Protecting your family against Social Services

.

 

Prevent

Intervention Now!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I have to let Social Workers into my house?

 

No, a social worker has no rights or authority to enter your property. It is a good idea to let them in if they are making visits to your children, as under the Children Act 1989 they have the right to take emergency measures if they cannot see a child about whom they have concerns.

 

2. Will I break the law if I record interactions with social workers?

 

No, you are entitled to record your interactions. Recording by a person for their own use, does not breach any criminal or civil legislation and in fact such is specifically exempted from the Data Protection Act, (as opposed to an organisation which is required to follow the act).

 

3. I have just seen the social workers report on our family – it is full of lies and inaccuracies what can I do?

 

Write a response to the report. Highlight the inaccuracies and lies and counter them with any evidence you have. Recordings can be very handy here as you can make reference to them and that you are happy to provide copies. Combine your responses into a complaint letter addressed to the Director of Children's Services/Senior Social Worker, the social worker who wrote the report and head the letter LEVEL 1 Complaint Section 26– Children's Act 1989.  If the report is for a forthcoming conference or meeting send it to the Chair of the meeting and ask for it to be distributed to all attendees. You can also report the social worker to the HCPC (UK) / CORU (Ireland) regarding their fitness to practice.

 

4. How do I find out what information social services have about my family?

 

Make a subject access request under section 7 (UK) Sections 4 and 8 (Ireland) of the Data Protection Act utilisng a simple template letter which we can email to you - just contact us. They have 40 days (that's days, not working days) to send you the material.  

 

5. The social worker says I need a solicitor and has given me a list should I just choose one off the list?

 

The short answer is no. The solicitors on the Local Authority list are usually also used by the Local Authority on lucrative contracts, earning far more representing the local authority than the minimal sums they get from legal aid representing you. It is not in their interests to 'upset' the local Authority by fighting hard for parents. They could lose their contract. Choose a solicitor out of the area if you do choose to use one.

 

6. I am pregnant and I fear that my baby will be taken at birth, should I flee the country?

 

We don't encourage anyone to flee but if you are considering this an option then see our sections on Pregnancy and Fight or Flight.

 

7. Am I allowed to talk to people about my case?

 

Yes you are - the Children's Act 2004 gives you the right to do so as long as you do not reveal the child's identity etc to the press/media or to the public at large.

 

8. Am I entitled to Legal Aid?

 

Legal Aid is available but not until the Local Authority/Child and Family Agency (Ireland) actually begin Child Care Proceedings. Anything outside of this will have to be paid for by the parents.

 

9. Can your Lay Advocates help on a private law case – I am having issues with my ex and contact with my daughter?

 

Yes our lay advocates are experienced in private law cases from access issues to Brussels II/Hague Convention cases.

 

Copyright 2015 P.I.N.