The Social Worker tells me my child has been hurt?

What do I do now?

This is a guest post from suesspicious minds, a family lawyer and blogger, whose post What should you do if social workers steal your children? was one of the inspirations behind our site.

You may also like to check out his other post – social services are asking to put my child into care and they want me to do it now.

You may also want to look at this blog Parents’ Accused by a family lawyer offering advice to parents involved in cases of non-accidental injury or NAI.

Don’t Panic

It isn’t ultimately up to social workers to decide whether someone hurt your child, and if so who. Nor is it ultimately up to them whether that means that your child can’t live with you.

These things can only be decided by a Court. And if you are a parent and you have to go to Court because social workers think you (or someone you know) hurt your child, then you are entitled to FREE LEGAL ADVICE.

You will be able to get a lawyer who will listen to you, explain what is happening, give you advice about what is the best thing to do, ask questions on your behalf and speak up on your behalf.

Read the post by Lucy Reed, a family law barrister, who explains her role.

If you are asked to make a quick decision about your child going into foster care voluntarily, you need to know that you cannot be made to agree to this and that you can say that you want to get legal advice before you agree anything. 

Read our post about section 20 agreements.

Social workers don’t have power to take your child away without your permission – they would need to either go to Court to get an order (and you would be entitled to be there and to have your own lawyer) or a police officer can remove the child for 72 hours, at the end of which time either your child would have to come back or a Court hearing would need to happen.

The court can only make a care order and give permission for your child to be removed from your care if it is found that your child has suffered significant harm from the injury.

 

What is going to happen?

There may need to be a court hearing

Sometimes, the worry about the injury resolves itself in a few days. If there is a good reason why your child got hurt – an accident, or an illness that looks like an injury, then this may come out in a few days. It is important to tell the doctors who are dealing with the case anything that might help them to reach that conclusion.

If it doesn’t resolve itself in a few days and social workers are still suspicious about the injury, then it may be that the case goes to Court.

If that happens, eventually, there will be a Court hearing about the injury, to find out what happened and if something bad happened to your child, who may have caused it.

That sort of hearing can often take place quite a long time after the injury, so it is a good idea really early on to do the following things:

As soon as you can, make a list of what you can remember 

Because the Court hearing about the injury can be months after it happened, your memory can fade.

It is important, while things are fresh in your mind, to get them down on paper, so you will be able to remember them later.

One of the important things will be to look at the period of time the doctors think the injury happened in. This will be in the medical report and your lawyer can help explain it to you if you can’t follow it.

For example, the report might say that the injury happened somewhere between 14 days and 2 days before the child was taken to hospital. That gives you the ‘window’ when the injury must have happened.

Some important questions 

Who was caring for the child?

As far as you can, try to remember on each of those days, who was caring for your child?  Did grandma help out? Were you there with your partner on some days? Who was caring for the child on their own?

Was the child in playgroup, or nursery, or with a childminder or a friend? For any of the time?

It will be worth talking to anyone who was caring for the child in that period. You don’t have to accuse them or point a finger, just ask if there was any sort of accident, or fall or bang or bump, or if there’s anything they remember that might be important.

It is very easy, when police and social workers and court are mentioned, for people to clam up and think “I don’t want to say anything about that fall” and the longer it goes, the harder that can be to say so later. Honestly, if there was an accident, even if the person felt they’d been a bit clumsy and feel guilty, it really is better that the doctors know this really early on. It might be the explanation they are looking for.

Symptoms

Can you remember any symptoms? Here are things that might be important, and might help in dating the injury.

  • Did you see bruises? On what days? What colours were there?
  • Was your child particularly grizzly or crying a lot?
  • Did you notice an arm or leg being floppy?  Did you notice that it was harder than usual to change the baby’s clothes or nappy, or that when you touched the arm or leg it made the baby cry?
  • Did you notice a bump or swelling on your child’s head? If it was a skull fracture, this is often described as a ‘boggy swelling’  – if there was a day when you noticed anything like that, it could be important.
  • Were there fits? Was there vomiting?
  • Do you remember hearing any distinctive or unusual cries?

All of this information will be important, so whatever you can remember will help. If you think “I remember the arm being floppy one day, but I honestly can’t remember if it was the Tuesday or the Wednesday” it is fine to say that, much better to admit where you aren’t sure than to guess and guess it wrong.

