Can social service's put Cameras in your bedtoom at mother and baby foster placement?

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Anonymousbag83
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2020 2:25 am

Can social service's put Cameras in your bedtoom at mother and baby foster placement?

Post by Anonymousbag83 » Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:30 am

Hiya so to try cut as short as possible.

Is it legal for children's services to have a camera recording you in your bedroom at mother and baby foster placement?

Basically someone I know went to court because La wanted her baby removed and adopted.

Court disagreed and placed her in a mother and baby foster unit for 3 weeks until her partner and her family had assessments because they were classed as a risk (very long back ground story spanning over 8years) however there were no concerns about mothers parenting and she was not deemed a risk in anyway.

So she agreed to foster placement as ordered by the court. However the social service's have told her she is NOT allowed any contact with any of her family or friends only her partner/father of child.
That the father can only see the child once a week, supervised and she cannot leave house with child without foster careers. None of this was mentioned let alone ordered in court.

Then to top it alll off she has now found out there is a camera in her bedroom at the foster placement and she's been told she can't remove it. So she has no privacy nowhere to change and is struggling to sleep knowing she is being watched.
Again not mentioned let alone ordered in court. They also have admitted she is not a concern or risk and not worried about her parenting its her family they beleive are the risk, whom they have forced her to stop contact with. So doesnt make sense as to why she is even being recoded and if this is even legal without a court order if even then.

Advise ASAP is needed please.

Anonymousbag83
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2020 2:25 am

Re: Can social service's put Cameras in your bedtoom at mother and baby foster placement?

Post by Anonymousbag83 » Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:35 pm

An entire week and still no reply! Not the first time either!

swim
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:07 am

Re: Can social service's put Cameras in your bedtoom at mother and baby foster placement?

Post by swim » Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:06 am

Hi - really sorry to hear about your friends predicament. I'm only answering as, like you say no one has responded. I'm not a legal expert so afraid I can't say anything for definate but I'll try and give some useful tips.

If she is in a mother and baby unit, it is sadly common practice for cameras to be everywhere - if it a mother and baby living with a foster family I would expect that to have more privacy. As the mother is not deemed a risk I would say it would be disproportionate to film her and this would violate her right to privacy. However, I don't know the details so can't say for certain... did the court agree on this particular residence?!

If the mother is subject to an ICO I believe there is scope for the council to decide where the child lives, not so much for an ISO - the court orders will be the important factor.

Another important question is whether the cameras were explicitly explained at the time, or whether they were using covert recording. I would ask your solicitor to bring it back to court as your friend did not give consent to such invasive recording and file a motion to have the filming stopped. Is it SS insisting or the foster placement?

Ask to see their data recording policy, their safeguards to make sure no one innapropriate sees it or has access to it and put in a 'Subject access request' for all the data they have collected on you (including all video footage, notes etc). Give a call to the Information Commissioners Office and get their advice. I would find that really traumatic and violating - especially if I was deemed a safe mother.

In terms of going out of the placement without a foster staff member present - if it's not in the court order it is questionably enforcable ...however it doesn't mean that SS won't use it against you (and it sounds like they are fishing for an excuse). Again, get the solicitor in the case to question whether this is a request or an order with SS or the court or the foster placement being a pain.

Sorry about your predicament - sounds horrid and I hope it is over soon. Sorry I can only guess at answers

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

Re: Can social service's put Cameras in your bedtoom at mother and baby foster placement?

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:54 am

Anonymousbag83 wrote: Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:30 am Hiya so to try cut as short as possible.

Is it legal for children's services to have a camera recording you in your bedroom at mother and baby foster placement?

Basically someone I know went to court because La wanted her baby removed and adopted.

Court disagreed and placed her in a mother and baby foster unit for 3 weeks until her partner and her family had assessments because they were classed as a risk (very long back ground story spanning over 8years) however there were no concerns about mothers parenting and she was not deemed a risk in anyway.

So she agreed to foster placement as ordered by the court. However the social service's have told her she is NOT allowed any contact with any of her family or friends only her partner/father of child.
That the father can only see the child once a week, supervised and she cannot leave house with child without foster careers. None of this was mentioned let alone ordered in court.

Then to top it alll off she has now found out there is a camera in her bedroom at the foster placement and she's been told she can't remove it. So she has no privacy nowhere to change and is struggling to sleep knowing she is being watched.
Again not mentioned let alone ordered in court. They also have admitted she is not a concern or risk and not worried about her parenting its her family they beleive are the risk, whom they have forced her to stop contact with. So doesnt make sense as to why she is even being recoded and if this is even legal without a court order if even then.

Advise ASAP is needed please.
Dear Anoymousbag83

I am very sorry for not responding to your post earlier, do accept my apologies.

From what you have written your friend has agreed to be assessed at a mother and baby foster placement and I imagine that her solicitor would have given her advice as to whether to accept the placement and the conditions set by the local authority.

One of the conditions you say is that she does not have unsupervised contact with the father of her child until he has been assessed. Assessments are usual practice and a part of the process our advice sheet Care (and related) proceedings may be useful to your friend, it has some references to assessments in the court process. The assessment will look at all aspects of the child’s needs including the father’s and the wider family’s ability to help meet those needs, in your friends case this will include what you say was ‘risk’ and ‘spans eight years’. You say that the mother is not deemed a risk to the child, the local authority may be concerned however about how she might meet her child’s needs without the significant help of the father or wider family. It is good that you say she is able to prove that she can do this well.

With regard to having cameras in the placement and your friend not knowing about them and not being able to remove them. Having cameras in environments where children and babies and their parents are being assessed is quite normal and their ‘use’ helps the professionals to observe the parent’s interaction with their child as well as assess their parenting capabilities. A positive outcome for your friend might be that she is easily able to prove that she is caring for her child well. Do ask your friend if her solicitor discussed with her what will happen at the placement especially with regard to the monitoring of her care of the baby and whether she was aware or told that she may not be ‘allowed’ to leave the placement, with her baby, unsupervised. The supervising social worker and the foster carer may have outlined what may happen during the assessment too.

I imagine that your friend has a lot to process at this time and as you say she is finding the ‘monitoring’ aspect of her placement very difficult, this is understandable and the pressure of being watched may be difficult to bear. She may be a little ‘frightened’ about it all too. Perhaps she may be able to speak to her GP or other professional about her concerns and mention this to her solicitor so that they know that she feels uncomfortable and is finding it difficult to rest and sleep because she is under constant monitoring.

It may be a good idea for you to suggest that your friend contacts us on our telephone advice service and speaks with us in confidence about her situation, the service is open Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 3pm on 0808 801 0366.

Best wishes

Suzie

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Can social service's put Cameras in your bedtoom at mother and baby foster placement?

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:59 am

Anonymousbag83 wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:35 pm An entire week and still no reply! Not the first time either!
Dear Anonymousbag83

Please see the response to your earlier post, apologies for mis-spelling your name.

Best wishes

Suzie

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