Child Protection Issue - What do I do??

(60 Posts)
NeedHelpASAP Thu 15-Nov-12 20:46:05

I need help desperately, I am so scared I will loose my children and I don't know what to do. This proberly isn't the right place but did not know where else to post as need replies soon.

The problem is with my dad and daughter.

He collects my daughter every day from school for me and has done for the last 3 years as I work, he picks her up and drops her straight off with me as I get home at 3.30pm.

Today he dropped her off as normal and told me she had been very naughty in school today (on-going problem with behaviour) and he told her off but she ran away from him and then fell over, he showed me the cut on her knee which is consistant with falling over (a small graze).

I cleaned it up no problem, spoke to my daughter about the dangers of running away, nearby roads etc. and left it at that.

I then got a call from school asking me to come in immediately.

Thinking it was over her behaviour today I asked if I could speak to them in the morning as had to get tea on and sort out my younger children (4 and 1 years old).

They then said they were calling about the 'incident' with my dad!

They went on to explain that 4 parents! had been into / phoned school to make a complaint about my dad assaulting my daughter!

They explained that according to the complaints my dad had been shouting at my daughter when she ran away, he then grabbed her arm and pulled her back with such force that she stumbled against him, he then continued to shout at her and pushed her into a wall.

I am gobsmacked! I have of course spoke to my daughter and she says no, she says he shouted at her, she ran away and fell. The same story my dad gave me.

I don't think she would lie to me, she normally likes 'telling tales' to get other people in trouble and she has not got a mark on her, other than the graze to her knee. No bruising / finger prints to her arm etc.

I don't believe my dad has done this but 4 different people, why would they say this had happened if it hadn't?

Who do I believe my dad or 4 strangers?

School have contacted social services who came briefly to my home and asked me to sign that my dad would have no contact with my children during the investigation or they would be taken into foster care! I have of course signed and will not be able to go into work until I find someone else to collect her from school.

I don't know what to do, I don't know who to believe, I can't believe this has happened but I can't understand why people would say this? I am in tears, I am scared I will loose my children.

Someone please tell me what happens from here?

goralka Thu 15-Nov-12 20:50:22

I think you had better belief the four strangers, for four separate people to consider it serious enough to report to the school it must have been a bit more than what your dad is saying. Also he might have told your daughter what to say.

therewearethen Thu 15-Nov-12 20:52:54

I have no advice unfortunately but sending you a hug! Are there shops near the school or the road where this happened who may have cctv that could show exactly what happened? I don't think they would release it to joe bloggs off the street but I'm sure the police can take a look at it, just an idea. Good luck with whatever happens x

hairytale Thu 15-Nov-12 20:53:20

Agree with goralka

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHopeful Thu 15-Nov-12 20:53:57

Generally people don't like to interfere. For 4 people to have felt the need to complain to the school it was probably quite bad.

I don't have any useful advice on what you should do though.

Flisspaps Thu 15-Nov-12 20:55:56

I think that if four independent witnesses have been concerned enough to report what they saw to the school, then I'd be listening to them very carefully sad

How would four strangers calling seperately have told the same story if it wasn't true?

Gosh how horrible

First you need to speak to your dad and find out what he says happened. Did he pull her? I sometimes HAVE to grab my severely autistic son if he runs - (and it's a choice of running into a road) and we can at times end up in a scuffle (for example if he refuses to move from the middle of the road - incredibly dangerous - my only priority is getting him OFF the road, however that is done). I guess what I'm saying is can your dd's behaviour sometimes require physical intervention to keep her safe? If so I think you need to spell that out to SS.

You will have to ensure he has no contact, not worth messing around with that one. SS will remove them if you don't

Have there ever been any other incidents? And can your father usually manage her behaviour or does he struggle to keep his temper? I'm not saying that in a particularly judgmental way btw - if you have a child with challenging behaviour - especially if they are physically challenging you have to be able to keep your cool and no everyone can.

You mentioned that your daughter has behavioural problems. Is there any sort of developmental reason for these? If so it might be worth asking SS for support from the children's disability team as well.

NeedHelpASAP Thu 15-Nov-12 20:57:34

I don't know it was 4 seperate people, a lot of the mum's are in little groups that I am not part of it so it could have been 1 mum with friends backing her up. They obviously cannot give me details of who has spoke to them.

My daughter would not listen, believe me I love her very much but she has huge behaviour issues that we are working on and she would not tell me a lie just because an adult has told her to say that, she is 9 so old enough to know right from wrong. The only way she would lie about what happened is if it somehow benefits her, gets her out of trouble etc. I have told her this is not the case.

No shops nearby and have already asked the school if they have camera's but no. It happened in the playground by the way, makes me wonder why only 4 people saw it in that case, why did no teacher's see it and why did no-one intervene?

RiceAndP Thu 15-Nov-12 20:57:48

Has your dad, dd or yourself been known before to ss?

Hassled Thu 15-Nov-12 20:58:20

I have to say I'd go with the 4 strangers.

You seem very shocked which makes me think that your father never behaved remotely violently with you as a child - that you think this isn't remotely in character. So - how has he been recently? Any changes in behaviour? How old is he?

And who looks after the younger DCs? Any chance they could pick up your DD? Or are there any school mums who live near you who could drop her off?

It is possible that the four got together, gossiped, misread what they saw and then reported it. I have seen something like that happen before, where the parents stoked each other up (not wrt me thank goodness, although my attempts to placate didn't work).

Could you ask someone who saw it but didn't report it - anyone you particularly trust what their view was.

MrsJamesMartin Thu 15-Nov-12 20:59:43

My goodness what an absolute nightmare situation for you.

Social care will need to do an assessment, did the social worker say when they would be in touch again?

