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viability assesment

(17 Posts)
missydeedee Fri 26-Oct-12 12:18:25

hi, have just been through the process of a viability assesment and passed thankfully, the report is been given to the court ,but am quite concerned has the social worker has informed me the judge can over rule any further assesments, though l have the backing of the assesment lady and social worker do not know about the guardian,was informed that social workers and guardian said l would not pass,but have...this is all confusing and doesnt seem right to me,. Arent they all suppose to try and keep the children with extended familt where ever possible. l just want my grandson home where he so rightly belongs.with his loving family.

bonnieslilsister Fri 26-Oct-12 23:44:51

Why did they say you wouldn't pass missy? Is your grandson in foster care? Can you tell us a little more?

missydeedee Sat 27-Oct-12 08:32:30

yes my grandson is in foster care at moment,think they didnt want me to pss do not know why,my solicitor has said it sounds like sour grapes on their part. the social worker said the judge set a date and wanted to stick to date so my grandson isnt kept waiting,basically for adoption,solicitor has said the judge should alow kinship an not be trying to hurry things along, am so worried my poor little grandson is so confused and getting quite angry.Me and my grandson where very close have practically brought him up till they moved my daughter and grandson into a m&b unit. Have heard so many horror stories is really concerning me. while living with me my grandson was removed from register, when in the unit after a bit he was placed back daughter is a teen mum,but from what l saw a very good mum,she made mistakes but dont agree with this,this is so cruel.the worse is they keep trying to push her into adopting my grandson, this is wrong and solicitor as sent them a letter regarding this,its cohersion,if continues will want to take action but seems noone can win against these people,it is so sad

bonnieslilsister Sat 27-Oct-12 08:48:07

I am so sorry missy It must be devastating for you. Do you have confidence in your solicitor? My experience has been social services bend over backwards to enable families to stay together and jump at the chance of a kinship carer. I'm not quite sure what to say to you and hope someone will come along soon.

missydeedee Sat 27-Oct-12 20:04:37

my solicitor suppose to be one of the best one from my area hope he stands up to all praise have heard. just feel so wretched for my daughter can be so unfair an the horror stories have heard and seen is just unbelievable but true.just living in hope.thankyou bonnieslilsister

NanaNina Sat 27-Oct-12 20:06:57

I am a little confused missy - did your daughter and grandson live with you when he was born? What age was the child when they were put in the m & b unit? How long were they in there and what was the outcome. I am assuming your daughter was not considered fit to parent the child and the LA went to court for an Interim Care Order and he is now placed with foster carers. Is that right? How old is your grandson now and are you allowed any contact with him. Sorry to ask so many questions, just trying to understand your situation.

It sounds to me like the LA (social services) have ruled your daughter out as being safe to care for him, and were going to court to ask for a Placement Order (which means the child can be adopted) and it sounds like they are trying to get your daughter to agree to this plan - is that right?

You obviously put yourself forward to care for your grandson and the LA have a duty to place a child in his extended family if they are found to be suitable to care for him. This is why the social workers carried out a viability assessment (which means that it is an initial assessment to see if it is worth carrying out a full assessment) and it seems that they have recommended that a full assessment should be carried out, as you say you "passed" this. Have you seen this assessment, if not, you must see it, as you have that right and your solicitor should request this on your behalf.

I say this because unless you see it, you don't actually know what they have said and it might not be very positive. You see if it was positive, they should proceed to carry out a full assessment and the judge would have no need to see the viability assessment. If on the other hand they are raising doubts about your suitability to care for the child, this will need to go to court for the Judge to make a decision.

They are obviously trying to rush things through and get your grandson adopted. They are not allowed to go to court requesting a Placement Order (meaning the child can be adopted) while you his grandmother are offering to care for him on a permanent basis. I'm glad you have a solicitor as you will need one by the sounds of it. They are not explaining things toyou in a proper manner. I would say though that one of the most important issues in a kinship application (which yours is, as you are a relative) is whether the relative of the child is able to ensure that the mother (who has been found unfit) does not have any unsupervised contact withthe child - ever. This can be difficult for grandparents, as they are having to go against their son or daughter (daughter in your case) In any assessment you would need to be very clear that you would not allow your daughter to just go off somewhere with her child, because the court has found her unfit (if that is the case) because if you allowed this you would not be keeping your grandson safe.

