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Cafcass just made appointment for tomorrow...don't know how to broach it with DD

(10 Posts)
SarahMac30 Tue 25-Aug-09 16:24:14

Well after waiting for ages for Cafcass to contact me I just got a call to make an appointment for tomorrow. I suddenly feel physically sick. DD is 6 years old and SHE decided she did not want to see Daddy any more.
I am afraid that the Cafcass officer will put pressure on her to see her Father. He just said on the phone just now that he will speak to her about having a meeting with Daddy as soon as possible. This is so unfair to her. I have tried to persuade her in past months and got nowhere so how will a stranger manage to do it. SUrely they should be more concerned about the reasons why she does not want to see him.
How do I prepare for tomorrow? Please anyone can you help? Don't want to come across as anxious in there as they will think it is my feelings that have influenced DD.
Please someone if you can help advise I would be so grateful.

SarahMac30 Tue 25-Aug-09 16:36:58

Also does anyone know if Cafcass will record their conversation or anything. Will she be just left in a room on her own with this guy?

BonsoirAnna Tue 25-Aug-09 16:41:11

What is the background to this? Why does your DD not see her father?

GypsyMoth Tue 25-Aug-09 16:42:04

he should really have a few meetings so she feels comfortable. my officer came to the home to meet dc,had a chat with them (not about dad)then came back again to speak to them. i went upstairs and she did some sticker work with my 6 year old. the older kids said they didnt want to see him,but 6 is too young for their views to carry much weight.

no,should not be recorded.

GypsyMoth Tue 25-Aug-09 16:43:09

and you should have a meeting with him too!! what area is this in?

SarahMac30 Tue 25-Aug-09 20:57:35

The background is in this thread
http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/lone_parents/706549-Daughter-does-not-want-to-see-Dad-many-issues-Now

Thanks IloveTiffany. I had been told that the reporter was likely to come to the house to see us but I get the impression that everything is all rushed. The case has been ajourned once already because Cafcass were running behind. Now they are anxious to get their report filed.
Apparently she will have half an hour with him in the morning then I have my meeting with him. Each of us on our own. I have had a chat with DD this evening and she's quite stressed over it. I know 6 is young but she is really ademant this is what she wants. Will I have to take her to see her Dad kicking and screaming? I just can't do that. Everyway I look at it, the whole thing seems just so unfair for a little girl and puts so much pressure on her.

SarahMac30 Tue 25-Aug-09 21:12:13

Sussex area!

NanaNina Wed 26-Aug-09 00:22:24

Sarah - please try not to worry about the meeting with the CAFCASS guy. He should know that when dealing with young children they won't get anywhere unless they put them at their ease and he should do sticking/colouring with her really or play with her toys with her, so that it takes her mind off being talked to by a stranger. ideally there should be more than one visit but CAFCASS are very under resourced especially since the rise in care proceedings since the Baby P case, so he may just do it in one visit.

He will need to see your little girl by herself but with you nearby. It's just that he needs to be sure that she is not just saying things to please you. I realise this is not the case, but believe me it can often be the case. Also many mothers do try to turntheir kids off fathers, sometimes with good reason so CAFCASS workers need to be sure this isn't the case.

I would not really expect that your little girl will say vry much to a stranger, unless he is very skilled. Children should not be asked direct questions "do you want to see your daddy" etc but their feelings should be elicited through playing and drawing etc.

It's a great pity your daughter has become stressed over this meeting, this should not happen. She will also be picking up on your anxiety so you need to take care over that. Presumably you know the reason your daughter does not want to see her father. You don't give any background info - i.e. when was the last contact and do you trust him to take proper careof her and is he reliable and trustworthy.

In your meeting with the CAFCASS guy try not to become over emotional. The thing is they have to go by the law and if you are married or your P has Parental Responsibility you have equal rights to a child. the child's wishes and feelings do have to be taken into account however. Don't rush ahead to worrying about taking your daughter to contact "kicking an screaming" as this is unlikely to happen. It maybe that contact begins at a Contact Centre and willneed to be monitored to ensure that it is meeting the child's needs.

The CAFCASS guy will have to write a report so he will almost certainly want to make a few notes while he is with you. You have a right to see and comment upon any report that is written about you.

Hope all goes well for you

GypsyMoth Wed 26-Aug-09 01:04:33

i would say you dont care how under resourced they are,this is about your child and you must insist its done properly,not rushed!!

mmrred Thu 27-Aug-09 20:12:56

Ok, I guess I'm in the minority, but I think 6 is way to young to be able to make that kind of decision. It's disgraceful that he let her down (I've read back through the threads, although quickly so sorry if I've got the wrong end of the stick)but deciding not to have a relationship with your father has enormous emotional consequences.

Hopefully the Cafcass Officer can come up with a way of supporting your DD to re-establish her relationship with her Dad, and if he has a contact order maybe he'll realise he has to stick to it!

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