Child Protection Issue - What do I do??(60 Posts)
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?
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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?
Has your dad, dd or yourself been known before to ss?
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.
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?
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?
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
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.
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.
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...
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.
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?
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 - 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?
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.
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.
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
Misunderstandings can happen. You need to trust your instincts here.
A cross posted. If the child saw your daughter getting told off and the incident was meant to happen at the same time that is very confusing.
They have not said 4 COMPLETELY SEPERATE, just 4 parents. They could be friends they could not, they could be together they could not. I don't know this but yes it would make a huge difference.
Yes I have parental responsibilty for my daughter, her bio-mum is incapable of caring for her.
knowing how horrible school gate mums can be, i'd be wary of believing them. and, of course, you won't want to trust your dad at the moment.
what a horrible situation for you to be in. i wish i had an answer but i don't.
Social Services do not have power of removal during an investigation, they can only suggest and advise, you dont know it was 4 "separate" reports - they could have all been together and had a "chat".
I know of someone who is currently on bail pending trial for rape and sex with a child who is still living at home with his children (and therefore has access to all their friends), the mother was "advised" by social services to remove him, they removed him one night, he was back the next and there is nothing they or the police can or will do about it, because he is "innocent until proven guilty" in the eyes of the law (the fact neither the CPS or Police believe he is innocent is irrelevant). Its disgusting and disgraceful but I can promise you it is a fact.
It does sound potentially like chinese whispers. As others have said do co-operate. And ask them for help if you a struggling with her behaviour. They can sometimes be helpful.
Well I actually would go with your dad. Before reading everyone's response, I had a picture of a group of mums going to the office together relaying things and embellishing the story as it went.
Unless u have a real reason not to believe your DD and your dad then I would make sure your DD knows u believe her and trust her and I feel so sorry for your poor dad.
But I guess in time you'll work out exactly what happened.
No point going over who said what what and why, they have said it, it can't be taken back
I would do as SS tell you, and maybe see if the school can have her for the extra time you need or a CM can pick her up and drop off.
Sounds like dd is a handful
If your instinct is to believe your dad I would.
But even if I did I would still play it way SS want to. It will make it a lot easier I think for them to close the case if you cooperate. Make it clear that your dd's challenging behaviours do sometimes require physical intervention to keep her safe , tell them that you've heard conflicting stories but this would be out of character for your dad, and let your dd tell her story.
The school have had a report of an alleged serious incident so they have a duty to involve SS.
SS have a duty to investigate.
They may not take it further than an initial investigation but they have obviously decided (they have to do this within 24 hours of receiving the call) to proceed.
TBH I would be surprised if SS ^ didn't ^ as the call came from a school.
Please try not to worry. It is highly unlikely your children will be removed. Really, honestly.
Its going to be a horrible time for you and your dad. SS will want to talk to your DD and she can give her version of events, your dad can give his, you can tell them about your dad too.
I hope it is all resolved quickly.
Ultimately what you can do now is the same wether your Dad or the parents are correct. Speak to your Dad to tell him SS have told you you must keep DD away frm him until after the investigation. That your stressed and busy and that you're going to struggle to see him until after the investigation as will need to be with DD. That buys you time until the truth comes out, and is honest and is almost certainly the fairest thing to do for both your father and DD.
Awful situation though.
If your dd is not yours biologically,then you & she will be known to SS?
SS will not remove your dc, but they want you to keep them safe, as do you, while they investigate. It's a horrible situation for you all, but your dad will understand, & hopefully, the investigation will be soon, cos a young dc is involved, & can't be expected to remember exactly what happened over many weeks.
If you speak to your dd re the incident, try not to ask leading questions, or put words inher mouth.(Not saying you would).
I don't think your dad should be telling your dd off for behaviour at school. It will be a trigger for your dd-she'll have been told off in school, & then gets " it" again on the way home. Does your dad also speak re her behaviour on the way to school? Perhaps he knows her behaviour stresses you & is trying to help, but is becoming frustrated with lack of progress?
I'm not saying your dad did what has been reported, but I think he should steer clear of school issues, & you ask the school to either telephone you, or send a letter re dd's day at school.
You say she has had a troubled past & undergoing assessments. In this case, I would let the school deal with behaviour there, & you deal with behaviour at home. I personally dont think it's fair to tell a child with difficulties off for behaviour that will have already been dealt with at school-it's overload.
I hope things are sorted quickly, & please remember to look after yourself as well while this is on-going.
When I complained to the school about a grandmother beating her 6yr old grandson whilst walking across the playground, they asked me if anyone else had seen it. When I said yes about 3 others had seen it, they asked them to make statements to the CPO too...they said SS would want as many different accounts as possible.