There is a Grandparents Association where you might find help. I think you can just type this into Google but I'll try it and if not, I'll come back and tell you how you can get hold of them.

So sorry you are going through this. I think the first thing is to ask for a copy of the viability assessment, you have a right to see it. I have carried out many of these assessments and fully comprehensive ones, and you have a right to see anything that is writtenabout you. Get your solicitor to contact the LA solicitor to request a copy and then you can go through it together. You could of course ask the sw yourself for a copy. It's very bad practice not to give applicants a copy of whatever you have written about them. So don't think the LA has all the power, they don't and you have a perfect right to be assessed as a kinship carer for your grandson, though obviously I can't say whether you would be found suitable. Do you mind my asking your age. Also where is your daughter living now?

Happy to help further if I can.

NanaNina Sat 27-Oct-12 20:21:05

Yes you can just type in Grandparents Association into Google. However have just seen your post above and you are saying you are feeling "wretched"for your daughter too. This is very understandable and grandparents put in this situation are going to feel divided loyalties, and great distress. However as I have said before, you have to understand (if this happens) that your daughter has been found unfit to care for the child, and in this situation he has to be removed for his own safety and care.

Can you say what your relationship is like with your daughter. The reason I ask is because to stress this again, a child can only be placed with his grandmother (or other relative) if the social workers are 100% convinced that the grandmother will put the needs of the child first and have the courage to stand up to their son or daughter, and refuse unsupervised contact. Does your daughter live near to you and could you stand up to her, if necessary.

I know this is difficult as you will love your daughter, but if you don't feel you can do this, put the needs of the child first and risking arguments with your daughter etc., then it would not be right for the child to be placed with you because he could be caught between the "crossfire" between you and his mother. Sorry to sound harsh but I am just being realistic.

I have sadly had to turn down grandparents where I have not been convinced that they would be able to put the child's needs first. One grandmother told me that she would let her daughter and boyfriend (from whom the child had been removed because of quite serious abuse) take the baby to Blackpool for the weekend and her daughter had made it clear that once her mother got the baby she would be able to take her out when she wanted. It sounds harsh I know but social workers must always act in the best interests of the child, rather than in the interests of parents and relatives.

missydeedee Sun 28-Oct-12 09:04:11

there have been problems within my house concerning my daughter so l can understand, but have relayed constantly that l would wotk with social services and stick to contacts allowed my daughter knows this, if any problems and my daughter kicked off would do the only thing right in that situation and get the police involved,but because she is a lac l have stressed that the social services will have to work with me to where my daughter is concerned,but l didnt get any reply from them. my grandson and daughter lived here till he was 7 mnths he is 10 months now. my daughter does not live with me and will not be allowing her to live with me,dont get me wrong l love my daughter. in my daughters case its neglect not major but they think serious enough.dont get me wrong not trying to downsize what ever forms off abuse,but some are quite worse than others and my daughter would never physically harm her son. l feel that you have explained it better than sw involved. but just wish this wasnt happening know there are things in my past,but have been told lady who did the assesment has advised that person doing kinship should not base any decision around this.l get on with my daughter she can be a handful or has been a handful,but where my grandson concerned my daughter knows my boundaries and consequences if she crossed them that is if l get my grandson home.l will just have to think positively.thankyou

missydeedee Sun 28-Oct-12 09:12:32

l feel bad in away for saying this but it is true, my main concern is my grandson,though l may feel for my daughter, my daughter only has her self to blame,she has a bit of growing up to do. l wont pussy foot around with her yes she feeling bad, my daughter should have kicked herself in to touch and not allowed this to happen,hope that answers any question, just wish my grandsons sw would listen.

missydeedee Sun 28-Oct-12 10:42:24

nananina. would l be allowed to ask my grandsons sw for a meeting to take place between me,sw and my grandsons guardian so l can put my side to them and listen to any concerns they may have and try and work through these.thankyou

NanaNina Sun 28-Oct-12 16:34:19

Missy are you saying your daughter is a LAC? If so, was this agreed between yourself and social services or was she removed from you. You mentioned neglect - do you mean you neglected her? What age was she when she went into care and was she fostered? If so I can understand why the LA are concerned about you having the care of your grandson to be honest. Look I'm sorry if I've got this wrong because your posts aren't that easy to read, but I've read it a few times and this is what you seem to be saying. How old was your daughter when she came back to live with you, and how oild was she whenshe had the baby? Presumably there were no concerns about the baby for 7 months - is that right? What happened for SS to get involved?

