Having Issues with Social Services

toronto1998
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Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:02 pm

Having Issues with Social Services

Postby toronto1998 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:09 pm

Hi,

I have some growing concerns about the CS I am under in my county. My daughter (now 6) has disclosed that she was touched by her mum's boyfriend. The incident happened in August 2017.

The school was informed as well as CS back in September 2017. My daughter has written what he had done and a log has been kept upto date. 2 police forces are involved, 1 of them have No Further Action, but have put the file on the shelf and stated that due to her age it is a slow burner. Basically my daughter could disclose at anytime.

Her mum is in denial and claims nothing happened. There has been 3 months worth of meetings, and still no further forward.

Last Monday I had a visit from the local police, the boyfriend made a complaint against me for harrassment!! One was an email to his employer and a phone call made by me to his employer which i did do on the advice of CS if I had a serious concern. The local police didnt know of my allegation and that the file was sent. They were told and they said "Well thats put his complaint through the floor"

I have stated that her mums boyfriend is a safeguarding issue and mum is still allowed to see her daughter (4 months have now passed since last contact) as long as she is alone. CS have now said that they have no safeguarding issues, despite believing my daughter.

I have really squashed this as not to bore anyone.

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

Re: Having Issues with Social Services

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:38 pm

Dear Toronto,

Welcome to the parents forum.

I am sorry to hear that your daughter may have been sexually abused by mum’s boyfriend. You are understandably concerned that she may still be at risk because mum is still in a relationship with him.

There was a joint investigation by the police and children services. The police did not have enough evidence to take a criminal case against mum’s boyfriend. This does not mean that it didn’t happen. To obtain a criminal conviction they would have to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that the offence was committed. With a child witness and no forensic evidence this may have been difficult to do.

Children services assessment will look at the evidence from a different balance –on the balance of probabilities-so 51% she is at risk to 49% she isn’t. Children’s services assessment will have included assessing mum’s ability to protect your daughter from any safeguarding risks. Does she accept her partners could be dangerous and so not let him have any unsupervised contact with your daughter?
From what you say, this appears to be the case.

Is there any plan such as a child in need plan or child protection plan?
Children services would be expected to “test” mums ability by speaking to your daughter alone and checking whether her boyfriend is coming to the home, for example.

Children services should have also considered what support your daughter might need to understand what happened and to self- protect in the future. For more information about support available have a look at the Parents Protect website .


I hope this advice helps but if post back if you have any questions or you could call our advice line on 0808 801 0366.

Best wishes,

Suzie

toronto1998
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:02 pm

Re: Having Issues with Social Services

Postby toronto1998 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:49 pm

Hi Suzy

Yes, my daughter is on Child in Need and has been since 4th October 2017. I have only just received a C & F Assessment. It has been twisted beyond belief.

All CS seem to be interested in is the emotional state of my daughter and my mental health!! I have never stopped mum seeing our daughter as long as she sees her without him, so far the contact hasn't happened. So I went to my GP (deals with Rape and abuse cases) and explained what had happened, and she stated that due to my daughter already writing and disclosing what had happened that she should not need to be videotaped. Also she has no worries about my mental health state.

[*]How would I go about contact for my daughter with mum without her boyfriend being there.
[*]Social services said they believed her then turned round and said they never said it .
[*]My daughter will not talk to anyone whom she cant trust about what has happened.
[*]She has said it to me (dad) what happen and as wrote it but this to social services isn’t good enough they want video evidence .
[*]My daughter has said she has been left alone with mums boyfriend while she went into a shop to get her presents, but mum is denying everything.
[*]My daughter wont talk much about mum .

All agencies are saying that I am safeguarding my daughter well and to keep it up.

Boyfriend has access to her mums 2 sons and also works with her mum in a residential home with vulnerable adults

End of last meeting CS are looking at escalating to next level whatever that is.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 1988
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Having Issues with Social Services

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:59 pm

Dear Toronto1998,

Thank you for posting back.

