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(94 Posts)
nannynoo Mon 02-Feb-15 07:28:14

I don't know if some of you will remember me , but had a bad year last year and things regarding my Grandson still are not resolved

I have settled SO well into my new home , to the point I got myself a puppy to add some real joy to my life which he indeed has the little sweetie!

I have been concentrating on my own health and wellbeing while my Grandson is in foster care

He has been in foster care for ( long ) 6 months now and I see him most weeks for 2 hours at a contact centre with my daughter

Things have and haven't improved for my daughter , what I mean is things have ''seemingly'' improved for her ie she is doing and saying all the right things and yet her behaviour / stability / rational thinking still is nowhere near on top form...

She threatened to remove him from care over Christmas which social services and myself did NOT agree to and thankfully she listened to them in the end

She has now booked herself into outpatient rehab ''to get her son back'' which is GOOD but part of me feels uneasy as she thinks it is a speedy formula to get her son back , but she was still drinking up till very recently and throughout the whole 6 months he has been in foster care

Her parenting worker told her she HAS to be clean for at least 9 months before they even consider returning him and I agree with this

She is now saying that nomatter what anyone says she is removing her son from care in 11 weeks time as soon as she finishes the detox course

I still feel this is WAY too early as that is just step 1 of the recovery process which is potentially a long or even very long step 2 ie becoming permanently well

In the meantime as ever it is my Grandson and the rest of the family who are suffering

My other daughter has not seen her nephew for 6 months now and my Grandson has not seen any family members apart from his Mum and me for 6 months now and he was so happy with us , it is so unfair on him

I have reached the end of my patience with my daughter now as she is not rational at all , is still abusive and all over the place , has a new boyfriend who is on weekend leave from prison for murder ( great! ) and up to recently was still driving under the influence and putting the public and herself at risk

I think it may be time to go to court to try and get a special guardianship order for my Grandson , have really had enough now

We have a family group conference on Tuesday part of which is meant to be to discuss possible family members having my Grandson but she refuses to talk or enter into any conversation about this as she is ''taking him back in 11 weeks time'' even if she has to go to court

I have done everything I can to advise her to work with social services and not lose her parental responsibility for her own sake but she is not taking my advice at all

If she can't have him no-one can ( apart from the foster carer ) and the only thing she will consider is moving in with a family member with my Grandson which none of us will agree to ( due to the stress levels!! )

She wants everything on her terms ''or else'' but her or else is actually cutting off her nose to spite her face as if she worked patiently with social services , proved she was off the drink and weed long term , did the hair strand tests all coming back clear , then she would be in a MUCH better position and would gain everyones trust and have more privileges ie longer visits etc with her son , but she wants him back soon which I understand but it is too soon and not in my Grandsons best interests at all

My problem is I failed the assessment with SS who said they are going to look at it again but there is so much negative stuff about me already in the reports that I don't know if it can be overturned by them or whether they will even consider overturning the previous reports which did not work in my favour

All I have done is put one foot in front of the other slowly moving forward , staying calm and consistent and I actually love MY life ie my lovely calm and peaceful routined home life ( and Autistic children need peace , calm and order ) but I am not perfect and nor was my past which scares me but I just want to be given a chance and be given a chance to be heard

I have done some jolly good grieving and crying over my 3 losses last year and have made heaps of progress on a personal level but not sure if it is enough to work in my favour and my daughter will dish every bit of dirt she has on me and doesn't want me to have him as I am on the 'side' of the authorities , who unfortunately I still as yet don't feel are on my side , even though I have done everything I can and will continue to do little step by little step

Sorry it's long any help or advice would be greatly appreciated as I am not looking forward to the meeting on Tuesday but will stay calm and think of my Grandson throughout as he is everything this is about! :-) x

nannynoo Mon 02-Feb-15 07:32:10

It is actually nearly 8 months he has been in care

Nothing much has changed on my daughters end , verbally it seems things are getting better ( ie what she says ) but actually things are getting worse! :-(

