will it happen again?

Sandy
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Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:55 pm

will it happen again?

Postby Sandy » Mon Aug 22, 2011 3:11 pm

I don't no if anyone can help. I'm pregnant and i really want to keep my baby, I've really sorted out my life and will do the best but I no I havent been a good mum in the past and have lost my big babies (DD 3 and DS 5) to social services. Will i be bale to keep this one?

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: will it happen again?

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:33 am

Hi Sandy,

Congratulations on your pregnancy and I'm sorry you're older children were adopted. However, in order to help you I am going to need a few more details. Can you tell me what happened previously? What's changed since then and what involvement Children's Services (CS - the new name for social services) have with you at the minute?

Hope to hear back from you.

Suzie

Sandy
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Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:55 pm

Re: will it happen again?

Postby Sandy » Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:49 pm

thanks Suzie,
I lost my babies to social services last time because i was taking drugs and stuff and coulldn't give them or my bf up. i was in a really bad place and didn't think strait i didn't no what what best for me or them.
Now things are different and I no I can do what is best. I havent had a drink or anything else since I have been pregnant and i have been clean for over a yaer. i havent told anyone about the baby yet cos i am scared what they will think and what might happen. I no i need to go to the doctor and see a midwife. I'm just scared.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: will it happen again?

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:02 pm

Thanks for posting back. I am glad that things have changed and that you are now clean and no longer using alcohol either. When your children were taken into care you were misusing drugs and it also sounds like you were in an abusive relationship. Things appear very different now.

However, children’s services will still want to carry out an assessment of you and your circumstances to find out whether the changes you have made will continue and whether you will need any support or help to look after your child. It is also very likely that the assessment will lead to a child protection conference. Please have a look at our advice sheet on Child protection.
http://www.frg.org.uk/pdfs/9.%20Child%20protection%20procedures.pdf

It sets out how children’s services carry out an assessment. Your GP or midwife will refer you to CS.

It is also very important that you see your GP as soon as you can to discuss the pregnancy and get a referral to the midwife. Sometimes parents who use (or have used) drugs and alcohol can neglect their child (and unborn child) and it is important that you make sure that your fear of CS doesn’t cause you to do this. CS will expect you to go to the ante- natal appointments.

Are you getting any support from women’s aid or any drug and alcohol agencies? You could ask for an advocate or other worker to help you speak to CS.

Please let me know how things are going.
Best wishes,
Suzie

Sandy
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Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:55 pm

Re: will it happen again?

Postby Sandy » Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:30 pm

Thanks suzie, i've made an appiontment to see my GP next week. i'm scared but no its the right thing to do.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: will it happen again?

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:15 am

I think you are doing the right thing and I know it may not be easy. Please post again if you need further advice or if you want you could also ring our advice line and speak to an advisor in confidence. The number is 0808 801 0366.

Best wishes,
Suzie

ange301126
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Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: will it happen again?

Postby ange301126 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:52 pm

a bit of advice,I am sure you know that the GP has a duty to inform CS of your pregnancies.Take care to discuss matters carefully with your GP( take a friend or relation as support).Inform him that if he intends to refer details to CS ,you wish him to also inform them of all your new circumstances and to give an opinion on your new capabilities as a mother.Get him on your side if you can.Ask him to make the referral as positive as possible and to stress that you have expressed your wish to cooperate with ante-natal ,health visitors and a care-order to enable the child to be cared for by you as mother.
I know one mother in the same position as you who got herself very stressed about going to see her GP when she fell pregnant again but ,like you,she realised it was the only thing to do.She had a drink just before she attended the appointment. The subsequent referral contained a note from the GP that mother had a 'smell' of alcohol on her breath. In all subsequent proceedings this was construed as evidence of drunkenness even though it was no such thing.
Another very important piece of advice for anyone in your position who knows and trusts the father.Tell him immediately and get him involved because he and his family will want to help the child.Start a relationship with him and his family. If you are not married,then as soon as the baby is born ,tell him to apply to the registrar for parental responsibility.Get a solicitor to do it for you if need be but you can easily do it yourself.He will then have to be included in litigation and all assessments.If necessary he and his family can put themselves up as the main carers when a care-order is issued as it will be.
Another piece of advice which may be useful if you can arrange for it. Well before the baby is due move to another borough. The case will then be dealt with by the new Children's Services Department who will tend not to make too much
as much of your previous past history and will be more likely to undertake full and proper investigations and assessments rather than act discriminately against you because of your past history.
Hope this advice helps and I particularly that about Dad applying for parental responsibility.

ange301126
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Re: will it happen again?

