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Postby nanny » Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:50 pm

We have a residence order for 5 years now for our 3 grandchildren. Due to sexual abuse by a family member, the contact order states that the children are not to be left alone with the abuser without an adult present under any circumstances. Our grandson has special needs and sees a child psychologist. He has told the psychologist that he is left alone with the abusive family member when visiting his parents. We are also aware of this and have warned our son about it. The psychologist referred this information to SS as our grandson is classed as a "vulnerable child" due to his condition. SS visited us and interviewed the children separately and not in our presence and told us that we must stop contact and consult our solicitor. I told the SW that I did not really want to stop contact with their father, just at the place where the abusive relative is. The SW said that the parents have breached the contact order so should not be allowed to see the children and if I continue to allow contact with the parents then I could be in trouble as this would be deemed as not ensuring the children are being protected. I have not told my son yet, but if we do have to go back to court, do I need to involve a solicitor or can we represent ourselves? It cost us £10K 5 years ago to protect our grandchildren and shudder at the thought of more expense. If it has to be done, we will do it. Just need advice really on the next step to take.

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Help 1870
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Postby Help 1870 » Fri Aug 20, 2010 6:07 pm

Got to agree with the SW. the father has breached the contact order by leaving this child with this abuser alone and unsupervised. You may not want to stop the contact but if you want to keep these children you may have no choice, especially if your son has been warned about this previously and not taken heed of those warnings.

I dont see why you need to consult a solicitor though, simply stop the contact, explain the reasons why, and suggest that dad approaches a solicitor himself if he want to deal with it, you can then represent yourself hopefully with the LA in agreement

But I would suggest that you get in writing from the SS that they say contact should be stopped and why, just to protect yourself at a later date.

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Postby Muspark » Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:35 pm

I am afraid I agree... one of the things parents do is protect children from anyone who can do them harm... if Dad is not able to do this then he is causing them harm by default. His right to manage contact should now be revoked.

It may not be what you wanted to hear but if things get messy and you are in the middle and are not seen to protect the children the LA could lose faith in you too.

Stop contact and let the parents take it to court. If they truly mean to change then they can be assessed again to prove they are committed to protecting this vulnerable little boy. Keep the LA informed of everything in writing along the way.

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Postby Piglets-House » Sat Aug 21, 2010 7:41 am

I totally agree with what has been said so far and you must stop contact or you will be accused of facilitating this contact with the abuser. There may be a temporary alternative and that is that social services arrange for contact between dad and the kids alone. I assume dad does not agree that this family member is an abuser but obviously everyone else does and so dad needs to take notice I am affraid.

Let the son take you to court with the support of social services and the support of the psychologist you probably won't need a solicitor. As Help suggested get social services and psychologist to confirm their support of your actions in writing, thus preventing them from saying "we never supported this action".

Good luck and let us know how you get on.

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Postby nanny » Sat Aug 21, 2010 10:59 pm

Thank you for all the advice. I have told my son that due to breaching the contact order and allowing unsupervised contact, we have stopped contact and we are seeking advice on what to do now. He didn't say much, just "OK" and left it at that. I will speak to my solicitor just to clarify the position and also put in writing to the SW an outline of our meeting and what was discussed, so it is on record. I will update any further developments. Thank you for the support, it helps tremendously to know we are not alone.

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