• Page:
  • 1

TOPIC: Cafcass S7 report arrived... extremely positive...

Cafcass S7 report arrived... extremely positive... 6 months 4 days ago #90048

No shared care! The recomendations aren't particularly clear otherwise.. .

Trying to understand the following information:

The report centres around the incident of domestic violence which occurred a few months ago, where mum physically attacked dad in a soft play area while he was holding their child.

It states that "it is concerning that she (mum) does not accept or believe that the child could have been placed at risk of significant harm". It further talks about her lack of understanding about the incident and that mum needs further work surrounding the impact of domestic violence on children.

It makes the recommendation that she provides a 3rd party for hand over. She refused and states "It's me or nobody". That is despite being aware that the SW is making the recommendation that mum does not facilitate contact.

The SW has made the suggestion that due to the above, mum has been avoidant and dismissive about anyone else facilitating contact, and this could be suggested that the child is being used as a tool to overt her power and control over contact. That mum's level of commitment to contact could be questionable, and that mum has thus far failed to adhere to the previous court order regarding contact.

She states that in her professional opinion the child may have suffered significant harm during the incident of domestic violence by her mum.

It further states mum has no safeguarding concerns around dad. It also states mum feels that dad does not kbow how to meet the child's needs. The SW then goes on to state "however from observing contact I feel he is more than capable of meeting the child's needs if given the chance to".

The report has the general theme throughout of "mum provides good care to the child, but lacks awareness of her behaviours". It is extremely positive towards Dad, and his ability to provide care. It also clearly shows that the SW has taken his accounts as the truth and dismissed mum's. I honestly don't think the report could be any better for him.

Yet they don't recommend shared care on the basis of child's age (13 months) and lack of pre-existing established relationship. It goes on to suggest that a 5 week schedule of 3 times a week contact of 30 mins first 2 weeks, 1 hour 3rd week, 2 hours 4th week, 4 hours 5th week leading to overnights with in 3 months depending on the child's adjustment.

It also states that they would not oppose shared care in the future "when the child is slightly older".

It goes on to suggest that despite no safeguarding concerns that contact should be in a contact centre with a 3rd party known to the child present, in order to minimise emotional distress, and that this would be purely to comfort the chuld as opposed to it needing to be supervised.

So many questions on this... I don't even know where to start! Firstly, I'd appreciate any advice on how next to proceed? And why the fact his ex has prevented a relationship means that he can't have a 50/50 arrangement . It clearly shows she is hostile to contact in the report! Yet they are allowing that control to continue!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Cafcass S7 report arrived... extremely positive... 6 months 4 days ago #90049

I forgot to include that there is no long term plan made beyond the 5 week suggestion contact plan. And the potentially overnights in 3 months.

So where does that leave him after 5 weeks? Why haven't they said leading to x days and nights, x amount of holidays etc..

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Cafcass S7 report arrived... extremely positive... 6 months 3 days ago #90057

Having gone through the s7 with a fine toothcomb, here are some points I've made. Not necessarily to be made in court, but for discussion with his own solicitor prior.

Mum stated she wanted to supervise contact from birth to ensure the chuld had an attachment to dad prior to it being unsupervised. She remains of this view. However who supervised mum until she had a relationship and attachment? No one....

Report states dad alleges mum physically assaulted him. The word alleges is used a lot when referring to the assult. However, the assault is proven both by admission and by the police and the fact mum attends a programme for offenders. It isn't alleged. It's a fact.

Mum has informed the social worker she has attended 3 sessions with the offenders programme. Yes, mum did admit to this. ONLY after lying (again) and stating there was no further action taken (this is the line she uses regularly to people involved in the case). It took dad providing the collar number of the officer dealing with the case for the SW to make further investigations, thus going back to mum who finally admits to the above. However the fact she initially lied is not included in the report. Surely this should be, as it paints a picture of mum being remorseful of her actions, when the truth is, she has downplayed it over and over.

