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

Darnley Fri 22-Nov-13 20:43:54

I don't think I am being either judgemental or unsupportive.

I am trying to explain what I think is happening and to also establish what the OP thought would happen.

Childrens services are legally obliged to carry out certain actions, whether popular or not. You only have to read the daily mail to see what happens when they don't.

The OP has said she is not in the UK, so there will be differences in approach and legislation that those of us on this thread may not be aware of.

I would add however, as a social worker of over 20 years, I, nor any of my colleagues, ever had the time or the inclination to do anything out of spite. Particularly if it would mean more work...

tiredlady Fri 22-Nov-13 21:16:49

I agree with Darnley, in that acting out of spite is an unlikely motivation.

Perhaps they have noted some concerns and feel the OP needs more support in parenting. They may well have felt that prior to having a baby the OP didn't need help as she was managing to look after herself on her own, but now with the demands of a baby she may need further input from Children's services

Contrary to popular belief, SS are not hovering about trying to snatch children from their parents.

WestieMamma Fri 22-Nov-13 21:22:57

That's exactly how they are trying to interpret the information they have been given DeWe, that if he's ill I won't seek help for him because it's out of routine. This is totally wrong and contrary to what they have told about the difficulties I have. I find it difficult to explain in words. It's not about timetables it about being tied to making sure the things I have to do are done to perfection at the expense of taking care of myself.

So for example, every morning I get baby up feed him, get him dressed, make his bed, empty the nappy bin, wash up his bottles and sterilise them, sing with him, play with him, cuddle him until he falls asleep and if he's fretful cuddle him while he sleeps. He's clean, well fed, loved and happy. Meanwhile the day has passed and I've eaten nothing, drunk nothing, not got showered or dressed, and fallen further behind with my studies.

The support I'm supposed to get is to help me learn what is 'good enough'. So for example, my kitchen, which is always clean and tidy takes a few minutes to do instead of the few hours it currently takes. The aim of my occupational therapist is to create free-time, which I don't currently have so she can then work with me on going out and meeting people and having a better life balance.

enriquetheringbearinglizard Fri 22-Nov-13 21:25:16

WestieMamma

I'd just like to wish you strength and good luck.

WestieMamma Fri 22-Nov-13 21:30:31

Thank you enrique. I'm feeling a bit fragile at the moment.

Tiredlady they know nothing about my parenting. They have never even met my baby. All the people who have say they have no concerns at all.

tiredlady Fri 22-Nov-13 21:46:52

OP, if what you describe is correct then you have absolutely nothing to worry about. You sound as if you are meeting all your baby's needs appropriately.

However SS are just doing their job. Certainly on paper, someone who is quite rigid and fixed in their routine might well find the unpredictability of a baby challenging, and for some people that may need to be looked into further. Maybe someone just needs to come round your house to see you in action to realise you are doing fine.

DoubleLifeIsALifeOfSorts Sat 23-Nov-13 04:52:41

CailinDana hit the nail on the head with this

"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. "

This is exactly what happened to me with my first SW (I have a physical disability), she wasn't a nasty person at all, in fact I think she was very kind and motivated by wanting to help. However she just couldn't conceive of a disabled person being an independent and equal person to everyone else. All her actions were designed to force me to behave in the passive victimy way she believed disabled people should be. It was almost like I caused a cognitive dissonance on her part, which she resolved by trying to take away my self agency and dignity.

Through 'nice' motivations but hugely damaging. Luckily it got so bad that it became quite clear she wasn't able to work with disabled people and especially with me. (she tried to declare me mentally incompetent with her 'evidenced' being that I disagreed with her (about being mentally incompetent!) and i am physically disabled.

I actually found it hard to get people to step in as they couldn't believe she was actually trying to do that, as it was just so bizarre, however when i persuaded people that she was indeed trying to do this (by shoeing them the libellots documentation), at least I had a whole host of people saying 'don't be ridiculous' to her. I can't imagine what would have happened if I actually had had some kind of mental problem as that kind of mud sticks.

DoubleLifeIsALifeOfSorts Sat 23-Nov-13 05:06:15

Btw I don't think it follows to say that the OP asked them to get involved therefore she should expect this.

She's had three years fighting to get a small amount of practical support from the Adult Social Care team... Who assessed her as having certain needs, but then refused to provide support, even when ordered to by a court. When she has finally managed to get some action by the adult team, why should she then expect them to call her parenting into doubt and refer to children's services? Just because she's forced the adult team to do their statutory duty by her as a disabled person?

I know she is not in the UK, but for illustrative purposes...
Our legislation is clear:

Adult ss must support the disabled persons needs to parent. (not children's services), as in the first instance the child is not the one in need, the adult is, and by solving their needs the child's potential needs will be addressed.

Adult ss have a statutory obligation to provide care for the needs the disabled person has been assessed as having, if they do not provide this care, and a child is assessed as in need/ at risk... It is the local authorities who has caused this situation, not the disabled person.

It is only when the adults needs are met and the child still appears at risk/ in need that things need to be progressed, OR the child appears subject to neglect from other sources/ reasons than stemming from unmet adult needs.

DoubleLifeIsALifeOfSorts Sat 23-Nov-13 05:09:19

Btw I totally agree with the poster that said the children's team may well be alot nicer/ more professional than the awful individuals on the adult team. They may come with wrong 'facts' having been given to them, but they should be able to see past then to the actual situation

WestieMamma Wed 11-Dec-13 15:45:59

I have 2 people from children's services coming out tomorrow. I'm so frightened I can't think straight and I haven't slept for weeks. I know I shouldn't worry because I know there is nothing wrong for them to find, I keep telling myself that but it's not sinking in.

