Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, see our mental health web guide which can point you to expert advice.

This fear that social services will come and take your children...

(632 Posts)
willsurvivethis Fri 29-Jan-10 15:41:24

...it worries me!

There seem to be so many women out there who are afraid to seek help for depression and other problems out of fear that they will lose their children.

I have just asked MNHQ if they would consider doing something with this. Because surely if so many of us fear to lose our children something is going wrong somewhere! Surely we should all be albe to seek help with confidence?

What are your thoughts on this? I struggle with PTSD and even told my doctor that I tended to keep emotional distance from my ds when he's ill without even considering the possibility of that having repercussions.

Comewhinewithme Fri 29-Jan-10 15:45:12

Yes I won't go to the GP and tell him that since having my dd I have flashbacks to the awful birth and somedays I feel as though I can't go on because I am scared that ss would somehow become involved .

Comewhinewithme Fri 29-Jan-10 15:46:09

You are right BTW it does need addressing so people are not afraid to access the help they need.

FlamingoBingo Fri 29-Jan-10 15:48:25

Yup. I'm afraid to be honest about how I feel sometimes for fear of what will happen to my children.

JollyPirate Fri 29-Jan-10 16:04:23

Yes this needs addressing. I have recently worked with a young Mum who took ages tp seek help for her terrible PND because her Mum told her that if she was antidepressants her shit of a boyfriend (who physically, emotionally and psychologically abused her) would be able to get custody of their two children hmm. Or that social services would be round.

It took me an awful lot of visiting and listening and discussion before she felt able to seek the help she needed. An awful lot of reassurance that she was brilliant mum doing a fantastic job before she could believe me.

Now she is better - on antidepressants but weaning off.

Definitely needs discussion.

LittleMarshmallow Fri 29-Jan-10 16:13:54

Yup I agree too I have had some horrific encounters especially my latest thread. It now means that no matter what happens I will refuse to tell anyone anything, because I am scared that I will be judged as I have in the past especially as one doctor called me selfish and stupid for asking for help.

It is very sad that we can't access support and feel the need to distrust everything / everyone near enough in the health care profession.

weegiemum Fri 29-Jan-10 16:17:02

Yes, I ended up with a SS investigation after dd2 was born (dc3) as I had had to be referred to psychiatry for specialist help (bad reaction to tablets) and HV (I think, it might also have been psych staff or my toxic mother) referred to ss.

Ended up in 3 ghastly meetings where we had no rights, no access to minutes, had to give in to everything they said and then listen to some horrible social worker 15 years younger than me with no kids say "well I'm not sure this is all true anyway". Bitch.

It is without doubt the most stressful experience of my life. And believe me, I am no slouch at stressful moments!!

The one good thing that came out of it is that dh, who is a GP, said it has totally changed his attitude to SS and he now goes to every meeting his patients have with ss as an advocate to stand up for them!

Someone who had left the department before our case did tell us that the investigating SW we had had a real thing about "getting" middle class "happily married" couples just to make a point, so a 10y married professional couple with 3 happy kids was like manna from heaven to her.

I understand why people are scared - the worst thing that could happen to me today would be ss knocking on my door!

crappiestmumever Fri 29-Jan-10 19:06:34

I'm in the same position, my health is really bad at the moment and thats partly because I'm scared to say how bad i feel for fear that they will take my children from me. It doesnt matter how many time my lawyer tells me that they have no grounds to remove my children I'm still scared.
Tonight I'm struggling really bad and I know if i phone crisis team the first theing they will say is are my children safe, do they need to phone social work standby? I'm scared to phone IHTT because they dont really know me and they could say the same so I end up feeling 10 times worse.
Our social worker just now is okish, shes better than what she was but its her senior thats the problem, he seems to think anyone with a disability of some sort shouldnt have care of their children. It's views like his that make it soo much harder for me to be honest and reach out for help.

BooHooo Fri 29-Jan-10 19:14:01

What are your thoughts on this? I struggle with PTSD and even told my doctor that I tended to keep emotional distance from my ds when he's ill without even considering the possibility of that having repercussions."

Sorry i don't know what you mean here, can you explain?

willsurvivethis Fri 29-Jan-10 19:24:33

I mean that when I told my doctor that I emotionally withdrew from my son when he was poorly I never even considered that it might be unsafe to do so, that I might be considered a bad mum (although I believed I was a bad mum)and that someone might want to take my child away as a result.

Yet so many women seem scared to seek help sad.

So maybe I was naive (although I've only ever received positive support) or maybe a lot of women suffer ad worry unnecessarily.

willsurvivethis Fri 29-Jan-10 19:26:14

Boohoo I see what you mean now - My lay out is misleading. I'm asking for people's thoughts on this fear of having your children removed, not on my personal situation, sorry!

nickname123 Fri 29-Jan-10 19:27:03

My first son was adopted by social services against my will because they were afraid my 'depression' might harm him emotionally in future.
When I had my next son 5 years later I left the area to stay away them social services and have now taken care of my 3 yr old (second son) completely alone since his birth. I see a health visiter and surestart workers very often and they have no concerns.

I may get low sometimes but I know I have to get out and walk any ill feelings out of my system, I learnt to deal with it alone and I do.
There's no chance in hell I would EVER tell anyone again if I was suffering depression.

