Child Protection conference

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konjit1976
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:24 pm

Child Protection conference

Post by konjit1976 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:50 pm

Hi there i am a mother of 3, a daughter who is 4 from a previous relationship and 2 sons with my current partner, all under the age of 5. My partner was arrested a few months ago on possesion of indecent images of children and subsequently charged. I then had social services phoning me asking me to pop in for a "chat"... the chat ended in us having to sign an agreement stating that he would no longer reside in the family home and he could only have supervised access to see the kids!! Now i know you are prob thinking he is guilty but i dont believe it and he has a valid reason for the images being there!! Anyways i asked SS if we could get back together as a family and i was told categorically no, i also asked what even if he gets not guilty as there is a good chance of that happening. I got told by the social worker that even if he gets not guilty he will have to go to sex offenders rehab... IS this true???
My other question is we have a child protection conference friday morning, now i was led to believe that these conferences were held if the children were at risk of harm. Now he has been told he cant live here anymore, how would any harm come to them??? Surely there is no need for the conference, also they have interviewed my daughter and their findings were that she was a happy healthy 4 year old, so surely if they are not concerned that she has been abused then why the need for this meeting.. Sorry if this is a bit rambled i have the sprogs under my feet and i did already write this post once and it got deleted by mistake!
Thanks for any advice

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

Re: Child Protection conference

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:12 pm

Dear Konjit1976,
Thank you for posting on the parent’s forum. I am sorry that you are having a difficult time at the moment. I understand that children’s services asked your partner to leave the family home and you have signed an agreement with children’s services that you will not allow him to reside there and that he must have supervised contact with the children. Children’s services have also arranged a child protection conference which is due to take place on Friday. The police have arrested your partner and he is currently on bail.
Criminal charge
The role of the police is to investigate the case to see whether they can get a conviction in a criminal court. To do this they must prove that the alleged crime took place. The burden of proof is “beyond reasonable doubt”. This is very difficult to reach, so even if the police drop the case or your partner is found “not guilty” in a criminal court, children’s services will want to still ensure that he is “safe” to the children. For children’s services the burden of proof is “the balance of probabilities”-ie that on balance he might be a risk to your children.
Although this does not sound fair to your partner, children’s services will want to make sure that they know whether he could be a risk and if they assess him as a risk-what work can be done with the family and with your partner to reduce any risk. Here is a link to the Lucy faithful foundation.
Lucy Faithful Foundation
They are a charity who work to reduce children being sexually abused. Their work also covers internet crime. They also have a free helpline that your partner could call to find out what assessments and support might be available. The most important thing for your partner is to engage with any services that may be available. If he does not then children’s services will say that they do not know whether he is a risk or not. As he may be a risk-he cannot then safely re unite with the family.
Child protection conference
Sometimes, children’s services will be happy that you have signed a written agreement. However, if they think that the agreement is not enough to protect the children from the possible risk of your partner they may ask that a conference consider making a child protection plan to offer more protection to the children. The plan would involve assessments that they want you and your partner to do. Until your partner has been assessed-he could be a grave risk to your children. Or he could be of no risk what so ever. Until they have assessed him-they will not know.
Here is a link to our advice sheet on child protection. It sets out what happens at a child protection conference and what decisions can be made.
child protection
However, I just want to make the following points:
The conference will be chaired by some one who is not in the social work team (but does often work for the local authority and is paid by them). You will be able to meet with this person before the conference. They will take you through the procedure and you can ask questions about the conference.
The social worker will be preparing a report for the conference which will set out children’s services concerns as well as all the positives. Make sure that you get a copy of this a few days before the conference so that you can check that is accurate. If it is not, make sure you ask that she amend any errors before it is used at the conference. If this is not done by her-make sure that you go through the errors at the conference.
The conference will have professionals who are involved with your children such as the school, health visitor police. Information about your family will be shared. They will usually be asked to vote whether your children’s names should be put on a child protection plan for 3 months or whether there should be a child in need plan or no plan instead.
You are able to have a solicitor or advocate with you at the conference. You also have the right to comment on what is being said about your family. You can put your own points in writing-to be given to the chair. Any points you could make are as you have said: that you are cooperating with children’s services-you have signed the agreement, your partner has move out, he is only having supervised contact, you are putting the children’s protection before your partners needs. You are willing to be further assessed?
At the end of the conference –if they decide that there should be a child protection plan-then this will be put in an outline written plan. You will be expected to cooperate with the plan-but you will also be able to have input into it.
I know I have written quite a lot here but please post back with further questions if you want.
Best wishes,

