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social services are destroying my family

(269 Posts)
justalilmummy Tue 21-Jan-14 23:08:42

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 :-(

BrianTheMole Tue 21-Jan-14 23:13:16

Have you got a solicitor and an advocate? If not, I would get one.

I am sorry to hear about these troubles.

Not all mentally abusive men have mental disorders.
Do you think the social workers feel that you and your children are suffering domestic abuse from this man, even though he has no mental disorders? Could it be that the mental health issues are not the reason for behaviour the social worker see as damaging to your children? How do you know it is the social workers interference that is the reason your child has sleep problems and wetting his bed?

Has your childs problems started after your dp came out of hospital?

What was your child like while your dp was away? How long was he away for?

I am sorry, that was a barrage of questions!

FluffyJumper Tue 21-Jan-14 23:20:08

Why do you think social services are doing this?

This all sounds be hard on all of you.

I agree you could do with legal advice/support.
Is your/your DH's GP involved at all?

sooperdooper Tue 21-Jan-14 23:26:11

I agree you should get some legal advice, I though that social workers could only act in a mental health situation if the medical evidence suggested there was a continuing problem, not if someone has been discharged - what are they basing their belief that he's still mentally unwell on?

justalilmummy Tue 21-Jan-14 23:26:16

I plan to get an advocate for the next meeting as it very hard for me to get out what I'm trying to say as theres so many people in the room
I just feel for my poor dp, who yes whilst I get there were problems when they initially became involved they are no longer there, but whatever we do they keep stepping it up a notch
They have said they have no concerns about my parenting so I dont understand why this is happening
I said once out of anger what if I got rid of dp all together they told me they still wouldnt leave me alone
I'm scared they wont stop and will try and take my children, we love our children dearly and my ds was a happy child until they banished hes daddy from the home (my other ds is only 5 months so hes not so affected)
Shes a very over the top women when she visited when our ds2 was 6 day's old and she asked dp how is was going he said alright and she said just alright not wonderful amazing look at ur beautiful child, for goodness sake we have had 9 hours sleep in 48 hours leave us be!
She put it down as dp seems emotionally distant and if course all the other people who have a say in our lives have never met the man and agree with her!

justalilmummy Tue 21-Jan-14 23:34:11

Quintessential my partner has never abused me in any way, but yes social worker thinks he does due to police being called in the passed, we had had to much drink, children were not in the house at the time. However no issues for 15 months.
The reason I believe it is social workers interference is that he was told hes not allowed in the family home anymore which is when the wetting himself/ not eating started before then he was fine
He is still not allowed back until he starts a parenting course at the local family, which he has agreed to do but she has failed to get him on
My ds never had a problem whilst he was in hospital it wad only 8 days and whilst he missed him he did not show any signs of distress at the time, it was 15 month ago and the problems only started 4 months ago after he was told he was not allowed here, which the stupid women told me in front of my son, so now he is very wary if her abd gets upset when she visits

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 00:03:30

Is there really anything I can do about this? Ive been looking on the internet and u cant appeal a child protection order
I dont get it we have done everything they asked but they still wont leave us alone and I'm finding it very stressful, I feel like in on my own as I have to be home by myself with the boys all the time and they dont get to see there dad much anymore :-(

Sounds almost like a "vendetta" against your family ( for lack if a better word ) by this woman. Agree you need some advice.

lilyaldrin Wed 22-Jan-14 00:10:57

Honestly I think you need to just comply, and work with them, even if you don't agree.
Do the therapy.
Get your DS therapy.
Get your DP on the parenting course asap.

MadIsTheNewNormal Wed 22-Jan-14 00:12:15

You say he has never abused you in any way, but drunken arguments getting so out of hand that the police needed to be called on THREE separate occasions is not normal and does not sound good AT ALL.

What went on there then?

And are you both still drinking?

I've been married over 20 years and I drink virtually every day of my life but I have never had a drunken argument with anyone never mind one where the police were called.

I think you need to tell us a bit more about the background and what went on with this breakdown.

sydlexic Wed 22-Jan-14 00:17:09

Can you afford a solicitor?

Can you ask for this woman to be replaced?

Engage with the new Social worker and make a plan.

Get a private assessment of your DH.

Get your GP, any other HCP you have dealt with, teachers nursery school workers to attend the meetings that can speak up for you. Your DH must attend meetings whenever they are set.

Someone close to me went through similar, we got team of friends and relations together to do safeguarding, this meant one of us was in the house with the parents 24 hrs a day. This meant the DC could remain with both parents.

It was horrendous but we eventually won.

