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in thinking this referral has been done out of spite?

(53 Posts)
WestieMamma Fri 22-Nov-13 15:05:41

I have AS and need a bit of support around planning and organisation. I was referred to social services (not UK) for that support by my consultant. Social services refused to provide it on the basis that they couldn't see that I had any problems and that I managed just fine. We had to fight them all the way to get the support put in place as they kept appealing the Courts' decisions. Eventually they had nowhere left to go and finally this week they have started providing the support that should have started 3 years ago. Hurray!

The social worker spoke to me this afternoon to find out how it had gone and book times for next week, and then casually informed me that she has now referred me to child services for investigation into my ability to care for my DS (7 months). This is despite denying the existence of my disability for 3 years. Despite having the same information 7 months ago as they do now. Despite my hospital team and health visitor fully supporting me and having no concerns whatsoever about my parenting ability. Despite my solicitor asking them directly if they had any concerns and them saying 'no' at every meeting we've had with them because he knew it worried me. No they have had no concerns whatsoever while they were getting away with doing nothing and while I had someone with me to support me. First time I'm alone and vulnerable and they go in for the kill.

Seems my instincts were right about them all along sad

CoffeeTea103 Fri 22-Nov-13 15:12:13

Don't let this get you down, you have a lot of support behind you. You have a strong case here, question them why now they are so concerned when they were aware all along. I'm sure you will come through this fine. Just look at all the positives so far. Best of luck!

Oh that's awful. Thank goodness you have evidence. Best wishes to you. Sorry you've had to fight for this it's so unfair x

bochead Fri 22-Nov-13 15:56:05

It'll be obvious to anyone it's spite.

Either that or total incompetence to know about a family for THREE years and yet not make the appropriate referral if you think there's an issue. Even then as you were asking for help that wasn't forthcoming (court proves that ffS) it still comes under the category of "not your problem".

Honestly - I'd tell you to fret if it were 3 days, but three years just looks spiteful & sour grapey. Their irritation at the manner of the referral they've received puts in you in a good place for your initial meeting with them iyswim. Child services may even have some good ideas for helping you , and in fact are more likely to wind up being real allies in your struggles with the adult team than anything else.

WestieMamma Fri 22-Nov-13 16:13:43

Not just the 3 years since my application either. I also have an older daughter who has autism. I've been seeking help with her since she started exhibiting problems when she was 2 ish. She's 20 now and I've done it all on my own.

I met someone from child services about 4 months ago. My health visitor asked her to pop in to the clinic when he had his vaccinations so she could reassure me that I was doing a good job and they had no concerns (that's how worried about adult social services doing something untoward I was).

I'm probably sounding completely paranoid but I can honestly say I've never felt such overwealming distrust as I do in this particular team. Even one of the judges said that he thought they were disingenuous and seemed to be taking 'being right' personally.

Did you post previously about this? If it is you that I remember, well done on fighting them. I'm really pleased you have finally got help. Sorry to hear about this new issue, they won't get anywhere with it, it sounds like a power trip.

It absolutely stinks. I think I'd be making big waves about it if it were me?

I agree with CP they won't get anywhere.

TheRealAmandaClarke Fri 22-Nov-13 16:37:32

YANBU as far as I can see.
I hope you have good support from your HV and legal team.
Good on you for challenging this.

WestieMamma Fri 22-Nov-13 17:00:07

Yes I have posted about it before under a different name which I got bored of.

DoubleLifeIsALifeOfSorts Fri 22-Nov-13 17:10:14

Hello Westie I remember your struggles from before. Yes i do think spite has prompted this, how nasty and unfeeling. What an abuse of power. Disgusting.

Now, thinking of how you deal with this... Even though they are obviously being unprofessional, these things are hard to fight the more into the system you get. So the best thing to do is to get the case closed ASAP.

That means:

1. being super cooperative, polite and open with them (no matter how you feel on the inside).

2. You also need to get someone to attend meetings/ assessments with you and make notes. This is important as they've shown they are not to be trusted, and accuracy of facts will be better if there is a witness.

3. Get legal advice/ brush up on what you already know when it comes to disabled parents and the law

I once had adult ss try and push me into agreeing ds was at risk of neglect because 'well he's fine now but what I'd you had a fall and there was no one to help you and then he'd be being neglected'. Stupidly I cam close to agreeing as they said it was the only way I could get funding, however asked advice and got told absolutely not! No way is ds being neglected if that's the scenario, and no way is it true that children are automatically in need or at risk if their parents are disabled... As that would be discrimination against disabled people and illegal under the equality act.

I seem to remember you're an expert at disability and the law, parenting rights etc.

I'm sorry you have to go through this as well flowers

WestieMamma Fri 22-Nov-13 17:27:44

In my case they are saying that the Assessment of Daily Living which my occupational therapist did says that I have to follow a routine and cannot deviate from it which is cause for concern now that I have a baby as it may result in him being neglected, so that is why they are making the referral. Them being disingenuous again. What the ADL actually says is that I have to follow a certain order of doing things from which I struggle to deviate, taking care of my baby is my main priority and anything the baby needs comes first. This worries the occupational therapist as it means I need the support more than ever to ensure prioritising my baby doesn't mean I end up neglecting myself.

