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Baby taken into foster due to DV.

Posted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 4:11 pm
by Tiffany
So SS have been involved with me and my ex since the first midwife appointment due to both me and ex being in care which to me is discrimination but apperntly to SS its not, even thought the midwife only had that to refer is to SS.
Since then we've had our baby girl and she is now 9momths and I'm expecting again.
SS have my daughter in foster care due to DV in our relationship, but I believe that my daughters social worker is setting me up.
I understand where they are coming from due to the DV side of things but me and my ex haven't been together for about a month, and they took her 2 weeks ago due to emotional abuse, and reason to believe there could be phsycall abuse but have no evidence of this because well it is not happening! They believe that I can't stay away from my ex, yet the only reason I see him is due to my daughter and his bond with her and obviously to let him know about the new pregnancy.
I have never had any bad reports about my parenting as a single mother from anyone, health vistor , doctors and other professionals always praised me when it comes to my parenting and have always stated that I don't need no help with it, but then social are insisting that I go into a mother and baby assement unit, which confuses me, even confused the judge but they are basing it on the fact that I can't stay away from my ex, but when you have a child with that ex and also pregnant again I can't not see him for the babies sake not mine and his. He isn't violent towards me or his daughter, he has an anger but he doesn't ever use pysicall violence, he only shouts abit to much. But to me this is still not a good enough excuse to take a happy, heathly, advance baby girl away from a mum who is out of the relationship they are saying is the problem.
To cut a long story sort, she is on an interim care order and I am due back to court on the 30th. Me and my ex are not allowed to talk to each other under any circumstances over than the pregnancy but it has to go through social but they are making everything inposible, they have lied about both me and ex in court, they have lied to my mum, when a judge wanted to see her they told her that he said she wasn't necessary anymore, they say I was aggressive when police took baby, but police report say I was only crying hysterically. They have said my daughter has been settling into the new foster placement really well but the foster career told me that she isn't. Social basically took **** because I wouldn't sign a safety plan which meant her farther wasn't allowed contact but I didn't do it unless they changed it to him allowed supervised contact by social which they said they would change but never did and took her. They have made up lies saying I'm on drugs, and I abuse alcohol, which is absolute rubbish, because I despise drugs and I haven't drank alcohol since before I got pregnant with my daughter. Saying I have server mental health, no I had postnatal depression which was for like 2 months and now don't have anymore. I don't know what I can do, because even with all the lies somehow social are always right, and I miss my daughter so much and just want her home with me now and I'm worried they will try and take this baby as well.

Re: Baby taken into foster due to DV.

Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 5:29 pm
by Suzie, FRG Adviser
Dear T***,

Welcome to the parents forum.

I am very sorry to hear that your daughter is in foster care and understandably you must be feeling very worried about the courts involvement.

You do not have much time (only 26 weeks) to prove that you can provide safe and “good enough parenting”. At the final hearing, the court will make decisions about where your daughter will live until she is 18. You are right to identify that what the court chooses for your daughter is also likely to influence what will happen to your younger child-when he or she is born.

An interim care order has been granted which means children services now have parental responsibility for your baby daughter which they share with you and dad. Children services should consult you about any decisions they want to make about your daughter although they can overrule you and dad.

]Care proceedings

Care proceedings usually take up to 26 weeks. At the end of the proceedings the court will be making a decision where your daughter will live permanently.
This might be:
• Back with you or dad,
• Any relatives, friends or people in your network (connected persons),
• Long term foster care (this is usually for older children where adoption is not suitable)
• Adoption
26 weeks is only a short time to prove that you can provide safe and “good enough parenting”, and for assessments of family or friends to take place in case your assessment is negative.

Therefore, it is extremely important that you engage with your solicitor about the points you mentioned. If you have not yet done so, go through the social workers report and highlight all the errors-point them out to your solicitor and consider what evidence you have to back up your position.
Also see our advice sheet linked above about care proceedings where there are tips about working with your solicitor.

As well as working with your solicitor, you should also:
• Engage fully with the social worker and the guardian. Go to all the meetings about your daughter. Do not miss contact. If there is a meeting you cannot attend, let the social worker know and why. Can it be re arranged to accommodate you.
• Even though you do not know whether or not dad might be dangerous do not meet with him, as you have been advised not to.
• If dad calls at your home-let the social worker know. If you have to call the police do so. You will be under the spotlight. Everything you now do will be examined. If you meet dad against the advice of children services this will prove their point- that you are putting dad’s needs before your baby. They will say that you cannot keep away from him even though you are being monitored.
• It is up to dad or his solicitor to speak to the social worker about his contact. If you do it on his behalf, they may use this against you.

• It is also crucial that you engage with any support that you have been offered to deal with children services worries about you. If you have not been offered all the support you need, speak to your solicitor.

You said the social worker has the following "concerns":
Domestic violence
Domestic violence support includes counselling via a domestic abuse organisation, the freedom programme-to help you understand the risks of domestic violence to children and the effects on you. Did you need to obtain a non-molestation order? Have you got the support of an independent domestic violence advocate? To find out about support have a look at our
leaflet about domestic violence and children services .
Mental health
Are you agreeing to have your mental health assessed? Speak to your solicitor about this. If you suffer from any mental health problem-which can be caused by the stress of the proceedings, get the support you need. This will show that you are mature enough to treat your health needs which should also help you be a better parent as well.
Drugs and alcohol
Have you been offered testing-which will show you can be drug and alcohol free. If not, while you are under the microscope of the social worker and the court, expect that you might be asked to do a test.

In case the assessments of you are negative, who will look after your daughter if you are not allowed? You indicated that your mum might have already been assessed.
Is there anyone in your network (or dads) such as family and friends who could care for your daughter? Contact them and give their name and contact details to your solicitor.
They do not have to live locally and can in fact live abroad. It can be distant cousins who you may not have even met, for example. This would be a better option than adoption because you would still keep the legal parental responsibility for your daughter amd should still have contact with her.

A Family Group Conference (FGC) may find family and friends who could support you as well as care for your daughter. Has a family group conference taken place? The court would have expected children services to have considered this. If not you could ask for one to be arranged.

Unfortunately, if the court decide that adoption is the only order that will be safe-then you will lose parental responsibility for her and may only have indirect letterbox contact with her until she is an adult.

I have given you a lot of information-more than you asked for. I do not want you to spend all the time showing how the social worker is wrong.
Do spend time, as I have suggested, going through the statements and pointing out the errors and providing evidence to your solicitor. Your solicitor should go through and check that you are getting all the support you need as well.
At all other times remember that you are still being assessed. Show how you are getting the support you need, can work with the professionals including the social worker, will do everything you can to show that you can parent your daughter. You have already shown that you really good parenting skills as shown by the health visitor, GP and social workers report.
I hope this is helpful but if you have any questions then please post again. You could also call our advice line as well on 0808 801 0366.
Other parents might be able to provide their support and share their experiences of what worked.

Best wishes,