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First session of supervised contact taking place

(30 Posts)
Pebbledashery Fri 20-Nov-20 13:17:47

Hi mums,
My DD is seeing her father this weekend for the first time in 6 months... it's closely supervised contact in the community as contact centers are closed.
Any tips to get through it? its starting off with an hour for a number of sessions and if the social worker thinks it is going well it will progress to two hours. Just feel a bit sick to my stomach.
DD is so attached to me and the thought of handing her over to a stranger and walking off makes me want to cry - I don't want her to think I am leaving her.
Also - I am having a call with the social worker today prior to the contact session. How much would you tell her? there is a long history of domestic abuse and violence and if you've read my other threads you'll see we had to flee and relocate with the help of social services. This monster also abused his daughter sad
How much should I tell the social worker??

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Pebbledashery Fri 20-Nov-20 13:18:16

That was supposed to say "Hi mumsnetters" as I know there are dads on this site also!

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HappyAsASandboy Fri 20-Nov-20 13:20:50

Tell the social worker as much as possible, especially about any abuse to his daughter or other children, or abuse that your child witnessed.

It will be horrible, but you will get through it. Hopefully he will become bored of supervised visits and call them off, or become a better person so you can work with him to build a safe relationship for your child thanks

Pebbledashery Fri 20-Nov-20 13:24:58

@HappyAsASandboy thank you for replying xx
Do you know how quickly the contact will progress? I am worried that when we get to the section 7 CAFCASS will see he's had supervised community contact and think he's perfectly safe to be around and give him 50/50! - there's 2 hours distance between my ex and i, i moved away as far a I could, I am the one doing all of the driving as he isn't allowed to come where I am - I've chosen a location that I think DD will be comfortable in.

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pog100 Fri 20-Nov-20 14:26:34

You are catastrophising again like in all your other threads. I'm really sympathetic and I believe everything you've said about your ex and his behaviour but you are making it harder for yourself and possibly your daughter by the extent of your worry about the future. You escaped successfully and are being helped by various services. A judge has decided it might be in the best interests of your child to have some 1 hour sessions closely observed by trained social worker. You need to accept that this is happening but not imagine that it will turn into 50:50 in a couple of weeks. This isn't what the judge decided and you have lots of evidence to speak against this. I know it's terribly hard but really really need to go with the flow for s while.

Pebbledashery Fri 20-Nov-20 15:35:01

I know. You're right @pog100 just anxious about the whole thing. And I know contact has only been ordered in the best interest of DD.. Not him. It's just knowing he thinks he's winning that's all. It's sickening.

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Rainbowshine Fri 20-Nov-20 15:48:51

Why do you think of it in terms of winning and losing? It’s a situation not a fight/battle? Looking at it in such all or nothing, absolute ways is unhealthy and unhelpful. Be factual with the social worker, and look at what support you need right now as well.

Pebbledashery Fri 20-Nov-20 15:51:42

No I don't think of it that way at all - but he does! this is our daughters life.. not a competition! but before leaving him he said he would fight me all the way for her and he'd win!

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Rainbowshine Fri 20-Nov-20 16:32:57

But, in the kindest way I can manage, you are talking about it in his terms, using words like winning and do seem to look at it in a him versus me kind of way. Read my post again, it’s not healthy that you’re looking at it in those terms. Find your own terms to describe it, the situation, the arrangement, the judgment, whatever takes the emotion out of it and look at it factually.

Bunnymumy Fri 20-Nov-20 17:44:25

Tbf, he has to have his contact with his own daughter supervised..that's not winning.

Try not to worry yourself sick,that's what he wants. Brief the social worker and she'll keep an eye on things.

A little bit of a silver lining: I dont know how old your little one is but when she starts school she will have to leave you during the day anyway, so it might actually make things easier for her in future to get used to not being with you 24/7.

Pebbledashery Fri 20-Nov-20 20:09:41

I know. That's what I keep thinking. It's one hour closely supervised and my daughter and I can get on with the rest of the week and forget about it till the next week.

