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[Solved] Section 7 Report In, biased - HELP!!!

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Glad_Dad
(@glad_dad)
Trusted Member Registered

Hi All,
I have finally been granted access to see my Children next week after not seeing them for 9 months. I also received my section 7 report which had various wrong omissions in.
Please note that I am applying for shared care.
I don’t want to sound like a father who is moaning etc etc but I have a suspicious feeling that the CAFCASS officer doesn’t like me at all.

Reasons why I feel CAFCASS officer didn’t like me:

1) I have not done anything wrong throughout the marriage except for one incident that the judge found that BOTH parents were at fault for throughout a 6 year relationship. The court found that what happened was purely accidental.
2) I have received contact for 1 hour every fortnight for 3 successful sessions and then increases to 2 hours every fortnight. Luckily the court ruled that contact was directed as per the CAFCASS officer which meant we didn’t need to go back to court for the judges approval so contact will start with immediate effect.
3) The CAFCASS officer has written;
a) The father breached his NMO, this was a clear lie, after speaking to CAFCASS officer and I asked her where she got this information from, she replied the mother. I further said she should have checked her facts.
b) After the 1 hour and 20 minutes meeting, the CAFCASS officer didn’t ask me about my religious views but in her report she stated that there couldn’t be co-parenting from the basis the mother is less “strict” than the father. I believe she asserted this from the mother. She further more say’s that we had differing “values and views” and the mother is more of a “relaxed muslim.” I am not sure how she is asserting all of this, but the CAFCASS officer never once asked me about my religious views.
4) The CAFCASS officer finally writes I have to go on a Domestic violence perpetrators course whilst the mother goes on a “Freedom Programme.” The fact-finding hearing said the mother used to shout and cause arguments in front of the children, she spyed on and also lied saying I punched/kicked her when clearly the fact-finding hearing saying the “events were how the father described.” Why is it that the mother goes on a freedom course when clearly she has issues to deal with as well?

My questions are:

1) Can you change your CAFCASS officer as her reports are unfactual and clearly have bias added to it by the mother various times without clarifying matters with me. What is the best strategy for this??
There was pretty much nothing bad mentioned against the mother even though she lied in court saying I punched and kicked her. The mother is also being tried in a criminal court for other various things she has done.
2) Next time can I; a) record the CAFCASS officer, b) write a meeting summary and send this across to them.
3) In respect to contact; 1 hour a fortnight and then increased to 2 hours a fortnight, is this the norm when the fact finding hearing says that both were at fault for one isolated incident? I am of course happy to receive something, but 1 hour is so little when you take into account the below point as well maybe? Is this the norm?
4) The section 7 report clearly said; My daughter wishes to see “her father” however the initial assessment my daughter said the following, which is quiet unexpected as I know they are all incorrect (My daughter is only 4 years old):
“daddy is not important no more” and
“daddy does not like mummy” and
“daddy is trying to take me away from my mummy” and
“daddy doesn’t make her feel safe” and “daddy does bad things” and
“daddy should leave us alone” and
“daddy is not good to mummy he doesn’t like her”
The CAFCASS officer stated in her report she believes that some of the comments “indicate that her mother has shared some information with her daughter… some of the comments from her daughter made in her session were as a result of the explanations that have been given to her daughter about why she is no longer seeing her father”
My question is, with such clear parental alienation, what can be done about it??… What is the best strategy as I have my next hearing for the section 7 report in 3 weeks’ time.

Sorry for the long message, but I hope it clarifies matters, any pointers please let me know on how best to strategize matters for my next hearing which is for looking at the section 7 report.

Quote
Topic starter Posted : 16/09/2017 6:06 pm
actd
 actd
(@actd)
Illustrious Member

I would certainly speak to the CAFCASS officer's supervisor as a first step to voice your concerns. With regards to contact, I would take what is initially offered, but also ask the court to give an order which increases this within a set timescale so you don't have to keep going back to court to get it increased.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 17/09/2017 12:41 am

top tips to support your child after breakup

Yasser
(@Yasser)
Eminent Member Registered

Hey Glad Dad, hope you're well. The Cafcass report can be biased, I re read your topic and couldn't see if you mentioned the age of your kids. Truth is, what your children "say about you" isn't at all true. Are your contact sessions being recorded? If so submit these in your next statement, you will find the two hours should increase to 3 or 4 a fortnight and then perhaps community contact where you can use the contact centre carpark for handovers...your kids may say they hate you, or they don't like you but that's because there's a gap which you will fill with quality over quantity.

