Grandparents' contact and SS

ange301126
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Re: Grandparents' contact and SS

Post by ange301126 » Sat May 26, 2012 11:36 am

dear separated father, there seems to be so many peritheral issues and past events. I suggest you establish what you think are the MAIN ISSUES and address them.These would appear to be Contact also whether CS are following correct procedure when taking all decisions not only those as to contact.
I suppose if the social worker has advised you to get a solicitor this means that he or she is sticking by the decision as to contact. They are incapable of discussing it with you sensibly in the interests of the children and are refusing to hold discussions such as the interviews with the children in your presence.If you can afford solicitors,they will probably arrange a joint meeting between them,you and the social worker in order to address issues.If ,after that, the social worker still sticks to his or her guns, the only option will be a court application for a contact order should you still argue with them.When a social worker advises you to get legal advice,in my experience ,the team is refusing to budge and it is acting on legal advice itself rather than in the children's paramount interests.They are refusing to listen to you and challenging you to argue the matter with their lawyers.
Any more attempts by you to persuade them through child-protection case meetings and complaints procedures etc. are futile so don't waste your time.
You either accept their decisions as they stand and wait patiently to see if matters eventually come right under the system or you act decisively.
P.S. Iam only making comments considering my own experiences . Sometimes it can be the best thing to cooperate with them come what may and hope they get it right in the end but it can also be disastrous! What do other parents think? I suggest you read all the threads on this forum to get an idea.

SeparatedFather
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Re: Grandparents' contact and SS

Post by SeparatedFather » Sun May 27, 2012 3:34 pm

Social workers know that legal representation between ME and the children's MOTHER would not be free to me, as I'm working.
Yet that is the avenue they are advising. So they are trying to drive further wedges between me and the mother, which could be harmful to the children.
I thought that legal representation for a parent up against social services was meant to be free, but there's never any mention of that in the real world - indeed never any assertion that I'm up against children's services, simply that it's between me and the mother.
Obviously legal representation is provided to the social workers free as part of their job, so they've no disincentive to proposing a legal battle.

It really seems to me that this particular department gets a perverse satisfaction from ruining my children's lives and breaking the family apart, as they've regularly done over the time they've been involved.

I have parental responsibility and an order for contact. Surely during that contact I can take my children to any place I wish, without regard for the mother's opinion just like she does when the children are with her, and without the duration of that contact being reduced. Period.

ange301126
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Re: Grandparents' contact and SS

Post by ange301126 » Mon May 28, 2012 10:08 am

I believe you are able to apply for free legal funding if you are on a low income or unemployed and that you stand a good chance of it being granted if it is Children's Services who are taking legal action against you such as when they are applying for a care-order. I'm uncertain about how you stand. If there is no court order in existence which grants them parental responsibility then they would not appear to have the right to alter the contact order arbitrarily ,however,I don't really know what a section 7 is. I suggest you ask Suzie at the FRG for advice,perhaps you can telephone the free advice line.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Grandparents' contact and SS

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon May 28, 2012 3:27 pm

Hi Separated Father

You are correct in thinking that the Local Authority do not have parental responsibility
for your children. This is currently shared between you and their mother, at this time. You say that a contact order is in place, but this has currently been stopped between the children and their grandparents, on the recommendation of Children's Services, who are investigating allegations of physical abuse. You are right to point out the position that, any form of physical chastisement towards children is wrong.

Under the circumstances, it is vitally, important that you allow any enquiries about their welfare to be completed to ensure your children remain safe, either inside or outside the home; even if you believe them to be untrue. After which time, further recommendations about contact can be made. Children's Services need to keep an open mind when a referral is received about a child's welfare. Before this, it is unlikely to be in the children's interests to proceed with contact, until it has been assessed as safe to do so.

In the meantime, be careful not to be seen to do anything that could be perceived as influencing the outcome of any child protection investigation. For instance, by not initiating discussions about any alleged abuse with your children.

In the event that your children did disclose any concerns about their care (or general welfare), with you first. Be careful to listen, reassure them they have done the right thing. Let them know it is your job to ensure they remain safe. You may wish to recommend, if they had future worries they needed to talk about, let them know they can speak to you, to the social worker when they next visit, or a trusted teacher in school, if appropriate.

I recommend you keep a careful record of the date, the incident, exactly what was discussed, by whom, and what you recommended. It would be advisable to inform the social worker (preferable in writing), as soon as possible following the event.

Until then, you may find there is a limit to how much information Children’s Services are at liberty to share with you, if they are in the process of investigating any concerns. At the very least, you should be informed of the outcome verbally, or as part of an addendum section 7 (or 37) report.

If you are not in agreement about the process of the Local Authority’s decision making, in the process of investigating alleged concerns about your children. You could consider restoring the matter back to court, or making a formal complaint.

Whilst a solicitor can not complain on your behalf, they can write a letter to the Local Authority solicitors’ and advise you about your options.

