PASSuk parents advice on social care.

Section 47 investigations, Child protection plans (CPP) and Child in Need Plans (CIN), 

24 Jun 2019
Always protect your home and family.
Always protect your home and family.

To record inside your home.

If you record inside your own property then remember this .....
Place a postcard size notice on your front door somewhere that isnt obvious to the eye. Then it cannot be your fault if a professional does not notice it. Make sure you put the date on it aswell and take a timestamped photo of it then anything recorded inside your own home can be used as hard evidence these recording cannot be rejected by a Judge, the notice should read something along the lines of..
10 Jun 2019
Do not sign anything if at all possible, if there is no other choice then remember to sign V.C before or after your signature.
Do not sign anything if at all possible, if there is no other choice then remember to sign V.C before or after your signature.

Children act 1989, Section 47, Explained. 

The local authorities have a statutory duty and have legal powers to protect children and young adults to investigate and gain access to you and your family in order to carry out a section 47 investigation. This is usually because someone has raised concerns about the care, safety or the well being of your children. They will be looking to carry out this section 47 investigation which is also called a child protection enquiry.

A section 47 assessment means they will do an investigation to determine the strengths and truths of any allegations made against you over any abuse, neglect or harm that may have been caused to your children (legal term is significant harm).

Children services have 48 hours from when the concerns are raised to put forward and to hold the initial strategy meeting (where the decision is made to proceed with a section 47 assessment or not). They then only have a maximum period of 15 working days from the strategy meeting to come out to your home and carry out the section 47 assessment. The whole process must be completed within 45 working days of receiving the referral. If they do not turn up within the first 20 days (the 24 hours plus the 15 working days allowing the 2 weekends so add on 4 days for the 2 Saturday's and Sunday's) then you are well within your legal rights to tell them to bog off as they couldn't have had to many concerns in the first place or they would have returned to carry out the assessment in the required protocol timescale.

I must add if they feel it is a case of urgency then it will be a lot sooner than 15 days, if you refuse to let them in or to carry out the assessment then there protocol would be to go back to there team manager/head of department/director where they will decide on the balance of probability if the alligations hold grounds to go to court and ask the Judge to grant an emergency protection order (EPO) or an interim care order (ICO) the chances are they won't bother to take it that far and they will probably close the case. if this happens then they will archive your file.

Once the section 47 assessment is completed then they have 45 days to finish and complete there report. They then need to decide to either drop the case or to take it further on to a case conference to make a decision if your children need to be placed on to a child in need or a care protection plan.

A care protection plan means that there needs to be enough reasonable belief or evidence to suggest the children in question are at risk of emotional, physical or sexual abuse or neglect under the children’s act 1989, section 47.

possible outcomes are:

• No further action.

• A referral to an appropriate service.

• Immediate provisions of child in need.

• Beginning of a core assessment.

• Commencing of a strategy meeting.

• Emergency action to protect the child.

Remember these golden rules If a social worker from the child protection duty team turns up on your doorstep. DON'T PANIC!!! a section 47 assessment is only to determine whether your children's needs are being met.

Remember Professionals have no human rights they are not operating in a personal capacity but one of only of a professional capacity.

You don't have to answer the door to them !!!

You don't have to let them in !!!

Remember section 17 Of The Children's Act...

All social workers are acting as representing bodies on behalf of children's services as such they must have the parents full consent to be able to carry out an assessment on you or your children. They need your permission to be able to enter your property or to speak or see your children. Legally they have no right to push for entry what so ever.

If you know for 100% certainty that the allegations where made by a neighbour, ex-partner, or anyone with a malicious intent (any public body) just wanting to cause you harm then chances are they will not have ground to pursue the case any further.

You can allow them to see and view your home from the doorstep or living room window, this will allow them to see that your home is clean and tidy it will also allow them to view your children via the window and that they are clean and happy and not in any immediate danger or harm.

If you refuse them entry and sent them packing is they will go back to the director of childrens services and report it to their team manager, they will then go through all your notes and all allegations and any concerns that have been previously raised regarding you and your family/situation in more depth including your current partner, family members etc. They will then make a decision based on all the facts as to whether or not they have a strong enough case to take it further.

