Time together as a couple advice

May12345
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:03 pm

Re: Time together as a couple advice

Post by May12345 » Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:54 pm

Thankyou DD2SS! I hope we are out of this tunnel at some point soon. Its been a very long ride.

Can I ask what your situation was or your experience?

DD2SS
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:56 pm

Re: Time together as a couple advice

Post by DD2SS » Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:01 pm

Hi May,

So briefly, I'm an ex-offender with what looks like a similar history to your husband. It has taken several years including a few in court to regain normal child arrangements with my children (similar ages to your own), but I now enjoy an excellent relationship with them and it has all been worth it. This was a private rather than public law case but the fundamentals are the same. I learnt many things but mainly that family court is chaotic, things always take longer than you expect and new hurdles can arise at any point, but if you persist and put the children first at all times you can get the result you want (although compromises may need to be made). It can be really, really tough at times, and you need support from loved ones to get though it so pull in all the support you can!

PerfectlySafeDad
Posts: 161
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:57 am

Re: Time together as a couple advice

Post by PerfectlySafeDad » Wed Nov 07, 2018 4:19 am

DD2S thanks for your comments you make some great points.
I do indeed make the most of my supervised conditions. I consider these severe and disproportionate to the offences (although not to the trauma my ex has gone through), but I know they could be worse. It is 2 hours a fortnight in a friend's house with the friend (lady) and my ex-wife present. Thank God not a contact centre and no intrusive social worker present. I take this as a plus that they don't deem it necessary to personally monitor our every interaction. I kick and throw a ball about in a small back garden with my son, 11, and we play board and card games inside and generally chat. He remembers every meet extremely positively (I put on a happy and relaxed front even though I often feel anything but, because I know I must). He insists on the ceremony of a hug at the end every time. I consider him a hero amidst a pathetic show by the adult world - me for my offences, the others for draconian reaction to them. I do find the no phone calls or letters rule harsh beyond belief after 2 years distance from both my offences and suicidal breakdown. It's hard to discern how much these conditions are my ex's wishes (still making her own recovery) or to what extent she has simply rolled over to CS's verbal 'advice' (ie threats). I suspect a bit of both, as their 'advice' (never had anything in writing) gives her the perfect excuse to take an indefinite clean break from me.
Yes you are quite right children take these things in their stride better than the Dads - but then 'getting used to' a thing, accepting a bad situation as a norm is kind of exactly how abuse works is it not?
Yes I'm only 66% through my sentence, but that equates to 2 years of childhood (3 if including the year on precharge conditions) since last doing a simple thing like sitting in a cafe with my child.
I'm indeed aiming to create conditions to improve this in the only ways I can, as far as I see; doing everything asked of me by probation, complying solidly with my SHPO, respecting my ex's wishes for space (instead I rant on here), causing no tension in any of the contact sessions.
However, a few weeks ago the only social worker I've ever met (from the disabled dept, catering for my other son therefore not even a safeguarding worker as such) told me there are 'no plans to change anything, because the current arrangements are working well'. How do you win against such logic?!
I take heart their involvement seems low key, but I fear this is only because they have found it so easy to put my ex in line, and because for now my balls are legally in a vice due to my SHPO no.unsupervised contact unless she consents rule.
In 3 years I might be rid of this, but the same social worker said menacingly 'ah we would do a further assessment at that point', which I take to mean they would attempt to kind of fill in the gaps given by my new-found rights.
Even if I don't get rid of the SHPO, in a further 2 years (5 from now) my son will be 16 and the terms will no longer even apply to him. I'm hoping this is my worst case scenario, yet even then the SS worker says 'there'll be an assessment when he is 16 too'.
Also this automotron tells me "my son's wishes will be taken into account". Whilst this sounds fair enough, it makes me shudder to think how they might 'influence' his wishes, or not be so keen to put his wishes first if they differ from theirs.
I haven't even mentioned my other son in this because, despite being 13, he is too disabled mentally and physically to express himself or - horrifically, in the eyes of CS no doubt - to 'protect himself', therefore I think I have to accept he is lost to me, or more to the point I am lost to him. This is a child the mental age of a toddler wondering what the hell happened to Daddy.
The fact is there is no safeguarding issue (except in the minds of the authorities), so their decisions however logical and by the book they are to them, are simply..'wrong'.
This I can never get past. I can only tough it out. It's a modern tyranny, no two ways about it. In a strange way that helps me, because I feel I at least understand it, and therefore with grim determination can jump through all the hoops and survive it.
If I allowed myself to believe I was any future danger to any kid whatsoever, let alone contact offence, let alone my own, I"d lose what marbles I have left.
As to my 'friend' who found a young family for himself (he was a friend, because without his support and unique insight I would not have survived), no I do not think it is the 'rehabilitated thing' to have reported him. He'd committed no crime, served his sentence and breached no existing condition - he himself was 'rehabilitated'! an 'ex' offender as you say.
It sits uncomfortably with me that we can live in a civilized society that does not seem to pay deference to that. Closure is given to thieves, almost all other ex-criminals, but not to sex offenders it seems. Why? Because the stakes are higher - children 'might' be at risk? That does not make it right. Some risk is part and parcel of existence, in most cases they're more at risk from a random car accident, or the moon falling on their head.
It's lunacy. It makes me sick. It's just a risk risk risk back-covering society, and ignorance and hysteria over sex feeds into that worst of all.
Here's the rub: What will get me through this - irony of ironies - is my love and care for two CHILDREN!

