New social worker not helpful

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CH8126
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:40 pm

New social worker not helpful

Post by CH8126 » Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:17 pm

Hi, l’m new to this forum so will give a bit of a background of what’s happened. So last August I was arrested for downloading indecent images. Naturally Social services got involved. I had accessed images once in late 2016 and again in August 2017. There were a total of 9 catagory A moving images, 9 cat B moving images, 1 Cat C moving image and 100 Cat C still images. I am told with this offence that these are very low numbers. The reasons for downloading them are complex but to keep it brief, on both occasions I had recently been given some devestating news which I wasn’t dealing with and had got to a point where I had an over reliance on adult pornography which seems to have got out of control. Since the arrest I sought out help with Lucy Faithfull and have nearly completed their Inform Plus program. I was convicted earlier this year and received 6months suspended for 2 years, 30 days RAR, SHPO (which basically means don’t do anything illegal on the computer) and will have to be on the sex offenders register for 7 years. My pre sentence reports were good and I was considered low risk.
When Social Workers got involved I signed a voluntary agreement to say there would be no unsupervised contact and that I wouldn’t stay overnight at the family home. We are currently on a child protection plan. My contact with the kids was a few hours after school (except for Monday’s and Wednesdays) and at weekends. The reason given to us was that it was in case I was convicted and had to go to prison, those days of not seeing the kids were to help prepare them for the worst. My kids are 4 and 6. Social services have been very pleased with me and my wife (she has also completed the Lucy Faithfull course for partners of offenders). We put ourselves on the courses, we were not ordered to take them. We have done everything and more that we can. Social Services themselves have said so.
2 core group meetings ago the restrictions on how many days a week I could see the kids were lifted although the supervised contact and not staying overnight stayed in place. The social worker also said we would look at me staying overnight back at the family home one or two nights a week. Between that core group and the next one that Social Worker left and we have been allocated a new one who seems to have completely disregarded the previous social workers observations and opinions. She feels that the restrictions that have been lifted have gone too far too soon. I think she has done this because on her first visit to my wife and kids she was very keen to make sure they knew that she was a social worker. My wife said that the previous two social workers had never referred themselves to my kids as social workers, all they did was explain their role to them. We are/were concerned that my 6 year old could start telling people she has a social worker which obviously leads to questions if it were to get out. The social worker did not like it when my wife explained her concerns and spent a huge part of the last core group meeting and at the conference going over this. It’s like she is obsessed with her title. She asked if we saw having a social worker was a stigma!! To which we answered truthfully that yes it is a stigma. Normal families do not go seeking out a social worker to be in their lives do they. The teacher and our normal health visitor at the core group agreed with us and said there is nothing wrong with her explain her role but was her title necessary? This is the first time we’ve shown any resistance or questioned anything and suddenly we’ve got a fairly negative report just before the conference saying that my wife is secretive and private all because we don’t want the whole world knowing. We’re trying to work through it and put our family back together again and concerned hat if my offence got out it could jeopardise that. We have told some close friends and family so we’re not keeping it a total secret.
We had a child conference today which has not gone well at all. We’re so confused as the previous ones have gone as ok as they can but this was terrible. The teacher from my kids school was unable to attend (which we were aware of) and our usual health visitor was also unable to attend so she sent a representative. The representative, who has never seen us before, was absolutely scathing! I don’t know how her opinion could be taken into account as she no knowlede of the situation. Our usual Health visitor is usually very friendly and helpful. Even the report she had written up in advance was nothing but positive. If she had been there I believe she would have been very much on our side and quite positive. Even the Chair was new to us. We had the same Chair for the previous two conferences but not for this one. The Social worker says she can’t find any risk assessment that may or may not have been carried out on my wife which I find hard to believe. If one hasn’t been carried out What have social services been doing for the last 7 months and how has this not been brought up sooner? They felt that they now need to urgently carrry our a risk assessment and probably reduce the days and amount of time I get to see my kids. It like they want to take a massive step backwards.
Probabtion haven’t helped. My first probation officer left her job about a week after my first appointment (which lasted about an hour). My second appointment was with the duty officer (which was only half an hour) and I’ve not met my new probation officer yet. But yet despite that they’ve somehow managed to do a bizarre risk assessment on me. They say that I’m low risk of harm to kids but they’ve said I’m medium risk of reoffending despite no previous (no idea how they’ve come to that conclusion) and that overall they have to say I’m a medium risk.
I feel like we’ve been let down by all the ‘professionals’ that are supposed to be helping.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 2153
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: New social worker not helpful

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Mar 26, 2018 4:40 pm

Dear CH8126

Welcome to the Board and thank you for your post.

I am sorry to read that the social worker who has taken over your family’s case has suggested that she may need to carry out a reassessment of your family’s situation. You have said that your family has been involved with Children’s Services for more than 7 months, there should be documentation, electronic and otherwise to confirm this, therefore, I advise you (and or) your wife make an application to see the records that Children’s Services currently hold about you. You can request this information from them directly, our advice sheet entitled Access to information held by Children’s Services will assist you with this.

May I also suggest that you and your wife request a meeting with the social worker and her manager to discuss how she intends to ‘manage’ the case, including how she will introduce herself to your children and other relevant professionals involved with your family. From what you have said you have been proactive as a family, i.e engaging with Lucy Faithfull and other professionals, perhaps you should ask that this ‘work be acknowledged’ in some way.

I hope this information helps.

Best wishes

Suzie

CH8126
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:40 pm

Re: New social worker not helpful

Post by CH8126 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:17 pm

Hi, thank you for the advice. We are currently trying to obtain the information about what assessments have been carried out. However despite nothing but positivity from the previous social worker and for about two months I’ve seen my kids everyday (still adhearing to the no overnight stays and not being involved in things like toileting and bathing) the new social worker has sent my wife a letter saying that until a risk assessment had been carried out on her she is not suitable to to carry out supervised visits and neither is her sister. Which basically means I’m not allowed to see my kids. The school, the normal health visitor and probation have all said in their reports they have no concerns for the safety of my children. So it would seem it’s only the new social worker that has any issues and she has only met my wife 3 times and two of those have been at their offices. At the child protection conference the risk assessment was highlighted as being something to be done urgently but it took them two weeks to finally send through the letter to say about my wife not being able to supervise my visits. So they were happy for us to continue our normal routine in all that time and didn’t check up on us once but then have the audacity to say that they have concerns. I had more visits when I was still under investigation by the police and back when social services had put my risk level at 3. My risk level has improved to 5 but yet I now have zero time with my kids. I’m finding it so frustrating. Surely this can’t be right.

MOR123
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:52 am

Re: New social worker not helpful

Post by MOR123 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:11 am

I have contacted children's services and made a complaint in relation to how a social worker has conducted a case that I unfortunately got dragged into over allegations made against me 20 years ago. I've not been classed as a risk for the first 7 years or so after my trial, without committing an offence or being investigated further, I was deemed a possible risk after applying for contact with my son. Scoot forward another 11 years and I'm now deemed a severe risk, again no suspicious behaviour, no police/doctor/school suspicions no accusations etc. Equally no discussions/interviews with me or indeed risk assessment. I now have a lifetime ban from seeing my grandson. Without any doubt, I'd recommend you seek out a solicitor who specialises in child law and raise a complaint with your local council children's services.
It is something I should have done years ago but didn't and years later it's still there haunting me. I wish you good fortune and hope you get the help to reunite your family.

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