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Chicken shack

Grandchildren very sad. (Updated)

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Hi Everyone I have not been on here for sometime now my life has turned upside down I hope you don't mind me sharing this with you. My DD has been suffering from mental illness now for two years. We DH and myself held things together, I tried to get help from Oct 2014 even making a formal complaint December 2014 however she still didn't get any help. :( We went on our first holiday for five years and on the day we returned at the beginning of Sept things had deteriated badly and our DS was holding the fort. Tried again to get help, so we struggled on having two, three and sometimes all for and doing the school run etc 20 miles a day. Eventually the eldest GS 9 made a discloser at school and social services finally sat up. This was at the end of November and we have had all four with us since age now 2,6,8 and 9. This has been financially, emotionally and physically draining. Everything is so difficult constant meetings, case revue, appointments etc. I don't know if anyone else out there has experience of this but I just needed to tell you how sad I am ATM. I still have 9 chickens. Lost 2 to weasel or stoat. I now have to ensure they are locked up in their bedroom at night. Two of my ducks passed away and Charlie drake made for freedom into the river, I think one if the boys left the gate open. :( I gave my two bantams to a friend as they were constantly picked on and had to live separately. We can visit them anytime we like. :)

Edited by Guest

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So sorry to hear this - I haven't any experience of this situation so can't offer any advice but I hope you're getting some sort of support. And I hope your daughter is responding to treatment. I'm sure there'll be others on here who have experienced something similar,although you may find they prefer to contact you via PM rather than sharing on here.

Your grandchildren are very lucky to have you there for them.

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Firstly I just wanted to say how sorry I am to hear that your family has been going through such a hard time :(

 

I can only imagine how hard it must be to have all four grandchildren along with the worry and stress over your daughter's illness.

 

We have had dealings with Social Services over the 'adoption' of our little boy and I can honestly say that they have been consistently lacking in support, advice and often downright divisive and dishonest. They tend to heap stress on what is an already difficult situation. I hope this is not the case with the Authority you're dealing with. In our experience, once Social Services know that the children are in a safe environment, all support wanes away. You and the children are entitled to lots of help though, so don't despair. You just have to fight for it!

 

We had to find our own support network through a support group called Friends of Special Guardians- based in Cornwall but Pauline is a lovely lady and I'm sure she would point you in the right direction to access the support you need.

Friends of Special Guardians – Cornwall. Facilitate groups throughout Cornwall on a monthly basis. Supporting families and children with Special Guardianship Orders and Residence Orders. Meetings take place in the morning. For more information email info@specialguardian.co.uk or call 0333 121 0144. Visit full website at www.specialguardian.co.uk

 

She also put us in touch with grandparentsplus and although they were not applicable in our case, they sound as though they could offer you lots of support.

http://www.grandparentsplus.org.uk/local-support-groups

 

I'm sorry to hear about your chicken woes too... :(

Sending you a big supportive hug.

If I can help in any way at all, please don't hesitate to PM me. I'll happily share any experience or support I can offer.

xxx

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Really sorry to hear you are having such a tough time, I think you must be an amazing person to take on so much and I can only imagine how hard it must be for you all. Don't have any advice or experience but just wanted to say make sure you take care of yourself as well, its easy to put everyone else first and then it catch up with you.

Sending lots of virtual hugs xx

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I just wanted to add my support for all you are going through.

I am seeing a friend tomorrow who knows a lot about the kind of thing you are going through so I will ask her and tell you if I can find anything useful.

xxxxx

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I too wanted to add my support. Currently going through mental health stuff with our YD, but she is 16 so no children to worry about. I would say, keep at the health professionals if you aren't happy with what they are doing, or if you need more help. I know here (Wilts) they are very busy and low staffed, so it can take a while, but once you are inthe system, it does seem to work. I hope also you,your OH and the grandkids are getting help as its a lot for all of you to be going through.

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I am a foster carer, now called stranger care?! As nowadays the first plan will be to keep children with kin as much as possible. I have done many training courses with kinship carers and you are as entitled to as much support as any carer. Financially you should be getting monies and offered help with school runs. I was last week with a mum in your situation and she is caring for 3 yr twins . Social services have arranged day care 3 days per week recognising she is in her 50's and how draining children are. I would recommend getting in touch with the senior SW and laying out what you need. The last thing they want is to have to find foster homes for your little ones. Also the fostering network will help. They also work with kinship carers and will speak to you over the phone and help you . They also help with play equipment,tutoring and wil pay in full as very often the children have been traumatised and their schooling is affected. Try to find someone in same situation as that is invaluable at getting right services.Ring your local fostering team and ask do they have SW for kinship carers? My link worker supports both kinship and stranger. Do not be afraid to ask for help, sometimes people fear what SW will think. You have taken on a mammoth commitment and need/deserve help.

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Hi

Sorry I have no words of wisdom to help, but just wanted to say I've read your post carefully and am thinking of you.

Hope things improve soon.

 

Sending virtual hugs, H

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I can't imagine how difficult this is for you. I have no practical advice to offer, but I really did want to send you a virtual hug. (I love them very much, love having them, but I find it draining when I have just one of my grandchildren to stay for any length of time).

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Sorry to hear about your woes; you are being so supportive and your grandchildren are very fortunate to have you there. I so hope that things become calmer for you and that you get the support that you need in the very near future.