Remember, and write down as much as possible that you remember, about when you first noticed that something wasn’t quite right with your child? What was it that made you think that you should go to a doctor or to the hospital? Did you wait a while to see if it got better on its own? Did you talk to anyone at the time about what you saw, did you ask for advice?  Try to remember each step between you first noticing something wasn’t right, and ending up at the doctors or hospital with your child. This may become really important later on.

 Any accidents you can think of?

Even things that seem very trivial or little to you might end up being important. Children are all different, and a slip down a few steps might make no difference to one child but cause an injury to another.

I once had a case where the mother had crashed her car into a bollard, but never mentioned it because she was worried her boyfriend would be cross that she had dented the car, and it came out months later. It could have saved her a lot of worry and stress if she had told the doctors at the time.

Medical history

There are certain medical conditions that can cause what appear to be injuries to children, or can make injuries happen more easily. These are fairly rare, but some people do have them, and it is important to check out with your doctor and with your family whether there is a history of these in your family.

Very important ones to think about

  • If the baby is very young, was the birth very difficult? Sometimes traumatic births can cause injuries.
  • Is there any history of rickets, or vitamin D deficiency?
  • Is there any history with you, or the other parent, or in their family of any clotting disorder, bruising disorder or any bone disorder?  If they have a diagnosis for a condition but aren’t sure whether it covers any of those, get them to write down the name of it and let your lawyer know the list.

 

What will happen at the Court hearing?

There will probably be quite a few Court hearings before the big hearing to decide about the injuries. You should ask your lawyer about what might happen at each hearing and ask them afterwards if there is anything you need to do as a result.

Read our post about Going to Court?

At the big hearing, the Court will have all of the evidence about the injury. That will be medical reports, maybe GP records, maybe statements that the police obtained. Everyone with anything important to say will give evidence  (that will be people who saw things or who were around at the time – it is unusual for the Court to want to hear what is called “character witnesses” – people who say that you are a good mother or father)

Your lawyer will get the chance to ask these witnesses questions.

It is likely that you will also have to give evidence. You will be asked questions about what happened, what you remember, what you saw and did.  That is where having made the notes at the time will help you to remember things, rather than having to remember months back.

It is very important, obviously, that you tell the truth and answer all of the questions honestly.

 

How will the court deal with the evidence?

The court will need to look carefully at ALL the evidence, and consider each piece of evidence in the context of all the other evidence. See paragraph 22 onwards in Bristol City Council v A Mother and others in 2014, for further consideration of these general principles. This case was considered as very helpful in the later case of A Local Authority v ID and others [2017] EWHC 3075 (Fam)

 

  • The burden of proof is with the LA – that means you don’t have to prove you did not hurt your chid, they have to prove you did.
  • The standard of proof is the balance of probabilities – i.e. is it more likely than not something happened.
  • Findings of fact must be based on evidence and the court must be careful to avoid speculation.
  • Experts must keep to their own expertise and defer to the expertise of others where necessary
  • Expert evidence is important but it has to be weighed against all the other evidence, including the evidence from parents.
  • Medical evidence is always evolving so the court always bears in mind that the cause of any injury could be simply unknown.

 

Further reading

 

What happens after the hearing?

At the end of the case, the Judge will decide what happened – was there an accident, is there a medical explanation for the injuries, did someone hurt your child? If so, who? Did you do anything wrong?

 The judge will try very hard to make findings because it is in everyone’s interests, especially the child’s, to understand what happened and why. Sometimes it is just not possible for a judge to make any findings, because he or she can’t be satisfied on the balance of probabilities that something happened.

It will be very important to sit down with your lawyer and talk about what was decided by the Judge and what happens next.  Sometimes a Court decides that one person hurt a child, and the other one didn’t know about it. That can sometimes end up with you having to make a very tough decision about whether to stay with that person and get them the help to make sure they don’t do it again, or whether you would leave them and care for the child on your own.

Don’t rush into any decisions like that – make sure you talk to your lawyer about what is best for you, and what the consequences might be.

