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Post by MUMMYOF4 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:58 pm

Hi I'm new and this is going to be a long one so I apologise.

So on 04/08/19 my other half had been using drugs and drinking. When the drugs were all gone he accused me of getting rid of them (I will point out I didnt know they were in the house he was vaping what was meant to be cannabis, has 0 smell so I didnt know what they were)
He was off his face lost his temper went to hit me and missed and made contact with our daughter who I was holding at the time. Not hard I had her checked over and she is ok which is the important thing (nit condoning his behaviour!)

Anyway off the back of that social services have got involved weve had previous DV which hed worked hard to sort his drug and alcohol issues at bay done drink counselling and hed been on the straight and narrow for a year and a half until me and him were both attacked while out on a date. My other half has an existing brain injury and overnight there was a change in his behaviour within 24 hours. (Social wont have this on just making excuses apparently. But I see it as I dont condone the behaviour in the slightest but the brain injury is there whether they like that or not.)

After this recent event they put the kids on a child in need plan (were on CP before) as I've left the family home with them. Basically social have messed me around from the very beginning. I had a social worker come and do the initial assessment, she told me that I had to get an non molestation order and ask for it to be indefinitely and I only had 3 days to get it or they would look at lifting the kids. When it came to it the judge said that unless it was something i was doing off my own back because i wanted it i should not be being blackmailed into it. When i confronted her with this she said she hadnt meant for it to come across as telling me what to do, but shed put it as clear as I've said above.
I could never get hold of the social worker her phone was always off and then my partner was waiting to hear from her about if he could have contact with the kids and she didnt bother until 2 weeks later and then had the wrong number for him apparently although I'd given her the correct one.
It all got passed over to a new social worker and I met with her and was open and honest with her about my feelings my partner has paid just under £10000 to go to rehab and has been doing extremely well since being there he done 2 weeks completely clean before going in and hes now just over 4 weeks clean and been doing all that's expected and more.
We are now 8 and a half weeks since the incident and hes still not allowed to see or have contact with the kids it's been distressing on everyone as they are extremely close and my partner is a fantastic father and person without drugs or alcohol he has a heart of gold.
As I said 8 weeks in we have no plan, no idea where were heading, looking like it's going back to CP because I do still want a relationship with my other half, was told by the first social worker that I need to take responsibility for what happened with our little girl because "if I hadnt have kept her, she wouldnt be here for that to happen" I had no idea this would happen and find that a very unfair comment at that I needed to "admit I'd failed as a mother"
Second social worker has been horrendous. Didnt show up for the 2nd CIN meeting then got very rude with me over text because we were then out of time (missed the deadlines) texted me none stop asking for dates I could do and booked a meeting in when I'd already said I was actually away and couldn't attend (baring in mind I'd given plenty I could do and arranged for it to be 09/10/19 and she changed it to 27/09/19 by text and I'd said 3 times I couldn't do that date).
Shes shared information with someone that has a massive conflict of interest and i was promised would not be dealing or on our case, she now knows everything.
The social worker called me and asked if I could talk I said no because I was at the drs and she got really rude and said well this will only take a minute (15 minutes she was on the phone) she called me rude because she asked me a question I tried to answer and she wouldnt give me a chance to talk. Then accused me of being deliberately difficult because I couldn't do the dates she wanted for the meeting (I have a disabled some his appointments and health come first I'm afraid).
I'd also asked numerous times for the initial assessment and the first CIN meeting minutes. She then appeared on my door step at 5:30pm (after texts all day from 9:20am till 4:30pm and 2 phone calls aswell) asking to come in. My mum answered the door and said no news not a good time as I was completely stressed that I'd been bombarded by the woman all day long and not been listened to as well as trying to sort my childrens tea. When my mum said no she became very irate started to shout that I'm a liar and I'm picking on her. My mum said goodbye and shut the door as she was shouting infront of the kids. She then continued to bang on the door by this point I'd gone to the front door and opened it and said she was being extremely unprofessional and could she please leave, she then stepped right up into my face and repeated I was picking on her when I asked why she then said "because" and stopped and I really felt she was about to make this about race. She threw the initial assessment at me (7 weeks late) and the CIN minutes and walked off to her car still shouting infront of my neighbours and everything. This upset my children deeply and me if I'm honest. I called her manager right away and requested a new social worker to which I've been refused? Can they do that this is a voluntary plan and ive just been abused by the lady how in earth can I work with her now and my kids are terrified of her.

