help or advice needed please

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

help or advice needed please

Postby Nanny G » Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:39 pm

Hello,
i need a bit of help, advice or at least someone to reassure me i am not loosing the plot.
My son has been split form his girlfriend for over a year and they have a daughter, now aged 3 who has been living with her mother. Social services have been involved since the split, the mother accused my son of sexual assault, he was bailed for 3 months and found innocent and not charged. The mother has had continuous rows with Social workers and refuses to take heed of their advice, saying its her child she will do what she wants. She has recently got herself into a relationship with another boy and is subsequently pregnant with him. Social workers dont like him as he is known to them for numerous convictions of domestic violence and is also on supervised only contact with his own child as he has been known to harm her. The mother was told to keep him away from herself and her daughter, and agreed to their faces but continued to see him and live with him behind their backs.

Due to the allegations against him, my son had supervised contact for a while at a contact centre (he now sees her once a week for unsupervised contact for a whole day on his own) One session the child turned up with a burn mark under her eye. My son asked her what happened and she replied 'Ben did it' Ben being the b/f. The social worker supervising asked my son what she had said, so the child repeated it to her. The mother gave the excuse that she was standing at the door saying goodbye to a friend and the child ran into her cigarette... no more was said, nothing was done.
The nursery have reported the child going in with a glazed look in her eye, and being tired all the time. She had no routine, which the social workers have picked up on. a few weeks ago we had a family group conference where the seriousness of the situation with the mother and her boyfriend came to light to us, and the social worker rated the situation at home with the child as 1 (scale of 0 -10) due to the boyfriend, however the mother had said she would now split form the b/f for the sake or her and her child and pregnancy. 10 days later it was taken down a step from at risk to in need as the mother had 'taken some good steps' (fed the Social workers the right lies). She was soon caught out on her lies, which all came to light at another more recent meeting which she refused to attend but my son did and things went back up again. A few weeks later now Social services have decided to take it to court and put in an application at the end of last week, with a view to placing child with her father

All this time, due to disagreements and toxic relationships between my son and the mother Social services have kept them apart and up until now meetings have always been separate, and my son not invited. However,he has been visiting the mother and his daughter continuously behind the social workers backs between official contact. As much as we have all advised him not to, saying all he is doing is propping the mother up in the background, giving her respite to continue as a single mum (she does not and cannot cope alone) and that he will do himself no favours if he gets found out he has continued to do it.

It has now come to a head. The mother got caught last night with her b/f in her flat and as the child was going to stay with her Aunt (mothers sister) for the night it has been decided she should say there for a few weeks until things are sorted in court. The first my son heard was from the mother, who rang him and told him when it happened, so this morning he spoke to the social worker asking how things were going with court proceedings, who then mentioned what had happened...
My son is not happy about his daughter being with her aunt, as last year this woman was deemed unsuitable for the mother and child to stay with, has an abusive partner who is known to hit their own children, a large, dangerous dog and they deal in drugs... not a nice place to be. My son pointed all this out to the social worker and rang his solicitor today.

As much as he shouldn’t have been to see the mother and child outside of contact, my son did it as he wanted to see his daughter and couldn’t bear to go a week even between visits. There has always been an extremely strong bond between father and daughter and he has been the main carer from birth as mother was too lazy. He was also concerned for his daughters welfare, and as much as we all said to stay away and let the mother fail, he couldn’t sit back and see his daughter in trouble.

Now, today, the mother knowing she is on the verge of loosing her child, has told the social worker that my son has been in constant contact (doesn’t surprise anyone that she did that), and as there is nothing to stop my son from keeping his daughter after contact this Sunday the mother has cancelled contact...

My son rang me this evening said it will probably go to court next week, and told me about the mother speaking to social workers, and said he is still going to fight, but thinks he may loose his daughter.

Anyone got any advice, suggestions or thoughts on this mess? I know its the judge who makes the decision, based on Social services information, but what do you think is likely to happen?

I will add, also that i haven’t seen my Granddaughter for over a year now as her mother has refused me contact. It has been talked about recently, but not yet happened.

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

Re: help or advice needed please

Postby Nanny G » Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:20 pm

Thank you for your reply,
What you say is all very true, and its good to hear someone else say it, and not just me. It gets to the stage you feel like you are the only one who sees it, and maybe its me.

