Good Morning. I have a question about a Swedish national who used to be my step son, and his rights to access support now that he effectively does not have anywhere to live. I was in a relationship with a Philipine woman who was nationalised in Sweden, she had two children. They came to live with me in UK about 2001, but the relationship failed, as I found out she was still married, and she stole money from me and falsely accused me of domestic violence, and abuse of her daughter! The two children were about 16 and 13 at the time, they decided they wanted to live with me rather than their mother, and we went through the courts and I was awarded a residency order and had it extended until the children became 18 year old. Josefina is now 20, but the son Hendrexx is now seventeen. About two years ago he moved out of my home to live at a friends house, because of friction between my new wife and her teenage son, my wife was pregnant with our daughter at the time. Hendrexx left secondary school and now is on the second year of a sport related course at Moulton College Northampton. The friends parents have been active in contacting the social services, and have had an accessment of the current situation. Social security are saying that Hendrexx is not entitled to any support or housing benefit despite the fact he is now effectively homeless as he can not remain at the friends house. They are reluctant to ask him to leave to force the issue. His mother has returned to the Philippines, and he has never known his father, who is a Philippine merchant sailor. He was given Josefina's father's surname when registered to the Swedish authorities. He has one blood relative in the UK Aunty Lisa my ex's half sister who lives in London, Jo also lives there, and Lisa has a married daughter who lives at the same address with her husband and their 14 month old daughter, Lisa is also a foster mother to three young girls. Social services are being very cagey about what they will / can do and are resisting any positive input to help resolve Hendrexx's options, one justification is justification of the neccessary expenditures. There also say that if Hendrexx becomes home less they will put him in B&B and then send him to his Aunty. This is clearly not an option for her, and anyway Hendrexx wants to remain in Northampton and is doing well at College. Surely under section 20 of the children's act they must provide supportfor a minor, and cann't dis own him based on his nationality as he is Swedish. They say he has the following options, find a contracted job of 16 hours or more which meets their criteria as being suitable, then as a contributor he becomes eligable. Apply for British Citizenship, or find a new home ie go to his Aunty. As a minor this seems totally unacceptable, Jo left home under my request when she was 17 through similar issues of compatibility, and was given support and had a flat within days, so what's difference now? I can not accept him back even on a temorary basis as we don't have any spare room, and my job is now insecure. He accepts this situation, but I have committed to speak to the social services. I have just completed a council house registration as a contingency, to ensure some options would be available should I loose my income. I am also seeking advice from the Swedish Embassy on Hendrexx's entitlements in the UK.
I have now talked to the social services and will be meeting them on Friday this week. The only update is that they were under the opinion that the residency order expired when the children gained 16years old. Could this change the housing dept application, or his claim for income support? I feel sure that the social security department will try to force me to take Hendrexx back, which I will resist as it is not what we want two years on. He visited us last evening to ask if I would sign a parental permission form for a college trip, which is no problem, however when he had left I found my wife in tears, partly out of pity for him, and partly because of the memories of what had happened in the past, both as a result of his mothers action towards me, and the dificulties before Hendrexx moved out. This now re enforces my view that it is not in our interests to be forced to re house him, and the distruption this will couse in the weeks and months ahead. Also the problem is only going to return in July 2012 when he becomes 18 years old, he says he wants a more secure / permanent solution, and would prefer not to return.
Please can you help clarify what can be done? BR Mike Barry