Anyone had experience of Children's Social Services.....

(47 Posts)
Itcouldhappentoanymum Fri 27-Apr-12 18:10:37

...and brave enough to talk about it?

Its probably the worst nightmare of any parent to be wrongfully accused of being unfit to parent your child...and maybe you think that is not something that happens to mumsnetter types. It does.....and the worst thing about it is it is so isolating... you cannot not tell anyone and then what happens if you do?

Usually strangers are kinder than our closest friends....so to any strangers out has this happened to you?

lionmummy Fri 27-Apr-12 20:13:45

Dc2 is a very clumsy child & I had taken her to a&e after 2 separate head bumping incidents (both happened on weekends so no go) in the space of 6 months. I then had a call from social services and a home visit to check all was ok. The social services team were very friendly and I didn't feel uncomfortable with them coming as I had nothing to hide and I was pleased that their policy was to follow up when a child had been injured. This was 3 years ago so don't know whether the policy is still the same. Fortunately we,ve had no other incidents since then.

LineRunner Fri 27-Apr-12 20:24:00

Surely the question is, OP, why would 'mumsnetter types' need to be brave enough to talk about it to you? What's in it for them?

I think that false and malicious allagetions to social services are a massive and important issue, and I would love it if it were being seriously researched.

If that's what you are doing, great, but could you please give some context.

Thanks.

Itcouldhappentoanymum Fri 27-Apr-12 20:42:30

Hi there yes I could give some context. It was horrible. I went to the doctor because I thought I was a cr*p mum because I was depressed and my son picked up on it.

A junior locum with no kids and no experience thought it would be a great idea to refer DS to social services.

Nothing in it for me but to try not to feel isolated wierd and too crap a mum to post on parenting websites ..six months ago I wanted to post about something completely different and I thought I can't because mumsnet is for 'nice' mums who have never had intervention from social services.. if fellow posters knew what had happened to me I would get barred.... because that is what happens socially you are stigmatised, ostracised unable to baby sit a friends kid or invite a friend of DS to a playdate..

But I know now that by reaching out to people strangers can be kinder than family or friends and that has restored my faith in human nature. That's all ... There's nothing in it for me but I don't want other mums to feel like I did ..that literally I could not smile at a kid in the street because if their parent knew they would whisk them away.

LineRunner Fri 27-Apr-12 20:53:19

I'm sorry about wht has happened to you, OP. Truly. It is awful to be falsely accused.

There are lots lots of threads and posts on MN about women being maliciously reported. You won't be alienated on here.

naturalbaby Fri 27-Apr-12 21:09:46

I do a lot of lurking and am always amazed at how impossible it is to define MN types. I have read posts from such a wide range of backgrounds and experiences I'm sure there are very, very few experiences where you wouldn't/couldn't find anyone who has been in a similar situation.

The only alienation I've seen are of NM types wink

Itcouldhappentoanymum Fri 27-Apr-12 21:17:21

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TheDetective Fri 27-Apr-12 21:28:20

I had a 'brush' with Social Services 3 years ago. If it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.

I'm a midwife, who previously worked in a service along side Social Workers in a residential unit for young single mothers.

I split up with my DS's father, and during the process of the separation he hit me several times on one occasion. This had never happened in the relationship and was shocking for me. I fought back and wouldn't let him 'get the better of me' ie. I didn't roll over and just take it! I reported him to the police for this behaviour, and Social Services were automatically called.

They turned up at my door several times (I was at work FGS!) with snotty cards through the letter box saying they would be back!! Eventually they found me in, while DS was at school (thank god, because he was old enough to understand everything that was said). I was in my PJ's at the time, and was fuming to be quiet honest, I felt vulnerable in that state! Anyway, they asked me lots of intrusive questions. I answered them in one sentence - Ex DP no longer lives here, so if you will, please go and speak with him, as me and DS are the innocent party, and I am capable of taking care of both of us. Hence why DP was now ExDP. They refused to speak to him because he was in a 'different area'. They then told me that if I called the police again that I would be investigated!!

I was gobsmacked - so my ExDP basically had free reign to hit me, because I certainly wasn't going to report any further problems to the police. I mean why would I with that threat! Urghhhh!