That's probably why there are 4 statements.
Sorry i vanished suddenly.
The police have been to take a statement from my daughter and were then going to my dads, no idea what has happened as scared to ring him in case it's seen as notcoperating.
Hard to explain bigpants but i have not adopted my daughter and so not know to SS. Her bio mum basically gave her to me, it was very unofficial but i do have parental responsibly as part of the residence order.
The school do not usually tell my dad about her behaviour, they write in her book but today was a very bad day and they told him. He wouldn't usually tell her off either unless he is dealing with the behaviour at the time but from what I am told she came out of school kicking off so he didn't have much choice.
I just wish they could tell me more about what has been said or seen.
What if SS don't believe him or my daughter, can they prosecute on the witnesses versions? What will that mean in terms of him seeing her? Is he still ok to see his other grandchildren in the meantime?
If it wasn't ok for you to call him you would have been told not to.
Please try not too worry. You are still in shock. Don't even think about prosecutions or anything like that just now.
SS will bring you up to speed, when they talk to you.
I don't want to open a can of worms, but bear in mind, SS may want to speak with you re how dd came to be with you, as they may say, this could play a part in her behaviour as well. (not wanting to worry you, just pre-arm you so to speak).
You will need to check with SS, but I doubt your dad will be able to see any of your dc till the investigation is complete. If you mean grandchildren of other members of your family, then I'm not sure, but best to check.
I'm sure you can ring your dad-he's not seen as a danger to you. You will probably feel better if you speak to him, cos he'll be able to tell you what happened with the Police. And, your dad will probably be relieved to speak with you.
Try to get some sleep. Do you have a partner or any rl support?
I'm not an expert, but I think it would take more than one 'pushing a challenging 9 year old' (if indeed that is what happened - which remains in doubt) for a prosecution to be brought. Social care are probably struggling just as much as you are to make sense of it!! With regard to whether grandad can see the other dc's - best to ask social care, they may be assuming that the 'no contact' covers all the dc's & you don't want to get it wrong.
I'd be really furious, one incident of a older gentleman disciplining a DC just like most of us in our 40's were disciplined by deeply loving parents. Investigate, what a waste of tax payers money and SS's time.
Surely you will be expected to call your dad, if only to explain then no contact and that he can't pick your daughter up from school until further notice.
So sorry about your situation. I totally understand how gossip and exaggeration could lead to reports like this. There is a dad at my children's small gossipy village school that is quite shouty and anti social and it is regularly speculated by a number of mums that he may hit the kids despite not actual evidence of such at all. Sometime people and see and interpret what they expect to see.
That said, at least with an investigation you can hopefully feel totally comfortable about your dads involvement, or lack of, and won't have constant nagging doubts.
christelle yes it is. The op has a residency order from the court.
This is a voluntary arrangement so SS are not required to be involved. In fact they generally run a mile in the opposite direction.
Tbh it's why I gently nudge people away from these ad hoc, semi sanctioned arrangements.
But that is fr another thread.
Hang on op. You may get some help out of this (fingers crossed)
my daughter's behaviour means we are not popular at school.
I have no profesional advice to add, but would err on the side of agreeing that it sounds to me like a group of four mums going in together, but making separate statements.
When i read your first post OP, i pictured a 4 or 5 year old child and thought hmmmm, excessive use of force by your DF at the very least there! However, now you have said she's 9, and has behavioral issues i can easily see what a tricky situation your DF was in. Having to 'manhandle' a 9 year old girl across a playground would not make comfortable viewing even if being carried out by a person trained in 'safe handling' of children with behavioral and anger issues. It is practically impossible to safely physically control a struggling child of that age if you haven't had any training.
I'm seconding the thought that SS will be able to give you and your DF some help, in fact, because of this incident. It sounds like he is struggling at the moment, and could do with support handling the young girl, not accusations.
So sorry this is happening - i'm hoping this has a positive outcome for you very soon.
bizarre how the other mothers views are being dismissed as if they were kids on a playground- just because its your dad. who has been violent previously....
What I don´t understand is why he was telling her off before she ran away?
Perhaps she wouldn´t have run away if not for that?
If she has been "naughty" in school & it has been dealt with-perhaps he needs to say nothing.
I think a lot of us, if we had got back a child who had run away would just get them swiftly to the car & home & not continue the shouting?
MrsDV, I'm confused about This is a voluntary arrangement so SS are not required to be involved.
My understanding is that if you look after someone else's child (unless you are child's grandparent or aunt/uncle) for more than a month, it is an informal fostering arrangement and SS need to be involved. My experience is having foreign children on a six-month educational exchange.
