AIBU to not want to feel like rubbish parent because of health staff who've barely - if ever - seen my children

(74 Posts)
charitymum Wed 23-Jan-13 19:56:22

Had bit if torrid time last month or so. Could be worse I know but 13 yr old DD had shingles; 10 yr old broke her leg at school; 22 month old - well just nearly two and 6 month old on and of hospital with viral wheeze.

School nurse - who I've never seen at school - called to tell me she had to so an assessment on 10 yr old as she in a and e so much. I understand-I run a children's charity I get it. But when I suggested I was happy with DD development etc. she became demanding that I do assessment and said it was not normal for child to hurt themselves so much and it probably meant she had coordination probs or 'something else' going on.

When DP took her to minor injuries he was made to feel like crisp because he was not dad and they asked 6 times why I wasn't there. Likewise when he took our DS into hospital and I stayed at home with other 3 all they could ask was where is mum?

When I was in with DS last week nurse got angry because I refused to fill in form that checks for child protection because I was looking after wheezy son and because nothing on it was relevant to his care. She became obsessed with how many dads there were to my children and whether I had social worker.

Now final straw health visitor has called - same day so feeling paranoid - to say hospital said DS is obese and they would like to check him.

Like I say I get the need for checks but I am an educated, national expert in education and child development, who has four thriving kids who neither school or GPs have any concerns over.

Now I feel like total failed mum because people who don't know kids have sat in judgement.

charitymum Wed 23-Jan-13 19:58:48

Forgive typos one handed typing while breast feeding my obese baby and 22 month old terror

He felt crap in minor injuries - not a crisp!!!!

KatyTheCleaningLady Wed 23-Jan-13 20:02:40

YANBU to feel a bit paranoid and annoyed.

But, they're only doing their job. After cases like Baby P, they have to check everything out.

Could the "DS is obese" thing be a cover to try and get you to bring him in so they can check nosey into other things?
If you were what they seem to think you are - struggling, many partners, not capable of good decision making, and everything else they've implied, it would be a way of perhaps engaging with you.
If you were a victim of DV or struggling, then it could be a way for them to contact you and offer help iykwim.
Unless you go and spell out to them though, that you are qualified in your area of expertise, and know what's what, and explain every incident and so on, they will keep on at you - they daren't not. If something later happened to one of your DCs and it came out that they'd had concerns and not acted, there would be hell to pay. After the Baby P and Victoria Climbie cases, they just can't afford to take chances anymore, and really, it's understandable why not.
I expect you ould have it all sorted out in a few minutes once you explain everything and they realise you know what you're on about.

SCOTCHandWRY Wed 23-Jan-13 20:08:24

Well, you do know refusing to fill in the form would have been big red flag, don't you?

I think you need to bend over backwards to show how reasonable and co-operative you are, and remain calm at all times.

Is your 10yo very active or dare-devil? It is probably a good thing in some ways that the broken leg happened at school. Has the 10 yo had an unusual number of broken bones?

charitymum Wed 23-Jan-13 20:09:20

Am sympathetic trouble is evidence suggests that this form filling and tick box approach having negative effect. Preventing parents taking children in and thinking all ok because box ticked. I am predisposed to support health care staff but even I'm more nervous about taking them in again.

MammaTJ Wed 23-Jan-13 20:11:40

I prefered the idea of him feeling crisp tbh!

They have to check, you know that, but it does make you feel bad. I have been reported to SS basically because I fell out with a so called friend. They came, they investigated, they left and wrote me a lovely letter confirming mine and DPs parenting was actually quite good and not neglectful.

My attitude is and has to be to cope 'They are only doing their job, checking me means they are also checking up on the really at risk children'. I have been reported to the RSPCA too. Bring it on! I look after my DC and my dog and no amount of checking will get them removed from me.

Just go with it, let them check you because resisting means to them you have something to hide.

dixiechick1975 Wed 23-Jan-13 20:11:58

On a practical level if dp isn't the dad they will need you or dad with parental responsibility to consent to treatment.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Wed 23-Jan-13 20:12:27

How would it have had a negative effect if you had filled in the form though? It does sound a bit like you were being awkward.

catgirl1976 Wed 23-Jan-13 20:12:33


This would annoy me too.

