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It has gone to the legal stage re my Grandson

(102 Posts)
nannynoo Fri 09-Jun-17 17:38:41

I thought it best to continue on this section as many of you are aware of my situation or should I say ongoing situation! lol

Had an urgent call from the social worker today to say they had a legal planning meeting re my Grandson who has been living with me for 2 years ( me as his kinship foster carer )

They feel it has been dragging as he has been in care a total of 3 years ( it took me a year to fight for him to be placed with me! ) so it is now going to court but for a care order where social services will have parental responsibility

She said she would be recommending he stay with me but that we have to have a family group conference so that 'if my health fails' there is someone else in place to care for him

Logically that makes sense but the worrier in me worries he will be removed and placed elsewhere now sad sad

Turns out my daughter is still drinking just not as heavily as before but I had my suspicions even though she always presented sober at contact visits with her son

They are doing a parenting assesment on her and contact is to be upped to 3 times a week!!! at a contact centre my Grandson hates and he needs his routine after school which will be totally disrupted!!!

I told the sw this and she said she put that to the solicitors and managers etc but they shut her down and were even talking about 4 times a week!

I understand they have a duty to properly assess my daughter but with the current news she is still drinking and is refusing to go to counselling it is not looking good for her!

My concern though is for my GRANDSON who loves his chilling out time after school and I love the calm routine we have as well which is about to go to pot now ( poor little man )

We have a meeting on Monday morning and I will definitely be voicing my concerns about the contact centre which will probably be 2 to 3 times a week after school God knows for how many hours! I understand they have to write notes about my daughter and how she presents herself and interacts with my Grandson and how often she shows up etc but what about what it puts him through??? sad

Plus I need to know they are serious about offering me guardianship if my daughter fails the assessment which I still suspect they will do but I am still worried as they 'voiced concerns' about his dental appointments which are actually all up to date and have actually been fighting to get the treatment he needs as his regular dentist was refusing to remove his baby tooth which has been loose for nearly 2 years now so I got my doctor to refer him to the dental hospital and it's not my fault it is taking them so long to offer him an appointment as it can take approx 6 months but why are they picking any holes in my care of him when everyone else supposed to be happy with it

Plus poor little man has still been wetting himself nearly every day since his Mum told him he has his room at her new house she has recently moved to and his behaviour has become more difficult so with this new change on top of it God knows what sort of meltdowns etc we are in for as how much is this poor boy meant to cope with? sad xx

I also cannot afford the transport 3 x per week as he is not good on public transport so we have to cab it but they have already said there is nothing they can do about that! x

hildajenniJ Fri 09-Jun-17 18:18:57

I do sympathise nannynoo. Having grandsons with ASD's I know only too well how important daily routine is to them. I'm sorry I don't have any advice, but keep up the good work and carry on fighting for the rights of that lovely little boy. 💐💐

nannynoo Fri 09-Jun-17 18:41:25

Thank you hildajenniJ

He also picks up on my stress and anxiety which of course makes his anxiety worse but after all the news I have had today I feel wound up and in shock so am going to have to do my best to chill myself right out or it will be a difficult weekend which of course I don't want but he 'senses' when things are wrong / changing and he does not like it and I DON'T BLAME HIM and I don't like it too! lol but as long as everything works out alright in the end and he has a stable permanent home at the end of it I reckon that will help him heaps emotionally as he does not know if he is coming or going right now ( literally ) and the increased contact with his Mum 3 times a week will probably confuse him even more as he doesn't quite know why ''he has a room at Mummys house'' now , but am angry at my daughter for lying to the whole family and telling us she has stopped drinking for the past 7 months when she hasn't!!! but I had a gut feeling her 'recovery' was not a genuine one sad

I only found out today she has still been drinking and when i spoke to her today she definitely seemed under the influence which she has not for a long while when I have talked to her but it seems she has been keeping it under wraps of course angry

I had a gut feeling about it so it's not too much of a shock tbh , just hate the deception of it all sad xx

