i need advice re a section 20

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Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 4:50 pm

i need advice re a section 20

Post by christianmum » Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:51 pm

hi all. I need some advice if anyone could help me. I'll explain as briefly as possible and need to be careful wot I say as there a police investigation going on.
I was raised in a satanic cult and was victim of some awful abuse. As an adult I was raped and had a child _____as result of the rape. The cult always agreed when _____ was _____ he would be handed over to them and full custody be given to them. I have since been on the run if you like from them.
However recently some members of cult had found us and had tried approach in the house. I believe they were looking for my son. Luckily he wasn't in. And they left after a bit of an argument. I went over and confronted my family told them to back off and was made subject to a sexual assault. I know now that was wrong but I thought I was protecting my son.
I ended up going to the police with support from my church and told them about the assault and about the possible risk to my children esp my nine yr old son.
I have mental health problems which social care are aware of I have BPD and mpd anxiety and self harm.
The police ended up removing the children that night and they were placed with friends from church and next morning duty social workers came out (my regular social worker was on leave). They said they had concerns regards my sons safety from these people and I agreed to a section 20 placement for him and my___ y rold daughter. My daughter refused to go and threatened to run away. The dept decided the risk to her running away was greater than her being at home and they relented and agreed she could stay with me. I agreed to a section 20 under guarantee that I would see him every day and that he would be able to continue his street dance and judo clubs and attend church (we are practising Christians) he's been accommodated under the section 20 for almost four weeks now. He's not done any of his clubs or Sunday school and contact has been dropped to 3 times a week the social worker said to help him settle. They said that contact was supervised purely as safety measure because of these people from my past and the social worker has made it clear not only to myself by my pastor from church that she hasn't and has never had a problem with my parenting. The police are meeting with social services in three weeks (they have had to drag old interviews up from archives as they initially investigated cult in _____) to assess risks to _____. My social worker has also said that I have complied fully wit everything they have asked of me. I've not self harmed for four weeks I had assessment done by a cpn for my mental health and have been referred to personality disorder network and social services seem happy with that. My little boy has been really upset over not going to church. He really enjoys learning about the faith and misses it terribly. I've been told that the dept refusing to let him go is a breach of his human rights and therefore illegal and they HAVE to accommodate it as he as a child has the right to follow his faith. Could anyone confirm if this is true please. I do have a good relationship with the social worker and don't want to go down court route. I'm trying hard to hold on to the fact that he will be coming home as everything seems positive as it can do under circumstances. I just want to be sure his rights are being respected. Many thanks in advance.

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Re: i need advice re a section 20

Post by ange301126 » Sat Jul 19, 2014 4:36 pm

Dear Chistianmum,The CS have a duty to respect a child's cultural and religious identity and should have made every effort to place him with a christian family who will encourage him to attend church.If he is accommodated in care under an S20,you should know that you can withdraw your agreement and take him home at any time under the rules.
I realise your case is complex.Do you have sole parental responsibility or do you share it with a member of the satanic cult? Did a court order that he should have custody when your son reached his ninth birthday? If not they have no right to him at all whether he was a born a member of the cult regardless of cult traditions etc.Its marvellous what goes on these days with cults, sacrificial rites and so on;I thought all that went out years ago.
Why not try threatening to take him home and they may change his placement?

Keep in touch and read the advice sheets which the FRG provide.You can also use the helpline.In the meantime ask the social worker to put all significant communications in writing.May I ask whether the sw informed you of your right to an advocate before you signed the S20? Also did you sign it willingly or did ther sw coerce you?Were all alternatives considered? I would have thought a change of address possibly to a mother and children's refuge would have been preferable.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: i need advice re a section 20

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Jul 25, 2014 3:18 pm

Dear Christianmum

Welcome to the parent's discussion board. I am sorry to hear that you are going through such a difficult time at the present, but pleased to hear you have the support of close church friends to help you through it. It is also positive to know that with appropiate support your mental health has continued to improve.

Under a section 20 (voluntary care0 agreement you hold parental responsibility. Therefore, they should consider your views and advise you of any changes to the care plan, as well as areas it has not been possible to implement.

What was the reason for the reduction in contact arrangements? Were any other adults assessed and entrusted to take over the supervision of some of the contacts if both you and your children's safety was assessed as being at risk or it was felt that a high level of contact was unsettling for them under the current arrangements? Your children could access advocacy support from Voice.

You are correct in thinking children's religious, cultural, social and leisure needs should be carefully considered in any placement that are identified for them. Have discussions taken place about you being supported with a housing transfer to a different area, for the period of the criminal investigations say under witness protection schemes?

If you have made attempts to speak to the Independent Reviewing Officer about your concerns regarding the care plan so these could be raised at the Looked After Review meeting. If you take steps to address the issues informally, and still feel you are not being treated fairly, can I suggest you consider making a formal complaint.

Best Wishes


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