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Re: Narrative core assessment and plo

Posted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:45 am
by Suzie, FRG Adviser
Dear Minnie

I see from your recent post that you say your solicitor has said that the issuing of care proceedings has nothing to with the public law outline (PLO) process. Whilst your solicitor is best placed to advise you since he or she has all the information relevant to your case, my understanding of the PLO process is that it is to give families a final opportunity to address concerns identified by Children Services in order to prevent care proceedings. It is therefore the pre-proceedings stage of the PLO

It is also to help explore and ensure that other arrangements can be put in place to keep a child safe. The process under the PLO is to prepare the case for court should it be necessary to issue care proceedings. Once proceedings are issued the PLO sets out how the case is to be managed.

Normally, Children Services should not issue care proceedings unless they are advised that there is sufficient evidence to put before the court for the order applied for. Please continue to take your solicitor’s advice, engage and cooperate with Children Services and any agreement you have with them. This will be the best way to ensure that you have the outcome you want. Children Services want to be sure that the concerns they have about your care of the children are being addressed and that the children will not be at risk if returned home.

It will be a matter for the Judge if the application is made to decide on the evidence provided whether there is sufficient grounds for making an order.

I hope you will find this helpful.

Best wishes,


Re: Narrative core assessment and plo

Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:49 am
by Minnie
Quick question, children's services are issuing care proceedings on Tuesday. My solicitor has said she doesn't think that children's services will go for an interim care order as I have complied with the section 20. Children's services have told my mum that they are going to get an interim care order and in the same sentence said if the judge decides not to do this, the children could come home under rehabilitation home. The solicitor and children services have said that the children will come off the register in a couple of weeks. This sounds positive,is it a positive thing.

Re: Narrative core assessment and plo

Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:15 pm
by Minnie
What does it mean when a parent contests an interim care order?

Re: Narrative core assessment and plo

Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 1:27 pm
by Suzie, FRG Adviser
Dear Minnie,

Have a look at our advice sheet about care proceedings .

Page 16 onwards deals with care proceedings. It sets out the different court hearings and what to expect and also useful tips about working with your legal team.

When care proceedings are issued a children’s guardian and a solicitor for your children will also be appointed. They will be deciding what is in the best interests of your children.

Interim care orders

An interim care order is an order (usually until the final hearing) which gives children services the legal parental responsibility to make decisions about your children including where they live and who they see. They can overrule you in relation to these decisions.

However, before a court will grant an interim care order it needs to have good reason that your children have suffered "serious "harm or are at risk of suffering "serious" harm and that an interim care order is the best thing for your children.

The court will only be able to look at the issues that cannot wait until the final hearing.

As your solicitor says, children services do not need an order to remove your children from you (the usual reason for an interim care order) as they are already accommodated. If they had evidence that you intended to remove your children, then they are likely to seek an interim care order.

If you have a copy of the court papers-have a look at the interim care plan-see what it says.

Contesting an interim care order application

If children services ask the court to grant an interim care order, then you may want you to challenge this rather than agreeing to it.

To challenge this will mean that your case will be set down for a hearing-often half a day or a full day.
The social worker will be expected to give his evidence in the witness box and your solicitor and the other parties solicitors will want to ask him questions about his evidence.
Your solicitor may want you to go into the witness box as well.
At the end of the hearing the court will make a decision whether or not to give children services an interim care order or not.
The courts reasons will be put in a written judgment-which you will be able to get a copy.

If you have any questions at all, please post back.

Best wishes,

Re: Narrative core assessment and plo

Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:47 am
by Minnie
To Suzie

Thanks for the advice, it has clarified that court process. I'm very scared that I'm losing my children forever, it has been blown out of all proportion. I was told that section 20 and my girls would be gone for 5 days. 3 months later, we are into a 26 week process and there is nothing I can do. There is no evidence to back up what children's services are saying. My parents think I will get them back, the children's father has told them I hurt them and they are believing him. This started with him hurting my daughter on an overnight visit. I picked up daughters on that evening and my 9 year old was very upset. She had started to say she didn't want to go in previous weeks. The meetings which that have been a lot of them such as plo meetings,cp meetings,core group,Lac review and family group meeting,there have been huge problems at all of them. The lack of following procedures and lack of relevant paperwork such as cp conference, the Iro dragged the social workers across the coals for not knowing about the family involvement with other local authority departments. One of the social workers was crying and other was very flustered. This has been a very common theme across all meetings, the family group meeting was a farce. The social worker wouldn't accept the support my family were offering,he thought it wasn't adequate. The nearest family member lives 150 miles away,they were offering every 2 weeks for someone to visit. I don't think he would have accepted anything less than moving in with me. The children's father didn't bring any family members with him,this resulting in the social worker saw this as no one was prepared to offer support. The meeting didn't follow format of a family group meeting, no family plan was put together,there was no family time and no independent person running it. My dad and my sister attended,they felt that social worker was trying to pit myself and children's father against each other to get more evidence for his assessments. I didn't respond but the children's father did. My dad stepped in to try and stop it,the social worker has decided that all family dynamics are problematic and in turn are affecting the children. This just isn't true, there is distance between the families which mean the don't see each other. My mum had a Christmas card from my ex partner's parents and I went round in October half term to his parents house with the girls.
This turn into a mess which could have been resolved months ago

