What to expect with Social Services inviting themselves into our lives and accusing my partner of domestic abuse?

(195 Posts)
mumof2beebies Tue 26-Apr-11 15:31:41

Hi, we have a meeting coming up with social services to find out 'how they can support us' I'm skeptical and didn't ask for this.
Bassically me and my partner have two children, a 4yo with special needs and a 1 year old. Me and him were arguing alot and a few months ago I called the police because he locked me out of the house, they came and I apologized for wasting their time and they said well we're gonna have to send a note to social services because of the the domestic alteration, even though there was no violence, me and him made up instantly and I regreted calling them over something stupid like that. We had the lead of our Caf support team come out to see us (they meet up to support us with my 4 yr old getting everything he needs, he's in need of a diagnosis right now, because of all his delays). The early years support worker came out to do a home check and said it's all fine, I joked that my partner had his own room (we have 2 living rooms, one a kids room and one with a huge tv and xbox, my partner does spend most of his time with us and certainly does half the chores and parenting). We are equal. so he asked to speak to me alone and questioned whether my partner was controlling, I said no of course not.
Then a few weeks later we broke up breifly (last month.) I stayed in a hostel for a couple of days, then wanted to come home with the kids because me and my partner felt ready after our little break. But the person leading the CAF team (that we've only ever met twice) called and said that he doesn't think I'm being honest with him and that he thinks I must have been scared to leave in 'such a rush' and go to a hostel. I said no, I just needed to get away from the silly bickering, but we're okay now, and it's much worse for the kids in this hostel, we'd all picked up infections and the kids were missing their dad. The CAF team leader 'support worker' said no he thinks I'm not being honest and he thinks I'm a victim of some kind of domestic violence or abuse, because he knows that my son wet the bed and seems angry, I said that's because of his special needs, he doesn't even know my child. I said that's ridiculous, that I would be a victim of anything to my partner, I'm perfectly half to blame for our argument. He said well he'll be telling the social services he thinks the children are at risk if I go back, because he thinks my son's behaviour is systoms of trauma. (but we're quite sure he's autistic). So I stayed in the hostel for about 2 weeks, isolated with both kids, because I was scared social services would take the kids off me. I was then hospitalised with a bad chest infection I picked up from the hostel, because I have immuno-deficiency disease and was in hospital for a week on oxygen and all sorts. I get ill often, that's one reason why my partner is such an intrinsinc part of our lives, he does a lot of the parenting. I was in hospital for just over a week and my partner looked after our children and took good care of them and brought them to see me every day, because he's a good dad to them. He gets our son ready and takes him to nursery every day while I sleep in the morning with our baby, that's what kinda dad he is. Anyway, this support worker found out my partner was looking after the kids and called social services. A social worker came out to visit us along with our usual health visitor on the day I was discharged so I got to come to the meeting back at our house, and my partner's mum was there as she had been helping with the care of the children, like she usually does.
The social worker said they must have got their wires crossed, there doesn't appear to be domestic violence as I've never accused him of it, there's no evidence of it, etc, therefor no grounds for social services involvement, and she said of course I can come home, without any worry of them. So we were unbelievably relieved, went and got my things from the hostel and all moved home and we've been happy since.
Then last week the social worker called me and told me that she spoke to the hostel manager and she said that I had told her they'd been domestic abuse, which is false, and she only got this idea from the 'support' worker who was threatening me with SS if I went back, as they spoke on the phone on a few occasions, as he'd instructed her not to let my partner visit me and my kids. When I arrived at the hostel I did have a long talk with her and say that I'm sick of the arguing, as it obviously peaked before I left and that he had locked me out of the house. So the social worker repeated back to me that I'd said he had locked me out of the house (as the worst example they could could up with for there being 'domestic abuse/violence') and I said yes, that did happen but I'm not a victim of DV, I've locked him out before, for gods sakes. The social worker fobbed off what I was saying and declared that they were going to get involved to see how they can help, now.
So Social Services are getting involved now under the false ASSumption that my partner is abusive and I'm a victim of DV.
I want to tell them not to come near us, as we have enough support already from the CAF team, including the nursery manager, our health visitor and speach and language person and such, and I'm quite pro-active in arranging all the appointments for my son's special needs.

Do I have any legal right to tell them to go to hell?? I'm so stressed, that they're doing this, as I know they look for everything possible wrong, and they're scare mongerers, and that they can threaten to take the kids off us if we don't seperate, if they feel like it.
It's also slander to both of us, my partner obviously, and also to me for suggesting that I'd have my kids around DV.

What do we do?

changingmynameagain Tue 26-Apr-11 15:34:59

My goodness that's an epic post for your first on Mumsnet.

Didn't want you to go unanswered - am going to sit and read it now.

Hopefully someone with more advice than me will be along in a minute

mumblechum1 Tue 26-Apr-11 15:35:38

Whenever police are called out to a domestic incident where children are involved, they automatically call social services.
The worst thing youcan do is refuse to engage with them, tbh.

There clearly are issues here - it's not usual for a woman to go to a hostel in a normal happy marriage, so of course red flags are going to go up in ss minds.

My advice would be to engage with them.

darleneconnor Tue 26-Apr-11 15:40:39

now that they're involved you're going to have to play along with what ever they want. if you try to fight them they can make your life hell. sorry

Georgimama Tue 26-Apr-11 15:41:51

In all honesty it sounds rather volatile and like you both need some help/intervention - locking each other out of the house isn't good, is it? You've called the police, you've been to a refuge, these aren't things women usually do when having a bit of a row with their husband.

Spero Tue 26-Apr-11 15:48:00

Domestic violence is not confined to punching and kicking.

You have set out a history of your and your partner repeatedly locking each other out of the house. You have called the police. You have gone to a hostel.

This has an impact on the children. They must have seen you upset. They must be bewildered as to why they had to leave home with you.

Your story sets a lot of alarm bells ringing. If you refuse to co-operate with SS they will get even more worried about you and your family situation.

Please try to work with them. I know it is hard. I know you will feel threatened. But honestly, they will NOT want to take your children away if there is any chance you can show them they will be ok with you. Foster placements are very scarce and very expensive.

But with the history you have just outlined, add to that non-co-operation, you are looking at the situation escalating quite quickly.

BeakerTheMuppetMuppet Tue 26-Apr-11 15:50:35

If you have nothing to hide, ie there is no threat of DV in your home then what are you worried about?

They have a duty to protect children, and since professional intervention has been needed (police, hostel) they have to investigate all areas and then decide if they need to get involved on a more personal level.

Some of the stuff you've described is a bit extreme though. I had a violent ex-H but I never got into a hostel...........

DillyDaydreaming Tue 26-Apr-11 15:51:06

Agree with all of the above. You need to engage with them OP - going to a hostel and locking the other out of the house (especially where there's a child with additional needs who is extra vulnerable) is not normal or usual behaviour. They have a futy to investigate and reassure themselves that the children are not at risk. If you BOTH engage with them and are honest they will see for themselves whether there are problems or not.

I see women all the time who say "it was just a stupid row" when the rows have been ongoing for months and the children are at breaking point - yet neither adult can see it. In that intance it needs someone to speak FOR the children, I don't doubt he is a good and hands on Dad but your relationship does not sound good for either of you at the moment.

Are they actually getting involved or just doing an Initial Assessment? If it's just an IA and there genuinely are no major problems they will not want to stay involved. On the other hand if they can see problems and you cannot then you can expect more contact with them.

Not trying to be gloomy or judgemental here - just saying that what you have described is not normal in a relationship.

Collision Tue 26-Apr-11 15:53:08

Have added some paragraphs to make this easier to read. Hope you dont mind but you might get more support this way.

Hi, we have a meeting coming up with social services to find out 'how they can support us'. I'm skeptical and didn't ask for this.

Basically me and my partner have two children, a 4yo with special needs and a 1 year old.

Me and him were arguing alot and a few months ago I called the police because he locked me out of the house, they came and I apologized for wasting their time and they said well we're gonna have to send a note to social services because of the the domestic alteration

Even though there was no violence, me and him made up instantly and I regreted calling them over something stupid like that.

We had the lead of our Caf support team come out to see us (they meet up to support us with my 4 yr old getting everything he needs, he's in need of a diagnosis right now, because of all his delays). The early years support worker came out to do a home check and said it's all fine,

I joked that my partner had his own room (we have 2 living rooms, one a kids room and one with a huge tv and xbox, my partner does spend most of his time with us and certainly does half the chores and parenting). We are equal. so he asked to speak to me alone and questioned whether my partner was controlling, I said no of course not.

Then a few weeks later we broke up breifly (last month.)

I stayed in a hostel for a couple of days, then wanted to come home with the kids because me and my partner felt ready after our little break.

But the person leading the CAF team (that we've only ever met twice) called and said that he doesn't think I'm being honest with him and that he thinks I must have been scared to leave in 'such a rush' and go to a hostel. I said no, I just needed to get away from the silly bickering, but we're okay now, and it's much worse for the kids in this hostel, we'd all picked up infections and the kids were missing their dad.

The CAF team leader 'support worker' said no he thinks I'm not being honest and he thinks I'm a victim of some kind of domestic violence or abuse, because he knows that my son wet the bed and seems angry, I said that's because of his special needs, he doesn't even know my child. I said that's ridiculous, that I would be a victim of anything to my partner, I'm perfectly half to blame for our argument.

He said well he'll be telling the social services he thinks the children are at risk if I go back, because he thinks my son's behaviour is systoms of trauma. (but we're quite sure he's autistic).

So I stayed in the hostel for about 2 weeks, isolated with both kids, because I was scared social services would take the kids off me. I was then hospitalised with a bad chest infection I picked up from the hostel, because I have immuno-deficiency disease and was in hospital for a week on oxygen and all sorts.

I get ill often, that's one reason why my partner is such an intrinsinc part of our lives, he does a lot of the parenting. I was in hospital for just over a week and my partner looked after our children and took good care of them and brought them to see me every day, because he's a good dad to them. He gets our son ready and takes him to nursery every day while I sleep in the morning with our baby, that's what kinda dad he is.

Anyway, this support worker found out my partner was looking after the kids and called social services. A social worker came out to visit us along with our usual health visitor on the day I was discharged so I got to come to the meeting back at our house, and my partner's mum was there as she had been helping with the care of the children, like she usually does.

The social worker said they must have got their wires crossed, there doesn't appear to be domestic violence as I've never accused him of it, there's no evidence of it, etc, therefor no grounds for social services involvement, and she said of course I can come home, without any worry of them. So we were unbelievably relieved, went and got my things from the hostel and all moved home and we've been happy since.

Then last week the social worker called me and told me that she spoke to the hostel manager and she said that I had told her they'd been domestic abuse, which is false, and she only got this idea from the 'support' worker who was threatening me with SS if I went back, as they spoke on the phone on a few occasions, as he'd instructed her not to let my partner visit me and my kids.

When I arrived at the hostel I did have a long talk with her and say that I'm sick of the arguing, as it obviously peaked before I left and that he had locked me out of the house. So the social worker repeated back to me that I'd said he had locked me out of the house (as the worst example they could could up with for there being 'domestic abuse/violence') and I said yes, that did happen but I'm not a victim of DV, I've locked him out before, for gods sakes. The social worker fobbed off what I was saying and declared that they were going to get involved to see how they can help, now.

So Social Services are getting involved now under the false ASSumption that my partner is abusive and I'm a victim of DV.
I want to tell them not to come near us, as we have enough support already from the CAF team, including the nursery manager, our health visitor and speach and language person and such, and I'm quite pro-active in arranging all the appointments for my son's special needs.

Do I have any legal right to tell them to go to hell?? I'm so stressed, that they're doing this, as I know they look for everything possible wrong, and they're scare mongerers, and that they can threaten to take the kids off us if we don't seperate, if they feel like it.
It's also slander to both of us, my partner obviously, and also to me for suggesting that I'd have my kids around DV.

What do we do?

