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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34106
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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My niece who has just turned 18 has been in the care of the

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my niece who has just turned 18 has been in the care of the social services for 14 yrs.she is autistic and has oppossitional defiance syndrome and obsessional problems.she is mentally bright and is certainly not deranged.My brother has been unsuccessfully trying to gain custody throughout this whole period as the social services have had a child care order.She has recently been moved to another home in chichester and the social services refuse to release her into my brothers care,even though the care order is no longer valid,because they say the reason for refusal is that my brother is "emotionally attached" to his daughter!!What father is devoid of attachment!!!! I really need to know where he stands in law at this time.what powers would the local authorities have if hypertheticaly my brother was to collect his daughter from the care home and take her back to his house to live.could he be prossecuted for kidnapping his own daughter??Is there a procedure for him to gain custody??
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** do my best to help you but I need some further information first.What contact does your brother have with his daughter?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
one weekend every 2 weeks,but she has ,in the recent past ,been in his custody for a 5 month period and a 7 week period.he earns a small wage but it is suficient for him to be inelegable for legal aid.that is why he feels like repossing her but he does not know the consequences of such an action
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
When did she live with him for 5 months - and why did she move away?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
a lbeit she is now 18,she hes a mental age of a 12yr old ,and behaives accordingly.unfortunately she is now institutiolalised and decides to remain in care as it is the easy option for her.My brother ,on the other hand,upholds a strict routine with isabelle,sending her to college 3 times a week,one day to the aldingbourne trust and one day to the autistic centre,so she is fully occupied when in his care
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
she was with my brother from the end of july 2015 up to just before christmas.she is a VERY difficult person to care for,and adam repeatedly asked the social services for 3 months during this period.for respite care so they could have a break from eachother.none was arranged!!!! so it came to breaking point and isabelle then made an allergation against her father that he had hit her.this is not true and without foundation,but this is not the first time that this has happened as isabelle knows that this is the best procedure to have a break from Adam.she has since been in care again until a police investigation takes place.this has now taken place after a 3 month delay and no action was taken and there was no case to answer.she still remains in care
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Over a 14 yr period she has suffererd 1failed foster placement(foster mother had nervous breakdown) 1 failed adoption (Adoptive parents had a drink problem and got divorced) 2 rapes,3 sexual assaults and numerous physical assaults.That is why Adam wants her in his care. the social services have an abismall track record and history has proved she is not safe in there care
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
HiFor clarity then she does not wish to live with her father?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
shes like a flag in the wind she does not min d living at home and she does not mind being in care.she has no forsight and will say what the adult wants to hear.it is obvious she would have a safer environment with her father but for now its easy for her to vegitate in front of a t v.all the social services advocate is "independant living" but she has not still got over the first hurdle of self care.she needs to be prompted to brush her hair,wash ,get dressed etc etc.it is apparent that she is not responsible enough to make decisions about her future she has 2 choices .either to live with her father in a safe environment where there is some future prospect of college,friends,horse riding possible job,marriage and children or a life in care with other patients with downs,mania etc etc
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
But it is likely that if asked she would NOT wish to live with her father
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
n o this is not the case .she is not very happy where she is .im sure if she was asked if she wanted to live with her father she would say yes,Her desition will change dependant on circumstances in the care home.when shes assaulted or feels unsafe then she wants to live at home
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
are u there clare sun 16.19 ????
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
If your brother simply removes his daughter from her current placement then he risks being prosecuted for abduction on the basis that she is a vulnerabe adult - who has already made allegations against him - albeit unfounded onesThere are two ways forwardYour brother can apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as his daughter's Deputy - giving him the right to make decision about her care OR he arranges an Independent Advocate form her via one of the Mental Health Charities and they advocate with Social Services to ensure not only that she goes to live with her father but that sensible respite arrangements are also made to avoid further false allegationsI hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further detailsClare
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Clare Your answer is very informative,i will pass it on to him tomorrow.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
You are most welcome I hope all goes well
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
H i Clare. Ithink there is a little confussion here.Adam needs an advocate,not Isabelle.She already has an advocate who refuses to talk to my brother.Anyway weve tried to get an advocate for Adam and been unsuccessful.There are 2 charities Mind andPowher.Only mind cover west sussex and they say that Adam has to be destitute or non compus mentis to be eligable and therefore cannot help him.In the mean time the adult services have arranged a flat for Isabelle in chichester to persue thier "inderpendant living" plan,the flaws of which i discussed,in my previous communication.The reality of the matter is that since Christmas she has NOT been attending college and has put on 2.5 stone in weight!!!.More examples of the adult services not fulfilling their DUTY OF CARE . Any help u can give us would be greatly accepted Yours Peter Darby
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
I am sorry but the only person with rights is your niece and unless she choses to live with her father then there is nothing more that can be done