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last resort arrangement order

(63 Posts)
suzisuzz13 Tue 18-Jul-17 09:51:41

We are devistated, I don't know where to start. But need help,my daughter has got with this man who is very controlling to the point that he isolates her from everyone and then disappears leaving her to cope alone. She has had two Lil angels in quick consesion eg 11 months apart. Aged 2 and 1.
Whilt isolated with two very young children and with a history of drug abuse she turned to alcohol 24/7 and began huffing butane gas, eg 10 a day to cut a very long story short.In August 2016 We and my other daughter were given the girls by social services and a care plan was put in place. The girls flourished and began to thrive and interact with many things as we cared for them. We were told the girls would be returned about January 2018, if all plans had been achieved by the parents, eg drug free parenting classes ect.
Social services supported my daughter in getting a bigger council house and we thought things were going to plan.
However, he stopped me and gran gran from attending meetings and started making up stuff about us and the daughter that was actually caring for the girls. He has narsistic tendencies, which the social worker has not noted and has been taken in by him and has supported all his wishes. At the time we had the girls so I knew they were safe with us. They started having contact alone for couple hrs couple times a week, and on the day of my daughters move to a 3bed house, we asked them to have the girls from 10am to 4pm in order that they would not witness the disruption of the move. All good moving forward looking forward to more room and a big garden for them to play in. This was May 5th 2017, a day that distroyed me, half way through the move we had a phone call saying the girls would not be coming back as the parents had actioned their parental rights and refused to return them. Social Services said their hands were tied and could only support them.
This is where it all went horribly wrong. Of course we still needed to see the girls but gran gran and myself were refused any contact, ss supported this!!! And my daughter and her husband and son who had cared for them for 9 mths were only allowed supervised contact.
We have tried to get contact but each time they and social services have put a wall up. And still will not give reasons as to why they allowed those angels to be dragged from pillar to post without giving valid reasons. The sw just goes along with their father as he's very good at manipulation and cover ups. But we need to know they are safe and that she will not be isolated again and history repeat it's self. So we have filed an arrangement order with the case being heard 29th Aug, I have prepared the papers as best I can and we are doing this alone without a solicitor. But we are all so worried for the girls and it can't come soon enough in the hope the judge and caffcass do the right thing and let's our bond with the girls continue.
A. I feel their is an obligation by ss to facilitate contact or to maintain it, am I right ?
B.Ifa care plan is in place can it just be disregarded at the wishes of those with pr even though there was clearly a need for it to be followed ?
C. I have asked for contact every Sunday and once a mth a fri to Sunday stay over and to give our continued support should it all go belly up again.Will we get this?

As you can see we are all so worried and know nothing, I'm trying to get as many reports and statements from police health visitor ect to back up us having contact, as the court have asked the sw for her recommendations which we feel will be no contact as they are being manipulated by the father. We as their maternal grandparents really want to be part of their lives and mix the sweethearts so so much, emotionally we are all wrecks so we dread to think how this has affected the girls, they must be traumatised, but all we get is there are no professional concerns, which tell us nothing... Please help with any information that can help us to see our angels. Thank you.... Nanny and gran gran xxx7

yggdrasil Tue 18-Jul-17 11:38:18

Get a solicitor

vampirequeen Tue 18-Jul-17 12:46:01

Definitely get legal advice.

M0nica Tue 18-Jul-17 13:17:05

Make sure any solicitor you see specialising in child custody proceedings. if you are worried about going to a solicitor, visit your local CAB (Citizen's Advice Bureau).

Norah Tue 18-Jul-17 14:14:41

You are asking for contact every Sunday and once a mth a fri to Sunday stay over and to give our continued support, quite a large request. You might want to reconsider. And hire a solicitor.

nannynoo Thu 20-Jul-17 03:19:55

Hi Suzie , my heart goes out to you but you are not alone

If you can manage to read through some of my ( long lol ) posts it will throw up similar concerns and a journey which makes me understand what you are going through and it must be hell without your girls sad

1/ Stay calm ( hard I know and always something I am working on as there is such an emotional attachment to our Grandchild/ren )

2/ Do everything you can to work WITH social services , e-mail them stating all your reasons for wanting contact , the benefit you feel it will have for your Grandchildren and that you want to be a consistent source of support in their life especially 'if' things go ''wrong'' again ( which there is every chance of tbh!! )

3/ See if you can get legal aid for a solicitor who can speak to them on your behalf , the solicitor can even help mediate and get answers from them to any questions you have