NotWoozy Tue 26-Apr-11 15:55:19

because he thinks my son's behaviour is systoms of trauma. (but we're quite sure he's autistic).

Has your son had a professional assessment? Who has told you he is autistic?

mumof2beebies Tue 26-Apr-11 16:16:58

I have certainly not been in a refuge, we stayed in a hostel, and I've never there's DV, we've had about 3 big arguments in the last year. We're happy otherwise.
Most people who've met our son thinks it seems like autism, especially people who have an autistic child themselves. He's never played with other children, he plays alone and stacks and lines things up, he freaks out at too much attention, he's seeing a paediatric consultant soon, which we arranged and had him refered to. The support worker said we could get disability for him already without the diagnosis as he obviously has issues which stops us using buses and restricts us alot already. Not that we've applied for that yet.

changingmynameagain Tue 26-Apr-11 16:22:40

You should engage with SS.

They are in the best position to help you, your son and your family unit.

I would be wary of labelling your son as autistic without a proper diagnosis though.

Georgimama Tue 26-Apr-11 16:27:32

Why would the hostel manager make up a story that you told him you had reported domestic abuse (I think you need to understand that domestic abuse encompasses much more than just pure violence and is a marker for further deterioration of a family situation)? You called the police - why? What was your actual intention when you called them?

Lots of children spend their toddlerhood lining things up and playing alone - doesn't mean they are autistic.

The 'hostel' - do you mean a youth hostel or a B&B or was it run by an organisation?

I agree you need to engage with SS and tbh you need to reflect on your relationship and the effect it's having on your dcs. It is not normal family behaviour to have the police called or for one partyner and the children to move out in to emergency accommodation such as a hostel. That's not a 'little break' - that's a relationship breakdown.

If you suffer from a chronic illness then your children are also at increased risk of neglect - albeit unintentional. I think you need to engage with SS and take their help to support your relationship and your parenting of your dcs. It sounds like you need the help.

mumof2beebies Tue 26-Apr-11 16:33:32

Why should staying in a hostel for a few days be so bewildering for my child, what if I'd stayed in a hotel for a few days? What's the difference? I did the right thing by asking for temperary accomation for a few days because homelife was stressful.
I wanted to go home then, because of course the kids were missing their dad. The support worker threatened me to prevent me going back, the poor kids had to stay in that hell hole for 2 weeks them, he, the support worker was in the wrong for doing that to us.

Our relationship is not volatile, it's pretty damn good 95% of the time.

Does everyone forget every thing that's happened in their family life when theyre analysing others and suddenly become saints themselves?

The social worker said they have no grounds for involvement if there's not domestic abuse or violence. There isn't any, so they shouldn't be getting involved.
However, I'm happy for the health visitor to drop in whenever she wants.

It's an initial assesment I believe.

Us locking each other out twice now, what for 5 mins? Oh we must be hellraisers with our kids living in fear.
I bet if any of the social workers analysed their own upbringings with such a fine comb they'd have to deem their own parents unfit, and that's the truth.

mumof2beebies Tue 26-Apr-11 16:37:22

I called the police because he was pissing me off, and he said I wouldn't so I did. Stupid action I know. In hindsight, me being locked out did mean he could calmy look after the kids alone for a bit, so who's to say he was in the wrong for doing that.

ShirleyKnot Tue 26-Apr-11 16:37:53

I'm sorry but I beleive that SS have a duty to look at your circumstances with the information you have given in your posts.

Oh come on - he locked you out, you argue a lot, you felt you had to leave - and I assume from your last post you then want to the council and asked for emergency accommodation? That is VOLATILE.
You aren't going to get anywhere saying 'everything is fine' - because to outside eyes it really isn't and your ds is displaying signs which could be significant. You need to be honest with yourself. Are there other children in your family who have gone through the same as your children? Do your friends children flee the house with their mum? This is NOT an ok situation.

LadyInTheRadiat0r Tue 26-Apr-11 16:39:36

It all sounds very chaotic and unsettled.

I must be naive because I didn't think you could just ask for a place in a hostel any old time just for a bit of a break?

queenbathsheba Tue 26-Apr-11 16:42:29

Mumof2beebies

Social work depts are generally under resourced and short staffed. Most social workers have more cases than they can realistically cope with. Therefore if they have concerns about your welfare or that of your children then you may have to concede that perhaps you do need support. Believe me few LAs have resources to waste.

I have worked with plenty of people who thought their life circumstances were entirely normal and optimal for their own and children's well being. The fact is that each individual experiences life and stressful events differently. So while you believe a few days spent in a hostel following a domestic dispute is normal I'm afraid that isn't actually normal in most families.

Spero Tue 26-Apr-11 16:45:04

You have had some good advice here. Whether or not you listen is up to you. But my alarm bells are clanging much louder now.

Georgimama Tue 26-Apr-11 16:45:58

Most hotels are not "hellholes". You fled the family home no doubt in some distress which would inevitably be noticed by your children. You just said yourself the home life was stressful. You are contradicting yourself no end and I have no doubt you come across to authorities in a similar self contradictory manner. This is why they are concerned.

changingmynameagain Tue 26-Apr-11 16:47:41

Staying in a hostel is not normal.

I lived with Domestic Abuse and I never went to a hostel.

I think you need outside support to enable you to parent effectively for the sake of your children.

LITR - if you tell your local council that you and your children cannot stay in the family home because of your domestic situation then I believe they would house you on a temporary basis. People don't leave home over a minor tiff - well most people don't although the OP seems to expect us to believe that she did.

queenbathsheba Tue 26-Apr-11 16:47:54

I called the police because he was pissing me off, and he said I wouldn't so I did. Stupid action I know. In hindsight, me being locked out did mean he could calmly look after the kids alone for a bit, so who's to say he was in the wrong for doing that.

You called the police and drew attention to yourself.

He could look after the children calmly when he locked you out. Do you not notice what is happening to your children when you have these serious rows. Are the children around whilst this is happening?

Who's to say he is in the wrong? but he is, do you have a joint tenancy or mortgage? he has no right to lock you out of your home.

GypsyMoth Tue 26-Apr-11 16:48:06

what kind of hostel? how did you access it?

why didnt your dh move out for a bit....why up root yourself and the children?

CinnabarRed Tue 26-Apr-11 16:48:19

OP, please don't think I'm judging you because I'm not - I've never walked a mile in your shoes.

All I can comment on is the posts you've included on this thread. And those in isolation don't spell out a stable, calm home life for your children.

Please understand that from an outsider's point of view your domestic set up seems like it could possibly be made more stable for your children.

SS will want to help you, if you'll let them. Please be open and honest with them, and listen to their recommendations, and you have nothing to fear.

Goblinchild Tue 26-Apr-11 16:52:22

You and your partner both sound as if some counselling or parenting classes would be helpful. It seems very teenager-like behaviour to me, but that's probably because I'm ancient.
Calling the police because you were pissed off, and then moving to a hostel with your children has started some big wheels in motion, probably because of the child protection issues. I do advise co-operation and honesty or the situation could deteriorate even further.

follyfoot Tue 26-Apr-11 16:53:00

Maybe it will be a positive to have SS involved. You probably wont like me saying this but your family life sounds chaotic. None of us have any idea of what life is really like in your household, but its not 'normal' to lock each other out, and its certainly not 'normal' to have to go to a hostel to escape arguing.

Please dont get me wrong, I've lived through some extremely volatile times too, so am not judging you for being in this situation. But please take a step back and think about what effect living like this is having on both you and your children. And maybe think about starting to make some changes, perhaps with the help of social services.

LadyInTheRadiat0r Tue 26-Apr-11 16:56:06

Thanks Northern, that is what I thought.

OP without wishing to sound rude, do you think you might be in denial a bit about your situation?

queenbathsheba Tue 26-Apr-11 16:58:11

OP, does your partner work and is he the father to both of your children?
Do you as a couple have a lot of stress and what causes most of this stress?
Do you both find it difficult to cope with your son's condition/behaviour?
Do you have a lot of financial worries?

What sort of support would actually help you? you mention disability money for your son, in what way will this help you in caring for your son? would this make life a lot easier for you? Do either you or your partner have a break from caring for you son?

Do you think your son needs a lot more "care" and parental input than most children his age?

Maybe social services will be able to offer you a lot of support if you are open and honest with them.

mumof2beebies Tue 26-Apr-11 17:00:08

it all sounds chaotics because I'm writing all the worst stuff they have on us in a relatively small space.
Don't know about you lot, but actually going into a hostel was a normal thing for me growing up, I grew up on a council estate.
If I was a rich woman saying oh me and the kids went to stay in a hotel for a few days because me and the husband are going through a stressful patch that would sound so different wouldn't it?

I know social workers are understaffed that's their excuse for incidents like baby p. That's why I'm pretty incredilous at them using time to investigate us.
We already have a support team.

The hostel did turn into a hell hole for us because we were confined to one room, without the kids daddy, who is a massive part of their everyday life. And of course with all the infection of lots of people using same facilities, wasn't good for my weakened immune system.

BeakerTheMuppetMuppet Tue 26-Apr-11 17:01:47

OP - please don't be so defensive towards people who will only have your best interest at heart.

it only makes them think you ARE hiding something.

everyone has trauma and stress in their lives, it's just mixed with health issues in both adults and children within one family they can become very messy and unhealthy at times.

sometimes an outsider's point of view will seem harsh and different from yours are.
They/we are not emotionally attached, and will make judgements on what is seen, it's human nature.
SS will have to do that too, but have guidelines and the law to enable them to do it more sympathetically and to help you, not make things worse.

GypsyMoth Tue 26-Apr-11 17:02:06

what kind of hostel?? where did you get a referral from?

LadyInTheRadiat0r Tue 26-Apr-11 17:03:21

Yes it would sound different because one is a holiday and one is emergency accommodation.

mumof2beebies Tue 26-Apr-11 17:04:11

I walked into the the council office and said hubby had kicked us out, and they gave us accomodation as I knew they would. (he didnt actually kick us out, I just needed some space)
I didn't think staying elsewhere for a few days was uprooting my children. they actually got more attention from me in those few days, and I wanted to go home after two days. It was one specific worker who stopped us going back because of his suspicions, which were wrong

queenbathsheba Tue 26-Apr-11 17:04:19

mumof2beebies, it must have been horrid for you staying in the hostel, in one tiny room, with few facilities, it really couldn't have been a "break" at all and I'm sure you missed the support that your partner offers in helping to care for the children.

Do you think maybe your partner and you have a relationship where you are very dependent upon each other?

Well look - I'm not rich and I've managed 13 years of parenting without the police being called and anybody going off to a hostel. This is NOT a normal way to live.
Are you actually reading anybody's posts? If you respond to SS as you are doing here then I thin you will actually have a very serious situation on your hands. Denial is going to get you in to a far more difficult istuation than the one you've started off with.

LadyInTheRadiat0r Tue 26-Apr-11 17:05:16

Lots of us go through 'stressful patches' and just stay at home as we have no money for hotels and no need (i.e. are not at risk) for hostels.

I don't know why you are trying to make it sound like such a casual decision?

I find this genuinely worrying for you, but it sounds like you are playing things down and I can't understand why?

Goblinchild Tue 26-Apr-11 17:06:24

Most people know that hostels are often noisy, crowded, sharing facilities and not particularly well cared for. So to choose to take yourself and your children to one appears rather desperate, because however bad the hostel it must have been better than staying in your own home.
Unlike going to a hotel for a few days.
Do you not have any relatives who can help you out?

Georgimama Tue 26-Apr-11 17:07:00

So you told them your husband had kicked you out in order to get what you wanted. Now you say that wasn't true. These kinds of lies bite one in the butt because they cause concerns in officialdom - for example that your husband threw his wife and two pre school children out of the family home and they had nowhere else to turn. Now you think everything is rosy again you are telling them - what exactly? Have you said you lied about the need for temporary accommodation?

queenbathsheba Tue 26-Apr-11 17:07:19

Northern, don't be so keen to say that OP is in denial, everyone lives their own reality. Op has already said that "going into a hostel was normal when/where I grew up. Think again, maybe mum2 isn't actually denying anything.