Jane10 Mon 02-Feb-15 07:53:53

So sorry to hear all this. What a life for the poor little boy. I suppose the social services have to put his best interests first (quite right too in my opinion). However, its tough on you. Maybe the most you could hope for is to stay in contact with him? If you got custody the chances are that the risk is that your DD might try to snatch him from your house or really make life difficult for you. Living with that kind of stress and worry could be very hard. I send you my very best wishes though. It's a hard life

ayse Mon 02-Feb-15 07:55:02

Dear Nannynoo
You are doing so well. As you say your Grandson is the most important person and you are doing the very best for him in putting him top of your concerns. Perhaps if social services see your continual efforts to do the best for your DGS they will see you in a different light. It seems you have made huge strides for yourself and hopefully you will be able to build a strong relationship with DGS, whatever the circumstances. Good luck with the meeting on Tuesday
All the best Ayse

POGS Mon 02-Feb-15 10:13:09

Hi nannynoo

Still being honest and speaking from the heart I see.

I am so pleased to hear at least your own life has taken a few steps forward and you have a little peace in what sounds like a lovely new home. I guess the new 'woofer' get's to hear all your woes and I bet he/she has been a real therapy for you, excellent idea.

So you do have at least some contact with your little lad, albeit it as a contact center for a couple of hours. That must be a bitter sweet moment. As you say he is happy and obviously he is being cared for.

Please do not take any offence at my next point nannynoo. I hope your daughter does stay the course at rehab but I am of the opinion that she has still still chosen a destructive life style with her choice of boyfriend, heavens it sounds as though her self destruct button is still being pushed. She must know that her contact with him has to be at some stage taken into account and to be frank do you think your grandchild would be going back to a lifestyle he was taken away from for his protection.

I wish your daughter well but I fear she is not in the right place to complete detox but I hope she can prove everybody wrong and your grandchild does return to his mother but I know from experience this is just the start and there is still a mountain to climb but I am pleased you are at least in a happier place flowers

Eloethan Mon 02-Feb-15 12:05:42

As I understand it, your daughter will not be able to just remove your grandson from foster care and, given that her boyfriend has been in prison for murder, I would imagine social services would think it too much of a risk.

It's good that you are nicely settled in your new home and have a puppy. Obviously, the situation re your grandson is upsetting but do you think it might be the best thing for him to stay in foster care? I don't know what your age is, but perhaps social services feel that in the future you may find it too challenging to cope with an older child - especially as your daughter's erratic behaviour may create complications for you. Also, the teenage years can prove difficult without the extra challenge of autism.

I quite understand how much you miss your grandson but I think if you maintain regular contact he will look forward to and enjoy your visits and that will stand your relationship in good stead for the future.

nannynoo Mon 02-Feb-15 16:42:22

Thing is I would much rather he was back in the family ( the rest of us ) rather than in foster care as I really feel it will be best for him happiness and security wise

I am only 51 and am in good general health and happy to make that commitment to him , with support of course

The meeting tomorrow is an ideal opportunity to come together and agree on a plan which works in my DGS's best interests , unfortunately my DD is not in a ''rational'' place and you cannot reason with her even if it is in the best interests of her son

My DD does not know where I live and I plan on KEEPING it that way , unless she was long term clean and made great progress which she is not even on the path of right now

Social services are slowly hinting towards me having him but nothing concrete yet of course , the FGC co ordinator is all for me having him but it is up to SS at the end of the day , or the courts I suppose

I really think my DD is heading towards losing her parental responsibility and then she can't say I'm doing this or that no matter what anyone says as she will not have the right to

I am just going to carry on carrying on and focusing on my DGS I truly do hope it all works out for his sake too , there is a whole family here who truly care about him and the love and security of having his family around him I know he would thrive so much in that enviroment even if he has to change schools ( there is a very good one in my area with an Autism specific class which is a very good idea as he would get the specific teaching he needs rather than in a general moderate to severe general learning disabilities class )

I do want the best for him and I reckon if I am at peace , well , happy and in a permanently good place myself then I can offer him the happiness , peace and security he deserves too :-)