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LilyWater Fri 20-Nov-20 20:48:24

If it's closely supervised there's nothing to worry about. If you start working yourself up, which will mean your daughter absorbs all your anxiety, it's her you're harming by unnecessarily making it an ordeal for her when she can't do anything about it. Children pick up cues from adults so how YOU handle it is what will make it traumatic or not.

Just do the handover calmly and calmly let her know she will be back with you after 1 hour (and the social worker will be with her the whole time to look after her) then say 'see you soon', without fuss or dramatics. She will see you come back so she won't worry about you not coming back after future 1 hour sessions. There's no need whatsoever to make to whole situation even more unhealthy for the poor child.

Pebbledashery Fri 20-Nov-20 21:04:04

Oh don't worry I have absolutely no intention of being a drama queen. I already said to the social worker I'll encourage her to go with her and make sure she knows I'm coming back. I'm not one for big dramatic scenes so I have to remember if she's upset at handover in a few minutes she'll be OK. I want contact to go well for her. I don't want her to feel distressed or upset. Just such a ball ache I've moved two hours away from her father and contact is taking place near him as he can't know where we live as he'll stalk us.. So it's 4 hours in the car 😭

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Pebbledashery Sun 22-Nov-20 11:10:53

Argh just handed DD over to the social worker and he appeared with his disgusting and snakey smile. Really hope she's not reeled in by him. Regardless how contact goes he's still a violent and abusive man.

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Nat6999 Sun 22-Nov-20 13:42:51

My late dp had to have 26 supervised contacts over the space of a year before he was able to have unsupervised contact & go back to court 3 times for review. Log any problems he causes, how your child is after every contact. The Caffcass worker will have to do a report after every block of sessions as to how capable they consider your ex to be to care for your child. After all that my late dp only got 7 hours every week, no overnight stays, his ex cancelled several times during the supervised contact & nothing was said or done to her, go with your instinct & any problems speak to the Caffcass worker or take it back to court.

Pebbledashery Sun 22-Nov-20 13:48:32

Thank you. This is an independent social worker. Because contact centres are closed. The judge went with his barristers suggestion of independent social worker. I'm minded to tell her about seeing him but I don't want to appear as if I'm sabotaging contact because above all I don't want anymore disruption in DDs life.
Do you mind if I ask why your late DH had supervised contact? Cafcass did a safeguarding letter and couldn't endorse interim contact because there were a number of safeguarding risks including abuse of DD.. His barrister came up with a trump card of an independent social worker. I spoke to her on Friday and told her however well contact goes that abusive and violent behaviour is long instilled in him and needs to be addressed. I would be OK with Sunday contact. Not overnight though. Primarily because it's too disruptive for DD she's been through enough and there's 150 miles between us now I've moved.

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OverTheRubicon Sun 22-Nov-20 13:52:57

LilyWater

If it's closely supervised there's nothing to worry about. If you start working yourself up, which will mean your daughter absorbs all your anxiety, it's her you're harming by unnecessarily making it an ordeal for her when she can't do anything about it. Children pick up cues from adults so how YOU handle it is what will make it traumatic or not.

Just do the handover calmly and calmly let her know she will be back with you after 1 hour (and the social worker will be with her the whole time to look after her) then say 'see you soon', without fuss or dramatics. She will see you come back so she won't worry about you not coming back after future 1 hour sessions. There's no need whatsoever to make to whole situation even more unhealthy for the poor child.

This. And the last thing you want is to hand him a shred of evidence to go back and claim parental alienation. 1 hour supervised really is tiny, and you've done well to get out.

june2007 Sun 22-Nov-20 13:56:56

Stop talking about overnight. He is on supervised for 1 hour. There is a lot he needs to do before anyone will consider over night.

Pebbledashery Sun 22-Nov-20 14:03:25

I don't know how quickly it progresses. We had an awful judge on Monday whose now been reserved to our case if available. His barrister is vicious and nasty...they've struck out new evidence that I had, his barrister has got the judge to agree that full disclosure of his medical history isn't necessary either. Just feel like I don't stand a chance.

