Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
My Experience With SS :/(108 Posts)
Well thats just it. I could write a fucking novel on every shitty thing that could possibly happen, because with the exception of losing a parent or child to death, i've 'bin there done that' ..
Some people on here will see me posting with opinions on the Social Services (Childrens' Services) and will know i'm not the happiest with them.
This is my story, my explaination. Never written it in full before, so it may be a drip feed as things come back, a lot of it shut away for my own sanity..
It also saves me hijacking other peeps threads, lol.
I was 4 when my parents split up. My DF had cheated with my DM's best friend. That was disgustingly traumatic, added to which i and my Dsis got dragged through courtrooms and family mediation, seeing my mum cry was dreadful..the most frightening thing i remember as a child.
DM had always been physically abusive towards us (found out later this is why my DF fought for custody so hard) however, at the time, i remember hating him for leaving, and making mum cry.
My mum got with an abusive man, who i now know she had been hovering on the verge of cheating on my DF with anyway.
SD beat mum regularly, usually over our 'behaviour', or her treating us better than the 2 DS's they subsequently had. We all got treated the same from what i remember.
I rarely saw my DF, SM was jealous of us, and they had a disabled LO together followed shortly afterwards by Ssis and Sb, when we did see DF, SM always said we had behaved badly while he wasn't there, i overheard her saying we couldn't come to stay any more because we had been a lot of trouble, and that my Dsis had hit SDsis, who had cerebral palsy. This was completely untrue, and when DF asked, i said so. I think he chose the quiet life option after that and began to see us less regularly.
I always felt both mum and DF in their own way blamed me for outing DF's affair.
We regularly did the sitting in the window thing, asking DM what time was DF coming, what colour was his car so we could see it, often ending up disappointed. I feel for my DM now having to deal with two distraught kids.
One time DF actually bothered to turn up, he took us to a party at a friends' home. I distinctly remember him sitting with SM's DD from a previous relationship on his lap, or standing holding her on his hip, she looked upset and uncomfortable. whenever she got off his lap, it wasn't long until he scooped her up again. We all stayed overnight at this friend of my fathers'.
Later that night, i got up to go to the loo, i was aged about 7. I remember i couldn't find the light pull so went to the loo in the dark. Being a strange house, i worried about finding my way back to the room.
When someone came in the room, and quietly got into the bed with me, i was absolutely petrified. He went on to masturbate on me. I thought he had wee'd on me he told me.. 'If you tell your dad, i will make sure he never wants to see you ever again'
Well, been as i rarely saw my dad, this concerned me greatly. So i kept quiet. I guessed it wasn't as if he'd hurt me? .. So not a problem, really. Anyway, DF did his usual not visiting trick after that, so i assumed he had been told and thought i was disgusting and not worth bothering with.
I didn't tell DM, i believed she would tell SF and that would cause more rows, leading to her being hit more.
She eventually left him, and we moved to be closer to DM's parents and DF's parents weren't that far away either.
The only constant in my life had been DG and DSG on my dads' side, and my DAunt. If it wasn't for them we wouldn't have had holidays or a lot of toys. Indeed when DM left SD, it was to their home we went until a place in a refuge was found. DF did turn up there a few times hoping to reconcile with DM, i heard them discussing it. She wasn't interested.
Didn't see DF then much really, up until i was about 15 and he split with SM after finding out she'd been cheating while he was at work. Without SM and her constraints on him seeing us, and his sudden need for babysitters, it appeared we were welcome to go to his house again.
DM supported him through the split. I wasn't aware but at some point he struggled so much with being a lone parent to three DC's and also working, he had to put SDsis into respite care and the other 2 went into foster care with a friend of his.
He then moved into a house given to him to use by his work, having to sell the family home which had been specially adapted. SDsis had to stay in care, but the others, being older and able to walk to and from school by this time and cope for a little while until he came back, returned to his care.
I despised him by now, i had had DD and wondered how he could walk away from the type of love i felt for her.
Three years later, i had DS and DF cared for DD while i was in hospital, and our relationship recovered slightly. He began visiting me, and i stayed over some weekends while he was working. It was during this time when he asked me, did i know anything about his friend, who had been accused of abusing a number of girls, including his own DD, and SM's DD. The man i remembered from the party..
I denied anything had happened to me, i still felt dirty and raw about what had happened when i was a teen, and was going through the fallout of DD's abuse.. Will put this in another post but supported SDsis in her statement with what i had seen. Later on i broke down and admitted he had done something to me.
The police were fab, very supportive, but long story short, he was aquitted of all charges, as the DD he had abused had ended up in a psychiatric unit, and i guess the rest of us just weren't believed
After that, the abusers' prediction appeared to come true, as the relationship with DF falter shortly after that, and i didn't see him for years. DM didn't believe that i had been abused by the man. The defence for him used details given to him without my knowledge about DD's abuse and this was disclosed in court, they basically said that i used stuff that happened to DD as 'my own supposed experience' which was totally untrue, as what happened to me did not happen to DD.