Postby ange301126 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:46 am

Further to my previous advice ,I will add a little more and hope it will help you to keep your baby.Please follow it as it comes from someone who was in exactly the same position as you ,had had three children adopted plus another taken away automatically and adopted at birth.Her next child she was allowed to keep but not after a struggle.
It is essential that you make all the right choices especially now before the baby is born and you have started well by arranging an ante-natal appointment.
It is very important that you attend [b]every [b]ante-natal appointment in a sober,clean and responsible state.Miss one and it will be marked down and used against you.
Make no casual statements ,jokes or criticisms of CS to hospital staff or health visitors as these will be marked down,shared with Children's Services and may be used against you.
Follow meticulously every piece of advice given you by ante-natal and ensure the fact you have is recorded.
If you cannot rely on the father to help you by obtaining parental responsibility then a member of your own family can do so. Perhaps your mother ,father or a brother or sister who has faith in you. If they do not do so, they may not be considered as main carers at all. Get them on your side as a network of support is very important.Prepare the applications before the baby is born and get them registered with the High Court as quickly as possible after the birth.
It is possible the Social Workers will arrange for the baby to be removed from your care at birth although this may not happen if you work with them appropriately and follow all their advice.If they will not work with you because of your past record as often happens ,they may decide to take the baby at birth using a Police Protection Order..Although it is illegal for them to do so, this does not deter them as they thus achieve a fait accompli and they are granted great latitude later in court on the grounds that anything they do is in the interests of 'at risk' children.Possession is half the Law.Try and forestall this by discussing the situation with your ante-natal consultant ( take someone to support you) and point out to him that the baby should not be removed from your care by anyone without a valid court order.Enlist his help well before the birth and ask him to make notes of your maternal capabilities.
I know all this may sound daunting to you, but if you want to keep your baby ,you have to be very strong.This is practical advice which no social worker and probably no lawyer will give you as most of them have never won a case in such circumstances.
Don't forget the advice about moving to another county council area,you may already be in one.
You have much more chance of getting social workers on your side if they are not the ones involved in your previous cases.
ange, ask any questions you want.

Sandy
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:55 pm

Re: will it happen again?

Postby Sandy » Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:55 am

dear Ange,
thanks for all your helpfull nice words. im 6 months prgnant now and its all going well :P . im doing what you say and going to all my apointments abd staying sober abd clean. i wont say its easy but my bf is realy helping and i want to do the best for the baby so much.
my bf will go on the birth certificate abd so he will get parentel resposibity :) and his family are realy suporting us too. also we hve been realy lucky with our social worker she is totaly behind us and i no she wants us all to be a family - so im not going to move cos i don't want to lose her. i no its not the same for everyobe but she is helping us and we listen to what she says. we've got a cp conferance comuing up, so fingers crossed. lol Sandy

ange301126
Posts: 536
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: will it happen again?

Postby ange301126 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:12 pm

I'm glad you have read my advice.I have read your reply.
Some more words of caution.You must get everything the baby will need before he/she is born including cot,moses basket,nappies, blankets,push- chair etc. etc. etc. and make sure the social worker and health visitor sees them and notes it down. If either of you smoke, give it up especially while you are expecting and get an extractor fan and explain that you will not smoke near the baby when born.
I did not know you already had a social worker and you make it sound promising but be very careful what you say or do with her at all times.
As regards parental responsibility,I can only advise you that if father is on the birth certificate ,this does not guarantee he has parental responsibility in the event of care-proceedings. The only thing which will do so is if you get married shotgun before the birth or apply to court as I have described.
I am so glad your social worker seems friendly and helpful to you; of course this how things should be but do not rely on her too much.Should anything go wrong or should you lapse in anything ,she may be forced to change by her team-leader. Of course,this may not happen but watch yourself because matters do not rest entirely on her. The system as a whole can be very cruel.
Obviously , it is highly likely there will be care-order proceedings and the previous Guardian will be brought in.How do you get on with her? Please do not let all my warnings stress you out to much; hopefully things will go smoothly but one more thing you must watch out for on the baby's behalf is this.
If the CS insist on holding case-planning meetings,assessments and so on while you are expecting you will be subjected to unnecessary stress to the detriment of you health and that of your child.Inform the ante-natal consultant about this worry and get his advice.Because of the pressures she was placed under by social workers the woman I have mentioned before to you gave birth 3 months prematurely and this had temporary life threatening aswell as permanent effects on the child.Maybe if you get your friendly social worker to discuss it with the consultant or health visitor something can be done to delay stressful meetings until after the birth on health grounds.I hope you keep in touch and good luck with everything.


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