And remember – even if the judge makes a finding that YOU injured your child, this does not automatically mean you will lose your child. Once the court has decided who is responsible for causing injuries, it then has to go onto the ‘welfare stage’ of the proceedings and decide what would be the best thing to do for the child. A lot will depend on the circumstances surrounding the child’s injury and how you react to the court’s findings. 

For example, there is a big difference between a parent who is exhausted with lack of sleep looking after a newborn and who shakes the baby causing harm in a one off example of loss of self control, and a parent who deliberately choses to hurt a child over a long period of time and lies about it. 

Even if you cannot agree with the Judge’s findings, this doesn’t mean that your child will automatically be taken away. However, it will make it more difficult for you to argue that your child would be safe in your care. The following factors will be positive, even if you don’t or can’t accept the judge’s particular findings:

  • acknowledgment that professionals have legitimate concerns
  • willing to work in partnership and be open and honest
  • willing to examine the way you care for a child
  • willing to accept professional support and monitoring
  • you have a wide support network in the community

31 thoughts on “The Social Worker tells me my child has been hurt?

  1. ronald english

    during the court process involving my grandaughter and her boyfriend in a cihild abuse case, she had an assesment over a few weeks by a care worker who passed her on his assesment and said she was a good responsible mother. his supervisor overulud him and asked him to make changes to his assesment and re-sign it he refused, yet his evidence was never produced in court.also her boyfriend admitted accidently drpping the child in question, and yet after all this my grandaughter was found to be the probable cause of the injury’s. she sufers from a mental disorder, called personality disorder. and we believe that this has been held against her from the beginning of the whole process. she took her child to hospital as soon as she realised something was wrong with her baby, an d he was taken from her from the hospital and imediately put into foster care. the family court hearing is going to be on the 9th april 2018, and she has already been told that she wont be getting her baby and his older sister back and that they may be put up for adoption or foster care. in my opinion this whole case has discriminated against her medical background.

    Reply
    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      If there has been a court finding that she was responsible for injuries to a child then I am afraid that this is now ‘the truth’ going forward and has to be accepted as ‘the truth’ by everyone involved in the case. If she cannot accept this finding then sadly it is very likely that she will be ruled out as caring for her child in the future because the risks of her hurting him again will be seen as too high. If you are concerned that the process wasn’t fair to your granddaughter then her lawyers need to consider whether there are grounds to appeal – but this is a tough thing to do I am afraid.

      Reply
      1. Angelo Granda

        She has already been told she will not get the children back before any final hearing .Clearly it is irrelevant whether she accepts the findings or not. She cannot dispute findings before they are made.Sarah,it often happens that when respondents express disagreements about false evidence,that the LA decide unilaterally and state in their care-plan that ,in their professional opinion,the respondent will not accept their concerns and are thus unable to work with them and change without even asking if they will or not).That is rubbish,unfair and inhumane ! If one disputes the concerns,how can one possibly accept them and change before the Court makes its finding? Can someone explain, please? This will be why parents often complain bitterly that the crucial decisions are taken and cases decided before all the evidence is heard and that hearings are a sham from the start rolling towards an inevitable decision against them from the outset. They are not far wrong,are they?

        Reply
    2. HelenSparkles

      The injuries were relatively serious with a lack of explanation. A court decided this when your child moved to foster carers from hospital. The hospital records would have been considered by the court. If a court has made a decision that your daughter harmed her child, there will have been a finding of facts hearing. You are not at the beginning of care proceedings here.

      How do you know someone supervising the worker asked him to make changes? It is possible for someone to be a good responsible parent, particularly in the context of contact being supervised, and for them to have hurt their child. If you think those records have been altered, rather than someone just hearing the positive feedback, your daughter’s solicitors need to ask for the records.

      Personality Disorders are very hard to manage and to treat. It is very sad indeed when parents with mental health conditions are not able to parent safely. The court will consider whether the LA could do more to support her or whether that is unrealistic.

      If (for example) there has been a finding of facts and the balance of probabilities mean your daughter is more likely to have harmed the child than her boyfriend, it makes it very difficult to place a child with family/friends (which would be the preference by law as well as SW) if that finding is not believed because it undermines the ability to protect. There would have been viability assessments in court, of those people proposed as alternative carers, and the court will also have made a decision about those people.

