Social services bias and inexperienced

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Jodo
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 7:55 pm

Social services bias and inexperienced

Post by Jodo » Wed Mar 11, 2020 3:03 am

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Jodo
Bias social services, what can we do?


Hi there,
ADVICE REQUIRED ON WHAT TO DO NEXT.
My partner and I live together. He has been fighting to have contact with his now 10 year old daughter for the past 2 years. The ex and mother of his daughter stopped him seeing her over a financial dispute. The courts have since decided that she has no claim to this money and rightly so, as she was branded an opportunist by the judge. ( we have several historical e mails from her confirming she was stopping contact forever for purely financial reasons . She has even recently admitted this to my partners barrister , alongside a witness solicitor, just before the last court hearing!). The two court cases, land registry and family court have been running alongside one another for the past 2 years (until the property case was concluded in January ).
Over this period of time the mother has used spurious and serious unfound allegations about myself, my son and my partner in an attempt to prevent contact. We are now up to our 6th court hearing.
During the process my partner has been granted contact by the courts on every occasion but it is always jeopardised by the mother . Her current ploy is to brainwash the child against him despite the fact that they had a fantastic relationship before all this happened .
Despite the mother s history of cancelling and curtailing contact at times and then bombarding my partner with texts and complaints after every contact, he previously saw his daughter regularly, ( every weekend). She also had a very close relationship with me. She never wanted to go back home and she was definitely a daddy' s girl. Despite the mothers constant demands for money, cash in hand for child maintenance and emotional blackmail my partner had accepted this behaviour to keep the peace and see his daughter.
Unfortunately that wasn't enough. She removed all contact anyway. This was mainly financially motivated but it also coincided with us getting engaged. Our wedding is planned for this June.The behaviour and lies got so bad that he made an official police report and a warning was delivered to her by hand to her at her home. She even twisted this and takes no responsibility for her behaviour. She even attempted to break into his house.
My partner did not see or have any contact from his daughter from April 2018 ( when he put his house up for sale) until July last year after the first court hearing. However it is sporadic to say the least, despite repeated warnings by the judge to the mother at every hearing. Cafcass had her sussed, so much so that they requested social services become involved as there was a risk to the childs emotional wellbeing and a change of residence may be appropriate. Here lies our problem.
The experienced male social worker came to see us and it was obvious that , based on information in his posession, he was aware of the tricks her mother was up to and informed us he would be investigating.He had not yet interviewed the mother. The mother then objected to a male social worker and requested a female. This not only delayed matters but meant that as they were struggling to allocate a female they put a newly qualified social worker in charge. She seems to have had the wool pulled over her eyes and is accepting everything the mother says. The child is physically well looked after and has been interviewed several times by this social worker. Her mother has filled almost every day of her daughters life with extra activities to the extent that there is little time to fit my partner in. She was warned by the judge not to add in any more activities so, instead she has promoted her daughter spending every Saturday with her ( the mothers) boyfriend. My partner has contact for 3/4 hours every other Sunday. Initially it was every weekend , as directed by the judge, on either Saturday or Sunday but this has been reduced by the mother to what we have now. He is very low in the pecking order, even behind the boyfriends parents. Unfortunately the mothers brainwashing and controlling seems to be working . Despite the child arranging additional contact with her father (during their usual Wednesday phone call ) for every second Monday in between, as agreed in the last court hearing, she then cancels saying she did not agree , presumably after speaking with her mother. She asks her father why he is making her do things she doesn t want to do. Whilst I consider the child is afraid of her mothers reactions ( as has happened historically) I also think she has made these decisions based on misinformation and lack of routine contact. The mother has agreed in court every time to promote contact but we know she is doing the opposite! The mother has a history of mental health problems and anger management issues but this also seems to have been brushed under the carpet. We have gleaned that the cafcass officer is still in agreement with us, that the mother is controlling the child.
Apologies for the long post , however I will get to my question now. Should we make an official complaint regarding the handling of this case by social services? The social worker and her supervisor attended court at the last hearing and spent pre court time in the waiting room laughing and joking with the mother and her family?
The social worker also told us "off the record " that she had had similar issues with her daughter, presumably she was the parent with care.
Surely neither of these actions are objective or unbias?
We have seen the social services report and it is in our solicitors opinion, contradictory and we consider, of little substance.
The child is now considered a child in need and my partner attended a CIN meeting at the school last Friday , alongside social services and the school safeguarding officer. Her mother was to have separate meeting. (The mother moved her daughter to another school last year without her father's knowledge after she found out he attended a parents evening at the previous school , where he was informed that they were concerned about his daughter as her attendance was poor, she was falling behind in schoolwork and was sad because she was missing her dad!) Her mother denied all this .The child in need meeting was brief and my partner did not feel his voice was heard. On entering the building he saw the child's maternal grandparents leaving, presumably having attended a similar meeting. No one in my partners family who have contact with his daughter , including myself ,have been invited to attend a meeting.
The social worker was listening to what my partner had to say but was basically saying he had to accept the fortnightly contact, as it was what his daughter wants. It is what shes been told she wants by her mother in our opinion.
Whist we accept that it is all about the child , my partner is being prevented from rekindling his previously very close relationship with his daughter by the limited time he gets to spend with her. That alongside the fact that her mother has lied to her about why contact stopped, witheld Birthday presents posted recorded delivery to his daughter (when there was no contact at all) and has involved her daughter in adult issues. She asked her dad if her mum s money would go down if she stayed overnight with him ! His daughter has also used adult language during discussions around contact . My partner has never discussed with her what is going on, as he wants his time with her to be a carefree time, unlike the mother who obviously does discuss courts etc with her ! This is a competition or a game to her mother with no consideration for her daughters emotional welfare. I could write a book on the straws the mother has grasped to prevent contact., including lying about my son attempting to kill himself ! Now she thinks the social workers are her friends and it appears she may be right !!
May i also add, that when contact does take place it always goes well. There are lots of cuddles, laughs and chatting. Sometimes she appears a little nervous to start but soon relaxes and has fun.
PLEASE HELP .
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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 2632
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Social services bias and inexperienced

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:42 pm

Dear Jodo,

Welcome to the Parents Forum. I am Suzie FRG’s online adviser.

I can see that your post mainly concerns private law proceedings which are not within the remit of Family Rights Group. However, I can give some brief advice on some of the questions you have asked about the social worker's role.

I can see that there is a dispute around how much contact your partner has with his daughter. Children services appear to have been asked to prepare a section 37 Children Act report, is that right? If so, this means the court must have been worried that your partner’s daughter is suffering or at risk of suffering significant harm and thinks it may be appropriate for a care or supervision order to be made in respect of your partners daughter and had asked children services to investigate.
Your partner has the report now. It seems children services have recommended that his daughter be made a child in need and meetings are taking place.
Here is information about the child in need status of your partner's daughter which you might find helpful.

You ask about making a complaint against the social worker. You are concerned that she is biased because of comments she has made about her own personal circumstances, how she is with the maternal family and because dad feels his voice is not being heard.

First, you would need to check with your local authority complaints procedure whether in fact he can make a complaint about the social workers role in the court. It may be that no complaint can be lodged when there are court proceedings as any disagreement could be resolved within the court proceedings. For example, the social worker could be asked to file an addendum report to address any issues missing or could be called to go in the witness box. Secondly, before any complaint is made, your partner should check first with his solicitor whether it is the best thing to do.

You say your partner is struggling to get his voice heard. Here are some tips
to help him deal with the social worker which also links to questions about making complaints.

I hope this advice helps.

If you need further advice about children services, please post again.
Best wishes,

Suzie

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