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Thread: Help & Advice Please re social services.

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  1. #1
    slonie's Avatar

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    Default Help & Advice Please re social services.

    Hi,

    I apologise in advance for the long post.

    I could really do with some advice on where I stand legally and how to proceed.

    I was found out two weeks ago that a family member is being convicted of a historical sex offence (being appealed against), this is the first i had heard anything about it, and the family member has now been put on the Sex Offenders Register.

    My son is 16 years old, and suddenly I have got social services and the police ringing me up, wanting to discuss matters in relation to my son.

    I had a phone call last Thursday from social services conducting an assessment, and they have now referred it to their area manager? I have received another call this morning from social services, who want to come out do an "assessment", when I asked them an assessment for what, she became extremely officious and asked, "You are aware of whats going on with the family member in question", my reply to her was that my son is 16. I was informed that my son is still considered a child.

    At this point, my son doesnt know anything about this, he has just had his prom, and has been given a place on the course he wants to take at college. He is in a really great place, after going through a horrible time, when his father and i seperated, and i want to try and protect him from this information for as long as possible.

    My concern is that because I have told social services that they cannot speak to my son, that is going to be seen as confrontational and that there is something wrong (even though im trying to protect him).

    What if the appeal goes through and the conviction is overturned, social services will walk away after destroying my sons world, all so they can do their job.

    I dont feel that he is at risk, in any way shape or form, so i am very confused as to what type of "assessment" is being done, what they are looking for, why they want to talk to my son, and having been told by the social worker, that she doesnt know how long the assessment will last, and that this wont be the only assessment they do, I am very concerned and feel that by standing up and questioning them, that they are going to persecute me for this.

    I would like to know, what I can do?

    Do I have to take phone calls? or can i request that everything be put in writing (as there is no he said/she said type of mistakes made then),
    Can i see any records that hold on me and my son?

    Legally, do i have to agree to the assessment?

    I dont want these people in my home, snooping around, and looking for things that arent there, can i request that any meetings are held at their place of work?

    I dont want to end up in a situation where i am treated like the criminal by social services, but I find that so far their attitude has been invasive, Im still trying to understand what ive been told, and they are jumping the gun.

    I understand that they are doing their jobs, but they have to make things worse than they are, to keep themselves in a job.

    Would it be worth getting a solicitor involved?

    All i want to do is protect my son, for as long as possible, from some horrible information, that once its imparted, can never be taken back, it cant be undone. If social services stop him from seeing the family member in question, that will be damaging for him. I dont believe he is at risk, if I did there would be no way that he would have contact with that person.

    Im stuck, lost and confused, as to the best course of action to take and i cant shake the belief that they are nothing more than interefering busy bodies with nothing better to do, they would rather harrass me and my son, who are innocent in all of this, than go and do real work, protecting those children who need it. [rant over, sorry guys]

    Ive been extremely angry, and distressed today, so thought it best that i look for a source of sensible advice.

    Regards
    Last edited by slonie; 6th July 2017 at 17:05:PM.

  2. #2
    warwick65's Avatar

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    Default Re: Help & Advice Please re social services.

    I can't offer advice but can you try, if just for a moment , put yourself in the child protection teams's place.

    There has been a conviction (rightly or wrongly) and as such your son 'MAY' be at risk. It would be irresponsible and wrong for them to do nothing and could lead to someone losing their jobs.

    It is a horrible situation for you but the welfare of your son is, at this point paramount.

    Have you thought about having a word with them to see just what they will or will not disclose . It might sooth your fears

  3. #3
    slonie's Avatar

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    Default Re: Help & Advice Please re social services.

    Hi Warwick,

    I do understand that they are doing their job, and that they have a duty to follow procedure when a conviction and subsequent entry onto the sex offenders register has occured.

    It is the manner in which they are conducting themselves that I have an issue with. They arent listening to me. I have said, that I didnt want to have that conversation with my son until after the 21st which is when sentencing is due to occur, at that point, i will know better what we are actually dealing with.

    I have been told what the conviction is for (it is a historical case over 50 years ago).

    If I felt that i was being listened to, I wouldnt feel so bad or so frustrated, im not an unreasonable person, but i do need to know where i stand with this in my dealings with them.

  4. #4
    Kati's Avatar

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    Default Re: Help & Advice Please re social services.

    I have no advice to offer either I'm afraid @slonie ... but I will tag @Crazy council and @leclerc for you in the hopes that they will be able to help xx
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  5. #5
    slonie's Avatar

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    Default Re: Help & Advice Please re social services.

    Hi

    Thanks @Kati, very much appreciated. In the meantime, ive taken the decision that im going to record conversations with social services, and if they are unhappy with that, then they can put everything to me in writing.

  6. #6
    warwick65's Avatar

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    Default Re: Help & Advice Please re social services.

    Hi again Slonie

    I do get your frustration , I really do, and know what its like battling bureaucracy.

    Historic offences are so emotive , you have to trust , ultimately, in the law although when you are convinced if someones innocence it is hard to do that

    I do hope you get it sorted- your son maybe stronger than you think - but if it is likely to be made public, isn't it better he is aware now. If as seems the case, this relative lives in the local area it may well make the local newspaper and you have no control over that

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Help & Advice Please re social services.

