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plclegal, Barrister
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 8131
Experience:  Barrister at law
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I feel I have been bullied and discriminated against on two

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I feel I have been bullied and discriminated against on two occasions by social services in relation to family court proceedings involving my baby granddaughter who is under a S20 arrangement.
JA: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: I have submitted 2 statements to court, one to contest an intervener status and 2nd to defend a negative SGO assesment
JA: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county do you live in?
Customer: NORWICH
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: The negative SGO assesment uses historical sexual abuse and their linked concerns regarding this as a reason to refuse

Hello, my name is*****’ve been asked to look at this for you, thank you for your patience.

Please bear in mind as this is an email service and not live chat I may not respond immediately.

How can I assist please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Peter, Thank you for your reply. As I described in my initial enquiry, I feel I (and my family) have been bullied and discriminated against on 2 occasions in relation to the case with my baby granddaughter.
I want to know how to confront the Social services and get some consequence/compensation for the legal fees I have had to pay out to contest both situations which a I feel have been unjust and unfairly handeld.The 1st situation was in February this year when my husband and I were called in as interveners when social services ( as a result of mobile phone analysis) discovered what they thought was new evidence detailing how I was looking after my granddaughter during the period a previous medical expert said the unexplained bruises to my baby granddaughter happened. This information was in fact detaild in the very first discussion my husband and I had with police officers the day after my granddaughter was subject to a S20 care arrangement. It was there fore NOT new evidence and as soon as this was realised the 'charges' against my husband and I were dropped. In the meanwhile this caused me an awful lot of stress and upset as well as having to seek and pay for legal advice, at a cost of around £2000.00 which included the cost of finding and appointing a barrister in case we were involved in the proposed 5 day fact finding hearing.The 2nd time was when, as part of a SGO assessment, I was forced to disclose about historical sexual abuse by my step father. because it came to light that my daughter had spent numerous occasions with my parents social services wanted me to disclose to my daughter. Rather than handling this sensitively it was dragged through a court process and I was ordered to disclose to her within the week. Again this process incurred over £2000.00 worth of legal costs and as you can imagine a very high level of stress and upset on my part.As a result of the disclosure they are now using that as a reason to return a negative judgement on the SGO assessment.Thank you for what ever advise you can give, I feel I do not have a voice in this whole process, I feel unheard and unable to make a difference to anything. Any time I try to speak up I am put down, criticized and misrepresented.I have very limited funds available now and ideally would like some way of claiming compensation from social services for the way they have handeld the situation, causing much stress and financial burden.Very many thanks and kind regards,Mrs Shaw

Thank you for all of the information and I'm sorry for what you have been through.

In terms of the local authority, the route to redress is a formal complaint, a referral to the local government ombudsman and possible a judicial review claim against them.

Have you made a formal complaint yet?

The issue with judicial review is that there are strict timescales to bring the claim - within 3 months of the action complained of, so time is of the essence.

There's also the route of professional negligence, but this could take some time to progress.

I hope this assists?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thank you for your quick reponce. The trouble with making a formal compaint to the local authority is I wouldn't want it to prejudice in any way the case for my granddaughter to be returned to my duaghter ( her mother of course) by me casuing an issue with ny complaint.The issue with the interveener situation happend in January/February and I was confounted with te court order regarding the disclosoure situation also at that hearing. Am I therefore too late to seek any redress/compensation?

No problem.

The issue of your complaint should not prejudice your daughter in any way. You also can wait until the conclusion of proceedings before complaining - there's no official time limit on that.

It is possible to apply for JR outside of the 3 month timescale but there has to be a very good reason - you would need to speak to a JR specialist from about this though.

This company offer a free consultation to discuss a potential JR claim:

I hope this assists?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok thank you.
What about how the disclosure was handeld? I have never felt so belittled, bulied and unheard ever!
Even though I said I wold sue the council if THEY told my daughter, I saind right at the point of discllsure to the SGO assesor and the Social worker that if she needed to be told then I would be the one to telll her. I wanted the hurt form my past to stop with me! But yet again I was not listed to and somehow it got dragged into a court process which they claimed "to understand how I felt" but I was not supported in anyway and it felt like a life time of building my self up was crushed in that moment!Also the authorities have NEVER had a conversation with my daughter about this to clarfiy details and information. It's just been left and i've been left financially and emotionally hurt!On a different matter, can I ask your understanding of how contact between birth paretns and children in care (family placement S20) should be being handeld/arranged at the moment?

All of the above suggests clear grounds for a complaint. If the complaint is successfully upheld, then you could seek compensation.

On the section 20 point can you please post that as a new question?

Kind regards, Peter

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you again. Should there have been any particular protocols or process that the court/solicitors should have followed when dealing with a vulnerable client, ie myself as a survivor of abuse and the fact that the process caused me such emotional upset? I had no ideas that this subject was going to go through the courts, I had no time to work up a defence to disclosure and felt railroaded into the situation, especially as NO ONE has discussed this with my daughter first to find out if my step father had done anything to her (as wrongly alleged by the family member currently taking care of my granddaughter).

On this last point I cannot find any specific guidance, it's perhaps just a matter of simple human decency.

I hope that helps?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
there is no guidance on how to deal with/support a person who is clearly upset and traumatised by the process and being forced in such harsh circumstances to disclose private and sensitive information in such a bullish manor?

As I say it's matter of human decency. A lot of the usual courtesies seem to go out of the window when the threat of child protection issues rear their head I'm afraid. It can cause professionals who should be acting in a sensitive and reasonable way to abandon all decorum.

You have sufficient grounds for a complaint here, you don't need to quote a specific policy for someone to see that.

I hope that helps.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok thank you, ***** ***** permissible to say that I have taken advice and information from your self as and when I pursue a complaint please?


You can quote "general legal advice", but not me specifically as I'm not acting in the capacity as your lawyer here, but as a legal expert guiding you through the law.

As before, if you can please accept my answer and rate me 5 stars (in the top right of your screen) then Just Answer will credit me for helping you today.

I will remain available for any follow-up questions, should you have them.

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