DD2SS
Posts: 35
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Re: Time together as a couple advice

Post by DD2SS » Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:06 pm

Hi PSD, I'm glad that the time with the kids is going well. Don't write off contact centres, they can provide support through transition to unsupervised contact when that is appropriate and objective/professional evidence of your positive interactions with the kids. That might be something that could help you in the future. There is also no doubt that your disabled son is a big factor in your case, so whatever route you take it will be difficult I think. Anyway, stay positive for the children's sake and I hope things improve for you.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Time together as a couple advice

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:43 pm

Dear May12345

Thank you for posting again on the parents’ discussion forum.

From reading your post, it appears that your children remain on child protection plans. Children’s services has now taken the case to procedure under the public law outline (PLO). You say this is because they needed to fund a psychological assessment. It is unusual for a case to be taken to PLO only for an assessment to be funded but this may be the way this particular local authority deal with cases of this kind. Was nothing else mentioned in the pre-proceedings letter you received from children’s services as of concern to them regarding the children?

It seems that both you and your husband has, from what you say, been working well with children’s services but the main issue for you seems to be to have time with your husband. This is, of course understandable, you have been married a long time and you feel you need time to talk through what has happened in your marriage following his conviction for viewing images of children online.

Reading your post you say that children’s services do not support your husband returning to the home so that you can supervise contact with your baby and this is causing difficulty with contact as he is at work when the older children are at school so not possible for him to have contact at this time. Also, you believe that it is too much to ask of your mother to babysit or supervise this contact as she already provides you with a lot of support by supervising contact with the older and their father. It might be helpful if were to ask the social worker to arrange for you to have a family group conference. This would be an opportunity for your family members and friends to have a meeting and work out a plan of support. You will find more information about this in our advice sheet Family Group Conferences regarding how the family support network can help.

Although you have engaged well with children’s services and undertaken courses relating to parent protecting child and sex abuse, it seems that children’s services may still have concerns in relation to safeguarding and risk in respect of your husband. It may be a concern that it has been reported that you are unable to talk about your husband’s offences which might mean that whilst you have undertaken and have a theoretical knowledge around the subject your understanding and ability to deal with and look at the bigger picture involving your husband might be lacking in respect of your insight into the concerns around risk.

Looking back at your earlier posts, you stated that you were 17 when you met your husband and he is 23 years older than you. Bearing in mind the nature of his offence has anyone expressed concerns about how you relate to his offending behaviour or if this may be an issue for you since you were also a teenager when he became involved with you.

As your husband is working during the day, would it be possible for him to take a day off or an afternoon so he can have contact with the baby and you. If you do want to have time away with your husband without the children, perhaps it could be for just a night and you can express milk for the baby. Alternatively, your mother might be willing to stay in your home with the children whilst you spend some time with your husband. I think you should have a discussion about how you might manage this with the social worker and or team manager.

You say you and your husband wish to put it behind you and carry on with your lives. I do not think children’s services will see it as simply as that. Their concerns around risk has to acknowledged and work done to reduce that risk. Putting behind you is unlikely to be enough. I think the issue has to confronted in an open way so that going forward both you and your husband have a greater understanding of how you got where you are and how your children can be protected from the perceived or actual risks going forward.

Children’s services are unlikely, I think, to make any firm decisions about contact until they have had the psychological report from the assessment of you and your husband. Having said this, you are both in a hopeful position as you say you have been working well with children's services and doing what is asked of you which is usually the best way forward to get the desired outcome for your family.

