Concerns for my Grandaughter

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Nanny G
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:47 pm

Concerns for my Grandaughter

Post by Nanny G » Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:10 pm

Hi All,
Not sure where this post belongs, as it is a number of issues, but I am putting it here under child protection as  a start - Admin, please feel free to move it if you feel it belongs else where.

My Son was in an abusive relationship with a girl for 3 years, continually in a splitting up, getting back together, splitting, making up cycle. between the break ups, they would be rowing, and he always felt it was his fault. if she was unhappy, he must be doing something wrong, so would have to work harder to get her approval to make things right.
She was a control freak, and was only happy when she was in control, be it having a tantrum or making him feel bad or getting him to spend money on her.
She fell pregnant soon after they had met, and was just 18 when the baby was born. My son vowed he would never leave her or his baby as that’s what his dad had done to me and him. All the time she was pregnant, the rows and cycle continued. Everyone expressed their concern, including the midwife, at a baby being born into the rows. Baby was born at the end of June by caesarian, and for a few weeks things seemed a little more settled between them, however she become very lazy and left 90% of the care of the baby to my son, who developed a wonderful relationship with his daughter.

for the first 2 years they both lived together at her parents home until just after the baby's first birthday one day the girlfriend/mothers brother who lived there too became drunk and tried to strangle mum in front of the baby. The police were called, and had a duty to notify Social services, who in turn came and had a check on the family but decided that as the brother had gone to stay away for a few days it was safe.
soon after this they moved out into their own rented property.

For most of the baby’s first year the mother wouldn’t allow me to see the baby or my son, and to please her he went along with it meeting me behind her back, but never managing to get the baby out without her to meet me. Eventually, just before the child’s first birthday I was allowed to start seeing her and started to build up a relationship with my granddaughter, and things seemed to be looking up for them as a couple in their own home. I would go over once a week, to help out and see my granddaughter, and we continued to build a relationship and got on very well together, me still being a child at heart and also a former professional nanny with a love of small children. Not only that, from the first moment I saw her in the hospital, I fell in love with her, as if she were my own. not what I expected as a grandparent.

When the baby was a few weeks old, the mother often used to make my son walk the streets in all weathers, but demanded he stayed nearby in case she should need him to change a nappy or do feeds for the baby. He then rang SS and said he was worried about his girlfriend and thought she had post natal depression. The health visitor came to see them and persuade mum to go to the Dr where she got some anti depressants but only took them for a couple of weeks before saying they didn’t work, and refusing to take them again.

A few weeks ago, at the beginning of May their relationship started a real turn for the worse. and this time she walked out for a night leaving my son with the baby. He decided to come and stay with us for a while as he was worried her family would try and take the baby away and said no way was he allowing her to go with her mentally unstable mother he was keeping her safe with him. he stayed a few days, but she persuaded him to go back. they sat down together worked out what they wanted, and both sighed their new 'contract' and went home to live happily ever after - or so he thought. obviously nothing changed, she was still as lazy and controlling as before, and he continued to care 90% for the child. SS were now involved as while son was here she told them, twice, and they sent the police round to us, twice, that it was an unsafe environment for the child to be in. both times they left happy and apologetic. Their allocated Social Worker tried to get them to work as a family unit, but it all came to a further head when my son was out and on his way back home received call form the girlfriend saying she was leaving, she couldn’t take it any more, SS were interfering, and she was taking baby to live with her mum. He calmed her down, said that when he got in they would talk about it, work out what the problem was and could work through it together. he got back, she was calm as if nothing had happened. He started to try and talk to her, but her mother came in to pick her and the child up. It culminated in a physical fight, of my son holding the baby while the girlfriend and her mother tried to physically attack him to get he child away. He called the police, the girlfriend was arrested, her mother left before the police arrived. The police said as it had been so traumatic for the child, she should go somewhere to a friendly face to calm down for a while. The g/f suggested her sister, my son was not happy due to a large ex security dog they have and expressed this to the officer who said it was only a few hours, she would be fine, he could pick her up later, so grudgingly he agreed.