Sorry this has been long. Will write my other post now <cracks knuckles>
I'm so so sorry for the horrors you've been through.
Surely your anger should be directed at your appalling parents rather than SS but you say you are posting more....
Are you ok? Did something trigger this post?
Warning : May be triggering When i was at school i was known as 'one of the womens' refuge kids' and bullied relentlessly.
We moved into our own house, i didn't get on with the kids there either, my mum was the only single parent on the estate, so she had a tough time too, getting ignored and such.
I moved on to secondary school, the bullying continued, only worse, because i was chubby and slightly taller than others.
I used to go for walks a lot, to get away from my DM and her latest bloke, who turned out to be a nasty piece of shit, 'forgot' to tell DM he was married, his DW turned up on our doorstep many times, her and my mum fought like cat and dog in front of us. If it wasn't in sight, you could hear it, and he did nothing to stop them.
On one of these walks, i came accross a farm, where i met my first real friend. We did stuff together like she would chop my hair off a LOT in an attempt to 'train as a hairdresser' lol..finally some normality in my life!
One of the farm owners started taking a very unhealthy interest in me. At the time i was so flattered that someone was just interested in me. He knew everything about my past by the time he had finished. I saw him as a replacement DF.
One day, normal like any other, he asked me to help him move some calves from one barn to another to be tagged. I followed him into the barn.
There weren't any calves in there, i realised, as i turned round he was locking the door, and then walked over to me and said 'you've been waiting for this' pulled my hand down and placed it on his penis. I was shocked and upset and tried to turn away. He pushed me down on the floor, and raped me. He pushed my face into the dirt, i couldn't breathe, he was heavy too.
When he finished, he pulled me onto my feet and growled in my face 'If you tell ANYONE, i will make sure to tell them your DM hits you and you and your Dsis and DB's will be taken into care. This is between you and me. No one can prove its me anyway, i'll tell them you told me your SD has sex with you, and because i'm an adult, they will believe me' I was 12. I believed him.
Those words are burned into my head. I had to go there every day after school, and stay there (at my friends') for the weekends. If i didn't turn up he told me he would phone the police. To make matters worse, my friend, was the abusers young SIL.
Inevitably, my periods began shortly before my 13th birthday, and even more inevitably, i became pregnant. He brought me the test. As he sat there watching it turn whatever colour meant i was expecting a baby, i saw his face darken. His wife had not long given birth to a DD. He dropped the test, and sort of.. ran at me, all i remember after that is waking up covered in filth, on the floor, with a bruised face, and a very sore tummy. He was sat near me.
'Well, you're awake' he said. 'I don't think it'll be a problem any more' and left me there. When i went home on the sunday night, my DM asked what i'd done to my face. 'Fighting at school' 'Oh, ok then. Did you win?'
I went straight into the bath. My tummy ached, really badly. Then a load of blood rushed out into the bath, and i knew i wasn't pregnant any more. I had to scoop everything up, put it in a box that i had kept my special things in, and hide it till i was ok to go and bury it.
After this, the bullying at school seemed to get a lot more unbearable. The lad who had been bullying me the most, got bitten by my dog one day while he saw me out near my house, and started chasing me. The police got involved, i don't know what happened, but they let me keep the dog, and he stopped bullying me, but his friend continued. He pulled a knife out on me, and said, i'm going to stick this in you, then your dumb dog.
I was petrified he would hurt my dog. I didn't care about me. I was numb. Unhurtable..
I sat one day and thought, i have never been happy, i don't need to feel this pain any more. If i'm not here, no one will walk the dog, so he will be safe. I decided what to do. After making my decision, i felt strangely calm.
The next day i went and brought about 200 paracetamol. I toyed with the idea all day when i should take them. I was in an art lesson when the teacher called me clumsy and smelly (i has stopped bathing ect in an effort to stop abuser from wanting to touch me, it hadn't worked) and told me i shouldn't choose art as a GCSE. I snapped and ran out of the class with everyone laughing at me over his comments. I sat in the toilets, popping the pills into my mouth until i couldn't take any more. Then i went calmly to my maths class. I had a bit of peace until lunch was over. I started feeling sleepy and sick. One girl in the class came in early and yanked my hair to 'wake me up' .. i threw a wobbly and said something like 'you can't even let me die in peace' and stormed out. She saved my life, really. Reported to a dinner lady, who took me to sick bay.
Fast forward, a teacher handed me over at the hospital to my DM and DF who were there together, alternating between DM asking me what the fuck i thought i was doing, and crying, and DF stating that it was a cry for help, both of them arguing over the top of my head.. i wished i hadn't been 'found out' at that point.
