My son was born at 34 weeks on the 14th October with a heart condition. For the duration of his life (2 months) we have been in different hospitals. He is now stable enough to go home until his operation but because me and my sons dad had an argument in the hospital social services are involved and they won’t let us take him home. I have another child (a3 year old) who is still in my care and they have no plans to take her away. I want to know if they can legally keep my son in hospital due to safeguarding issues If my daughter is still in my care? Can I legally self discharge him if he is well enough to go home even though social services are involved? They have no reason to take my children from me as all it was was an argument, hence why my daughter is still in my care. But they are refusing to discharge my son until the case is resolved. Can they legally do this? What rights do I have? I feel if there are real safeguarding issues and my son can not be in my care then surely my daughter can’t either? Any advice would be much appreciated. This is incredibly stressful and I just want my son home for Christmas
Yes you need a solicitor but they're unlikely to be able to do anything the week before Christmas
Your parenting of your older children isn't automatically linked in SS mind - a new, fragile baby is likely at more risk (you were arguing in the hospital where the baby is in front of people). They clearly think you're both (understandably) stressed about the baby.
You need to work with SS even if you don't agree, you're going to get precisely nowhere if you're adversarial.
Just to give you an example of what I mean (I'm a foster carer). When I took foster dd to her parents and they had a stand up row and threats in the street SS stopped further contacts for a while even though her parents still had other younger children at home.
Do you and baby's father live together? Social services may be worried that baby would be exposed to domestic abuse in the family home if you do. Hospital staff are duty bound to pass on any concerns, however annoying that may seem. I would advise you to contact the named social worker and clarify exactly what their concerns are. Then clarify the legal position of whether you can take baby home. I wouldn't waste money on legal advice as you do not know the true legal position as yet. Last tip - please don't minimise the argument that was witnessed - trivialising a witnessed argument will be a red flag to social services and make them think this is "normal" for you. (I don't know if it is, of course). Go to great lengths to reassure them that this is not how you and baby's father normally interact, and show insight into the reason why social services have become involved, They have a duty to protect children and vulnerable babies and just need to know that your baby will be safe and not at risk of exposure to domestic abuse. Two months in hospital is an awfully long time and I cannot imagine the stress - hoping you get home for a peaceful Christmas with your baby.
Please don’t attempt to discharge him against medical advice. The simple answer is you will not be permitted to. And he will be taken into SS care. They have determined that you can not provide a safe environment for this baby. As others have said, hey a solicitor and argue this legally. If you try to walk out with your child, they will not allow you unsupervised visits with him if they believe he is at risk
My understanding is that the OP's baby son is medically fit for discharge but social services "won't let her", although whether this has any legal basis i.e a court order, or she is just being strongly advised is not clear to me. That is why I think she needs to work with social services to find out exactly what her position is, before she engages a solicitor.
"Lawyering up" will not stop domestic abuse. "Lawyering up" does not protect babies. "Lawyering up" will not stop a court order. Working honestly and openly with Children's Services and showing you can put the interests of the child first can do all of the above. Lets have a bit of calm!
Thankyou for all your replies. The argument wasn’t actually seen by anyone. I went to one of the nurses and said to them, in confidence, that we are finding the situation stressful, its creating arguments, and I think we need some more support. They had said many times that if we needed more support to tell them and that’s what I did. They immediatey contacted social services behind my back and now this situation has arisen. I feel that they have no legal right to keep my child in hospital on these grounds and that if my other child is still in my care then shouldn’t my other child be in my care until they find a reason to take them both away? We have been trying to contact solicitors but it being the weekend now we havnt got very far and need to wait until Monday. We don’t actually live together either and they know that. I don’t think this situation is right and it’s actually just causing more stress when I asked for support and help that’s not what we’re getting!
Their plan is unclear. We had a discharge meeting the other day and they said they needed more time to decide whether they would discharge him. It feels as though they are trying to buy more time, put pressure on us and stress us out more so that they can take action to not let him home. The way they have gone about this is all wrong
Having a child in hospital is a stressful thing in itself and they have made the sitiuon worse not better. I wish I hadn’t asked for support, it’s gone against me. I just don’t understand how they can keep a child from a loving home at Christmas due to asking for more support, or doesn’t seem fair or right to me