Confused about sw involvement

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Xvx
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2021 7:00 pm

Confused about sw involvement

Post by Xvx » Thu Oct 21, 2021 4:49 pm

I’m looking for some advice I have had 2 domestic incidents with my ex partner the last my children were in bed and he came to my home and wouldn’t leave so I called the police. We had a no contact order for 7 months during which I found out I was pregnant. I told my health visitor he was the father when the baby was born and she advised she would need to share with sw.

Sw attended my home and were very intimidating and told me under no circumstances was he to have unsupervised visits with me or his child and to have a friend present and advised I go to court for contact centre they also told me they do not want me to get back together with him.

I’m confused because they told me all this and just left me to it. They said no case is open and that they have taken a step back but I’m at a loss what to do for the future if my ex will be allowed unsupervised or if it’s my decision I called to clarify and they still weren’t very useful just said he is a risk and I have to make sure my child is kept safe. Can you advise on this please ?

Xvx
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2021 7:00 pm

Re: Confused about sw involvement

Post by Xvx » Thu Oct 21, 2021 4:50 pm

I should add he has previous convictions for dv with other partners and is currently on a court ordered course for dv. He said he is trying to change and is attending a psychologist also.

Xvx
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2021 7:00 pm

Re: Confused about sw involvement

Post by Xvx » Thu Oct 28, 2021 3:38 pm

Any advice please ?

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Confused about sw involvement

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Oct 29, 2021 10:08 am

Dear Xvx,

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.

Your ex-partner has a history of domestic abuse convictions and you were a victim of abuse perpetrated by him on several occasions. Children’s services were advised of this by the health visitor after the baby was born. They have told you that they have not opened a case, however they have given you advice about contact between your baby and the father. You are unsure what this means for the future and what kind of contact you should or shouldn’t allow.

I hope that the following is helpful to you.



Domestic abuse and children’s services

Concern that a child is experiencing or witnessing domestic abuse is a very common reason why children’s services become involved with families. This is because research shows that children can suffer long-term harm as a result of domestic abuse. You can find detailed information about children’s services and why they might become involved here and you may find these Domestic abuse FAQs for mothers helpful.

It seems that children’s services have decided that for the time being you are able to protect your baby from the father, and for this reason they have decided not to have any involvement. However they have given you advice including that you do not re-start your relationship with him, that you do not allow unsupervised contact between him and the baby, and that you make sure that you have a friend present if you meet with him. They have also suggested that he has contact with the baby at a contact centre rather than in your home.

You say that you are confused about what exactly children’s services have asked you to agree to and what decisions you can make in future. You have called them up to clarify but did not find this helpful so I would suggest that you ask them to clarify in writing exactly what they expect of you and why.

It is important that you take their advice seriously as it is clear that children’s services believe your ex-partner to be a risk to your baby and to you. Given his history of repeated incidents of domestic abuse this is likely to be a reasonable belief. If you decide to go against children’s services advice and in future an incident happens which puts your baby at risk of harm then children’s services will be likely to take this very seriously. In this situation they would be likely to start child protection enquiries as they may be worried that your baby is at risk of significant harm.



Contact Centres

Although children’s services advised you to get a court order to use a contact centre this is not always necessary. If your ex-partner agrees to contact in a contact centre then you can set this up by referring yourself. However if your ex-partner does not agree to this then it may be that you will need a court order. You can find more information about this here and you can find centres locally to you by using the search function on the NACCC website here. If your ex-partner does not agree to the contact suggested by you then you do not have to allow contact if you believe it to be unsafe for you or your baby. You must always prioritise your baby’s safety over your ex-partner’s wish to have contact. If he wishes to have contact (and does not agree to the contact you are suggesting) then he can make an application to court and contact arrangements can be made through a court order.



Domestic abuse courses

It is positive that your ex-partner has said that he wants to change his behaviour and that he is attending a course for perpetrators. However it is very important that you remain realistic in your expectations and are cautious in any decisions that you make regarding contact between him, yourself and your baby. Changes in behaviour generally take a long time to become embedded and from what you have said it sounds as if your ex-partner has a significant history of perpetrating domestic abuse.

