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My Children Have Been Taken Into Care - What Are my Legal Rights?

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 11 Nov 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
Parental Rights Family Law Law And

Q.

My children have been taken into care, Social Services have said it is respite care and that they are not on any register. I was asked to sign some paper work but was not given a copy.

My children were extremely upset at the time and the social worker thought it best to just leave. Social Services will not disclose the location of my very young family.

What are my legal rights?
(Mr PJ, 11 September 2008)

A.

Unfortunately, the law is on the side of Social Services if you have signed some paperwork. It is likely that the paperwork you signed was an order issued by the Family Proceedings Court giving Social Services temporary custody of your children. However, they are not the wards of Social Services but are wards of your Local Authority.

Initially, what should have happened was Social Services should have applied for an Emergency Order to have the children taken into care, and then they will have had to go back to Family Proceedings Court to get a care order. You should have been made aware of this from the outset so that you could have voiced your objections or petitioned the Family Proceedings Court to return a different ruling.

Once the children have been removed from your care and been placed in the care of the Local Authority, Social Services are not obliged – by law – to give you details of your children’s whereabouts for their own safety, even though from your point of view the children are perfectly safe in your presence. This is designed to protect not only the children but the identity of any Foster Parents the children may be placed with, however temporary.

Your first point of recourse should be Social Services, especially if you were not provided with copies of all relevant paperwork. In any instance of taking children into custody, you should be provided with copies of all orders issued or affected so that you are fully aware of your legal standing. Social services should give you exact details of why the children were removed from your care and qualify what exactly they mean by respite care. They should also be giving you details of any Family Proceedings Court hearings that are due to take place.

It is best to seek representation from a solicitor who specialises in family law and ask them to act as a mediator between you and your Local Authority. They will also be able to obtain copies of all orders and documentation relating to your case and clarify what you signed and what you agreed to.

He or she may also be able to petition the Family Proceedings Court for a hearing that clarifies everyone’s position in the matter and may also bring about a scenario where visits – albeit supervised ones – can be arranged.