Hopefully now he will realise this girl is toxic and cannot be trusted. How he could continue trying to be friends with her after she falsely accused him of rape and assault is beyond me. They have all been on his side and assessed him as a parent carer and were all up for him having the child. I dont know whats going on now, how SS/CS feel now as all i know from my son is the mother has told the SW all that has gone on, and she has cancelled his contact this weekend in case he doesn't take the daughter back. She hasnt changed, i cant see her suddenly being in favour again, she lies, she has proven herself to lie time and time again. My son asides, her new boyfriend was a definite no no where cs were concerned, so she smiled sweetly and said thats ok i will split up with him and continued to live with him.
At a recent FGC i did put my name down as an alternative carer for my Grandaughter, as hard as it would be i know i (with the firm backing of my partner) would keep all family members to arranged contact and no more. However if the child goes to her Aunt, we all know she will be with her mother and b/f all the time and the Aunt will almost certainly get fed up with a 5th child in the house... She doesnt look after her own. Other than having said i am willing to be a carer, how do i go about putting myself forward and what checks and assessments will they want to do? The mother will do her best to refuse me contact and will find every reason under the sun why the child should not live with me too. It was in the process of being talked about for me to start contact again when this all happened. Obviously now the mother wont want me too in case i too decide not to take the child back and instead hand her to my son.

Can only wait and see what happens in court, hopefully he will now realise he has one very slim , last chance for his daughter. It has been said that if neither parent were seen suitable, then they would look to adoption.

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

Re: help or advice needed please

Postby Nanny G » Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:38 pm

That is very true, they know best as they are the parents, after all what would we know we are just mere grandparents who have no idea how to bring up children...

My son has issues, ones he needs to address and get over, but as his own father, despite every opportunity possible, has never taken an interest in him, even now as 'adults' his dad cant be bothered with him or his granddaughter, my son feels he has to compensate by being the dad he never had... as such he has gone to the opposite extreme. As soon as he found out she was pregnant he came to me and said 'i cant leave her after what my dad did'.

As for her, pregnancy was about as planned as it can be. They met in May, she was pregnant by October having said she wanted to be a single mum to 4 children... (and he still didn't hear the warning sirens!). A volatile relationship from start to finish, her having screaming rows, kicking him out, letting him back in, out, in out in... and so it went on.
It became a tit for tat between the two of them 'she did this' 'he said that', who can score against the other,and still is. It is more thier battle to prove themselves 'better' than the other than about what's best for the child. Her family have joined in, and want to get one up on our family. Amidst all this there is a tiny little girl being neglected.

Now, mum is pregnant again, with her new boyfriend who she has known a few months having met him in March of this year.... she has a volatile relationship with him, kicking him out on the street when she has had enough, letting him back, kicking him out ... and so on...

Hopefully all will work out well in the end at least for the poor child. If my son were to be lucky enough to be awarded care of her he would need to grow up pretty quickly and actually take care of his daughter. He is more than capable of tending to her daily needs, but if he will keep away form the mother is another matter. Up until now when the mother has now told CS of the two of them meeting unofficially my son has been in favour of Cs and was on list to have his daughter. What is happening now i don't know, havent spoken to my son since he told me on Thursday. I have this urge to tell him, yet again, that he really should stop talking to the mother now, but he either will or he wont, and whatever i say will make no difference. I have actually been quite unwell this last year through worry over the whole situation.

On another note, i have been reading through the pdf file on being a family carer, and am wondering - does everyone who has offered to be a carer in the family get assessed and the best one chosen, or do they start with where she is now at her aunts and go from there?

Also, when i recently spoke to the SW about me having contact his reply was 'both parents have to agree, and at the moment they dont. When both parents can agree then you will be able to have contact' it was actually like talking to a recorded message, but eventually i managed to get him to agree to asking the mother about the possibility of my having contact.
On the flip side, my son is not happy at his daughter being with her aunt but the SW told him there is nothing he can do as currently CS have not authority over where the child stays.
Surely, it should work both ways, if my son doesn't agree to his daughter staying there, actually saying to the SW for the welfare of his child he would rather she went into temporary foster care than stay there.

Following on from this, if a care order is granted in court do either parent get a say form then on or is it just down to CS from that point?

thanks for your help :)

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

Re: help or advice needed please

Postby Nanny G » Sun Aug 30, 2015 8:44 pm

Hi Irene,
i will fight for her if need be. Someone has to as she cant fight for herself. All she wants is to be happy with Mummy and Daddy and not have them rowing and playing tug of war. They are both her parents, she loves them both.
Us as adults have to see this and work out how we can make it happen. The last thing i wish for her is to be among strangers and not see either parent again. I know several young people who have grown up in care (my step daughter seems to collect them) and the system seems to have failed them all in one way or another. I have no wish for that to happen to my Granddaughter if i have any way of avoiding it. When she was born i promised her i would be here for her, amidst the madness, i would fight her corner - she may not be aware of it but i meant it. In her 3 short years i have probably only been allowed to be around for half of it, but in the time we had together we had a very strong bond. We were on the same wavelength so to speak, and i know that bond will still be there when we meet again.

