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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33283
Experience:  25 years experience of all aspects of family law
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I became partners with, my daughters dad in 1999; violent

Customer Question

I became partners with Marc, my daughters dad in 1999; violent & unfaithful but with a horrid twist as he was sleeping with my own mother. However I stayed with him for a time thinking I loved him & that we could work things out. In 2002 Toni was born
& immediately put under child protection via SS for physical & emotional abuse. This was in case she got caught in middle when Marc hit me & emotional abuse regarding her dad sleeping with her nan. However, we ticked all their boxes and they closed the case
only for it to be reopened each time Marc hit me. When we split up in 2006, there was no more Social Services involvement. Ashleigh was born in 2006 but shortly after her birth I started drinking heavily as I was unwell from all that had happened with Marc.
I phoned emergency social services three nights on the trot asking for their help and to take my girls while I detoxed myself but it still took them three days before taking my girls. I put myself on two waiting lists for detox. However, three weeks after
taking my girls and before I had been through my detox, SS kept trying to give my girls back saying they would have a support worker come in every day to check things were ok and when I actually started the detox they would take them for a time again. This
wasn't the arrangement and my girls were meant to be with them but they wore me down and I had my girls back whilst still drinking - and then just under three weeks later they came and took my girls BECAUSE I was still drinking and now I had to fight to get
them back!!! I did my detox and shortly afterwards got together with a police officer who I felt safe with. It seemed like a very good and sensible move being as he was a policeman. I fell pregnant with Jaden. By the time it went to court and after proving
through blood and hair strand that I was sober, Jadenwas five months old. SS deemed that I could keep Jaden but my girls would not be returned to me. At the time and to this day I do not understand how that is even common sensical let alone legal. Gary He
stood by me through court case... then about three months after judgement of not getting my girls back he cracked my head open. He was angry that because he slept through his alarm and missed a colleagues funeral and took it out on me. He was arrested and
charged but when it went to professional standards - he still got to keep his job. We split up in 2009 and I moved back to bedford and Gary has had no involvement with Jaden. He chooses to pay child maintenance but that is all. I got together with my current
partner Colin in 2013. He has four grown up kids of his own and we have Mason together and our baby on the way. He has no SS, criminal or mental health history and is one hundred percent supportive within our little family. We really don't have any struggles
now other than help needed with Jaden who was diagnosed with autism and epilepsy. Jamie is five and Mason is one year old. I'm due to give birth in January. For the past eighteen months I have been liaising wth the 'disability' social work team looking for
normal support regarding Jaden's autism. We have had four different social workers and still no support organised. Yesterday there was a statement meeting at Jaden's school but instead of the usual disability social worker attending, there was a social worker
from assessment team in her place. She stated stated that in a report dated 8.10.15 related to BAP funding to support Jaden, that on the back page was a comment raising concerns about Jaden and suggesting a possible transfer to the CHILD PROTECTION SERVICES!
This has all come out of the blue and really frightened me. I have called both the assessment team and the disability team to find out what these concerns are and where they have come from but no one is giving them to me. Yesterday afternoon the assessment
social worker called me asking me all sorts of questions about my history and past relationships and then she INVITED HERSELF to my babies health visitor appointment this morning. The assessment social worker showed up today at the appointment and has said
that due to change in circumstances they are doing a pre-birth assessment. She would not tell me what the change of circumstances were or who was pulling the strings. I KNOW that there has been NO change at all. I spoke to my midwife about this who is just
as shocked as my partner and I. The assessment social worker named Colin and I the 'CURRENT' parents. .. what's that supposed to mean?! I called the office again to speak to the manager ... only to be told she isn't in today! (there is a little more but I
cannot add it here as it exceeds the word count.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Family Law
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.

Ok let me see if I can help you with this. Are any of the children on plans at the moment with the LA?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No - no plans at all.
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.

Have they raised any recent complaints

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Nope... school and midwife and health visitor have no concern. .. only dealings have been with disability team for past 18 months or so which so far haven't got us any support yet... just recently awarded funding for support but nothing came of it yet but the review for it is next month!
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.

I can not really see anything to worry about - it may just be clumsy social working

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Please read again - with all due respect they said they want a pre-birth check with a view to putting my baby into care. That isn't something I can just hope isn't clumsy social working.
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.

The difficulty is that you have not (and perhaps this is because they have not) provided any details of a change in circumstances.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There is NO change of circumstances. That is what I am telling you and why I am so worried that something underhand is going on. Nothing has changed, I have told you all.
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.

This is my point - LAs do not normally seek a pre-birth assessment unless they consider that there has been a worrying change of circumstances - or the family/children are already a concern based on neglect or emotional harm etc. You have indicated that this is not the case. Clearly you have to work with the LA - but I would be minded to meet with the social worker and team leader so that you can know from them what is going on - you are entitled to know.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Understood and I agree. But they refuse to tell me. So what can I do?
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.

Ultimately you need to be telling them that you will be wanting to instruct public law family specialists.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
will be wanting to'? Please can you give me a full answer instead of all this bittiness. In my shoes, what exactly would you do.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Hi

Thank you for your question

I shall try and assist you

The first step is to try and stay calm - however hard it is.

Having Social Services involve din your life is always frightening - even worse when you are pregnant

It is most likely that some old information - already dealt with and no longer an issue - has come to light and has triggered this pre birth assessment.

From what you have said you are in a very different place and there are no concerns so once it has been completed all will be well.

HOWEVER if you allow your understandable fears to colour your approach to the social worker then things could get worse so do please try and be calm with them and remember even if the assessment goes against you (which i am sure it wont) you will get a day in court (many of them) and can argue your case

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Understood. Thank you.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

You are welcome. Remember I am not saying that you are being foolish - quite the opposite - just that you need to control those fears carefully

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