S.47 Assesment is misleading, inaccurate and irrelevant

Dad_plus_two
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Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:04 pm
Location: London

S.47 Assesment is misleading, inaccurate and irrelevant

Postby Dad_plus_two » Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:01 pm

Hi,

I am concerned how far Children Services will go to build a case that meets the threshold for them to pursue some kind of Protection or support plan! Even blatantly including false information, I suggest, to mislead anyone who read the assessment.

[Background]
Here is my story. I have worked in the film and TV Industry as a Close Protection Officer for a number of years. I have also been a Special Constable. In 2005, I met a lady who had two sons aged 8 and 10 and would on occasions spend weekends with them. She had been separated from the father of the children for some time. He hated me for dating his ex and was quite threatening. Nothing I could not handle. I learned over time that the 10 year old was quite violent towards his mother and would strike her with objects, bricks, tv remotes, dinner plates etc. This was a huge concern as he would only act in this way when I was not present. He was always pleasant with me.

I began to get to know the neighbours and they also shared my concerns about his violent behaviour. They also informed me that police had attended the house on no fewer than 32 occasions in the last year. I spoke to my partner, The boys mother, and she "Did not want to talk about it". There was nothing more I could do or say!

In 2006, I arrived at the house to hear raised voices. When I entered, it was clear that there had been some kind of struggle. The youngest son said he was scared as it was the second night this week. I asked the son if he would wash up and I'd buy pizza and he agreed without hesitation. My partner "did not want to talk about it". I went upstairs to get changed and a few moments later, I heard a commotion downstairs in the kitchen. I ran downstairs to find both mother and son in a physical fight. I was able to separate them. The son, by now had reached for a kitchen knife on the work surface and seeing this I reacted and was able to gain possession of it. However, during the struggle, my partner had also tried to disarm her son, and as a result received an injury to her nose, which started to bleed. The son had run out of the house closely followed by my partner on foot and me in my car out to look for him. About 15 mins later, I arrived back at the house to find a police car outside. I went to speak to the officers, who were there to arrest me for assault following a complaint from my partner. I made a statement and released. I went back home to my place and never saw my partner or her sons again. I was charged with two counts of GBH. I made a not guilty plea for the second count of GBH against the son but pleaded guilty to the first charge. She was my partner who I had feelings for and she got hurt somehow. There was never any deliberate intent to harm anyone. I thought If I pleaded guilty, then I would get a fine and that would be that. The son would not get into trouble. But that backfired. The case was heard a year later and I was asked to report to probation each week which is what I did. However, I was offered the post of Operations Manager at a firm some 40 miles away from the Probation office and was often late due to Friday traffic. I had also moved to be closer to work and requested to attend a local probation office. I was reported as "being in breach of a court order" and a custodial sentence for 8 weeks was activated. This was the only time I had ever been arrested as a 45 year old.

In 2007, I found love again and had two children as a result of that relationship. In 2010, I became a single parent and have been caring for my children ever since. Their mother has had some contact with the children. Children Services from a ****were very helpful with the report they presented to court in order for me to obtain a residence order, despite just coming out of prison. They were professional and transparent and I found them to be a great benefit. My first experience of CS from a LA that was famed for failing children.

In 2011, Loves finds me again, or so I thought! Single dad with two children and vary. We were doing alright on our own but my new partner "L" really wanted to become part of my family. So there was a slow introduction to my children and to cut a long story short, we moved into a new home together as a family. "L" fell pregnant and in 2012 we had our own addition to the family. It was all good. I also made the point of disclosing my criminal conviction to my new partner.

After the baby was born, I noticed that she was not meeting her milestones. I was concerned so raise the issue with the Health Visitor, who was also concerned and suggested that my partner "L" was unable to meet the child's needs. Baby was failing to thrive and would not eat yet would breastfeed normally. I had to give up my job. A referral was made to CS and a Child Protection plan was put in place for "neglect" in June. It was then that I discovered a bag of Cannabis in the kitchen and challenged "L" who admitted she had been smoking it since she was 14. She admits to smoking in the house when I was at work. She also admits smoking during her pregnancy. I never disclosed this to CS as "L" gave me her assurance she would stop. This caused some arguments as I have other children in her care when I was at work. Baby still refused to eat solids but would be dependant on the breast so in August Baby was admitted to hospital and was given a nose drip and fed a "Milk". I was with baby in the hospital for 14 days. Baby had started to eat yoghurts and fruit and staff were pleased with her progress. She was gaining weight and thriving. "L" was given instructions of how to use a Home Drip Feed device for when baby returns home.