Remember if you have already allowed them through your door previously and in to your home then you can't use this afterwards as you have already granted them entry into your home and private family life.

Remember if the concern or allegation was made from another representing body like police, school, health visitor or hospital or you aren't 100% sure who it was then my advice is to play ball with them. They will have grounds to continue with the case and to take it further.

Remember these golden rules before you let them in to your home !!!!

From the moment you know they are coming out to your home then start to keep an up to date timelined diary and make sure you keep a record of absolutely everything.

It is your human rights as a parent to record everything and i would strongly advise that you all do so whatever they say on the matter. It is totally legal for you to record them without their knowledge. It is illegal for them to record parents without their knowledge. The General Regulations Data Protection Act was put into place to protect us the public body not them the representing body. We can record with or without their knowledge for personal reference. Most judges will not usually allow recordings to be submitted as evidence as it could have been edited but to transcribe it up into black and white written evidence then this can be submitted as evidence.

If they turn up unannounced please do not feel like you have to just let them in. If it is an inconvenient time then give them your telephone number and ask them to contact you to arrange an appointment that suits your convenience.

When they return.

Do not allow them to just enter you property. Ask to see there I.D badges, make a note of there names and there H.C.P.C registration numbers then ask them politely to wait on your doorstep while you go inside to confirm they are who they say they are. Now close the door on them. Never just walk away leaving your door ajar, you will be taking the risk of them stepping inside and gaining entry in to your home. Remember if they get so much as a foot over your doorstep then you have granted them access and rights to your home and your family. Once the door is securely shut go inside and check on the H.C.P.C. register to make they are registered and fit to practice. If they are not on the H.C.P.C register I strongly advise you to ask them to leave DO NOT LET THEM IN !!! ask them to send another Social Worker out who is infact registered and who is fit to practice. Remember if they are not on the register they are either a trainee or they have previously been suspended or stuck off the register due to negligence, malpractice, gross misconduct or worse by endangering a child previously.

If they are registered and you allow them in to your home they will be asking you questions regarding there concerns about you and your family life this is not the section 47 investigation it is just to introduce themselves and to gain a little knowledge and background information about you and your family. They will normally arrange a second appointment with you to come back a second time to carry out the assessment.

They will be interviewing you and your family in depth when they carry out the assessment. They will also want to see and talk to your children on there own aswell.

They may want to contact your g.p and your children's health visitor ect.... to ask them for there views and input, they may ask them to write up a report or statement aswell.

You have the right to also ask them to contact someone of your own choice who can vouch for yourself and your family and for them to write up a statement of truth on their views and input aswell in your favour.

You are entitled to a full copy of your section 47 assessment case files whether the allegations against you and your family are upheld or not. Make sure you ask them at the time and while they are carrying out the section 47 assessment while they are still in your home. After they have left your home it is then to late as they can refuse and legally they do not have to give you a copy. The only way afterwards is to submit a subject access request which can take up to 40 days for them to send you a copy of your files which will be to late to get if they do decide to take your case further with holding a child protection case conference. Remember they won't offer this information freely or willingly but ALWAYS remember to ask for a copy while they are still in your home.

never ask for anything over the phone!

Always cover your ass, only correspond via email and print of a copy of every single email sent and received. Always leave a paper trail to counteract any further allegations they may make against you.

Never sign anything especially a section 20 !!!!

If you feel intimidated or under pressure and you have no other choice but to sign, then always remember to sign the document, contract or agreement with V.C printed in eligible clear capitol letters and using a dot inbetween the V and the C use this before or after your signature it doesn't matter which way around just as long as it is clearly printed along the same line and next to your signature. The capitals V.C stands for Vi Coactus (V.C.) it is a Latin term meaning "having been forced" or "having been compelled." In Latin, cōgō means "to compel," or "to force." The passive particle of cōgō is coāctus meaning "having been forced" or "having been compelled." The signer uses V.C. with there signature to indicate and to alert the reader that the agreement or document was only signed by you under duress or you felt pressurised in to doing so against your own free will without you fully understanding what you are signing. Doing this invalidates your signature, making the document, contractor agreement null and void. Legally this means that the document, contract or agreement cannot be used as evidence against you in anyway what-so-ever not as as reference or in a Court. Make sure you use reference to this in your evidence.
14 Jan 2019

Child Protection Plans Explained.

case conference.....