      Reply
  2. cb

    First and Foremost
    Who was party to the case?
    If the hospital your granddaughter was taken to were NOT party, to the case, all accusations have been made by the Social Service Department only, nothing to do with the hospital, this is what your daughters Solicitors need to challenge, because as I have read your story there seems to be two conflicting scenarios, actual evidence within the hospital that you will never get access to, or possibility & probability evidence the Social Service Department have put forward, you know the truthful scenario of events the last court your daughter now faces, as you have been informed without an appeal, you are now at the end of the line in Child Care procedure, except for the next step with or without admittance removal of child or children

    Reply
    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      All hospital notes will be requested and disclosed as a matter of course. The doctors who first saw the child can be called to court to give evidence if you dispute their account. All this should have been done – if it wasn’t you will have grounds for appeal but I would be astonished if a court made a decision without having access to the hospital records and understanding the decisions the treating doctors made.

      Reply
      1. cb

        Sorry, even if all the evidence is medical from a visit to local hospital, hospitals are allowed to DECLINE TO BE PARTY to the case, which allows possibility and probability scenario put to medics for paid for medical reports

        Reply
        1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

          They aren’t parties. They provide evidence. They can’t refuse to provide evidence. The court will make an order and bring the hospital managers to court if they refuse to provide it.

          Reply
          1. cb

            I have only stated what I have received in writing from the Chief Executive of South Cleveland Hospital as to their legal stance of involvement in Child Care Cases

          2. Sarah Phillimore Post author

            Then the Chief Executive is wrong and hopefully a court will put him/her right at some stage. If people refuse to comply with court orders for evidence they can be arrested and bought to court.

          3. Angelo Granda

            Possibly,Sarah but if a respondent applies to have GP’s or consultants called to give evidence at the same time as the LA applies to have expert reports commissioned from a court specialist paediatrician i.e. at a directions hearing, the Judge can refuse to call them on account of two sets of medical evidence not being needed. The Judge may decide that as an independent court specialist is requested by professionals, to call for opinion from the child’s actual doctors at request of parents as well is superfluous.
            In reality, as the actual doctors know the truth about events and know the family well,the opposite is true.

            The LA prefers to have matters examined by court experts ( who don’t know the family and who usually decline to consult the parents) within the closed court system and who have to rely on brief hospital notes and the selected evidence of the authority itself . Of course, as the authority is the applicant, its selected evidence is selected solely with the intention of winning the litigation.We should have an independent CS conducting the investigations to ensure fairness in Family Courts
            Also more capable solicitors; please note these directions hearings take place long before barristers join cases.

            I agree with cb , except that perhaps it is more likely the treating medics are forbidden from getting involved involved in cases. They certainly are forbidden from discussing it or supplying relevant evidence to respondents independently and when they turn such requests down they claim it is forbidden by the authorities.Same with schools.
            The professionals prefer to keep matters within the closed Family Court scenario and with the exception of the barristers , the system resembles a brotherhood,according to many.

          4. Sarah Phillimore Post author

            The reason why court experts are needed is that often the doctors at the hospital do not have the skills needed to interpret properly X ray images for eg. The last case I did of NAI the paediatrician at the hospital gave evidence but she had to defer to the paediatric radiologist because she wasn’t a radiologist! There is no sinister plot here. The court wants the best evidence. I often hear from hospital doctors and staff but the court usually wants to be helped by experts in the field who will review the other doctors’ notes. You should be glad this is happening. It means the court has the best evidence about how the child got hurt.

            In the case of Effie Stilwell, it was a consultant geneticist who told the court her brain injuries may have been down to EDS – and Effie went home. Without that expert evidence the court would probably have concluded she was shaken by one of her parents and they probably would not have cared for her again.

          5. Angelo Granda

            Thanks for your constructive comments,Sarah. Of course, I understand your points. If we think in-depth, they tell us so much about what is wrong with the civil Family Court process and its inability to make fair and proportionate decisions,in my opinion.

            1. Effie Stilwell case.

            ‘ May have been caused by shaking’.

            ‘May have been down to EDS’.