With baby progressing well eating solids, staff were happy for us to return home. I was so pleased and thought it would be a good idea to surprise my partner "L" and my other children by just turning up on the doorstep. This is where it all went wrong. I opened the front door with baby in arms and closed it quietly behind me. Immediately I was overwhelmed by the smell of cannabis and when I entered my living room, I found my partner "L" with another female, who had her top off, smoking Cannabis. The female left and I felt heartbroken. I wanted to show "L" how baby can eat and how much weight she had gained. "L" was high as a kite so I put baby to sleep in her cot. I went to speak to "L" but she just said she was going to bed. Baby was due to have a "Feed" via drip in an hours time and with "L" being the only person who knew how to operate the machine, I needed to phone the Hospital for advice. "L" had heard me on the phone and came downstairs where she snatched the phone from my hand. She wanted me not to say anything about her being "Stoned" but I felt I had to. Enough was enough. My children were at risk. I snatched the phone back and she said, if I give it to her she will ask the hospital staff if it would be ok just to breastfeed the once. I thought that was not an option as "L" had cannabis in her system and this would be present in her breast milk. It crossed my mind that baby could be addicted to "L"'s breast milk which is why she would NOT take solids when presented by "L". "L" took the phone and began to make a call and I went to check on the children upstairs. She was not speaking to hospital staff but had called Police stating that I had been violent and pulled her hair. About 30 mins later, Police Officers arrived and we both gave our accounts. They asked "L" to leave the property for one night and return to the hospital in the morning. I remained at home with my two other children. When "L" returned in the morning she told me that she had to do what it takes to prevent her child being taken away.

A week later CS start to claim that our relationship is "Toxic" and that I am displaying controlling behaviours and violence. I guess flushing your partner's bag of weed down the toilet and not giving her money to buy more can be classed as controlling. Whilst we continue to work together to meet the childrens needs, "L" has started to fund her habit by other means so I did not hold much hope we would last. I just felt bad for the children and how happy they all seemed.

In December, I came home during the day from work and found her in our bed with another, both smoking cannabis. Naturally, I was hurt and angry and I did shout but this was during the day so my children were at school and baby was asleep in her cot. We decided to stay together until the new year so the children would enjoy Christmas as a family. "Baby was now off her nasal drip and was eating well and meeting milestones. I came home one day to find "L" and baby had left. A few minutes later, CS called to state that "L" and baby were is a women's refuse as I had been domestically violent. I was sad for everyone but glad that we would never have to go through this for another night. In the new year, I spoke to CS and told them about the Cannabis. CS visited the refuse and caught her smoking in her room with the child in one corner playing. She admits to them that she has had a habit since she was 14.

[S.47 Assesment]
Being a single parent, I rely heavily on the support from family members. In August 2016, a family member had come to visit, whilst I was making teas, my eldest daughter "C" came in and claimed that this family member "N" had touched her inappropriately and had taken pictures on her phone of her knickers under her dress. My youngest also verified what happened. I spoke to "N" about the allegations which she denied and became aggressive whilst shouting. I called the police to report the incident and they removed the family member. They said they did not have enough evidence despite seeing the images on her phone, they were not deemed "Indecent" No Further Action. On Monday I contacted CS for their advice and they suggested no contact. I agreed and they closed the file.

It's May halfterm 2017 and the children were saying how much they missed this family member. I asked if they would like to see her again and they both replied "Yes". This was purely exploratory and considering her age and health as well as the circumstances, thought a contact centre would be an option.

The children returned to school and asked by a lunchtime supervisor, what they did over half term. My eldest said, she wanted to see this family member but was unable to because she had touched her and taken pictures of her privates. Of course, a referral was made to CS and I was called in for an interview at the school with several home visits to follow for an s.47 assessment. I have cooperated and been very transparent with CS. They stated that they were concerned the children may be experiencing significant harm or have done.

The assessment has been completed and I have a copy which is quite damning and implies that I am an extremely violent and controlling individual. The case is now closed. The assessment is inaccurate and misleading.

The assessment states:

    I have 6 previous domestic violence offences 2 of which are on the XXXX Police database from 2004? I have never been to XXXX and a Subject Access Request reveals nothing on file.
    I have breached my probation on 15 occasions yet a Subject Access Request reveals only 3 breaches for late attendance.
    I was evicted from my home for rent arrears. This is not true as I could no longer afford a 3 bed house so I downsized.
    I have been controlling and violent toward my children's mother and that she sought safety in a refuse. This is not true and she has a sworn affidavit that states otherwise.
    I have known about previous inappropriate behaviour and have asked the children, not to discuss with CS. There have never been previous incidents.
    I was asked by CS to have a mental health assessment and was found to have no issues. In the assessment, it states that "I was known to the community mental health team for 3 months and they felt they were unable to help me so I was referred back to GP care". They state that I deny any mental health issues which is supported by the Mental health Team. Ironically, one of whom has actually read a book I published relating to "Psychology and the part it plays in paranormal research".
    I claim to be working for the local council. I am the Managing Director of a self funded Community **** with the Support of the local council.
    My children have fallen behind at school yet the school reports state that they have excelled about and beyond expectations.
    My clinical records show difficulties in previous relationships. I visited the doctors once and was diagnosed with "Reactive Depression".
    I have said that I want to commit suicide to a member of staff at the children's previous school. This never happened.
    I have been domestically violent to my former partner "L" on two further occasions which I was not aware of and was never mentioned in the Previous Child Protection Plan. This only surfaced in the s.47 report.

