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Legal & money

Trying to get my grandchildren by christmas

(20 Posts)
DeliaPrudence Sat 01-Dec-12 11:00:34

The children have put into local care in different foster homes ( there are five children) and I would like to have them with us. They are starting the assessment process this thursday but have said we will not get the children by christmas Why? Surely they can move things so they can all be together with us by christmas this is hurting both them and us surely this is not right.

whenim64 Sat 01-Dec-12 11:44:24

Delia I don't remember seeing your name before, so if you're new, welcome. As you haven't given much information about the circumstances of the children being looked after, it's dfficult to respond in any informative or helpful way. Assessments do take time, especially with so many children. Their safety and wellbeing is paramount. Are you allowed to see them?

nightowl Sat 01-Dec-12 11:46:26

Hi DeliaPrudence, I'm sorry you are having such a difficult time. You don't say what kind of assessment is being carried out but if the children are subject to care proceedings or thought to be at risk then any assessment does take time. You really need to seek proper legal advice. Do ask the social workers if you can at least have the children to visit you over the Christmas period. Good luck

nightowl Sat 01-Dec-12 11:55:59

oops crossed posts when

DeliaPrudence Sat 01-Dec-12 12:07:38

The children have been in local care for approx 10 weeks but have had 3 social workers due to sickness and so things are dragging out but the children have been split up into different foster carerers. The local have authorities have an intrim order for 8 weeks but having seen the case notes my daughter will be lucky to get them back anytime soon unfortunatley but my only concern at present is the care and well being of my grandchildren and I feel the healing process needs to begin ASAP. I can both accommodate and give the children what they need in my home so I feel that due to the slow investigations of the Social services that while we are being assessed as potential foster parents to our grandchildren then we should be ggranted temporary care while they undergo their checks

whenim64 Sat 01-Dec-12 12:23:41

Delia thanks for saying some more about the situation. It does sound unrealistic to expect the children to be placed with you without the benefit of assessments and with an 8 week timescale on the interim order. Have you and your daughter asked about access and the possibility of the children being placed with you, and if you have, what have you been told? Will you be able to send presents and cards, if you don't see them? It all depends on the reason for the children being removed into care, who is protective of them, whether they will be kept safe in a relative's home, whether there are any offences that have to be prosecuted, children as witnesses have to be protected from being unduly influenced, or a period of medical treatment may be needed during that time etc etc. So many issues to assess, and as grandmother, you might not be party to what all those issues are at this stage. Do please come back to chat and be supported. I can imagine what a rough time it is for you all flowers

nightowl Sat 01-Dec-12 12:24:44

That is certainly a possibility DeliaPrudence. Has it been suggested? The local authority do have a duty to consider a family placement as the first option so have they given you any reason why they cannot place the children with you while the assessment is carried out? Have you got a solicitor?

The Family Rights Group has some excellent advice sheets:

www.frg.org.uk/need-help-or-advice/family-and-friends-carers

jO5 Sat 01-Dec-12 12:25:36

Surely, as nightowl says, they could be allowed to visit you over Christmas? Just the same as any grandchildren might stay with their grandparents for the holiday.

I hope so.

nightowl Sat 01-Dec-12 12:34:09

Yes do push for this DeliaPrudence. It could actually form part of the assessment as it will demonstrate your bond with and care of the children. Difficult to know how you can be assessed as foster carers without regular contact and some assessment of this.

crimson Sat 01-Dec-12 12:37:06

It's good to know that the children have got a home that they will [hopefully] be able to go to eventually and be together again. Good luck.

