Criminal conviction and child services.

Jhay1
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:15 pm

Criminal conviction and child services.

Postby Jhay1 » Fri Nov 06, 2015 3:17 pm

Hi, I have had children's services involved since may.. well that's when the did an initial assessment. Deemed me to be failing in my ability to protect.. I still have my children. This is as a result for my ex husband becoming jealous of the fact i had moved on. My OH has a conviction for assaulting a minor sentences to 16 weeks which was supended for 18 months. Hes never been inside and this is the only wrong thing he did. something which he has been honest about with courts and SS. The conviction is now spent but i know this has no effect where children are conserned. After the initial assessment they said my OH cannot have contact with my children for now which I understand and we are happy to work with them. They then assigned me a SW.. I met them once and never heard nor seen them since... after 3months of contacting SS I eventually found out that the SW had been changed. But it took me a further 2 weeks to find out who the new one was and for them to contact me. Still my OH has not contact with my children. The original assessment said I needed referals to courses so I could pick up on signs of controlling behaviour and violence. I left my children's dad because of those very reasons and they think I'm falling into a pattern... even though the new SW has been more involved I still feel like there's something they are not telling me.. re how to move forward. I have agreed to go on courses and my OH has allowed them to view all in relation to his conviction.. except they don't seem to be doing so.. there has been nothing that has shown up on his record I didn't know. We both understand it's a long process we are in for but don't know how we can urge the SW to obtain his probation records so she can see the steps he took to ensure he wont never to do it again also to speed up for the courses they want me to go on. He's completely remorseful and ashamed of his past. Before SS became involved our family was settled the children happy loved and protected.. now they are confused and not as happy. I have known my OH for years so knew about his past before I met my children's father. He's has never as much as raised his voice to any of us since we first met. He knew once he hurt the minor he did wrong..
How can I progress this as it's causing my children to be unhappy. They want my OH back in our lives as he was before..

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

Re: Criminal conviction and child services.

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Nov 09, 2015 3:20 pm

Dear Jhay1

Thank you for posting again on the Parents’ Discussion Forum.

I am sorry to see that you are still feeling frustrated at the lack of progress being made with Children Services in resolving the issues relating to your partner and him returning home to you and your children.

As Children Services have been involved with your family since May, I think they really should be in a position to give you information about how things are to move forward. Is it the case that because you have not completed the courses they requested you to do, that they feel you are not in a position where you will be able to protect the children and yourself?

I know that you intended to write to Children Services and wonder what information, if any, you received regarding how your case will progress.
It may be that you will have to write to the social work team manager and this time set out the concerns that you have regarding the lack of progress being made. You could also ask for a clear indication of when any work to be done by the social worker will be done and request a specific time frame for this to be done. Explain your concerns about the impact it is having on your family life and your children.

For yourself, you say you agreed to do courses, was the social worker expected to do a referral or was it something you needed to act on and do yourself. I do not think things will move forward at the pace you wish if you have not managed to a course. It is important that you address the concerns about your ability to protect your children and being able to recognise whether you are falling into a pattern with your choice of partners. I understand that you feel very much that you do understand as you separated from your children’s father but there is a lot to be gained from attending courses. Have you contacted your local Women’s Aid or other domestic violence services in your area? If not, I think you should do so as soon as possible so you can have details about courses in your area.

Regarding your partner’s probation records, he may have copies of reports himself and, if not, he can request his records himself. If these will help the situation it might be helpful if he chase up the social worker himself as well to get these records. As he is not in the home and the children are considered to be safe, your case might be less urgent than if the children were considered to be at immediate risk of harm.

You could also raise your concerns at the next CIN meeting. If your partner’s probation officer was not invited to previous meetings, perhaps your partner can ask for him or her to attend. The difficulty that you both have relates to your partner’s past. Children Services has to be satisfied that he does not pose a risk to the children and should therefore carry out a risk assessment. If this has not been done then, you should ask for them to do this.

I am not sure what you think Children Services are not telling you. Assuming that there is a Child in Need Plan, the social worker and you and your partner need to do what is required by the plan in order to move forward. The important thing is to engage and work with Children Services as this way you will have the best outcome for your family. A copy of our advice sheet relating to family support in here for your information.