But just let them do the checks and do your fuming on here

TheBrideofMucky Wed 23-Jan-13 20:13:55

I hate this kind of thing. Ds managed to burn himself once in an accident at home and questions were asked. Obviously they were happy with the answers, it was a genuine accident and we are a perfectly nice, educated, functional family grin but it put the fear of God into me and I ended up developing crippling anxiety thinking that my children would be taken away, was paranoid about health workers and really quite ill for such a long time afterwards. You understand why they have to check these things but it really was Not A Good Thing for my family.

ClippedPhoenix Wed 23-Jan-13 20:15:14

If you have nothing to worry about then just fill out the forms OP. I don't really understand why you're getting so upset about it all.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Wed 23-Jan-13 20:15:17

I had a call from hv after one of my children had a little accident. It wasn't a big deal, i just chatted to them and that was that.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Wed 23-Jan-13 20:15:55

On a practical level if dp isn't the dad they will need you or dad with parental responsibility to consent to treatment.

I wondered about that too.

ClippedPhoenix Wed 23-Jan-13 20:16:41

Why on earth would you think that your kids would be taken away from you BrideofMucky? Your problem maybe?

Hegsy Wed 23-Jan-13 20:17:53

YANBU but just let them to what they want to do everything will be fine. No point getting into debates about it especially when you know you've nothing to hide

WorraLiberty Wed 23-Jan-13 20:19:03

Like I say I get the need for checks but I am an educated, national expert in education and child development, who has four thriving kids who neither school or GPs have any concerns over

Oh dear...what does your 'national expertise' have to do with anything here?

Has your DP got parental responsibility for the child he took to hospital?

Why is your 10yr old in A&E so much?

Is your other child obese or not?

Why are you so lax about form filling when you'll know all about red flags?

charitymum Wed 23-Jan-13 20:21:16

I know I need to talk it through with them. But I see daily how system fails kids and this form filling approach is why. Frustrating.

10 year old plays cricket for and swims for county. Does outdoor pursuits at guides and just started triathlons. First broken bone but lots of sprains - all at school or clubs.

2 partners in 30 years.

4 thriving children by any measures and good relationships with school. Happy to access professional support as needed with good relationship with GP who actually wrote on 10 year olds form for referral for second x ray (hospital missed it in first but I was not happy-was right) "regular attender/sporty child/no concerns"

Obese son breasted with occasional bottles and over 99.6 centile for height and weight and head.

Like I say I'm sympathetic to the individuals but the system is flawed.

Narked Wed 23-Jan-13 20:22:29

'When I was in with DS last week nurse got angry because I refused to fill in form that checks for child protection because I was looking after wheezy son and because nothing on it was relevant to his care. She became obsessed with how many dads there were to my children and whether I had social worker.'

All you're doing is raising red flags.

Jomato Wed 23-Jan-13 20:23:35

I wouldn't say that you are wrong about the box ticking approach to things but the way to address that isn't to refuse to do it, that just raises concerns and stops you from making your point. With your own professional experience you should be able to recognise that people are just doing their jobs and that you should try not to take it so personally.

florry88 Wed 23-Jan-13 20:24:22

yip, kind of had similar experience. Please just go along with what they want to do, I know its annoying but I know from experience kicking up a fuss makes things worse. I completly get where you are coming from, best of luck

MrsMushroom Wed 23-Jan-13 20:26:57

i relate to the "Where's Mum" thing at hospital. My DD2 had to have a lot of heart monitoring and when she was brand new they were going to hook her up to an ECg thing and I said I wanted to wait outside the cubicle whilst DH went in...they went shock

Like DH was a shite option.

I couldn't bear to see her on the machine that was all. She was a day old and I was still in shock.

OP you need to speak to every health pro who wants to...and fill in the forms. Just nod and smile.

aliasjoey Wed 23-Jan-13 20:28:49

Not sure why you refused to fill out the form as that will just make it worse.

And it is irrelevant that you are an 'educated, national expert'. There are plenty of cases where abuse is carried out by educated people (not accusing you of abuse, just saying they are not assesing risk based solely on your IQ level)

cory Wed 23-Jan-13 20:30:32

Wanting to health assess a child with frequent accidents isn't necessarily a criticism. It took us 7 years to find out that dd's frequent falls were caused by a connective tissue disorder. If she had had appropriate treatment earlier, she wouldn't have spent most of her pre-teens in a wheelchair. Nothing to do with my parenting, but very much worth checking out.