    I sympathise with your situation. All I can say from my experience you're very wise to record conversations with social services as the ones I have recently encountered have less integrity than a NOTW reporter. The CAB can sometimes arrange a free half hour appointment with a solicitor who can hopefully advise you. It does seem appalling that social services are hellbent on causing psychological damage to your son, you just can't reason with these people. Good luck!

  8. #8
    leclerc's Avatar

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    Default Re: Help & Advice Please re social services.

    If it was historical abuse, did the abuse take place prior to your son even being born? If so, why the hell do they want to talk to him?
    Does he or has he had any direct contact with this family member? Has he been alone with that person at all?

    I completely agree with BeterCallSaul, I'd trust a Daily Sport reporter more than I would a social worker. You only need to read the disciplinary hearings of social workers to see that some of them are more bent than a ten bob note!!!
    "Family means that no one gets forgotten or left behind"
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  9. #9
    jaguarsuk's Avatar

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    Default Re: Help & Advice Please re social services.

    Quote Originally Posted by slonie View Post
    If social services stop him from seeing the family member in question, that will be damaging for him.
    Social Services rightly have to asses whether your son is in a position of danger and whether it happened 50 years ago or 50 days ago that person has been convicted, so is seen as being capable of committing that offence. The above sentence caught my eye, the fact he has had contact and continues to have contact with a convicted child sex offender is going to raise concern with them. It is also the reason they are saying this will be one of multiple ongoing assessments and although 16 your son is not an adult until the day he turns 18, so they have a duty of care to ensure his welfare as a child.

    It is of course wise to keep records of what is happening, regardless of your case the social workers should behave in an appropriate and professional manner.

    I would advise though that being obstructive and refusing to allow them to do the things they need to do is only going to make them more suspicious that you have something to hide. If they have to they can seek a child protection order via the courts which you can defend and if successful it gives them parental responsibility equal to you, this means almost every decision you make about your son would have to be checked with them and okay'd by them.

    It seems to me that your concern is about upsetting your son and what they might tell him? I think this is something your son is going to find out no matter how hard you try, so it's better coming from you. Speak to your son and as you say the family member is appealing, if you believe the family member did not commit the offence you should explain that to him as well. Explain that because of what has happened social services need to become involved, what they are going to do and that he should just be honest with them.

    Social Services are not going to discuss the ins and outs of the case against your family member with you son, but I'd imagine they'll want to discuss the time he has and does spend with them along with the sorts of things they do and where they go.

    I know this is a difficult time, these people do not respond well to anger and aggression and you need to cooperate with them. Remain calm, courteous and be open about the fact you're keeping records to ensure they know they have to behave.
    My posts on this forum are offered based on my experience dealing with a variety of life events. I have no formal legal training and if in doubt take professional legal advice or contact the CAB. If you follow anything I write on this forum you do so at your own risk and I accept no liability for any loss, costs or other out comes.

  10. #10
    warwick65's Avatar

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    Default Re: Help & Advice Please re social services.

    Jaguar
    To an extent i do have to take issue with you in that you say the offender is seen as capable of committing the offence. Actually no, they were found guilty of committing an offence then- they are not necessarily still capable or likely to commit the offence now . If that was the case we would just lock up everyone who commits a crime and have the thought police. The ROA is there for a reason and that is because people do commit offences but it doesn't necessarily mean they will do it again.

    Having said that there are processes and procedures within social services for risk assessment that in the vast majority of cases work. Child protection is quite rightly a high priority and does take a large amount of the Social Work budget

    Incidentally the OP has not logged in now for nearly 2 months so hopefully the situation has been resolved
    Any advice or opinions I offer are based on my experience dealing with personal debt as well as other life events.
    I have no formal legal training
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    If in doubt take professional legal advice or contact the CAB

  11. #11
    jaguarsuk's Avatar

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    Default Re: Help & Advice Please re social services.

    Quote Originally Posted by warwick65 View Post
    Jaguar
    To an extent i do have to take issue with you in that you say the offender is seen as capable of committing the offence. Actually no, they were found guilty of committing an offence then- they are not necessarily still capable or likely to commit the offence now . If that was the case we would just lock up everyone who commits a crime and have the thought police. The ROA is there for a reason and that is because people do commit offences but it doesn't necessarily mean they will do it again.

    Having said that there are processes and procedures within social services for risk assessment that in the vast majority of cases work. Child protection is quite rightly a high priority and does take a large amount of the Social Work budget

    Incidentally the OP has not logged in now for nearly 2 months so hopefully the situation has been resolved
    I think I probably picked the wrong wording, but what I meant was that Social Services will see it that way and so want to make checks to ensure it's not the case that the OP's son has been subject to an offence not currently known about or likely to become a victim of an offence.
    My posts on this forum are offered based on my experience dealing with a variety of life events. I have no formal legal training and if in doubt take professional legal advice or contact the CAB. If you follow anything I write on this forum you do so at your own risk and I accept no liability for any loss, costs or other out comes.

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