Q. For the last ten years I have hardly seen my daughter who is an alcoholic. I have tried to offer her help but she has lied to me and stolen from me. She lives with her partner and 6-year old son. Her partner is also an alcoholic and I have heard that the Local Authority is involved with the family because they believe my grandson is not being cared for appropriately. I would be prepared to care for my grandson what steps should I take to ensure he is not placed in foster care?
A. If the Local Authority deems that your grandson’s care and home arrangements are such that he may be at risk of suffering significant harm, then they will certainly become involved with the family. If your daughter and her partner cannot care for him appropriately then the Local Authority have a duty to consider placing him with a family member. The Local Authority could only place a child in circumstances where they already have a Care Order, or alternatively your daughter and her partner could agree voluntarily for him to come and live with you.
In the circumstances you should contact the Local Authority to make them aware of your connection and that you are prepared to care for your grandson. If this is the case then a private arrangement can be agreed for you to care for your grandson.
If however the Local Authority has taken the matter to Court and a Care Order has been made, you will be assessed prior to any placement of your grandson with you. This is a complex area of law and therefore it is vital that you seek expert legal advice quickly in order to progress the matter appropriately.