Special guardianship order

shelokay
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 1:27 am

Special guardianship order

Postby shelokay » Wed Nov 16, 2016 1:52 pm

Hi

My parents and brother have applied for a sgo of my 9 year old son.
In sept 2014 I moved back in the family home with my son. I then met a man and it became domestic violence. The officer who took my statement said it was the worst case if coercive control he had come across.
During the relationship I did abandon my son and left him in the care of my family. This was due to the fear through threats from my ex. I had lost control of my life and was so terrified I suffered mental torture to the point I self harmed. All I wanted was my son and life back but was so scared me or one of my family would come to harm. I was grateful my family were there for my son and he was kept away from the abuse to an extent. At the time I was in despair and did not know what to do. I had been isolated and my family had turned on me. I had no support.
Just before the first hearing I had my ex arrested, the case is now with the cps and the police are hoping of charges of coercive control, assault and rape. I am 100% going through with the case.
The final hearing is in Dec and I now need to write my statement. I can't get legal aid and I am waiting to see if I can get pro bono.
Since leaving the relationship I have taken back care of my son and now living in the family home with them. I have recieved general councilling, on the waiting list for domestic violence councilling, recieving support from victim support, due to start the freedom programme in Jan. I attend a group through social services for dealing with my feelings and my son's
My family are clearing showing a lack of understanding in domestic violence and are victim blaming. They clearly do not understand the danger me and my son are still in. My ex is on bail and has made no contact, but they don't understand the seriousness still ongoing connected with him being charged and again once the justice has ended. They aldo don't acknowledge the impact on me in having to go through the justice system with such serious charges pending. Although the police have been very supportive.
They are saying they do not believe I will continue to care for my son after the final hearing as I am only doing this cos of the pending hearing. That I will get into another abusive relationship, as my son's father was abusive. My son's father was irresponsible and I understood he had legal rights. So I had to end that relationship in a way my son could not be used as a pawn and also to try and protect my son in the future if he wished to contact his father.. after my son was born his dad was only there cos of our son. We slept in different rooms and had no relationship. My son's father has not maintained contact and I am happy about that and believe I have minimised harm to my son.
After his father was gone, I chose to remain single. Altho I secretly saw a few guys casually, if it became to heavy I got out. My family are not aware of this as I did this around everything else in my life.
In 2012 another social services did an assessment from an allegation of another mother. This proved not to be true and the report states I was a competent parent.
Social services had agreed with the sgo. Based on my history or abusive relationship, even though they have never asked much about his father. They have taken my families word. Also ignoring the fact I am happy on my own and don't need a man. Also they say I need more time based on a general perception of how domestic violence impacts a victim. Rather than based on me. All the professionals have commented on how committed I am to recovery and getting my life back. How much I have Learnt and read about perpetrator and domestic violence etc.. about how tuned on I am and how good I am at self healing with positive thinking.
Also my mum is controlling, has been my whole life and this has caused conflict many times in the past. I am concerned of the impact on my son of these conflicts, the control is less and I can handle when I am not living with my mum.
Also my families ignorance over the situation, which was displayed when i was with my ex as their actions put me in continuous danger, they tried to be nasty to me and make me leave him, rather than be supportive and understanding. None of them have taken any advice or researched anything about domestic violence as they believe they are always right. The victim blaming is clearly based on myths and misconceptions over abuse. Such as my brother when I tried to explain about the fear just told me it was an excuse as I left him in the end!
Therefore I am concerned their ignorance could put my son at risk if they don't believe or trust my choices in keeping us safe as I know my ex and fully understand the risks to our lives still. That they will not help emotionally with my son if they continue to degrade my authority over my son.
Also my son just desperately wants me and him to get our own place again and is distressed now that my family may get the sgo. Noone except me seems to be acknowledging that he has changed his mind over the sgo now the circumstances have changed.
I would like advise on the best key points to put in my statement? Maybe a good way to explain things?
Also if you think the court will see my change of circumstances and everything I have done in order to never be in that situation again?

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

Re: Special guardianship order

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Nov 21, 2016 5:53 pm

Dear Shelokay

Welcome to the Family Rights Group parents’ discussion forum.

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

I am sorry that you are having such a difficult time at the moment following what seems to have been an extremely difficult relationship with your ex-partner. It is good that you now feel able to be fully engaged in the criminal case against your ex-partner.

