Section 47 assessment HELP

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Singlemum6
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Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2022 5:55 pm

Section 47 assessment HELP

Post by Singlemum6 » Mon Jun 13, 2022 8:33 pm

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Last edited by Singlemum6 on Thu Jun 23, 2022 1:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 3515
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Section 47 assessment HELP

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Tue Jun 21, 2022 12:26 pm

Dear Single Mum 6

Welcome to the parents’ discussion board and thank you for your post. My name is Suzie and I am FRG’s online adviser. I am sorry to hear of the difficulties that you and your family are experiencing.

Congratulations on your pregnancy. However, I can see that you are going through a stressful time at the moment.

Children’s services have been involved with you and your children on a child in need basis in the past due to domestic violence. You had previously separated from your partner then reconciled. There has been a further incident which involved the police and children’s services have now begun a child protection investigation. You have now separated from your children’s father again and obtained a non-molestation order (NMO) against him, in order to protect yourself and your children. This is not an easy thing to do but it does show that you are taking steps to prevent a further incident and you are prioritising your and your children’s safety.

I understand that you are concerned about the outcome of the child protection (section 47) enquiries. I think that children’s services decided to investigate because there was a further incident after you had separated, your children are young and dependent on both parents to keep them safe and also as you are pregnant - domestic violence can escalate in pregnancy. We have information here that sets out why social workers are concerned when children or their parent experience domestic abuse. I hope that these FAQs may be helpful to you.

The social worker should be open and transparent with you about the process and you have a right to ask questions and to be kept informed. There must have already been a strategy meeting in order to decide to do a child protection investigation so this should have been discussed with you, although you, as a parent, would not be invited to the meeting itself. You can read more about how child protection enquiries are made here.

It is good to hear that your daughter’s school has no concerns for her. The social worker will also contact your health visitor in relation to your younger child and your GP too. They will also need to consider the needs of your unborn baby; they may do a pre-birth assessment. This may depend on how pregnant you are. The social worker may encourage you to engage with a domestic violence support service or to complete the Freedom Project if you have not already done so. You can explore these services yourself, if you wish, which also helps show that you are being proactive in seeking help for yourself and your children and that you have a space to think through your experiences. We have links to specialist domestic abuse services here.

You are wondering what might happen and waiting to find out is taking a toll on you. Do you have family and friends who can support you?

There can be different possible outcomes when children's services look into child protection concerns and it is not possible to predict what will happen but the fact that you and your partner are apart and not having contact, with a NMO in place, and that your daughter is doing well at school are all positives. The social worker will weigh these up against the concerns. Government guidance in Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) has a flowchart which shows the different outcomes (page 44) and these are explained more on pages 47 and 48. The outcome could be that you are offered a child in need plan (if the concerns are not substantiated) or there could be an initial child protection conference to decide if your children are at continuing risk of significant harm (this must take place within 15 days of the strategy meeting).

You are worried about the implications for you professionally, as you are a SENCO, The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) is involved in these situations. You may want to seek advice from your union or professional body, if you are a member .

Continue to work with the social worker and the other professionals involved and ask the social worker to keep you updated. These tips may help. Also try to look after yourself.

If you would like to talk to an adviser about the situation please call our freephone advice number on 0808 8010366. The lines are open from Mon to Fri , between 9.30 am and 3.00 pm. You are also welcome to post back on this forum with further queries.

Best wishes

Suzie

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