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Post by Thoughful1 » Mon Oct 11, 2021 1:29 pm

Thankyou fir your reply
Last edited by Thoughful1 on Tue Oct 19, 2021 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Re: Assessment domestic violence

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Tue Oct 19, 2021 3:04 pm

Dear Thoughful1,

Welcome to the forum and thank you for your post. My name is Suzie and I will be responding to you today. I am sorry to hear about the difficulties that you and your family are experiencing.

Children’s services have become involved because they are concerned that your son may be at risk of harm due to his father’s domestic violence and alcohol misuse. You say that you understand the concerns that children’s services have and you put in place arrangements to keep your son safe when he had contact with his father, however children’s services are concerned that he had contact whilst the bail conditions were still in place. You have been told that children’s services want to undertake an assessment which you do not wish to consent to. You are worried that children’s services may remove him under a court order.

I hope that the following information and advice is helpful to you.

Children’s services must by law carry out child protection enquiries if they suspect that a child has suffered or is likely to suffer 'significant harm'. From what you have said it seems most likely that children’s services are worried about emotional abuse due to the domestic abuse perpetrated by your ex-partner. You will find lots of information about domestic abuse and children’s services on our website here. It explains the ways in which children’s services might become involved and why they might be concerned. You may also find these Domestic abuse FAQs for mothers helpful.

If children’s services do decide to undertake an assessment then the possible outcomes include no further action, a referral to early help services, a child in need plan or a child protection plan. I cannot speculate on what the outcome of any assessment on your son might be, but it would be useful to read the information attached to these links so that you feel that you understand what outcomes might be possible.

It is really important that you understand exactly what the concerns are, what you can do to address them and what support there is to help you and your family. The focus must be on keeping your child safe from harm. It is positive that you have previously put in place safety plans such as supervised visits and you acknowledge that your ex-partner poses a risk to your son. When speaking with the social worker it is important that you highlight this, and that you keep the focus on how to continue keeping your son safe now and in the future. You might find it helpful to read our guide to Working with a social worker as it contains advice and tips around working in a positive way with any social worker involved. You say that you are worried that if you consent to working with children’s services then they may wish to remove your son under a court order. In actual fact if you work openly and honestly with children’s services, acknowledging the risks that exist and showing that you are prioritising your son’s safety and are willing to make changes to ensure his safety, then children’s services concerns will be more likely to reduce. If you refuse to work with them then it is more difficult for them to make an assessment and they are likely to become more concerned about the risks to your son.

You mention that visits between your son and his father were supervised by a family member. It is positive that you have extended family who are willing and able to support with this. You may wish to think about whether a family group conference (FGC) would also be helpful as this can give the family an opportunity to come together and make a plan as to how they can support the child to keep them safe.

I am sorry to hear that you were a victim of domestic abuse; you say that you plan to refer yourself to a DVAP group which will hopefully provide you with some support that you need. Here are some further links which you may find useful.

I hope you find this helpful and should you wish to speak to an adviser, please telephone our free confidential advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday. You are also welcome to post again in this forum.

Best wishes,

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