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Getting custody of my child back(18 Posts)
I want to get custody of my child back. He is 11 and has been with a family member for a couple of years. We had some alleged issues a couple of years ago (older child had behaviour issues) and I was told either I give up custody of younger or kids would be taken and forcibly adopted. He is unhappy and wants to come home. I am happy to have him home, older child now adult wants him home, family member is happy for him to come home. One stumbling block - Social Services. I was accused of neglect, starving my kids. Chaotic lifestyle, which was after school activities. I still have PR but I don't think I can afford legal help as I work but once CSA money, tax etc taken out I haven't got much left, certainly not for legal advice. Does anyone know if I qualify for legal aid or how can I fight SS to get him back. My take home pay is approx £850 per month. Please help.
Is your dc subject to a care order or a residence order in favour of the family member he was placed with?
Have you been in regular contact with your ds? Does he have overnight stays in your home?
What changes can you cite that will allay any fears SS may have about your ds's welfare if he returns to live with you?
Depends on what order his under tbh
You need to find out what order is involved. If it is just a residence order, this is a private matter between the adults. But if you apply to court to have the original order dismissed, the court may want a report from Social Services to give them better info about why the residence order was made in the first place.
You would need to show the court that it was now in your child's bes interests to live with you. It sounds asif you don't accept there were legitimate reasons to remove him in the first place, which might make it difficult to show that things have changed. But he is older now, so less vulnerable in some ways.
There won't be any legal aid for private law apps after April, so you needto get moving if you want help with funding.
Thanks for help. There is a residence order in respect of my ds. My ds stays at least 2 weekends a month. He is happy and relaxed here. Gets his homework done and we have normal weekends.
Reasons given for losing younger was emotional neglect. I loved/love my children and was offered 'help'. I didn't know then what I would be getting into. Once residence order was in place and older "damaged" child (who was the reason help was offered) left with me - case closed. I never claimed to be perfect but I did not abuse my children. I did not leave them alone at night (or day), starve them, beat them with instruments et al. It's very hard when the accusation has been made as there is no smoke without fire is there?
I have set up the small room for him, bought a new bed, trying to sort out the decoration of his room. My housing association has just put in a new kitchen (after waiting years for it). The only bone of contention at the moment might be the back garden is slightly overgrown due to the summer we've had but that is something that is being addressed. I can't afford nice shiny things, but everything I have I own and I do think that the best place for him is with us. I want to prepare for after Christmas, enrol him in a school and set up a plan of action, should SS be asked to reassess us.
I'm going to speak with a solicitor tomorrow to see how best to go about this as I have a free half hour booked. Thank you for taking the time to advise me?
Well amusing SS are happy for you to have him unsupervised for weekend, I can't see how they could refuse to re assess you.
Lisad123. What I've found is that contact is a private matter and SS don't want to know about it anymore, however him moving back permanently just might get their knickers in a twist. Now you see why I'm confused (and they said I was inconsistent). I'm going to try and get the court fees together and just go for it. What have I got to lose?
Could you slowly increase the visits then, every weekend instead of every fortnight then after a while if there's been no problem then one or two nights during the week for dinner then see about being reassessed as you'd already be spending the majority of the time outside of school with him?
If he is already having unsupervised and overnight contact and he would like to move back with you, then you have enough there to make the court give it very serious consideration. So I agree, if it is what you both want, make the application. SS will almost certainly be involved again but hopefully not to a massive or intrusive degree if thongs have been ok for sometime.
What about the person who currently has the residence order? Are they going to agree to transferring residence back to you? That could make a difference.
Oops, 'things' not 'thongs' of course.
This sentence illustrates all that i wrong with this system
"You would need to show the court that it was now in your child's bes interests to live with you. It sounds asif you don't accept there were legitimate reasons to remove him in the first place, which might make it difficult to show that things have changed"
You h ave to go down on bended knees to social workers in a mea culpa even if they were terribly wrong at the time, pretend they are Gods and then they may allow you your child back. Believe it or not they might have got it wrong - they might have decided after school clubs were a chaos thing, idiots that they were. What a mess the system is
" I was accused of neglect, starving my kids. Chaotic lifestyle, which was after school activities."
Did you neglect your children? Did you have enough food for them, of reasonable quality, and allow them to eat it?
What was the problem with after school activities?
I'm trying to understand why he was placed with a family member.
Xenia, you have revealed your ignorance of the system.
It is not social services who decided the op has problems, it was the court.
After hearing ebeidence from all parties. The op would have her own lawyer, funded by the state.
The judge would hear all the evidence and make a decision. That decision, once made and if not successfully appealed now satnds as fact. This is called the rule of law.
If op cannot accept the findings of fact made b a judge, she will be viewed with suspicion.
I am not sure what other system you are proposing to deal with these kind of situations, but you need to understand how the system works before you criticise it in this way.
Bit of an update. Over the weekend had contact and I received a call and DS is now with me as legal guardian can't cope. Have informed SS of situation, waiting for them to get back to me (after 2 days). I wanted small steps and to make sure transfer would be smooth, legal and totally above board. Have explained I am doing the best I can at such short notice. DC wants to remain here and I will do everything in my power to make this happen. I am making notes of everyone I speak to, times, dates, names, etc. At the moment SS have said they are treating this as an extended contact. I am giving him work and essays to do as I am trying to home school him as best as I can due to the fact he is not in school yet. (He lived approx 20 miles away)
Lougle, the problem with the after school activities were that they led to a "chaotic lifestyle"!!
Xenia, I tried to get legal help but every solicitor I contacted told me that as I was working I was not entitled to help. I found out afterwards that I was entitled to legal representation as the case involved SS. One person against many is not a fair fight.
I'm praying that they will see that the best place for him is here.
Don't worry about work and essays, he's only 11 and he's just had a major upheaval. School will get sorted soon enough.
Don't worry, I'm not expecting the complete works of shakespeare but I'm hoping that if I can show SS and courts that I am taking every aspect of this situation seriously (which I am) that they will see that I am supporting my child the best I can. I'm concerned that not dealing with learning may be used against us. I'm waiting for the LEA forms and hopefully he can get a place but I've been told all the schools in our area are over subscribed. I just don't want to give anyone any ammunition. I'm trying to work out some sort of system of normality and structure for him. We do laugh a hellava lot too.
That's good I was just concerned about the "essays" part if the after school activities were a problem before. It might be an idea to get some SATS workbooks if he's in year 6 for him to work through rather than worrying about setting work etc, if he's in year 7 there won't be much they'll be worried about I'd have thought.
You only get automatic legal aid if you are a party to care proceedings. Then it is non means and non merits tested.
Sorry, assumed this is what happened to you. But are you saying that this was always just private law proceedings between you and the person with residence order? If SS weren't concerned enough to issue care proceedings, there is less of a risk they will be so concerned now, if things have improved.
But I just want to stress that orders about where children live are made by a court, not decided by a social worker. And if you don't accept the findings of a court then I am afraid that will be a red flag for every professional you then work with.
This is nothing to do with SW 'playing god' and expecting you to placate them, and to suggest otherwise is just irresponsible scaremongering.
I am glad things seem to be moving forward and you are doing absolutely the right thing keeping SS on board. It would just create and maintain suspicion if you did it any other way.
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