Emergency Fostering - what are SS's responsibilities?

(112 Posts)
CouthyMow Mon 27-Jan-14 02:45:41

For various reasons, mostly to do with the safeguarding of my younger DC's, and to try to get my DD the MH support she so desperately needs, I have had to refuse to allow her to come home after she is taken to court in the morning.

She is 15, with SN's and has been self-harming again (only discovered in police custody).

I had to have her arrested yesterday for criminal damage, partly for my safety, partly for the safety of my younger DC's, and partly tbh for her OWN safety.

Because it has been logged as a DV incident, and I am the victim, and for the reasons outlined above, I cannot have her home.

I thought in these circumstances, SS were OBLIGED to find an emergency FC placement?

DD has been in cells since 2.30pm yesterday afternoon. The Officer in Charge of the case has had a massive row with the duty SW as they have refused to find a placement for DD - apparently there isn't anywhere.

Tomorrow morning, she will be taken by security, with no appropriate adult, to a youth court in a town over 30 miles away, as my local court isn't open tomorrow. They didn't WANT to take her strait to court, but as SS have refused to place her, the police have no choice.

After court, she will be taken down to the Court Cells until YOTS can see her. YOTS will have to contact SS. Then DD will STILL be waiting in cells until a SW can get there.

I don't know if it will be a SW from MY area or a SW from THAT area. That area is in the South of my County, and I am in the North of my County.

I have no transport, what will I do about visiting DD?

I'm not doing this because I WANT to, but because it's the last resort, and I have to safeguard my younger DC's from her violence - as well as smashing my house up constantly for the last 4 days, and absconding repeatedly, she has also threatened to beat my 11yo black and blue and to push him down the stairs.

Are they discharging a proper duty of care to my vulnerable, depressed, self harming 15yo with SN's and Moderate Learning Difficulties??

Leaving her in cells for maybe 24 hours or more in total? She was arrested at 2.30pm yesterday afternoon, and will be taken to court at 8/9am tomorrow, to be heard at some random point after that. Then she will have to wait for YOTS (not her first court appearance for criminal damage) and THEN wait for a SW...

Is this normal with such a vulnerable teenager if the parent, for reasons of her younger DC's safety, cannot take them back home?

CouthyMow Mon 27-Jan-14 06:43:45

Anyone?

SanityClause Mon 27-Jan-14 06:47:20

I'm sorry, I don't know anything about this.

Can I hand hold until a useful person comes along?

brew

meditrina Mon 27-Jan-14 06:48:45

I can't offer practical help/advice for these circumstances.

But am posting so you know that someone is thinking of you.

thanks

ivykaty44 Mon 27-Jan-14 06:52:28

Sorry this is happening to you

I doubt that as are obliged to find emergency foster care if there isn't any foster care suitable

wannabestressfree Mon 27-Jan-14 06:58:07

If you can find my thread about my son I went through the same thing. My son threatened me with a knife, was removed by the police and emergency fostered. He then was sectioned and spent nearly two years having treatment. Pm me if you need anything xx
Social services will lean on you though to take her back. You must keep saying no. They will find appropriate care for her. I was in the same boat. I couldn't access mental health care at a higher level until I did something by refusing to have him here (he has aspergers also). He then completely unravelled in hospital and they saw just how ill he was......
Best of luck it's a difficult road BUT my son is home, at college and well now xxx

CouthyMow Mon 27-Jan-14 06:59:15

What happens then? They can't leave a vulnerable 15yo in court cells indefinitely? Can they? And they can't release her with nowhere to go either, she's under 16...

And I genuinely can't have her back at present, to protect my younger DC's.

I'm in bits as it is and it's only come to this because CAHMS refused to see her because she hadn't finished her 6x weekly sessions with a counsellor from the Junction, 20min sessions that my DD wouldn't open up in.

Can't get her any help while she's at home, and can't protect the younger DC's.

She can't go to the only Children's Home in the area, as she has an on-off relationship with one of the long term residents. I'm quite sure that is putting a spanner in the works.

I know she won't be an easy placement, but they can't put her NOWHERE if I can't have her back yet on safeguarding grounds. SS will have my guts for garters if I don't put the younger ones first.

Feel trapped between a rock and a hard place.

SanityClause Mon 27-Jan-14 07:03:17

Will she definitely need foster care? Perhaps the arrest will help her understand the consequences of her actions, and she'll be able to come home? Or are you not prepared to risk that for your other DC? (Which is understandable.)

ivykaty44 Mon 27-Jan-14 07:04:52

Who says she can't go to children's home? Ss ?

SanityClause Mon 27-Jan-14 07:05:11

Ok, x posted, and I see that's not an option, and probably a bad idea, to boot.

WhatEverZen Mon 27-Jan-14 07:44:58

In my experience, social care will be very reluctant to take your daughter into care without a proper assessment or pre-planning. At this stage, the primary responsibility for the care of your dd is yours as her mother, albeit that you are also the victim and you are concerned at possible safeguarding concerns for your other dcs. However this doesnt negate your own responsibilities here, however difficult things are for you at the moment.

Have you spoken to your gp about a referral to CAMHS which is a mental health service for young people?

I would expect that social care or the YOT will get in touch with you today, if they haven't already.

