caffcass recomends contact with abusive dad

(57 Posts)
kittycat68 Thu 13-May-10 00:10:39

cafacass have recomended contact for my children with their dad whom we left due to abuse. they have refused to see him for the last 18months, ex went to court as self litigant for enforcment order, kids 10 and 15 and are petrified of him they have told cafcass of the abuse but the report says he how works in a SEN school and as there is no recenet abuse he should be now having over night contact. what do i do they dont want anything to do with him cafcass seem more inclined to belive he has changed than to listening to the children , 20 years of abuse now he has changed i dont think so! help.

FlightyButPolite Thu 13-May-10 00:22:39

KittyCat, I have no advice, but didn't want to leave you with no replies.

It seems bloody unreasonable for Caffcass to expect your children to have contact when they don't want to.

Did you tell anyone about the abuse when you left, because I don't understand how he is working with children. It seems completely out of order to me.

kittycat68 Thu 13-May-10 00:26:38

yelp even had a non molestation order from the court! he claims now though its all parent alienation syndrome! he was even reported to socail services by cambhs for abuse to the children but he said the child gets confused and that was it!

mummytotwins Thu 13-May-10 00:45:29

I have no advice but I just wantedto say I am so sorry that CAFCASS have ignored your childrens feeling. I hope in someway you can fight it.

CAFCASS also did the opposite of what a young member of my family wanted and he was forced to see a parent he had had no contact with for 10 years, in the end it took him turning around to his parent and telling them he didnt want to see them anymore for contact to end. I dont trust CAFCASS officers for this reason.

Your situatiois a whole different ball game, I just hope that there is someway in which you can get this decision reversed good luck to you x

kittycat68 Thu 13-May-10 00:50:38

thanks, most people think courts will find the truth and do whats in the best interest of the children but sadley this is not the case fathers seem to ahve more rights and power. the children have told thier father tha tthey dont want to have anything to do with him at all, but he takes no notice.

Unsearchable Thu 13-May-10 00:54:15

Send them for the contact but for EVERY SINGLE EPISODE of verbal, psychological, emotional or physical abuse your children report, call the police and the social services, explaining that cafcas have supported an enforcement order and you don't know what to do.

kittycat68 Thu 13-May-10 01:03:28

have been told by my solicitor that verbal and emotional abuse can rarely be proved. how can i send them knowing what he can do they have told before when 15yr old was thrown against wall and bruised all his ribs nothing was done by police or socail services they said it was a family matter to be dealt with at family court and i had to pay to take him back to court. i did this and the current court order states contact wwith the children only if they wish it. how can anyone send thier child for contact when they know what is likely to happen i just can t do it!

Contact WOmen's Aid, they may well be able to help. Your DC are old enough to have their wishes taken into account, I would have thought. Basically, refuse the contact on their behalf and amass as much evidence as you can of past abuse, including their statements that they want no contact.

kittycat68 Thu 13-May-10 01:12:18

thanks have been in contact with womens aid for last 18months when he attacked me with a knife, they visit reguarly as i get alot of harrasment from him and they come to court with me, they have been great as inially i wouldnt go out the house after the attack, still scared of ex though!

Unsearchable Thu 13-May-10 01:12:20

yes, womans aid is good idea

women's aid

Refuse the contact and get your solicitor to say you are appealing against the order. If there is documented evidence of this man's violence, you must be able to appeal and get the contact order overturned or at the very least made supervised contact only.

I'm sorry, I've just reread the thread - I know this must be really horrible and frightening for you BUT!! is it the case that the current order says you do NOT have to make your DC spend time with this man? If so, tell him (via whatever medium necessary) to go fuck himself. Cafcass have made a recommendation which may well be ignored by the court, particularly as the DC do not want to see him - he sounds like the classic abusive litigant, claiming that he will get his own way when in fact he won't.

GardenPath Thu 13-May-10 02:15:48

Who the fuck are these cafcass wankers??? What a terrible situation, kittycat. Who's your MP?

