WA Abuse by Mother Substantiated by Child Protection - What to Do?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Madagascar Madness, 16 April 2018.

  1. Madagascar Madness

    Madagascar Madness Well-Known Member

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    My granddaughter was removed by Child Protection and Family Support after allegations of child abuse whilst in the mother's care. This was serious abuse resulting in the then 14-month-old having 5 fractures, including a compression fracture to her vertebrae.

    My son and his ex partner had been separated 7 months. Now nearly a year.

    The 10-year relationship had elements of family violence but always fueled by alcohol and always both were responsible. It was not consistent and only happened when drinking was excessive. The mother left the 7-year-old boy in her father's care stating it was best for him and there was shared care of the then 8-month-old.

    Now that the abuse has come to light, the mother has cleaned up her act ( marijuana) and my son has also stopped using it. She has returned a clean urinalysis while my son's levels are still coming down.

    She is now trying to recover the kids, even though she has agreed to orders that the children remain with the father, and she is also on supervised contact - 1 hour per week... On the fact that my son returned a positive urinalysis, I remember he has stopped using.

    Child protection substantiated the abuse to us last Thursday, but the mother will only be informed this week. The mother is now trying to play the victim.

    Child protection says it has no child protection concerns with my son or our family. My son and his children live on my property and always have.

    Would a family court return children to a parent that has substantiated serious child abuse against them (also lives with a drug dealer) over a parent who is doing all the right things including working going to university and sorting his rec drug use?
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Both kids have the same father, that being your son? Is that right?
     
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  3. Madagascar Madness

    Madagascar Madness Well-Known Member

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    Yes both are his
     
  4. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Okay.

    When determining parenting matters, the children's best interests are paramount, meaning the Court can only make orders that it deems to be in the children's best interests.

    Section 60CC of the Family Law Act outlines what the Court considers when deciding a child's best interests. There are two primary considerations, and about 12 secondary considerations. The primary considerations are:

    1. The benefit to the children of having a relationship with both parents; and
    2. The need to protect the children from the risk of harm caused by abuse, neglect or family violence.​

    When push comes to shove, the latter takes precendce over the former, and FYI, if the Court decides that both parents pose an unacceptable risk of harm to the kids, it may place said kids with neither of them. This isn't a possibility that seems to have been raised in your question, but I wanted to point out the option in case it hadn't come to mind previously.

    Now, what you have here is two 'linchpins' of evidence - the drug use issue, and the child abuse issue. They'll be considered separately in terms of risk because one doesn't negate the other. That is, a risk of harm caused by abuse does not disappear just because someone has stopped smoking weed. Indeed, the cessation of drug use is not really a 'medical treatment' for the kind of mental health issues that might lead a parent to abuse their child.

    I can't predict with accuracy what the Court would rule about either issue, but trends suggest that if mum is only seeing the kids for an hour a week in supervised conditions and CPS has determined that the child abuse claims are substantiated, there's a very good chance that's going to constitute an unacceptable risk of harm to the kids, such that the Court wouldn't rule that it's in their best interests for the children to again live with their mother.

    As for marijuana, I've seen many a weed-smoking parent get primary residency of their kids. In the greater scheme of things, marijuana is at the lower spectrum of danger for illicit drugs. Provided it's never resulted in dad posing a risk to the children, it's probably not going to have a terribly persuasive impact on the outcome, particularly if your son and his kids are living in a residence where he has your support in providing safe, secure care for his kids.
     
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  5. Madagascar Madness

    Madagascar Madness Well-Known Member

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    Well that makes me feel a tad better...

    I have also made application to intervene in the proceedings and that will be heard on Monday 23. So I guess that addresses the neither parent part.

    The relationship was s**t...elements of family violence on both parts, but they were both good parents until she for some reason decided to abuse the child.

    There is an ICL as well.

    The mother is painting my son as some monster - in her affidavit it was 32 points on how crap my son is. And 4 addressing the abuse of her daughter.

    My son's only addressed the child abuse.

    Police, hospital child abuse unit and child protection have all said balance of probabilities make her responsible. Police did not have enough beyond reasonable doubt to charge her but said they were 90% of the way there.

    It’s been awful... and all we want is the children safe.

    Her lawyer did not know of the substantiation of abuse when she said was going to make a recovery order. I would assume that knowledge may change her game plan.
     
  6. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    I think it is a good move on your part to intervene on proceedings as a respondent. What orders will you be seeking?

    Don't put too much weight in what the mother has said about the father yet. The judge will be no stranger to the games parents play in parenting matters, and mud-slinging is the most common.
     
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  7. Madagascar Madness

    Madagascar Madness Well-Known Member

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    Just to be given leave to intervene, mother to bear costs and access to all information.

    Yeah it’s hard not to.. she’s being pretty vile. But that’s her way. I figure her back to the wall and she’s come out swinging.

    And the lawyer is only working on what she has told them. So I guess once she has all the info her game plan might change.



     
  8. Madagascar Madness

    Madagascar Madness Well-Known Member

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    [also... the mother consented to the orders currently in place- how can she suddenly now go .. oh he’s an axe murderer?

    ...even though she abandoned her child ( 7 year old) and never made a mention of any concerns prior to her being found out for abuse!







    QUOTE="Dana whiteley, post: 60530, member: 19817"]Just to be given leave to intervene, mother to bear costs and access to all information.

    Yeah it’s hard not to.. she’s being pretty vile. But that’s her way. I figure her back to the wall and she’s come out swinging.

    And the lawyer is only working on what she has told them. So I guess once she has all the info her game plan might change.[/QUOTE]
     
  9. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Are the current orders final by consent, or are they interim orders agreed to while proceedings are on foot?
     
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  10. Madagascar Madness

    Madagascar Madness Well-Known Member

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    [they are interim orders...
    All consented to.



    QUOTE="AllForHer, post: 60547, member: 1366"]Are the current orders final by consent, or are they interim orders agreed to while proceedings are on foot?[/QUOTE]
     
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