The "where's mum" is crap though.

Lovecat Wed 23-Jan-13 20:34:32

School nurses aren't (generally) based at schools so you wouldn't have seen them, they just cover health concerns for over 5's (HVs for under 5's) and are part of providing a joined up service.

Because of Victoria Climbie's 'aunt' lying and saying she was attending school every time she was taken into A&E, and nobody bothering checking up but instead assuming that the school would keep an eye on things, the Laming Report recommended that details of every child attendance at A&E be copied to either the School Nurse or the HV, who will then decide whether it needs taking further or not. Usually just a phone call, as others have said. Repeated admissions to A&E are taken into consideration, as are refusals to fill in forms (why on earth would you refuse to do that?).

I'm not sure what you think is flawed with the system - just because you know that there isn't a problem doesn't mean they do - they're not psychic!

TheBrideofMucky Wed 23-Jan-13 20:41:13

Anxiety isn't always the most rational of beasts Phoenix. grin

But feeling under suspicion of hurting your child and that you have to he extra careful to "tick all the right boxes" in future is not a nice feeling. I defy anyone not to feel nervous about that.

alarkthatcouldpray Wed 23-Jan-13 20:41:18

It is difficult to assess a child in the primary care setting without the main care giver present. If this is dad or step parent fine. But it can be frustrating if vital information is missing.

Eg. Have they eaten much today? Dunno. (Helpful in diagnosing appendicitis.)

When did they last past urine? Dunno. (Urine volumes tail off in meningitis.)

What height did they fall from? Dunno. ( Top of tree or branch 3 ft up.)

90% diagnosis is in the history so it has to be accurate if the doctor is to have a chance of getting it right.

charitymum Wed 23-Jan-13 20:42:35

Yes you are all correct. Just that after a rubbish month all this has done has left me bawling my eyes out and feeling crap.

The expertise matters because the nurse went into a five minute spiel on dyspraxia without even asking if I knew anything about it. A basic principle of forming a relationship with anyone in this situations is to respect knowledge whether that is professionally development and/or as
a parent. She did neither. I'd have been happier to talk if she had at least started call asking how DD was.

And we DP has parental authority - legally drawn up and agreed by both me and EX as we both trust him
completely and he works at home while we work away a lot and so
is closer to school, doc etc. and yes he did tell them that.

YABU but I understand how you feel. My dd ended up in A and E after falling out of her high chair. I had strapped her in and turned around to get the tray from the table - unforntualy I hadnt checked the straps were properly clipped shut, she leaned forward and before I could react fell head first onto the floor - scraping her eye on the corner of the tray I had just picked up. I had to take her to A and E to check her eye.

They looked at her eye and within a minute declared she was fine but still I and to answer a few child protection questions and they checked her over clearly looking for anything untoward. Obviously they didnt find anything and I would be lying if I said I it didnt upset me - it did. I was already feeling pretty shit about the whole thing but at the end of the day they dont know me, they dont know if what I say is the truth and they had to check. I just smiled, was polite and cooperative and it was over within a matter of minutes.

ClippedPhoenix Wed 23-Jan-13 20:44:42

You're right TheBride, im sure anxiety isn't a very nice thing to have but ticking boxes on forms isn't really anything to worry about unless there's a problem in the first place. If YOU have a problem then that needs to be sorted doesn't it before its projected onto your kids.

To be honest OP what you said would ring alarm bells with me too.

cory Wed 23-Jan-13 20:44:53

TheBrideofMucky Wed 23-Jan-13 20:41:13

"But feeling under suspicion of hurting your child and that you have to he extra careful to "tick all the right boxes" in future is not a nice feeling. I defy anyone not to feel nervous about that. "

I know all about it and have in fact been unjustly suspected of abuse.

But I can assure you, also from experience, that being told afterwards that failure to spot your dd's condition in time has led to irremedieable damage isn't much better.

charitymum Wed 23-Jan-13 20:52:39

ClippedPhoenix I'm interested-which bit of what I said would ring alarm bells?

Jomato Wed 23-Jan-13 20:53:25

On the parental responsibility point I have found a lot of health professionals are not totally clear on what it means in relation to consent. I think there is definitely a lack of training on the legal issues involved. That being said if he referred to it as parental authority as you did it is likely to cause further confusion. In order to avoid further issues he would be best to take some documentation with him and if anyone then questions it it can be addressed through the complaints procedure so that the staff training issue is addressed.

charitymum Wed 23-Jan-13 20:54:16

Cory I am sorry to hear that. Very hard.

