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Child access issues.

(16 Posts)
abouttoexplode1 Thu 02-Feb-17 17:53:15

I'm a regular poster I've nc'd for this I'm probably quite recognisable so I would appreciate not being outed for this.

I have just had a call of a duty SW in regards to DD2's Dad. He has DD every other weekend for three nights, there has been previous violence and drug issues but at the time when social services gave him unsupervised access I was not in a position to fight it.

(This is not a SS bashing thread at all, one worker made this decision. I work with adult social workers myself and I have a huge amount of respect for them)

DD was last at his Thursday gone till Saturday. On Sunday he was attacked in his home over presumably a drug debt, bad enough to be admitted to hospital where he threatened to kill himself and the discharged himself telling staff he couldn't sleep without his cannabis.

I had no idea all contact goes through his mother who was tasked by SS of ensuring he was fit to look after DD. I have been told on several occasions by his mother, social workers, support workers, cpn's and psychiatrists that he is fit to have her.

Clearly fucking not. I am actually furious (and I hate that word) if he was attacked one day earlier my child could have been hurt. I am genuinely that worried my husband DD2's stepfather will do something daft that I have hid the car keys.

The social workers advice was to seek legal advice and stop contact altogether. They have said and I agree that his mother is not fit to supervise access.

I have booked an appointment for Tuesday with a solicitor dealing in family law but I am unsure what will happen next.

This will genuinely break DD's heart. It doesn't help that she is close to her grandmother (her fathers mum) while I don't think she is a risk to my daughter I don't feel confident she wouldn't allow her son access without my permission.

What should I be asking at the solicitors, I have never been in this position?

There is a massive backstory as always. The prevalent MH and drug issues are mostly to do with the fact our son died 18 month ago. I'm happy to answer questions but I should mention no one here can judge me harsher then I'm judging myself for not fighting to stop contact in the first place.

FWIW at the time when contact was given my child had died and my own MH had gone to shit, I wasn't strong enough at the time to stop it and I should of been.

Would really appreciate some advice I've never been in this position. I'm pregnant myself and horrified I've let my DD be put in such danger.

CuntingDMjournos Thu 02-Feb-17 17:55:59

You followed advice, don't beat yourself up.
However now you know what the situation is, stop the contact. Supervised contact at a contact centre may be appropriate.

girlelephant Thu 02-Feb-17 18:04:05

Bless you, you've been through so much so please don't eat yourself up. You trusted your ex was okay to have regular contact and as scary as the situation is thank goodness you know without her coming to harm.

I have no experience of this but from reading lots of MN threads supervised contact in a contact centre seems to be the norm. As for the DGM unless you fully trust her perhaps her visits should be at your house incase he convinces her to let him visit or shows up there.

Definitely got legal advice and speak to SS as they may be able to give advice too. If you haven't already done so I would also speak to the school incase he shows up there to ensure they know the situation

abouttoexplode1 Thu 02-Feb-17 18:12:37


It's social services who have advised me to seek legal advice. I've already informed pre-school and I'm seeing the solicitor Tuesday before his contact Thursday so I will have an idea if I can get anything official put in place before then.

I'm actually shaking he's done stupid things before but I never thought he'd put DD at risk. I don't believe his mam didn't know what was going on. I just can't contemplate how she could put my DD and her granddaughter in this type of danger.

I have always tried to do my best for DD. I have put up with a ton of crap from him and his family but I never stopped access as I believed it was in DD's best interests to have a relationship with him.

I know fine well what will happen next. Threats of violence, false allegations and threatened suicide.

I lost a child too, I managed to sort myself out for my children, I don't get why he can't do the same.

Somerville Thu 02-Feb-17 18:23:26

You poor thing. You've gone through more than enough already.

I think you've read a really fine line with a lot of wisdom here and have nothing to feel guilty about. You've put your trust in your Dd's grandmother to honestly assess DD's safety with her son, because that has been in Dd's best interest. But now that an incident has come to light that means either she didn't know as much as she thought, or her judgement was off, you've realised she can't or won't ensure Dd's safety and your left without a choice.
I'm glad you've got an appointment for legal advice and will be thinking of you.

Starlight2345 Thu 02-Feb-17 18:25:36

My Ex has drug and MH problems and conviction for DV against myself.

My Ex's mum previously supervised contact..I found similar to you. It broke down and she wasn't honest unable to put the needs of her DGS over her DS..

MY Ex was admitted to psych hospital and under sols advice decided to stop contact. I was advised not to inform him till her requested contact as this would help my case.