With poor little man in the middle of it but will do everything I can to keep him safe and well x

maudgonne Fri 09-Jun-17 19:49:25

New member so haven't seen your previous posts.
I am also a grandparent kinship carer, for 10 years now, to an 11 year old grandson with SEN.
Is your GS a LAC or do you have parental responsibility for him ?
I have a residence order, now called CAO, which does not take away the parent's PR but states that GS must live at my address with me.
I got it myself in court and it was easy but then my daughter was in no position to oppose it.
Social services may press you to get a SGO. If you are receiving an allowance from them I would be very wary of this as I have heard from other kinship Carers that although they say they will continue the allowance after the SGO it is frequently stopped. This does not happen with a CAO.
The contact does not sound reasonable and I would suggest you contact
www.frg.org.uk/
and
www.grandparentsplus.org.uk/
I have found both of them very helpful.
I hope you manage to sort things out for your GS and am happy for you to PM me if I can help in any way.

nannynoo Sat 10-Jun-17 01:16:38

My Grandson is a LAC and my daughter still has PR at present

Do you get an allowance with a residence order as well as regular respite etc?

The contact is part of her upcoming parenting assessment , they want to see if she will fail to turn up or turn up under the influence of alcohol etc as once a week is not enough to fully show this they said and they want to see if she will be consistent as if still drinking she will probably miss visits etc or turn up intoxicated like she did before , it is like they are giving her the chance to fail ( along with the chance to pass ) but it does not bode well anyway as she is still currently drinking , refusing counselling or help and has not fully made the lifestyle changes necessary to parent my Grandson successfully so it feels like a 'test' which they pretty much expect her to fail so they can then go to court with it tbh

They are not considering the impact on my GS in all this contact 'testing' though sad but when the sw tried to make this point they ''shut her down'' and she said they were talking about FOUR times a week at first!!

TBH it feels like they are trying to set her up to fail as part of the plan and as she has not stopped drinking she is very likely to fail even though she is holding down a job successfully , saying that when my daughter puts her mind to something she will try anything to 'trick' the authorities and her family to get him back but with hair strand testing as well etc hopefully it will all come out in the wash and they have done this all before it seems as she said it was common practice but still not fair on a little boy with Autism let alone me

I am upset with my daughter as although I had a feeling she was being deceptive it still did not protect me from the emotional shock today of the reality of hearing she is definitely still drinking when she said she has stopped for the past 7 months and everything else APART from my gut feeling was pointing that way , it hurts even to be deceived and betrayed like that but trust is something it is hard to do with an alcoholic and betrayal and deceit seem to go with the territory but it still does not soften the emotional impact of finding out she has been lying for the past 7 months and the rest of the family are more in shock than I am as they weren't getting the gut feeling that I was , so at least that prepared me a bit for what I heard today at least

My friend pointed out today that there was a picture of my daughters new kitchen with a litre bottle of vodka on the side , if my daughter was truly in recovery and had stopped drinking that would NOT BE THERE!! I don't know why she thought people would not notice even though I didn't but my friend has vision problems and zooms in to see all pictures hence spotting the bottle! wink lol

I do feel betrayed though and it is not a nice feeling and I know her sister feels the same as well as angry as up till now no one in the family has accepted I might be raising my Grandson for life!!

Whereas I myself have got used to the idea even though I was hoping at first that my daughter would recover but sadly she is an alcoholic and not a recovering alcoholic sad and deep down I knew it xx

I just need to come to terms with it really but will let you know if there are any updates etc x

Grandma2213 Sat 10-Jun-17 01:22:23

nannynoo I have followed you for some time and admire your tenacity. I hope that you can stay strong for your DGS who needs the stability your care provides for him. I have no experience of your problems so can not offer any useful practical advice. I just hope the authorities can see sense and take note of what this little boy really needs and what you are providing for him. Thinking of you both. xx

Grannyknot Sat 10-Jun-17 11:56:16

nannynoo I hope this helps to explain why your daughter is still drinking - there is no "magic bullet" that fixes alcohol dependence and many people will "slip and slide" their way to abstinence in a "three steps forward and two steps back" kind of way, please remain hopeful because there is evidence of an accumulative positive effect with repeated attempts at achieving sobriety.

I am not excusing her behaviour just offering some explanation.

