C47 investigation and protection conference

mitemeatie
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Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 6:40 pm

C47 investigation and protection conference

Post by mitemeatie » Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:53 pm

I am a wagon driver and i get up at 2am.
I went to bed at 9pm and the kids were acting up as per usual when they should have been sleeping. At around 10:30 i had had enough, after already having spoken to the kids a dozen or so times, went into the kids room and placed one hand on my eldest's shoulder, whom was sat up in bed, and pushed him into the laying position. alledgely he has a mark on his shoulder. He has made a comment at school and the school have called ss whom then called the police. SS have forced me out of my house while the kids are there with no contact while they carry out a s47 investigation and child protection conference.

A full medical exam was undertaken and a police officer from child protection was called in to take photos, which by his own admittance were taken in poor lighting(my wife informs me that he made some notes about the lighting). I have now created a database recording every event that takes place that leaves a mark / bruise on my 4 kids and there have already been several incidents where the kids have marked / bruised each other within the past 3 days. I have pictures and video of the marks and an explanation from the kids as to what happened.
Understandably, my wife and I are scared the SS will go down the route of child abuse/assault and the children will be removed.
I have got myself a solicitor whom i will be taking into the police interview initially.

We currently have ongoing ss involvement because my wife suffers from bipoloar 1.

I believe i read in a post that we can attend the child protection conference and take an advocate with us. Is this correct?
And if the children are taken, what happens next, how long before we can appeal should we need to.?

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

Re: C47 investigation and protection conference

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:54 pm

Hi mitemeatie

Thank you for contacting us for advice.

It sounds like you are in the early stages of a child protection investigation which is being conducted by both the police and children services (CS) - this is the new term for social services. It probably feels very stressful but we would advise you to continue to co-operate with the investigation and take legal advice from your solicitor in respect of the police interview. It may not necessarily go to a child protection (CP) conference but will do so if during the investigation it is decided that your child is, or is likely to be suffering continuing significant harm. Our advice sheet on child protection sets out the process that is followed.

I would not take photos of possible injuries yourself and keep a database of these as you would not be able to use them. There would also be a risk that CS would say that taking the photos etc. could cause possible emotional abuse to the children.

Yes, you can attend the CP conference and although you do not have a “right” to an advocate, it is good practice that you be allowed an advocate to attend with you. For more details please see our advice sheet on advocacy.

As you have been asked to move out of the family home and you have agreed to this it is likely that CS will see your children as being protected and so it is unlikely that they will want to take them into foster care. If they were to want to do this they could only do so with the agreement of you or your wife, or for a short period by the police (up to 72 hour) or by seeking a court order. Please see our advice sheet on care proceedings.

If you have any more questions and want to talk about these, then either post again or please call our free, confidential advice line to speak to one of our advisors. The number is 0808 801 0366 and the line is open Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 3.30pm.

Regards

Suzie

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: C47 investigation and protection conference

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:10 am

Hi mitemeatie,

I just wondered if you found the advice useful? Have things moved on since you last posted and do you have any more questions?

Please post again if there's anything else.

Best wishes

Suzie

jellyellie
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Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:52 am

do i have any rights?