PrettyKitty1986 Wed 23-Jan-13 20:56:15

We had a check up from the hv because ds1 had been to hospital 3 times over the space of 6 months or so. Two really nasty bumps to the head ( the first being when I fell over whilst holding him at around 16 months and thumped his head on the tiled kitchen floor...I was inconsolable for about 2 days, I don't think the doctors got any sense out of me) and one fit due to high temp.
It was almost amusing...because when the hv dropped in unexpectedly to do a check and detailed the three occurances, I had to show her ds1s most recent bump to the head and inform her that actually we'd only just got back from a&e, and it was now 4 occurances. Her face was a picture lol.
I understand why they have to do it though.

charitymum Wed 23-Jan-13 20:58:12

Jomato I totally agree. He has now put paperwork in wallet. Ironically ex took DP eldest son to doctors when he was looking after him while I was having baby and DP was with me (very amicable set up). Consent not even questioned but doc knew he was not dad or step dad.

ClippedPhoenix Wed 23-Jan-13 21:01:54

People usually don't call up a development problem unless there is something wrong.

Your children are going to A&E one after the other with a non biological parent.

You are thwarting filling out forms.

It would make me wonder to be fair.

TheBrideofMucky Wed 23-Jan-13 21:02:36

Sorry to hear that Cory and thanks Phoenix I am much better now.

I worked closely with SS at the time so I think it was a case of a little bit of knowledge being a dangerous thing (i.e. knowing the red flags and realising we could be raising some of them) combined with an anxiety disorder which meant I was convinced the hospital were going to report me and never really recovered from the fear.

Agree with others op (and sorry to hijack) when you have children the box ticking is just something you have to go along with and it can be irritating and you do feel judged but console yourself that the intentions behind it all are good.

charitymum Wed 23-Jan-13 21:10:04

Once to a and e with non biological parent who has legally drawn up parental authority.

Info on form was not clinically relevant and at time my son had sats of 85 and I was anxious to check that O2 was working.

Not sure I got first point on development issue- what do you mean?

Like I say I understand why they have to check things - I have been in their shoes - but the way they do it bloody well matters.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Wed 23-Jan-13 21:17:13

Its parental responsibility isn't it?

charitymum Wed 23-Jan-13 21:25:05

We have an document that say he can act with authority of parent on health and other defined areas. School and GP have copies. Works well on whole.

WilsonFrickett Wed 23-Jan-13 21:32:39

Honestly, just from your posts you are coming over as prickly and defensive. I understand that - I do, I'm not getting at you AT ALL - but being defensive, not filling in forms, citing your professional knowledge, your partner attending instead of you - all this will throw up red flags. I'm not saying its right, I'm saying it's human nature. I don't want to upset you further, I absolutely believe you are a good parent, but I think you need to think about how you are perceived.

charitymum Wed 23-Jan-13 21:48:39

No I'm down and fed up and trying so hard. After days chasing hospitals for x rays because I was sure she'd broken leg and they said she hadn't - only to find I was right. And weeks of my baby boy struggling to breath needed tlc not judgement. I saved his life because I made the right call and now I'm sitting here feeling like the world's worst parent.

greenbananas Wed 23-Jan-13 21:57:38

I think you've been given a hard time. Of course the health care professionals have to be vigilant but, as you so rightly say, the way that they deal with you and your children can make such a difference. Even if you were really struggling and did need a lot of help from social services, the health care professionals should be supporting you rather than putting you on the defensive.

I was raised by a stepfather along with my mother. If I had been taken into hospital, it may well have been him that stayed with me - although that was probably in the days before parental consent was needed for everything. I think that if your DD is close to your partner, then it makes much more sense for him to go with her and for you to stay with the breastfed baby.

Not sure why they think your 6 month old breastfed baby is obese. Being on the 99th centile does not make a baby obese - they are all within normal range if they are on the chart at all. Isn't it basically impossible to overfeed a breastfed baby?

AnyoneforTurps Wed 23-Jan-13 22:03:58

It's always horrid for parents going through this..

but.. you must be well aware, there is no magic formula for telling the difference between normal childhood accidents and abuse. If HCPs & SWs only pick up barn door cases, they will be missing thousands of kids suffering abuse or from undiagnosed problems like dyspraxia. They have to act on red flags to avoid missing abuse. They should always do so respectfully and with an open mind - most of the time, the red flags will be a false alarm. But they cannot ignore them.