When your dd appears in court today, it is doubtful that the court will deal with the whole court case today especially if you're not in court. They certainly wont be looking to send your dd into custody until the criminal damage case can be fully dealt with so the immediate issue for the court will be a question of where your ds goes in the meantime.

However difficult it is for you, you do need to think about the circumstances in which you can have your dd home. What support do you and your dd need from agencies? and let social care know. There are services out there to support families in these situations but there isnt a 'quick fix'. I think you probably know this yourself which is why its tempting in these circumstances just to want a total break from it all.

Sorry I know I'm probably not saying the things you desperately want to hear at the moment. Keep the lines of communication open with social care so that youre able to communicate what you need to support your dd and other dcs through this. Good luck OP

VivaLeBeaver Mon 27-Jan-14 07:48:49

I suppose they might put her in the childrens home regardless of the relationship if there isn't anywhere else. Or a home in a different area.

Thinking of you, the situation sounds awful.

MrsDeVere Mon 27-Jan-14 07:50:19

I have a few secs before I go to school bus.

She can go in care under a sec 20 if she has no-one with PR who is willing or able to take her in.

She is 15 so they do need to find her a fc place.

They won't want to do it because its hard to find placements and tbh a lot of teens think its a shortcut to a council flat so they have to be careful.

I am sorry but I don't know anything about the criminal side of it.

OddBoots Mon 27-Jan-14 07:51:31

You've been trying to get her help for a long time, anyone who has followed your threads will know how hard you have tried.

I can't help with what the law is but can totally understand why you are having to say she can't come home and I think you have to stick with that stance, it seems to be the only way she will get help.

I'm sure you feel awful in not allowing her back but you are doing the right thing, you need to keep all your children safe long-term.

WhatEverZen Mon 27-Jan-14 07:53:17

Just seen your post that CAMHS wouldn't accept referral! Thats not good. Now that things have escalated, it may open doors that weren't open. Annoys me that things have to reach this kind of stage before some services open their doors!

lunar1 Mon 27-Jan-14 07:54:25

I have no advice but don't want to read and run, I can't imagine how tough this must be.

Wannabe, I followed your thread and always wondered how your ds was as couldn't find it again. I'm so glad to see he is doing well.

callow Mon 27-Jan-14 07:57:10

There was something on the radio about this at the weekend.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25900085

Perhaps you could use this as leverage in getting her the help she needs.

It really is a travesty that children as there most vulnerable are treated like this.

Featherbag Mon 27-Jan-14 07:57:53

WhateverZen I think you're missing the point, the op sounds all too aware of CAMHS etc and I'm sure she's more than aware of her responsibilities. She can't have her dd back without putting the younger DCs at significant risk of harm. As they are even more vulnerable than dd, her primary responsibility has to be to them.

OP, so sorry you're in this awful situation, have you spoken to SS yourself? I know it's not even vaguely similar, but it often have to try and persuade SS to do things they don't want to in the name of safeguarding in the line of my work - I often find collecting names and names of supervisors helps get things moving. Have you called the duty SW yourself?

Hendricksandcucumber Mon 27-Jan-14 08:03:58

Are there any other family members or close friends who could have either your DD or your younger children for a few days?

Would you feel able to have DD back in the house if the younger DCs stayed at an aunt/friend/grandma's for a while? I know that's far from ideal but could it work if nothing else will?

Sunshinenow Mon 27-Jan-14 08:09:33

Wannabestressfree, (sorry to interrupt an important bread).

Lovely to see your son is home. I followed your horrible time when he was quite poorly.

So glad to here things have improved. It was a tread that stayed with me. X

CouthyMow Mon 27-Jan-14 08:10:17

I don't have anywhere to send them. Only their Dad's. DS2 & DS3's dad lives in a ROOM in a shared house with people with Autism, so not suitable. DS1's dad is in a bedsit, so not suitable, he can't even have overnights right now. Family not suitable, due to their neglect of me/mother's alcoholism.

So, only solution to safeguard them is for DD to be placed in FC until the services she needs have been accessed. Been told by the police officer that if I have her home, a) SS will have to instigate CP plans on all three of my younger DC 's, and b) they won't be forced to put in place the help DD needs.

And I need to do it NOW because she is 16 in 6 weeks, and will them fall outside the remit of children's services, but below the remit of adult services.

It SHOULDN'T have got to crisis point, but it has.

Oh, and it was DD's Paed who referred her to CAHMS, before signing her off from children's services as DD's next appointment would be after she was 16. That was in December.0

MrsDeVere Mon 27-Jan-14 08:35:06

No she wont fall outside children's services.

Refer them to the Southwark Judgement if they try to pull that stunt.

Children 16/17 cannot be placed in a hostel by SS in lieu of a fc placement or supported lodgings.

16 is still a child.

poopooheadwillyfatface Mon 27-Jan-14 09:07:46

Sent you another pm, Couthy. flowers

I think you need to put some stuff in writing. Please record any conversations you have, on the phone or in person.

I have a horrible feeling that someone from SS is going to attempt to blackmail you to have her back by suggesting that your younger children are easier to place.

In other words they may threaten to place the younger children as you can't keep them safe from your eldest.

Please, please document and record.

CouthyMow Mon 27-Jan-14 09:21:09

I have the same concern. I'm not about to take that lying down though...this seems to be the ONLY way I can get DD the help she so desperately needs.

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