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.
social services are destroying my family(330 Posts)
Social services have ruined my family and I just dont know what to do anymore, I want to run away from it all
My partner had a mental breakdown 15 months ago, leading up to this there were a few issues (arguments got out of hand abd police were called, 3 times last time 2.5 years ago)
After hes breakdown social services became involved and we were under a child in need plan
The plan said I was to protect my children by not allowing the children to be alone with their father - which I did
Partner after being released from the psychiatric hospital after 8 days was allocated a mental health nurse who he saw regularly
Everything was going great social workers visited as they still had a slight concern about dp state of mind
4 months ago he was discharged completly as they felt he was fine now and he did not have a mental disorder
Things took a bad turn after this as social worker did not agree with the decision
They first tried to convince dp to go to the doctors and get medication to help hes ' depression' even though he does not have it.
Dp did not do this so one day they turned up in the evening and said they are very concerned and he is not to come inside the family home, we were shocked by this but he went and stayed at hes mums, which we again did
6 weeks ago a child protection conference was held and they have put the children on child protection for the 'risk of emotional abuse' as father refuses to accept hes problem and I am downplaying hes mental health issues even though hes mental health worker says he doesnt have any mental disorder!
The conference was held as if he was still in the family home which he is not
Its now got even worse as they have told us that I need therapy to come to terms with the 'domestic abuse' I have suffered and my child needs therapy as well, also dp has to attend a parenting course.
They have made it very difficult for dp to attend any of these meetings as they hold them all in the afternoon even though we have repeatedly told them he can only do mornings coz of hes work
They threatened me this afternoon that as I am reluctant to go to therapy I'm giving het ammunition to take it to court for a care order
I must add there has been absolutely no issue since hes breakdown 15 months ago
This is having an awful effect on my 4 year old ds, he is waking nightly crying for hes daddy, hes begun wetting himself at school and s not eating properly
I just dont know what to do, they say this is coz he is at risk of emotional damage when it's them causing all the upset in this household :-(
No madisthenewnormal they have threatened me today me a care order even though there has been no issues for 2.5 years
I understand their involvement but threatening to take my children away even though they say that I personally have done nothing wrong and I am a good parent? Thats what I'm scared of.
I think the issues we have had are not a good enough reason to attempt to get a care order and remove my kids which is what she wants to do
Dp has even left home and is not living with us but thats not good enough for them
They wont stop till ive cut him off completly I fear they will tell me I have to
I'm confused, you say you have 'children' but then you only talk about your DS and constantly refer to 'him' not being able to see his dad - where do other children figure in this?
Why are they threatening you with a care order? On what grounds?
Oh ok, I see you have a baby as well, I missed that earlier.
Get a solicitor now. Get some support. Go to CAB. Whoever can support you, get them all on board now!
SS took the same stance with my friend and they took all four of her kids off her. She even divorced her DH in desperation to try keep the kids, but SS had got them all by that point.
I really don't mean to alarm you, but your story brought back so many memories of what happened I had to warm you you need to get as much support on your side as possible as soon as possible.
I hope it turns out better for you.
I think the issue is probably the age of your second child. He is five months old and your DP was in a psychiatric unit 15 months ago, so that means you got PG immediately after he was released. At a time when he considered to be a risk to your existing child. Plus he had a history of violent drunken outbursts that clearly frightened you enough to call the police, so he clearly doesn't manage anger/stress well, even when he's not having a MH crisis.
It sounds like SS think you have poor judgement and have failed to acknowledge the level of risk.
I refer to him as most of these problems are affected my eldest ds my baby fortunately is blissfully unaware of what is going on thank goodness
She said to me today at the meeting I need to come tk terms with the abuse ive dealt with I told her I feel ok I dont feel I need it she said well I think u do and if u dont comply with this you are giving me ammunition to step things up a notch and the next step is applying to court for a care order. This is where I feel I'm beginning to lose complete control of my life, and feel she wont stop still she has my children
I agree with Volvo I really think you need advice even if its just CAB.
