Revoking an sgo

K2018
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:14 pm

Revoking an sgo

Postby K2018 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:28 pm

I apologise if this post is very long but I want to get as much information down as possible. Ive done a lot of research into revoking an SGO but am still confused on a number of things.

My daughter has been placed with my parents since January 2016, firstly under a child arrangements order then an SGO at the end of proceedings. Both myself and my partner were accused of non accidental injury. The court made a Lancashire finding but the Local Authority and judge both agreed that the threshold document was to be changed and took out the failure to seek medical attention and changed it to the injuries being unintentional. Towards the end of proceedings my partner came forward with an explanation that he felt was overlooked by everyone involved at the start, and another fact finding took place, the expert witness agreed that the mechanism was there but there were questions about the force and of course my partner couldn’t remember or explain what force was used so a Lancashire finding was made again. On the advice from our legal teams we decided not to fight the SGO to show that we could put the needs of our daughter first, although it broke our hearts to give up fighting for the time being.
The case was 1 issue and no one had concerns regarding her care, a parental assessment was carried out which our solicitors said was one of the best they’ve seen, it stated that we could meet her needs, that our interactions with her are appropriate and child focused but they cannot support a return home due to not knowing what happened to her. The social worker also stated in there that she feels my daughter would want to be cared for by her parents.
There is currently no involvement by social services, the supervision order ended over a year ago. Contact is high level, we see her 6 days a week, making a 50 mile round trip everyday after work, take her to her health appointments, nursery, parks etc. We do have overnight contact ocassionally when work is not an issue and go on holidays with my parents.

After proceedings the CPS gave a no further action to me, however due to the explanation given to family court my partner was charged with wounding with intent. He went to crown court and pleaded not guilty, but guilty to wounding (accidental) and this was accepted by the CPS and officer in charge. He was given a suspended sentence. His probation officer has stated she would do a report to say that she feels he is not a risk.
As I said I have done a lot of research about revoking an SGO and understand the two stages etc but not a lot comes up in relation to NAI, what ‘change’ can we show? My partner accepted that he caused this, has done ‘victim work’ at probation. We also were recommended triple p and put our names down at a local sure start but yet to hear anything.

Is there a way for just myself to be unsupervised with my daughter? As in the eyes of the law I was found to be innocent. My solicitor found out what happened regarding the criminal side and he believed that I could be unsupervised however I haven’t wanted to risk my parents getting into trouble as the SGO states that both parents should be supervised due to the Lancashire finding?

When is the right time to revoke? One of our barristers said that it is easier when they are a bit older as those types of injuries won’t happen, when they can speak and when they are in nursery as there’s an extra safety net of people watching her. She starts nursery in a few weeks.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 2051
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Revoking an sgo

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:31 pm

Dear K2018

Welcome to the parents’ discussion board and thank you for your post.

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

I see from your post that you are confused about the possibility of applying to discharge the special guardianship order (SGO) made in your parents favour in respect of your daughter. It is a difficult situation because the fact finding hearing resulted in both you and your partner being in the pool of perpetrators for the injury caused to your daughter. It is however, understandable that you wish to have your daughter returned to your care.

Firstly, you ask whether you might be able to have unsupervised contact with your daughter as your partner was convicted in the criminal court for the same injury for which you were both in the pool of perpetrators in the family court. It may be possible for you to ask the court to look at the findings again on the basis that the outcome of a criminal trial was not available to the family court. Asking the court to vary the terms of the order is possible. I think it would be important for you to seek advice from the solicitor who represented so you can have an idea whether this is a case that could be brought.

On the other hand, the same would be true if you wanted to apply to discharge the SGO, the court would, I think, in the first instance look at your case from the point of view of the finding that was originally made. However, you could argue that there was new information for the court to consider on the basis that your partner was sentenced for the injury. At the same time, there would be a new assessment of you or both if you and he were making the application together.

It is really important that you seek legal advice so you know whether there would be a good basis for the court to revisit the original findings and whether the court is likely allow an application on this basis.

You should obtain as much evidence as possible to put before the court, this would include papers in respect of the criminal case, reports or other information from probation and evidence of courses or other work done to address the concerns that existed at the time of the care proceedings. Having another look at the judgement given in the fact finding hearing and when the care order was made might help you in considering what further evidence you might need to provide to the court. Please seek legal advice from your solicitor.

You may wish to read this case Re AD and AM (Fact-finding hearing) (Application for re-hearing) [2016] EWHC 326 (Fam).

I have included a copy of our advice sheet Special Guardianship: what does it mean for birth parents? which you may find helpful.

I think it is really great that you are having such good contact with your daughter and still able to play a significant role in her life.
Should you wish to speak to an adviser, you can telephone our advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday (except Bank Holidays).

I hope this is helpful.

Best wishes

Suzie


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