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Nat6999 Mon 23-Nov-20 01:46:34

My late dp ex had concerns about dp drinking, yes he had an alcohol problem but he never drank around his dc, they were the one factor that controlled his alcohol use. The one thing I would recommend is for you to have a barrister as well, if you are on a low income & have proof of his previous abuse you may qualify for legal aid. My dp had a barrister & i am sure that without he would not have gained access to his children. Once the legal case is over & you are free from court, don't be afraid of breaking the court order, in reality nothing happens if the order is broken, your ex may threaten to take you back to court, but knowing how long it takes to get back to court & build a case the chances are low. Like I said, keep a record of anything that happens, it is your proof for stopping contact, keep text messages, any reports of changes of behaviour in your child from nursery or school, pictures of any injuries or the state your child returns from contact, ie are they clean, warm & dry, have they been fed & given drinks. Take a date stamped photo before handover of your child showing that they are dressed for weather conditions, if they are in a mess when returned, wet nappies not changed, wet clothes, anything that isn't as it should be, take another photo. Your ex should provide his own nappies, wipes, food & drinks for access, he should pay for any outings, your only job is to make your child available.

OverTheRubicon Mon 23-Nov-20 07:34:50

Nat6999

My late dp ex had concerns about dp drinking, yes he had an alcohol problem but he never drank around his dc, they were the one factor that controlled his alcohol use. The one thing I would recommend is for you to have a barrister as well, if you are on a low income & have proof of his previous abuse you may qualify for legal aid. My dp had a barrister & i am sure that without he would not have gained access to his children. Once the legal case is over & you are free from court, don't be afraid of breaking the court order, in reality nothing happens if the order is broken, your ex may threaten to take you back to court, but knowing how long it takes to get back to court & build a case the chances are low. Like I said, keep a record of anything that happens, it is your proof for stopping contact, keep text messages, any reports of changes of behaviour in your child from nursery or school, pictures of any injuries or the state your child returns from contact, ie are they clean, warm & dry, have they been fed & given drinks. Take a date stamped photo before handover of your child showing that they are dressed for weather conditions, if they are in a mess when returned, wet nappies not changed, wet clothes, anything that isn't as it should be, take another photo. Your ex should provide his own nappies, wipes, food & drinks for access, he should pay for any outings, your only job is to make your child available.

I'm not sure that it's good advice to say someone shouldn't cooperate. Also, did you read the OP? It's one hour supervised contact only. I'm sure you mean well but it seems likely to fuel the OP's considerable anxiety and potentially land her in more trouble if she doesn't comply.

Pebbledashery Mon 23-Nov-20 08:18:03

I agree.. I think I just need to cooperate as best as I can because then nobody can accuse me of being unreasonable or obstructive. My issue is my DD is 2, for the first time in her life she's settled and safe and living in an abuse free household.. He's trying to go for shared care but in reality 2 homes for a 2 year old 150 miles apart isn't going to work. So as PP said I need to stop catastrophising and think he's been given the bare minimum of contact based on the fact he's hugely violent and the courts believed it was in DDs best interest to see him. No amount of supervised contact will make him a good dad. The violent and abusive behavior is long instilled in him and until its addressed he will never change. The only thing I'm worried about at this point is the ISWs reports being used in his application.. She commented yesterday that contact went OK. I just don't want the courts to be blindsided by that and forget how violent and abusive he is.

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Rae36 Mon 23-Nov-20 11:21:45

he's been given the bare minimum of contact based on the fact he's hugely violent

Hang on to that op, that's the most important thing

Pebbledashery Mon 23-Nov-20 11:34:32

@Rae36 I am trying - I will just get through my week forgetting about him until Sunday! it's not like he has unsupervised, he's got this ISW following him everywhere and watching every interaction! Even I would struggle with that and I know I am a good mum.

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serene12 Mon 23-Nov-20 11:55:38

I often have to make decisions with colleagues, about whether children should get contact with their parents. We often have to read lengthy independent parenting assessments, to enable us to make a decision in the best interests of the child. I think it’s good that it’s an independent social worker, they will be well qualified to assess. I’m sure that “Disney Dad’s” facade may drop afrer a while and the ISW will be documenting what happens at contact. Pre & post contact is important, is the child regressing? i.e. extra clingy, toilet training not going so well etc.

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