It starts with the adult , if adult is well and happy child will be well and happy in that enviroment , if not it is impossible to say the least ;-)

Just a pity my DD is going to ''block'' any input from the family and 2 other family members have come forward and offered to have him ie my other DD and his Aunt on his Dads side which is great and would at least mean he would have his family around him and cousins , Aunties , Uncles etc who he loves , everyone is suffering because of my DD's illness especially little man unfortunately as he is not really HAPPY where he is and he truly deserves to be happy and secure in his family enviroment and I do believe this is possible , just ''how'' it pans out and ''happens'' is the difficult thing to know

loopylou Mon 02-Feb-15 16:46:42

Will keep everything firmly crossed for your meeting tomorrow nannymoo x

nannynoo Mon 02-Feb-15 17:17:16

Thank you I will let you know how it goes

Am expecting fireworks and not pretty ones at that! ;-)

Thing is we have a new SW who has stepped in while the other one is unwell and she is a senior SW , very knowledgable etc and she has not MET my DD as yet , only spoken on the phone and that didn't go swimmingly either

So her first real face to face impression / meeting with my DD will be tomorrow and if my DD kicks of and refuses to discuss any of the family members having him and starts with the ''it was just a phase'' ''every case is different and mine is not as severe as others so I can have him back sooner'' erm stuff the SW is NOT going to be impressed!

She is not doing herself or unfortunately my DGS any favours at the moment

nannynoo Mon 02-Feb-15 22:53:59

I think the thing I am finding difficult 'pre meeting' is there is SO much potential to do some GOOD for my DGS tomorrow BUT only IF everyone agrees and comes up with a viable plan

There IS an option to foster care and for my DGS to be back in the family again , not in the way my DD would want or like , but what about what my DGS would want or like or even love???

I have a feeling it is going to be a frustrating and hugely disappointing meeting unless a real miracle happens , but people are free to make their own choices , and see sense , and be reasonable and rational and do what is ultimately best for their loved one even if it costs them or they have to wait longer than expected

At least my DD will see the family members who are rooting for her son but I feel she will alienate herself even more from us than she has done already as she ONLY wants us to 'root for her' by going along with and agreeing with all her decisions which we CANNOT do

NO ONE in that room tomorrow will agree to her taking her son home in 11 weeks time , would we COULD agree to is a family member having the care of my DGS and that is part of what the meeting is for , to come up with a viable option and work together to do what is best for my DGS

But to work together we have to be on the same page and my DD is definitely NOT unfortunately

So am preparing to leave the meeting feeling deflated and disappointed as the meeting could change my DGS's life for the better BUT unfortunately my DD refuses to see it that way and I will be VERY surprised if she complies!! :-(

nightowl Tue 03-Feb-15 01:02:52

Sorry to hear things have not progressed too far regarding your DGS nannynoo, but it seems like good news about your new home.

I guess from what you say that your DGS is currently accommodated with his mother's agreement, and this will be why she needs to agree where he should be placed. However from what you say it also sounds as though care proceedings may be considered if she continues to make unreasonable demands and associate with very unsuitable people, in which case her wishes will carry far less weight.

What I don't understand us why your contact with your DGS has to take place jointly with your daughter and why it needs to be supervised. I would be asking at the Family Group Conference to be considered for separate unsupervised contact, in your home if possible. This could be a gradually increasing programme which would be better for your DGS and would keep family ties strong and open for the possibility of future return to the family. Keep working with the social workers, as you have been doing, but I hope you have also got some good legal advice.

Good luck flowers

nannynoo Tue 03-Feb-15 20:21:34

Thank you Nightowl - I have NEVER understood why I have to have supervised contact with my DD

I have asked for separate contact visits but was told in that case I could only see him once a month as it is difficult to arrange with the foster carer , so of course I refused that..

I think SS will go to court for a care order

I am in shock right now and feeling quite drained after the meeting

The shock element was my DD didn't even bother to turn up!