Mum denies allegation by dad that she is a perpetrator of domestic violence and childrens services have no evidence to substantiate these claims. No evidence to suggest mum has been involved in such incidents previously. It could be suggested the incident was isolated, and was due to heightened emotions at the child being upset during the contact session. I have taken a direct quote from gov.yk which states that domestic violence is ANY INCIDENT or pattern of incidents of CONTROLLING, coercive or threatening behaviour in those age 16 or over who are, or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. It can encompass, but not limited to, psychological , physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse.

Reading the above, it is clear to me that mum certainly is a perpetrator of domestic violence, both using the physical assault, and the control of the child as a weapon, which has been referred to later on "it could be suggested mum is using the child as a tool to overt her power and control over contact due to her differences with dad". So why are they minimising what happened?

Additionally, it is further referred to as "the situation itself would have been distressing to both mum and dad, this distress would have been amplified for the child...". Woah! Step back, how can they suggest mum was distressed? She phyiscally attacked dad holding their daughter because she tried to end a 2 hour cobtact after 30 minutes, and dad said no. So the second dad stood up to mum, she attacks him and somehow she is a victim too?!

It is mentioned that the child was in distress at this particular contact session. There are completely independent witnesses to this, who stated the child was initially upset and crying, however she was calming down and dad had been successful in settling her. 2 separate parents in the soft play centre came forward and stated this and handed there details over. Additionally, the entire thing is on cctv.

My final point is surrounding the reasoning for the recommendation not to recommend shared care. It states that it is due to a lack of pre-existing relationship. The only barrier to this relationship is mum. Hence why shared care is so important. It stops the control currently used to prevent any relationship. The diary of evidence, and the evidence within the s7 report all shows mum's avoidance of contact, and lack of promoting a relationship between dad and child. Not ordering a shared care order reinforces her controlling and abusive behaviour, and in the long term, is not in the child's best interests to be prevented from any kind of loving and meaningful relationship with her father.

Her father has stated that he does not expect 50/50 to be immediate. That it would be a 3-6 month period of building up contact. So as it is suggested that there is no barrier to to shared care in the future, when the child is "slightly older" and the relationship is established, why can shared care not be recommended with a gradual build up to this at the child's pace?

It is written that once the child is comfortable with dad, contact should progress to unsupervised by a 3rd party, who makes that decision? How is it made? Because it can not be made by mum for all and more of the reasons stated above.

Also, the recommendation for contact in a contact centre initially, to allow a 3rd party of mum's choosing to facilitate contact until the child is settled with dad, why the need for a contact centre if there is a 3rd party? It seems unnecessary. What benefit would there be to the child, when somewhere like a soft play with a baby sensory room may be far more appropriate. Who pays for this centre given that it isn't dad needing this? How can this even be facilitated given the lack of contact centres providing anything but weekend contact. The recommendation is 3/4 times per week of short contacts. Has anyone looked in to the feasibility of this option before suggesting it? Mum has already made objections to travelling to the current centre. It took 7 weeks for the current contact to be set up. Swapping to a different centre would have similar delays.

Helpfully, my boyfriend's solicitor isn't getting back to him regarding all his questions and worries, hence my rather lengthy posts here in the hope of some helpful points or advice. Or even just some good lucks!

Oh, final question. Mum has gained legal aid (fraudulently, as far as we can gather, since dad has never been accused of DV, yet mum has - and is proven). How do we know if her solicitor is still representing her? An email was sent to them 8 days ago to which no response was recieved. The s7 report was emailed to the family court, and dad's solicitor, but hers was not copied in. He called them this morning to ask for a response to the email sent. They wouldn't confirm or deny if they were still representing her, simply stating that an email response would be sent to his solictor (thus incurring him charges when he wants a direct response from her solicitor rather than solicitor to solicitor communication, given his own solicitor is currently off, and he is struggling to speak with someone who can help him...). Any ideas on this one? And can they refuse to deal with him directly?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Cafcass S7 report arrived... extremely positive... 6 months 3 days ago #90092

Anyone? His solicitor still hasn't called back. He's called 3 times and emailed once since Tuesday morning and had nothing at all.

