Baby due in 4 days. Urgent advice please

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TJT2020
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2020 11:03 pm

Baby due in 4 days. Urgent advice please

Post by TJT2020 » Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:09 pm

Hi

I am due with my first baby girl on the 15th august

Due to Dv in past relationship and being in care with lack of support network I am a on child protection plan. I have been asked to sign a s20 agreement when baby is born to place us both into a mum and baby foster placement. I have never heard of s20 placing parent and baby together only away from each other ? Has anyone heard of this.

Also I have filed complaints on my social worker as she has told me not to disclose my address to baby’s father and he’s family but she disclosed this along with a lot of other personal information in an email and also denied it until I gave her proof. She is not supportive at all and makes me feel like a pain for asking questions. When I asked for info on s20 she told me to look it up on google. I desperately want her changed as this is such a big mistake to make as she says me and baby are at risk of baby’s father and she has given out my home address. I am waiting to hear back from complaints but is there any thing else I can do ? Is this a big mistake or am I being over the top ?

The plan was for me to be at home with my baby, my house is great condition got everything needed for my newborns arrival and 2weeks before due date she drops on me s20 and foster placement. I have done nothing but comply with everything I have been asked to do. Negative drug tests for cannabis use in the past which I will never want to touch again. Attending all appointments. Signing up for women’s aid. And getting flat ready for my new born baby

Someone please help. I am so worried

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 3460
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Baby due in 4 days. Urgent advice please

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Aug 12, 2020 5:36 pm

Dear TJT2020

Welcome to Family Rights Group (FRG) parents’ discussion board and thank you for your post. My name is Suzie, FRG’s online adviser.

Congratulations on your pregnancy and the imminent arrival of your baby girl. I hope the birth goes well.

I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing difficulties at the moment and that despite the progress you have made - preparing for your baby’s birth, separating from your ex-partner who was violent to you, attending all your appointments, not using and complying with drug tests for cannabis - you have been asked at short notice to agree to a significant change in the plan for you and your baby when she is born.

As there is a pre-birth child protection plan in place there would normally be time to explore all the possible options well in advance of the baby’s birth, often at a pre-proceedings (PLO) meeting – where you would have the benefit of a solicitor to represent you. You don’t mention this happening so it probably didn’t.

You have now been asked to agree to you and your baby going to a mother and baby foster placement. It is possible for a mother and her baby to be together in such a placement; it is a much better alternative than a mother and her newborn being separated but it is not the only option. You are being asked to voluntarily agree to a Section 20 placement for the baby. You don’t say how old you are but if you are an adult (over 18) you would be in the foster carer’s home and they would supervise your care of your baby but you would not be ‘fostered’ under section 20 yourself.

The most important thing for you to do now is to seek urgent initial legal advice from a solicitor – preferably a solicitor who has children law accreditation and ideally who has experience of representing care-experienced parents. It is essential that you talk to a solicitor about children’s services’ proposal and its implications especially as you were given very little notice or information. You can find a solicitor by searching on the Law Society website .

You can also ring FRG's freephone advice line on 0808 8010366 to speak in confidence to an adviser - our lines are open from Mon to Fri from 9.30 a.m to 3.00 p.m.

These are some questions you might want to discuss with a solicitor and clarify with children’s services.

Have children’s services’ indicated that they are planning to go into care proceedings?
Have they properly discussed other options with you i.e. your original plan to return home with the baby – could they support you with this? There are also mother and baby units as opposed to foster care.
Although you have a limited support network has this been thoroughly explored?

I think from what you have said that you were in care in the past – please see the private message that I am sending you and get back to me if you are interested.

Here is a summary of information about what section 20 involves but there is more detail and information in our specialist advice sheet children looked after by children’s services under a voluntary arrangement.

Remember that you should never feel forced to agree to your child being looked after under a voluntary arrangement and you should not be pressured into agreeing to the particular arrangements which are being proposed. You can end your agreement at any time but if children’s services think that removing your baby from the voluntary arrangement would cause harm to her, they will most likely seek a court order to give them permission for your baby to remain in care. In the case of a baby they may be intending to go to court anyway to oversee her care plan so do ask them to clarify if that is their plan.

This advice sheet duties on children's services to make plans for children in care sets out the plans that are made and how they are reviewed when a child is in foster care.

I am sorry that you have had such poor support from your social worker and to hear that she disclosed personal information about you including your home address to your ex-partner which has potentially put you and your unborn baby at risk. What has the core group done to ensure your safety as a result of this? The complaint you have made should be fully investigated but in the meantime I would suggest that you ask the social worker and other professionals including your domestic violence support worker to review your safety plan. Here are some advice materials on domestic violence including a FAQ on how to keep personal information confidential.

I know that I have given you a lot of information here. Please do ring if would like to discuss your situation with an adviser or post back if that is better for you.

I hope this helps.

Please do check the private message I am sending you and respond if you are interested.

With best wishes

Suzie

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