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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 know, am glad MN is such an open place with good and thoughtful admins
i understand the thread being reported, there are a lot of SW's on here, there are things that people might think would identify me in RL (err thats why i have a profile lol) and some of the stuff may have been triggering.
Family court being closed means i could possibly if they decided to push the issue and figure out who i am, slap me in for 28 days for contempt of court but its rare, thats a threat they often used in the time before you were allowed to disclose even to family what was going on, let alone a mckenzie friend.
Besides they know if that happened, like the time i was accused of threatening the SW, i would say that i'd be more than happy to go to court because it would be open, (criminal court) and i'd get reporters there to hear what i was accused of, and i'd self rep so i could tell my story.
That prospect frightens them too much.
Family courts being open, is only a small part of it. Every and all meetings and suchlike should be recorded like at a police station.
There you stand a chance of losing your liberty, in this type of case, your children. I know which i'd rather do.
Speaking out against any kind of establishment is hard but people do it, and they win. The only thing they can hope for as a 'prize' is change for the better.
I have heaps of respect for FASSIT UK, John Hemming who i believe posts on this forum i think would do a better job if he wasn't so OTT but that's just me, and there are the odd 'burn SW's at the stake' people who are undoubtedly suffering upset and anguish, but thankfully they are few and far between because that helps no one.
Lastly, DD now knows that i never said i loved her and wanted her home because i was told not to, this caused a few tears because she believed i didn't. I haven't shown her the actual paperwork but i have shown her the volume of it, in boxes, and the diaries i kept, so she knows i fought long and hard.
It hurts a bit she can't think of me as 'mum' but understandable.
DS1 knows i fought, he was there, and although i tried not to let it show, the pain and exhaustion often reared its head, and the upset i felt that he had no relationship with his sister, despite only being 5, the SS actually said 'DD is our responsibility, we can not take DS' feelings into consideration' Bastards.. they caused DS untold distress and emotional harm. He has said as soon as he hits 18 he wants to speak to a solicitor. I will support him in that if that's what he wants to do.
Tbh things, if I had been through even half of what you have I would probably be a "burn the sw" poster too,not hard to see why some people are bitter, I have seen some of John Hemmings' posts on here and he doesn't really come across very well, the whole kitten thing, I mean .
There is another poster who always turns up for these threads too, surprised she is not here already, telling you, you are mistaken.
NN you mean? I've banned her from my post lol
No, john hemmings COULD be a very useful man really .. i have met him, and while it's nice to have someone in a 'position of power' available to help, one with a personal axe to grind who actually not only grinds it but rubs the edge while cackling is next to useless, sorry john if you read this but you do come across as a bit batty sometimes
I can't be a 'burn the SW' as one that we had (lady who nearly lost her job for sticking up for us) who then actually got assigned to us when dd was returned as chair of the case conference, was an absolutely wonderful woman and i am proud to have known her. We also got a soft touch male SW and he was funny, kind and fantastic in that you didn't see him as an SW.
Another male SW (see the pattern building up here) who came to close DS1's case as being the brother of a child in care he was automatically a 'child in need in the area' - not that it ever helped him being under that umbrella - sat and listened to my tearful full story and gave me the phone numbers of two solicitors he described as 'bloody fantastic and would make me shit myself if i knew they were on the case' and stated he was 'sickened' by our case, he is now on my FB
The leaving care team, two wonderful ladies
The SW who dealt with us during my PG with DS2 and also following DS2's dad assaulting me, she was good too, very caring, but she disappeared without trace as soon as the case conference was over, never to be seen again, i don't even know if DS2 is on or off the CPR?
Anyway i digress, all in all, the list of GOOD is bigger than the list of the bad and the ugly.
I think you should be able to say 'sorry but there is a clash of personality with me and 'this' sw could our family be assigned another one' that alone could save so much conflict and upset/aggression from feeling judged ect.
