Looking for advice, under ones bruising policy, social services, child protection register, findings of facts court hearing...(20 Posts)
My daughter is 12 weeks old and I noticed some strange marks on her bum was concerned asked my health visitor who advised me to see a gp, which I did (the same day)
The gp referred us to hospital who did tests (following the under 1's brushing policy) including a ct scan full skeleton X-ray and eye tests. All normal - as expected
The only possible thing I could of though to of cause these marks/bruises was her car seat as I'd placed her in there asleep (whilst we had been clearing things in our new house as we're moving) ontop of her straps as the car seat was at home so she didn't need not be strapped in, the bruises were horizontal lines one 4cm on 2cm on 1cm the exact measurements of the car seat buckle however the consultant said this would not have caused this and described them as "non accidental"
We have a "safeguarding plan" in place where we are supervised with our daughter by other family members at all times and has an upcoming child protection conference and then a findings of facts hearing in court
I have a few questions-
Has anyone been through anything similar and what was the outcome?
What does being on the child protection register mean?
What happens in a child protection conference?
And what happens In a findings of facts hearing?
My daughter is my absolute world and this is literally my worst nightmare, surely the court will take into consideration I took her because I was concerned if I'd harmed her surely I wouldn't of done this? I have no idea what I would do if a court decided she could no longer be in my care
I'm surprised that social services haven't issued emergency court proceedings with a view to removal if the consultant stated that the bruising was non accidental. A finding of fact hearing would only happen within the context of court proceedings and in a case such as this it is likely that an independent paediatrician would be instructed to report on the likely mechanism of the injuries. It is not unheard of for a subsequently instructed expert to disagree with a treating consultant and they may find your explanation plausible. The fact that social services are convening a child protection conference suggests that they are not (at this stage in any event ) going down the court route which is positive. At a child protection conference anybody involved with the child eg health visitor etc will be asked whether they feel your DD might be at risk of harm and whether they ought to be subject to a CP plan. They will want to ensure that your DD is safe and will put in place a plan to ensure this is achieved, that might include things such as regular social work visits, additional support from family etc. It will be reviewed in 3 months time and can either at that point be ended or continued for a further period of 6 months. From what you have said, it doesn't sound as though removal is likely to happen (unless there are issues throughout the CP plan period), but you must make sure that you engage with all professionals involved and jump through whatever hoops they ask you to. Whilst nobody wants their child to be on a CP plan it happens in lots of families and nobody outside those specifically involved is any the wiser. Hope your DD is ok.
I know from what I've read online they'd look into doing court proceedings and discuss this at the child protection conference but they have given us the date the have to submit the case to court by it is going to court this is what confused me slightly
A relative of mine had a similar bruise on her back.
We couldn't figure it out until she showed me her new handbag - with a buckle on the strap that went across her body (so the buckle was on the back). She'd oh just got it and had sat on a bus wearing a thin coat. The bruise was exactly where the buckle was and was as you described. So it's not incomprehensible.
Hope you are all ok.
There are conditions which cause easy bruising, e.g. Ehlers Danlos syndrome- does anyone in your family have a history of bendy joints or easily bruised/breaking skin?
My dd was quite a bit older when we were suspected of abuse because of unexplained joint pains, turned out to be ED, both her and her db bruise very easily and ds has some quite impressive scars from very minor injuries.
It couldn't be one of these could it?
I've known a baby with Mongolian Blue spot which was mistaken for bruising and an investigation started. More likely if baby has mixed or non Caucasian ethnic origin.
Hi holly. I work in social care, I hope I can help you understand the process a little. I hope also that you're managing to stay calm and continue to enjoy time with your daughter as much as possible.
I don't agree with the first reply about being surprised social care haven't already applied to court for an emergency protection order. Those orders are very rarely used and they would only have considered that if the skeletal survey had revealed a pattern of previous non accidental bruising and fractures that were suggestive of sustained physical abuse. Clearly that wasn't the case so there was no need for that order.
However the doctor has given a specialist professional opinion that the one injury your daughter has does not appear to have been consistent with an accidental injury. Social workers have to go with the medical expert because we don't have the knowledge to diagnose differently.
Has the doctor and/or social worker looked at the car seat and sat dd in it to see how the buckles might lie underneath if she is not strapped in? Clearly that's the only idea you've had for how it might have been caused.