GypsyMoth Tue 26-Apr-11 17:08:51

you grew up on a council estate and say buggering off to hostels was normal????

hmm

Goblinchild Tue 26-Apr-11 17:09:57

'I walked into the the council office and said hubby had kicked us out, and they gave us accomodation as I knew they would. (he didnt actually kick us out, I just needed some space)'

Do you not think it was unfair to give the authorities this impression of your partner? A man who would throw his wife and children out of their own home?
And you wonder why they are unsure of your word now, because in many classic DV situations the wife withdraws her complaint because of intimidation or fear of facing the reality.

GypsyMoth Tue 26-Apr-11 17:10:16

you see,you lie to the authorities,this is what you get

someone in proper need may have required a hostel space....they are NOT for going for a break!!!

Goblinchild Tue 26-Apr-11 17:11:19

x post Georgimama, I got talked to by a DS whilst trying to think. smile

BeakerTheMuppetMuppet Tue 26-Apr-11 17:12:05

I'm not totally buying the 'i just walked into the council office and said hubby had kicked us out' bit.

You made yourself intentionally homeless, and they gave you accommodation, just like that?

Our local council would have given me a list of hotels and boarding houses and shown me to the nearest public telephone...unless there was a reason that you needed a hostel...with staff?

queenbathsheba Tue 26-Apr-11 17:15:36

OP you mention that it was normal to stay in a hostel as a child growing up on a council estate. I'm interested in who stayed in a hostel and why did you know it would be easy to get a place when you told the council that you partner had thrown you out.

Please try to take on board the advice you get here and not be do defensive. People are trying to help yousmile

Your homelife does sound chaotic and volatile. You involved the police in a domestic disagreement so SS are inevitably involved.
If I were in your position I would jump through hoops to keep SS onside. You do sound as though you would benefit from some parenting advice and relationship counselling.

It worries me that you think these sorts of behaviours are 'normal', staying in emergency accommodation, calling the police to domestic incidents, and regularly separating from, then reuniting with, your partner.

It sounds like your children are living in chaos, I would work with SS and accept their help

BalloonSlayer Tue 26-Apr-11 17:20:47

You told the council that your DH kicked you and your two DCs, one you believe has special needs, and one who is a baby, out of the house?

And now the SS think he's being abusive?

Oh.

Beaker - people fleeing violence or harassment (or to be exact who say they are) may be considered for emergency housing as may people with dependant children. The op will have ticked two boxes in terms of 'entitlement'.

Georgimama Tue 26-Apr-11 17:21:52

Indeed - when you put it like that one hardly wonders why SS have reached this conclusion.

BalloonSlayer Tue 26-Apr-11 17:21:58

re your thread title - sadly I think it is YOU who has been accusing your partner of domestic abuse by lying to the council.

You need to be sure you are putting your children's needs first. Social services will expect this to be your priority.

Going to the council and saying your husband kicked you out when you wanted some time is an extremely immature thing to do.

Children need routine and stability. A hostel is not hotel. Locking people out of houses is not usual behaviour. Your children will see all of this going on. You are their role model.

If you and your partner have issues you need to sort them out. If you don't you sound as if you have some growing up to do.

kerrymumbles Tue 26-Apr-11 17:23:25

for crying out loud put some freaking paragraphs in there.

i couldn't bear to read the entire thing.

are you sure you're being honest? One does not run off to a hostel because they're sick of bickering, ESPECIALLY as they are full of illness and your immuno-compromised.

mumof2beebies Tue 26-Apr-11 17:24:12

Hi, I've read more now. I do appreciate what you're trying to help me with.

Maybe I can chill and bring up in the meeting what they could possibly help us with.

But lemme just say why I'm worried as hell, I KNOW that SS can take your kids if they ASSume you've gone back to a violent man.
For me to have to live seperately alone with the children would be awful. I get so ill, I'm on antibiotics constantly and they don't help, I just keep having to be hospitalised to get pumped back up with fluids, calcium, magnesium, I can't digest food, I'm anemic. If they come along with their scare mongering, saying oh we don't think it's normal we think he must be abusive and you should seperate, that would be awful for the kids, and me.

I went into hostels alot when I was a kids when my parents argued, I see it as back up, and also we're losing our house, I did consider it would get us housed quicker if I went there. BNut it's not nice for us to be away from my partner. He's full dad to one step dad to the other, and he's the best thing that's ever happened to us.

I'm trying to think of how I can go to this meeting with the child snatchers and not act like a battered woman in denial.
Uh! I need a cigarette!

Hubby doesn't work atm and has long hair and a beard, and wears dark clothes, typical attributes of a secret wife beater as you can see. Jeez.
Luckily the nursery worker is coming to the meeting and she is singing his praises with how she sees him with our son and how he brings him in every morning.
Also luckily the health visitor supports us being a family. She even says her and her parter have had their arguments and joked that she's felt like calling the police on him when she's extremely annoyed (but obviously she wasn't dramatic enough to do that).

Goblinchild Tue 26-Apr-11 17:24:22

Read further in the thread KM, Collision paragraphed the OP's post.

SummerRain Tue 26-Apr-11 17:27:09

Op... how old are you?

Because you sound like a teenager. Only thinking of the immediate future with no understanding of long term consequences or how your actions might affect those around you... most notably your children.

I'm not rich, I could never afford to take myself off to a hotel for a break. But unless I was being beaten it would never even cross my mind to ask for emergency accommodation. It's just not a normal thing to do... and to lie to the authorities and say your partner kicked his wife and infant children out onto the street was a stupid, shortsighted and selfish thing to do.

changingmynameagain Tue 26-Apr-11 17:27:32

You, your partner, and your two children really really need the help that SS can give.

please be open and honest with them.

Your life sounds chaotic.

BTW, from the last post you wrote, is your DH father to your first or second child? "Luckily the nursery worker is coming to the meeting and she is singing his praises with how she sees him with our son and how he brings him in every morning."

CinnabarRed Tue 26-Apr-11 17:28:42

How on earth did you think that lying to the council about domestic abuse would get your whole family housed together more quickly? I can see it might have got you and your kids housed faster, but not with your DP. Were you planning to just move him in with you and hope no-one would notice?

OP, you're being incredibly immature. You react to situations without thinking through the long term consequences (or even short term ones). Your DP sounds like the mature one in your relationship.

mumof2beebies Tue 26-Apr-11 17:28:42

How is saying he's asked me to leave to the council, me accusing him of DV? They can check the interview I did, I didn't accuse him of anything, or say I needed to flee. I said we're arguing a lot so he asked us to leave.

If I'd said I'm fleeing they would have put me in a refuge, refuges are a lot nicer. But I wouldn't accuse him of anything like that, because he would never do that.

timetocallitaday Tue 26-Apr-11 17:29:05

What exactly is your condition that requires them to pump you with calcium and magnesium?

mumof2beebies Tue 26-Apr-11 17:29:23

He's blood father of our baby. But treats them both the same

CinnabarRed Tue 26-Apr-11 17:30:37

Asking a woman and infant children to leave the family home is domestic abuse.

Different from domestic violence.

You have given the authorities every reason to think that you're being abused - you've told them exactly that yourself.

changingmynameagain Tue 26-Apr-11 17:31:27

Who has diagnosed your 4 year old with special needs?

Are you getting support and help wrt dealing with these special needs?

GypsyMoth Tue 26-Apr-11 17:32:29

child snatchers???

you are now reminding me of a banned poster who spouts that nonsense!

if they take your kids its because you need help and are refusing to let them help and advise you!! never mind what some nursery worker thinks or says!!

BalloonSlayer Tue 26-Apr-11 17:32:41

On here, just now, you used the words "kicked us out."

Now I know no one would necessarily assume that meant he had actually kicked any of you, but it implies a significantly more forceful, angry eviction than "asked me to leave" which sounds civilised.

I would say that a man who forced his partner and children leave their home with nowhere to go other than a hostel is being abusive, actually. So to me, what you wrote in your earlier post "he kicked us out" is calling him abusive. But maybe I am being fussy.

changingmynameagain Tue 26-Apr-11 17:32:55

You say you already have a support team. What support exactly do you get already?

changingmynameagain Tue 26-Apr-11 17:34:13

Also in your original post you state that your partner spends most of his time with you - does he live elsewhere or have I misconstrued that?

CinnabarRed Tue 26-Apr-11 17:36:31

What's the betting that in a couple of years time we'll see an article in the Daily Mail where the OP tells all in tearful terms about how the evil babysnatchers stole her beloved children for absolutely no reason?

LadyInTheRadiat0r Tue 26-Apr-11 17:36:43

Good luck OP. Am hiding this thread now because it is all getting just a bit unbelievable.

There are some very kind and patient people talking to you here (acknowledging that I don't mean myself as I am outta here!) and I would really urge you to listen to them.

changingmynameagain Tue 26-Apr-11 17:37:05

If you are already in danger of losing your house, as you say, then surely the intervention of SS is a good thing as it will help you get on your feet and sorted.

Out of interest, why are you losing your house?

BeakerTheMuppetMuppet Tue 26-Apr-11 17:37:15

NL i realise that, that's why i added the unless...part

OP, by what you've now added I fear you have now become a victim of your own making. you've lied to the council to get temporary accommodation. You've called the Police in to prove to your OH that you were serious, I can't help but wonder if there is a lot more to this....

and no i'm not calling 'troll' before anyone jumps on me.

queenbathsheba Tue 26-Apr-11 17:38:10

Mumof2

You must have a great deal of stress worrying about losing your home added to the fact that you have an ongoing health issue. You need to be honest with the social worker and explain how these stresses are effecting you and your partner.

It would also help you if you tell them honestly about your background as a child and how your parents relationship impacted upon your childhood. They will take this into consideration and they will understand how this effects you now. ie, you thought it was a good idea to flee to the hostel when you needed a break.

On a daily basis, how does your op cope with the financial worries and the fact that you are losing your home?

You mention that you have some support with your son, what sort of help do you get, is it enough and does it really help you?

You mention that your parents argued a lot, do you know why and was it very bad or did your mum over react?

mathanxiety Tue 26-Apr-11 17:40:10

So you have been lying to people left and right, and on top of all that seem to have no idea that you are coming across here as a very defensive and maybe even evasive human cactus.

You sound incredibly immature and flaky and both you and the DP seem in dire need of a lot of growing up and learning how to deal with each other, with stress, and with other people.

Your relationship is volatile and you are willing to visit a lot of stress and upset on your young children. You sound to me like a parent who needs all the help she can get. But mostly it is your unfortunate children I am concerned about and I hope for their sakes that you will dump the massive attitude problem and start listening and co-operating.

mumof2beebies Tue 26-Apr-11 17:40:28

Well, I invited the devil into my own home.
It was short sighted of me, and yes I'm a young parent.
But I'll say one thing, there's not domestic violence or abuse from my partner.
It's people thinking that there is and I'm hiding it which is the problem. Looks like I brought that on myself.

Recurrent infrections in the gastrinal tract cause me not to be absorbing a lot of nutrients. I've had calcium on IV and magnesium a few times.

Yes we're getting support with his special needs, we have a CAF team especially for him, he's seen speach therapists, a doctor who's referred him to a paediatric consultant, and the nursery worker who is an important part of his life sets targets for us, potty training him is one big one now, so we're working together to do that.