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My boys were taken from the school they are 8year and 6years old, on the 5 November 2019. After returning home just months ago from when they were taken before, i was given section 20 to sign i refused, i was sent out of the school building while my boys saw me leave makes it so much painful but am glad they understand becos its not there first encounter, it is because of a slap on my 6 year old cheeks, who ran off away from me i was so was trying to tell him off its dangerous better to stay by mummy so you will be save from harm, n now they taken its 6 days i could not see them n the social worker won't even pick my calls, but the school safeguarding team do answer my calls n tell that they fine, am coping with the pain but the most powerful weapon here is prayers and patience
67 - 11-Nov-19 @ 5:00 PM
My 2 sons aged 3 and 11 months have been placed in a foster placement because my childs dad came round and shouted at me. They are trying to say my children have been caused significant harm thro witnessing domestic violence but they havent and they are trying to bring up previous drug use but I've been clean 3 years. I have had no help being treated like a criminal not a victim of DVA and have been left to try and work everything out by myself. I just want my bits back I've missed my 3 years old birthday and will miss my babys 1st if it carry on after the 28th november. I'm broken please help me I dont know who there is to help??
Nicnic - 5-Nov-19 @ 12:47 AM
My daughter was taken of me and my husband by social work she was placed with two different families as they weren’t working then Sw got a permanence order and I lost my parental rights but was granted visits every 3months and she was moved to Edinburgh from Greenock for two years never missed a visit then that placement has broken down and she’s now back in Greenock in a resatencial kids unit she’s been there 8 month social work haven’t been to court yet to change her addres and who now holds parental rights but now the Sw is moving my daughter again to the top of Scotland to another unit and she will be moved in next 2days he told me this over a phone call surely all these placements that keep breaking down can’t be good for her and can I take Sw to court as I’ve been the only consistent person in her life the sworker doesn’t like me and I feel he’s doing things not in the best interest of the child I need help
Port - 22-Oct-19 @ 10:45 PM
reading these messages makes me deeply sad, my little brother was taken into care 3 years ago, 12 with autism, they say working with social services will help you, but trust me it doesn't, it's hard very hard but in every county and borough, they are corrupt, advice would be start saving for a very good lawer and never ever let them forget who the real parents are to your children, they want you to give up so it's easier for them, they'll make it as hard as they can for you, DON'T GIVE UP. my family never will, we see him 6 times a year, still fighting
Louise - 23-Jun-19 @ 5:49 PM
My son was born with a congenital defect( Talipes Equinovarus) and had to have both achilles tendons cut(twice one foot, once the other) to help straighten his feet. I had my benefits cut to just £55 a wk because an "authority figure" called the dwp to say that my son was'nt in my care and I was left to fend for not just him and me, but my daughter who also has a heart condition. This made it nigh on impossible to both feed us, and to make all his necessary hospital appointments and as a consequence the "anti-social work" then took my son and placed him in care to "help" me cope. This has caused me severe mental health problems, and I have no idea what to do, nor who to turn to. Please help me as I don't know what to do.
Loulou - 18-Jun-19 @ 4:03 PM
Social services are all corrupt most lawyers work with the local authorities and when they offer you a guardian 9x out of 10 they are also on the pay role of the local authorities. Do not trust any of them one way or another they they will take your children because each child they put into care is an extra bit of cash in there pay packet. To us they are are children to them they are £ signs.
S4m1i - 28-May-19 @ 3:32 AM
Can anyone help me? I have 2 children on an sgo ( special guardianship order,) I now have 2 more children whom live with me but the sgos have stopped the contact with me and my boys can i call the police?? As I have hf pr and there's a court order saying I have rights for contsct please if someone can help me
Savage - 20-May-19 @ 2:48 PM
Hi my boyfriend had his kids taken away from him due to his ex partner taking drugs even though he was in a fit state to parent his kids. Few months later she died. His kids was taken by social services and he is urgently trying to get them back what can he do to get them back into his care and find out where they are.
Amy - 2-May-19 @ 7:45 AM
My son was 4 weeks old when my husband had a break down while holding our son who then showed bruises I called my enhanced midwife but no answer the next day I asked myparental nurse what to do as while I was pregnant I wasdiagnosed with PND but instead of rejecting my son I was so paranoid he would stop breathing or be taken away of course I took him to hospital but it was too late ss came and took my son I have done everything they ask even left my husband but I keep getting messed around like getting told I can take pictures but then I can to then I can then it’s yes you can take your son out with the contact woman to now you can’t but she tells these things to my aunt and uncle but not me she tells me I’m a good mum and she l knows I would never hurt my son but still is messing me around I feel like I have no rights and have been told that I still need to take Parentassessments and do parent classes in order to get him back yes I have depression andanxietyIssues but that’s no reason to keep my son away from me as most mums have these and still have there baby’s I just need some advice as mysolicitors and barrister are not help at all I’m missing all my sons firsts and I have a mentally unstable husband who they are refusing to help yes he hurt or son but I know him he would never hurt anyone or anything when his in the right frame of mind but he is no longer him and that scares me I just want him to be helped with or without me and I just want my little boy home to me even without his dad can anyone help me ?
Louise Smith - 23-Apr-19 @ 12:46 AM
My child was taken away 3 days ago after she told school i was hitting her. On the morning she told the school about the"hitting" i caught her lying again. Very frustrated as it wasn't the first neither the fifth. I was very crossed with her. Lots of shooting but definitely no snacking happened that morning. Previous smacking was for discipline, i was raised that way too.its our culture. But she added a lot of lies that made me look like monster, uncaring and abuser. Cut the story short.. Social services is not that helpful at all. She said she will do her best so that we can be back together but my gut saying not. She kept changing her stories. Yesterday she told me to go the doctor and she will phone me lunchtime. Lunchtime came, no phone call.And when we meet up in the afternoon,her first word was why didnt you phone me, i was waiting for you. I was shock bec she told me she was the one who will contact me at lunchtime. Anyway another incident. I asked if i can see my child. She said no. I asked if i could speak to my child. She said she will ask my child first tom. I then said to her if i can call my friend(whos is looking after my child) and ask if my child is ok with that, ss said yes. And this morning she told me i shouldnt had made contact!!! Wtf !!! I told her that i asked her permission and yet she was denying that . I was straight forward to her and said that from the very start i was compliant to whatever she asked me to do and will not do anything to comprise the situation. She backdown then.Im in turmoil now. At the beginning she said my child can come when she said she wants too. I spoke to her lastnihght and was asking me to take her home. Told ss about that and know she tell thats not the case. Have to finish all assessment and whatever is needed before they can see if she can come back. Three daysand I'm so close to nervous breakdown. I don't think i can go forever with this drama. Its breaking my heart. This experience will forever haunt our life Im telling you all. Its gonna scar us permanently. I don't what lies ahead but I'm praying it too be a good one
Jen - 4-Apr-19 @ 11:02 AM
My grandchildren have been wrongly taken into care and have been placed for adoption,not even a supervision order,none of us have criminal records,never took drugs,don't drink etc. They took them through my daughter going through a violent relationship last year in May 2018 and she has learning difficulties and adhd,bipolar and they have treated her like a criminal with no support nothing.we want them kids back before they go to strangers and we loose them forever.
Maz - 29-Mar-19 @ 10:44 PM
Social services taking my son away from me
Mark - 28-Mar-19 @ 8:49 PM
I will like to know what I can so to get them backif got any thing to ask me you can 07706175268 if you can help me
Ilovepaul - 10-Mar-19 @ 1:45 PM
my son got taken away from me over year and a half ago i was a good mum yes i took drugs but my son was never in danger he never seen me on drugs ive been clean for 1 year now go to all meeting ive a loving family my mum watched my son for me when i needed to take drugs then one day i woke up and said to myself ive had enough i want to be the best mum ever so i went to get help to stay off drugs so i done this then socialworkers got involved and took my son away from me to stay with his other grandmai havent heard from them over six months so i phoned them and she said i wouldnt be getting my son back what can i do to get my son back i go to contact centre every week to see him and he wants back home but social worker has told me he hasnt a say ive done everything they have asked me to do this is getting me down but i miss him so much am clean from herion my house is clean my boy never went without anything never off school always good school reports please help me
deano - 15-Feb-19 @ 12:22 PM
My wife at the time was a VICTIM ofDr Marietta Higgsas in newspaper story who was guilty of taking children from families accused of abuse ,found to be wrong in 99% of cases ,my wife was a child of 12 at the time ,for some reason social services believe the abused become abusers (WRONG)but there must be a marker some where ! as every child has been removed ,mostly by filthy tricks by so called Professionals ,they love to call themselves or we are the Government ,they don't like it when you tell them they are public servants .I was stepdad to a happy lovely little boy,who used to light up when i came home from work I had a good job well paid and new company car ,Until a social worker turned up at my home while i was at work,my wife phoned me on my company phone she was Screaming and crying because the social work had turned up with the POLICE ,the officer refused to take him his comment was he does not look NEGLECTED to me ,social worker came onto the phone and said i need your permission to take(-------)I replied get out of my house.,I was on a day of workout visiting my customers with my sales Director at the time ,he heard everything that was happening at home ,he said it was not good for business, I told him where to stick his job .My wife and i decided she should change area ,I lived alone but kept in touch daily ,she started another relationship ,but was being beaten, so i got her out of it . I found a new home ,spent a fortune on making it nice ,we had just got settled in ,Knock at the door another social worker ,this was the mother of all that was EVIL ,my son loved having his breakfast with me after i finished work (17 hr night shift) as a security guard ,she walked in lent over the table and lifted my son from his babychair in the middle of his breakfast ,this really got up my nose .Next visit by her she noticed a tiny mark on his cheek ,not a bruise ,no broken skin,less than 1/4 inch blemish ,nothing to worry about .It happened as he was just finding his feet and could walk around furniture for support ,he was in his playroom/bedroom ,safety gate on the doorway ,mum was in the bath both doors open and she was less than 8 feet from him ,I came home calling his name as i climbed the stairs,he pulled himself up but was more interested in looking at daddy than watching what he was doing that's how the mark came about. Time to go to work at 17-00 , at 19-00 my wife phoned me at work saying that the social worker had taken her and my son to the local Hospital its well known as MISTAKE LANE ,real name Rake Lane ,she said they are giving him a full body check ,I said what the F--- is going on,this Asian male voice came on saying his ANUS is dark,you should look after your little boy ,I could hear a nurse in the background telling him to watch what he was saying. Next day i was in bed during the day ,unknown to me she had asked my wife to meet her at the local Community center ,she was there with 2 female Police officers
corsican - 15-Nov-18 @ 5:59 PM
Hi yes I'm a mother of 3 a boy that's now 10 and I have 2 daughters and would like to get my baby's back because they taken my kids away for nothing just because someone says I was selling drugs and they don't have proof of anything I've raised my baby's since my son was 3 and daughter was 2 and now I've raised my baby girl since she was born she never left my side I totally hate babysitter's I could never leave her so please I would like to get my baby's back asap mommy loves you my baby's
Genevieve - 31-Oct-18 @ 2:30 PM
My baby's. - Your Question:
My children was made subject to a care order in may 2018. Me and dad are devastated as you can imagine. It started as lack of appointments and bad routine as my second son was born with a blocked airway. which was missed at birth and led to him having a tracheostomy at 3 months. We was blamed by the NHS and social services for this. Even though we took the right routes and was ignored until it was to late! However the backlash from this made it impossible to move on and led me and dad into quite a rubbish place. We was hounded by social care whilst trying to look after our son and our disabled baby. bugged at daft o clock in the morning. told how to look after him when they their selves wouldn't have had a clue if they was put in that situation. And given awful advice. As the saying goes 'too many cooks' my sons and me and dad are desperate to so anything in our power to get them home. We just have no idea where to start. We have tried to speak to the local authority who are adiment on finding a family. Any advice would be massively apriciated

