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Social services decision. NEED ADVICE

(20 Posts)
Starlight9 Fri 21-Nov-14 22:37:06

Hello, thank you in advance for reading.

My situation is a little confusing but to keep it brief..
a relative is having 'issues' and her child is on the high risk register. she has recently signed some sort of agreement of who can be in his company etc..
With the support of his school and social worker, I have recently began caring for him when Mum feels that 'she needs a break'.. all agencies are fully involved and supportive of it as it has contributed to him making great progress in school and behaviour-wise but it is only considered 'a private agreement between me and mum', which is fine. I'm glad to be of some sort of help :-)
Me and social worker have discussed that if they do make the decision to remove him from Mum, they will assess me and my partner and decide if he can be placed in our care.

So today he went to school as normal, with the aim to be sent back to mum for the weekend. he became noticeably detached from his surroundings. He had also told school that a certain person who is not allowed contact with him has been in Mum's house while he was there. I then receive a phone call to ask whether he can be returned to me for the weekend until 'there are more people around to make decisions on the Monday.'

Can anybody explain why they may have made that decision and what might be the outcome on Monday? In all honesty, I was making attempts to support Mum to recover from the problems so that her child could remain with her, I hadn't expected the decision to arise that he be sent back to me for weekend? Also, I have been informed to contact emergency team if she collects him from me during the weekend.

Thank you once again for reading.

OohOod Fri 21-Nov-14 22:39:25

I assume that the certain person is a risk and since mum hasn't stopped contact they have concerns about her judgement.

Starlight9 Fri 21-Nov-14 22:48:13

I recognised that, but am absolutely confused as to why they did not take out legal action today and place him in my care today, rather than suggest to her that he stay with me and very slyly tell me to contact the emergency team if she collects him! The whole situation sounds two faced, especially seeing as the social worker who visited (not child's regular one) today spent the time praising her, whilst giving me vile looks when I hugged the child and asked him about his day.

To me, it all seems strange.

They are also expecting me to supervise contact between him and her on weekend, knowing that I have my daughter who I do not want in the mother's company.

It feels as though I am expected to do everything and there are no concerns regarding mine and my daughter's safety (baring in mine she is a violent drug addict etc)

maybe I am just overtired and not thinking straight.

OohOod Fri 21-Nov-14 22:52:37

Did they have a strategy meeting? Legal action is quite difficult especially in an emergency without solid evidence.

Starlight9 Fri 21-Nov-14 22:55:32

No, they just phoned and said asked whether the child could stay with me for the weekend until they had 'more people around on the weekend.'

I'm so confused.

HumpsLumps Fri 21-Nov-14 23:00:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Gillian1980 Fri 21-Nov-14 23:03:02

If mum agreed for him to stay with you then they would see no need to take immediate legal action. If mum had refused and they thought he was at harm then they would have sought a court order.

If you are not comfortable supervising contact you must be forceful about saying no. They will try to avoid staffing it as resources will be low but you are well within your rights to say no and insist that they supervise it.

TongueBiter Fri 21-Nov-14 23:08:43

Also - going forward - get advice from www.frg.org about whether this is actually a private arrangement - because it doesn't sound like it is to me, but it's a convenient way for SS to get out of paying you a kinship foster carer's allowance.

Starlight9 Fri 21-Nov-14 23:17:42

Ah okay, that makes a little more sense.

The social worker requested a meeting with me and mum at my home, which she was 30minutes late for so I was waiting with a woman who I did not feel comfortable being alone with. She then praised the mother throughout the meeting and spoke down to me throughout, even making comments about how me and my partner were not perfect when I was explaining to the child's mum that her relationship was not healthy and was effecting her child. (I did not say this in a nasty way but was making attempts to offer her help). I do not think that me and my partner are perfect at all but her comments were unnecessary.

I am also missing my daughter's second birthday because I am not allowed to leave the child with anybody who has not been police checked (being Friday afternoon, I have not found time to contact social services regarding police checks) I explained this to the social worker who made a comment towards me about how I should 'figure out my priorities' or something to that nature.
Note - the child would be attending my daughter's birthday event but it was decided that he would be with mum this weekend so I hadn't made plans for him to be there. I tried adding him to the list this evening but the party event refused. - I would never have a child feel left out!
My mother has offered to have him but he doesn't know her well (he suffers from Autism) and I feel that it is unfair to leave him in her care as he will become confused and possibly frightened by the prospect of being left with a stranger.

Please, if somebody feels that I am in the wrong in some way then tell me! Because I'm under the impression that I was treated unfairly today and that social services could have given me an indication of what was actually happening or maybe offered some sort of support/assistance in some way.

Starlight9 Fri 21-Nov-14 23:23:02

TongueBiter. I have no idea what a Kinship Allowance is. I pay for transport for the child to and from school (he receives a private taxi at the moment due to his disabilities) but it supposedly can not collect him from an address other than his own. I provide food for him and clothes if needed. I pay for activities also.
His Mum receives disability benefits but ofcourse has a drug addiction.
She offered me £1 today, to which I refused to take (I was actually offended), so the social worker told me sternly that 'she was offering me money and to take it' and praised her for it.
Everything I provide him with it either comes from mine or my partner's hard earned wages or my student loans/grants (I am a full time student). But it isn't about money, there is a child here who is at risk and I have no issue with providing him with things. Just at the moment it all seems a little unfair, that is all.

Passmethecrisps Fri 21-Nov-14 23:23:29

Hi there.

I commented on your earlier thread

I suspect you are being seen as a safe option for the weekend for a vulnerable child.

If this does not work for you for whatever reason you have to say now and make it brutally clear. Without criticising, any kinship agreement is like gold dust and you will be a dram come true to an overstretched sw.