DeliaPrudence Sat 01-Dec-12 12:47:32

Thank you for your comments they are much appreciated. It has not yet been suggested but then again the social worker who is no dealing with it has not met the children yet which i find strange. I understand that the local authority can give tempory aproval for up to 16 weeks whicle they carry out their checks so that children can be placed with family immediatley. This is what i am going to ask about on Thursday I have also done all of the ofsted reports regarding schools and nursery's as the children range from 18 months to 13 years we have some outstandonf schools in this area plus all the extended family are in the Yorkshire area. fingers crossed. I will let you know that outcome.

whenim64 Sat 01-Dec-12 12:52:50

Good luck Delia. Will you let us know how you get on? smile

nightowl Sat 01-Dec-12 12:59:10

I have just posted this on the wrong thread, need to go back to bed and get up again!

I also forgot to say, every local authority should have produced a 'family and friends carer policy' by September 2011, though not all have done so. The Family Rights Group website also has details of this and the ones that have been published can be accessed on there. If your local authority has one, it should help you to check whether they have followed it. If they do not have one, you are within your rights to ask if they do have one. However I do know how difficult it is to assert your rights whilst trying not to upset anyone, when you feel they have such power over your grandchildren's future.

You are right about the 16 week placement it is called a Regulation 24 placement under the Care Planning, Placement and Review Regulations 2010. A full assessment is then carried out and presented to the Fostering Panel. (This is under Reg 25 and 26 of the 2011 Regulations, in case they quote that at you). They may argue that they do not want to move the children now they are settled (are they?) as it cannot be guaranteed that you will be approved as foster carers. However you can argue that a family placement should be the first option and you will provide a chance for them to be kept together which fostering does not. But as a prospective carer you should at least be having regular contact.

Hope this helps, it is quite complex.

DeliaPrudence Sat 01-Dec-12 13:55:28

Thank you NightOwl I have checked the web page and it appears Wiggan council do not have a policy in place but i ahve looked at several others and they are all pretty much the same. I have taken contact details of the wiggan council and will be contacting them on Monday morning first thing I am going to fight all the way my grandchildren deserve to be happy and feel safe. it is going to be difficult i know to put over my case without coming across as cocky or abrupt but I care for my grandchildren more than they will ever know, so i am going to fight on their behalf. The social workers said there are three possible outcomes. 1. Children returned to parents ( which I don't think will happen in the near future as she will not admit any thing ) 2. the two young children will be adopted and the three eldest put into care ( not happening) 3. they come to members of the family or connected persons 9 we are the only family that give them both the space and extra needs to help them heal and become a functional family again. ( the best option for the children)

whenim64 Sat 01-Dec-12 14:14:12

Is this any help Delia? I used to work in Wigan a few years back, and was on the Safeguarding/Child Protection Multi-Agency Training Team. They are usually streets ahead with safeguarding and fostering.

http://www.wigan.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/64DCD7F0-540A-4899-86A1-7F455B85425A/0/FFCarePolicy.pdf

whenim64 Sat 01-Dec-12 14:15:14

Forgot to convert it to a link:

www.wigan.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/64DCD7F0-540A-4899-86A1-7F455B85425A/0/FFCarePolicy.pdf

nightowl Sat 01-Dec-12 15:22:53

It sounds as though you have done your homework DeliaPrudence and that will stand you in good stead when you meet with the social worker. As long as you can impress upon them that you will put the safety of your grandchildren before everything else, then I think you have a very strong case. Good luck, do let us know what happens. Good local information from when as well, what a good network gransnet is.

POGS Sun 02-Dec-12 16:02:55

Delia

I have nothing to add to other posts but I wish you well for a good bit of news.

It maybe not want you want to hear under the circumstance but I feel humbled knowing I do not have your problems. I send you sincere good wishes you get the christmas you want, it certainly sounds as though you should.

flowers

glammanana Sun 02-Dec-12 17:23:55

I second Pogs sentiments also very best wishes for a speedy outcome and that you are reunited with your DGCs sooner rather than later and that you all enjoy a lovely Christmas.
What a wealth of information can be found on this site from our very knowledgeable nanna's. flowers

vampirequeen Mon 03-Dec-12 12:04:56

I can only wish you luck xxx