Welcome to the Parents Forum and thank you for posting. I am Suzie, FRG’s online adviser.
I am sorry to hear about the incident that took place and that now your partner is not allowed at your address or to be near your children. I can see how stressful this must be for you, particularly at the moment. I can also see how worried you are about his well-being as he is homeless.
Even so, the most important thing is that you cooperate with children services to show you can keep your children safe. You say there is a plan in place. What does it say should happen if he turns up at your home? Does it say to let the social worker know and call the police? It is very important that you stick to this plan.
If you did not follow the plan and the social worker found out then she would be concerned about the safety of your children.
You should also be honest with the social worker about how you are feeling. It is normal to feel like this-that it is a one off and won’t happen again. However, this might not be the case, and if there was a further incident, this could put your children at risk.
Here are some FAQ's about domestic violence and children services
which you might find helpful.
Ask the social worker how long your partner should stay away, what to do if he turns up and whether they are advising him to seek support for his behaviour.
Ask how long will they be involved and what else do you need to do to keep your children safe.
From children services perspective, they have to assume the worst about your partner, (that he is high risk to your children) until they know otherwise.
I assume the police will have advised him about support and courses he could do to deal with his risky behaviour.
It sounds like children service have only just become involved, is that right? The plan should set out what support will be offered.
Your main worry, understandably, is about whether your children could be removed from you. This can only happen if you agreed to it or if children services obtained an order from the court giving them the legal parental responsibility to remove your children such as an
interim care order
or an emergency protection order.
In respect of any court application, you would be entitled to a free solicitor and the court would only make an order in an emergency, if your children were in imminent danger and could not remain safely with you.
Removal of children from their main carer would be a last resort. The court would expect children services to consider other ways that your children could be kept safe while remaining with you such as you going into a refuge, if available, or you all staying with a family member who had been assessed to protect your children. The court would have expected you to be given a domestic violence support or a number that can help you access it.
If the court granted an order to remove your children then the law says children should go first to other parents (such as dad) or with connected people (relatives and friends before unrelated foster carers).
The social worker is there to support you to look after your children. The most important thing is working with the social worker. People make mistakes and if this happened the most important thing is to be honest about it. Talk to her if you do not understand anything and follow the plan. Then any court application is very unlikely.
For further expert advice you could also call the 24 hour domestic violence helpline on 0808 247 2000.
If you have any questions or want to discuss your situation in depth and confidentially please call our advice line on 0808 801 0366 or post again.