            ‘Best evidence’.

            a) Should the CS have removed the child in the first place without factual evidence or the opinion of an expert consultant?
            b) Were its actions proportionate ? The evidence was inconclusive , it could not be said with any certainty the significant harm or injury was caused by shaking. The circumstances were not dire. Perhaps It would have been more proportionate to have kept Mum and child together with support and monitoring. You opine that the child would probably never have been returned to parents had the expert evidence not been called for.If that had transpired, the decision would have been a life-changing, devastating one taken on speculation.
            c) It cannot be said with certainty either that the child’s condition was caused by EDS. Even now ,the Court does not know the truth. Again the decision is one based on speculation. Let’s hope there is no tragic ending to the story as with Ellie Butler.
            d) I don’t know the case but i am assuming there was no realistic evidence to warrant criminal charges.
            e) Thus,to be constructive,would it be better if the Family Court protocol changed enabling it to obtain ‘BETTER’ evidence on which to take life-changing decisions?
            f) For example,I feel more interrogation made by competent experienced barristers without time restrictions and so on imposed upon them by the current protocol would be more conclusive. Possibly the truth would have come to light as to whether Mum had actually shaken the child if more incisive questions had been asked of her under oath.
            g) Likewise, a higher standard of hearing with a more forensic and less brief approach by the respondent’s lawyer would have prevented the initial removal and prized from the LA that their evidence was mere speculation.Thus on no account would circumstances demand removal.
            h) Again, were more in-depth, impartial,above all INDEPENDENT investigations and core assessments called for from the CS,evidence would be more forensically certain.

            In my opinion unless a Family Court examines issues to the same standards as an open, criminal court with a jury,it is always disproportionate and inhumane to order PERMANENT removal anyway, especially with no automatic , legally funded .appeal available to parents.

            2. In respect of the case brought to this thread by a grandfather above, I suspect all parents will be extremely concerned about your ( seemingly blanket) opinion that a Court is likely to judge the risks of significant harm occurring in the future are too high to keep this family together if the Mum does not accept the finding. Given that she is the only one who knows the ACTUAL truth ,she is the only one who knows whether the findings are correct or not, i would say. We must also consider that she is not a lawyer and may not fully understand the civil court process and standards of ‘proof’. That she doesn’t accept the findings are true does not mean she doesn’t respect the Court’s decision and will in no way affect her future parenting.Indeed with support,treatment and training along with monitoring by a dedicated and effective set of social work staff as well as medical staff she will be an even better parent and the ‘risks’ will be acceptable. I feel you express a false ideology that stems from the well-known principle that if a convicted criminal will not accept guilt then he cannot begin to be considered for release on parole. At the very least , in civil law cases , I think parents should be granted an appeal as a matter of course if they think a decision is wrong. Then even if she loses the appeal, she should be given advice from an experienced counsellor for a period to enable her to come to terms with that.

            Make family preservation the the Family Court mantra! Happy Easter to all.