You say in your post that your family are not being very supportive of you now that you have separated from your ex-partner and this, as far as you are concerned, is because they do not fully understand or accept the impact that domestic abuse/violence can have on a person in that kind of relationship. Well done to you for having the courage to leave the relationship.

My suggestion is that you should continue to engage in the domestic violence and other services that you are accessing as this is the best way the get the help and support you need to turn this negative period of your life into better and happier future.

Regarding your son, you say that your brother and parents are applying for a special guardianship order but you do not support this as you feel that you have made changes in your life and feel able to care for your son now.

I am assuming the there is no children services involvement in the court proceedings as you say you could not get legal aid. However, they would have completed the assessment of your brother and parents and made recommendations about their suitability for a special guardianship order. The application for the special guardianship order is therefore a private law application. As you do not have a solicitor acting for you, you can contact Coram Children’s Legal Centre (Child Law) on 0300 330 5480. This organisation provides advice on private law matters.

I am including a copy of our advice sheet relating to special guardianship and what it means for birth parents. This advice sheet will give you information about your position should the court make the order in favour of your brother and parents.

Regarding the statement that you have to prepare, I suggest that you consider any statements or reports already sent to the court and you. Read them carefully and comment on anything that is not factually correct or that you disagree with. Also, ensure that you give information about how things were with you before, what you have done to improve your situation and why you think it is important for your son to be in your care. Obviously, you will need to show that you have appropriate accommodation for your son, and if he would need to change school, that you have made the necessary enquiries.

The court will make the final decision about whether the order is made or not and your son's welfare will be the court's paramount consideration when reaching a decision. If you think there may be problems regarding contact, you could ask the court to make a child arrangement order for contact to be set out clearly for the future if a special guardianship order is to be made.

I am not in a position to advice you in any detail about a private law case. Please make contact with Coram Legal Centre for further advice.
I hope you find this helpful.

Best wishes,

Suzie

shelokay
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 1:27 am

Re: Special guardianship order

Postby shelokay » Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:52 pm

Thank you I will ring that number.

I have done the statement and provided evidence of a social services report made in 2012 which shows no concerns.
No my son has never been a child at risk. Although we were assessed. But as we were all living at my parents then he was safe. That's also the thing, we are still living at my parents, so contact won't be a problem. I do want to move out and want my son with me.

shelokay
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 1:27 am

Re: Special guardianship order

Postby shelokay » Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:53 pm

Oh and my ex never lived with us.

shelokay
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 1:27 am

Re: Special guardianship order

Postby shelokay » Tue Dec 13, 2016 8:35 pm

Thank you for your help.

I had to represent myself, but the court sided with me :)

They said I had taken sufficient steps to turn my life around and demonstrated I had learnt the dynamics of abuse. That the social worker lied orally to what she had put in her report. That as child should be raised by a parent and as there was no evidence or concerns before the dv relationship and I have taken back over since, they see no reason not to leave him in my care!! So happy :)

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

Re: Special guardianship order

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:46 pm

Dear shelokay

Thank you for your updating post.

I am really pleased for you that everything worked out in your favour and you are feeling so happy.

Well done for turning things around so your son can be in your care.

It is good for other parents to see that things can go well

Best wishes

Suzie

CM123
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2017 5:39 pm

Re: Special guardianship order

Postby CM123 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:41 am

Hi
My mum has a sgo for my two children & has had it a while now. I'm currently only a loud supervised access due to my ex partner who i no longer have contact with. I was told that after3 months of no contact with him i could apply back to court to go and get it lifted. I was wondering how i do that. As i haven't spoke to my ex in over 6 months now. But because social services are no longer involved i don't know how to go about it. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

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

Re: Special guardianship order

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:46 pm

Dear CM123

Welcome to the Family Rights Group Parents’ Discussion Forum.

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

It good to see that you have been able to sort yourself out and now wish to have more contact with your children.

If you wish to make an application for unsupervised contact, you will need to complete a form C100 form for a child arrangement order for contact. You can get this form from the local family court or download it from the ministry of justice court services website here .

As your mother is the special guardian she could agree with you to increase your contact unless that court specifically stated that it must be returned to court before contact is changed.

I suggest that you contact Coram Children’s Legal Centre (Child Law Advice Service) on 0300 330 5480 for more advice about making the application. This organisation advises in respect of private law court proceedings which is the category an application for contact falls within. Their website is here for your information. Our service provides advice where children services (new name for social services) is involved or likely to be involved

I hope you find this helpful.

Best wishes

Suzie


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