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Is it true that contact always ends up unsupervised ..

(37 Posts)
motheroflight Fri 13-Sep-13 22:31:40

apart from in the worst cases of violence and drug abuse.
Cafcass have supervised for a while but it has come down to the fact that they can't afford to do it anymore and are happier with exH's parenting more than ever before. He was violent to both DCs and myself at different times and had a caution wrt myself but no proper evidence wrt DC. At first they identified exH parenting as crap and sent him off to courses etc but a year on, they don't really want to be involved anymore. I trialled an unsupervised where I remained within the same large venue - Dcs were reluctant but well-mannered so ultimately complied and made the best of it. Now I am terrified that I have paved the way for real unsupervised contact despite his previous violence (which I don't believe has changed and can't be assessed by obs when exH was on best behaviour). Are there any intermediate options that I can propose or have I paved the way for a typical contact schedule now that I foolishly agreed to supervise myself?

Pickturethis Thu 19-Sep-13 11:26:03


You post a lot of advice, are you a legal person or an advocate?

kittycat68 Thu 19-Sep-13 11:19:07

I dont see FNF as the enemy. I see the welfare and rights of children being sorely overlooked, especially if its an abuse situation, where more often than not the abusive parent is an FNF member and sometimes with a Mckenzie Friend.
This is not to say that most of my cases are abusive or that i am against people being membes of FNF, they do have some helpful advice.
Perhaps i should take lostdads advic and report any mckenzie Friend that claims to be from

However my appolgies to the OP as her thread has somwhat been hijacked!flowers

3xcookedchips Thu 19-Sep-13 10:54:50


I'm sorry you feel that way but lostdad posts on here quite regularly and quite regularly attracts opposing opinions, I'm sure he's a big boy now and can look after himself.

I follow your posts from time to time - not always but I'm always interested in the background to someone's opinion and how, why they have been formed.

I too have come across terrible McKenzies and have reported them. I've also come across rubbish builders, solicitors, waiters, middle managers, Directors.

Because you have been involved in quite a few court cases I'm interested to know if that's in a professional capacity or just as a member of public supporting an LIP?

Do you view an organisation such as FNF as the enemy?

This would add a lot of weight to what you have said/commented in the past etc. Other posters would then be in a better position to rely on your advice.


lostdad Thu 19-Sep-13 10:36:51

YOU always post immediately after me Kittycat too.

Is that a coincidence too? wink

kittycat68 Thu 19-Sep-13 10:33:21

no support both men and women or whomever.

I am aware what and whom FNF supports.

I am also aware 3xcookedchips you always post immediately after lostdad!!! if someone puts something he doesnt like. coincidence? i think not!
Nobodys attacking you lostdad that is mearly your perception when someone doesnt agree with you, which sometimes i dont.

3xcookedchips Thu 19-Sep-13 10:25:18

Hi Kitty,

do you support just mothers or do fathers fall within your remit too?

FNF supports, fathers, mothers and grandparents too.

lostdad Thu 19-Sep-13 10:24:11

Kittycat I'm shocked that while you clearly feel that children's best interests are being damaged you `have better things to do than report people who clearly are on an agenda'.

This being the case I can quite understand why you won't mention the organisation you work for.

I'm also a little confused about how you managed to fit attacking me on this forum too as you're clearly a very busy person.

kittycat68 Thu 19-Sep-13 10:07:26

ops meant Mckenzie Friend grin

kittycat68 Thu 19-Sep-13 10:06:31

quite frankly lostdad i have better things to do than report people who clearly are on an agenda.
My job is to support the parent that i am dealing with.
I have been aware of some parents using FNF and Mckenzie friends for some years and it never ceases to amaze me some of the comments that come from its members.I do not feel it relevent to state which organisation/company i am associated with because my comments on this forum are from my experience , to state the name that you are connected to refelects on that organisation! As in your case and alot of your comments on this site saying you are a Mckenzie freind and an connected to FNF reflect on both your self and FNF!

lostdad Wed 18-Sep-13 13:17:06

Probably worth reading this:

I would strongly urge you to contact FNF if there is a McKenzie Friend claiming to be acting on behalf of the charity.

I am aware of one McKenzie Friend who is a qualified lawyer but like every other one he doesn't work on behalf of the charity.

BTW - what organisation did you say you were part of Kittycat?

kittycat68 Tue 17-Sep-13 18:03:00

Can u tell me then WHY at court they say they are from FNF?
I am aware they dont reprent the charity, but thats often not what they say! Also had one Mckenzie friend not only stating they were from FNF but also they were a trained barrister, which they were not! ( which i will say the judge wasnt to happy about).
Perhaps its mearly trying to scare the other party?

lostdad Tue 17-Sep-13 17:48:48

FNF doesn't have McKenzie Friends, Kittycat. It has a list of McKenzie Friends but many of them aren't members and never have been. Everyone on the list has signed up to the charter concerning their behaviour however.

I am a McKenzie Friend but that stands alone from my membership of FNF.

Out of interest - what organisation are you part of?

kittycat68 Tue 17-Sep-13 17:10:29

having been involved in a fair few court cases, i have NEVER met a mckenzie friend from FNF who HELPS seperated PARENTS regain trust!
its usually about we represent FNF and this parent is delibarately stopping?refusing our client contact by claiming abuse!