I thought that was the end of the matter, but a few months later they turned up again questioning me saying my DS was not registered at a school. Clearly they had been investigating me any way, looking in to school/medical records etc. Well, they couldn't have checked very hard, he is registered at a school in a different LA if they had cared to check. I then found out that they had rang the school, and spoken to my mum - who is the headteacher!! I then had to tell my mum why they were checking up on me. NOT a conversation I wanted to have. It was my private business. I was furious. It bought back all the memories of the previous three months that I didn't want to, and set my mum off about ExDP.

Anyway, I've heard nothing in 3 years, so I assume I'm innocent grin. But seriously, how can they target the innocent party in these things confused. Surely they should have spoken to ExDP as it was his horrific behaviour that caused them to visit!

GRRRRRRRR.

cory Fri 27-Apr-12 21:39:48

Dd's chronic connective tissue disorder was misdiagnosed as psychosomatic and the paed made it quite clear that he thought she had been abused; he wasn't going to let her home out of hospital. Thankfully, we already had an appointment for the following week with a rheumatologist who came up with a proper diagnosis. But for years afterwards we kept coming up against doctors who clearly thought it was in her mind and kept asking me searching questions which were clearly intended to pin me down as a Munchausen parent.

Strangely enough, even when dd had had a proper diagnosis thoroughly confirmed by several eminent specialists and letters of explanation sent to the school, dd's headteacher still couldn't expect it and got SS involved a couple of times to observe our parenting. I found very helpful; they had clearly been told all sorts of strange things by the school, but they were always ready to listen to us and the doctors. The last time was really funny: they came to a meeting at the school and just sat there glaring at the head; they couldn't get back to the office quickly enough to write him the letter announcing that this case was Now Closed.

I have always spoken quite openly about the whole thing: I feel it is important for dd to know that yes, those things happened, they are nothing to be ashamed of, somebody made a mistake and then it was sorted out. She has to live all her life with a disorder that looks very unconvincing from the outside; she has got to learn to handle suspicion in a constructive way, what to say to people, how to stand up for herself without seeming defensive. If I don't teach her that, nobody will.

cory Fri 27-Apr-12 21:42:22

The silliest thing was having the school and Education Welfare officers- all of whom were considerably less well educated than me- lecture me on the benefits of education, as if I had never heard of those before. I particularly remember one session with an EWO who gave me 10 minutes on the importance of education and then had to ask me for help to fill in her forms as she didn't understand the wordings and couldn't spell.

Heyyyho Fri 27-Apr-12 21:47:35

How awful. I sometimes feel like my GP's are judging me as I suffer from anxiety and DD comes down with awful infections so I am at the GP a lot; very worried and stressed out, sometimes in tears. I do worry they will flag me up as incapable. When I had PND my Mother warned me in no way to let on how I was suffering so I kept it to myself. I think she was right sad

onahotday Sat 28-Apr-12 04:49:49

Yes, we were investigated as DH was suspected of child abuse.

We were all interviewed/observed separately and with utmost respect.

When the investigation was complete and he was cleared, we were offered counselling to help us move on.

The school was involved and, again, they were very kind and supportive.

Parly Sat 28-Apr-12 05:23:10

I haven’t been investigated by children’s social services although I remember being questioned at length by my son’s head teacher, in front of several other teaching staff and professionals and with my son and husband present - regarding his Trichotillomania and other health problems.

He’d already been seen by umpteen different professionals however, she seemed to think I hadn’t noticed the little issue of him having pulled out his eyelashes, eyebrows and patches of hair and took a patronising tone with me, looking down her nose in disgust / confusion as though I couldn’t give one. She’d written notes about what sort of things I should / could be doing to help and made additional notes about the people she planned to contact following the meeting.

That pinched more than anything else I’d gone through with him and I had to get up and leave the meeting because I didn’t have the energy to get mad and didn’t want my son to see me upset.

I drove for miles to the arse end of nowhere, parked the car up in a lay-by, switched off my phone, and cried buckets / smoked cigarettes for the next five hours.

As it happens I work for social services only with vulnerable adults instead of children. I’m aware of the avenues that have to be explored and the difficulties with approaching people and raising the subject of support and help they might need etc but even this wasn’t enough to give me a head start that day.

I can still remember how soul destroying it was to hear someone insinuate I didn’t care and needed someone else to step in. sad

Itcouldhappentoanymum Wed 02-May-12 08:33:17

It is the worst possible thing any parent could face of being falsely accused of wanting to harm their child....onahotday you are right that is exactly how it should be handled its so important that where there are concerns they are handled sensitively and parents and children not labelled and stigmatised.