Chiggers Fri 22-Nov-13 17:42:44

If you have a solicitor, can you arrange with them to be with you and your HV/OT at every/most meetings with SS? That way they can file a report as to what has been said and can be co-signed by your HV/OT. You can then show it to the judge as evidence that you're not at risk of neglecting your DC and SS 'worries' are unfounded.

You've come so far with this battle, so be absolutely determined to refute and prove that SS concerns are rubbish.

Good luck and take care

bochead Fri 22-Nov-13 17:43:21

Your OT will point out it's you at risk of neglect not the baby. The Child SW is a different person/team to the adult one. Your 20 year old is fine, eg you are not even a first time Mum. The court has logged this adult team as nasty.

Seriously do not worry about it. I'm sure the kids team will be helpful rather than spiteful. They won't want to put themselves on the losing end of a court case like the adult team did if nothing else! Your HV will be listened to over the adult team as she is the professional with the actual training in baby care iyswim and she's on your side as are your medics. Worst case scenario is that you'll be offered a bit of respite if funding allows, and perhaps help with sourcing a nice nursery/school close to home when the time comes.

ElenorRigby Fri 22-Nov-13 17:46:25

Social workers have considerable power which leaves some of them with a huge God complex.

This type of SW will be spiteful given the opportunity.

So sorry your going through this. sad

WestieMamma Fri 22-Nov-13 17:53:37

I have a solicitor who normally comes to meetings but we didn't think it was necessary anymore, guess we were wrong. He's been brilliant. He explained how much he charged, we took him on and gave him the file, he read it and was so thoroughly disgusted at how I've been treated that he waived all his fees. He told me that his son has autism which is why this type of treatment gives him rage.

BalloonSlayer Fri 22-Nov-13 17:55:09

Could the social services perhaps have been so unwilling to provide the support for you in the first instance, simply because they knew that this would mean they would be obliged to do a referral to child services?

WestieMamma Fri 22-Nov-13 17:59:48

They've been unwilling to provide support for 3 years. They've only known about DS for 5 months.

CailinDana Fri 22-Nov-13 18:45:33

Unfortunately having worked with children with autism a lot your story doesn't surprise me. Some "professionals" working with vulnerable people seem to enjoy the power they have and prefer to think their clients are helpless idiots who are subject to their whim. So when someone strong and determined like you comes along the power balance is upset and theh get a vindictive "how dare you" attitude partly I think because you remind them that their clients are actual people with feelings and opinions. There's also the attitude that if you know what your difficulties are (such as your need for routine) you should be able to just change your behaviour - problem solved. By asking for help you're just playing the system. It's only people who are "really" disabled (ie those with little/no awareness and therefore are easy to pity and push around) that deserve to be patronised "help".

BalloonSlayer Fri 22-Nov-13 18:48:44

Ah. It was just a thought. flowers

eurochick Fri 22-Nov-13 18:49:10

What a wonderful solicitor.

I also feel like this referral has been made out of spite. How awful.

Darnley Fri 22-Nov-13 19:52:37

Prepared to be slated for this, but it seems to me that you have insisted that social services get involved, they are court ordered to do so and are now doing what they do.
I only know what you have posted here, but I can see why it has been flagged up with childrens services. If the baby is in need and you are not able to deviate from the routine, that is a concern. It in no way means they will be steaming in and removing your children...
Apologies if I have read this wrong, but that s my reading of things.
Will don hard hat and await the fury at disagreeing with the majority...

tiredlady Fri 22-Nov-13 20:00:26

What kind of support were SS giving you OP? If you are capable of looking after a baby - difficult and demanding job that is, I am just wondering what help you actually needed from them. If people can cope with the unpredictability of babies then they can generally cope with a lot of other stuff

DeWe Fri 22-Nov-13 20:10:25

It certainly sounds like spite to me.

But can you just explain why they think not deviating from routine is an issue. I mean lots of parents have routines they won't deviate from, loads of tales here about people who insist their group meets at 1:30 because their baby must sleep 12:30-1:15 despite that meaning half the group can't attend because they work afternoons...

Do they mean that eg, if the baby is ill then you would find it difficult to go to the doctor because that's not the usual routine?
I'm guessing that you don't really struggle with that sort of thing or you wouldn't have managed with your older, but that's the only way I can think they'd have grounds for this.

Darnley Fri 22-Nov-13 20:25:45

I am assuming that childrens services will be completing an assessment of need across the family so appropriate support/services can be targeted.

What did you want to happen ?

ZillionChocolate Fri 22-Nov-13 20:29:44

WestieMamma I'm sorry you're having these problems. I think it's definitely worth seeing if you can get your solicitor back on board. I agree with DoubleLife's suggested approach.

Don't worry if people on here are judgmental/unsupportive; however clearly you try to explain your situation, it can be difficult to grasp the whole picture from a thread on the Internet.

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