New and worried

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Hopefulheart
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2021 11:43 am

New and worried

Post by Hopefulheart » Tue Dec 07, 2021 6:16 pm

Hello, so I’ll try and get what information I need to in the post. My recent ex partner (due to childrens services involvement) and myself went to the crisis team about his mental health but also his controlling behaviours, he has self harmed in front of me which was the point for me where I said he needed professional help. There has been no physical abuse. The crisis team did a dash risk assessment on me which scored 14. She referred me to a domestic abuse victim support as well as passing the information on to childrens services due to my daughter living in the property (The worker expressed that she doesn’t feel there is a risk to my daughter but it’s part of a duty of care).

My partner has gone to stay with his mum as we are both very overwhelmed with the situation especially since being told childrens services are going to be involved. We have had some conversations, he has also joined the make a change group and is in the process of receiving 1:1 therapy too. He has expressed his want to change. I am also pregnant with his child. We would both like to have a relationship with help provided as long as we have safety measures in place.

The social worker visited last week to do the initial assessment and said that at the minute he is to have no contact with my daughter and that if me and him have contact it should be with another person involved. He said that if it’s seen that I am breaking this I am not safeguarding myself, my daughter or my unborn baby and that he will need to come back and reassess.

I am just after some advice as to whether childrens services can stop us having a relationship in the future if he continues the perpetrator programme and I see changes in behaviour. I wouldn’t allow him straight back in to my daughters life and would want me and him to have some time together for me to be able to judge the situation and whether we can move forward.

Can we be made to stay separate?

What will happen when the baby comes? (I’m 13 weeks pregnant)

Will we be able to have a future relationship? And if so how do we go about that with childrens services?

Thanks

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

Re: New and worried

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Dec 09, 2021 2:08 pm

Dear hopefulheart

Welcome to the discussion board and thank you for your post. I am an FRG adviser, and I will be responding to you today.

I am sorry to hear of your family’s recent experiences. It is not unusual to feel overwhelmed when you find yourself in difficult situations which are unfamiliar and unknown to you. Whilst it is early days, from what you say, it sounds like you and your ex-partner are on the right track to getting the support you need to keep yourselves, your child and unborn baby safe. Hopefully your child is also receiving some direct support to process their experiences and change in circumstances. The NSPCC has some helpful information for parents regarding the impact of domestic abuse, in all of its forms, on their website. Please see the link HERE for further information.

You and your ex partner accessed mental health services due to his behaviours. He has now moved out of your home, is living with his mother and receiving support for his mental health needs and controlling behaviours. Your involvement with mental health services triggered a referral to domestic abuse support for yourself and a children’s services referral for your child and unborn child. A social worker visited you and explained that until further notice your ex-partner should not have any contact with your daughter and that if there is any contact between you and your ex-partner a third person should be present. If you do not adhere to these recommendations the social worker has said they will need to come back to you to reassess the situation. You would like information and advice on whether you can be made to stay separated, what will happen when your unborn child is born and whether you will be able to have a future relationship with your ex-partner.

Children’s services cannot legally force you and your ex-partner to remain separated. However, there may be implications to you and your family if you do not adhere to this request. Children’s services should clarify what would happen if you didn’t agree or if your partner returned home in an unplanned way, before the assessment is finished. I would suggest you ask for clarification from the social worker, in writing, to avoid any uncertainty or misunderstandings.

Children’s services have made this request as a safety measure until the assessment is completed. When children’s services are concerned that an adult’s behaviour may be putting children at risk of harm it is better if the adult agrees to stay elsewhere while this is being assessed rather than risking children’s services seeking to remove children from their home. It is important to known that children’s services can only remove a child if a parent with parental responsibility agrees or if they have a court order allowing them to remove a child. Police can remove a child under their police protection powers (for up to 72 hours). This is explained in more detail HERE.

Do you know what assessment Children’s services are completing? It is a Child in Need Assessment or a Child Protection enquiry (often referred to as a Section 47). It is important you know which assessment is being completed as both have different processes, thresholds and implications for you and your family. I have added links to both assessments HERE and HERE.

You might find it helpful to look at our explanations of why children’s services may be concerned when children are living in a family with an adult who behaves angrily or violently or whose mental ill health is impacting on their parenting. You can find out more HERE and HERE . If you follow the links, they also suggest what help and support may be available and what other processes can follow depending on the outcome of the assessment. There are tailored FAQs on domestic violence for mothers and fathers fathers
that cover a lot of key questions you may both have.

Once the assessment is completed and you know the outcome, you may wish to consider a family group conference . Especially as you have a baby on the way and may need some extra support and care following the birth. A family group conference is a family-led decision-making meeting. A child’s wider family and support network come together to develop a plan to support a child and keep them safe. This network may include grandparents, aunts and uncles and sometimes close family friends. The meeting is supported and facilitated by a trained and skilled independent coordinator. They help the family prepare for the meeting and attend to support.

I cannot say for sure what will happen once your child is born. This will be dependent on the outcome of the assessment and any recommendations that follow. The plan should follow the recommendations to address any risk/needs identified. You may find these links helpful. This one HERE offers information and guidance on prebirth assessments and this one HERE offers information and support to parents to be.

You have already acted protectively, you and your ex- partner know that things need to change, that he needs the right help, and you are already showing that you are a responsible parent by seeking advice. You may find it helpful to ask the social worker to keep you as informed and updated as possible, to let you know any concerns they have as they arise and to tell you openly what they would like you and your partner to do.

I would suggest you take a look at this guide to working with a social workers on our website. It sets out some practical suggestions to help you work in partnership with children’s social care and offers top tips on how to do this.

I hope you find this information useful.  Should you wish to speak to an adviser please call our free advice line: 0808 801 0366 (Mon to Fri 9.30am – 3.00pm) or you can post again on the discussion board.

Best wishes, Suzie

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