Because parents must be able to seek help when they need it and must be able to trust healthcare professionals otherwise children families will suffer dreadfully. See this one.

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2121886/The-experts-break-families-The-terrifying-story-prospective-MP-branded-unfit-mother-experts-whod-met--nightmare-shared-families.html?fb_ref=LikeButtonBottom&fb_source=timeline

dawningrealisation Wed 02-May-12 11:11:39

This has made me very afraid. I haven't read the Daily Mail link though. I've just been to the GP with antenatal depression an she has referred to Children's Services as I told her I'd been aggressive towards DD.

Itcouldhappentoanymum Thu 03-May-12 16:00:14

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Itcouldhappentoanymum Thu 03-May-12 16:06:47

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Mosman Thu 03-May-12 20:11:04

Dawn you need to get a cleaning company in to blitz your house seriously, it'll be the best money you ever spend.
And anything you've bought for your new baby, get it out on display.
A friend of mine had SS involved when her step daughter was abused by her birth mother. SS bent over backwards to keep the child with it's mother even though she was actually hurting her and the child begged not to be left with her so there's no rhyme or reason to their behaviour.
All you can do IMO is ensure your home is clean and safe, that seems to be the most important thing in their eyes.

IneedAbetterNicknameIn2012 Fri 11-May-12 02:00:09

I have had dealings with them. I have posted on here about it before. If you search my name I think you will find the comments I have made about my experiences. If not I am happy to pm about them when I am more awake.
Dawn if you want to talk to someone who has had experience of what you are going through, please pm me.

gingerchick Fri 11-May-12 02:34:22

WTF having a clean house has nothing to do with social services taking or not taking your child you are being completely ridiculous and are upsetting people with untruths and exaggeration stop trying to push your own agenda and let people have balanced responses. HOnestly!

gingerchick Fri 11-May-12 02:52:58

Wrong thread but directed at ithappenedtome so same difference!

This is the third thread on this started by the OP - all scaremongering it seems to me. sad

I am .going to.post the same response to this thread as I posted on.the one the OP started in Mental Health as I.am concerned that a woman with depression who reads these threads may well be dissuaded from seeking help.

In my case I had severe PND after DD was born. I was suicidal. If I had not sought help in all likelihood I would now be dead. I was terrified that DD would be taken away from me but the GP was lovely and reassuring, as were the psychiatrists and community mental health team.

The case outlined by the OP (who seems to be the woman named in the blog) is sad and awful. But it is not typical. Over the last few years I have come to.know many women with PND or other types of depression and not one has been referred to social services.

And even if they had been, even if I had been - better a mother wrongly investigated and subsequently cleared than a dead mother. No?

cory Fri 11-May-12 09:06:39

I don't get all this stuff about the cleaning company. All the SS I have ever met- and we have had regular SS involvement- have been quite equal to a bit of ordinary lived-in-ness. The posters on this thread seem to think that the only thing SS do is to investigate and judge you. Whenever we've had SWs around it has been about offering support.

RavenVonChaos Fri 11-May-12 09:15:52

I am very concerned that a mother who is diagnosed with ante natal depression and has told her doctor that she has been aggressive towards her child is now being advised by OP to pretend that everything is fine and give the SW tea and biscuits.

SW and HV will hopefully be able to put a package of support around this family to ensure that mum gets what she needs to deal with her depression and looking after her DC. In fact, you can turn up at the SS office and ask for services and support - Be proactive in helping yourself and your family.

CHILDREN'S SERVICES DO NOT WANT TO TAKE CHILDREN AWAY FROM THEIR FAMILIES. UNLESS THERE IS NO OTHER OPTION. IT HAS TO BE VERY SERIOUS AND THE LAST RESORT.

SW want to see parents who acknowledge difficulty and risk and engage with any services that are part of a plan.

By all means take notes, get support from Family Rights Group, have a friend present. But don't panic and try to get the support that you need.

I have had SW intervention and I am a social worker.

And to the midwife who had "snotty cards" through the door from SW, did you not think it important enough to actually phone them and make an appointment to go into the office and meet them. You basically waited for them to come back and then were upset cos you were in your PJ's. hmm

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