IRH, Helpp?

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Willow3397
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:21 pm

IRH, Helpp?

Post by Willow3397 » Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:36 pm

Hi my 6year old step son was taken by social services on 8/11/18, it all came about that my step son had gone to school and said I had slapped him across his face while his dad was in bed, let me just say that I worked 11pm till 7am, so I was in bed when the social services came knocking at the door, she was shouting at my partner, it woke me up as I got downstairs I asked what was going on she said you should know you did it, I asked my partner and he got a bit shouty at the fact they were in our home screaming at us, (our neighbors could hear)
My partner said he was going to the school to see the said slap mark on his son, when he got to school the social services had beat him there and called the police. He got angry and upset that they were hiding his son. He did jump the school gate, he knows that was his mistake. He got took on a police protection order.
Court then made it an Interim care order.

Fast forward we have been having regular contact 3 days a week for 2 hours. All going brilliant untill it's time to go he gets really upset and asks why can't he come home, we try to explain that he can't just yet and we are working on it.

There has been times where he has come to contact with marks, bruises and scratches, there was a time he came with what looked like a slap mark. We took that issue to court.

The past 2 contact sessions he has been scared to take his unfinished juice back with him and said 'hide it in my bag so foster carer can't see'
Both times he has presented rather scared.

I am now 22 weeks pregnant, the social worker still hasn't started the pre birth assessment he said he will start soon as he has until 2nd week into april to complete,

The last court hearing was not what we had expected as we had the phycological assessment back, but regardless of what was in it the judge seemed more concerned about what wasn't, he has appeared to be trying to work with us, as he keeps asking at each court hearing about what support and help can be out in place to help us look after him, (I should add he has global development delay and is on the ASD pathway.) I suppose that has got to be a good sign, (fingers crossed).

We are next in court on 13/5/19 I'm sure this hearing is an IRH, I'm just wondering what is likely to happen at that hearing and how we can get our boy back, his mother passed away when he was 14 months, he only knows me as his mummy,

Can we get out child back from ICO?
How can we help it?
We have been working with the social worker.
Attending LAC meetings.
We have tried to engage with the foster carer but each time our social worker arranges a meeting she is always I'll.

Any insight or advice will be much appreciated, really sorry for the long post.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 2652
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: IRH, Helpp?

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:35 pm

Dear Willow3397

Welcome to the Board

Thank you for sharing your situation with us. In answer to your questions:

Children can come home to their parents at the end or before the end of care proceedings. Parents can help the process by addressing the concerns that social workers (or the court) has and completing any courses or tasks that were required of them: working with professionals and attending meetings also helps.

More specifically and in response to the content of your post. You said that your stepson alleged that you slapped him across the face and that your partner did not ‘manage’ his anger when the professionals told him about the incident. Were you as a family known to Children’s Services before this alleged incident?

It is good to read that your contact sessions are going well. In relation to your concerns about your stepson’s appearance at the contact sessions, have you asked the contact supervisor or the social worker to explain the marks, bruises and scratches that he presents with? Perhaps the independent reviewing officer can get to the bottom of what is happening in the foster carer’s home/care, additionally what is the guardian’s view?

With regard to your unborn baby perhaps you should ask the social worker for an outline of what his assessment will look at and what the exact timescale is? Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 contains useful information about assessments, see page 25 onwards.

You said that you and your partner have had a psychological assessment, and that the main concern from the Judge is the network of support or help you as a couple may need to help meet the needs of your stepson. Prior to him going into foster care did your stepson have a social worker or was he considered a child in need?

It would be great if you could answer the questions I have asked. In the meantime our advice sheet about Care (and related) proceedings will help you understand how the court case will progress.

Our advice sheet about Duties on Children’s Services when children are in the care system will be helpful to you too.

We have a confidential telephone advice service that you may like to call, the number is 0808 801 0366. The line is open Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 3.00pm, one of our advisers would be happy to speak to you.

Best wishes

Suzie

Willow3397
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:21 pm

Re: IRH, Helpp?

Post by Willow3397 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:02 pm

Hi, thank you for your reply,
Yes there was children's services involvement before hand as my step son has Global Developmental Delay and Is on the ASD pathway.
I have spoken to the contact centre, school and social worker in regards to the marks and bruises, in response we got oh he's a typical boy!

Our social worker bearly speaks English it is hard for him to understand us.
I have asked and asked about the pre birth assessment but he keeps saying he's got 2 weeks to complete it, yet he has not started we have the next LAC review on Monday I will be bringing it up then.

Is there anyway I could prepare for the IRH?
Or if possible could you explain what it may entail?

Again i appreciate your reply.
Thank you.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 2652
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: IRH, Helpp?

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:29 pm

Dear Willow3397

Thank you for your further post and for responding to the question about children’s services previous involvement with your family.
In your post you say there were involved because of your stepson’s developmental delay and his being on the ASD pathway. Does this mean that he was being treated as a child in need (CIN0 or was there a child protection plan in place.

It appears from the responses that you have received regarding the marks and bruises on your stepson that children’s services and others are not too concerned about our stepson and put these down to him being a boy. From your point of view, is this unusual for your stepson or was it the same when he was at home with you? If you have real concerns because it is not normal for him then you should continue to raise concerns and ensure that these of noted during contact.

In previous post you said you were 22 weeks pregnant and your social worker has said he has two weeks to do the pre-birth assessment. Perhaps it is the local authority’s policy for these assessments to be started after 24 weeks. As you are unclear about this, I suggest you put a request in writing asking the social worker and the team manager to provide to clear plan of how they will be working with you including timescales.

Regarding the IRH, here is the explanation given in our A-Z of terms on our website.:-

This is a court hearing, held after the Case Management Hearing and should take place before the case is finally at 26 weeks. The court decides exactly when. At the IRH the court looks at:
- what is agreed or decided so far;
- what still needs to be decided and
- whether any more evidence is needed.
The court considers whether a final hearing is needed at all or whether a final decision can be made in a fair way at the IRH.
.

Whether or not you stepson could return home at this stage will depend on a number of factors including the care plan that children’s services provides to the court, the children’s guardian’s view and the outcome/recommendation of any assessment carried out so far. I think it is unlikely he will be home at this stage. This does not mean that he will not but if that is the plan there would have to be appropriate support as you have mentioned which the judge asked about.

Please read advice sheet 15 which was sent to you previously for more information about the procedures in care proceedings which includes issues resolution hearings (IRH).

I hope this helps

Best wishes

Suzie

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