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plclegal, Barrister
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 8141
Experience:  Barrister at law
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I need some advice please.My Sister/brother in law basically

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Hi. I need some advice please.My Sister/brother in law basically don’t want their children anymore. They have asked my husband (she‘s his sister) if we could take them on. The daughter is 10 and the son is 18, but autistic (never been diagnosed officially ). He is intelligent but in many ways he‘s more like an 8year old. His parents wanted to get rid of him before by sending him to India to live with his elderly grandparents in a small village. It was a disaster for him (quote)With us (including our 3 daughters) both children feel safe and happy.We want to become their foster carers - no private arrangement as we would like to claim foster care allowance so we can fund their further
education. My husband has a criminal conviction. About 15 years back, not related to children or domestic violence. All family knows about it. Need legal advice on how to start, whether/how to speak to social workers, get the boy assessed for disability etc. Thank you.
JA: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: nothing yet. The children are living with us since one week.
JA: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county do you live in?
Customer: Leicestershire
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no

Hello, my name is*****’ve been asked to look at this for you, thank you for your patience.

Please bear in mind as this is an email service and not live chat I may not respond immediately.

I will look over this and come back to you shortly with a response.

A few questions/ initial thoughts.

Can you confirm if the 18 year old young man has been through the education system in the UK and why no formal diagnosis has been made of autism?

You would not be able to be a foster carer for an 18 year old, as far as I understand, as they are an adult. You may be able to claim (on their behalf) benefits for them if there is an official diagnosis and they live with you though.

I'm also honestly sceptical as to whether the LA will consent to assessing you as foster carers so you can be paid to look after your niece.

Can you clarify for me whether the sister and brother in law are working (and therefore earning) currently please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi.Apart from the two years his parents have sent him to India he has gone through the education service in UK. He is currently in College (2nd year if I'm not mistaken) as he is good with computers.. I think he has never been diagnosed officially because their parents were embarrassed and wanted him to go to a "normal" school. I don't know whether his teachers have tried to get an assessment done. It is very clear though that he has a form of autism and also has been neglected for quite some time. He is very underweight and his teeth are bad. .If he gets properly diagnosed we could still become his carers? Why do you think we would not get consent to become official carers with allowance for our niece? She is definitely in need of care. Her parents don't want her and her brother anymore. The children also feel very uncomfortable when we ask them to call their parents. One week ago, the parents told them to pack their bags and that "somebody" will come to pick them up. We haven't seen the children for nearly 10 years, so my husband was basically a stranger to them when he picked them up. They had no idea where they were going.This weekend they were asked to pick up the rest of their belongings. Both kids did not want to go. The boy was very calm until we told him to go to his parents. He immediately started panicking and typical autistic behavior. So please put us in the right direction. We need to get the ball rolling as the new school year will start soon and we want to apply for a private school place for our niece.Where do we start? Are we making the first step or do the parents have to do it?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My sister in law is not working and my brother in law is a taxi driver but due to Corona he is not currently working.

I think you would be approved very quickly as special guardians for your niece, but I don't feel that in my experience the LA are going to assess you as a foster carer and pay you to look after her when the special guardianship route is the most commonly used solution here. In order to be approved as a special guardian you need to give 3 months' notice to the LA before you can apply. The application wold then take 2-3 months to complete. There's more information here:

The birth parents would also be asked to pay child maintenance, that's fairly standard.

As to your nephew, as I said he is now an adult. If he is going to qualify for any kind of benefits he will need to be assessed by adult social care. It's odd nothing has been picked up in terms of any kind of diagnosis throughout all the years of mainstream schooling though, but that doesn't mean there isn't a diagnosis to be made.

Can I clarify anything further for you today?

plclegal and 2 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No. Thank you very much.

My pleasure.

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