Partner accused of talking online with a minor. Please help!

CTL03
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Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:12 pm

Partner accused of talking online with a minor. Please help!

Post by CTL03 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:29 pm

Hi,
I'm new to this site as it was recommended to me. My partner was arrested last week with allegations that he was chatting to an underaged girl. Obviously I was completely devestated. He had to go and answer some questions then he was released on bail.

I had to speak to my child's school (new school, first day), OFSTED (who I work for) and social services.

The "evidence" the police have is an IP address which led them to our address. My partner has been told he can still travel abroad, still contact me, etc.

In the meantime social services phoned me back and told me that my partner was not to have any access with our child until they did their initial investigation. (10 working days). Yesterday I had a meeting with another social worker who said that due to the fact that it's a joint investigation (police and social services) it will now take 35 working days (7 weeks!). So my partner has vacated our house and is living elsewhere.

Worse thing is, it was my partners birthday the day after all of this started and our child couldn't even phone him up and wish him happy birthday. Plus then it was my birthday on Sunday and we couldn't even spend it together

Please help. I believe my partner when he says he's innocence as the information that I've been told just doesn't add up.

I just want all of this to be over. :(
My partner doesn't know what will happen next. He doesn't know whether he will lose his job etc either which has a knock-on effect to our house, the car.....

We were due to get married the end of this year, now we don't even know if we can afford that.

Our child knows that Daddy can't have contact for the time being until all of this is sorted.

I don't know what to do or think. I've got the police asking for a statement from me on Thursday. Would you advise for me to have someone with me?

TKH
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Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:59 pm

Re: Partner accused of talking online with a minor. Please h

Post by TKH » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:51 pm

So sorry you are going through this. I understand that you question your partners guilt and thats fine - til you know otherwise but just a word of warning the professionals involved will take it as though hes guilty and everything you say and do must be child led ie that you will take preventative steps over and above to keep them safe(even if you have no doubts at all)

CTL03
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Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:12 pm

Re: Partner accused of talking online with a minor. Please h

Post by CTL03 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:26 pm

I completely understand that. I work with OFSTED normally so I do understand that the childs safety is the most important thing.
I just wish we didn't have this allegation hanging over us. It's not just my partner that it's affected, it's everyone in the family.
I'm trying to stay stronger for my child but it's difficult when we're supposed to be a family and part of us are missing (meaning partner).

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

Re: Partner accused of talking online with a minor. Please h

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:23 am

Hello CTL03

Welcome to the discussion board. My name is Suzie and I am an adviser at FRG. I’m sorry to hear about the distressing situation you and your family are going through.

Children’s Services are currently carrying out a core assessment regarding your child. As TKH has said, I think you are right to co-operate fully with Children’s Services at this point and show them without any doubt that you are prioritising your child’s safety.

At the same time, it is reasonable for you to ask Children’s Services to be open and clear with you about the assessment process including what it will involve, timescales for making decisions, how it is going and when you can have access to a copy.

It may be useful for you to have a read through our advice sheet about child protection procedures

Regarding your meeting with the police tomorrow, are you providing a statement at the police station? If so, there will be a duty solicitor available and you may wish to request that they are present to support you.

Do let us know if you have any further, specific questions CTL03. You are also welcome to call our free advice line (0808 8010366) if you would like to speak to an adviser directly.

Best Wishes

Suzie
FRG Adviser

forcedadoption
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Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:58 pm

Re: Partner accused of talking online with a minor. Please h

Post by forcedadoption » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:33 am

Hi,
Unfortunately when social workers target the children of a couple the first thing they do is to try to break up that couple .Far easier to attack a demoralised mum on her own than one supported by a loving husband or partner.As TKH said earlier in so many words the "ss" will regard your partner as guilty until proved innocent and even if the police drop charges or a court of law clears him the ss are like a dog with a bone and can still find that he a behaved wrongly on the balance of probabilities (51%) and still apply to the court to confiscate your children.
Social Workers have no power except that granted to them at the relevant time by a family court so you need never obey them or be frightened of them.It is not an offence to correspond with a minor unless perhaps the messages are sexually explicit so I should stick with the old maxim that used to dominate all British courts;"innocent unless proved guilty" ,and welcome your partner home until and unless his guilt is proved.

forcedadoption
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Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:58 pm

Re: Partner accused of talking online with a minor. Please h

Post by forcedadoption » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:46 am

Sorry I I forgot you have a police interview next week and my very very strong advice is to answer every question "no comment" as you are legally entitled to do.The questions will gradually be slanted to try and get you to say something incriminating against him without realising it. You might then unwittingly give them evidence enough to convict an innocent man.Don't think it cannot happen,because it can.Safest therefore to say "no comment",and ask the duty solicitor to protect you from any bullying or harassment during the interview.Tell your partner whatever happens not to "accept a caution" if he is innocent just to get it all out of the way.It will not get out of the way but will be on his record for the rest of his life and affect his chances of employment. They won't tell him that at the time though !