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 00:24:33

Madisthenenormal

Things were bad back then, but not down to my dp

We had our first ds very young (2 months off 18) I lost pretty much all my friends became very isolated and when I look back I think I may have had post natal depression. This led to me piling on a huge amount of pressure onto my dp, he couldn't do/say anything right and I was a very difficult person.
I have fully held my hands up to this, but am a very different person now, I'm happy, have developed a great social circle and things have been going good

I have been trying to tell them that things were not good back then, tbh we were not ready for a baby but have grown up a huge amount since then have sorted ourselves out and now are very happy and settled
I feel that it's been 15 months since hes breakdown/police have not been called in 2.5 years so we have shown we are ok.
Social services did not come on the scene till after hes breakdown and nothing has happened since which is why I'm so confused that they decdied child protection was needed even though we have done nothing bit work with them It's causing me so much stress I'm trying tl be the best mum I can be but I feel so intruded on
It was awful when they came and checked my home
Looked in my fridge checked the beds etc and now I have her randomly turning up every 5 mins from 8am -8pm I'm constantly on edge

MadIsTheNewNormal Wed 22-Jan-14 00:29:31

But why were the police called and who called them? Were either of you being violent towards the other? Were you being violent to him?

I am no expert but I guess the police, GP and SS all cross reference their records and flag up worries when they know there are small children involved.

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 00:37:23

Sydlexic dp mum is looking into a solicitor as we cant afford one right now
School have been involved and have said there is no problem with ds hes happy, on target for hes age, sociable, np behaiviour issues etc just a normal happy boy
GP have said no issues with children
Health visitor: children's developmental check was fine immunisations up to date weight fine
Dps gp will not prescribe anti depressions for him as no depression also wont refer for therapy as not needed

Dp wants to attend meetings but she is making it increasingly difficult for him to do so, due to the amount of notice she gives the first child protection meeting she gave less than 24 hours which is to short notice.
Ive also witnessed her lying in this meeting, on one visits she wound dp up a bit, hes been having problems at work and when he was telling her about it she said toeeveryone that my ds had removed himself to the corner as he was shouting, no he wasn't yet noone would listen!!! He did not remove himself he said next to me the whole time and dp said nothing that would upset him!

MadIsTheNewNormal Wed 22-Jan-14 00:41:09

Can you secretly record all meetings from now on?

Or insist on them being openly recorded?

I have no idea how these things work but I've heard similar stories about SW's lying or exaggerating about what went on in meetings.

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 00:42:25

But really after 2.5 years with no issues? She came in the house was tidy, food in the fridge, dp and ds were happily playing a game on the floor we have shown them we are ok now but they were going on about what if? It's guilty until proven innocent we cant prove he will never have a breakdown again its damned if u do damned if u dont
I agreed ds can go to therapy even tho dont agree he needs it
I agreed to do therapy even tho I know I dont need it
Dp agreed to c hes gp, do councilling, parenting course
None of these we can do without her referring us, none of these she has referred us to

moldingsunbeams Wed 22-Jan-14 00:46:12

Interestingly I am on the alternative side of this with a friend who's ex husband does have severe mental health issues including suicide attempts, extreme thoughts, treated as an inpatient, under mental health team, damage to the house etc and is very unstable and spoke to social services for advice regarding contact and was told there was no reason it should not go ahead unsupervised.

I think I would ask to deal with someone else or have someone present when she comes, get a report from the mental health team to say he has no mental health issues if that is what they have said and get some legal advice and support if you can.

Social services obviously view the incident as bigger than you do, was it the police who referred to social services? I can see why social services would be concerned if the police were called three times.

Work with them, be open, be accepting of advice and prove to them you are listening while protecting and backing yourself up at the same time.

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 00:49:34

I never believed people when they said they were having problems with them I honestly thought they were good people who wanted to help families
Now I'm not so sure
I'm a good mum my children are happy with me
My poor ds cries for hes daddy every night it breaks my heart but what can I do?
They say the children are 'at risk of emotional abuse' yet cant they see the emotional damage they are causing all coz they think there is a risk.
A risk! They even said themselves the children are not being abused but theres a bloody risk! How the hell do I prove myself to them that no abuse will happen when they are threatening me with a care order even though they agree theres np abuse currently happening!

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 00:55:28

Moldingsunbeams there has been no issues for 2.5 years but they decided 4 months ago to do this it makes no sense
Dp was discharged from the mental health team but they dont agree and are going against what a trained mental health worker who has done an extensive assessment on him
'he must take responsibility for hes mental health issues, via taking the medication which he wad discharged from the hospital with'
The same medication hes mental health nurse, a psychiatrist and hes GP agree he no longer needs.

