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SGO / Kinship Fostering - Financial Support

(5 Posts)
BranchyAnimal Sun 29-Apr-18 00:22:35


I'm looking for some advice for my mum who is caring for my niece and is in financial difficulty.

Background (this section is optional - you can skip to "The Present" if you're short on time) :

I come from what most would consider to be a middle class family. My dad was a managing director and my mum a head of department. The only major abnormality has been my eldest brother. He has a history of drug abuse, severe depression, has smashed up the house on many occasions, been on steroids and has narrowly missed prison on numerous occasions. He has won multiple strong-man competitions and is monstrously strong, which doesn't mix well with his temper. For me personally, the best thing about becoming an adult has been moving away from my violent brother. No one should have to live in fear of violence.

At the start of the financial crisis, my dad lost his job. Soon afterwards, my parents (on an interest only mortgage) were forced to downscale. My dad was diagnosed with Parkinson's, lost the ability to walk, and has been unable to work since. He essentially went from a salary of >100k to 0 overnight, with no pension and no savings (don't get me started on my parent's financial follies).

My mum continued to work and pay all the bills. However, lost her job 1 year ago. Soon after losing her job, my eldest brother (still living with my parents) got his GF pregnant. She promptly moved in with my parents. Meanwhile my parents financial situation spiraled out of control. I was forced to step in and take control of their finances to avoid them losing their home.

Both my brother and his GF were, and still are, unemployed. The GF is an alcoholic with a gambling addiction and violent tendencies. She has also had her son, from a previous relationship, removed by social services because of neglect.

Social services have been all over the situation since the birth of the child because of the GF's history. My mum has done everything to support the GF; however, the GF had zero maternal instincts and gambled away all money. Recently the GF got drunk, became violent and threatened to throw hot coffee over my mum. My mum called the police. SS have since ordered that GF not be allowed in the house, and may only see the child when accompanied by SS.

My brother, still living with my parents and still unemployed, is trying to help care for the child but is pretty useless (he doesn't wake up during the night), aside from still being on steroids and just recently smashing the house up again.

So my mum, in her mid 60s, is: 1) caring for my disabled dad, 2) caring for a 3 month old baby 3) still trying to do private work to pay the bills 4) still doing all the chores in the house and basically waiting upon my elder brother (she still treats him like a child despite him being in his mid 30s - to be fair, he still behaves like a toddler, only he has the strength of 5 grown men). Honestly, I don't know how she does it - she is the strongest and kindest person I have ever known.

I live 2 hours drive away with my own family. We have an 18 month old baby ourselves, and no support from friends or family. I do what I can to help my mum. I dream of living closer to be able to help regularly, but I won't throw away my fantastic career in London and destroy my own family's future. I am determined to provide financial security for my own family as I have seen the devastating effects my parent's poor financial chooses have had.

The Present

So, the mother (my brother's GF) is out of the picture and my mum is essentially caring for the baby. She will need to stop all private work to do this, and will probably be ~£1500 short each month. Social services are involved and about to do an assessment, which is for either fostering or an SGO. It's not entirely clear. Currently my parents are getting no support, not even child benefit, in relation to the child.

I've read about SGOs, but it's not clear to me what the process is and who should take the initiative. Can we expect SS to take the lead and provide the best support available? Will they organise a lawyer and help my mum, or is it all up to her?

Some sites say that fostering is more reliable in terms of financial support than an SGO, but that SS will pressure you into taking out an SGO.

What happens if they fail the assessment? Does the baby get taken away? At this point, my parents have bonded to the baby and I think this would be devastating for both them and the baby if the child were taken away.

So far, SS have been very pleased with my mum's care of the child and it has been said that the child is thriving and much happier since the mother (GF) has been taken out of the equation. The issue is that it all falls apart without financial support.

Advice would be greatly appreciated.

Kindest regards,

atthecopacopacabana Sun 29-Apr-18 14:10:48

To clarify - the baby is living with its father and grandparents?

BranchyAnimal Sun 29-Apr-18 14:48:48

To clarify - the baby is living with its father and grandparents?

Yes, that's correct.

It should also be noted that "pre-proceedings" began at the point that the child was born because of the mother's history. I'm not certain exactly what this means other than that both parents now have lawyers representing them.

It's unclear as to how to proceed. For example, perhaps the best plan would be to get the father's lawyer to initiate the SGO? The father fully accepts that neither he nor the GF are capable of looking after the child and would like the grandmother to be the guardian.

fasparent Wed 02-May-18 11:57:37

New SGO Support Service
helpline 0808 802 111

fasparent Wed 02-May-18 12:04:55

Sorry SGO Support as above is part of
will see details here.

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