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referral to social services -advice please

15 replies

naturalbornflapper · 21/04/2010 11:20

Hi, I'm new to mumsnet, not sure this is in the right place so please advise if you feel it would be better placed elsewhere .

I live alone with my 2 children and am due to give birth any day now to my third. Baby's dad lives approx 200 miles away and due to an impending court appearence and meeting with the probation service for pre sentencing report a referral has been made to social services to assess his suitability to be around me and the kids.

Currently I have been advised via my midwife that he is not allowed to be present for the birth or have any physical contact with us until an assessment has been completeted. I have also been told that I must go into hospital to give birth (had planned a home birth but now apparently I am not allowed, even if I was able to have someone else as a birth partner other than baby's dad ) . That said I will be 'complying' with this 'advice' as I don't want to cause any unneccessary problems for me and the kids.

I would like to stress that he has never harmed, threatened or otherwise me or my kids and his 'crime' does not involve children or DV.

I have been advised that they will be contacting me shortly and to be blunt, I have no idea what to expect as I have never had any dealings with social services before. I would like to know what the normal process is from someone who has been through this before (positive as well as negative experiences would be good as I have been scaring myself half to death with some of the stories on here). I'm gutted as I have visions of them 'forbidding' our relationship and depriving our child of a father and feel very powerless at the moment .

Thanks x

OP posts:
ledkr · 21/04/2010 11:46

Hi I work for ss and without any knowledge of your case i cannot comment but i do know that they do have the best intentions and try to keep families together if possible. I think you need some legal advice asap look in phone book for family law solicitors or contact citizens advice. Are there any legal orders in place such as child protection plan or a care order? social workers do rely often on so called voluntary aggreements which people go along with as they are scared to rock the boat. Pl;ease get legal advice TODAY and i will watch with interest.
Good luck.

Grandhighpoohba · 21/04/2010 11:48

Are you sure that you are aware of the full details of his alleged offence? Because to be honest, if the Probation Service got this involved with assessing the home life of every offender, the service would grind to a halt. Are we talking about a particularly violent offence, or serious involvement in drugs?

Lots of, if not most, offenders have families, and social services wouldn't get involved unless there was a specific cause for concern in my experience.

They won't forbid a relationship uless he specifically presents a risk to his children. Even then, if they feel that you fully accept the risks and are willing to supervise any contact appropriately, then they are unlikely to prohibit contact between him and his family.

But I'm fairly sure there is more going on here than has been admitted.

naturalbornflapper · 21/04/2010 12:02

Hi ledkr and grandhighpoohba -

Thanks for your input, legal advice has been mentioned so that I am aware of my rights but I have not had the chance to seek that yet (I only had this discussion yesterday and still trying to get my head around it all tbh). I will follow the suggestion to contact CA and see what they suggest, thanks. I'm not sure that I would be able to see a solicitor before baby comes as am due anytime. There are no legal orders in place for either my own or the 2 kids from his previous marriage.

I am aware of the full details of the offence (he has plead guilty). I should also point out that he has had previous convictions - the 1st one (approx 11 years ago) resulting in probation and the 2nd (approx 5 years ago) resulting in a custodial sentence. He was assessed by social services after the custodial sentence and no interventions or restrictions were put in place with regard to his other 2 children.

I have been with him for 1 1/2 years and has always been open about his past with myself and both his and my family.

OP posts:
naturalbornflapper · 21/04/2010 12:03

I should also point out that he does not live with us.

OP posts:
naturalbornflapper · 21/04/2010 12:44

Hmmm not having much luck with CAB - website suggests that I can call tomorrow (although there was an engaged tone but since then just ringing out ). I thought you could ring any CAB but they seem to be exclusive to particular areas now??? Will feedback when I've gotten through to someone.

Thanks again x

OP posts:
ledkr · 21/04/2010 15:49

yeah cab is a nightmare to contact unless you go. You probably have more lucj speaking to local solicitor on the phone. I think that as there doesnt seem to be any orders that anything you aggree to is voluntary and therefore holds little water. I cannot stress how importnat i think it is for you to get legal advice asap i know its hard with the babay being due but make a few calls now.

naturalbornflapper · 21/04/2010 17:34

Thanks ledkr, I think you are right and certainly won't do any harm. I believe there is one just down the road from me so easier to pop in if they can fit me in. Will be contacting them 1st thing to see what help/advice they can offer.

OP posts:
Betty79 · 21/04/2010 21:34

As long as you are complying with what ss are asking at present I wouldnt be too worried, they will want to make sure that you are keeping your children safe.

Even if his crime wasnt involving children or dv, they will want to know if his lifestyle puts the children at risk, ie people he associates with, possible backlash from crime etc

Definately agree with getting legal advice too

naturalbornflapper · 21/04/2010 21:57

Thanks Betty

OP posts:
naturalbornflapper · 22/04/2010 10:37

just a quick update - I have been in touch with Community Legal Advice who have taken a note of all the details.

As I qualify for legal aid they are able to offer me legal advice. I will be getting a call back from someone who is experienced in dealing with social services either today or tomorrow.

Thanks for all responses so far x

OP posts:
naturalbornflapper · 23/04/2010 21:51

Update -

I have sought legal advice on this and have found a lovely solicitor who will advise and support me and the kids should any problems arise.

Thanks to everyone for their help so far x

OP posts:
Juice888 · 21/06/2011 18:16

Make sure you don't get involved with Social Services, they will say that YOU are a risk to your children because you allow them to be around a 'convicted' criminal.

Do not agree to anything involving Social Services and do not sign anything. You situation is perfect for them. I know mothers who will never see there children again because there partner was seen as a threat (whether proven or not).

If I was you I would stay well away from the father. Better to be apart from their father for a few months/years than to be put into care and never see any of their family again ( as this is where this situation could head)

Sorry if this is shocking or scary. I just need to make people aware on the forum.

PinkCarBlueCar · 21/06/2011 19:57

Well, that is the worst case scenario, for sure, but as others have said, SS's real aim will to be sure that naturalbornflapper is able to protect her DC from anything that her partner may be involved with.

So long as she is able to demonstrate that and co-operates with them, she should be ok.

sunshineandbooks · 21/06/2011 21:46

I find this really odd. There are loads of posts on here from women whose partners have abused them and their DC and yet those 'fathers' are allowed unsupervised access to their children. Confused

Not saying I don't believe you BTW just totally bemused that we live in a completely screwed-up society where different rules seem to apply to different people.

SS are probably just being careful. Hopefully once they've completed their assessment they will feel the same way you do and let you get on with it. In the meantime though, please co-operate with them or it will definitely go against you.

Hope it works out for you.

DuelingFanjo · 26/07/2011 19:11

this is the second old thread you have bumped Juice888, anyone would think you had an agenda.

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