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Cafcass - Help Needed Please

(3 Posts)
Red64 Sat 20-Sep-08 22:06:35

My mum has residency of my niece, who is nearly 7. She has lived with my mother on and off most of her life, but mum has had the residency order for the last two years.

My sister decided she wanted her back, and a cafcass appointment was arranged, visitation was set and a date of 5th November for going back for the outcome of the Cafcass report.

My sister has now lost her job and home and is back to 'sofa surfing' which my niece is having to do too when she has her every other weekend. She has lost contact with her solicitor, hence her report to cafcass, which was due end of August has not gone in and she has lost her legal aid. Her solicitor cannot contact her as she has not told him or anyone of her change of circumstances.

The question is, is will Cafcass postpone under these circumstances giving her a chance to sort herself out. With the court appearances for the residency order twice she did not turn up, so twice the whole thing was moved to a later date.

I really don't want to see my Mum and niece have to go through more months of stress over this, my niece does not want to live with her mum and is finding having to spend weekends with her very upsetting, as she is sleeping on the floor, in a strangers house, amongst other things.

Also, we are moving house next month and my Mum and niece will be living with us, again this is being done with my nieces best interests as mum has not been well and coping with a young child is not always easy for her. Cafcass are aware of this and think it is a good idea, but will they interview myself and my partner too, we have three children and both work in childrens services, so no problem, just want to be prepared.

Sorry if this is the wrong board, I wasn't sure where to post, would just like some sort of clarification and this whole thing on top of moving house is really becoming quite stressful (understatement!! )


PS: I have posted this on another board, but this board was suggested as the better option.

controlfreakinfreaky Sat 20-Sep-08 22:14:24

does your mum have legal representation? if so she should be speaking with them about all this....
imo she should be pressing for a resolution to all this asap... it is not her or dn's fault that it has not been resolved but the mum's irresponsible behaviour....
is there a court order re dn spending alterno weekends with her mum or is that by agreement? whichever it is i would suggest your mum tells her daughter / asks the court to vary the order if there is one that until she is settled and has somewhere suitable to have dn to stay overnight contact stops.
the court won't let her muck about like this and cafcass will have limited sympathy.... reality is that dn needs security and stability, your mum has been the one to provide this and her own mum has not and is still not able to meet her needs....
there is nothing to stop your mum contacting cafcass officer direct / through any lawyers to put her point of view re current situation....
good luck!

Red64 Sun 21-Sep-08 16:46:25

Mum does have a solicitor, who is dealing with the legal side, the contact arrangement was set up at the initial Cafcass meeting earlier this year, at that point my sister had her own place.

Mum is going to request that there are no more overnight stays until my sister has somewhere suitable for my niece to sleep, but her major concern currently is that if my sister doesn't show on 5th Nov. this will be dragged out again.


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