I had to take that charcoal crap and be kept in. don't know how long for. I was given a woman to talk to. All i remember is DM threatening me not to say anything bad or i'd be taken into care. As soon as i was out of hospital i had gone, trembling in fear, to my abuser to explain why i hadn't been to see him. He was quite kind about things, and sort of loving he told me i should keep coming to see him and he would support me through everything.
DF soon disappeared again, back into his own little 'new' family. DM still wasn't bothered where i was as long as i wasn't giving her any trouble.
The woman who came to see me, well she always fucking turned up when something good was on tv, or we had to eat, so i bluffed my way through things and she eventually didn't bother turning up either.
I got myself put on the pill by travelling to a town quite far away with a brook clinic.
When i was 15 i met DD's dad and all of a sudden abuser wasn't interested in me any more and told me i didn't need to bother going to see him. that was a mega relief.
After all that had gone on, i trusted no one with DD. I wouldn't leave her alone with anyone except my Dsis and DB's. I fell out with Dd's dad, when she was 6m old, because of his violence, and became a single parent. I then got with DS's dad, extremely violent ExP, who i stayed with for nearly 9 years, he was proper vicious, narcissistic, EA, you name it. I threw him out when he started on the DC's and my pets when he realised it was the only way to hurt me any more.
We were happy, or so i thought, on our own. During the time i had been with ExP, i had never been able to legally live with him, as a proper family, because of how he was, so i was already pretty much adapted to single life anyway. I had used to get my youngest DB to babysit when i had the rare night out, but following the total break from ExP, DD started to behave strangely when i went out, being clingy, and things like that. None of it raised red flags, i suspected she was affected by the relationship i was in, i was too low to get out at the time though and when it ended i simply thought she was acting out because of the relief of being out from under his black cloud.
One night, DM called me and asked if DD or DS had been talked to by me or school re stranger danger, and had i spoken to Dsis, who was younger than DD by 2 years.. then when i said no, she came round, and what she said that night shattered my world and made sure it would never be the same again.
She told me Dsis had disclosed to her that she had been inappropriately touched by DSB2.
Then she left, and i asked DD if she had anything to tell me, and she did. He had abused her, from what i could work out, from the age of about 3-4 until she was 7. I told her it was over, i would sort it, and put her to bed.
Then i broke down. I called DM and explained to her what had been said. I was petrified of the SS, and so was she. So we agreed to keep things quiet for the time being, untilwe were mentally and emotionally able to deal with what could happen. I told ExP .. stupidly really given that he was a vindictive prick, what had happened, and he decided to tell SS anonymously. He neglected to tell them that he was an abuser though.
While this was going on unbeknown to me, my DM did the most stupid fucking thing she could ever have done, i can't excuse it, she brought DSis to my house along with DSB.. (i need to point out DSB was 15 at this time) and asked him in front of the kids who were obviously embarrassed, if not scared, what he had done, of course he denied any wrongdoing, i got over my shock at them turning up and doing that, and kicked them out of my house. I was frothing at the mouth how my DM could be so fucking stupid. I can oly think she just didn't believe it.
DD knew i believed her.
I agonised over calling the police, but the following day it was taken out of my hands, which was kind of a relief, really.
The SS and police breezed through my door that day, nearly a month after it had all come out, and informed me of what they knew, took a statement, i had to take DD and accompany Dsis to be medically examined. That was awfully distressing. Given the nature of DD's abuse, there was still physical evidence, and Dsis's experience, she had none but she was very clear on what had happened.
It was awful, heart breaking, gut wrenching. I loved my little brother.. i mean really really loved him, he was my favourite sibling, i felt like my world had blown apart...
The video statements were made. The SW was overbearing and aggressive, but supportive. I relied on her heavily as my DM and i's relationship had floundered .. they had placed Dsis with me as DSB had got nowhere to go, they eventually placed him with my GM. The SW wasn't supposed to tell me where he was, but she did, stating she 'wouldn't be surprised if i killed him' and other such goading comments.
Jump forward. Court case went as well as could be expected. He was banned from working with under 18's. Until he was 18. And put on a supervision order for 2 years, sex offenders for 2 years. So his life would be back to normal by the time he was 18.
DD could finally begin counselling. I was still devastated as i had been overprotective of DD and DS not even allowing them to play out and go out of my sight, yet i had invited DD's abuser into our home. Walked out ignoring or dismissing her distress at me leaving as separation anxiety ffs how fucking blind was i?
I felt hugely guilty.
The counsellor .. i will call her Cs from now on, didn't seem to like me much, lol. I know in the first few weeks i begged her for someone seperate for me to talk to, she stated she was 'there for the family' but then changed the co. to the CAMHS centre because i was 'obstructive' and 'took up a lot of the co time' .. maybe i did, i can't remember, but i needed someone to help me made sense of what had happened. So i could better support DD.
