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Sister is a heroin addict, her newborn baby has been taken by social services

(19 Posts)
Underpressure96 Fri 13-Jul-18 20:18:08

My sister is a heroin addict - has been clean since the birth of her son who was born prematurely 1 month ago. My nephew has been taken into care and my mum is in the process of being checked by social services to see if she is a viable carer.
My sister has put the family through hell the last 10 Years - she was an alcoholic until 2 years ago when she began taking heroin. I am the closest to her geographically and personally speaking and a lot of responsibility has fallen on me. She is doing amazingly well so far but that does stop my constant anxiety.
We have been told by social services, if my mum fails the assessments my nephew will be put into care. I am worried I will never see him again, but at the same time terrified if this happened it would push my sister back into addiction

HollowTalk Fri 13-Jul-18 20:22:46

Is there any reason why your mum wouldn't be a viable carer?

LaMainDeFatima Fri 13-Jul-18 20:23:51

Could you be the carer ?

chequeplease Fri 13-Jul-18 20:28:45

Why has he been taken into care if she has stopped her heroin use? Are there other reasons?
Would you consider being the child's carer?

Singlenotsingle Fri 13-Jul-18 20:34:17

We had a baby in our family who was placed with family friends for adoption, and by agreement the baby's bio parents and family can see him occasionally. He will know his background as he grows up.

drspouse Fri 13-Jul-18 20:34:35

cheque possibly because it's so recent?
Some reasons your mum might not be approved: very much too old/ill (but if it's likely to be temporary I don't think that will be as crucial).
Not taking your sister's issues seriously.
Convictions for violent offences or offences against children.
Likely to allow your sister to take the baby.
I'm not saying any of these are the case - just ones I've heard about.

welshcake82 Fri 13-Jul-18 20:37:57

If you are in England or Wales (law is different elsewhere) it sounds as if the local authority are issuing court proceedings. If so, they will be concluded within a maximum of 6 months which is not long.
A final and permanent decision will be made for your sister's child within that time.
If you want contact or to be assessed as a carer you need to act quickly and make yourself known to the local authority.
Your sister has an extremely short period of time to prove change.
Good luck. X

nellly Fri 13-Jul-18 20:47:56

Ive worked in this area for a long time, you're mum needs to show she is able to protect baby from your sister if required and will put baby first even if that means hurting your sister. Sadly many family placements get turned down because social workers don't feel they can trust the carer not to just allow
Load of access to the child

MidnightVelvetthe7th Fri 13-Jul-18 20:53:59

I'm wondering whether your sister wasn't clean during pregnancy as you only say she's been clean since the birth.

I've had an ex husband with an addiction and I know how well meaning family members can minimise and brush under the carpet things that shouldn't be ignored. The baby will have their own social worker who is considering the baby's interests above all else.

If your mum is declined as a carer, you could explore contact details. My LA has a scheme where a birth family can write to a child and send gifts via a social worker who then passes them onto the child's caregivers. It's an option to let the baby know as they grow up that there is a family to contact should they decide to do so. The social worker can tell you more about this.

Hope it all works out OP, best of luck xx

Ihuntmonsters Fri 13-Jul-18 21:04:03

That sounds terribly hard for your family OP. My dd had a friend who was removed from the care of an addicted parent. She later had twins who stayed with her for a bit and then were removed but with contact, and so for a while she was able to visit them. Unfortunately the mum relapsed and the adoptive parents decided that contact wasn't in the interests of their children. dd's friend was devastated (she was only about 12 at the time I think). Addiction is a really horrible thing, destructive of everyone in close proximity.

Bcjek Fri 13-Jul-18 21:07:49

I really sympathise with your family situation, I have become foster mother to my 5 grandchildren aged 9,8,7,6,5 the process was not easy and really stressful but thankfully a happy ending, my son and his partner also found heroin which destroyed them and the family unit that they had with their 5 babies, it’s been 15 months now since I got my grandchildren and we have been through so much together as a family... the only advice I can give is stay strong and think positively of the future because all my 5 grandchildren are now doing so well, put the time and effort in and everyone will be rewarded, my thoughts and best wishes go out to you and your family because I know it is not going to be easy xxx

Underpressure96 Sat 14-Jul-18 18:35:27

There isn't a reason I can think of why my mum would be rejected but it's still a constant worry. She lives about an hour away from me and my sister, and has no criminal record - she's just a normal mum. I hope social services don't doubt her capabilities - she brought me, my brother and sister up on her own after my dad walked out when we were very young. She has her own house and currently works full time (she is planning to quit her job if she gets custody) She has a partner who she has been with for years and he is fully supportive. My brother also still lives at home and they are all being dbs checked (should be no issues there)
I'm not in the position to take my nephew- I'm only 22 and have just graduated from university and at the start of my career. I feel awfully selfish but also know I wouldn't be able to adequately support him.
Thank you so much for all the good wishes, fingers crossed

zzzzz Sat 14-Jul-18 18:40:40

You can raise him at 22 just out of university if you want to. You’d have to really really want it though.
It sounds like life has got a bit crazy, it’s ok to give yourself space.

OlennasWimple Sat 14-Jul-18 18:57:01

flowers OP. Sorry you are all going through this

You might find some helpful support on the fostering board, particularly if you have questions about special guardianship orders and the like

lola212121 Sat 14-Jul-18 19:09:15

Well , if you or your mum are not able to look after the child then you will have to put up with not seeing the child . Maybe help your sister as much as possible in the meantime .x

brizzledrizzle Sat 14-Jul-18 19:14:18

@lola212121 how wonderfully supportive you are biscuit

OP, if you can't care for himself then don't beat yourself up about it; only you know what you can do or not do rather than random bitches people on the internet.

Willow2017 Sat 14-Jul-18 19:23:14

It can be incredibly hard for grandparents to become guardians for grand kids when the parents have drug or alcohol issues. They can be incredibly manipulative and the babies can obviously have health issues due to substance abuse during pregnancy. If your mum does take the baby she will need a lot of support from ss and family services. You can support your sis but have to remember that the sole concern is the baby's wellbeing.

It will be hard for you to be piggy in the middle and obviously hard for your sis if she really wants her baby. But she will have to prove she can stay clean no matter what and do whatever is best for the baby.

Not judging her but having worked with family services in this area i have seen the effects this has on all family members. Its not am easy solution in the short term it takes a lot of work and adjustments for gps.

Hope it all works our for everyone concerned. And dont feel guilty about not taking on the responsibility if a child for the next 18 years. You have to consider whats best for you and the baby. You didnt ask for this. If you are unable to provide care then the baby will not be in the best place for its needs. Its that simple.

lola212121 Sat 14-Jul-18 19:54:56

I worded that incorrectly and it sounded harsh , what I mean is once social services take control and the child is assigned a new carer then things are out of your hands ,but I hope your sister is supported nonetheless .x

Underpressure96 Sat 14-Jul-18 23:23:42

I know I am not at a place in my life where I'm ready to bring up a child. My sister is being very strong at the moment and has been clean, on a methadone prescription for 2 months. I see her most days - I'm hoping this has been her turning point, I've never seen her so determined to recover. She didn't find out she was pregnant until 1 month before my nephew was born so everything has been a massive shock.
She is complying with ss and has agreed she isn't in a state to be able to meet baby's needs, but intends to detox and eventually lead a normal life so she can burn him up.

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