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Advice for adopting/caring for my siblings

8 replies

Noodle0o · 05/04/2019 22:36

Hello! Sorry if I have asked this in the wrong category but I just joined mumsnet to ask this question Smile Also sorry if this seems a bit vague but I have to try and keep the privacy of the people involved. I am really scared about even asking this.

So I am a adult and I was born into a poor family in the UK (we have to survive off of benefits). As an adult have to live off of disability benefits.

Now onto the nitty gritty.

Following a particularly harrowing few years for the entire family my mum (who is also on benefits) has had another mental breakdown and is struggling very hard to look after my youngest siblings who are still children. My mum always has struggled with caring for us - I have lots of traumatic memories from when I was a kid - but now she has behaviour episodes which are becoming increasingly alarming.

I want to adopt my younger siblings and protect them so they won't have to have the kind of childhood I had and I don't want them to end up in the care system. Problem is, like I said before, I have to live on disability benefits.

Does anyone know what kind of funding I would be able to get to make sure they have enough food and a decent quality of life? And do I have to go through the courts to become their legal guardian?

Thank you so much for any information or advice! Flowers

OP posts:
Gertruude · 05/04/2019 22:46

I'm sure someone far more knowledgeable will be along soon but I thought I'd say hello & tell you that you sound lovely. From what I know, you could foster or adopt your siblings under a special guardianship order (SGO) if you are over 21. But this would involve you being assessed as being able to provide a safe & suitably nurturing home for the children. If the assessment was in your favour (which keeping families together generally is deemed) then social services would support you - be that with an adoption support allowance or fostering payments. If social services are already involved you just need to put yourself forward.

Wishing you all the best x

Noodle0o · 05/04/2019 23:32

Thank you very much Gertruude! This information is really helpful! Smile

OP posts:
Thepinklady77 · 06/04/2019 08:40

Are social services already involved? If not they will need to become involved! They will need to deem and get the courts to agree that your mother is not in the position to care for them adequately until they are adults before a court would agree to removal of her parental rights through adoption. A special guardianship order is the more likely outcome. I do not know what financial allowances are paid to SGO carers. Someone else hopefully can help with that.

Your first port of call will have to be reporting a concern about their wellbeing to social services if they are not already involved. They will then investigate the situation and decide what assessment may need carried out on your mother and whether the children need to be removed while this is being carried out. They may well decide to place with yourself during this time as they like to keep children with family or a known person as far as possible. You can then discuss long term care with them and what financial allowances would be paid. They would guide you through the process. They will need to carry out an assessment on you to deem your suitability to meet their needs until adulthood if you are going up become their long term carer. They wouldn’t necessarily carry out an assessment for short term/temporary care.

Hope things work out for the whole family. I am sure it is tough watching your mum. Make sure you get your own support and care.

Purple1314 · 06/04/2019 19:36

Technically you could also go for a Child Arrangements Order. This doesn't give you overriding PR and is often used in situations where couples are divorced but can be used to determine where the children live. This doesn't give you overriding parental responsibility so you'd share decision making with your mum. This said you wouldn't get any of the support you'd get under an SGO.
In almost any scenario if you were caring for the children you'd be entitled to Child Benefit.
As other posters have said you would have to be assessed for an SGO. You don't say if your mum is in agreement with a plan for you to care for your siblings. If not then it wouldn't be a case of you asking to be assessed and then getting the children. The Local Authority would have to be very worried about the care, work with your mum to reduce these worries and if this didn't work then do a similar process under a legal framework before they'd consider issuing care proceedings to move the children from where they are.
If you want to know more about the different legal orders you can often get 30 min or so free legal aid. If you Google children's panel solicitor there is a list of solicitors you can download and find one in your local area.

Noodle0o · 11/05/2019 13:10

Thank you all for your help! This will be really useful if the worst ever comes to the worst.

OP posts:
Italiangreyhound · 11/05/2019 13:46

I've got no advice but well done for wanting to care for your siblings.

hidinginthenightgarden · 11/05/2019 18:07

SS have to deem the children at risk or you mum would have to request they live with you.
You can have them under SGO (special guardianship) but cannot adopt siblings as this is considered confusing for the children.

Offredalba · 11/05/2019 20:01

Noodle. I'm not sure that I would recommend approaching social services immediately. In Scotland, family members can access kinship care. The Citizens Avice Bureau have details on how to get it here:
I believe that the CAB can also help to direct you in other nations of the UK

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