Our Response:
You could try the family rights group
LawAndParents - 18-Sep-18 @ 2:28 PM
My children was made subject to a care order in may 2018. Me and dad are devastated as you can imagine. It started as lack of appointments and bad routine as my second son was born with a blocked airway.. which was missed at birth and led to him having a tracheostomy at 3 months. We was blamed by the NHS and social services for this. Even though we took the right routes and was ignored until it was to late! However the backlash from this made it impossible to move on and led me and dad into quite a rubbish place. We was hounded by social care whilst trying to look after our son and our disabled baby.. bugged at daft o clock in the morning .. told how to look after him when they their selves wouldn't have had a clue if they was put in that situation. And given awful advice. As the saying goes 'too many cooks' my sons and me and dad are desperate to so anything in our power to get them home. We just have no idea where to start. We have tried to speak to the local authority who are adiment on finding a family. Any advice would be massively apriciated
My baby's. - 17-Sep-18 @ 4:39 AM
Hi my kids went in jan 12 18 and I wonderinghow to get them bk can some one tellme there on care order
Sara - 3-Sep-18 @ 9:30 PM
I have had my grandchild living with me from birth for the last 5mths up until yesterday when social services took her away from how family home leave us all in bit this most be wrong any advice out there for me please
Nic39 - 7-Aug-18 @ 4:39 PM
Hi my kids have gone to foster care on the 12 January and I just want them home but they say I have leaning disability and low iq61 and high neglect and lack of appointment s to am really so stressed with out them it getting me down and need to no more how to get them bk quick way
Bitch - 6-Aug-18 @ 10:37 PM
Ctree- Your Question:
I left an abusive relationship with my four children. The following year my new boyfriend relapsed and hit me, he plead guilty as he was disgusted with himself and was remanded to prison for months until given his suspended sentence and probation. I was still going through court proceedings with my exhusband and under incredible amounts of stress I went into premature labour and had to hold my little girl for the short hours she lived as the hospital would not give her oxygen. I broke down completely. I had been begging social services for help and they were useless, as my partner and I were grieving the loss of our little girl together my children were removed 4days following the funeral. I had been a full time mum for over 11yrs, my daughters were my life and my health plummeted from the depression that came with losing them. I had agreed for them to go under special guardianship of their grandparents but as crown court is perusing a charge of coercive control against their son which I am supporting they will not even allow me to speak to them on the phone and social services is only giving me contact once a month. My girls don’t understand why and beg to see me more and it breaks my heart. I don’t know what to do. My exhusband now has unlimited contact with them as they are with his parents and I don’t want anyone else taken from them but I don’t want to lose my children. When I asked why I could only see them once a month I was told this was because they miss me too much and it is hard on them when they see me and can’t come home, surely this means I should see them more and not less. Please advise me in any way possible. I feel as if my vital organs have been ripped away. My children were my life and every day without them my heart breaks. Two of them are disabled, one high functioning and the other low functioning, tremendous amounts of support has been put in place for them while I had none. If I had been abusive, if I was some kind of addict or if I had just been a horrible mother I could understand but I had the happiest children that I put everything into so I just can’t accept this. We kept chickens, we grew our own fruit and veg, went to the theatre, camped, I volunteered at school and playgroups, I was who everyone considered the model mum so none of my friends can wrap their heads around it either.