I totally believe you and am inspired by your strength. My story is very different and yet have found myself at a complete loss at those who make decisions or are influencial in doing so in relation to children and their wellbeing. I am now in my 6th year (£30k legal costs to date plus loss of career/loans etc) of court cases trying to keep my DD safe from her DF! I have come across such ignorance, rudeness and downright unprofessionalism. I have had to fight tooth and nail, now feel completely untrusting of those involved and find the whole system a farce. Your story has inspired me to keep fighting for my DD's wellbeing! I did have to complain about a contact centre and its staff who had systematically put DD and others at risk through negligence (letting a pissed DF into the centre). I was threatened with legal action by the centre!!!!!! I wrote to Cafcass to report my complaint...they didnt reply....then when I got NACCC involved and had so much evidence they couldnt refuse to close the centre down!!! I think you have reminded me of the importance of complaining!!! They make you feel like you can't...that you can't risk them not liking you...but now I , once again, think fuck it, youve got to speak up!!!!! Thank you and all the best to you and your family
Oh and CAFCASS have said that they have 'accidentally shredded' all of the evidence and reports from our previous case....all of the evidence which states that ExP poses a 'significant risk' to DD.
They asked me to send them copies of their own reports!!!!! GRRRRRRRRR
Glad i've helped someone
I felt the same about complaining too, upsetting someone more powerful than you, but IMO they gave me the chance to not be worried when they made it clear they wouldn't return DD after the psychological assessment
So when you have nothing left to lose, are you not gonna raise hell?
I complained about every move they made, cafcass, SS.. i did so not because i wanted to cause trouble but because every single move they made was wrong
It was like a circus, i don't know how those people could be responsible for removing children, one lady i had could barely speak english (she was a nice lady though but conversation limited) and DD hated her.
Everything they do wrong, complain, and don't let them fob you off, take it to the highest level and keep a copy of every complaint.
I sat one night filling in dozens of their forms
The key is, when they do something RIGHT, comment on it, compliment them if you think its worthy.
They used to say if you exhausted their complaints procedure you could go to the ombudsman. They used to solve mine at base level, the complaints team saw more of me than my own mother did.. a couple that they didn't solve they came all 'prove it' which is disgraceful, they operate on hearsay and remove kids on the weight of the balance of 'probabilities' but don't apply them same to themselves.
Accidental shredding hmm yeah righty ho, did they tell you this after a data protection act request?
The contact centre .. pfft .. they couldn't legally fight their way out of a wet paper bag. When the snake incident happened snort with laughter i had letters banning me from the centre and threatening me with court, some waffle about salmonella, and frightening the staff <innocent look>
I'd stare them in the face and say 'Do IT, take me to court, i need a laugh' then pointed out that they had degus in a cage in the centre of course i also said afterwards (because there was no longer a contact centre we could go to we had more worthy contact for a tween, in a better place) that if i knew it was that easy to get rid of a contact place that was boring i'd bring a snake more often Joking of course..
Oh my god how could i also forget, the snake incident reminded me so i'm not drip feeding, two weeks before, at the second contact at the centre, (DD had had a broken arm from an accident at her nannas and had to have an operation because both forearm bones were broken)
She had just had her arm taken out of plaster the week before (the appointment to which i wasn't invited)
She clung to me at the end of contact, crying and begging me not to let her go. She refused to put her shoes on. The SW stood there checking her watch, and started saying 'Come on DD don't be silly, its time to go, say goodbye to mummy,' and then 'If you don't behave you won't see mummy again'
I was gobsmacked.
Anyway i consoled DD and said, if you get on my back, i'll give you a ride to the car, and i promise i'll be here for the contact at the end of the week.
She carried on sniffling and sobbing, but started to let me put her shoes on, clinging to my neck all the time.
The SW waited until DD's shoes were on (i was knelt on the floor) then she leant over me, grabbed DD's wrist, and started to pull her towards the door. The centre staff were watching. DD started screaming 'mommy' and then tripped and fell, the SW carried on pulling even though she knew DD had fallen, and dragged her across the wire matting (the type you wipe your feet on in public buildings) I yelled at the centre staff, 'aren't you going to stop her?' not one of them moved.. then i became aware that DD's legs were bleeding, and that was IT.. i came out of the stunned shock i was in, and ran over to them, grabbed the SW and hissed, let go of DD NOW or i'll make you regret the day you were born.. she released her. Half an hour later, DD finally got in the car with her after being cajoled and hugged and reassured.
