Contact is being reduced

Saraheve
Posts: 103
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:39 am

Contact is being reduced

Postby Saraheve » Sun Sep 18, 2016 6:53 pm

Hi i am devastated my son has been taken into care. I have the credit order that says the reasons being is because I was occasionally smoking weed. Now I have stopped and taking weekly drug tests.
Also arguments between me and my sons farther. My sons farther has now moved out and we no longer argue.
And I was not always keeping on top of the housework becausextremely of depression. I am now.seeking help from that.
My plan is to go back to court in 6months and show necessary changes.
The contact is going very well but ss want to decrease contact to 6 times per year. That im finding devastating. Particularly unable to spend Christmas with my son.
My solicitor says 6months is a bit soon but I don't want to delay and need my son home with me as soon as possible as he was happy with me.
I read in anouther post that somone paid for a private social work assessment and wonder if I should do this. My son wants to be home. I am loosing hope and social services never respond to my emails and I don't want to be separated from my son. Any advice would be great thanks.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 1721
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Contact is being reduced

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:15 pm

Dear Saraheve,

I can see that you now have a copy of the judgment or reasons from the court as to why the care order was made.
To successfully discharge the care order (and for your son to come home to you) you would need to show that that has been a substantial change in circumstances since the care order was made and that it is in your sons best interests.

You have already started to address the concerns –to show a substantial change.
So you are having weekly drug tests, have separated from dad who had been domestically abusive to you, are getting the support for the depression that you suffered and your autism diagnosis, that you and you are seeking support to help you manage your house keeping. All this will be helpful. Keep a diary or record of everything you are doing.

Did any expert within the proceedings (such as psychiatrist) or the guardian recommend any support you should have?
In respect of the domestic violence that you suffered, have you undertaken the freedom programme and counselling and other support? You could check with Women’s aid about support in your area.
What is your relationship with dad? Could it still be risky to you, your son if he came home to your baby?

Your solicitor says there needs to be a longer period of time than 6 months to show that the changes you have made are permanent. You could ask how long your solicitor thinks is reasonable. What else do you need to do to show a change?

You are also pregnant. Children services will want to do a pre-birth assessment to decide whether or not your baby needs to go on a child protection plan and whether further court proceedings will need to be taken. That assessment should hopefully pick up all the positive steps that you have already taken.
An independent social worker assessment may not be needed at this stage. However, this is a question to discuss with your solicitor who knows your case.
In my earlier post I advised you about family group conferences to look for support in respect of your baby.

You ask about changes that are proposed in respect of contact with your son. What level and type of contact was recommended in court? What did the care plan say? I would expect any changes in contact to be addressed at the looked after child review.
Ask the social worker for reasons, in writing, why she thinks it is in your son’s best interests to reduce it, particularly as it is going so well.
Look at our tips about negotiating contact on page 10 of our advice sheet about contact with children in care


My advice to you though would to be focus as much as possible on your baby. As plans for baby will be considered soon by children services.
Continue all the good work you are doing-support for your mental health, domestic violence and drug testing. This all need to be done for your baby as well.

Best wishes,

Suzie

Saraheve
Posts: 103
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:39 am

Re: Contact is being reduced

Postby Saraheve » Tue Sep 20, 2016 3:00 pm

Hi thanks Suzie im a bit devastated today as I was told contact will start to reduce down to 6times per year every half term.
What hurts the most is how my child is feeling about this. As he misses me and wants to come home.
I informed the social worker that I desperately want him to come home and I am not in the agreement of reduced contact. He told me if I keep with the positive changes I can then show the court evidence and have myour son come home. This is good news but reducing contact will not be ideal if im working hard for him to come home.
The psychologist recommended a parenting course but doubted I can complete this as I suffer from social anxiety. But I want to prove them wrong and try to push through my anxiety.
I know I should be concentrating on the baby. I just miss my son so much and just want contact to increase.
How do I increase the contact. Thank you i look forward to your reply.

Saraheve
Posts: 103
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:39 am

Re: Contact is being reduced

Postby Saraheve » Tue Sep 20, 2016 3:30 pm

Hi i wanted to address your questions. The contact arrangemen said the contact should be reduced slowly. The care plan says for the next 2 months it will be every 2weeks. Then every month then going down to 6 times per year.
The judge did not agree to a contact order and said before it gets down to 6 times a year it will be reviewed. I believe in December. The lac review. I'm seeing the social worker on Thursday where is going to discuss it with me.
My solicitor has written a list of things I should be doing like weekly drug tests. Parenting courses and accepting any help offered.
I just miss my son so much. And hope to have him returned even though I know it will be a battle because even if I do make material change, they will worry how I will cope with 2 children. The babys mother and grandma have agreed to write a letter that they will help during the week with the baby so I can concentrate more time on my son who is 9now. Do you think this will help. I need to build my evidence to stand a chance and I read legal aid will only help on merit. Do you think their is anything else I can do. Any advice will be much appreciated thanks.

Saraheve
Posts: 103
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:39 am

Re: Contact is being reduced

Postby Saraheve » Tue Sep 20, 2016 3:32 pm

Hi sorry I mean the babys grandmother and great grandmother has agreed to help with the baby

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 1721
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Contact is being reduced

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:08 pm

Dear Saraheve

Thanks for your further post.

I see that you are very worried about contact being reduced.

The final care plan which was approved by the court was for contact to be reduced over time. Children Services will have to review the contact before making decisions and as you say this will happen at the LAC review meeting.

You really should take your solicitor’s advice and do the things that have been suggested. All of this will be good to show how much you have tried to change. The fact is you will be seeing your son and there is no need to lose hope as you can always ask for contact to be increased later on if it is reduced to 6 times a year. It is also possible to try to get your son back in your care but if you lose focus on your baby you may put yourself in the position where you do not have any of your children in your care.

My advice is that you try to concentrate and doing thing that will improve your situation and therefore put you in a good position to apply to the court to have your son returned. You may be able show through caring for your baby if you are able to have the baby in your care that you are managing your care responsibilities and could look after both children. You are likely to be better placed to be successful to have your son returned in such circumstances. It is really great that you have a support network to help with your baby.

I do not think I can add anything further to what has already been posted about having your son returned to your care. You have already been sent the link to our advice sheet about contact with a child in care. A copy of our advice sheet relating to the duties that children services have when a child is in care will give you more information.

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

I hope this is of help.

Best wishes

Suzie

Saraheve
Posts: 103
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:39 am

Re: Contact is being reduced

Postby Saraheve » Fri Sep 23, 2016 7:27 pm

Hi i tried talking to my social worker explaining that contact 6 times a year is not in my childs interest. I was told their would be a lac review meeting but my sons social worker is always unsure when the meeting is and I havnt been contacted the the review officer.
The social worker said I have to go back to court to change contact. But the earliest I can do that is February. I feel like social services are just trying to hurt me. Even prisoners have more contact with their children. They know im hurt and they know my son is too but it's like they don't even care. Any further advice.

Saraheve
Posts: 103
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:39 am

Re: Contact is being reduced

Postby Saraheve » Sat Sep 24, 2016 12:02 pm

Hi i really confused the judge said she is not making a contact arrangement and contact will be made at the lac review meeting. Yet I have not heard from the review officer. And do nother know of any meeting dates and the social worker said any contact will have to be looked at on court which is further away than the lac review meeting. Why are social services wanting to hurt me and my son so much.


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