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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34910
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My niece (7yr old in danger) is likely to be removed from her

Customer Question

My niece (7yr old in danger) is likely to be removed from her mother (drug addict) by the social services. They are suggesting she comes to live with me. I live in a four bedroomed property (my house with a mortgage) with my three children, my mother and a nephew (cared for by my mother). The 5 children are all between the ages of 4 and 11.
They are saying my niece will go to a care home if I don't accept this situation.
They will not assist with the living accommodation, i.e. building an extension or the costs and difficulties of moving to larger accommodation.
My mother is elderly (68).
Three of the children have learning difficulties. They cannot share bedrooms.
With my niece the children will be attending four different schools.
I am in dire financial circumstances (an IVA with significant debts).
I was hoping to re-build my life, re-start my career, and my new partner was going to move in with his daughter - he was going to convert the loft for his daughter. I cannot do any of this if my niece moves in, but I cannot let her go into care. I cannot cope without any assistance.
Can they really put me into this awful situation?
Is there any help I can get?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How far have the Care Proceedings reached?
How are the bedrooms shared at the moment?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare,

Many thanks.

At the moment all the SS are saying is that my niece is in immediate danger and I need to tell them today if I will take her in. They say she will be removed from her mother at the end of the week. I'm not sure, but I believe they are trying to get my nieces mother to voluntarily give her up.

The sleeping arrangements are my mother shares with my 5 yr old nephew (she is his carer). I share with my youngest 4yrs old. My 11yr old daughter has her own room as does my 10yr old son.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm not sure how this works. Are you waiting for more money? If so how much. I don't have much money, and have only received follow up questions so far. I am desperate though, so please let me know how much more I need to pay to get some advice.

Many thanks

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Other.
I am being pressured by the social worker so need some advice as quickly as possible.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
I am sorry for the delay
You need to stand up to the Social worker - she or he is being unfair and such decisions should not be made in this way.
Ask to speak to her Line Manager
Inform them that of course you are willing to offer a TEMPORARY home to your niece if the problem is imminent - and remind them that they are under a legal duty to try and place the child with family if at all possible.
Tell them that you will expect to be paid kinship carer rates and that in the long term if they wish you to take on her care permanently then they will need to complete a full assessment regarding your financial needs as a carer of the child.
You can get help and support from the Family Rights Group
Please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare,

Thanks for this.

For the longer term do you know if there would be an option to make my home more suitable for the number of people I'll potentially end up having to home, e.g. would social services be able to fund converting the attic space into a bedroom? The reason is I just don't have the space at the moment.


Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
They are under a duty to help you if you agree to take the child permanently.
They are more likely to help with rather than actually fund - but the Kinship Carer rate is generous and may enable you to fund the conversion