If you feel that Children Services have not acted appropriately or failed follow procedures, it is open to you to make a formal complaint and I have included a copy of our advice sheet about challenging decisions for your further information.

Should you wish to speak to an Adviser, please do telephone our advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. Monday to Friday.

I hope you will find this helpful.

Best wishes

Suzie

Jhay1
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:15 pm

Re: Criminal conviction and child services.

Postby Jhay1 » Wed Nov 11, 2015 11:55 am

There should have been referals for me to attend courses made before the summer holidays. I had contacted the organisations that i should have been referred to. I have repeatedly requested my social worker to do those referals as I know and understand how they would help me in future. My partner lives in the next county from me and had only had contact from my social worker so she could have his permission to share with me his criminal record which to date I already knew. So of no surprise at all. I have also asked her several times to obtain his probation reports so she has better understanding of what happened after his conviction. My partner has no idea how he can obtain his own records so hasnt been able to get them, he would habe done by now otherwise, so advice on how he can obtain them would be greatly appreciated. I have also asked for all information that is on record with children's services and still waiting for it. From when I first contacted this site there has been a little progress. But nothing compared to what I had been told to expect. I would have expected by now to have at least had my referals. I can't help but think that they are deliberately trying to sabotage any happiness I have left which isn't good for my children. I left my ex husband due to his controlling manipulative behaviour and alcohol abuse, I feel like I'm receiving the same controlling and manipulative behaviour from children's services. I'm all for being a good mum to my children. A happy mum is a good mum.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 1734
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Criminal conviction and child services.

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Nov 13, 2015 5:19 pm

Dear Jhay1,

Referrals to courses
I can see that children services have protected your children but then not done the longer term work of referring you to courses and support.

Given all the delay, can you refer yourself for the courses?
It will show that you are prepared to take the initiative to seek the help that you need.

Women’s aid run a “freedom programme” as well as other support that is well regarded by children services.

Here is some helpful information on our website about specialist domestic abuse services .

If children services want to do the referral themselves and have not done so for all these months then you need to email the team manager and point out the delay or consider a complaint.

Getting records from probation.

Your partner needs to get his own records from probation to show all the assessments that have been done and the courses or treatment that he has attended.

He can email or write to his probation officer for these. He can ask that they are sent directly to the social worker or to him at his home.
He needs to explain that children services are doing a risk assessment of him.
Alternatively he can do a data protection request see advice sheet about access to records below.

He could also contact Respect who advise about domestic abuse to perpetrators.

Your records from children services.

Given the social worker has not sent them, you could apply under the data protection act for them. Here is our advice sheet access to records which sets out the process and outlines what records you might get and what will be excluded.

I hope this is helpful but please post back if you have any questions.

Best wishes,

Suzie

Jhay1
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:15 pm

Re: Criminal conviction and child services.

Postby Jhay1 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:55 am

Hi suzie.
Children's services recently made a decision to close the case pending a family conference meeting as they see no reason to be involved, despie my ex hudbsnds efffort to try and make out that im unstable to supervise my children they see this as not true. However, they still haven't done anything regarding my boyfriend surely if they have made the decision to close the case then my boyfriend shold be alowed the cintact he had at the begining. Children's services said my partner would have to have probation do his risk assessment...why would this be needed if they are closing the case? He managed to finally get hold of his probation officer he had and asked for his probation reports, they are no longer on the system and was told it's down to children's services to do the assessment. I must remind you that his probation ended 7 years ago and his conviction was the year before. His conviction shows as spent and hes never brent in trouble since. I'm due to have another home visit with my social worker tomorrow. She almost seems adamant to need to talk about something. Both myself and my boyfriend are at out wits end with all of this.. my children constantly tell me they want to see him. We still follow the "rules" where if he stays with me the children are else where which we had proved a couple of weeks ago when my ex husband attempted to cause trouble which resulted in an out of hours social worker and two police officers on my door step. My boyfriend was down but out of the house when I needed to go home to get my eldest child ready to Stay with grandparents.. youngest was with her dad(my ex husband)
I do want the case to close but I don't want it to too. I want children's services to carry out work with my children, my boyfriend and myself together so they can see just how well it all worked before they became involved. I feel like telling childrens services to do one and carry on like normal... just to get them to actually do what should have been done months ago.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 1734
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Criminal conviction and child services.

