Hi, We've been to panel twice to foster 2 grandchildren. We met the s/w first before we went in. we then got taken to a waiting area by the chairperson & told briefly what to expect. The s/w went in first without us & then we were called through. It was a large square table with approx 15 people around it. We all introduced ourselves & were then asked only 4 or 5 questions. I can't remember exactly what was asked, but I think they asked about how were going to manage practicallities of extra child/ren. How our own DC was coping. How it would impact on our relationship etc. It was fairly relaxed, although quite nerve racking as if we were unsucsessful, DGS's would have gone elsewhere. We then had to go back to waiting area & were told after about 5 mins that we were approved!! Good luck!
Yes agree with tropical that's what is likely to happen. Just a word of caution, LAs these days are very fond of putting pressure on kinship carers to make applications for Special Guardianship Orders, because then the Parental Responsibility transfers from the LA to the kinship carers. This saves the LA time as they don't have to visit and provide any support. More importantly fostering allowances are mandatory, whereas this is not the case for SGOs and allowances are discretionary.
Yes Nananina We then went on to take both GS's under an SGO. We were assured by the SW that we would get allowance for them equivilant to the fostering payment. They then means tested us & said we were not eligable for any support. We took it to court with no legal representation. The LA then offered us support until the children started school. We refused this & said we were not prepared to proceed with the SGO. The judge was brilliant & ordered it to be sorted out that day. LA then agreed to give us support until they turn 18. We have just got our first annual financial review form, so will be interesting to see if they try to withdraw payments!
Well done!!! LAs are being so devious about pressurising kinship carers to apply for SGOs - they don't even tell people that it is the carers who have to make the application, not the social workers. There are not many carers who would have been courageous enough to do what you did and go to court without representation, and really pleased you were able to do this. Also glad the judge was brilliant and I hope it was written into the court documents that allowances equivalent to fostering allowances are to be paid until the children are 18. IF you do have problems in the future you can seek a judicial review of the matter by taking the case back to court.
Thank you! I think having the caffcass guardian on our side definately helped our case. If we were unsucessful the boys were to have gone for adoption but obviously no one wanted that. Will wait & see what this financial assessment shows, I may be asking your valuable advice soon!
Yes guardians are often very helpful and influential in court and of course are independent of the LA. I think it might be a good idea to contact the LA and find out if the agreement made in court is actually written into the court documents (should be in the Assessment of Need) and if it specifically states that fostering equivalent allowances will be made till the children are 18. I am a bit concerned that they have already sent you the annual review form relating to finance which seems to indicate that these payments are still discretionary in nature. Forewarned is forearmed and all that.........
Sorry Gaynor but I don't understand your question. If you are being assessed for an SGO why are you going to Fostering Panel. It's usually one route or the other, not both. Can you give a bit more detail and I might be better able to help.
sorry i did not explain prop im at foster panel tomorrow but if i fail im in court from next week to start SGS, what i was wondering was if foster no if i dont pass and no i will be doing the SGS that they will fail me because its easer and cheaper for them thank you
HI all i was approved went into panel was bit scary got asked 3 questions which i answered they were very warm and friendly and when chair person came out and said i was approved i started crying with happiness i need to be proud , i have had some bad things happen to me in life and im bipolar which i manage very well so it goes to show even when u think the worst and u fight for what is right u can do it ,im so proud ov my self xx