  3. Angelo Granda

    Ronald, I am an ordinary parent like you not a social worker or lawyer. Let me unravel for you as best as i can what it takes many of us quite a long time to discover.
    1.a) All the medical notes will have been called to Court if but respondents should beware, the other parties may withhold any hostile to the LA’s case on occasion, so the respondent must insist at the time IF he or she has seen them and knows precisely which entries have been withheld. This would be unusual because the Doctors rarely show parents their notes as a matter of course .
    b)Even if the respondent/s contact the doctors and request sight of the complete notes in order to support their case effectively in court, they will be refused because the hospital or GP are forbidden from talking about a case or supplying evidence to anyone except the LA once proceedings are instigated by order of the Local Authority.
    2.a) Even if ALL the medical notes are disclosed to Court, the Judge may not bother reading them because he or she is not a medical expert.The Judge relies on the integrity of the CS and the Guardian to read them and provide a fair and impartial,expert assessment of the contents.
    b)This is most important.Even if the Judge does read the hospital notes ,even if the CS and Guardian have disclosed them in full and even when the evidence does prove that the Social Work evidence is wrong,it makes no difference . It does not matter to the Judge if the cp professional evidence is untrue.The fact that the Mum never harmed the child and even if the Dad hadn’t ,it doesn’t matter! The fact that someone apparently ‘thought ‘ his or her evidence was true,the fact that the case is in court and the fact that ‘concerns’ have been raised in the Court right or wrong is enough for the Judge . He or she has to look at all the other CS and Guardian evidence alongside all the other expert assessments and exercise his or her discretion in any way they wish to.
    3. Notwithstanding the fact that the other expert assessments are misinformed by the original CS misrepresentation, it is unlikely to make any difference.
    b) The Court will make unrealistic,misinformed and unfair appraisals as a result.
    4.a) So you will see that it is fairly pointless, nay practically impossible, to argue a case on appeal on the basis of false evidence. It is unlikely permission to appeal will be granted
    b)How has the case been rigged against your granddaughter? The supervisor changed the evidence of the Social worker according to your description. Please note that many,many other complaints are made along the same lines but they aren’t listened to by the Court on account of the supervisor having given his or her evidence under oath claiming falsely it is to the best of his or her professional knowledge and belief. For that reason,he is not held to account for a false representation made willfully to pervert the course of justice.
    c) why was it a willful misrepresentation? Because it did not tally with the freely available facts in the hospital notes.The supervisor altered the social workers evidence for the purpose of the litigation,probably for illegitimate aims of his or her own or due to LA directives.This is malpractice designed to deceive in order to get cases into the Family Court and appears to be fairly commonplace.Plus,if the supervisor even saw the notes,he must have disregarded them.They are not always impartial and only ‘see’ evidence which accords with their aims.
    d) As the expert evidence was untrue and assessments not conducted properly,your grand-daughter will have disputed it quite naturally.Despite the fact,she was right,it will have been claimed she is unable to accept ‘concerns’thus unable to work with professionals.
    5.a)The only remedy for your granddaughter is an appeal to a higher court on the grounds that the case was not conducted correctly from the outset.You will probably find many other legal guidelines were also flouted and if you or your family were assessed as extended family carers ,those assessments also will not have been impartial.
    b) Your solicitors will be reluctant to apply for leave to appeal because ,although willfully perverting the course of justice by making false representations to a Court under oath is illegal and punishable by imprisonment being perjury, it is almost unknown for perjury to be proven,apparently.

    As Sarah says above,appeal is a tough thing to do once a decision has been made in the lower court and this is especially so because the lawyers will not apply for free legal funding unless they judge that you have more than a 50-50 chance of winning.Yet ,appeal to a higher court is THE ONLY REMEDY in cases of miscarriages of justice. Your grand-daughter and her children are hung out to dry.Had the case been heard in a criminal court both her and her boyfriend would have been cleared assuming he dropped the child from the sofa accidentally.He would have been questioned in great detail under oath about the incident and so would the supervisors false evidence.Even if he had been found guilty ,it is unlikely your grand-daughter would have been.Again,even were they both found guilty by a jury , the Crown Court would not have ordered a punishment which can be considered second only in severity to a death sentence.
    The Family Courts are a law unto themselves, cases are conducted unfairly and they impose disproportionate,inhumane decisions,in my opinion.

    I hope my summing up helps.Please remember i am not a professional,merely another victim who has had a longer time than you to work it all out.

    Reply
  4. Angelo Granda

    Ronald, may i add here that even if your grand-daughter obtained permission to appeal to a higher court and even if she won the appeal , it would be too late if the children were already adopted. Adoption orders are irreversible once they have gone through. This famously happened to an innocent family in East Anglia
    Likewise, it would probably be too late if the children were placed in long-term foster-care under a permanence plan.It may be claimed that it is not in their ‘best interests’to be removed from their new home because it will be too upsetting and they are now too attached where they are.
    The fact is,regardless of blame or the fact your grand-daughter is an excellent Mum,one of the children apparently suffered significant harm,and they have both been removed ,just in case. It was found that her personality disorder may possibly give rise to significant risk of future harm ,i guess.It is difficult for anyone to argue against professional evidence in the Family Court particularly when hearings are in secret and the Court protocol permits cases to be decided on summary evidence with strict time limits set, in my opinion.
    Were any of her family allowed in court to speak in her favour?

