Reasons to choose Wilson Browne
Wilson Browne Solicitors understand how upsetting it is to hear that your grandchildren are subject to care proceedings.
Our experienced team understand the complexities of family relationships and are here to help.
Often, social services work with parents to keep families together but if the child cannot stay with their parents, frequently the wider family is explored to see if there is anyone else to care for the child…and that includes grandparents.
This means the child would stay within their birth family rather than being placed into local authority foster care.
Often grandparents are first approached when the social worker is exploring the wider family.
Generally this is because of the special bond that is often present between grandparent and grandchild. The familiarity and comfort is generally appreciated by a young child. The social worker may also explore other family members to be assessed such as aunts, uncles, cousins.
If you want to care for your grandchildren, or are approached to care for your grandchildren, you will have an assessment.
Firstly an “Initial Viability Assessment” (IVA) is usually conducted.
The assessment usually involves police checks and a search of any involvement that social services may have had in the past with your own children. You must participate in this assessment completely honestly and openly.
If the IVA is negative please do not hesitate to contact us for advice on challenging this assessment.
If the IVA is positive it is likely to progress to a Full Connected Persons Assessment (FCPA).
If the FCPA is positive your grandchildren could be placed with you either under a family placement/agreement if the parents have agreed or by way of court order.
Again, if the FCPA is negative please contact us for advice on challenging this assessment.
Seeking legal advice in these circumstances is very important, you will not have any legal rights over your grandchildren and parental consent would be required to make important decisions.
A Special Guardianship Order (SGO) is an important consideration and it is imperative to seek legal advice in this matter.
These are often the most appropriate course of action if the relationship between the parents and grandparents has broken down or the parents have not been able to resolve their own issues.
An SGO would give you parental responsibility solely or jointly along with the local authority. We can assist in this matter and explain the considerations both for your life and the financial impact.
If you are unable to care for your grandchildren, you may be seeking regular contact as part of the care proceedings, again we can provide friendly, down to earth and practical advice.