Cs eventually got the SW to come and speak to me, the woman hadn't left me alone during the court process, and had literally dumped us on our arse following it. She put me and DM forward for a mothers' group in a shopping centre near us.
We attended, DM was dreadfully nervous, as she put it, her DS was one of those 'dirty bastards' that would be spoken of. Yet she was also the mother of a victim, too. She thought she would be vilified.
A number of other mums were there, and over a few weeks, we found that we chatted more outside, then inside where we were shown pie charts, explained to that the abusers were 'ill' .. how they had a right to a normal life after doing their 'time' .. it was disgusting. Not supportive at all.
I remember explaining that DD had gone from a very loving little girl, into a very withdrawn girl almost overnight during the court process, and that i was angry because they refused any counselling or real support before the conviction, in case it prejudiced the case. I could understand that, in a way, but they were dismissive of it. I told them she pushed me away saying 'you LET him abuse me' and how guilty it made me feel, i asked how to deal with that. they seemed clueless. Indeed, they only took notice when i got distressed and said i has smacked her for wiping poo on the bathroom wall, out of frustration.
It transpired from discussions between the mums that they had been told by the same SW that we had (well my DM had gotten a different one because she wouldn't work with the one i had, understandably enough) that if they didn't attend the mums meetings, every week without fail, they would have their DC's taken away. I raised this in the meeting after the break, and the SW's there said that wasn't the case, no DC's would be taken into care for that reason. The following week, only myself, DM, and one other person were there. The threat of having the DC's removed had kept those other women coming to listen to how an abuser had rights, i don't blame them in the slightest for not coming.
Shortly after this we appeared to have gotten back to a semi normal life. My DD's issues were still not being sorted. Cs couldn't deal with them because she wouldn't speak to me to find out what they were, and seemed to delight in making comments such as 'DD told me something that you may find interested' and when i asked what, she shrugged, turned up her nose, and said 'sorry its confidential'
Fucking bitch! I hated her.
Why do that?
I tried to tell her things i needed her to find out about and feed back to me or deal with whatever. She could tell i was desperate. I made it clear that i was. I wanted some semblance of a normal frigging life back. It felt like we were being held back.. well all of us except DD who was moving forward, but not in the right way IYSWIM.. without us as a strong family, loving.. she was out there, on her own, unwilling to respond to me at all. She didn't like the house we lived in, understandable, given that the abuse happened there. I grabbed the opportunity to show her i could do something to make her happy, and tried to get the SS to help us move. They applied to the council, but i didn't know she (SW) was trying to get us moved to a local crack area! I pressured and wrote and phoned, eventually getting them to realise the area i wanted the house in.
At the furthest point of the fucking area i could go where we didn't have to risk bumping into the abuser.
I decided to try and get her to honour her promise to get myself and DS a seperate Cs.. one day i got sick of calling and having no message back (this had gone on for three months plus) so i appeared at the main office. I had a thought whilst outside, whipped out my mobile, called the office, to be told she wasn't in and had gone home early. Well. I could see her fucking CAR so that was clearly bullshit. Went inside, still on the phone, and lo and behold, there she was, right behind the fucking receptionist, who was lying through her teeth, and the R put the phone down, turned to SW, and started laughing. Then they both saw me.
I was beyond fuming.
I told her she was letting my family down and should be struck off.
(Well i was angry, lol)
She finally agreed to 'sort something' and in the meantime i was to take DS and DD to a keep safe group, aimed at highlighting and helping kids learn about strangers, good bad touching and all that stuff. Well desperate for any bloody help i grabbed it with both hands. DM asked me to take Dsis as she was working, and that she would collect them, so i could spend, as she put it, a 'well earned day out/break'
Before we went, i took the DC's to see our horses. DD and DS had a squabble, over something silly, and she pushed him over into some nettles. Cue lots of wailing, ect... i picked up DS, dusted him off, put some cream on the stings, then asked DD to apologise and DS to do the same. DD refused, and walked off to get in the car. I grabbed her arm, turned her round, and pushed her with my hand between her shoulders, not hard, more steering her rather than pushing, she was doing the old 'i don't want to/foot dragging thing' but eventually said sorry and all was good. I dropped them off at the KS group and drove back to the field.
Few hours later, i got a call from DM, saying i needed to get to the centre quickly. So off i went wondering what the bloody hell then thinking that DS might have whined about being stung. I even brought the cream with me when i got out of the car. (Common occurrence, stings lol)
I got the feeling i had walked into an ambush when i walked in to see : The centre manager, the magical disappearing SW, the Cs, and a police officer.
Apparently, i had >> Pushed DD, shouted at her, legged her over into nettles, then 'punched' her in the back because she wouldn't apologise.
Now this is where things are interesting. DD couldn't speak very well. Not that this is my defence against any wrongdoing, the situation happened exactly as i put it. I'm not proud for pushing her, or making her apologise. But what they had said was totally wrong.