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Feb 17, 2016 3:02 pm

Dear Jhay

I am sorry that you seem to be no further forward in respect of Children Services carrying out an assessment of your boyfriend.

As you and your family are due to have a family group conference to work out how best your children can be safeguard and what support individuals can provide, this should help Children Services decide whether they need to continue their involvement with the family. If the decision has already been made that they no longer need to be involved, I suggest that you ask for this to be in writing with an explanation as to what expectations, if any, they have regarding your boyfriend and future contact with the children.

The risk assessment of your boyfriend really should be carried out by Children Services since probation has no active involvement with him and has not done so for 7 years. Regarding his probation notes, although they might not be on the system they will still have a record so your boyfriend should request them again. He might need to do this as a data protection request. I have included details of the Information Commissioner’s Office where you can get details about getting information.

Your children’s ages are not clear from your post but in assessing the family the social worker should have regard to the children’s wishes and feelings depending on their age and understanding. I think it would be best to put a request in writing to the social worker to carry out a risk assessment of your boyfriend and to give details of when this will be undertaken and if he or she is not doing one, to confirm this in writing with an explanation of why it is not being done.

Whilst I understand your frustration with Children Services, I would not suggest that you simply go back to how things were before in order to force their hands. The outcome might not be the one you hope. It could lead to them taking action in court on the basis that you have failed to cooperate and put your children at risk.

My suggestion would be for you to waiting until the family group conference (FGC) has taken place. I have included here a film about the how the FGC works. If a plan is worked out with your family and agreed by Children Services, you may be able to have your case closed and go back to normal. Please do not take any drastic action without having confirmation from Children Services that they will have no further involvement with your family and case closed.

Should you wish to speak to an adviser, please telephone our advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open Monday to Friday from 9.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m.

I hope you will find this helpful.

Best wishes

Suzie

Jhay1
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:15 pm

Re: Criminal conviction and child services.

Postby Jhay1 » Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:31 am

Childrens services are saying because my boyfriends has no parental responsibility of either of my children then it's not their duty to do an assessment.. I find this to be a cop out to be honest... it has been said to both my ex husband , myself and the girls school that once the fgc is set up then children's services will close the case. My children are 8 and 6, the eldest is a bit more understanding the youngest obviously not. I shan't be going back on the things my boyfriend have been doing regarding contact I'm not that stupid. It's just frustrating. After having my normal home visit from my social worker yesterday I aired my frustration passing an assessment onto someone else. She reluctantly gave me the name of her team manager and the one above them. As it looks like I will have to get so real answers myself. The fgc is still on a waiting list and according to my social worker she can only badger them to get a date set. Thankyou for the link for how to get hold of probation reports I will pass this onto my boyfriend.

Jhay1
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:15 pm

Re: Criminal conviction and child services.

Postby Jhay1 » Fri Mar 11, 2016 10:48 pm

Hi,
Just an update, children's services have decided after they too contacted the probation service in an attempt to get them to do my boyfriends risk assessment, that they are changing my social worker to someone a little more local and they will now do the assessment... so a little result on that part. However, I'm glad I have always been on the nervous side about my ex husband and have now stopped his contact as last weekend when he had care of both children one of them ( his step daughter) was a little rude to him and his form of discipline was an immediate smack to the leg, no verbal warning at all, my daughter was left with red handprint for a little while and it left my daughter distressed, she had informed my parents that night what had happened as i was at work. My parents did the right thing and informed duty social workers who are investigating it and they are aware of my decision to stop contact. In some senses I hope that children's services will now see that if my children are harmed in any shape or form that I and family will act upon it. I will be getting in contact with solicitors on monday and applying to the court to have court orders changed so that future contact between my youngest and her father is done under supervision at a center and not supervised by his parents. At first one of his parents denied it happened which in my eyes is not responsible at all and means I cannot trust their judgement to protect my children.


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