Don't know what to do,Please help

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stassy121
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 7:55 pm

Don't know what to do,Please help

Post by stassy121 » Thu Oct 27, 2016 10:45 pm

Hi everyone I'll try to keep this as short as possible.On the 26th May our 3 girls were taken in to care.We were told by the social worker that if we did everything they asked we would get our girls back home,this social worker then left and another took over.This social worker then left suddenly on 18th August and we did not recieve a new social worker until October.They have not stuck to the agreement made in court eg unannounced visits and inspections,allowing the children to see extended family and visits with their grandad who is terminally ill but we have done everything they have asked of us,not missed any contacts and have attended all appointments.We were informed today that our eldest is coming home as she is nearly 16 and theres not much they can do to stop her but they are putting our middle child into full time foster care and sending our youngest to live with her aunt and uncle.We are very distraught at the fact of our other 2 children not returning home and at the prospect of them being seperated further.The court case is being held on 3rd November but we are terrified that the judge will side with the local authorities.All we want is a chance to prove to our children that we are now the parents that they deserve but we are not being given the opportunity and we don't know what to do.It doesn't help that our eldest has told lies and manipulated the situation so that she is the only one returning.We don't know what to do,can anyone help?

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

Re: Don't know what to do,Please help

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Nov 02, 2016 3:50 pm

Dear stassy121

Welcome to the Parents’ Discussion Forum.

My name is Suzie, online adviser at Family Rights Group, I am sorry that you are feeling scared about the plans being made for your children’s future and where they will live in the future.

It appears from your post that there are care proceedings relating to your children and a final decision will be made by the court on 3rd November 2016 at the final hearing. Are the children subject to interim care orders or s.20 voluntary accommodation? In both cases they are looked after children and children services has specific duties towards them. If it is decided that your 16 year old will return home, you should ask what support children services are offering her as a child leaving care. Your eldest daughter could be an eligible child or a relevant child in respect of the support she is entitled to receive. A copy of our advice sheet about a child leaving care is here for your further information.

Children services can put forward the care plan for the children but it will be for the judge to make the final decision whether there should be a full care order in respect of the children or not. The solicitor representing you in the care proceedings may already have explained to you his or her view of the evidence and whether the threshold is met for the court to make a care order.

The judge will hear all the evidence and make a decision based on the welfare of the children and what is in their best interests. As you are likely to be opposing the application for care orders, your legal representative will be able to explain to the judge why the children should return to your care, (with support), if necessary.

Children services should have carried out a parenting assessment of you to help them decide if they children could return to your care. If you do not agree with how the assessment was done or if there are inaccuracies, then you must inform your solicitor what you think is wrong with the assessment and why. They need to make sure the judge is made aware of all you have done to make it safe for the children to return to your care. However, it will be the judge who will make the final decision having considered everything.

I am sending you a copy of our advice sheet relating to care proceedings which will you give you an idea of how the judge makes his or her final decision at the final hearing.

Normally, children services should try to keep siblings together, unless it is not the child’s best interests for this to happen. It will depend on the particular needs of each child, you can of course, through your legal representative, let the judge know how you feel about this separation of the children.

You have mentioned in your post that one child is to go to an aunt which suggests that she has already been assessed by children services as a permanent long term carer. Have you as parents been ruled out to care for the children following assessments done by children services? It is not clear from your post what concerns children services have about your ability to safely care for the children.

Contact with the children will be very important if the judge decides that they cannot return to your care. I suggest that you with your solicitor about contact so he or she can discuss it with children services. Our advice sheet about contact with a child in care will give you more details.

Our advice sheet about the duties the children services have when a child is in the care system will give your more information about what you can expect if care orders are made and the children do not return to live with you.

You may want to speak to an adviser and I suggest that you telephone our free, confidential advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. Monday to Friday.

I hope this is helpful

Best wishes

Suzie

c321
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:31 pm

Re: Don't know what to do,Please help

Post by c321 » Mon Nov 14, 2016 5:19 pm

You need to record every interaction you have with the social workers. If you can catch them contradicting themselves/lying then it could help you in court. You don't have to let them know that they are being recorded. This way it's best because they are likely to let things slip when they don't know.

stassy121
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 7:55 pm

Don't give up.

Post by stassy121 » Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:19 am

I'd like to let everyone know that it is possible to come back from a bad situation.We had our 3 girls removed from our care on the 26th May 2016 and were told that proceedings would only take 26 weeks but they ended up taking 40! Fast forward to the 4th November 2016 and our eldest was allowed home but we were told that our mddle daughter would stay in full time care until she reached the age of 18 and our youngest would be sent to live with her Aunt and Uncle.We were absolutely gutted,we had done everything asked of us by Social Services and couldn't understand how they were coming to these conclusions considering they hadn't done any assessments or carried out any in depth discussions with our children.We found ourselves without a Social Worker for 3 months and went through many more during this process causing us to become very concerned at the lack of input and consistancy from them.Christmas of 2016 was very bleak and heart breaking as we weren't allowed any contact with our younger 2 children,not even a phone call but we painted smiles on our faces and did our best for our eldest daughter.Fast forward again to February 2017 a week before we were due to go to court for the final hearing and we have 2 Social Workers sat in our lounge telling us that they hadn't changed the plans for our youngest 2 children even though they couldn't give us good reasons for not changing their minds when we questioned them.It took all of our strength to keep calm and compossed but somehow we did.The day of court arrived and we were dreading it as,as far as we knew,the outcome had already been determined and this was just a formality but we walked through the doors and joined our solicitors for a pre-ruling discussion.To our utter relief and surprise we were told that Social Services had completely changed their minds and our girls would be home later that day.We went in to the courtroom for the Judge to make her ruling and make it official.Whilst there the Judge told us how pleased she was for us and that she was impressed with our determination,we actually cried as she was the first person in our whole ordeal who had actually seen us as parents who had lost their way unlike the many Social Workers we had along the way who judged us without even getting to know us.Later that day our beautiful girls came home and our family was once again whole.It's been more than a year now and we find ourselves in the position of being able to make some very serious complaints against Social Services due to some of the outrageous lies they had told throughout them being in our lives.These can be proved thanks to the recordings we did and all the notes we made during our ordeal.We never gave up fighting for our girls and we won so we know that it is possible.Don't let them bully you and remember to stay calm no matter how much they push you as this only gives them means to make you look bad.You can win,we did.xXx.

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

Re: Don't know what to do,Please help

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:01 pm

Dear Stassy121,

Welcome back to the Parent’s forum. Thank you for sharing with us the positive outcome of the care proceedings. I think your post will give other parents hope. The tips you give about record keeping, never giving up fighting, and staying calm when under pressure are also very helpful. After a year of your children being back it seems you can you can now take stock of everything.
Best wishes,
Suzie

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