need advice. let me be a dad

newman92
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:28 am

need advice. let me be a dad

Postby newman92 » Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:38 pm

Hi im a 25 year old male, me and my partner are expecting our 1st child. I'll give you the background story first. When I was 13 I was arrested for a sexual crime on a young girl, I'm not on the sex offenders register or have any other sexual crimes on my record, My partner had a very bad start in life which resulted in her turning to drugs, we first met she was injecting and had a bad addiction, in the last two years I have helped and supported here and now been cleen for a year and a half. The social services got involved because of my partner being in care as a child but started digging on me, thay have told my partner my offence and as can be expected was a shock, we sat and spoke and agreed it was so long ago and I was a child we can work thrue it and be a family. The social on the other hand seem to think that im a massive risk and advised her to move out and have no contact with me, because she was in care she is doing everything they say in fear of losing our unborn baby, they have advised her to not put my name on the birth certificate which shouldn't even be discussed and shouldn't effect what happens to the child. Thay have spoke very little to me but loads to my partner trying to get her in mother and baby unit's. I believe they are trying to push me out as im the provider. We have since had difficulty with the pregnancy and I've been told that I can't attend the hospital appointments or the birth. I believe thay want to get me out the way so thay can try to take our child of my partner for her past im seeking legal advice but it takes time. Can anyone help or give any advice ?

newman92
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:28 am

Re: need advice. let me be a dad

Postby newman92 » Sun Feb 05, 2017 10:29 pm

newman92 wrote:Hi im a 25 year old male, me and my partner are expecting our 1st child. I'll give you the background story first. When I was 13 I was arrested for a sexual crime on a young girl, I'm not on the sex offenders register or have any other sexual crimes on my record, My partner had a very bad start in life which resulted in her turning to drugs, we first met she was injecting and had a bad addiction, in the last two years I have helped and supported here and now been cleen for a year and a half. The social services got involved because of my partner being in care as a child but started digging on me, thay have told my partner my offence and as can be expected was a shock, we sat and spoke and agreed it was so long ago and I was a child we can work thrue it and be a family. The social on the other hand seem to think that im a massive risk and advised her to move out and have no contact with me, because she was in care she is doing everything they say in fear of losing our unborn baby, they have advised her to not put my name on the birth certificate which shouldn't even be discussed and shouldn't effect what happens to the child. Thay have spoke very little to me but loads to my partner trying to get her in mother and baby unit's. I believe they are trying to push me out as im the provider. We have since had difficulty with the pregnancy and I've been told that I can't attend the hospital appointments or the birth. I believe thay want to get me out the way so thay can try to take our child of my partner for her past im seeking legal advice but it takes time. Can anyone help or give any advice ?

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

Re: need advice. let me be a dad

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Feb 06, 2017 3:01 pm

Dear newman92,

Welcome to the Parents Forum.

I can see that children services are involved with you and your partner due to a number of possible risks to your unborn baby.

Is there a pre- birth child protection plan ?

Mum, with your help, is no longer a drug user-although mum might relapse and her mental health related to drug use are likely to be seen as potential risks. Mum's past history of being in care, will also be considered a risk. She may lack safe support from her family.

Even though you were arrested for a crime against a child when you were only 13, so a child yourself, you will still be seen as potentially very risky to your unborn baby. Children services will only know how risky you are, once you have been properly risk assessed. That might take months.
Until then, they have to assume that you could sexually abuse your baby. They will not take any risks. So your contact with baby will be supervised until they know more about you.

They have asked that you and mum separate until the assessments have been completed. This is completely understandable. Mum would not be able to supervise your contact with baby 24 hours a day. Your assessments are likely to take longer than the time it takes for mum to give birth. So mum does not have any choice.

Because of mum's difficult past, children services want her to be monitored in a mother and baby unit or foster placement. This will be very difficult for mum as she may be supervised day and night. She will be under the microscope. She will be expected to follow advice from the support workers about feeding and caring for baby. She will have to be open and honest with them as well to develop a good relationship.

It is really important that mum gets through this assessment. If she didn’t, then children services are very likely to start
care proceedings to ask the court to decide where baby should live permanently.
However, you should be assessed as well. What happens if mum's assessment fails on her own? You will want to be given a chance to parent your child.

Even if mum did not put your name on the birth certificate, children services should still be working with you and assessing you as you are a “parent”. Ask them about your contact with baby? How will this be managed? Do you have any family or friends who could be assessed to supervise your contact or care for baby if your or mum's assessments was not successful?

Here are some FAQ's for fathers

Have you had any risk assessment at all, since you were 13? If so, make sure copies of these are given to children services. Were you convicted of any offence or did you accept a caution?

