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Is my fault he's going into care?

(115 Posts)
Sayjustjackwithjazzhands Fri 21-Mar-14 08:25:06

Very long story but don't want to out myself so will try make it brief but understandable.

My nephew is 10 and is under the care of social workers. He is 'd'b's son and due to db having various personal problems we have not been in touch properly for a few years. My nephews mum has had lots of issues over the years but it came to light recently that she is not a stable mother and cannot be trusted to care for her son. I have seen my nephew a handful of times in the past few years due to the bad relationship between her and db. To prevent him being taken into care a few of her family members have been interviewed etc but are not deemed stable to take care of him full time. Db has refused to step up, been avoiding calls, breaking promises to attend meeting etc and being generally unreliable.

DM is understandably devastated and wants to put herself forward for full custody, however she has planned a once in a lifetime trip with her partner that will last at least 3 months. She has asked me to take responsibility for dn until her return. I thought about it for a while and although I haven't said officially said no, I think this will be my answer.

I live with dh approx 10 miles away and our 1yr old DS. It would mean effectively moving into dm's house for that length of time. Dm lives in a tiny 2 bed flat with my younger sisters so it would be cramped with us all there. My dh works local to our home so couldn't move in with us, let alone not having the space.

This is awful and I feel like its my fault dn will have to go into care. Dm is refusing to speak to me and says that I'm being selfish. I've tried telling her that its not me who has caused this and its at db that she needs to direct her anger not me but its falling on deaf ears.

Why doesn't she understand? Am I being selfish? Not sure what I'm asking but feels good to write it out.

LIZS Fri 21-Mar-14 08:28:17

If longer term custody with your dm is a possibility I would have thought the sw could arrange foster care.

expatinscotland Fri 21-Mar-14 08:29:59

No. Your mother is being manipulative. I doubt SS will release to a person who is so overcrowded, anyhow.

You have enough on your plate and this would mean separating from your h and caring for 4 kids whilst your mum swans off.

How handy for her.

TeenyW123 Fri 21-Mar-14 08:30:04

No, you're not being selfish. You have your own family to get to grips with without taking on someone else's responsibility.

If we're talking selfish, why doesn't DM cancel her holiday? Surely her grandchild would come before that?

Pot, kettle and black methinks.

DrankSangriaInThePark Fri 21-Mar-14 08:32:53

Of course it's not your fault. It's a huge undertaking to even contemplate, and even temporarily. This is a child you barely know- you probably know your own children's friends better!

If anyone or anything is to blame it is your brother. And I am afraid I'd be calling pots and kettles on your mother.

I was in a vaguely similar position. My no-mark half sister had her 3 children removed (and for a damn good reason, and she'll see me in court as a character witness as to why she should NEVER get them back, if the day comes) and I was contacted and asked if I would be willing to consider adopting, or have any objection to them being adopted. No, and no. The youngest child I had, at that stage, seen twice.

This is not your fault, and not your responsibility. flowers

DrankSangriaInThePark Fri 21-Mar-14 08:33:29

X posted with Teeny.

LaurieFairyCake Fri 21-Mar-14 08:35:10

Well you're all being selfish - and I don't mean that negatively - you are all thinking of your own family/holiday first. None of you are likely the right person to have him unless you can dedicate your life to it. No judgement!

I think foster care is likely to be the best thing - long term placement where someone can dedicate the time necessary to make this boy feel valued.

NotJustACigar Fri 21-Mar-14 08:36:48

Your DM is prioritising a trip with her partner over her grandson's future and has the gall to tell you you're being selfish?? YANBU.

Onesleeptillwembley Fri 21-Mar-14 08:41:42

Your mother wants him but only after the trip? Fucking hell she's not planning on winning grandma of the year award, I hope. Poor kid.

Anniegetyourgun Fri 21-Mar-14 08:43:56

Would SS even agree to such a solution, I wonder? "Well I will take him on full time, only I'm going away for three months, so my daughter is going to move in, with a baby (or leaving her baby behind? confused, and look after him in a 2 bed flat containing at least 4 people; is that all right?"

I don't think they'd be doing their job if they agreed to that, do you? Would they even think that someone who thinks it is a good idea is the best person to look after a child? If they do they're even madder than your DM.

PastPerfect Fri 21-Mar-14 08:48:02

None of you (brother, mother or you) are covering yourself in glory.

Your poor nephew.