Devendra Thu 13-May-10 07:33:39

Move to next town and change your surname.. seriously just fight it all the way!

LowLevelWhinging Thu 13-May-10 07:49:00

It just doesn't seem to make any sense does it?

I was on some training at work last week about this. The trainer said that once the children are old enough to vote with their feet, there'e not much anyone can do to enforce orders.

As well as Women's Aid, there is Rights of Women who give free legal advice on this sort of thing:

020 7251 6577

Good luck and I hope your family never have to have any contact with this vile man.

justaboutagovernment Thu 13-May-10 07:57:52

So your kids are 10 and 15? Can't you say they don't want to go, and they are too old to drag into the car bodily, and demand that cAFCASS enforce this because you can/'t?

bumpsoon Thu 13-May-10 08:10:41

I would find out the name of the cafcass officer or officers and write them a letter staing that your children are frightened of their father and wish to have no contact at present . State that if the contact is enforced they must guarentee that no harm will come to your children be it physical or mental and if any did occur ,your children will take them to court in a civil action against them personally . Get them to write a letter saying they can catergorically guarentee no harm will come to your children . Then sit back and watch them watch their backs and not enforce it .

Fluffyone Thu 13-May-10 08:15:02

How about contacting your new and eager to please MP? What about child protection charities? Childline?
What does your solicitor say about the fact that this is a recommendation? Surely if that is the case your children can stil choose not to go? A recommendation isn't the same as an order.

EcoMouse Thu 13-May-10 08:15:13

CAFCASS are an absolute joke. I've known them leave children of several families open to abuse and for abuse to subsequently occur.

If the order states the children only have to go if they wish and if they don't wish to go then do not make them available but ring social services (I did so via nspcc, who will refer on) prior to the next contact date, stating your childrens stance.

Once this has been done, notify your local police station of the fact your DC are refusing contact, as is their right according to the c/o and that they have the support of SS. Make them aware that this man has in the past been volatile so that if they receive a call from either of you on the date of due contact, they are aware of the situation.

It is important to involve nspcc/ss and preferable that your DC speak to them directly so that there is a record of your childrens wishes, to help diffuse your ex's parental alienation claim.

All of this is of course if the next contact date is close. Otherwise and also, go back to your solicitor, appeal and do so with a barrister in court.

LoveBeingAHungParliament Thu 13-May-10 08:18:18

here's where to make a complaint about them from what you've said it goes against their own remit. Is it possible the children have said something different to themthan what they are saying to you cause they don't want to upset you?

biddysmama Thu 13-May-10 08:25:49

i dont trust any of them.... i was interviewed about who i wanted to live with when i was 10 and my parents divorced... with my abusive mother sat in the same room! i said exactly what she told me to say before we got there, dad hurts us, doesnt feed us etc...

i'd do a flit!

Dollytwat Thu 13-May-10 18:34:54

I've been ordered to go on a 'parenting apart' course by the courts, and went for the first part last night. It takes place at the contact centre where my DCs see their dad.

Interesting stuff. When I asked the trainer what to do in the situation that my children would not go, and refused, she said 'well you can't force them' and that they would eventually 'vote with their feet'. To which I pointed out that if the court enforce a contact order that states my exh is to have them, if they are not there I end up back in court, possibly fined, possibly in prison. I also couldn't quite equate the parenting apart course with her attitude that as long as I'd done my bit in not slagging their dad off, that was all that was required.

There was another lady there who had been physically abused by her exh and he had been violent towards the DS as well, and she had proof. Cafcass have made a report saying they thought he was OK now and contact should move away from the contact centre.

The chap who runs the contact centre was quite accepting of this too, that contact must move away from the centre, that it can't continue there forever. There does seem to be a view from these professionals that you would choose this type of contact, and that you are somehow blocking contact.

I feel for you I really do, the system seems to be stacked up against parents who are trying to protect their children.