Post by jellyellie » Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:40 pm

My two teenagers were put on the child protection register in april 2011 under the catagory of neglect. The trouble all started back in 2008 when my daughter who was then 13 years old started to have trouble in school. she was bullied and started to self harm and became very rebellious, i. e not coming home on time, staying out drinking. I had to call police several times to find out where she was and i would go looking for her and find her so drunk and dishorderly. The police told me they would have to refer her to social services for her own safety. I did not object as her behaviour was getting out of control and i feared for her life. social services ignored 4 referrals. I sought medical help for my daughter with the local CAMS service as my daughter was repeatedly taking overdoses and cutting herself. We spent many nights in A&E, including my younger son who was then around 11 years old. Hospital just discharged her saying it was just teenage moods swings :x . Anyway to cut along story short, my daughter ended up in a young persons unit as i was too afraid to take her home after i found a school tie wrapped tightly around her neck, which resulted in me having to ring the police. I could not cope and it was putting a huge strain on my son.
My daughter spent 6 months in hospital and she was sectioned under the mental health act. They diagnosed her with having clinnical depression and then later borderline personality disorder.
social services did not attend any of my daughters reviews when she was in hospital. I had to take out a solicitor to get aftercare but ss said they did not know what i meant by that :lol: my solicitor asked me to sign a form as he was considering taking ss to court for negligence. It was agreed by myself, my daughter and the doctors that my daughter would be gradually be brought home. and it was decided she stay with foster carers and visit home on weekends. ss found a placement for my daughter and she stayed only 8 weeks and wanted to come home and has remained with me since feb 2011. during all this time i sought medical help for my son who was very stressed out and he attended child n family unit 2 days a week.
A new ss was allocated when my daughter came home and since then ss have made mine and my kids lives hell by putting them both on the register, saying they will issue care proceedings if my daughter misbehaves and they think my son is too close to me and also he has a medical condition which causes problems regarding his weight. he is overweight and sees a consultant regularly to try and help him lose the weight..
Also the health reports which were brought up at the first conference were very damning of me, saying i had physcially abused my children when they were little. i am still trying to challenge these allegations which are untrue but ss just say its historic and said the info was on the child health reports. I want to know who to speak to about all this as i have already made complaints to ss and im getting no where fast. I am just worried sick as ss are only after my 14 year old son now as they cannot do much about my daughter. ss even went into my sons school and told him they think he would have a better quality of life living with some other family. this made my blood boil as the comment left my son very worried.

mitemeatie
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Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 6:40 pm

Re: C47 investigation and protection conference

Post by mitemeatie » Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:32 am

Hi Jellyellie

My heart goes out to you.

Thr frg probably wont like what i am about to type, but its legal and its worked for my family so far.

At this point i must say that you must must must show that you are cooperating with ss, cooperate but dont let them walk all over you!!! and record everything!!!! log everything!!!! i guarantee ss are!!! As i have already stated, I have created a database to record everything and we have installed CCTV in our house which none of the professionals like but cant do anything about. Any meeting you go to... secretly record.... yes it is legal provided it is for personal use and not given to a third party and so long as you are a party to the conversation and no, you do not have to tell the other person you are recording. An increasing number of courts are also now accepting covert audio as evidence where one of the parties recorded is an officialdom i.e. sw, cpn, hv, dn etc (see below for what solicitors have said).

Everytime the sw comes around and nit picks, take a picture of what he / she is having a go at while she is there he/She cant stop you , its YOUR house. Take photos of each room while she is there. Make good use of the complaints procedure (my wife & i have gone through 6 sw's and now have a reasonable one which is actually working with us).

Also, very important. Know the law. check out legislation.gov.uk, all law is there for free. Pay particular attention to the children act 1989 most of it but especially parts IV, V, XII, , children act 2004, children and young persons act 2008, human rights act 1998 sections 6,7,8,9. and of course the data protection act 1998 especially section 36
which states:-

Personal data processed by an individual only for the purposes of that individual’s personal, family or household affairs (including recreational purposes) are exempt from the data protection principles and the provisions of Parts II and III.

this means you to covertly record for personal use (remember what i said above). You are entitled to all the information they have on you and your family. There will normally be a charge for this, generally a maximum of £50 per person.... Make a request under the dpa.

If anyone finds out that youve been recording they will try and use the data protection act against you aswell as the privacy act. Dont let them. Remember section 36 of the DPA. As for the privacy act. When at the meetings, you and your family are the topic of conversation, the officials are not discussing their personal information so the privacy act does not apply.

This is what 5 totally separate / independent solicitors told me almost word for word about covert recording:-

Person to Person
When two people are in a conversation, there is no prohibition of recording conversations. It
only becomes an issue when the conversation is then provided to a third person without the
consent of both parties. Consent could be obtained retrospectively, or by further arguing that it is
the public interest that the recording be secret. This is a defence taken by investigative
journalists, as by disclosing the recording, the nature of the conversation may have been
altered.
Injunctions would be the most effective remedy for preventing the recording from being made
public, along with damages that may flow from it.
The law does not prohibit individuals from recordings from their own communications provided
that the recordings are for their own use. Recording is only prohibited when the material is
made available to a third party.
There are defences against this, such as public interest.... which is what the british media use all the time.

