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My Story - Can Anyone Offer ANY Advice
I'm looking for some advice. This is a bit long so I apologise in advance. I've shortened this all down as well!!
I started dating my ex-partner about 6 years ago. After 2 years we had a child. After she conceived is when things really changed. She became evil, nasty. You've heard it all before, but this was something else. She was violent twice, in which I had to call the police and the rest of the time she was just, well, evil. We split up and got back together numerous times. I managed to (just) get through the pregnancy, which for me was the most amazing moment of my life. We weren't together at that point, but I was "allowed" to be present. As of 6 days old I started having my son every other day. Tuesday evenings, Thursday evenings, and weekends. We eventually got back together but split up shortly afterwards and all contact was stopped and denied. She had notified me that she had actually been cheating on me throughout the whole relationship, right from the time she had conceived. I immediately started the legal process of going for a child arrangement order.
At the same time, she started the process rolling on her side of obtaining a Non-molestation order against me, but chose the option of not having me notified. By the time it was served on me, it was too late for me to appeal/object it, so, I had that against me. After that, she was as nice as pie and wanted to get back together. You already know what I stupidly did. I desperately wanted a family for my boy. Needless to say, after a few weeks she had reported me for breaching the court order. I was arrested straight away and thrown in a prison cell. I didn't get bail either. straight to court. I fought that, and I was found guilty (technically, I did break the order), but the courts were well aware of what Ms XX had done, so although guilty, there was no punishment except a small fine.
The child arrangement order went through and I was granted all the contact I had asked for. Yay! That was in January 2017. Since then, I have tried for the most part of not interacting with the mother, who is extremely bitter and confrontational at every chance she gets. I have had to report quite a few concerns to social, some really bad for example, in August 2017 while the mother was carrying on with her new boyfriend in the other room, she left my son alone in the next room with her new blokes dog, that went for my son. It left a 1 inch scar above his temple that could have killed him. Other examples include strange bruises, marks and cuts but also parent alienation from her and her mother (witnessed with my own eyes). Social services haven’t taken any of it seriously, even the dog bite.
6 weeks ago I picked my (now 4 year old) little boy up on the Saturday evening. It was a sunny day so I let him put my sun glasses on and he then fell asleep in the car. When we got home I carried him up to my place, and put him down to sleep on the sofa while I cooked dinner. Unfortunately he was still wearing his glasses. Fast forward to the next morning and my son is playing in my lounge when I noticed a bruise on the top of his ear. It was in a line and I instantly knew it was the sunglasses and due to the fact I had let him sleep on them. After dropping him off I explained it to the mother, who was fine with it.
Anyway, I received a text the next day saying all access was being stopped. She refused to talk to me or give me any details. 2 weeks had passed before I received a phone call from the police asking me to go down and sit an interview. I didn't hesitate and went straight down and answered all their questions. They were very fair and even told me it was a reasonable explanation etc. After that meeting I finally heard from Social services. They came to see me and in all honesty, they were brutal. They made it perfectly clear they thought I was hurting my son. When I mentioned any of the issues I had with the mothers parenting, Social were very quick to brush it all off as nothing. I asked how my son was doing etc, and was told very clearly that my son doesn't talk about me, doesn't want to see me etc. etc. Like I said, they were brutal. That last social visit was 2 weeks ago and I've heard nothing at all. Needless to say I’ve started the ball rolling for enforcement of an order. That doesn't sit till 6th June.
It's now been almost 6 weeks since I've been allowed to see my son. I've received no communication from anyone and all my contact attempts go unanswered.
Regarding my sons mother. She has been diagnosed with Borderline personality disorder, Obsessive Compulsive disorder, anxiety and depression. She is the most unstable, bitter and confrontational person I’ve ever met in my life. She is very good at playing the vulnerable person card. She manages to get everyone to believe everything she says. Every step of the way she has walked over me and she still does it today.
As for me and my son. We have/had the most amazing bond. I've never even had to raise my voice to him, let alone physically hurt him! He is so well behaved for me, but he behaves really badly for the mother. The professionals haven’t seen this.
I need some advice, because I’m completely lost at the moment Sad

Thank you for removing names, whoops, I panicked then!!!
A little advice from me, remember though that what happens now is not just about getting past the 6th June, but also the next 14 years. I'd suggest recording (writing down) every contact, every interaction with the mother. Only communicate in a form that can be kept, email or text etc. If you have a new partner or helpful relative then get them to be present at every handover or as many as can be.

There is the massive topic of her parenting, well you need to learn the social workers world and language, understand what safeguarding is, find out how it works, you ARE NOT reliant on just social services; schools, GPs, charities and hospitals can all make safeguarding referrals, and some of these people may be more on your side, so figure out how to access the services and raise concerns beyond social services.

