The saga continues - help and advice needed please!(121 Posts)
My DD 1 (age 8) has recently been making allegations against various adults. These are quite far fetched and I'm not sure if she believes these allegations or if she actually knows truth from fiction as she lies constantly. Most of these allegations are about my partner or her dad's partner (we are separated/divorcing) as she wants us to get back together. She is (finally) under CAMHS having psychotherapy after a difficult few years. (Bit of background, she has attachment difficulties, high anxiety, emotional and behavioural issues, history of self harming and attempted suicide, can't find my previous threads but they are on here somewhere)
Last week I took her to A&E as I was concerned about a non- blanching rash that she had. While we were there, with the doctor, she repeated some of these allegations and they made a safeguarding referral because the dr thought that the rash could have been caused by one of her allegations.
We were there for 11hrs (all he obs were fine and there were no medical concerns) until a senior paediatric consultant said the rash was totally not linked to any allegations and there were no safeguarding concerns and they let us go. He said he had contacted the safeguarding team and told them there were no concerns and basically stopped the referral.
The next day, we had a visit from a social worker. He said that normally he would have police officers with him but they were unavailable. He asked me to sign an agreement that my partner would not see any of the children (two adopted and one birth child with DP) until the police investigation was completed. I refused and said that I didn't think my DP was a risk, that this would unsettle DD1 more etc as we had plans to go away and that I would agree to no unsupervised contact between DP and the children. If I break this agreement, they will start care proceedings against all three children. The social worker had not seen the hospital discharge letter saying that there were no safeguarding concerns and had not spoken to CAMHS.
The SW agreed to my suggestion of allowing only supervised contact and let us go away. I have been in contact with him and they are holding off interviewing DD1 until they have spoken to CAMHS and the school etc next week.
So, next week, my fragile, anxious DD with mental health issues, a phobia of the police, a questionable grasp of reality (she thinks she is bad and they will put her in jail etc) and fear of strangers is going to be interviewed by three strangers, two of whom will be police officers. I have asked and although they will be in plain clothes, they will have to identify themselves as police to her.
I am really worried about how she will cope with the experience and wether it will unsettle her and make things worse. Also, if she knows that her allegations have caused all this drama, (she loved being in hospital getting her obs done etc) that rewards her with attention and power which is not a positive thing for her and she may go on to make lots more allegations. She will need to be interviewed without me present so I have asked if her psychotherapist or a friendly teacher can be there to support her.
I am also worried about what happens if she repeats these allegations to the police and they believe her. Will they try and charge my DP? He is so supportive and I'm not sure how I will cope if he's not allowed to be with the children. Will they start care proceedings against all three children?
My DD is such a complex little girl and it's been such hard work trying to parent her so far, I am going through hell with this latest mess.
I am sorry if this doesn't make much sense, I am really stressed out.
She also has made allegations about me this week, telling my friend that I leave her to babysit DD2 (6) while I go shopping and I overheard her telling her friend that I "force" her to wear make up. Should I pass these on to social services?
Oh YouAreMyRain, I didn't see your other threads but this sounds dreadful. I'm sorry but I don't have words of wisdom other than to wonder if it's legal to interview a child without a parent present. Have you discussed the situation with her psychotherapist?
Yes they could take care proceedings against all three children.
SS may decide that your DD is telling the truth and it will be your job to prove that she is not. It's hard to prove a negative .
Please don't put your faith in people who tell you that once they investigate it and find no proof, everything will be fine. It may not be.
if they decide that DD is telling the truth " No proof" simply means they can't prove that you or your DP are guilty, not that you or he are innocent. They don't have the same evidential standards as the courts.
Even if they find no proof They can still act as if all the children are at risk . Eg they can say that the children are at risk of emotional abuse, because you don't believe that they are being abused
You need legal advice. Tomorrow.
Are you a member of adoption UK? If not, join tomorrow and get advice from them too.
I know others who have been in your situation and they assumed they and their children were safe because they were innocent . Sadly that's not always the case .
I'm so sorry, this is so unfair and you don't deserve it.
I am sorry to hear your situation too.
Is DD1 one of your adopted children? If so did she witness anything upsetting before she came to you? Please forgive me if not, I am not being nosy. When I was a teacher a four yr old made public allegations about me. It turned out the abuser was her mother. I am just wondering whether anything similar could be playing out here.