She had and still has, an undiagnosed tongue tie, and had been seen by speech therapists to no avail.
So i asked, did DD tell you all this? No, they replied, Dsis did. But Dsis was in the car, i said. The driveway is in sight of the field, but not that close, and what was i supposed to have made her apologise for? SHE pushed DS into the nettles, ect ect. and i don't say punched, i say thumped. So do my DC's. So where would she have gotten the word punched from? Are you sure she didn't say pushed? I did push her, yes, on her back, with one hand, towards DS.
Well, they huffed.. she has a bruise on her back. In your defence DS and DD have both stated mummy doesn't smack them, but we have a statement here from the mothers group leader saying that you punched the wall when speaking about DD wiping excrement on the wall, and told them you smacked her.
What the fuck, i replied, i wasn't even NEAR a wall, what kind of bullshit is this?
At which point, they brought DD in. She had a summer dress on. She came over to me and tentatively looked round the room while holding my hand and trying to hide behind me.
The SW charged at her and whipped her dress up and over her head, leaving her standing there in just her underwear, pushed her towards a window, and announced.. 'There..look! A bruise !'
Hmm, i said, licked my thumb, and rubbed a bit of the 'bruise' off. I think you will find, thats dirt. Sorry to disappoint you.
She then said, well, i don't think you're coping very well. I want you to put DD into temporary FC so we can assess her and see what the best support for your family could be.
'Well you haven't done very well so far' i snorted. DM pleaded with me not to agree, and i wish i had listened, but i was incensed, i wanted them to see what they had left us suffering through, so agreed.
Now i know for a 100% FACT that DD was clean, yet when it all eventually went to court it transpired that the first FC had said DD was crawling with headlice.
Anyway i skip a bit. DD stayed in FC for around five weeks. She was due to go back to school after the six week holiday and i had saved money for her uniform.
The SW told me there was no need, and to spend it on DS.
I had completely open contact while she was with this FC. I was told she had repeatedly cried on the first night that she wanted to go home, and wet herself sitting in the corner when i went home following contact. It upset me terribly (there was no mention of headlice btw) I had to get three buses to the FC's as it was so far away, I had to get DM or Dsis to collect DS from school. The SW told me i wasn't to take DS to contacts as DD had stated she hated him and didn't want to see him.
I stuck to what i had agreed of 6 weeks temp FC, and assured DD that was how long i had been told it would be. She was very distressed, but understood, and was happy as long as i visited every day.
I contacted the SW every week to find out how things were progressing.
I never got a reply.
I saw DD get dropped off at school in a taxi, and she had the same shoes on that she had before the holidays.
Eventually, after the 6 weeks were up, i told the FC that i'd heard nothing from the SS, so i was going to collect DD from hers the following evening. She agreed and said it was about time as DD had not stopped talking about going home once in all the time she had been there.
I spoke to the taxi driver on the following morning telling him it would be the last time he would be dropping her off, thanked him for looking after her, and he said she had been chatting about how it was 'time to go home soon'.
I arranged for my DM to come and collect DD with me. I caught the buses there as normal, while i was waiting for DM, a car came past me. It was the SW. It then left, with a load of things in the back. I saw no sign of DD, but i felt sick and started to panic.
Then the police turned up, and served me with some order if i remember correctly it was a PPO (police protection order) and told me to get in contact with the SW. I told them i hadn't heard from her in six weeks,
They were sympathetic when i explained the story but had clearly only come to do a job.
When DM turned up we went to see a very distressed FC who stated she couldn't understand, that they hadn't even let her say goodbye to DD, and had just taken her things.
And that was the beginning of the nightmare that was to continue for the next 11 years.....
And so the court process started.
There were questionable things in the statements made that were basically unprovable but equally disprovable so i had to spend the next few years having my soul destroyed and my parenting skills questioned and picked to bits.
First court process went on for about five years until the CO was finally granted by consent, more about that in a bit.
I got through a number of different SW's in this time (well, DD's SW's) and each one was equally CRAP and unwilling to meet with me and then read the paperwork which was full of lies and incredibly biased. Anyone reading those would have wanted me stoned in the street, trust me.
As i was still in contact with the first FC, i asked her if she had actually found HL in DD's hair. Not a single one, she replied. There were so many lies in there..
I had to have contact at the SS offices. DS was still barred from contacts despite only being 5 years of age. There were swearwords and spit and excrement on the walls. I was told its here or no contact at all.
My solicitor finally managed to get them to change the contact venue.
The one they chose was two 1hour bus journeys away. 2 hours there, 2 back. They said it had to be supervised because i had tried to 'abduct her' this was not the case at all, i had been told 6 weeks, after 7 with full radio silence from the SS i decided to bring her home from VOLUNTARY FC.
The second SW we had openly said that DD should not be in care. Yet she did nothing about it. She was a nice woman though. We had her for a while, muddling through, she admitted to only reading parts of the notes and relied on me to tell her my side, and that of the SS as they saw it.
