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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34581
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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On Friday I went 2 pick my twin boys up from school. The head

Customer Question

On Friday I went 2 pick my twin boys up from school. The head mistress said come with me there where to social services sitting there 1 was very rude treated me like I had done something wrong. My two boys where squabbling in the morning and my husband tapped one of them on the back of the head he was crying there was a little red mark on his face. He said i will never forgive daddy for this. All three of my children have had to stay with my brother till Monday if my brother couldn't of looked after them they would have to go into care. They didn't give any opportunity to have them and my husband move out. I feel we have been victimised. Can u help me?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How old are the children?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My twins are 9 and my little girl is 3 nearly 4
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
I am afraid that in these post Baby P days any incident where a child has a mark following physical chastisement Social Services always act swiftly and with no room for proportionality.Since it was a Friday and given the fact that it appeared that you did not accept that there was a potential problem there was no question of their trusting you to exclude your husband for the weekend.Dealing with Social Services is never easy and it can be hard to remember to stay calm and not be rude - however it is very important not to point out that they are overreacting to a minor incident. Instead you have to discuss what other options for chastisement might have been more appropriate.Face to face legal advice is the next step and you will be entitled to free legal aid.Please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We then had to go for a full examination at the hospital and the Doctor said it wouldn't be taken it any further as far as they were concerned as there was no real injury or significant marking. My son Alex kept saying my daddy will never smack me again now, I had to change the subject, he kept saying this almost smugly.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Do they have the right to remove all my children without my consent?
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Do not use that word to Social Services they WILL misinterpret itYes they do have that power if they consider the children are at immediate risk - which the incident would have given them reason to think
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
You mention face to face legal advise is the next step, and I would be entilited to free legal aid?
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
YesYou can find local Care specialists on the websitewww.resolution.org.uk
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
On Monday it will be almost 3 days they have been staying with family, I have read that Social Services can only do this for 3 days?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Both my partner work, would we still be eligible for legal aid?
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
They can do it for longer on a voluntary basis if need be - or they can apply to the courts for an interim Care OrderYes you will be entitled to Legal Aid since there is a risk of your losing the chidlren
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
What is a voluntary basis?
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
What you agreed on Friday - that the children stay with your brother until matters are clarified
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Because the hospital consider there be no injury does this make the situation more favourable?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Just to clarify that I was not told I was signing a voluntary agreement and neither of them explained this, they told me we had to sign it.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
The fact that there was no lasting injury is indeed good - but you MUST be seen to be acknowledging that any chastisement that leaves a mark is wrong.I agree that "voluntary" is an odd word when essentially it is a matter of "sign this or we will lift the children" but that is what a Section 20 Document is.You can find more assistance from this grouphttp://www.frg.org.uk/
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I was in such a state at the time and they kept firing questions at me, they gave me no opptunity to take any of it onboard. Should they have asked if I wanted someone with me to help understand, could I have requested a solicitor?
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
No they did not have to do that i am afraid
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for you help Clare.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
You ar every welcome - but please please be very careful when dealing with Social Services