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SGO Assessment help please(3 Posts)
Hi, I am in the process of being assessed for my step sisters baby. She has mental health issues and has been told that she cannot have custody of the baby. We are new to this and havent a clue as to what happens, we have passed the suitability assessment so now we are at the next stage. Could someone please let me know what happens etc. Also I am worried about what questions they ask the people giving the references incase I ask the wrong people ie, can they be family, do they have to be work etc also what will they ask as people at work know me but not my husband if that makes sense. Sorry about the rambling on just feel like a fish out of water as dont know what to expect. We were told we have passed the viability assessment and got 88/130 and I feel the report was negative with a lot of inaccuracies that I had to point out to the SW who had done it where she had miss quoted what we said and even got factual details wrong like names of people we had a mix of 6/7/8 in our scoring but the SW is still putting us forwarded for a full assessment as she has a few concerns I just wondered is this classed as a good positive score? I really don't want to get my hopes up to be upset if they fail the SGO assessment. The SW has advised that if the assessor is happy it wont have to go to court as the Judge wants the baby to stay in the family before he would consider adoption, I line in our summary report says they have to ensure they have covered every avenue before they can proceed with an adoption outside of the family so this has made me suspicious in fact I am now really paranoid about the whole thing. Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.
You need independent legal advice and should speak to a solicitor as soon as possible, check with your social worker if they can put you in touch with someone suitable and if the costs will be covered.
Not all local authorities use 'scoring', I haven't seen this before so I wouldn't get fixated on numbers. A Special Guardianship Order is a legal order and will ALWAYS go through a court. They can also do a Kinship Assessment or a Connected Person's assessment which doesnt have to go through court but is much the same assessment.
In terms of references usually you need 3, one of whom has to be a family member. It is better to choose people who know both you and your husband if you applying for guardianship as a couple.
If there are inaccuracies in the report then correct these in writing (politely) so that there is a record of it. Things do slip through the cracks in over-stretched local authorities, it can be very helpful to provide the assessing social worker with a list of relevant names or a family tree with the correct spellings of names, places and addresses.
Some social workers record their interviews for clarity and if you are very worried you are being misrepresented you could ask for this or ask for permission to record interviews yourself. That said, one of the sections they will be covering will be how well you work with professionals so remain polite and engaged and try to work with whoever is assigned your case.
If you are very unhappy with the local authority or the assessor then your solicitor can apply to have the court instruct an independent social worker to assess you.
Thank you still waiting to be assigned a assessment person, the only person I have contact with with is the babies sw and she is the one who recommended a full sgo assessment.
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