No phone call or explanation , she is ''in rehab'' but still drinking , nothing has changed in fact it is getting worse and time is moving on and on for my GS still in care

We need to get him back into the security of the family so he can have real happiness in his life , he deserves that very much and so do we to be honest , we have not done anything wrong , everyone is doing their best for him , six family members turned up , all concerned for him and we worked together to get a plan in place and everyone in the room agreed he should be placed with me

I will continue to work with SS , show up to every visit with my GS , keep working on myself and enjoy my lovely home life in the meantime but time is a factor in this as they are going to still try and work with my DD even though it is not looking good for her right now - I suppose they want to give her ''every chance'' but in my eyes she has blown all her chances now and not even showing up to something as important as this does not look very good at all!!! shock

nightowl Tue 03-Feb-15 20:46:27

How disappointing for you and the other family members nannynoo and how frustrating for you that things are moving so slowly. It does sound as though the long term plan is going your way, so keep up your good work. Just a couple of thoughts - it is really not good enough for the social workers to say that contact is 'too difficult to arrange with the foster carer'. Foster carers are paid to do a job and are expected to facilitate contact for the benefit of the child. I have known situations where foster carers have to take a child to contact 6 days a week, every week. If they physically can't meet this expectation, then it is up to the social workers to help and provide practical support. Having said that, of course, it is vitally important at this stage that you do not enter into conflict with the social workers who do seem to be looking at you as the future preferred carer.

Can you ask if it is possible to continue sharing contact with your daughter and have the once monthly separate contact as well, unsupervised if possible, or was that not an option? I do hope you have some good advice, from a solicitor or at least from an organisation such as Grandparents Plus or Family Rights Group.

nannynoo Tue 03-Feb-15 22:50:28

Thanks Nightowl , contact centre seems to be the only option , the only option offered anyway

I am still recovering from the meeting as it was quite intense , everyone arrived stressed lol and it wasn't easy as we had a lot of ground to cover in a short space of time , we would not have got anywhere if my DD was there though as all focus would be on her reactions

It is a frustratingly slow process and all I can do is keep going forward , the thing I find difficult is I have made great strides in my life after 3 bereavements including the baby plus recovering myself from the burn out after living with my alcoholic DD for 5 months , plus the emotional impact all this has had on me re my DD's drinking plus my DGS being separated from me which is hard but I deal / have dealt with all of this along with standing firm with my DD , ignoring the abuse and not budging , concentrating on my own life and well being which will stand me in good stead for the future but nothing is recognised or acknowledged or even noticed it seems , that is the really frustrating part , am doing my utmost best , doing ''the work'' it takes on myself , facing and dealing with every difficult emotion and keeping myself well and happy which will be good for my DGS , have looked into schools , bring fun things to do with my DGS to the visits eg finger puppets and nursery rhyme cds with his favourite songs on , there is a microwave in the room and am going to bring the ingredients for some sugar free fat free microwave cakes to cook together on the visit as he loves cooking , buy the latest books they are using with him at school , am active on all websites and Facebook pages to do with Autism and Autism groups , have even started campaigns for the rights of Autistic children and adults , have actually worked FOR social services in the past looking after a child whose parent needed extra care and they paid my wages , have worked in a family centre as a project worker supporting families who are finding things difficult and need the extra preventative care , have put myself forward as a volunteer for a carers group for children with disabilities and this was before my Grandson was born but it is all ignored or they don't know about it and the work I did in the past was not even written down

I don't even feel acknowledged and although everyone in the family ( apart from my DD ) are in agreement to me having him no one sees the hidden things I do or have done or the work I have done on myself , the boundaries I have set and kept with my DD , all the things I do and have done for my DGS , it all seems ignored

I am looking into things like private dance lessons for him as he loves dancing and is very good at it and has a talent for it

I want to support him with reading and writing as many high functioning people with Autism do go on to read and write fully , basically I want him to THRIVE and know he WILL thrive and reach his full potential in my care but PROVING it is hard as I feel pre-judged to be honest!! :-(

nightowl Tue 03-Feb-15 23:42:00

It does sound very hard, but as you say, you just need to keep on doing everything you are doing now. I admire your persistence through what must have been very difficult times. Hopefully it will all pay off and everyone will come to see how much you have to offer your DGS. When you said that everyone in the meeting agreed the plan that your DGS should eventually live with you, I hope that included the social workers?

nannynoo Tue 03-Feb-15 23:44:47

They say hard work pays off so here is hoping!!!

