what should I do

Sopho15
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu May 21, 2015 5:40 pm

what should I do

Postby Sopho15 » Thu Nov 19, 2015 1:04 pm

Hello I've written on this board before and found the advice very help full as I explained a while ago I met my sons dad 4 years ago 2 years later we had our son and social services became involved during my pregnancy because of the fathers past he had hit his step son this was almost ten years ago now, social services were happy with out parenting and everything was going well untill my son was 6 months old we had an argument he assaulted me was arrested and charged with assault (non custodial sentance) things where messy for a while as he got not come to terms of us splitting up but eventually things got better and social services signed us off and left the decisions to me just after my son turned 1, he has completed a bbr course and cbt course and has ongoing support from his doctor my son is now almost two anf half social services said they would only want to be involved again if we resumed a relationship and moved back in together, when our son was about 2 years old we started seeing each other again it was quite casual and we kept our son separate from our relationship we carried on living apart and he continued to see our son as use all so we didn't feel the need to tell social services as we were a long way off living together again however we have now split up and I have just found out I'm four weeks pregnant I want to no what I should do next although it's very early days we have decided that all that we want to do is be good parents to our children and don't want to resume our relation ship we are very good friends and get on very well sometimes he has our son on his own and takes him out or has him at his house or sometimes he sees him at my house and sometimes we take him out together our son is a very happy little boy. Do I need to tell social services I'm pregnant or can I carry on making the decisions as I do now with my son? What will be the likely steps if social servicesdo become involved.

Sopho15
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu May 21, 2015 5:40 pm

Re: what should I do

Postby Sopho15 » Tue Nov 24, 2015 3:21 pm

Any advice?

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

Re: what should I do

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Nov 25, 2015 1:37 pm

Dear Sopho15,

I am so sorry that I have not responded earlier. I missed your post as it moved down the list so I am glad that you reminded me as it bumped you back up the thread.
I am also glad that you have come back to us for further advice and support and that you found our advice helpful in the past.

Congratulations on your pregnancy.

Children services will find out about your pregnancy either via the midwife (she will ask whether your family is known to children services) or via your GP.

I suggest you contact them yourself and let them know the position. This will re iterate that (like in the past) you are cooperating with children services by letting them know of your change of circumstances.

They are then very likely to carry out a pre- birth assessment, to find out whether your unborn baby (and your son) are at risk of suffering significant harm and if they are whether they can provide services to reduce that risk.

If at any point in their assessment, they were worried about the safety of your son or your unborn baby, they will have a professional’s meeting-with the police and most likely health (such as health visitor and midwife) and may decide to hold an initial child protection conference to consider whether to make a child protection plan.

Here is information about child protection .


Did children services set out their expectations of you in writing before they closed their case?

If they did, you could check that you are still complying with it. So for example, can dad have unsupervised contact with your son? Was he assessed as safe to do so? Can you and dad be together in front of your son? Was it specifically that you cannot live together?

I think my last post addressed this confusion. I suggested you find out the exact position, so that you would not inadvertently put your son at risk from dads potential abusive behaviour.

I am glad that dad has done courses to deal with his dangerous behaviours. He can let children services know about these and he can produce certificates of his attendance.
Just to be sure that the courses are accredited, he should also consider contacting the advice line at respect. They offer advice to perpetrators as well as male victims of domestic abuse. They can also advise of courses and support that might be available locally to him. If there is any question about his safety, he could start another course as soon as possible.

I see from your earlier post that you went on courses and accessed support to deal with the effects of domestic abuse. You could check with women’s aid to see whether you need to consider further support such as the Freedom Programme?

Have a look at our FAQ’s about domestic abuse

Please let us know how things go and please do post back if you need further advice or support.

Best wishes,

Suzie

Sopho15
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu May 21, 2015 5:40 pm

Re: what should I do

Postby Sopho15 » Thu Nov 26, 2015 10:24 am

Hi thank you for your advice once again!
There was nothing in writing when we were signed off from children's services last time it was quick and very brief and it was only me and my mum there along with the social worker and the chair so nothing was said to my children's dad about what their expectations of him. The only thing I remember being said to Me was that there was no longer a need for children's services and decisions would be left at my discretion, although they woild need to know if we resumed a relationship and he moved back in. I didn't tell them when I started seeing him again as it was very casual and didn't think there was anything to tell at that point and my mum agreed when I spoke to her about it and then we called it off again as it was working out we have ended it on good terms and are very good friends but of course have since found out I'm pregnant, I'm just concerned that they will be worried I've gotten pregnant by him again and think I'm not being responsible to my other son and won't be so understanding and give us another chance although I've done nothing wrong and concerns where with his dad I'm not sure how they will deal with the situation.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: what should I do

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Nov 27, 2015 4:52 pm

Hi Sopho15,

Thanks for coming back for more advice.

