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why is the child service's asking my 5 year old questions wi

Posted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:19 am
by nik80
I had an unanounced visit from child services on monday (we're now on wednesday). He informed me that someone had made a phone call making alligations about the coditions of my flat were not suitable for my child, he came to my flat and said that my flat does need to be tidier and how i can go about getting it done. He also told me that my daughter wasn't going to be removed from my care at all apart from the pre-arranged nights she was spending with her father and grandmother. I have took steps to resolving this issue and have almost got my flat upto the standard they want it at. He visited me today and informed me that my daughter would be removed from my care for the weekend to give me time to complete the task. I wasn't informed however that he was visiting my 5 year old at school and asked her questions and asked her to draw a familly tree. What's this familly tree and why have they they removed my daughter when he assured me on monday he wouldn't? The strangest thing is that they haven't removed her during the week, i'll have done the work by the weekend. Shouldn't i be informed before they make any school visits?
I have got a new partner who i have been with for almost 2 years, we don't live together as he lives and works in a different area to me and my daughter, as far as i know they do not know anything about him. You can imagine my suprise when he asked for his details. I asked why he wants his details he gave no reply and subsquent to this he now says i'm refusing to give them him which isn't true. So why do the child services want my partners contact details, and do I have to give them. My partner is dubious about it as he has a daughter with an ex partner and doesn't want any hassle with a social worker turning up on his door step probing into his house and daughter. Although he is willing to speak to them if it will help me.
This whole matter is very odd and the lack of information coming from the social worker is causing me a lot of worry and stress. It is also getting me very down.

Re: why is the child service's asking my 5 year old question

Posted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:56 pm
by Suzie, FRG Adviser
Hi nik80

My name is Suzie, an advisor from the Family Rights Group.

Thank you for your post.

In order to give you accurate advice I have a couple of questions to ask you. What is the nature of Children's Services involvement with your family? Was it part of a section 47 investigation, where Children's Services have a duty to investigate any allegations where they have suspicions to believe that a child is in or may be in danger? Is there a child protection or child in need plan in place? Either way, your consent should be obtained before your child is spoken to in school, as you, and not the Local Authority have parental responsiblity for him.

If you come back with more detail, then I will be able to anwer your queries. Alternatively, you can contact our advice line on 0808 801 0366 Monday to Friday 09.30 am to 03.30 pm.

Best Wishes


Re: why is the child service's asking my 5 year old question

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:29 pm
by nik80
It was a child in need plan and the social worker has decided that it is up to my ex partner to decide if and when my daughter returns home as it is him that has to say the standard of our living arrangements are suitable.I have a very good relationship with Sure start and they have told me that they will check the standard too. What can i do if Sure start say it is acceptable but my ex says it isn't and refuses to bring my daughter home?

Re: why is the child service's asking my 5 year old question

Posted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:16 pm
by Suzie, FRG Adviser
Dear nik80,

Thanks for posting back. First of all I am going to address what happens in an assessment. You have already got links to our advice sheets on family support and child protection. They give further details. Second, I will deal with the issue around dad checking your home.

Social workers assessment
In your first post you mentioned the questions that the social worker was asking you and your daughter. You felt that they were too intrusive. You did not know why he wanted to do a family tree with your daughter. You did not know why he wanted the details of your partner. He had not got your consent to speak to your daughter.
The social worker has started an initial assessment. This assessment should be completed within 10 working days. At the end of the initial assessment he may want to complete a core assessment which takes longer-up to 35 days from the original referral.
During the assessments-the social worker will be finding out what your daughters developmental needs are (such as whether she has particular health needs or educational needs, whether you are able to meet all her needs-and whether you need any help or support to meet her needs. The social worker will also want to know about the wider environment and family. To find out this information-the social worker should first of all speak to you about the referral, he should explain fully what he will be doing and how long he thinks the assessment will take. He should ask for your consent to speak to your daughter and professionals involved with your daughter such as the school, health professionals such as your GP and sure start. Only in exceptional circumstances-would he speak to your daughter without your knowledge or consent.
It is a normal part of the assessment that he would want to find out who was living in your home-or visiting-, and whether you have the support of family members such as grandparents or friends. This is why he has attempted a family tree. He would also want to look at your home-including your daughter’s bedroom and the kitchen. He would probably want to check that you had food and that your daughter had appropriate toys for her age.
As your partner is a part of your daughter’s life he would like to speak to him as well. However, he cannot force you to give partners details nor can he insist that your partner meets with him. But if your partner is willing to speak with him-then he can see your partner for himself and this will mean that there will be no question marks about the safety your partner. As a mother-it may also gives you the extra re- assurance.
At the end of the assessment there should be a written report which should be given to you. You can check that it is accurate and ask for it to be amended, if it is not.
Dad checking your home
In your second post you mention a new arrangement-that dad can say whether or not your daughter returns to you after contact.
What you could do
I think you should ask the social worker, by email is better:
For copy of the assessments,
Why he spoke to your daughter without your consent-did he get consent from Dad?
For him to confirm the legal position in respect of your daughter-that she is a child in need.
You could tell him that you prefer that sure start check your home before your daughter is returned. They will be independent where as your exe may not. Ask him to confirm whether he agrees to this or not. If not to give reasons. I would also ask sure start that they also let the social worker know that they agree to be involved.
Please post back if there is something that you are not sure about or if you want more advice.

Best wishes,