During the time she was SW, i had the psych tests and was 'diagnosed' with a borderline personality disorder. During that i was asked if i had suffered any bereavements of close family members. My DCousin had been killed as a toddler. I was very close to him. Apparently that didn't count. I was deemed unfit to parent a child that had been sexually abused due to my own 'unresolved abuse'.
She didn't take into account that a few days before she did the tests, i had been in court giving evidence against my first abuser. I was very distressed about that, and when i had to go for the second test, i told her clearly that i had been to court the week before for the verdict when he had been found not guilty.
I am disgusted that none of this got mentioned in court or in the psych report yet they thought it was fine to disclose that i had a termination following the birth of DS1.
I told her of the times i had been to see DD in contact, and she had disclosed that the FC had slapped her head and pulled her hair. The contact worker had informed the FC of this when dropping DD off, alone, with her. Disgusting.
The time DD took her socks off, a year after she had been in care, and i realised she had the same shoes on that she had been taken from me in, and stated she had to peel her toenails off in the bath, because the FC wouldn't help her to cut them, they were so long they had curled over and back into the top or her toes, which looked crushed anyway, the shoes were way too small!
I cried and begged the CW for some nail scissors and cut DD's nails.
I told her of the time DD wet herself because she knew it would make the FC angry and maybe then 'she would send me back home' .. as a punishment she was made to go to school the following day in the urine smelling clothes.
She still has issues with this and is now obsessive about cleaning herself so she doesn't smell.
None of this was in the report. Or any court statements except my own.
Then, the damning court report came. After being removed from the above FC and being given new shoes after i threatened to sue them if she grew up with damaged feet, and got a local chiropodist to write them a strongly worded letter, DD was placed with another family. Contact was every week now once a week.
I was in court and handed a statement that claimed that DD had chopped off one of the girls' hair in the placement. DD claimed that the girl had stamped on her chest and indeed, DD had a bruise in the shape of a shoe, on her chest. No doctor was called or seen despite the bruise being deep and black. All the psych put in the report on DD regarding this was the hair cutting incident.
DD had disclosed to the SW that she had been touched down below by the FC
The SW had apparently talked to DD, told her there was no other placement she could be moved to, DD then retracted the allegation, she then decided the allegation was unfounded, TOLD the FC what had been disclosed and retracted, then left DD with them and left the property!!
The police were not called, no statements were taken, no further action was taken. I wasn't informed, until the court report was shoved into my hands just before going in. This was a favourite tactic of theirs, handing statements at the last minute so you couldn't respond to them..
No one, not one, the guardian, the judge, questioned this. I did. I told my sol she was temporarily suspended, and asked why correct procedure hadn't been followed. Apparently DD retracted her statement. Well, she did the same with the allegation against my DSB but that was seen as understandable. Surely, once it became clear you were going to leave her with the FC's, she felt threatened enough to retract the statement? I asked. I got no reply. No one pressed for a reply. Not even the fucking judge.
The next time i saw DD, she told me that the girls had been bullying her, so she got some scissors and chopped off their hair as they slept.
Following this, contact was stopped. With immediate effect. I was fuming. I know it was to do with the allegations made.
I contacted the police to tell them about the allegation. I was ignored. I then sat outside telling everyone who would listen what had happened to DD, they soon hustled me into the police station then. I told them of DD's allegation and they agreed she was being held 'incommunicado' but refused to investigate the allegations of sexual abuse.
Shortly after this, i was arrested, on the strength of a picture my DS had drawn in school, of a burning house, and had apparently told the teacher he wanted me to burn down the first SW's house, that he was sad he hadn't seen his Dsis in four years, ect. They stated that a statement had been made that i had seen the SW in the local town, and threatened her. Easy one that, They couldn't even produce the picture, and i told them to search CCTV as i had never been to the town they mentioned, but i was willing to go to court and i would invite every journalist i could to let them know the police had failed to investigate DD's alleged abuse, but had arrested me on someone elses' say so. The one PO was very understanding and laughed often, telling me he could see what had happened. I still have the tape, lol. So they could do nothing, but kept me in until bailing me without conditions at 4 am. When i had work the following morning.
A week later i went back in to re-make the request that someone from CP see my DD to put my mind at rest. As i sat waiting, an officer (the one from the keep safe group, funnily enough) came down on her own, pressed her nose against my forehead, and hissed at me, if i didn't leave it alone, i would be sorry, and last weeks' arrest would be the first in a long line. When the other PO walked in, she said, 'Understand?' and then to him, 'I've had my word, thanks'
Eventually i got the 'no further action being taken' line but was absolutely fuming still about the actions of the police.
When she (the SW) left on maternity leave, we had a break, finally, and got a SW who listened to me and DD, and the Contact Worker was changed to an absolutely wonderful woman, i will call her Michelle.. it wasn't long before she started making moves towards returning DD home.
