Are Childrens services taking our concerns seriously?

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cada1981
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2023 10:13 am

Are Childrens services taking our concerns seriously?

Post by cada1981 » Tue Oct 31, 2023 12:16 pm

Hi all,

Would like some advice really. My partner and his ex wife had an awful divorce, she had an affair and made my partners life awful (we didnt meet until around 8 months later) . They had two girls together and she had two older boys from previous marriage, she left all four kids for two months whilst gallivanting with her new lover. She refused to move out of the family home (this was my partners home, he is disabled and has a trust so house is owned by trust) and during that year made life unbearable, abused him physically and mentally, abused his carers, and was verbally abusive in front of all the kids. Once they settled the divorced and she got a pay out, she then left for another few months and move away. She then took their two daughters as my partner agreed it was in their best interest to move with mum as the strain she had put on him was unbearable. Her lover also attacked him and broke his wrist, she was aggressive also and police did nothing. All in front of the two girls. My partner put in a court order for his protection and mine during exchange so they cant approach us . We have girls every other weekend and holidays and we meet halfway. So their past has been quite volatile really however they communicate via email about the girls only.

We have contacted NSPCC on three occasions now with different things. Last two were closed as apparently they asked the youngest child about it and she denied it. Even though she had told us and my own children she had her mouth washed out with soap, and other occasions of violence and arguments whilst at her mum between her mum and step dad.

The next councern is last year the youngest said he step dad pulled down her knickers and tickled her bottom and she didnt like it. We didnt do anything at the time. She has ADHD and sometimes gets muddled but we told her to tell the step dad she didnt like it, and tell us if happens again. Fast forward a year and out of the blue she says it again. This time my partner asked the mum and she got very defensive and basically threatened non contact. We spoke to various agencies we were helpful and have requested a Sarahs law on this step dad. This is nearly a month and nothing. Childrens services were better on the phone (last occasion the social worker basically called my partner a liar and what did we expect them to do... erm their job! He felt very victimised because he was a man). So its been nearly a month and we have chased social services, and are now in early stages on complaints. We are unsure of how far to take this really as the child in question now doesnt respond to any questions we ask and responses are robotic, I personally feel shes been told not to answer any questions. Even if we ask her about school its the same reply "I cant remember". I feel if teachers ask her about what she told us she will just tell them to same.

Not sure really what to do as we are not sure if what the daughter is saying had been done in a vindictive way, however as she said " I didnt like it " makes us feel otherwise. We have a CAO in place and I feel perhaps when she told us the second time we shouldnt have sent her home until it was investigated however we didnt know what to do.

It does say CS will take up to 45 days to investigate however previously they have simply just closed the case without getting back to us. I also feel she uses the fact they had a very bitter affair as an excuse for us contacting NSPCC out of malice, which isnt the case but I feel CS fall for this and have only heard one side. They havent even come to our home to speak to us about these concerns only a very brief phone call.

I feel perhaps we are being impatient but obviously it's been a few months now since she told us about this again and the process seems slow!

Is anyone else in same position?

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 4330
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Are Childrens services taking our concerns seriously?

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Nov 02, 2023 2:38 pm

Dear cada 1981

Welcome to the Family Rights Group parents’ discussion forum and thank you for posting.

My name is Suzie, online adviser at Family Rights Group and I will respond to your post. Other posters on the forum may also give you the benefit of their experience.

You mention an acrimonious separation and divorce between your partner and his ex-wife. They share parental responsibility for their children and there is it appears a child arrangement order relating to the children’s contact with their father. I do not know if you are named on the order.

The concerns you have mentioned in your post relate to the way in which concerns that have been brought to the attention of children’s services and other agencies have not led to an outcome which you believe deals with the issues relating to the children’s safety and wellbeing. You mention that the youngest child spoke about not like the way her stepdad treated her. Although you say she has ADHD and gets muddled you did nothing when she first spoke about it. She has again mentioned the same issue over a year later, is it possible she is repeating the same incident. I only say this because you described her as getting muddled.

Putting that to one side, if her father and you have concerns about any kind of sexual abuse, were the police involved about the most recent information shared by the child. She is not open anymore and it could be that she is worried about beng questioned, children’s services could look at the questioning as emotionally harmful to the child.

As a referral was made to children’s services, and they have a duty to follow up on the referral and as previously, decide how they will proceed, decisions were made in the past to for the cases to be closed. This decision is normally because children’s services do not consider there are safeguarding concerns for the children. On this occasion it is not clear what investigation is being carried out, if any, children’s services should inform the father who has parental responsibility what involvement they intend to have going forward. Please read HERE what should happen when children’s services receive a referral.

If children’s services are carrying out child protection enquiries this can take 45 days depending on the local authority’s policy Your partner should be told if this is what is happening.

Regarding the mother threatening the stop contact, should she do so, this would be breaking the court order and your partner could apply to the court to enforce the order.

As you are in the early stages of a complaint you may find this information on our website relating to complaints helpful.

Should you wish to, you can telephone and speak with one of our experienced advise regarding children’s services on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30am to 3.00m Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays)

Hope this information is useful.

Best wishes

Suzie

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