Any advice welcome, lost and confused!

Adelephant
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:54 pm

Any advice welcome, lost and confused!

Post by Adelephant » Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:04 am

Hey all. This is my first post, I'm not sure where to even start so I'll try with the beginning and hope this makes some sort of sense!

My partner is 29, at around the age of 23 - before I knew him - my partner was accused of possessing and manufacturing IIOC, however he was never charged, as there was basically no evidence of anything and the case was NFA. He explained this to me when we first got together, as he often had certain individuals who were friends with him at the time bringing up the accusations towards him in a malicious way, and he didn't want me to hear about it second-hand.

Fast forward to the end of last year when I was pregnant, my sister's new neighbour was also pregnant, due 4 weeks after me, so my sister introduced us. We met this lady and her partner once, and I kept in touch with her. A few months ago it all came out that her partner was involved in creating and distributing IIOC, and was subsequently arrested and charged. The day he went to prison me, my partner and our baby went to see this woman and her son, feeling extremely sorry for her and the difficult situation she was in. Whilst at her house her social worker popped in unannounced and ran checks on us as per her agreement with then for the protection of her child.

I wasn't aware of this until Wednesday just gone, 6 days ago, when a SW turned up at my house while my partner was at work and said they had concerns about my child due to these previous accusations, and as a result me and our baby are now living at my mum's house whilst CS carries out their "investigation" my partner can only see our child supervised by my mum. It does appear that CS are trying to form some kind of connection between my partner and this man, as in the social workers words "these crimes often involve people in groups sharing pictures etc" but there is absolutely no relationship there, we've met him once and have never even spoken aside from that one occasion.

I've not had any further contact with the SW since, so I have no idea what it is they're doing, how long it should take, or how best to try and move forward. I can't bear not being at home with my partner and our little family that we have longed for for so long.

With the case being NFA I don't know why there is such a concern? I understand that a lack of evidence does not necessarily indicate a lack of a crime, however my partner was never charged or even arrested so I don't understand how this can follow him for so long and affect our lives so much.

I just want my family back together and have no idea what to do next, please help.

Adelephant
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:54 pm

Re: Any advice welcome, lost and confused!

Post by Adelephant » Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:18 am

Update-

I've just had a phone call from SW to say he will be popping round to see us at my mum's tomorrow, he asked how the last few days had been, I wasn't sure how to answer as honestly the whole thing is killing me, I feel like regardless if how I answer it won't be favourable, if I say it's been great it's just easier for them to divide us and if I say it's been hard they are questioning what I would do in the event that the arrangement and my partner not having unsupervised contact is permanent :x

Adelephant
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:54 pm

Re: Any advice welcome, lost and confused!

Post by Adelephant » Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:02 pm

A further update

Social worker has spoken to my partner for the first time today since all of this started. I was not present. Partner was told by social worker that they believe he is "hiding something" as he couldn't remember early details of the accusation, and is now having him get a psychological assessment, what does this mean? Is this generally a good thing or a bad thing? Partner is adamant that cps are trying to take us away from him, can't deal with this, any advice, anyone? Please?!

Whale468
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Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:14 pm

Re: Any advice welcome, lost and confused!

Post by Whale468 » Thu Jul 04, 2019 2:41 pm

I am sad to read yet another tale of a family being split up unnecessarily. Sorry I don't have any advice for you but hang in there, stay strong and hopefully it will be ok in the end.

Adelephant
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:54 pm

Re: Any advice welcome, lost and confused!

Post by Adelephant » Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:11 pm

Thank you for the reply nonetheless! Just don't understand how something so seemingly insignificant that happened so long ago can have this much impact, I feel like I finally have the perfect wonderful little family that I've dreamed of since I was a little girl myself and i cant bare to see all of that get torn away, in absolute pieces and so at a loss

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

Re: Any advice welcome, lost and confused!

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:51 pm

Dear Adelephant,

Welcome to the Parent’s Forum.

