cash strapped before these viscous cuts came into place and so they will be cutting more and more corners, and I'm pretty sure this poor almost 16 lad won't stand much chance of any help from SSD. Of course the real fault lies with the govt (but better say no more or I will go on for ever) and LAs have no alternative but to cut, cut and cut again.

Lenni Sun 11-Sep-11 18:28:58

Thank you NanaNina - I can't really go into details of the home situation, it is a criminal issue that might cause him to be homeless.

So could my friend rent him a room when he turns 16?

Lenni Sun 11-Sep-11 18:30:37

It is actually a combination of one parent being terminally ill and the other parent (they are separated) possibly going into custody. That is probably a better explanation!

bonnieslilsister Sun 11-Sep-11 20:03:10

Poor family, what a nightmare situation.

Lenni Sun 11-Sep-11 20:09:31

Yes, it is terribly sad and he isn't coping well. We work in a non mainstream setting too so he'll be hard to place when Mum dies. He doesn't currently live with Dad, and he is a pretty violent man so I think we are all praying Mum lives until he hits 16. There are no other housing options, no friends or extended family who would take him so it is really very sad

NanaNina Tue 13-Sep-11 21:31:46

There are 2 separate cases on this thread. Pinkpannetone - are you satisfied with the replies - if you have any more queires please post again.

Lenni - there is no reason why your friend could not "house him" as in "renting him a room" (presumably in her own home) - the boy would have to claim Housing Benefit for whatever she is charging him, and he will have to claim Job Seekers Allowance. Unfortunately because of this govt's callous slashing of all public services, they are cutting back on Housing Benefit, and closing Connexions and CABs because their funding is having to be cut from LAs. Your friend could visit CAB (if there is one still open! ) and ask for advice.

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