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Child protection meeting(19 Posts)
We have just been through the most horrific few months being accused of child abuse. We have finally reached the end of the court case and the judge decided that the injury dc suffered was NOT a non-accidental injury (accidental as always stated by us) This was after all risk assessments initial and core assessment were done and a finding of fact hearing held. All children have now been returned home as the LA asked for the ICO orders on children to be dismissed.
However as we left court very relieved and happy that this nightmare was over our barristers mention that children's services would like a meeting to see if we would like any help from them for the children. We naively assumed this was a formality to tie up loose ends as it was just casually mentioned,even suggested the children may need counselling to come to terms with their unexpected involvement. However it was definitely called a child protection meeting.
After thinking about this properly now that things are returning to normal at home I am very very concerned. Surely if this was as informal as suggested then this wouldn't be a child protection meeting it would just be a meeting.
Our children have suffered greatly through this process (childrens services documented this repeatedly) but we have all as a family co-operated fully with everything asked of us. It now feels like just when we thought this was over its just about to start again.
Can someone here please tell me I'm just being paranoid and that this is a normal procedure after this kind of case.
Please anyone with experience of the family court system ?
I'm not sure whether this is normal procedure or not but i have had personal dealings with social services and have noticed that once they get there claws into you they are very reluctant to let go and will use almost any
reason exscuse to keep you within there grasp
Thank you for the response. This is what I am afraid of. We had never had any dealings with them prior to this accident and this was such a shock. You do not think things like this can happen when your just a normal family do you ? I don't understand how they could still feel there are child protection issues now that it has been fully investigated and judged to be an accident
Maybe the meeting is to tie it up, get everyone's overall views and downgrade it to a child in need status?
That's just it though. It isn't a case of downgrading her as right now she is on no order of any kind. They were all on Interim Care Orders pending medical evidence to clear up a single issue regarding the injury. That matter has been dealt and ruled as accidental with so we really should not have needed any further involvement from children's services at all. They asked for the ICO's to be discharged at the end of the case.
Is there anyone here who works in the family courts and has heard of this before ? I could really do with either some reassurance or some advice on how to proceed. My children will also need to be warned if they are to still need involvement of social workers as they have really struggled with this and thought it was over
were any other issues raised in the core assessments?
Maccie It's difficult to give a sound opinion without knowing the details of your case - I'm assuming you had lawyers for the care proceedings - I would contact them, you are entitled to legal representation at child protection conferences iirc.
I'm wondering whether your children were still on a child protection plan despite the care proceedings (sometimes this happens if children are on ICO but with family/friends) and this is a formal review meeting. If that us the case, from what you have said the meeting is likely to discontinue the plan. If your children are on a plan they can't just withdraw / discontinue services - they have to formally review the plan.
Or another possibility is that a previous review CP conference made a contingency recomendation for a further initial CP conference if a care order was not granted. In this case you may have received some paperwork / seen the social worker, if they were doing another core / initial assessment. In either case, it is probably just a formality - but get your lawyers there if you need to feel safer - I know legal aid has been restricted but it def used to be the case that you could have your lawyers at CP conferences.
I think I would ask your barristers to write to social services and ask them to confirm in writing what type of meeting they want and the reasons for this.
if the social worker contracts you before hand you could ask them to do the same.
I have some professional experience in this area. As suggested above, if there are no other issues outstanding, this could just be a Review Child Protection Conference whereby the allocated social worker will make the recommendation that the plan is officially discontinued and then the CP chair will approve said recommendation. The social worker cannot just discontinue the plan on their own.
Sorry I should also add, that if it is a Review CP Conference the social worker is obliged to write a report and to share said report with you 72 hours in advance of the meeting. You should be going into this fully aware of the meeting's purpose and any recommendations that the social worker will be making. There shouldn't be any surprises.
If they are asking, it might be sec17 Child in Need help that they are offering. This is voluntary!
This is standard procedure. A cp conference/meeting will be to look at the situation as it currently stands, identify any support for the kids and then close the case. I understand its difficult for you and your family but it is evidence that the LA and you as parents have done all that is necessary. Good luck and don't worry x
Thank you all for your replies. Was beginning to panic a little as its taken so long to get here and has been so traumatic for all the children that I couldn't bear the thought of it just being able to continue if CYPS wanted it to. Feel I am starting to be a little paranoid because of this.
I will be contacting the solicitors again on Monday and asking them to request the type of meeting and the reasons for it in writing. Thank you again for your replies
it depends what LA you are in. in our LA children do not remain subject to a Child Protection plan once they have been removed from their parents care so a review child protection case conference would not happen.
however in other LA this its not the case so it could well be a review.
maccie i wouldn't be too concerned.
Courts and ss alike do not like going from ICO's straight back to rehab with nothing 'inbetween' as it were. A bit like falling off a cliff edge for them.
As smudging says, be complicit and even make suggestions if you can eg - I'm a little concerned about DD hearing, or I'm concerned that DS is finding things difficult at school - particularly xxx. In reality it means nothing, but it shows you are putting DC interests first (documenting it - you know yourself you always have been) and willing to accept advice/help from ss.
Don't make things up, but say if you need help, or are concerned about anything. It will actually go in your favour.
Hope this helps and all the best.
Bittootipsy - thank you and I can see the sense in what you are saying and actually one of dc has had school problems due to the circumstances we have had to cope with,and all the children have suffered emotional stress by the social workers, guardians, IRO's involvement and the seperation from each other and home (documented by the social workers themselves). So I truly believe that being left alone to return to their normal lives is the best course of action however appreciate this will be seen as trying to shut CYPS out.
Want to be seen to co operate as always but actually resent this now as the injury was the sole reason for their involvement and that is now fully cleared up. I just want to shut the door on these people and get on with the job of fixing my kids from the damage caused by this experience.
Hi maccie i have been.going through court procedings for 4 years nearly now and i wouldent trust a word the LA say if anything call ur solicitor up because it seems like they are not letting go. And they have no reason to be doing this i urge u to phone who ever represented u in court hun i have had so much upset with them but u need to know ur rights then u can stop worrying sending love to u and ur family sorry about my bad spelling.
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