As for your job, sadly HCPs and others with expert knowledge are particularly good at concealing abuse when they are the abusers. I want to stress that I am not suggesting for a moment that this is what is happening in your case - I am just making the point that the HCPs/SWs have to treat everybody the same, whatever their background.

thing1andthing2 Wed 23-Jan-13 22:08:52

Hey charity mum it sounds like you've dealt well with loads of shit and I'm sorry things have been so hard.
Have some (forbidden) hugs and I hope you feel better soon.

pigletmania Wed 23-Jan-13 22:10:29

YANBU seems a bit intrusive for no good reason

charitymum Wed 23-Jan-13 22:10:31

He is totally in proportion - looks massive though and one nurse at hospital kept saying how fat he was. But they only weighed him there - no length or head circumference. Again if she'd asked before launching into dangers of obesity I'd have told her everything about him.

Lovelygoldboots Wed 23-Jan-13 22:12:44

I have been on the receiving end of this kind of thing and to everyone who says the op is being defensive, well you have to defend yourself when you are being questioned about every aspect of your family life and would like to ask how they would feel if it happened to them. My DD started school and she was constantly wetting herself. I asked for support from the school, hoping she would grow out of it. The school nurse and the school I felt seemed to be under the impression that I was neglecting my DD. They questioned everything I was doing with her even visiting my home. I eventually managed to see a proper Doctor, who performed an EEG and diagnosed Benign Focal Epilepsy, a common childhood epilepsy which children grow out of. And of course she grew out of the accompanying incontinence. Try and get all the support you can OP, you don't have to go along with the school nurse. Talk to your gp, that's where I get all my support from and I have never seen the school nurse since. TBH I think they are a fucking waste of time in my experience and what I went through still makes me angry. They cannot diagnose specialist conditions.

Charmingbaker Wed 23-Jan-13 22:16:17

I also work in child development and both my boys have been in and out of hospital since summer ( indeed I have spent half of radar in A&E). Every time I go in they ask if we have a social worker, health visitor (who had seen DS2 last when he was a week old, he's now 2) has regularly seen us. I am very knowledgeable about my children's conditions and do not need extra support, I also know that developmentally their are no concerns. However I find it very reassuring that these checks/ contacts are in place. I have seen professionally the damage that can be done when there is no 'whole picture' approach, and any steps that help reduce this are fine by me.
I also know how stressful it is when children are ill, and how frustrating it is when it is you having to chase everything up and mistakes are made. I have found it hard work with 2DCs, so credit to you for coping with 4. Try not to take any if it personally, you have got nothing to hide. Most importantly don't forget to look after yourself as well, make sure you get some me time, even if it's just half an hour in the bath.

Charmingbaker Wed 23-Jan-13 22:18:49

I meant - half of today in A&E.

Delayingtactic Wed 23-Jan-13 22:26:08

I can understand its upsetting but what are they meant to do? If a parent states they are an expert in child development / protection should red flag never be looked at? Of course not. Children will have normal accidents / illnesses but for a very small percentage it is indicative that something is amiss at home. It might just be that a bit more support / education is needed or it might be that action needs to be taken. No health care professional should make assumptions without at least looking into the situation first. It's incredibly difficult to spot those who are truly at risk but what else are they meant to do?

charitymum Wed 23-Jan-13 22:27:17

No I get that the professional background does not make a difference - not IQ as someone else said - but in all my years doing this from other side I would always try and start from asking parent option/input first. It puts parent in an equal expert position and you can better gauge where you need to start discussion and what input useful. Two lectures today on areas that I possibly knew more about than them and not one question about how DS or DD was now. I'll call them both up and tick all boxes tomorrow-I know I need too because else they will red flag- but today their approach failed me and if I'm thinking twice about taking my kids to hospital again - and I have nothing to hide - then a parent who needed significant support would potentially be even less likely to go.

And - professional hat on - there is limited evidence that non biological father figures in home increase risk p abuse or neglect - or that men cannot assume caring roles in health scenarios. Just like assuming that lawyers don't abuse babies a system that flags step dads or fathers rather than mothers attending hospital rather than mum risks looking for abuse and neglect in wrong place. Best defence is less tick box and more school nurses, HVs and social workers that have repeated supportive access to families skilled in relationship building and trust forming.

charitymum Wed 23-Jan-13 22:30:32

And honestly in RL I'm a nice level headed non defensive human being!!

