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Old 10.01.2017, 15:59
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Question about guardianship

Hi

I have a swiss half sister who also has a british passport. She is a minor. I am British living in the UK but considerably older. Our father died a while back leaving only financial provision for his minor children and her current guardian, a half brother who agreed to be guardian, finds himself no longer able to take on this responsibility. He has presented this as a "fait a complis" and I believe a new guardian may have already been appointed but I have not been given contact details.

Communication is poor between the guardian half brother and myself.

My half sister is currently at boarding school but held back a year. There is talk of school not wanting her to stay beyond July this year. I am not able to talk to the school directly regarding this as they have not been given authority to speak to me. For the past year all school holiday periods are being covered by family in the UK to ease the burden on her guardian.

I guess I'm really looking for information as to what my options are, if any. There is talk of her having to go into a home - no idea whether they mean a children's home or a foster home but I want to avoid this at all costs. If se's placed in a home or foster care what rights will she have? I've tried to find information about guardianship for myself but drawn a blank so far - my french is very poor so I need information in English.

She's in the canton of Vaud if that makes a difference. Where do I start looking? Do I need a family lawyer and how much is it likely to cost?

Thanks for reading, and in advance for any help.
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Old 10.01.2017, 17:36
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Re: Question about guardianship

The guardianship will be controlled by the social service department at the
village or town where the child is registered, this might be at the boarding
school village or where the half brother lives.

If you are thinking of taking over the guardianship, you should write to the
child and ask her where she is registered. You could then start from there,
as your French is poor hiring a lawyer will be necessary.

You will probably be surprised at the good quality of the social worker's service.
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Old 10.01.2017, 18:05
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Re: Question about guardianship

Thank you Sbrinz, that's very helpful information.
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Old 10.01.2017, 19:12
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Re: Question about guardianship

What a very difficult situation for you - pm sent.
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Old 11.01.2017, 02:03
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Re: Question about guardianship

Depending on the age, be sure to talk to her a lot about this to understand what she really wants or needs. Maybe also to the other members of the family.
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Old 11.01.2017, 02:17
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Re: Question about guardianship

Sbrinz and Odile - I am not sure whether my replies to your PMs have sent - I was timed out whilst writing them and cannot find them although the reply arrow is there. When I re-signed in the screen just went blank.

If not, I will re-write and send tomorrow, making sure I save first!

Many thanks.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 12.01.2017 at 23:08. Reason: please don't post real names from PMs on the open forum, use screen names
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Old 11.01.2017, 02:27
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Re: Question about guardianship

I wonder how close she is to you and what she actually wants for herself? "Foyers" and social workers there keep more than close eye on children's interests, cooperate tight with regular schools that teens attend. The kids' autonomy is remarkable.
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Old 12.01.2017, 02:48
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Depending on the age, be sure to talk to her a lot about this to understand what she really wants or needs. Maybe also to the other members of the family.
Thanks Meerkat - it's difficult to find out what she wants, and I mean what she REALLY wants. She's intelligent enough to know what she wants can't happen and no one can make it happen, she's already had a life with lots of rejection and as I only see her holiday times, it's difficult to get to know the true person hiding behind the mask. During discussions about options that are possible, you see the barriers going up; she looks for clues as to what she thinks we want to hear. At the moment we get most of our insight from her older sister, but there are times when we have reason to question what is being told to us .... . It's important we don't suggest impossibilities and let her down further.

I really hope that we can make contact with her new guardian and they will allow us to to have an active input into her future. Not knowing the system over there it is difficult - I'm a glass half full kind of a person and this month is definitely dry January.

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I wonder how close she is to you and what she actually wants for herself? "Foyers" and social workers there keep more than close eye on children's interests, cooperate tight with regular schools that teens attend. The kids' autonomy is remarkable.
Thanks MusicChick. It's very heartening to hear that the Foyers seem to be much more child friendly than the horror stories I hear of the UK system.

As for close - not so much, there are 45 years between us but she yearns for family life, as does her sister, enjoying time with my own grown children, nephews and nieces and their children when she comes to stay for holidays.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 12.01.2017 at 23:08. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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