I need your advice on what to do to have my kids back

Post Reply
TAA3001
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:48 pm

I need your advice on what to do to have my kids back

Post by TAA3001 » Tue May 25, 2021 1:35 am

Hello Suzie,
Good morning, thanks for all the good works you have been doing on this platform.
3 weeks ago, i went to pick my kids from school and when i didnt see them with their teachers i asked and was directed to the office. From there i leant my eldest child of 9yrs reported to the teacher that i was beating her and left a mark on her. From there i was arrested and all my 3 kids were taken from me.

In the police station when i was interviewed i told them i never saw any mark on her and which was true because i didnt beat her. I later, heard that she had confessed that it was in the process of fighting with a friend of hers that she got that injury.

I was just wondering that why would my own child do this to me, then it occurred to me that she dis that to get back at me because i told her i was going to change her school, then collected her laptop and tablet from her because she was visiting some sites, so i stopped her from going unto all the social media. Permit to say, she didn't have access to all these before not until during lockdown, when the school had given her the laptop and open an email for her.

Before i took the things from her, i had noticed she joined a site in February this year and told her to leave the group and disabled her accout but in April she joined back without my knowledge, So when she joined the group back, they talked about me letting her leave the group, some say shd call cops for me and tell them i am abusing her while someone offered that she would come and take her to England. It waa those discussed that i saw that led to me collecting the gadgets from her.
Some days before they re taking, a friend's kid came to stay with us for 2 days and unknown to me she had used her tablet to chat with those people again.

Now, the police are still doing their investigations, they have refused my request to use family and friends for them because my daughter said she didn't want to stay with them. I have seen them twice but they re looking unkempt and i asked the social worker when am i having them back, i was told it is up to police. i had add this same issue before 2 years ago that they were taking but there was no evidence against me, so the case was dropped. Ever since then i have been very care but i think my daughter knew my fear and she used it against me. She had come saying her best friend said she should call cops for because i wanted to change her school and i was like what would she tell police, i never took her serious.

They have invited me for a meeting this week, but when i told my solicitor to try all she could to help me get my kids back, because i had asthmatic attack on sunday, it was God that saved me, only me in the house. But she said the social services can not agree to that because the police are still doing their investigations. And if consent is withdrawn from me they might need to take care order.

I didn't beat her nor abuse her, she had confessed how she got the mark and the first day that they allowed me see them, my 2nd child had apologised to me that she was sorry for putting me through all these but her sister started it first. She then called her to come and apologise too. The social worker was there and she heard everything but yet they dont want to give me my kids.

Please kindly advise me on what to do, some people are saying i should go and use a human right lawyer because presently i am using family and child solicitor.

I will be grateful for your swift response. Thanks
TAA

User avatar
Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 3110
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: I need your advice on what to do to have my kids back

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:00 pm

Dear TAA,
Welcome to the Parents Forum. I m Suzie, FRG’s online adviser.
I can see that your eldest daughter made an allegation that you were beating her and had left a mark on her. You were arrested and your children were taken from you and are now in foster care. You want your children back in your care, but the police are still investigating the allegation and your solicitor has advised that you continue to agree to them being in care until the police have finished their investigation. You are seeing your children regularly and a meeting was due to take place. I can also see that you were worried about sites on the internet that your daughter was visiting and feel that because you stopped her, that is why she made the allegation. Let the social worker know about your concerns about the sites your daughter visited.
I can see that children services will want to know the outcome of the police investigation before agreeing to your children coming home. I agree with your solicitor that children services may take court proceedings if you took your children without their agreement.
Ask the police and children services how long the investigation will be. Is there any family member or friend who could move into your home to supervise you with your children, so they can come home before the police have finished their investigation? Or could your children go and stay with family members instead of unrelated foster care while the police carry on their investigation?

