Child protection conference. Advice needed

LD66
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:35 pm

Child protection conference. Advice needed

Post by LD66 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:35 pm

I have my first one in a couple of weeks.
My son will be 16 in January.
I've posted previously my partner is a registered sex offender.
We don't live together and have no plans to.
I am made to feel like I should end the relationship etc. They see what's in front of them and not the actual person who has feelings etc. I believe every one deserves a chance and to be rehabilitated.
What can I expect at this meeting?
Will it be as horrendous as it sounds?
Last edited by LD66 on Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

PerfectlySafeDad
Posts: 96
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:57 am

Re: Child protection conference. Advice needed

Post by PerfectlySafeDad » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:51 pm

Welcome to the club. The only positive thing I can tell you is I think the outcome and progress of these things vary considerably between cases. It's the individual circumstances that (should) count: The exact nature of the offences, what criminal conditions are attached (ie SHPO), what rehab he has done successfully (ie probation work or other agencies), the history of your relationship with him (like how new on the scene he is), the age of the children, the sex of the children, any special needs issues, whether he is stepdad or biological dad, the children's wishes in relation to him (if they're old enough to be taken seriously), how reasonable and intelligent you appear to them.
So, the only word of hope I can offer is don't necessarily compare yourself to the horror stories you read on here. That said, my fear is they don't account for any individuality at all, but simply a blanket oppression of sex offenders, and also that society (as represented by them) is simply not advanced enough yet or capable of discerning where 'sexual risk' exists or ends, especially in the potential crossovers from internet to contact, or stranger to incest.
I think we just have to choose whether to look on the optimistic side or not whilst we endure these times, and just pray that they see the truth or are brave enough to cut at least some slack if in their zealous minds there is a 'risk however small'.
Be firm in what you wish for, but also make a point of showing them you are not naïve.
Edit: I see your son is soon 16. So, talking of individual circumstances, it beggars belief to me that they can conclude in this case that there's a risk to him worthy of cutting your man out of your lives. Usually an SHPO only applies to under-16 anyway, so this seems to be yet another case of the CS thinking themselves superior to the law.
I do understand that to them anybody under 18 is still legally a child (notwithstanding the face they are deemed able to marry, drive a car, leave school and join the workforce), therefore they 'have to act'. My hope for you is that they are purely ticking the boxes in your case, and when they've covered their backs thus they'll conclude there's little or no risk.
If it goes badly at least you have the consolation that you only have 2 more years of this crap, then when he's 18 you, your man and he can tell them to get stuffed. Indeed they'll just disappear like a fart in the wind anyway because they'll know there's nothing they can do to touch you nor any need to cover their precious backs..
Last edited by PerfectlySafeDad on Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

LD66
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:35 pm

Re: Child protection conference. Advice needed

Post by LD66 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:52 pm

Cs got involved a few months ago and were happy for me to sign an agreement where my son and partner were never alone together.

Multi agency meeting yesterday with son's school, cs, probation and police. Now sw has been out to advise me of child protection conference and that they have to inform my employer ad I work with children. He's on a shpo and has a few convictions since he was a teenager. The most recent was indecent images. Before I met him.

I am well aware of safeguarding and would never put any child at risk. Sw today just repeated himself how my partner is a high risk etc I said I just think everyone deserves a chance and to be rehabilitated to lessen his risk.

He mentioned nonces and paedophile and I said but it is seen as a psychiatric disorder that needs addressing surely. Your lot just all think sex offender should be hanged!
But at the end of the day he is a human being, who knows he's done wrong, needs help and still has feelings and emotions like everyone else.

PerfectlySafeDad
Posts: 96
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:57 am

Re: Child protection conference. Advice needed

Post by PerfectlySafeDad » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:36 pm

If your social worker is throwing around terms like 'nonce' and 'paedophile' he is not fit to be in such a career to he honest. I believe they have to have a degree, and they ought to be - though sadly there's nothing in law to oblige them - capable of objectivity, reason and compassion. Very very few offenders are truly paedophiles, in that they fancy exclusively or primarily kids, the offences are almost always part of a mishmash of issues. In any case, paedophilia isn't hurting anyone its only a state of mind, the only harm is in 'offences'. In any case, if you're man is a paedophile he wouldn't be interested in a 16-year-old would he? Because it means attraction to pre-prepubescent. My probation officer hates the term 'paedophile' - this is a proper expert with decades of experience with all manner of sex offender, not like those back-covering half wits - because it's useless, misleading as if it's 'man in anorak outside the school' type of thing. Your social worker sounds as thick as a brick.
You're dead right, he's a human being - your partner that is - but they don't care about that, they only care about risk to your son, so the only basis you can reason with them on (or try to) is that his types of offences didn't include specifically a risk to teenage boys, and that his risk is coming down or will cone down with work he is doing. You'd think at the very least a 16-year old can be briefed on protecting himself, and that ought to satisfy them.

