Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
This is a Premium feature
Apologies, I'm not sure if this is the right forum for this. This is a long one! I've also posted on the Fostering forum but that also doesn't feel quite right.
I've been supporting a friend over the last few years, let's call her A. A is incredibly vulnerable and has relied quite a lot on the support of myself and social work.
A gave birth to her first child a few years ago. They both lived with me for the first month of baby's life and then moved out together with A's partner (baby's daddy). They lasted two months before baby being taken into kinship and being looked after by A's mum. Less than a year later, baby had passed away in kinship- I'm not going to delve into that because the details are horrible, but suffice to say it was the end of A having any family contact.
Fast forward to now. A is heavily pregnant. Has no family support on her side, partner (same partner) is on remand in jail for a violent crime and A refuses to speak to her partner's family because of issues in the past. A has other friends however they are very unstable themselves and I would probably be classified as her most stable and longest friend.
I have been supporting A through emotionally, financially and practically for years but really have stepped it up when she got pregnant again because she needed it. Social Work identified me as a place she could stay on weekends so that she has a regular contact with a safe person other than social work, as well as potential respite if needed. There was also talk of me being 'The Person' that does Kinship if it all goes wrong again.
Last night A decided she no longer wants me involved. This is due to social work knowing who I am- I think that scared her. Since then I've been up worrying about what happens next. Who will support her? If it goes wrong will baby go into foster care rather than kinship? Given I'm a friend rather than family I'm not really expecting to hear from social work again. Will they be ok? I am really really worried about them both and could do with some reassurance.
As a side-note I'm also feeling pretty upset and used, however I understand her reaction and I'm dealing with my own feelings on this.
If they go to court to remove the child they will ask her if she wants to put anyone forward to care for the baby. You could also proactively contact them to state your position if you wanted to do that, it's worth a try.
It does sound to me like you're probably better off out of it, but I know that sounds callous.
Thank you @CodenameVillanelle that's good to know. Would they actually ever consider a friend, not family, if my friend and I hadn't been in contact for a while? Say if she didn't contact me again and fast forward five months and she mentioned she wanted me to do kinship to social work. Would they actually consider that?
I might contact SW myself however what is holding me back is the whole 'I'm just a friend' thing.
Ha, yes, I have been told by a frend that I'm probably better off out of it. But I can't stop worrying about that baby.
Yes they absolutely do place children with friends - you don't have to be related
@CodenameVillanelle Thank you, that's reassuring.
This woman sounds really damaged. Why are you so keen to become involved in this situation? I think you are enabling her... if she needs you she knows where you are!
@formyboys She is pretty 'damaged', if that's how you want to put it. I'm 'keen' to be involved in this situation because ultimately she's a close friend and I care dearly about her.
I don't think I'm enabling her- refusing to go behind SW's back certainly isn't enabling her behaviour, it's enabling her to feel safe accessing the support she desperately needs.
Please login first.