Re: Narrative core assessment and plo

Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:33 pm
by Minnie
I have received some of the court paperwork today,they are going for interim care order which the reasons behind it hadn't been explained. The stated that myself and the children's father weren't contesting this and willing to maintain the section 20. The reasons been given are that they feel that the children attend Brownies and Rainbows(one activity for each child) is too much for them with contact. My youngest had a bad weekend apparently because she had attended Rainbows after school and contact(1 hour). She had behaved badly and had toilet accidents over the weekend,it stated as prior to been placed with the foster carers(she is 6). She has behaviour issues. 2nd reason was it was my youngest birthday this week, myself and her father had arranged to take her out separately. It happened to be to the same place,we were both asked to change it but the arrangements were in place and children knew about it. I didn't want to disappoint my daughter,she really enjoyed herself as did her sister. I'm not really understanding this,it seems a non issue.


Re: Narrative core assessment and plo

Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:31 pm
by Suzie, FRG Adviser
Hi Minnie,

Thank you for updating the board and providing support as well to other parents.

I just wanted to come back to you about the care proceedings.

Domestic violence

First though, I wanted to discuss domestic violence being an issue. I had not picked this up in your earlier posts. I don’t want to panic you but it is crucial that you get the support you need, if you have not done so.

The social worker says that you have not recognised the impact of it on your children.

Have you had the right support? The freedom programme? A domestic violence advocate to take you through what support might be available to you such as counselling support around contact?

What domestic violence support have your children received?

Usually, if there is a worry about domestic violence, then you and dad would NEVER be able to be together in front of the children –even at the handover for contact.

Yet you say that you spent your daughter’s birthday together. Children services would be very worried that dad may have abused you in front of the children or if not this time- the next time. This puts your children at risk of suffering significant harm.

Here is information about the effect of domestic abuse on children .

Have a look at our FAQs about domestic violence .

You could call Women’s Aid about support in your local area.

Here is Family Rights Group’s leaflet about domestic violence.

If you have not receive domestic violence support or want more now, speak to your solicitor about help and support that might be available.

Care proceedings

I don’t whether you have been to court yet for the first hearing?
I have put a link to our advice sheet about care proceedings on my earlier post. It is worth having a look through it to familiarise yourself with the procedures.

At this stage, it is very important to work with your legal team.

Unless there are exceptional circumstances, the court proceedings will be over in 26 weeks. At the end of the proceedings the court will be making decisions about where your children will be living long term-until they are 18 (or longer if they go into long term foster care-they have the option of staying put in a foster care placement after 18.). The court will look at the assessments and hear evidence from those involved.

The choice for the court are:

• Children return home to you-
• Children go and live with their father
• If you or dad are not able to provide safe and “good enough” parenting then the court will consider your children going to friends or family until they are 18 under orders such as special guardianship orders or child arrangement orders.
• If there is no suitable friends or family then the court will consider long term foster care
• If nothing above it suitable then as a last resort adoption will be considered. (Usually only for younger children).

You say there is nothing you can do- that you feel powerless. But there is-if the main issue is domestic violence. Now get the help of an advocate, get on a programme, attend the local women’s resource centre.

Ask you solicitor –what else can you do? Ring our advice line well on 0808 801 0366.

If you have any questions, post back here as well Minnie.

Best wishes


Re: Narrative core assessment and plo

Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:42 pm
by Minnie

It hasn't gone to court yet, approximately 2 weeks. I haven't had the support. I have a family support worker who ask to talk to me about the effects of domestic violence on children. During that conversation,it was suggested that I went on the Freedom program. I was supposed to have been referred in November. This didn't happened because I work during the day and there was nothing in evening. I wasn't told this until last week,my employer is been flexible with having to leave work with things to do with this.


Re: Narrative core assessment and plo

Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:20 pm
by Suzie, FRG Adviser

Can you look into getting the support now? You could contact women’s aid to see what is available locally to you and who needs to refer you? A domestic violence advocate would also be helpful. She could help you access support. See the links I put on my last post.

Re: Narrative core assessment and plo

Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:51 pm
by Minnie
Hi Suzie

The contact for the two of us separate as we are separated and have been for three and half years. I have rang women's aid today and have been told when the freedom programme is. I'm going next Tuesday and is running for the next 12 weeks and that there is a support department avaliable which I'm going to contact tommorow.