LD66
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:35 pm

Re: Child protection conference. Advice needed

Post by LD66 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:00 pm

Glad to hear you have an understanding probation officer.

At the meeting they had it seems as if police and probation fed the social worker things to say to me. That my partner is grooming me. Manipulating me. Controlling me. I disagreed. Sw said i bet you've never told him to get out of your house. Yes I have. They seem to think I'm this meek and mild little woman. I'm not at all! That he will reward my son financially!

I said he's never given my son money.
That he's arrogant in the way he didn't tell me about the offences as soon as we met....my comeback was that's not arrogance, when do you choose the time to disclose such offences?
That he's confident....hes not he's very shy!

I work with children. Sw said they would have to tell my employer as my partner could coerce me into taking photos of the children. Therefore causing an assessment and me to lose my job. This made me totally panic and I have handed in my notice today.

So I've probably not done myself any favours. But I have to disagree when they are firing so much bullshit at me!

My son is almost 16 and is a lovely intelligent young man who agrees that there is no way he feels at risk.

They want me to not see my partner. Even though i keep hearing we cant tell you what to do. But! We don't live together. I've signed an agreement to say my partner and son won't have any contact.

I feel so saddened by it all that I feel I have no other option but to end the relationship with my partner.

PerfectlySafeDad
Posts: 96
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:57 am

Re: Child protection conference. Advice needed

Post by PerfectlySafeDad » Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:32 am

You could carry on the relationship living in separate places I guess, but not ideal obviously. Just meet up and they don't need to know, but by the sound of it he himself is under close monitoring by the police if he is 'high risk", and as soon as they sniff out a relationship he is in they'll dive in. It sounds like a minefield for you, and it's sad, but like I said in 2 more years there will be no issue, apart from you not being able to work with kids because of him (or rather because of CS attitude to him). It doesn't make any sense in the real world that a 16yo is at risk, not as if he's a baby, it's bureaucracy gone mad. And what a stretch to claim he might get YOU to take pics of kids for him. Sheer paranoia, safeguarding gone mad, they just go out of their way to imagine stuff. At this rate, no 'child' under 18 will be able to go out alone or say hello to a new adult without a protection plan in place - just in case!

LD66
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Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:35 pm

Re: Child protection conference. Advice needed

Post by LD66 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:27 am

We don't live together or have any plans to.

After several sleepless nights since the social worker visited I have to say I need to sever all ties with this man.

I'm devastated as he will be too but I can't put him before my son and in the eyes of CS I am. I also don't want their involvement, I've worked with them and agreed to supervised contact and I thought that was the end of it.

But hearing that my almost 16 year old son will be put on the child protection register is something that I really don't want to happen.

I have two children, the eldest is 30, and grandchildren. I have worked with children for over 30 years. I have never had any social services or police involvement in my life and I am disgusted in myself that I am in this situation now.

They say they are doing it to safeguard my son. There were boys in the IIOC.
But under 13. All makes no sense.
I

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Child protection conference. Advice needed

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:02 pm

Dear LD66

Thank you for your further posts.

You are very worried and distressed by children’s services involvement with you and your son which has come about because your partner is a registered sex offender.

In your post you said that children’s services were initially happy for you to work with them under an agreement that your son would not be with your partner unsupervised. However, following a multi-agency meeting the position has changed because your partner is said to high risk. Do you know whether your partner was risk assessed by one of the professionals attending this meeting and the result of the assessment is that he is high risk?

Whilst you may think that your partner should be given a chance and helped to rehabilitated to lessen his risk., it seems that your partner has had more than one incident of reoffending so it may be that his reoffending does not show any inclination in his part to change his behaviour and this is why he is considered to be high risk. There is also a suggestion that he may have groomed you which is why you feel that you need to support him by continuing your relationship. How much do you actually know of your partner’s background? There may be a lot that you are not aware of even though you said his most recent offence related to indecent images.

Children’s services seem to be concerned about your involvement with this person even though he does not live with you at the moment. The concern may be that once they are not involved he could start although your plans at the moment from what you say is not to live together.
Also, you mentioned in earlier posts that you have known him for a few months and the relationship has been on and off. This may be another concern for the professionals because of the strength of your wish to continue your relationship.

