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Topic : unhappy with your SGO assessment conclusion?

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  • fosterine_avatars_03


    What is the best way forward if you are assessed for a SGO and the assessment recommends you are not suitable? I suspect this should be to seek independent legal advice?
    Any other ideas?



    That is a tough one to come back from. However getting the reasons back on why you were turned down and seeing whether these can be addressed is the first start. There may be obstacles which cannot be got over but there also may be learning that has come from this that could be used and effective change made to make a fresh approach.


    I have recently had an SGO assessment done via an independent assessor. The report was full of mis-leading information, lies and opinions given without any evidence. Also the report quoted information that was supposedly recorded on my LA file as I foster for them, but the assessor had NO ACCESS to my records and also my ssw has confirmed the statement that is quoted is not true. I cannot get anywhere with arguing my case and now have lost the child in my care that I was planning a happy future of family life with. Gutted and devastated don’t come close but frustrated and annoyed that I have no means of appealing against the report. I have googled her and she is a director or a limited company being her and her alone. Who would be the higher person to complain to ?




    It is always very emotional and traumatic when we are dealing with decisions that affect children with whom we have an huge attachment. One of the biggest decisions you can make is to offer permanence to a child or young person. I can empathise with your situation but don’t profess to know how you are feeling.

    I realise it will be difficult but you will need to try and set emotions to one side and decide what you want as an outcome. Once SGO’s are granted they can only be rescinded in exceptional circumstances.

    There seems to be a couple of issues to consider.
    Firstly you will be unaware of the information that is held on your fostering file and you may wish to look into a subject access request to the LA for the information they hold about you. This may provide you with an idea of where the incorrect information included in the independent assessment arose. This can take up to 40 days to achieve this information and will incorporate a fee of around £10 which is set by the ICO (details contained in the website).
    Secondly you may wish to complain as you have said. You would need to complain to the LA as they would be the body that commissioned the independent social worker to carry out the work. I don’t know how far into the process you have gone but initiating the procedure via your SSW and copying relevant LA personnel such as your team manager would ensure your complaint is not misconstrued as personal. Due to the time it take for a subject access request and any possible timeframe within the LA complaints procedure you may want to get this underway. It may also be advisable to seek some legal advice as to your right to appeal the decision, especially if you believe the independent report to be inaccurate. At the very least you would want to ensure your comments are recorded against the information you deem to be incorrect.
    If you have a membership to a fostering organisation you may wish to explore what help is available to you.

    The main advice I could give is give the guys at Fosterline a call and discuss the situation.


    Hi st51, Thank you kindly for your reply. As for emotions, thats one thing I can say I am proud of, I put the emotions aside and deal with the issue. My moto is ‘Ihave the rest of my life to crumble but right now, its about focus and results’ Crazy but it has got me through some very tricky times. As per your response, I agree about difficulties after sgo has been granted. I believe they are back in court end of march for this part so at mo, its just an ico to Local Authority thats the legal status. I have run up legal fee’s of thousands with the court hearing just gone so have to face reality and face it on my own as funds just not available. I am quite confident in letter writing and doing hours of research before moving forward with a subject but its just the actual ‘court areana’ that scares the hell out of me. I really dont take to the marm and stuff when addressing the judge. I am who I am and speak polite, respectful, and do the best I can possibly can but as for airs and graces, oh dear :(.
    I have initiated a complaint and full investigation with the local authority. ive given then options of discrediting the original sgo assesment with notification sent to court or they pay for a 2nd assessment, carried out by an ISW recommended by court and not connected to anyone involved already. I have spoken briefly with my ssw and it has been confirmed that the ISW was not able to access my files so was not in a position to quote the things she has. Also she has referred to discussions that took place during my assessment, but 100% these subjects were never mentioned. One concern was that she said I had given her same names for personal references as I had offered local authority previously and report stated local authority belived my actions where not appropriate and believed I was acting underhand. At no point was I ever asked for references and following a discussion with my ssw, she also confirmed that the assessor would of had to discuss this with her before speaking to me but that discussion has never taken place. It is said in report that I have been investigated for fraud – oh my god I have never done anything like this, my naughtiest action is a parking ticket and then its paid immediately. There are so many things wrong, it would take me a day to list them. Lots of the assessment is based on her opinion but no evidence to explain how she came to the conclusion she had. She documented 1 line of a conversation, which clearly mis lead the reader into thinking negative but if expanded a little, it is clear to see there is nothing negative at all.
    I know I have to accept the little one has moved on but I need to clear my name at first and then put things in place so that someone else doesnt have to go through this. Luckily I am a tough cookie and can take a challenge but everyone I have spoken to have all said, they would of had a breakdown if they had experienced half of the recent issues. It scares me to think of such professionals abusing their position of authority to bully people for their own satifisfaction. In my opinion, having a child safe, cared for properly and offering the opportunity to thrive to their fulliest, far outweighs performance tables. It is my understanding that child protection should do just that – protect the child.
    I think the way forward is to challenge the sgo assessment to clear my name and once done, reflect on the opinions available.

    I have spoken to FosterTalk recently about other issues and have arranged to speak again this evening so hopefully, they will be able to shed some light on the right pathway for the immediate attention this needs. Thank you again



    Hi Miles,
    It sounds like you have some serious concerns about the ISW who undertook your SGO assessment. I think you are taking the right approach in raising your complaints formally with the LA. You may also wish to consider raising your concerns with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). This is the regulatory body for Social Workers (and others), set up to protect the public. They keep a register of health and care professionals who are required to meet HCPC standards for their training, professional skills, behaviour and health.
    If you wish to raise concerns the link is:
    Hope this helps, Steve



    Hi Miles you do seem to be going through it. Without trying to give more confusing advice, have you been in contact with The Family Rights Group. ?They hold a lot of information about SGO’s and local Authority working. Below is the regs which govern what they have been implying.
    Best of luck in your pursuit.

    Regulation 22. 106 says Local authorities are expected to ensure that the social worker who conducts the
    investigation and prepares the report to the court is suitably qualified and experienced. In
    conducting the investigation, the person preparing the report should analyse and consider the
    information they ascertain from and about the prospective special guardian. The approach
    should be objective and inquiring. Information should be evaluated, and its accuracy and
    consistency checked. The safety of the child is of paramount concern and it is vital that the
    background of the prospective special guardian is checked rigorously. The special guardian (with
    an appropriate support package) should be considered able to meet the child’s needs at the time
    of the making of the order and in the future.

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