4/ List in the e-mail all the positive things you have done for the children up till now and that you will be there to continue to care for the children 'if needed' and that you have always supported contact with birth parents and were working with them towards reunification but that you want to be considered if things did go wrong again and simply have contact with them ( personally I don't think a judge would disallow it!! )

I am like a rat in a drainpipe sometimes not knowing which way to go lol but I have recently got a solicitor not to fight against the authorities but to ASSIST me in working with them as they often ( almost always ) ignore / do not respond to my e-mails but I know they will respond to my solicitor and she can get them to answer all the unanswered questions they have left me with re my Grandsons future

You can always say you are willing to be considered as the children's guardians ( or your other daughter ) in future IF things do not go well with the birth parents and that you want to work in unison with them and be part of the plan for the Grandchildrens future and therefore still be involved in their lives

The kids are probably going through a hellish time emotionally as well but you can bet their Dad will not be reporting to SS that they are missing you and asking for you etc sad

The emotional well being of the children HAS to be taken into account but sadly it not always is sad sad so you have to do your best to fight for them in a non aggressive , calm , co-operative way as if you get SS back up it is hard to come back from that and takes a long time which you ( and I ) do not have

My daughter is currently pulling the wool over everyones eyes including her 10 year old son who lives with me but at least SS say that IF my daughter removed her son from my care they would go straight to court for an interim care order and they are going for a care order currently alongside my daughters parenting assessment etc but no matter what happens I will always be here for little man and I KEEP telling SS that and they should be pleased about that as they like people in the family to come forward to take care of the children ( plus it saves them money lol ) especially if there is good care involved which is productive in the long run ( children do better with family rather than non family )and you deserve a chance to dispute what the birth Father is saying about you and at least in court you will be able to do so..

It is a stressful journey , one that I am still on and long for the day little one is SETTLED and SECURE again as my daughter getting a 2 bedroom place ( she was not TOLD to she just went ahead and did it while still drinking etc ) and talking / hinting that he will be ''coming home soon'' has disrupted him and he does not know if he is coming or going bless him and he has Autism so it is even harder for him do sort out and express his emotions verbally as he only has partial speech x

nannynoo Thu 20-Jul-17 03:26:28

The poor kids in the middle of all this sad sad xx

And well done for going to court as someone has to fight for them especially as the birth Father is being so manipulative and deceitful!!

( I keep waiting for everything to come out in the wash but my daughter is holding up her act and can probably continue to do so for a long time which is my worry too!!! ) x

nannynoo Thu 20-Jul-17 03:32:25

I do still feel that this is also a matter of a waiting game to see how it all turns out and always having a home ready and set for the little one/s ALWAYS flowers

I hope it all works out for you , and me , and vitally the children ( my horrible worry is that with the authorities it doesn't always mean that it WILL ie that the kids end up in the best , most secure place sad sad )

I feel the will hit the fan and you will be on call again at some point tbh and possibly the same with me if little man was returned smile smile xxx

nannynoo Thu 20-Jul-17 03:35:42

My heart and my home will always be ready as plan B anyway xx

Let us know how you get on as this can be a very LONG journey for sure! x

suzisuzz13 Sun 23-Jul-17 22:13:11

Thank you so much it's helped to know I'm not court date is 29th Aug and cafcass have been in touch to do their initial report, I've got the police sending a report on visits to the house and their recommendations, also health visitor support letter now gonna see what her and the girls Dr can support us with, re hospital attendance that we forced as the girls were so I'll. ... it just feels that they have forgotten the past he'll those girls went through and think it's all fairy dust and rainbows now... my god I just feel like screaming but I won't. .. solicitors cost money so I will be doing this myself, I'll keep you updated... and I wish you well in your situation... grandbabies never ask for anything but care and love, the ss and courts should see that xx

Elizabeth1 Mon 24-Jul-17 10:10:27

flowers flowers

radicalnan Mon 24-Jul-17 10:28:31

Have you got legal cover on your household insurance? People often have it but forget, they can give you some advice but won't appear for you.

I am pretty sure that you will find a group of people in similar situation on line of you look and you may get support and advice from them.

SS are a mystery to most people I am afraid. If you can afford a solicitor then please get one, who specialises in this sort of thing.

Good luck with it all.