As the children are “accommodated” with your consent, they are known as “looked after children”. They will be allocated an independent reviewing officer and there should be a review meeting within 4 weeks of them going into care to look at the children’s care plan which should include plans for contact but also what needs to happen before they return home.
You ask about getting a human rights solicitor. Usually, a solicitor experienced in children and children services will have a good grounding in human rights law. Ask your solicitor about all your options.
The social worker might also assess your children as being young carers of you and so will be entitled to support, as you are needing them to help when you have an asthma attack.
Here is information about accommodation and what it means and here is our A to Z of terms so you can see the role of the independent reviewing officer and care plan.
I hope my advice helps. If you need further advice, please post again, or call our advice line on 0808 801 0366.
Best wishes,
Suzie

TAA3001
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:48 pm

Re: I need your advice on what to do to have my kids back

Post by TAA3001 » Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:10 pm

Thanks ao much for your response.
The Lac meeting was held 2"weeks ago and i was told their first option is rehabilitation back to me but the social services will have to put it before the court. I was to see the police on the 10th of June before to hear the outcome of their investigation but a letter was sent in yesterday that they have shifted it till July 7th. I informed my solicitor and she was told that the police would like to investigate the school representatives again.
I noticed that the social worker in charge of this case has been so dodgy, she is not comfortable discussing with me each time i try to engage her. I have involved a support person feom women's center who has enrolled me for a parenting class, she has tried to talk to my social worker to inquire if i would need more than parenting course but all her efforts proved abortive. My social worker neither picked nor returned her calls.

I later informed my solicitor about this and when she requested for the minutes of the Lac meeting, my social worker told my solicitor that the minutes are not ready yet but however they are seeking for Interim Care Order for all my three children as they have been in care on voluntary basis in the last 5 weeks. My solicitor just told me i should let her know immediately i get the court paper.
The way i am looking at it, the social worker has a hidden agenda that she is not letting out to me. She has refused to let me use friends and family for my 2nd daughter who has refused to be settled where she is placed. In the last 5 weeks they have put her with six different families. She refused putting her with my friend because she assumed i will be seeing my daughter if we go for sunday service in church and i had told her i can stay at home and be doing service online but she still didn't agree.

Please i need your advice on what to do to have my kids back.

Thanks

User avatar
Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 3110
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: I need your advice on what to do to have my kids back

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Jun 24, 2021 5:10 pm

Dear TAA3001

Thank you for your further post. I am sorry to hear that there has been a delay in the police concluding their investigation.

In the meantime, children’s services are applying to the court for interim care orders. I think this may be because under the voluntary section 20 arrangement you can withdraw your consent and at the moment children’s services are not satisfied that it is safe for your children to come home yet.

Luckily, you have already been working with a solicitor who is up to date on the situation and will be able to represent you in court (this will be free under legal aid). Please see our tips on working with a solicitor to help you work well with them. Our advice on care proceedings explains how the process works and what the possible outcomes can be.

I am glad to hear that you are getting some support from a women’s centre worker and that you have enrolled in a parenting class. I think this is a good idea as this shows that you are willing to develop your parenting skills and acquire new strategies. It sounds as if the support worker may be wishing to help you as an advocate but the social worker has not responded. This is likely to be as they are not able to discuss matters that are confidential to the court with her but also they may need your consent. The women’s centre worker may be able to attend practitioner meetings and LAC meetings with you, as an advocate or supporter. Here is our guide to working with an advocate – pages 3 – 5 set out what you can do if you are not allowed to bring a supporter or advocate to meetings that you want them to attend with you.

You have asked that a family friend be considered as a possible connected carer for your daughter but this has been refused. Do you know if your friend has had a initial family and friends carer assessment (also known as a viability assessment)? If she has had a negative assessment then she could consider challenging it . She should firstly make sure she has a copy of the assessment. Letter 3 in our tops tips and templates provides a template letter which she can amend to fit her situation.

You can ask for an urgent family group conference (FGC) to bring together your network to support you to care for the children, or to care for the children if you cannot. You say that your daughter has 6 different foster carers in 5 weeks; this is excessive and must be very unsettling for her. A FGC may identify a more suitable placement for her while the court considers what is best.

Keeping working with children’s services, even though you may find it difficult at times. Ask the social worker to keep you as involved/informed as possible - here are some tips on working with a social worker. I don’t think the social worker has a hidden agenda but if you are having difficulties or are worried they are not working fairly with you ask to speak to their manager initially to try to address the problem. Also update your solicitor regarding any specific difficulties. Try to make sure that you keep to any contact arrangements. From what you said happened at the recent meeting, returning the children home to your care is the primary goal but there needs to be clarity about the police investigation and more work or assessments done first.

