Daughter living with grandparent

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  • #34654 Report


    Hello, I could really do with some advice regarding the care of my daughter.

    I am struggling massively having sole responsibility for my 10 year old daughter, to the point where I’m in such a depression I’ve been on the verge of self harming. I can’t cope with it any longer, I’m scared of the responsibility and the pressure and it’s not fair on her.

    My daughter was living with my ex until 3 years ago, when her school reported her coming into school with bruises. I exercised parental rights and took over full time care for her when she was 7 years old. The whole thing became a massive issue in the courts, where it was revealed my ex was not looking after her appropriately, and the court granted full rights to me.

    Since she has come to live with me, my mental health has gradually gone downhill, and I receive no help at all from family or her mother, who can’t even have unsupervised contact with her as ruled by social services. I have always worked full time, now I’m on part time hours with limited holiday availability, and simply cannot cover all the school holidays throughout the year, so this is additional pressure on top. Obviously if I cannot work, I cannot provide for her.

    Things are now at a point where I’m scared I’m about to lose my job, income. I’ve now lost my new partner and been kicked out of our house, and I’m currently living on my mothers sofa. I’m on the verge of getting a new house, and I feel so selfish and hateful of myself when I say this but I honestly can’t cope with looking after a 10 year old girl on my own.

    My mother has offered to look after my daughter until I can get myself back on my feet, both financially and mentally. She works full time, however is suffering mobility issues. I’ve never considered this previously, but I think might be a good option all round for my daughter. She would be close to the rest of the family, her mother is round the corner so hopefully that relationship could be repaired at some point, and I can get myself back on my feet.

    With my mother suffering with mobility issues, she would either need to quit work to look after my daughter or significantly reduce her hours. If there was a private arrangement between parent and grandparent to look after my daughter on a full time basis, would grandparent qualify for any benefits to enable her to look after her? Obviously I would still provide as much as humanly possible, but I don’t want to put my mother under too much financial burden, especially when she is acting in the best interests of my daughter.

    Would social services also contest any of this? I’m really worried about the whole scenario and don’t know what to do for the best, but if I don’t do anything I feel I may crack.

    #34656 Report


    Hi Scott

    Heartbreaking post.  Hope your ok.  I think i see how hard it must be for you. The main thing for you seems to be guilt.  Guilt that your mum wont have the finances to look after your daughter. Guilt that you wont have the finances either. Guilt that you would be moving to a new home and yet leaving your daughter behind ? Look at the reasons why your doing it. Your doing it so that you can get yourself straight. Nothing wrong with that. Your doing it because if you can get straight for yourself then youll be ready for the proper care of your daughter. That im sure is your goal in all of this. Your mum has offered to help you out with caring for your daughter until you settle. If you feel you cant cope with a 10 year old on your own then thank mum for her offer,accept it  and let your daughter know that your coming back for her.

    #34659 Report

    • Hello Scott what benefits are you wanting to.apply for ?
    • Carers benefits ?
    • Childcare?
    #34660 Report


    I’m not sure, whatever would be best. Ideally she’d be looking to give up work to look after my daughter, and aid her mobility issues as well. She got declined for PIP years ago despite the fact she needs a knee replacement and can’t get around very quickly these days. I don’t want her being in an even worse position when she’s helping both my daughter and me.

    #34661 Report


    You need to go on line and check what benefits she is entitled to. Carers benefits are given to someone looking after a disabled person and partial childcare is awarded to someone who works so I suggest you go to your council for a list of child minders who can look after your child after school and during the holidays s and let HMRC know so that they can contribute to child care . I don’t have any family nearby so i  rely on good childcare so I can go to work. Your family will not get money  or  a a salary to look after her gran child from hmrc

    #34662 Report

    Hi Scott, it’s Carmen, one of the moderators. I’m sorry you’re having a hard time. T<span style=”color: #1a1919; font-family: Lato, sans-serif;”>he Gingerbread helpline  – 0808 802 0925 –  re-opens on January 2nd at 10am,  and they can advise you on some of these issues. Please do give them  a ring.  I’m also going to message you with some further resources.  Carmen. </span>

    #34698 Report


    My thoughts on this are the problems that you mum might encounter. The regular bog standard single parent of a 10 year old would be expected to be looking for work . Now if your mum gives up work to take care of your daughter is she going to be expected to be looking for work from the job centre point of view? She could end up with problems around claiming benefits by giving up her job maybe? I don’t know but I think it is always better to get as much info as poss before making a decision. If everything runs smoothly, you get a new house, get yourself back on your feet, your job is sorted and such things, are you going to be in a position to contribute to looking after your mum financially when your daughter comes to live with you as your mum might not easily get another job.

    I am wondering if it would be poss for you and your mum to work together in caring for your child, sorta like shared care so when your at work she can be with gran and when gran is at work she can be with you and when you are both at work you can have a childminder for the times when you are both at work?

    #34699 Report


    Hi Scott, it seems to me that it’s where you are mentally that underlines everything so firstly I’d go and have a chat with your doctor, there are also other forms of help such as:

    Family Lives provide general support to families on issues around parenting, emotional support and just generally coping as a parent https://www.familylives.org.uk/  0808 800 2222

    https://www.giveusashout.org/  TEXT SHOUT 85258  It is a 24 hour 7 day a week 365 day a year crisis text service, delivered by Mental Health Innovations.  A team of trained volunteers support anyone in crisis (texter is phone based, volunteer on a computer), and the aim is to help the person in crisis identify coping strategies and get them from a hot place of crisis, to a cool calm place where they can safety plan

    Mind’s Elefriends forum is an anonymous 24/7 forum with an app, to talk about whatever you want to a highly supportive, lively online community: https://www.elefriends.org.uk/

    SANEline – 0300 304 7000 SANE’s freephone helpline is open 16.30 – 22.30 everyday on 0300 304 7000 to talk about how you’re feeling http://www.sane.org.uk/

    Samaritians – 116 123 The Samaritans are open 24/7 365 days a year – call 116 123 to talk to a listening volunteer about anything (they do not advise and signpost) https://www.samaritans.org/

    I feel once you get the right help you will not feel so stressed about your daughter and will see things in a much clearer way.


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