Has anyone any advice on what we can do for this meeting to go smoothly and be positive without them just saying they don't think I'm being honest?
I'm very scared they'll try and force us to seperate. We've been very happy and haven't argued in a while. The kids are better off at home with us both.
Of course I know all of this is to focus on the kids needs.

sungirltan Tue 26-Apr-11 17:40:29

oh dear. i presume your current care plan is through the childrens disabilty team (might be called slightly diff name where you are) and is provided by law because of your son's additional needs. CD don't deal with much else and any kind of additional intervention will come through a new initial assessment with different social workers so it seems like its starting all over again. frustrating but thats how it works.

forcibly accomodating children doesn't happen overnight unless they are at risk of significant harm. what is more likely is that they might end up with a child protection plan and intervention services/support in place.

i presume you know what was on the original CAF assessment? which of the 5 outcomes are not being met?

itsabiggywhatdoidonow Tue 26-Apr-11 17:41:53

I think your caotic lifestyle and attention seeking behaviour has had a direct effect on your family....so you have told lies to the police and authorities about your husband and these lies have been belived are being taken very seriously and your poor dh is taking the flack. Have you ever been assesed or diagnosed ffr mh or personality disorder. As a SW this is what I would be pushing for Im afraid to say.

Sorry Beaker - I didn't take in the 'unless' blush grin

I

mumof2beebies Tue 26-Apr-11 17:44:34

mathananxiety I hope your judgemental ill informed post against me gave you some relief, why don't you grow up and go get some excersize to relieve stress. I'm looking for help.

I left with the kids when we were arguing bad, so obviously I'm not happy to put them through stress, we got away for some peace and quiet and it was damn good for us for that couple of days, until I'd resolved things with DH. My only regret is that I didn't have the money to go to a hotel instead.

changingmynameagain Tue 26-Apr-11 17:45:38

The help you need is being offered to you on a plate by SS

Please take it

mumof2beebies Tue 26-Apr-11 17:48:04

What did I lie to the police about?

My son isn't reaching many of the milestones for his age, and we're losing our home, that's what the CAF team were helping us with.

mumof2beebies Tue 26-Apr-11 17:48:57

changingmynameagain

What help do they offer? Honest question

I've only heard of them threatening to take children.

changingmynameagain Tue 26-Apr-11 17:49:26

You cried wolf once too often and it's come back to bite you on the bum.

Why are you losing your home?

mathanxiety Tue 26-Apr-11 17:49:48

You should have plans in place, both of you, to go to parenting classes and also to anger management classes and even to relationship counselling plus individual counselling. 'We've been very happy and haven't argued in a while' isn't going to cut it. They are not going to just go away until the next time the two of you explode again. You have huge problems and you need to take them as seriously as the SS do.

You should resist the temptation to roll your eyes or interrupt people who are speaking at the meeting. You should not speak of needing a cigarette especially as you have had a chest infection. You should acknowledge that you have had some childhood problems and you should be willing to take any suggestions they make for improvement in your behaviour seriously. You should be open to the possibility that they will suspect you have a personality disorder as has been suggested.

queenbathsheba Tue 26-Apr-11 17:50:37

itsabiggywhatdoidonow, your kidding surely confused

Mumof2 please tell us why you spent time between hostels and home as a child? I think this is very significant to you. Also why do you think social workers are baby snatchers.

However if you listen to itsabiggywhatdoidonow, you may actually have a point hmm

Goblinchild Tue 26-Apr-11 17:50:44

I don't think anyone here can help you, because you are not listening constructively to any of the suggestions.

mathanxiety Tue 26-Apr-11 17:50:48

As for judgemental, ill-informed post -- yes, bite the hand that's trying to help you see how others see you. That will get you far.

GypsyMoth Tue 26-Apr-11 17:51:56

you lied to authorities,i didnt say police,its local authority. the council. the hostel staff. you lied

you also said you were 'bickering' this has now become 'arguing bad'.....will it next become 'he pushed me',then 'he hit me'??

are you going to hostels and lying in order to get to top of local authority housing lst by pretending he is violent/throwing you out,making you homeless?? you say you are losing your home. private rented?

GypsyMoth Tue 26-Apr-11 17:53:12

chest infections which hospitalise you.....and you say you need a cigarette??

mathanxiety Tue 26-Apr-11 17:55:05

You seem to keep on insisting this is all about you, and that SS are trying to take something away from you, etc., but actually, while SS cares about you, it is your children and their welfare that they are primarily there for. If you feel the same, then you will start listening.

Georgimama Tue 26-Apr-11 17:57:22

Indeed. Taking children away from their families is an option of last resort - it is expensive, involves a huge workload for an already stretched service and has less positive outcomes, statistically, than supporting a family to stay together.

Try not to respond at the meeting to suggestions or questions as you have done here, OP, and your family may get the help they need. But the SS are interested in your children's welfare, not yours.

sungirltan Tue 26-Apr-11 17:58:05

itsabiggy - also think you might have a point.

mumof2beebies - help could involve a family support worker, parenting classes, referrals to other support agencies, regular supervision from a sw, anger management or counselling for either or both of you depending on the outcome of the assessment, extra nursery hours, some kind of health support for you, sessional work with a sw for your dc - these are random services i can think of and not prescriptive to your situation.

queenbathsheba Tue 26-Apr-11 17:58:50

why oh why are MNers obsessed with personality disorders. DH works in forensics and it takes months for a diagnosis and actually if you used the definitions in the DSM, almost everyone would have something!

TotalChaos Tue 26-Apr-11 18:00:44

excellent, practical advice by mathsanxiety in her 17.49 post. follow it.

can't speak for the rest of the OP's posts, but the SN stuff rings true - have myself been in the position of having a 4 year old with whopping language and social skills delay, stuck on a lengthy waiting list for paed assessment, with various hints dropped by professionals to expect a more serious DX than language delay.

mumof2beebies Tue 26-Apr-11 18:01:50

lol I know I sound pretty outragious. I started smoking two weeks ago the minute that social worker called me. I'm keeping it to about 5 a day now.

Mathanxiety, thanks, you're last few posts have helped.
I'll try not to be defensive. It's such a stressful time though. I'm getting to the point where we're joking about walking in there looking like wayne and waynetta slob from harry enfeild. Because we just don't know what to do but make a joke of it.
I've known them to take kids off people I grew up with.
I'll try and just listen to their concerns and see what they can offer. I'd take counselling for myself. I don't want them to get even more involved if I say I've been troubled and make myself look even worse.

This thread has been helpful, because we need to get used to other people thinking the way the majourity of you do.

Al0uiseG Tue 26-Apr-11 18:03:35

Do you or your boyfriend take drugs?

mathanxiety Tue 26-Apr-11 18:04:20

You can't make yourself look worse by acknowledging you may have problems. It's when you won't acknowledge problems that you make yourself look worse.

queenbathsheba Tue 26-Apr-11 18:08:05

mumof2, please accept the help and support offered. It may well be that if you get a good social worker they will speed things along with the paediatric assessment, help fill in the forms for the disability payments, put a package of support in place, lean on the LA so you get priority housing when needed.

I think you should investigate counseling for yourself because underlying your behaviour, reactions to stress and present life situation will always be your experiences as a child. Keep this in mind, because everything that happens to you now as a family will have long term effects on your kids.

sungirltan Tue 26-Apr-11 18:11:26

i think some mediation work might be really good especially if a professional can help your and your partner dissolve arguments where you dont have to leave the house. you can self refer to relate anyway and afaik its free if you are benefit recipiants (could be wrong)

aside from all this i imagine the threat of losing your accomodation is very stressful. what is the situation with this? lots of mners have loads of housing rights knowledge - perhaps we can help?

Maryz Tue 26-Apr-11 18:17:23

I'm sorry, but once I got to the words "these babysnatchers" you began to lose me shock.

If, and I suspect it is a big if, you want to keep your family together you and your partner need to learn to talk to each other, to stop arguing and threatening each other, to be much calmer in the way you are living.

SS can help you with this. Go to the meeting. Outline the health problems you have, and the difficulty with your older child. Tell them honestly that you want to change, that you want help to have a more stable home for your children and they will help you to get it.

If, however, you go to them and say that the way you are living is perfectly normal hmm, that there is nothing wrong with locking each other out, or voluntarily making yourself homeless, and that you intend to continue to live this way, then don't be surprise if they are very worried about your children.

SeenButNotHeard Tue 26-Apr-11 18:22:31

OP - just to let you know, Children's Services can not remove children without a court order. The Police are the only organisation to be able to take immediate action through Police Protection.

Think about what this looks like to the social worker completing their initial assessment...
* You call police because of a domestic dispute and being locked out of the house with children inside.
* You apporach SSD stating that you have been kicked out of the house by your partner and need emergency accommodation
* Hostel manager tells them that you described domestic abuse
* Another support worker shares fears that you are in an abusive relationship
* Eldest child is not meeting developmental milestones - no current diagnosis, so reason for this is not clear at present.
* You have significant helath concerns
* As a family you are under acute stress because of immenent homelessness

Can you understand why the LA would at least be concerned by what is presented? Now, at least some of that is of your own making, particularly if you misrepresented to the housing department your need for emergency housing; you have to take responsiblity for that.

If I were you, I would go to the meeting armed with the truth about your domestic situation, acknowledging the strain that you and your partner are under and work with Children's Services about what would really help you. Think about suggesting:
Relationship counselling
Anger management
Housing Advice, maybe debt management (sorry if this is jumping to conclusions)
Parenting Support
Emergency support if your health deteriorates again

It is really important that you are honest from now on - both with professionals, and with yourself.

mumof2beebies Tue 26-Apr-11 18:35:39

Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. I don't like arguing in front on my babies,a dn we need all the help we can get, I agree, because as every other child moves forward, my little boy is not, which is heartbreaking, he needs a diagnoses and a one on one assistant for school so he's not left in situations where people don't understand him.
I'll just focus on what they can help us with concerning our kids, rather than getting defensive about some assumptions that were made.

al0uiseG
I take drugs, mainly antibiotics, and extra vitamins and then some tobacco lately. How about you?

mumof2beebies Tue 26-Apr-11 18:38:44

Seenbutnot herd.
Thank you it's helpful to look at thing from how they will be seeing it.
Thanks for that, I'll show my partner too.

GypsyMoth Tue 26-Apr-11 18:39:44

why tobacco when you have the health problems you listed earlier??? how does tobacco help?

rosie1979 Tue 26-Apr-11 18:42:27

mumoftwo - Do you think its normal to go to hostels because you were taken there as a child? Because it sounds as if you are repeating a pattern that your children will follow - they may think it is normal which it is not - council estate or not.

I think you are having a hard time but truthfully I can see why social services are concerned. You told the council that your dh had kicked you out - and are now surprised that this has been used against you.

It seems like you are giving out a lot of mixed messages.

If I were you I would concentrate on making life as normal as possible for the kids and think about relationship counselling.

mumof2beebies Tue 26-Apr-11 18:47:26

I loveTIFFANY
Tobacco does seem to have help, actually, it's been sooo stressful. Nowander the native americans used it to help them pray/meditate/spek with the creator.
I do know it's bad for you in the longrun though, so I'm slowly weaning myself back off it.

Thanks rosie, and all

I hope you are able to drop the defensive/scared attitude and are able to be honest with the social worker when they visit. It looks to me like you do have problems that would interfere with good parenting. You are lucky tbh that there is somebody taking an interest, and hopefully this will lead to the help that can be of benefit to your children.

Good luck!

Oh, and stop the rubbish about smoking being helpful. Smoking actually makes you more stressed as you are constantly needing another fix.

PlopPlopPing Tue 26-Apr-11 19:04:54

Hi OP, I think a lot of people on here are giving you are hard time. All couples argue and sometimes it gets a little heated. Think the two of you need to work on listening to each other though and how to communicate so that it doesn't get to the stage where you are locking each other out of the house or that you feel the need to leave.

I think you need to start really considering how important stability is in your families life and not get into the habit of going to hostels. I realise that it was how your parents dealt with things but if the two of you learnt to sort out disagreements in a calmer way it shouldn't come to that.

I think maybe being honest with SS is the only way. Some sort of couples counselling wouldn't hurt either. Partly because of what you would both learn from it (which are skills your children will copy) and partly because SS will see that you are both working on creating a calmer and more stable environment for your family.

itsabiggywhatdoidonow Tue 26-Apr-11 19:05:40

itsabiggywhatdoidonow, your kidding surely

not kidding one little bit, she describes some classic manifestation of mild personality disorder in my experience.

mathanxiety Tue 26-Apr-11 19:09:07

'al0uiseG
I take drugs, mainly antibiotics, and extra vitamins and then some tobacco lately. How about you?'