I am sincerely glad and i mean GLAD the snake thing happened, although it wasn't purposeful, it taught the old bag a lesson. The memory of DD waving the snake at her, with her trying to climb the wall because there was only one window in the room, screaming and finally pissing herself, will make me chuckle till the end of my days.
Sorry so i forgot to say, she dragged DD by the wrist on the arm that was broken, and DD's arm looked swollen and deformed afterwards, no one took her to hospital to get it checked, DD remembers that to this day..
Physically abused by a SW as well as emotionally abused.. 'you wont see your mummy ever again'
ThingsthatmakeyougoHmm- 3.5-4 years ago you were in a violent relationship, suffering DV from the father of your now 3.7yo DS. Do you think this contributed to SS not returning your DD to you at all?
Many, many MNers were concerned about you btw, really worried for you- I am sure they would be glad to know you are alive and well
No honey that was after all the court case and care order was granted, i wasn't even with DP then.
It wasn't a 'violent' relationship per se, he was being an arsehole, and was being psychologically abusive, i didn't realise it was because he was cheating.. when i found out and confronted him then left, he followed me from the house and attacked me, the reason they (SS) even got involved was because it was a particularly violent assault, plus the fact it was in front of little DS and there was also that i had left the property and he had chased me to harm me rather than accepting i had left IYSWIM.
I cooperated fully with them and have said often that they were fantastic and caring, everything that should have happened with DD.
This is why i don't agree with the 'burn em/line em all up against the wall' brigade.
Our experience basically boils down to a bad apple SW, thats the bare bones of it.
And thank you, for remembering me Everything is better now than it was, not perfect but a lot lot better x
Can I ask...what was the worst part? The actual chain of events (ie the horrific things that happened to you) or the fact that no one was listening and you were not believed?
For me, I could and can just about deal with the 'actual' problem, the physical and emotional abuse against me and my DD, not that I am in any way cheapening the events or their impact, but it is almost like being abused twice, once by the perpetrator and then worse again by the relevant authorities. The thing that keeps me awake most nights is the frustration of not being heard!
Even when all of your fears are confirmed by the professionals, 2 years later they lose all of the evidence/change the SS, Cafcass worker, Judge and its back to square one....trying to convince people of the facts!
It is the injustice of that ..... it is so wearing and wrong! At one point i begged SS to get involved with us as I was having to fight it all alone and was terrified, they said that as I was a 'good mum' they werent interested!!! Reading your story, I now thank god that they werent interested!!!!
Oh my love they also told me that i was a good mum and they didn't need to help me and DD, i knew i needed help and kept asking and asking, we, well, DD, only got the help she needed once she was in care, and because she didn't want to be there, she refused to engage with the
very expensive counsellor, that offer of counselling and the cost was the only reason i agreed to the CO being granted .. no doubt one day that will be used against me, that the order was granted by consent, but it was a 'wisdom of solomon' moment, either i carried on fighting for DD, or let her go and allowed her to get proper help, well i figured that she needed the help more, because her life would extend far beyond the small part she would spend with me.
Really i wish that we had struggled and limped through the problems we had rather than ask for help, i wish i hadn't pushed the issue when they cut us loose following the court case, but thats something i will kick myself for for the rest of my life, including allowing them to take her into temp Fc, and when they were saying they would return her, not saying 'tonight please' instead insisting that i had offers of help including the support worker to visit every day, in writing so we wouldn't be let down again, because that gave the cafcass officer time to put the blockers on things.
The guilt is enormous
It IS like being abused twice, you are right, and i know you're not minimising the abuse you suffered. The whole thing nearly finished me off so yes, i agree that its incredibly wearing
I also see your point about the change of SW, it keeps you constantly on the back foot, but i understand in my case that it went on for a long time, and with the high turnover of SW's, i was bound to (well DD was) be allocated a fair few.
