Case studies

The following are examples of some of the situations where children need looking after by someone they know. They also explain why the carer chose to become either a foster carer of a special guardian.

For family and friends foster carers

The following are example scenarios of children who could be looked after by friends and family carers.

• After years of moving from one children’s home to another and changing a number of schools, Karen found a close friend in her classmate Stephanie. Karen would often spend her weekends with Stephanie and slowly she grew fond of Stephanie’s family especially her mother Beth, who became Karen’s close friend. Because of Karen’s difficult past experiences, Beth felt it would be useful to become a foster carer and have lots of access to support and training so that she could really help Karen.

• It was a difficult period in Susan’s life who had been abused by her own father, She confided in her mother who didn’t believe her. She then confided in her teacher who informed Children’s Social Care. Susan wanted to remain within her own family and asked if her aunt Cherry and uncle Alex could look after her. Cherry and Alex felt that given the difficult situation within the extended family, it would be helpful to have support from Children’s Social Care to help manage the situation.

• Mr Hussein did not wish his grandchildren to be neglected any more by his son and daughter-in-law and be subjected to their constant fights. He wanted to care for all his five grandchildren but was too old to cope on his own. His eldest son, Junaid and youngest son, Irfan were willing to support him and look after the children together. Mr Hussein felt that by becoming a foster carer, he would benefit from the extra support and help from social workers and other foster carers.

For special guardians

The following are example scenarios of children who could be looked after by special guardians.

• Mr Ali is the maternal uncle of Rabiya and Shania. The children are currently living with their uncle and their birth parents have separated. The children’s birth father has not had contact with his children for over 5 years and now wants to see his children. Rabiya does not wish to have contact with her father. The children’s birth mother has mental health issues and is unable to look after the children. Mr Ali would like to have a legal resposnibility for the children.

• Baby Omar was on the child protection register before he was born as both his parents were taking drugs. When he was born, Omar’s father was in prison and his mother was unable to look after him. He was placed with his foster carer Habiba who now wishes to care for Omar on a long term basis and have legal rights in parenting Omar.

• Patrick is 13 and lives with his grandmother since sadly his mother died. He shares a close relationship with his father and wants to see him regularly but wishes to remain living with his Grandmother. Both Patrick and his grandmother would like to make this arrangement legally permanent.

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  • Family and friends carers
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