Oh rain I'm so so sorry you are going through this, how absolutely hellish and unfair
I completely agree with Kristina that you need to get legal advice now and you need to contact AUK (I'm sure they'll have come across similar before) and any other organisations who could provide you with support and information. Don't wait because as Kristina said, being innocent won't necessarily protect you, especially if DD repeats any allegations. I can put a feeler out and ask a few people if they know of any other organisations or people that might be able to give advice if you want?
How well does her psychotherapist know her/the issues you are having, is she supportive of you both? When I was going through therapy with DD2, I would have (and did) passed concerns like making up allegations (eg. this forced to wear make up story) to the psychotherapists first. I don't think I would pass it on to SS in this situation, there's a real possibilty they might take it seriously.
Also, if social services were to be making investigations, I wonder at some point they may involve professionals that are working with DD, including the psychotherapist? So a professional opinion that DD is very prone to making up false stories because of her emotional and psychiatric issues, could be helpful.
I think asking for the psychotherapist to be present at the interview is a good idea, to support DD. You have all my sympathies, with police phobias, DD2 is terrified of the Police.
You are in my thoughts xx
Difficult time for you , Know as you say your child has a difficult and challenging history, but most important it had too be seen that you are 100% in support of your children at this stage, can not comment on other issue's, You will need a experienced family solicitor at this stage for advice, Attachment issues in children can be very complicated,, may have experienced separation and loss many time before adoption, complications can be triggered well into adolescence and beyond, new separation's, children may be affectionate at their new family inclusion, disrupted affection's may move trust, children can react in many ways.
Its their defence.
Camhs have been involved for just over a year, they have been working with me only (due to her attachment issues) until about two months ago when DD1 started a four week assessment for suitability for psychotherapy, she has only had two or three actual psychotherapy sessions so her therapist doesn't know her that well. While they have been working with me I have told them about her false memories, accusations, lies and confusion over reality etc. I just hope it's all documented.
I have worked so hard with her and it's relentless and draining. Not sure I can cope with this at the moment. I have PND too.
If they decide to believe her and remove her, even temporarily, she will be totally fucked up emotionally for ever. Six years I've been her mother, constantly reassuring her that I'm here for her for ever. She is so insecure at the best of times. I can't even begin to think about how awful it would be if they removed her siblings too. How the fuck did this happen? I feel broken
I read one of your posts from last year, you and dd have been through such a lot... How are you doing today?
Trying not to think about next week. Terrified for dd and my whole family. Not sure wether to prepare her for meeting the police (just chatting casually about how they can help us etc) or not say anything.
Oh poor you (all of you)
Have you got legal advice sorted?
Sorry to hear about waht your going thru. The thing to remember is to be completely open and honest with the SW they are there support you and your family, not to take children away as some conspiracy nuts believe.
Get a good lawyer, and work with the SW not againdt them is the best advice I can give you.
J bean -you are wrong. You clearly have no experience of being in this situation . SS are not there to support the OP, they have a duty of child protection. These allegations will be taken very seriously .
No one here is a conspiracy nut. No one has suggested that she work against SS. If you read the OP s post you will see that she has worked very hard with many professionals over a long period of time to support her child.
Being " open and honest " I'm afraid won't fix this problem, the risk to all her children and the psychological problems that her DD has. It's really not that easy . Otherwise she, and all the other adoptive parents in this situation, would have done it already .
Rain, there are no words... what a horrible ordeal for you and your family. I have no advice to add, but thinking of you.
Horrendous rain. Found your post from June last year. Nothing to add as have no experience but am thinking of you.
It sounds like the allegation your daughter made was serious enough for the social work team to initiate a S47 investigation, and that this will be done jointly with the police as she said something concerning about your partner. There are guidelines for the time frame in which these need to be completed - speak to your social worker about this and let your lawyer know.
Social workers have a legal obligation to investigate under S47 of the Children Act 1989, part of this will include speaking to various agencies who know the family. In this case, make sure that they get a copy of the second doctor's opinion of the rash, e.g. That it was not linked to the allegation. The social worker should be mindful of your daughter's early life experience and will not want to traumatise her any further, having a known professional sit in on the initial meeting with the police sounds like a good idea. If your daughter repeats the allegation directly to the police, the police may wish to do a formal ABE interview with her. You are miles from care proceedings, particularly as you have signed a safeguarding agreement that your partner will not have unsupervised access to the children. Point of notice - social workers would always try to place a child with a safe family member if the child cannot live with the parents as the outcomes for children are generally better and it is less traumatic than being placed with strangers.
Speak to a lawyer, know your rights and those of your daughter and demonstrate that you can prioritise your daughter's needs and protect her as previous posters have said. I hope it all goes well for you and your family, sounds like you are very committed to her and she is lucky to have you in her corner.
