Anyone share experience of DAPP assessment plz?
Id be really grateful if anyone could share their experience of what a DAPP assessment is like and what is included within the assessment.
Ive been ordered to attend one, following my asking for a section 7.
Caffs report was biased and one sided and dismissed evidence.
however they stated i am also the victim of DV but am the main perp due to my making referrals to social services that were not acted on, and a non molestation order non contested from 2015.
Every time i have made a referral in my child's best interest mother would continue to scream DV and serve non molestation on me -
Despite evidence being provided to caff and the court of how the referrals where suitable they have still demanded i attend the DAPP even though Caff awarded more contact with my son who is 9 - every other weekend Friday to Monday and a Thursday overnight stay alternative weeks. 3weeks summer holidays and shared Xmas B/D's etc alternative years, shared school holidays and Easter and x2 telephone contact each week. All of this contact is in place on an interim.
Due to her previous accusations i have managed to get caf to agree to the school being used for collections and drop offs and i am having to use a third party to collect and drop off our child when the schools are closed.
Contact was in place since 2016 after almost a year of no contact. Mother stopped contact at the beginning of 2020 following a referral to social services by me and the school and in response she once again served me with non molestation stating i threaten to kill her as she had a new partner !!! I managed to reinstate contact in April 2020 and asked for a section 7 due to my historic concerns for child and abusive controlling behavior from mother - again all evidenced.
I have always taken undertakings and even got the respondent to take undertaking not to contact me and for handovers to be done by a third party. I have always seen it pointless to contest non mols - the same as i see it pointless to go against caff suggestion of the DAPP.
I decided to not contest the DAPP referral although i contested at first. I was in court yesterday. Judge was impressed by my statement and evidence bundled and questioned caff if it was not possible for me not to attend the DAPP due to the progress i have made myself. Unfortunately the legal advisor, respondents barrister and Caff got in to the judge and he eventually ordered the referral.
I have concerns the DAPP will reject me from attending the course and then have caff and respondents legal say im in denial and not suitable for contact.
I have represented my self over the years in this system.
Id be most grateful for feedback, advice and information if anyone else has attended the assessment and course. I am aware after the assessment i am to return to court and then again after 3 months of attending the course if i am accepted.
The assessment will try to bring all the facts of the case together and question you about it. The focus will be on you and not the elements of your ex nor where you have been the victim.. They will ask both open and closed questions with the main aim of establishing if you are suitable for the programme. If you do not accept the allegations/facts/findings nor are able to explain and express your understanding of them or worse deny them, then they will deem you unsuitable for the programme. Depending on how you respond and what you say, could determine contact eg if you are aggressive, deny everything and victim blame.
If you are deemed unsuitable then you are correct in that it could impact contact. It all depends on the allegations, the contact you have been having, whether there have been any issues with the kids when you have had contact or after if the kids have said or expressed anything. Also crucially how your ex responds and whether she is willing to allow contact.
There is no set format for the assessment as each case is unique with its own circumstances. Things like criminal records do influence things and so do non molestation orders and if granted what the reasons given were. In the absence of you challenging a non mol and it being issued then whilst findings have may not have been found against you as such, the documentation exists which can influence the views of anyone reading. The positive for you is that you have had contact prior to and post.
Remember the assessment is not to replay the whole case but to focus on you and your behaviour and how the programme can help you. If you deny everything then clearly the programme cannot help you as on the programme you are expected to talk (in front of a group) about your behaviour, what you have done, the impact on your ex and the kids and explain what you could have done differently etc etc.
The person doing the assessment is supposedly an expert at doing it although sometimes they just follow guidelines, however they do look to pick up on language and body language which all form part of the report.
The course itself is weekly attendance, broken down into modules (I've posted a thread somewhere about this and it's available online eg CAFCASS etc).. whilst on the course you are being continuously assessed to ensure that you are engaging and that there isn't 'false compliance' (saying/doing what you need to but really you are in denial and therefore pose a risk). You also have to be comfortable to talk in front of the group, if you aren't then you will be encouraged but consider that again this could be a sign of being in denial. At the end of each module you have a review and half way through a report is produced which can support interim contact of a progressive nature to build things up. At the end there is the final report which again can support contact.
