Help please - it is all a minefield

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KJTG53
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon May 17, 2021 10:23 am

Help please - it is all a minefield

Post by KJTG53 » Mon May 17, 2021 2:36 pm

Hi all, Not sure where to start really. My daughter is in a relationship with someone who has been charged with sexually abusing a child under 5. He is the only suspect. The complicating facts to this are that my daughter does not believe he is guilty and she is due to have a baby next week. There is a CP plan in place but social workers have applied for an interim court order when my granddaughter is born. I have been assessed as a temporary kinship foster carer, and the fostering team will be recommending me. My daughter's solicitor has advised her to leave her partner, but she sees this as an admission that he is guilty! I have tried to tell her that in the eyes of the solicitors and social workers, she is putting her partner before her daughter. Her partner has a colourful history, including drugs, prison and threats to kill. I work in school as a designated safeguarding lead, so know how the system works! Her partner's Mum has been turned down at screening so will not be considered as a foster carer. She is furious with this decision and has said that if she has to see her granddaughter supervised, then she will cut all ties with her! I have tried to say to my daughter that the CPS must think the case is strong against her partner for it to go to crown court. The social worker has also stated that there is damning evidence against him.
My daughter is being induced next week, and baby looks like she is coming home with me. The other option is for me to move in with my daughter and her partner, so I can supervise him, but the LA are against this plan. I know that I will then have care of my granddaughter for the next 6 months, in which time further assessments will be carried out and my daughter's partner's court case will have happened (hopefully).

Thank you for reading, just needed to write it all down as it is swimming around my head constantly.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 777
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: Help please - it is all a minefield

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu May 27, 2021 2:22 pm

Dear KJTG53

Welcome to the kinship carers’ forum and thank you for your post. I am sorry that I have not been able to respond sooner.

Your baby granddaughter may have been born by now and I hope that the birth went well and that she and your daughter are both ok.

This is a very difficult and distressing time for you. I think you have a very good understanding of the concerns and risks involved. Even if your daughter’s partner is not convicted in a criminal court (the burden of proof there being beyond reasonable doubt) it is very likely that children’s service and the family court will remain involved in making decisions for the baby; to determine ‘on the balance of probabilities’ the risk he may pose to his child. Apart from the very significant concern around child sexual abuse there are further concerns in relation to his past history.

Your daughter’s refusal to consider the possibility that her partner may have sexually abused a child and her determination to remain in a relationship with him (against her solicitor’s advice) mean that there are also likely to be concerns about her ability to recognise risk and to safeguard her baby.

I would encourage you to let her know about services such as Stop it Now, Parents Protect , NSPCC women as protectors course and our information about child sexual abuse to help inform her.

Is your daughter particularly vulnerable in any way such as because of disability, a very young parent or is it possible that she has been groomed or coercively controlled by her partner? If so, she may benefit from specialist support including from an advocate if possible.

Although children’s services could not apply for an interim care order before the baby was born, they may now have done so. Your baby granddaughter may already have been placed with you as her kinship foster carer. You will need to be fully assessed and approved; if you are willing you may also be assessed as a special guardian to care for the baby long-term if her parent/s are not able to. The other possibility put forward for the court to decide on was that you supervise the parents’ care of the baby. Was a residential placement also considered?

Perhaps you would like to post and update so that we can provide more targeted advice and support, if that would be helpful to you.
In the meantime, the most relevant information for you is our advice materials on :

Care proceedings and Kinship care.

I hope this is useful. If you would like to discuss the situation with an adviser please call the freephone advice line on 0808 8010366, the lines are open between 9.30 am and 3.00 pm (except bank holidays). Or do post back if you prefer. You are also welcome to pass our details on to your daughter who can also access independent advice and information if she wishes, although her solicitor is the best person to provide her with specific legal advice.

Best wishes

Suzie

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