You are still in my thoughts Rain and I so hope the investigation can be concluded quickly with the best outcome possible for your family, and that the interview will not upset DD
Kristina M - I understand that Child Services highest priority is the welfare of the child, however this does not mean that the SW is against the parents. The SWs goal is to achieve the best possible out for everyone involved while placing the welfare of the child first and foremost.
It is important to give the SW ALL the facts so that they can make a proper assessment of the situation. As long as they are open and honest with the SW using a solicitor to make sure communication between parties is clear. Children are not taken away without good reasons. As long as her parenting is in the best interest of the child she has nothing to fear.
I'm sorry jbean but it's simply not true to say that
"As long as her parenting is in the best interest of the child she has nothing to fear"
I know many children who have been removed from good and loving families because they , or their siblings, made untrue allegations of abuse. In all cases, the sibling were eventually returned, but they were deeply traumatised.
Most of the children who made the allegations were never returned. They went through a series of Placements very quickly ( as they made allegations about the carers or FC children ) and most ended up in specialist residential placements of different types.
They also went though SW and therapists quickly for the same reason . One ended up with no psychiatrists the county willing to see her as they decided she had ODD and they " didn't accept children with her diagnosis. "
Its one thing to know that a child is probably making false allegations, it's another to find a professional who is willing to risk their career to make the decision that the allegations are definitely false and to fail to remove such a child that situation . No one ever got fired for removing a child from innocent parents. You can get fired for not removing a child who was being abused .
And even if a child is removed , you the have the problem of finding SW/carers /workers /therapists willing to work with such a child and risk being the subject of such allegations .
Usually only adoptive parents are " stupid " enough to take such a risk .
That's why these children and young people end up in residential, where there are always two or more staff on duty. It's not because it's the best place for the child, it's because it's the safest place for the staff .
SW main priority here is the child who is making the allegations. It's NOT the welfare of the whole family, which here includes two parents,their new partners and other children . There is no one easy solution here that will keep everyone happy .you do the OP a great disservice to say that if she tells the truth ( clearly implying that she has lied before ) , then everything will be ok as she has " nothing to fear " .
She's not stupid, she know how dangerous this situation is for her children and potentially for her marriage /partnership . Ive seen many marriages broken up over things like this.
You obviously have no experience at all of being in this situation and the advice you are giving the OP is naive, misleading and could potentially put her other children at risk . I can only assume you are a SW student, or a very naive and inexperienced worker . Either way, You seem to have no understanding of the complexity of the situation and the competing and conflicting needs
Rain, I don't have anything to add but wanted you to know that I'm thinking of you and your family and hope it can all unfold as gently as possible for you all.
Can I also add that you (and your partner) have been very smart in agreeing so quickly to supervised contact only with the children. I really hope this passes quickly for you.
Nothing to add just my hope for you and your family that this difficult time passes quickly and things begin to improve
I have spoken to everyone I can think of today; school, Camhs, SS, solicitor, BAAF. Basically DD will be interviewed by the police and a SW at school. Her Camhs therapist can't be there as it will "compromise her therapy" but she will have a trusted member of school staff to support her instead. I feel so helpless, I just wish I could protect her from the experience. I am so worried about how she will cope.
Obviously I am also concerned about her repeating the allegations and the police believing her. If that happens at the very least DP will not be allowed in the house and I know she will miss him and feel guilty. It would probably mean the end of our relationship too.
I can't even contemplate any of the DC being removed. I have worked so hard with DD, I don't know anyone that could have done a better job. I know that all the DC are better off with me than starting again somewhere else.
There is also the possibility that amongst all the fantasy and lies, this allegation could be true. I just have to trust the system and hope that the professionals involved are competent and experienced enough to tell fact from fantasy. But she is my DD and even I can't tell when she is lying
I can't believe this is happening. She was a "normal" 2 yr old when we adopted her and there was no sign at all that she would become this troubled.
It saddens me so much but for the first time I actually regret adopting. I love DD with all my heart and soul but she just feels too big and too disturbed for me to manage.
I rang SS last summer and begged for help and they did fuck all.
Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.
If there was a prize for 'how to absolutely guarantee no one will vote for your daughter to win her sodding bonny baby contest', Sharon would be a clear winner.
Fortunately she's now been barred.
Rain, I'm particularly sorry she's popped up on this thread. I can only guess at how desperate you feel. Are any of these myriad agencies actually offering YOU any support?
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