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Old 22-03-2011, 01:19 AM
Ani Ani is offline
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I will try to keep this short and not give every single detail in this one post but I had a visit today, not one I was looking forward to and one that's shed light in ways I was not expecting.

My daughter, mother of my 2 little grandsons, has had a lot of problems in her relationship with the boys father. Just before Christmas we learnt that s/s were taking the matter to court with a view to placing the children in care. Thankfully it was agreed that the children could remain with my daughter subject to a supervision order.

I made it clear that in the event the children should ever be removed from my daughters care I would wish for them to be placed with me. Nobody seemed to give much attention to this and the solicitor was all for fighting for the children to stay with their mother. More over, any talk of the children being removed was only ever suggested as a temporary mesure whilst work was done to ensure a safe and happy enviroment for the children.

Today I recieved a visit to assess my suitability to be recommended as a possible carer for the boys in such an event. The s/w was pleasant enough but I was not prepared for some of the questions she was asking, some which seemed quite irrelevant. She assured me I was doing a good job expressing myself and that it was clear I was totally committed to the boys. I however do not feel I expressed myself at all well, too many hyperthetical questions I struggled to answer, and really not assertive or positive enough about enything except wanting the boys in such a situation.

The things that really scared me was the whole uncertainty of the current situation. We were of the belief that so long as my daughter played ball she would keep the children, not so! Apparently the whole situation is being monitored, assessments being done, notes made, views taken, all of which are to be presented to the courts for them to make the decision.

Secondly, it appeared that they would never consider, under any circumstances, the two of them being together to raise the children, it just did not seem to be an option as far as this s/w was concerned and yet I know it is something my daughter has expressed she would like to try with support, councelling etc.

The biggest concern and the most frightening was when she made it clear that in the event of the children being removed for any reason, they would be seeking a permanent placement and not a temporary one. She said because of the children's young ages they would be seeking placement for the next 18/20 yrs and would not be considering uprooting the children again at any time in the future to return them to their birth mother whatever the circumstances! Therefore in the event that a family member was not recommended as suitable, they would be seeking adoption. I am totally devastated at this possibility as is my daughter who is saying she would have no desire to go on living if she were to lose her children.

Apparently we will be notified in a few days as to whether she will be recommending us or not. If she does a full assessment will take place that will take 3/4 months. She assured us that their were some strengths, not least our committment and relationship with the children but she had concerns about medical issues, namely that I suffer with an anxiety disorder (is it any wonder) and the fact that we both smoke cause they never place children with smokers!

My daughter is expecting her third child in July and in the event of the boys being taken there is further indecision as to what would be decided about the new baby.

I queried that fact that I new of a couple of situations where the grandparents had residency rights and the children could be returned to the parents if and when it was deemed suitable. She said these situations were usually ones made prior to LA taking control but that it was rare for a court to return the children if they were settled and happy in thweir present circumstances.

My daughter has been so much happier these past few months, more focussed and positive about her life and the children are, as they have always been, happy healthy, thriving little people. She is currently in the throes of a housing exchange having finally found a lovely little ground floor maisonette on two levels with a garden, so much better than her current 4th floor flat in a rather large block. Now everything is overshadowed again and the joy snatched away as we fear the children will be. How the hell does anyone cope with this?

I was asked how I felt about contact with my daughter if I should have the children. I had no restrictions I wished to put in place but it was made clear there would have to be. I feel like I would have to chose my grandchildren or my daughter whom I have a very good and close relationship with.

In the event of them not wishing to recommend us, do we have the right to fight this decision? Does anyone know what these sort of situations can cost in legal expenses? We do not have much money, I do not kid myself any of it would be easy, infact 18 yrs of child rearing again is quite honestly terrifying but I don't see I have any choice, what else am I supposed to do? How could I not fight for my beautiful little boys. I am absolutely terrified and this year which I had so hoped would be better than the previous 3, this year that had started so positively, this year when I am due to become a grandmother twice over again, now seem so gloomy and unbearable.

