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Harris
Harris, Law Specialist
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2739
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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I am involved with social services due to myself phoning

Resolved Question:

Hi.
I am involved with social services due to myself phoning them as I had concerns in their fathers care. It turned out kids have been in my care for the last 6 months with no contact to dad. Dad has now been charged with section 39 assault to both children however in the interim period he has raised a formal complaint to social services regarding an assessment report they had done as he felt it was biast. Myself and children have had the same social worker for the last 5 months who has been with myself and children from day 1. I had no written explanation or Infact no explanation at all from social services just a call to say I would be having another social worker as a new report had to be done at the fathers request. I am in total disagreement here and do not want any change my kids have been through enough with police interviews. Doctor body examinations and questioned often by social services and school. It may be if dad pleads not guilty court attendance will be necessary and if contact allowed through social services with dad I believe is wrong. What are my rights here. I also was advised by management at social services they don't understand why they are still involved as the case now criminal and their are no safeguarding issues with me. Do I need to change here or can I refuse as report as far as I am concerned.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thanks for your question.
The children have a right to have a relationship with their father. Social services may have deemed you not to be of concern regarding your care of the children, but obviously there are concerns regarding the father and they will need to remain involved if they have safeguarding concerns regarding him, at least as long as the criminal trial is ongoing. The father will be requesting to have contact with the children and they will need to carry out their risk assessments - one which has been negative and the father has contested this. The new social worker will carry out his/her own risk assessment and in doing so will be able to review the child protection file and ongoing criminal investigation.
If the father has parental responsibility (either if you were married at the time of each child's birth, or if unmarried and he is named on the birth certificate for each child born after 1 December 2003) then he has the right to be informed of their progress and be involved in education - therefore nothing stopping him from dealing with the school directly.
I think it would be best to wait and let the new assessment take place - it is more than likely that if there are criminal proceedings against the children then the new social worker will agree with the initial assessment.
Please let me know if you have any further questions regarding this.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes he does have parental responsibility however if children to appear in court as CPS taking father to a trial would contact not jepordise his conviction. Also I have never met the new social worker but I already feel we have started off on the wrong foot by me being upset and angry at the father complaining as he has done this before with my previous Cafcass officer and she was changed too. I have lost trust and I am scared. Surely protocol would have been some form of writing to me to explain the change. The new social worker has never introduced herself to me and I am the one making contact to her. But she already I feel will be against me for being angry of the change
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
As the children's main carer the social worker should be introducing herself to you as she is the social worker for the children and not for the father. If contact were to be granted, this should be done at a supervised contact centre, but you will need to find out the bail conditions as they could state that he is not to have contact with the children given that they are the victims of the charge against him.
In relation to the father's complaint he, as you, have a right to complain about actions and involvement of social services.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There are no bail conditions set hence this problem. As at management level I was advised because the case was criminal he dosent understand the change and why they have to have a role. Surprisingly she has already visited the father but I have had no contact with her at all. I am of the understanding I should have been informed in writing from social services or at least an explanation. I have been advised that the new social worker will not have access to the original report so she is not biast do I have reasons here to make a complaint regarding the mid communication to myself and my first social worker has been with us now for 5months now to be changed with no disregard to my thoughts or the children's. Kids have been questioned by doctors. Teachers. Social services. Police. How much more evidence do they need. If it's about the children who are 8 years and 12 years old surely as the main carer I should have had a meeting of some sort but the father has
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
It is likely that the new social worker has already visited the father as he has raised a complaint and social services wish to appease him and show him that his complaint is being actioned. However, as the children's main carer you should be informed formally of all the changes to the social worker and the reasons for this.
It may be that the original report cannot be disclosed to the new social worker, however the previous evidence must be disclosed to her - including all the professional's assessments.
If the new social worker concludes that there are no risks - which I find unlikely if he has been charged with common assault against the children - then you are able to purse an application for a child arrangement order for the children to live with you, and not to have contact with the father, at least until the proceedings conclude. This can be done under Form C100 to your local family court.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am maybe jumping the gun but the handling of the situation has really been very poor. I currently have a prohibited steps order and a restricted steps order on me not to leave the English jurisdiction. As I am Scottish and the father had these placed on me even although my final Cafcass addendum report was in my favour. Would I apply first for the c100 form or ask for these orders be removed also due to a charge with up and coming proceedings ? If I was to request these orders off me would Cafcass have to be involved again or because of the charge would the likely hood be they would do it without their involvement.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
You can apply to discharge the PSO at the same time as the application for the child arrangement order (both on the same C100 form) and this should be submitted on an urgent basis. CAFCASS will need to make their own enquiries again and feedback to the judge - so the criminal proceedings would be disclosed. CAFCASS will get involved whether you apply for both applications, or either application.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Hi, this question remains open. If you found my information provided helpful please could you rate my response positively so that the question can be closed.
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