Murray72
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Re: Partner accused of talking online with a minor. Please h

Post by Murray72 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:29 pm

I would advise you to co-operate fully with all police interviews and Children's Services. You are doing everything at the moment to protect your Children and if your Partner is guilty of this crime then he is without doubt a risk, but all risks vary and some can be managed. But without your ability to work with all the agencies involved you will unable to prove this.

I would deff not do a no comment interview unless a Solicitor advised you.

My ex was arrested for Downloading images of Children 2008, he was on Police bail for over 10 months whilst the family computer and phones etc been inspected by computer experts, the information that came back was absolutely shocking he had been accessing this material for months and managed to download hundreds of images. I was in complete denial at the time and did not accept the risk he posed. My Child has been in Care for 3 years now. The bottom line was my Ex was a sexual predator that sought out this material and would have gone onto to abuse my Child eventually.

Now is not the time for you to direct any anger or resentment at the wrong people and if the Police and Social Services are involved in your life, there is only one person to blame. These agencies do not become involved without reason.

TKH
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Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:59 pm

Re: Partner accused of talking online with a minor. Please h

Post by TKH » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:00 am

There are a lot of things a parner could be accused of that could at best be based on flimsy evidence or vindictive hearsay - this however is one that is easily proven. The welfare of children both yours and any child has to be paramount I would definitely take action to keep my child away from unsupervised contact with her father

CTL03
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Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:12 pm

Re: Partner accused of talking online with a minor. Please h

Post by CTL03 » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:07 pm

Thanks everyone for your responses.
Luckily the "interview" with the police was an informal discussion at my home & there was no need for a solicitor present. I'm a very open, honest person and I didn't want to say "no comment" as that (I feel) makes the person(s) look guilty, so I did answer their questions as best as I could, but they did throw a couple of curve balls in there. Unfortunately I couldn't find out whether they have found anything as obviously with the case being open, there is only so much they can say.
SS are not allowing supervised visitation rights until the investigation is completed which will be probably another 4 1/2 weeks (hopefully sooner) Which, while being frustrating, I can fully understand. Little one is feeling the effects of all of this though and it is effecting school work etc.I think we all just want to know the truth. My head (and heart) is in limbo.I've tried explaining to my child that it's not their fault and nothing that they have done. That the people who Mummys been talking to, just need to check that Daddy is not a bad guy. I don't know whether any of it is sinking in, but hopefully so. It's so frustrating for LO, as they're probably wondering "everyone else can see Daddy, why can't i?"
I spoke to my social worker last Tues and she wanted to see me on last Thurs. She said that she'd phone back later that day (Tues) or on Wed, but she never did. I phoned the office on Thurs morning and got told she was out of the office but that her manager would phone me at lunchtime, again no phone call. I was out yesterday, but phoned them today and no apology or anything and now the social worker doesn't want to see me and just said "just carry on as normal" :(
Anyway, is there anything I can do in the meantime? Would SS have done an initial assessment? Can I ask to see any of it? Any advice would be much appreciated.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Partner accused of talking online with a minor. Please h

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:31 am

Hi CTL03

Thanks for your update. I’m pleased to hear that the meeting with the police wasn’t as stressful as you’d feared.

Unfortunately, it sounds as though Children’s Services are being very bad at communicating with you, which must be incredibly frustrating and is not good practice. Working Together to Safeguard Children (which is government guidance related to child protection procedures) is clear that social workers should work co-operatively with parents in order that they feel respected and informed.

Children’s Services will have done an initial assessment, which is an initial information gathering process in order to decide how to proceed. In reality, the initial assessment may have been a very brief piece of work which quickly concluded that a more comprehensive (core) assessment was needed. Regardless of this, however, an initial assessment is deemed to be completed once it has been shared with the family so you are right to expect that you should have seen a copy.

I would advise that you make some notes of the main issues that you wish to discuss with the social worker, including any questions to may have about,
• Assessments that have already been carried out (and when you can have access to a copy of these)
• Assessments that are currently underway or planned
• Timescales for any assessments and/ or decision making
• What contact you should expect from the social workers within this time frame

You can then use these notes as a basis for a clear and detailed discussion with the social worker. If it is difficult to contact the social worker by phone, or if you feel unclear about the responses you are given verbally, it would be useful to put your questions in writing- email is a quick and efficient way of communicating so it would be worth asking for the social worker’s email address. Begin any correspondence by emphasising that your child is your priority, and that you are keen to work co-operatively and in partnership with Children’s Services.

You may find it useful to have a look at the relevant chapter (chapter 5) of Working Together to Safeguard Children to give you a clearer idea of the process you are involved in and what it is reasonable for you to expect from Children’s Services.

I hope this is helpful.

Best wishes

Suzie
FRG Adviser

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