Congratulations on the birth of your baby.

I can see that children services are assessing your family. There are worries that dad may be risky to your baby due to past allegations against him of possible sexual abuse (he was never prosecuted) and your links to someone who has recently been convicted of downloading indecent images.

It sounds like you have a good understanding of the situation.

I can see how stressful the investigation must be. It can be very difficult having to separate while children services carry out an assessment. The assessment should be completed within 45 working days and you will be entitled to see a copy of the assessment. Here is information about assessments .
At the end of the assessment there may be recommendations about support, further assessments or whether there should be any plan such as a child in need plan.

The reason why children services have asked you to separate is in case your partner is in fact risky to children. They could not risk your baby suffering sexual abuse. Hopefully, by the end of the assessment you will have a better idea of whether or not he could be. I would expect the assessment to detail any information the police have.

Your partner has been asked to agree to a psychological assessment. They think he is lying because he could not remember the details of the allegations.
Here is information about psychologist assessments. He should find out about the experience of the psychologist (is s/he experienced in sexual abuse?) and ask why they want him to be assessed. The psychologist is likely to want to see some of his medical records.
You could ask about timescales for this assessment. It is likely that they will expect you to remain separated until this report has also been completed.

You ask why the authorities are so concerned given the police closed the case.
Normally, when there are online offences there is enough evidence to easily convict a person because there is an online trail that can be discovered when a computer is forensically examined. It would be good to know what the evidence was against dad and what the police assessment of this was.

The other point worth noting is that to obtain a criminal conviction the police would need to prove beyond reasonable doubt.
However, children services only need to prove on the balance of probabilities-more likely he did than he didn’t.

You also ask about being honest with the social worker. You say you will be interpreted negatively whatever you say. It is best to be honest about how things are and how you feel. Then a social worker can decide whether you need more support to protect your baby, for example.

Why wouldn’t you find this situation difficult? Most people find being under the microscope of children services very difficult. But assessments are a two way process. As you are a mum with the legal parental responsibility for your child, you should also be consulted by the social worker and kept up to date about assessments and likely outcomes.

For detailed information about risks of sexual abuse and what support is available you could speak to the Just stop it now helpline on 0808 1000 900 and look at the Parents Protect website.


If you need further advice please post again or call our advice line on 0808 801 0366.

Best wishes,
Suzie

Adelephant
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:54 pm

Re: Any advice welcome, lost and confused!

Post by Adelephant » Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:21 pm

Thank you so much for the reply, I will definitely have a read through the information you have linked there.

I don't feel comfortable questioning about timescales or anything as whenever I ask a question it seems to be ignored and I simply get told "This will be a long process" which again is worrying to me, I just want me and my baby to be back in our family home with his dad who dotes on the pair of us!

I have also been told recently by the SW that as he is requesting a psychological evaluation he will now be "escalating" the case, as clarification I was told he would be passing things over to his manager however I haven't heard from anyone else or had an update since, it's so worrying to me that I feel like I really don't know what's going on and don't feel comfortable asking. Are we still within the 45 day investigation or does this mean that has ended and we're starting something else?

Just wish I had a better understanding of things and I know these are things I should be able to ask the SW but based on previous interactions I just don't feel comfortable doing so. Do you know how to properly request information on the assessment or how to find out more about the records of the police? Would feel much more comfortable requesting this information in writing from someone other than our main social worker, although I know this may be difficult.

Keeping my fingers crossed and hoping we will be home again soon, but trying to prepare myself for if the outcome isn't good, I don't know where we would go from there and the thought breaks my heart.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Any advice welcome, lost and confused!

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:21 pm

Dear Adelephant

Thank you for your further post.

It is perfectly reasonable for you to ask questions about the assessment process and the social worker (and their manager) are the best people to ask, even though this may be daunting. Perhaps these tips for working with your social worker may help. You do need to be kept updated as the assessment is about your child and is affecting your family.