So far, ALL of the Subject access requests made that have been received to not corroborate with what CS is reporting in the assessment. Although I have refused to have a Child in need plan, the assessment has been completed and CS are satisfied that my children's needs are being met and that there is no danger of significant harm. CS was insistent of a Child in need plan as they suggest my eldest daughter still has memories of the incident which has had some impact. CS agreed that they are not qualified to make that diagnosis and further agree that the counselling received from Victim Support after the incident took place a year ago was sufficient enough to identify any signs of impact.

As a parent, I have a duty to care to my children whom I have fought for. I failed to see why, a year ago, after the incident, CS did not offer us the support we were asking for at that time. They have had no direct or indirect contact with this family member since. The matter was reported to Police and CS who were satisfied there were NO concerns.

The s.47 assessment, a year after the incident took place, focuses on "Domestic Violence" which is non existent and never has been. My current Partner was happy to make a statement to CS stating that she has never experienced any controlling or violent behaviour during the 3 years we have known each other but CS are not interested.

I understand CS work on Probability and taking into account I am telling the truth here and can support my case with evidence from the multiple agencies, that there is no foundation for what is reported in the s.47 assessment. I suggest that the s.47 assessment is fundamentally flawed from the onset and would like to have it quashed. I am not satisfied that CS state that if I prove there have been errors and omissions that "A letter would be placed on my file stating that I disagree with the assessment".

I believe that CS will use the information they have inaccurately compiled and reported as a reference should any other referrals be made in the future despite the fact the case is closed. This is a concern and I would like some advice as to my next steps.

Regards

Dad plus two

edited by Size to maintain confidentiality

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 1690
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: S.47 Assesment is misleading, inaccurate and irrelevant

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:46 pm

Dear Dad plus two

Welcome to the parents’ discussion forum.

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

You have given a very comprehensive background relating to events and the involvement that children’s services have had at different times with your family.

It seems that the last period of involvement from children’s services is the most troubling for you as the s.47 enquiries conducted by children’s services has resulted in what you say is report which is ‘fundamentally flawed’ because the information it contains if incorrect in that it includes information which is incorrect or assumptions made by the social worker which has no factual basis. You say you do not trust that children’s service will include a letter stating that you disagree with the content of the report. If you do provide a written account which you believe reflect the correct position in respect of factual matters the children’s services should attach this to the file. I would just like to make it clear that if opinions are expressed then this is a different matter as the social worker or any other professional can express an opinion.

You could of course ensure that the letter or note is attached to the file by making a subsequent request to access your records. Please see our advice sheet . Alternatively, you could make a formal complaint asking for the record to be amended and if your complaint go as far as the local government ombudsman, then he could require the local authority to make the necessary changes.

If, as you say in your post, you wish to have the assessment quash for the reasons you have stated, then, as with any other public body, you would have to make an application to the court for a judicial review. Please see our advice sheet relating to challenging decisions and making complaints.

I hope you find this helpful. However, should you wish to speak to an adviser, please consider telephoning our free, confidential advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday.

Best wishes

Suzie

Dad_plus_two
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:04 pm
Location: London

Re: S.47 Assesment is misleading, inaccurate and irrelevant

Postby Dad_plus_two » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:02 pm

Thank you, Suzie, for your response. I am grateful.

I fully appreciate the opinions of professionals and understand the importance.
What I am failing to understand is how a social worker can misrepresent information that is clear and precise.

Subject access requests made to ALL agencies have been acknowledged and received in a timely manner. However, a Subject Access Request to the LA has not been acknowledged and sixty days or so have passed. The request was send by Royal Mails "Signed For" service.

Regards

User avatar
Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 1690
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: S.47 Assesment is misleading, inaccurate and irrelevant

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:04 pm

Dear Dad_plus_two

Thanks for the further information. I am sorry to hear that you have had no response from the local authority in relation to your access to records request which you wisely sent by a signed for delivery service.

As you no doubt are fully aware, you should have received a copy of the information you requested within 40 days – the exception to this being if certain exemptions apply (which you can read about on pages 3 – 4 of our advice sheet on access to information held by children’s services). Even if the local authority asserts that such exemptions apply they should still write to you promptly and tell you why.

Perhaps you could send a follow up asking for an acknowledgement of your request, clarification of when you will receive the information or a full explanation if there is a reason why the local authority cannot provide this.

I hope this helps.

Best wishes

Suzie

Dad_plus_two
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:04 pm
Location: London

Re: S.47 Assesment is misleading, inaccurate and irrelevant

Postby Dad_plus_two » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:48 am

Hi Suzie,

Thank you for your advice. I did indeed follow up my SAR with the LA by email. I received a response by return which acknowledged that the necessary information has been received and that I would receive the results of the SAR by the 29th October 2017 which is 10 days after the 40 day deadline.

In a subsequent email response, they are suggesting that:
"The request was received by our department on the 19th September. I wonder if it was sent to the wrong address and took it’s time getting to our team? Could I confirm what address you sent it to please? If it’s not too much trouble could you send me confirmation of when and where it was signed for so I can pick it up with the relevant department"
.

Incidentally, the LA's Data Officer has just called me to apologise for not acknowledging my SAR and has stated that she will ensure that the results are received withing the deadline.


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