Some advice needed on this weird case

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Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 1:18 pm

Some advice needed on this weird case

Post by grownupparent » Wed May 30, 2018 5:22 pm

Where do I start. This is a mess. Even solicitors don't know what to do.

We are in emergency accommodation due to becoming homeless in 2015

In September last year my eldest child at home ‘E’ became emotionally depressed, distant and quite rude. At the same time a second daughter ‘Z’ became suicidal because ‘Z’ is autistic and we were about to move and she doesn’t like change. ‘E’ and ‘Z’ had a big bust up and ‘Z’ tried to kill herself with my partners medication (which we keep in a safe) as my partner is disabled. We did not know the trigger at this point.

Both children were triggering each other and social services became involved as 'Z' tried killing herself. We were actually happy for some assistance as round the clock monitoring was tiring. ‘E’ was rude to the SW and the SW said that we had reached a threshold. It has since been accepted that ‘Z’s suicidal ideation is functional and not because of depression and her behavior is linked to change and her sister goading her to kill herself...We complied with SW and we actually disposed of all medication immediately. SW said "we had done all we can".

In Nov 2017 it became clear that ‘E’ was being groomed by a pedophile and we immediately removed internet access for her and took away her phone as well as tell the SW. SW wrote it in a document and gave us a copy.

We went to our first core group meeting and from that point things actually went downhill. The SW actually was defending us in the meeting because he said the emotional abuse the children were suffering wasn’t necessarily us. I mentioned the paedophile again and again nothing was done. ‘E’ was put on a CIN plan because of her age and ‘Z’ was put on a CPA plan.

At the second meeting both mum and myself were instructed by ‘E’s therapist to return the phone. The therapist is/was part of the core group. We did, but we left the filters on (no social media), that week the therapist told us to remove restrictions as stopping a teen from social interactions were emotional abuse. Told if we did not comply then we could get children removed. We gave unfiltered phone back.

‘E’ went on to distribute pictures of herself naked to the paedophile. We complained to new SW (old one left) who did nothing and in the proceeding 5 meetings the paedophile was not discussed or added to minutes or plan.

We got told to go to family therapy, which we initially rejected, but went to eventually and we were told that they only help dysfunctional families and they cannot help us. They told us to go to the police to get help with the paedophile and if we did not, they would. We complained about ‘E’s therapist but SW is not giving NHS information they need so complaint went nowhere.

We got a 3rd social worker who was hostile and quite the bully. As neither the core group nor child services were doing anything we disengaged. But not after telling the new SW about the C.S.E. & paedophile. She also did nothing.

We got solicitors.

We had a PLO meeting which was halted half way through after we mentioned the paedophile and now we are demanding court as we feel we cannot interact with a core group that has done so much damage. It has been 45 days since the PLO and nothing. The complaint against the newest SW is going nowhere. The police have interviewed ‘E’ and the SW that is lead of the core group is the CSE.

The LA also has not provided all the core group meeting notes or minutes to us and we have been requesting them since Nov 2017 (we have got some up to Feb now).

I had a last minute meeting with SW manager who told me I should not have given the phone back. I explained i have over 60 emails complaining about this and he recommended i sue the NHS. I denied voluntarily giving it back.

Any advice how to proceed. The solicitors are in disbelief.
What can I expect to happen at court now?
Is there a way I can get this investigated properly?

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

Re: Some advice needed on this weird case

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:13 am

Dear grownupparent

Welcome to the Parents’ Discussion Board and thanks for your post. My name is Suzie, Family Rights Group’s online adviser.

I am very sorry to hear about the many challenges your family is currently experiencing. It sounds as if you have all been through a very difficult time.

Your state that your daughter E is currently on a child in need plan; you have serious concerns that she is a victim of internet based child sexual grooming and exploitation which you strongly feel is not being adequately addressed by children’s services and that you have been given misleading advice/information about this including from children’s services and your daughter’s therapist.

It must be very stressful coping with all of this and trying to keep your daughter safe.

The police are the statutory agency responsible for investigating if a crime has been committed and it seems they are now involved. You raise some serious concerns about your daughter and it is important that they are looked into fully and that she is helped to be safe. Have the police clarified if the person you believe is grooming and exploiting your daughter is a convicted offender?

Are you aware of the Lucy Faithfull Foundation’s Stop it Now helpline? They are a charity who help all those affected by child sexual abuse including internet offences. They also have a Parents Protect website to help parents.

Parents Against Child Exploitation (PACE) specialise in advising parents around child sexual exploitation issues and again may be able to offer you some support/advice.

Of course you can always discuss any concerns for your daughter’s safety with the NSPCC too.

Apart from your worries about your daughter E being groomed and exploited are children’s services still worried about her emotional needs and relationship and conflict with her sister which lead to their involvement in the first place?

Is your daughter Z a young adult?

You are probably well aware of Young Minds and the National Autistic Society both of whom are useful resources for young people and parents alike.

You explain that you disengaged from working with children’s services and have made complaints as you felt they were not doing enough and they have not kept you properly informed by sending you all the minutes of meetings about your daughter.

You are absolutely right to request copies of all the minutes; in fact they should be provided to you promptly. However, you can follow the complaints procedure in respect of this too if you need to. Additionally, if you think it necessary, you can do an access to records request to ask for all records that you are legally entitled to. You can find out more here about both the complaints and access to records procedures. The only way really to get children’s services to look at how your daughter’s case has been managed is through the complaints process. You could also contact your MP if you think that is a good idea.

However despite all the difficulties you have experienced it is important that you try to find a way of continuing to work with children’s services (and they with you) and any other agencies working with your family. We have some tips here on working with a social worker and working with a solicitor that might help. Children’s services also have serious concerns about your daughter and it is best you find a way of working together to identify and try to address them.

You are now also in a Public Law Outline (PLO) process but again feel that this has stalled. You have solicitors but explain that they also seem at a loss as to how to proceed.

As your solicitors should have attended the initial PLO meeting with you they are best placed to support and advise you in this process and to contact the local authority’s legal team to enquire about what is happening at present. I know that the meeting was interrupted – have you asked when the meeting will be completed – it is usually reviewed after about 6 weeks. It is important that you know what exactly what children’s services’ concerns are, what they want you to do and why and that you think about this as well as what help and support you feel that your family needs.

It is usually a good idea to ask for a family group conference (FGC) to be arranged if you are at pre-proceedings as this can bring your network together to look at how best to support your daughter and who is best placed to care for her. You could ask for this to be arranged now. Your daughter could ask for an advocate to help her too.

It sounds as if a decision has not yet been made to proceed to court to begin care proceedings but if it is children’s services will send you a letter of issue and you should of course consult with your solicitors straight away. As parents you would get legal aid for this. You can find out much more about what happens in this detailed advice sheet. The court will consider your daughter’s circumstances carefully and will appoint a Guardian to represent her. In this way your daughter’s situation will be explored thoroughly.

I hope this is helpful to you. You are welcome to come back to us if you have further queries as they arise and can post again or ring our Freephone helpline 0808 8010366 Mon- Fri 9.30 – 3.00 to speak to an adviser.

Best wishes


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