DD was diagnosed with ADHD, put on medication, returned to the FC she had been removed from when in Vol FC, and then i was told, and so was she, that she would be returning home. Yaay!! I decorated her room, got her bed ready, Even the counselling woman who had been a bitch to me at the beginning of all this, phoned me being helpful and nice, so in the spirit of things, i tried to be 'responsible' and asked for one week to prepare the room, rather than saying 'bring her back right now', and asked for overnight stays and made sure they put their promises of support following return home down on paper. I was petrified of being let down again. Of them returning DD and it just being doomed to fail. After all she had been away from me for nearly 5 years.
I was to regret this decision. It gave the CAFCASS woman time to veto the return. I and DD were devastated.
Basically, my DM had been assessed to care for DD in the event i couldn't have her returned to me. Her assessment was favourable.
DD had not had much contact with any other family member except for me and rarely DM, towards the end we were allowed to take DS and new SW stated it was 'disturbing' that DD and DS had been kept apart for so long.
DM told the assessor of the plan to return DD home, and he informed the CAFCASS worker. She lied in court that an unsupervised contact between DD and DM had culminated in DM allowing DD to see her abuser. That was bullshit as they had been swimming, and there was cctv in the car park, from where DM had taken DD straight back to the FC's. So it was proven to be a lie yet she was never disciplined. However it happened in time to prevent the unsupervised contact planned for me and DD on mothers' day According to the FC, and the subsequent court statement she wrote, DD 'Sat on the stairs and sobbed her little heart out upon finding out she wouldn't be going to see her mum'
The return home was stopped.
My own solicitor then threw me under the bus. Despite the legal fees adding up to more than the price of buying a decent sized house, i did more legwork than her. There was an offer made of a mother and baby unit assessment, which she told me to turn down because DD wasn't a baby.
So i got together with the SW. For once sitting together with them rather than scowling across the room at each other, the guardian fuming and actually going to the point of rowing with the SW and bringing her close to tears, at which point i jumped in and called her a disgusting liar, and that she should be sacked.
Between myself and the SW, we worked out that if a care order was granted, we could wave bye bye to the cafcass woman, and then return DD home.
So i agreed to the CO being granted. My sol told me that the Judge (a very nice man) had pulled her aside basically in the mini hearing before (where i wasn't but all the sol's, SW's and guardian were, and had told her to bring it back to his attention immediately if the plan wasn't followed.
Following the granting of the CO, i had agreed to allowing DD to settle in a placement with the very first FC she had been placed with [rolls eyes, yep back to square one] then i would start having open contact, every day if that was what DD wanted, unsupervised, with overnight stays, gradually increasing to more and more overnight stays, eventual return home full time.
I even had an unsupervised contact with her on Christmas Day, was absolutely over the moon with this! Hadn't had a proper xmas for five years.
It was a fab day, DD got to see people she hadn't seen in years, i spent most of the day driving, but i didn't care. Even my boss was so over the moon he allowed me to use the company vehicle for the day
But then came the change of SW.
I assumed they would share info/notes whatever but ohhhhh no.
The cafcass officer playing her face meant that SW i had came close to losing her job and got moved sideways.
New SW read the notes and we were back to square one.
She told me no contact until she had got everything straight 'in her head' .. i couldn't understand a word she said unfortunately, it was a struggle. Never mind i thought, she will get brought up to speed and we'll be back on course again.
Nope. I had zero contact with DD for about 18 months. Then i was told 'letterbox contact only' During this i was having kittens about being let down and them moving the goalposts.
I went self litigant at court because i thought it was a foregone conclusion, and applied to the same judge as before for the care order to be dismissed. I got a different judge
It was apparent she was all on their side. It was so frustrating.
Eventually out of desperation i went to court to apply for an emergency protection order on grounds that DD wasn't being cared for properly (the shoes, the FC abuse, the being told she was going to be sent home, the no contact.) As in my opinion the last one especially would be counted as emotional abuse. I also found out that the FC who was alleged to have sexually abused DD had pushed her into a cupboard that had a nail sticking out of it which dug into her back.
The EPO wasn't granted because the SS had moved her to a new placement. What! It didn't change the fact that DD was being emotionally abused.
Anyway, here comes the end of my story. The SS took me to court to have my right to apply for orders removed, and it was granted.
I felt totally deflated, and that i had let DD down, badly. I was also tired of fighting, the case had robbed me of a career being a paramedic, as the hours didn't suit what the SS offered contact wise, and i was told to put my priorities in order, this meant giving up my dream job of my DD, and of a decent life and holidays with DS, every spare day/holiday was swallowed up with meetings, court appearances, ect.
DD returned to me at the age of 17.
I hate the social services, and i give not a flying fuck who knows it.