I spoke to my son again briefly tonight. He should have had contact today, but didn't. Apparently it wasn't confirmed through the solicitors that it wouldn't go ahead, his solicitor rang him on Friday afternoon to say she hadn't had confirmation so to assume it was still going ahead. My sons landlady, is a family friend, who is my neighbour, used to care for me when i was a child and is a child minder (was my sons when he was little too) cub leader and well respected person. She is the go between for contact so although she doesnt drive herself she will go with my son, and go to the door to collect the child. She rang the mother, to make arrangements for pick up this morning, and left messages to ask but got no reply.
As for the accusations, i think although they were made, as far as CS are concerned now they have pretty much blown over, it is more the volatile, toxicness of the relationship and getting the parents to be separate individuals that has been the aim the last few months.They (CS) have been starting to introduce the two of them by getting them both at meetings, although the first one they had, and as yet the only one, the mother didn't turn up for, so it was just my son there. There was another planned soon, but not sure if things will have changed now or not.

The child is staying with her aunt for the moment, and as far as i understand it was the mothers idea. CS had already put an application into court, telling my son it was because they had given the mother several chances and she had not taken them or shown that she was putting her daughter first. It was a few days later they apparently caught her b/f in the flat with her,( which confuses me as i assumed they had their confirmation she was still with him, and that was why they were going to court). It was then the child went to stay with the Aunt, so i assume maybe it was suggested by SW that the child go somewhere for a few days. Obviously there are limited options, when neither parent can agree, but my son told the SW he wasn't happy with his daughter being there, the SW said he himself couldn't stop it, as CS had no control as yet, but he would go and visit the sister. I assume on his visit that he was happy enough with the situation, however last year a different SW assessed the place with a view to mother and child staying and said it wasn't suitable as there was nowhere for them to sleep. At that time it was a 2 bed house with 4 children - however the mother was allowed to stay at her own mothers on a mattress on the sitting room floor with the child. As i understand the Aunt has now moved to a 3 bed house.

I asked my son what the SW said to him about him still seeing his ex, and he sad the SW said 'so it was pretty much a 3 way relationship then?' (Son, ex and B/f) and 'that makes a lot of sense now' - they had their suspicions all along but all denied it, obviously.

My son also said as far as he understands, the court case next week is to decide where the child will stay for the next few weeks until things are sorted/decided as to what happens next at a subsequent hearing. I have told him he does have a say, as does the mother, as to where his daughter stays, and if he is not happy, he should say so. I have said he needs to see his solicitor before court, he says he would like to, but not sure if he can have time off work as he has the time for the court case off. I don't know if he knows exactly when it is yet or not.

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

Re: help or advice needed please

Postby Nanny G » Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:20 pm

I'm sure if he explained they would juggle his hours round. They already allow him every Sunday off for contact instead on being on the rota.
He will or he wont, its his choice. He has his moments of woe is me, usually when someone tries to help or suggest something. As often as not he gets over it.
As he said yesterday when i was suggesting things 'i know' - my response was, yes, but as a parent i feel the need to tell what you already know, just in case. That is all i can do. I am here if he wants to talk to me, he knows where i am.

So, if the court next week is to decide where the child stays for the meantime, until further decisions are made, does that mean CS will assess each potential carer or just where she is for the time being? I did see that they will asses differently for short term and long term, but trying to get an idea what will happen next in our circumstances.

User avatar
Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 496
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: help or advice needed please

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:38 pm

Dear Nanny G

Welcome back to the Family Rights Group Family and Friends’ Forum.

I see from your most recent posts that the situation with your son and his daughter’s mother has not really improved very much. Children Services have now decided that they have to go to court and this is because they want to share parental responsibility for your granddaughter. This will allow them to make decisions about her whether the parents agree or not.

It is very unfortunate that you son was not able to do as Children Services asked and stay away from the mother. She is turn is trying to make things better for herself by telling Children Services about his continued contact with her. If it is the case that your son was seeing her only because of his concern for his daughter, then he should tell the social worker this. However, it might be seen as questionable bearing in mind their history.

Ied53 has given you some good advice in response to your various posts.