Jomato Wed 23-Jan-13 22:34:38

I think Charmingbaker has a very good point. Try to look on the positives, you know your children are well looked after and there is nothing to worry about but isn't it good that there are professionals to keep an eye on those who aren't. I took my DD to the GP at 16 weeks old because she had a cold and I wanted her chest checked. She also had a fairly large scratch on her face, I was annoyed that the GP didn't ask about it, especially as she had a group of medical students with her. She should have asked and she should have been teaching the students that they should ask. Ticking boxes isn't a perfect system by any stretch of the imagination, but it works better than when things used to be ignored.

Andro Wed 23-Jan-13 22:34:49

Almost anyone would get frustrated by continual assumptions OP, you are far from alone!

The tick-box knee jerk reaction culture puts conscientious parents through hell whilst still failing to catch a significant number of abusive situations. SW have a lousy habit of doing too much talking and assuming, whilst not doing nearly enough listening.

charitymum Wed 23-Jan-13 22:35:06

Lovelygoldboots that is really rough. Well done on getting to bottom of it. I do think school nurses have place but they can be challenged when faced with specialist conditions and even sometimes developmental concerns.

In truth with cuts to provision we will see more tick box and less support - not good for staff, parents or kids.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Thu 24-Jan-13 11:16:14

As for your job, sadly HCPs and others with expert knowledge are particularly good at concealing abuse when they are the abusers. I want to stress that I am not suggesting for a moment that this is what is happening in your case - I am just making the point that the HCPs/SWs have to treat everybody the same, whatever their background.

That's true, you can't expect to be treated differently to other people because of your job. If you did they wouldn't be doing their job properly.

If you don't like people spending a few minutes telling you stuff you already know then either you stop them and tell them that you know xyz as you've spoken to the Dr about it/researched it/or whatever, or you accept that you have a bit of a chip on your shoulder about it. Someone telling you something you already know is really not a big deal.

Lovelygoldboots Thu 24-Jan-13 11:38:08

The term "red flags" encourages some hcp to continue a train of though in which they assue there is no smoke without fire. The idea that if you have nothing to hide means you have to put up with some officious person questioninf your family life is not true. You have a right enshrined in law to privacy. There was a thread recently about a child who had died from methadone. Lots of talk about over stretched social services. There needs to be more joined up thinking and less box ticking. Its hunting for demons that aren't there.

cory Thu 24-Jan-13 11:46:28

"There was a thread recently about a child who had died from methadone. Lots of talk about over stretched social services. There needs to be more joined up thinking and less box ticking. Its hunting for demons that aren't there."

How do you mean? Surely the demons were there? Those parents' right to privacy came at the cost of the child's life! Or do you mean SWs should have telepathic powers to know from the start which parents can safely be left unquestioned and which are hiding something dangerous?

No, I wasn't abusing dd- there was a medical reason for her condition. But there will have been other parents who presented the same, said the same things, looked as convincing as me, who were lying to the professionals to cover up abuse. They haven't got a crystal ball to tell us apart.

cory Thu 24-Jan-13 11:48:38

Lovelygoldboots Wed 23-Jan-13 22:12:44
"I have been on the receiving end of this kind of thing and to everyone who says the op is being defensive, well you have to defend yourself when you are being questioned about every aspect of your family life and would like to ask how they would feel if it happened to them"

I have plenty of experience of this, having been suspected of abuse once and investigated by SS on two further unrelated occasions. I still say I wouldn't want another child to die or be put at risk to spare my feelings.

But better after support for parents who have been unjustly accused (and their children) would be a desiderandum.

EldritchCleavage Thu 24-Jan-13 11:52:33

One thing I firmly agree with you on-this rigid assumption it always has to be the mother who attends medical appointments with children, and suspicion of anything else. We get this a lot.

DH is biological father, at home parent, we are married, etc etc. But still this happens to us. It is outrageous really. If we both attend, HCPs just talk to me. When I say to ask my DH as he's with the children all day, they let him speak then still ask me the follow-up questions. He honestly gets treated very badly sometimes. It is not inherently undesirable or suspicious for fathers to be in charge of their children, either occasionally or generally.

