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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33946
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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Can Social services request a court order for my granddaughter

Customer Question

Can Social services request a court order for my granddaughter which virtually means adoption without her single mother's consent?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Could you explain exactly what the current situation is please?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

My daughter has been involved with social services after an original abusive relationship before her son was born which is well documented by the police. During the stress, she was ' helped' by a person, Chris and unfortunately became pregnant by him. They were both taking Crack cocaine at the time but he turned out to be addicted. After she became pregnant it appears that although he was seeing her, he was also involved with another single mother. He refused to ave anything to do with my daughter until the little boy was 3 and he was asked to pay maintenance. By this time, she was pregnant by another man, and my granddaughter was born. The father was tottaly unsuitable and has had no contact with her after the first two months. Hence my daughter is left with two children and no father's name was put on either birth certificate.,

My daughter had used alcohol under stree conditions. With help she went to college awith the baby and is fully qualified, but social services forget this.while they put the children under child protection. as she left them for 30 minutes, having told the police and I was with the children within 10 minutes.

As a single mother, my husband and I have always been very involved and helped her with their upbringing.

She was about to come off the at risk register on 27th March this year being assessed as a good parent. She had taken the children to school and nursery by walking and using the bus as she was banned. The children are well documented as being happy, stable and well looked after. The boy was quite difficult at times . He was made to visit his father every other weekend which caused him intense worry and upset. The daughter was completely ignored by his family.

Social services have bullied my daughter who has very little confidence as can happen as she was given a statement of dyslexia at school and this always leads still to a ' language delay' when you need time to process thought before you answer.

My husband had Parkinsons Disease which led to multi sensory atrophy. For three years it was very distressing and my daughter, who is the only one of our children near home heped me to look after him.

He died on 8th March this year.

On 26th march, social services decided she was well over her father's death - totally untrue. On 27th whille still very distressed she also had a phone call from the olest daughter,whose own 17 year old had just been sectioned for yet again suicide attempts. Everyone was stressed. Unfortunately my daughter reverted to asking a neighbour for a can of drink. She left the children for 15 minutes and was two doors down the road. A neighbour phoned social services, again I was there in 10 mins wby which time the children were in bed at a friend across the road. The police eventually took her and I was with the children.

Long story, but at the police station a policeman put his head round the door and asked if the two children could go to the boy's father. It was his usual Saturday, so my daughter agreed thinking that I would collect them after. The granddaughter had never been to their house to visit before.

From this verbal agreement, the children were taken from their school and nursery, despite requests from them by Social services to the

father's home. My daughter was told by phone that they had been taken for good.

Eventually she was told that Social Services wanted that the father take out a Special Guardianship for one and long term fostering for the other. Social Services were not going to pay fostering money but would pay for the court case. It would seem that they were determined to tie up the situation without having to pay. As this would be a prvate case, my daughter would not get legal aid.

Gradually, anf with no explanation, they changed the orders to be requested that turned out that if they were successful, my granddaughter would be just short of being adoptedand there would br nothing we could do.

Both children are very unhappy and voice this, but we have been told that all adults have to stick to the story that ' Mommy had a headache and was ill ' and that they had to stay there until they were grown up. Their minds have been ' milked' with extrodinary life stories. and ideas of what happened - nothing like the police evidence.

We were due in court on August1st where they thought they would sign and seal the orders. Luckily, I received some of my husband's pension and we managed to get a lawer to stop the case until Oct 8th

Socia Services are still saying that they are trying for this outcome that my daughter is the equivalent of adopted

Surely, with no attachment to the foster family at all this can't be can it ? We have contact with the children who are becoming more and more distressed as was written for review by their school, nursery, pediatrician, psychology councellor, god parents and family.

Can they really do this ?

'

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Here is the extra information, what happens next as I sent this 17 hours ago/

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
My profound apologies for the delay.
How old are the children?
What contact do they have with their mother?
Is there another family member who could have them?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Kai is 7, ASD, and severely dyslexic and dyspraxic and has a language delay but very intelligent. He is to be given a statement under the new code of practice this term. We have got him in an excellent state primary school, where he is now very happy, understood and well looked after and where he fels very safe.Ihave to take and bring him each day as the foster family are unable to do this.

Teegan is a bright little girl who is just going to be four. She has no family relations but our family.

The children have contact under my supervision each Saturday between 10 and 4.30 and every fourth Sunday for the same time. It was bing arranged that my daughter see them at the foster parent house on a Wednesday after school for two hours, but since the court case on 1st where they were challenged, they do not want her in the house, so we collect the children and have them at my house.

Our family, with this daughter being the youngest are a bit far spread but visit and care deeply for the children. Social Services were very happy for my daughter to have the children with me while theywere assessing her for two months but now say 'I do too much for her and I do not seem to understand the gravity of her deeds' !

The children are well supported by their local active godparents and are missing the care of our church community where they have been since birth as have the rest of the family. We belong to a very active RC church with a lot of youth activity, even having a dedicated youth organiser. The children have been part of this in all activities and have very firm relationships with both adults and children.

They have been removed from all of this but family work to come from Norfolk, Cambridge etc to make sure they see them.

Is this any good ?

assessed her, but now refuse me because #

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
So both children are now with the boy's father - is that correct?
Have you been assessed as apossible cater for the children?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Social services say I am not suitable as I do too much for my daughter.

Yes bth children are with Kai's father with whom he has never had a good relationship. Theyare now with his step son who is 8 and has anger management difficulties and his daughter 6.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Would you be willing to cut ties with your daughter if you had the children in your care?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

no sorry - it would end her reason for life !

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

no sorry - it would end her reason for life !a nd theirs as the adore their mother and just keep pineing to see her each time

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
I am sorry but I have to be very direct with you.
The court does have the power to grant a residence order to her ex in respect of his son; and a Special Guardianship order in respect of the little girl so that the siblings are kept together.
This not the same as an Adoption Order but you are correct it does mean that your daughter's ex will have more control over the child's life than she does.
Your daughter will not actually lose her rights - it is just that her ex will always have the deciding vote
I am also sorry to say that based on what you have said this is the only possible outcome unless there is a family member who can take the children AND limit their contact with their mother AND is willing to agree that the children would not be safe if they returned to their mother since in another crisi she could again turn to drink.
I am sorry I know that this is not what you wish to hear - but there is no comforts in misleading you.
You can get some assistance from the family Rights Group (www.frg.org.uk)
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33946
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Just one more question please. where does this come in to the situation ?

ELFARE CHECKLIST

When a court makes a decision about a child, for example, about where the child should live or with whom the child should have contact, it must consider the “welfare checklist”. This is a Wlist of things about the child which help the court to focus on the best interests of the child. It means the court must think about:



  • the child’s wishes and feelings

  • the child’s physical, emotional and/or education needs

  • the child’s age, sex and background

  • the likely effect of the proposed change on the child

  • the risk of harm to the child


how capable the child’s parent is of meeting his or her needs

Social services have made a lot of biased assumptions and the social worker who has caused so much upset to the children with peculiar 'life stories' such as the one about a little duck whose mother couldn't look after it so a nice social worker came and said it had to lrive with it's father for always ' !!

They have questioned and put answers into the childrens minds that are entirely incorrect including the memory of the incidence where the police evidence was completely different to their own based only on a phone call from a neighbour. The evidence they give is almost impossible as Kai cannot and did not do what they say. The school and nursery and paediatrician have nothing but praise and confidence in my daughter's care and constant upbringing where she has n.ever been under the influence of alcohol - where the social workers till thst very day used to fight to visit because the children were such fun and well cared for - . It also has to be said that it is amazing that once they were questioned about incorrect procedures and correct protocol, the social worker has sufddenly disappeared and even her e-mails, which contain a lot of unanswered and incomplete paper train, cannot be opened. This happened on the day of the Child protection meeting . She had taken the notes to the father on Friday late and was not at, or seen after that at the meeting on the Monday.

Do Social Services not need to be transparent ?

For two years my daughter has rrequested that the chronology be corrected. It misses the bits about the conception of Kai while the father was a heavy crack cocaine user and seeing both my daughter and his now wifwe with her illegitimate son. It misses his history but only notes the bad bits of my daughter.