My daughter is going to be four in October, I hadn't seen her for about a year and we started off with two hours a fortnight to now overnights from Friday to Sunday every fortnight. Cafcass will step out of the case if safeguarding is not found necessary, if your sessions are recorded then those reports are gold my friend.

All the best
Yasser

ReplyQuote
Posted : 17/09/2017 7:41 am
Mojo
 Mojo
(@Mojo)
Illustrious Member Registered

If there are factual errors in the S7 you can contact the officer and ask for them to be amended, and f sherefuses youcan take it to her manager and ask for an appointment to discuss. Apart from that you can write a position statement that points out that weakness in the S7 report, such as the officer making comments on things she had failed to talk to you about, your religious views for example.

The responses from your daughter do sound like there is Parental Alienation, you can highlight the reports finding that the mother is discussing the case with your daughter which is wholly inappropriate and damaging to your relationship, on that basis you could ask for a psychological assessment for the purposes of determining PA and also you could ask for a Guardian to be appointed for your child under rule 16.4.

Have a more detailed response to the S7 report with you at the next hearing, make your points verbally, tell the court you have a more detailed written response to the S7 with you and ask if you may have permission to file it.

The courts response to any requests you make is impossible to predict, but if you stay child focused and calm it will help matters.

Best of luck

ReplyQuote
Posted : 17/09/2017 7:37 pm

how contact centres work

Paul_6611
(@Paul_6611)
Reputable Member Registered

When I received the cafcass letter to the court, I went through it sentence by sentence and made a note of all the omissions and errors. I then sent an email to cafcass and a copy to the courts and a few days later asked the cafcass officer to call me so that we could discuss the discrepancies. It's now been a week and I still haven't heard from her.
I will take a copy of her letter and my email response to the court. I advise you might consider doing the same.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 18/09/2017 12:57 am
Yoda
 Yoda
(@yoda)
Famed Member

Hi

I agree with Mojo.

You can only ask Cafcass directly to amend factual errors such as names, dates, places etc. Anything else that is opinion, or that you believe to be incorrect in relation to the interview, must be addressed via the court and not directly to Cafcass.

Your best bet at this stage, is to do as Mojo has advised and address all the inaccuracies in a statement. If there are factual errors, you can ask Cafcass to correct these. Otherwise, you will just be wasting time writing to Cafcass.

Usually after a Section 7, there will be an opportunity to provide a statement of evidence. If this hasn't been directed, as Mojo says, you can take a detailed statement with you to court and ask for permission to file.

Best of luck

ReplyQuote
Posted : 18/09/2017 1:22 pm

Glad_Dad
(@glad_dad)
Trusted Member Registered

Hi All,

Thanks for the responses.

YASSER:
My little ones are 4 years and 14 months. I know what my children say are not true, it is clearly being fed from elsewhere.
My contact's are at present not being recorded, I am assuming I should just wear a body cam or get the center to record it?? Or do you mean recorded in the sense that someone takes notes??

One of the worse things was where the CAFCASS officer stated in her report that even though I saw the children everyday, they would not have felt "much impact from the father being out of their lives as the mother has provided them with a safe environment" this is assertion CAFCASS has made when coming to the conclusion that my children were not affected by me not seeing them - ridiculous?

MOJO:
1) I will speak to the CAFCASS officer, however some wrong assertions she has made are clear i.e. me breaching my NMO which is one of the reasons as to why she said I have to go on a domestic violence course, so it's probably better to leave this part in and speak to the judge to decide?
Other things like; my religious views and that I am a strict parent, should I speak to my cafcass officer before the next hearing or put this in my position statement?
2) Great tip on the parental alienation, I will try and figure out how to action this, possibily on my position statement for my next hearing?

PAUL:
I am going through it sentence by sentence and formulating a response for each paragraph.
Keep us updated on your outcome please.

YODA:
I am slightly confused as Mojo is saying write it in your position statement OR speak to cafcass officer about it before the trial?
You are saying contact cafcass is a waste of time?

QUESTION:
1) Is it wise to change my cafcass officer, I feel she has biased the mother so much, the judge commended me several times in the fact finding hearing saying how i showed evidence of wanting to stop arguements and fix the relationship for the childrens sake, but this was never added into the report.

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : 18/09/2017 3:11 pm
Yasser
(@Yasser)
Eminent Member Registered

Hi Glad Dad, they are very very young. And your ex making it difficult to see them is also playing a part in them not knowing how much you care for them. Session recordings as I. Notes being made. If there aren't any notes being made then the court doesn't have any safe guarding issues.