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

I hope this helps

Best wishes

Suzie

May12345
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:03 pm

Re: Time together as a couple advice

Post by May12345 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 4:29 pm

I wanted to update everyone. Since I last posted we had our psychological assessment. This lasted less than two hours each and consisted of us being asked questions from our childhood, upbringing, how we knew we were loved, if we'd had any abuse, how often we moved etc. Then our relationship. Also had iq tests and were both apparently in the average IQ and both have strong attachments no issues parenting etc.
My husband was said to be low risk of reoffending online but this was made medium risk as he had told the Dr thst he had drunk more alcohol after he had left home. This was to deal with anxiety because he was lonely etc. He did cut down though and passed a drug and alcohol test to get his job in May. However the Dr wrote as if he was still drinking regularly so put him at medium. My husband will be offering to have a drug and alcohol test at the next plo in a few weeks to prove that he no longer drinks. This should make him low risk again. The risk of contact offence was also low and 'unlikely'.

However he said that I could not provide a detailed explanation as to why I wanted to resume the relationship. He said that I couldn't adequately protect and supervise at present as I didn't believe my husband would reoffend! I have never said this!!! I told the protective parenting team that I can never think he won't reoffend as I need to be on guard and vigilant to protect the kids! I even check his devices and he knows that I do this and is happy for me to. Thst suspicion will never go sadly. So why is this Dr saying this! There isn't much I can say against the opinion of a Forensic psychologist with the alphabet after his name but the Lucy Faithfull charity advised me to write my own report for the next plo to argue things said that are incorrect in the report. Even minor details in the history of ourselves are incorrect. He also made other assumptions about our relationship saying its possible I was groomed etc which I agreed is a possibility but I certainly don't feel that at all. He has recommended that I do the Lucy Faithfull Inform Course which I signed up to do the day after the report.
He also said I gave the impression of someone having a first account of events and have therefore been in denial. This was because some of the details I had never been told before and I was obviously upset. I told him I hadn't heard some of these things and still he used that to say I'd been in denial. In my report I said that being in denial is one of the first responses commonly in these situations added to thst I was pregnant and my body was protecting me and enabling me to shelve things to carry on parenting my 4 then five children single handedly. He said I would however intervene if I suspected offending or abuse and not collude.

So at the next plo I expect them to keep them on plo and say that I need to do the course then be reviewed by the Dr. I was not allowed to record the assessment and I'm wondering if I'm allowed a copy of the notes as some of the details as I mentioned before are incorrect about my husband and myself history. I hope that there is still hope for me to supervise. I am alot more educated and informed and aware than my mother who is supervising. To say that I am not protective at present really was a kick in the teeth. He's basically jumped to the easiest and best suited conclusion. I have also told the social worker I am jot thinking of resuming our relationship at present my only goal is to supervise my childrens contact with their father. My poor Mum is doing this in her 60s and has been for 18m! Any advice appreciated but I have sent my report to my solicitor. I am assuming we will stay in plo until contact is resolved. The next CPC is March and thst will mark 22m on CP. I feel I have never ending courses now... Thanks for reading

PerfectlySafeDad
Posts: 161
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:57 am

Re: Time together as a couple advice

Post by PerfectlySafeDad » Sat Dec 08, 2018 6:39 pm

It's plain to see it's all about back-covering, with every agency everywhere, in every walk of life. There's an absence of any genuine compassion involved, for either you, the Dad or - most ironically - the children. It's on the latter basis that they might be able to be called to account one day. In years to come, the safeguarding industry will be seen to have been as ignorant and barbaric as the medieval Inquisition was, but sadly that time is a long way away. It will require a series of coherent lawsuits from the grown-up children themselves, who have lost out on precious years of parental relationships due to offences which had absolutely no demonstrable relation to them.
It's patently obvious in your case the CS's measures are doing a lot of actual harm to family members and the kids, in order to protect against theoretical possible harm.
It's a dystopian system and should be outlawed. All safeguarding issues need shifting into the criminal courts, with the corresponding burden of proof specific to the case, and family courts if they must exist at all be opened to scrutiny. Children's Services need disbanding utterly as safeguarders, being used solely for the true notion of 'support'. Safeguarding needs to be the responsibility of a vastly expanded police force instead, as they have a far better idea who is who, and their powers also need limiting by burden of proof.
That means the banning of so-called sexual risk orders too, while we're at it, as they've crept into this increasing tyranny as something which can be slapped on a person who has never even committed a crime (google it).