The reports are crucial to determining contact and the level of risk that you pose. However once you accept going onto the course then you are kind of accepting the reason for being on the course.
The course typically takes 6 months but can take 9 to 12 especially due to Covid and if you miss any sessions you may be allowed to catch up or have to restart the module.
It goes without saying that you should not breach any non mols nor do anything else that could be considered a risk to your ex or kids whilst on the programme or whilst you are seeking contact.
Hope this helps... All the best..
No problem. When you get to the stage where a course is being recommended then a lot has already happened, between the parents and through the courts.
It's important to take a step back and think about the next steps.
As you have self represented, maybe now could be the time to consider legal advice if you need to.
The contact arrangement you had sounded great until your referral to social services and then fall out with ex. I guess in hindsight you have to consider whether the benefits of the referral outweigh the negatives of the actions since and whether this helps you to determine the next steps for you re Dapp etc..
All the best..
@Daddyup - Communication has always been impossible with the mother and previously she and I would do handovers together Friday to Sunday EOW and 90 minutes on a Thursday EOW so I could take him for a meal, so Caff have actually awarded more contact and over night stays at the wishes of my son.
The holidays of school are now shared equal, and I now get every other xmas and every other birthday - again none of this was previously awarded also only a week in summer holidays but now three weeks. I have him for Easter week this year also so i am made up around the level of contact.
Mother to date has not contested this contact.
The original contact order didn't allow Xmas together ever but in 2020 we spent the whole of the holiday together and he still be-leaved in Santa so it was magical for us both
So if anything the awarded time was in comparison to before and many many other fathers is very good and for that i am grateful. But it is on the condition i attend the course although the contact is already in place. Strange but that is how it is.
My son has matured massively this last year and our relationship stronger and I am happy in that if he were being left alone at home now he would inform the school, Also if he witnessed more DV between his mum and her partner again he would again tell the school. . so I feel I would not feel the need to make a referral unless it were extreme.
He was told by his mum if he told the school then he would be taken away from her and I produced recorded evidence of this but Caff stated it was manipulation by me!
The referrals I have made over the years were in regards to his being left alone at home for hours on end and sometimes over night with his autistic brother who would lock himself away in his room and not interact with my son. Also issues around his health care.
I stand by the referrals I made as being a father asking for help and with good reason. It doesn't help I have a criminal record from twenty years ago although none of that is DV related and I'm long term reformed and now have a good job working with vulnerable adults.
I really am grateful for your advice as it has made me reflect more on my actions and not hers towards me. I feel a lot of the resentment from me was not only her lies but her trying to prevent me from ever seeing our son again.
I also have a block which I need to get over although I feel i have made huge progress around which is my struggling to see how social services and Caf have just ignored all of my evidence and just sided with mothers version of events and lies. It feels they are brushing their own inadequate support of me and my son for years under the carpet. I have no doubt Ive been stitched up by them and stereo typed.
Historically yes, i owe the roll I played in the time of the breakdown of our relationship. Yes i responded to her threats and goading over the years negatively since the separation and that was not clever and was wrong of me. Over time I have learnt this and so yeah if i look at my behavior and my allowing myself to loose control instead of ignoring her constant gas-lighting and using my son as a weapon against me then I have been foolish and played in to her trap every time. The truth is my behavior at time was not suitable despite what she had done. I am responsible for my own actions and this would have had an effect on our son.
Although it recognizes i also was the victim of DV it doesn't excuse my own actions of verbal and aggressive behavior even it it were 6 years ago.
I'm sure I can convince the DAPP to allow me to do the course despite most of her accusations being false. I will be truthful with them and take responsibility for my actions to help ensure I continue to have the level of contact with my son.
I am equally sure I will do well on the course and they will learn I am truthful in my owning my part.
I am so much less anxious since your response and I can not express the level of gratitude to you i have.
I'm pleased that my response has helped.
Your response does shine a further positive light in that your son has played a part in driving forward access and the current increased contact arrangements.
