Thanks for your further post. I am sorry to hear that your situation has escalated.
Please use our parents’ discussion board
if you are posting again; that way you may also get support and advice from other parents as well as from FRG.
Children’s services have now been to court and obtained an emergency protection order (epo)
for your daughter because of their concerns about domestic violence, which you dispute. The epo made by the court gave children’s services the power to remove your daughter from your care and to place her in foster care.
This is very distressing and difficult for you. It is good that you are seeking support and advice.
If you haven’t had much information about your child since the order was made on Friday this is what should happen:
You should be given information about your child, including:
• a copy of the care plan and
• information about any contact arrangements.
It might be that you are not being told some things (like where your child is staying) because your child’s social worker feels it would not be in your child’s best interests.
The most important thing for you to do now is to work very closely with your solicitor
. You have a right to legal aid to help you in the court case. I hope you a lawyer at the hearing last week but if not then your first step is to instruct a lawyer and discuss your situation fully with them, including the parts that you disagree with. Your solicitor is the best person to advise you about the court process and your specific case. They will represent you. We have practical tips about working with a solicitor
Have you had a chance to look at the advice materials we referred you to last week? I think they will be helpful for you in explaining more about care proceedings and about domestic violence.
It is important that you know why the professionals and the court are so worried about your partner’s history, about why they believe your daughter has been harmed or is at risk of being harmed and about what they want you to do to be able to care for her safely. Don’t play down these concerns which have lead to your daughter being removed from your care. Keep working with Women’s Aid as they are the specialist domestic violence service who can work with you around this even if you don’t see the situation in this way.
Here is a quick guide to care proceedings
and FAQs on what might happen next.
Do involve family and close friends now if you haven't done so already. A family member could be assessed to care for your daughter so that she does not have to remain in foster care with an unrelated person, either in the short or long term. They may also be able to offer you support to care for your daughter safely. Let your solicitor know about family members and also tell the social worker who in your family network might be able to help. A family group conference
this could be offered.
It is also really important that you find a way of working with your social worker. If you think she has misrepresented information you can raise this with your solicitor and the social worker’s manager. While your daughter is in foster care though you are going to continue to have a social worker from the local authority and there will also be an Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO)
and a court-appointed Guardian
. So if you can try to work constructively and openly now, for the sake of your daughter, this should mean that your voice is heard and you are properly involved. These tips on working with a social worker
We have a couple of advice sheets that tell you more about contact with your child
and the duties children’s services have when your child is in care
If you would like to speak to an adviser then please do call FRG on our Freephone advice helpline 0808 801 0366 Mon-Fri 9.30 – 3.00.
With best wishes