Call them as soon as you get a chance and ask for a meeting

Passmethecrisps Fri 21-Nov-14 23:25:00

A kinship agreement is an arrangement for care through family. There is often no funding as the family link (usually grand parents) is enough. As a pp mentioned there is limited funding but no payment like a foster carer would get

TongueBiter Fri 21-Nov-14 23:28:34

If you are looking after a relatives child via social services, you are a kinship (ie family) foster carer.

I completely understand you would give this child the clothes off your back, but the facts are that if this is NOT just an arrangement between you and your sister, then SS should be allocating you an allowance. Please protect your own interests in all this.

Starlight9 Fri 21-Nov-14 23:31:35

I hope it doesn't look as though I am complaining at all about caring for the child. I really do adore him and finally (this has been an ongoing problem for a while) can rest at night knowing that he is here more often than not and is safe from harm.
But the current arrangement is unfair. His mother receives all funding for a child that I am raising and providing for. Social Worker has little respect. And because it is a 'Private Arrangement', I can not even discuss his disabilities with his school! I want to be able to help the child and support him in every way possible.
I am glad I am doing this, the school have praised me and my partner for making such a change to him - he used to be extremely violent and I have been told that is now calm and well-mannared smile (this was the highlight of my last week!!)
But.. at the moment, it all just seems really unfair on him and me. As he is being thrown back and forth every time his mother is back in touch or breaks up from her boyfriend etc.

I guess I am now just having a moan and have gone right off topic.....
sorry!

Passmethecrisps Fri 21-Nov-14 23:38:20

No! It is entirely on topic! That is the point! You have been a calming and positive influence and SW know this. I work very, very closely with sw so absolutely am not in the business of bashing them.

However, you do sound like you are being given the thin end of the wedge and will continue to do so until you force the issue. If you have a good relationship with the school then do seek their support. They will know the avenues to go down and can speak for you as it sounds like you feel very excluded

Social workers have to perform an almost impossible job of developing trust with someone while withholding children. Ours is one of the only systems in the world to do this I understand. It doesn't in any way excuse the feelings you get of dirty looks and being made an outsider but I suspect you are sending the need of the social worker to develop a relationship with mum.

I wish you all the best and please keep us updated as more experienced than me will be around to help.

sliceofsoup Fri 21-Nov-14 23:38:38

I have very little experience of this, so I feel less than qualified to offer you advice, but I feel from reading your posts that perhaps the first thing you need to do is figure out if you actually want to be this childs full time carer. It certainly seems like thats the path you are being led down.

You need to work out what is best for your family, your DD must come first. Do you feel you can cope with the intrusion and judgement of SS? (I would be appalled if I was treated the way you have been.) Also, while I really feel for this childs situation, it is now having a direct effect on your DD. Maybe a 2nd birthday isn't important in the SWs eyes, but you are not a SW, you are her mother and its important to you.

If you decide that you are willing to go through the assessment etc then you need to ask for a clear plan from SS. Info about the process and about what they should be paying you. As a PP says, it looks like they are just using you as a way of not having to pay a foster carer.

Starlight9 Fri 21-Nov-14 23:50:39

The social worker that I was visited by today is not the child's regular social worker, just to clarify. I think she was some form of emergency social worker? I am unsure. She did tell me at some point but everything seemed rushed and a little hectic.

His actual social worker is fantastic. We are very trusting of each other and remain in contact (I think she was not working today). I send her detailed diaries of the time the child wakes up, goes to bed, meals, activities etc and a full name and date of birth of every person who visits out home (so that she can police check). She is supportive of my relationship with him and does a lot for my confidence in terms of caring for him.

Yes, I have looked forward to my daughter's party for such a long time. I feel rubbish that I can not attend. I think the plan will be for me to attend for an hour and then to come home and my partner to attend for the other half of it. But it's my baby's birthday party and I want to be able to be there right through.. I guess that can not be helped though.

Anyhow.
I do want the child. I have spent a long time and have put a lot of hard work in to being able to study at a Russell Group University, I have even decided that I would put him before my education. He really is special to me.. We had to tell my partner's brother to move out also as he has a criminal record and was living here (he is IN NO WAY a risk to children at all. I am extremely fussy in regards to who I have in my daughter's company) but social services may have decided differently. He had been staying at friend's on nights that the child was staying here, but we asked him to leave immediately today when social services asked him to stay with me for the weekend. - We were happy to do this as the child needs us and our ability to keep him safe.

Mehh. It has been a tough old day.

scarlet5tyger Sat 22-Nov-14 19:06:15

Sorry I haven't had time to read all posts thoroughly but I just wanted to assure you that kinship carers (now called friends and family carers) are entitled to the same rate of pay as Foster carers. They're no longer seen as the "cheap option" - provided you do it through official channels.

Private fostering is different so be very careful that you stick with social services, even though it seems hard at the moment. Special guardianship is also different.

TongueBiter Mon 24-Nov-14 18:00:58

Going back to the part issue, If it's a private arrangement, why does the social worker get to say that you can't leave him with a non-crb'd person?? I would repeat my suggestion of contacting Family Rights Group.

namealreadytaken Mon 24-Nov-14 18:53:57

Hello, my little grandson is unfortunately on a Child Protection Plan and on two occasions I have been asked to look after him whilst a concern was investigated.

On both occasions he has been allowed to return home to his mum once enquiries had been carried out. You caring for the child will give SS time to look into things without the child having to go to Foster Carers which would be distressing for him....it's just unfortunate that it's happened at the end of the working week.

It sounds like the SW that visited today was the duty SW and hopefully you won't need to see her again.

As I understand it, you won't be eligible for any financial help unless he is removed from his mum and placed with you.

HTH

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