I’m in a mess

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Beautifulbeachlover
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2021 9:15 pm

I’m in a mess

Post by Beautifulbeachlover » Tue Sep 28, 2021 6:55 pm

Hi,

I was in an abusive relationship, he wanted nothing to do with the baby, had the pregnancy and birth alone, she was in Nicu, he wanted nothing to do with her.
We got back together and at 6 months, upon the social services advice I got a non molostation order, 3 days later he filed for custody. He is so cruel, he wanted her aborted at 36 weeks knowing I’d had a stillbirth, threats to have me killed, non stop name calling, tells everyone I’m mentally ill etc

I had a section 7 carried out, they said they thought his abuse was ‘parental conflict’ there was no help, they gave him unsupervised, he was due to have her every Saturday 8-4, due to distance I offered him 3 nights per fortnight. I asked the LA to stay involved to support me, they refused. I was left to deal with him.

I coparented as best I could, and the final hearing was set for 21st sept, they did another S7 end of Aug which stated she should live with me, by now she’s 22 months old.
Dad kept picking at me with silly issues like sugar, calling me a liar all the time, everything was picked at.

I was doing so well, a law student, had everything sorted, life was good.
Until the 2nd of September, I was taking her to her dads, came home to find the police and sw in my front room, my children aged 16 & 9 packing their belongings.
I was talked into section 20, but the LA have since denied this. They are now staying with a relative and Dad has the baby.

They are doing a section 47 and I’m still waiting for the police to see me, it’s been 4 weeks, and all I know is I’m meant to have sworn, shouted and smacked them, of course I haven’t hit them, shouted yes,

I had the final hearing last week and it was adjourned, Dad got an interim live with order, and I was given daily video contact with the baby, Dad isn’t doing this, I’ve had 17 minutes in the past 3 days, he’s meant to be setting up my contact, he’s refusing because the order isn’t sealed, and says he’s filing for the order to be changed.

Dad has lots of money, the sw is biased and sides with him, he’s keeping the baby from me and I’m being told I have to see her in the contact centre, the judge said it’s up to us as we worked so well together when I did his contacts.
I haven’t done anything wrong, I can’t prove I haven’t.
The children have been brainwashed by the relative, basically because I was putting down boundaries and removed my daughters IPad for her rudeness.

Ignatious
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 8:17 pm

Re: I’m in a mess

Post by Ignatious » Sat Oct 02, 2021 9:20 am

Dear BeautifulBeachLover,

I'm sorry your are experiencing the situation you are in. I too have experienced similar so can to a large extent relate.

In my case, Police came to the property (with Social Services) and I was presented with 3 options, (1) I leave the house voluntarily, (2) I leave the house in hand-cuffs, (3) They remove the children under police protection powers. Before I was allowed back in the house (and absent the children, I was forced to sign (along with the childrens mother) a Section 20.
In my opinion this is services colluding, to at best criminal coercion.

Please bare in mind as my footnote states. I am a parent myself and my opinions are my own. Their is no substitute for professional legal advice.

In both my case and yours, shortly thereafter I guess there were court proceedings (Interim/emergency). You do not say if the interim live in order is for all the children, or just your new born.
If it is just for the new born, then the Section 20 is just a voluntary agreement, you can revoke it at anytime and reclaim your (two older) children. Although the children(s) ages would mean a court should take in and consider their views.
Regarding the LA denying the Section 20, verbally or in writing (ie email).
You could ask for a Subject access request for all information pertaining to yourself from/between certain dates (I would suggest the date you signed the Section 20) to physically obtain proof.
If you can evidence the denial (of the Section 20) and you reclaim your children

You said Father got interim live with order, If he is not following the terms of the live with order, which as you state includes daily video contact, then my advise is log and keep records,.. evidence as much as you can, discuss this with your legal and present these at the resumed final hearing.

I would also go without saying, the interim order of the court is still an order of the Judge. like I said, I do not know if this is for all children or just newborn. If it is for all children, it would over-ride any section 20 agreement.

I'll leave things here. I hope I've given you something to think about.

Take a day off, Pause, take stock, have a day to yourself and look after your own wellbeing. I know it's hard. I've been without my children for over 4 years now.