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Thank you all for your advice and support. We have had an initial assesment to become fosterers and have at last got some financial support. We will get the maintenence element which is a huge financial relief. However the case will be going to court within the next two weeks to see what is in the children's best interest. At the pre court meeting we were highly praised, grandparents are usually not even invited. If we are able to continue to foster we will need to save hard for a people carrier my little BM sports is way too small. I only got it last year (2 years old) thinking it would last us ten years, tax and insurance is reasonable. How things change so quickly. :roll: Social services are paying for our solicitor. If all goes well we will have to have more assesments to ensure we are suitable. Apparently we will be given a social worker from the fostering team. Had a lovely week with them. Farm seeing new born lambs being born, close up at the zoo, forest walks etc. :) It is a lonely place being a grandparent carer, compleatly different from caring for your own children. The age difference between us and other parents is to big and our freinds are now unable to come and stay as there is no room. I don't have time to see freinds who live local anymore. As was pointed out at the last meeting by the chair, our lives have/will be changed forever. DD is not responding to help/advice/support and I am unable to help her as my time is used caring for the boys. Oh I forgot to mention we also had to say goodbuy to our beloved cat Archie who was nearly 16. Why do sad things happen all at once :?:

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So pleased to hear that you're getting some help from Social services but sad to hear that your daughter isn't responding to help. Try not to beat yourself up about it, you can only do what you can do and your grandchildren are your priority at the moment. I am sure you will pass your assessments with flying colours.

 

Very sorry to hear about Archie. Poor you, what a sad time you've had... difficult things do indeed seem to come along in numbers :(

 

Maybe the grandparents plus support group might put you in touch with people in a similar position to the one you find yourself in. It's a nationwide organisation... might be helpful to talk to someone to share experiences or meet up with others. Could be a comfort to know that you're not on your own.

 

It must be so hard to put your own lives on hold but it sounds like you're doing a fantastic job.

Sending best wishes.

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Chicken shack,

I know what you mean re other mums etc at school gates as I am in that position re choice. My advice is just be yourself and you will be surprised how friendly everyone is. I get asked my opinion all the time. I think I am a surrogate mum to some mums. There will be lots of birthday parties to take the kids too so forget the age gap and become what you are,in effect another mum of 4 or 8 year old.Sad to hear of poor Archie and maybe getting a kitty in the future for children will help them settle and belong. I usually do this with my foster children ie get them a hen so they can feel some permanence and sense of belonging. Poor sports car, so envious :mrgreen: but not practical, I had a verso which was great as it didn't feel I was driving a bus when I changed from my much loved RAV4 to accommodate a sibling. I know have Smax which is lovely to drive. There may be financial assistance or low interest loan available via social services. I have heard of others getting this.Do ask what training available even if you feel you don't need it it is invaluable for meeting others. Take each day at a time and be kind to yourself when kids in school. Have a look for summer schemes in area as social services generally pay for these too. We have 9 weeks here and it can seem never ending. I usually book boys in for 2 or 3 weeks.

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Echo what everyone else has said and I have found thro my job a lot of grandparents caring for their grandchildren either because of mental illness or bereavement. They do a fantastic job. One woman at the boys school (primary) looked after her grandson as I think his mum had died. We never noticed the age difference (a lot of us were older mums) and she fitted in brilliantly. She was ex army wife so had travelled and had much to give to the school and other mums. I was going to mention Kinship carers but someone has beaten me to it. Also |I don't know if your daughter is on antidepreassants but they do take time to kick in - sometimes 4- 6 weeks. Ali x

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Basically best wishes, this must be such a difficult time for you all. You sound like wonderful people.

I'm glad you have got some good and useful advice and help from this forum and other organisations.

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It's with a very heavy heart I write this, my daughter died on 25th July she would have been 32 today. This left four little boys without a mum. The youngest age two has now been able to return to his father and we were in court today and have been granted special Gaurdianship order for the other three. Retirement is now a faded memory, I don't think I will ever be truly happy again. The children have changed schools which means no more long school runs, they have settled in well. We do have issues from time to time which is to be expected. We are also exhausted most of the time and have had no real time to grieve ourselves and there isn't anyone to turn to really. I would like to stop the world and get off but that's not going to happen anytime soon.

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such terriblle news....... you are clearly a very strong and giving person. the children are so lucky too have you to support them.

 

When you have a moment and have the strength, take time for yourselves with some counselling to an outlet for yourself. Or maybe some family counselling to help you all deal with the heart breaking turn of events....

 

big hugs

 

x0x0x :(

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So sorry to hear this sad update. Looking after 3 young children is difficult at the best of times. Take any support that you can, try to get some rest when the boys are at school, they need a healthy grandmother not a tidy house.

Also remember that this forum is always here when you need a rant. Wishing you well and sending you a big virtual hug.

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Very sad update and very very sorry for your loss - you sound like you need time for yourselves to grieve but those 3 little uns obviously have loving and caring grandparents. I take my hat off to you and hope you can get a bit of respite now they have changed schools and you have their guardianship. Maybe the stress will lessen now. Big hugs.

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I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. It must be so difficult for you to grieve given your focus on looking after the children. It does sound so trite to say they are lucky to have you but it really is an exceptional thing you are doing.

 

Please ask for whatever support is out there, I hope social care can help, be vociferous about what you need as they really need to take notice because it doesn't bare thinking about the options without you.

 

Good luck and please feel free to type away on here, we may only be virtual ears but it helps to outpour and we'd be more than willing to listen.

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I am so sorry to read about your daughter.

I want to send you the most massive hug xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

I don't know what to say that will make anything better but wanted to send you lots of love xxxxxx

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So very sorry Chickencam. So much loss for you. I just echo what others have said, do look into counselling. Cruse or something like that for yourself. Have Social Services offered counselling/ life story work for the boys. Do get as much funding for stuff as you can. SS can pay for after schools clubs and holiday clubs etc Fostering Network can pay for extra stuff like bicycles,sports clubs etc. Perhaps further into next year you could ask for a respite week and you and OH could get away to recharge.

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