MadIsTheNewNormal Wed 22-Jan-14 00:57:06

I think in order for us to answer those questions and decide whether the SWs are being too heavy handed or not, you need to tell us more specifically/honestly what went on in the past and the extent of the drinking/aggression/mental illness etc that led to the various agencies becoming involved in your lives in the first place.

How old are your children now?

MadIsTheNewNormal Wed 22-Jan-14 01:03:36

Also you keep focusing on 2.5 years with 'no issues' but it is only 2.5 years since the police were last called to deal with 'out of hand' drunken domestic disputes.

It is only 15 months since your DP had a 'mental breakdown' and that is not very long ago at all. I presume that even if his MH team no longer consider him to have MH issues there will still be a minimum time that SS continue to monitor a family closely before they are prepared to sign off the case.

Why did your DPs' MH breakdown require the intervention of SS and for a protection plan to be put in place? He must have been doing/saying some fairly extreme stuff for them to consider him unfit to be left alone with the children.

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 01:07:18

I called the police in December 2008 after he broke my window, we had no children at the time
I called the police after when he tried to kick my door down April 2009 I was 6 month pregnant
I called thr police after he threw 2 plates across the kitchen in July 2010 ds was 2, however was not at home.
Yes I agree these incidents were not great, but we're however never done in front of the children. Nothing has ever happened in front of the children.
They dont get my point that nothing has happened since then but until we prove it wont happen again they wont go....but how do we prove it,, u just cant! I know we are in a better place than we were back then but I cant convince them and I think threatening US with a care order is so over the top and banning dp from the house to prevent 'emotional abuse' when he has never been anything but a a loving dad to him is causing more damage

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 01:09:49

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.

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 01:13:20

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

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 01:21:16

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

MadIsTheNewNormal Wed 22-Jan-14 01:21:51

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?

MadIsTheNewNormal Wed 22-Jan-14 01:22:36

Why are they threatening you with a care order? On what grounds?

MadIsTheNewNormal Wed 22-Jan-14 01:25:37

Oh ok, I see you have a baby as well, I missed that earlier.

volvocowgirl Wed 22-Jan-14 01:28:39

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.

MadIsTheNewNormal Wed 22-Jan-14 01:34:10

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.

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 01:36:13

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

moldingsunbeams Wed 22-Jan-14 01:36:57

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.

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 01:42:41

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

credence Wed 22-Jan-14 01:44:02

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.

NigellasDealer Wed 22-Jan-14 01:46:31

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.

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 01:55:20

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
I

CouthyMow Wed 22-Jan-14 02:18:14

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.

CouthyMow Wed 22-Jan-14 02:21:01

(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...)

BlueJumper Wed 22-Jan-14 02:29:48

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?

ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight Wed 22-Jan-14 03:08:28

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 blush

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.

ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight Wed 22-Jan-14 03:12:01

Also getting support from others means you're likely to be referred to a decent solicitor just in case.

FolkGirl Wed 22-Jan-14 04:20:49

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.

FolkGirl Wed 22-Jan-14 04:21:36

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.

FolkGirl Wed 22-Jan-14 04:23:43

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.

Isetan Wed 22-Jan-14 05:30:36

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.

Spero Wed 22-Jan-14 07:08:37

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
suesspiciousminds.com/2012/08/16/what-should-you-do-if-social-services-steal-your-children/

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.

Spero Wed 22-Jan-14 07:13:41

Sorry, just re-reading.

In my experience, refusing to be open with SW about your past history and/or moving out of area are possibly two of the WORST things you can do if you want a happy ending to all of this.

they will immediately assume very, very bad things about you and you will have a moutain to climb to shift that bad impression. You may lose the support of those agencies that currently do think you are doing ok.

And moving to another part of the UK will achieve absolutely nothing unless you are prepared to go into hiding and stay hidden from any authority.

Please stay put and make your case for your family.

Spero thanks for that link, what sensible advice. I wish I could print it out and give it to parents! A little unprofessional though unfortunately.

JakeBullet Wed 22-Jan-14 07:28:55

Please please bear in mind that they will not have put your children onto a child protection plan without agreement from other professionals.

A SW (however crap) cannot just go into a case conference and just insist a child is given one of these plans on his or her own. The Chair would laugh them out of the door.

Who else was there?

Was your DP's mental health worker there? What did he/she say?

Despite your DH's work he needs to take time off to attend these case conferences, they are once every six months usually (although the first one after the initial meeting might be three months). Why can't your DP book some time off for these very important meetings? It will look as though he is refusing to engage....the worst possible thing he can do.

You may have a twunt of a SW....or just maybe there are real concerns that you are refusing to see. Only you know this of course.

If I was in your position I would be jumping through hoops to show them they were wrong and I would do everything they asked and more.

