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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33276
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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my daughter had a baby at 16, with family support. She lives

Customer Question

my daughter had a baby at 16, with family support. She lives in a CHAT house. She has had no help from the father or his family with regard to the baby. The baby 12 weeks old and she jolted the baby and on another occasion for 2 seconds put her hand over her mouth. She confessed to her CHAT lady who told her to report it to her health visitor. The health visitor called her and she didn't say anything because she had made a appointment at the Dr's the next day and wanted to tell her first. That night at 10 o'clock 2 police officers and a social worker turned up at her house and took the baby to hospital. All tests proved negative. Baby clean, tidy and putting on weight as normal. I was away on holiday and couldn't do much about things until I got back. My other daughter and my parents went to the hospital and spent all the time there. I had several phone calls from a social worker who asked me to look after baby and mum 24/7. I said that when I got back from holiday I would sort it out but initially I couldn't do it. But in 3 days I could. My daughter and the father agreed for the baby to go to his half brothers and wife to stay with consent from them and relevent signed documents. I had a meeting with two social workers the following day with the lady assigned to look after baby and it was agreed that we could as a family have a lot of contact and the following weekend the baby could come over and stay. Now into the first week we have only been allowed 1 hour saturday and 1 hour sunday and two hours monday. The social worker came bqck to see us on monday night and the contact arrangments are very weak. Only two hours per day at their times, but no contact on a sunday and no overnight contact and we are not allowed the baby for the weekend, they are going away on a trip. My daughter has not given her permission for the baby to go away with them. How can we increase visits and sunday visiting. Sunday is a family day. My daughter has not been without the baby since birth, and the fathers family have not helped her in any way. I want to get the baby into my care with my daughter here as offered initially.

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
I will do my best to assist you but I need some further information first.
Has your daughter instructed a solicitor and have Care proceedings actually been issued?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

no

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Then she must seek legal advice as soon as possible - she is entitled to free legal aid and she must have legal assistance sooner rather than later.
They will explain to her that the child is currently accommodated under Section 20 of the Children Act.
This is a form of voluntary care and the permission can be revoked at any time at which point the child either has to be returned to the parents OR full care proceedings have to be issued.
It is important that she does not simply demand the child back until she has had legal advice on how strong their case is and whether or not full care proceedings are likely
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

what about the fact that she is thought to have hurt the baby or could do?


All hospital reports are clear and baby thriving.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
That is a matter which her solicitor will need to discuss with Social Services in terms of deciding whether or not there is a real risk of Care Proceedings being issued
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

please explain care proceedings, at the moment there is voluntary fostering with family


 

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
If you daughter asks for the return of the child to her care then Social Services either have to agree to it - or they have to issue an application to the Court for a Care Order and to do that the Social Services must be able to show the court that there is a serious risk of harm to the child if the child is returned to the care of the mother
Your daughter must get legal advice as soon as possible to assess the best way forward
You can find out more about the care process here
http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/protecting-the-vulnerable/care-proceeding-reform/parents-pack.pdf
and here
http://www.edwardsduthie.com/guide-to-care-proceedings.html
Claire

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