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    • Bath cube
    • By Bath cube 9th Feb 18, 9:51 PM
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    Bath cube
    Grandparent fostering a grandchild?
    • #1
    • 9th Feb 18, 9:51 PM
    Grandparent fostering a grandchild? 9th Feb 18 at 9:51 PM
    I have started this post as this issue sounds a bit strange to me. A lady I work with has a grand daughter aged almost six. Her daughter and her ex partner split 18 months ago due to daughters partner taking illegal drugs and a mental health issue. The social services became involved when her daughter called the police about her partner a few times. My colleague says children's services wanted to place the child into local authority care but herself and her husband challenged it. She says she has her grand daughter on a fostering agreement and reduced her work hours to accommodate this. She did have to take a fostering course in line with children's services rules if she wanted the child to remain with her and her husband. Her daughter and her ex partner can only see the child under her supervision once a month. Her daughters ex is not permitted to go into her house or on the street where they live, he has to arrange to meet them in a different location in order to see the child. It all sounds a bit off to me. How can someone receive fostering allowances for their own grand child and if the child's father is deemed such a danger wouldn't the child have been placed into care away from the area? . My colleague said she fears her grand child's dad could apply for custody one day. Also the other set of grandparents have to arrange to see the child once a month through children's services once per month but the child's father must not be with them when they take the child out for the 3 hours per month. Also if my colleague was found to be allowing the child's dad to call round or take him out by himself. The child would be taken into alternative care and she would lose all rights to see the child again. Does anyone know if this is correct?.
Page 2
    • thorsoak
    • By thorsoak 10th Feb 18, 10:07 AM
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    thorsoak
    Sitting on my hands (after this post) on this one!
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 10th Feb 18, 11:06 AM
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    NeilCr
    As mentioned, there may have been no choice. Once the children became the responsibility of the authorities, it would be necessary to ensure suitable arrangements were in place. Sometimes these are informal, sometimes not. The formal route has the advantage of enabling the grandparents to access various support, including financial.

    I disagree this is sad in the way I believe you mean it.

    Grandparents have usually moved beyond the period in their lives when they were responsible for children, with all the additional financial burden that brings.

    I have great empathy for those who may have thought their child rearing days beyond them, and possibly planned their finances accordingly, yet suddenly find themselves stepping in again; and think it entirely appropriate they access any additional funding they are entitled to as foster parents.

    As for the children, while I see no suggestion they are told they are not good enough, as it's clearly the parents with the difficulties, nothing can remove the sadness of the parental situation. However, this is likely to be greatly minimized by living with known, and presumably loving, family members rather than strangers.

    I doubt the children would care less if there was money involved, if they even knew. After all, they may well benefit directly from a greater household income.

    Sadly there are significant numbers of grandparents in this situation, and while many find great satisfaction in their role, they are nevertheless performing a challenging role unlikely to be of their choosing (as they would no doubt prefer the child' parents were able to cope). Their contribution should be valued and financial support not begrudged.
    Originally posted by Detroit

    What a really, really good post.

    I realise this situation is a bit different but there are points within it that, I think, are relevant to the debate

    My partner has her son and grandson (age 6) living with her following a court order giving him custody. Her son works full time and does shifts so much of the day to day parenting is carried out by my partner. At the moment it is not viable for her son to live on his own with the grandson -although this may be possible further down the line.

    I know just how knackered my partner gets. Having been round there I realise how tiring looking after a boisterous six year old is. On top of that it eats into her/our social time which I think, for her, is one of the worse things. She spends a lot of her time one on one with the child.

    But she does it because she loves her grandson and knows that he is in the best environment for him. A view heavily endorsed by the social worker. Their finances are tight but the thought of doing this for the money would never cross her mind. I know others in the same/similar situations and they would take the same line

    As has been stated elsewhere more and more grandparents are getting involved in childcare one way or another.
    • kingfisherblue
    • By kingfisherblue 10th Feb 18, 4:44 PM
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    kingfisherblue
    Grandparents sometimes have to go down the official routes for more than financial reasons - they may need to make decisions about medical issues, or schooling, or any number of other aspects of a child's life. If grandparents weren't willing to go down the official route in order to gain custody of their grandchild, then there would be far more children in need of foster homes.

