Your stories

1.

Mr B arrived in the UK in 2004, his wife joining him in 2005. K and H, his children, joined them with their grandmother in 2006. The family were applying for Leave to Remain in the UK. The family had lived in the same area of London since they arrived in the UK and initially lived with an Italian family. The families remain close with Mr B still assisting them with their gardening and odd jobs. K informed me that they saw these family friends frequently and they spoil them with sweets and pocket money. They also saw them for regular barbeques and parties.

I met with K, H, Mr and Mrs B on the 2nd November 2013. In this type of context, contact time is inevitably limited however I have over a decade of experience in assessing families in these sorts of situations and considerable experience to draw on in my ability to make observations and enquiries relevant to reporting on social circumstances. During my time with the family I discussed the nature of their family life, talking with and observing them and their children in their home. Upon meeting with the family, I was able to observe the way the family functioned as a unit.

Mr B described their lives as going well, prior to their immigration difficulties. The family had a varied social life, due to all their friends living in the UK and being well known in the local area. Mr B described them as being part of a busy, supportive community.

H and K attend Sixth Form College and are obtaining good grades. However, the stress of the family’s current predicament was taking its toll on Mrs B. She had been diagnosed with depression and anxiety and had started to experience panic attacks.

My report evidenced that it was in the best interests of K and H that the family remain in the UK, to allow them to continue with their studies, maintain the links and social connections that they have made within their local community as well as the life they have made, as a family, for themselves in the UK.

It is critical to this case to understand how the unconscious behaviours of Mrs B would have been affecting the children. Recent research has proven that mothers who suffer with chronic Depression are unable to form a positive bond with their children, their eye contact is poor and their interaction and nurturing is at a very basic level. If this continues the child will normally attempt anything for attention. A large body of literature documents the adverse effects of maternal depression on the functioning and development of their offspring. Due to this and the impact of the negative changes that the family were going through, it was my opinion that it was in the best interests of these children that they remain in the UK, in order that they continue with their education as well as the private and family life they have established with their social links and support networks in the UK.

2.

I received instruction from solicitors regarding a deportation case for a mother and her children. I met with their client Ms M and her sons A and J on the 26th November 2020. In this type of context, contact time is inevitably limited however I have over a decade of experience in assessing families in these sorts of situations and considerable experience to draw on in my ability to make observations and enquiries relevant to reporting on children’s social circumstances. During my time with the family I discussed the nature of their family life, talking with and observing them in their home. Upon meeting with the family, I was able to observe the way the family functioned as a unit.

Ms M has been residing in the UK since February 2002, after fleeing a violent relationship in Jamaica. She fell pregnant with A in June 2003 and moved in with A’s father. The relationship soon deteriorated and they separated. A has always kept in contact with his father and he continues to see him several times a week.

Ms M adopted another name, in order to obtain work in the UK and support herself and her son. In April 2006 Ms M stated that she was arrested, after dropping her son off at his father’s and the police finding Class A narcotics at the property. She was subsequently convicted and sentenced. A was initially left in the care of a friend and later his father, however, social services became involved and A was taken in to care.

Due to the length of sentence she served, Ms M was served with Deportation Order and held in an immigration removal centre. She appealed this and was granted Discretionary Leave to Remain until March 2009. She was then granted Shared Residency of A, with his father having A three days per week, the remainder being spent with Ms M. Ms M has since gone on to have a relationship with her current partner, their son J being born in March 2010.

I was able to assess the effects of the family’s current difficulties, during my interview. Their current situation and the emotional impact the threat of deportation was having on them, I assessed, was having a negative impact on the children’s developing personalities and emotional wellbeing, which I assessed would require professional input to address, should their predicament not be addressed, in a positive way. The stresses of their current predicament were already evident in the unconscious behaviours of Ms M, noted in her detachment from her current situation, tearfulness and disturbed sleep pattern. I assessed that if this continued and no solution was found, the family dynamic would continue to deteriorate and its stabilising quality would decrease further. This shift in stability would then begin to interfere with the children’s education, their emotional development, family and social relationships, as well as create possible future discipline problems, causing the family to become increasingly isolated from friends and the wider community. This in turn would increase the family’s overall depressed mood and low-level motivation, stress and other emotional problems, which I assessed would manifest in mental health problems for Ms M. These stressors, in turn, would all have their own impacts on the children’s emotional and mental health, imminently and in their future development.

My report evidenced that, in my professional opinion, it was in the best interests of Ms M’s children, A and J, that the family remain together in the UK, in order to promote stability for the children. My evidence showed that this would enable the children to maintain their family links and the social connections they had made within their local community, as well as promote the family private and life they had made for themselves in the UK.

3.

I received instruction from solicitors regarding a deportation case for a mother and her children. I met with their client Ms M and her sons A and J on the 26th November 2020. In this type of context, contact time is inevitably limited however I have over a decade of experience in assessing families in these sorts of situations and considerable experience to draw on in my ability to make observations and enquiries relevant to reporting on children’s social circumstances. During my time with the family I discussed the nature of their family life, talking with and observing them in their home. Upon meeting with the family, I was able to observe the way the family functioned as a unit.

Ms M has been residing in the UK since February 2002, after fleeing a violent relationship in Jamaica. She fell pregnant with A in June 2003 and moved in with A’s father. The relationship soon deteriorated and they separated. A has always kept in contact with his father and he continues to see him several times a week.

Ms M adopted another name, in order to obtain work in the UK and support herself and her son. In April 2006 Ms M stated that she was arrested, after dropping her son off at his father’s and the police finding Class A narcotics at the property. She was subsequently convicted and sentenced. A was initially left in the care of a friend and later his father, however, social services became involved and A was taken in to care.

Due to the length of sentence she served, Ms M was served with Deportation Order and held in an immigration removal centre. She appealed this and was granted Discretionary Leave to Remain until March 2009. She was then granted Shared Residency of A, with his father having A three days per week, the remainder being spent with Ms M. Ms M has since gone on to have a relationship with her current partner, their son J being born in March 2010.

I was able to assess the effects of the family’s current difficulties, during my interview. Their current situation and the emotional impact the threat of deportation was having on them, I assessed, was having a negative impact on the children’s developing personalities and emotional wellbeing, which I assessed would require professional input to address, should their predicament not be addressed, in a positive way. The stresses of their current predicament were already evident in the unconscious behaviours of Ms M, noted in her detachment from her current situation, tearfulness and disturbed sleep pattern. I assessed that if this continued and no solution was found, the family dynamic would continue to deteriorate and its stabilising quality would decrease further. This shift in stability would then begin to interfere with the children’s education, their emotional development, family and social relationships, as well as create possible future discipline problems, causing the family to become increasingly isolated from friends and the wider community. This in turn would increase the family’s overall depressed mood and low-level motivation, stress and other emotional problems, which I assessed would manifest in mental health problems for Ms M. These stressors, in turn, would all have their own impacts on the children’s emotional and mental health, imminently and in their future development.

My report evidenced that, in my professional opinion, it was in the best interests of Ms M’s children, A and J, that the family remain together in the UK, in order to promote stability for the children. My evidence showed that this would enable the children to maintain their family links and the social connections they had made within their local community, as well as promote the family private and life they had made for themselves in the UK.

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