It has NOT been easy , one of us is not facing up to things and one deals with the harsh reality of things every day but because I DO deal with it it means my wellbeing is intact which I do hope shows in the end xx

Even in the 'natural' swing of things or the ying and yang it must bring progress in the end x

nightowl Tue 03-Feb-15 23:52:55

Keep letting off steam on here if it helps, and one day (soon) I hope you will be able to tell us that your DGS is with you, where he belongs.


nannynoo Wed 04-Feb-15 00:00:23

( Unfortunately not Nightowl , I didn't even want to share it with everyone but no , they said they had to assess someone else as well as mine did not go well previously , so an Aunt came forward as my other DD had to back out as she could not make the commitment as she is planning on having another baby , which is actually what I was hoping for ie her looking to have another baby!! )

I was hoping they would go ahead with the plan as it was ie for me to have him but no , the Aunt had to come forward as an alternative BUT I know my DGS will NOT be happy living there even if the bonus is keeping him from being adopted I want him to be HAPPY

That is the difficult thing for me , they did not give the original plan the thumbs up and although not a complete thumbs down on it's own , on it's own was not good enough and they needed an alternative 'option'

I just have to accept it and not bang my head on the wall lol but then keep carrying on as I am carrying on and without hostility or jealousy or pride as they asked the Aunt what her job was and what her qualifications were but they NEVER asked me those questions and when I told them previously they didn't even write it down or make any note of it which they did with hers , but what can I do apart from keep my end focused and 'clean' and hope for the very best smile

nannynoo Thu 05-Feb-15 22:23:39

I am doing more than enough my end , just hope it pays off in the end grin

nightowl Fri 06-Feb-15 00:07:40

That is such a pity nannynoo.

Do you have a copy of the report of your assessment? You need that in order to be able to challenge or work on the issues that went against you. I have pm'd you with some legal stuff.

Iam64 Fri 06-Feb-15 18:54:26

Nannynoo, it's good to read how much stronger you are feeling and about your continued love and commitment to your grandson.

Voluntary care can be useful in the short term, when a parent needs respite or is ill but I don't believe it should drag on for 8 months with so little progress from the only person with parental responsibility (his mum) making inconsistent, superficial engagement with the help being offered. If a child of 8 can't go home to his mum, his extended family will be the first place to look for an alternative. From my days in sw, I know many grandparents or relative carers who had some tough times when younger, have been able to move on and acknowledge some of their decisions/child care were less than optimum. It doesn't mean they can't provide the best care for their grandchildren.

I suggest you see a lawyer, someone experienced in family matters and whose name is included on the Children Panel flowers

nannynoo Tue 10-Feb-15 09:05:30

I don't want it to drag on either , but it is...

I want to work WITH SS but there has to be some sort of engagement between us and there is NOTHING

I was told they are going to look at my assesment again , but it was really bad as in everything I said was used against me

He LOVED staying at my house and when he was there for a weekend after not being round for a long time he didn't want to go anywhere he was so happy where he was , I suggested the park ''no'' he didn't want to go , fun fair , he didn't want to go even the biggest incentive MACDONALDS and it was ''no'' he was so HAPPY just being at Nannys house , so content to be there and playing happily I said this to SS and in the report they said I would not be able to get him to go to school in that case!

They said I could not have him till I moved and I had not even found a move yet which takes months for the paperwork to go through , let alone finding the right place so I told them I wouldn't move in that case and would stay put and in the report it said I got too emotional and made rash decisions

It said I would go into a depression if separated from my DD , when in fact I feel better when I have no contact with her!

