Advice needed, what should or can I do.

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Hopefuldad
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:26 pm

Advice needed, what should or can I do.

Post by Hopefuldad » Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:32 pm

Hello

I am looking for some help.

Two years ago I was removed from my family home due to an investigation into IIOC. The police came to my home with a warrant and took away my PC and mobile phone, I was imediatly removed from the house. I was not arrested but was questioned under caution. I told the police the truth which was that I had been visiting certain imageboard websites that you would need some knowledge of before been able to access. I viewed some things that I shouldn't have.

The police reported me to child services and I was only aloud to have supervised access to my children with my ex wife and my mother (at her house where I now lived)

My ex did all the conference meetings with the school and child services and the children were put on a child in need plan, so we carried on with the supervised access for 2 hours a day at my ex's house. Child services were happy with this.

Fast forward 6 months and the police found no evidence on my PC or mobile and I was free to go with my PC and phone. Unfortunately Child services still seen me as a danger to my children and told my ex that she must stick to the plan.

Fast forward another 18 months and the children have been taken off the child in need plan but we are still sticking to the plan as child services have threatened my ex with court action if she does not. I see the children less due to a breakdown in communication between me and her, also it puts less stress on her when I'm not there (I've already hurt her too much) and she doesn't have to follow me around.

So now I ask for the help.

I am completely sorry for what i have done and I'm desperate to have my children back in my life, I have no idea of where to start.

Do I have any rights?
Can Child services stop me like they have?
Should of child services got in contact with me to explain dos and don'ts?
Am I aloud around other children?
Is there any legal avenue I can take?

I know i messed up and I am ashamed and disgusted with myself, I feel like I'm on my own here. My ex will not help character reference me (i don't expect her to) as she feels it will get unwanted attention from social.


Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Hopefully someone can point me in the right direction.

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

Re: Advice needed, what should or can I do.

Post by PerfectlySafeDad » Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:31 am

Same old story. They force you apart and the stress and hassle causes breakdown of communication which makes it even harder for you to resist them as a team.
As for contact with any child, if you're not charged and not under any bail condition or sexual harm prevention order or sexual risk order and not on the offenders register, there's absolutely NO legal reason why you can't see and communicate unsupervised with any child whatsoever.
The only thing is, social services might not like it (depending on context) if they hear about it. They are NOT the law themselves (they behave as if they are), but can only complain to the police (who will take no action, because you are NOT a criminal and not doing anything suspicious (unless you are actually having such contact for dodgy motives).
If it's a family context or, say, a new relationship you are in with kids on the scene, the SS can attempt to make trouble for you, but it's hard to say if they can succeed. I suggest try not to let them know about anything at all, you're currently under no legal obligations of any kind.

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

Re: Advice needed, what should or can I do.

Post by DD2SS » Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:36 am

Morning HopefulDad

As PSD says, you have not got a criminal conviction and you don't have and restrictions on you, so you can do as you did before the event from the legal perspective.

However, as you have already found out, CS do not work to the same evidence level (balance of probabilities) as the criminal courts (beyond reasonable doubt), so they can and will act when there is a history of child sexual abuse.

In your case, they have already had involvement and they are happy with how your ex-wife is managing the situation. It does not sound like your ex-wife would want to change these arrangements. I have a different view to PSD on how CS interact with our exes, not that they force them away, rather that women put in this position have their own minds and many do not want to have anything to do with - or have the children near - people who have committed this offence or had this behaviour. Some women can and do want reconciliation, also their choice. Many put the children first and maintain some sort of contact understanding the role of both parents in the children's lives, but balance this against many competing feelings about their situations. I would say that's pretty amazing really.

So my interpretation is that, if your ex is unwilling to change the arrangements (which would then be with CS approval) then you would have to take her to court in private law proceedings for a child arrangements order. This is what I did. Then Cafcass would become involved and advise the court on what is in the best interests of the children. My experience of private law proceedings is that is can take a long time to sort things out and you will need very deep pockets indeed to fight your case. You can self represent, and there is support from people called Mackenzie friends for the court process for people without representation, but court can be difficult to navigate even with a lawyer on board. However, this route essentially means that Cafcass and the court would need to make some decisions about the risk you may or may not pose to your children.

The other point to consider is how old the children are - reading between the lines, still quite young. This might alter what is and isn't possible in terms of arrangements. Keep all available contact with them - if you stop seeing them for whatever reason then that creates a new problem in terms of how well they know you, especially if they are little.

I, like you, felt intense feelings of shame. It is difficult to separate out respect for your ex-wife and the needs of the children. My advice is to focus on the needs of the children, but this might mean creating new and severe conflict with your ex. These are not easy things to deal with, nor is there a right or wrong answer.

In answer to your specific questions:

Do I have any rights?

Presumably you are had the children with your ex and are on the brith certificate so you have parental responsibility for the kids. So yes, you have those rights. Perhaps better to think of it that you have responsibility for them and that doesn't go away.

Can Child services stop me like they have?

See above.

Should of child services got in contact with me to explain dos and don'ts?

Not sure, with respect to you own children, it would nice to be informed!

Am I aloud around other children?

See above.

Is there any legal avenue I can take?

See above.

User avatar
Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 2680
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Advice needed, what should or can I do.

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Nov 29, 2018 3:27 pm

Dear HopefulDad

Welcome to the parents’ discussion board.

You are seeking advice after the police became involved regarding images of children. As a result of this involvement, the police who have a safeguarding role as do all professionals, made a referral to children’s services as required by law. The fact is that safeguarding for children is everyone’s role which means that anyone can refer concerns about a child to children’s services.

A copy of our advice sheet An introductory guide to Children’s Services regarding what happens when a referral is made gives more information about the procedures.

The nature of the police investigations means that children’s services would consider a safety plan for contact which was put in place so you could continue to have contact with your children.

DD2SS has given you a full response to our post and has given you the benefit of his experience in a similar situation and have been given good advice.

Although police has not pursued the matter further this does not mean children’s services will not have concerns because of what you admitted to doing online. You could ask children’s services to carry out a risk assessment to decide the level of risk you might pose. There are no restrictions in place regarding your contact with other children but children’s services would want parents to be aware of the concerns they have if you were to have contact with their children. Your own children are not a child protection plan so this is something you would have to discuss with the social worker involved with your children.

You may find it helpful to contact the Lucy Faithfull Foundation on 0808 100 0900 for more information about your particular circumstances. Did you accept a caution from the police?

Children’s services should not threaten your ex-partner with court proceedings as that is not the way to provide support for the children. In any event, in order the take the matter to court children’s services would have to show that the threshold for a care order has been reached. They do not have the children on a child protection plan which suggests that they do not consider, under the current arrangements that the children are at risk of significant harm. Please see our advice sheet Child protection procedures.

If you do decide to pursue a private law application and do not have a solicitor then you can obtain advice from Coram Children’s Legal Centre (Child Law Advice) on 0300 330 5480.

I hope this is helpful.

Best wishes

Suzie

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