Worried about losing my children. Please help!

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Joined: Sun May 20, 2018 12:52 pm

Worried about losing my children. Please help!

Post by Stressedmumof4 » Wed May 30, 2018 1:52 pm

I am a mum of 4 children. They are age18,16,15 and 2.
My 16 year old has anxiety. She was referred to CAHMS but discharged after one session. She has been self harming and was taken to hospital by a grandparent. This was kept from me for several months.
About 3 weeks ago she took an overdose of paracetamol. We got her to the hospital and she was kept in overnight for treatment and was seen by the mental health team. Because of the self harming and the overdose we have been referred to social services.
They have done checks and found out my husband has a police record. He was arrested when he was 18 and charged with grooming of a 15 year old and looking at class 1& 2 indecent images of adolescent children on his computer. After he was found guilty he had to complete a community order which he did and sign the SOR for 5 years. This was 14 years ago.
We met 4 years ago. He told me about texting the 15 year old and explained she was almost 16 though that doesn’t make it ok. I had 3 children and the time and made the choice to be with him as he hadn’t been in trouble with the police since and he’d moved on with his life. I didn’t know about the indecent images. Four years on and we have a 2 year old and are married.
Social services have now stopped him from doing any personal care for our child and he cannot be left alone with any of the children until they have completed a risk assessment of him.
I am struggling because I find what he did obhorrent but I can’t see him doing it. It is not the man I know. I know he wouldn’t hurt any of the children in any way. If I had seen anything that worried me I’d have kicked him out but I haven’t.
He’s had a meeting with the social worker and had to explain himself. She also asked about support and financies.
We haven’t heard from her since and this was almost a week ago.
There is a meeting on the 5th with different agencies, children’s schools, colleges etc but we haven’t been invited.
I have phoned a helpline as recommended on here and looked at their website videos on what to look for and I can honestly say there is no evidence my husband is a danger to my children.
I don’t know what will happen next. I’ve been a mum for 18 years and never had any social services involvement until now.
I want my 16 year old to get the help they need. I am scared I could lose my children.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Worried about losing my children. Please help!

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed May 30, 2018 4:25 pm

Dear Stressedmumof4

Welcome to the parents’ discussion board and thank you for your post.

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

You are understandably very distressed about the situation you find yourself in at the moment both with children’s services (new name for social services) involvement with your family and your 16 year old daughter mental health issues.

Your daughter was discharged from CAMHS after only one session. Was there no follow up or recommendations as to what needed to happen to keep you daughter safe and well? What explanation did they offer you about why they considered she was well enough to be discharged without any support being offered, if that was the case?

It is very unfortunate that your daughter’s grandparent would keep such important information regarding your daughter’s health from you. Has your daughter always suffered with anxiety? What help was she receiving to help her cope with her anxiety? You may wish to make contact with Young Mind on xxx as they may be able to offer support for your daughter.

The referral was made to children because of safeguarding concerns for your daughter. Children’s services has a legal duty to ensure that children in their area are being brought up in a safe environment. The fact that your daughter self-harms and took an overdose means they want to try and get to the bottom of what may be troubling her.
Normally, there is a strategy meeting to which parents or others with parental responsibility are not invited. The purpose of the strategy meeting is for professionals to decide how the case will be managed and what needs to happen. Our advice sheet An introductory guide to Children’s Services give more details about what happens when children’s services receive a referral.

In your case, the fact that your husband is a convicted sex offender means that there will be concerns about how safe it is for the children to be around him and this is why a risk assessment is being carried out. The safety measures that have been put in place in the meantime must be followed as, if not, children’s services are likely to conclude that you are not protecting the children.

It may be that because your husband’s offence was some time ago and, it appears, he has not reoffended children’s services has not at this stage asked that he leave the family home. This is a possibility and will depend on the outcome of their risk assessment and if further detailed checks throw up any additional information regarding your husband.

The social worker will let you know what assessment in addition to the risk assessment of your husband is to be carried out. It could be section 47 enquiries which would be in relation child protection. Please see our advice sheet relating to Child protection procedures. Alternatively, the assessment could be to offer support to your daughter and the family if it is decided that child in need is what the best way to offer help. Our advice sheet Family support will give you more information about this.

It is very important that you and your husband engage with and cooperate with the work that children’s services decide to carry out with your family. If you do not engage then this could lead to more drastic action being taken. Just to explain, children’s services are not legally able to remove your children without your consent or a court order. However, if it is decided that the children are at risk they could go to court on an emergency application for an order or ask the police to remove the children initially and go to court after that. The police can remove children to a place of safety for up to 72 hours.

I can understand your position as far as your husband’s conviction is concerned it was a long time ago and to you he is a different man. I would however, advise you not to minimise what he did or be absolutely sure he would not do it again. The reason I am advising in this way is that children’s services will want to be sure that you fully understand their concerns and will be able to protect your children. It will take time and work and you will have to prepare yourself for this, children’s services concern is the safety and wellbeing of the children and they will not be looking at things from your point of view. You say you cannot see your husband doing it. The fact is he did and you have to recognise and accept that as it cannot be undone now. Your failure to do so may give rise to concerns about you being able to take action to keep your children safe. Have you considered why your husband did not tell you about the images?

You may find it helpful to contact Lucy Faithfull Foundation, they provide support and help to both perpetrators and their family. Their telephone number is 0808 100 0900. They run programmes about how to protect children where there has been issues of sex abuse.

Hopefully, now that children’s services are involved your daughter will receive the help and support she needs so her mental health issues can be properly managed to keep her safe.

Should you wish to speak to an adviser, you can telephone our free confidential advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday.

I hope you find this helpful.

Best wishes


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Joined: Sun May 20, 2018 12:52 pm

Re: Worried about losing my children. Please help!

Post by Stressedmumof4 » Wed May 30, 2018 6:10 pm

Thanks for your reply.
With my child being 16 I was not informed why CAHMS discharged her after only one session. No follow up or recommendations were given.
Since her overdose she has been seen by them once and they have her a crisis plan. She has no further appointments with them at present.
I feel very let down by them and have said as much to the social worker.
My husband and I are engaging with the Social worker as we want to get my child the help and support she needs. She was only diagnosed with anxiety in January. She was offered counselling through college as well as CAHMS. As previously mentioned CAHMS discharges her and the college counselling has never materialised.
I fully understand what my husband did and am aware of how serious it is. As I previously stated I think what he did was abhorrent and I am not minimising anything he did. I just don’t think he is capable of doing it now. He had just turned 18 when charged. He is now 14 years older and has not done anything since. He realised his mistakes and learnt from them but it doesn’t change the fact that he did them.
I am willing to do whatever I need to to protect my children. I have already contacted the Lucy Faithful foundation for advice and support and my husband has be open and honest with the social worker.

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