You may find it helpful to consider attending a course yourself which would help you understand more about what domestic abuse can look like and how you can spot it early on. This may be helpful to you in any future relationships you become involved in so that you are able to keep yourself and your child as safe as possible. The Freedom Programme provides this kind of course for free and is all online.

You can also find more organisations that offer support to victims of domestic abuse here.



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,

Suzie

Xvx
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2021 7:00 pm

Re: Confused about sw involvement

Post by Xvx » Fri Oct 29, 2021 10:20 am

Thanks for your reply.

They keep asking if we are likely to get back together and if we do they will become involved would you be able to tell me what way they would become involved and if they would work with the family or would it be a case of no or your putting your children at risk ? Thanks

Xvx
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2021 7:00 pm

Re: Confused about sw involvement

Post by Xvx » Fri Oct 29, 2021 1:03 pm

Are child protective services likey to become involved too?

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Confused about sw involvement

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Nov 01, 2021 12:15 pm

Dear Xvx

Thank you for your further post. I think it would be helpful if you look again at my previous response and the links included there. I suggest you look, in particular, at the information relating to domestic violence and mothers as well as child protection enquiries.

Children’s services, at present, is expecting that you will take on board and follow what they have said regarding your ex-partner. He is a risk to your baby and you and, as such, to keep your baby and yourself safe there should be not unsupervised contact.

In relation to you and your ex-partner getting back together, children’s services want to be clear about your intentions and whether you can keep your baby safe. If you want to get back with your partner, you must consider how and when this might happen. He is doing a programme for domestic violence perpetrators; it is not completed, and you do not know if he will complete it. You should be open and honest with the social worker about this, he is the father of your baby and, if you want to be with him then they would need to carry out their own risk assessment of him. His history of violence together with the more recent incidents involving you is the main concern in relation to the risk of harm.

As previously, explained, children’s services will become involved if they consider you are putting your baby at risk of harm. They may carry out child protections enquiries, your baby could be placed on a child protection plan. This would not be a voluntary process.

You should ask the social worker as stated in the previous post to put in writing what the expectations are and what will happen if you were to get back with your ex-partner.

Please telephone our free confidential advice line if you think it would be more helpful to speak with an adviser. The telephone number for the advice line is 0808 801 0366 and the line is open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday.

Best wishes

Suzie

Xvx
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2021 7:00 pm

Re: Confused about sw involvement

Post by Xvx » Mon Nov 01, 2021 6:57 pm

Thank you

No there would be no reconciliation any time soon I would expect courses to be completed and time to change behaviours I’m just trying to gain information for the future. I am going to follow all instructions given to me regarding contact.

Is there anything he can do himself to help with eventually getting unsupervised contact with his child as that’s all that is important at the moment. I wasn’t sure because there is no actual order put in place if it was advice or required and he would need to go to meetings etc to be able to eventually see his child on his own. Thanks

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

Re: Confused about sw involvement

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Nov 08, 2021 2:48 pm

Dear Xvx,

From what you have said, children's services are not involved with your family but have assessed that your child's father poses a significant risk and therefore should not have any unsupervised contact. At this stage, he is engaging in support, but has not completed any intervention. As I have stated previously, engaging in such interventions is a positive step but does not guarantee that your child's father no longer poses any risk - and any changes that may arise from the work he is doing are likely to take time.

My advice therefore is for you to arrange supervised contact as advised by children's services and to be guided by what is safe for your child. Contact is your child's right, not her father's, and must be done in her best interest's. Over time, you may feel that your child's father has made actual changes to his behaviour and that it would be safe for him to have unsupervised contact - if this does happen, it is good idea to contact children's services and to discuss this with them. If your child's father is not happy with this arrangement, he may wish to apply to the family courts himself.

I hope you have found this helpful.

Best wishes,

Suzie.

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