I agree with you that it is really unfortunate that nothing was put in writing.

Now there is a grey area as to whether or not you could have inadvertently put your son at risk by resuming a relationship with dad.

Your understanding appears to be- that you and dad could resume a relationship. However, if he stayed over or moved in with you, you would need to let children services know? Or should you have let them know if you resumed a relationship. It does not seem clear to me.

Unless things are written down clearly, it is easy to cross over a line. I think you may have been let down by having nothing written down.

One thing is clear though, they seemed sure that you would be able to act in the best interests of your son. That you knew dads risk. I assume they also knew dads risk had gone down.
You had discussed matters with your mum, and she sees you as acting in the interest of your son.

The question is whether this trust of children services could have been dented by you not contacting them earlier?

I think you need to be honest. Even if you had stepped over the line, you are no longer with dad. His risk to your children has gone down.

I think you need to get in touch with children services as they will want to assess the current and future situation. Matters would only go to child protection if there is an “ongoing risk” of significant harm to your son or your unborn baby.

You could ring Women’s aid anonymously to discuss your situation in depth. Or speak to an advisor on our advice line on 0808 801 0366.

Best wishes,

Suzie

Sopho15
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu May 21, 2015 5:40 pm

Re: what should I do

Postby Sopho15 » Fri Jan 01, 2016 11:58 am

I'm still not sure what to do about my situation I haven't told any one I'm pregnant yet apart from my ex I'm worried about telling my parents as I know they don't like him due to what he did in the past and in worried I will loose them over this, and I know I need to tell them vefore I go to the doctor as I know as soon as I have done that I will need to call social services I'm so scared they'll take my children from me as I'm unsure if I've done something I maybe shouldn't have and just told them about restarting the relationship as soon as we did its still over between us and is going to stay that way they trusted me and I fear I may of lost that trust now.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: what should I do

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:27 pm

Dear Sopho15

Thank you for posting again.

Unfortunately, the only advice I can give is as before, that you must open and honest with children services about your current situation. If you do not then you run the risk of them feeling they are unable to trust you to be truthful and work with them openly.

I do understand that you are feeling worried about what might happen but the best thing is to be open about it. If you wait until your midwife or GP informs children services, then you might cause more worry for yourself. Children services are quite used to situations like this happening. You said there was nothing written down for you about how you should relate to your son’s father. This suggests that you have not broken any agreement with children services so try to speak to them about your situation.

Regarding your parents, it might help if you speak to children services first at least then you will know their views and can explain this to your parents. I think your parents may be disappointed but will still be supportive of you and you will not lose them.

I am including here information from our frequently asked questions (FAQs) about being pregnant and having had previous children services involvement. Please read this and the previous responses to your posts. I really urge you to take action sooner rather than later. It is really a case of 'feel the fear but do it anyway'.

Should you wish to speak to an adviser, please do telephone our advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. Monday to Friday.

I hope you will find this helpful

Best wishes

Suzie

Sopho15
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu May 21, 2015 5:40 pm

Re: what should I do

Postby Sopho15 » Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:46 pm

Thanks again for your advice I've told everybody that needs to know and have spoken to children services today I have a midwife appointment next week, I explained the situation to the lady on the phone and she looked in to our old case while on the phone she says as long as we haven't moved back in together and contact between my son and his dad remains positive she doesn't see any reason for any further involvement she said that when I see the midwife she will also have to call and make a referral and she has put a note to say that I have already phoned my self. so from what I gather no further involvement is needed I guess this will remain the same even when the midwife calls? Feeling much more excited and happy now!

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: what should I do

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Jan 08, 2016 3:37 pm

Dear Sopho,

I am glad that you have told children services and that they have made a note on the file.
Every time a referral is made, the regulations say that children services have to consider whether to carry out an assessment. So when the midwife makes her referral children services will have to look at your case again and decide whether or not to carry out an assessment.

However, the response you have received does seem positive, which I am glad about.

Best wishes,

Suzie

Sopho15
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu May 21, 2015 5:40 pm

Re: what should I do

Postby Sopho15 » Sat Jan 09, 2016 12:01 pm

Is the midwife ringing different to me ringing in that case then? Will I hear from children's services after she has rang them do they have a time scale in which they have to let me no if anything is going to happen? Sorry for all the questions


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