Increase in contact/asking for a reassessment

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InnocentMammy
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:39 am

Increase in contact/asking for a reassessment

Post by InnocentMammy » Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:39 pm

Hi, the background to my case is findings of NAI were made in 2017, I tried to reopen my case with new medical evidence this year but it wasn't deemed enough so I didn't get a rehearing.

Contact was increased from two to five hours a month, supervised by family and friends. Everything has gone positively.

I want to go back to court to apply for more contact, special occasion contact, and for supervision be reduced from two to one person.

Is it worth asking the judge to order the LA to reassess me? I've undergone 18 months of therapy, have stable employment, my own home after picking up the pieces of the life they ruined. I also moved closer to where my child lives. He is nearly three. The police also stated No Further Action because the new medical evidence was enough to prove my innocence.

Or do I just apply for more contact? And as I'm representing myself, what's the best way to argue for an increase?

P.s child lives with dad

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 2632
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Increase in contact/asking for a reassessment

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:14 pm

Dear Innocent Mammy

Thank you for your post.

There are lots of positives in your situation as you have described. You would understandably like to be able to spend more time with your son and to have the level of supervision by family and friends reduced from one to two people.

Your son lives with his father. I am not sure if he is living with his father under a care order (in which case Children’s Services share parental responsibility and would need to be involved in deciding about any changes to the contact arrangements) or if his father has a Child Arrangements Order (in which case Children’s Services do not have parental responsibility). If father has a CAO, have Children’s Services remained involved in some other way e.g. with a Supervision Order or a child in need process in place?

The reason I am querying this is because it will affect your options in terms of arguing for more/better contact and the type of court application you would need to make.

If there is a care order in place, it would be best to discuss your proposals first with the social worker and the Independent Reviewing Officer, as part of the looked after child reviewing process. This could include asking for a re-assessment in relation to the contact arrangements. If you could not move forward in this way you would need to make an application to the court. You can find out more about this in our advice sheet on contact with children in care ; this sets out how to do this yourself as a litigant in person. Here is a guide by the Bar Council on how to represent yourself in court.

If there is (still) a Supervision Order in place it would also be wise to discuss your proposals with the social worker too and let them know that you are willing to be re-assessed.

If there is a CAO in place (with our without a Supervision Order too) and you are applying to the court to vary this then it would be a private law application (a parental dispute between two parents). As this is an area on which we do not advise I would recommend that you get some advice on the process by contacting Child Law Advice and/or Rights of Women . The guide above may be helpful too. Again you can put forward your willingness to be have a new assessment and do make sure the court is aware of your current situation.

I hope this helps. If children’s services are still involved and you need any further advice please do post again or call our Freephone advice line on 0808 8010366, Mon- Fri 9.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. to speak to an adviser.

With best wishes

Suzie

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