safeguarding issues advice please

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bmwm-power
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Joined: Sat May 29, 2021 1:16 pm

safeguarding issues advice please

Post by bmwm-power » Tue Jun 01, 2021 1:12 pm

hi guys, new on here, need some urgent advice please

so my current court order is since sept 17. Child lives with mum, i have alternate weekends, midweek wednesday and half school holidays,
Now my son is aged 7. enforcement in jan 17. SPIP course done. mum agreed to fully and wholly comply but has since breached court order 20+ times. almost every 5/6 weeks since aug 2018.

History

he was burnt in may 16 at age of 2 with an iron. quite bad on his palm, social didnt bother to investigate. police saw no criminal aspect to it and refered to social but they fobbed it off saying as police didnt see a concern, they didnt need to.

various other injuries noted and reported to nspcc who made a referal in jan 17. XXXXX said they were rough and tumble. they spoke to nursery who said he was ok. the same nursery that didnt see the next burn 6 months later

he got burnt again with an iron sept 17, i took him hospital and this prompted section 47. he was placed on child protection plan sept 17 to july 18. mums account was he plugged it in whilst she was in bath and climbed on his trike and tried to iron. they believed it. it was under category of emotional harm. work was done with mum.a) teach her not to leave a hot iron on near a child. and iron when hes asleep or at nursery b) a communication diary was implemented for parents even though we communicate via text. the section 47 revealed that medical attention was not sought for at least 4 days by mum on first burn although it was later as he was with me the weekend and non for the second burn. The diary phased out of 2 months as mother wouldnt write in it or not bring it to handovers. as he wasnt burnt in that time CPP case closed. he used to cry and not want to return to mum but i was told it was normal, even would pickup on the route etc even if not going somewhere else he would break down in tears.

during the child protection plan he was crying on the way to nursery once and as the location of meeting was nursery..he told me his aunty had smacked him in face. social worker took notice.

i had to make a complaint about the section 47 report as it was not factually accurate, the social worker didnt follow procedure etc. i have a written apology off them, confirming social worker didnt follow procedure.

March 19 he had another burn on right forearm. i took a photo but it was almost healed up due to gap in contact i couldnt see how severe it was so i didnt report it. and i was told to excercise discretion when reporting.

since 2018 then i have noticed his behaviour was odd. if he spilt something he would burst into tears. dropped something accidentally start crying . like he was scared of being hit . i re assured him etc and asked why he was upset but wouldnt say.

eventually he opened up in dec 2020 stating his mum pulls his ears, mainly when forcing him to read the quran. saying if he gets it wrong , she gives him 2 mins to practise the word and if he gets it wrong again she starts pulling his ears/twisting them. he states they feel like they are going to come off and burn. he also stated she regularly smacks his face, smacks back of neck and back of his head whenever she loses her temper.

i discussed this with nspcc and they made a referal to XXXXXX social services in Jan 2021. The social worker called mum, told her about referal, she denied it and said i love my son i would never hurt him. she stopped wednesday contact on that week as a result. When i saw him the following weekend he was very upset, starting crying "saying why did u tell them" why did u tell them" . i told him if i dont tell anyone..it will get worse and he needs to tell me if it happens or he can tell the teachers.

march 2021 he had redness on his hear where it had clearly been twisted . i photographed it, but he wouldnt say it was his mum (too scared from consequences). i reported it to nspcc. they made a referal again. This time social worker just took her time. spoke to mum, she denied it saying it happened in a park. she asked my son whilst at mums if he was ok (of course he wont disclose abuse at the place hes being abused) he said yes. i was told school would do some work with him.