    Reply
    1. cb

      The Crucial part to events is the BEGINNING
      1. Hospitals A&E stands for ACCIDENTS &&&&& EMERGENCY (WHICH IS A COMPLETLEY DIFFERENT SCENARIO TO AN ACCIDENT, DOCTORS REFER PATIENTS IE UNKNOWN RASH,MEDICATION UPSETS, SUDDEN FITTING EPISODES ETC, ETC TO THIS SAME DEPARTMENT FOR SPECIALIST INVESTIGATION
      2. The registration of this child AND DIAGNOSIS, is the most important EVIDENCE that should always be DEMANDED BY JUDGES RESIDING OVER FAMILY COURT CASES, POSSIBILITIES & PROBABILITIES SHOULD ONLY BE USED IN CASES WHERE NO OTHER EVIDENCE EXISTS (NOT COVERED-UP)

      Reply
      1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

        It always is. When a child attends hospital it is normal procedure to have disclosure of all hospital notes. If anyone wants to ask any questions of a doctor or nurse, those people give a statement and can be cross examined.

        Reply
        1. cb

          I have a letter from the hospital my grandson was referred to by family doctor to investigate his many problems from his breech, starved of oxygen birth, as a family we have had this written information with a small diagram since his birth
          The letter states even though the full case involved a visit to their hospital, goes on to explain they have no evidence within the hospital records in the (False) name used throughout the case for my grandson, but do have records in the birth certified name of my grandchild but this name was not on the court order, the hospital had took no part in the case

          Reply
          1. cb

            My Grandson is now approaching 22yrs of age, he is a fine, handsome, double of his father young man attends University
            He is obviously going to ask questions
            How can we explain, do I sit him down, show him his birth certificate that pre-dates the court case, the letter from the hospital discussing the false name used, allow him the full QCs Case file, show him all of his 1st year photographs & Video
            What advice do you have on this scenario, times running out he has been patient awaiting an invite for 3mths, after finding his father, and we his grandparents on Facebook

          2. Sarah Phillimore Post author

            Sorry, I haven’t anything helpful to say as i don’t understand what is going on here. If this relates to something that happened 22 years ago then I can see it is going to be difficult to clear it up now. All I can suggest is that you tell the truth as you understand it.

          3. HelenSparkles

            If your grandson was adopted he could and probably approach the LA for birth records counselling. You don’t have to tell him your story, he needs to know his.

  5. Angelo Granda

    Sarah is quite right,cb.
    At some stage victims just have to be accept and try forget and forgive. The only thing they can do is go on telling the truth.
    Here is one true story of a a particular case I have knowledge of.

    Two children,one aged 8,the other aged 4 taken from home by Police and Social Workers after they initiated a s47 investigation on the strength of false information and false background.
    A few days later LA applied for interim care order .Social worker stated children were found in a state of serious neglect. Order granted.Children to remain in local authority care.
    Parents denied the children were neglected.They called attention to the fact that both children had been taken to hospital on the night of removal and asked solicitor to demand medical notes to present to Court. Medical notes state that both children were examined very carefully by doctors.Both okay.Neither admitted No treatment required.Both happy and no neglect or injury to either in the notes.
    Four days after removal, both children taken to a foster -carer who described both children as feral and neglected ;the elder apparently dirty,in soiled underwear and clothing,unable to do anything or speak,rocking to and fro and bedwetting. That was after four days in care. This description supplied to Court by the LA.
    Parents submit medical notes to support their case.It made no difference to the Judge whatsoever.Once case is in a ‘closed’ Family Court, anything goes,apparently.
    Despite the fact the children had both deteriorated so massively over the first four days in care, SW’s report children as settled,happy and that they had improved in care.
    Court expert paediatrician reported he could find no evidence of neglect by parents but that ‘reported’ improvements indicated a ‘possible inconsistency in parental care’.
    Parents ask for second opinion from another independent specialist of their choice.Granted.
    The second expert reports that he could find no evidence of parental neglect and no improvements in care but noted it was significant that improvements had been reported by others. He went on to say that any improvements reported were not significant or indicative of parental neglect.
    Judge finds that LA had neglected both children in care but would not have done so had they not had reason to ‘think’ the children were neglected by parents. Judge criticised CS for abusing an S20 agreement.
    It does not matter what you can prove!Both CS and Guardian assess there is significant risk of future harm in the parents care etc. etc. as does a family assessor chosen by the LA. and full care order and placement for adoption order issued. I expect certain readers to come on saying ‘where is your evidence for all this?’.The parents are denied the right to publish Court documents on the internet.
    I am only writing this to support CB who should continue to tell the truth.Tell your grandson to go into family law and do something about the system.