If there were 'delays' in you doing dapp assessment but in the interim you had lots of contact as scheduled and then you attended the assessment, I'd be less worried about being rejected and it impacting contact. Courts are less likely to remove existing contact over a period of time due to impact on child, especially if it could harm the child, which in your case it could as your child wants the contact.
However, if you take the approach that you do the course having reflected on own behaviours and to be a positive role model then see what the assessor says and go from there.
You've done great to get this far, as son gets older, he will vote with his feet and it doesn't matter what your ex says or does.
All the best and keep us updated as to how things pan out.
So when i attended court in November i submitted to the court a child contact arrangement as recommended by the court advisors section 7 report. This was agreed with her legal rep and my child's mother despite my apposing I attend the DAAP course as recommended but caf cass section 7.
The arrangements I submitted covered the dates until March 2021. I stated future child contact arrangements would be supplied to the mother and those arrangements would be fair and mindful of both parties and child.
When appearing in court in March this year ( agreed to do DAAP course ) I submitted not to the court (mistake by me) but to mothers legal an update of the contact arrangements, following the section 7 reports recommendations of contact.
Contact was already in place at this time but the report allowed me to use the school for handovers instead of having to constantly use a third party to conduct the collection and return of my son as to prevent any further false allegations being made against me of DV. Also the sec 7 recommended more contact for me and son. They stated a final order should not be made until i have completed the course, and if the course was on the day I see my child then other arrangements of contact should be made so this clearly recommends contact continue as advised.
Today an hour before my son joined me for the week at my home I received an email from her brief asking me to see mothers response to the latest contact arrangement suggestions.
Mother has now stated she is not in agreement for contact between father and son for half term in may for the week, and she also apposes contact for the three weeks summer holiday to be spent with me also - all due to my not yet having been assessed for the DAAP!
She is however happy for contact to continue every other weekend (EOW) and Every other Thursday (EOT). Also agrees for the school to be used ( she refused the school being used before recommended by caff)
So she agreed for my son to spend Christmas and new year for a week, agreed for child to stay with her for half term in febuary, agreed for my weekend contact to be cut short so she could have mothers day with our son, and has agreed for him to stay with me for eight days over Easter, all of which was when I opposed my attendance of the DAPP.
She now apposes holiday contact all together until we are in court in June although I have agreed to do the DAAP and previously agreeing to the Caf Cass report and recommendations which clearly states all holidays to be shared equally between parents.
I imagine her brief has advised her to do this as if the DAPP assessment is not held before our next hearing in June then it stops the contact being in place other than EOW and EOT evening overnight stay.
Also, if the assessment with the DAPP states I am not suitable then her legal team will try to limit access further which is probably not going to work if i have all contact in place at the time.
On the other hand I cannot beleave a legal team would be as stupid as to advise their client to make a U-TURN such as this which is I hope is transparent and seen as being not in the child's interest at all.
Surely they can see this change of position is just her playing silly buggers and once again preventing contact be as recommended by Caf and child's wishes for no other reason than for financial gain and to make life as difficult as possible.
I replied to her legal team professionally (as will be used in court as evidence) and pin pointed the caf recommendations and how she agreed to them, also how their own team agreed to them in November. How she has agreed holiday contact to date. I also asked they discuss with their client further if she has any suggestions of how the shared holidays should be held as an alternative and review their position.
I doubt it will get anywhere and I doubt the court will do anything to appose it as it has not been sworn in.
All i want is to be able to get on with my life with the contact my son and I have in place and for her mother to stop trying to block contact at every opportunity. I want her to get on with her life and allow me to get on with mine. Its madness.
Id be grateful for any thoughts or suggestions on this development please.
I still haven't heard from the DAPP assessment team
My thoughts are that it's a difficult position to be in. Your ex will know (being guided by her legal rep) that she holds the upper hand. There is every possibility she has been told not to agree to all of your suggestions as if she does and it all goes ahead, then whether you do the course or not will not matter as having allowed the contact as you have suggested there cannot be any safe guarding concerns regarding child (which is the reason for the course), nor would the court just roll back the contact as this would not be in the child's best interests as my solicitor advised in such cases the courts would take the view that whilst it may not have recommended the contact had you not done the course prior to contact being granted, as you have the contact already in place it is in the child's best interests to maintain it.