You mention things about your past and that they won't be taken into consideration in looking at your suitability to care for your grandson. I think you might have misunderstood this, because we can't look into the future, so it is only by looking at someone's past that we can make any assessment of how they might behave in the future. If you get to the stage of having a comprehensive assessment, there will be lots of areas where you will need to "go into your past"

Re your last para. The thing is your grandson's social worker is not the person who has done the viability assessment, and so it would be little use talking to her, even if she agreed. No you wouldn't be allowed a meeting with the guardian, but he/she has to interview all the relevant people so she should be getting in touch with you.

I can see that you really want to hear the concerns of the social workers and try to put things right, but it doesn't realy work like that. The social workers will be looking at your past, and I think thefact that your daughter was in care herself will almost certainly go against you.
Can you go back to the questions I asked earlier about what age your daughter was when she went into care etc. so that I can have more detail.

missydeedee Sun 28-Oct-12 20:36:07

no my daughter agreed to herself been a lac, the m&b unit asks for this now when any mother and baby are to go in there. the concerns are around my daughter been able to look after her son adequately, this been while she in m&b unit which she went in just under 3 months ago. yes l have had sw involvement due to my daughter and a past relastionship. have been told their concerns are not around my parenting abilities they are around my daughter,her behaviour and such. sorry am not very good at explaing and getting words out properly.

NanaNina Mon 29-Oct-12 21:46:28

Ah I see - that should make things better for you. Your daughter must have been very young when her baby was born? A lot will depend on the previous involvement you had with social services about your daughter. I think you need to wait and see what the social worker tells you about whether or not the court has agreed for you to be fully assessed.

missydeedee Thu 01-Nov-12 15:59:58

sorry to bother you again nananina,would like one more piece of advice if you would be so kind. am looking at all avenues concerning my grandson.if l fail. l have a cousin whom l have spoken too.She has just passed all assesments and is now able to foster. what l would like to know is, we would like to put her forward for caring for my grandson we are all in agreement,if l fail would social services jump at this.wanted to ask advice before l query this with them.

NanaNina Thu 01-Nov-12 19:13:48

It isn't a case of "failing" missy it's a case of assessing whether you are in fact going to be able to care for your grandson and meet all his needs, while at the same time putting him before the needs of his mother, your daughter.

There is nothing to prevent your cousin putting herself forward to care for your grandson. The fact that she is about to be aproved as a foster carer, seems to indicate that she would be suitable to care for your grandson. However she really needs to understand what this would mean and how different it would be form caring for children on a short term basis.

Do you know at what stage you are at in terms of the LA being prepared to do a comprehensive assessment on you. I think that needs to be sorted first. IF they have ruled you out (and you need to find that out as a matter of priority) then your cousing could well approach the LA.

It needs to be your cousin that makes the approach IF you are turned down, rather than you. And NO social workers will not jump at anything because this is about a child's life (as I know you are aware) As she is already approved as a foster carer (is that right, or about to be approved) then she would have to be re-assessed as a kinship carer but a lot of the background information would be the same. So much would depend on your cousin's circumstances and her understanding of the need to protect the little boy from his birth parents.

The other thing I need to mention is that IF a relative is assessed as being suitable to care for the child, then you would not be allowed to foster him on a permanent basis. As he is so young, the LA will be wanting you to apply for a Residence Order, or a Special Guardianship Order, or even adoption, though this is less likely with a relative. With any of these order you will not necessarily get paid throughout the child's life. They might pay you fostering allowances for 2 years with a Special Guardianship Order, but they don't have to do this, after 2 years.

I don't want to complicate this any further for you, but it's something to bear in mind.

missydeedee Fri 23-Nov-12 15:18:44

Hello again. Good news have started the kinship assessment,they want me to go for special guardianship(if they feel that the kinship is successful) which l am in favor of. Thank you for all your help,it is greatly appreciated.All l hope for know is a successful kinship on my part and one adorable little boy to come home,where l will do my best to take away all his pain,and give him lots of love,cuddles and lots more. I just hope that he is young enough to forget all this sadness that has happened to him.Thank you again.

bonnieslilsister Fri 23-Nov-12 19:25:58

missy thanks

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