I'm putting in an official complaint against her of course but what can I do now?
I want me and my partner to try and make things work. I have a 0 tolerance to violence and any behaviour like that he knows full well I'd be gone if he as much as glances in that direction. I'm worried they will try and take the kids but at the same time they havent worked with us as a family or been supportive at all. Not followed their own procedures or policies in loads of areas. We have no plan 8 weeks in either and all I currently feel at the moment is harassed but not moving forward.

Someone please help

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


Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:42 am

Dear Mummyof4

Welcome to the parents’ discussion board and thank you for your post. I am sorry to hear of the difficulties that you and your family are currently experiencing.

From the information you have provided, I can see that children’s services have become involved with your family again because of a domestic violence incident in which your partner, in an attempt to assault you, struck your daughter whilst you were holding her. He had been using drugs and alcohol at this time. Luckily your daughter did not sustain any physical injuries on this occasion but I would imagine was very distressed and frightened.

You have experienced domestic violence in the past and your children were previously on a child protection plan. At the moment, there is a child in need plan in place as you left the family home with the children. However, you think that the case will proceed to an initial child protection conference as you have been honest that you would like to continue your relationship with your partner who you believe is a good father to the children when he is not using drugs or alcohol.

You feel very unsupported by children’s services and explain that you felt coerced into applying for a non-molestation order, have had to chase up the various social workers to get a copy of the assessment and CIN meeting minutes and that the social worker has shared information inappropriately and behaved very unprofessionally towards you including criticising you as a mother. You are feeling very harassed at present which must be very difficult for you.

I am sorry to hear what has happened in your family and that you feel you are not getting the right help or support or being properly listened to by children’s services. You tried to ask for a new social worker but this was refused; you are now making a complaint.

It is important that both you and your partner are properly involved in the work children’s services are doing. He should actively contact the social worker to let them know about the progress he is making and to provide evidence of this and, if relevant, make sure that they have medical evidence about his brain injury and how this affects him/his parenting, as part of a holistic assessment.

In the meantime, your partner has been working to address his substance misuse but is still not allowed contact with the children. You don’t state specifically if this is because of a recommendation by children’s services or due to police or bail conditions. Children's services are the lead agency when it comes to protecting children so any recommendation they make should be taken seriously.

Here are some FAQs on domestic violence for fathers that he may find useful which include how to go about getting contact set up and making sure that his strengths as a father are also recognised as well as any risks.

Because he has drug and alcohol problems and has been violent at home, including physically violent to a child, he will have to work on addressing all of these areas as together they may be seen to increase the level of risk. As well as doing rehab, are there any plans in place to deal with his violent behaviour? Respect offer support and programmes to address domestic violence. It sounds as if the incident which happened was very serious, it is not the first either and there are the compounding factors as above so it is important that neither of you play down the situation but instead look at what your partner can do to change his behaviour and what needs to be in place for you and the children to be safe too.

In the meantime, even when you have had to make a complaint it is important to find a way to keep working with the social worker and the other professionals involved as this is the only way that you can move forward, which is what you want to do.

These tips on working with a social worker might be of some practical help.

Do have a look at these advice materials on domestic violence . Are you getting any support from a domestic violence service?

You would like your and your partner to make things work. You will need to know from children’s services (or the core group if a child protection plan is made) how they view this and what they would expect from you and your partner to make this possible. Most importantly, you should ask the social worker to be clear with you what the consequences would be if you do resume a relationship, against children’s services’ advice. If they are so concerned that this will cause your children to be seriously harmed they may tell you that under these circumstances, the local authority will start care proceedings to remove your children from your care. So you do need to know where you stand before you can make an informed decision.

You are right that a child in need plan is a voluntary plan but in answer to your query this does not mean that the team manager has to agree to you getting a new social worker. However, they should certainly consider this, especially if you can persuade them that this would be better for your children, if the relationship with the social worker is so difficult that it is affecting them in some way.

It is natural that you are feeling frustrated if you feel there is no proper plan although the child in need meeting should have identified a plan. If you have raised this in your official complaint then it should be responded to there; usually you will be offered an initial meeting with the social worker and the manager to try to resolve the complaint and this could be an opportunity for you to clarify this.

If things have moved on since you posted perhaps you would like to post an update if you have new queries, or speak to an adviser by calling the Freephone advice service on 0808 801 0366, Mon to Fri, 9.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m.

I hope this helps.

With best wishes


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