Gransnet forums

Ask a gran


(22 Posts)
Orchidsilk Mon 02-Apr-18 13:42:48

My daughter has 5 children and it seems children’s services will remove them from her care due to neglect.
I am a 56 yr old single woman.

They are aged 15.11,10,6 & 4.
Only the father of the 4 year old is on the scene though he is mostly the reason for social services intervention.
The 15 yr old boy also has a different father and may be able to be fostered by his other grandmother.
The 11 yr old boy is blind and has lots of serious life threatening medical issues.
If I agree to foster the 3 girls, my home is too small as my 23 yr old still lives at home in our 2 bedroom mortgage free house.
Does anyone know if financial assistance is offered in my situation for me to extend, move or leave my home to rent another bigger house. ?confused

MissAdventure Mon 02-Apr-18 15:59:07

I think it is at the discretion of the authority in your area.
I have heard of some providing exactly what's needed, and others falling far short of providing any support at all.

kathsue Mon 02-Apr-18 16:39:34

This can be very complicated. If you can get a private fostering agreement with social services you get paid by them but they will always be involved in your lives.

You can get a Residence Order or a Special Guardianship Order. Any financial help is entirely at the discretion of the local authority, is means tested and as MissAdventure said varies from one authority to another.

You will be entitled to Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit.

I'm not sure about the housing situation. I don't have any experience in that area.

I would suggest you try Grandparents Plus for advice.

Good luck and best wishes to you. flowers

Iam64 Mon 02-Apr-18 17:07:24

You need to take legal advice asap. See a solicitor whose name is included on the children panel and is an experienced family lawyer.
I hope the local authority start care proceedings and don't simply persuade the children's mother to agree to "voluntary care'. That would leave your daughter as the only person with Parental Responsibility, which means even if the l.a. placed the three children with you, or placed them in foster care, their mother could discharge them from care whenever she wanted to. No one would represent the children's interests.
SGO' are very often made when children are placed permanently with relative carers. The relative carers benefit from either legal advice, or the involvement of a McKenzie friend who can argue on their behalf for financial help and support with housing.
Best of luck x

BlueBelle Mon 02-Apr-18 17:31:37

How very sad that these brothers and sisters will be split up after having a number of years together especially the blind ill one who you don’t say what will happen to him poor child
I don’t have any helpful advice just wanted to say what a difficult situation for you and them

Moneyboss Mon 02-Apr-18 18:51:19

You could try contacting The Children's Society and tell them the situation, they may be able to offer the children an independent advocate that will speak for them and hopefully get them the best outcome.

Orchidsilk Mon 02-Apr-18 20:04:43

Thank you for your replies. My daughter has always said that I would be the best person to look after the children if she couldn't. I don't think there would be any confict of opinions with me and my daughter regarding their upbringing...
I am a part time worker on a low wage and if I have any of the children I want to give them a good childhood.
Ive been wracking my brain about how I can house them.... Ive been writing a list of things to ask the new social worker ( my daughter has had 5 in the last 20 months) when I can get an appointment with her.

MissAdventure Mon 02-Apr-18 20:08:57

You should be able to get an allowance, as the cost if the children went into care would be considerably more.
Good luck, because I was told on good authority that the main issue is saving money, for social services.

Orchidsilk Mon 02-Apr-18 22:56:36

MissAdventure, I have heard that social services try to puch for guardianship because this is of less cost to them,,,,,I think that I may get a fostering allowance, though its not all about the money...

Initially my ex husband and his wife had offered to have the 2 elder girls but now he says ' I am too old and this isn't what I planned for my retirement' so he removed his offer... Strangely enough I hadn't planned for this either ,,,,,,,,

MissAdventure Mon 02-Apr-18 23:09:13

Oh yes, I suppose there is that angle to it.. they don't pay family as much as private foster carers.

Orchidsilk Wed 04-Apr-18 22:17:46

I managed to get hold of the social worker who was meant to get someone to telephone to tell me about the time scale and process of going to court.
Having initially given me a positive assessment with regard to fostering one of the grand children she has now changed it to negative and informs me that I would be able to have contact with my grandchildren once every three months,,,,,,, I feel physically sick

Moneyboss Thu 05-Apr-18 15:26:28

Please get yourself and/or the children an advocate before things get too far down the line to change easily.

