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Court Orders

(17 Posts)
stresshead Fri 08-Mar-13 18:59:42

I am to appear in court on 21st March, not family court but magistrates court. The reason for this is that I decided not to accept SGO for my three Grandchildren that I take care of. From the beginning I wanted to be a kinship carer (foster parent) but because the Local Authority want permanence for the children and will not continue to treat them as Looked after children, my solicitor advised that at the next hearing and my decision is still not to accept and agree the SGO then the court can make me take a residence order. Please if this has happened to any other grandparent out there I would appreciate their outcome.

whenim64 Fri 08-Mar-13 19:36:37

If the arrangement is permanent, they won't want you to be a foster carer, but a Special Guardian. Is there some reason you don't agree with them stresshead

stresshead Fri 08-Mar-13 20:04:58

Thanks for taking the time to respond. Yes my reason is with SGO you have no guarantee re financial security like with a foster allowance. I only get the allowance for two of the three boys we take care of one we have residency for. I've not worked now for four going on five years gave up my career to look after my grandchildren, to be honest it killed me doing both, so they became my job. It doesn't help living in the economic climate with all the austerity hitting benefits across the board. I don't want to struggle financially supporting three children again especially at our time of life. After two years the SGO allowance will stop as it is means tested and my husbands income is not fantastic but is Ok for now combined with the allowance we currently get. Was always led to believe that we could foster and that we were not obliged to take on any order let alone have a residency imposed on you all because we want to foster. I thought that I would try a forum my first time to see if anyone out there had a similar encounter. thanks again.

nightowl Fri 08-Mar-13 20:32:51

It is sadly all too common for local authorities to put pressure on kinship careers to go down the SGO route even when this is not in the interests of the children. when is right, it does secure permanence but it should only be considered when the circumstances and the time are right. I appreciate that you need financial support stresshead and this is a major problem for many kinship careers, but do you need any other type of support, for example with the children's behaviour or emotional needs? These are very good reasons to delay the making of a SGO and would have to be taken seriously in court. Have you had any contact with the Grandparents Association? They offer support and are also a good source of advice which can be found on their website.

stresshead Fri 08-Mar-13 21:17:39

Nightowl thank you for your comments! The children do have emotional and behaviour needs which I documented in my 'Grandparent statement'. One of the boys has been diagnosed with fetal Alcohol Syndrome this is the youngest grandchild that we have residency for. The reason for these findings was that our third grandchild spent the first two years of his life with his mum, as he was not born at the time the other two grandchildren came to be in our care. The social services had a child protection order in place for him before he was born and were monertoring mother closely, but again she failed to meet the expected assessment tasks that were set for her. Adoption was what the authority wanted for him hence them sending him to a private Paediatrician who diagnosed him and asked me questions regarding the other two siblings. I mentioned that the older boy was born with cleft lip and palate and discovered that this was typical to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and she suggested to the Social worker that it would be in my best interest to see the other two siblings sometime in June this year. I highlighted the possibility that the other two siblings could have this syndrome but not yet diagnosed this can affect their learning to. No I have never had contact with any association, on many occasions I requested the authorities to put me intouch with other grandparents in the same position we found ourselves but that never happened. Not easy talking face to face about the people you love and hate at the same time. I do wish that I had joined a forum like this earlier it helps just to load off the never ending thoughts that trouble you twenty four seven a day. Thanks for the advise/listening

nightowl Fri 08-Mar-13 21:43:25

stresshead you have given so many reasons why I would suggest it is too soon to consider an SGO. Please check out the Grandparents Association website

nightowl Fri 08-Mar-13 21:45:08

I forgot to say, welcome to gransnet stresshead. You will find lots of support and friendship here flowers

stresshead Fri 08-Mar-13 21:48:05

Hi again nightowl I will check out the site and thank you for the welcome......

Grannyknot Fri 08-Mar-13 21:53:09

Stress head, I feel so sorry for you, what a lot you have on your plate. Have you been to the FASD website? They have a section for families

whenim64 Fri 08-Mar-13 21:59:24

stresshead from all you have said, it does sound like you need to have a further assessment, and the magistrates would be neglectful if they didn't require much more information before coming to any decision. Good luck at court, and please do keep us updated. There's lots of support and friendship on here (oh, and welcome, too!) x

Stansgran Fri 08-Mar-13 22:26:19

I know nothing about fostering or guardianship but I am full of admiration for what you are doing. I wish you the very best outcome.

Nelliemoser Fri 08-Mar-13 23:09:09

stresshead Goodluck with this! I can see exactly why you want to stand firm on this. Children's service's are basically emotionally blackmailing relatives into caring for grandchildren etc without much needed financial support.

Children's service's want fostering on the cheap. There is as you probably know a legal presumption that children are better off with kinship carers.

There has also been a previous position in childrens service's that if a social worker asks a relative to look after a child the department could then be liable to pay foster parents rates to close relatives for that placement.
When I retired 2 years ago social workers were becoming adept at "not actually asking" relatives to look after "little Jimmy" but making it appear to the relatives that it was their own idea.

I hope it works out. Get all the advice you can.

nightowl Fri 08-Mar-13 23:51:22

Grandparents plus website is also very helpful

stresshead Sat 09-Mar-13 10:06:52

Thank you everyone so much for your responses! It means a lot as my feelings and emotions are running high and are very overwhelming at times hence my nickname. I'm not looking forward to the court hearing on the 21st March as I could end up worse off, especially if the verdict is to impose on us a residency order all because we are not prepared to accept the SGO. We want to foster and to continue to get paid a foster carer’s allowance in respect of the two children that we currently claim for, our third child we don't receive nothing. After all it would cost them triple the amount if not more were the children in the care of the Local Authority. Never mind all this waffling on I will come back to let you know the outcome. Again everyone thank you!

fillygumbo Sat 09-Mar-13 22:40:00

Good luck to you Stresshead, your grandchildren are lucky to have you and I sincerely hope the authorities will realise this.

Smoluski Sun 10-Mar-13 11:59:30

Hi stresshead
I have been a kinship career for the last 10 years,and have been a special guardian for 3 of them.
The LA that first put my GD with me where not at all supportive,we relocated and GD was subject of a S 17 order and deemed a child in need.
we do get a residence order payment,which is means tested,without this we would sink financially as we had to give up work in order to seek legal aid for court costs and are trying very hard to get back into work.
It was my choice to become SG as my circumstances where different to yours and LA still have a duty on paper to GD ,it is a different story when support is required after a case is no longer live.
We where in the high court for 6 years and with different LA 's the LA we are with where more supportive at the time,this is sadly no longer the case.

raymondapp Mon 16-Jun-14 19:48:20

just wondering how your case went, as we are about to take care of our grandson ?