Hi all, bit of advice needed. Our niece has lived with us previously under a Residence Order. She lived with us from age 3 to 11yrs old. Her father has an alcohol problem, her mum died when she was only 2. Her father remarried and she went to live with them just about 3yrs ago. Our father died in November and her dad (my brother) derailed again. So much so that she came to stay with us again. She's now been here 4months and has no intention of going back to her dad and stepmother. All sorts of child protection issues have came up since then. Social Services are quite happy to leave her here, easier for them, although we did ask to be assessed as Family Foster carers this was turned down. We get child benefit and he pays maintenance through CMS.
The problem we have is that legally we have no say in what happens, we can't even give permission for her to have immunisations at school. 
Can we get our residence order reinstated or their child arrangement order rescinded?
I know it'll only last til she's 16 but he's even claiming a dependents pension from her mother that she could be using to buy things for herself - teenagers are very expensive!! My brother still owes us maintenance from the first time we looked after her!! 
Hi, I understand that this is a difficult situation. However, this is a legal issue and as we're not legally trained we cannot give legal advice. The Child Law Advice website has an extensive archive of information on the law surrounding children. You can contact them through these services in this page. If you feel you need further support please e-mail us at askus@familylives.org.uk or call our freephone helpline on 0808 800 2222.
Jason Shaw jay3779
Hi, Jason here. It's sounds to me like you should automatically have parental responsibility if an order was made in your favour. As such, you have automatic rights of say in certain decisions according to Section 3(1) of the Children Act 1989. It sounds like your brother would be in no good position to oppose a new order which you could trigger as a litigant in person (without a lawyer) and express your concerns in lay terms. 

I'm not a lawyer myself but I have represented myself in a Child Arrangements Order and Appeal which means it should be do-able for you.