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Post by Dunjamon » Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:39 pm

Looking for some general advice from anyone in my position. My 6 month old daughter has been placed with my brother after a hellish week and a half. Last Sunday she knocked her knee/leg on the laminate flooring at home and it's caused a fracture. Now I understand that this should not have caused the damage it did...but that's what happened. From the moment we entered a&e they mentioned non-accidental and have been working to have her removed from our care. There have been a number of mistakes that have led to us having to stay in the hospital for almost 10 days before anything has happened.

My questions relate to the investigation that will now take place. We have not really been told much, but are generally confused as to what will happen should no evidence be found. We can't prove that this was an accident and the police will not be able to find any evidence of any wrong doing. No-one on either side of the family has a background of anything, but would that ultimately result is us having to give up our daughter for good?

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Joined: Sat Jul 27, 2019 6:32 am

Re: Non-Accidental

Post by Dunjamon » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:52 am

Things have not been getting any better. My brother and sister-in-law were not able to cope and so my daughter is now with a foster family. Our hands are well and truely tied in the whole situation. I've had to come back to work so cannot even go to the arranged contact meetings, and my wife will soon be on unpaid leave to be able to see her. It's almost as if we are the only family stuck in this mess. Social services are an endless supply of "we don't know" and when we asked about contact on weekend or evenings we were simply told most people in this situation don't work and social services only work Mon-Fri 9-4. The system is a joke!

Where do we turn for any help?

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Non-Accidental

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:54 pm

Dear Dunjamon,

Welcome to the Parent’s Forum and I am sorry for the delay in responding to your posts. I am sorry to hear that your daughter has suffered an injury which medical professionals are worried might be non accidental. This has meant you have had to be separated from your daughter until children services have a better idea how the injury might have happened. No doubt this will be a very traumatic for you and for your daughter.

The investigation will be a joint investigation by the police and children services. The police’s role is to find out whether there is evidence that a criminal offence has been committed. At the end of their investigation they will decide whether to prosecute.
Children’s services will also be assessing your daughter’s needs and your parenting capacity, the environment you live in and family support. The police investigation will feed into the decisions being made by children services.
Here is information about children’s services assessments. .

It is very likely that there will be care proceedings. Here is our advice sheet about care proceedings .

During the care proceedings, the court will be deciding two things:

1)whether your daughter suffered significant harm due to the parenting you and mum gave her,
2)where can you daughter live. Either back with you and/or mum; or with any family or friend or connected person; or long term foster care or must she be adopted?
In case she cannot return to you and mum, it is very important that you think of people in your network (in the UK or abroad) who could be assessed to care for her long term. You could ask for a family group conference to help look for both support for you and for carers. See our advice sheet 3 about FGC's.

You say “we can’t prove that the injury was accidental” and that the police would not be able to prove that you or mum are guilty of wrong doing.
However, during an investigation, not only will you and mum be interviewed and assessed, experts will also be instructed. for example, different medical experts will examine your daughter’s medical records, the statements given by you and mum and any other evidence. They will be asked to advise about the injury. There may be other expert reports such as you and mum having psychological assessments.

Sometimes, the medical experts may decide the injury was non-accidental but then the police cannot decide who (parents, child minder) might have injured a child. So the police would struggle to get a conviction against one person and may close their case.
It will then be up to family court to decide during a fact finding hearing how a child suffered the injury and if it was non- accidental, who may have caused it.

For a detailed discussion about how courts deal with allegations of non- accidental injury please have a look at the Child Protection resource .

Your contact with your daughter

If your daughter is subject to an interim care order or care order, your daughter will be entitled to reasonable contact with you.

Given children services suspect the injury is non- accidental, they may want your contact to be supervised by a social worker or a trained supervisor rather than a family member, which may limit the times available for contact. Have they explained why they cannot supervise contact at other times? Have a look at our tips about contact on page of advice sheet contact with children in care.

As a parent, there are flexible working provisions that may help you have contact during the week. Speak to Working families .org.

You ask where to turn to for help. You have a right to a legally aided solicitor. You need one who specialised in child care law. It would be most helpful for you to have a solicitor who has experience in cases where non accidental injury is alleged.

Parents accused have helpful advice on their website and an advice line.
The child protection resource-linked above is very helpful.

If you need further advice, please post again or call our advice line on 0808 801 0366.

Best wishes,

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