This isn't what he needs right now when he will only have 1 hour with his solicitor right before court on Monday.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Cafcass S7 report arrived... extremely positive... 6 months 3 days ago #90093

  • Mojo
  • Mojo's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 6825
  • Thank you received: 1487

TheDetective wrote: Having gone through the s7 with a fine toothcomb, here are some points I've made. Not necessarily to be made in court, but for discussion with his own solicitor prior.

Mum stated she wanted to supervise contact from birth to ensure the chuld had an attachment to dad prior to it being unsupervised. She remains of this view. However who supervised mum until she had a relationship and attachment? No one....

That isn't relevant I'm afraid, if responding to this it would be better to be less personal... Instead to state that you would be happy for contact to proceed in a Contact Centre short term to reestablish and develop your bond with your child.

Report states dad alleges mum physically assaulted him. The word alleges is used a lot when referring to the assult. However, the assault is proven both by admission and by the police and the fact mum attends a programme for offenders. It isn't alleged. It's a fact.

If there are any factual errors you would be best to take them up with the SW that prepared the report, point out that the incident is a matter of fact and not an allegation and ask that she amend the report to reflect that.

Mum has informed the social worker she has attended 3 sessions with the offenders programme. Yes, mum did admit to this. ONLY after lying (again) and stating there was no further action taken (this is the line she uses regularly to people involved in the case). It took dad providing the collar number of the officer dealing with the case for the SW to make further investigations, thus going back to mum who finally admits to the above. However the fact she initially lied is not included in the report. Surely this should be, as it paints a picture of mum being remorseful of her actions, when the truth is, she has downplayed it over and over.

Again, you can make this observation and ask that it be made clear that there was some reluctance on the part of the mother to admit what happened... But to be honest you might be better making that point in a statement, you don't want to come across as having any axe to grind.

Mum denies allegation by dad that she is a perpetrator of domestic violence and childrens services have no evidence to substantiate these claims. No evidence to suggest mum has been involved in such incidents previously. It could be suggested the incident was isolated, and was due to heightened emotions at the child being upset during the contact session. I have taken a direct quote from gov.yk which states that domestic violence is ANY INCIDENT or pattern of incidents of CONTROLLING, coercive or threatening behaviour in those age 16 or over who are, or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. It can encompass, but not limited to, psychological , physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse.

Reading the above, it is clear to me that mum certainly is a perpetrator of domestic violence, both using the physical assault, and the control of the child as a weapon, which has been referred to later on "it could be suggested mum is using the child as a tool to overt her power and control over contact due to her differences with dad". So why are they minimising what happened?

I understand your frustration, but it has been referred to in the report and the SW is probably trying to maintain impartiality, to you it's very personal... Try and step back, and accept that there are some things that aren't as you would like, but as you admit, on the whole it's a good and favourable report.

Additionally, it is further referred to as "the situation itself would have been distressing to both mum and dad, this distress would have been amplified for the child...". Woah! Step back, how can they suggest mum was distressed? She phyiscally attacked dad holding their daughter because she tried to end a 2 hour cobtact after 30 minutes, and dad said no. So the second dad stood up to mum, she attacks him and somehow she is a victim too?!

I don't think it's unreasonable to state that mum was distressed, that doesn't detract from the fact that she assaulted dad, but there is an element of being impartial here too do perhaps seeing the bigger picture.

It is mentioned that the child was in distress at this particular contact session. There are completely independent witnesses to this, who stated the child was initially upset and crying, however she was calming down and dad had been successful in settling her. 2 separate parents in the soft play centre came forward and stated this and handed there details over. Additionally, the entire thing is on cctv.

Another point that's better gotten across in a statement, the child is very young and it's natural that unfamiliar situations could cause distress, make the point that the child was settling down but don't get stuck on it... Concentrate on moving this forward, being child focussed and rising above a lot of the smaller stuff. I'm not downplaying what happened, but in my experience the court won't get hung up on what's going on between the parents, they want to see calm and reasonable and will focus on getting the situation progressed and some sort of schedule up and running.