They will need to speak to you and your DD together and DD alone. They will ask for information from the school and also from health services.

The assessments need to be done in a timely way, and you need to be as open and honest as you can and stick to the agreement that they've asked you to sign.

Have the police been informed?

coldcupoftea Thu 15-Nov-12 21:00:12

How old is your DD? As in, is she likely to be easily influenced by what your dad says? Has your dad ever been violent/aggressive before, eg did he discipline you as a child?

No real advice but in that situation I would be following the advice of police/ social services. What was your dad's reaction?

goralka Thu 15-Nov-12 21:01:52

it could have been 1 mum with friends backing her up. They obviously cannot give me details of who has spoke to them
that is true and had crossed my mind.....
nevertheless you have to go along with whatever SS tells you to do...
hang in there, it will work out if you 'co-operate' with them - whatever you do, do not show any emotion/tears/anger to them.
Please take care
xx

NeedHelpASAP Thu 15-Nov-12 21:02:43

Saintly. My dad says he picked her up when she fell and carried her to the car, she was struggling at this time.

Yes her behaviour is extreme and yes she does sometimes need holding back, she will lash out, try to escape etc. My father has never has a temper but I believe there was an issue where he was violent to my mum many many years ago, never to me or my siblings. He usually controls her behaviour very well, no issues previously.

No development issue for her behaviour as known although she is undergoing assesments. Without saying too much, I am not her biological mother and she has a very troubled background which has led to a lot of this behaviour.

ihavenofuckingclue Thu 15-Nov-12 21:04:25

I can't tell you what happens now.

But I can tell you that my dds school received 3 emails (from seperate parents) and 2 parents went into the school and advised the head teacher that they were concerned I may need additional support as I was 'extremely ill'.

Turns out to be some playground gossip because I no longer did the school run. I had gone back to work after mat leave and worked mon-fri 8-4. Dd also told a friend that our last holiday had been cancelled because i was in hospital. Which I was, over a year before having ds. We cancelled it I fell pg and was due the day we were meant to be flying.

From this one parent (the mother of dds friend) assumed I was extremely ill and had cancelled a holiday recently because I had to stay in hospital. It was a muddle of misinformation and gossip
All the other parents 'heard' her theory, took it as the truth and told the school i was definitely very ill. 'Terminal' was mentioned in 2 of the emails. One woman had been crying when she spoke to the head teacher she was so upset and convinced it was true.

Anyway after a long post, my point is that these people may not have all seen it. One may have and gossiped (and embellished) and the others have taken it upon themselves to report it.

catwomanlikesmeatballs Thu 15-Nov-12 21:05:07

Well if it was probably four mothers standing together in a group they could have already exagerrated the situation to each other before deciding to call it in. Many people with nothing better to do love drama, some are malicious. I'd believe your daughter and your father over a group of strangers. If it were four separate people who weren't in a group, then there might be questions to answer...

MrsJamesMartin Thu 15-Nov-12 21:05:09

Do you have PR for her if she isn't your biological DD? If not then who does? THis will matter in terms of the assessments.

difficultpickle Thu 15-Nov-12 21:06:17

4 separate parents went into the school or phoned. If it had been a group of 4 mums I would have expected 1 to speak to the school and give the names of the other three as witnesses. That is not what the school have said. They have said there are 4 separate reports. How old is your dd?

NeedHelpASAP Thu 15-Nov-12 21:07:12

No none of us known to SS.

Dad never voilent, no temper etc. Like I sais 1 violent incident with my mum, about 20-30 years ago, was before I was born and never violent ever. He is 54 and nothing recently, seems fine like normal.

The younger 2 children go to their dad, the eldest is not his and I do not get along with the other school mum's, my daughter's behaviour means we are not popular at school.

My daughter is 9, not easily infulenced and knows her own mind.

I have 2 friends whose children go to the same school, both saw nothing. A child my daughter plays with said she saw my daughter getting told off but that was all. No-one I trust has seen this and I don't know who the 4 people are.

Ah okay. I suspect that's another reason why SS will want to get involved.

Do make sure you make it very clear that her behaviour requires physical intervention. You could ask them whether they run any positive handling courses for parents & carers (they won't which makes me angry - we're just meant to cope with being it all).

It is worrying that your father was previously violent towards your mum. Did any of your friends see the incident?

littlewhitebag Thu 15-Nov-12 21:09:26

I am a child protection social worker, working in Scotland. What we would do is arrange to do a join interview with your daughter. This would involve a police officer and SW doing a specialist interview which would be videoed. It would allow your daughter to give an account of what happened without leading her or putting words into her mouth. Basically what is being looked for is whether or not she has been assaulted or if there are other care and welfare issues. I am not sure what happens in England. Just keep calm and co-operate as best you can. Most incidents reported turn out to be nothing. Good luck.

difficultpickle Thu 15-Nov-12 21:09:31

What if your father said to your dd to tell the same 'story' as him otherwise he would get into trouble? My ds is 8 and if his grandma said that to him I know he would do as she asked. It would take some considerable time, if at all, for him to say what really happened and he definitely knows his own mind.

Iceflower Thu 15-Nov-12 21:09:49

Just a thought here - did the 4 people go in as a group or separately? Sometimes one person thinks they have seen something, discusses it with another who might not have witnessed it, and they all decide something has happened.

Last year, I asked a friend to pick up ds from school as I was going to be late. At home time, Ds' friend asked him if he wanted to go to his house. My friend phoned me to ask if this was okay, and I agreed. Later that afternoon I found 2 urgent phone messages from the headteacher saying that ds' friend's dad had rung the school to say he had found ds wandering around and taken him home shock

Misunderstandings can happen. You need to trust your instincts here.

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