I am sorry to hear that the written assessment contain errors. Have you addressed these with the social worker?
In answer to your question about contact between your daughter and her mum, I assume mum knows your position about contact-that you are happy, at this stage for her to have contact as long as her partner is not present.
If not you could clarify this with her.
If she disagrees, then it is up to her(not you) to take the private law court route-which first involves there being a mediation (MIAM) appointment to try and reach an agreement, (unless mediation is not suitable).
For more detailed advice about private family law, you could contact the Child Law Advice Line or Families need Fathers.

You say that all agencies state you are safeguarding your daughter. That is good to hear.
Even so, children services want to escalate your daughter’s case to the next level-which is child protection.
You could ask the social worker set out her reasons in writing so that you can understand why and try and address those reasons.

Reading between the lines, do they think you are not cooperating with their assessment because you are worried about a social workers speaking to your daughter? If so, please look at our FAQ that explains why social workers must see children alone.

The Child protection process is a compulsory process, because it only happens if children services have information which leads them to suspect a child has suffered or is at risk of suffering significant harm and they want to see what support a family needs to safeguard a child. If you did not cooperate with the process, there is the chance that children's services would escalate things towards court proceedings. So it is really important that you cooperate with them.
To understand more, have a look at our information about assessments which links off to child protection enquires.

I hope this advice helps but if you have any questions, please post back or you could call our free and confidential advice line on 0808 801 0366.

Best wishes,

Suzie

toronto1998
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:02 pm

Re: Having Issues with Social Services

Postby toronto1998 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:47 pm

Hi Suzy

Thank you for the reply.

I am breaking this down into sections

Errors in assessment

Just been formed that the previous SW has left her post at the end of December, and a new SW has been appointed (8th Jan) and visited daughter in school, SW has admitted she has not read any paperwork. My daughter has told her that she does not want to see mums boyfriend if he is with her mum. Still awaiting call back from SW should have rang me back last week.

I have said that i am very disappointed in the assessment. SW worried about my mental health! this keeps coming up at meetings, so I went to my GP and she has no issues whatsoever. The GP is concerned that SW are not helping me or supporting me with safeguarding but wants daughter videotaped despite having written and disclosed allegation. The BF has not even been spoken to by Police.

Contact/Safeguarding

Mum is fully aware and are social services that I have not stopped any contact between daughter and mum. It was working fine till April/May when BF started to become more involved and she never asked to collect her or me to drop off. However, after the allegations and due to safeguarding I have said the offer is there still but must be on her own, this was again mentioned by me at all meetings. Mum does not believe her own daughter. I even said that she could have her for tea (in front of SW) and she comments i have two other children to sort! I have made other days but she didnt know what she was doing...No contact by mum. Nothing over xmas at all.

Yes all agencies (police/doctors/school/social services) backing the safeguarding I have put in place. However, SW doesnt see mums BF as a risk!!!!

Don't think its going to get escalated, mum made a comment that daughter looked a tramp, then I get jumped on by SW hence possible escalation. I have always told SW that I am more than happy for them to come to my house. I don't have an issue with Social Services talking to my daughter, never have. I do believe the previous SW was twisting thing to suit my daughters mum.

the meetings are not going anywhere, going round in circles (contact) mum sits there and leaves smelling of roses and i get what feels like a kicking, despite doing exactly what agencies want.

SW say they cannot get involved in contact.

At what stage if there is a stage can Social Services turn round and advise mum ends all contact with bf, as there is evidence that our daughter has written about him touching her.

I understand that Social Services have a responsibility to safeguard and protect children who may be at risk of significant harm. So why haven't they said that he poses a risk to children. oh yes they both work with vulnerable adults as well, and he also has regular contact with my daughters mums 2 sons (they live with their dad).

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Having Issues with Social Services

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:28 pm

Dear toronto1988

Thanks for your further post and apologies for not responding before now. I am sorry to hear that you are still feeling worried and frustrated about the situation.