Our Response:
It might be worth talking to an organisation that can offer you individual support such as Family Lives or Family Rights Group
LawAndParents - 6-Aug-18 @ 2:36 PM
I left an abusive relationship with my four children. The following year my new boyfriend relapsed and hit me, he plead guilty as he was disgusted with himself and was remanded to prison for months until given his suspended sentence and probation. I was still going through court proceedings with my exhusband and under incredible amounts of stress I went into premature labour and had to hold my little girl for the short hours she lived as the hospital would not give her oxygen. I broke down completely. I had been begging social services for help and they were useless, as my partner and I were grieving the loss of our little girl together my children were removed 4days following the funeral. I had been a full time mum for over 11yrs, my daughters were my life and my health plummeted from the depression that came with losing them. I had agreed for them to go under special guardianship of their grandparents but as crown court is perusing a charge of coercive control against their son which I am supporting they will not even allow me to speak to them on the phone and social services is only giving me contact once a month. My girls don’t understand why and beg to see me more and it breaks my heart. I don’t know what to do. My exhusband now has unlimited contact with them as they are with his parents and I don’t want anyone else taken from them but I don’t want to lose my children. When I asked why I could only see them once a month I was told this was because they miss me too much and it is hard on them when they see me and can’t come home, surely this means I should see them more and not less. Please advise me in any way possible. I feel as if my vital organs have been ripped away. My children were my life and every day without them my heart breaks. Two of them are disabled, one high functioning and the other low functioning, tremendous amounts of support has been put in place for them while I had none. If I had been abusive, if I was some kind of addict or if I had just been a horrible mother I could understand but I had the happiest children that I put everything into so I just can’t accept this. We kept chickens, we grew our own fruit and veg, went to the theatre, camped, I volunteered at school and playgroups, I was who everyone considered the model mum so none of my friends can wrap their heads around it either.
Ctree - 4-Aug-18 @ 3:19 PM
My son was care order placement with parents.everything was good I was getting good reports on my parenting we was waitron for court date for care order to end. But 2 weeks before xmas my sister went of rails an social worker asks me if ide look after em till holidays finished. January came. Next thing there social worker came to visit asks me in front of the kids can they stay with me I couldn't believe it I really wanted to say no. But how could I. The family stops talking to em coz they moved in with there mum there dad didn't talk to em there mum rejected em 2 weeks for xmas there big brown eyes lookin at me to help em so sadly I said yes in front of them they had problems they'd made lot allegations bout brother father my sister partner so I asked social worker to say I wasn't allowed to have them. Coz my son was care order she promised me my son would b okay. Sadly the eldest made serious allegations bout me although I did mess up that night I took drugs but still that's dose not mean I was guilty of what I'd bin accused of anyway police came took girls away including my son I was treated guilty straight away I don't no what happened to innocent till proven guilty anyway my social worker said to me sign contact saying I'll stay away from my family home till police finished there investigation I didn't want to sign it straight away but she made me think if I don't sign my son wid stay foster care if I sign now my son can come home now stay with his dad she said she'd have him home weekend this did not happen she also said in front of witnesses they'd help me get some were else to live she did not so I lost my son my home my partner in 1 night also police took to long 18 months it took to prove I was innocent what gets me the fact she made me holmeless with no were to go no help now they taken my child from his dad he's been getting good reports he gets new social worker new managers she never came every month like she was suppose to gave him no support just takes my child from him now they satin I can see him once month obviously I started taken drugs again after all this ide like to no can I get my son back I've started to get clean I'm in process of getting property I have meetin with her to do risk assessment but ide like sum advice on what I can do to get my son
Kat - 17-Jul-18 @ 10:42 PM
Bella - Your Question:
I am a grandparent, and recently discovered that my 5 year old grandson was taken into care last December. My daughter whos is his mother had estranged her self from the family and would not let anyone see the child and had no contact with us. I called social services to see if I could get contact, I am still waiting to hear. They have apparently got in touch with her to tell her that I contacted them. And she is now causing problems with the rest of the family trying to find out who told me. Is there any way that I can have contact with the child or do they need her permission as she has apparently given up parental rights.

