Boyfriend accused of something he says he hasn't done

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Lunaris2020
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Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2020 5:36 am

Boyfriend accused of something he says he hasn't done

Post by Lunaris2020 » Mon Jun 22, 2020 12:36 pm

Hi all
I'm sure you've probably seen posts like this before but I wanted to ask for advice myself.
I'm 21 y/o, pregnant with my first child, to my boyfriend who last year was accused of sexual misconduct with his younger sisters.
Social services got involved with his family due to neglect on his stepmums behalf last May, and suddenly there was stuff against him. Apparently the social worker asked one of the who her favourite sibling was and it was my partner because he was the one who fed her, took her to school, picked her up, and looked after her most of the time. Somewhere along the line, something was said about him kissing her and "flopping on the bed" which became "he kisses me on the lips and lays on top of me in his pyjamas". Apparently there were "prolonged kisses in the school yard" too. (Just to clarify, he denies any sort of kissing or whatever was anything but the type you give to your sibling - I kiss my sister on the head too, does that make me a predator?).
Conveniently, any time he got into an argument with his stepmum about how to care for the kids, more evidence was given against him by "an anonymous reliable source". In September, out of hours social workers came out to see my mum because my sister is under 18 and she told them that my boyfriend isn't here all the time, isn't alone with her etc and eventually they signed her off because they accepted she was safe.

I wasn't even 12 weeks pregnant when social services had phones me demanding to know if I was pregnant or not because "an anonymous reliable source" had told them I was, not even days after we'd told his dad (who told his stepmum). A social worker came out to my when I was JUST 12 weeks pregnant. She spent an hour belittling me, demanding to know "why I got pregnant with someone who'd been accused", "why I stayed with someone who had allegations" and told me that "I wasn't taking it seriously". My mum pointed out at this initial assessment (I believe it was for a section 17 investigation) that she thought it was malicious accusations by his stepmum, to which the social worker told her to "get it out of her head" - I never once mentioned anything about that to her despite what I thought. I also told her despite the fact I'd literally be raising a child in the box bedroom of the house, I wouldn't move in with the baby's father because I wanted to keep the baby safe. She asked what I'd hoped for and I said that I was hoping at some point it would all be solved, he'd be proven innocent and we could move in together. No mention of "I will be moving in with him" (it's relevant, I'll get to that). I literally td her the exact same as what we'd said when they came about my sister - the baby won't be alone with him, I'll be the primary carer, the baby's father won't be here all week. She asked a few more questions, left, and didn't contact me for weeks. When she did ring, she told me that because of how I'd responded in her assessment, my baby would be classed as a child in need but there would be no reason to put him on the protection register. So all was well.

Along comes April. In April, the stepmum lost custody of her kids. And suddenly, I had a phone call from another social worker (the one assigned to my baby) saying they were taking it to conference. This would indicate a section 47 investigation. She never interviewed me, never interviewed the baby's father, never spoke to my midwife etc etc and yet somehow had concluded from this investigation that it has to go to conference. When she finally showed me the report (I didn't see it until the day before), half of it was wrong. I have anxiety so unless I personally need to speak to the SW, I get my mum to because otherwise I end up panicking mid call and in tears. The SW had written that I don't accept the allegations or even acknowledge them, had planned to move in with my partner until I found out they didn't want me to, kept saying they were malicious and that my partner could be influencing my decisions. Mum rang her, she ignored it. She didn't bother replying to my texts or anything. The conference was in May, scheduled for 11AM by telephone due to the pandemic. I was promised I'd be involved before a decision was made so that they could hear my views and use that to help decide. At 11:50, I finally got the call where the chair person simply told me "we're putting your baby on a protection plan, we'll hear your views now but we won't change our minds". He didn't even tell me that I could appeal within five days. It all felt pointless, I'd spent weeks preparing for this just to be told it was already decided and I couldn't change it. We wrote to complain but nobody has bothered getting back to us. I didn't even get a phone call from the SW until several days after the first call group, and she still hasn't told me when the next one is (it's July 1st, but my health visitor had to tell me because nobody has bothered ringing yet)

So now, my unborn child is on a protection plan despite being in no danger, I've been in the PAU at the hospital several times due to the stress it's caused. I can't even leave the hospital after I give birth without the permission of social services. There's a review in August and I'm not hopeful that they'll reconsider their decision as they keep ignoring texts, calls etc from me and him and saying he isn't cooperating (despite saying I am),. I haven't done anything wrong and like I said, my boyfriend won't even be seeing his son most of the week anyway, so why am I being penalised for it? And what can I do? My boyfriend is reluctant about getting a solicitor for himself because he doesn't think it will help, but he has no way of proving himself innocent without one and more often than not this leaves him feeling suicidal because he doesn't know how to make it all stop. We've enquired about a solicitor on my behalf but nobody has got back to us. Does anyone know how we could make this stop?

