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james bruce
james bruce, Solicitor-advocate
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 3712
Experience:  Owner at James Bruce Solicitors
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We are going through a really bad time as a family. Had a

Customer Question

Hi there, we are going through a really bad time as a family. Had a false allegation made against the father in the family (was a teacher and revenge from student) we were under social services from Feb 2020 - case was closed in May 2020. Police were reviewing devices. In Feb 2021 they have deemed 6 photos on one of the devices indecent images (these were of the children at bath time). Solicitor is supportive of this being bath time photos. In the mean time the father is being kept away from home and not allowed any contact with the children until social services complete assessments. The children are safe, from a loving family, always been kept out of harms way etc. Obviously social need to look at worst case as we understand there are monsters out there. Yesterday social services met with the children and have them pieces of paper to draw a house with worry’s / wishes and their likes. One of our sons noticed in the top of each picture was typed text that said - the father of the children (name) has been arrested for sexual behaviour with children. Our son asked does this mean daddy is in jail?
Our question is - this is absolute incompetence of social services and is there anything we can do about this? Social services are there for the protection of children yet this failing has led to three very worried children who haven’t heard from their dad for weeks, they are terrified and now they have been handed this written statement from the social worker. The social worker apologised and said they weren’t meant to read this - but the damage is done. They won’t let their dad (who has done nothing wrong) telephone them - yet they put them at worry/anxiety and have given them nightmares. Affecting the children’s mental health. What can we do about this? Will this help us? This intervention has done nothing but affect the welfare of our children and not protect them.
Submitted: 12 days ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  james bruce replied 12 days ago.

Hello, I hope you are well. My name is***** am a solicitor advocate and I will be assisting you with your question today. I am very sorry to hear of the problem you are experiencing and I will do my best to help you with this matter.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Thank you - really appreciate it. It’s been a very tough 12 months that has turned our family upside down. I have a solicitor who is representing me for the criminal accusations. Solicitor believes it will all be dropped (eventually) and has explained why the social have to go in heavy handed. My wife has a family conference meeting next week - it is just this exposing our children to the reasons for the fathers arrest we think is just unforgivable and want to know what / how we can do about this?
Expert:  james bruce replied 12 days ago.

Very sorry to hear this, yes that does sound like gross negligence on the part of the social worker dealing with the matter.

You should write or rather have your solicitor write a formal letter of complaint to the social services regarding the negligence of the worker in question and about the harm and distress caused by what they allowed your son to see and read.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Thank you. Could this help us with our case in terms of allowing social services to finally grant me permission to speak to my children. We feel now the only way the children will believe I’m not in jail is to see me / speak to me and see I am safe. The information provided to social is inaccurate as well as it was not sexual behaviour - it was bath time photographs (obviously we need this to be proven by police)
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
We are so upset for the children and what they have been put through by social services. They were the happiest, most loving, care free, worry free children. We were a happy family - who did everything together and think the world of what we had. Now we are forced apart and the children are being damaged. Could we sue social services for this negligence?
Expert:  james bruce replied 12 days ago.

Unfortunately until the police investigation is complete and the matter no further actioned, then it is unlikely that social services would allow that, until at least they have completed their investigation as well.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Ok. Thank you. Was hopping this could be seen for what it is - innocent bath time photos. They have taken all devices in the house and said it could be many months before they’ve looked at them all. It has taken 12 month from last year examining them. So worried about this prolonged time. Guess nothing we can do them to speed it along?
Expert:  james bruce replied 12 days ago.

When electronic items are taken to be forensically examined it does take a long and covid 19 only making delays longer.

Finally once everything has been read, the police would carry out interviews based on their findings, then finally a file would be sent to the Crown Prosecution service to make a final decision as to whether in the case they feel the photos are simply family bath time photos of the children or something more sinister. Once the CPS have reviewed the file and made a decision it will be passed back to the police to either charge of take no further action.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Thank you for your time
Expert:  james bruce replied 12 days ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer and for allowing me to assist you with your legal enquiry. I am pleased I was able to be of assistance. Please do not hesitate to come back to me for further advice on this or any other legal matter. It will be my pleasure to be able to assist you again.