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Cafcass Injustice

(58 Posts)
gingerbiskit Mon 13-Feb-12 20:03:09

My son had a meeting with a Cafcass officer and he was asked to write a letter to the judge stating his 'wishes and feelings' regarding access times with his dad. The next day he told me his first piece of paper had been taken away by the Cafcass officer (because he'd written something she didn't want him to) and he was asked to write it again. I'm furious.

chocolatespiders Mon 13-Feb-12 20:05:23

Thats awful I can understand why you are furious... How old is your son? Is this to determine access arrangements?

gingerbiskit Mon 13-Feb-12 20:13:46

He's 12. He didn't visit his dad for a year, that's why his dad took me to court - he thought I was trying to stop him from seeing his son, but I wasn't. He just refused and you can't get an 11 or twelve year old into or out of a car if he doesn't want to..! Yes it is to determine access arrangements. At the mo, my ex wants the kids (ds and dd) to visit from Fri to Mon morning every other wkend. Trouble is, he moved 40 miles away and expects me to meet him halfway on a school morning to collect them and then take them to school. It's not even like he's having them Monday morning so that he can take them to school..!

gingerbiskit Mon 13-Feb-12 20:36:04

i would prefer them to return on the sunday. ds would prefer that too. They have to get up extra early which makes them tired at the beginning of the school week.

chocolatespiders Mon 13-Feb-12 20:57:46

That is a reasonable request. I wish you strength to see this through. My daughter crys going to her dads she is 9 she stays for 2 nights but would prefer just one night... I am looking forward to the day that her opinion counts and someone may listen to her.

brandysoakedbitch Mon 13-Feb-12 21:06:58

My DDs were asked to do the same but the letters were not presented to the Judge. They both said they did not want to see their Dad - they are 10 and 8 and have not seen him for almost 4 years.

chocolatespiders Mon 13-Feb-12 21:08:34

Brandy did the childrens dad want contact with them?

brandysoakedbitch Mon 13-Feb-12 21:16:20

Yes he has pushed and pushed but will not even write to them. At the last hearing the Judge told him (because he had not written at all for over a year and only 3/4 times in the preceding year) he had to write once a month for 6 months and then they would review. We are two months into the six and guess what? He has not written so not looking good for him. He loves a dramatic court case but not the actual nuts and bolts of children and paying for them and stuff - all very weird but is fundamentally trying to carry on abusing me through the courts system - it is astonishing it has gone on for so long but they keep on giving him chances. Last time the CAFCASS officer said the had 'no relationship with the children' and that was down to him, not me! I am hopeful but I just cannot understand why he gets so many chances - I am sure if I didn't turn up to bring them for contact for four years I would be in trouble.

The thing is they do not listen to the children, not in my experience anyway - it is only because he is fucking up so badly that we may get the result we want not because it is right fir the children

gingerbiskit Mon 13-Feb-12 21:16:35

Good luck with that too Chocolatespiders. Thanks for your comments. I have to disappear now.

Justw0nder1ng Mon 13-Feb-12 22:56:06

I have a friend who is a dv police officer and another friend who is a gp. They both think through broad experience that cafcass are shit! Their opinion, I have my own but it is not complementary to them either!

chocolatespiders Tue 14-Feb-12 11:54:26

It is a shame because it could work so well

Justw0nder1ng Tue 14-Feb-12 17:59:57

It could but the organisation is only as good as the people who work for them. I didn't find my cafcass officer to be bad. I think he was just so snowed under with other cases that he turned a blind eye to some very important issues. The report was on my side but I couldn't help but feel sad for my children that he failed to mention such important issues. I think they need a massive overhaul

mumblechum1 Tue 14-Feb-12 18:01:30

50% of all Cafcass officers in West London are off sick with stress at any one time.

I don't know what the answer is tbh.

Justw0nder1ng Tue 14-Feb-12 18:04:56

I didn't even feel that the court gave the report much credibility. It was too vague in many ways.
Really sad that our children suffer while the organisation struggles. 50% is really shocking

3xcookedchips Wed 15-Feb-12 02:32:05

Just, if your son decided he didn't want to go school, what would do? Walk him to school, make him get out of the Car?

Justw0nder1ng Wed 15-Feb-12 07:09:22

Oh shut up 3X, you have no idea what you're talking about. My son has been through hell. Were talking here about an organisation on it's knees and children suffering because of it. What a silly comment.

brandysoakedbitch Wed 15-Feb-12 09:20:06

Agreed 3x, an incredibly crass comment indeed. My DDs have suffered terribly at the hands of their Father (as I have too) and no matter what they say the court system and CAFCASS, because they barely have time to even meet them in person, keep on encouraging contact with a violent and unpredictable man who cannot even be bothered to put pen to paper or pay for his children. As I said, it is only by his own default that it may turn out for the best but it is a system that is on it's knees and puts children in harms way because of a lack of resources to find out what the real issues are.

3xcookedchips Wed 15-Feb-12 10:27:42

Just, you're right I don't know what I'm talking about as it was meant to be directed at ginger who hasn't expanded on why her son refuses to see his father given the other children do. Although I agree his handover arrangements don't seem sensible

Justw0nder1ng Wed 15-Feb-12 10:31:47

Your story sounds similar to mine brandy. I find it really upsetting when people make comments like 3x did. Would she send her children to school if a teacher was abusing them, I think not.
Cafcass interviewed my children for 1 hour! How can anyone really get enough information in such a short space of time? To add insult to injury the officer didn't even take notice of experts opinions who had spent time with the children

Justw0nder1ng Wed 15-Feb-12 10:41:52

X post 3x You addressed it just obviously it seemed directed at me!

3xcookedchips Wed 15-Feb-12 10:47:05

Until now no mention has been made of the father abusing the children and in the situation ginger raises the father sees the daughter...unless the welfare of the child is at risk there's no reason the children shouldn't see their father - agree?

3xcookedchips Wed 15-Feb-12 10:55:42

Just, addressed to you in error

3xcookedchips

The point of this discussion in not why OP son doesn't want to see his dad.

It's the point that cafcass asked op son to write why he doesn't and because the cafcass officer didn't agree with what had been written they threw it away and ignored it.

3xcookedchips Wed 15-Feb-12 12:08:52

Surely need to understand what is behind the refusal. As for the first letter what was in it - will be difficult to know. If cafcass believe the child has an irrational fear they are going to recommend contact is resumed

But it not for the cafass officer to make that judgement. Their job is to collate all information from all parties involved and pass to the courts for them to decide. This information needs to be unbaised.

The op ds letter is just one part.

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