The child lives with the her maternal grandmother. Her mother left her father who was subjecting her to physical and emotional abuse, in April 2014. I have witnessed the bruising and have given her a witness statement. The mother started drinking before she returned to her parents, but deteriorated within weeks. Currently she has her own flat in a different town, sees her daughter almost daily, and seems to be getting her life back together. Cafcass, state that the father thinks she has had long enough to recover, and they agree. For the first 6 months the father was given access and never mentioned the child returning to him. Since November he has been trying to get custody, without letting the maternal grandmother or mother know, it only came to light when the parties saw the social services log. In February sosial services advised the maternal grandmother to apply for a child arrangement order for the child to live with her AND at the same time told the father to just take her when he had contact and not return her. This is in the records. The father has been a cocaine abuser since he was 15. His hair test shows he had used it regularly in the preceeding 3 months. Cafcass state that he has to undertake not to use it 48 hours before he has the child and whilst she is with him. Both grandmother and mother have challenged this in their position statements.
in stating that the child should live with her father, cafcass state that his parenting has been 'good enough' and 'with the support of his family and friends he should manage'
The mother knows that his main friends are fellow cocaine users, one is a dealer, and one has served time in prison for armed robbery. She wants to submit to the court. The position statement has to be at the court by 4pm. She wants to knowif she can do this. As a different point it has come to light that on the latest contact visit the fathers sister, (who is also named as one of the people who will support the father, in spite of electing to have no children hersel),smacked the child, sufficiently hard that the child has bruises. The mother has taken photos of the bruises. Cafcass Advisor stated to the maternal grandmother that in most cases the judge takes her advise. Is this correct and can the information/ reasons for disagreeing on the position statements cause the court to reconsider.
Your help in this matter is much appreciated.
Many thanks Clare.
The mother has followed your advice. The hearing is on Tuesday, so if there are any other issues I will contact you then.
I am unsure of what I have paid for, but you have my credit card details if required