The g/f was taken for questioning, and son rang the SW and told her what had happened and asked would it be ok for him to have his daughter. she said yes of course, to go and get her as the sister couldn’t refuse, as he was the father, but also that if the mother got there first she also had equal rights. if the family wouldn’t hand the child over, she said to call 999 and they would get the child out for him. i ran him over to get the child from the sister who refused to hand her over. Son called 999, who sent someone out, but insisted they asked SS first. by this time it had gone to out of hours, and the SW had gone home. Out of hours didn’t know what had happened so said to leave the child for the night, they would sort it out in the morning. Obviously the mother was released and went home to her sisters and her baby and has had her ever since.
SS said the sisters house was not suitable for the child to stay in, and told the mother to be out by the end of the day, she stayed another night, telling my son it was all ok and fine for her to stay there. It was then arranged that she would go to her mother, where her violent brother still lived. My son again expressed his concerns, but SS made up an agreement, saying that the mother had care of the child, at her parents and that my son and the mother would not be together in the child’s presence and if the mother felt there was any danger to herself or the child she was to call 999.
The g/f's family were not at all supportive, and didn’t want her around and the only place she had to sleep was on a mattress on the sitting room floor, getting in everyone’s way.
Son went to see a solicitor who gave him basic advice about not meeting her in private, if they were to arrange contact with the child, to hand over in public so there could be no accusations of assault of any kind.
SS decided to hold an initial child protection conference, where a child protection plan was drawn up part of which included SS saying they would find a refuge place for mother and baby, who could then be housed by the local authority from there on. The g/f kept gravitating back to my son to get him to cook her dinner, despite the agreement still in place that they would not be together in child’s presence. Things got tense between the mother staying at her parents house and her brother, who started making threats towards her saying he hadn’t finished what he started last year so the SW got her booked into B&B until a suitable refuge place could be found. She spent one night in the B&B, then went back to her parents house with her brother still there. the one night she was in B& B she complained to my son she had run out of money, as she had ha her nails done so having got £15 from her mother, she spent it on cigarettes and some 'snacks' for the baby. She lied to SS telling them she had spent the w/e in B&B, and then that she had gone back to her mums as her brother 'had apologised'. Twice in the next two weeks things kicked off again with the brother, culminating in him being arrested for going on the run around town with an iron bar allegedly to get my son out of the house so his sister could live there and not bug him. He was caught and arrested and cuffed and dragged away for questioning, again in front of the baby (at a place SS said was safe for her, and better than the arguments at home)
soon after this, apparently the G/F's family kicked her out, so she spent a week staying back with my son. SS were not happy about this, saying they would have to seek legal advice if they remained together, so son told her she would have to go back to her mums or stay with her dad but they couldn’t be together. She left, but 2 day s later she was on his doorstep at 11pm when he got in saying she was homeless and had nowhere to go.... like the idiot he was, he let her in, slept the night (clothed) on the same bed with baby in the middle. He had work early the next day, so went out in a hurry, late for his lift, forgetting to put the key back in the letterbox after locking up. He came home a few hours later, to find she had changed the locks and locked him out of the house. still, not thinking he went round to the back (bunkering over neighbours fences) and tried to take the glazing out of the patio doors, breaking the glass. The g/f called the police, who on instruction from the letting agents arrested him for criminal damage, and the g/f said he had locked her in (false imprisonment) and sexually assaulted her the night before.... he was arrested on all three accounts and released on bail to wait for DNA results to determine if he was guilty of the sexual assault or not, on condition he has no contact direct or indirect with the g/f, and stays away from the estate they lived in.

So now she is in the house, has no means to pay the next 6 months rent and nowhere else to go in a months time. She apparently got herself 2 cats, which she cant look after as well as having trouble caring for her child on her own. SS told my son the house was a mess with cat mess and mouldy food, and that they had given her a week to clean up. They met to discus taking my granddaughter into care, went back to see her, and she still hadn’t cleaned up, so gave her 24 hours. i assume she has managed to clean up. She has someone taking care of her money for her, helping her to manage her money and pay her bills and budget for food etc. Apparently someone calls in on her daily to check up on her and child too and she is now on anti depressants to help her cope.
My son has taken it all very much to heart, and still, even now, seems to think they are the next Romeo and Juliet and that she loves him as much as he thinks he loves her and all they want is to be together. Still he seems to believe her lies, and despite terms of bail has been back to the house to get some clothes and his granddads war medals which she had packed and ready for him. He says he was there less than 10 mins, and she said she was sorry, she didn’t mean it to go this far, would retract the statement and drop charges but has been told if she does the child will go into care as she wouldn’t be keeping her safe. He has apparently spoken to her on the phone a few times too. My son is also now on anti depressants, and doesn’t seem to be coping or concerned about the right things. i think he is shell shocked at what has happened, as he is the only one who couldn’t see it coming. SS told them both  they needed to get a solicitor, and get legal representation for a further meeting to discuss taking the child into care. My son didn’t get round to sort out seeing his solicitor, as he said he didn’t have time and didn’t know if he would have to work or not that day. It turned out he didn’t have to work so went to the meeting but couldn’t take part in the full meeting as he didn’t have legal representation, but they have told him all that happened and given him a copy of the list of things needed to be done to prevent SS from seeking legal advice to take the child into care. He hasn’t elaborated as to what has to be done, as he doesn’t like talking about it, so i get snippets of information here and there from him.
He has been allowed supervised contact with his daughter at a contact centre for an hour a week, as the mother says she 'doesn’t trust him'. The mother has also told SS she doesn’t want me having contact with my granddaughter (now just turned 2). My son is also concerned that he has on occasions retaliated and threatened or attacked the g/f and is worried about his temper. whilst i don’t condone any of it, i can understand that there must have been times of anger and frustration when she kept kicking him out of the house and making him feel it was all his fault. However, as such, he feels he must be to blame, and has told the SW his concerns and they have suggested anger management classes for him.

