Social workers and domestic violence

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A093
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed May 15, 2019 7:33 pm

Social workers and domestic violence

Post by A093 » Sat May 18, 2019 12:28 pm

Hello,
I have read so many peoples stories and some similar to my situation but can't seem to find a direct answer for my family.

I am completely terrified and confused right now.
So my story:

My partner has a history of violence and domestic abuse on record. On 27th April we went away (without children) for his birthday. He got too drunk and assaulted me in our hotel room. He bit my face, pulled my hair out and slammed the door into my arm leaving serious bruising.

Arrested immediately and held on remand. Trial date 24th June 2019. Since being in prison he's signed up to "covaid" which is a programme about alcohol related violence, also a 12 step recovery programme for alcohol. He's also got an appointment with the psychiatric nurse this week and then psychiatrist next month. He's had 3 blood tests and spoken to the doctor who is concerned he may have bipolar. He's currently on medication for PTSD and wasn't taking it regularly until now (since prison). He has already said the medication is making him feel so much better and already changing his way of thinking.

I have also started a parenting course online and waiting to hear about the freedom programme.

So my question is :

A social worker called out as soon as she found out about the whole situation and I was adamant I didn't want to continue the relationship because I was still angry with him. So she agreed to close the case.
Anyway, I've since spoken to my partner and he is showing me he's willing to do anything he can to change and I do believe him. Although he has a history with previous relationships this really was the first time with me and I do believe everyone can change if they truly want to.
I want to continue the relationship. But..
I haven't heard any more from the social worker other than she rang me the other day about a visiting order partner had sent and she said I was "stupid to want to go". So I kept the conversation short as I felt that was rude.

If I continue the relationship and visit my partner in prison what will happen next?
Will it automatically go to a case conference and children go into a protection plan?

Any advice greatfully received.

Kam2019
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:53 am

Re: Social workers and domestic violence

Post by Kam2019 » Mon May 20, 2019 10:59 pm

They will absolutely stay involved what's worrying is u state people can change etc u are no different to all the other partners he has abused and being in a abusive relationship for many years I can assure u they never change I must warn u that children's services have only closed the case because of him first my being in prison that's one protective factor and the other cos u stated u didn't want a relationship with him if u do resume a relationship with him they will be back on your case and this time alot harder because they will see u as putting urself and he children at risk and also when u visit him on prison they will be made aware of this visit

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 2622
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Social workers and domestic violence

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:31 pm

Dear A093

Welcome to the parents’ discussion board and thank you for your post. I am very sorry that we have not been able to respond to you before now due to the current high volume of queries we are receiving. I am also sorry to hear about the difficulties that you and your family are experiencing.

From the information you have provided you were the victim of a very serious assault from your partner. I am sorry to hear that he hurt you.

Luckily the children were not present but will have been affected by this incident as they will have seen your injuries and been worried about you and they will be aware that your partner is no longer home. I don’t know if he is the father of the children or their ages which may have an effect on how they are coping with the situation. The damage caused by domestic violence is specifically included in the legal definition of significant harm to a child. Here is a very brief summary of why children’s services may be worried about the children.

Research shows that domestic violence:

• Can result in children being physically hurt and/or emotionally harmed.
• Often impacts on children’s behaviour and schooling.
• Can affect children of any age.
• Can disrupt your parenting, making it harder for you to parent as well as you would wish.

In addition to his assault on you, your partner has a history of domestic violence in previous relationships. This will be seen as posing a high risk as past violent behaviour can be an indicator of current risk. He may also have alcohol misuse issues and has mental health needs. Each of these issues individually will be a concern if they affect how someone parents or behaves around children. The combination of all of these issues greatly increases the risk.

I am glad to hear that now that your partner is in prison he is engaging with services to address these issues; it is important that he takes responsibility and gets help. While it is a positive, it does not mean that he will not still be seen as a risk. Addressing domestic violence, alcohol misuse and getting the right treatment and support around mental health needs will probably require long-term intervention and commitment from your partner. You mentioned that his trial date is today, 24th June, so decisions will be made in the criminal court about what happens next in relation to the assault.

You have been very open about your change of mind in relation to the possibility of remaining in a relationship with your partner. Initially, children’s services closed the case quite quickly, probably as your partner was in prison and therefore did not pose an immediate threat to you and the children and because you were adamant at that time that the relationship had ended.

Now that you are considering visiting/resuming your relationship this has resulted in children’s services becoming involved again due to a new concern about a potential continued risk to your children. The social worker’s response was badly expressed; you can address this with her/her manager if you wish. It would have been more helpful if the conversation about the visiting order had led to a more open discussion about the implications of this for you and your children. This is going to need to happen.

You query what will happen next. It is not possible to predict exactly what will happen next. This will depend on what you decide to do, the outcome of the criminal case (in terms of sentencing) and any other relevant information. But a resumed relationship could lead to a child protection process. Children’s services are unlikely to share your optimism about your partner’s willingness/ability to change and the timescale for doing this. Their role is to ensure that children are not harmed. They will need to decide how to proceed. They are looking to you to be a protective parent; this also means getting support to be safe yourself. They will be worried that a continuing relationship will place you and the children at risk – how immediate that is will be influenced by what the court decides too. This could lead, as you suggest, to a child protection conference to decide if the children require a child protection plan. Alternatively, if there was no immediate risk of significant harm there could be a child in need plan .

You can ask the social worker/her manager to clarify what they intend to do. It is very important that you hear what their concerns are and what they would like you to do – do not play down the violence or risk of it happening again and do make it clear that you are going to keep up the parenting course and develop your awareness of domestic violence by taking part in the Freedom programme.

It is a good idea for you to think about how any decisions you make will affect the children and the involvement you may have with children’s services. Do get help from a specialist domestic violence support worker if you can.

You may find this domestic violence leaflet helpful as well as our advice sheets on child protection and family support .

If you would like to discuss your situation with an adviser please ring the freephone helpline on 0808 8010366, Mon – Fri 9.30 to 3.00 p.m.

With best wishes

Suzie

Ash26
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:39 pm

Re: Social workers and domestic violence

Post by Ash26 » Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:24 pm

They will absolutely not let you keep your children and maintain a relationship with a violent man.

The social services or family courts don't work in the same way criminal courts and the justice system do, they don't work with the idea that a prison sentence means that the debt has been paid to society they can change and the perpetrator should be reintergrated into society. Basically it's almost like if you have a violent past particularly regarding domestic abuse then you may aswel be castrated and these children are to be left fatherless. They don't have the resources to help people and families with course referrals etc etc so they work with risk aversion tactics and follow the care proceedings process because realistically it protects their job and potentially protects the child from the risk of harm. It doesn't matter that children are significantly harmed in care or by the whole process or that families are destroyed. I understand the reasoning by it tho, women and children do get seriously harmed and even die from cases of DV. They take the most brutal option of removing children and see it as the lesser evil which is mind boggling to me. Nothing will change until children come back after being abused in care or something. The resources are just not available for these men and families to get help and work towards betterment. It's incredible this happens tbh. But if i were you , having been through very similar myself would be just leave ur ex to it, he needs to show significant change and jump through hoops to even get half a chance at getting a chance...even then its unlikely, they expect you to put ur kids welfare first but don't take into account that love is a very real and painful thing so expect it to be easy and offer little support or understanding for the process.

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