Our Response:
If your daughter has given up her parental responsibility rights for your grandson, it may be that you can make an application for legal guardianship, presuming you had regular contact with him before the estrangement. Children's services should be able to support you as it's usually peferable for a child to stay within the family than be taken into care.
LawAndParents - 29-Jun-18 @ 2:17 PM
I am a grandparent, and recently discovered that my 5 year old grandson was taken into care last December. My daughter whos is his mother had estranged her self from the family and would not let anyone see the child and had no contact with us. I called social services to see if I could get contact, I am still waiting to hear.They have apparently got in touch with her to tell her that I contacted them.And she is nowcausing problems with the rest of the family trying to find out who told me.Is there any way that I can have contact with the child or do they need her permission as she has apparently given up parental rights.
Bella - 27-Jun-18 @ 7:14 PM
CrystalWillow- Your Question:
My 3 children - 2,3 & 4 - were taken from me after my violent and controlling ex partner gave him a severe black eye and swollen cheek. I was worried about it and took him to hospital for a check up. They called the police and social services and they were removed "until I had sorted myself out after filing a complaint against him. Now I have been told that, even though the police investigation is ongoing, they are taking it to court to see which parent or adult guardian could foster them or if they are to be put up for adoption. can they do this and how do I go about getting them back? I love my children and want them back and I am working hard to get straight, arranging councilling to help me with the mental issues caused by my ex. I am capable of caring for them and desperate to get them back.

