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Can they take my baby away

(836 Posts)
saraheve Fri 06-Jan-17 00:23:25

HI i really need some advice, my 9 year old son was taken into care due to depression i was unable to keep on top of housework, I was binge drinking on weekends and I was in a unhappy relationship with childs farther, since my son has been taken into care I have attended therapy, hired a cleaner, attended a parent recovery group, relapse prevention group and took parenting courses. I am 8 months pregnant due to give birth very soon, I was given a prebirth assessment that said social services will go to court if they see that babys needs are not being met, unborn baby is on child protection and on the plan it says the same, yet social services say they want to take me to court? I was told their is no present concerns and I have addressed all previous concerns yet they want to still take it to court based on pre historic. I have so much evidence of significant changes yet they want to keep me in hospital once baby is born and have a discharge planning meeting where they may take baby away. Have they got any grounds since I have made significant changes and their is no present concerns. I am very devastated please can somone advise me? Thanks.

MrsBertBibby Fri 06-Jan-17 08:35:50

If they are threatening proceedings you should be able to get a solicitor on legal aid, regardless of your financial position. If you don't mind giving a rough location, you might get a recommendation.

They can't take the baby unless you agree or the court orders it. Get a solicitor lined up before you are due.

Ultkmately, grounds for a care order can include harm a child is likely to suffer, not just has suffered, so with your history they have good reason to be concerned. They might seek a mother and baby placement, for assessment post birth.

Do you plan to breast feed? It makes their lives much harder if you do.

Good luck.

kiki22 Fri 06-Jan-17 08:41:21

I would think the worry is the stress of a baby will send you back to old behaviours. When your 9yo was taken and how long the changes have been in place will matter too. Do you have your 9yo back?

LIZS Fri 06-Jan-17 08:41:32

They would need to go to court when the baby is born to apply for any sort of supervision or care order, so that in itself won't mean they intend to take him/her away. However if they feel there is ongoing risk to health or safety they might. Your best plan is to continue to cooperate, remain in hospital until things become clearer. What is the situation with your elder child, do you have access and a plan to be reunited?

blueskyinmarch Fri 06-Jan-17 08:46:38

I am a social worker and have been involved in cases like this. I understand the plan regarding removing the baby post birth if there is no evidence of changes but you are saying they now plan to try to get a court order to remove the baby anyway even though you believe you have made all the changes required? I think in this case i would try to get a face to face with the case worker and their manager to outline to you if this is the case and if so, on what grounds. They would have to have a lot of evidence to enable a court order to be made to remove the baby. Is there a plan to return your 9 you at any point or has he been away from your care for a long time?

Can i ask if you are in England or Scotland? I don’t really know the English legal system but in Scotland we could go through the legal system to ensure the baby was on an order bit not actually remove it. Could there be something like this in England also?

saraheve Fri 06-Jan-17 11:07:56

Hi i really appreciate your response, my son was removed to long term foster care in August 2016, I was 4 months pregnant at the time, since then I have addressed all of the concerns and have done a lot, social services said their is no present concerns, yet they are unsure if am able to sustain thease changes even though I know I can, In the prebirth plan it says they will only have a legal planning meeting if it was seen that I wasn't looking after the baby, the baby is on child protection due to my son being in care, and they have had a legal meeting although the baby hasn't been born yet, I am planning to take baby to baby groups and keep up my positive work so I'm upset they want to go to court, I don't mind if they want to monitor me as I will like to show I can do it, but don't want my baby taken into care, I was seeing my son every 2 weeks and now they want to reduce it to 5 times a year, I really want him back home and we miss each outher very much he is 9 years old. I was told by my solicitor I can discharge the order if I can prove I can look after this baby, so I want to get baby off child protection as soon as possible I am due to give birth in a week, but if they take baby away I will loose everything. And their is no present concerns as I addressed all concerns by myself very quickly.

saraheve Fri 06-Jan-17 11:08:57

I live in London. [Message edited by MNHQ to protect OP's identity]

aginghippy Fri 06-Jan-17 11:19:22

I read it as social services will go to court if they see that baby's needs are not being met. So it follows that if they see that the baby's needs are being met, they won't go to court.

Really good that you have turned things around and are confident about maintaining the changes. SS can't just take your word for it, though, they will need to see evidence that the baby is not in danger.

Your best bet is to continue to cooperate with ss. Maybe talk to your social worker and ask them to clarify what you would need to do to show them that you are meeting the baby's needs.

JaxingJump Fri 06-Jan-17 11:26:16

Keep going OP and cooperate, cooperate, cooperate. Ask them what they require if you and take them upon any offers of help or support. Hopefully none of this will go to court but I understand why you feel like things might not be under your control. They really are as SS will not take a child from a mother who is not considered to be in a situation of risk. May I ask what the deal is with the baby's father? Is he if any concern to SS because if he is, that might be your biggest problem.

WannaBe Fri 06-Jan-17 11:30:55

Tbh it's impossible for anyone to comment on here as we don't know the facts. But from what you've said, your nine year old was taken into care at a point when you were already pregnant with this baby, so we're not talking about a historical situation here where you've lost your child due to something in the past and have subsequently gone on to fall pregnant, the fact you were pregnant wen your son was removed into care would likely have automatically flagged you as a risk to the baby and as such SS have to act accordingly.