As far as the court proceedings are concerned, these are likely to last no more than 26 weeks unless there is a very good reason for the case to be extended. It may be that a decision is made about your granddaughter first and then about the mother’s baby once she gives birth.

If your granddaughter is to remain within the family then, all family members on your son’s side who would be willing to care for your granddaughter must put themselves forward by giving their details to the Social Worker or your son’s solicitor can give this information to Children Services. Children Services will be doing what is called parallel planning. This means, they will consider the parents and other family members but will also be looking at adoption. Adoption would be the last resort if no family can be identified to care for your granddaughter and both parents are ruled out as well.

Any assessment of you as a possible carer will involve an initial viability assessment. If this is positive, then a more in-depth assessment would be carried out to decide if it would be a good placement for your granddaughter. Children Services will be carrying out parenting assessments if these have not already been completed. Children Services will consider any family member or friend who put themselves forward as possible carers for your granddaughter. This should have come out in the family group conference that you say took place.

You should show that you are willing to work and cooperate with Children Services. It will be expected that you put your granddaughter’s needs first over and above your sons. Also, you must be willing to take any step necessary to keep your granddaughter safe. This could mean that your son cannot just come to your home if your granddaughter is there. These are issues which will be considered as the case progresses.

Children Services may want you to consider taking on care of your granddaughter under a court order, if you are recommended as a long term carer. This is likely to be a Special Guardianship Order. I am including a copy of our advice sheet about this for your information.

You should ask the social worker to arrange for you to have contact with your granddaughter. This is likely to be easier if Children Services share parental responsibility as they can decide then if it is in the child’s interest. Now, if the mother does not agree it is unlike to happen now although it may later on.

Your son needs to make sure that he engages with children services and work properly with them if he wants to be considered as a ‘safe pair of hands’ to care for her long term. He needs to see his solicitor before going to court so he will know exactly what Children Services are saying. He will then be in a position to let his solicitor know his position and what he agrees or disagrees with. Your son should make sure his solicitor in an accredited member of the Law Society Children Panel.

Is your son on his daughter’s birth certificate? If he is then he shares parental responsibility with the mother and is automatically a party to the care proceedings.
If you are able to you could go to court with your son especially if he is not happy about where his daughter is staying and his solicitor could tell the court that you are at court and able to care for her. You will not be allowed into the court hearing itself and from what you have said of the mother she would not agree to you going in even if others did.

You could be assessed as a foster carer if your granddaughter was placed with you following the court hearing. A copy of our advice sheet about becoming a foster carer is here for your further information.

I have included a copy of our advice sheet about care proceedings here. This will give you details of how the court process works and what is expected of Children Services and the other parties during the case.

If you wish, please do telephone our advice line on 0808 801 0366 to speak to an Adviser. The advice line is open from 9.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. Monday to Friday.

I hope you will find the information here helpful.

Best wishes,

Suzie

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

Re: help or advice needed please

Postby Nanny G » Thu Sep 03, 2015 6:09 pm

Dear Suzie,
Thank you very much for your helpful and comprehensive reply.

Yes, my son is on the birth certificate so does has parental responsibility. The last i heard was CS were looking to go to court this week, for my son said, to decide where the child stays for the next few weeks, which would be as you say, to get a court to rule that they can make decisions, at which point they will.
I havnt heard anything from my son since so am assuming it hasn't gone to court yet.
We had a recent FGC, a couple of months ago where both sides of the family had separate meetings due to the friction between families. There was also one at the end of last year where only the mother took part as my son wasnt having (official) contact at that point so didnt feel he had anything he could offer. In truth i think the mother asked him not to so he agreed. Had i realised the importance of a FGC back then i would have suggested he had his half too and would have supported him, however i didn't. At that meeting they were unable to establish any alternative carers for the child, hence the more recent one. At which point our side of the family were involved and knowing this the mothers family put themselves forward as potential carers as well as myself. My son, communicating with the mother, said she had told him 'they only did it to stop your mum getting her'....
It has also been offered to my son that if he were awarded care of his daughter, they could both stay here as my partner and i have 2 spare rooms. I have since said to my son he could again live here and his care of his daughter could be overseen by us to make sure he keeps her safe. It is an option should CS (and my son) wish to take it.
I am hoping, that now it has got to this stage that both parents will see the seriousness of the situation and begin to work with CS, rather than against them.
At the FGC it was said that if, longer term the child could not stay with either parent, they would be looking towards adoption, either within the family or outside.

Again, thank you for your advice,
i will let you know what happens next.

Nanny G


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