I need help and advice, please don't judge me

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Vamp2608
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:49 am

I need help and advice, please don't judge me

Post by Vamp2608 » Sun Feb 04, 2018 6:43 pm

I have a 9 year old daughter who I lost in a custody battle with her dad in Aug 2016, thank to SS lying in court, and, in part, my depression, and I hit my daughter and received a caution from the police for it. I left her with a single bruise, I know it doesn't justify what I did, and I will forever beat myself up for it. I was awarded from the judge visitation rights of half the holidays, tea visits on weds and 6 out of 10 weekends.

Since May last year, I haven't seen my daughter as her dad her that I wouldn't sign a "no smacking agreement" from SS (which is true) but I only refused to sign it until they gave me strategies to deal with her challenging behaviour, and they asked me when they were 1st involved, 2 years previously. So my daughter went into school that day, told the teachers that she was scared I was going to hit her, so they rung SS, and I haven't seen my daughter since.

I have worked with SS, done everything they have said, had meetings, been beaten over the head with whatever stick they wanted (metaphorically speaking) and still nothing. My daughter's stepmum works at my daughters school, so believe that she is in the meetings my daughter has with SS, but SS will not confirm or deny who is in the meetings.

This is just a potted version, there is sooooo much more, I am absolutely heartbroken and I miss her every day. What can I do??

Vamp

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 2157
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: I need help and advice, please don't judge me

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:48 pm

Dear Vamp2608

Welcome to the parents’ discussion forum. I am sorry that you have been unable to see your daughter for such a long time.

It appears from your post that a child arrangement order was made in favour of your daughter’s father for her to live with him but also an order that you should have specified contact.

The onus is on your daughter’s father to adhere to the child arrangement order for contact and his failure to do so means he is breach of a court order. It is possible for you to apply to the court to enforce the order so that you can resume contact with your daughter.

You have mentioned your depression and I wonder if this is now being managed by medication or other support from mental health services. If not, it might be helpful for you to seek advice and assistance from your GP or local mental health services to ensure that you are in a much better place to cope with your daughter and her behaviour.

Do you feel unable to discipline your daughter without smacking her? You are unwilling to sign a no smacking agreement so this seems to suggest that you feel you cannot manage her behaviour. Does your daughter have any special needs or diagnosis that may affect the way she behaves? Perhaps you could contact the Challenging Behaviour Foundation for strategies to help you cope with her behaviour.

It is not clear from your post why children’s services (new name for social services)are still involved now that your daughter is living with her father. Do they still have concerns about your daughter’s care even though she is in her father’s care? Your post does not make it clear why meetings are necessary but, as you are a parent with parental responsibility, children’s services should invite you to meetings relating to your daughter. If you do not attend a meeting then you should be provided with minutes of the meeting so you know what was discussed? Your daughter’s stepmother should not be involved in meetings as she does not have parental responsibility (unless she has acquired this as a named person in the child arrangement order). I suggest you also ask the school why you are not invited to meeting relating to your daughter.

Should you decide to make an application to the court about enforcing the court order for contact, you might find it helpful to contact Coram Children’s Legal Centre for advice. Please note, this organisation does not provide advice to persons who already have a solicitor representing them.

You may wish to post again giving more details about children’s services involvement or, alternatively, telephone our advice line on 0808 801 0366 for advice relating to children’s services. The advice line is open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday. Our service advises on public law matters where children’s services are actually involved with families and children.

I hope you find this helpful.

Best wishes

Suzie

Vamp2608
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:49 am

Re: I need help and advice, please don't judge me

Post by Vamp2608 » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:52 am

Hi Suzie

Thanks for your reply, in answer to some of your questions, I had antenatal depression whilst I was pregnant with my daughter, which after her dad left me when she was 8 months old, turned into clinical depression, I am on meds for it and am very stable, monitored regularly.

I only smacked my daughter once which was 3 years ago and believe me, I would never do it again. I just want SS to help me find other ways to deal with my daughters behaviour as I had tried everything I could think of, and yet, I felt I was still failing her. I believe she has adhd and yet I was bounced from pillar to post and no-one would take me seriously. I wasn't unwilling to sign the agreement, I just wanted them to help me, yet, in my naivety, I felt if I signed it, they wouldn't get me parenting courses but I completed the parenting course and was never asked to sign the agreement again.

I have spoken to my daughter's school and they have been told by SS that they are not to contact me or involve me in any meetings. As you can imagine, I am livid but my SW appears to be refusing to reply to e-mails at the moment but I will try ringing her next week, I prefer to do things in writing as my previous SW lied to my solicitor, lied to the judge in the custody hearing etc so I have a complete mistrust.

I honestly do not know where to go with this now, my daughters dad has now moved and will not disclose his new address, despite my solicitor asking for it. Guessing I will have to force this to go back to court but haven't got an address to sent any "papers" to him. SW refuse to give me his address, talk about a no-win situation!! And all this from a man who works for the local constabulary, who refuse to get involved because it is civil.

Vamp xx

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

Re: I need help and advice, please don't judge me

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:06 pm

Dear Vamp2608

Thank you for your updating post.

I see the difficulties you are having relate to your daughter's school not providing information about her to you. You have parental responsibility for your daughter and, as such, you are entitled to have information about her education, health and other major issues. Children's services do not appear to be actively involved regarding any safeguarding issue as you do not mention any child in need or child protection plans.

The issues appear to be private law issues and you really will need to take the matter to court to seek an order to get information relating to your daughter. As previously advised, please contact Coram Children's Legal Centre for advice on private law issues. Just to confirm, you can take the matter back to court even if you do not have the father's address as the court can obtain this information to service documents. He can ask the court that is address should not be disclosed.

Regarding children's services if you are not getting a response, then you should consider making a formal complaint. Please see our advice sheet relating to complaints. Alternatively, you could write to the Director of Children's Services with the concerns that you have.

I hope this helps.

Best wishes

Suzie

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