It was only in the cafcass report at court that we finfd he has not only drink driving but also battery on his police record. The chronology is biased and they will not ' get round to' completing it despite verbal, written requests. This is the record the children will have the right to see in adulthood.

Spcial Services seem to see this as a convenient way to tie it up and pay no mney except the court fees. My daughter was continually told that she had to hurry up as delay would cost them more court fees even though she had said for months and backed by the probation officer, drink/ drug service, schools, nirsery etc to refuse

All these agencies a swell as the psychologist that Kai and Teegan have seen in our holistic medecine practice have written reports with proof that my daughter has not drunk except the time two weeks after her father had died, but none of these were considered.

Many life changing decisions for the children were made by the father, with no orders in place. Is this right ? They were made by a health visitor, who had never met the family and only seen Teegan twice. The former health visitor would have had a very differnet outcome , but Social services would not even look at her reports even when offered at the conference.!

This all sems very unjust which is why we are still fighting.

My daughter is just getting her driving license back - does this not show anything ?

Sorry - this is a mess but who matters most? Why are the children's requests and lives not considered?

Margaret

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi Margaret
You are correct it is important that the correct chronology is in place - can I just check have there actually been care proceedings?
Your daughter does have a solicitor acting for her?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

What is the definition of care proceedings and what should there be in writing please. It has all been very muddling with very little paper work to re-read and understand

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I -am not too sure social services put the children into what we thought was temporary care and then proceeded to to very quickly set up these requests for long term fostering and guardianship. The terminology changed several times which left us in this situation with the likely hood of Teegan being the equivalent of being adopted with no adoption procedures. We adopted my daughter and know the long and rigorous checks that were needed. Her mother chose to give her up for afour months. Even the fostering checks were not complete until the =end of July. . My daughter has not done this and the situation has all but been signed and sealed in four months. They refused to have anything to do with her and Kai has been disturbed by his visits previously, having developed no relationship with him.

The father's wife is kind, but finding it hard as she wants to look after her own two children. Social services have bolstered his dad with a 'hot line' to speed up the process. His wife has previously said she did not want to take Kai and had no idea about Teegan. Social Services moved as fast as they could with no money being given except the child benefit and chlild tax credit from my daughter and insistance that she paid maintenance from her £70 a week even though they had asked that I pay for Teegan's child minder, take Kai and Teegan to nursery each day, they asked us to buy clothes for nthe childfren - this is all crazy. Meanwhile SS was just prepared to pay his court fees that were hurried forward when my daughter refused to sign and they gave them a bed !

How do we get the unfair chronology changed.

I have just paid for a solicitor to speak for her in court.

Margaret

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
There have clearly been no Care Proceedings - and you are right Social Services are trying to do this on the cheap.
I am afraid that the underlying position does not change.
The children are too young for their wishes and feeling to be paramount - and in any event in the current circumstances the risks mean that their wishes cannot be safely followed.
What concerns me about this is that if there had been care proceedings then the children would have had separate representation in their own right which would be a check on the Social Services,
This is the point that I hope that your daughter's solicitors will make forcefully and seek an Order that the Children have separate representation.
Please understand - this may well not change the outcome but it is essential that the matter is properly investigated - and at present it has not been
You may get some support from this group
www.frg.org.uk
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your care - it is hard to take when glaringly unfair and incorrect assumptions are written i n stone. New reports re being written now by social services and people who support the children so we will see. I appreciate what you say and thank you. The solicitor today has made it clear that she is at least working towards shared parenting and the result of the hair strand should prove one of the major accusations as being incorrect for a start.


Your information has been clear and honest thank you

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
You are very welcome - and I hope all goes well in the weeks ahead
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Jut thought I would finish my question by letting you know that my daughter's hair strand came back clear !


Margaret


 


 

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Now that is great news - next task is to show that she in in therapy - maybe CBT to ensure she does not use alcohol as a crutch
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks , that means she has been clear for a year - it just meant social services assumed otherwise ! We will see on Oct 8th1 The reports have been sent in from the psychologist as well as probation and the Drug and alcohol clinic. Should this mean she stands a chance of at least joint parenting do you think?


 


Margaret

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
I am sorry - I thought the last incidence was only in March?
Clare

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