How relevant is something old?

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apple pie
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2016 3:24 pm

How relevant is something old?

Post by apple pie » Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:55 pm


SS have been involved recently (child in need assessment) as something happened one night whilst me and OH were drunk. Initially SW saw it as a one-off but she has since changed her mind. Here are her reasons:

School have apparently described OH as aggressive, and no 2's behaviour is being blamed on things he might have seen at home. However, there were other bits and pieces supposedly from school that I questioned them on and they were surprised at, so it seems some of this might be fabricated / exaggerated.

The SW refers to an incident 13 years back (before children) in which OH was cautioned for assault. She wants to draw a line between the dots and say it looks like a pattern. Although we said that was a long time ago and different lifestyle then, she seems happy to wave it around as a little flag to prove we are imperfect.

Can she do this? Last time she was around she had me in tears as she went through everything bad which has happened in our relationship, and tried to convince us we were victim and perpetrator. OH is going to move out now, following discussions between us around SS involvement.

The whole vibe of the draft assessment is based on her feelings that the children regularly witness dv, which is not at all true. But when I say this she makes out I'm in denial.

I since met an IDVA who deemed things low risk.

What do I need to do to convince her she's got the wrong end of the stick? Or can I even?


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

Re: How relevant is something old?

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Oct 10, 2016 3:20 pm

Dear apple pie,

I am sorry to hear about children services involvement with your family.

It is good news however, that there is a child in need plan rather than the social worker asking for a child protection conference. This must mean that her assessment of you shows that there is no ongoing risk of domestic violence being witnessed by your children and that you have both been cooperative with her assessment. The Independent domestic violence advocate agrees. She has deemed things as low risk.

Your question was about the social worker relying on a past conviction of assault by your partner to you.

In short, the answer is yes, she can rely on this as evidence of domestic violence happening in the past.
She has linked this with the present because of the recent incident that happened when you were drunk.
She can say due to this and due to the school reporting that your OH had been aggressive, as well as other reports made by the school, that there is evidence leaning towards domestic violence still being an issue.

Your partner has now decided to move out. Is this on the instigation of children services? Is it just while he does a domestic violence intervention course? To find out about these domestic violence courses, your partner could contact Respect.

It is crucially important that both you and dad know what the position is about dad coming to the home. Is he allowed to do this? Can he see the children unsupervised? Is it just for a short while? Or does he have to stay away until he completes domestic violence courses?
A working agreement might be helpful as it can set out what is expected of you. You would need to make sure that you agreed to any conditions before signing or getting legal advice about anything you are unsure of (You can also call our advice line for advice).

Often, when a partner has moved out, children services will ask that he keep away from the family home (in case there is another further incident). They will then monitor this and might expect you to call the police or call them if comes back into the family home.

Normally, you as mum and an alleged victim, would also be expected to attend courses such as the Freedom Programme. This is to make sure you understand the risk of domestic violence to your children. Your children may also be offered support such as play therapy.

You also mention that both of you were drunk when the incident happened. Children services might want you to undergo and assessment in respect of your alcohol use as well.

The social worker's draft assessment recommends that your children become children in need.

A child in need meeting should take place so that a plan of support can be offered to you. Can your IDVA come to the meeting to support you?
The child in need plan should be in writing, saying who will do what and in what timescale. It should be reviewed frequently.
Child in need is with your consent –so you do not have to agree. However, if you decided that you no longer wanted to cooperate, you should ask the social worker what could happen. Sometimes this would mean things being escalated to child protection.

I think you will find our FAQ's about domestic violence and children serviceshelpful. If you have any questions or need further advice, please post again.

Best wishes,

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