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Accused of child abuse
#1
There is no evidence as it didn't happen, but ex insists a situation occurred whereby I hit our child when she was in my care. Allegedly I shouted at and berated her as well. All contact has stopped (again).

My application for a CAO is about to have its first hearing, so I'm not surprised she's resorted to these magnificent lies, but I wondered how Cafcass will feel about it? What can I expect from these allegations?
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#2
CAFCASS will ask you what happened, and will ask her, if your child is old enough, then they may be asked. If I was you I would set it down for Fact Finding - that way she has to prove it happened (eg police reports, etc)

I wouldnt really worry about it - we have all had these allegations laid at our feet.
The opinions here are not that of Separated Dads, but merely a loving father who has been through the process and has come out the other side.
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#3
(05-16-2018, 10:56 AM)invisibleintellectual Wrote: CAFCASS will ask you what happened, and will ask her, if your child is old enough, then they may be asked.  If I was you I would set it down for Fact Finding - that way she has to prove it happened (eg police reports, etc)

I wouldnt really worry about it - we have all had these allegations laid at our feet.

How old is old enough? She's 7
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#4
I think the law says 10, but they can ask the question as well
The opinions here are not that of Separated Dads, but merely a loving father who has been through the process and has come out the other side.
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#5
They will ask your daughter in about 4-6 weeks what happened . when she says something completely different the case will be closed and ex partner will carry on to the next set of allegations.

Understandably you will be angry and upset how u could be accused of such nonsense. You must remain calm and ignore the allegations and remain child focused. if you shout and go mad it then starts making them think that you may have done. all this is done by ex partner to get a reaction and there will be plenty more accusations been made up so be careful. It will take a long time but you will get where u want eventually by being calm and child focused
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#6
I was accused of attacking my ex's other daughter who was 8 at the time. She reported me to the police and Social Services got involved. Apparently i had left red hand marks on her arms from where i grabbed her. To this day no one has actually told me if they have actually seen any marks, im guessing there wasnt any as ive seen no evidence to prove it. Anyway im not sure if they spoke to her daughter about it but SS didnt seem at all concerned and just asked what happened, then informed me that in their eyes at most they classed it as i had chastised her daughter and thats about it. No further action. The police took a little more convincing and although i had reported her at the same time because she punched me as i was leaving they didnt really care or want to listen to me when i said i had the incident recorded on my phone to prove i didnt do anything. It was only after they finished interviewing me that they asked about the recording and i showed them. I recorded every time i had any contact with her by this time because i knew her game so it saved me in the end. It took the police about 6 weeks before they came back to me to tell me based on my evidence they would not be pressing any charges. Again to this day i dont know if the ex knows of this evidence as she keeps on with the same story to anyone that will listen.

Have you had your telephone interview for the hearing with Cafcass yet? They will more than likely ask for a Section 7 report to be done. Cafcass then did all the background checks with the police and Social Services and will check everything and put it in a report for the court. If there is no proof of it and no records then she has nothing on you. My report basically said that the allegations were unfounded and unsubstantiated and were not supported by the police or Social Services. Social Services did also mention that her daughter was un-proportionately upset and that she was mirroring her mother. So in the end it all actually has helped me to a degree. I did get a male cafcass officer do the report though and he was very good. Going by other peoples experience this can be hit and miss. I might add i do also have a grown up daughter that i co-parented to bring up with no problems at all though so i think that fact may have helped me a little too.

I have my final hearing on the 31st though after spending 5 months in a contact centre for no other reason that to appease the mother so we will see what happens.
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#7
Don't stress... i had this... all lies

Write down what happened... if your disciplined the child... tell them... there is nothing wrong with telling the kid off
Also look for photos on your phone before and after incident... did you take a smiley picture 5 mins after the 'event' if so shows kid was not bothered

My ex brought up a event, easy to disprove had photos before and after (by chance) and my lawyer then used an incident where ex had shouted at the kid and he had ran off and she could not find him for 30 mins ... then went to town on her about why she instructed the kid not to tell his father about that

Went to show kids are kids, adults are adults and sometimes we tell each other off... but ultimately disciplining a kid is OK... telling them off so badly they run away from the mother and can't be found and then told to lie to the father to cover it up... well... touche!... Judge ignored both stories as parents playing games in a custody battle
"Being a good father, for its own sake, does not require your ex to see it or agree"
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#8
The fact she has come out with this just before the hearing makes it look like she has made it up. As the others say, you must stay very calm when being talked to. And even if the Cafcass officer comes across as a very nice friendly person you can relax and talk to as with anyone, keep it fairly polite and be careful not to relax into saying what you really feel. Simple lines like - no this isn't true. Or - it is unthinkable that I would ever harm my daughter or frighten her. Or - I believe this allegation to have come about as a result of the hearing being imminent and it has no foundation.

I think you can email Cafcass in advance as well and it may be easier to put something in writing to them. Again as the others say, avoid sounding outraged and angry - or a polemic. Keep it polite, sensible, brief etc.

If your first hearing is coming up, have you had your Cafcass letter yet? That tends to give an indication of what Cafcass are going to recommend. Or has this allegation come out as part of the Cafcass interviews and is in the letter?

To be honest it isn't much of an accusation - shouting and berating - as that could easily be seen to be exaggerated. I am still getting accusations after my final hearing and order - ex trying to create a papertrail I think. All I can hope is that if she goes to social services again, they will see her history of this! I've been accused of being rough and causing injuries - which has serious connotations.

Maybe try and think about how you would explain your discipline methods to someone - eg I am a believer in gentle but firm discipline such as a quiet word, or time out and use a reward chart to encourage good behaviour. :-) If you haven't used a reward chart, just start one now!

Sometimes an answer like this is better than a "no I didn't" - ie an answer saying how you do deal with discipline rather than denying doing something.

If you've had your Cafcass letter back I think it might be an idea to write to Cafcass with your concerns about the contact stopping - send them an email. Maybe something like

"I am concerned at daughter's psychological wellbeing as Mother has recently stopped contact after claiming I shouted at and berated daughter. I feel this is a reaction to the upcoming hearing and hopefully matters will be resolved at the hearing. However, I feel that daughter being prevented from seeing me will cause her stress and anxiety and I am worried about that. I did not and would not do anything to frighten or hurt my daugher, who I love very much and we have a close and happy bond. If I do use any discpline I use time out and a reward chart but daughter is very well behaved in any event and as such rarely needs any time out."

When is the hearing? If you haven't had the Cafcass letter yet then wait till it arrives. If this accusation is part of the Cafcass letter then what are Cafcass conclusions and recommendations?
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#9
Thanks for that.

I have the first Cafcass phone appointment this week. The letter didn't say anything about what they'd do, just the procedure of meeting on the day just before the hearing. That's in 2 weeks. Not sure if I have an officer assigned to the case yet, I don't have any details or anything. I think the main concern is the allegation of hitting her. There is now a social worker interviewing everyone I know (ex girlfriends etc. asking whether i hit their children). Noone has come to me or my family though.

My discipline methods are as you described. If she is naughty then I explain calmly why its not acceptable. Punishments vary, but aren't overly harsh. I want her to enjoy time with me (occasionally I'll shout, but im not angry). Its hard to do a reward chart when I see so little of her, but its something i'll be doing when I get better access.

Either way what you said about the "paper trail" is probably true. A lot of waves being made, and a lot of time (and taxpayer money) being wasted.
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