If the courts and Cafcass decide at my next court date that my DCs should resume their overnight contact, I can't afford to take it to a final hearing. I just can't afford it. Whilst my exh is on legal aid and can take it as far as he likes.

Fair? Not as far as I can see.

In the childrens interest? Nope.

bumpsoon Thu 13-May-10 21:46:41

contact your exdh solicitor cia letter too and ask him/her to catergorically state via a letter that no harm will come to your children via contact with their father ,im fairly sure they wont and that is more ammo for you .

bumpsoon Thu 13-May-10 21:49:01

people are happy to make reccomendations that have no possible comeback ,by getting them to commit to a letter backing their reccomendation ,they are putting their own careers /livelihoods on the line and therefore gives them more food for thought .

GypsyMoth Thu 13-May-10 22:03:16

look,you have to fight....i did and got a no order and a section 91 (14) ton prevent repeat applications without leave of court.

my ex was (still is) abusive,my older dc wanted no contact at age 10 and 12...younger ones did,but only supervised.

cafcass fought for a psychological assesment of the revealed alot.....he got zero.

i fought for 2 years,but you have to keep calm,and keep repeating yourself

GardenPath Thu 13-May-10 23:04:09

Can't we cause a Mumsnet stink about this? It seems these Cafcass idiots are protecting the 'rights' of the abusive parent at the expense of the rest of the family. Quelle surprise.
We have a brand new shiny government - lets make 'em work for their expenses claims.

Fluffyone Thu 13-May-10 23:09:06

Well, yes, but if that is a serious possibility then I think a representative from Mumnet should meet with OP and her solicitor first. She says that Cafcass have recommended contact, not that they are attempting to physically force it to happen. I'd like to know that the wishes of youngsters of that age are really going to be ignored before writing to an MP etc.

At the moment it seems (please do correct me if I'm wrong OP) that Cafcass have made a recommendation and there is not yet a court order for contact. So a court order might not be made.
I am not making light of the OP's distress, it's horrible to get an official letter implying strongly that you are going to have to submit to something awful - but given that the DC do not wish to see the abuser, and there is evidence on record of abuse, her case may be stronger or be seen as stronger by the judge.

scurryfunge Thu 13-May-10 23:17:34

How is he working in an SEN school? How can he have passed CRB checks? Has he never been investigated for violent offences?...your post suggests he has. If you have not reported the violence before to the Police, then do so now.

SirBoobAlot Thu 13-May-10 23:26:43

No advice but just wanted to say I am absolutely disgusted with how you're being treated I hope they system starts to work better soon for you and your DCs.

GypsyMoth Thu 13-May-10 23:28:25

parent alienation that he is claiming,is NOT recognised in this dont worry about that

kittycat68 Fri 14-May-10 13:47:39

thanks everyone for your comments, i relaise i am not the only one going through all this, have managed yeaterday to finally get a socail woker involved. i am so drained and exhausted from all this i would love to just pick the kids up and run but its not paractical with three kids two with SEN I did ask the court for suppervised contact last time and the judge said i do not have to read this file to see whats going on here ( had different judge than before) i do not see the need for a contact centre! got cafcass coming again today in an attempt try to encourage the childen to go for contact by a family worker! Kids really angry saying how many times do we have to tell these people we dont want contact. i cant afford to go to final hearing either as its two days of court i feel like just giving him the kids and disappearing i cant take much more. will try some of the suggestions though will try anything!

EcoMouse Fri 14-May-10 14:03:51

ILove, I know a family where parental alienation was the reason cited for placing a child with their father - when he applied for contact he was eventually given residency.

I sat with the mother the day the step father and child went to meet with the childs father and CAFCASS officer, who forced the child into her fathers car- very much against her and everyone elses wishes.

The child was returned to her mother when it became clear that yes, this man was indeed a paedophile who did abuse his daughter and that all the child and her mother had said before was probably true.