At child protection conference the information would be considered and a decision made as to whether a child protection plan needs to be in place. If it is in place, it would possibly be somewhat similar to the current safeguarding plan you have while further assessment trying to get to the bottom of what caused the marks is completed.
Is there any time when dd was left with someone else and you can't account for what happened?
For what it's worth, to my untrained medical ears, if the buckles fit the marks as exactly as you say I'd be interested in looking more at that. But I couldn't professionally argue with a consultant paediatrician in an area is their expertise I'd they continuedo to be really clear that could not be the cause of the injury.
The finding of facts hearings are to establish the probable cause of the bruise . They will want to consider who spent time with dd, when, things like that. I've read judgements but I've never actually sat in one before.
How could the buckles leave a mark through a nappy? (Assuming that she was wearing a nappy).
Hiya, I am a social worker and work in this area so thought I'd share my views.
Has anyone been through anything similar and what was the outcome? I have managed cases like this whereby the outcome of further investigations, independent paediatrician reports and social work parenting assessments have resulted in children continuing to be cared for by their parents without long term supervision and involvement of social care. It is good you are co-operating and agreeable and able to have family supervise otherwise foster care would have been a real possibility. It may be it is later determined upon additional assessments mentioned above that the mechanism of the injury may be consistent with your explanation in which case that could be the end of it-unless assessments identify other areas of need, concern or support.
What does being on the child protection register mean?
A child being subject to child protection plans means we believe the child is at risk of significant harm. This will detail what is expected of you to ensue your daughter is safe. It may detail the other assessments social care intend to complete. This involves social work visits every fortnight.
What happens in a child protection conference? You will be given a report completed by the social worker which will be an assessment of your family situation and the presenting issue - injury. At this conference professionals involved will also provide reports. A decision will be made if a child protection plan is needed at the end, so if it is believed your daughter is at risk of significant harm. These meetings are formal and can be intimidating. Make notes of anything you want to share or raise in case you feel overwhelmed.
And what happens In a findings of facts hearing? This is when a court will hear all info and determine in the balance of probability what is felt most likely to have occurred i.e. Your daughter was intentionally harmed, or accidentally.
I hope this is helpful. Just know I have had situations like this where at first I have been genuinely concerned for the child's ongoing safety in their parents care but upon working with that family, observing and assessing I have recommended no further role for social care. This does happen. Not always but definitely is a possible outcome.
All the best.
No I'd like to think they wouldn't if I'm honest but it's the only explanation I can come to
Do you know roughly what time frame we'd be looking at for a decision from the findings of facts hearing from expieriance thankyou girls you've helped me understand the process😊
Not enough experience of finding of facts hearing unfortunately but if imagine once a date is set it's pretty quick.
Regarding the marks and nappies the padding is big around the middle, but a lot less around the sides so the edges of the buttocks are more exposed. I would still imagine it's a bit surprising for bruising to occur and would encourage you to be honest with professionals about any times dd was with anyone else and out of your sight.
I second the Mongolian blue spot question. DD has two large ones on her bottom that look like blue bruises. She is mixed race. I had to tell the HV to record it in her red book so other HCP wouldn't mistake them for bruises.
Once you have a fact finding hearing the outcome will be known on the day of the hearing. Not sure how long it will take to get one probably dependent on the expert assessments taking place.
Re: Mongolian blue spot, I'm fairly confident this will have been ruled out at this stage. They would remain the blue/green colour whereas bruises change colour with age xx
Didn't realise it was in the buttocks area. In that case, I second the Mongolian bluespot theory. Contrary to popular belief, they are not just seen on children known to be of mixed race: dd had them and her white European ancestry can be traced back a long way.
Whether it has been ruled out or not, 1sttime, will depend on the good sense of the people investigating.
Dd had the absolutely classic symptoms of ED3, obvious to the naked eye, and her symptoms were still described as "cannot be explained by physical causes" by a paediatrics consultant.
Yes by all means it is worth raising a query about Mongolian blue spot.
OP - if the matter is before the court or will be I assume you have legal representation? It's just if not already arranged it would often be requested by parents legal reps for 2nd opinion expert assessments in relation to injuries.
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