[Sorry to hijack, OP.]
Diddl - I don't know, all the what if's are driving me mad now. Of course it would have been better to get her in the car and then deal with her later but it obviously didn't come into his head and no-one predicted this issue.
She was kicking off when she came out from school, the teacher this morning explained that my DD was screaming and thrashing about in the classroom as they were telling my dad what had happened to try and prevent him from hearing so it was abad situation from the start.
They have explained more about what was said but will not say who obviously. I am finding it even harder to believe as no-one I spoke to this morning knows anything about it, other parents in my daughter's class saw him taking her to the car, some saw him collect her but no-one saw this incident although they were not all watching his every move clearly.
ll31 - Do you really believe somone should be judged for 1 mistkae 20-30 years ago? I take it you have never made a mistake? He has never been violent since.
Deuchers - There was no infomal fostering arrangement, she was signed over to me whilst a lot younger, her bio-mum is a relative who lived with me. One day she went and never took her child. I have a residency order and PR but I am not her legal mother if that makes sense as she is not adopted, nor being fostered.
needhelp it's playground gossip - giving that she was playing up in class I imagine she was a handful in the playground.
I feel sorry for your dad - it's not like DD is saying he beat her is it - neither is anyone else except some random strangers.
It's a storm in a teacup and it will blow over - can you work reduced hours until then.
I wouldn't 'dismiss' the other mothers views. But they do need to be taken in context.
Neither the father nor the OP nor the girl herself are saying OPs father didn't have to restrain her. They are all saying there was indeed a struggle of some sort.
The OP's knowledge of her father and 'DD' must surely outweigh the conclusions being drawn by 4 onlookers at one given moment in time?
"she was kicking off when she came out of school" - i challenge anyone to handle this without a few eyebrows being raised by onlookers. I wonder if these 4 witnesses did anything constructive to help? I bet not.
"my daughters behaviour means we are not popular at school"
I think it it totally out of your hands now. You just have to let the process follow its course. It takes a lot of guts for someone to report
perceived chidl abuse so if four people made a complaint then SS will take it very seriously.
Sorry you're in this situation. Keep calm, cooperate with SS, don't speculate about horrible outcomes. My ex maliciously reported me when Dd fell over in the playground and cut her face. There was a thorough investigation but it wasn't a negative experience - I emerged feeling very positive and vindicated. As a previous poster said, best case scenario, you may get some additional support with her.
To be honest there isn't enough information either way for anyone to know. The only people who do know are dad, DD and the parents who saw it.
Your hands are also tied to a certain extent in so far as SS have asked your dad not to have contact until it's all over. This is also a help to you as it gives you some space to see how things unfold.
If it helps, I can't see how you would lose residence of your daughter. At the end of the day this incident didn't involve you and you cannot be held responsible. The very worst case scenario is SS come back and say that your dad is no longer allowed unsupervised contact with your DD.
There are simply no grounds to remove residence from you and given that bio-mum has given DD up, you have PR AND defacto main carer. I cannot see any judge in his right mind would think that it would be in your daughter's best interests to remove her from your custody and stick her into care.
I don't have anything new to add but, if this were me, the things I would keep concentrating on are:
1. This could have been one person backed up by three friends. That would be entirely different to four seperate and independent people. One person could easily misunderstand events - I doubt four would all misunderstand in the exact same way.
2. Your daughter's injuries are consistent with your dad's version of events, which your daughter and other eye witnesses seem to be confirming.
3. The school have received an allegation of abuse. They are duty bound to report it to SS, who are duty bound to investigate and take precautions (not allowing your DD contact with your dad) whilst they do so. Once the school had received the complaint they would not have had the option to ignore it (and nor should they have).
4. You need to co-operate fully with SS. They will not take your DD into foster care unless they really feel there is no other option. They may also be able to offer you some help with DD's behavioural problems.
5. Trust your instincts.
Good luck with it all. I hope it all works out well for you & your DD.
Well I hope that you all get some help as to how to move forward.
Her mum abandoned her?
SD the private foster care rules do not apply to close relatives.
In the case of non unrelated children there is a requirement to inform SS after 28? days (I think) but it will not necessarily make it a CP issue. Its a monitoring
When I was looking after a non related child SS tried to class it as private foster care so they ^ didn't ^ have to be involved.
It certainly was not a private arrangement as I had never so much as set eyes on the child's parents, let alone arranged to look after them.
But I wont start a full fledged rant on this thread
hows it going op? do you just have to wait and wait to see what ss are going to do or say?
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