I was able to stop contact as there was concern for my DS's safety. I went to mediation and he was not prepared to do anything to ensure to me my DS was safe.

I refused his mum supervise contact. She never asked to see my DS.

Your DD is very young if she is in preschool. Does Ex have PR responsiblity because if he does you need to make steps to ensure he doesn't remove her. With my DS's nursery they were fine school, were much more they can't legally stop him however they will delay collection so I can get there. They understood the safety risk of my ex taking ds.

abouttoexplode1 Thu 02-Feb-17 18:35:51

Pre-school know about the previous issues and I think giving that the advice has come from SS they should be able to discretely out something in place. The problem is his mothers own son (so my daughters nephew) attends the same nursery. She's just changed his days so that he's in with DD two out of her three days. I'm considering changing these days to be on the safe side.

Does anyone know why social services have decided not to put any order in against him themselves?

He has got parental responsibility as he's on the birth certificate. I'm hoping the court can grant something that either temporarily removes it or stops him having power to pick her up from pre-school.

Somerville Thu 02-Feb-17 18:41:26

I don't know much about social services when it come to this kind of issue, so just bumping this for you.

Gallavich Thu 02-Feb-17 18:50:40

Does anyone know why social services have decided not to put any order in against him themselves?

Family law comes under private and public outlines. Private law covers child living arrangements, contact and other issues. Parents and other family members can make applications under private law proceedings to request orders to be made, where family members are unable to make decisions between them.

Public law concerns applications for care proceedings, which are only made when local authorities are of the view that children are at risk and family are unable to protect them from that risk.
In your case, it would be your responsibility to protect dd from the risk, not the responsibility of children's services. They would only apply for an order if you were unable to safeguard her.
Children's services can only make recommendations to you, they can't tell you you must allow contact. You could have ignored their recommendation a year ago and the father would have had to apply to court for contact. I'm not saying that to berate you, just to illustrate that social workers do not have the powers that courts have and they shouldn't be viewed as if they do. When it comes to safeguarding your own child, the decision is yours.

abouttoexplode1 Thu 02-Feb-17 19:14:48

Thank you Galla that makes sense about family/public. I completely admit I should have done this 18 months ago. At the end of the day if something had happened to her in his care that would of been down to me.

What I have done (and I said the same to the SW who rang) is put DD's feelings above her personal safely and that was very wrong of me.

I'd rather upset her now by trying to stop the unsupervised contact if it means protecting her from future harm.

abouttoexplode1 Thu 02-Feb-17 19:28:56

Thanks Somer I've not much experience either. I do work with SS but the adult side of it so that's not much help

RedStripeIassie Fri 03-Feb-17 17:50:28

I've got no good advice to give you but just wanted to offer some sympathy and tell you not beat yourself up about it.
Taking everyone's feelings into account and juggling them is hard. I'm sure your ex gave it the hard sell about how he'd never let anything happen to her under his care blah blah blah. You now know that's not in his power.

How's it going now? Has he or his mum been in touch today?

'Luckily' my ex in laws have zero interest in dd. Haven't seen or spoken to her since before Christmas. One less hassle eh!

abouttoexplode1 Fri 03-Feb-17 18:11:06

Nothing yet.

I've had to ring the social worker back. Earlier in the week my DD was talking about her Dad moving away with his GF and one of her daughters. Her two daughters live with her parents not her, I don't know why and honestly it's none of my business.

I wouldn't normally have thought anything of it, DD is four but has some speech and developmental issues. Just with everything that's happened at the weekend I didn't want to risk anything happening with one of her daughters like abduction etc.

If something happened to that girl I wouldn't of been able to forgive myself. The SW was lovely and said if there was any issues that my call could be in connection to, it would be looked into.

I think I have done the right thing but I still feel a bit shit about it.

RedStripeIassie Fri 03-Feb-17 19:26:25

If I've learnt anything resently it's that doing the right thing often feels like shit!
I don't think it's not your business if his gf doesn't have her kids. I'd want to know why if dd was staying with both of them. Keep strong flowers

UnbornMortificado Sun 05-Feb-17 13:42:24

It managed to make the local paper. Social never mentioned weapons (probably a confidentially issue) but a broom handle shank (whatever the hell that is) and a crowbar were use.

Who the fuck thinks it's acceptable to get in these situations with a young child regularly stopping with them.

RedStripeIassie Wed 08-Feb-17 21:57:31

That's rough. I'm really sorry to here that. Even after everything you can feel sad and angry at the same time.

Hope things are sorting out and your ok.

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