Social services involvement

Emm94
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2016 7:34 am

Social services involvement

Postby Emm94 » Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:24 pm

Hi, I'm hoping for some advice (please don't judge)

Social services have become involved with mine, my sons and partners life since November 2015.

My partner has a history of violence and has previously been in prison. Everything he has been in prison for has been drink fuelled and has since been on a course to help with his drinking and anger and has stopped drinking.

During the time we have been together he was on licence and should he get into any kind of trouble he will go back to prison and finish his licence. During a heated argument there was some pushing and shoving (my son was upstairs in bed asleep at the time)and because I was mad at him I made the silly decision to phone the police, over exaggerating the story, and got him sent back to prison. I later explained to the police that I was wrong in what I said.

Because of this "domestic violence" case, social services have decided that my son should be put on a child protection plan as he is "at risk of emotional harm". I understand to a certain extent their concern but after explaining the situation and the steps we have taken to improve our relationship I do not believe this is fair. They have said my partner is not allowed around my son and no direct or indirect contact or else they will take steps to taking it to court for my child to go and live with his father.

My partner has agreed to any kind of risk assessment, course, anything to prove he is not a risk to my son but social services do not seem to be interested in helping us to be a family and have told me I have to make a choice - my son or my partner - which I do not feel willing to do as I know my partner is no risk to my son whatsoever.

I am struggling with how to prove this to social as they seem to be picking fault with everything and even when we are doing as they say they find a problem with it. For example my partner explained that "she is my girlfriend, i love her to bits" - my social worker went on to say that he used the term "my" which suggests I am a possession. Ridiculous I know!

I need to know what my rights are - can they refuse to help us be a family and make me choose between them? What can I do to make this horrible mess right again?! I feel like my family is being torn to pieces :(

edited by Suzie
Last edited by Suzie, FRG Adviser on Thu Sep 22, 2016 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Ignatious
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 8:17 pm

Re: Social services involvement

Postby Ignatious » Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:59 am

Are you currently on a child protection plan or at the initial stages?

Personally I would say stick together, Social/Children's services will try to 'divide and conquer'. Your stronger together then if your apart.
Unless there is a clear and undeniable threat from your partner. Ask the social worker to verify with evidence the clear and direct threat your partner poses and do not accept opinion or possible 'future' risks as a genuine reason to part.

An Emergency Protection Order can only be granted if there is an immediate risk or threat to the child.

Through out all this there's been no mention of what your child wants? Is he old enough to understand what's going on and indicate his wishes because Children's Services (new name for Social Services) should take the wishes of the child into account.

hope this helps and good luck.
I am a parent. My responses are not from any formal training background but from my own experiences, my own research and my own point of view.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Social services involvement

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Sep 23, 2016 1:14 pm

Dear


I am sorry to hear about children services involvement with your family due to worries about domestic violence. It must be very scary time for you.

On the information that you have given in your post, I do not believe Tony’s advice is the best way forward at the moment..

In answer to your question, yes they can ask that you choose between your children or your partner.


If you did not agree, to enforce this, if they thought your children were at risk of suffering significant harm –due to them witnessing domestic violence, children services could seek an order from the court. If the court agreed that your children were at risk from your partner, your children might be with dad-if he has been assessed as being safe.

However, before children services can take these steps they should provide you with support to help you understand the risks of domestic violence and should assess your partner as well.
While these risk assessments are happening, they are likely to impose conditions, such as your partner not being allowed contact with your children or to come the family home. For you to call the police, if he did.
These conditions should be monitored by children services and the police, and if there is any breach children service might take action to safeguard your children.

At the end of the risk assessments, then further decisions will be made about whether your partner is now safe.

Have you had the support of a domestic violence agency? Here is our leaflet
for parents about domestic violence and children services.

You might find an advocate helpful as well. An advocate could attend the child protection conference with you and advise you about the support that is available.

Here are FAQ’s about child protection procedures.


You could also call our free and confidential advice line on 0808 801 0366 for in-depth advice and support.
Best wishes,

Suzie

Emm94
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2016 7:34 am

Re: Social services involvement

Postby Emm94 » Fri Sep 23, 2016 7:10 pm

Thank you both for your response.

Tony - yes my son is now on a child protection plan due to being "at risk of emotional harm" - which in my opinion is not a valid reason as any child is at risk of "emotional harm" this day in age.

They have offered support although I am not a victim of domestic violence, it angers me that they are focusing their attention on my family when there are real victims of domestic violence and children who are genuinely at risk being pushed to one side as they are wasting time on "cases" like mine.

I have started the freedom programme with my social worker to try and comply with their wishes and advice and I am trying my best to do everything they ask of us - both of us are.

Unfortunately my son is only 2 (nearly 3) and has autism and is non verbal so he isn't able to express his feelings and wishes the same as other children. However he is the happiest little boy I know, always smiling laughing, he doesn't shy away from people or is reserved at all. He has never shown any indication of any kind of harm, emotional or physical, and no professional has ever expressed any concern.

I literally feel like their clutching at straws trying to make reasons not to accept my partner.

Do you have any advice on how the close can get closed sooner rather than later? As it is really bringing me down that I can't have the family I would like. I want to get married and have children; how can I do that when I can only see my partner certain days of the week.

Emma x

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Social services involvement

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:34 pm

Hi Emma,

It seems that the only reason that your children are on a child protection plan is due to children services worries about your partners past domestic violence and an incident when you had to call the police. Is that right?

You want to know how to speed up the child protection process.

At the moment, children services will be concerned that your partner may still be abusive, so your son could witness you being hurt or your parenting skills being affected by suffering domestic abuse.

However, you say that the domestic abuse was linked to his drinking and now he is alcohol free he will no longer be abusive.
But children services are refusing to assess this positive change.
You could challenge this by asking (in writing) why they will not assess him?

