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Kinship Placement/Special Guardianship

(12 Posts)
GertyD Wed 05-Nov-14 14:44:26

I have previously posted under the Adoption thread, as when we started this, we thought that we would be adopting. Hope this link works:

If the link does not work, basically we are in the process of taking a 7 year old relative of my DH. It is a distant relative, a little boy, and he has been is SS care since May 2013. Originally we were offered an adoption however, we were then told we could not adopt him as he wants to maintain a relationship with his mother, so we were told that a Special Guardian Order could be made.

We are new to all of this, so have had to learn quickly and the advice I received on previous thread was excellent. After looking at all the options we have now requested that we foster him on a kinship placement for 6-12 months before we do the SGO. This is really to keep his support in place. We also have a 2 year old DS and a 16 year old DS and have to look at the impact this is going to have on them.

His SW has just called and said that whilst he is under s20 care, his mum still retains parental responsibility for him, so we cannot foster as the Local Authority doesn't have PR and isn't willing to apply for it. If we fostered his mum would keep the PR.

Backstory to the care is, the child's mother did not cope with him, and this gradually turned into her abusing him, by hitting him, starving him, denying him basic clothes, taking all his things from his room including carpets, curtains and light bulbs and locking him in the dark. She then contacted Social Services and placed him in care herself. She maintains to this day, the abuse he suffered was his own fault as he was naughty. His SW confirmed that to me in her last visit.

I just do not understand how she can still retain PR for him despite everything, and the Local Authority not be willing to apply for it so they are basically trying to force us into applying for a Special Guardianship before we are ready. Of course want to get this poor child out of care and just give him the love and stability he has never had, but we still want some support with that. Has anyone ever had experience of something similar?

fasparent Thu 06-Nov-14 11:37:16

as SGO's you will have legal guardianship, contact issues will be defined by courts as will parental issues, support will eventually stop at some stage
can apply (best through courts) for continuation of adoption allowance dependent on financial situation.
Will be able too apply for help from adoption support fund too help with any future or present problems (via LA) this has been extended too SGO's and Kinship carer's as has Pupil premium plus (£1900) per annum for same criteria group this is applied for through child's school too help with their education support., LA will have control of this but you will have too transfer as and when child leaves care.
Would take things slow look at positive's not forgetting medical consent contact issues etc.
Our two are doing fine all worked out well everyone is happy, though contact is supervised, Adoption support fund perhaps would be able too support long term issues such as contacts .

Wish you luck.

Mama1980 Thu 06-Nov-14 11:53:19

Hi Gerty, I've just had a read of your previous thread briefly. In simulator circumstances, my eldest dd was placed with me under a sgo when she was 8, she was originally my goddaughter and had suffered abuse for which charges were brought. I also took custody from birth last year of her now 11 month old birth sister, initially under a sgo but adopted her formally at 8 months with her bm s consent which sped the process.
Under a sgo you will have parental responsibility but key decisions maybe referred to the court. This I very important when I comes to medical decisions.
My dd was too old in ss opinion to be adopted (she 17 now) but any contact with her bm is prohibited by court order.
I have to say if ss aren't prepared to assume pr then Your options do seem to be limited to a sgo, if you are definitely taking him in. And whichever way you go support in my experience will stop after about a year anyway in the main part. (Only my experience I maybe mistaken) I found the sgo offered a degree of security to both myself and more importantly my dd, she needed em to be able to make the big decisions, to know I could be trusted. (My dd was in a very bad way when she came to me angry)
Please feel free to ask any questions, I'll help if I can.

GertyD Thu 06-Nov-14 17:05:05

Thanks for the replies. I may be wrong but I am concerned they don't seem to want to let us foster at all. Not even for a few weeks. Despite the contact we are having, he doesn't know us well, I would have thought a standard precaution would be to foster and then apply for SGO, in case of placement breakdown.

Mama1980 Thu 06-Nov-14 17:17:49

In my experience often ss won't want to move the child unless there is some 'guarantee' of security.
With my eldest they refused to consider fostering also, I had to be all in or not at all. I was told it was all or nothing.
I think from their point of view the worst case would be to move the child and then have to move them again. This is statistically less likely to happen with a sgo than in a fostering situation apparently. Sgo s do tend to be permanent and so offer more security for a child.
Could you perhaps offer a compromise and suggest a sgo but on a slower timescale? Not sure if that would be a option.
Can I ask why you would prefer fostering?

GertyD Thu 06-Nov-14 18:34:22

We have been advised that many local authority's use SGO as a quick way to pull out of support they are responsible for. I don't want us and him to miss out because they are trying to meet their cost targets.

After considering everything, we would be more comfortable knowing that support is still available, especially through the period of transition. We only want to foster for a period of 6-12 months. Not long term.

Mama1980 Thu 06-Nov-14 20:39:06

Makes sense.
Are you anticipating needing specific 'help'? I mean with my eldest she needed play/art therapy and later more structured counselling. I only ask as you could try approaching them, from that angle, agree to a sgo but have in writing that they agree to provide the help required.
Have they offered any flexibility or are they refusing to go for pr absolutely?
I am obviously a huge advocate of sgo s in general but you have to be to be 100% happy with. The arrangement and on the same page with ss and are absolutely right to question them and wait if necessary.
Fwiw I think ss will do try sometimes to take the easiest option, ńot saying they don't try their best or have the best intentions but they are bound by constraints and some of that is financial. (Not that I'm at all cynical me wink)

Gillian1980 Fri 07-Nov-14 00:52:08

I would take advice from a solicitor if you can. I have worked with people applying for SGOs and the local authority have tried to wriggle out of agreements at the last second and use emotional blackmail to try and push through an unsatisfactory agreement.
A solicitor can help to ensure that all aspects of support are clearly stated in the agreement. Once the court makes those details part of the order then the LA will have to honour them.

Harriet1963 Fri 07-Nov-14 10:10:53

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Prettywoman1963 Mon 01-Dec-14 17:03:03

Hi all I am new to the group my name is Chrissie and need advice. Firstly social services have interim custody of my two young grand babies. They were placed with me after the courts granted the babies to be removed from the family home. I had to go sick from work as I had no other alternative however, I am in a managers position with my work and as you can imagine I am needed to back at work. Social services have informed me that they would assist with child care costs and informed me to apply for child tax credits. All this is new to me and I am very unsure as to what I am actually entitled to. Childcare costs are looking to be around £1800 a month as anyone else been in this situation. I am 50 and my grand babies are 2 years and 8 months old.

tropical1 Tue 02-Dec-14 12:23:46

Hi Prettywoman,
We took our grandson when social services removed him from his mother. I worked full time & had to take carers leave/ holiday etc. I told them that I HAD to go back to work ASAP & they did fund him for fulltime nursery without too much discussion. I think they realise it's better to keep the children within the family & that grandparents often are still in fulltime employment. I earnt too much to claim any benefits.
Good Luck!

Prettywoman1963 Tue 02-Dec-14 17:42:27

Hi Tropical 1 thank you so much for sharing this with me very much appreciated.
Regards Chrissie

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