Good luck with your meetings, it makes me bristle when officialdom interferes with common sense... flowers

maudgonne Sat 10-Jun-17 14:05:50

I don't get any allowance or support from SS.
Due to my GS being put at severe risk I had to take over his care suddenly.
As soon as I did I contacted SS but they said as he was already in my care it was a private arrangement and they didn't have to be involved.
It's a loophole they use with many kinship Carers to avoid paying.
I am not knocking social workers by saying this. I have a family member who is one and I know what distressing financial constraints they have to work under.
If the child is placed by SS then they have to pay even if a CAO is in place. Not sure though if the amount is as much as you will be receiving now. I know it is far less than a foster carer receives but varies from county to county.
They often press for a SGO and I have heard of many cases where payment is stopped altogether after a short time. SS have little or no involvement after a SGO is granted.
You can google the difference between CAO and SGO as I am not entirely sure. I know SGO gives more rights to the person who has it.
I never applied for one as there is so much evidence against my daughter that I know the CAO would never be overturned in court.
You are in a very difficult situation. If you are dependent on the allowance you receive from SS then I would take advice before doing anything.
This sounds as if all I am interested in is money. Far from the truth but anything I received would be used to improves GSs life and future.
He does get DLA, tax credits and child benefit so although a struggle we manage.
Luckily I have very supportive children and although they can't help at present as they are working, paying mortgages or rent and have their own young children, I know that whenever necessary GS will have a home with them.

rosesarered Sat 10-Jun-17 21:35:07

nannynoo it never ends for you does it? Could your DD see your DGS at your house, to save cab fares ( tell them you have no money cabs are expensive) or will a home visit not be allowed? Sounds as if your DGS, whilst wanting to see his Mum, does not want to leave you and live there.Is the boyfriend with a history still living with your DD, did you tell SS about him? Your DGS may be worrying about that man( quite rightly!) The best thing for him is that he lives with you, but doesn't lose contact with his Mum, and she must really want to see him of course, even though she is not abke to oarent him properly.You have taken a lot on, and I do hope it will be alright for you in the end, and him of course.smile flowers

trisher Sat 10-Jun-17 22:44:36

nannymoo you are doing a brilliant job! really don't have much experience of the care system, but I do know that there is a thing called the UN charter on the rights of the child. This says that children should be allowed to contribute to any decision taken that will affect them dependant upon their age and ability. It sounds as if your GS has a real idea about what he wants and someone should be listening to him. Perhaps you could ask your social worker to talk to him and really listen to his worries. It doesn't seem right that he should be the subject of some sort of 'experiment' to see if your daughter is able to parent him. Stay strong you are obviously his rock and he needs you.

IngeJones Sun 11-Jun-17 09:22:39

See, we told you that the social services would realise their mistake sooner or later. And now, because you cooperated, they are still backing him living with you smile

legray22 Sun 11-Jun-17 09:23:22

Why are you not encouraging your daughter in her sobriety? She is your child and I'm afraid, it is your duty to help her, not hinder her.

Jaycee5 Sun 11-Jun-17 09:42:50

It is a shame that they cannot just do spot checks on her between contact visits without bringing the child into it. Sometime systems start to over-ride their basic purpose.

legray22 nannynoo hasn't gone into detail about her relationship with her daughter but alcoholics can't always be helped and she hasn't to consider her own health and that or her grandson first. Your comment was very judgmental and harsh. There is a limit to what people can cope with and what they can achieve however much they may want to.

Jaycee5 Sun 11-Jun-17 09:43:16

HAS to consider (obviously) not hasn't.

MawBroon Sun 11-Jun-17 09:45:20

I can only assume legray22 that you are new to this thread and have not read or understood what the situation is.
To suggest nannynoo (or indeed ANY parent of an alcoholic, recovering or not) is failing in their duty to encourage sobriety us unhelpful, ill-informed, cruel and crass. As for accusing her of encouraging her in her drinking - WTF do you get that idea from?
There but for grace of god etc but there will be other grans who can tell it like it is, and your observation beggars belief angry

radicalnan Sun 11-Jun-17 10:25:56

Poor you all the worry for you D and then again for your grandson. I found working in SS that the more you do, the more they make you jump through hoops, and sometimes playing it cool is useful, so if there are to be increased visits etc then I would be asking to be paid any costs in relation to those, I am unsure about what you do get paid to cover his upkeep (we know you don't want it)but do make sure you get what you are entitled to.

Do you have legal cover on your household insurance? it won't cover court proceedings but you can ususally get telephone advice free if you have it.

Belinda49 Sun 11-Jun-17 10:26:24

All I can say is thank goodness for Gransnet as it must be a great comfort to have so much support in times of trouble. Sounds as though you are doing a great job Nannymoo. Keep fighting.

ajanela Sun 11-Jun-17 10:44:17

Nannymoo, I think in discussing this you are answering your own questions. Not sure SS are setting your daughter up to fail but they are trying to get a true picture of your daughter's situation. They can't say once an alcoholic she can't control her addiction,or what would be the point of all the time and effort by many agencies in trying to help people with addictions. You say they want to make a plan in case of your ill health. If they have evidence that your daughter cannot care for him she won't be part of that plan at this time hence their plan to try and see how your daughter and GS are together.

