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Post by goldielocks » Thu Jan 20, 2022 2:26 pm

hi, im looking for some advice
Basically when my children were little little there dad was a high risk offender ( violence) and before he came out of prison his probabtion officer called social services so they got involved.
i jumped through loops with social services every thing they asked i did to stop my kids going on child protection... i got a injunction went into a refuge for 6 months to get moved to another town. social services absolutly terrify me...they told me if there dad wanted to have contact he would have to go through court... so now 10 years later the kids are 12 and nearly 15 and want to see there dad but im petrified of social services... 10 years ago me and there dad were young so weve both changed now wev grown up and matured and he hasnt been in trouble for 10 years. what do i do now?

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

Re: contact

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Jan 28, 2022 10:30 am

Dear Goldielocks

Welcome to the Parents’ Forum and thank you for your post. My name is Suzie and I am FRG’s online adviser. I am sorry to hear about the difficulties you and your family have experienced.

You have explained how you took protective steps ten years ago to keep yourself and your children safe from their father. He was classed as a high risk offender due to violent offences. You obtained an injunction against your ex-partner and moved to refuge accommodation for your safety. Children’s services were concerned about any potential contact between the children and their father and recommended that he apply to the family court if he wanted to see the children.

You are now in a dilemma as the children want to see their father but you are worried about how children’s services would view this. You note that both you and your ex-partner are now more mature and he has not got into any further trouble.

It is good to hear that your ex-partner has not offended again. However, his history remains and is likely to still be a cause for concern for children’s services. Has he done any programmes to reduce his risk or address his previously-violent behaviour?

Social workers will still look to you to make safe decisions for the children although of course as they are older now they are more able to say what they want to happen, especially your 15 year old. However, they may be worried :

• That by allowing contact your children will be put at risk
• About whether you can manage safe contact arrangements even if you have support from family and friends
• Contact might be harmful or damaging for the child/children.

There are a few options for you to consider.

The first is for the children’s father to get independent legal advice about applying to the court to see the children, as children’s services originally recommended. He can get advice about this from Child Law Advice or a solicitor. If he applies to the court they will consider the risks and the strengths, the children’s views and what arrangements for contact should be made.

Another is for you and/or your ex-partner to approach children’s services, explain the situation and ask for a new specialist risk assessment to be carried out. He would need to be willing to cooperate with an assessment if they agreed to do this. This could include looking at what the risks are, if they can be managed in any way and would explain what the person doing the assessment thinks will be a safe plan for contact.

We have an FAQ on domestic abuse for fathers which deals specifically with this issue; it sets out tips about what a father can do in this situation to have a relationship with his children or to have safe contact with them.

I hope this helps. Please post again if you have a further query or call our freephone advice line if you would like to speak to an adviser; freephone 0808 8010366, Mon to Fri, 9.30 am to 3.00 pm.

Best wishes


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