Should Social Services be keeping both parents in the loop?

Post Reply
SorryFather
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:32 pm

Should Social Services be keeping both parents in the loop?

Post by SorryFather » Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:05 am

Hi all

After a DV issue, I was served a DVPO and as a result could not go home or speak at all to my wife. Social services are involved and I have been risk assessed as to whether I could have unsupervised access to my children. They kindly allowed unsupervised access.

Are social workers not supposed to keep me updated on what's going on? It's just that other than my risk assessment, I have not heard anyting from them. I have reached out to ask what I can do in the meantime and they haven't recommended anything.

Once the DVPO expires, do I just go home and everything is fine?

I have searched but cannot find a guide anywhere which clearly states the process SS follow and how they involve all parents concerned. If someone has a link, please could you post it so I can start reading it.

Many thanks all

User avatar
Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 2123
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Should Social Services be keeping both parents in the loop?

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:25 pm

Dear Sorryfather

Welcome to the parents’ discussion board and thank you for your post. My name is Suzie, FRG’s online adviser.

I understand that children’s services have become involved with your family because of domestic violence and you are currently living apart from your family as you are subject to a domestic violence prevention order (DVPO).

You state that you have been risk-assessed by children’s services who have allowed you to have unsupervised access with your children but otherwise you have had no further information or update from them.

As the DVPO was issued to protect your partner from violence or the threat of violence I hope that there are safe contact arrangements in place so that your partner is not put at any risk when you see the children.

You are right that as the children’s father you should be involved in any assessment the social worker is doing of the children’s needs. The assessment can take up to 45 working days to complete so may be ongoing but you should be part of that assessment. You could also be offered information about what you can do in the meantime which you are asking about. You could contact Respect to find out about domestic violence perpetrator courses in your area. They also work to help fathers understand how domestic violence affects their children.

Do you feel that you need support with any other difficulties you may be experiencing? If so, it is a good idea to try to get help with them too. Your GP may be able to refer you to appropriate services and again the social worker’s assessment should reflect any other issues which may affect your parenting and make recommendations about what might be needed.

Depending on the outcome of the assessment, it is likely that a social worker may want to continue working with your family under a child in need plan or, if the children are considered to be at risk of significant harm, a child protection plan could be implemented.

It is very important that you discuss any plans to return home with children’s services before doing so as if they are concerned that this would put your partner and your children at risk of harm they may not agree with this. If they were seriously concerned they could may apply to court to remove your children instead in order to safeguard them. So make sure that any changes to the current situation are done in a planned way and in consultation with children’s services.

You sound as if you regret what happened, you are trying to find out what you can do and you want to be properly involved in any plans for your children. Do keep trying to stay in touch with the social worker so that you can work with them to make sure that any concerns are addressed and that the children are safe. Do make sure that you receive a written copy of any assessment.

We have developed a range of FAQs on domestic violence for fathers which I hope which help you. They cover some of the queries you have and offer some tips if you are having problems so do have a read.

Please do post back if you need to or if you would like to speak to an adviser you can call the Freephone advice helpline Mon- Fri 9.30 am to 3.00 pm on 0808 8010366.

With best wishes

Suzie

SorryFather
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:32 pm

Re: Should Social Services be keeping both parents in the loop?

Post by SorryFather » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:37 am

Dear Suzie. Thanks for your very informative advice. I do have a few followup questions if you could kindly answer - I've tried the helpline several times but its always busy

1. I haven't been told but should I assume it's a section 47 assessment they are doing?

2. Shall I request a written copy of my assessment now or do you mean the final assessment after the 45 days are completed?

3. I've already spoken with Relate, Mind and Respect. They suggested some courses and I'm waiting to be referred.

4. I'm assuming my wife is absolutely fearful of the social workers and therefore has not communicated anything to me. Is it worth at this stage getting a family lawyer in place to assist my wife if she needs any help?

Thanks ever so much

User avatar
Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 2123
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Should Social Services be keeping both parents in the loop?

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:45 pm

Dear SorryFather

Thanks for your further post.

In response to the questions in your post.

In relation to the assessment being carried out the social worker should make it clear exactly what assessment is being done. Good practice requires the social worker to be open and transparent when working with a family. Please read our advice sheet which explains the process when children's services receive a referral.

Once the social worker’s assessment has been completed you should receive a copy of the report. If it is a section 47 assessment then the report will make a recommendation regarding what further action should be taken. For example, whether child in need plans or an initial child protection conference.

It is a positive step that you have contacted services that may be able to help in your situation.

Children’s services should inform you about their involvement and the action that they are taking. Since you refer to your wife, I assume that you have parental responsibility for the children. You can make contact with the social worker and ask yourself to be kept informed.

I am not sure that a family lawyer would be able to offer much assistance at this point since children’s services have not completed their assessment. If you wish to seek advice from a solicitor then that is of course a decision for you.

As suggested previously, do read our frequently asked questions for father in domestic violence. You may also want to read the more general frequently asked questions for fathers on our website.

Should you wish to speak to an adviser about children’s services involvement, you could telephone our free confidential advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday (except Bank Holidays)

I hope this helps.

Best wishes

Suzie

Post Reply