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Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Kids Need Both Parents practitioner Sam Kiernan has been working with Steve for the past few months, here is his story:
When Steve and his ex-partner broke up, their 4 children were put into her custody. One day, the youngest child got very upset and told Steve he didn?t want to go to his mums house anymore.
Steve bravely decided he had no choice but to break the court order and have the children in his custody. This is when he turned to KNBP?

He explains how he is working with Sam and KNBP, due to the separation of him and his ex-partner. The first step he took was phoning social services who explained there were no safeguarding issues regarding his children and therefore, he had to go for a residence order therefore, with the help of Sam and KNBP who gave him the advice to go and get the residence order himself. Initially, no court proceedings were taken place.

He explains this was an incredibly emotional time for him as he felt himself and the children were not being heard, and felt very let down by the system and the court due to the fact he feels he didn?t get as much as support as a dad or help as a father compared to a mother. He took the kids during the end June 2013 and the court went on until October 2014. He was given residency in the end but he feels by the end of the court case little had still be resolved. Yes, the children are in a safer environment and doing 90% better at school and within themselves activity wise.

Steve feels his life was turned upside down, he had to change jobs to do night shifts. Luckily, Steve?s partner supports him and works a full-time day job and therefore allows time for Steve to work evenings in order to support his family and it allows him to work around the children. The children?s mum sees them every Saturday and they stay with her until Tuesday. Yes, off course the children love their mother but they do not want to see her this much every week, as their lives changed massively during the court case when they were not seeing their mum.

As a family, Steve, his partner and the children participated in many social activities which we really enjoyed ? these have had to stop due to the children going to their Mothers all weekend. Steve explains how the Mother is still receiving much more support than he is even though he is now the residential parent. He doesn?t get notified when the support workers are working with his children and ex-partner as this only happens when the children are with the mother.

As a father, he feels the system is wrong and very one-sided. Family support are telling Steve the kid?s needs to get used to it. The teachers have noticed a difference in the children since the court order was passed, especially in his son ? the teachers have described it as ?a change of character and not for the best.? This is down to him not feeling heard or listened to, they are just putting procedures in where they feel necessary and not doing what?s best for him. His daughter is at a different school, she is doing very well. She has many responsibilities but also feels as if she isn?t listened to and is being told what to do.

Steve feels as the system is 110% in favour of the Mother, not the children or him and hasn?t felt control during these procedures and actually now it?s over, feels less in control. He feels he is being dictated to and through family support the Mother is offered funding whilst Steve isn?t given any funding as he works. He feels very uninvolved with family support as they don?t work with the children at his home, only the Mother?s and they don?t inform him when this will be happening, even though he has residential access.

He feels his life is very busy and they rarely get any time together as a family. He feels his children are being pushed from pillar to post.

Over the next 12 months, Steve would like things to be less restricted and for things to calm down and to be listened to, when the reason he took the children in the first place was proven to be correct. He feels the family support look at him as if he has been the nasty one and that because he is male, he doesn?t have the same emotions as a female would. He feels as if the support is very one-sided and would like it to become equal. The emotional damage has effected Steve?s health too.

Steve?s advice for other Father?s out there in similar situation is to stay calm, don?t act instantly, don?t rush into seeing a solicitor straight away and take the opportunity to get the legal consultation for £100 and they will explain the procedure but you?re not tied to the solicitor afterwards.

With the help of his partner and Sam at Kids Need Both Parents he feels he has great support and he feels without KNBP, who are still helping him, he would be at a real dead-end and not know what to do.

Since this case study, Steve and his ex-partner have agreed to further mediation with KNBP to try and improve their communication for the sake of the children. Under Steve?s supervision the children attend various after school groups and are excelling at school.

If any part of this case study has affected you, please don?t hesitate to contact us at www.knbp.co.uk

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