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child abuse allegations..

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if 17 pages of serious allegations of child abuse isnt enough evidence.. maybe someone here can help us understand what is it the court needs in way of evidence? the longer this woman cares for these children the more at risk they are..

I apologise for the long read ahead..

my partner and his ex are going through court to determine the care arrangements for their children. recently they attended a hearing which the magistrate made interim orders and gave directions that the mother have a mental health assessment completed. the magistrate was concerned the mother has depression as her other (older) child often reports to school teachers that the mother does not get out of bed, she is always crying etc. department of child safety has reported case notes where during visits the mother appears unclean and dressed in stained bathrobe. mothers doctor recorded opinions that the mother would not cope with young children. over the last months since the hearing my partner and i have observed the mothers level of care towards his children - they not dressed properly (usually in clothes that are 2 or 3 sizes too big) sometimes without warm clothes even in cold and raining weather, arriving at changeovers not wearing underwear, it seems the children do not get washed regularly (they have strong odor and hair is always knotted and filled with lice). the mothers treatment towards the children is less than loving, almost never saying hello/goodbye or i love you, doesnt show any affection towards the children and constantly upsets the older child (only 4 years old) when s/he says s/he wants to stay with the father, the mother snaps at the child.. our concerns have been reported to child safety at it seems that unless one of the children are at risk of 'immediate danger' they cannot do anything to assit my partner to gain primary care.

the department investigated the mother in 2010 after a number of complaints from neighbours describing verbal abuse (name calling, screaming etc) she directs at her children, also stating that she would leave her home in the evening for lengthy periods of time leaving the children (including a todler) at home without adult supervision, and reporting 2 incidents where the todler was almost run over by a car (one occasion where the mother nearly hit the child when reversing her car out of the driveway and the other occasion where the mother allowed the todler to play on the road supervised by another child, 7 years old). more complaints have been made about this woman by the principal of the primary school her older children were enrolled prior to this year. the subpoenaed material of child safety records total pages was 17 and yet a CSO cannot come to view our home because the department refuses to 'compare' the level of care the children receive in different households.

all previous family reports have failed to mention these complaints so it is uncertain how much weight the child safety records will be given by the court (if any).. and the children are expected to continue living this way until enough evidence can be gathered to demonstrate the mother is unfit to care for the children. if the mental health assessment suggests the mother is capable of caring for the children and 17 pages of serious allegations of child abuse isnt enough evidence.. maybe someone here can help us understand what is it the court needs in way of evidence? the longer this woman cares for these children the more at risk they are..
Any person can make a serious allegation ( anonymously ), some jobs you are required to ( mandatory reporting), many allegations prove to be ex partners, new ex partner, friends etc. Child services must examine what they are told and make a decision on that, allegations are just that, they are not evidence and they are not always well founded.

Why would anyone need to compare your houses, it is not a competition?
Guest, I think your comment is really inappropriate.

Love-n-trust… I am fully familiar with the situation that you are in. I, as a step-father, has, on advice by a solicitor, reported potential sexual misconduct to child safety, involving the father of my step-daughter. After a few weeks I followed up and got told they cannot tell me whether the case was investigated or not. Just this morning, after having spent the weekend with her father, my step daughter told me that she showered with her father and that she touched his "bum bum". Bum bum is front or back. My wife spesifically, during mediation, asked him (the biological father) to not shower or bath with their daughter as she is now of an age where she can bath herself and her privacy needs to be respected. A person would expect that these allegations would be considered serious by Child Safety. We now have an appointment with a solicitor next week to discuss the next steps.
A four year olds privacy needs to be respected ? hilarious. A four year old is not old enough to bath entirely alone. I recall a doctor on a witness stand talking about injuries recieved entering and leaving baths which can happen at any age and I recall a four year old that after two minutes alone-fell asleep. You need to keep a check on children.
There is a difference between family matters and child safety matters, if the department has been notified of safety concerns they are required to investigate, that said they have the primary interests of the children as their main brief and they will firstly work with the mum to help her develop the skills she requires. Maternal depression would likely see the family unit receiving some intervention and they will strive ( unless there is significant abuse) to maintain the family unit. Those interventions are not likely to be made available to family law matters. What is likely to occur is the children will only be removed from her care if she refuses to comply with their requests and the children are in imminent danger, should this be the case they will consider kith/ kin placements as their first option and that would include the dad. The kids and their mum should not be punished if mum is unwell. I agree with the comments made regarding bathing with a four year old ( shared bath time in our house with preschoolers was always a joy for parent and child. Children should not be left unattended in a bath and try reading the stats on how many toddlers drown in nappy buckets etc if you think it is safe to respect a four year olds privacy by leaving them in the tub alone. Love.n.trust it sounds like you are in a bad situation, is it worth trying to work with the mum in a way that reassures her you are not trying to take her children from her ( unless you are). Sadly the comments made about spurious notifications to child protection is very true and the bad side of that is that they end up wasting posts of time investigating complaints that are not genuine, not suggesting that is so in your case. Hope it gets sorted out for you
Unfortunately love n trust I know your situation all too well.
The reason why the Cso won't "compare" the two homes is because most people display their "best behaviour" when being watched.
Say you knew the Queen was coming to visit, would you not ensure your home was spic and span and the best high tea had been prepared? Same in this sort of scenario.
It's great that you have subpoaened all of the allegations and complaints made about the other party, the problem is that they are simply that, allegations and complaints. Nothing is convicted or charged with. That's the problem.
If the judge has accepted this material in to evidence then the judge can decide whether or not the mother is providing a safe and loving environment for the children, however, if its a matter of "Mum is just sick and needs help." I'm not sure how good of a shot you have.
It sucks to be in your position as my partner and I know it all too well.
But I would hate to think that someone would want to just take my kids away from me because of a terrible chemical imbalance in my brain that makes it difficult for me to get out of bed each day.
I would if I were you make sure you have a diary of every change over, how Mum was toward the kids toward you guys. Perhaps the kids might of said something in the car ride like "I don't like being there because………"
I'm not saying question or lead your children, but asking a child how their day was, or "Is mum o.k? She seems upset" etc those coversations can be diarised and that is evidence. I would also take photos of the kids after each change over because that then gives you proof of what they wear etc and add it to each diary entry.  
A diary can be submitted as evidence.
That's about all the help I am, I wish you all the very best.     

Are You sick? "hilarious"

Guest said
A four year olds privacy needs to be respected ? hilarious. A four year old is not old enough to bath entirely alone. I recall a doctor on a witness stand talking about injuries recieved entering and leaving baths which can happen at any age and I recall a four year old that after two minutes alone-fell asleep. You need to keep a check on children.
 
No adult should be in the same bath water as a child washing or bathing as you so call it. And lets make this clear a parent of eigther agenda who is supervising or assisting in a child taking a bath one would sincerely hope that as a parent they respect those boundaries as a protective parent "let no harm come to their children".
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