The basics on how it works is...

The child protection plan is the next stage up to a child in need plan and it basically means your child needed a care protection plan and issues needed to be addressed in order to protect your children

Child Protection plans are maintained with case conferences and are held with an independent reviewing officer (chair) which it's very formal with minutes being taken and can seem quite intimidating at the time.

Try to stay calm! The moment you lose your temper they will label you as being mentally unbalanced.

While you are on a Care protection plan you wont have much choice other then to comply with them and to do what they ask of you if you refuse to co-operate then you give them grounds to escalate your case further on to court proceedings called Public Law Outlines.

You will had to attend case conferences with an independent reviewing officer the first conference will be the decider on whether your family need to be placed on a child Protection plan or not if they decide that your children need safeguarding and placed on to a child Protection plan then the second conference will be held 3 months later after that case conferences will be held at every 6 month intervals.

Inbetween the case conferences you will had to attend another set of meetings regularly which are called core group meetings and these are held  every 4-6weeks. They are not as formal as the case conferences and are usually held at your childrens school, children's services office or can even be held at your home. These are purely to check that the case conference plans are being met and kept and what progress is being made.

They may insist that you do a parenting assessment.

They may request that you have a psychological assessment.

They may ask you to attend parenting classes.

They might carry out unexpected spot checks.

They might insist on a hair strand test for the misuse of drugs.

They might even insist on regular weekly urine tests for the indicator of any misuse of drugs, This can be over a very lengthy period of time, anything from a few months right up to a year.

They might insist that you work with an outside agency like swift or similar.

They may ask you to attend cognitive behavioral therapy counselling.

They will also set out what the situation is with your partner aswell and who can and cannot be around your children supervised or unsupervised.

24 Jun 2019

A little piece of useful information to ask your designated safeguarding officer.

You need to address the designated safeguarding officer at conference and ask her directly no one else in the room just her.

Ask if she feels the key principles of the plan are still effectively working?

Ask her is this not part of her role as designated safeguarding officer?

Ask is it not fair to say that the plan is containing unrealistic aims and timescales?

Ask her as part of her role you want her and only her to ensure that the plan for your case is reviewed?

Failure to do so will almost certainly result in the plan being less effective.

Ask if she feels that this is the case then surely without the plan moving forward then your child maybe subjected to further emotional harm by your social worker?

Ask if she feels this is a fair statement?

Then ask her to lodge a serious case review on the grounds that the focus is being removed from the plan that is in place?

Ask her to raise the case with the Local Authorties Children's Safeguarding Partnership?

State that you feel there is cause for concern over how the professionals have acted in regards to your case for following reasons..

That they are failing your family by not working together to safeguard your child.

That they are failing to move forward in a positive light for the best interests  of your child.

They are failing to reach or achieve the same goals which should be aiming to address the issues and concerns.

Now ask her to close your case as all concerns have been addressed and there aren't any concerns now.

24 Jun 2019
Notes for conference.
Notes for conference.

Advice on how to help get your case stepped down from Child Protection plan to Child In Need Plan.

If you are looking at having your case reduced down from care protection plan down to child in need plan then you should have been given a form to fill out called "notes for conference".

This is what the independent reviewing/chair officer iro/ico needs to hear from families and what they will be looking for first before they will even consider stepping down any case.

You have to play it smart they hate handing these forms out infact very few families even know they exist.

Print off the form at the top of this post and fill it in.

On this form you will have sections to fill out which are as follows..

Why are people worried about my children?

Write the original concerns in this box as this show you have insight of the concerns raised and you have the understanding of them.

What things do people need to know more about?

I can understand where the original concerns have come from and can see why children's services felt the need for a child Protection plan and to work with my family.

What things work well in my family?