I wish you luck in your struggles.

Kind regards

Ignatious
I am a parent. My responses are not from any formal training background but from my own experiences, my own research and my own point of view.

Bossman1959
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2021 10:51 am

Re: I’m in a mess

Post by Bossman1959 » Sat Oct 02, 2021 11:05 am

Good morning beautifulbeachlover,

It made me very sad to read your post, it must be very hard for you to be separated from your children.

I hope it is OK for me to make a few comments and ask a few questions.

Firstly you say that your were in an abusive relationship, was that ever documented, that would help if it was,gives substance to your claim that he is the abusive parent.

You say you were coerced into a section 20, this is very believable it has happened many times.

The things to note about section20. It is voluntary, you can remove your children at any time with or with out notice.

The person(s) looking after the children, I hear they are family members have they had any training, the law states they should be assessed and trained and paid like any other foster care arrangement. Should you feel this is not the case you may want to discuss the potential danger to the children.

With regards to the contact with you baby.. that must be really awfull for you as the bond between mother and baby is being disrupted.

As this is court ordered he is in breach of a court order, he could be fined or even sent to jail for his actions. Does he have reasons for his action. And can he prove any allegations.
As ingenious says, try to document and keep evidence. I would make all correspondence in writing then it can not be denied.

This must have really drained you physically emotionally and mentally. As ignatious says, take some time out. Try to use the week end to relax recharge your health and well being.

Then come back to it Monday with a fresh pair of eyes.

If you are not happy with the social workers attitude you can complain.

You can certainly collect your children and belongings from the family member.

Look at the evidence being used by your ex and the SW, see if there is anything you can do to refute this.

Make a plan to fight back for your children..

I do hope this has helped, and that you can relax and rest.

If there is anything you want to say/ask if I can help I will. BTW the information about the misuse of s20 is in the social workers guide to children and families law. By Lynn Davis. A very useful book indeed.

Enjoy your weekend best you can. 🙂

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 3187
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: I’m in a mess

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Oct 06, 2021 9:34 am

Dear Beautifulbeachlover,

Welcome to the parents’ board and thank you for your post.

I am sorry to hear of the difficulties you and your family are experiencing.

You were going through private law proceedings in respect of your youngest child, and children’s services were no longer involved (other than to complete two Section 7 reports for the court). However in early September children’s services became involved after allegations were made about verbal and physical abuse towards the children, and a Section 47 investigation is now being completed. You signed a Section 20 agreement; your two older children are now living with a relative, and your youngest child is living with her father.

Contact

Regarding your concerns about contact with your youngest child I hope the following is helpful. It is not entirely clear whether the order granted in respect of your youngest child is a private law order or a care order. From what you have said I think that the father was likely granted an interim Child Arrangements Order (rather than a care order being made) which would mean that children’s services do not hold any parental responsibility for the child and as such do not have any rights to make demands regarding contact between you and the child. You say that the judge said that the details of contact are up to both parents to arrange together; you should discuss your concerns with your solicitor and highlight with them that the father is not adhering to the video contact laid out in the court order and then take the solicitor’s direction regarding this.


Section 20


You say that you signed a Section 20 agreement after you were talked into it. Before a child becomes looked after under a voluntary arrangement (under Section 20 of the Children Act 1989) parents should be given clear and accurate information. Children’s services should tell parents about their rights and what responsibilities children’s services have. Parents should never feel pressured into agreeing to the plans proposed. You can find detailed information about Section 20 on this section of the FRG website here. If you feel that you were pressured and/or that your rights were not explained fully then you may wish to consider making a formal complaint regarding this.

As things stand you still hold parental responsibility for the children and as such you can remove the two older children at any time. However, as your older child is 16 if they say that they wish to stay in the voluntary arrangement then this will supersede your wish to remove them. Because of their age your 16 year old is able to make this decision themself. If you do decide to remove your children then you should very clearly tell children’s services that you want the children to be returned to your care. You can remove your 9 year old at any time without notice (and your 16 year old if they agree to this), or you can ask for them to be returned to you at a fixed time. However it is always a good idea for parents to discuss their plans with children’s services before carrying them out. You can find further information about removing your child on our website here.

