section 20 request

Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:05 am

section 20 request

Postby Li123 » Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:32 am

i will start with the current situation and give some historical background

On 1st November 2017 the police were called to my address by a neighbour because they heard an argument taking place in my house. My 14 year old son had been told that my husband had withdrawn permission for him to go on an extra circular trip, don't think the reasons are relevant but his school report said that he needed improvement and more effort and he had taken something from his brother and hidden it so that would cause upset to him bit more complicated than that but a parental decision had been made. He attacked my husband from behind three times and my husband restrained him to stop him doing damage to himself or my husband. I did not see anything and neither did any other member of the household. After the restraining my husband left to allow the situation to calm down and not escalate further. The police arrived and ran up the stairs immediately to find my son lieing in his bed holding a bag of frozen peas to the side of his head. My 11 year old daughter had brought them to him as he was alledging that he had been hit by my husband. The argument that the neighbour heard was in actual fact myself and my daughter downstairs just raised voices difference of opinion as my daughter felt it unfair to be asked to contribute to our household 75 pounds per week she is 23 and has full time job having paid no rent up until now as has been at university. Police asked what I had seen nothing nor my daughter nor my other daughter aged 11 who had got peas for her brother he had told her that he had been hit but she had not seen anything. Police officer described my house as being of concern in his report he had been into my teenage sons bedroom only. One room in our house was full of clutter and I accepted that this was a problem but as both my husband and I work full time and have had to administer 6 children this had not been a priority. Our family had been under pressure at this point my husbands brother died suddenly and we were experiencing a few financial pressures. So there was a crisis point in the family. My husband was arrested as he was called by a police officer and voluntarily attended the police station. He was released without charge and returned to the family home some 2 days later. Section 47 enquiries were made I was asked to wake my son up in the morning after the event to speak to the police officer he said there had been an argument and that he had got angry and he had been restrained by my husband. The police asked me to stay at home to be questioned and my three school aged children were questioned at school independently. Social services noted that my daughter said she had been told that my husband hit her brother. Also that my children worried about me working hard for the family and they would like a clear home. I took this on board and took time to decluttering totally. So my husband returned home and we tried to speak to our son and I had politely asked him to leave his woodworking equipment in the shed a precaution as there had been an incident. He told me he was leaving and he left my house. I have not spoken to my parents in many years I was abused as a child by my father and there is an acrimonious relationship because my eldest son now 24 chose to go to my parents if I said no undermining my parenting. I said no to his friends group as they were a bad influence and my mother said yes and this resulted in him being arrested and band from a football ground. I have tried to maintain a relationship for my children as I felt this was important, however my father is70 frail with Parkinson's and my mother 70 also an insulin dependant diabetic who recently was involved in a horrific car accident. So my father came to collect my son and he has remained in their care ever since. They informed the school on th Monday morning that following the event of 1st November in the family home that h would now be living with them and he needed a bus pass to get to school. This was issued by th school with no consultation with me or my husband who have parental responsibility. 22nd November we attended a child protection conference and the decision to place my 3 youngest children on a child protection plan had already been taken a plan was already drawn up and delivered. The plan had two points on it home needed to be decluttered and my husband to stress management. A key worker was allocated. I requested that the suitability of my parents looking after my son be looked at and requested section 20 as a place of safety. This request has been denied. The social workers have lied to say they visited me and I refused entry but I was in and nobody came yo door. They say they rang but my phone records indicate differently. The plan contained 105 factual errors and I have not had contact with my son now since November. He requires medication and I text my father but he replies talk to the social worker or police. Social worker does not return my calls what can I do. I requested section 20 but they have said in writing that they will support my son staying with maternal grandparents despite me sharing my own abuse what can I do please. To complicate matters there was a domestic abuse allegation in 2000 but it was sorted out we have had relationship counselling and no incidents since then. As a mother I feel helpless I have complained to social services as no support of value been added to my family and my two younger children's views or wishes don't count

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 1852
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: section 20 request

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:24 pm

Dear Li123

Welcome to the Board.

I am sorry to hear that you are having a difficult time at the moment and from what you have written it seems that your son and your husband have had a difficult relationship of late, you’ve had a bereavement in your family and financial difficulties: it all sounds stressful.

In relation to your children being on a child protection plan from what you’ve written, it seems that an initial child protection case conference could have only concluded in a child protection plan, this however cannot be decided before the meeting. From what you say parent and child disagreements in your home do not ‘end in violence’ (as your son perceived it) but your husband did have a physical altercation with him and this type of incident usually leads to a child protection plan being made: this added to your daughter expressing some worry and the condition of your home are sufficient reasons to concern the local authority. In relation to the social worker’s report to the conference (the assessment) I should say that because you’ve noticed many errors, you should write a note or addendum to her/him informing them about the factual errors and asking them to put your note in your file. I suggest too that you advise the chair of the child protection conference that you have sent a document to the social worker.

Regarding the social worker not returning your calls, I suggest that you document the dates and times that you contact him/her and after a few attempts contact his/her manager and ask that they give you a reason for the lack of communication.

In relation to child protection, our advice sheet about Child protection procedures will be useful to you as would a document called Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015, please start reading from page 39. I would also recommend that you look closely at what is written in the child protection plan and at the first Review Conference point out what you have already done to allay the concerns of the local authority.

In relation to section 20 accommodation and your wanting your son removed from his grandparents care. I think you should ask the social worker when and if they assessed your parents as suitable carers for your son. The social workers may say, however, that when your son was removed from your care it was a private arrangement between you and your father. In your post you said that your father came to collect your son, at whose request was this actioned? However, now it may be likely that your son wants to stay with his grandparents – any social worker would ‘respect’ a 14 year old’s wishes and feelings in such a matter – as long as the environment was ‘safe’. You should ask the social worker about contact with your son, we have an advice sheet called Contact with children accommodated by Children’s Services you may find some useful information in it.

In the matter relating to the school issuing a bus pass to your parents for your son, do ask them for their policies about this and whether they require parental consent to issue passes for children.

I hope that this information is useful.

Best wishes


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