I have worked hard with all the professionals involved with my familys case and we have learnt a lot from children service's during this time on child Protection plan and while working with them.

Are my children safe?

Yes I now feel I have done everything asked of me and everything possible to address all the concerns that have been raised.

What things do I need to know more about?

I believe I have learnt a great deal while working with children Services and I think that I have gained knowledge and insight and there is nothing that has not been covered in the work I have completed but of course I would not hesitate to contact the childrens services if any other concerns arise.

What things need to change? And who can help us to make those changes?

Nothing I have had all the changes ask of me by children service's and i feel that I have achieved a lot in order to be a better mother.

You also get a blank box for you to add you own comments in.

My advice for this box is to add the following..

Thank you for all your help and input but at this present time i do not feel that my children need to stay on a child Protection plan any longer as there is nothing now that cannot be maintained via a child in need plan. i thank all the professionals who have helped and worked with me.

24 Jun 2019

When they close your case.

When they close your case they will make one last visit just to finalise the closure of your case, remember though that even though they say verbally it is closed it is not. After you receive your letter from the date of that letter you need to actually wait another 3 months to the date and that is when your case is officially closed they always run all cases silently for a further 3 months if any concerns arise in this time then they can come back and continue where they left off but after 3 months your files will get sent to archives and any further new allegations or concerns will have to be opened as a whole fresh case. So keep your head under their radar good luck xx
24 Jun 2019

Child in Need Plans Explained.

While on a child protection plan it basically means it is agreed by the professionals working with your family that your child needs a care protection plan because issues and concerns need addressing in order to protect your child, once your case is lowered down on to a child in need plan it means that they feel that your child does not need protecting with a child protection plan any longer and the protection concerns and issues have now been addressed and resolved it means your child’s needs can now be met and maintained through supporting your family with a child in need plan through core group meetings alone instead of a child protection plan. Being lowered down from child protection plan on to child in need plan is not a voluntary option not if it is decided at your case conference that you are to be placed down on to a child in need (of support) plan and most definitely not if you have been lowered down to a child in need plan from a care protection plan, not unless you have specifically asked for a support network to be put into place because you are finding it hard to cope. Then it's done through an early help assessment if you reach a level one criteria which is the lowest level of needs on the safeguarding curriculum criteria. Usually social workers won't even get involved if your are assessed as a low level need. Instead a Multi Agency Support Hub known as a M.A.S.H team of support from a range of different agencies and services are set up to support you, unless they see any safeguarding concerns then there's no reason for social care to get involved.

child in need is nothing like being on a care protection plan where you don't have a choice, you have to do what they ask of you, With child in need they are supposed to just be there to support you and if you ask for support they should support and help you by providing you with that help and support, but if they do say that you need to do something like they would in a care protection plan then remember you don't have to do what they ask of you, you have the right to say "no I really don't feel that its necessary or beneficial"  unlike child protection plans where they hold  a case conference and all the people invited like an independent body taking the minutes of a case conference, an independent reviewing officer known sometimes as an independent chair, your social worker, usually the school's designated safeguarding officer, maybe a health visitor /worker/ midwife or a school nurse, your gp will also be invited aswell as a police representative attending the first case conference. Your first case conference is the initial meeting then after being held at 3 months and then every 6 months thereafter which are formal with an independent reviewing officer known sometimes as an independent chair with minutes being formally recorded like there are on a care protection plan.

With child in need they hold small informal core group meetings every 4-6 weeks and have to run a minimum of 3 months before they even consider your case can be closed with only a few of the above listed there is no independent reviewing officer or anyone there taking the minutes of the meetings. They should if there are no further concerns and with all professionals agreeing close your case at the 3 month core group meeting you will then receive a letter through the post stating officially that your case is closed.

REMEMBER you don't have to do everything they ask of you work with them but you dont have to comply with everything you have the right to say no In fact they should only be there to offer you there support when you ask for it or if they feel they can offer you support. It is always easier to go along with the social worker at this stage and to co-operate try to work with them because at this stage you are so close to the finishing line why fluff that up and risk being put back up to care protection plan and having to go through all that hell all over again for nothing. It's all about finding an equal balance.