Anyone up against the sheer ignorance and arrogance of CAFCASS, please fight if you know they are wrong.

tartyhighheels Fri 14-May-10 14:34:40

i am in a similar situation. fight like fuck!

ask for a pysch assesment and have a risk assesment done too and buy some time....

get in touch with social services and ask for them to be referred for counselling too as this has helped my dds a great deal

mostly, i feel so sorry for you, this is horrible and unfair and makes no sense at all - it happens to a lot of families and all you can do is keep on fighting

we are 3 years in and he hasn't seen them for 2 years now, they don't want to see him but still i am in court, jumping through hoops to try to help my girls

tartyhighheels Fri 14-May-10 14:39:26

Anyone up against the sheer ignorance and arrogance of CAFCASS, please fight if you know they are wrong.

hear hear

TBH I think that an insistence on dragging the XP through the courts time and time again for unsupervised, overnight etc contact should actually be recognised as an abuse red flag. Because if you are an innocent, maligned parent not getting contact, you should be able to get your head round the fact that you are causing your DC distress by harassing their custodial parent to this extent, that even if they have been misled they have a right not to see you if they don't want to, and the best and kindest way to proceed would be to ask if you can send them letters or at least leave letters to them with a third party that they can seek out when they are older.
Sometimes, even if you are in the right, the kinder, wiser thing to do is to back off and leave your DC in peace. Men (and itls usually men) with a demonstrated and proven track record of abuse who keep pushing for contact are invariably doing so in order to continue abusing either the DC or their mother.

Tanga Fri 14-May-10 19:07:42

Can i just make sure I've understood what you've said, SGB? That all men who have to apply to court for access to their children are abusive, because even if they are entirely innocent (and consequently the mother must have falsely accused them, and have brainwashed the children to such an extent that they will repeat the lies to others) then somehow the father is still abusive because they should know not to upset the abusive mother and should back down and leave the children in her care? Do you understand that this would leave very vulnerable children to be abused unchecked? Not to mention that the children would be deprived of a relationship with their Dad because of spite?

I am no supporter of CAFCASS, trust me, but what you are saying is deeply offensive. Would you even give brain room to the notion that all mothers who resist contact are spiteful harpies and that refusing to comply with court orders should be an abuse red flag?

pigletmania Fri 14-May-10 19:25:13

This has made me so angry on your behalf op, Cafcass as i read is to act in the childs best interests in family court proceedings, no they dont. By making children do somthing that they do not want to do, and for trying to send the children in this case into the arms of an abusive and violent man. Whatever happened to the childrens act! You have to fight and your children have to keep refusing dont give up please.

kittycat68 Fri 14-May-10 20:42:54

cafcas worker just left, 5th one in the last 12 months! children said agian they want no contact whatso ever with ex p,seemed toally shocked by some of the stuff she was told about about. Do these people never read the case files. Told me to report him to the court for harrassment! said she would see about getting the kids some conselling but i wont count my chickens. said she was going to speak to ex p shortly but i know how convincing he can be so .....
i know some men are great dads to their kids but these people seem to think that he may have changed? how? i had to put up with it for 20 years before i finally got away he has nt been for any councilling just denies it all, when will it end for us. we just want to get on with our lives and be happy .

Tanga: Sorry, I didn't word that very well - what I mean is, that when there is a record of abuse, the man who is launching court actions to go straight to overnight unsupervised contact should be red-flagged - a decent man unfairly accused should be totally accepting of supervised contact, not pushing for more (because with supervised contact he is getting to SEE HIS DC).

itsmeitsmeolord Fri 14-May-10 21:02:07

Play him at his own game.

1. Write to him via his solicitor. It must be non-confrontational but factual.
State something like; "due to the abuse suffered by DS15 on x date witnessed by x etc etc the children are at present unwilling and unable to cope with overnight contact.
Furthermore, due to the long period of no contact it would not be in the childrens best interests to insist upon a high level of intense contact straight away.
Therefore, I must insist on a child-focused approach to reinstating contact.
I propose 6 months of letterbox contact where you will write to the children once a fortnight.
If this goes well we can add a period of letterbox contact with a weekly phone call again for 6 months.