Have someone at each meeting with you if possible.
I think the problem is social services hear from so many families trying to cover incidents or refusing to accept the severity that its hard for them to believe when people insist things have changed. I have experiences of the families who refuse to accept that what has happened is worthy of involvement and of families who were doing all that they could and getting nowhere.
I did everything she said dp does not come to the
Family home, I only meet with him in a public place which was agreed in the child in need plan.
I did this but the second he was discharged it went to child protection even though I kept on following the child in need plan
Now ive been following the child protection plan....not gone against it once always met with the social worker allowed her in on every unannounced visit even at 8pm I question her once and she threatens me with a care order
Realise you have been dealt a twunt sw and stop trying to look for fairness or logic. You must outsmart and the only way to do it is get a solicitor, dictaphone and cameras set up to record it all, be calm and professional, never give anyone any reason to doubt you, keep a diary, do data protection requests, write to all involved (school, gp) etc and be very specific, ask what they think of your child and if there are any concerns, dont share sw rhetoric be positive etc. Don't engage in battle, your life is still in your control, if you can move to another area quicksmart so at least you have fresh faces to deal with then do it before things get more serious. take control but be seen to cooperate and a call from a solicitor will go a long way to making them think twice. Be careful, people have no idea how bad these things can get because of one vindictive idiot with too much power.
above all justalilmummy do not show any emotion to them, never never cry or get upset in front of them. Take notes of what they say to you.
Thankyou everyone for ur support and thanks for listening
Im just very scared right now and feel the whole world is against me
Credence I can completly believe what ur saying, I comply with everything they tell me to do, yet it's not good enough they find something else
I would die without my children, I treat them right they have a clean home, plenty of toys, clean clothes, good meals, I play with them take them out I do not shout or hit them, u know everythibg a good mother is im not perfect but I'm good enough
Bare bones of it - what is more important to you - contact with your partner or contact with your children?
Having BEEN in a similar situation, at a similar age to you, I can verify that it is almost definitely the age of your youngest DC that is causing the issue here.
You fell pregnant within a month of your DP being released from a psychiatric unit after a breakdown, whilst he would have still been on the medication.
That DOES show poor judgement. You need to jump through every goddamn hoop SS set you to prove that you have improved your judgement.
If you do everything they ask, and you aren't putting your DC's at risk, then you should be fine.
If your SW isn't doing the referrals that she says you all need, then go above her head, IN WRITING, stating that : My Children's SW Mrs Xxx has informed me that I need to have DV counselling and my DS needs counselling, and she has failed to give me any information on those referrals. Could Mr or Mrs 'head of children's services department' please chase up these referrals and contact me (at my address) as soon as possible to inform me of the details of these referrals.
Yours Sincerely, Me.
DO NOT MENTION YOUR PARTNER'S REFERRAL!!
Then, get your partner to write a SEPARATE LETTER, SENT IN A SEPARATE ENVELOPE to the SW's next in chain of command, stating that
My children's SW Mrs Xxx has informed me that I need to attend a parenting course. I am perfectly willing to do this, but as I have informed Mrs Xxx, I am unable to attend an afternoon course due to work commitments. I am anxious to undertake this parenting course, as I am unable to live with my children, but despite Mrs Xxx stating that she will refer me to one, I have heard nothing back. I would appreciate it if you, Mr or Mrs 'Head of Children's Services Department', could please chase up this referral and inform me as soon as possible at (partner's MUM'S address) when I can expect to attend the parenting course.
Yours sincerely, partner.
You NEED to start doing EVERYTHING, EVERY SINGLE QUESTION in writing, copied in to this SW's manager, and even the head of social services in your county, AND KEEP A COPY OF EVERY LETTER FOR YOUR OWN RECORDS.
Do not ask ANYTHING without doing it in writing as well as verbally.
Create a paper trail. They don't like it, but it forces them to be far more above board.
These are the first things you need to do.