When you say the info is in the childs health record, do you mean the red book? if so, then surely if your school nursse / health visitor had any concerns wouldny they have brought in the ss. The fact that they have not would suggest that the ss are full of it. Might be worthwhile mentioning the above when your sw mentions this in future.


To do:-

request information under data protection act from everyone
go to the web site mentioned and get reading
get a digital camera and make good use of it
install cctv (if you can)
get dictaphone and a good supply of batteries


Be strong, be smart and you can win and remember, the ss remit is to keep a child with its biological parents. Only under extreme circumstances are they to remove children. A lot of sw's forget this and makes numerous threats on a regular basis in the knowledge that most parents dont know their rights.

I am, currently at work but will upload a dpa info request template when i get home.

Stay strong.

juliejac66
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:25 am

Re: C47 investigation and protection conference

Post by juliejac66 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:45 pm

Wow, Brilliant information :D

I have already bought a spy pen to record things for when my family are visited by the SW, also a usb voice recorder. They are brilliant, just looks like a normal memory stick. I have managed to record 2 out of 3 meetings the 1st meeting was when everyone decended on my door step. Hence had no time to get one, didnt even think of it at the time due to shock.
The reason I bought it was because I wanted to know what these people were saying beind my back in my own home once I left the room to get one of my children during interviews.
For once they didnt say anything.
If this information was to be given to a 3rd Party I am almost positive it is in the interest of the public, due to the fact the SS are acting out bullying and threatening people behind closed doors. And as you already stated, the role of the SS/CS are to keep children with their biological families, these recordings would hang them out to dry if this was not the case and the SS caught using threatening, bullying tactics to get what they want.
I would like your thoughts on this if thats ok.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: C47 investigation and protection conference

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:01 pm

Hi JellyEllie,

I am sorry that you and your family have had such a difficult and distressing time. It also seems that you did not receive all the help or support that you needed from Children Services (CS), the new name for social services, at the time. You said that your solicitor was looking into a possible claim for negligence - so I won’t really add too much about this.

Child Protection Plan
Currently, your children have been on child protection plans (CP plan) since April 2011. I assume that there will be a 6 month review of this plan soon where the conference will decide whether to keep the children’s name on a CP plan or not.

CS say that the reason for the CP plan, , is due to “neglect”. The CP plan will set out a list of actions that need to be carried out by the social worker, school, medical staff and the family as well as any support that the family need. The aim of the plan is to reduce any risk of harm to your children. Any decision about this can only be made at a child protection review.

In your post you say that the Social Worker (SW) is saying that care proceedings will be taken if your daughter “misbehaves”. I would ask the SW to clarify what she means by this term and do so in writing. (You can email the SW and copy in the team manager). I would also ask her to explain what you need to do and with what support to work towards your children’s name coming off the CP plan. Often the plan sets out a list of support that they want you to have but then it takes time to be set up by the SW or doesn’t happen. Make sure that she is doing all she can to help you.

Advocacy for your children

Given your children are both teenagers, do they have support from an advocate. If they do not, ask the SW to for details of advocacy support for children in your area or you could contact Voice or NYAS, who are both youth advocacy services, to see whether they can help.



Care proceedings

You say the SW keeps threatening care proccedings. In fact there is a procedure that should take place before they go to court for care proceedings. This includes giving you notice in writing (a letter before proceedings) and having a meeting with you and your solicitor, so you know exactly what the concerns are, what they expect you to do to alleviate those concerns and what will happen if you don’t address their concerns. This is known as the PLO, or Public Law Outline. There is more information about this in our care proceedings advice sheet.

Is the solicitor you have a Family/Children law specialist – and preferably someone who is on the Children Panel, as they have a guaranteed level of expertise and experience? If s/he is not I would recommend that you look into getting a specialist solicitor now. You can find details of local solicitors on The Law Society website.