As long as there are no ill effects for the children we shall then move to fortnightly contact at a contact centre for a period of six months.

At the end of this program I would expect all parties to be in a better position to assess how contact can move forward in the future without further need for the courts involvement."

The whole point is to drag it out as long as possible whilst making sure that you come across as reasonable and child-centred.
Your ex will not have the staying power or the resources to continue to fight through the courts for the next three years ish.
By that time, the 15 yr old will be 18, so no longer considered a minor.

Have you not been advised to request a section 7 report yet?
Also, are there any police reports/witness statements to back you up?

kittycat68 Fri 14-May-10 21:27:04

whats a section 7 report? solicitor not mentioned this. have a few police reports but last one in 2008 when came at me with a knife and got a non mol put back into place but as i was not injured and only the children for witnesses he denied it and they said they could do nothing but i did get the non mol at court. also have some medical reports trouble is no independant witnesses to to abuse only the children when he abused bthe kids again it was in his own home so again neither police or socail services would get involved despite all the bruises and again he denied it.

helpme01 Sat 15-May-10 12:34:24

hi to every one i am new to this site
i have been fighting for my son for 6yrs now i have tryed every thing from abuse from his dad drink and drugs whitch he failed.i changed my name by getting marriedand moved it stopped for 1yr we now have 3 children and because i got a letter from my doctors about my 4th baby (baby billy)he had heart probs whitch were picked up in his 20 week scan so we were going to be in great ormond street hosoital but at 34 weeks preg on the 8 th december 2009 my baby boy past away inside me and was still born we berried him on 21st december my oldest son who is 10yrs now has bean through so much and now yesterday we get a court order through saying that i have to go to caffcass so this monster that call's him self a dad wants to see him my husband is so scared he is going to lose another child he love him to bit's and vise versa the caffcass are going to ask him if he wants to see his dad i and my husband have both spoke to my son and explained every thing we are not aloud to talk bad about him but my son still does not want to see him and looking at some of the comments on here him saying no to seeing his dad still does'nt matter but i am not going to drag him there when he does'nt want to go he says he has got a dad and a family here
please help me what do i do

kittycat68 Sat 15-May-10 22:38:17

i think most of these judges need to get a grip of the real world, thanks to everyone for all your advice feel better today but it gets on top of you and as i have always given into xp before he seems to think he only has to keep it going long enough for me to crack and i hope i dont!

nighbynight Sat 15-May-10 23:12:22

helpme - have you got a good solicitor?
Do you keep evidence of things like drinking, eg keeping a diary of when your ex has contact, whether he was drunk when he visited or phoned etc.

OP - if the court rules that the children should go, it is in the children's hands. My children are also scared of their father. Dd1 however, flatly refused to visit him when she was 11. She made this view absolutely plain to everyone she spoke to, and also the reasons why (violence etc).
she was listened to.
I am sad that she had to take a stand at such a young age, but also proud of her that she did.

shorty33 Thu 01-Jul-10 10:47:30

im in a 14 month long resident battle to stop my ex from full custody. e has a secret baby and our child is my only child - cant av anymore. e walked out 08. went through a cafcass report ova a yr ago and coming close to the final hearing the ex had allegations against our child so cafcass passed their concerns to social services who are now doing the s7 report. My childs and my own medical reports (as far back from when I was born) were ordered by the judge and used against me to try and prove im mentally unstable (which ex is claiming). Its all very messy and ive still got another 3 months to go before to final hearing (just discovered im gunna be cross-examined in court). Ive learned the hard way throughout this court case but my child is worth the fight. Any adivce i can give any1 just give me a shout.