You have two main concerns:

1. Assessment and current child in need plan for your daughter

As there is now a new social worker involved it is important that you are able to discuss any concerns you have about the assessment of your daughter’s needs with her and also that she talks to you about why she is worried about your mental health. It is good that you are in contact with your GP and that you have discussed the situation with her. You could ask the GP to contact the social worker if you think that would be helpful.

You can also ask the social worker to make sure that any factual errors in the assessment are corrected.

It is good that you are very open to the social worker visiting your home and that you do not object to her speaking to your daughter.

Hopefully, the social worker has been back in touch with you since you posted but if you are still having difficulties, this FAQ : 'I can’t get my social worker to return my calls. What should I do?' might help.

You feel that the child in need meetings aren’t very productive and that you end up being criticised whilst your worries are not properly addressed. This must be very difficult. Perhaps you could ask for a separate meeting with the social worker and her manager to try to move the situation forward. Any concerns about your daughter’s presentation do need to be looked into though so it is best to cooperate with this. There are some tips working with a social worker which might be helpful. Of course, children’s services need to work with you also. It is best to try to find a way of working together to find the best way of supporting your daughter.

2. Contact/safeguarding

This is still an area of concern for you. However, we discussed this in an earlier response and provided links to agencies who can offer you private law advice about contact. As you and your daughter’s mother are her parents with parental responsibility – if you were married or are named on your daughter’s birth certificate - you are the main decision-makers. I think this is why the social worker is saying they cannot get involved in contact currently. This is linked to their assessment of risk which I know that you question. As suggested in an earlier response it might me a good idea to ask the social worker to clarify this further, with reasons, in writing. Only children’s services can fully explain the basis on which they have assessed the level to risk to you.

It is possible to make a complaint if you are really unhappy with how your daughter’s case is being managed. However, sometimes, it can be harder to work with social workers after you have made a complaint especially if your child still has the same social worker. We have some FAQs about complaints which explain more about this.


Do look at the Parents Protect website for more information about help and support available.

With best wishes

Suzie

toronto1998
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:02 pm

Re: Having Issues with Social Services

Postby toronto1998 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:33 pm

Hi Suzy

Many thanks for your reply. I am able to give you an update.

I went down unannounced to the council offices yesterday and met with the new Social Worker. The meeting lasted for over an hour and I must say it was very different to the last SW I had dealings with. She said I came across knowledgeable and even used terminology used in Social Care.

Regarding the assessment

* She said she cannot adjust the assessment as this was the opinions of the previous SW. She did say that she personally she thinks that I am not the abusive person that others who commented say I am. Her comments were I over analyse things instead of taking small steps, I think way head of the possible outcomes, if I am not heard I raise my voice but this is not in an aggressive nor a verbal abusive way, its more out of frustration, which she understands.
* She has no worries about my mental health, she believes that what the previous was trying to get at was "due to the nature of the incident/allegation" how was I coping with it all and was there any thing that I needed.

The SW said that my daughter was a little gem and a beautiful little girl. She said that after her meeting with her and what i had said at our meeting. My daughter had mentioned the same wishes.

I have also asked the new SW to come and visit our home which she has accepted.

Contact

SW stated that they as a dept can not advise that her mum and the alleged abuser split up permanently. I have read and heard that this is not the case. The SW is going out of her way to putting a contact plan in place with stipulations added. This is one of my daughters wishes. The plan is that her mum and our daughter can see each other on their own, and the bf cannot be anywhere near either of them during their contact time. One of the contact times will be a weekend when mum has her brothers with the Bf, this will now become just mum and her children.

SW stated they normally would not get involved in contact as it takes up so much of their time. She decided to do this as the Child in Need meetings seemed to be going round in circles and this was the area that needed help. She also said that as our daughter had said that she did not want mums bf near her or her mum, SW said that she will stipulate and implement as (part of daughters wish)

SW also implied that she believes that he poses a risk, but due to lack of evidence, her hands were tied and that our daughter needs to be videotaped. SW agreed with me that however small the risk is he is still a risk.

