How best to challenge complex errors in children services reports

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Joined: Wed May 11, 2022 9:40 am

How best to challenge complex errors in children services reports

Post by Beech » Wed May 11, 2022 6:24 pm

Following reporting domestic abuse, violence and, later, child abuse, children's services chose to believe my ex-husband claiming I and my children were lying, malicious or, specifically for the children, coached.

There are a number of worrying issues in the quality of the reports including bias, claims of not seeing evidence which social workers have refused to look at, lies and unsupported assumptions and opinions from social workers, information shared in reports for which it is unclear how it supports the case against me plus clearly fabricated evidence.

Whilst aspects which fall under GDPR (UK) can be dealt with using the right of access, there are other elements which cannot.

To what extent are social workers within their rights to include unsupported claims and opinions in their reports as if it is reliable evidence ?

What is the best way to approach children's services to:
    secure clarity on information included in reports where it has not been made clear how the information is relevant or how it supports the case presented? Do I have any legal rights to support my securing a clear, transparent and complete response?
      ensure I am able to correct the lies, demonstrate evidence which is fabricated and ensure my evidence is looked at and recorded, rather than ignored?
        I assume the complaints process is the best option for challenging the bias and procedure failures?

        I need to move this forward to prevent children's services continuing to write reports which are not just wrong but empowering my ex-husband to maintain harmful power and control over both my children and me.

        Thank you in anticipation.

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        Re: How best to challenge complex errors in children services reports

        Post by Bossman1959 » Wed May 11, 2022 7:47 pm

        Hi Beech,

        I am so sorry to hear the things you are saying at the moment about your e partner and social services.

        I am not an official on the site,I do however understand hot the social workers can seem to side with one parent over another. You mention domestic abuse as a starting point, is/was this documented by police or other witnesses, if so then the social worker would, I would have thought,had to use those documents to make their reports. The process for them is to gather evidence, this can come from any source.
        You can complain and sight the reasons that you feel he/she is biased. That complaint can be taken through several levels if you are un happy with the out come. If you are able to get a solicitor then take some advice.

        Best of luck..

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        Joined: Wed May 11, 2022 9:40 am

        Re: How best to challenge complex errors in children services reports

        Post by Beech » Thu May 12, 2022 8:41 am

        Hi Bossman

        Thank you for your response.

        My ex is clever and calculating. The domestic abuse shown to others was psychological and emotional and, as I was cut off from friends and family, only in front of his friends. The only witness to the violence, other than my children, was another child. This does not mean there was no evidence but social care chose to ignore it and see me as malicious in my claims. That might seem strange so perhaps I should also mention, my ex worked in the same organisation, at a senior level.

        He planned the situation very carefully before I managed to escape and had help from his friends who fabricated evidence against me. Once children's services make a decision they don't like to change, as it risks accusations against them. Since those first mistakes the evidence against him has increasingly surfaced and, I feel, they have worked to shut it down and distance themselves, perhaps not unsurprisingly.

        My solicitor is good but cannot overcome some of the issues. In reference to a serious threat to a child's life and sexual assault on me, one judge stated he was not interested in 'low level abuse' and said it did not matter as I was no longer living there.

        The police did not investigate the domestic abuse only the sexual assault. When I asked them what I could do about the fact he was holding all my money and belongings so I could not pay for somewhere to live they accused me of being a money grabber and lying, assumedly because my ex is well off and, apparently, they feel married women don't have money in their own right.

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        Suzie, FRG Adviser
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        Re: How best to challenge complex errors in children services reports

        Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu May 19, 2022 3:42 pm

        Dear Beech

        Thank you for your post. My name is Suzy, I am an online adviser for the Family Rights Group and will be responding to you today.

        I am sorry to hear of the difficulties you are facing. It must be a worrying and stressful time for you and your family.

        You have experienced a sexual assault and domestic abuse. You do not feel listened to by children’s services and that your experiences of domestic abuse have been minimised by the court.

        You are concerned about the content of the report(s) made by children’s services and would like some information and guidance about how to address those concerns.

        You are right in thinking about making a formal complaint to children’s services. There is a three-stage process to this, and I have added a link HERE which provides detailed information on the complaints process. On this page you will find:

        • What the law says about complaints and who can complain
        • What complaints can be about
        • Making complaints
        • How complaints are dealt with

        Once you have completed the complaints process, if you are not satisfied with the outcome you may wish to take this further by contacting the ombudsman. Please find further information and guidance here - Complaining beyond children’s services .

        In respect of challenging the content of the report(s) – if information is factually incorrect, such as times and dates or information from other professionals which is documented but incorrectly inputted into the report or misleading because it is not included in its entirety you can ask the social worker/team manager to correct this information. In respect of professional opinion, this can be more difficult to challenge because it is just that – an opinion based on professional knowledge and understanding of the situation. However, that does not mean you have to agree with what is written. What you can do in this situation is to ask for a note to be added to the document stating your disagreement and why.

        I have added a link HERE from our website which you may find helpful. It is a working with social workers guide and offers ‘top tips’ for parents when working with social workers and what you can do if that relationship is not going well.

        You mention having a solicitor in your post and that they are ‘good.’ I would suggest you keep your solicitor update and include them in correspondence to children’s services.

        You do not say whether you have been supported by a domestic abuse organisation therefore I am not sure whether you need the following advice but thought I would add for ease of reference. Rights of Women provide a telephone advice line and can advise on the following:

        • domestic violence and abuse
        • divorce, finances and property on relationship breakdown
        • cohabitation, finances and property on relationship breakdown
        • parental responsibility and arrangements for children
        • lesbian parenting

        This line is for women in England and Wales who need family law advice - Call: 020 7251 6577. Please check their website for line opening times.

        I hope you find this information useful.  Should you wish to speak to an adviser please call our free advice line: 0808 801 0366 (Mon to Fri 9.30a.m. – 3.00p.m excluding bank holidays). Or you can of course, post again on here.

        Best wishes, Suzie.

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