kittycat68 Fri 02-Jul-10 23:54:42

just thought i would come back here to you. back at court monday! after another cafcass report. they are now saying we need to go to parenting classes! my kids still refusing to go to contact told cafcass they are frightened of him seem him beeing voilent to me and each other! same old thing they speak up and no one is hearing them. he turned up at school a couple of weeks ago and told staff that he had my permission to collect one child to take them to live with him 100 miles away! school called me and i had to go up there he said the ds had called him and told him i was being mean and nasty and i had said ds could go live with his dad! a week later turned up at the house demanding ds children hiding upstairs petrified took two weeks to get dd into her own bed again as she was affraid he would break into the house again! womens aid also spoke to caffcas told them what had been going on school also complained to caffcass about him as well! ds refused to go to school after he turned up there was so worried that he would come back gp said it was stress!bloody courts seems to promote contact with fathers is best for the child at all costs seems his rights are worht more than the childrens.

cestlavielife Sat 03-Jul-10 00:27:18

hope you get a good judge who will listen to the dcs... that could make all the difference.

it is a recommendation at this stage...

make sure you record everything and also call polcie if he at door demanding the dcs and they dontwant to go. eg he comes, they say no - he refuses to leave...

make sure dcs know they can call 999 from his place if they scared.

if he puts on victim-face then you have to play game -as others said, get it in writing that cafcass state he is not a risk to them...

put forward a proposal for very gradual increase n contact, definitely not going overnight straight off, try and drag it out...

the working with SEN kids etc - my exP did that too- is like a conscious plan to look good...

Dollytwat Sat 03-Jul-10 00:32:56

Kittycat I do feel for you and it sounds as though you don't have Cafcass as a support. The parenting course, I mentioned in much earler posts, is a standard thing now, they make you both do it. Just go, you can't refuse, it will not help you in any way, but at least they can't send you on it again.

As I said nefore, my Cafcass officer seemed to be well versed in children voting with their feet, and at 15 I'm not sure any court will want to impose their view. At 15 you cannot make a child see a parent they don't wnat to. Perhaps it's easier for that child to just say they have other plans, doing other things, studying: easier for dad to undrestand anyway.

You know this is about control, that's what I"m up against. I hoped that my exh would get fed up. I hoped he would jsut give up, but he's on legal aid so why would he?

Keep fighting, keep asking for reports, and when you get a cafacss officer you trust, insist that they work on your case.

To put it into perspective for you, my exh COULD have had contact with the boys this weekend at his mums (supervised), before the final heaing next week, but he refused. It's not about contact with the kids it's about control over you.

kittycat68 Sat 03-Jul-10 01:10:38

i tell you its put me off men for life i will never get involved again i wouldnt trust my judgement and my kids sure dont need any more stress. i forgot to mention in the above post that cafcass also recommended a family assistance order with setting up some counselling for the children in the hope to promte contact with thier dad. i am pleased thier going to get some help just hope its not based around trying to justifiy his actions and then tell them they should go for contact. oldest is 16 this year so he has nt got to deal with his dad after that but really concerned for ds 10, hope its just normal couselling that will help then resolve some of there issues and make them feel happier inside and less streseed out

kittycat68 Sat 03-Jul-10 09:48:56

anyone else had a assistance order? advice please

kittycat68 Sun 04-Jul-10 09:54:37

help with assistance order please

kittycat68 Sun 04-Jul-10 19:24:56

advice please at court tomorrow!

Tanga Sun 04-Jul-10 19:41:11

Family assistance order just means that the cafcass officer will stay involved for another period of time to make sure whatever contact order is made is followed. The officer should outline their aims/priorities for the period (usually 3 months, can be 6 or 12)keep you informed of progress and facilitate communication between you and the ex.

insertexpletive Sun 04-Jul-10 19:49:39

Hi there

Sorry you are going through so much rubbish...

See this link for the Cafcass info on Family Assistance Orders...

Hope this helps

kittycat68 Sun 04-Jul-10 23:33:22

thanks all

MadelineJones22 Thu 13-Oct-11 15:11:51

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

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