Apologies for the long post and thank you in advance if anyone can help x

Lunaris2020
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2020 5:36 am

Re: Boyfriend accused of something he says he hasn't done

Post by Lunaris2020 » Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:44 am

Update:
Turns out the first core group meeting should have involved me (it didn't), at that meeting they were apparently deciding whether or not my partner can be at the birth - which is not what the SW told me on the phone. There's another meeting today that I haven't been informed of (I only found out about it because the health visitor saw it on the planner thing) so will likely hear nothing about.
I'm worried that because they don't want him to be my birthing partner, they'll then try and push it so that he can't see the baby without their supervision.
My partner had a letter last Tuesday saying he'd been invited to court as an intervener in the case toward his dad and stepmum. Bottom part of the letter stated that if he didn't go and didn't have "reasonable excuse", the court could make inferences without his say. When a SW rang him they quite bluntly told him "oh it looks like we haven't given you much time to get a solicitor". He did manage to sort out legal advice on Friday, however because no official paperwork had been made in regards to social services or the court and given to my partner, the solicitor said that he wasn't to attend and that both the court and social had agreed to not make any decisions about him without him there. I don't know if it's being rescheduled for another date (when he has got the paperwork), or if they're going to go behind the solicitors back and do more anyway, but I don't trust the situation. It feels like they're going to make these inferences anyway and try and push for his guilt to be proven despite the clear lack of evidence.

I've been in the pregnancy assessment unit several times in the past few months and was there again on Monday, where the midwife told me that because of how much stress this is causing it could be causing issues with how I perceive the baby's movements, and could affect both of us when he arrives. I genuinely don't know what to do anymore.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Boyfriend accused of something he says he hasn't done

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:03 pm

Dear Lunaris2020

Welcome to the parents’ discussion forum and thank you for posting.

My name is Suzie, online adviser at Family Rights Group.

I see from your posts that you are very worried and distressed by the current situation involving children’s services and the fact that your unborn baby is on a child protection plan because of allegations that have been made against your partner by a sibling relating to inappropriate sexual behaviour.

Reading your post, I see that you appear to be absolutely certain of your partner’s innocence although you have told the social that it is your intention to keep your baby safe by making sure your partner will not be with him unsupervised. Whilst it may be the case, as stated in your post that his stepmother has made false allegations to children’s services, I think it is important from your point of view that you do not appear to be insisting that there is no truth is what has been said. You do not know, because only your partner knows. You may think it is not true but if you give the impression that you are dismissing it then children’s services are likely to think you are minimising any risk and therefore you would not be able to protect your own child.

You may find it helpful to speak to Parents Protect on 0808 100 0900 for information where allegations of this kind are made against a partner and a parent needs advice about keeping children safe.

It is very important to understand that if you and your mum do not believe or think it is only malicious allegations, children’s services will be concerned about the baby being in the home as neither you nor your mother will be seen as being able to protect the baby.

Children’s services will usually make contact with a person who is in a relationship with someone against whom allegations of sexual misconduct or offence has been made. It may be they were told by your partner’s family of the pregnancy but it would not be usual for a social worker to ask. It must be really upsetting for you to be going through all of this with your first pregnancy and not able to enjoy being pregnant. If possible, you should try and let your partner deal with this rather than you taking it on for him. You do need to keep yourself and your unborn child safe.

It may be that a decision was made to escalate the case to child protection because further disclosures were made to children's services.. The social worker should have kept you informed about the reason for doing so. Has the matter been reported to the police?

I am really very sorry that you were treated in this way when the child protection conference took place. Despite, corona virus, you should still have been able to take part in the conference and it not correct that you should be told the outcome and told your views will not change it. You make a complaint about this and I suggest you ask the social worker for the complaints policy. It may also be helpful for you to read our advice sheetChallenging decisions and making complaints Your complaint can include the way in which the case has been handled so far by the social worker’s failure to record information correctly or to keep you informed about the procedures being followed.

It is really important that you do whatever is asked of you under the child protection plan because failure to do so could lead to children’s services taking further action regarding your baby. Please read our advice sheet Child protection procedures.

You will find it helpful, as a young parent, to go to our young parents’ website here

As you have posted an updating post so I will respond to that post as well.

The child protection procedures being followed by children’s services do not seem to follow guidelines. As a parent you should have been part of the initial conference unless you chose not to attend. The core group meeting is usually 10 days after the conference so you should have been told by the chair who informed you of the decision for a child protection plan. The purpose of the core group is to work out what will be in the plan so it is most unfair that you were not a part of that so your views have not been taken into account.

I suggest you include this in your complaint

If you do not have a copy of the child protection plan you should ask for it. You could then consider whether you want to ask for a review of the decision of the conference because of the way it was conducted.

Regarding your birth plan, you should discuss this with your midwife and the hospital whether your partner can be present. Since he would be with professionals and no risk to the baby you can ask the social worker, what risk or concern would be for him to be at the birth. Ask for any information be to in writing so you are absolutely clear about their expectations.

You say that you partner has been asked to be an intervener in a case relating to his father and stepmother. I assume children services have applied to the court for care orders.