So, what i wonder if anyone could tell me is - if the child is taken into care, what are the chances of my son being given residence of her whilst all these allegations are hanging over him?
A few months ago, i spoke to the Social worker and offered to give a safe haven to my granddaughter if they needed to get her away from both parents. I was told they would look to family first if it got to that stage, but at that point they were not looking to take her away but would take my number in case. So now, in the light of the allegations, and the mother saying she doesn’t want me near the child, and the fact that my son is now living two doors away form me what are the chances of me being able to foster her?
if i were to foster her, what checks would SS want to do on me and my partner, what is the process for us to become family foster parents, and how soon do they want to perform these checks? Again if i were to foster her, what contact arrangements would SS expect for both parents, being that my son could 'pop in' any time and see her in theory.
 what steps do SS have to take before they do take a child into care, and what is likely to be on the list of things to prevent my granddaughter going into care?
Is an hour a week contact for my son with his daughter normal, or should he be able to expect more, and if so would a solicitor be able to help with this?
My son has been told he should take his name off the joint tenancy, but the agency have said if he dos that, then it ends one contract and starts another so the g/f would have to undergo credit checks, and either have a guarantor or 6 months rent in advance neither of which she has. The tenancy comes to an end in mid September anyway, so he may was well. However, he says he doest want to feel responsible for the g/f and daughter being made homeless. Apparently all she can do, is sit tight in the house, whilst notifying the local authority she is in need of homing and wait until she is evicted. At which point she is homeless and the council will have to provide her with somewhere to live, most likely, B&B again. In doing so she will be black listed, if my son has his name still on the tenancy, will his name be black listed along with hers even though he isnt living in the property and the agents know this?

i hope this wasn’t too incoherent, it is all very upsetting for me as a grandparent. i feel i have let my baby granddaughter down by not being able to help her, and her father being so weak too. The mother has taken control again now and doing the 'i need to trust you' game, one she has played ever since she has known my son, and one he seems to play well from the other side, of believing he has let her down and needs to prove himself.

Nanny G
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:47 pm

Re: Concerns for my Grandaughter

Post by Nanny G » Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:25 am

Hi, and thank you both for your replies, its good to hear other people confirm your own thoughts,and to know there are others out there with similar problems.There are times it is hard to focus on keeping myself well and not let it get me down.

I did wonder if the allegations on my son might affect my suitability as his mother as a carer, but as you say, if i can remain independent and go along with what SS want, as opposed to what my son would like that shouldn't make a difference. It is, like you say, the child that is caught in the middle. So if it happens, that SS do want me to care for the child (and i cant honestly think of anyone else in the child's family who may be able to) what sort of checks do they want to do? My partner is dubious about having 'them' looking into his life and 'interfering' as it were. I understand the feeling,but we have nothing to hide, and my partner has been security cleared for working in high security jobs in IT, so again its not like he has anything to hide and if it helps the baby girl then its a good job done, but i would be interested to know what they will want to know when or if it comes to it.

It is sad, as all along it seems to have been 'their' battle, as to who could 'win' and look better than the other, who had this that the other didn't, and poor baby girl was just caught in the middle - nobody thought about her.The G/F has a friend of her sisters who is a SW and apparently looked at their file in the beginning and told them it all looked bad on the g/f so before the SS visit she told my son to make it sound as if some of the bad things were his fault, that he did this, he did that as she didn't want to look so bad....

To start my Son stayed strong and stayed in the house as he wanted the baby to come back with him, and although SS kept saying he should get out as he was making his baby homeless he kept pointing out to them, that the baby was not homeless, the baby had a home with him with all her toys and everything around her, it was only the mother being pig headed and insisting on keeping her daughter while she had nowhere to go that made the child homeless. Its just a shame he went back into the old ways of believing her again...