Jaycee5 Mon 24-Jul-17 10:33:41

Grandparents have rights and unfortunately, as other people above have said, you have to get a specialist solicitor. Unfortunately it is more difficult to get legal aid now and these cases are not cheap but there seems little chance of just reaching agreement.
At least find out your rights and what is involved.
It is a long time now since I was involved in the law but I was involved over 15 years ago in two cases where the grandparents went to court to assert their rights, one for access and the other for custody and in both cases they won. The fact that you looked after the children for so long is very much in your favour. Timing is a factor, the more recently you looked after them the better. Enforcing access rights is a different issue but at least with a court order, social services could not obstruct you.

Belinda49 Mon 24-Jul-17 11:35:02

Would it be possible to go on a 'Crowd Funding' page to raise enough money for a Solicitor? People seem to go on the site for much more trivial reasons than that and are successful.

BAGGYGRANNY Mon 24-Jul-17 12:05:04

What a mess for you.
As others have said ,TRY to stay calm and get a solicitor x

Tessa101 Mon 24-Jul-17 12:08:25

I'll leave all the advise to the other posters who have experience of your situation. I know you said you are not enlisting a solicitor but if things change and you need to,be very wary as my friend has so far paid £20,000 to fight for her son to see his son and they are loosing the case as caffcass are not prepared to see the bigger picture.Very sad time for all.

starlily106 Mon 24-Jul-17 12:18:06

Have you asked Social Services if the children have a guardian ad litem? When I was waiting to get custody of my dgd, she had a solicitor who acted on her behalf, and not for her mother, my son, or me. He only acted for dgd, finding out what was best for her. I didn't have to pay for this. Courts and S.S. have to listen closely to what is said by this g.a.l, and are guided by what they say. Please ask S.S. about this, as it may help you.

Sugarpufffairy Mon 24-Jul-17 12:44:22

I really feel so sorry for your predicament. It is very difficult to deal with Social Workers.

marpau Mon 24-Jul-17 12:47:53

Have you contacted CAB they often arrange free access to a solicitor for advice usually a 30 minute appointment which could give valuable directions and possibly help with any legal aid schemes flowers

bmacca Mon 24-Jul-17 13:42:06

Grandparents do not have any automatic rights to contact so social workers are unable to arrange this if parents don't agree. I assume the 29th is the first hearing where the court will consider agreeing to your application for an Arrangement Order? It's unlikely they will make any decisions on that day about contact but will probably arrange another hearing. Given Social Services involvement, the court will likely ask for a Section 7 Welfare report which will give you & your daughter an opportunity to explain why your grandchildren will benefit from contact with you. A CAFCAS officer will be involved who will represent the children's best interests but there will not be a Guardian ad litem as suggested by starlily as they are only appointed in public law cases, not private law matters. In my experience in Children's Services, I do think asking for every Sunday is excessive and unlikely that the court would agree

newnanny Mon 24-Jul-17 14:22:53

I know it is hard but SW's always seem in favour of NP's and if they think you disaprove of them or their lifestyle they may feel contact with you could undermine success of placed back with NP's. Try hard not to appear judgmental about DD & SiL as it will count against you. Can you work with BP even if they are manipulative in order to keep access with your DGD's. State to SW that you hope placement back with NP works well for DGC. Don't add you think it won't. If they see you can be impartial they are more likely to give you better access.

patriciageegee Tue 25-Jul-17 07:03:44

Such good advice from all posters especially about keeping calm-impossible i know when there is so much love and anxiety about the welfare of your angels. The dealings with all authorities are beyond frustrating as their arbitrary decisions seem to go against all logic regarding the emotional wellbeing of the children. You simply cannot show any antipathy towards ANYTHING even though you're raging and screaming inside you have to (try try try!) to remain calm and collected. It is such a hard road to travel and you have to dig very deep into your own emotional resources to get through - the complete lack of control over the welfare of your adored own flesh and blood is devastating but you have to hold on because they will always need you. In my own dear D & GD's case things did eventually get better and six years on we are all in a happier place. Massive hugs and prayers that you continue to be strong for them

suzisuzz13 Tue 25-Jul-17 22:38:58

It feel like they don't want us near the girl, it's just such a mess x

suzisuzz13 Fri 25-Aug-17 23:00:46

Cafcass have done their report but their is no recommendations and they finish by saying their involvement has now finished court Tues what will happen now will it be totally up to the judge xx

Starlady Fri 25-Aug-17 23:29:06

August 29 is just around the corner, Suzi. I hope all goes well, and that you fill us in.