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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33311
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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Dear Solicitors, My partner and I are currently going through

Customer Question

Dear Solicitors,
My partner and I are currently going through a Social Services Process for Foster Care. We have been working with Social Services for over a year now in relation to a 4 year old boy who we are awaiting to foster.
I would like to enquire about some more information about a Special Guardianship Order. My partner and I have been looking into it and feel that it would be the best option for us.
I would like to know where we stand legally with this order and also what financial support would be available. Both my partner and I would be in employment whilst fostering and would reduce our hours to meet childcare needs.
If you could get back to me it would be much appreciated.
Kind regards *****
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year 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.
What is your current relationship with the child?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Claire,
Thank you for getting back to me. Can I first advice that this is a complex case but I will try and explain in the easiest way I can.
The child is my finances fathers girlfriends grandson. He is not a blod relative and there is no marriage. My partner parents separated and his farther is now with the child's nan.
The child is currently living with my partners father and the child's nan due the the mother of the child not being able to care for the child and being deemed unfit to care for the child.
My partners father and the child's nan as well and the childs father has also been deemed unfit to care and this is why we are going through a child in need case.
We have know the child since birth. We were put in place on a professional level by social services 12 months ago as my partner is a child care practitioner and I am a paramedic. We were put in place initially to try and help the family interact with the child and teach them the basics of care and help the child's physical and mental development. The child is 4 years old and he was dramatically under developed. My partner and I were the people who got the child walking, talking, using the toilet, eating at the table, understanding basic manners etc.
Social services deemed the family unfit and therefor due to our contact and success with the child asked us to become kinship carers. We obviously accepted. We have had our first assessment which we have passed and are awaiting our second and final assessment. We were told to choose what type of guardianship we would be applying for and take legal advice, I have previously looked and we felt kinship care would be best from what we have read but I would like more information on this.
Both of the child's parents and the grandmother of the child have some development and learning difficulties and this is one of the reasons why understanding of the child's care has been missed at times. This is one of the reasons why we feel a SGO would be beneficial.
The social worker on the case said that she could not advice us on this as she has to remain independent.
I would much appreciate if you could advice me on this. I hope that this information assists you.
Kind regards *****
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Claire,
I pressed a button by accident, I do hope that I didn't remove you from the question. Please do continue answering my question.
Kind regards *****
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi Daniel
I do not wish to be indiscreet - but do you need the money from the local authority or could you manage without the Foster Allowance?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Claire,
Can I ask why that is of importance? But in answer to your question due to us dropping hours to part time or having to loose one of the jobs to start with we would have to look at allowances yes but I am aware that these allowances are not for our benefit. This allowance would only to be to support the child and therefore accommodate the extra and any loss of finances.
I know that fostering/kinship is now advertised as a job or employment but in now was is this our intention or prospect. We are dropping hours to support the child and take responsibility. Due to the child needing extra support and further developmental needs, something myself and my partner can both provide, we feel that this extra time is needed.
Regards *****
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
I asked because it is relevant to the choice that you make.
If you remain a kinship Foster Carer then you will be entitled to the Fostering allowance.
However you will only have a limited form of Parental Responsibility for the child and will have to have the permission of Social Services for any major decisions relating to the care of the child - and whether or not the child has a sleepover etc.
However if you have a Special Guardianship Order you will have Parental Responsibility for the child just as if the child were yours - although you would not be able to agree to an adoption.
The downside is that you would not be eligible for a Fostering allowance - only for any financial support as assessed by Social Services.
You can read more here
http://www.familylives.org.uk/advice/your-family/fostering-adoption-kinshipcare/special-guardianship-orders/
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare

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