Re: Urgent advice

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Irishrose75
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2021 6:05 pm

Re: Urgent advice

Post by Irishrose75 » Tue Apr 27, 2021 3:45 pm

I really hope someone can help me I don't know what to do I'm devastated. My child was removed from me in 2019 and put on a interm care order, because of my ex partner and domestic violence, I left him moved to another area ,did journey to freedom course even stayed in a woman's aid refuge for a while, on march this year was my final hearing and social services have put my daughter on a long term care order, my daughter wants to come back home to me she has always said that ,she feels like no one is listening to her ,she is thirteen, she has autism but she knows what she wants , I haven't seen my daughter since December last year they are using covid as a reason to stop contact, but I know other people who have been seeing there children . As I said I'm devastated social services wont even help me to get my child back I know I made mistakes but I just dont know what to do I have changed solicitors about four times now it's like they wont fight for me they just go along with what social services say , please please can someone help me, can I still get my daughter back ,what are my rights I dont know what to do I love and miss my child so much she is so sad she just wants to come home to me, any advice would be appreciated thank you

Irishrose75
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2021 6:05 pm

Re: Urgent advice

Post by Irishrose75 » Tue Apr 27, 2021 6:44 pm

Please any help ??

Irishrose75
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2021 6:05 pm

Re: Urgent advice

Post by Irishrose75 » Thu Apr 29, 2021 1:55 pm

Can anyone help me please?

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

Re: Urgent advice

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Apr 29, 2021 6:00 pm

Dear Irishrose75,

Welcome to the parents’ board and thank you for your post. I am sorry to hear that you are going through this and it is clearly a very distressing situation.

You say in your post that your 13 year old daughter was removed from your care in 2019 and made subject to an interim care order due to domestic violence from your ex-partner. You say that you have ended this relationship, moved to another area, attended the journey to freedom course and stayed in a refuge. In March 2021, the final hearing was held, and your daughter was made subject to a care order. You daughter has a diagnosis of autism and has expressed that she would like to come back home.

Firstly, the judge has made a final care order in your daughter’s case as he/she has assessed her as having suffered or to be at risk of suffering significant harm. It is important that you ask for a copy of the final judgement – you can ask the solicitor who represented you to give you a copy of this. It will outline the reasons the care order was made and may help you to better understand what the concerns are and therefore how you may start to address them.

Now that your daughter is in care, she is known as a looked after child, which means that the local authority shares parental responsibility for her and has certain duties towards her. You can read about what these duties are here. One of these duties is to review her care plan, which will happen at a looked after child review. These reviews are chaired by an independent reviewing officer (IRO), whose duty it also is to oversee your daughter’s care whilst she is a looked after child. As a parent you should be invited to each an looked after child review, unless there is a specific reason for you not to be, and your views and wishes on your child’s care plan should be sought. The IRO is a useful person to speak to if you ever have any disputes with the local authority or concern about your daughter’s care.

As you have expressed that you would like your daughter to return to your care, it may be helpful to arrange a meeting with the social worker to discuss this. Are you aware of what the longer-term plans for your daughter’s care are? This should have been made clear in the final care plan at the final hearing. It would be useful to ask the social worker what they would like to see from you for you to evidence that you can provide a safe home for your daughter.

A good first step to take towards reunification is focusing on contact. You say that you have not had contact with your daughter since December 2020. As your daughter was subject to an interim care order, the local authority had a duty to allow reasonable contact between her and you as a parent for the duration of proceedings. The local authority cannot stop contact between a looked after child and their parent on a long-term basis without an order from the court. Do you know if such an order was granted? Did you speak to your solicitors about lack of contact? You mention that the local authority has used COVID-19 as an excuse. Some local authorities have been substituting face to face contact with video calls, though please note that the COVID-19 regulations do allow for parents to have contact with children they do not live with.

Now that your daughter is subject to a full care order, the local authority’s duty to allow reasonable contact remains. Contact arrangements should have been agreed at the final hearing within the care plan – do you know what these arrangements are? If you do not think there are any contact arrangements or that you are being disallowed from seeing your daughter without an order being in place, I would advise you to contact the social worker in writing immediately to request reasons why and for contact to be arranged. I would also advise that you speak to the IRO. You may also want to consider making a formal complaint. Please take a look here for more information about contact when a child is under a care order.

It is usually most effective to work with the local authority towards reunification, however, if the local authority does not agree, you can consider applying to the courts to discharge a care order. You will need to evidence a significant change in circumstances since the care order was made, and that is why is important that you address the concerns outlined in the final judgement.

You mention that your daughter has expressed a wish to return home. Her views and wishes on her care plan must be sought, however, it may be helpful to ask for an advocate for her, who can help to communicate what she wants to both the social worker and at larger meetings.
I hope you have found this helpful.

Best wishes,

Suzie.

Irishrose75
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2021 6:05 pm

Re: Urgent advice

Post by Irishrose75 » Mon May 03, 2021 6:11 pm

Thank you so much ,for your reply, at the final hearing I was told that contact would be once a month, this has really upset my daughter and myself, we haven't seen each other since December, once a month is not enough, I told my solicitor who has basically done nothing, I was hoping after two years that my child would be able to return to me ,I understand I made mistakes in the past but how long am I meant to suffer for it , my daughter has a solicitor but they dont seem to be doing anything either ,thank you again for your advise as I've been told things I didn't know as for the social worker she says child is settled where she is and is being better carer for but my child doesn't agree she just wants to be with me both of us are heartbroken.

Irishrose75
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2021 6:05 pm

Re: Urgent advice

Post by Irishrose75 » Tue May 11, 2021 2:40 pm

Please is anyone there ?

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

Re: Urgent advice

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon May 17, 2021 5:23 pm

Dear IrishRose75,

Thank you for your further post outlining what was said at court about contact. Was this put in a court order or was it the much more likely scenario of it being agreed at court? Either way, I suggest my advice in my earlier post is still relevant. Please look back at that to see the advice I gave.
You could ask for an advocate for your daughter as she will no longer have solicitor as the court proceedings have finished. You should also contact the Independent reviewing officer (IRO) who managed your daughters care plan which will include what contact your daughter should be having with you.
I hope my advice helps but please post back if you have any further questions.
Best wishes,
Suzie

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