Thank you for replying, its good to hear an outside point of view and you do raise some good points.
Suzie, FRG Adviser wrote:are you strong enough to say to your son-“I will tell children services and so will call the police if you turn up to my house when I am caring for granddaughter.”
I did say to the SW, in person and confirming by email, that whilst I understood his concerns that as my sons mother I may be tempted to give in to him, which he kept asking on a number of occasions in different ways, that where we both said that we didn’t see my son as a problem, that wasn’t meant to mean we didn’t see him as a problem to my granddaughter, but that we didn’t see him being stupid enough to turn up at our door when his daughter was in our care. If however he or the mother, or anyone associated with them turned up without prior arrangement and agreement they would both be told to go away, and again whilst if this happened we expected my son to leave, if he didn’t we would call the police and tell CS that he had turned up. The same would go for the mother too, whereas we more expect her or her family to turn up and also not leave when told to. However the same would go for both, no ifs, not buts, leave or else.
I have said this to my son, on numerous occasions too and have discussed the SW reports with him and all that I have said above, and told him, again in no uncertain tones this is what would happen, that as much as we get on now, if his daughter was placed in our care that we, not him, would be responsible for her, just the same as she is in foster care now. He has her address, he knows when and where she is at nursery, and doenst expect to turn up there, nor should he here. He has agreed, but that is kind of irrelevant as regardless rules are rules and he would not be able to turn up and see his daughter anyway. Somehow though the SW seems to misinterpret what we say from 'no contact for either parent' to 'no contact for mother, but first and slightest opportunity son would be sneaking in back door.'
Suzie, FRG Adviser wrote:However, you then seemed worried about your son finding out that it was you.
Until the SW mentioned putting it in court papers I hadn’t thought of that, more that I was telling him something he needed to know, when he mentioned court, that took me unawares and I hesitated. I did not want my son to know as I wanted him to tell the SW himself, I wanted him to prove he could do the right thing and be open and honest about everything now, even if he had made a mistake himself, to own up to it, rather than hide it. I also didn’t want him to know as I am now beginning to build up his trust to tell me things that he has previously kept me in the dark about for fear I would tell CS. I don’t want him to go back to keeping information from me, so didn’t want him to feel I was telling tales on him. I did however tell the SW as I didn’t want to let it slide and leave trust in my son to do the right thing in the light of just how many lies have been told and knowing it was something that had potential to escalate back to how they had been. The idea was more that i now had my sons trust and that with that I could work with CS with any 'inside' information I had that they might not.
Suzie, FRG Adviser wrote:Did you also manage to look back at the social workers report for the family group conference? Did he set out the risks? Even if he had set them out, did he set it out clearly? If he didn’t it would be difficult to see what they are if you had only heard everything from your son.
The FGC report started with a bit of history as to what had happened since they had been involved for the last year and that at a previous FGC, where the mother had obviously persuaded my son he had no need to be involved seeing as he was not having 'official' contact at the time so he hadn’t been part of it and her family had been unable to establish any alternative carers and that was the purpose now. This history, of the last year, took one small paragraph, which did mention there had been allegations of abuse from both parents about the other.
The report then went on to talk about how the mother had failed to engage with cs, and that she had the b/f who posed a risk to children in several ways and that on the advice of cs she had 'taken the bold and brave step' to separate from him to protect herself, her daughter and her unborn child. It went on to say due to her history of not doing what she said and so they needed to be able to make arranged and unannounced visits to her property and to see how it went on. All this took up over a page. The next bit, about what was good was that the two parents now appeared to be working together as co parents, that the mother had decided to put her grievances behind her over my son and was prepared to allow him contact and to move on from the contact centre to him having his daughter for the whole day It was said that someone needed to do the pick up and return and that this would be my sons 'landlady' who was his godmother, previously his child minder and who had also looked after me as a child, so a good friend too. It was not stated in the report, but the impression given at the FGC by the sw was that the mother was 'scared' of my son due to the allegations, hence why she didn’t want him coming to her door for the child. The impression given to us all, was that cs were trying to work towards getting the two parents to go forwards amicably and for the child to become safe in her mothers care. However the situation was rated at 1 out of 10 at the current time.
Suzie, FRG Adviser wrote: it can be difficult for anyone to look at their child’s behaviour and see it as domestic violence. Often people will make excuses to themselves and minimize it. They can’t believe it.
So your understanding could well be evolving.
having been kept in the dark by my son and only really 'fed' little 'titbits' of information that he thought were enough to keep me happy I was not totally aware of what went on. Also the mother does have a history of accusing people of abusing her, she used to tell me of how a previous b/f of hers used to 'force himself on me sexually' but when i said 'so he assaulted you then' she just said 'oh no he only raped my friend' (the friend rape went to court and the boy in question was sentenced) , It began to seem to be a pattern form the mother that as soon as anything didn’t go her way she would cry rape as it were. Again recently apparently on an occasion when she refused to answer the door to the SW who then looked through the letterbox and saw her walk out of a room with just a t shirt, she accused him of spying and being a peeping tom and even of assault..!
now, I am starting to hear more and more from my son, as to what really did happen and am now beginning to get more understanding of what has happened, but I am still not sure if I know it all or not, there is probably more to come, which would explain the SW's reaction to things I say. But if I don’t know, then I cant act accordingly.
Suzie, FRG Adviser wrote:Are you able to access support to help on you understand the risks? What about courses for foster carers in your area?
I did mention to the SW I would be happy to attend any relevant courses, but seem to have fallen on deaf ears. How would I find out about any such courses?
Suzie, FRG Adviser wrote:Remember to set out all the positives; that you have worked to make the home environment safe for your granddaughter, that you can offer a stable and loving home and that her home will remain within the family network.
Thank you, I keep trying but so far it seems whatever I say gets translated into a bigger hole for myself. I refuse to give up, I know I can care for her, I keep trying to explain this but so far have not managed to put it in a way the SW seems to understand.
Many thanks for your help,
oh , just to add this
Suzie, FRG Adviser wrote:After a lot of discussion (and disagreements) here at Family Rights Group (which still goes on!) we made that decision.
We are worried about the forum being used by solicitors to advertise their work and that it would place us at risk of being criticised as not being independent.
However, any user can private message anyone else with recommendations of good solicitors.
Makes perfect sense, thanks for all you do.