It said the bereavements meant I would not be in a fit state to care for him but I had ongoing bereavement counselling every week and have dealt with the grief very well and have been signed off now

It said I would be too soft with my DD and let her manipulate me which I DON'T and won't and never will as I always stand my ground and always will!

It said I walked out and left my DGS which was true but I was suffering with burnout by then after living with my alcoholic DD for 5 months to keep my DGS safe

It did not even sound like ME they were writing about - I didn't recognise ''myself'' ie the real me in the report , it was like it was written about another person

I did e-mail and contest the main points but got no reply

It seems they have ''made their mind up about me'' already and that is it , but I have made some very real progress in all areas and I just want a chance to SHOW them that

I am committed to my DGS for the LONG HAUL , good days , bad days , exhausting days , difficult days , brilliant days and all being days of progress in one way or another , am willing to support him 100% in all areas of his life including his education , help teach him to read and write , encourage his talents eg music and dance by taking him to classes every week etc

I want him to thrive and reach his full potential and am willing to do what it takes

I just need to be given a chance

I didn't want to fight in court against a negative report being submitted to them by SS as I want them on my side and RECOMMENDING an SGO if it came to that , but a simple kinship care arrangement with continual monitoring would suit me and the family FINE , with contact centre visits till my DD is long term clean , if that happens

Its like I have the label stamped on me ''not good enough'' when I KNOW I am MORE than ''good enough'' and the care my DGS will get will be more than good enough if I am given the CHANCE , it is not even ''taking a chance'' I don't know how much more I need to do as I know my capabilities it just seems proving it is impossible as everything I say is used against me , even the actual positive stuff , was told I was too close to my DD and now we are not close and barely talking am told ''we want you to get on''

If we don't get on it is not seen as good , if we do get on it is seen as too close and I will be too soft with her - I know a balance is good but it is difficult to have a balanced relationship with an alcoholic and we USED to be close but it didn't seem like a bad thing at the time because we were a close family UNIT which we are not any more due to the alcoholism , so we cannot ''be close'' while she is not in a stable place anyway but if I withdraw that is used against me as well but I am going to keep my distance while she is unwell and not in a rational place for the sake of my DGS's safety!!!

If I don't hear from them in the next couple of weeks I think I will have to write a clear and concise e-mail stating my CURRENT position and asking to be looked at again as my DGS's carer!!

Any advice or support would be helpful please! smile x

Anya Tue 10-Feb-15 09:13:01

You need legal advice. I see Nightowl has PMd some to you.

nannynoo Tue 10-Feb-15 09:19:02

P.S I got him ready for school all the time previously , had him for weeks at a time and got him up and ready for school every day while my DD was on holiday or not functioning well

The school reported he was well presented etc every day which I did mention to the SW but it was ignored

I wrote in an email that getting him to go to the park on a Saturday afternoon is not COMPULSORY but school IS so ''of course'' I would be able to get him up and ready for school as he knows he has to go to school on weekdays ( and it is not as if I had not done it before and they know that ) but that e-mail was ignored too

It is rather frustrating and it feels like I am fighting a brick wall sad

I just SO want them to ''let up'' and see things as they are and SEE the progress I have made and acknowledge the safeguarding measures I have put in place ie my DD does not know where I live ( which I still get stick from her for but I don't CARE ) and also see that I live a peaceful orderly life with a good routine already which my DGS would fit happily into , in a calm , homely house , everything in order even the dog lol my DGS's room is perfect so is the area and neighbourhood etc , there is a special needs school which has an 'Autism specific' class which would be IDEAL for him and I really feel he will thrive there and do good in that class as in a general 'moderate to severe learning difficulties' school it covers a WIDE range of disabilities and in an Autism specific class he will get the teaching he needs tailor made for his specific needs!

FarNorth Tue 10-Feb-15 09:34:00

I've met people in positions of authority who are like that too. It's so upsetting.
Did you get the PM from nightowl? You really need to get some legal help with this.