Welcome to the Parents’ Discussion Forum.
Thank you for your post. My name is Suzie, online adviser at Family Rights Group.
As there is a care order in place for our daughter, this means that children’s services share parental responsibility for your daughter with you and her father. However, children’s services can exercise their parental responsibility over and above the parents. It is children’s service who make decisions about contact and where a child lives under a care order.
Is there a court order for your contact or was it stated in the final care plan.
The court made the decision that your daughter could not be in your care based on the evidence before the court at the time. From your post, you say there were lies and trickery so you did not agree with what was being said about you. It would have been for your legal representatives to ensure that the court was aware of any gaps or incorrect information in the local authority’s evidence. They would also have advised at the conclusion of the hearing if there was ground for an appeal.
I am sending you a copy of our advice sheet
relating to contact with a child in care for your information. This will explain how you go about dealing with contact when your child is in care. Also included here
is a copy of our advice sheet about the duties that children’s services have when a child is in the care system.
It appears that you had a psychiatric assessment during the care proceedings. If there were concerns about the report prepared then the psychiatrist could have been questioned about it at the final hearing. A new assessment would only assist you now if you were seeking to apply to the court for the care order to be discharged. Before making such an application, you would have to ensure that all of the concerns that existed at the time the care order was made are no longer present. The best way to deal with these would be to read the judgement to identify why the judge said your daughter could not live with you and make sure you address each issue. You would have to show evidence to the court of any changes you say have taken place. Our advice sheet
here gives more information about reuniting children with family from care.
The judge may have mentioned that you can go to your daughter’s school by invitation but if this is not in a court order it will be at children’s services discretion. I suggest you speak with the independent reviewing officer (IRO) about this. You should be told about how your daughter is getting on but if you want to go to the school to see her then that could be seen as disruptive for her. You could ask for school reports which can be anonymised. You may wish to make a complaint about the refusal to allow you to visit your daughter's school but if it is not stated in a court order
If you have attended looked after child reviews (LAC) this is where issues of contact can be discussed. If you have not, then you should ask for the minutes of any meeting you missed and to be invited to future meeting.
I hope you find this helpful but if you wish to speak to an adviser, please telephone our advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday.