Any advice re social services?

(76 Posts)
Terrifiedmumofone Tue 24-Sep-13 18:59:11

This is not my normal user name.

I am a single parent of one little boy who is a happy, healthy little chap who is going for his first full day of pre-school tomorrow after having taster sessions for the past 2 days.

Before school started, his teacher came out to visit & I asked her if she knew of any registered childminders or similarly checked people in my area who I could possibly pay to walk my son to school & back as I have difficulty leaving the house sometimes.

The teacher contacted social services & all of a sudden I had some woman turn up on my doorstep & basically bulldoze her way through the door saying she was a health visitor sent by social services.

She began by telling me I was obviously ill as I looked dreadful, commented on my son having plenty of toys & so on, asked why there was a patch on the wall (I was in the middle of having some work done to the house which I explained) then left.

I thought she was social services (she said she'd come from them) & was very upset, I actually complained to the school but thought that was the end of the matter.

Today, about 10 minutes after I arrived home from the pre-school session I find 2 strange women at the door who say THEY are social services here to do an assessment.
They have a report from the health visitor, which includes amongst other things an allegation my son is chewing wires!
I had stupidly said I got all the wires buried in the wall when the tv was wallmounted so they couldn't be got at by kids, how is that a child chewing wires?

They tell me the health visitor was not from them.
She left no paperwork of any kind either, so I don't know where she came from or why exactly.
I refused to let them into the house & stated I wanted an advocate present as they were there on the basis of a conversation without a witness who could have disputed the information contai
ned within the report.
They would not give me a way to contact them or tell me when they would be back, did not tell me where exactly they were from & did not even know my name, just my sons name.

I am devasted.
I know I do a great job with my son & I should have nothing to fear but I'm now so scared they will take him away.

They said they didn't really know about advocates, but thought they might know someone who might be able to find one & then they said they'd bring one round.

I want to get my own advocate, but they won't tell me when they will be back (might be tomorrow, might be whenever) & I don't even know where to look.

I'm in bits.
I so regret asking the school about finding a responsible person who has passed the right checks & I feel like an idiot & I really don't know what to do because I have nobody to ask.

I have no friends or family within a 2 hour drive of my house, my family don't even know I have problems leaving the house & they wouldn't be of any help even if they knew.

I'm hoping someone has some advice for me.

Are they allowed to do this?
Shouldn't I be allowed to have my own advocate & a way to contact them to check they even are who they say they are?

I'm sorry this so rambliing, I can't stop crying & I don't know what to do or who to ask without making it worse.

Adult social care are v precious about data protection. Children's services are a bit more practical about it.
I'm a children's SW but I don't work I child protection so I can only speculate what's happening. I imagine the concern is about whether the fact that you are unable to take your ds to school equals that you are unable to meet his care needs (this is it in black and white I am not judging or stating fact). They will/are doing An initial assessment which will determine either no further action or there will be some intervention.

Bumpiemalumpie Fri 04-Oct-13 19:15:56

BlackDaisies Thanks, that is what I suggested actually and gave some advice. As work in Child Protection and deal with Young People being abused over the internet on an hourly basis, I am well aware that people should be cautious. I merely suggested a PM so that OP did not have to discuss any details in RL if she wanted to offload.

OP, I am pleased that the advocate is on the case and I hope that you are getting the information you need and also reassurance that you are doing a great job.

Just to let you know, I would question the Social Worker who approached your GP without your permission, unless they were in a Child Protection Investigation under Section 47 CA '89' they cannot do this with out your permission.

Good luck.

bochead Sat 12-Oct-13 07:02:29

Send in a written correction of the "report".

e.g You realised that there was a POTENTIAL hazard in your home in that you were worried your child MIGHT be able to chew wires, in the FUTURE, once they had grown a little. In order to PREVENT this from happening, you had some work done to wall mount your TV. You see it as your role as a responsible parent to identify potential hazards in the home, and to resolve them before they become an issue as your child develops.

Invite them to visit you at X time, on Y day - show you have NOTHING to hide. If you can't have an advocate present for any reason RECORD the conversation (mobile phone? Cheap £30 digital dicta phone off amazon).

I am so sorry this is happening to you. It seems as a single parent getting sick is a punishable offence, (in my case I had a yukky but totally treatable eye infection). Does your child have to attend this school? From my own experience schools opinions seem to trump medics and anyone else who might be involved with your child as far as SS is concerned. If you are only at the "taster" stage it might be as well to save yourself the hassle and go elsewhere.

Mapleduram Tue 22-Oct-13 13:58:46

Hi Terrifiedmumofone,

I notice from your posts that you said:

From the referral letter the doctor wrote it is not clear he was aware I have never met or heard of this duty social worker according to the appointment centre who read it out to me.

and

I asked her if she thought saying I didn't want the assessment would give SS grounds to say I was refusing help & she recommended I get some advice from my advocate to decide is I should make the appointment but that I should know they really would just be doing a report for nothing as they don't deal with childminding.

and

I found myself an advocate who is being given the run-around a bit. Despite getting advice from ICO on the distribution of information covered by the data protection act the SWs swear I can only be handed information in person.

Did social services contact your doctor before contacting yourself? I.e did they share sensitive and personal information about yourself without consent and without actual evidence that your child is at risk?

If you think that they did then I suggest you tell you advocate about the Haringey Judgement:

www.familylaw.co.uk/articles/judicial-review-r-ab-and-cd-v-haringey-london-borough-council-2013-ewhc-416-admin

Basically, two parents took Haringey Social Services to court because they started a Section 47 child abuse inquiry unlawfully. Social Services lost the case because they broke Data Protection and Human Rights laws. The parents were awarded compensation as a result.

It really is worth asking your advocate if this judgement applies to your circumstances.

If you can wave the law in social services face then they might back down and go away.

Take care,

Mapleduram

Terrifiedmumofone Tue 05-Nov-13 23:12:57

I wish I had kept posting as this went along because my nightmare continues.

In answer to the question
"Did social services contact your doctor before contacting yourself? I.e did they share sensitive and personal information about yourself without consent and without actual evidence that your child is at risk?"

Yes, social services contacted my doctor a couple of weeks before I first saw them on the 24th September.
The referral centre kindly read out to me the entire letter over the phone & my doctor is willing to provide me with a copy for free (or he was when I asked him)

I actually came back to it to copy down my initial meeting with the social worker as I wrote it that day.

I got my advocate, he attended their meeting & he fully expected a No Action Required result.
They asked me questions, most of which were about me not my son & I answered them as best I could although they kept cutting me off to ask a different question, e.g. when talking about my sons diet as soon as I said fresh fish they moved on.
They asked to see my boys room, I showed it to them.
One of the women had her keys out & kept jangling them, my son went over to see them.
The mirror that the original complaint stated was dangerous was in the room, I pointed it out to them twice & asked them what they wanted me to do with it.
They said they didn't notice it but when pressed said it would probably be a good idea to hang it up.
They disappeared saying I'd hear from them in a week or two.

3 weeks later, my son was off sick with a bad cold having been attending pre-school just fine until he got too sick to go (I'd even sent him in with a sniffle) when the SW turned up at the front door with a brown envelope insisting she came in despite having agreed with my advocate that they would not turn up without him, raising her voice to tell me it would be better if the neighbours didn't hear what they said & insisting we had to discuss the contents of the brown envelope as a matter of urgency.
I kept requesting they got my advocate & stuck to their agreement, the SW then started saying just let us stand in the hall and discuss this.

After about 15 minutes, by which time I was just crying & saying please contact my advocate to arrange a meeting as agreed my next door neighbour walked past & saw them.
They then grinned at me, raised their voices again to ask me if I knew what an ICPC was to which I replied I'd google it & handed me the brown envelope as they started to walk off.
I asked them as they walked off to contact my advocate so we could meet & discuss the contents of the envelope.

My advocate says this is bullying.

Inside was an 8 page long 'assessment' which contained a large number of factual inaccuracies all of which apparently happened in front of my advocate (which he agrees never happened) describing my sons behaviour, such as saying he was running around slamming doors, what amounted to essentially a lecture saying he didn't know how to appropriately react to social workers sitting in the front room so he was too friendly to them.
Why a 3 yr old should think he should stay away from people sitting in his playroom is a mystery to me, or why it should be normal for him to be used to dealing with professionals.
It described my home as comfortable, my sons bedroom as immaculate, him as appropriately dressed, us as having a positive and warm bond then concluded by saying my son is at risk in terms of possible future negative impact on his capacity to thrive in terms of education, emotional & physical development.

There was a date for a meeting to be held next Thursday, with no mention of what it was, where it was, who would be attending or at what time.

I was shocked, my advocate was shocked - I had to contact him as the SW did not so he contacted her & found out the time & place of the meeting.

He arranged a time for us to meet to discuss the assessment which should have been today, unfortunately he was unable to attend as he has food poisoning.
Someone else from the advocacy service contacted me to tell me as he has been concerned at me meeting them alone & they contacted the SW who then announced she had more paperwork to drop off.

It turned out to be a new version of the Assessment.
It's now 12 pages long, things that were quoted as being said by one person are now being said by someone else altogether, there are more provable lies, suddenly the fresh haddock my son loves has been replaced by ready meals from Tescos (my son has never had a ready meal in his life), his diet is being called into question, a massive weight drop has been included which is untrue, my son has been in the same percentile since he was 5 months old & I've always queried it & been told it's just his normal build.
I'm naturally very pale skinned with freckles (used to have ginger hair as a child) & so is my son, although he hasn't got red hair yet.
Like myself he started almost blond.
This has never been of concern to any previous health visitor, doctor etc.. who have always told me he is healthy.
My son is now being described as unnaturally pale which I personally see as racism, they are saying he is too white.

The washing machine I got a grant to cover part payment of from a charity towards purchasing some years ago, I apparently refused despite the fact it's on as I type & the charity has the receipt as they didn't give me cash, they part paid it in the shop & I paid the difference, my physical disablilty has been dismissed as a 'slight pain in my wrist', my sons school attendance (this is pre-school which only started during the last week of Sept has suddenly been demoted to 'sporadic' despite his teacher telling me is settling in well & is showing signs of being particularly good at maths.

Our "positive and warm bond" has been demoted to "Some emotional warmth" at some stage in the last ten days although I haven't seen them during this time - half term
They've also decided I am non practising in my religion all of a sudden which is news to me.
I've also magically become aggressive & threatening, something I've never been & have never been described as before.

I have highlighted almost 50 statements in the 12 pages so far, which are just things I can prove are lies (some are repetitions of the same lie) & 3 of those pages are a plan they have decided to put in place to teach me how to feed my son who eats home made bread, home grown veg, fresh fruit every day & takes vitamin supplements etc.., 'forcing' me to take my son to pre-school which I've been doing all along etc...
Apparently if I don't comply legal advice may be sought.
The health visitor who I apparently must learn how to feed my son from is the one who was so rude to me in the first post.

Everything I haven't highlighted is subjective, apart from the fact my parents are retired & my brother is a barrister
The whole thing is essentially worded to cast the worst possible light on everything with key information that would make it look good carefully edited out.
The fact that I manage my finances well, have all my bills paid fully up to date & savings in the bank is phrased in language that would make you think it was a lie.
I suspect only the fact my baby brother is a barrister has stopped legal action already being sought as his is the only profession they bothered to list in my entire family after making me list everyone & what they do.
The senior police officers, auditors, trainers who teach advanced trainers courses to other trainers, midwives, forensic pathologists, cisco network engineers, palace staff etc.. for some reason don't get a mention.
As I only answered the questions they asked, I have now been described as thinking of myself before my son because I was talking about myself (in response to questions about myself)
The mirror which I asked them twice about is at one point described as big & dangerous, at another as not being present and is then present again in a later part of the report but was 'not seen' in the next paragraph.
One report says I will have it hung up in 48 hours, the other in a few days (I've got rid of it as it happens, but they don't know that)

The whole report is full of contradictions about what frankly seems to be nonsense & I now don't know if my advocate will be well enough to attend with me.
He is not going to be able to see this new report until the meeting starts, or ten minutes before at best.
According to this report, I have blackouts (news to me & every medical professional I've ever seen), I have no idea where that came from.
Everything keeps being vaguely referred to as 'professionals' said it, saw it, thought it but I can only work out who they are if it's a real situation so I don't know how to defend myself from fantasy.
The timing is such that my son will have to miss school that day for me to attend.
My advocate is also my witness to prove most of the actual lies as he was there.

All of this is from the one meeting they have ever had with me.

In my opinion to add insult to injury it's also full of spelling mistakes.

So, now I'm waiting for Thursday, hoping he is well enough & regretting ever deciding to send my son to pre-school.

Nobody has told me what exactly this meeting is on Thursday, who will be there or what is happening.

Terrifiedmumofone Wed 06-Nov-13 00:28:57

Mapleduram,
You've now got me wondering, because although I asked for copies of everything, what they have given me does not contain the initial complaint.
I just thought it was normal messing about.
They never ever refer to the first time she contacted them a week or two before & seem to be acting as if it never happened.
My documentation only contains what is referred to as her "phoning back to reinforce concerns"
I don't see how the same woman phoning about the same one time can be counted as 2 seperate incidents.

To be honest I figured she must not have said anything so drastic the first time round & they didn't want to give me a reason to say how come she didn't think that then, but now weeks later has recalled all this stuff she didn't mention at the time.
I only know about it being the second time she phoned because of that statement & my dr including in his letter that he had been contacted (naming the social worker who did it, a different one)

My advocate is a disablility advocate & disabled himself he does not specialise in social services cases although I'm not the first one he has dealt with - I can't wait to see what he thinks of their new description of my disability - so I don't think he's up on case law.
I think I'll have a chat with my little brother as soon as I can get hold of him as law is his area of expertise, what with having the wig & everything.

cestlavielife Wed 06-Nov-13 14:09:14

gosh it sounds very weird and worrying - what is their agenda?

it sounds like you can refute everythig though.

yes get your brother on board and also talk to nursery is there a key worker there you think is ok?

also take this letter to your gp who knows you and your ds well.

i think as you have done here you need to go line by line and point out the innacuracies.

you should not have to be doing this ...

but no dont speak to them without your advocate or brother present.

starlight1234 Wed 06-Nov-13 14:34:27

I would gain as much written evidence supporting what you say from other professionals. Take his Red book along which will also show his growth...

I would also try and talk to your GP...

It does sound very worrying. I think also talking to your baby brother is a good idea..I think any back up you can is essential you take him right now....If your son is not well enough to attend pre school I would take him to doctors for a check up at least it is documented he is not well. To be fair it should not need to be like this pre school education is a choice not a legal requirement but I would ensure my son is sent.

I also agree get a chain on the door and if it is them refuse entry without an advocate.

I also think you may also need legal representation as it sounds like it is getting nasty

JaquelineHyde Wed 06-Nov-13 14:44:36

I would suggest at this point that if everything you have written is accurate and correct then a disability advocate is no longer enough.

You should immediately contact a specialist solicitor and have them (and your advocate if you wish) attend all future meetings with you. Your solicitor should also request that all communication goes through them.

Do not allow this to continue any further, specialist knowledge and intervention is required.

Mapleduram Fri 08-Nov-13 16:26:38

Hi Terrifiedmumofone,

I have read through your posts. Whilst I have never had any personal experience of social services I have some understanding of their processes.

It appears that you were referred, but without your consent or knowledge, for a psychiatric assessment. Is this correct? Because I do not see how such a referral can me legally without your consent. I.e. someone has to ask you to sign a form to get you to consent to share your personal information.

You then say that, on a later occasion, a social worker ‘insisted’ that he/she enter your house. Did the social worker have a warrant from the police or did you willingly consent to let the social worker in?

It then appears that, following on from that visit, a new assessment was written. Did this assessment show a concern that your child might be at risk in some way? If it did then social services would be looking at some kind of child abuse investigation.

Now, from your posts, it appears that the initial concerns were about you but not about how you treat your child. Furthermore, if those concerns are unfounded and were initiated without your informed consent then, possibly, social services have not strictly complied with their procedures.

This is important because this is what happened in the Haringey case:

www.familylaw.co.uk/articles/judicial-review-r-ab-and-cd-v-haringey-london-borough-council-2013-ewhc-416-admin

The local authority made a number of preliminary investigations including contacting the family GP and school before making contact with the mother and father. When they did so, the parents vehemently denied that it was necessary to investigate the referral and made a number of complaints regarding the local authority's conduct. Following the telephone call, based on the reaction of the parents, the local authority proceeded with a s 47 enquiry. The parents were informed via letter that an enquiry in line with the allegations against staff procedures would be taking place. Following a home visit with the parents and speaking with the child alone the decision was taken that no further action was necessary. The parents were notified and informed that it was most likely that the referral had been malicious.

I think you should email this judgement to your advocate. But you also need to get an advocate who is expert in child protection investigations. The couple in the Haringey case were awarded damages (£2000 I think) because of the way they were treated by social services.

Queenofthedrivensnow Sat 09-Nov-13 20:15:04

Initial Child Protection Conference.

God op this sounds grim. Be strong and I hope they bugger off soon!

Terrifiedmumofone Thu 21-Nov-13 13:33:33

I did actually do a massive post but it got eaten by the internet, so I'm going to update this in a couple of posts.

First off, I tried googling to find out what it would be like to be at a conference but had little luck.

I can only describe mine of course.

The meeting was held in a large conference room.
There were about a dozen people present, including a couple of people from social services, a couple of health visitors, a couple of people from something called Family Support, someone from the school, someone from a playgroup my son had attended a couple of years back.
The police & my GP had also been invited but didn't attend.
Each of these people had produced a report on me.

The meeting is headed by a Chairperson ( a lady in my case ) who I believe was some kind of more senior social worker but I'm not sure.

I had attended a few minutes early to ask her if I could have the 'errors' corrected & was told I would have time at the end of the meeting.

Fortunately for me, my advocate dragged himself out of his sick bed to attend otherwise I would have been by myself.

My advocate & I sat one end of the large table, The chair & a secretary to take minutes at the other end, all the other people sat down the sides of the table.

I then had to listen for almost 2 hours to people talking about me, occasionally being questioned as if I was in court and I was not allowed to contest most of the factual errors or subjective opinions reported.

I would describe the 'information' as the worst, most twisted version of my life with many untrue things all of which were taken as fact.

I did contest the sudden announcement by the Health Visitors that his chart clearly showed a 2 centile line drop in weight which was the hard evidence used to place my son on a child protection plan.

They did not show anyone their evidence, more on that in a seperate post.
I did show them his red book, they announced it confirmed thier findings.

The school said my son needed assessment as they were concerned about his speech & language development.
I said I felt that as that decision was based on about 8 days attendance at nursery as one child in a class of 30 that they had not had enough time to get to know my son well enough to make that kind of assessment I was admonished by the chair for thinking I knew better than 'professionals' and reminded not to speak until it was my turn.

After everyone else had spoken, with every word taken as fact I was given five minutes and a warning that 'there is no time for us to be going over every little error'.
I was also informed that the chair was concerned that the 'professionals might be worrying about the meters in the car park running out.
I got to correct 2 things but nobody actually really paid any attention.
There was no time for anything else (car parking meters being the excuse) so they moved on and made their decision.

I left for 5 minutes to get some air and the meeting ended in that time.

Most of the attendees already knew each other and a group of them went off for lunch together.

In my absence they'd decided because of the overwhelming concern because of the Health Visitors evidence that my sons growth was faltering that he would be placed on a plan under the category of neglect.

The chair apparently said she was not happy with the term neglect in this case but couldn't fit it under anything else so it was neglect or let us go.

That was 2 weeks ago.

Terrifiedmumofone Thu 21-Nov-13 13:55:00

So, I'm now on a child protection plan.

First the Health Visitors.

A student Health Visitor came out to my house and I asked to see their chart that showed my son being in the 50th centile with the big 2 centile line drop as announced in the big meeting.

My advocate & I photocopied the chart she showed us & were both shocked.

It was an A4 version of the growth chart in the back of the red book.
It had 4 biro dots on it, nothing else!
No notes to say when those dots were put on the chart, no written notes to accompany it or even a signature to trace who entered them.
2 of the dots were correct, 2 of the dots did not match any of the weights/dates all recorded with initials in my red book.
They didn't actually show my son having a 2 centile drop & the dates they measured the 'drop' between were one dot at 4months old & one at about 2 1/2 years old.

As it happened their 'lowest' weight was actually his 2 - 2 1/2 yr old development check which has written on the page that he is developmentally appropriate & needs no follow up.
It's not just a random weighing at the clinic.

I should point out I have a lot more than 4 dots in his red book.

We challenged her & she admitted that there seemed to be 'some human error involved'.
At that time she agreed there was no 2 centile line drop and agreed to redraw his chart based on the measurements in my red book.
She also said that the Health Visitors kept their records by 'remembering' the weights & adding them to the chart when they got back to the office.

She made an appointment to come back this week and do a development check on my son.

She turned up almost an hour early so my advocate wasn't there so I wouldn't let her in.
She got angry and told me she had replotted her chart and my red book actually confirms my son has faltering growth and that what they had said at the meeting was true.

She left, promising to contact my advocate to rearrange the appointment, so my advocate had a wasted journey when he turned up 15 minutes early for the agreed time.

She came back the next day, having not contacted him & I refused her again.

In the meantime I had contacted a private health visitor with 30yrs experience (who also happens to sit on a family panel) & paid her to replot my sons chart & explain it to me.

I have not yet received her copy although it is in the post as I type.

Yesterday there was a meeting I couldn't attend (see next post) which I only learned about by accident which was to discuss how the plan was going.

My advocate attended for me and challenged the HV about the chart (mentioning I was getting an expert to do a copy) and it was unanimously agreed that there is no evidence of faltering growth.

I intend to make a complaint about the Health Visitors as I think that it is disgraceful they can make accusations based on such a slipshod method of recording information never mind the rest of it.

She now plans to come back next week to do the development check which I personally regard as deeply inappropriate considering the circumstances.
I am after all in the process of making a complaint about her.
She was the one sat in the meeting telling everyone about the faltering growth.

IneedAwittierNickname Thu 21-Nov-13 14:07:16

Hi Terrified I am so sorry to hear what you are going through.

I have had some experience of SS myself, regarding my own children.
Like you I was taken to ICPC, on the grounds of neglect (regarding the home environment)

My experience of this was much like yours, I was discussed as if I wasn't in the room, a most unnerving situation! Thankfully my advocate (local Vicar) and the teacher who was representing the school were 'on my side' so to speak, and we were placed on a child in need plan. (Apparently this is 'OK' as its not as severe as a child protection plan) Do you know which of these you have?

Also like you, it came under 'neglect' although it was agreed by all that the children were not neglected, just the house. But obviously that could impact on them.

The reports made against me were littered with mistakes and inaccuracies, from the fairly minor - such as referring to me as Ms when I had told them I prefer Miss, and don't identify as Ms; spelling DS1s name wrong - and therefore using the female version; to the more important such as saying I stated DS2 didn't have an allocated homework time (he was still at nursery and didn't get homework) - which of course looks then like I was neglecting him; and false reports about how clean rooms they hadn't even looked in were.

I'm afraid that I don't really have any advice, but I have been where you are ( well maybe not exactly, but as close as) and if you need a sympathetic (cyber) ear, feel free to PM.
Stay strong, and get as many professionals as you can 'on your side' as it were. Luckily for me, the HV, GP, school, and local Vicar all backed me up and disputed the SWs claims.

Terrifiedmumofone Thu 21-Nov-13 14:08:03

The school

I found an experienced, well qualified speech and language/ child development professional and set up an appointment for her to assess my son.

The assessment took well over an hour and was completed yesterday (which was why I couldn't attend the other meeting)

She found him to be perfectly normal for his age with some advanced skills in certain areas and a couple of weaknesses in another area (like every other child) but said he had no need for even one session & required no ongoing work.
She also told me his social behaviour is completely appropriate for a child his age.

In I go to the school to tell them he's fine and they turn around and announce they didn't have any real concerns about that.

They've now come up with a new concern.

Apparently he doesn't want his snack in school and they are deeply concerned he may become dehydrated because of it.

What on earth am I supposed to make of that?

I then find a snotty email asking me why I didn't attend a meeting at the school this morning which apparently was supposed at the time I was actually stood in the school grounds talking to the teacher dropping my son into class.

When I respond to point out that I was on the grounds and nobody had mentioned it to me, it turns out they have sent a letter through the post which hasn't arrived yet.

I have no idea what that's about.

IneedAwittierNickname Thu 21-Nov-13 14:10:34

sorry cross posted with your second post smile

A 2 centile drop over a 2 1/2 year period shouldn't be cause for concern, DS2 was just above the 50th at birth, and slowly dropped down to 7th where he has been ever since.

Terrifiedmumofone Thu 21-Nov-13 14:12:57

I have no idea what kind of plan it is.
At no point in this whole process has anyone ever explained a single thing that is going on.

Nobody has told me anything or contacted me to give me any information.

In fact apart from the above nonsense with the Health Visitor I haven't seen a single person since apart from my advocate and he hasn't heard from anyone until yesterday when he made a new appointment for the Health Visitor & an appointment for the Family Support worker.

I have learned from reading that I'm supposed to be given some kind of plan to follow with clear measurable objectives and time frames etc... but neither myself nor my advocate have been given anything at all.

Terrifiedmumofone Thu 21-Nov-13 14:15:06

IneedAwittierNickname,
no problem with cross posting.

I didn't even know there were two kinds of plans until you mentioned it.

The whole situation feels like some bad joke.

IneedAwittierNickname Thu 21-Nov-13 14:21:02

That's how it felt to me too, like some terribly unfunny joke sad
I don't know the difference between the plans, but was told that the CPP is worse. This was 2 years ago now, so the names may well have changed.

I found contact to be sporadic, and it takes SS a long time to send out paperwork ie plans. I found the SureStart family worker to be fantastic, and also Barnados Community Mums and Dads, don't know if they have that in your area?

cestlavielife Thu 21-Nov-13 14:28:11

so what is on the plan?
what are the action points?
are you failing to do any of them?

try and tick off what you supposed to do so you show you cooperating...

a drop in centile is not evidence of neglect at all. it all sounds really bizarre.

have you made an appt with your gp? if there were drops in weight he would eb checked, look at issues like coeliac disease etc.

lets say there was a drop - then there should be an action plan to take him to gp and perhaps run some blood tests to see if he malnourished has coeliac or whatever. so take him to gp and get him checked there and referred to a community paediatrician for review. frankly, hv weighing machines all different and you could get a drop in weight just due to different day or different weight machine. does he appear healthy and happy? is he growing?

the sp and lang assessment - well let's say he DOES have some difficutlies - again that doesnt mean he neglected. anyone can have a child with delays. and in any case you have a profresisonal now saying he is on track and doesnt need intervention.

i think your best bet is to 1. consult a lawyer and 2. in meantime just cooperate as much as possble and ask them what is the action plan?
what are they putting in place to support you?
and calmly submit copies of professional reports showing you HAVE consulted on the issues they raised and there is no action to be taken.

as was said - a child in need if he should have delays in speech would just qualify him for more help - perhaps what you asked for in the beginning...

snack in nursery - well so long as he has some water at some point in the day he will be fine. eg he has breakfast with you, then goes to nursery - not having a drink til one or two pm really wont harm him.

keep copies of all letters, make notes on when they rreceid, email or write your record of any meeting or conversation adn email it to the relvant person so you have your recollection down and gives them chance to refute.

have you any idea where this has all come from and why? (you dont have to say but someone somewhere is out to get you...is there any reason at all? anything in your past or who you associate with that implicates you in anything? )

cestlavielife Thu 21-Nov-13 14:29:55

yes you need a copy of the " plan to follow with clear measurable objectives and time frames etc..." until you get that what are you supposed to do? if you get further contact tell them "I am waiting for the plan"

also yes try local orgs eg barnardos etc - see what is local to you.

Terrifiedmumofone Thu 21-Nov-13 14:34:09

On a brighter note however, the stress has caused me to lose a stone in the past month!

This whole situation does leave me deeply worried on many levels.

If they think my son is in so much danger, then where are they?

What if he really was a child being starved and neglected so badly he actually needed the help?

If this had been taken to a criminal court, or had to abide by the same rules of evidence it would have been thrown out of court.

I'm really troubled that everything seems to be so subjective and there also seems to be no allowance for the system to admit a mistake.

I've easily disproved all the evidence (such as it was)& nobody is interested.
All the 'errors' will stay on record unchanged forever.

It seems my only hope of this ending is if the same people who gave false evidence provide favourable reports of my improvement on the plan I haven't been told about in 3 months time when it gets reviewed.

dawdyman Thu 21-Nov-13 14:50:40

ok, I will be as helpful as possible here.... but you are also not likely to like some of it.

Regardless of your complaints, regardless of how good you think you are as a parent (I am not disputing), now you are in this position, you must engage with the process. Your complaints can run concurrently, but you best and quickest way to resolve the professional involvement in your private life is to engage. The Local Authority have pulled a range of professionals together who have agreed that your child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm in your care.

By not engaging, you will heighten their concern. From a Social Work perspective (right or wrong in your case) a parent not letting them in to visit will concern them. Part of their procedures when a young person is subject to a CP plan is to visit unannounced. Also, they may view your complaints as deflecting from the real issues... They are tasked with monitoring the welfare of your child. If you do not allow them access, you will not help your cause.

the meeting you missed this week was an initial core group meeting. This meeting monitors the implementation of progress of the plan. non attendance will not look favourably. If you do not cooperate with the plan, the next conference (3 months after the first) will see another plan made... and that plan will be in place for an additional 6 months.

The CP process is an intimidating one for parents, and you are up against it, and it can feel unfair.... your best means of getting back to your usual way of life is to show the professional network your son is thriving and not arguing with them about dots from a biro..... There may well be some dodgy social work and HV practise going on... but you can continue to complain through the correct channels at the same time.

If it is felt you child has speech and language difficulties, is it not worth an assessment? Why not make use of the support?
You didn't say which centile your childs weight has dropped to from the 50th centile?

dawdyman Thu 21-Nov-13 14:58:37

regarding the criminal court... if local authorities waited until a child was at risk beyond reasonable doubt before they acted, there would be a significant number of children suffering all manner of abuse without protection from the Local Authority.

IneedAwittierNickname Thu 21-Nov-13 14:59:14

I agree with what others have said, when you get the plan, stick to it. Do what they ask of you, even if you don't see why.

My SW recommended I attended a parenting course (even though my parenting skills weren't questioned confused) I attended one - I got a certificate and everything lol! I learned absolutely NOTHING on that course, the techniques we were taught were all the techniques I already used with my DC. However, it is now on file that I was compliant, and worked with SS. I attended all the meetings, cancelling anything else I had planned.
Their dad OTOH refused to attended parenting classes, never once came to a meeting and basically refused to engage with SS other than to bad mouth me!

SS have since told me that if he should ever try and get custody (or is it called residency now?) of the DC like he has threatened, that even though I have had SS intervention in the past, the fact that I engaged with them and he didn't will go in my favour.

Sometimes it feels like you have to jump through hoops with SS, but jump through them with a smile on your face otherwise they will use it against you smile

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