Under no circumstances should you come out with something like this tone at the meeting. In the first place it is very defensive to the point of prickliness, and in the second it is a sort of mocking of a serious issue, which may well be raised by the staff you will be talking with, and a legitimate question to ask, given the circumstances.

Tyr Tue 26-Apr-11 19:18:21

I have some experience of these situations and know how quickly they can escalate so I think you need to handle this delicately. When S.S. call out, the two of you need to show a united front.
Most of all, you both need to accept that those kind of rows are going to affect the children. Calling the police and going into a hostel will have raised alarm; refusing to engage will likely make things worse.
Adults have rows and that is par for the course. If a woman reports them, they are classed as domestic abuse and all manner of non-child friendly outcomes become possible, usually involving the exclusion of the father.
I think the two of you need to take stock and keep your disagreements away from the children and the authorities in future.
As a matter of interest- you acknowledge that he is a good parent so why didn't you leave the kids with him in their familiar environment when you went to the hostel for a break?

Al0uiseG Tue 26-Apr-11 19:22:13

Why are we coaching this woman on how to behave in front of SS? Let them make their own judgement.

I actually feel extremely sorry for her children and I'm glad that someone will be keeping an eye out for them in future.

Maryz Tue 26-Apr-11 19:26:26

I think you have a good point alouiseg. However, I suspect whatever we say here won't make much difference in reality sad. But anything she can do to improve the life of her children must be a good thing as (contrary to popular opinion) the social workers aren't going to charge in on their white horses to seize save them.

mathanxiety Tue 26-Apr-11 19:28:42

I think it is unwise to advise keeping disagreements or conflict to yourself. Better to seek help if there is a pattern than to possibly let things escalate.

I agree with AlOuiseg -- this isn't a case of SS vs OP and trying to pull one over on 'them'. What it should be is SS+OP+DP working together for the good of the children.

If you go to counselling or Relate or parenting classes or anger management training, do it sincerely, OP.

BeakerTheMuppetMuppet Tue 26-Apr-11 19:39:04

Tyr

you have some very biased views there, it reads as though you have your own agenda.

IME, if DV/DA is proved then it's the perpetrator who's excluded male or female.

and advising this poster to keep things behind closed doors... hmm

SeenButNotHeard Tue 26-Apr-11 19:47:42

AlOuiseg - I don't think most people are 'coaching' if by that you mean describing how to 'fool' Children's Services.

Most have advised the OP to be honest with herself and with the LA.

Tyr Tue 26-Apr-11 20:06:59

I'm not sure what "having your own agenda" means. If I have one, it is based on a knowledge of the law and how S.S. work.
"Proof" (in the forensic sense) has very little to do with it.
Relationship counselling is about the only sensible suggestion the OP has received.
I'm not suggesting they keep things behind closed doors, as such; rather that they deal with adult disagreements in an adult way that does not impact so heavily on the children.

BeakerTheMuppetMuppet Tue 26-Apr-11 20:21:09

Ty

the part where you say there will be a non-child friendly solution sounds as if you do not believe that it's best for children to be removed from the situation.

and I think the two of you need to take stock and keep your disagreements away from the children and the authorities in future.

children yes...but authorities?

just wondered, that's all

Spero Tue 26-Apr-11 20:22:57

I've now come back and read the whole thing again and I think the op has actually done really well in toning down the defensiveness and being more open to recognise problems.

I agree that nobody seems to be offering 'coaching' but just really good sound advice.

You need to be honest. No one can criticise you for being upset and finding it stressful, but you will make problems for yourself if you are perceived as defensive and flippant.

Please stop smoking if you can. You will be judged for that.

SS are only human and all of us can quickly get 'boxed in' by our perceptions of each other. You see them as babysnatchers, they see you as defensive crap mother who puts her man before her children.

I am in the middle of a really sad case at the moment where the father is only allowed to see his children supervised with a security guard outside the door because in a moment of stress he threatened to kill the social worker. He is sorry now and didn't mean it, but you can't blame her for being very scared and taking it seriously. It has probably delayed his reunification with his children by between six months to a year. Don't let this happen to you.

mumof2beebies Tue 26-Apr-11 21:14:12

Thank you Tyr, it's interesting how people with experience or close ones with experience with SS see things a lot clearer.

I intend on admitting with them that the arguing is not good for the children, if it gets to the point of me feeling the need to leave for a few days.

We're not arguing now, so I just hope they don't try and tell us we have to live seperately, because that would not be good for the kids, them losing a parent, when we're okay and functioning well right now.

Spero, thanks
it's incredible how threatening a social worker is like stepping on the toe of god himself. If he'd had threatened anyone else sweet FA would have been done. I reported someone for threatening me once like that, they were female. Nothing happened to them at all.
That's the fear in this, their judgement, which can absolutely be wrong as they're mere humans also (incase anyone forgot) can cause catastrophic effects on families.

Maryz Tue 26-Apr-11 21:19:50

Yes mumof2beebies, separating children from their parents can cause catastrophic effects on families.

So can parents arguing, mothers locking fathers out of houses and vice versa, mothers taking small children from their homes to live in hostels "for a break", parents not dealing well with day to day life.

If you were a happy family, you would have nothing to do with social workers. They are involved because of action you and your partner have taken or not taken.

Please try to remember this. They are not the bad guys. They have done your children no harm, up to now in any case. Potentially you have (which I accept you don't want to hear, but you do really need to hear it, and listen to it, and accept that you need to change your way of doing things).

Spero Tue 26-Apr-11 21:56:53

I don't think the threat to kill was taken seriously just because it was addressed to a social worker. It was because it was a very emotional and aggressive threat directed at someone who was just doing her job and trying to protect his children (both of whom were seriously malnourished because the parents weren't feeding them enough - SW spent £50 of her own money to get them some food because she was so worried about the children on one home visit).

so it wasn't like two people having a scrap, both winding up the other.

I just use this an example, hopefully extreme, of what can happen if you push the 'evil babysnatchers' attitude.

Your children quite clearly need SS support....they have a chaotic homelife at best. Dipping into hostels for a 'break' is not normal behaviour from any section of society. The fact you find it such is sad to say the least. You are confrontational and have lied/misled the authorities a number of times.

You seem far to concerned about being made to leave your partner by SS than anything else. Your volatile relationship is unhealthy for children. They will have seen each parent be locked out the house, police visits, SS visits, leaving the family home, living in one room at a hostle, - these are not desirerable childhood memories being created here.

Quite honestly you need a wake-up call, love!

Al0uiseG Tue 26-Apr-11 22:02:52

Very well said BabyDubs

sungirltan Tue 26-Apr-11 22:10:35

agree with alouiseg

Spero Tue 26-Apr-11 22:12:17

I think there is a difference between confronting someone and backing them into a corner where they will only get more defensive and less co-operative. The less skilled social workers I have seen do this. And it doesn't help.

there aren't a bunch of fabulous warm and loving foster parents out there. the good ones are scarce and all of them are very, very expensive. Your taxes pay for that.

So give the op some credit for continuing to engage and at least giving the impression that she knows all is not as it should be. the best place for all children to be is with their parents, provided that the parents can parent to a good enough standard. If the op can be helped to do that, I really hope it works.

She has to be grown up enough to accept that she needs help and to grit her teeth when need be. Some social workers are not brilliant with their people skills but they all do what they do for the right reasons; believe me you wouldn't do an unbelievably stressful and poorly paid job where you were at frequent risk of physical abuse unless your heart was in the right place.

mathanxiety Tue 26-Apr-11 23:37:22

Some people paint themselves into their own corners though, and this is happening here imo; the defensiveness, hostility to SS, hints that they are somehow above the law and that they operate outside the rules, that they apply rules unfairly to people who grew up on council estates, and the preoccupation with not splitting the family up are all too obvious.

I have to say I agree with MaryZ and BabyDubs here.

I think the OP still sees the SS as Enemy Number One here.

matana Wed 27-Apr-11 08:00:26

I've locked my husband out, he's locked me out (all many years prior to having our DS) because we've been pretty volatile in the past in terms of verbal arguments, so i don't think there's much sinister in that tbh. But i agree that staying in a hostel with children seems to infer there's more in it than that. I'd never resort to taking my DS to a hostel unless i was in huge trouble. For a start he'd miss his daddy too much, let alone how unsettling it is.

As others have said, you called the police - they have a duty of care towards you and, to be fair, it's reassuring to me that they're doing their jobs properly. Engage with SS - even if it's agreeing to do some anger management course or something.

mumof2beebies Wed 27-Apr-11 08:46:53

We can agree to do anger management, but none of us suffer from anger as such. We could do relationship counselling, but we're doing really well between us now.

If anyone knew the history you'd understand me seeing SS as enemy number one. They've lied and manipulated me in the past.
And all I know of them from what I've seen is them taking babies from people that need support. So if you looked at it from this point of veiw, you'd understand my fear of them.

GypsyMoth Wed 27-Apr-11 09:44:31

so you've had involvement with them previously then?

RoyalFucker Wed 27-Apr-11 10:04:05

So you are going to refuse all offers of help then ?

Just dismiss everything ? You may not get much of a choice in that.

You are very foolish.

CinnabarRed Wed 27-Apr-11 10:18:23

I genuinely can't see how you can claim not to have anger or relationship issues if you've locked each other out of the house and have explosive so-bad-you-want-to-leave-for-a-couple-of-days rows. Sure things are fine now, but how can you feel confident they'll stay that way?

PlopPlopPing Wed 27-Apr-11 10:52:18

If anyone knew the history you'd understand me seeing SS as enemy number one. They've lied and manipulated me in the past.
And all I know of them from what I've seen is them taking babies from people that need support.

What happened?!?!

cory Wed 27-Apr-11 15:03:51

Well, you told the hostel people a lie (that you needed emergency accommodation when you didn't). You told the police an implied lie (that you needed protection when you didn't). If you ask for help, you can't blame people for thinking you need it. Especially seeing how scarce resources are these days: most people would think twice before they wasted police resources or hostel resources unless there was a really serious emergency.

mathanxiety Wed 27-Apr-11 15:15:05

My exILs had episodes of locking out too, and exMIL also left once and headed back to her mother's by train with all of her kids. exFIL once broke his DD's leg spanking her. No involvement from anyone who could have effectively intervened, no charges ever brought or report made of the broken leg as exFIL was a doctor and one of his friends treated my exSIL. Unhappy, miserable family, and it continues through the generations.

OP, if you can't see yourself as SS will see you, then they will worry about your children and rightly. You have to take the long view and stop insisting that as you and the DP are getting on fine right now all is well. The two of you have managed to raise too many red flags, and SS will not go away just because you're getting on ok today.

PlopPlopPing Wed 27-Apr-11 16:06:48

mathanxiety That must have been a hell of a smack! How does you exSIL feel about that?

mathanxiety Wed 27-Apr-11 16:16:26

The matter was never discussed. I heard of it as a sort of funny family story shock hmm. There are a lot of seething undercurrents in my exILs family though. I haven't spoken to any of them for years as they have cut me out of their lives completely.

mumof2beebies Wed 27-Apr-11 16:45:56

I know it was an ill judged decision to call the police, I didn't tell them I needed protection, I told them we were having a domestic. It was utterly stupid of me.
I left to go into the hostel when my son woke up crying due to hearing us argue, and I felt sick with guilt. I hated my partner for shouting so my child could hear, so I left.
Now we both feel guilty as hell for the stress we put the kids under during the time we were arguing.
We've had a good relationship now for a few weeks and we both have an understanding that if things get like that again, he's going to go to his mothers. But for now things are good, we bite our tongues if we start arguing in front of the kids, and remind each other that it upsets them.

I was involved with SS, when I was 15, I had a baby and I went straight from the hospital into foster care. I wanted to stay with my baby and be a mum to him, but SS had other ideas. They thought my child should be adopted, so they did that. I fought through the courts for a year, but because they'd placed him seperately to me for so long the judge didn't see much reason why he should go back to me. I suffered deprssion during the time they withheld my baby from me, and they finally adopted him by saying my depression could emotionally hurt my baby in future.
That was 10 years ago.
When I had my son whose now 4 I went through parenting classes, childcare courses, all sorts and they were satisfied with me.
Both me and my partner love our kids and would never smack them, and want to keep them away from stress, which is why we realised the arguing isn't good, which is why I left when things got so stressful.

Of course I'm scared of SS being involved now, and I'm defensive, because from my experience with them, they didn't seem to care back then, they just wanted a simple adoption cut and dry and didn't seem to see any importance of me being with my baby.
I'm trying to have faith that this time it will be different.
If I hadn't been through the involvement with them before, then I wouldn't have these worries now.

The posts on here have been helpful, because I'm getting used to how others will think of our situation. And I can tell them now, that I understand why theyre concerned, but I just hope to god they don't try and break our family up, when we're doing much better now.
Our relationship was volatile for a few days before I left with the kids, but it's not like that now, and we never intend for it to get like that ever again. My partner's mother has now said either of us are welcome to go and stay with her if things get near as bad again.

mumof2beebies Wed 27-Apr-11 16:48:06

We decided early on that we wouldn't smack our kids at all, because it can easily get out of control, and if you're angry you can hit them harder than you realise, my boy get's put on the stairs if he's really bad.

RoyalFucker Wed 27-Apr-11 16:51:16

that last post sounds much, much more considered and less panicky. I am sorry about your pervious experiences

panic and knee-jerk reactions, however, when the authorities are just doing their job, will raise their red markers

defensiveness will not come across at all well

this will sound patronising (sorry, can't be helped) but if you deal with them in this vein I am sure they will open and shut your case

demonstrating that you are learning from past mistakes bodes well x

mathanxiety Wed 27-Apr-11 16:59:51

You have been through a lot and I wonder if you were ever offered help in grieving for the first baby or counselling to come to terms with the loss?

What sort of support did you have in place for yourself and the baby when you had him? Did you have a roof over your head, supportive parents or relatives to help you take care of yourself and the baby? Did you have an education plan for yourself? If you had none of these in place then you being with your baby would not have been important to them or to the judge. They are there to put the welfare of the baby first.

It is very understandable that your sense of loss is strong and your fear of future loss too, but it is hard to understand how you are not seeing the lesson to be learned from that experience, that you must not back into a corner and make plans for the future that are not much of an improvement over the past. Clearing out to his mum's is not different from you leaving for a hostel. It is exactly the same unhealthy way of dealing with things. If you want SS off your back then you will have to commit to permanent change and much personal growth, and you must try to see things from the pov of people whose job it is to keep your children's lives as positive as possible.

In this case, with the children you now have, the welfare of the children is again going to be first. You have to understand that and accept that. 'They' are not going to let you and the DP just get on with it, arguing and fighting or planning to leave for his mum's if things get bad, because that is really bad for the children. You really must understand that this is a terrible pattern for the children to be exposed to. You really must commit yourselves to improve drastically, relearn what it means to have a healthy relationship, or learn for the first time how to communicate, how to argue in a healthy way, how to disagree and talk through things, deal with stress and feelings.

PlopPlopPing Wed 27-Apr-11 21:57:37

I am so shocked that SS took your baby away from you. How can anyone not think (including the judge) that it's important for a baby to be with it's mother! You must have been devastated. How do you feel about it now? I honestly can't understand why they would do that! It's like a story from 100 years ago or something. I just don't get it. Was there any other reason for them to take your baby away, drugs etc? Depression isn't enough in my opinion.

queenbathsheba Wed 27-Apr-11 23:03:34

Having your baby taken away must have been devastating and I can see now why you might think social workers are baby snatchers.

You say that you went straight from the hospital into foster care, can I assume that you mean you and not just the baby? Why did you go into foster care. What had happened at home to nessesitate this? Were your parents able to support you, if not why not? Many young girls are placed in foster care with their baby and given support to care for the child. Why were you first seperated from your baby?

I am very sorry for what happened to you at 15, it would be entirely normal to suffer depression in those circumstances. However I find it hard to believe that s/workers had no justifiable reason to seek adoption.

If it's not too nosy (I keep asking questions!) how was your relationship with your 4 year old son's father. Was it volatile? Do you have contact with your family and do they help and support you now?

As others have said having an escape plan for a few days is not what SS will want to hear. They will be far happier if the pair of you can deal with your differences in a more constructive way. By saying you can go & stay with relatives when it gets bad suggests that the arguing and fighting is bad and likely to continue. You need to learn how to discuss things rationally and listen to each other.

Tyr Wed 27-Apr-11 23:06:09

This happens and those on the receiving end of S.S. actions are forbidden to speak out. S.S. are a blunt instrument; sometimes they get it right, sometimes they don't. You only hear of the cock ups when they result in a death and the matter has to become public.
That is why it is necessary to exercise caution before engaging with them. No matter how well intentioned, it is irresponsible to tell this OP that her children need SS intervention, without knowing all the facts.
It seems clear that the OP and her partner should get some advice and support. Unfortunately her own actions, which she admits were ill-advised, have made engagement with S.S. an inevitability. For the sake of the children, they would do well to handle that engagement appropriately.

mumof2beebies Wed 27-Apr-11 23:50:13

I don't know what else to say, I wasn't on drugs, it looked like I was gonna get him back to everyone, until last minute. They lied to me to try and get me to sign the papers, and didn't tell me about all the support I should have been having.
I didn't have any support in place. It was a male social worker who was in charge, who was the most unsympathetic person I'd ever met. I barely met him 2 or 3 times and he decided on the adoption.

I've not known them to help, ever.

Maybe I can just admit the arguing is bad for the kids and say we're getting better. But if their suspicious that he's abusive I don't wanna imagine what will happen.
I'm always ill, DP spent an hour putting both kids to bed tonight while I napped. It's so ridiculous that they may try and take that support away, under an assumption. And next time I get to the hospitalisation point I'll be too worried to get admitted if they think my partner isn't good. My son with SN wouldn't cope in foster care. Uh it's all a mess.

It's just really stressful.

Thanks for some really supportive posts, and being realistic even if it's not the assuring I origionally wanted.
This is serious >sad

RoyalFucker Wed 27-Apr-11 23:55:10

Sleep on it.

When is the visit ?

mumof2beebies Thu 28-Apr-11 00:01:13

my dad took me out of care just before my 16th, so when I turned 16 SS didn't have any responsibility for me when I asked them to take us back into care because homelife was bad, they said they'll look after my baby for a few days if things are so bad, so we did that. Then it was a spindle ofd crap about why they couldn't give him back 'yet', I'll get him back soon. I started to suffer depression and they started to reduce contact, then they said we're getting an intrim care order now and we're going to adopt him. They kept from me that he was in voluntry care before that, and it turns out I could have took him back, but they made me believe otherwise. After the whole case it also turned out I should have had a social worker for me, to tell me my rights and support me, they kept that info from me. They lied that I wouldn't get any contact after the adoption if I didn't sign the papers, and that if I did sign them I may be able to see him. Luckily I met the APs and they told me that wasn't true, and the SWs acted like they didn't know where I got that from.

mumof2beebies Thu 28-Apr-11 00:02:17

next week. We'll see.
I'm fuming now thinking about it all.
I will, thanks

'We've had a good relationship now for a few'

OP, that doesnt count as a good relationship...until you are another year down the line with no hiccups i dont think you can really count this as a repaired relationship, and I dont think SS will either. Your youngest child is only 1, and you say 'the children' with reference to the locking each other out, the police intervention, the arguments, the shouting, the hostel.... thats a hell of a lot of crap in a year or so dont you think?

With ref to your first baby, for which i am truely sorry, i cant imagine how that feels, but do you really think there was no good reason? You have already explained that staying in hostels was a normal part of your youth, that your homelife was volatile, you went into foster care so i assume an unsupportive family, you were depressed, you are confrontational now so i can imagine only more so as a teen (all our worst attributes seem worse as teens smile ) They are just the reasons picked up from one thread on the internet. You cant see what is wrong with your current situation, perhaps there was more to your first childs adoption than you understand?

I know this post seems so negative and i really dont mean it to be, Im just trying to portray that you dont seem to recognise the problems in the right way...in the way that other people see them. The staying at your MIL when you argue next is a prime example. You shouldnt need that kind of back up. A healthy relationship would not require such backup.

You need to get your head around the whole thing, but I think you need to be really honest with yourself ....

I hope you can work with SS and help break this cycle, for your childrens sake

'We've had a good relationship now for a few weeks' Sorry, missed WEEKS blush

BluePyjamas Thu 28-Apr-11 00:22:54

OP did you post here when you were pregnant with your baby? I think I remember it.

ZhenXiang Thu 28-Apr-11 00:28:39

this organisation has some useful information for people dealing with social services contact, they also have lots of useful links to help you.

queenbathsheba Thu 28-Apr-11 00:41:42

I can understand why you now feel that ss are manipulative and can acknowledge that whilst you were so young ( a child yourself) you perhaps were not given enough support to cope. Most young women could be placed with their baby in foster care. However as babydubs says in her post at the time the social worker may have felt that your chaotic life at home with your parents had effected your ability to parent your child. (I was an awful teenager even though I had a great family!)

You mention that you have a good relationship with your HV who is very supportive, she is your ally, as long as she has no concerns about domestic violence, abuse or neglect and she feels you need support but essentially you are "caring" parents, her opinion will have quite a lot of sway. Up to this point she is the most aquainted with your children's circumstances.

Only you know what you have discussed with your HV and her opinion about your sons developmental delay. You seem to have shared some of your frustrations with her about your arguements which seems to imply that you have some insight and some will to change and you are being honest with her. This hopefully will help you.

Try not to be defensive, be honest and ask if they can support you in anyway you think might help. If you are proactive, open and honest the outcome will be far better.

PlopPlopPing Thu 28-Apr-11 09:56:53

I wonder if anything can be done now about what happened with your first child? I don't know anything about this (someone on Legal might), but I'm wondering if there could be an investigation into what occured 10 years ago? I am also wondering if it is possible for you to have contact with your first child. I know they were adopted but I have heard some people mentioning open adoptions on here (like I say I dont really know what I'm talking about), I imagine you must miss your first child terribly!

I feel so sorry for you as it sounds like you had a really hard start to life. I think whatever happens counselling would be a good idea.

mumof2beebies Thu 28-Apr-11 10:36:23

Yeah I posted while pregnant, think I was freaking out about SS back then, too.

Our health visitor is a really nice italian woman, she was saying 'oh please come back' 'we've all wondered where you were' 'we want to support you' etc
It was so relieving when she said all of that in front of the social worker. After I'd been staying in the hostel because one particular support worker said I'm a victim and I better not come back. nThe social worker saw my partner with our 4yo son, spoke to kids grandma, listened to me, and said she's closing the case as there's no evidence of DV or DA. Then when she called back after a week she said she'd spoke to the hostel manager, and the hostel manager had been in a lot of contact with that particular support worker, (who thinks my partner's abusive) and she told the social worker that she thinks I'm a victim and hiding it. So the social worker wasn't acting caring anymore (I thought she was brilliant on that first meeting) and says they'll be opening up a case, because there now is reason to believe there's DV.
The hostel manager said I'd described DV/DA to her. That's not true, I confided in her that I was tired of arguing and he'd locked me out the house. But if she'd heard his side of the story he could also seem as a victim. She was massively swayed in her opinion by what that idiot support worker had been saying to her on the phone.

mumof2beebies Thu 28-Apr-11 10:44:11

I could have contact with my 10 year old if I wanted, as the SS accidentally gave me the information on where he is, which isn't supposed to be done in adoptions. Probably one of their mildest mistakes I've seen.
I would prefer the adoptive parents to agree to it though. I'm in talks with them now.
I left a present at the door so they know that I know where they live.
lol I could make a TV drama out of all this.
But no, my son if fortunate that he has bveen given good parents, and I like to (/am trying to) think that this all happened for a reason, cause it's how it meant to be. My only concern is whether they've been able to love him more than I do. I know they've given him stability and all the material things he needs. I just hope they love him like I do.

Morloth Thu 28-Apr-11 12:15:18

They think your DP is abusive because that is what they have told them (by calling the police and claiming he had kicked you out).

What kind of man after an argument where one of you has to go allows it to be his wife and two small children?

It is^ abusive to lock you out during an argument, it ^is abusive to kick you and the babies out.

You have to see that. Your kids are growing up in a really unstable and volatile environment. As everyone else has said it isn't normal to fight like that, it isn't normal to need somewhere to 'run' to.

homeboys Thu 28-Apr-11 12:39:06

Message withdrawn

mumof2beebies Thu 28-Apr-11 12:42:51

It's absolutely not volatile. It was getting that way for a couple of days before I left.
Volatile to me, means nastiness and fighting, it's not like that 98% of the time, and it won't get like that again, because we both know when to go get some fresh air now.
His mother lives next door, he can go round there if things got so terrible, I said that cause I thought they'd like to hear we have that support from her.
It's not exactly a drastic step of fleeing to go next door if we're stressing with each other.

mumof2beebies Thu 28-Apr-11 12:44:55

Flippen heck, I hear of people beating their kids constantly around this villiage, we would never do that, we absolutely love our kids, anyone can see, so it's unfair for people to jump on us, when we're working it out quite well anyway

mumof2beebies Thu 28-Apr-11 12:47:15

homeboys, thanks, I am writing to them through the childsnatcher postbox thing now, because they've asked me to do that instead, and I know my relationship with them needs to be good, so I can get my son back into my life in future.

mumof2beebies Thu 28-Apr-11 12:58:10

ohkay, I'll remember that it's my actions that's made them worried and get involved. I hope I can explain how it's better for us to stay together though, because things are so much better now. Also I'm gonna ask if my boy can have extra nursery hours, because he loves nursery so much and is a really good boy when he gets home. So I'll try and get some support from them at the same time. It's just the worry that with their involvement they might start them nit picking about a bit of mess or something like I've heard of them doing a lot :/

Blah, this social worker seems good though so I'm sure we'll get through it.
I know this time to get a lawyer involved if they try anything

DillyDaydreaming Thu 28-Apr-11 13:04:04

Thinking of you mumof2beebies - just remember they are there to help. Did nobody suggest a lawyer last time? It's usually advised if they go down a legal route - usually they advise it themselves.

Hope things settle down for you all.

PlopPlopPing Thu 28-Apr-11 13:23:48

I hope you get the contact you want with your son. It must have been heartbreaking!

Please stop referring to them as childsnatchers. That attitude is unhelpful to you and everyone.

I really understand why you feel so fearful. I work with teenagers in care and have supported several young mums through CP and care proceedings. I can see that some SWs are over zealous and unsympathetic to teenage mums with care history. I also know that a young care experienced mum can adore her child to pieces yet also not be well enough equipped to parent effectively. It's a horrible, awful situation for any young woman who loses their child because their own experiences of being abused has made them unable to parent.

You are not that 15 year old any more. You are a 25 year old woman with two DCs who have lived with you since birth. Believe me, they do not want to remove your DC. I will tell you a story - (some details changed obv) a young woman had a baby at a younger age than you were. She was in care. The father of the baby was abusive. The baby was adopted. The young woman was later involved in a terrible crime. Several years later this young woman got pg by someone else. She was allowed to keep the baby under supervision. Even when things got bad a couple of years in and there was talk of care proceedings she still kept him/her.

Even if you had an over zealous SW, they would have to convince a huge number of people that your DC would be better living with other people over you. Do you know how unlikely that is?

If you are honest with them about the difficulties you have faced, the ways in which your early experiences have affected your parenting, and your anxieties over SSD involvement, then you will have nothing to worry about. Accept any suggestions and engage with work, even if you think it's a waste of time. I would be chuffed if I could access relationship counselling for free - it's a rare marriage that couldn't be improved and yours sounds no different. Some counselling for you to address your expectations of relationships would be useful. And be honest about how and why you lied to housing. Never, ever do that again. A hostel is not a normal place to go to when you are in difficulties. I accept you may not have family around, but the usual thing to do if you are fighting with your P is for one to move out to friends or family for a day or two. Not present at housing and request emergency accommodation.

Your family life is not ideal (whose is?) and probably needs improving. You have made yourselves known to the authorities by involving the police and housing and you now have to accept that they are worried about your children. They can help you to improve your childrens' lives. Who wouldn't want that?

mumof2beebies Thu 28-Apr-11 13:47:51

Thanks for the sympathy plop, lol bless ya, it was a long time ago now, so I more focus on the positives of getting back in touch with him.
When it all happened, I had no idea there would be a risk of him being adopted, it seemed really sudden, they turned round and said, right we're going to adopt him, get a lawyer, but we never lose.
They were obviously scared of losing at the hearing though, to try so hard to get me to sign the papers? I refused to. It looked like I was going to win him back because I had the mother and baby unit manager come to court and say they had a place for me and my son and that they can help us. And the court appointed child guardian (says what's best for the child in court) said I should definately be given a chance with support as I hadn't done anything wrong. She did get a bit upset in court, trying to help get us back together.
I couldn't believe it when we lost, the lawyer said SS wouldn't go with a mother and baby unit because they'd have to pay out a grand a week for it, and they were already in debt or something. They seemed like monsters.
Me and the barister and lawyer and my dad sat together after wards saying how they really thought I would have got him back.
Because they'd cut down my contact with my son to an hour a week in the months before the hearing, I guess the judge didn't see my son as knowing me as a mum anyway, so thought he may aswel go to family who were perfectly ready for him.

mumof2beebies Thu 28-Apr-11 13:57:58

Okay, I'm not worried about them taking my 4yo he wouldn't be too adoptable, but my 1yo is still small and has no problems, so I can't help thinking there's a risk of them wanting him to go to aperfect adoptive family.

But more what my real worry is, that they may force us to break up, as it's normal procedure for when they assume someones abusive.

If they say to us they don't want to break us up, then I'll take everything they offer. I wouldn't find counselling. I agree we could benefit from relationship counselling, and trying to get quicker diagnosis for my boy.
I'm trying to think of that good stuff.
I'm just worried about them thinking I'm hiding something. Maybe if I open up about the support we could use, I'll come across as more honest and stuff.
It's when they're suspicious it causes stress.

By the way, it was just SS and one judge who decided on the adoption.

mumof2beebies Thu 28-Apr-11 13:59:04

I wouldn't mind counselling

mumof2beebies Thu 28-Apr-11 14:05:00

plop, it is devastating, I wanted to die for a few years, but I got strong, and decided I would be a good mother, and show them.
I have a childhood friend who suffered depression and had two babies as a teen, swiped off her. She is a real mess. And there's at least 3 other girls from where I lived who went through it in the same couple of years. SS adopting their children.
My family don't know of this stuff happening on such a scale when they were young, or even when I was a kid. I don't believe teen mums have suddenly become incapable risks to their children from the year 2000 onwards. That's why I suspect those government targets and bonuses had something to do with it all. But they stopped all that, so maybe they don't focus on getting adoptions now? sigh anyway,

My babies now, are the light of my life, so I don't think I'm anymore depressed than the next person these days

mathanxiety Thu 28-Apr-11 17:06:26

Please stop quibbling and splitting hairs about what the word volatile means.

And please do not tell SS that your plan of action to deal with the problems in the relationship involves leaving the house for either one of you, if/when things get out of hand. That is not a plan. It is no change at all from what has been going on up to now.

As Homeboys says, you must never again leave a present for your first child. Showing the parents that you know where they and the child live amounts to stalking and could be interpreted as an aggressive intrusion into their lives. When it comes to that first child, you must assume the adoptive parents love him and take care of him lovingly, and when it comes to your relationship with him, you must put him and the relationship with the adoptive parents first. His bond with them is extremely important to him. Your feelings for him are of course extremely important to you, but as always, it is the child's relationships as seen from his point of view that must be put first here and not yours. You really should ask SS if there is any possibility of counselling for you to deal with the loss of that first child.

You need to ask yourself how the reintroduction of yourself into the child's life might feel for the child and not just for you. I think that pursuing this relationship at this time without any thought expressed as to what impact it might have on the child or on the family relationship he has now would not look good, as it shows a person who is quite wrapped up in her own drama and not really seeing how the child's best interests might be served through all of this.

Please sit down with your DP and get the phone book out and book yourselves into Relate before the meeting. You need an actual plan to look at things objectively and start improving. You need to acknowledge that 'things are going ok right now' and 'we will go next door instead of to the hostel' are not going to impress anyone, because both of those statements show you really do not understand what a normal relationship should consist of and what damage a volatile (yes it is volatile) relationship can do to children, and you need to be able to do this if SS are going to find you credible when you insist there isn't abuse and you have the best interests of your DCs in mind.

mathanxiety Thu 28-Apr-11 17:08:43

I want to add, what's coming through loud and clear from your posts is how strong your need is to be loved and how much of that need is being fulfilled by your children.

OP Im sorry but i really dont think you are getting this, you are talking conspiracy stories with ref to SS, escape plans, asking peole to view your relationship based on the last couple of weeks rather than all the time before that, hostels being normal, comments on wealthly families getting away with the same behaviour, 'child snatchers'.

SS are involved with your family because to have alerted the authorities to a volatile relationship and two kids being dragged through the mud. They arent picking on you, it isnt a witch hunt. You basically told them you needed help. So they have come to help.

Please, please take some time to take stock of your life from an outsiders point of view, your attitude to the whole thing oozes from these posts so god only knows what ss/authorities are picking up from you.

They are not the enemy, they are there to look after children who arent being properly cared for. All your posts are from your POV, your take on things, your feelings about things. They dont care about you right now. They care about the children, they are their first priority. Try and put yourself in the childrens position. Are they your first priority??

mumof2beebies Thu 28-Apr-11 18:15:34

mathanxiety, I think that's great advice. Thank you.
It's stuff I'm going to follow. Me and DP have agreed that counselling would be good, so we will take steps to get into that asap now you mention it.
About my first son, I have taken a few months to consider what my next step is there, in a way I would like to send him another present straight from a manufacturor, because I know he was happy with my last present and that he's enjoy it if I did it again.
However the adoptive parents asked me to do things through letterbox, and I'm thinking I need to respect their wishes right now, cause I know his a-dad is getting quite protective. They wrote to me to say how lovely it was to hear from me, but it was a shock and that they won't give him presents in future if I leave them on the door step.

So I do feel a little impulsive to make him happy in an immediate sense by ordering a present for his birthday, but I'm more likely to go along with the a-parents wishes now, and I appreciate your advice on that.

mumof2beebies Thu 28-Apr-11 18:22:33

Thanks BabyDubsEverywhere
sigh :/
I do need to stop and think that I'm not coming across well, and that it can't be me vs them.
I know I make people more worried when I mention how theyre child snatcher, my last health visitor said she thought I suffered anxiety.
I saw a counsellor 2/3 years ago and had several appointments where I spent half hour crying hysterically about how they would take my baby, even though they werent even involved with me.
I know it makes me look crazy and defensive and most worsely; like I'm trying to hide something.
So I'm trying to chill.

Now I wander if I should even mention my first child, because I'm in a different area and I'm not sure they know about it.

mumof2beebies Thu 28-Apr-11 18:25:10

sorry if I'm dragging this thread out now, but it has helped.

I was expecting more of 'oh go see a lawyer to fight them off, theyre predators'
because that's how other people around me feel.
But your points of veiw have made me see how they think, so I might be able to connect with them more.

mummytime Thu 28-Apr-11 18:35:24

Okay I would connect, because it could be a hugely good thing.
When I was younger there were a lot of issues (a mother with a sever back problem and a grandmother with Altzheimers, Mum was a single parent). However by the time SS actually visited grandmother was in hopsital dying, if they'd got there earlier they might have been able to provide more support.

