Different rules for different children?

Danichip
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:26 pm

Different rules for different children?

Postby Danichip » Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:00 pm

Hi I am just after some advice as we seem to be getting nowhere trying to speak to children's services.
We were reported to children's services after my 8 year old daughter told her teacher that my partner had hung her out of a window. This didn't actually happen, they were play fighting and whilst she was taken towards the window was never outside of it. But CS has decided to do a 45 day assessment based on this. I'm hoping common sense will prevail and it will be closed with no further action. Whilst this is going on my partner is still allowed to live in the same house as me and my 2 daughters which is what we all want. However, my partner also has a son who stays with us every weekend without fail. He lives in a different borough and the CS in that borough have told us that whilst they are not opening a case that my step son is no longer allowed to come and stay and my partner can only have supervised access with his mum.
My main concern isn't the assessment,it's that they seem to have 2 different rules. Whilst my daughters are deemed to be safe living full time with me and my partner,he is deemed to be a risk at weekends to his son!
Are they allowed to do this and is there any way we can get them to change their mind as everyone (including all 3 children) are upset about this and I'm not sure we can cope for the full 9 weeks without him being here.
The girls are 8 and 6 and my step son is 5. The mother of my step son is completely in agreement with us and has been trying as hard as us to contact CS and get them to change their mind.
Apologies for the long post, I'm just hoping someone can offer a bit of clarity as this makes no sense to me.

Thank you in advance

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 1716
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Different rules for different children?

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:29 pm

Dear Danichip

Welcome to the Parents Discussion Board

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

I am sorry that you find yourself in this confusing position following a referral to children’s services by your daughter’s school.

The 45 day assessment process to which you refer in your post relates to child protection enquiries. A copy of our advice sheet explaining what happens when children’s services receive a referral is here of your information. Also attached is a copy of our advice sheet relating to child protection procedures

I think children’s services have decided that an assessment is necessary or the case would have been closed at the initial stage. That is not to say, that it is not possible for them to conclude after completing the assessment that there are no concerns. My advice is that you should engage and cooperate fully with the ongoing assessment.

Regarding your stepson, since he lives in another local authority area, it would be for his mother and father to write to children’s services there to get an explanation why they do not believe it is appropriate for him to have only supervised contact with his father. Are there any issues relating to your partner historically that would suggest they have concerns? It may be that previously you were seen as an appropriate person to supervise contact when he visited but now that your own child is the subject of an investigation this is no longer the case. Ask children’s services to respond in writing to explain their decision.

If your stepson’s mother and his father are unhappy with the decision, it is open to them to make a formal complaint. However, before doing it might be helpful to arrange a meeting to speak with children’s services in the mother’s area to discuss any concerns they have regarding unsupervised contact. A copy of our advice sheet regarding challenging decisions is here

I think your stepson’s parents can ask children’s services in his local authority to consider the impact their decision will have on him as it is disrupting for him especially as he has no understanding of why this change is happening.

Unfortunately, there is no uniformity of policy with the different local authorities and it may be that your local authority’s policy in your current situation is very different to the other local authority. They do not intend to open a case, so it would be fair to ask what would happen if your partner were to have unsupervised contact.

You may wish to speak to an adviser about this matter and, if so, do telephone our advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday.

I hope this is helpful

Best wishes

Suzie


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