I would only feel safe admitting depression to the authorities when my youngest child was 4 so they were no longer too adoptable.
I would even reccomend having mixed race children as it's FACT they're far less likely to be taken.
Have a blue eyed blonde newborn and damn right you better be careful about asking social services for help.

I have to be very careful though as I'm completely single.
Other people who have close family who social services realise would step in needn't be so worried.

willsurvivethis Fri 29-Jan-10 19:29:48

Nickname I know this is your opinion - that children are adopted not because their parents are unable to care but because they are young and pretty. You've mentioned it on a few threads and I understand why it is such an emotive issue for you, but it is not a fact so please do not present it as such x

nickname123 Fri 29-Jan-10 19:34:59

Negative feelings can pass, but if you tell the authorities what you're feeling at your lowest of low (for example I admitted my baby didn't feel like mine when suffering exhaustion and going cold turkey from breastfeeding) that exact thing I said which I didn't even necessarily feel a day or week later, was used against me in court an entire year later and it contributed to the judge taking my son.

I thought if I told social services the worst of how I felt that they would HELP and give me some respite and support.
It was the biggest mistake of my life trusting them.

willsurvivethis Fri 29-Jan-10 19:36:43

Absolutely - as I said you have every reason to feel the way you do and I feel for you, I can't imagine what it means to lose a child that way sad

nickname123 Fri 29-Jan-10 19:38:15

willsurvivethis i'm sorry but it's statistical fact that social services are far more eager to take very young white children into care.
Look into it.
My second child is mixed race and just as pretty to me but I'm thankful that the figures show he's less likely to be snatched up.
Especially now he's 3, thankgod he's left the at severly at risk of being too cute and adoptable zone.

willsurvivethis Fri 29-Jan-10 19:40:18

Nickname I don't really want to go into a yes-no debate here - most of all out of respect for your feelings on this. But if you tell me where to find the stats I will have a look x

ellymouse Fri 29-Jan-10 19:58:15

I just want to say what a relief it is to find this thread, i was diagnosed with psychosis a few years ago and ever since i found out i'm pregnant i've been SO stressed worrying that my baby will be taken. My case worker says they won't cuz i know pschosis sounds scary but i'm no danger to anyone and i'm looking after myself. i'm sad that you lot are scared too but also a bit relieved in a very selfish way (sorry) that i'm not alone.

I agree that something needs to be done. This feeling that ss are bogeymen waiting to snatch children is a prevalent one. Women are afraid of them. Surely the system is designed to help not hinder and they are falling far short. But then sometimes you read articles etc that encourage and support this view. Was it last week that that young girl ran away to ireland in fear of ss taking her child only to have this happen anyway?(there was a thread- and links to the relating articles that i can't find) and i find it terrifying that babies can be adopted when the mother still wants them-nickname i can't possibly imagine how this felt i am so sorry for you.
Ss seem to be failing in many ways. Women who want help are afraid to ask for it, people who don't want help have it forced upon them, and children who are genuinely suffering and need help are falling by the wayside. Mnhq should be proud to front a campaign to right these numerous wrongs.

My 2 Social Workers are power-hungy, vulnerable-praying bitches.

Perhaps that is why!

oh, and they are ignorant, misinformed and have a level of written English worse than mine.

ruhavingalarf Fri 29-Jan-10 20:04:41

Is ss the best abbreviation for them?

willsurvivethis Fri 29-Jan-10 20:05:57

Ellymouse I'm glad you're not feeling alone anymore - that's not selfish that's just good.

evanshayleyleanne you word it so well - for me it is a problem both ways, either women have reason to be afraid in which case something's wrong or they worry unnecessarily in which case something's still wrong.

I'm glad I'm not the only one feeling this way!

nickname123 Fri 29-Jan-10 20:06:21

"The number of babies taken into care rose to 2,800 in 2005 from 1,600 in 1995. They are usually between one and four years old when adopted and *adoptions for this age group has trebled* from 810 in 1995 to 2,300 in 2005. The number of older children who have been removed from their parents in the period has also risen, but not nearly as sharply."
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article1265792.ece

It's clear that children of a more adoptable age have become far more likely to be taken into care in recent years.

John hemming also quotes in the 'this morning' interview with fran on youtube that black children are far more likely to be left to suffer abuse without being removed from their parents' care.

Whilst politions and the times newspaper can certainly say things in such a way which supports their point of view, they cannot outright lie about statistics without being caught.
That said along with it being common knowledge that SS don't take older children into care that ARE being beaten, etc, happening right in front of our very eyes when you're growing up in a rough area makes in completely obvious that SS are more likely to take children who are more adoptable.
If you take you're 14 year old kid into a social services office and say 'I ca't cope, take them' the social worker will say no because a children's home is likely to worsen their behaviour. If you take a very much wanted cute baby there when there are adoptive parents lining up for wsuch a child they'll be fare more likely to take it, you see?
People who want to adopt are queing up for newborns.

NoodleDoodleDoToo Fri 29-Jan-10 20:14:27

Well this shows that black and mixed race children are OVER represented in the Care population......

Lies,damn lies and statistics. make of them what you will.

www.dcsf.gov.uk/consultations/downloadableDocs/EIA%20Final.docHere

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