I feel for them and don't hate them for hatings' sake, but i know what they're capable of, the lies they get away with telling, and the fact that parental support is non existent.
Oh and their complaints team dreams
has nightmares about me.
And i changed a lot of their procedures single handedly through complaints about how DD was treated, and she can't have been the only one, either, and human rights mean nothing to them..
Yep they save a lot of kids. But they also take some from innocent parents. They aim for the easy targets.
Yup i fucking hate them.
And i hope one day someone passes a law that opens up the family courts, makes these bastards accountable for their crimes against some families, and can be sued for their actions.
Lots of social workers are completely incompetent.
Sorry to hear your sad story how old is your dd now and how is she doing?
There has been a lot of SS involvement in my family and people don't seem to realise exactly how much SS get wrong, like, really wrong
She's 18 now and the reason i posted was because i thought it was time. I asked her, she was ok about it, i have bottled it up for so long
There is no support for the families of removed children.
The best you get is a solicitor who just does it for the money and gives not a monkeys about you really.
I'm getting better about it now, and they're not all bad, just the left hand often doesn't know what the right hand is doing.. i hear a lot of foster carers saying the same thing.
But if you're going to take the kids, have a court case that costs a small fortune and i mean it came to about £100, 000 in our case alone and that is not a lie, i saw it when i became self litigant and saw the costs in the application for myself!.. then you should know what the fuck is going on! My DD should have been home six or seven years ago.
She speaks about the abuse she suffered now but is so glad to be away from SS that she doesn't want to take it further. The FC who was alleged to have touched her died as well so not sure how that would work..
Plus we had 2 good SW, 1 mediocre, and 2 crap so i suppose thats not bad odds, devastated that through it all i now have an arrest record, previously i had a totally clean criminal record
You have been totally let down.I hope you can start to enjoy some better times now.good for you for never letting it lie, it becomes too much for some people.I work with people who often become subject to child protection cases, and know social worker allocation is a complete lottery....
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Just wanted to let you know I've read all of this. I believe you. Sending all my love...
I have read all of this and my heart goes out to you. You have been lte down by so many people !
I am glad you have DD back
Thanks to all who have reported this thread to us.
We can tell you that we know the OP to be a MNer of very long standing and have no reason to think her posts are anything other than genuine.
We are concerned, though, that the amount of detail here may well give some people enough info to identify the OP and/or her family in real life.
We'll drop the OP a line and let her know of our concern and ask her if there are any posts which, on reflection, she thinks would be better deleted.
I'm so sorry for the awful experiences you and your dd have suffered. I hope life treats you both a lot better from now on.
I had to reply just to say I'm sorry and I hope you and you Dcs can move on.
Unfortunately I have heard of other horror stories about these organisations.
Can you seek a support group of other sufferers like yourself and your DD?
I'm sure they exist.
I'm glad you are back together.
I wish I could say more!
Hi MN towers haven't opened my email today. Yes i have been on mn a long time. There's nothing in here that i'm worried about, the only people who would be able to identify me would be those who were involved in the case, and DD is 18 now so the Care Order has finished and i am completely safe from them and any recriminations ect
PS this took me hours please dont take it down lol
Can i also just say, through the whole thing, i was never allowed to tell DD that i loved her, or wanted her home. I wasn't allowed to cry either.
Any one of these three things meant immediate termination of contact.
Until DD was 18 i was only allowed to see her once a month. Ok so it was unsuervised after a time, but the time it was supervised, i had to sit in mcdonalds with her, flanked by two women wearing badges round their necks. It was awful, i often asked them to hide the badges but they didn't. We got stared at the whole time.
I wouldn't wish my experiences on my worst enemy.
ZigZag hi honey.. no there isn't really any support groups out there for people who have had their kids taken. FASSIT UK tries to help but its not much they can do. There are support networks out there for sexual abusers and people who think they may sexually abuse, i know this because it was one of my recommendations to the LA which they actually followed up on, but nothing zip zilch for families with removed children.
I have pm'd you.
Again I have nothing useful to add, sorry.
Thanks honey. Seriously, i am ok with it all now. I just wanted this out there, in case it helps someone else not feel so alone
I did cry at bits while writing it as the emotions do come back out. I suffer from PTSD from a number of incidents in my life and i actually find it theraputic to write things down. I wonder if MN HQ would make a board specifically for non judgemental support fo people going through this.. of course there would have to be rules as you can't disclose certain things during an ongoing case, or quote directly from court papers, but i know there are people out there, with no support, who have had children taken.
It hurts to know that some kids would be able to stay with their families, with support, but that support isn't available to children if they're not on an at risk register, or in care. thats a bit door horse bolted blah blah
It's those few that you could do with talking to, only they could really understand your frustration.
I'm glad you are better about it, although I'm sure it felt good to rant about it and get it all down.
Nothing to add..Just I believe you. xxxxxxx
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.