Iam64 Thu 05-Apr-18 20:10:06

If the l.a. go into care proceedings, the children will be allocated a Guardian, an independent sw employed by Cafcass. The Guardian will instruct a solicitor to act for the children. If the children are "accommodated" in voluntary care, all the power stays with the local authority.
Get legal advice asap.
The l.a social work team has a duty to assess any potential family carer before placing children outside the family. As has been said SGO is often the outcome because it's less financially expensive than long term foster care

Bluegal Mon 09-Apr-18 18:14:01

What a horrible situation. My gut feeling is, as grandparents, you will only take over where the mother left off and will not be treated as or paid as 'foster carers'. You will get the normal child benefits and help with rent (if applicable) but I doubt you will get an extension paid for by your local council.

IF the children are being removed for their own safety, I doubt the mother can just come and take them when she wants. In fact, (yes I know everybody knows of somebody etc) but I knew of a grandmother who took her two grandchildren in similar circumstances and the mother was not allowed to live with them or have contact until she cleaned up her act.

All cases are different I suppose and each council is different so as has been said...get proper advice.

Good luck and I wish you and your children all the best.

jeanie99 Wed 11-Apr-18 08:45:15

What a terrible situation for the children to be in.

You sound like a very caring individual and love your gr children enough to take on their care at 56 yrs.
I know nothing about fostering or social care so would advice you to take legal council asap.
You can get free legal advice 30 minutes from some solicitors so phone round to see who will see you as a matter of urgency.
Best of luck

Chinesecrested Wed 11-Apr-18 16:37:27

I think you're very brave to consider taking this on at your age! (Not being rude, cos I'm quite a bit older than you). A couple of years ago I was considering taking on my partner's baby grandson under a SGO (partner and I live happily together) but at the end of the day I had to say "no" as at my age (then 64) i felt he needed younger caregivers. He was adopted by family friends (40ish) which turned out to be the best solution for everyone. There's never an easy answer, unfortunately, but I do think you need to look at other options. How's your own health? How would your relationship with your other resident daughter be affected? I do wish you all the best with this...

M0nica Wed 11-Apr-18 19:21:12

orchidgirl, if you cannot afford a solicitor go and talk to Citizen's Advice. It is free and they have experts who can help and advise you.

newnanny Thu 12-Apr-18 11:14:41

I am a foster carer and I would say that unfortunately it is very very unlikely that SS would be able to place all of the children together. What they will probably try to do is place them in pairs. The child who is blind would most likely be placed as a single placement as he obviously has more specialised needs and will need to have carers who can focus entirely on him and his needs. If the children were put into foster care they would still meet up for contact and SS always try to place them in close proximity wherever possible. You should be able to have contact with your gc also. The blind child would be harder to place and I wonder if you could have him to live with you as it would be harder for him to adapt to living with carers.

jura2 Fri 13-Apr-18 09:30:31

Agree with newnanny. I so admire you for wanting to take them all- but at 56, it is a massive task. If the older ones can be placed in pairs, nearby- so you can continue to be a loving grandmother and spend quality time with them regularly, come for short holidays- and maintain contact with their blind sibbling- then it probably would be better for all. If you burn out as it is just too much (teenage kids can really put you through the mill) ... it won't do anyone a favour.

What a difficult situation- I hope you and social services can work together to find the very best situations for all. But, oh good on you for caring so much (flowers)

jura2 Fri 13-Apr-18 09:30:51

PS, I do not have square brackets on this computer.

MawBroon Fri 13-Apr-18 11:30:55

Are you sure? What sort of keyboard is it?

Orchidsilk Wed 18-Apr-18 23:29:51

Thank you all for your input on this thread.
I was listening to a Womans Hour programme about Kinship carers. I felt quite upset at the end of the segment when the host said that most grandparents would jump in to help help with looking after their grand children but its not as simple as that.
The social worker emailed me the other day saying that I may get weekly visits to my grandchildren. That it what I think I should aim for as I have no room in my own owned home. I am a single woman with a health issue that could become a bigger issue in a decade.

I have never been able to be a proper grandmother,,,,always a carer for my daughter and there fore her children..... Mum the taxi, the banker, the decorator, the hosp appointment arranger....

I guess I'll have to see what happens over the next few weeks..