    Grandparents can do a wonderful job of bringing up their grandchildren, and at a time of life that they should have some time to themselves. Children cost money, and if the caregivers - whoever they are - need to claim money, it is still likely to be less than the costs of putting them into the care system with strangers - no disrespect to the thousands of foster parents in this country who do a good job.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 10th Feb 18, 6:25 PM
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    FBaby
    I have great empathy for those who may have thought their child rearing days beyond them, and possibly planned their finances accordingly, yet suddenly find themselves stepping in again; and think it entirely appropriate they access any additional funding they are entitled to as foster parents.
    Additional funding would be available via tax credits, CB in the same way normal parents would, however, they would get even more by taking the fostering route. Access to support is available without needing to go the fostering route. So why else consider your grand child a foster child but for the additional money to what parents are entitled to?
    • Artytarty
    • By Artytarty 10th Feb 18, 7:01 PM
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    Artytarty
    I quite agree FBaby.
    I know of a few foster parents who have turned down the offer of adoption for this reason.
    Norn Iron Club member 473
    • Alikay
    • By Alikay 10th Feb 18, 7:36 PM
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    Alikay
    Yes, it sounds plausible to me - it's usually called Kinship Foster Care. In fact I've fostered children who have moved on from such an arrangement when it didn't work out, and others who had siblings who were fostered in this way. If they live in your area, be thankful: Agency carers would cost your local authority (and therefore council tax payers) a lot more than paying a fostering allowance to grandparents, aunts, uncles etc. There are so few council foster carers now, that children are often placed out-of-area or with agency carers, and both those options are significantly more expensive.
    • Detroit
    • By Detroit 10th Feb 18, 9:32 PM
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    Detroit
    Additional funding would be available via tax credits, CB in the same way normal parents would, however, they would get even more by taking the fostering route. Access to support is available without needing to go the fostering route. So why else consider your grand child a foster child but for the additional money to what parents are entitled to?
    Originally posted by FBaby
    I am not disputing there are financial benefits for grandparent carers who become the child's foster parents. My point was, I fully support them in doing so, for the reasons I explained.

    If a child is fostered an allowance is paid. Why should the carers not receive this because they are grandparents? The care they provide is of equal, arguably greater value, because of the stability they offer; and the costs they incur would be the same.

    Parents chose to have children, and, if they are responsible, plan their finances to facilitate their decision.

    Grandparents on the other hand are likely to be at a very different stage of life, having already met the cost of raising their own family, maybe wanting to wind down their career, reducing earnings, possibly on pensions.

    I recall a grandparent carer who had downsized her home to help fund her retirement. When her grandsons moved in with her she needed to move to a larger, more expensive property. This was not something she had planned or chosen, and it would seriously impact her financial future.

    I was pleased to be able to advise her of the options to access financial help.


    Put your hands up.
    • nimbo
    • By nimbo 10th Feb 18, 9:33 PM
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    nimbo
    Once a case has entered the court arena the local authority is often obliged to offer financial support. Given there were such concerns that there are orders and possibly non molestation orders prohibiting access unsupervised or at the address this financial support may have been part of that process.

    In order for a grandparent to be able to have PR and therefore be able to make decisions about what school a child goes to etc there needs to be an order in place.

    Stashbuster - 2014 98/100 - 2015 175/200 - 2016 501 / 500 2017 - 200 / 500 2018 3 / 500
    • Jojo the Tightfisted
    • By Jojo the Tightfisted 10th Feb 18, 11:02 PM
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    Jojo the Tightfisted
    I have started this post as this issue sounds a bit strange to me. A lady I work with has a grand daughter aged almost six. Her daughter and her ex partner split 18 months ago due to daughters partner taking illegal drugs and a mental health issue. The social services became involved when her daughter called the police about her partner a few times. My colleague says children's services wanted to place the child into local authority care but herself and her husband challenged it. She says she has her grand daughter on a fostering agreement and reduced her work hours to accommodate this. She did have to take a fostering course in line with children's services rules if she wanted the child to remain with her and her husband. Her daughter and her ex partner can only see the child under her supervision once a month. Her daughters ex is not permitted to go into her house or on the street where they live, he has to arrange to meet them in a different location in order to see the child. It all sounds a bit off to me. How can someone receive fostering allowances for their own grand child and if the child's father is deemed such a danger wouldn't the child have been placed into care away from the area? . My colleague said she fears her grand child's dad could apply for custody one day. Also the other set of grandparents have to arrange to see the child once a month through children's services once per month but the child's father must not be with them when they take the child out for the 3 hours per month. Also if my colleague was found to be allowing the child's dad to call round or take him out by himself. The child would be taken into alternative care and she would lose all rights to see the child again. Does anyone know if this is correct?.
    Originally posted by Bath cube
    Usually, the only person at work who would have this amount of personal information about another employee would be their Line Manager when they have requested child friendly working patterns.


    You'd better hope this is a fake story, because if it isn't, you're looking at dismissal for Gross Professional Misconduct if she or a friend of hers (or their social worker) recognises the family from your post.
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    Originally posted by colinw
    • gettingtheresometime
    • By gettingtheresometime 10th Feb 18, 11:57 PM
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    gettingtheresometime
    Usually, the only person at work who would have this amount of personal information about another employee would be their Line Manager when they have requested child friendly working patterns.