In your next position statement say how these sessions are progressing really well, but there is only so much you can do within the four walls and the court should in the next hearing progress to community contact so atleast you can take your kids out from the centre and take them to the park, for pizza lunch or even a picnic. The world is literally your oyster outside of the contact centre. Your ex may know the more the kids see you then the more they will love you...there is a huge gap between fair contact and "mother knows best scenarios"....what she is saying in terms of contact right now probably suit her day to day life, but once this is all in a court order then she will have to follow it.

Ask your judge to progress to community contact and choose the centre carpark for handovers...be civil, pick up your children and show them a world of happiness that they can take back with them.

My daughter saw the contact centre as a place where she would get to see me but eve tually she even wanted to go out, being cooped up in the centre for months of contact was getting to both of us no doubt.

I hope the cafcass report doesn't bug you down, look at rh date of the cafcass report and then the date of your next hearing and try to gain some quantifiable progression. Mentioned that you would like to take your children our of the centre in your next statement and mention in your position statement that you will take them to local parks and lunches which you have already looked into.

Thanks and keep fighting. Our kids will grow up to need so much advice and guidance. Dont let your ex distract you from this one bit.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 18/09/2017 3:46 pm

top tips to support your child after breakup

Mojo
 Mojo
(@Mojo)
Illustrious Member Registered

I think Yoda and I are in agreement on this

To clarify -

1. Any factual errors you can ask CAFCASS to amend prior to the hearing, but anything you consider as a weakness in her report, for instance reporting on things she didn't ask you about, yet including them in her report... by doing so she is giving an opinion and not an evaluation based on facts.

2. You can provide a brief position statement for the hearing, touching on the issues, but you can also prepare a more detailed response to the S7 and ask the court for permission to file it.

I would bring up any factual errors with them beforehand, if you have categorical proof that you haven't breached the NMO then that's a factual error and if she's basing her recommendation that you attend a DV course, on your breach, then I would say it's important.

Your religious views and strictness aren't quantifiable, she is basing this on the mothers opinion, without asking you...this is weak reporting and is hearsay, not an evaluation based on the facts.

You could mention in the PS your thoughts on the possibility of PA of your child and mention that a psychological assessment would be helpful. Also that the appointment of a Guardian would hopefully go some way to protecting the child against further attempts to damage her relationship with you.

When given an opportunity, you can mention that the judge commended you for your attempts to resolve the issues and for your child focused approach. I don't think it's for the CAFCASS officer to pick up on that, but there's nothing wrong with you doing so.

I doubt you could get a change of CAFCASS officer, it's probably better to deal with them to get the factual errors amended and then highlight the weakness in the reporting officers inability to differentiate between fact, hearsay and opinion.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 18/09/2017 3:59 pm
Yoda
 Yoda
(@yoda)
Famed Member

Exactly that Mojo - thanks for clarifying. I have nothing further to add to Mojo's post other than to say I wouldn't ask for a change of officer either. Better to address the report you have.

If you have to have a hearing where that officer is ordered to attend, you will have ample opportunity to cross examine and challenge them anyway.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 18/09/2017 8:05 pm

how contact centres work

Glad_Dad
(@glad_dad)
Trusted Member Registered

Hi all,

PAUL:
The advice given is for you not to contact cafcass regarding errors etc (and to just include it in a statement next time) however if it works for you, please do share your outcome.

YASSER:
Thanks for the advice, I have checked with the center and they have a person taking notes. I have forwarded them the section 7 report.
The report doesn’t bother me as; a) I am seeing my children Tomorrow, b) it’s pretty much “hearsay” as my side was not asked.
The reasons for not giving shared care of the children was; they are safe with mum, the father is “strict” and has different religious views – what a load of crap.

MOJO:
Thanks for clarifying. I think speaking to the CAFCASS officer may get on their nerves, however it could work?
Even though if I was a “stricter” parent when it came to religion, why would this matter?
Probably not a good idea to get a change of cafcass officer and just say her basis for these assertions were based on assumptions and false assertions.

Thanks everyone for their invaluable advice.

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : 19/09/2017 3:37 am
Yoda
 Yoda
(@yoda)
Famed Member

Just on your reply to Mojo's point there.......I really would leave the Cafcass officer alone until you need to challenge them with the exception of asking for factual inaccuracies to be corrected. I've never seen it go well or speed things up by speaking to Cafcass. Your court dates are when they are, and it's the court who make the decisions, so therefore it's the court you need to address.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 19/09/2017 11:57 am

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