Our Response:Try contacting a legal advisor, Citizens' Advice will be able to help you fine one. There is also lots of advice and a helpline at the
Family Rights Group
LawAndParents - 26-Jun-18 @ 1:54 PM
My 3 children - 2,3 & 4 - were taken from me after my violent and controlling ex partner gave him a severe black eye and swollen cheek.I was worried about it and took him to hospital for a check up.They called the police and social services and they were removed "until I had sorted myself out after filing a complaint against him. Now I have been told that, even though the police investigation is ongoing, they are taking it to court to see which parent or adult guardian could foster them or if they are to be put up for adoption.can they do this and how do I go about getting them back? I love my children and want them back and I am working hard to get straight, arranging councilling to help me with the mental issues caused by my ex.I am capable of caring for them and desperate to get them back.
CrystalWillow - 25-Jun-18 @ 4:48 PM
my ex’s parents have my child and are refusing visitation even though is been granted what can i do legally? What are my rights? Can I bring this up at my final hearing? Can she get into trouble for this? I have proof of his mum telling me I can’t see my daughter also she was not going to let him see her unless he quit his job I also have proof of that aswell. I have my final hearing next month we’re on an interim care order and my solicitor doesn’t seem to be helping with anything at all I feel like I’m doing this on my own I need some advice!!!
Stano - 2-Jun-18 @ 3:15 PM
My stepdaughter is 18 in 3 months, she is currently living in supported lodgings with her previous foster carer. The social worker will only allow her to stay with me once a fortnight and I feel this is really affecting her wellbeing, they won’t give me a good reason why she can’t stay more regularly, she wants to live with me when she’s 18 and that has been agreed. I work for the local Authority so have had all the necessary checks done, can anyone advise me on this please? It doesn’t make sense to me at all!!
Davina123 - 30-May-18 @ 11:46 PM
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