05/05 he messaged me via gaming app stating shed hit him again and pulled ears. i called 101 and text social worker . she said "she would speak to mum" as i was at work. police didnt do a welfare check. but came to speak to him at my house 05th may. he gave a formal statement and i was told to keep him in my care. a week later social worker rang saying police had no evidence to prosecute and it was decided to do some work with mum around chastisement. he remained in my care from 7th may to 25th

i asked them to put it in writing that despite the history, despite the disclosure they felt it safe to return him without putting measures in place. she refused to do that so i kept him in my care. made an urgent/emergency appliation to court for him to live with me based on safeguarding concerns and also on my statement i have included that mother has breached court order 20+ times and stopped all contact, submitted on 14th still awaiting court date. it went to X court, who transferred it to Y as all previous cases were held in Y. now i had another court order saying its been sent back to X

mum went and collected him from school 25th, school facilitated it to be done 45 mins early. when i asked they said social worker authorised it. social worker said i spoke to your son and he said he didnt want to go to mum but she came and took him as she sought legal advice and denied authorising it.

She didnt send him to school next day and has now deleted his account on the app where he messaged me about abuse, i have screen shots still. he messaged me the day he got collected saying i didnt want to go , mum dragged me and head teacher forced me to go with her. mum has now told social worker she wont be allowing any contact as advised be her solicitor..which is bull sh2t as there is no reason for them to instruct her to breach order. and a solicitor cannot overide a judges decision.



awaiting court date.

need some advice as to how to proceed next please
social services have out mothers needs before childs time and time again. failed to investigate his disclosure or even speak to him. now due to police involvement, they have decided to put him on a child in need plan.
child is back with mother and all contact stopped

Edited by Suzie to maintain confidentiality
Last edited by Suzie, FRG Adviser on Mon Jun 14, 2021 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Moderated to protect confidentiality

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: safeguarding issues advice please

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Jun 14, 2021 3:03 pm

Dear bmwm-power

Welcome to Family Rights Group’s Parents’ Forum and thank you for your post. My name is Suzie and I am FRG’s online adviser. I am sorry that I have not been able to respond to your post sooner.

I can see that you have been worried about your son’s safety in his mother’s care for many years. Children’s services were involved at times including a period where your son had a child protection plan. You addressed your historic concerns about how children’s services managed the case via a complaint which you say was substantiated. Children’s services have become involved again and you are unhappy with their response so I will provide some advice about that.

You and your son’s mother have also had considerable involvement from the family court in relation to deciding for who your son lives with and spends time with. This did result in a Child Arrangements Order being made although as you state, this was not always kept to by your son’s mother who, you explain, has regularly breached the court order.

Your son’s case is back before the court again as you made an emergency application to the court that your son should remain with you. This was because you became more concerned recently, as you have detailed above.

Since then, your son’s mother has taken him back and is not allowing you any contact with him.

You are unhappy with the social worker’s role in this; there is a dispute about whether the social worker ‘authorised’ this or not.

I can understand your frustration at this ongoing situation which must be very distressing and confusing for your son, too. The family court has now been asked to decide on the arrangements for your son. The safeguarding concerns you have for your son and the difficulties you are experiencing maintaining contact with him should be properly considered by the court who may ask for a report from your son's social worker.

I am not sure if you are representing yourself as a litigant in person (LIP) or whether you have a solicitor to assist you. We are unable to provide advice on the private law aspect of your post. If you don’t have help from a solicitor then you may find Child Law Advice, We are Advocate or Advice Now helpful.

In relation to children’s services, it was reasonable that you asked the social worker to put in writing the reasons for their decisions back in May; however, they did not do so.

When your son’s mother decided to take him back into her care from the school it seems that the social worker recommended to the school that this be done early; I suppose this was to prevent conflict at school between the two parents and the distress this would cause to your son?

In terms of whether they ‘authorised’ mother to take the child or not you will need to query this directly with the social worker and their manager. I think you should ask for a meeting with both to discuss how and why decisions children’s services made decisions especially as you disagree with them strongly and remain worried about your son . It may be that the real issue is about children’s services’ assessment of your son’s situation – whether they see this as a child protection concern or (as it is currently be treated) as a child in need issue. Make sure you have a copy of your son's most recent assessment and plan.

I don’t think, from your post. that the court has yet made changes to the original order or made any new orders. If this is the case it would suggest that your son’s mother still has the ‘lives with’ CAO. The social worker/local authority does not have parental responsibility for your son so could not prevent his mother removing him unless they obtained a court order or asked the police to take your son into police protection. They would have needed to weigh up any child protection concerns if they felt that his return to his mother would put your son at serious risk of harm. I think this is what you should ask them about. Your son’s views are also very relevant – it seems he was able to say to the social worker that he did not want to go (do you know if he was able to say why? ) – that should also have been considered when assessing the situation.