For a nine year old to have been removed into long-term foster care the situation must have been fairly serious, and SW are going to need convincing that you've managed to turn your life around that drastically within just five months.

You need to work with SS, but also with your solicitor. People would be unable to give objective advice on here because we only have your side of the story which is unlikely to be the whole story, so any advice given here will be based purely on people's personal opinions.

steppemum Fri 06-Jan-17 11:31:10

well done you for turning things round.
But August 2016 is really recent.
You don't have a decent amount of time to prove the changes will stick, so SS are being very cautious, they are keeping a veyr close eye on you to see that you continue.
try and see this as support and help and work with them.

saraheve Fri 06-Jan-17 11:31:15

Hi yes this is what the plan says but yesterday social worker said we will go to court, they said they want to see the baby's needs are being looked after and baby is not exposed to and drugs and alcohol and domestic violence front my ex partner. I know I can do it I just need
a chance to prove it. Thanks

MrsBertBibby Fri 06-Jan-17 11:32:31

Is the ex the baby's dad?

JaxingJump Fri 06-Jan-17 11:33:32

Keep the heck away from that ex partner because for sure that is the quickest way to lose your baby.

saraheve Fri 06-Jan-17 11:39:39

Hi yes ex is babys dad lucky his moved out now. Thanks

lougle Fri 06-Jan-17 12:09:33

You didn't mention drugs before. Were you taking drugs or was your partner taking drugs? How long ago did your partner move out? You also didn't mention domestic violence before...did your DS witness it?

saraheve Fri 06-Jan-17 13:26:54

Hi yes I was accasionally smoking cannibis to try to deal with my depression, I have learnt now is was wrong and have attended theraphy. Relapse prevention group. And a parent recovery group to address this. My partner smoked far more than me and would constantly bully me for money and steal from me to get it. During the court proccedings with my son he was ordered to move out and he no longer asks for money or does not smoke cannabis around me. So things have improved a lot. Yes I live in regret I did not do this sooner but I didn't realise the seriousness of things until my son was taken into care. Thanks

saraheve Fri 06-Jan-17 13:28:38

I have also had weekly drug tests from September that have all been negitive this is ongoing. I requested it myself to show proof.

WannaBe Fri 06-Jan-17 13:33:51

OP, ultimately only SS know the seriousness of the situation here and the risks which apply to your baby.

At the end of the day social services don't just swoop in and remove a nine year old without prior warning and put them into long-term foster care without the guardian having previously had some dealings with them. Neither do they reduce the parent's access if that parent is working closely with them to change things in the hope of getting that child back and preventing other children being removed in the future.

It's clear that you're not telling us everything here, perhaps because of the need to protect yourself or perhaps because yu can't admit it to yourself, both of which are perfectly understandable. But that means that no-one here can say to you that as you've turned your life around SS won't take your baby because nobody knows your situation to be able to say that to you.

You need to work with SS. You also need to communicate honestly with your solicitor. But ultimately the most important thing here is the welfare of your baby, and SS will do what they have to do to protect him/her first and foremost.

Good luck.

AyeAmarok Fri 06-Jan-17 13:35:39

Are you still seeing him occasionally? Or did he move out and you have stopped all communication with him?

AyeAmarok Fri 06-Jan-17 13:36:30

Your ex, I mean.

CurlyhairedAssassin Fri 06-Jan-17 13:38:59

"I was seeing my son every 2 weeks and now they want to reduce it to 5 times a year"

What is the reason for this?

Finola1step Fri 06-Jan-17 13:42:16

I am no expert but essentially, you would be best to fully cooperate with social services as well as seek and lists to your own legal advice.

It really hasn't been a long time since your son was removed. You have made significant changes and you are right to want to prove yourself.

But right now, focus on staying strong for this baby. Focus on a healthy delivery. Focus on preparing for baby's arrival.

Are you in contact with your ex?

MrsBertBibby Fri 06-Jan-17 13:44:01

OP, your post sounds as if you are still seeing with the dad, "he doesn't smoke cannabis around me, he doesn't ask me for money". You really need not to be.

Have you done the Freedom Programme yet? Get on it if not.

If you don't want to go back to the solicitor you had before, go elsewhere, try TV Edwards in Tottenham, for instance.

juniorcakeoff Fri 06-Jan-17 13:54:36

Have you been issued a letter before proceedings with the date of a pre-proceedings meeting, or are they planning to issue proceedings as soon as the baby is born? You need to know this, and you need a copy of the pre-birth plan so you know exactly what will happen when baby is born. If you have a letter before proceedings, you can take this to solicitor and get legal aid. Are you planning for your ex to come to the birth? If so change your mind and get someone helpful and calm.

From your posts it seems you and your ex neglected your son, you had a drink and drugs problem, you exposed your son to harm from witnessing domestic abuse. This was such a short time ago and newborn babies are so vulnerable that you can probably see why people are worried. If your ex is out of the picture, you have a much better chance. I'm worried that it sounds like he is still around. Please please stay single whilst you work on your other problems, get some good strong people around you, ask for help from drug and alcohol agencies and organisations like homestart so that the stress of having a young baby and missing your son doesn't cause you to relapse.

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