Welcome to the parents’ discussion board and thank you for your post. I am sorry that you have not received a response sooner due to the volume of posts we are receiving. I am also sorry to hear of the difficulties you and your family are experiencing.
You are very unhappy with the way children’s services have treated you and your children, who are currently on a child protection plan
. This includes your new baby son. (Congratulations on his birth).
You disagree with the basis for the decisions that have been taken and with how things have been done, which you feel has been without your knowledge or consent.
It must be very hard for you to work with children’s services when you feel so strongly that they have not worked openly and honestly with you. However, it is important for the children’s sake that you are able to let them know what you are unhappy about and why, while at the same time cooperating with the child protection plan. By working with the social worker and the other agencies involved you can make sure that you know what is happening, you can show what you are doing to care for and keep your children safe and you can be as informed as possible about what the worries are for the children.
Sometimes decisions are made about children that relate to incidents/ situations or allegations that happened previously – if the children are still being impacted or at risk in some way because of that situation. However, as parents you should always be given an opportunity to put forward your views, both when you have visits from the social worker or when you attend formal meetings such as a core group
or a child protection conference
. Parents should always be invited and supported to attend conferences (unless that would put someone at risk of harm) and the main meeting that takes place without inviting parents is the strategy meeting
which plans any child protection investigation
. I don’t know if that is the meeting you refer to? You can ask the new social worker to clarify this for you.
When there is a child protection plan there must always be a follow up review conference to decide if the plan should stay in place or not.
There could be a number of reasons why a family are allocated a new social worker so I cannot really confirm why this happened in your case. Hopefully it is a good thing for you and your family that there is a new social worker involved and that you may be able to work better together.
Here are a few suggestions of what might help:
If you or your partner are vulnerable in some way, maybe through health needs or disability, or due to the difficult relationship you are experiencing with children’s services, you could try to find out if there are any advocacy services locally that might be able to help you. It can be difficult to find an advocate
but it is worth seeing if it might be possible. Our advice sheet
may help. You can ask the social worker about this too.
• Here are some tips on working with a social worker
• Here are some tips also on getting ready for a child protection conference
- including how to deal with factually incorrect information in reports.
• If you have support from family or friends you could ask for a family group conference
to be arranged to bring them together to help support you and make a safe plan for the children.
• If you think it is necessary you can consider making a complaint
– but don’t stop keeping to the plan and working with everyone involved.
Just to note, a child protection plan is not an order – if there is any mention of children’s services going to court to seek a court order
then please do get in touch with a solicitor urgently or ring FRG’s Freephone advice line to get some advice.
This information about
might help explain more about what should and what can happen
Maybe you would like to discuss your situation with an adviser ? If so, you can call our Freephone advice line on 0808 8010366 Mon- Fri 9.30 – 3.00 pm.
I hope this helps.
With best wishes