As your son’s case is now being dealt with by the court it will, however, be looked at by the highest forum. It would be a good idea to chase up the court date. However, in the meantime, this has left you in a situation where you are worried about, and not able to see or communicate with your son. You should seek fresh legal advice about this from your solicitor, if you have one, or Child Law Advice.

If you are not able to get a response or remain dissatisfied with children’s services you could consider making a complaint again. Here is some detailed advice about this. However, please do keep working with the current child in need plan even if you are in a complaints process. This will be especially important to keep you updated about your son at the moment.

Here are some tips on working with your social worker which may be helpful.

I hope this helps a little and that the situation moves forward soon.

If you would like to talk through the children’s services’ involvement with an adviser please do call our freephone advice helpline on 0808 010366, Mon to Fri, 9.30 am to 3.00 pm or post again on this forum.

With best wishes

Suzie

bmwm-power
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat May 29, 2021 1:16 pm

Re: safeguarding issues advice please

Post by bmwm-power » Sun Jul 04, 2021 12:04 pm

hi

thanks for the reply.

i am self representing and did do some research online

i had a telephone call with cafcass on 15th june. i found out that an emergency prohibited steps order had been issued on 14th may but it was not sent out to me . the emergency prohibited steps order stated that my son should not be removed from my care or school other than for any contact agreed in writing or ordered by court (i.e after the pso) and that he should not be taken abroad.

so since 15th june he has remained in my care and mums had telephone contact which i have agreed to.

i have received a copy of the social workers report and it details a transcript from her meeting with him at school where he clearly states that he did not want to return, and was worried that she may hit him again...the social worker stated "we have decided that you can go back to mum and we will do some work with her, she is a special person in your life and she has promised she wont hit you again" his reply was "but what if she does"

so when mum took him from school 25th to 15th june and stopped all contact she was actually in breach of the prohibited steps order.

more worringly my son has shared that during the 3 weeks he was away from me she hit him again, and she was mentally/emotionally abusing him by telling him that she went to prison for 7 days because of him, and that she had to pay £5000 t get him back and also referred to him as the "little devil and myself as the big devil"

my son was spoken to at school by the social worker and he said he mentioned this to the social worker too.

currently he is with me. i have a review hearing of the prohibited steps order on 06/7 and the FDHRA on 18/08
even the cafcass officer was concerned that he was allowed to return after diclosign the abuse...whether or not there were injuries to back up what he was saying..it was still abuse. and when i mentioned the emotional abuse to her such as telling him the ghosts will eat you if you sleep alone and the police will take you away if you tell anyone...she was questioning whether mum suffered from mental health

surely it is not in the childs best intered to return him to this abusive environment to suffer more abuse when he is safe and cared for by me. And we have established that mum is not deterred by professional involvement because if she was ...i.e from police and social workers then she would have changed her ways but her actions in the 3 weeks he was with her since, proved otherwise

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: safeguarding issues advice please

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Jul 19, 2021 11:24 am

Dear bmwm-power

Welcome back to the parents’ discussion board and thank you for your updating post. I am sorry to hear that the situation is still so difficult and you continue to be concerned about how your son’s mother cares for him .

Since you last posted, your son has returned to your care and is having telephone contact with his mother. His situation is being considered by the family court, CAFCASS are involved and fully aware of the issues and you have a number of upcoming court hearings. As you are a litigant in person, please do contact one of the private law advice services I signposted you to in my earlier response for further advice about the court case.

As mentioned previously, if you are dissatisfied with children’s services response I think you should contact the social worker and their manager to discuss, to clarify what their current assessment of the situation is and what account they have taken of recent allegations. If this does not help resolve matters or you think it is necessary, you can consider making a further complaint. However, it may be a good idea to have the continued multi-agency support offered by the child in need plan, so do keep working with this.

With best wishes

Suzie

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