advice for my sister needed please

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Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:21 pm

advice for my sister needed please

Post by iamjackiequeen » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:14 pm

im posting on behalf of my sister. Long story short, she was with her ex for 8 years had a daughter together, he left them for someone else 3 years ago and things spiralled for her, mental health probs arose, things got so bad debt, etc. her ex hardly saw his daughter or take her to his new gf's house, when he did show up he stayed in my sisters house watching dvds with his daughter. the house became a mess, he never helped my sister when it was obvious she was struggling, he never decorated when he lived there either, things came to a head before christmas when he reported my sister for neglcet, he took photos of the filth and mess for evidence. Social services arrived, made my sister sign a s20 she didnt know what it was and to be honest was in shock at them turning up with poilce no less, basically saying they wouldnt arrest her if she signed.her ex turned up as he was meant to be having his daughter stay for xmas. social services let him take her to his.
fast foward to now, my sister has hardly had contact with social worker, no meetings or case conference, and hardly any contact with her daughter. her ex cuts phone calls short and she has seen her 3 times since december, not at her house ( even though it is spotless she emailed social worker pictures.) no talk of overnight stay either.
what can she do?
i suggested legal advice

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

Re: advice for my sister needed please

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:56 pm

Dear Iamjackiequeen,

Welcome to the Parents Forum.

I am sorry to hear are about your sisters difficulties. It sounds like things had become out of control before Christmas to the extent that children services were worried about the safety of her daughter. They asked her to agree to her daughter being removed from her-section 20 accommodation, and you say she may have been pressurized to sign a section 20 agreement. Were the police considering police protection, if she did not agree? If so, they may have removed and placed with dad this way. You could ask mum what was said at the time or she could discuss the removal with an adviser on our advice line, to see whether it was legal.

Her daughter is now with her father and she has very limited contact. Children services seem to have disappeared, offering no support around contact, for example.

There are 2 ways forward. Mum should consider doing both.

1)Get private law advice
I agree with you, that mum should as soon a possible, seek private law advice about going to court for a child arrangement order for contact/and or residence of her daughter. She could get this advice from the Rights of Women , coram children legal centre or from a solicitor who specialises in family law.

2)Get in touch with the social worker
I think that children services seem to have protected your niece by removing her from mum, due to the concerns you mention, but then have left it for the parents to sort out contact. So there does not appear to be any offer of support for mum.
She should email or telephone the social worker, and ask for a meeting to discuss what children services view is, and show how things have improved for her. She could discuss how contact could be supported and why she thinks it is in her daughter’s best interest for her daughter to return to live with her. She could ask what else she could do to meet her daughter’s needs.
She must ask for a copy of children services assessment , if it has been completed. This will show what children services views are.

If there are errors in the assessment report, she should ask that they are amended and make sure it reflects all the positive changes things about her being a mother and any changed she has made. She should let them know about the difficulies around contact. Can they help?
Because of children services and the police involvement, if mums seeks a court order for contact, for example, the court is likely to want a section 7 report from the social worker. So she should make every effort to work well with the social worker, at this stage-even if she wants to complain about the way her daughter was removed.

Here are some tips to help her work with children services. Could you or another family member support her? Or could she access and advocate?

Why do you think mum appeared to struggle to care for her daughter? You mentioned that she suffered with mental health difficulties and had severe financial difficulties, partly due to the lack of support from dad.
Is she now getting the help and support she needs from mental health services? She needs to be able to take care of her own health needs so that she can care for her daughter. Could she get in touch with her GP or a mental health support organisation like
Mind or Rethink?

These organisations can also offer help around debt or she could go to other support agencies that help people deal with their money problems and get back on their feet.

I hope this helps but please post back or call our advice line on 0808 801 0366.
If mum is under 30, she could ask for advocacy support in contacting children services via our young parents project .
Best wishes,


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Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:39 am

Re: advice for my sister needed please

Post by Chancing » Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:34 pm

Your sister needs to take the lead here. Social work are under no obligation to be involved if your niece is being appropriately cared for.

If your sister wants her back she will have to do all the running.since she signed her daughter over originally. Unwittingly or not.
And she must understand that just leaving it and expecting things to work out will get her nothing.
I reiterate, as far as the social work are concerned your nieces case will be closed.
She is a good home with her dad. There is nothing for them to investigate.
Your sister must take the steps suggested by Suzie and really push, make them listen and show that she is absolutely serious.
Suzie and the legal team can give you all the information And tactics, and your sister may need to prepare for this to get personal and hurtful, so she will need to protect herself.
I really hope that it goes easily and amicably and there is no discrimination towards your sister.
Fingers crossed and all the best.

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Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:21 pm

Re: advice for my sister needed please

Post by iamjackiequeen » Fri Jun 09, 2017 2:31 pm

Hi, first off thankyou for the advice you gave regarding my first post asking for advice for my sister, i told her everything you said.
and sorry i have not posted back in ages but life just got in the way.
well my sister has not seen her daughter now since first weekend in april and not spoken to her on the phone since her birthday 2nd week in april, her ex says her daughter does not want to see her or talk to her on the phone, when she does he will sort it, things are going from bad to worse between the adults BUT the social worker is very mcuh still on the scene,and is due to visit my sister monday with some sort of plan and a way forward , as she agrees this is not going well and will not get any better with time, he is not thinking of the daughters best interests at all, he does not like the fact my sister is turning her life around and that social serives are still invoved, he just wants everybody to fade away into the background never to be seen or heard of again,
any thoughts on what my sister should say or ask for when monday vist happens?

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