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Cafcass appointment
Hi all,

I am new to this forum. I have a 3.5 year old daughter and an ex who has made it extremely difficult for me to get contact with her. It has only been in the last 6 months that I have managed to get contact with my daughter at home. Prior to that contact has been at contact centres. I have been to court 3 times and on each occasion my ex has made allegations against me ranging from me not buying my daughter snacks to physical and verbal harm – most recently she filed a police complaint saying I had hit my daughter which was unfounded and both Police and the social services closed this down quickly.

However as a result of this allegation at my last court hearing (where I was asking for overnight stay) the judge said that a section 7 report needs to be produced by cafcass. For this they want to see me with my daughter and then interview me separately. The meeting is happening this week.

I would be grateful if anyone can give any insight on what happens during these meetings, I am concerned that my ex may coach my daughter to do or say things that are not reflective of my true relationship with my little one e.g. my daughter recently said to me that her mum had said I was not her daddy.

I would be grateful if someone can share their own experiences.

When the SW in my case came to see me it was very frustrating as it seemed she was already on my ex wife's side but i didn't let them effect me. Just be open, honest and don't bad mouth the mother. If you have concerns raise them but by no means make it personal. remember the SW is meant to be there for the child'd best interest. So when you answer questions try not to talk about yourself and talk about the benefits of you being in your daughters life.

You mention the SW wants to see you with your daughter. will this be at your home? If yes, make sure you prepare. IE have activities planned. colouring, painting, flash cards. When i was visited i was feeding my son and the SW asked what food i give him. I showed her the fruit pots i make for him, i showed her the meals i prepare for him the night before, basically a cupboard full of snacks that i keep for my son when i get to see him. Healthy snacks mind you! I had an easel in the kitchen where i was feeding him. She put all this stuff down in the s7 report. She could have put a lot more positive stuff as she did for the mother and still to this day i question why she did not but i guess i was just glad that nothing negative was put down.

Errrmmm...I'm trying to think what else she asked me.

She asked me what opportunities i can offer my son. If I've noticed any changes in him. strangely she also asked me if i know what causes my ex wife to behave very angrily etc.
Perhaps have a think of things you would like to do with your daughter that you have not been able to because of the mother. Maybe enquire about swimming lessons, museums, zoo etc. In hindsight i think it would have been for me to do some of my own suggestions. Does your daughter go nursery? are you involved? if yes mention it.

Basically you want the SW to think you are the best father in waiting for your daughter.

PS dont worry about mum coaching your daughter. That is the whole point the SW wants to see you with your daughter. I'd mention what your daughter recently said to the SW. In my opinion there is no reason at all why a 3.5 year old would be saying those things of having those type of conversations with her mum.

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