Miserylovescompany2
Posts: 220
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:55 pm

Re: Time together as a couple advice

Post by Miserylovescompany2 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:57 am

Hello

I am currently challenging a report written about by 13yo son written by a lead clinical psychologist. This report was read out to me over the phone by my sons SW. It claims my son has no autistic traits and goes on to basically say he has a personality disorder/conduct disorder. The psychologist has not met my son or spoken with him. When I contacted the psychologist to request the report he firstly denied writing one. I quoted him sections. He quickly changed his stance however was more interested in who had shared the report? During the telephone conversation I asked about him understanding on both psychopathy and autism. His responses were alarming. According to him (a qualified psychologist) sociopaths and psychopaths are the same, neither have empathy or form attachments. He also held the belief all go on to kill! I asked what his understanding was around autism? He stated in a rather arrogant curt way that his title should be self explanatory!

Off of the back of this report that apparently doesn't exist CS are telling me that my 13yo can not be around his 3.5yo sibling. He has never harmed her. I was informed verbally whilst on holiday with both children.

CS will not put in writing why my son is now deemed a danger to his sibling! (My son is a looked after child - under the category of beyond parental control) Court ended in November 2017.

My point is is - A psychologist is bound by guidelines. They should not be writing reports or giving recommendations to any agency if what they are writing about is beyond their recognised limit of knowledge.

Professional competence

Psychologists should value the continuing development and maintenance of high standards of competence in their practice and the importance of working within
the recognised limits of their knowledge, skill, training, education, and experience. Psychologists should consider advances in the evidence base, the need to maintain technical and practical skills and knowledge and the limits of their competence. This is stipulated in both the BPS Code of Ethics and Conduct and the HCPC Standards of Proficiency.

I have raised a formal complaint with the NHS- the psychologist has admitted wrong doing (verbally) and the interesting part is they have said they will remove the section about autism. I have also brought my concerns to the attention of the HCPC.

I would start asking questions. Maybe PSD can assist in the wording? If you are doing so in writing the psychologist in question should be transparent regarding their credentials. I would google the psychologist and see what history is available online. I would also check them out on the HCPC register.

By law you are both entitled to seek out a second opinion. There is nothing stopping you from doing your own research and having an assessment done independently.

May12345
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:03 pm

Re: Time together as a couple advice

Post by May12345 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:11 pm

Thank you for your reply PSD I have to agree with you on the tyranny. If he is essentially low risk which apparently is the lowest you can get (according to the SW no one is no risk even he or I) then why can I still not supervise even in public. Oh to even go to the supermarket together like a normal family! What harm do they really believe the kids are exposed to?
Misery I don't know what to say about that report your son was subject too but that is evidence of how skewed unprofessional and corrupt these so called professionals can be! I would feel like ripping that up.
The report was by a forensic psychologist unfortunately with his own business that works for LA no doubt he gets commissioned for the reason he writes what they want!
Would we be entitled for funding for a second opinion assessment or would we need to fund it ourselves? I would choose Lucy Faithfull but it's £4000 plus. I wonder if they take installments? Does anyone know?

Miserylovescompany2
Posts: 220
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:55 pm

Re: Time together as a couple advice

Post by Miserylovescompany2 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:56 pm

I would seek clarity on this but from my understanding you are entitled to a second opinion. I do not know who funds this though or whether it will be done through the same organisation by a different forensic psychologist. If the phycologist has a private organisation. Then I do not think it would be an unreasonable request to ask for a second opinion from another organisation. It might be an idea to take advantage of the free initial session some solicitors and lawyers give. It will not hurt to ask.

With regard to the report written about my son, I have not been given a copy. I might have to make a freedom of information request as it is a public organisation (NHS). There are currently no court proceedings and I share PR with the LA. Someone from CS has requested this report? I have no idea how even a phycologist can state no autistic traits without backing this up with a comprehensive explanation. He has never met my son nor observed him in any setting. CS will not give a reason why my son can not be around his sibling so it was all based on this fabricated report.

I have asked to meet with the phycologist. I am being told this will be an opportunity to ask questions. I did point out that to do so I would actually need the report...

Seek advice on the report written about your partner and yourself. You have the right to seek clarity on points which you do not agree are factually correct. There is no law against recording sessions for your own personal use. If the phycologist refused to give consent they should be able to give the reasoning behind this in writing.

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