    You'd better hope this is a fake story, because if it isn't, you're looking at dismissal for Gross Professional Misconduct if she or a friend of hers (or their social worker) recognises the family from your post.
    Originally posted by Jojo the Tightfisted
    The charitable side of me says that the info provided in the OP could be considered hearsay.

    The uncharitably side of me says the OP is just winding everybody up .......I mean how many dramas can 1 person have / be involved in ?
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    • determined new ms
    • By determined new ms 11th Feb 18, 12:24 AM
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    determined new ms
    Additional funding would be available via tax credits, CB in the same way normal parents would, however, they would get even more by taking the fostering route. Access to support is available without needing to go the fostering route. So why else consider your grand child a foster child but for the additional money to what parents are entitled to?
    Originally posted by FBaby
    children who have been removed from the care of their birth parents have often suffered significant developmental trauma and will have the same ongoing issues that children placed in stranger foster care have. Remaining within the family is shown to improve outcomes for these children, but the families often have to fight to be given the same rights and financial resources as children in stranger fost care care. These children often have ongoing and extensive medical and therapeutic needs. Having a fostered status allows access to services that are really hard to access without.

    Having a child with fost care status also entitles the grandparents to access specialist training around developmental trauma which without it they cannot access and the child/children are denied the benefit of.

    There are also the complex issues of the familiar relationships to navigate and often parents of the children's parents have complex issues. The grandparents often need the support of the Local Authority to manage these. These are issues stranger foster carers do not have to manage. And the knock on affect to day to day care of the children isn't affected.

    A large majority of grandparents are older and have care needs themselves. Very often social services can insist the grandparents (at least 1) have to give up employment to care for the complex needs of the children. This all comes at a very emotionally difficult time, often. At the age a lot of grandparents take on care of their grandchildren there is little opportunity to make up lost earning potential when the children have grown up
    Last edited by determined new ms; 11-02-2018 at 12:48 AM.
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    • Tabbytabitha
    • By Tabbytabitha 11th Feb 18, 7:31 AM
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    Tabbytabitha
    Additional funding would be available via tax credits, CB in the same way normal parents would, however, they would get even more by taking the fostering route. Access to support is available without needing to go the fostering route. So why else consider your grand child a foster child but for the additional money to what parents are entitled to?
    Originally posted by FBaby
    There's often, in reality, not a great deal of support even for ordinary foster carers so I'd question how much there'd be for grandparents looking after their grandchildren.
    • determined new ms
    • By determined new ms 11th Feb 18, 9:16 AM
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    determined new ms
    There's often, in reality, not a great deal of support even for ordinary foster carers so I'd question how much there'd be for grandparents looking after their grandchildren.
    Originally posted by Tabbytabitha
    It's a real postcode lottery
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    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 11th Feb 18, 10:55 AM
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    FBaby
    If a child is fostered an allowance is paid. Why should the carers not receive this because they are grandparents? The care they provide is of equal, arguably greater value, because of the stability they offer; and the costs they incur would be the same.
    Because I don't see grand-parents as 'carers' but as what they are grand PARENTS. Where does it stop otherwise? If a child lives with his mum FT and then mum passes away so that the care goes to the father who before then only saw his child once a month as living miles away, should they also be entitled to becoming a foster parent because they are becoming carer for that child?

    I guess I find it shocking as I come from a culture where family doesn't stop at mum and dad. I cannot imagine considering myself a foster parent to my future grandchildren just to get more money if it came to it, nor would I do it for my sister's kids. They are my family and if something happened that meant I had to look after them, I wouldn't expect any additional money then what I would be entitled as a parent.

    Having a child with fost care status also entitles the grandparents to access specialist training around developmental trauma which without it they cannot access and the child/children are denied the benefit of.
    Call me cynical but I don't believe for a second that is the main reason for grand parents do go down that route. Such access would be available from a referral via SS or the NHS. I think what it comes down to is that culture of entitlement when people value any additional cash and the material things that it gets them above that of the message that it gives, which is that the child is a commodity rather than a family member.
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 11th Feb 18, 11:47 AM
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    silvercar
    Fbaby, you are being a bit harsh.

    Elsewhere on the forum people seek to maximise their benefit entitlement, to the extent of choosing to work X hours a week, to getting a job because they "failed" a benefit test etc I don't necessarily see why grandparents are exempt from doing the same.

    Especially when the cost to the state is less by in family adoption and generally benefits the child.