To find out about specialist assessment and support, you could contact Stop It Now run by the Lucy Faithful Foundation.

You should also consider seeking advice form a solicitor who specialises in children law. You could also contact our advice line on 0808 801 0366.

I have given you a lot of information so please post back if you have any questions.

Best wishes,

Suzie

newman92
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:28 am

Re: need advice. let me be a dad

Postby newman92 » Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:55 am

I completely understand that the correct assessments need to be done but so far all that has happened is me and my partner have been turned against each other. Let me explain, when this all came to light the s.w straight away advised that I not to be put on the birth certificate which resulted in a minor argument with the two of us, the s.w heard of this and advised that my partner reports it to the police which ended up with me getting arrested. It is a very little offence of calling her to many times. It resulted in me receiving bail conditions one of which was not to contact my partner. In that time I did breach due to their being complications with the pregnancy, my partner wanted to drop the charges but was told if she did it would look bad on her. The s.w wouldn't even let her change the bail conditions to allow me to attend hospital appointments and scans. I pleaded guilty to speed up the bail conditions getting lifted but now the s.w is brainwashing my partner and blackmailing her. I was last at court two weeks ago where I was giving a fine, they tried to give me a restraining order in which I objected and explained its not what she wants. Im at court on the 8th to find out the decision but I already know. Thay rang my partner and said if I g a restraining order then thay won't give our daughter a social worker but if I don't then they will, I believe this is blackmailing and completely unnecessary we love each other and wont to be a family. They keep using her vulnerable state of pregnancy against her. Its that bad we met up at the week end for my birthday and did the deed, my partner started to poor with blood and we both panicked she was more concerned about the social finding out that we are still communicating then the welfare of our child. Both baby and mother are fine at the minute but don't need anymore stress from the social.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 1687
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: need advice. let me be a dad

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:46 am

Dear Newman92,

Thank you for providing more information.

It must have been very concerning when mum started bleeding but I’m pleased she and baby are well now. I hope she sought any medical attention that she might have needed.

I am concerned that you and mum are meeting up without the knowledge of the social worker and potentially in breach of any ongoing conditions in your criminal case. Do you have a written agreement with children’s services (the new name for social services) that you will not have contact with mum? Or is there a pre-birth child protection plan and it is a part of that?

Either way, I would urge you to be completely open and honest with the social worker about any contact you are having with mum. Children’s services need to know that they can trust you and work with you to reach a safe outcome for your baby. If you are not open with them and they subsequently find out that you or mum have withheld information from them or misled them, children’s services may feel that they have to escalate their involvement to ensure that the baby is safe once born. For example, they may consider starting care proceedings (please see the link to the advice sheet in my last post) and ask the Family Court to consider making an order to ensure your baby is protected and safe; this could include them asking the court to allow the baby to be removed from your/mum’s care. If you are honest with the social worker and acknowledge that you’ve done something you shouldn’t have but you realise it was a mistake, it shows that you are committed to working with them for the good of your baby. Just ignoring any agreement (or your bail conditions) isn’t going to work.

It’s unclear from your posts what exact involvement children’s services have, that is whether it’s Child in Need or Child Protection, and as mentioned above, whether there is pre-birth child protection plan. If you are worried or unhappy about any agreement that is place or about the pre-birth child protection plan, then you should discuss this is the social worker involved. If you are in Child Protection, you could also discuss these issues with the Chair of the Conference as well as your social worker.

I can see that the social worker is recommending that you are not named as father on the baby’s birth certificate. Presumably the reason she is suggesting that is because that would mean that you do not get parental responsibility that is decision making ability for the baby. Here is a link to our advice sheet on parental responsibility, what it means and how you could apply for it if mum does decide not to put your name on the birth certificate.

Irrespective of whether you have parental responsibility or not, the social worker should ensure that you are involved in the child protection process and if it does progress to care proceedings after the baby is born, you will be fully involved in those too. As I mentioned in my last post, if it does progress to care proceedings you are entitled to legal aid and to have a solicitor to represent you. You should be notified in advance if children’s services are considering care proceedings, should be given a letter before proceedings and have a pre-proceedings meeting.

In terms of assessments, it is important that you fully co-operate with the professionals so that you can best demonstrate that you do not pose a risk to your baby. If you do not work openly with them, you have no way of showing your potential as a father and it is possible they will assume the worst as you haven’t shown otherwise. You should be told what assessments are going to be carried out by children’s services and also how long they will take. If they can’t tell you exact time scales they should say what they want to see happen before they will be satisfied that there is no risk to your baby/the risk can be safely managed.

If you have more questions please do post again or call the advice line on 0808 801 0366.

Best wishes

Suzie


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