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Kinship care vs adoption of niece(10 Posts)
Hi all, new here so hope ive put this in the right place. Tricky situation to explain so bear with..
We are already approved foster carers with a local independent agency. A couple of weeks ago a received a call from a social worker regarding my 2yr old niece. She has been taken from her mum into care. My brother ( her dad ) did not live with the mother and has had issues with her since the birth with not being allowed to see her etc. He is being assessed by the LA to see if he is suitable to have his daughter.
They have also asked about any other family that could potentially help. We obviously would love to have her. This is where it starts getting tricky. My wife gave up work to become a foster carer. We currently have 13yr old boy with us. As awful as it is, I believe family should come first. So if we were to have my niece the agency would need to relocate him. Not a conversation Im looking forward to if it happens. I explained the situ to the SW and they said they would be looking to place her with an SGO which as they explained it provides no or next to no financial support. So we would be taking an extra child and being a lot worse off financially. I realise we could be somewhat worse off and we prepared to take that hit, but I don’t think we could to the point where our 2 bio children and us would struggle significantly.
They are also considering adoption for her is so young.
I mentioned to them about Kinship Foster care which seemed to completely throw them, think they call it family and friends care but I got the distinct impression they were trying to veer away from this. I understand this, as it would mean a long term financial commitment from the LA, however surely if there is suitable option with family where she can still have contact / relationships with her extended family, then this is in the interests of the child isn’t it?
Anyway the LA SW and the company SW that they work with are coming to see us next Friday. To discuss the options but the early indicators from them certainly point towards they are looking at SGO or adoption.
So stressful times, just wondered if anyone had any advice or previous experience of a similar situ?
Sorry for all the waffle and hope it makes sense
Hi, yes very stressfull for you. You need to make sure your making the right choice for your family. We currently have a 1.5yr old under a SGO. We get a small amount of financial help and we were allowed to add her on to our current tax credit claim and get child benifit for her. In my view our SGO is adoption by the back door. Its a great way for local authority to keep costs down. We weren't allowed to kinship foster we were told that it was being phased out and the SGO would give us more parental responsibility. For us we feel we have adopted without any support or advice (Don't get me wrong she is amazing and we totally love her). Our view is that as she comes up to school age we will be asking to adopt. I know everyones circumstances are different when it comes to SGO but for us and baby in the long term adoption would be better.
You need to know how much contact social services are recomending for parents in our case its just letterbox. More contact may change the way you feel about it. Also if you go for SGO make sure you get legal advice ours was paid for by social services. We also asked social services get first passport as this can be difficult with SGO (need birth parents birth certificates etc).
@jovisd79 sorry meant to tag you so you knew someone had answered. Also good luck and keep us posted. If you have anything you want to ask feel free.
@insideoutandback do you mind me asking how you plan on adopting your little one when they reach school age? We are in a similar situation with an SGO for our 2.5 year old (my niece), and would love to adopt. Social services claim it isn't possible or we would have gone down the adoption route from the start.
Ok so has happened and our niece moved in with us last Friday. Good first couple of days but now finding she only wants my wife. Doesn't want me anywhere near her, looking at her or even talking to her. Tough going
Congratulations on your nieces arrival. Apologies if this is stuff you already know, but best to expect the trauma of what shes been through to come our in a variety of ways and just show her the same acceptance and love no matter what/who she wants. (Adopter here) The sooner she learns you're there for her no matter what, the sooner she'll stop trying to reject you first. Good luck!
You should be entitled to a special guardianship allowance. Have you got this agreed?
Hi yes, we have an sgo allowance, obviously a lot less than we got when fostering prior to sgo ( not my neice). But it helps, assuming we actually get it. We also had a small lump sum agreed for the start of sgo to help towards cost of essentials like stair gates, car seat, high chair etc that we don't have as our kids are older but that's still not come through even though e were told we'd get that before she moved in.
Be aware that birth parents never lose the right to financial assistance re: court fees, but you immediately lose it once the SGO is granted. There's a specific type of insurance you can buy to cover you in this regard.
So , if the SGO has not been made, you are currently Interim foster careers, or kinship carers . There is Case law that you are entitled to the same fostering rates as non related carers.You are also entitled to legal help. Make sure you find a really good family lawyer.
I carefor my niece on an SGO, and however much you love her and know she is in the right place., please believe me when I say that there will come a time when you both think what have we done?
Because it is massive to take on another child, and there isn’t much support, and at some point, you will find that the needs of your niece will be in conflict with the needs of your children, and that is hard.
We held out for a decent allowance, even though I was worried they would think we were financially motivated. I’m so glad we did. One of my older children has needed support this year that we could not have provided if we were fully supporting our beloved niece. I think it would have been really uncomfortable for me to feel I was neglecting my kid whilst doting on someone else’s. My children have been very supportive but I am also aware that resentment can build.
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