    Its not a case of saying the grandparent is doing it for the money, rather that they are doing it anyway but want to make sure they are getting all their benefit entitlement.
    • happyandcontented
    • By happyandcontented 11th Feb 18, 11:53 AM
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    happyandcontented
    I come into contact with a family very similar to that described in the OP (through a relatives involvement) and I see first hand how hard it is for a seventy-two year old woman to cope with two boisterous boys both with medical/emotional issues arising from the circumstances of their birth.

    I certainly wouldn't begrudge her state help to do this very difficult job.
    Last edited by happyandcontented; 11-02-2018 at 11:59 AM.
    • GwylimT
    • By GwylimT 11th Feb 18, 12:03 PM
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    GwylimT
    Because I don't see grand-parents as 'carers' but as what they are grand PARENTS. Where does it stop otherwise? If a child lives with his mum FT and then mum passes away so that the care goes to the father who before then only saw his child once a month as living miles away, should they also be entitled to becoming a foster parent because they are becoming carer for that child?

    I guess I find it shocking as I come from a culture where family doesn't stop at mum and dad. I cannot imagine considering myself a foster parent to my future grandchildren just to get more money if it came to it, nor would I do it for my sister's kids. They are my family and if something happened that meant I had to look after them, I wouldn't expect any additional money then what I would be entitled as a parent.



    Call me cynical but I don't believe for a second that is the main reason for grand parents do go down that route. Such access would be available from a referral via SS or the NHS. I think what it comes down to is that culture of entitlement when people value any additional cash and the material things that it gets them above that of the message that it gives, which is that the child is a commodity rather than a family member.
    Originally posted by FBaby
    Fathers plan on an intend to become fathers, unless they have been raped. Grandparents have no choice as to whether or not they become grandparents.

    As an adoptive parent I can assure you that access to training, play therapy etc is not available from social services or the NHS. Before my son was adopted all of his fostering allowance was spent on therapies (it didn't come close to covering the cost, nevermind lost income or a trashed house) he needed to cope with the abuse he had suffered and to deal with attachment disorder. Without fostering allowance not only would my son not have been able to access therapy, we wouldn't have be able to ultimately adopt him as we can't provide 24/7 care for his entire life as housing, utilities and food are not free. Due to his therapy he is now a well functioning adult, it is disgusting that people want to remove vital therapy from children.

    I suggest you watch a home for Maisie to see the realities of fostering and the almost non-existent support for foster carers.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 11th Feb 18, 12:20 PM
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    NeilCr
    Some information here about what support you get in different kinship roles

    http://www.fosterline.info/kinship-care-friends-and-family-care/

    Hopefully, it informs the discussion.

    As I said earlier my partner is pretty much a parent to her grandson these days. She is worn out and it has affected her social life. She does it because she loves the child and wants to give him the best possible environment Fostering is not an option (her son lives with her). If it was (and while money is tight for her) there is no way she would go down that route purely for the cash. She would only do it if it produced extra support, care, help for him.

    I know quite a lot of others in similar situations and they would say the same. I will also say that no amount of extra money would compensate for the stress, tiredness, etc that she now suffers.

    I would not call you cynical Fbaby. In this case, for the vast majority of grandparents fostering, I would say you were wrong.
    • Tabbytabitha
    • By Tabbytabitha 11th Feb 18, 12:33 PM
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    Tabbytabitha
    Because I don't see grand-parents as 'carers' but as what they are grand PARENTS. Where does it stop otherwise? If a child lives with his mum FT and then mum passes away so that the care goes to the father who before then only saw his child once a month as living miles away, should they also be entitled to becoming a foster parent because they are becoming carer for that child?

    I guess I find it shocking as I come from a culture where family doesn't stop at mum and dad. I cannot imagine considering myself a foster parent to my future grandchildren just to get more money if it came to it, nor would I do it for my sister's kids. They are my family and if something happened that meant I had to look after them, I wouldn't expect any additional money then what I would be entitled as a parent.
    Originally posted by FBaby
    You might not expect any extra money for looking after your grandchildren but how would you manage if you or your husband had to give up your job to look after them, particularly if neither of you earned the sort of salary that I think you do?

    You're writing as if the need would arise after a car crash killed the parents or similar but this is rarely the case. It's far more likely to be in this position because the child's parents had abused them or were drug addicts/alcoholics or any of the multiple tragedies where children have been taken into care. It would be unlike being a parent over again -the relationship would need to be far more therapeutic and far more akin to being a carer than the relationship you'll have enjoyed with your own children.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 11th Feb 18, 12:40 PM
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    Red-Squirrel
    I wouldn't expect any additional money then what I would be entitled as a parent.
    Originally posted by FBaby
    Would you turn it down if it was available to help you though?
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