The dentist, you just state the situation re his dental appointment at the meeting, maybe ask the SW to check it out with his dentist, and there will be no problem.

You do sound uncooperative in parts of your post which might explain Legray22's post but I am sure this is due to your highly stressed state which as you say effects your GS who you love and care about.

How can you reduce your stress? Have a nice time with family, your GS and friends and refuse to discuss it until needed. SS are checking your daughters alcohol levels with hair tests so you saying you think she had been drinking or there was a bottle in her kitchen is a waste of your emotional energy and not evidence so try to step away from this. I say this as you need to be calm for your GS. As a worrier myself I know this is not easy to do but I know that doing something I enjoy especially with friends and family helps. Hope all calms down soon.

Blinko Sun 11-Jun-17 10:45:17

Nannynoo I can't offer any better advice than those already posted (apart from legray, obv.) Seems to me you're doing a fantastic job trying to keep things together for the little chap, despite the obstacles that keep coming your way. Hugs and flowers from me.

Diddy1 Sun 11-Jun-17 10:47:12

You are a wonderful Grandmother, my heart goes out to you and the little man who is caught up in this, I sincerely hope everything turns out well, and GS can stay in your loving care.
Sending hugs to you both

Skweek1 Sun 11-Jun-17 10:52:50

When DS was coming up to his 6th birthday, SS decided because he had Aspergers, it must be due to bad parenting and took him into care. The social worker hated us and tried to have him adopted, but forgot to mention this to head of SS, who was shocked and angry and promptly stopped him having any child care responsibilities. We eventually managed to get DS placed with my MIL where he stayed for the next 7 years, when he finally came home to us. She did eventaully get financial help with him, but we've had to rebuild appropriate relationship with him, regarding one another as best friends rather than parent/grown-up child. I can't sympathise enough - it's sheer unadulterated hell, but sounds like you're getting the best deal you can at present. Best wishes and keep your head above water - you're clearly doing an amazing job.

quizqueen Sun 11-Jun-17 11:28:22

If these contact times and venue are to be for the benefit of the mother then surely she needs to contribute towards the cost by sharing the transport logistics. Also, if you hope to get full custody one day your discipline needs to be good enough to take your grandchild on the bus and not expect to pay out for a taxi.

Suze56 Sun 11-Jun-17 11:33:09

Apologies, I haven't seen your previous threads, however this does seem to have been going on for a very long time before legal gate keeping and a comprehensive parenting assessment being undertaken. (I say that as someone who worked in front line children's services for over 20 years). I do understand your concerns about the impact of all this on your grandson, however if the evidence to make permanent plans for him is not in place, it will have to be done. As a Kinship cared do you have your own SW who can offer you additional support during this process and the court proceedings?

With regard to the possibility/likelihood of your daughter not turning up regularly and being under the influence of alcohol:
- If your daughter is under the influence, will the contact session go ahead or will she be turned away?
- Would your daughter agree to be breathalysed as part of the assessment / before contact sessions?
- Would it be possible for your daughter to attend the contact venue early enough to check that she is in a fit state for the visit to go ahead (with a cut off time to cancel if she has not arrived) so that you do not bring your grandson unnecessarily?

starbird Sun 11-Jun-17 11:43:45

It seetms very unfair for a young child to have to go to a contact centre after school when all he wants to do is go home and relax. He will not be at his best which is also unfair on his mother. Is there any chance that it can be arranged to start in the summer holidays so that he will not be tired, and the routine will be set for when he goes back to school? The bus ride will add to his stress but if they can start this during the holidays he will have a chance to get used to it as the busses will not be very busy.
Do you have documentation about his dental visits that you can produce? The dentist receptionist mught be able to produce a printout for you?
My thoughts are with you in this difficult situation.

TriciaF Sun 11-Jun-17 11:55:43

Nannynoo - like Trisher I think you're doing a brilliant job.
I don't know the current legislation about children in situations like yours, but it could be that it's part of a routine review system. (There used to be a SW on here who knew about all this.)
From what you say, your Social Worker supports you, and has a good idea of what's the right thing to do for the good of your boy.