Complaints

You mention that you have made a complaint already. What stage of the process have you reached? If you don’t get a satisfactory resolution through the Local Authority’s (LA) complaints process then you can go to the Local Government Ombudsman. However you do need to go through all 3 stages of the LA’s complaints process first. You can read about this in our complaints advice sheet and come back and ask more questions about it if you need to.

The incorrect health reports

CS should recognise the importance of accurate records. I would approach your GP surgery or whoever provided the records to CS and advise them of your concern that they are inaccurate. If the records are factually inaccurate they can be corrected. However, if it is a matter of a difference of opinion then you could suggest that your opinion is placed on the file next to the opinion that you disagree with. Please see our advice sheet about accessing records.
access to records


I am glad that Mitemeatie has posted his views about CS involvement with families but I must beg to differ with some of what he has said. I do think it is very useful to keep a record of conversations, and logging the time you telephone CS etc. It is good to organise correspondence and reports and keep them all together to show your solicitor. However, I do not agree it it is necessary to install CCTV, photograph rooms etc. Sometimes this could in fact be evidence used against a parent-that they are not able to enter into a better working relationship with CS or that they are not cooperating with the CP plan. Other parents will have their own experiences which they could also share.

Best wishes,

Suzie

mitemeatie
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 6:40 pm

Re: C47 investigation and protection conference

Post by mitemeatie » Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:00 pm

thankyou for your response suzie, and yes you are correct. I currently do not take photos every time my sw visits as he is a very reasonable guy. The only time i would take photos is when the sw is completely unreasonable as it appears in jellyellie's case and the relationship is far from amicable anyway.

Kind regards

colin

mitemeatie
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 6:40 pm

Re: C47 investigation and protection conference

Post by mitemeatie » Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:24 pm

Hi Juliejac

Yes indeed the ss would be hung out to dry. I would however exercise caution. Perhaps leak the audio recordings anoymously to the press or get a lawyer that isn't scared of the ss which is harder than you think. You would also have a fight on your hands regarding the public disclosure being in the interests of the public.

I would sincerely love to cause the ss / family courts system a major blow and cause massive public uproar. Lets be honest about this..... the vast majority of sw's dont actually 'help' the family, they just make threats. As reasonable as my sw is, ive called him out on a few occasions and he has had to accept what my wife and i have said.

As for people just turning up out of the blue. My youngest is going through a stage of escaping the house to go and get sweets. On one occasion the police brought him back. WE had everyone we know out looking for him but none of us realised just how far he could get in 5mins!!!
This, obviously caused us a little hassle. To remedy this I locked all the downstairs window until I could find another solution. The ss had an issue with the windows being locked (understandibly) and actually recommended that we secure the outer perimeter so thats what weve done. Now no-one can even get on my property without first contacting us. the ss face planted themselves. Thanks ss!!!! to add to the security, weve now bought and installed alarms on all windows and external doors. Not surprisingly our little one has not escaped since and the ss are happy, even if they cant just turn up at our door.

Regards

colin
Last edited by mitemeatie on Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

cheekipixi
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2011 10:51 am

Re: C47 investigation and protection conference

Post by cheekipixi » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:52 pm

Thats amazing, you were helped by SS wiith that type of security.

My son was 6yrs old, he would wander off 2 or 3 times a day, I tried everything to keep him in, door and window locks and alarms, he took them off. He would dart around tthe place and as soon as the door was open, he darted. Managed to climb over a 6ft fence. Itt even came to, he would sleep in my bed, as the floor boards creaked, if he managed to get past this without waking any1 up, I had placed a room alarm in the hallway, that when you past, would give off an ear piercing scream and I slept downstairs so he couldn't get through the front door. After the police were called on numerous occassions to report him missing, police helicopter went on standby, I was told about an alarm system much better than my handy work, I could have as I was his carer (he'd just been diagnosed with severe ADHD, ODD, learning difficulties and severe behavioural problems ) social services denied me this and many other things also.

-x-

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