Suzie

konjit1976
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:24 pm

Re: Child Protection conference

Post by konjit1976 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:54 pm

Hi Suzie,thanks for the very informative reply... The CP conference took place on friday i recorded the whole thing as i have been advised to do. Although didnt feel i needed to really... All the reports were very positive all saying how i have always put my kids first (why CS have formed that opinion that i am not now is beyond me) Everyone was very polite and nice not the scary procedure that i have read about, but i suppose like i pointed out in the conference when they started telling me what to do and where to go with my kids, was that my parenting skills were not at question so what gave them the right to tell me what to do, they actually agreed with me.... The outcome of the meeting was that they want to control the supervised contact now.. By this they wanted us to specify days and times that we could stick to, we said this wasnt possible as we have appt his mum as the nominated person to supervise the visits and she works diff hours each week. I really feel this unreasonable its like they keep moving the goal posts. One min they said i could supervise contact, then they said no to me and it had to be someone i nominated and now it looks like the only way he is going to see us is through a contact centre!!! Can they do this or if when i seek legal advice perhaps this is something the solicitor could get amended??
They never mentioned in the meeting about them assessing him but surely that would be the logical thing to do however they did say about the possibility of me being groomed, now as half my friends have said he would have no chance of trying to groom me i am too opinionated!!! But i said ok to this, so i can prove that i havent been.
Am trying to find a solicitor now who can take on my case.
One other thing, the link you sent me, if he was to take this on and contact them direct, would that not poss be looked upon as an admission of guilt?? But i am definately going to speak to him about it when i see him next.
Any more advice would be great?
Thanks xx
:?

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 2652
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Child Protection conference

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:51 pm

Dear Konjit1976,

I am glad to hear that you were able to contribute to the conference-and children’s services took into account what you were saying when they devised the plan. Sometimes parents are not always heard. You should receive a copy of the minutes of the meeting-and of any plan made. You should check that they are accurate-
You have raised the following issues:

Your partners contact
You want to challenge the decision made about contact having to take place at a contact centre. Children’s services also seem to be changing the goal posts about how contact will be supervised without any reason to do so. It is not clear what assessments in relation to contact have yet taken place. They are not being clear with you.

If a child protection plan was made -then you or your partner can raise the issue about contact at the core group meeting.
Find out why they want it at a contact centre-is it part of the assessment of your partner or is it just for safety reasons? Did the chair insist on this or was it the plan of the social worker?
• You could ask that they assess grandma to supervise contact-(if she has not already been assessed).This should not take long-it will involve police checks, them making sure that grandma understands what supervision means-ie not leaving dad alone at all with the children. They would want to make sure grandma signs an agreement-they may want to do spot checks on contact. (ie where they make unannounced visits). Can grandma email the social worker to put herself forward?
• If they believe grandma would not be able to protect the children- is there anyone else who could be assessed to supervise contact? Family friend or other relative?
• If they still insist on a contact centre-your partner could ask for time scales. This is an interim arrangement –until when? Until the criminal case has finished or until he has been assessed? Or until you have been assessed? Find out.

If a child in need plan was made then there may not be a core group meeting or review meeting. If there is a meeting of professionals –that can be a good place to raise questions. If not, - your partner might want to raise any questions with the social worker in an email and copy in the team manager.

Assessment of your partner
I know that your partner is still waiting for the criminal proceedings to be over. How he is assessed in relation to his children will be dependent on the outcome of the proceedings.

If the case is likely to go to court in the next few months it may be sensible for children’s services to wait for the outcome before they carry out an assessment.-If he is found guilty then he will be assessed by the public protection authorities (including children’s services). They will assess any risk to children including your children at that point in time.
If the charges are dropped or he is found not guilty-then children services will need to assess any risk themselves.
Have you been given full access to the information that children’s services have about your partner? You could ask them and your partner to confirm this.
Rather than waiting for the outcome of the criminal proceedings, could there be any interim assessment taking place immediately?
I would advise him (or you) to talk confidentially to the Lucy Faithfull Foundation.-He can remain anonymous-when he calls them. They can provide detailed advice about the types of assessment that could be requested in relation to alleged internet crime.

I hope this helps but please post back with any other questions.

Best wishes,

Suzie

Lalalahehehe
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:16 am

Re: Child Protection conference

Post by Lalalahehehe » Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:50 pm

Hi how is your case gone would you mind inboxing me as my partner (ex) has done same thing and it has gone from bad to worse

Murray72
Posts: 118
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:48 am

Re: Child Protection conference

Post by Murray72 » Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:31 am

Hi Konjit,
This was how my case began, my Daughter has been in Foster Care for 3 years now, if your partner was to get found not guilty at a criminal trial it is likely that the CS will launch proceedings for a finding of fact case, if Findings are made then CS will be able to keep your partner away from the Children.

Speaking from experience it is normal for the Patner of a sexual predator to deny that the events are taking place and struggle to accept your partner is capable of such acts. In truth they probably are and if indecent images of Children have been downloaded by your partner then they have actively sought out this, it is virtually impossible to stumble upon this material by mistake, and once the Police investigate the history of the PC you will be surpised to find the information they can gather, they will be able to trace each image back and view exactly what was typed into the search engine to find that image. There are terms and abreviations used by Peadophiles that find this material. Even images that have been deleted remain on the harddrive, my partner had installed sophisticated software that shredded such files, but the Police could still trace all the images. The Police will rate the images on a scale called the Copine scale, Of which level 5 is the worst and depicts the very worst images of children been abused.

My partner attempted to blame every person who had access to the family PC and would have happily allowed his own children to be labeled a sexual predator. I know this crime is becoming far more common over recent years but I don't think any of should forget that each image viewed, downloaded and shared is an iamge of a Child been sexually abused. The worst kind of crime there is.

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