I hope this helps.

If you would like to speak to an adviser, then please call the freephone advice helpline on 0808 8010366 (Mon – Fri, 9.30 am to 3.00 pm).

With best wishes

Suzie

TAA3001
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:48 pm

Re: I need your advice on what to do to have my kids back

Post by TAA3001 » Thu Sep 23, 2021 1:14 am

Hi Suzie,
Trust you are doing great! Thanks for all the advice in this my challenging time, you are highly appreciated.

It's been a very difficult time for me I must say, but my strength is in God. I had my final interview with the police yesterday and it was a tough one, i was charged to a criminal court which will be coming up on the 18th of October, 2021. Also, i am having anothe case in family court on the 8th of October, 2021 too.

However, my solicitor sent me a schedule for risk assessment, it's going to be for two days in October too, morning to evening. But I dont know what is all about or what what to expect? I had told the police i would do everything they what me to do just to have my kids back, my kids are Africans and the kind of moral they now exhibit is quite different from Africans. Lots of things are now different with my kids in their culture. Their personal is nothing to write home about, they have not been allowed to visit the hairdresser to have their hair pleated or braided since early May despite telling the social worker that their hair is Afro kinky that needed to be pleated or braided.

Please what should I expect in that Risk assessment or what can I do during the assessment that will facilitate the return of my kids? I am missing my kids and they are missing me too.

Thanks.
TAA

User avatar
Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 3110
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: I need your advice on what to do to have my kids back

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Sep 24, 2021 1:45 pm

Dear TAA3001

Welcome back to the parents’ discussion board and thank you for your kind words. I am glad that this forum is helpful to you.

I can see that the police investigation has proceeded to a criminal court hearing in a few weeks and you also have a hearing in relation to the care proceedings in the family court soon. We are not able to advise on the criminal justice process. I hope that you have a criminal lawyer representing you in this.

The family solicitor representing you in the care proceedings will be able to explain to you more about the court hearing in the family court on the 8th of October. Here are some tips on working with your solicitor to help you work well with them.

You are due to have an intensive risk assessment in October which I think must have been directed by the family court too. You haven’t been given much information yet about this and understandably you would like to know more. I think that the first thing to do is to ask your solicitor to clarify what the court directed, what instructions were given to the assessor. You should also be informed who will be completing the assessment.

From what you have said in your previous posts, I think the concerns relate to allegations against you in terms of how you discipline the children, whether you have used or threatened physical chastisement or other inappropriate methods of managing the children’s behaviour. The risk assessment may look at how you respond in different situations, your stressors and support systems too. If you have any underlying difficulties or cultural beliefs which affect your parenting these may be explored too. I know that you have been engaging with parenting support and working with the women’s centre so I am sure that your learning and willingness to acquire new skills and strategies will be reflected in the assessment too. Your solicitor should be able to give you more specific details of what to expect though.

I think that during the assessment the most important thing to do is to engage with the process, remember your reason for doing this i.e. your determination to care for your children safely at home, to be reflective and open to making changes, where necessary.

Here is some information about what happens when physical abuse is suspected and some information from the NSPCC about online safety (you mentioned in a previous post that you were worried about sites one of your girls was visiting).

There is a specialist charity known as Afruca: Safeguarding Children who work to safeguard Black and Minority Ethnic children; they've a child protection support service for Black African families – it looks like a social worker needs to refer, however, I thought the service may be useful to know about.

I am sorry to hear that you are worried that your wishes and the children's needs in relation to their haircare are not being followed. When the children went into foster care first, their placement plan should have considered and made decisions about their personal care and cultural needs; you can find out some more in this table. You have done the right thing by letting the social worker know how you would expect the children’s hair to be cared for. If they haven’t responded to this, you can chase them up, raise with their manager or the Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) or at a LAC review if one is due. If this doesn’t help, you can consider making a complaint.

I know that you are missing your children. I hope that there are good arrangements in place for you to keep in touch. Here is some advice about contact when your children are in foster care.

Please do post again or call our freephone advice line on 0808 801 0366 if you have a further query. The advice line is open from 9.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m., Monday to Friday.

With best wishes

Suzie

Post Reply