She has continually shown herself to be unstable, and SS did say in their initial report for the child protection conference they thought her to have mental illness as she didn't complete treatment for PND, however she is now on antidepressants from what i hear, so that should keep SS happy in that respect, however you cant change someone's nature and I cant help feel it will only be a matter of time before she cant cope with the child, at which point hopefully my son will be in a more stable position without allegations hanging over him as when that happens all hell will break loose from her and she will do everything she can to tarnish him and not make it possible for him to have the child.

I spoke to my son briefly yesterday, got a bit more out of him. He doesn't say much at a time as he doesn't like talking about it, but was feeling a bit happier yesterday as he had a new job to start doing what he wanted to do. The anger management classes are part of the things they have to do to prevent SS from going to court for a care order, and also they want him to have counselling. He is happy to do both, and has to get his Dr to say he is actually doing both to prove to SS. Hopefully counselling will help him to see things as they are, not as he wants to think they are. She is a dangerous, manipulative mentally unstable bitch - harsh words, but its true. He said he had wonderful contact last week with his little girl. It was supervised at a contact centre and he was told if she is a bit unsure, to keep it short and not push her. He walked in and as soon as she saw him she put her arms up to him with a big 'Daddy!' and they played just over an hour. Obviously mum had made him out to be some sort of ogre the child was scared off, but she proved otherwise. He doesn't know when his next contact is, SS apparently need to assess what went on, and decide what next, but if she was happy to see him, then that's a good start. I would also hope the mother has to do counselling and anger management classes too at very least.
Also apparently the mother has decided not to apply for residence as yet as she has been told it would give my son more leeway - not sure who told her that or exactly what they mean, but maybe it would bring up what a crap mum she is and give him residence and that's what she is afraid of.
For now, my son is saying he has to go along with what SS want, and do as they say. To hassle them enough to make sure they are aware of his interest in his daughter, but not so much as to annoy them. He seems a lot better for the moment, but i do wish he would stop communicating with the mother directly. He says he has most of his things form the house now, where she has 'sneaked' them out to him when no one was looking. It is very dangerous, as not only is it against his terms of bail but dangerous as she is mentally unstable - when son and daughter stayed here for the few days she made allegations then against him of rape, but withdrew them when he went back.... two way that could be looked at, either she is mentally unstable, and making it up or she is a true victim and too scared to own up and gone back to her abuser..i'm not saying my son is a saint, but i know which side i come down on.

Thanks again for your advice.

Nanny G
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:47 pm

Re: Concerns for my Grandaughter

Post by Nanny G » Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:00 pm

Ied53, Thank you for your comforting words.
If you think about it as Parents of the parents we have all potentially a child who failed as a parent. We guide our children and give the roots and wings we are not responsible if the fly in the wrong direction.
It is very true, we can only do what we can do.
You say and appear to believe the accusations against your son are the fabrication of a tormented mind or at the least very exaggerated. I am the mother of a load mouthed drug addict who had violent episodes. ( My other children did very well for themselves)
It is strange how some seem to 'get it' and others don't. My son was my only child and i was a single parent for the first 12 years of his life. I fought for him from before he was born, and feel the same sense of fight for my little Granddaughter.
He has confided in me a lot, something i am happy that he does, and from what he says it basically boils down to consent or no consent. At the time it would appear what happened wasn't an issue, but the next morning when she was fraught and upset and the police were questioning her as to what had happened, and when they arrested her a few weeks ago the police spoke to both of them and my son said then they asked had she ever insulted/ degraded or otherwise hurt/upset him sexually. So i imagine what happened was along the lines of as he was trying to break in she called the police. The reasons for him trying to break in - she had changed the locks, why had she changed the locks - well he had gone out to work and locked the door and not left a key. That's false imprisonment, do you want to press charges for that? Has he ever upset her sexually - yes he did this last night.
It would appear that locking him out of the house was planned and intentional, as her sister was in the house when he got back and found the locks changed, and left early in the morning with her still asleep in bed - hence locking the door to make her feel safer and was home by 11am. She had also spoken to his work mate the night before to ask what time he would be working to... the rest, I think just fell into place as it happened. She has also mentioned to me before about some boys she used to hang around with, who apparently raped her friend and told me about how they used to 'force themselves on her sexually' when i said to her, so they raped you as well she denied it... that along with other things i have heard about her, from both her and my son,and knowing her as i do i feel she has issues. This an d the fact she has apparently said to SS that she didn't mean it to go this far, she only wanted to scare him as she was angry at the time. That i can also believe, she is no more than a child herself and has not yet grown out of tantrums to get her own way. Unfortunately living in an adult word and acting like a child has its consequences.
I have my Granddaughters on a Special Guardianship Order so it isn't always about family traits or none of us would be carers.
Very true, and thank you again for your reply,

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