Your partner obtained legal advice but the solicitor could not represent him because there was no paperwork. He received a letter (from whom) to attend court. That should have been enough.

Regarding your worry about things happening behind your partner’s back, the matter is in court and the solicitor would, I think, have informed the court why he could not attend. I think unlikely an inferences will be drawn against him as he is not deliberately avoiding court as you have stated. It is for your partner to speak to the solicitor about the current situation relating to court. When a matter is in court it is the judge who makes decisions not children’s services.

As suggested above, take care of yourself and your pregnancy and allow your partner to deal with what concerns him. I understand that you wish to support him but it may give the impression that you are fighting his battles rather than concentrating on keeping your baby safe.

If 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.

Hope this helps.

Best wishes

Suzie

Lunaris2020
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2020 5:36 am

Re: Boyfriend accused of something he says he hasn't done

Post by Lunaris2020 » Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:50 pm

Hi Suzie, thanks for responding!

Just to clarify, while I believe he is innocent I'm also aware of the fact that no matter how much you believe you know someone, there's every possibility that they might not be who they say they are. Apologies as I was tired and quite distressed when writing the post so it probably seems more "he's 100% innocent, hasn't done anything wrong" than it should. I've told social services many times that despite what I believe personally I accept the fact that there's also every likelihood he might not be and that he's not being honest, and that that is why I won't be living with him, giving him parental responsibilities, or leaving him alone with the baby unless he clears his name. I've also told them and him that if it turns out he has done something then he won't be coming anywhere near the child, regardless of how that makes him feel (harsh, but true - I don't want my son raised in an environment where he's at risk).
Just to clarify, it was only my mother who mentioned malice to the social workers, while I believe that in some part it is there on his step mother's behalf, the allegations have to have come from somewhere.

As much as I leave him to try and deal with it, it's bothersome to me as the baby is also mine and my family have NEVER had an issue with social services before. This is all new, scary territory and they seem to be going out of their way to keep us out of the loop.

According to my health visitor, something was escalated in April (when the kids were taken off the step mum) and that may have contributed, but nobody actually knows what this escalation was because my partner hasn't spoken to the kids in months and spends what time he isn't at work, in his room. The allegations were referred to the police last year (around June/July I believe), however the police said that they couldn't do anything as there was little to none to investigate. They didn't ask the children to make further, official statements to social services or to the police because of their ages and that may have contributed to the fact that it was dropped, but I'm not sure.

Thank you for the advice about complaining, I'll take that on board and look into doing so properly, I just don't want to jeopardize things any more. In regards to the plan though, I haven't got any idea what's actually on it. I never got a copy of the minutes for the conference although I'm not sure if I have to ask for that or not, but I'm fairly certain the chair said it involved just doing what we already were doing. This then begs the question, if the plan involves doing nothing new, why is it there? They said the key to getting the baby off the plan would be a risk assessment for my partner, but haven't bothered contacting him to organise it.

In regards to the letter about the case, I'm not sure if that was an official one or not, but I wondered if that was meant to be all the information he needed. According to his solicitor, it's because they don't have a clear record of what the allegations are or anything. I'm also wondering if the solicitor made the point that they only gave him eight days notice as opposed to the three weeks a court normally give? I believe the solicitor spoke to both the court and the social worker, so even if they haven't notified the court themselves they should know. It just worried me that the letter clearly stated they could make inferences if he was there or not, although my partner and his solicitor both seem to think they won't do. That part may just be me being all hyper paranoid because of hormones, though.

Thank you for your response and for the links/numbers, I'll make sure to look into everything and will probably use them at least once!

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

Re: Boyfriend accused of something he says he hasn't done

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:23 pm

Dear Lunaris

Thank you for your further post. You have explained that you do acknowledge the potential risks and the different possibilities. I am really glad to hear that you are able to understand and reflect on the situation although it is stressful and difficult to do. This is really important. I think that the information on the Parent Protect website and perhaps NSPCC will be worth looking at.

The issues about you not being properly involved/informed/invited are very concerning. You should have had a copy of the decision sheet of the child protection conference within one working day. The minutes do take longer but it is perfectly reasonable for you to ask the social worker when you will receive them. If for any reason there are any further difficulties with getting up to date plans or minutes do chase this up with children’s services urgently. It is more important that you are fully up to speed than anyone else. If the plan sets out that you should keep doing what you have been doing it still needs to be there as a decision has been made at the conference that your unborn baby is (likely to be) at risk of harm. Keeping to the plan is your way of demonstrating that you can keep the baby safe when he is born.

Your partner, as the expectant father, can contact children’s services directly to enquire about the proposed risk assessment; if he wants to potentially be safely involved in his baby’s life he should be proactive in working with children’s services around this. He should also liaise closely with his solicitor about the court case. As an adult and father to be he can take responsibility for these issues himself. Here is some information for fathers which you can direct him to. You have the important job of taking good care of yourself and the baby throughout your pregnancy and the baby’s birth and then once he is born.

I hope this helps.

With best wishes

Suzie

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