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Best Interest Meeting

newall35
newall35 Member Posts: 4
My 23 year old stepdaughter lives with her mother but comes and stays with us every other weekend (up until recently this was every weekend). We have been trying to get Rotherham Adult Services to keep us informed as to what is happening with her care. The situation arose because we found out six months after the event that our daughter was receiving weekend respite care on some of the weekends she wasn't with us. We were extremely distressed that we had not been consulted or even informed about this.

We have now received a letter from Rotherham council stating that they are holding a best interest meeting to decide if it is in our daughter's interest to share information with us!

We are very upset about this and would like some guidance on how to respond. All we want is to be involved and kept informed - we are not asking to make final decision!

Comments

  • ScopeHelpline
    ScopeHelpline Member Posts: 208 Courageous
    Hi

    Sorry that you have been waiting for a reply for a while and that this situation is causing you distress.
    As far as we are aware, if your stepdaughter has mental capacity herself, then it is up to her if she wants you to know about the care/respite that she receives. I am assuming however that she does not have mental capacity to make her own decisions and therefore she should have a legal "deputy" (similar to power of attorney) who makes decisions on her behalf.
    If her mother has been appointed to be her deputy, then unfortunately she does not have to liase or consult with the other parent regarding their child's care.
    It would of course be preferable for both parents to be involved and to communicate amicably about this but this does not have to be the case if her mother is her deputy.
    If Rotherham council act as deputy for her, then similarly, they do not have to share information with either parent if they do not believe this is in your stepdaughter's best interests.
    It is difficult to give a more specific reply as we are not aware who is your step daughter's deputy, and the wider situation surrounding this.

    You could contact the Office of the Public Guardian to find out more about issues regarding capacity and deputyship: [email protected] or tel: 0300 456 0300.

    best wishes
    Scope Helpline
  • newall35
    newall35 Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for the reply, she has been assessed as not having capacity- Rotherham have since come back and agreed it is in our daughter's best interests to share information with us. It would be very difficult for us to provide the best care for her if we weren't kept updated with what is happening in her life.

    Unfortunately the first bit of information they have shared is to inform us, by letter(!), that our daughter was subject to ill treatment/wilful neglect whilst attending a day service - in October 2013. Even her mother wasn't informed until the following year... Other than being told that the staff member was suspended, reported to police and has since pleaded guilty we know nothing about the actual incident(s) or the time line as to when police were informed etc. Sounds like Rotherham being far from transparent yet again.

    It is nothing but one stress after another.
  • ScopeHelpline
    ScopeHelpline Member Posts: 208 Courageous
    edited July 2015
    Hi Newall35

    Yes, stressful indeed.

    If you'd like to pursue the matter legally you could talk to a solicitor to find out what your options are. There isn't much legal aid around these days but there is some help.

    Some places provide free legal advice - if this is something you're interested in exploring it would be worth trying these guys: http://www.advicesheffield.org.uk/index.php?option=com_directory&task=display&Itemid=30&cid=26

    They say on their website you need a referral to access the service, but we're not sure who they take referrals from, so it's probably worth a quick phone call to see what their procedure is.

    You could also put in a complaint with the Council and if necessary take it to the Ombudsman.

    I hope this situation is resolved soon as I can imagine it's taking it's toll on your family. If you'd like to chat about things more feel free to give us a call (0808 800 3333)

    Take care,

    -Scope Helpline
  • newall35
    newall35 Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for your help - we have come to the conclusion that legal advice is our only option.

    Alison

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