Children removed under ICO

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Mother Courage
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2022 5:30 pm

Children removed under ICO

Post by Mother Courage » Mon Jun 06, 2022 12:36 pm

On Mother’s Day this year there was an accident at home where my children’s father picked our 2 month old baby up in a panic by the arm after hearing our toddler playing with the cooker (recently moved with open plan living) he panicked and picked the baby up wrongly and injured he’s arm. I was in The shower at the time - when I came out the shower the father was screaming my name. I noticed baby wasn’t moving he’s arm and we took him to A&E immediately. To note: I called 111 first who were busy and unavailable and then called the maternity department who advised me to go to A&E. All 4 of us was at the hospital waiting to be seen and the father became upset saying ‘I chose the wrong time to take a shower etc’ and was shouting. I didn’t respond because I knew he was upset. The staff ask him to leave and I believe he apologized for shouting and explained he was upset seeing his son injured. Myself and both children were told we would be staying in hospital over night and that a member of families would need to look after my toddler while me and the baby are admitted. We stayed in hospital for 5 days. Doctors confirm baby had a fracture to the humerus (top of the arm) and the scapula (shoulder blade) and bruising on his chest. After 3 days they confirmed it was just the one fracture to the arm and the bruising was in fact genetic birth marks aka Mongolian blue spots. This was very upsetting as they made me believe for sometime he had 2 fractures and bruising although I told them it wasn’t bruising as I know my first son had similar blue spots when he was born that have faded over the years. (Mongolian blue spots common in black and Asian babies). Medical professionals raised concerns for NAI and the father was arrested and bailed. The police note his explanation was plausible and hard to falsify. After leaving the hospital I was advised to stay with family which I did for a few days but had to return home for appointments for myself and the children as I was still 8 weeks postpartum. When I arrived home social services said they would be putting in 24/7 supervision because they couldn’t rule out that I may have caused the injury. The baby had a follow up appointment 2 weeks after the accident for a second skeletal survey/X-ray which showed no other fractures of varying age which was also the same for the first X-ray taken when the accident happened 2 weeks prior - no other fracture were seen of varying age. The fathers bail conditions meant he couldn’t come home and to have no contact with his children. After baby had his second X-ray the doctor sent me a letter confirming the fracture to his arm is consistent with a quick grab which the father admits was an accident when second child was playing with the cooker. And he cannot see any other fractures. Multiple doctors had signed of the first and second skeletal X-rays confirming the same. 11 days after the second x-ray the police and social services were at my door to arrest both me and the father for ABH and removed the children. At this point I was pleading with the authorities to show them proof in the form of a letter that said he doesn’t have any other fractures. (This fell on deaf ears and arrested anyway). After 6 hours in police custody we both returned home without our children. The hospital are saying the baby has 8 fractures to both knees, both shoulders, both arms and additional fractures in one of his arms. This was base on the second skeletal X-ray which was seen by an orthopedic surgeon and confirm no other fractures. Social services asked us to sign a s.20 which we agreed based on legal advise as they would seek a court order if we didn’t. Unfortunately, this didn’t stop them and they continued to seek an ICO the very next day anyway. When I asked why, they said they thought I would withdraw my consent. I have co-operated with the authorities and gave them no reason to suspect we would withdraw our consent. ICO was granted and the children are in foster care. We are not drug users, alcoholics etc... or have any risk factors that are usually found in most cases I have come across where children have been removed. We both work full time (I’m on maternity leave) we drive and live in a new development in a Small market town in a large county just outside of London. We are financially stable and provide a comfort life for our family. We are a black British family living in a part of the county that make up just over 1% of the population. I have no doubt judgements have been made as the initial social workers’ assessment said I worked in London at a care home and that I have financial difficulties; of course I advised her to make changes to this document as I am a executive for a German car manufacturer and have no financial difficulties. Her response was ‘oh I thought that’s what you told me’. maybe she thought I wouldn’t read 13 pages of size 7 font. I was shocked to see what they were implying by getting crucial information regarding my job and financial status completely wrong. I have asked social services what we can do to prove we are safe and capable parents to which they replied ‘there isn’t anything you can do’. Usually we would offer drug, alcoholic, anger management courses etc but you don’t have any of those problems. I took the initiative to complete a safeguarding course level 1. We are involved in our community and have provided reports from my toddlers nursery as we have attended as a family for his open day and settle days. We also have a