But in the meantime, I think your partner should not wait but instead look at what other courses he can do.

Can he ring Respect . They have a perpetrators helpline and they can advise him about accredited courses that are available in your area. He should then think about doing a course himself as this may speed up the child protection process.
By doing these courses, it means he would be assessed before and afterwards. If he passes the courses, it will be harder for children services to argue he is a risk when an assessment says differently.

If he has done any other courses (for example, when he was in prison) he should give details and certificates to the social worker or get his probation offer to write to children services about these.

Has he completed a course since that incident?

You should yourself, continue to cooperate with children services, so do everything that is listed on the child protection plan. If there is something that you cannot do, make sure you discuss it with the social worker. Keep a record of all the support you have taken yourself and of all the positive things you do to meet your son’s needs.

As part of the plan, children services will monitor what is happening. If there is any breach (for example, your partner came to your home), it is vitally important that you let them know.
If they found out by other means (for example, he was seen by them at your door)-they may no longer trust you, if you had not told them this had happened or not called the police-if that I what you are expected to do.

Ask the social worker, about what is the realistic timetable for the child protection process.

I hope this advice is helpful but if you have any questions, please post back or call our advice line for support as well.

Best wishes,

Suzie

mnxox
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:22 am

Re: Social services involvement

Postby mnxox » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:20 pm

Hi I'm new to this site. I am looking for advice my partner has been charged and sent to prison due to his previous relationship and has a no contact order with his daughter. Social Work found out about his past previous to the sentence and have told me not to be near him. He has never harmed me or my child and has been great with us and we have been together over a year. He is extremely remorseful for his actions with his ex partner but is still being punished with our relationship. Social work has stopped out child visits and says he can't be tagged here. He is trying to turn his life around and they just don't care. Judge if u wish but I have known this man since I was 14 and we were great friends prior to his relationship and lost contact he has been honest about his previous relationship from the start. What can we do to move forward ? he is great with me and my son and is a great support. What can we do for social work to realise he has changed and for him to come home? My son keepsbasking for him aswell and misses him. Social Work don't want to entertain me now I have told them we want to maintain our relationship and have refused a meeting with me and my lawyer. It's do frustrating as I don't know how we move forward. There is no courses available within the prison as his sentence isn't long enough. What do we do from here ? This is so stressful being stuck in a rut not knowing what's going to happen with our future. They have also threatened us with a no contact order can they do this and can they not do a risk assessment with him whole he is in prison. I am still allowed to be in contact with him but my son isn't we also lost a baby before this all happened so things are hard just now.
Thanks in advance

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Social services involvement

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:31 pm

Dear mnxox

Welcome to the parents’ discussion forum.

My name is Suzie, online adviser at Family Rights Group.

I am sorry that you are having a difficult time due to children’s services involvement with your family due to your partner past history.
You say your partner is in prison due to issues with his previous relationship and you have been with him for a year. It is not clear from your post if the incident which led to him being imprisoned occurred whilst you have been with him or before. Also, you have not stated the nature of the offence for which he was convicted.

Children’s services has reached a conclusion that he is not safe for your son to be around and I think this might be because of the nature of his offence and past history. It appears that it might be something serious if he has a no contact order in respect of his own child. Was the offence your partner was imprisoned for an isolated incident or part of a longer history?

From your point of view you believe you know your partner well as you were friends for a long time. I do not think you would have expected the person you knew at 14 to be the person who would find himself imprisoned for an offence against a partner. The fact is that for the years you were not in touch with him there may have been a significant change in the person you knew then. Having said this, your partner is you say trying to turn his life around and maybe he can be given the option to try. As I do not know that nature of the offence it is difficult to advise as to what steps you should consider taking to ensure you are safe and able to protect your child from any possible risk. Your partner may also need to undertake courses which you say are not available to him because of the length of his sentence. If it is the case that the issues relate to domestic violence, you should consider making contact with Women’s Aid on 0808 200 0247 who will be able to advise and provide support to you even if you have not as you say had any issues with your partner. The potential risk is there so you could learn strategies to help protect yourself and your child.

Please read our advice sheet about Child protection procedures. You may also find it helpful to read the information on our website relating to domestic violence

Regarding what your partner can do to show change, I think it would be important for him to engage with a programme for perpetrators of domestic violence. There is an organisation called Respect who can provide advice. They can be contacted on 0808 802 4040. Since your partner has not been able to address the issues that led to him being convicted of an offence, I do not think that children’s services are likely to agree he has changed enough to be allowed contact with your son or to live with you both.

It is important that you show that you understand the concerns that children’s services have regarding your son. Your son and his needs are seen by children’s services to be the most important they want you to put his needs first and not your partner. I would suggest that you speak to the social worker about what would be necessary to safeguard your son rather than concentrating on what your partner needs. Your partner is an adult and able to make decisions and ask for what he needs.

Your partner could speak with the social worker himself and explain that he is willing to do whatever is necessary to show his intention to turn his life around and the fact that he wants to make a life with you and how important that is to him. It is not for you to say these things for him. If you are seen to be focusing on his needs and not your son’s then the view might be taken that you are not a protective factor for your son.

You can ask the social worker to carry out a risk assessment of your partner to find out the level of risk he might pose to you and your son. I think it is also important that you agree that he is not in your home during this assessment. It would be difficult for the risk assessment to be undertaken whilst your partner is in prison.

My advice is based on what you have said in your post and without knowing the full extent of your partner’s history which children’s service will have more information about.

If domestic violence is not the issue in your case you may wish to post again with more details.

I hope you will find this helpful. However, should you wish to speak to an adviser, please telephone our advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 3p.m.

Best wishes

Suzie


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