My story and looking for advice please.

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Smiter
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Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:30 am

My story and looking for advice please.

Post by Smiter » Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:37 pm

This could be a rather large post sorry.

My son has 3 children by 2 different girls and one baby on the way.

His eldest child from his earlier girlfriend was taken into care at birth. I had no idea at the time what was the reasoning behind it nor did I know or even think I might have any rights in the matter at all. He and the child's mother told me a series of lies about why the baby had been taken into care ranging from social services not being happy with their accommodation through to (acording to them) lots of lies being spun about them. This child was kept in care and has been since adopted to a family. I obviously have no idea where she is now. I have only in the last 12 months or so found out about things like letterbox contact. I contacted the relevant social work department and all they would offer me was the opportunity to write a letter to put in her file which I did.

Eventually it all became very clear why the child was in care. It turned out that there had been several allegations of sexual abuse/assault and violence made against my son. One of the children involved was my daughter's child. As you can imagine this all caused a huge rift in my family, and I cannot believe a word he says. I have seen his temper and have read reports and statements to the police about him and I know who I believe. This all happened in Scotland.

Anyway after a couple of years he moved on from that girlfriend and got involved with another girl. (This time in England) This girl was pregnant when they got together and was warned by social services that if she stayed involved with him then her child would be taken from her at birth. They tried to fool the SW into believing they had indeed seperated but they saw through them and the child went into foster care at birth. (I should probably point out at this time the girl is very young and naive and he is very good at manipulating people).

They then went on to have another child, a boy, who also was taken into care and he and her little girl have since been adopted out together. At the time I contacted the SW regarding my granddaughter I also contacted the SW responsible for these children and the person I spoke to there was shocked to find out I existed and stated that had they known about me I could have applied to have the little boy. They also offered to contact the adopted parents to ask if they would agree to letterbox contact which they have. The birth parents of these children have never kept in contact with SW (although they insist to me they have) and have not provided a story book or photos for their future. My son lives in a fantasy world where he believes that regardless of the fact his children are with adopted parents, he will get them back. This fantasy world is probably a result of his drugs abuse and his warped controlling mind. His version of the story is that everyone else is lying and he is the only one telling the truth.

Anyway a few years later and he and the girlfriend have moved house twice, getting them selves out of SW radar. The girl becomes pregnant again and it becomes apparent that SW where they were now living did not know of their history. I therefore made the very difficult decision to contact the local SW and notify them of what was going on. By this time they had another girl and she was a couple of months old by the time the SW got an order so they could place her in care. SW have battled to keep this child in care and myself and my husband have registered that we would be keen to be considered for kinship care of the child. However, when the hearing went to court eventually, the sherrif (Scotland law) deemed that the information relating to the previous children and the admission on my son's part (historically) of being a violent person and the fact he was a drug addict was not admissable/relevant to the case. The SW's hands were tied and the child was reluctantly given back to the parents. This was on the basis that my son attended a drugs counsellor and that the SW made several visits a week to the house.

My son and the mother know that we registered to be kinship carers but not that we had been involved in the background throughout the case.

The current situation is that the girl is pregnant again, my son has apparently split up with her and has moved on to another victim/gf. However recent developments are that the SW have discovered that he and his current gf have been forcing the mother of the child to let them stay with her (but he claims this is lies and she begs them to stay) and that the child's mother had allowed him to have the child stay weekends with him in the house he is squatting in. There have been allegations made that not only is he back on drugs but that he is using them in the presence of the child and has been under the influence of them when she was in his care. The house where the girl lives with the child currently has no gas or electricity (presuming he has spent the money on drugs). My last conversation with him he tells me that he and the child's mother are currently staying with his father, who lives nearby but is unfit as a potential carer (thankfully), and his current gf is living in the squat. Therefore the SW have swooped and taken the child again and they have a temporary order to keep her in their care. I have been in touch with SW and reminded them that we are still available to take her.

The biggest stumbling block in it all is that we are in England and the child is in Scotland and the laws are very different. We can't have her on the temporary order because we have to be vetted as suitable first and they won't start that process unless they get a permanent order. While she is on temporary order they have rights to supervised contact with her which SW have to comply with.

With regards to the child that is expected in May we have no idea what rights we will have if they stay separated as they are not married. Her family have already been assessed when she had her little girl in England and their little boy and were found to be totally unsuitable because of allegations against members of the family.

I should point out that the only contact I have with my son is via text or internet or phone. I do not particularly like having any contact with him because he is a very nasty person however I am the only constant link between him and the SW and feel a strong need to be able to keep the SW up to date with where he is and what he is up to. The SW are satisfied that I do not have physical contact with him and that I would have no problem adhering to whatever contact ruling they put down to protect the child. I don't want to be in his physical space unless I absolutely have to.

I did say this was a long story and I've probably missed bits out. However basically I am asking for any advice anyone can give regarding the differences in the law between Scotland and England and wondered if anyone had been in a similar situation where they lived in England and the child was in the care of a SW dept in Scotland.

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David Roth
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Re: My story and looking for advice please.

Post by David Roth » Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:37 pm

Hello Smiter, and welcome to the Family Rights Group discussion forum for family and friends carers.

Your situation sounds desperately worrying and difficult, and you do have my deepest sympathies in trying to deal with such a difficult family situation. This is further complicated by the fact that the case is being dealt with under a different legal system.

Unfortunately, at FRG we are only able to advise on English law - we don't have the expertise or experience in Scottish law matters. I am aware that we have had some people using the forum who live in Scotland, and if any of them read your post they may be able to comment your questions about children coming under a Scottish social work department.

I wonder also whether you have been in touch with the Scottish Child Law Centre? They give free legal advice on matters concerning children and young people: advice line for adults Mon-Fri 9.30am-4.00pm 0131 667 6333 (they also have a freephone number children can call directly). You can check out their website here: http://www.sclc.org.uk/
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

Smiter
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:30 am

Re: My story and looking for advice please.

Post by Smiter » Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:23 pm

thank you for that information David. With the child being in Scotland and me being in England will the situation be dealt with under Scottish or English law Once I can establish that then it might be a bit easier to find out more of what I can and cannot do.

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David Roth
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Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:14 am

Re: My story and looking for advice please.

Post by David Roth » Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:40 am

Smiter, if the parents and the child are living in Scotland, and the new child is going to be born there as well, then it will be Scottish social services and the Scottish courts that deal with their cases.

Wherever the jurisdiction, I would advise you to ensure social workers are not allowed to forget that you are available for the children. The attitude towards placing children with relatives does vary between one authority and the next, and even between one social worker and the next — while some are wholeheartedly in favour, there are others who assume that parents with problems must come from a 'problem family' themselves.

In England, under the Public Law Outline, the local authority ought to be checking for family and friends carers and carrying out assessment before they start proceedings - I'm not sure of the situation in Scotland, but the Scottish Child Law Centre could probably help clarify that for you.
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

Smiter
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:30 am

Re: My story and looking for advice please.

Post by Smiter » Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:20 am

thank you that is very helpful

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