Also think about how you can engineer your position, do some courses, attend self help groups, ask social services if they have any recommendations to improve yourself? This paints you in a better light and there may be positive feedback about your approach. You could even do a course, volunteer with a charity (might be difficult with the NMO) if you enter this world you'll know the language and approaches people employ. Also, social services will have a complaints and appeals process, learn this when you don't need to, so you can prepare for when you do need it, understand the roll of CQC and local councillors also, as they can apply pressure when social services screw up. But you need to know how to do this.

You'll also need to develop a Zen like control of your emotions and build your resilience, especially when it comes to your ex, you'll need a long term strategy for this. You seem a smart guy and you've got the next 14 years to think about so hit the books now....

Just so you know, I haven't been in this position that you're in, but I'm involved in a charity for vulnerable adults and children and have been on the periphery of safeguarding issues for 20 years. Others here will be able to guide you much better than I can through the meeting you have next month. Good luck.
'Social services were brutal'. It astonishes me how prejudiced, self-righteous and not particularly intelligent social workers seem to be but it seems to be par for the course. As far as I can see the best they do is make things worse. I wonder if any of them ever end up on the receiving end of some of the stuff they dish out so easily to others.
everything is against dads
(05-01-2018, 02:09 PM)Mr Sandman Wrote: You'll also need to develop a Zen like control of your emotions and build your resilience, especially when it comes to your ex, you'll need a long term strategy for this. You seem a smart guy and you've got the next 14 years to think about so hit the books now....

Speaking of books - I recommend these so often I can just cut and paste the lot:

Recommended books for other separated fathers

The Obstacle is the Way: The Ancient Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do

Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-To Book

Ego is the Enemy: The Fight to Master Our Greatest Opponent
I don't know what to suggest but surely your son should have a medical examination and they would find nothing wrong. A mark above an ear as a one off isn't like evidence of injuries etc. Absolute nightmare. Have you had any legal advice re social services? I'd be tempted to write to them formally and politely and request if your son has had a full medical examination because you feel that will show he has not been harmed. And ask to be sent confirmation this will take place and a copy of the medical report. Because that might help when Cafcass become involved.
The doctor looked at the bruise and classed it as a non-accidental injury as if his ear had been squeezed. I stated from day 1 that it was caused by sunglasses that he had fallen asleep with them on, but tbh, that is a guess as it's the only possible thing that could have happened. The only other explanation is, it happened before I even picked him up from his mother.

It’s been well over 6 weeks since the police interviewed me. I have phoned them up a few times and their response is constantly “It’s on the Sergeants desk”. They don’t seem to be pushing it forward at all.

Social services arranged a supervised visit with my son 2 days ago for an hour. I know it’s been 7 weeks, but our Reunion didn’t go as I expected. When he first saw me, I could see the apprehension in his eyes. He was confused, like a little boy who had been told a million horrible things about his daddy although never experiencing them. Before this happened we were so close. Our bond and relationship was amazing. Now it feels like that has been completely kicked to the curb.

After half an hour my boy started opening up to me and within an hour it was almost as if the past 2 months hadn’t happened. He wanted to come back to my house with me, but social quickly ushered him off.

Absolutely lost with this.
So this week I finally managed to secure access. Social services had arranged for me to see my boy, for just an hour in a contact centre on Tuesday. It’s not exactly quality time but I took it.

She didn’t turn up.

Social services told me it had been cancelled and they “forgot” to let me know.

Social services then text me and arranged for me to have my boy on Saturday, supervised by my father. from 4-7! Finally get to spend quality time with my boy. Here is the exact message:

“Hi Steve. I agree that the children’s centre is not the best place for contact. I have arranged for ******* to spend time with you on Saturday from 4 – 7 supervised by your father. I just need to meet him briefly first and the this can be as up on a regular basis. I hope this works for you. We can look at increasing the contact time as we go forward. Thanks. XXXXXXX”

I have arranged all of my family to be there to see my boy, they are all missing him like crazy. We planned to have a little birthday party for him and finally give him all his presents. 2 months late.

Last night I received the following:

“Hi Steve. Just to let you know that I am not responsible for enforcing anything. ******* has decided that she doesn’t want you to have unsupervised contact with XXXXXX due to the unexplained injury that he acquired during contact. This has been assessed by a paediatrician as ‘non accidental’.This seems an appropriate response given the situation but this is a private law matter and the courts will decide what future contact arrangements will be. ******* feels that any further contact is not in XXXXX's best interests at the moment so I am unable to help you with the Saturday contact that you originally asked for. If ******* was willing for this to go ahead and to be supervised by your father, I would need to assess him first. At the moment she is not agreeing to this so you will need to seek legal advice. Thanks. XXXXXXXXX.”

I am lost for words. This is tantamount to abuse. How can this all be allowed. I have a damn court order!
Christ alive I'm sorry man. It will be ok. Keep thinking about the long term.
I am sorry too. Some of the stuff that goes on is unbelievable. You read the same thing over and over again here and on other boards: it's unbelievable. So clearly it IS believable. So believable it's going on all the time all over the place. It isn't much consolation but maybe it's some consolation: it's happening to lots of folks and it's par for the course. It's not your fault.

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