I also disagree, a Mckenzie friend is usually a seperated parent with thier own issues/agenda, and not about the childrens rights /wishes of the case.

I have lost count of how many domestic abuse cases end up with the father having a mckenzie friend from FNF.

DollyTwat Mon 16-Sep-13 22:59:55

It's cost me thousands in legal fees and about to again. I have NO CHOICE but to take it back to court, who see me as a mum who stops contact, whereas social services see it I'm not protecting them.

I'm hoping this time the pattern of abuse will be seen
I cannot bear to see the heartbreak on my dc's faces when 'daddy' decides he's had enough for a while

Onebuddhaisnotenough Mon 16-Sep-13 21:25:48

Exactly dolly. It's a no win situation. You'll have the abusive parent bleating on about their rights and wanting to leave the past in the past. While you literally hold your breath until contact is over and the kids are home safe again.

DollyTwat Mon 16-Sep-13 19:35:50

I'm in a very similar situation

The courts agree that supervised is necessary, but over time it slowly goes to unsupervised and then over night. The dc build their trust again (as do I) then he does something vile and nasty to them and the process starts again

The courts only want to reinstate contact, ignoring the history repeating itself whereas social services state clearly that if you don't protect your dc you are at fault

You can't win. Ever

lostdad Mon 16-Sep-13 12:39:46

I'm sorry your prejudices have lead you to make assumptions about my post PleaseLetsGoToSleep.

I spend a lot of time as a McKenzie Friend trying to help separated parents rebuild trust - it's only natural that people attribute malign motives to things that have been said in all innocence.

What's your situation PleaseLetsGoToSleep? I'd be interested to hear.

PleaseLetsGoToSleep Mon 16-Sep-13 11:44:14

That's a great sentiment Lostdad, but have you been able to apply this to your own case? Nearly every post you write is aimed at demonising your ex wife.

I'm with you Mother, I'm not convinced most abusive exps will ever change.

motheroflight Mon 16-Sep-13 10:40:19

Agree that working together is the ideal but it is very difficult to trust someone who was abusive in different ways over many years; A Jekyll and Hyde figure who can seem ever so ingratiating and pleasant to authority but is a neurotic, aggressive bastard behind closed doors. These personalities go beyond anything a Cafcass officer would have witnessed. Everyone who was within the old family unit knows the real score.

lostdad Mon 16-Sep-13 10:05:59

It is worth thinking about what the long term plan is now. If you're only happy for contact to take place if you/someone else supervises it - what is the plan in 2, 5, 10 years time?

Supervised contact is generally in place as a temporary thing until more `normal' contact takes place. In court the hope and expectation is that things and people move on.

The problem comes when one party and/or the other steadfastly refuses to change their behaviour and/or attitude meaning that something that should be dead and buried is kept alive and kicking by endless rounds of court hearings, support meetings and encouragement by `friends'.

Eventually separated parents should be able to be civil to each other - treating each other as allies and with a respect for each other. It does no one any good if ten years down the line they are still treating the other one like their Hannibal Lector's more dangerous big brother/sister.

Onebuddhaisnotenough Sun 15-Sep-13 22:05:52

I was in a similar situation OP - when the move was made from no contact to supervised, for lots of reasons I ended up doing the supervison but it had to be in public. I hated it, but I did it because the children wanted to see him. the contact period fell over a mealtime, so we would go to the food court of a shopping centre. He exerted the little control he had at the time by telling the children that 'mummy was going to go stand in the queue' while he found a table with them. He managed to 'lose' them from my line of vision. He then threw money on the floor so that I had to lean down to pick it up. Refusing to do so would have seemed odd to the kids. So I did it. It's not something I would recommend though. When our social worker changed later in the process, he was aghast that I had been put in that position.

motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 21:47:42

Others are younger unfortunately. Family wont go anywhere near him after his vendetta which affected them all on so many levels. Nor will friends with children (I don't blame them).

Or if you keep contact to public places like a soft play or library where other people around. This is what I want and what I proposed last time, except that he took them just outside the venue (to txt me though, of course, he could have sent a text from inside) - sllabout pushing those boundries it seems.

He does not have a UK base but ideally, he would like a bog standard contact schedule and I think the real probs would arise once DC are away from the public gaze and he is able to show his true colours without fear of repercussions

cestlavielife Sun 15-Sep-13 21:02:01

Or if you keep contact to public places like a soft play or library where other people around. Depends if he asking to take them off to his place?

cestlavielife Sun 15-Sep-13 20:59:45

Intermediate could be an adult friend or relative you both agree to.
Supervising yourself is pontless really.

But yes ultimately unless huffed to pay contact centee yourself cafcass will move it on. You could also see if there are voluntary run centre near you which would be cheaper ?

How old are the dc non sn ie are they old enough for their word t be taken into account ?

motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 18:47:27

Yes, it has not been robust representation and the proof is the caution except that I withdrew it later because I wanted to patch things up. He did admit to the offence though which is why they have (I am told) proceeded cautiously and unsupervised is only being considered two years later. Are there different degrees of un-supervision? Could I specify that I wish to remain in the background (though obv not hovering over them) or specify enclosed or familiar venues. I hope SN, gaps between contact due to international element, past history and DCs general mistrust will be recognised.

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