Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Social Services - children

(20 Posts)
NewgranGill Wed 05-Jul-17 11:25:17

My DD has been in a terrible relationship for a long time now - I have discussed here before. It has now come to the point that because of DV and various actions by her ex partner she was in Family Court yesterday. They obviously wanted to take DGS away from her and put him out to foster care with a view to adoption. He is almost 2 yrs bright and happy and would be adopted in a heartbeat.

She was eventually told she had the choice of going to a hostel/refuge to protect her child and put him first or give him up. She was advised to keep the tenancy of her present flat as she would be making herself homeless if she gave it up and so would not be able to a access social housing if she was able to find somewhere else to live. Social worker said at the time that SS would probably be able to help with the cost of staying in the refuge.

However, SW turned up at her flat late afternoon and told her that she probably wouldn't get any help either with rent or the actual move - and this could be to anywhere in the country. When DD questioned this she was told that SHE (DD) had made a choice to go to a refuge.

Now can anyone advise me as to how to make SS understand that being told to either go to a refuge with your child or lose your child altogether is not a choice? I am absolutely beside myself with anger and heartbreak. angrysad[

M0nica Wed 05-Jul-17 11:39:52

Get a solicitor who specialises in these matters, talk to CAB.

Anniebach Wed 05-Jul-17 12:36:45

If her partner doesn't live with her and the child why a refuge?

FarNorth Wed 05-Jul-17 12:40:10

So that the partner doesn't know where they are?

FarNorth Wed 05-Jul-17 12:43:17

All these agencies that are supposed to help are usually only interested in ticking boxes and getting rid of you.

Get help, as M0nica says, and give your daughter any help you can, including paying rent for her, if you can.

Don't let your DGS be taken away.

NewgranGill Wed 05-Jul-17 12:55:58

Partner doesn't live with her but keeps turning up and kicking the door and other things so she has to keep calling the police he's been in court now about 5 times in the last few weeks. She has a solicitor that specialises in family law and works with children's services and her barrister has the same kind of experience. They want to take her completely out of the area she is living in - understandable yes - but I really don't see how they say do it or lose your child and turn around and tell that this is a choice. I must say I have seen the court papers submitted and they definitely are written with the intent of removing this child. They seem to be doing everything to take him away even going as far as dismissing the opinion and plan of the chair o a child protection meeting which was a very positive experience for once.

NewgranGill Wed 05-Jul-17 12:57:08

PS when I referred to this situation before it was on the Chat forum.

Luckygirl Wed 05-Jul-17 13:41:57

They have no choice. If your DD is not able to do everything to keep your DGS out of the way of violence, then the only option is for them to make the child safe. They are being clear with her what the options are. That is the right thing for them to do. They are being honest with her. She must listen if she wants to keep her child.

If the authorities did not take this line and the child died, then they would be hauled over the coals for their irresponsibility. Their duty is to the child. You need to support them and your daughter in the aim. There will be some difficult choices to be made; but you do not want the child to end up as a tragic news story from which "lessons will be learned."

Luckygirl Wed 05-Jul-17 13:42:37

FarNorth - I regard your post as being highly irresponsible.

NewgranGill Wed 05-Jul-17 13:51:28

Luckygirl I understand all of that but they say she is making the 'choice' there is no choice, of course she should do this but the problem is that of future housing. She will do all that she has to to safeguard her child but it is a matter of the mixed messages first she is told to keep her present tenancy so as not to make her self homeless - which would mean she cannot access help with future housing or or give it up and not get somewhere other than a refuge for who knows how long.

NewgranGill Wed 05-Jul-17 13:55:19

All through this process I must admit that the ticking boxes mindset has stood out like a sore thumb

FarNorth Wed 05-Jul-17 16:01:47

Luckygirl I think you have misunderstood my post.

FarNorth Wed 05-Jul-17 16:07:59

Your DD's solicitor and barrister ought to be able to get clarity for her.

The priority is to get the child to somewhere that the violent partner cannot reach him, that will be accepted by SS as a safe place to stay with his mother.

I'd do whatever is necessary to achieve that then sort out money later.

FarNorth Wed 05-Jul-17 16:16:27

Staff at a refuge will be used to dealing with this sort of situation and may be the best ones to advise on housing options and benefit entitlement.

Luckygirl Wed 05-Jul-17 16:18:59

The ticking of boxes has its purpose: to make sure nothing is overlooked and no stone left unturned.

I understand the tricky issues with the housing; but it may be that a refuge might be the only way forward. Not ideal I know, but it makes the child safe.

NewgranGill Wed 05-Jul-17 17:12:12

I don't have a problem with a refuge myself and I think it will be for the best it's just they way they seem to be handling things,. There was lots of things in the court papers that were wrong, all kinds of errors events missed or out of sequence the paperwork was a very botched job it looked a complete cut and paste hatchet job.

Anyway thanks ladies I just had to get some of this off my chest because I really don't know what to do no. Very very sad sad

Luckygirl Wed 05-Jul-17 18:37:56

My family have recently had dealings with the court system and there have been some major hiccoughs, which I am sure the SWs (who have the best interests if the child at heart, find very frustrating. I think there is a huge amount of money wasted by the courts with cases being frequently deferred because the necessary reports are not available.

Iam64 Wed 05-Jul-17 19:05:43

Care proceedings are a last resort. It's good that your daughter has experienced legal representatives. Your grandchild will also have an experienced family court lawyer, who will be instructed on the child's behalf by a Children's Guardian. I wouldn't worry over much about the 'intentionally homeless' issue. Your daughter and little one are amongst the most high risk and vulnerable group, so at the top of the last for rehousing.
It sounds as though the partner is considered high risk. Prohibitive steps orders are a possibility, though if there are concerns your daughter may allow him near her or her child, the only option may be moving her out of the area to ensure safety and test her resolve.
Adoption is unlikely if your daughter cooperates. The local authority has a duty is assess family members both as short term or permanent carers

MissAdventure Wed 05-Jul-17 20:27:44

I would imagine that the refuge staff are probably better able to access help for your daughter, down the line, than she could manage on her own, with regards to housing, etc. The priority at the moment is to keep herself and her child safe.

nannynoo Fri 21-Jul-17 01:43:25

I reckon she may be able to talk to the council and get a discretionary housing payment to cover her rent while she is in the refuge to keep her tenancy going so she does not fall into arrears and then they will need to do a transfer out of the area for housing

The main thing is your daughter's resolve as if it has gone this far she possibly has had trouble in the past with ''giving him up'' like a drug tbh and if she has a low point or feels lonely etc she must NOT under any circumstances contact him or she will be back to square one ie straight back to court to have her child removed this time so make sure she gets a lot of support with getting over this guy and emotionally detaching herself from him as with the best resolve in the world at a low point it is tempting to 'make that call' to him or answer his call so it is better for her if she blocks AND deletes his number ( I assume she has changed hers?? ) and all methods of contacting him as it will take away the temptation as many people say the threat of losing the child will be enough but sadly no it isn't always the case and many do go back and actually lose their kids over it sad

Moving out of the area may mean she has little support after she leaves the refuge so make sure they put something in place with her or make sure she accesses all the support services in the area but if she returns to the same home or area it may all just happen again but good on her for not answering the door to him but she really does need to get away for her own sake as well as her child's x