If you DS has ASD or any SN you will need help, and SS can provide this. Maybe some respite, maybe a homestart worker, maybe just a parenting course focused on your son's SN.

They know it is stressful. They also know that if a family can be kept together it is both better for the child and cheaper for the state.

I hope it goes well.

Mumof2beebies your posts really have struck a chord with me. You seem to have reflected a lot throughout this thread and hopefully you will reread it and absorb the advice. When a traumatic event happens, we develop an oversensitivity to the possibility of it happening again, and read signs into irrelevant things. It's a form of post traumatic stress. I'm not surprised you have gone into overdrive at the thought of SSD involvement. Try to keep it in perspective and remember it's not the same
Remember they do not want to remove your children. The reason that your first child was placed for adoption would not have been due to adoption targets. More likely to be a combination of lack of funds for a parent and baby placement and not prioritising the return to your care option due to real or perceived lack of ability to effect change. I know that some SWs would prefer not to give young, inexperienced parents a chance to improve as they don't have faith that they can do it (I'm talking about the young parents where there are concerns, not every young parent) but you are not that young inexperienced parent any more.

They may not indee know about your first child, but I still believe you should tell them, to put your anxieties in context.

Spero Thu 28-Apr-11 19:30:16

op, I do think you have done really well to reflect and take things on board.

Your history puts a lot of this in context. I think you need to be honest with SS about your first child, they will almost certainly find out about it anyway. It might help all of you to have a better understanding of what went on back then. You were only a child yourself and it is hard for anyone in that situation to parent well.

I have had quite a few cases with teenage mothers and the problem often seems to be that they will kick against the restrictions in the foster placement, stay out late, not say where they are going, be rude to foster mother etc, etc. This is often no more than 'typical teenage' behaviour, but problem is, there is a baby waiting in the wings and after a couple of weeks of this the SS team are often fed up and have written mother off.

There is a great anxiety to try to get babies settled in a permanent home within the first year as research suggests that if you leave it much longer the child will grow up with emotional problems.

It might help you to get hold of your file and have a better understanding of what went on and why. I am sure the Judge thought long and hard before approving the adoption; if he hadn't, I am equally sure your barrister would have advised an appeal.

These are always hard decisions, but you will not be condemned for your past, certainly not when you were a child. But you do need to show you have understood the worries and you will work to change.

mathanxiety Thu 28-Apr-11 21:51:29

Try to do a lot of thinking before following your impulses when it comes to the child who was adopted, as well as when dealing with your present family and relationships. You could ask yourself a few questions when you come up with a plan:
How is this going to be good for the children?
How is this going to be bad for the children?
What am I really trying to achieve if I do X and who will benefit?
Is this about me or about the other people?
What is a fact and what are my feelings here?

I would advise openness with SS when it comes to the first child and I would ask them for a referral to counselling about the loss if you can't find anyone to do it yourself.

mumof2beebies Thu 05-May-11 22:09:19

Well, thanks again everyone.

It's been a stress few weeks during the build up to this meeting, incredibly so.

Today was the meeting, was nervous as hell.
Had the social worker, health visitor, and two of my son's nursery workers there.
The social worker brought up us being messy, and I admitted that we can be at times and that I think a little bit of stress is good when people are visting so I don't mind them coming round as it always encourages me to blitz the place, lol. I don't know if my remark was a bit careless??

We were talking about my son's difficulties and how I used to be able to put him in his pram during big tantrums while out, but now he's so big I don't have the physical strengh and we just have to wait, and I worry about taking both boys out in public by myself because of his problems (but luckily my partner is always on hand, so we cope).
And she wrote down that I find his problems hard to deal with sometimes.

There was no talk of mine and my partner's past arguing??

The social worker asked if there's anything we feel we need help with, I said, well I've contacted Relate for relationship counselling, but it costs a lot, and they mentioned you may be able to fund it. Well she said absolutely not, children's services don't have the funds for that.
And I said well we're doing really well now anyway, and the health visitor said aww yes you're doing well, etc

Then the nursery staff asked if my son could get funding for more nursery hours as they feel we'd all benefit from that. Again the social worker said no, they don't have money for that.
And the nursery staff said well maybe they can contact someone else who does (a 'preventetive worker' from the children's centre'.
They brought up DS not being potty trained at the age of 4, and we mentioned how we were going to work with he nursery to attempt to get over that big obsical, once again (we've tried before, but when his language is similar to a 2 year old and with his unwillingness to even comunicate, unless it's sparked by him, it's dfficult) and I said I'm worried about him being very distressed if he's left without a pull up to soil himself, because he doesn't understand it all. But we'll give it ago.
We told them we have a pediatric consultant appointment for him coming up and also the dentist, they assured us these meetings would help in order to get our son statmented to get the support he needs.
Before I knew it the meeting had ended! After just 35 minutes!

So it went incredibly well!
We're doing a 7 week 'children in need' type thing, which will involve home visits, and a review in a month, and it may well be put back down to a CAF meeting soon!

BestNameEver Thu 05-May-11 22:46:51

Well done you must be so relieved.
Dont mind all the people here who have never dealt with a social worker.
Targets for numbers of forced adoptions? Peopl refuse to believe that it happens in their own country, they rather think its only in china. They convince themselves that "there must have been a good reason" and "social services never try to take children away". They do. Because they have nothing in common with you. And the judges in these cases - have little in common with any of us but sertainly not the likes of you!

Well done my dear.
Now keep your head down and dont attract any more attention.

wordfactory Thu 05-May-11 22:54:28

OP was this a child protection meeting?
Or is the meeting in seven weeks a CPR?

I was a child care lawyer for a long time and I'd be very wary of assuming this is an end ot things.

You have been in care yourself, have had a baby removed and have now presented yourself to the authorities as someone in need of intervention.
I'd be suprised if that was that.

Juice888 Tue 21-Jun-11 18:10:42

There are a horrifying amount of people on here who are completely ignorant to Children Services and their partnership with family courts.

Together they tear families apart and destroy life's. A murder may be convicted, but Social Services will never ever be held accountable for their crimes. Because what they do is LEGAL in England.

NEVER EVER get involved with Social Services no matter what your situation (unless you actually don't want your kids and they have nowhere else to go). If you are suffering domestic violence or mental health problems get help discretely and if possible away from so called 'professionals'. This may seem like bad advise, but for any help you may get with those problems, once Social Services have their claws in your children they will never take them out - and you cannot get help for this problem...

There are the few lucky ones who have brief involvement. Then there are the 100s of 1000s of families who lifes are never the same again.

Research, research research. Child snatchers, forced adoption UK, England. Its real its happening and will continue to happen for a long time.

Never allow them in your house, never listen to their threats, never sign a 'section 20', and never ring them up 'asking for help' because what you are going to get is hell

This isn't biased nonsense, Im saying this as a warning to all loving parents. There is not room for a reasonable debate on the issue because the fact is, hundreds of children are LEGALLY ripped away from their families, and it all starts with a phone call to social services...

I hope this is a word of warning for anyone reading this forum or looking for help on this issue.

p99gmb Tue 21-Jun-11 19:19:07

what utter rubbish

As a foster carer for our Social Services department I can't praise them enough for the children they help.

Sure, you hear the horror stories of so many missed oportunities, and none of us are perfect including Social Services but they SAVE so many lives, they IMPROVE so many lives and they SUPPORT so many families who need help - they'd much rather work with a family then remove children.

I am a foster carer, and yet I wouldn't want the responsibility of making such a crucial decision as to whether a child should be removed or is it safe for them to stay... could you sleep at night Juice888 ???

cory Wed 22-Jun-11 07:29:52

"NEVER EVER get involved with Social Services no matter what your situation (unless you actually don't want your kids and they have nowhere else to go). If you are suffering domestic violence or mental health problems get help discretely and if possible away from so called 'professionals'. This may seem like bad advise, but for any help you may get with those problems, once Social Services have their claws in your children they will never take them out - and you cannot get help for this problem..."

This sounds like very unsafe advice to me. If we had followed it, we would not have had SS's support against dd's school, we would not have got help with her self-harming, we would have been left without support as a family. We have had SS involvement on and off for the last 7 years and I don't like to think where we would be without it. At no time have they suggested that either of our children should be taken into care, and they have always been happy to back off the moment we have been ready for it.

SS may get things wrong at times. So do doctors. Dd was seriously misdiagnosed by the local hospital, but I don't come on here advising parents never on any account to take their children to A&E. Because it would be dangerous advice. So is yours.

hester Wed 22-Jun-11 07:51:44

A woman suffering mental health hproblems shouldn't seek professional help? Or a woman being abused at home?

"There is not room for a reasonable debate on the issue": so I'm learning.

melly810 Tue 26-Jul-11 17:36:23

I would have to warn anyone to be very careful around ss now. They have targets to fill and I have good reason to believe that they dont all work for the welfare of the children. I asked for a little help because my son became very ill, I was working (as the law requires now!), struggling with the benifits system and the childrens father didn't help etc. I met a worker with my sister and all she kept saying was that she had reports from proffesionals showing i was neglectful and abusive etc. She then boldly said in front of my sister "to be honest, i dont think i like you much, i tell you now i am making it my goal to remove your children from your care". she took me to protection meeting where all these proffesionals agreed NOT to put my kids on protection. From that day on she turned very nasty. Now she is taking me to a meeting where i have to legally answer to charges of abuse in front of my ex husband and she said he can sign the forms to have my kids adopted! She has a quota to fill, she has seen what looks like an easy target, she has had her nose put out of joint and now me, my kids and my family feel abused, scared, hurt, frustrated, the list goes on!

p99gmb Tue 26-Jul-11 17:45:51

a court has to decide that your kids have to be adopted - not a social worker.

I am a foster carer, and the social worker you met is certainly an exception - the ones I work with do everything and more to keep children at home wherever safely possible - parents are given so many chances and it is the ultimate last resort to have children in care and subsequently adopted.

If your children were taken into care, the LA would have to go to court/police to get 'permission' unless you voluntarily placed them in care. If they got the interim court order approved, they would then have to work with you - and you with them - to do everthing possible to have the children back with you.

They do not have a quota to fill - they have too many kids in care as it is and are overworked - she would not have the time to hassle you unless she thought she had good reason (and I'm not suggesting she has!).

I would suggest you get some legal advice - you can get some legal aid to help you find out exactly what her concerns are and what she has done to help and support you.

melly810 Tue 26-Jul-11 17:51:28

juice888 Since my horror story began I have met mums with horror stories and I have done a lot of research. You are correct in what you say. There are a few good workers out there. I had one once when I was very ill many years ago. However things now are different. I agree that these people can now be dangerous. The ones dealing with me have no interaction with my kids and they play me off against proffesionals like the schools doctors etc. All the proffesionals dealing with my kids are at a loss! This worker tells me that although these proffesionals say good things about us (even in writing and at meetings) she says behind my back they are secretly contacting her saying the opposite! Still all the proffesionals promise me they have no dealings with her other than those I know about! This is scary

melly810 Tue 26-Jul-11 18:05:24

http://www.fassit.co.uk/ This site is to help people with problems with social services. They will take you seriously. They realise the problems with forced adoptions etc and they know why it is taking place. My hope is that things come to the publics attention and that something is done very quickly to stop this going on.

DuelingFanjo Tue 26-Jul-11 19:08:20

"I know social workers are understaffed that's their excuse for incidents like baby p. That's why I'm pretty incredilous at them using time to investigate us."

you had my interest until you wrote that. Here's a biscuit

this is just another anti-social worker thread isn't it?
My mum worked in child protection for several years, they do not force adoptions, they do not put children into care unless there are serious concerns, they can't just come and take children away.

DuelingFanjo Tue 26-Jul-11 19:09:49

and I have just realiused this is an old thread bumped by Juice888 to have a go at SS. there we go then. you have a biscuit too.

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