A lady comes round from the family support unit every week (sort of like the UKs Homestart except a qualified, paid role within the council here - so has the same head boss as social services). She just comes to chat and keep me company as I'm so isolated. She's said that she is 100% behind me, that she deals with ss and children needing support all the time and she sees nothing to justify this investigation. She also told me that the social worker who made the referral is new, in fact she'd only been in the job 2 days when she met me and made the referral and she doesn't believe she's had any dealings with an adult with high functioning autism before. hmm

WestieMamma Wed 11-Dec-13 15:54:21

Also my occupational therapist directed me to the ss statements to the Court of Appeal. My need for routine and checklists is being given as evidence of my inability to care for my son but in the court statements the previous social workers all give this as proof of the fact I manage fine and don't need any help whatsoever. hmm

sykadelic15 Wed 11-Dec-13 17:07:00

Wow. I'll be thinking of you tomorrow. Sounds to me like you have your son's care totally under control.

Are you able to have anyone there while CS are there? As a support for you to make sure you're not railroaded at any point?

WestieMamma Wed 11-Dec-13 18:09:19

My husband and daughter will be here. I'm really worried that the stress will turn me into a blubbering mess and ss will think that is my normal state.

auntpetunia Wed 11-Dec-13 19:00:32

Is it possible for your family support worker to be present? I'd make some notes of thinga your occ therapist mentioned pointing out that a high court judge didn't have a problem and then turn any questions around to make them explain why they think a newly qualified sw knows better than the judge and therapists. Is your husband able to speak for you? Take a deep breath before answering any question. Good luck, hopefully it'll just be a formality.

DoubleLifeIsALifeOfSorts Wed 11-Dec-13 19:02:47

Oh good luck flowers

bluecheeseforbreakfast Wed 11-Dec-13 19:08:42

Good luck for tomorrow.

The lady from the family support unit will be able to give an idea of how you are when not under preasure.

I am sorry you are having to go through this especially as it sounds like the social worker was far off the mark with the referal.

bochead Wed 11-Dec-13 19:10:58

perhaps you could print off a couple of information sheets for the SW?

http://www.autism.org.uk/living-with-autism/understanding-behaviour/organising-sequencing-and-prioritising.aspx is one suggestion. Autism covers such a huge spectrum of abilities/disabilities that the SW likely has no clue at all as to what to expect when she knocks on your doorstep.

Often people make stupid judgements because they don't know what they don't know iyswim. If you are able to explain what the OT is for then you'll be fine.

This SW hasn't met you, or your child and doesn't know you. You have court documents that clearly list the type of support you require, (and by default what you don't need). All the professionals working directly with your child are happy with the standard of care you provide (the SW HAS to take into account the opinion of your midwife, health visitor, support worker, OT, GP, pead etc, etc).

You'll be fine. Offer her a chocolate biccy & a cup of tea and answer her questions as honestly as you can. You could use the appointment to ask questions of her, such as what does she think of the local Mums and babies groups - can she recommend any friendly ones, or are there any special activities for babies being run by the council over the Xmas hols that she thinks your child would enjoy?

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 11-Dec-13 20:05:35

Trying to remember things from your first thread. Am I correct that in the country your in,a dx of ASD has to go off to ss after the dr has done it and they are legally obliged as a minimum to give you a certain amount of support no matter what other none paid support you have and the only way to recive any support of any description is via ss,and that's why you had to fight it?

Also during the process they tried to get your dx removed and stated you did not have it?

revivingshower Wed 11-Dec-13 20:07:59

This is a very bad thing they have done by denying you help, then actually making life harder than ever for you. Try not to worry, but do get everyone supporting you to help. They do sound difficult and you want to stop any hint of trouble.

WestieMamma Wed 11-Dec-13 20:59:31

That's correct Sock. Their original decision was that my only problem was low self asteem and therefore outside the remit of the special law relating to autism support. When that failed they argued that my use of routines and checklists proved I didn't need any support and then when that failed they appealed on the basis that I am married and marriage law requires the spouses to support each other and therefore any help I needed should be provided by my husband. The Court of Appeal judge said that he found ss to be 'disingenuous about the difficulties Westie experiences'.

WestieMamma Thu 12-Dec-13 10:20:52

Well they've been and gone. They were only here 10 minutes. They said they were really worried when they received the referral and thought they'd have to intervene. They decided to speak to the HV, family support lady and my occupational therapist first to speed up the process. From those conversations they had already pretty much decided to close the case and now they've met us, it's closed.

bluecheeseforbreakfast Thu 12-Dec-13 10:35:11

Great news!

BlueGoddess Thu 12-Dec-13 10:59:13

That's fantastic news, all that stress for nothing!

I hope that stern words will be had to that woman who referred you, as the whole thing seems to have been a waste of everyone's time.

revivingshower Thu 12-Dec-13 11:41:53

That's great and at least you know you have a few people who support you and you can rely on. I hope you now start getting some of the help you need in other areas.

auntpetunia Thu 12-Dec-13 16:28:07

That's fantastic news. I Am glad they did their research.I also hope strong words are had with the newbie for wasting everyone's time.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now