Children’s Services will then be in a better position to update you about their recommendations, and what is being planned. As recommended by the social worker, I strongly advise both you (and the grandparents) speak to a solicitor as soon as possible on http://www.lawsociety.org.uk. Whilst it may not necessary follow, the Local Authority may intend to issue care proceedings.

Legal advice is automatically provided free of charge, to all parents in public care proceedings (where the Local Authority is applying for a care or supervision order). As you are involved in private law proceedings, on the other hand, you will need to enquire about your right to free legal representation, based on your particular circumstances.

This is because a number of changes have come into effect around public funding (or legal aid) entitlement (s). Alternatively, you may be able to contact the National Pro Bono Centre http://www.nationalprobonocentre.org.uk/, who may be able to assist. They are an organisation that offers legal advice to families, in certain circumstances, where they may be above the threshold for public funding.

I refer to my earlier post for details about the section 7 report. This is a welfare report, directed by the court in private law proceedings, and has the purpose of commenting on any concerns about a child's circumstances, key developmental issues, views and wishes, and matters around residence and contact. It can be requested of Children's Services or Cafcass (Child and Families Court Advisory Service). Further information can be obtained from http://www.cafcass.gov.uk/.

I hope I have answered some of your outstanding queries.


Best Wishes


Suzie

ange301126
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Re: Grandparents' contact and SS

Post by ange301126 » Tue May 29, 2012 3:13 pm

Separated father,as suzie says it is vital that enquiries into the allegations are completed and I am sure you agree it is even more vital that they are carried out by a competent authority who can establish the truth of all allegations correctly also whether or not the allegations are malicious ones especially when your son claims not to have made them.Either he did make them, he did not OR he made them under duress and has now withdrawn them. As I think suzie also points out,they are serious allegations in which case I suggest a full Police investigation should be instigated.Social workers do not have the ability to carry out a criminal investigation fairly.

SeparatedFather
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Re: Grandparents' contact and SS

Post by SeparatedFather » Thu May 31, 2012 5:38 pm

Yeah I did consider whether I should contact the local Police but what to say?
"My child alleges that my parents hurt them"
(1) Child has not disclosed that to me.
(2) Police will contact CYPS (already involved with my children) and pass the case to them.
(3) CYPS will take the referral as evidence that I believe harm took place, when I know it did not.

My parents have spoken with the Police - trying to find out what CYPS discussed with them for them to have left the case in CYPS hands.
The officer they spoke to is one that had attended the mother's home on occasions. That officer expressed disbelief that the CYPS had recommended residency with the mother.

ange301126
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Re: Grandparents' contact and SS

Post by ange301126 » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:15 am

separated father,yes, i understand your predicament,when the social workers made fraudulent claims about us in Court which I believed was perjurious ,I was advised to complain to the Police.When I did so,basically the Police didn't want to know. I have read since somewhere that as the council fund the Police ,this means it is unlikely they will bite the hand that feeds them.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Grandparents' contact and SS

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:20 pm

Hi separated father

Do you know the outcome of the section 47 investigation being conducted by Children’s Services, as this is key to any care planning, and contact that is being planned?

From what you say in your post, the police are unlikely to re-open their investigation unless there is any new evidence, or a strong likelihood of a criminal prosecution. In this instance, Children’s Services could continue to be involved, if they assess a strong likelihood of significant harm.

In any case, the police are unlikely to discuss what is now a closed case, with your parents, (the alleged perpetrators). You on the other hand, are a parent with parental responsibility, so may wish to approach them with any new concerns you may have.

As stated in my previous post, have you had the opportunity to speak to your solicitor about your son’s circumstances. If not, I suggest you do so without further delay.

Best Wishes


Suzie

SeparatedFather
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Re: Grandparents' contact and SS

Post by SeparatedFather » Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:58 pm

Hi Suzie.
Last Friday there was a Child In Need meeting in which the intake SW "handed over" to the long-term team manager who will appoint a long-term SW.
The night before someone hand-delivered to my home the intake SW assessment report. This contains significant untruths designed to portray me in a bad way. When previous SWs have included such untruths in reports and I have objected to their inclusion, it was a case of "this was the information given to me therefore it is included and cannot be removed". The difference this time is the nature of the untruths can be robustly disproved. I will not be taking this up with the SW but with the head of services. SWs have consistently lied in their reports and this time I can prove it. That must cast doubt on SWs impartiality and actual ability to do their job. Certainly their decisions seem not to be based on the welfare of the children but on the wishes of the mother/childrens' services.

The long-term team manager has promised to interview the grandparents (a route the intake SW had refused) to establish the actual safety of the children when in my/my parents' care. There is no reason why the outcome of this should not be that the children can resume contact at the grandparents' home. I have suspended following legal procedure pending that, which should be completed in "a couple of weeks" and in any case before the next CIN meeting towards the end of term.

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