However, by not agreeing to your suggestions your ex will be in a position to say that whatever she is agreeing to (albeit not as per your suggestions) she is doing it on the basis that you will attend the course and that providing you do so she will then allow more contact.
Ultimately she may well have done it just to either annoy you or reduce your contact but she knows that she could at any time stop All contact forcing you back to court and she can claim that she did it as you still haven't done the course and there are likely to be delays to run the course. She knows you cannot do anything until June.
You also know for future to get contact arrangements agreed as an order.
I would focus on the contact you have and are getting, make it great so that your son absolutely wants more contact and your ex can see and feel this when she is speaking to your son about how contact is going. Don't let any of the court stuff influence or impact on your contact and quality time with your son. June is only a few months away.
@Daddyup - Thank you again for your opinion as to reasons why which meets my own.
The DAAP has been recommended due to Historic "allegations". The concern from caf is that if I do not attend such an intervention, I am "likely to repeat past behaviors", which I "could use to pursue conflict, or transfer into new relationships"............
The only reference to our child as reason as to why i should attend the course says mother and I are not to have direct contact to perform handovers as our child may witness arguments between us.
This is something I already recognized and found alternatives, getting an undertaking from his mother so we would not contact or perform handovers together and implemented the use of a third party, and the use of the school which Caf recommended mother allows and she has since done so. Any risk of child witnessing any incident has been already removed.
I feel I have good argument to challenge the change of position in court due to the reasons why i have been referred to the course which in reality is no longer due to any risk to our son.
Also mother has to date allowed our child within my care as recommended. There has been no contact with mother for over a year, regular contact and week long visitations between son and I with no difficulties other than mum claiming i allow our son to stay up late watching you tube unsupervised ( happened twice when i fell asleep on the sofa) and our son not wearing pajamas whilst in my care.
Due to the above i hope the court see things for what they are although I am aware they are awaiting assessment report from DAAP which is the dominating factor.
Yeah I will once again take the loss of contact in May on the chin, not the first time she has blocked contact and put hurdles in the way and wont be the last.
Unfortunately my son has informed me I am not to be discussed within his mothers home. If he does then there is no response. Only discussion of me is one of negativity which is saddening not for me but for him although he accepts it.
In relation to the reason for the course, based on my own experience, whilst they (CAFCASS or courts) may not say it per se, the transfer into new relationships as you put it could adversely impact your son, whether by witnessing things in your new relationship, impact of conflict with new partner onto your behaviour with your son (you could be more stressed etc) or generally just an unpleasant environment when your son comes over. Also the course helps you to understand the impact of anything historical on children and their lives going forward no matter their age and how this can, should be dealt with.
I would keep these points for consideration should they come up rather than saying that the course would have no positive impact on your son (appreciate you are not saying that)..
Overall I think you are being very pragmatic, looking at the bigger picture and taking all the right steps to progress things. Keep us posted on how June goes.. Not many on this forum or others have to go through DAPP or similar type courses or the process through courts where it is part of the consideration, or if they do, many find it difficult to share their experiences.
All the best.
@Daddyup - (I've posted a thread somewhere about this and it's available online eg CAFCASS etc).
Can you provide a link to the thread you posted online about the DAAP please as I cant find it anywhere?
I was accepted on the course - and have attended x2 sessions.
I will provide details around this in the future as to benefit others.
Due to my being accepted - caff has asked the court to suspend the hearing set aside for July until November - i want the hearing in July to go ahead due to mother not following contact recommendations since agreeing to them in last hearing of march. Although contact is in place she is now not agreeing to the sharing of summer and other school holidays.
I have written to the court house asking how i can contact the judge to allow the hearing to proceed so i can request an interim order be created as to follow caf recommendation and child's wishes.
Can anyone tell me is there another way i can get that hearing to go ahead? Is the judge likely to allow the hearing to happen? Are the court just going to tell me to put in another c100?
Ive tried contacting caff but no reply from case worker.
Any advice gratefully received
Reg the long standing suffering LIP