Any words of comfort, advice, help etc would be most welcome. Ani x
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Old 22-03-2011, 07:44 AM
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Lifer
 
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First of all can I say how very sympathetic I am. You are going through an incredibly stressful time, it must be so hard.
Secondly, you need to be reassured about a number of matters. The courts have to work to the Children Act. They cannot make an order of an arrangement is posible without one. You do not say what the problems are that your daughter has been through, but if domestic valence is part of the history then the sw will need to know that the children will be kept safe from experiencing or witnessing it again. The courts also will do their best to place a child/ren with family members, if suitable. Obviously, they have to be assessed. This is bound to be stressful, so, even though iit will be hard, try to be positive. Go to see your GP and discuss it there and, although I think it's not the case that children are never placed with smokers you could make it clear that you only smoke in the garden for example, it will help to show your commitment. It's true that the child's timescale is different from an adult's and children need permanency, so that is why it's unlikely that if you are granted a residency or special guardianship order it will only be temporary. I hope this helps. I don't know the circumstances which led to this course of action, but, rest assured that sw DO want what is best for the children. I do hope that all goes well for you. Be brave and positive. X
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Old 22-03-2011, 09:48 AM
Lifer
 
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Ani, I can only wish you the very best outcome for those children, and am so sorry that your glimpse of a positive happy future seems to have been snatched away.
I hope Enids repsonse will help you understand.
x
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Old 22-03-2011, 03:16 PM
Lifer
 
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Ani, your story is very sad, we have others similar on here, so you are not alone. There are some lovely helpful Grannys too to give you advice as Enid has done already. Keep talking to us, its nice sometimes to know theres someone who cares enough to answer.
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Old 22-03-2011, 04:50 PM
Lifer
 
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Im sorry to hear of your current problems,I hope you get a good outcome from all this. It must be a very worrying time for you all.
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Old 22-03-2011, 06:14 PM
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Lifer
 
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this is so worrying for you , There is another Grandmother on here who is going through this as well , hope she comes on and helps you , ((((hugs))))))
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Old 22-03-2011, 09:21 PM
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Lifer
 
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Ani what a mess you are in I have no words of wisdom I really dont have much time for social workers all I can say is keep positive will be thinking of you, there but for the grace of god go I
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Old 22-03-2011, 10:40 PM
Ani Ani is offline
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Thankyou all so much for your support and replies.

I felt so bad after that visit, the fear and anxiety that not only was my daughter at risk of loosing her children but we all would. I was left feeling like I may not be suitble because I have had issues with depression and anxiety, both of which I have always sought and recieved appropriate support for. I don't make light of it but it does not interefere with my holding down a full time responsible job, running a home, supporting my daughter and caring for my grandchildren.

Today, my daughter met with her s/w and support worker and both have reassured her that they are pleased with the progress she and the children have made and so long as things do not revert back to how they were, there is no threat.

Social workers are there to do a job, a job that at times I am sure is both unpleasant and extremely difficult. Someone has to be there to protect vulnerable children but, I just wish they could focus more on the cases that slip through the net and end up on the news and back off a little from those where they can see there is strong family support. They could also do with improving their manner and tone so as not to leave one feeling like a naughty school child because you don't share the same view. After all, some of their views are so set in stone, black and white and unflexible that you are left feeling that these are more important than the love you can give. If every potential parent was vetted first by s/s and their criteria perhaps society wouldn't be the way it is today and there sure wouldn't be a population problem!
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Old 22-03-2011, 11:32 PM
Lifer
 
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Ani please dont feel that your anxiety/depression would be cause for s/s to judge you,I too have suffered from the same condition for many years and like you I hold down a very responsible job,care for my grandchildren and live as normal a life as the next person-whatever "normal" is. Suffering with anxiety/depression doesn't label you.
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  #10  
Old 23-03-2011, 08:43 AM
Lifer
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Liverpool
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I think it would be very rare for anyone to say these days that at some time in their lives they havent had depression or anxiety . I social workers have a job to do and with all the little ones that have slipped through the net over the years and Im not talking recent years either they have to be careful. Im sure when your daughter gets the new place and its got a lovely garden for the kids and her to sit out in in the summer there wont be any problems. Theres nothing worse than being stuck in a flat with a couple of kids. I lived on the 2nd floor. If we my sister and I went downstairs to play on the grass at the front the people who lived on the ground floor were totally convinced that the grass was theirs and wouldnt let us play on it lol.. The rows my poor mam had every summer lol.

Just remember keep your cool and just answer any questions how you think they should be dont try and answer them how you think the sw wants to hear.

Good luck

AA
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