One thing i didn't like was that DD and DS got allocated the same SW, the one who accused me, she refused DS contact with his Dsis, so his best interests were obviously not considered. I finally had a brakthrough when a male SS practitioner was allocated to the case alongside one of the SW's, she was awful, he was great, and he dealt with DS's kind of side, as well as mine, as DD hated her he was eventually left as the only SW on the case.. when he left i was devastated, but then our angel came along and saw us through to the end of the case. He and the last SW were the reason i had my faith restored in them, and actually sat by her in the court my solicitor had to come and drag me away LOL.
I will also remember the one thing they did, at the interim care order hearings, they said they had spoken to my counsellor, not realising i was still seeing him, i asked him about it and he had a blue fit.. they hadn't contacted him at all. He phoned the SW while i was there and they stopped saying from then that they had spoken to him.
The lies, omg the lies were thick and fast and huge, big fat ones.
All i can say is make a data protection act request, the evidence they say they lost or destroyed by accident, you should report and make a formal complaint to the ombudsman, because under the data protection act they should keep your info safe and correct. You will get most of the paperwork, and your DD (i'm not 100% on this though) should make one too, for her own, depending on her age you might get all the PW pertaining to your family, without any omissions apart from other individuals names being blanked out and stuff like that.
Will cost about £10, and take about six weeks. You may be in a better position then to see where you go from there.
Anyone struggling or experiencing the same, i recommend the FASSIT website and Justice For Families As sadly support is lacking for the parents going through this.
Always make sure you have someone with you when the SW visits, and at meetings you are allowed a mckenzie friend, to help take notes, keep you calm, ect.
Also, if your SW is known for fibbing or being nasty, fabricating things, anything, i also suggest you get a voice recorder and do not tell the SW that you are recording them. It can not be used as evidence in court but often when you play it back you will find useful things on there that went over your head while they were there. Take it with you into meetings too.
Don't tell them you are doing this, they don't like to be recorded. People with things to hide or who say things they shouldn't rarely do.
runnerlegs This may be interesting for you (in light of the cafcass reports being lost or destroyed) and you may wish to send it to them and any other agency you are involved with or have been in the past.
If your DC is non gillick competent add that as the parent of a non gillick competent child you are also allowed to ask for the paperwork on their behalf.
Dear Sir or Madam,
Ref: Subject Access Request
Name of your DC and yourself
I am writing to request that you forward me a copy of all data held by your organisation about me for both current and closed cases.
[USE THIS SENTENCE IF RELEVANT OR DELETE]
As well as my current address, previous addresses that may have been attached to this case include: [enter details of any previous addresses you have had whilst being a service user].
This request should include any data held for more than 6 years as under the Data Protection Act there is no time limit for information requested. If you do not hold data for a period longer than 6 years I also request confirmation of this in writing along with your methods used for disposal of such information to comply with the Data Protection Act stating the name and contact information of your registered Data Controller and Code Compliance Officer.
I look forward to your response within 40 days, as [insert name of organisation] is obliged to reply within this time under the Data Protection Act. If not I shall seek remedy from the Information Commissioner. [Delete this last part if not relevant] I enclose the statutory maximum fee of £10.
[insert your signature]
[insert your name (printed)]
No problem i really hope it helps you, you always find interesting stuff in there and the fee (£10) is well worth spending .. be prepared to have a lot more than you thought to pick up x
Expose the Tyrants of Child Protection
The Sun Jane Moore Twitter @JaneMooreSun 28th November 2012
It can no longer be ignored by those who purport to be in charge of this country that something is deeply rotten at the core of Britains Social Services.
Believe me, the case of the three Eastern European children removed from a loving home because their foster parents were members of UKIP is just the tip of the iceberg.
Lurking below in the murky depths of our ferociously secretive care system , will be hundreds if not thousands of similar cases where a gross abuse of power has helped to destroy the lives of the very youngsters it was set up to protect.
