Q: Hi. I’d like some advice please. My daughter and her boyfriend split up a [...]
Ask Jackie: grandchildren’s dad won’t return themCreated by Jackie Highe in Ask Jackie, No contact
Q: Hi Jackie. I have just come across your website, I have two grandchildren that live with there father full time, they went to live with him approx 2 months ago, they were there for what suppose to be a weekend visit, but has not or will not return the children. There is a social worker involved who is happy for the children to stay there as they feel that mum is a risk and the children are under section 20, although my daughter has not signed or agreed to any of this arrangement. She wants them back, but she was told that she could not remove the children from dad’s care as she would be arrested, however this has only been stated verbally – nothing has been written down or documented.
I would also like contact with my grandchildren but I don’t know how I would go about doing this. Please if you have any advice, support or guidance it would be great. Many thanks.
A: I think your daughter needs legal advice here, Katy. Certainly if social services feel that that a child is at risk then they are obliged by law to act to protect that child – and they can act instantly if they feel the circumstances warrant it. But from the way you describe this it was your grandchildren’s father who took the initiative, and the social worker went along with it.
I don’t obviously have all the details, but there are definitely questions to be asked – for example whether the social worker knew the visit was only supposed to be for a weekend – and whether she intended all along to let their father prevent them from going home.
Start with the Citizens Advice Bureau – the number an will be in your local phone book. Or go online – just tap in Citizens Advice Bureau and you’ll find the ways to contact your local branch. Or your library will have details.
They’ll give your daughter advice on the law and what her next step could be – and show her how to find a solicitor who is expert in family law.