    Sarah, do you have any inkling why so many folk like Ronald English come on to this resort with apparent complaints but then disappear without trace making no reply to comments? Could they be ringers?

    Reply
    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Sorry, I don’t know why some commentators then disappear. the most obvious spam comments are filtered out and I try hard to delete quickly any others that slip through. I guess some people are genuine but for whatever reasons don’t come back.

      sorry not to comment on your more substantial comment but I think we have discussed this scenario before. I am shocked that if matters are as you describe that neither the parents’ nor guardian’s lawyers made any kind of fuss but as I wasn’t involved in that case I don’t know what went wrong there.

      Reply
  6. cb

    My grandchilds case was started in the name of a child’s name different to his birth certified name, not a name stated by his parents when instructing their legal, yet they went along with RCLA and allowed it to go on, not one order (with a false name of child) was worth the paper it was written on, ie grandmother CB obtain medical file from South Cleveland Hospital (Now James Cook UV Hospital) we were powerless, we brought it to the attention of the QC within Leeds Court (After being alerted by South Cleveland Hospital)
    This was when I was handed Full Case file and the appeal suggestion to Appeal High Court of Appeal London to change the childs name BACK to birth certified name, had this been agreed as a family our case would have ended, luckily it was refused, false name stands to date, split case joined, I have the court of appeal certificate (which was never published) to prove Judge Thorpe & Judge Phillips Juddgement
    How was an adoption Case allowed in my grandsons birth certified name without any Full Care Order evidence in my grandsons birth certified name, and contrary to a High Court of Appeal Judgement that stands to date?
    I understand your puzzlement of this whole scenario, and thank you for the attention and politeness and honesty in your replies, it is appreciated

    Reply
  7. Angelo Granda

    Cb, If I were you I would show him everything..I’m no lawyer but I don’t think they can stop you.Tell him the truth .
    What did they tell him?

    Reply
  8. cb

    South Cleveland Hospital (Now James Cook University Hospital) Chief Executive has sent us a recent letter stating the hospital were not party to the proceedings in the false name RBM and supplied no evidence within the proceedings, but they do have medical records in the birth certified name RJB
    QUESTIONS
    1) Does R with his original Birth Certificate apply and have a legal right to obtain his birth medical records plus the records of his entry into there Care for investigation of his medical problems from birth
    2) Can he apply and receive to his original doctors surgery for all his medical files held by their surgery
    3) Can he apply to Cleveland Police & Crown Prosecution Service for all information held

    Reply
  9. Joy Inyinbor

    Hello please my children are in faster care because I hit them ,is now 5 mouth now there is no court order ,I am waiting for parents assessment by independent social worker ‘I am worried because I don’t know how the outcome of my parents assessment will be ,have get 15 years old 12 8 6. ,Please halp me please

    Reply
    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Are your children accommodated under section 20? If so this is wrong if there are child protection issues, which there must be if the allegation is you hit them. You really need a lawyer. When are you going to get the assessment do you know?
      If the LA make an application for a care order then you would get automatic legal aid.

      I don’t want to suggest that you tell the LA to apply for a care order IF things are going well and you think the assessment will be positive. But it sounds as if you are confused and worried and don’t really know what is going on so some legal advice would be really important.

      I would therefore suggest that you ask them for the date when the assessment will be completed and ask them for any indication as to whether its going to be good or bad news. If they won’t tell you, or they think its bad news it may be worth telling them that you are going to withdraw consent to section 20 accommodation. then the LA will have to apply for a care order and you will get a lawyer.

      Reply
  10. Edwards

    I have a question my grandkids was placed with me through kinship I have had them almost a year and I was ironing kids clothes for school for the next day and my 1 year old grandson ran in while I was ironing and got burn on his leg a called my caseworker and told her what happened she told me that I should take him to doctor I took him that same night the next day she came and tried to removed the kids I guess what I’m asking do you think the judge will return my grandkids back with me

    Reply
    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      No one can answer that I am afraid without knowing a lot more about the case. Children should not be removed for simple accidents – those can happen to any parent at any time. But a child getting burned on an iron does sound serious and avoidable. But I would suspect there has to be more going on than just this one incident if the response from the social worker is so serious. You need a lawyer.

      Reply

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