Partner only allowed supervised contact

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Boohonky
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Joined: Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:52 am

Partner only allowed supervised contact

Post by Boohonky » Sun Apr 25, 2021 9:25 am

I’ve been with my partner for a year and over the past few months I’ve introduced him to my children.

He has a daughter and when she was 6m old he dropped her when coming down the stairs and she broke her legs. As a result of these injuries social services became involved. His ex wife immediately blamed him and their marriage broke down. She now has custody of the child and he is only allowed supervised access until his daughter is old enough to respond to danger herself.

He’s been very upfront with me about this from the beginning. It was obviously very alarming to hear about but due to the Covid lockdowns we were only speaking over the phone at first and this more relaxed environment gave me the time to understand his side of the story. I’ve seen all the documentation from cafcass, social services, etc. I believe him that it was an accident. This is why our relationship has been able to progress.

I’m now worried about the future. We contacted SS ourselves as I wanted to know what the situation would be around my children. They’ve said that he can be around them as long as I completely supervise at all times. I’m fine with this, he’s a new person to them and I wouldn’t leave them with him regardless of his history. My concern is what happens going forwards, what if we want to marry or he wants to move in? Will this be allowed at any point? I assume us having a baby of our own wouldn’t be allowed at all.

I’m scared to ask these questions as I find SS very probing and I am very private. I am hoping someone here may be able to give a bit of advice.

Thanks

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

Re: Partner only allowed supervised contact

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Apr 26, 2021 4:58 pm

Dear Boohonky,
Welcome to the Parents Forum. I m Suzie, one of the online advisers.
I can see that you asked children services about your partner, and they have said that you must supervise his contact with your children at all times. They have given you the only answer they can give, without carrying out a full assessment. Please get a copy of the assessment they did.
I wonder what documents they have seen. Check they have seen all the documents (see below). It is good that they accept that you can protect your children from your partner’s possible dangerousness. They would have told you that broken leg bones in babies MAY indicate by physical abuse.
The fact that your partner can only have supervised contact suggests that he was found to have caused the injuries or he dropped out of the court proceedings so was never cross examined in court. He may well have caused the injuries. Do you know whether there was a fact- finding hearing during the court proceedings to decide how the injuries might have been caused? If so, ask to see the judgment and court order. Have you seen any medical reports? These documents might cast further light on what happened. Has your partner taken legal advice about the way forward for him? Can you speak to the mother of his child? Were the police involved? Make sure children services have seen all the legal documents.
If you were to fall pregnant, then children services will want to carry out an assessment of the family. Your partner would need to be involved in the assessment to find out his current risk and what he could do to reduce any risk he poses to baby. There may be professional assessments such as by a psychologist to assess his risk. While they are assessing, it is likely that your partner would only have supervised contact with his baby. At the end, they should make a decision about the way forward.
Can you get in touch with the assessing social worker again, and ask the questions about the future? Here is information about possible non- accidental injuries (and how the family court deals with them) from the Child Protection Resource. You could also seek advice from a child law solicitor who has experience of cases where injuries are a concern. Please see the Law Society-find a solicitor.

I hope my advice helps. If you need further advice, please post again, or call our advice line for further in- depth advice.
Best wishes,
Suzie.

Boohonky
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:52 am

Re: Partner only allowed supervised contact

Post by Boohonky » Sat May 15, 2021 10:48 am

Thanks for replying.

Since my first message I’ve dug a little deeper and have responses to some of your questions.

The police were involved and they decided the incident was accidental and no further investigation was required.

There was a fact finding hearing. It was concluded that the injuries were caused accidentally but couldn’t be called a “true accident” as my partner was carrying his baby in just one arm on the stairs and in the immediate aftermath he only called an ambulance when prompted to by his ex wife.

The medical evidence corroborates what he’s said in that it is likely the injuries were caused by the pivot formed when he tried to keep hold of his child after falling.

The judge made a court order that contact should be supervised for the next year. On top of this social services recommended that contact continue to be supervised until the child is old enough to look after her own self care needs and able to relay things back to her mother after seeing her father. The case was closed by social services.

He has contacted the social worker who dealt with the case originally and she has said that there would have to be an assessment made re any future children and it would be decided if steps could be put in place to allow him to care for any future babies.

Would an assessment over future children involve my current children or is it possibly for only one child within a family to be investigated?

Thanks.

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

Re: Partner only allowed supervised contact

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri May 28, 2021 12:19 pm

Dear Boohonky

Thank you for you further post and the additional information relating to your partner’s daughter and the injury she sustained whilst in his care.

There was a fact-finding hearing which concluded that it was probably an accident but your partner’s part in it meant it could not be said to be a true accident. He was not careful and perhaps negligent in how he was holding his daughter at the time of the fall.

He is still allowed to have contact which has to be supervised probably because it was the court’s view that a young child would not be safe with him, so it is important that any child is able to say what has happened whilst in his care.

Should you and your partner decide to have a child in the future, children’s services would be involved because of the history. They would carry out assessments based on the situation you are both in at the time. Where children’s services become involved with a family then they would be looking at all the children. You do not say the ages of your own children, I suppose they would be of an age where they are able to speak up for themselves if anything happened.

If you and your partner are living together then children’s services would want to be satisfied that any risk of harm could be managed as now with you supervising. Perhaps, it would be the case that your partner does not care for the baby on his own and you would be considered the protective parent in that situation. Children’s services would look at you to ensure that you are able to protect a baby and your own children.

Should you wish to discuss this further with an adviser, you can telephone our free advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday (except Bank Holidays).

Best wishes

Suzie

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