Gen35 Fri 21-Mar-14 08:50:06

Just a personal opinion based on my family, but it's not clear to me that being fostered by DM is in dn's best interest, it will allow db to continue to have a flakey relationship with dn where he continually lets him down and DM makes excuses and probably also dn's mum. And if DM cannot even bypass a blimmin holiday for dn then it says a lot. I don't think the buck stops with you and you do have to put your dh and ds first.

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Fri 21-Mar-14 08:51:37

SS won't agree to that arrangement anyway.

Your mother should cancel her holiday if she wants to take on the responsibility of her grandson.

ghostinthecanvas Fri 21-Mar-14 08:53:57

Highly unlikely that your mum has room for your nephew anyway. YANBU actually you are being very strong and sensible.
You could still be involved in DNs care plan, see him sometimes. I would advise talking to his SW about that. There has been a change in the law recently regarding significant people/guardians in foster childrens lives. Perhaps you could research that and you will still have a role in his life. Your mum however.....selfish. if my grandchild was in that position I would drop everything.

Lweji Fri 21-Mar-14 08:54:18

Not your fault, but can't you take him in permanently?

expatinscotland Fri 21-Mar-14 08:55:47

With such a small child, she might not be able to, Lw, and her husband has to agree to it, too.

smallandimperfectlyformed Fri 21-Mar-14 08:55:54

I'm sorry you're in this situation but it's not your fault and I think anybody reasonable could see that you couldn't leave your own family. I hope there's a solution soon flowers

millymolls Fri 21-Mar-14 08:57:13

sorry, I know this might not sit well with people and I know all situations are different, but there is no way in hell I would let my nephew end up in care through no fault of his own! Its not his fault that his parents are useless for whatever reason. Poor lad. He's 10 years old, and been abandoned by his parents and now apparently by other extended family.

I have no doubt it would be an upheaval for you to take him in and offer a home but I would do anything, anything to ensure that he came to us and to everything I could to offer a permanent loving home.

Poor poor lad

Countessfosco Fri 21-Mar-14 09:03:12

what millymolls said exactly. Of course it is not your fault he is in this position, but for you and your mother to put a holiday and a few months of difficulty before your nephew is beyond my comprehension.

MoominIsWaitingToMeetHerMiniMe Fri 21-Mar-14 09:03:19

millymolls Yeah but it's always easy to say that when it's not you in that situation, isn't it? You can bleat on now about "poor lad", "been abandoned by his extended family", "I'd do anything to ensure he came to us" - but when it's really, physically happening, and you've sat and worked out that it just isn't possible, isn't fair on your own son, probably wouldn't be allowed to happen anyway because of the age of her son - can you understand how reading such a post might make the OP feel awful when she has no need to?

OP you are not being selfish; I agree with those saying your mum is for putting her holiday above her grandson. If you don't feel like it would be the best environment for him and for your family, then you are being selfless in saying no, not selfish!

ghostinthecanvas Fri 21-Mar-14 09:03:36

There is a chance you are going to get flamed here. Askto be shifted to fostering.
not knowing the ins and out, making a mumsnet armchair diagnosis, your DN is 10. Has he been living in a disorganised, chaotic and unsafe home his entire life? He may have problems of his own sadly. You have a baby, make sure SS are honest with you. Also you don't say if SS are supporting him in his home or if he is already being fostered. All these things are important but perhaps not for this thread. There is probably a lot of xposts while I was writing this, I hope you are ok and things progress positively for your DN.

SanityClause Fri 21-Mar-14 09:04:02

I'm inclined to agree milly.

There are probably good reasons why the OP is not considering taking him, and she certainly doesn't have to justify them to us.

But if it were my nieces and nephews, I wouldn't even think twice.

Lweji Fri 21-Mar-14 09:04:24

Tbh, I'd have been very disappointed if my husband had said no in such situation, unless this particular 10 year old was very problematic.
10 year olds are not that much extra work and your child is hardly a newborn.
But I understand that there may be reasons why not and that's why I asked if that was possible.

MoominIsWaitingToMeetHerMiniMe Fri 21-Mar-14 09:05:22

If the OP took him in for 3 months while her mum went on holiday, what's to say that next year, the same thing won't happen. And poor nephew will be shipped off to another aunt for 3 months. Where's the stability in that?

Sayjustjackwithjazzhands Fri 21-Mar-14 09:07:42

I agree its easier to say from a distance, 'i'd drop everything' untill its actually happening to you, its very different.

We live in a 1 bed flat so no space, plus its too far to travel to his school.

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