The timescale for completing assessments (unless particularly complex) is 45 working days so if that timescale has been reached and you have not yet received a copy you would be quite right to ask that it be provided to you.

It will be important for you to go through the assessment carefully, to ask that any errors be corrected but also to consider the analysis the social worker has completed and what you (and your partner) are being asked to do.

The assessment should summarise information collected by the social worker from other agencies including the police, so that may be useful to you, as you are querying how to find out more about the police’s records. Another option might be for you to look into the possibility of making a Sarah’s Law application . Although your partner has not been convicted of a sexual offence against a child the scheme can consider situations where persons have not been convicted but where police or other agencies hold intelligence information that indicate that the person may pose a risk of harm to children.The Get help section of the Stop it Now website has a lot of information for family and friends of someone about whom there are or have been concerns about accessing sexual images of children.

Your partner may want to have a look at our specialist FAQs for fathers so that he can be properly involved in the assessment and decision-making for your child.

Please do call the Freephone advice line on 0808 801 0366 Mon- Fri, 9.30 - 3.00 p.m., or post again if you need to or if you have a new query as the process develops.

With best wishes

Suzie

Adelephant
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:54 pm

Re: Any advice welcome, lost and confused!

Post by Adelephant » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:16 pm

Thank you for the reply!

As it happens I got a bit of an update yesterday, I met with a new, albeit temporary social worker as ours had left weeks ago without letting us know. I do feel much more relaxed speaking to her and she seems to have a much more positive attitude, but I've been told the case will be moved onto the long term team next week and we will have a permanent social worker. I also was given a copy of the assessment from the first social worker, which raised even more questions for me. He repeatedly makes refernce to an accusation made in 2018, which had not ever been previously mentioned and I have no idea about, despite us living together at the time. The temporary social worker said she couldn't see anything on the system from 2018, so on the advice of my health visitor I have requested a Sarah's law, just so I have everything straight in what's what mostly.

It also states in the assessment that I need to have an assessment done on me and my ability to protect, which I'm terrified about. The old social worker thinks I'm emotionally unstable (after meeting me once and me being understandably upset during this meeting, then seeing me briefly a second time when I was doing okay) and doesn't think I can make appropriate decisions for my child without professional intervention, due to the fact I believe my partner isn't guilty of any crime, apparently this means I am unwilling to accept any risk, which I've never stated, I know there's always a risk with anything no matter how small and am willing to put whatever steps necessary in place to minimize said risks. It also says further assessment is needed on my partner, I'm not sure if this is the psychological evaluation that was previously mentioned.

Everything is still a bit up in the air and i have a lot of questions, just waiting for the Sarah's law and to meet the new social worker in the hopes that this will clear up some of my confusion. Is there any resources on what will happen during the assessment for me? I don't know how it's set out or what I need to do or if theres anything that will help at all.

The temporary social worker did say that the next part of the process will take 6-8 weeks, I'm not sure if that means we will have a decision on if and when we can return home by that point, but I'm hoping and praying every day for good news, I just want my family together xx

DesperateDad
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Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:51 pm

Re: Any advice welcome, lost and confused!

Post by DesperateDad » Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:48 am

Good luck Adelephant. From what you say this sounds very unfair, not dissimilar to what we experienced in terms of unreasonable treatment.
We were advised that systems were ‘fair’, their concerns were ‘reasonsble’ or for the ‘good of the child’ and we were told we had a ‘right to question x,,z”... this is all disingenuous - it’s NOT how it works,our rights are ignored, their starting point wasn’t reasonable or fair and the decisions to escalate weren’t based on what was best for the child. Our child was used as a cloak to cover up their unjustifiable escalation, poor decisions, unfair treatment, censorship of us...
I really do wish you the best of luck. Stay strong, stay wise, be honest but play your cards close to your chest. Trust your intuition, not a ‘friendly professional’ who can’t always be trusted.

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