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Adoption Issues/Custody of children


I'm currently caring for my two nieces who are both under 5 yrs. their mother (my sister) has agreed for me to care for them whilst she sorts herself out. Her children have been severely neglected by her and have been left with people who are strangers whilst she disappeared for a few days. The oldest child has started to pick up on the situation. She is basically not stable enough to give them the basic needs they require. She has a private rented house with no hot water or heating and the house is full of mould and the boiler os leaking gas.We know that she is taking drugs and drinking heavily. We aren't in any receipt of money for the children and she hasn't contacted me to see them and hasn't seen them in about 2 weeks. Their father hasn't contacted either (he isn't with her). What do I need to do to get custody or residency of my nieces. We are worried that the mother will turn up and take her children off us and back into that horrific situation. The oldest one has been to the hospital loads of times for different things like eating ibuprofen, bleach. And she has took them both to the doctors lots of times but then hasn't given the medication she has been prescribed for the child. The children have also had severe rashes on their legs which are now cleared because we have given it the attention needed. She is using the money she gets for the children to drink herself stupid. We have contacted social services in the past and nspcc but don't know what to do next.

Hi Gemma

You can apply for Special Guardianship, which would give you legal parental responsibility for your nieces.  See the link to BAAF below.

BAAF have a helpline linked to this web page and will be able to provide the detailed advice you require.

I hope it all works out well for you and your nieces.

Kind regards


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I can answer questions about fostering in the UK - What's it like to be a foster carer? Who to go to for help? Experiences with troubled children. Attachment problems. Leaving care. Long term fostering. Dealing with birth families. Working with schools, statements, EBD schools.


I have been a foster carer and provided of supported lodgings for over ten years. We have cared for one boy from the age of 9 to 21 years. We have done short term respite care, one year seeing a sixteen year old girl through to leaving care and long term care for another another boy from age 10 to 18 years

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