My final point is surrounding the reasoning for the recommendation not to recommend shared care. It states that it is due to a lack of pre-existing relationship. The only barrier to this relationship is mum. Hence why shared care is so important. It stops the control currently used to prevent any relationship. The diary of evidence, and the evidence within the s7 report all shows mum's avoidance of contact, and lack of promoting a relationship between dad and child. Not ordering a shared care order reinforces her controlling and abusive behaviour, and in the long term, is not in the child's best interests to be prevented from any kind of loving and meaningful relationship with her father.

I think it's important to recognise that it hasn't been discounted altogether, the SW has recommended revisiting this when the child is older, I would concentrate on getting a comprehensive schedule in place, and perhaps once a final order is decided, requesting that a review hearing be set after 6 months to discuss the shared care element.

Her father has stated that he does not expect 50/50 to be immediate. That it would be a 3-6 month period of building up contact. So as it is suggested that there is no barrier to to shared care in the future, when the child is "slightly older" and the relationship is established, why can shared care not be recommended with a gradual build up to this at the child's pace?

Its highly likely that the case will take a good few months to conclude, I would suggest that you pick up on the schedule that has been recommended and develop it further to encompass a schedule of increasing contact that is thoughtful to the child's age, I refer you to my previous point about asking for a 6 month review at the final hearing.

It is written that once the child is comfortable with dad, contact should progress to unsupervised by a 3rd party, who makes that decision? How is it made? Because it can not be made by mum for all and more of the reasons stated above.

If the mum won't agree to a third party, I suggest that you think about making suggestions, the court has the power to consider and order based on the reports recommendations, they don't always go with the recommendations, but do more often than not

Also, the recommendation for contact in a contact centre initially, to allow a 3rd party of mum's choosing to facilitate contact until the child is settled with dad, why the need for a contact centre if there is a 3rd party? It seems unnecessary. What benefit would there be to the child, when somewhere like a soft play with a baby sensory room may be far more appropriate. Who pays for this centre given that it isn't dad needing this? How can this even be facilitated given the lack of contact centres providing anything but weekend contact. The recommendation is 3/4 times per week of short contacts. Has anyone looked in to the feasibility of this option before suggesting it? Mum has already made objections to travelling to the current centre. It took 7 weeks for the current contact to be set up. Swapping to a different centre would have similar delays.

Contact Centres can be extremely helpful, it can provide a breathing space and if supervised contact is ordered a report will be made by a centre support worker, these reports carry weight in court, although from your previous post, they seem to be suggesting supported contact within the CC. It's usually the applicant parent that will pay for using the CC and it is usually weekend contact, it might be that the court will order the weekend contact at the CC initially between hearings, in preparation for a progression out of the CC after a few sessions. I would certain ly suggest that you bring up,the points you e made about the limitations of the CC in respect of what the SW has recommended.

Helpfully, my boyfriend's solicitor isn't getting back to him regarding all his questions and worries, hence my rather lengthy posts here in the hope of some helpful points or advice. Or even just some good lucks!

Its probably better to try and do your own research, each time a solicitor time is used, it means a bigger bill!

Oh, final question. Mum has gained legal aid (fraudulently, as far as we can gather, since dad has never been accused of DV, yet mum has - and is proven). How do we know if her solicitor is still representing her? An email was sent to them 8 days ago to which no response was recieved. The s7 report was emailed to the family court, and dad's solicitor, but hers was not copied in. He called them this morning to ask for a response to the email sent. They wouldn't confirm or deny if they were still representing her, simply stating that an email response would be sent to his solictor (thus incurring him charges when he wants a direct response from her solicitor rather than solicitor to solicitor communication, given his own solicitor is currently off, and he is struggling to speak with someone who can help him...). Any ideas on this one? And can they refuse to deal with him directly?


If dad has a solicitor then they can refuse to deal directly with him... The court should be able to tell you if she is represented and if you think she has been granted legal aid fraudulently, you can contact the legal aid board directly and ask for them to look into it.

I hope this helps. :)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

DadTalk Moderator

Not legally trained... just plenty of experience and common sense!
Last Edit: by Mojo.
  • Page:
  • 1