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During the time I have been involved with the Special Guardianship process with the social services I am of the opinion that we have not been told the whole truth about what is happening, and have felt uncomfortable with this.
I appreciate confidentiality is critical and I am not questioning that. Where I have problems is: different aspects of the case, strategy say, are done behind close doors. This is okay as it is described in the information that is online and in the public domain. Where the problem lies is they all do not have the same information to base their decisions on. We get slightly different views from people who may be using different sets of data.
I am not convinced a wholly accurate picture is being delivered to the court for them to base their opinion and judgement on.
In the process of becoming Special Guardians a process has to be followed inside a framework of guidance and to a 26 week time table. It culminates with a three week period where people (the panel) read all the paperwork and prepare for a panel sitting; where we are formally interviewed to support the application to have our grandson live with us as we will be his Guardians.
It is something that cannot be fully appreciated before the start, but the time and effort is draining, both mentally and physically, particularly when you feel you have lost the plot or can’t see why they need to know a remote piece of information. But the goal has to be kept in sight all the time – Safe Guarding.
We, the family that is, have meet or been involved with:
- 1 Social work – child and parents
- 1 Social workers boss
- 1 Social worker – grandparents
- 1 therapist – mother
- 1 day nursery manager – child
- 3 general practitioners – mother, father and both grandparents
- 1 Fire safety inspection (Fire Engine and crew)
- 1 Health and safety inspection
- 10 to 12 sets of forms to complete – 40 hours
- 2 full medicals – grand parents
- 1 child developmental medical
- 2 change grow live courses – parents
- 1 narcotic anonymous session – farther
- 35 hours of interview for grandparents
- 10 hours of joint interviews of grand parents
- 4 case meetings in social services offices
- 2 case meetings in our home
- 10 hours of parent interviews
There is still time needed to complete the process.
The more we talk to all the people involved the greater the understanding of what safe guarding is expected to deliver at the real sharp end.
It is still a difficult time.
Over the last four months my life has been dominated by a two major activities. Concentrating on the Special Guardian process for this particular blog reveals that each of the social services branches I and my family are involved with do not always understand what they have agreed with each other.
My concern is: we now find out that the process we are going through is to be used as evidence in the decision about whether our son and partner are fit and proper people to raise their son. It had been explained it was a separate process and was a backstop in case it was needed; i.e. if returning the child to home was not done.
This is not denying this has to be asked or what the outcome is to be, but how the social services are concentrating on the negative aspects of the situation in away that seems to be sacrificing two people who are desperately doing everything asked of them under the guise of child comes first.
I feel that if they had joined-up thinking and actually looked deeper than their individual responsibilities and worked collaboratively to solve the underlying issues the parents the BIG problem would be solved on route.
It appears to me they are positioning themselves on the self righteous side of life and going for a split up as it is safe. It will destroy five people in a stroke. There will be no return. Five peoples lives gone,
Yes, I hear and read all the documentation produced, which I have previously criticised for being incorrect and inaccurate, but it is when I stitch together what they say and do when presenting their own position to us, I see a trend away from there declared aim of keeping the family together.
Trust is being diminished.
The need for our grandson to be safe and secure is what is driving us both. His needs must be met for him to flourish.
The process of becoming a Special Guardian is very detailed and stressful. It has a time constraint so a timetable is critically important. Paperwork and paperwork and just just in case you missed it, more paperwork. We have now each had 20 hours of interviews. In which we have visited our childhood through school, into work. Our relationship with our parents, family and friends. Our relationship in our marriage, our parenting skills and motivation for doing this, our financial stability and health. Hmmm! Ah! References taken up, and CRB checked done
Our grandson is not immune in this process, he has had a health and development medicals, and been assessed by the play-school and health visitors and has had work done with him by social services.
This process is based upon fostering, and is supposed to be less onerous, but rigorous all the same.
I have been surprised at how much I have done, and we have done together; and with just a few more forms and interviews left will be relieved shortly. We have about a month to wait.