Hopefully they will now rise above the surface : expose the ugly, playing-God mindset , and prompt a dramatic overhaul of these tin-pot dictatorships more reminiscent of Stalinist Russia than a democracy.
Babies forced in adoption after being taken from mothers on a mere suspicion of future emotional abuse , fathers and paternal relatives denied access to children on nothing more than maternal hearsay, and prospective well-meaning fosterers and adopters subjected to the ridiculously stringent political correctness that is making the headlines right now.
All concluded under a cloak of secrecy that claims to be in the interests of the children involved but all too conveniently protects the increasingly warped system itself.
Dont get me wrong : There are plenty of frontline social workers doing a fantastic job in often deeply challenging sometimes harrowing circumstances.
That they are so poorly paid indicates that their motives for choosing to do it are well-intended.
But even they must be despairing of the lucrative industry that has sprung up around what was once the noble and pure intent to protect children but has seemingly morphed into the far uglier whiff of political or financial self-interest.
Roger Stone, the Labour leader of Rotherham council, says that while membership of UKIP should not prevent someone from fostering, this was a complex case (arent they all?) involving legal advice and an external agency responsible for finding the foster carers. Sounds expensive.
It could well be an outfit like the National Fostering Agency, set up by two former social workers in 1995 and sold earlier this year to venture capitalists Graphite for an eye-watering £130 million.
And by the way, its only the UKs second biggest private fostering business.
In other words, theres money in them there ills.
Then theres the outreach workers , the experts paid to provide statements to the courts, the states legal advisors , the independent legal advisors the guardians, the police workers, the court officials etc etc . All with a vested interest in child protection .
Little wonder then that, according to a Children in Need census, in 2007 the number of children and young people who were the subject to a Child Protection Plan was 27,900.
In April 2011, it was 42,700.
Plenty of those will be genuine cases where the work of social services has proved vital, in the spirit of its original ethos to act in the interests of the children.
But all to many will be based on nothing more than an unfounded suspicion , plunging one or both parents into a Kafka- esque nightmare, a punishment without crime.
And worst of all, those who suffer most are the children, emotionally damaged by the actions of self-interested zealots who affect to care .
We are used to case-centric inquires such as the one surrounding the Baby P scandal but its now time to shine a torch into the dark, secretive corners of the entire system to try to make its work and objectives more transparent while still maintaining anonymity for the vulnerable.
Hmmm - your post moved me to tears, not just because if what you & your family have been through, but also your incredible strength & determination to continue to fight in the face of such ineptitude. You are truly inspirational - an absolute diamond!
Wishing you & your family lots of happiness for your future. Take care x
Ttmugh im so sorry for what you and your daughter have been through, I have been through similar and wish I new how to send you a PM, its a subject I havnt told people through fear of been judged. I lost my little boy aged 2, through lies from social services and devious family members. I miss him every min of every day and seeing someone I regarded as close to me now calling themselves mummy via fb hurts like hell.
Thank you so much moon, and hounds x
Hounds, if you are fb, click on the link in my post at 17:59, join that group it is full of people that have been through, and still going through, what i can only describe as 'hell' and i am so sorry you lost your little one you will get a lot of support on there x
I just want to say Things that you sound very strong and brave. What a story you have. What cruel things have happened to you and your family. I so hope that from now on life is everything you want it to be with no more pain and trauma. You are an inspiration.
Thanks MrsBungleBear, love the name We're fine now, preparing to sue DD is happy to go forward with it, and i'll be dealing with most of it as i was worried about it impacting on her, its about time she had a normal life but don't want them getting away with what they have done.
After that, i'll do my best to support others going through the same thing.
Thank you for your kind comments
I've just found this. Also in the middle of hell at the moment, but can't give too much detail. Thank you for your story. I hope my DD comes home - I doubt it. My beautiful, clever, happy, bright little one. There seems to be no support - current SW is a nightmare.
ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight Thu 29-Nov-12 17:59:21
Stolen Children In The UK
if you're on FB, go up ^ and click on the Stolen children in the UK link for a supportive group x So many people going through this sorry to hear xx
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