As you are aware, children’s services have a safeguarding role and although your son is nearly 16 , he is still and child for whom they are concerned and there is a worry about how been around your partner could impact on him. You say he is a sensible young man but his life experiences may be such that he is not able deal with someone who has been involved in different incidents of sex offending. He may not believe himself to be at risk but children’s services have concerns about what might happen.

It seems that you have taken the quite drastic action of giving notice to your employers even though you have a son to take care of and you may have put yourself in a difficult position financially if you would need to claim benefits. Whilst you did not want the worry of having to discuss these issues with your employers, children’s services may be concerned that you have not considered your son’s needs in deciding to give up your employment in this way.

I think it is really important to ask children’s services why their concern regarding risk remains high when you do not live with your partner. Normally, once the risky party is no longer in the home children’s services would allow matters to continue on the basis of a signed agreement or, in some cases, close the case. This is the reason it appears there are serious concerns about your partner. It is important that you should be given the reasons living apart is not enough.

Regarding the social worker and the comments he made regarding your partner, this is unprofessional and you may want to have a discussion with the team manager pr consider if you want to make a formal complaint.

You have now been told that children’s services intend to take the matter to child protection because of their concern that your child is at risk of significant harm. Please see our advice sheet relating to Child protection procedures for more information.

Regarding whether children’s services will believe you have now ended your relationship, I think you will need to have frank discussion with the social worker explaining that you have to put your son first and this is why you have reached the decision you have. It may be that children’s services might think that you are simply doing this so they can decide to close the case. You say in your post that you want no further involvement with them. It may be that they decide to go ahead with the child protection conference and, if your son is placed on a child protection plan, this will give them the opportunity to monitor the situation.

As your son is nearly 16 he can attend the conference so he can put his wishes and feelings to the conference. If he would like to have an advocate to help him do this then you can ask the social worker to arrange for him to have one to support him at the conference. You are able to have someone attend the conference to support you whether a member of your family or close friend if you wish. You would need to inform the social worker that you intend to have someone support you at the meeting.

You may find it helpful to contact the Lucy Faithfull Foundation on 0808 100 0900 who advises both perpetrators and families in relation to sexual offences.

I hope this is helpful, but 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.

Best wishes

Suzie

LD66
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:35 pm

Re: Child protection conference. Advice needed

Post by LD66 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:48 pm

Thank you for your response Suzie.

I am no longer with the partner. He has 're offended in the past I am aware of all his convictions now. He has mental health issues and now I have taken a step back I can see that he has in fact groomed me to a certain extent. He had turned the tables on me totally. Has shown his true colours. And been violent towards me. When i have done nothing wrong. Also him being there to pick up the pieces made me more emotionally attached to him.
I was in too deep and couldn't see it.
I believe him to be a narcissistic personality also.

My job was only a few hours a week and was ending in a months time due to lack of funding. My employer is happy to keep my job open should I wish to return. I just needed a break and could not handle the shame and embarrassment. In the meantime I have another job lined up. Am just getting this meeting out of the way then I can concentrate on getting mine and my son's life back on track!
Just to add there is no way I will ever get back with this partner now. I have promised my children and myself. He will not be able to hurt us anymore.
Last edited by LD66 on Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PerfectlySafeDad
Posts: 96
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:57 am

Re: Child protection conference. Advice needed

Post by PerfectlySafeDad » Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:34 pm

I'm glad you are clear in yourself you are doing the right thing, and that things are moving forward safely for yourself and your son. Nothing is more important than having CS off your back, because make no mistake if they have concerns they are utterly ruthless in protecting anybody even a day under 18, at whatever expense to anyone else in the family.
I still don't think their utter draconianism (no willingness to take even the smallest 'risk' in their eyes) is right, but I can personally take some encouragement from your story, as clearly every case is dealt with on its own merits, and the concerns CS had re. this man appear to have been well-founded. He seems unrepentant, or unable to control his offending impulses, and manipulative. I take comfort from knowing I am none of those things, but simply a guy who was in a dark place, hating my past behaviour which was a once-only thing, and wanting to rebuild ties and family rights. I'm proving myself by not re-offending (truly the easiest thing in the world for many of us), and engaging fully with whatever is put before me.
I'm developing some faith that CS are capable of discerning a difference between the vast spectrum of men blacklisted as offenders, and make sensible and humane judgements accordingly.

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