Post Fact Find Hearing - Options

BigMak
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:16 pm

Post Fact Find Hearing - Options

Postby BigMak » Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:50 pm

Hello everyone,

Myself and my partner have just finished 2 week Fact Finding Hearing about our son.
He’s been in foster care for over 12 months under s section 20.
The FF didn’t go our way and I won’t get in to why, but I did enough to make sure only one of us in the “pool” had any findings against them so my partner could get our son back.
So it’s now only myself in the “pool of perpetrators” and he will be going back to my partner soon.

However it means I’m now obviously “guilty” of potentially harming him, even accidentally.
The findings will be either forcibley shaking injury, as a momentary loss of control or an accident which I “hid” both a low level, one off events.
As night follows day however I will now be seen as a danger to my son. My partner will in court be asked if they agree with that judgement purely to satisfy the almost Orwellian nature of proceedings....under the umbrella unless they agree then they will “fail to protect”
So the LA will either force a split, apparently post judgement this is usual, or make it very, very hard for us to be reunited.

I will be asked to move out the family home until further “assessments” are done in me, from physiological to parenting over a 10-12 week period. In that time I can only see my son under supervision, not be allowed in the family home without supervision(and even then most likely) and basically be vetted to see if I’m likely to commit my none existent crime.
For me this is pure evil, on top of everything else the LA have put us though, to return our son but then look to force s split....so basically break up a family by the back door.
To them it seems I’ll always have to be “wathched” and they would rather people split, which I find sickining. If your partner knows or belivies you’ve harmed your child it’s still their choice, however when your partner never did or does believe it then it’s an utter disgrace that an LA can if they feel like it push for s break up via extreme sanctions, with a Judges help.

To me the first step is pushing one partner out the family home, a purely strategic tactic to gain “control” over a family and drive a wedge between parents that as with us to date have been completely hand in glove. They hate this fact and now they’ve got s finding against one of us they will do all they can to ruin our family under the auspices of child safety.

My question is to stop this but still play them at this sick game, if we were to find a family member or friend, unconnected to the case and willing to move in for the assesment period is that a viable, legal and acceptable option?
They would make sure I never was left alone with my son and act as an extra layer of protection as my partner in the LAs eyes can’t be trusted to look after our son with adaquet protection at this point.

So the person would have all the necessary bsckgtound checks, would be asked to specifically make sure our son was never left in my sole care and would be there basically as a live in Guardian.
It would mean I could stay in the family home and not have the LA dripping poison in to my partners ear in my absence and more importantly be around to help out with the care of my son, even if never sole care at this point.

It should technically give the LA and Judge that extra safety net, mean I can start to develope normal relationship with my son, help my partner and at least have the semblance of normality will the assessments on me are carried out.
If I’m found to be a “danger” then the LA would need to explore other options, if not then other safeguards under a 12 month supervision can be put in place and the Guardian move out.

Has anyone had experience of this? Can it work? Will LAs accept this proposition and if not why not in your experience?

Basically if a couple naturally break up once their are findings I understand one partner would move out. But if not as is our case then surely this alternative is viable.

Thanks in advance.

Dorothy
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2018 9:14 pm

Re: Post Fact Find Hearing - Options

Postby Dorothy » Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:34 pm

There are many reasons why I believe this would never be agreed by court but one of them would be that I cannot imagine the professionals would believe that this would work practically.

- You are currently believed to potentially pose a risk to your child and as such are assessed as needing constant supervision - what happens then when the live-in carer needs to, for example, take a shower? Based on the information provided, the assessment of your partner is that "he cannot be trusted at this point" so the carer could not ask him to care for the child in the meanwhile, and bringing 3rd person to the house to provide additonal supervision would be unlikely seen by court as in the best interest of the child.

User avatar
Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 1986
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Post Fact Find Hearing - Options

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:35 pm

Dear BigMak,

Welcome to the Parents Forum.

I am sorry to hear about the injury your son suffered and children services involvement with your family. It is very stressful when there are investigations by the authorities and then care proceedings.
Here is our advice sheet about care proceedings.


There has now been a fact finding hearing to decide how your son was injured. In family proceedings –where the intention is to look at how children can be protected-the balance of proof is on balance of probabilities –so 51% you may have hurt your son to 49% you did not. The court decided that you are in the pool of perpetrators-so “there is a real possibility that you were involved in causing the injury”. You do not say who else is in the pool of perpetrators. Thankfully, dad was not, which gives your son the chance to live with his dad.

The current plan is to assess dad to see whether your son can return home and live with him. This will involve finding out whether he has the parenting capacity to care for your son as well as protect him from any harm. The assessment will look at the support of relatives and friends as well.

While dad is being assessed as a sole carer, it is normal that you would not be present as this would not give a clear picture of dad’s ability.

Because you are in the pool of perpetrators –so therefore considered a potential danger to your son –dad will need to also show that he can fully protect your son from you. If he was not able to do this then a different plan would be considered for your son-such as living with a relative or friend under a special guardianship order.

You are also to be assessed- in light of the finding of fact, to see what support you might need to reduce your risk.
So, for example, if the psychological assessment said you could lose control easily, then you could have treatment for this or be taught strategies to help you manage this which would mean you might be risk assessed as safe.

But until those risk assessments of you are completed, because your future risk is unknown, it must be assumed that you could be dangerous to your son.

You point out that children services are splitting up your family by force. But given the court has found that you are in the pool of perpetrators-it will be considered too dangerous at the moment, for you to live with your son.
You suggest a plan to keep the family together. This is that a relative moves in and you are supervised by them day and night. I think this would be practically impossible and unrealistic in the long term.

Have you discussed your proposed plan with your legal team? What are their views? At this stage when the courts are dealing with the long term plans for your son and who he will live with, your lawyers will be invaluable and can advise about the best assessments of you.
Here is some information from the child protection resource that you might find helpful.

I have only touched on things you have mentioned but if you need further advice, please post again or call our free and confidential advice line on 0808 801 0366.

Best wishes,

Suzie


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