Post Fact Find Hearing - Options

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Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:16 pm

Post Fact Find Hearing - Options

Post by BigMak » Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:05 pm

Hello everyone,

Myself and my partner have just finished 2 week Fact Finding Hearing about our son.
He’s been in foster care for over 12 months under s section 20.
The FF didn’t go our way and I won’t get in to why, but I did enough to make sure only one of us in the “pool” had any findings against them so my partner could get our son back.
So it’s now only myself in the “pool of perpetrators” and he will be going back to my partner soon.

However it means I’m now obviously “guilty” of potentially harming him, even accidentally.
The findings will be either forcibley shaking injury, as a momentary loss of control or an accident which I “hid” both a low level, one off events.
As night follows day however I will now be seen as a danger to my son. My partner will in court be asked if they agree with that judgement purely to satisfy the almost Orwellian nature of proceedings....under the umbrella unless they agree then they will “fail to protect”
So the LA will either force a split, apparently post judgement this is usual, or make it very, very hard for us to be reunited.

I will be asked to move out the family home until further “assessments” are done in me, from physiological to parenting over a 10-12 week period. In that time I can only see my son under supervision, not be allowed in the family home without supervision(and even then most likely) and basically be vetted to see if I’m likely to commit my none existent crime.
For me this is pure evil, on top of everything else the LA have put us though, to return our son but then look to force s basically break up a family by the back door.
To them it seems I’ll always have to be “wathched” and they would rather people split, which I find sickining. If your partner knows or belivies you’ve harmed your child it’s still their choice, however when your partner never did or does believe it then it’s an utter disgrace that an LA can if they feel like it push for s break up via extreme sanctions, with a Judges help.

To me the first step is pushing one partner out the family home, a purely strategic tactic to gain “control” over a family and drive a wedge between parents that as with us to date have been completely hand in glove. They hate this fact and now they’ve got s finding against one of us they will do all they can to ruin our family under the auspices of child safety.

My question is to stop this but still play them at this sick game, if we were to find a family member or friend, unconnected to the case and willing to move in for the assesment period is that a viable, legal and acceptable option?
They would make sure I never was left alone with my son and act as an extra layer of protection as my partner in the LAs eyes can’t be trusted to look after our son with adaquet protection at this point.

So the person would have all the necessary bsckgtound checks, would be asked to specifically make sure our son was never left in my sole care and would be there basically as a live in Guardian.
It would mean I could stay in the family home and not have the LA dripping poison in to my partners ear in my absence and more importantly be around to help out with the care of my son, even if never sole care at this point.

It should technically give the LA and Judge that extra safety net, mean I can start to develope normal relationship with my son, help my partner and at least have the semblance of normality will the assessments on me are carried out.
If I’m found to be a “danger” then the LA would need to explore other options, if not then other safeguards under a 12 month supervision can be put in place and the Guardian move out.

Has anyone had experience of this? Can it work? Will LAs accept this proposition and if not why not in your experience?

Basically if a couple naturally break up once their are findings I understand one partner would move out. But if not as is our case then surely this alternative is viable.

Thanks in advance.

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

Re: Post Fact Find Hearing - Options

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:33 am

Dear BigMak

Thank you for posting and describing your situation in detail.

You say the finding of fact indicated that your child was not harmed accidentally and as you say you are the only person in the pool of perpetrators, I need not say that this fact will lay heavily on the immediate future decisions about your contact with your son. You do not say whether criminal charges were laid against you but this too would impact contact with your son. Please see this link about the different standards of proof used in family and criminal court proceedings.

I fully understand why you want to remain as a couple and raise your son in a family setting however, from what you say in your post, I am not sure that the plan you have laid out will work (perhaps you should consult with your solicitor about it) You seem to say in your post that the fact finding was based on evidence. You say that you are being forced to split, but given the information you have provided either you or your partner ‘injured’ your son, you have ‘accepted the responsibility’ therefore it would be difficult to propose that the court should decide that ‘it will be safe for you to live in the family home when your son is returned’. This as you say will be decided after the assessment.

If a relative or friend came to live in your home to supervise your contact with your child they would undertake to do so demonstrating their safeguarding abilities, their commitment, and their integrity. I imagine that they will give up a portion of their future too. When you say, ‘live in Guardian’, do you propose they acquire parental responsibility for your son – if that be the case, they may need to apply for a DIY Child Arrangements Orders: information for family and friends carers or a DIY Special Guardianship Orders - information for family and friends carers: both orders last for some years. On a practical level where will this individual sleep; how will they finance themselves/your home? It is clear that you have thought out your plan, though, I am not sure that it could be actioned as quickly as you think. Additionally your partner would put their ‘safeguarding, integrity etc on the line’ too and should there be any future incident (I am not suggesting this would be the case) they would risk losing your child, possibly permanently. I imagine that you have spoken to your partner about the plan, perhaps they should speak with their solicitor for advice too.

Awaiting the outcome of the assessments may be the better option to consider at this time; I understand this will be hard for you and your family. The website Parents Accused may be helpful as well as this post by Andrew Pack on the Child Protection Resource website.

I hope this information is in some way helpful.

Best wishes


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Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:16 pm

Re: Post Fact Find Hearing - Options

Post by BigMak » Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:55 am

Hi Suzie, thanks for the reply.

The Judgement is not yet in. It will either be reckless/tough handling, accidental, or none accidental but as a “momentary loss of control”

There is no suggestion nor are the LA pursuing anything more serious, my character as a father of older children without any issues is not in question. I have no criminal record, in supervised access to my older children, a good job and never had any substance or alcohol issues.
While the police have been involved, as they always are at the start, they’ve released me from bail a few months ago abc based in the final Judgement even at the more serious end my legal team think it highly improbable any charges would be bought as this case is at the maximum on the balance of probabilities and no more....even that is in question, it’s ceryajnly now where near beyond reasonable dought. The experts go this far and no more and even the judge had indicted that they would not find on a higher standard.

While my sons welfare comes first based on a limited judgement to split or be “encouraged” would seem a huge overreaction. While I may go on parenting courses and have assessments to satisfy the Judge/LA my impeccable record with my other children and that this finding is at worst one momentary loss of control(not that that’s what happened) I think is vastly different to a couple who need to split up to protect a child, he is not of vet would be in he is older and is now waking and almost talking which also makes things very different.

My question was I’ve read and heard that if a partner is forced out, be it with or without a partners direct consent, it actually makes the situation worse for the family. The partner is left alone, the child is brought up in a single household and neither have support bar the LAwgo now have “control” over them. Unless I’m seen as an out and out/ongoing danger(which I’m not/never have been) and hopefully wouldn’t be found as such then me remaining in the house is for us as a couple what we think is most appropriate for our family.

So my question was either asking a family member/friend to move in purely for the assessment period, so few weeks/months to act as a guardian to our son(informal, with LA support, but not taking PR) but I know this takes time to process....or install CCTV throughout the house(this is possible as had a company round to asses this) so that the LA have both a live feed and recording when our son is in the house and awake. It’s a different idea and wondered if anyone had done this or heard of it.

Basically and leaving the judgement aside for now, are my suggestions practical or viable and been successful before? We will work with the LA, I will pay for courses, assessments or whatever safeguarding is needed. I’m aware of how it all works and ready as such, but was looking for other people’s experience post fact finding, be they positive or negative.


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