It is important to consider that if children’s services are worried and think that what is planned means that the child is likely to suffer significant harm then they will apply to the Family Court for an order to protect the child – most likely an emergency protection order or an interim care order. If they are granted one of these orders then they will be able to decide who the children live with and you will not be able to remove them. If you are considering removing your children from the voluntary arrangement and this is against the wishes of children’s services it would be advisable to seek some independent legal advice first.

Child Protection

You say that a Section 47 assessment is being carried out, but at the time of your post this didn’t seem to have been completed. You seem unclear about what exactly the concerns are other than that it is alleged that you have ‘sworn, shouted and smacked them’. You say that you haven’t hit them but you have shouted at them. Children’s services must by law carry out child protection enquiries if they suspect that a child has suffered or is likely to suffer 'significant harm'. From what you have said it seems most likely that children’s services are worried about physical abuse, which is a category of significant harm. If you are not clear about what exactly the allegations are then I would suggest that you ask the social worker to discuss this with you and put this in writing.

As part of the process of the child protection enquiries a strategy discussion should have been held and after 15 working days an Initial Child Protection Conference should be held (if it is agreed that the threshold for this is met). The assessment should be completed within 45 working days and you should be provided with a written copy of this. If a child protection conference takes place then the social worker must prepare a written report which details exactly what the concerns are and these should be discussed clearly and openly at the conference (which you should be invited to). There is more information on our website here about the child protection process. Here are some tips on preparing for a child protection conference.

It is really important that you understand what the concerns are, what you can do to address them and what support there is to help you and your family. The focus must be on keeping the children safe from harm. It is also often a good idea to involve extended family members to help; you can think about whether a family group conference (FGC) may be helpful.


Advocacy

If a child protection conference is held then government statutory guidance says that the child’s social worker should share information about advocacy agencies with you. You are entitled to bring an advocate or a supporter (family/friend/professional) to the conference. If you visit the Top tips and templates page you will find a Working with an advocate guide and a Requesting an advocate template letter (Letter 1 at the bottom of the page) to write to children’s services.


Advocacy for children

You have concerns that your older children are being influenced by the relative that they are currently living with. It might be a good idea to request that they have a children’s advocate who is independent from children’s services and will help them get their views heard. Coram Voice and Help at Hand both provide this service.


Domestic violence

I am sorry to hear that you were a victim of domestic abuse; it may be useful to consider getting specific support from organisations around this. You may find some of these links useful.



If you would like to speak with an adviser at Family Rights Group, you can telephone our free confidential advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday. You are also welcome to post again if you have any further queries about children’s services’ involvement.

Hope you will find this helpful.

Best wishes



Suzie

Beautifulbeachlover
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2021 9:15 pm

Re: I’m in a mess

Post by Beautifulbeachlover » Wed Oct 13, 2021 7:25 pm

Thank you for the support..

The children have been brainwashed, since being away they are suddenly scared of me, the person they are with has been telling everyone ‘what a monster I am’

I still haven’t been seen by the police, it’s now 6 weeks.
I was bullied into the removal, it was sudden, and they were let in while I was out.
I didn’t sign section 20, but I’m being told the children don’t want to see me.

I have much evidence of the domestic abuse, have many texts where he was calling me names,trying to control, wouldn’t leave me alone, him not letting me see the baby is another form of control.
He says he doesn’t have to follow the order due to it not being sealed.
The baby was subject to private law proceedings, and child arrangement order.

I’ve discovered one of the reasons for removal, I’m meant to have pulled my 16 year old up the stairs by her ear, totally illogical, and doesn’t make sense.

I didn’t have chance for child protection, they went straight for removal, though I’m not seeking to have the 16 year old back, she’s too difficult, and last year pushed me down the stairs.

Dad won’t sort the contact centre, and I’m getting 10 mins every two days.

Daily contact was agreed in court between both barristers, the draft was produced, a week later he filed another draft with ‘alternate daily’ contact.
The court have said it went for sealing on 1st Oct, and takes 11 working days.
So unsure which draft will be sealed.

I’m exhausted and feel defeated, I can’t concentrate, can’t study, I just want to sleep, which isn’t like me at all.

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