Lovelygoldboots Thu 24-Jan-13 13:43:35

No, of course I dont assume sworkers are telepathic. But you cant assume that all parents are abusers. That means parents who are not as confident as me and not as able to press for what I justifablly thought was the correct diagnosis for my daughter will not seek treatment or support understandably. More and more families will slip through the net and that is the tragedy. Nit sparing parents feelings.

Lovelygoldboots Thu 24-Jan-13 13:44:08


Narked Thu 24-Jan-13 13:51:58

I totally understand why the OP was defensive and the pointlessness of many of the checks and questions. Unfortunately, if you don't play their game and nod and and tick the boxes you are likely to attract their attention, and once they start they can fixate.

It's one of my personal theories that the reason some of the horrific cases happen under SS 'supervision' is that they are more wary/suspicious of people who challenge them and ask questions than those who, whilst they're there, nod and cry and accept everything they say.

Lovelygoldboots Thu 24-Jan-13 13:57:48

Narked, that is my experience. I think your theory is spot on.

Andro Thu 24-Jan-13 14:05:49

One thing I've never understood about sw's is why they either don't listen to the children they are supposed to be protecting (child of one of my friends - sw's actions had devastating consequences which could have been avoided is the sw had listened and acted on the child's fears) or make the child(ren) in question feel like crap (my DS). Are they so busy ticking boxes that they are not taught how to interact with children?

(Yes, I'm sure there are a lot of very, very good sw's out there doing a great job in difficult circumstances)

shagmundfreud Thu 24-Jan-13 14:06:03


I got a call from SS after ds1 fell out of a trolley in Ikea and cut his head (not badly enough to need stitches, but needed to be seen in A&E.

They told me 'be more careful next time'. hmm

Also got a letter from SS telling me I shouldn't use physical discipline on my children (I don't usually but had slapped a packet of tablets out of 12 year old dd's hand when she was threatening to kill herself because I'd confiscated her lap top, and then slapped her another time after she swore at me and kicked a hole in the door. We'd been referred to CAMHS because of her self-harming and a child psychologist asked her if I'd hit her - she said yes).

You have my sympathy - it's horrible to think that your name is on a file somewhere with SS....

TroublesomeEx Thu 24-Jan-13 14:10:04

I'm surprised you're so defensive about it actually.

I'm a teacher and have also worked with voluntary organisations and vulnerable people in one capacity or another for a number of years.

Unfortunately, and through none of my own doing, I have found myself on the receiving end of a 'safeguarding alert'.

Is it embarrassing? Of course it is. But given that I understand why the measures are in place, I'm actually just pleased to see that they are implemented when appropriate and that they are rigorous.

I've certainly not complained about them, however inconvenient they may be.

I'm surprised that an educated, national expert in education and child development can't see why these measures/questions/checks might be appropriate tbh. They can't treat you any differently than they could treat me any differently.

My CRB, qualifications and employment history counted for nothing when someone thought my children might be at risk (they weren't).

fuckadoodlepoopoo Thu 24-Jan-13 14:43:39

Folkgirl. Do you mind if i ask what caused the safeguarding alert? (just being nosy, ignore me if you want!)

TroublesomeEx Thu 24-Jan-13 15:07:12

That's ok doodle.

We made an enquiry about someone under Sarahs' Law and got a 'positive' result.

The police give you the result of the check but they raise a safeguarding alert automatically with the local authority who complete an Initial Assessment to check that the children are safe.

Lovelygoldboots Thu 24-Jan-13 15:09:29

Given the recent case in Plymouth then yes there cant be assumptions that anyone with a crb clearance is not a risk. But, does a parent not have the right to disagree with a social worker or health care provider. I am not talking about embarrassment, but ripping up the red flag rule book and engaging with children and families with discrete support that recognises their invidual circumstances.

TroublesomeEx Thu 24-Jan-13 15:13:16

Unfortunately, there isn't any room for discretion in these cases. Everything has to be done 'by the book' so that people are protected if something goes wrong.

At least if they've done things 'properly' they haven't been negligent in their duties.

The LA/Govt doesn't like recognising individual circumstances. It's not precise or clear enough.

Andro Thu 24-Jan-13 15:43:22

At least if they've done things 'properly' they haven't been negligent in their duties. - and then they hide behind this when it all goes wrong!

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