(I still have my DD, who is now nearly 16yo, a full 16!years after I had all this shit. It CAN be done, you just need to create that paper trail when you have a SW like this...)
Does your partner want to move back in?
It just seems odd that he hasn't been able to attend any of these meetings, given the gravity of the situation.
I appreciate he won't want to have time off work, but most places of work would be sympathetic to this. If he doesn't want to disclose at work surely he can pull a sickie?
Listen to couthymow
I had a sw like that who seemed to have a vendetta against me - she was also crap, lied about when she was off work, to the point I stood outside the office, in clear view of her car, was told she wasn't in, walked into the office and there she was
They love to move the goalposts too.
Get support - takenuk, ticauk are both on twitter, fassit UK website and forums, there are heaps. Esp on Facebook.
If you had a bad childhood whatever you do don't tell them. They will use it all.
Also getting support from others means you're likely to be referred to a decent solicitor just in case.
Are you attending the CP review meetings?
Who is recommending registration or continued registration?
The SW can't make the decision on their own, it has to be a decision between all the professionals present at the meeting.
Your partner never making a single meeting will be a huge concern for them as he is not engaging with the process, isn't hearing what is being said in meetings, the other professionals are not having the opportunity to address concerns to him and they can't see his reaction when things are put to him. Most people would move heaven and earth in the best interests of their children. Why is he not?
Of course, some SWs aren't very good at their jobs; they're just people after all and some are better at their jobs than others.
But it's not them who make the decisions on their own. Other people are clearly sharing some of their concerns at some level.
But also agree, engage, keep a paper trail, attend all meetings and comply.
but how do we prove it
He needs to start attending the meetings. It will be seen in a really bad light that he doesn't.
Can you be proactive and look for a parenting course yourself?
They are being run at Children's Centres pretty much all the time. Have a look at your local one and make some enquiries.
The more you do, the less concerns they will have.
I also agree that your second child has probably triggered the more aggressive SS approach. Getting pregnant given your situation does show very poor judgement and that probably worries them given your partners history your seen as the more capable parent.
Go to CAB and get advice. Keep a paper trail and jump through all the hoops. Be proactive, ask SS for approved list of parenting courses and demand a referral.
Please don't engage with fassit or any of the other paranoid conspiracy theorists out there, it will just terrify you.
You keep talking about 'no problems for 2.5 years' but as others have said you had a baby while your dp was very unwell, this suggests (if it was planned) that you do minimise the risks posed by his mental health and abusive behaviour. You also blame yourself for his abuse and put it down to youth/unready for parenthood/your issues which suggests you are not acknowledging that it was abuse, and probably still is, sometimes.
Did she really only give 24 hours notice for a case conference? Protocol says they must share the initial report with you 5 days prior, and further reports 3 days prior. If she didn't do that you should complain.
Next time there is a core group meeting your dp MUST be there. He can pull a sickie at work if needs be. It's just not good enough for him not to engage in the process.
I am sorry you are going through this. It is very hard and stressful and probably one of the worst things you will ever go through.
But if you chose to see it as social services wanting to 'destroy' my family, it will make it much harder for you. I am afraid I do think you have been minimising to some extent the problems you have had as a family; they are certainly not trivial.
BUT I have never known a LA successfully get a care order with plan to remove children if other agencies did not agree with them that there were serious issues. If there are no concerns from the mental health services or the children's school, they cannot push through a care order on their own; the Judge will want evidence from everyone who has dealings with your family.
I would also be very wary of sites like FASSIT which operate to an agenda; that SW want to steal your children for no good reason.
Parents have told me that this is a very helpful link
I would also be very wary of recording people without their knowledge or permission. It will make others worried about you and your motives.
Yes, get help and support at meetings, check the minutes of the meetings very carefully for inaccuracies or mistakes, create a paper trail of what you have been asked to do and what you are doing, all this is good advice.
But setting yourself up for a fight with 'evil' SW I worry will mean you are diverting your energies away from what you need to do.
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.