report HomeStart who have supported us regarding child playgroups and community activities as we are relatively new to the area. There is no domestic violence in our relationship although the medical professionals were concerned about the father shouting at the hospital. It’s not my intention to pull the race card but if you’re not a minority you may never recognize or understand, you see - if a black man gets upset he is stereotypes as “aggressive and threatening”. I think the staff should have offered him support as he was clearly upset by what has happened to our son. We know there are prejudices that exist in the world, I just pray this kind of ignorance is not at play here. Why is it a surprise that we live in a nice affluent area, that we both drive and have 2 cars, that we work full time and that we don’t have issues with drugs and alcohol? We just want the opportunity to prove we are capable parents. The biggest issue here is that a medical professional has reported a finding of 8 fractures that 3 doctors missed. It’s difficult to comprehend because someone should have noticed, surely. The baby had contact with the midwife, health visitor and medical staff at the hospital during admission over the 5days we were there and nobody raised any concerns. I have been trying to chase blood test results for my baby which were taken almost a month ago now for vitamin D levels. I had the test and it came back borderline deficient. The test result for my baby could answer a lot of questions. I am schedule to have a meeting with my Solictor this week to discuss baby’s medical records that have now been released. It’s also important to note my 2 year has been assessed and there are no concerns for him whatsoever. During the social workers visit to our home before the children were removed she noted in her findings my home is clean and witnessed a loving bond between myself and the children. We currently see the children 3 times a week for just 1 hour and a half. I have requested the foster Carer send me the children’s laundry so I can do their washing - the familiar smell of me and mummy’s washing is important to me and I want to do as much as I possibly can in this position. It has been said this is an unusual request to do the children’s washing but thats normal to me, I am there mother and that’s what I do. Why wouldn’t I want to continue caring for my children where I can? My children are black boy’s and placed with a white mother and daughter duo. They seem like really nice people but are not equipped to care for Afro hair for example and this is leaving my children with matted unkempt hair which in my opinion is neglectful. The moisturizing of the skin was an issue but has now been resolved. I thought children were placed with families as close as possible to the children’s culture and ethnicity? I have plenty of supporting family and have queried for the children to be with family members - there doesn’t seem to be any urgency to get the children with relatives and I don’t understand why. Sorry this post is so long but I have tried to include all the information and I’m sure I’ve missed something. I am doing my best to stay strong and be patient but my babies are growing so much and I’m missing crucial milestones and developmental stages that I can’t get back. I am conscious the authorities maybe waiting for a reaction from me as they appear to have no solid risk factors they can use against me. What they are trying use is the Bereavment of my mother. I lost my mum in June 2019 and found out I was pregnant with my first child weeks later. I self referred for well-being as I knew these massive life changes could impact my well being and mental health. I had never lost a significant family before and never been pregnant- these 2 things were massive and seeking support was the right thing for me. This is what the social services are trying to use against me (depression). Of course I had a low mood and I knew it, hence me seeking support. Who wouldn’t be down after loosing your mother never mind finding out your pregnant on top of it. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

I need my children like I need air.

Many thanks
Mother Courage

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 3519
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Children removed under ICO

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Jun 15, 2022 3:32 pm

Dear Mother Courage

Thank you for your post and welcome to the Board, I apologise for the delay in responding.

I am sorry to read of your difficult situation.

Firstly, may I direct you to our website for information about care proceedings. Secondly may I suggest that you ask for a family group conference and ask when assessments will be started or completed for family members who may be able to care for your children during the proceedings. I fully appreciate that you want them back in your care as soon as possible but from what you say, during the court process there may be some fact finding undertaken to establish the differing reports from the medical professionals.

Parents Accused is a website that may be able to offer you some tips.

You mention in your post that you are being discriminated against, all government institutions must comply with the Equality Act of 2010 and draft information around the Public Sector Equality Duty , perhaps you can ask your local authority for this information.

Best wishes
Suzie

KatKat10
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri May 27, 2022 4:40 am

Re: Children removed under ICO

Post by KatKat10 » Sun Jul 03, 2022 5:24 pm

Mother Courage is there an update to your current situation?
KK10

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