One of the complaints will around the non involvement of Adult Social Services as he works with vulnerable adults

toronto1998
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:02 pm

Re: Having Issues with Social Services

Postby toronto1998 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:34 pm

Hi Suzy

*Update*

Had a call from CS for dates to give to daughters mum to agree contact, i specified that as mum had asked for Wednesdays after school that would be ok as our daughters siblings would be there at grandparents. Mum has already agreed. I also said alternative weekends so mum could spend quality time with her children. It was also stipulated that the BF is not to be anywhere near. CS say no because her mum is entitled to a life!! and this is unfair on her.

It now transpires that this "plan" is only for 3 contact sessions. So after this it seems to me that this will go back to square one.

The impression i got was this would be a long term plan to keep daughter safe whilst she saw her mum and brothers, not a 3 week plan.

I Am so upset now, it felt myself and daughter were being listened too, but i guess I am wrong.

now i am lost and confused on where to go next

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Having Issues with Social Services

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:17 pm

Dear Toronto1988

Thank you for your updating post.

It is good to see that you have been able to work with the new social worker and felt you had a good understanding.

I am sorry that the contact arrangements that have been agreed so far are not what you expected. It may be that the social worker wants to see how well contact arrangements work but it there is agreement between you and your daughter’s mother, then children’s services may not want to remain involved long term.

It is important for children to know that their parents are able to work together amicably as seems to be the position you and your daughter’s mother have reached.

My suggestion would be that you try the current arrangements and see how things work out. If your daughter’s mother is happy with the level of contact agreed between you I do not think the social worker should be making a decision that it is too much for her. Do you know if or when your daughter is likely to be removed from the child in need plan? If this was in place because contact could not be agreed, then the social worker is likely to consider whether their involvement is still necessary.

From your post, it is clear that you are unhappy that the current arrangements are not for the long term. How long do you think it should be for? The best thing in the circumstances would be to discuss your concerns with the social worker, you say that you have been able to talk and discuss things with her better than with the previous social worker.

I suggest that you explain why you do not think 3 weeks is a long enough period to be sure that arrangements will continue without incident. At the same time, you need to show why you think your daughter will be adversely affected by the current arrangements not being settled as long term.

If you remain unhappy after discussing the situation with the social worker, you may wish to have a meeting with the team manager to explain your concerns. In the end, it may be that you have consider whether to make a formal complaint about the decision to have the arrangements in place for only 3 weeks.

A copy of our advice sheet relating to complaints has already been sent to you. Please read this to assist you should you decide to make a formal complaint.

I hope this is helpful.

Best wishes

Suzie

toronto1998
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:02 pm

Re: Having Issues with Social Services

Postby toronto1998 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:18 am

Hi Suzy

How long do you think it should be for?

Knowing that the person is still with the daughters’ mum. I would have expected or hoped that this would have been a long term safety plan.

Had a talk with SW last Wednesday whilst the first contact was happening. Due to daughter saying to SW that she does not want him near her or her mum. The plan has changed again!!! Apparently daughters mum has agreed and accepts also understands why the plan is in place, (is she beginning to accept it’s happened??) it now seems and sounded like daughters mum has asked that the child in need Safety Plan be permanent. I think that she has realised that this is the only way she can see her. Our daughter would and has asked if she could see her mum daily and also for her to leave her job and him so she can take her and pick her up from school.

The Child in Need meetings were because of comments made by our daughter and not contact. Her mum stopped the contact and this was minuted. I have con :roll: tinually left the door open so she could see her. Only now since she told the new SW that she doesn’t want him near her or her mum that the SW has thought of this. No meetings have been scheduled since December 13 2017!!!

The SW has accepted my invite to come visit us at home which is happening tomorrow lunch (Wednesday). This is also to help and discuss contact through the safety plan.

The SW has asked me if I would like our daughter to come off the child in need. She also said that it doesn’t mean that the safety plan stops.


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