However long ago the DV was, the fact remains that your children witnessed it all, your DP has a history of MH issues and there is now a new baby. Trust me, Social Services are totally overwhelmed with cases and they are not going to waste their time on any family they don't truly believe needs their input.

Don't just believe all the conspiracy theorists on this thread....despite the rumours, SW are not out just to steal children and babies.....there is a massive shortage of foster carers to start with and placing children in care is a logistical nightmare usually. It will be the last thing they want to do....they WILL do it though if a family does not comply with the child protection plan. You need to show them that you are complying

Spero Wed 22-Jan-14 07:33:12

A group of us who are involved in all aspects of child protection, including birth parents who have gone through proceedings - would like to set up some kind of blog/web site which could offer clear and balanced advice about what to do in these circumstances.

If anyone has anything to contribute, please join us.
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/site_stuff/1974086-getting-together-information-and-support-for-EVERYONE-in-the-child-protection-system?msgid=44526959#44526959

CouthyMow Wed 22-Jan-14 07:56:25

I'm hoping I'm not included in the accusations of being a conspiracy theorist?

I can see that there are concerns there that the OP may not be fully understanding, but equally when you are a teenager, even a teenage parent, even 15 months is a king time in your eyes, so you often fail to comprehend that in the eyes of a usually older SW, that that isn't seen as very long at all.

I can see this from a parents side, both having been a teenage parent having SW investigations, and being a far better informed and worldly wise 30+ going through them on the basis of a malicious call, but we can't all help the strange partners our EX's will shack up with...

At the OP's age, you ARE far more vulnerable, and less well informed of the processes in a SS investigation, and are often unaware of the best course of action to take.

I was merely trying to get the OP to start to a) Create a paper trail, and b) to try to chase up these referrals.

OP - yes, your partner DOES really need to be there for these meetings. The meetings should be booked at a MUTUALLY convenient time. When I was going through an investigation last year, I and my Ex partner insisted that they booked the appointments on his days off from work. I suggest you do the same.

Do NOT move areas in the UK - that WILL be one of the single worst things you can do.

And yes, they CAN book a first meeting with under 24 hours' notice, and often do.

Spero is correct in as much as an initial CIN meeting that is quickly downgraded to a TAC meeting is usually at a 3 month interval between the first and second meeting, and 6 monthly thereafter.

However, if the case stays as a CIN meeting, often the meetings are every 6 weeks, or even more frequently than that.

That still shouldn't mean that her partner shouldn't be there.

It DOES look like her partner is refusing to engage if he has not attended any of the meetings.

However - when you are in your teens, it often doesn't occur to you to challenge the SW's on times and dates of booking the appointments so that they are MUTUALLY convenient. I certainly didn't when 18, and lost a job through it. In my 30's, however, I wouldn't put up with that, a parent being excluded from the meetings because they are booked during his work hours, or when he could book time off...

Spero Wed 22-Jan-14 07:57:46

couthy - you are offering very sensible advice based on your own experiences, which is valuable.

would you be prepared to contribute that to the blog/website we are trying to start?

Add message | Report | Message poster ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight Wed 22-Jan-14 03:08:28
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.

^this was the conspiracy theory post I was referring too. Not that I'm disbelieving Things' account of having a crap SW, they certainly exist. But advice to look at fassit etc is not good advice.

CouthyMow Wed 22-Jan-14 08:05:24

And, for transparency - the SW in my latest case also (loosely) chaired the meeting, whilst actually letting the HT of my DC's primary school (who had an axe to grind as I'd got him a formal warning from the LA because he failed to safeguard one of my DC's appropriately, and another 2 complaints about him had been upheld, one to do with my DD's SN's, and another to do with fudging pupil figures in both SATS and Reception class numbers) run the meeting and basically harass me.

I was even castigated for my then 9 and 10yo DS's sharing a room in Social Housing when I was on the waiting list for a larger house?!(was in a 2.5 bed with 4 DC's) As if there was anything I could have done about it!

And with only 18 months between them, sharing a room was not unusual. In fact, technically, they still would be, had I not taken the dining room to be my bedroom in my new house...)

It's amazing the things that can be used against you in these meetings, even when you ARE doing everything in your power to rectify them, even when they are not actually within your control.

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 08:06:01

IThe first child protection meeting was the one dp couldn't attend, we didnt realise how serious it was going to get.
Theres only been 2 meetings the last one she changed the time at the last minute
Ive never tried ti fight against her in fact ive been nothing but fully commuted to doing what they ask of me, included removing dp,
I dont minimise anything I was completly honest about the problems we have had in the past
I'm just venting on here how I feel and all the things I cant say to her

CouthyMow Wed 22-Jan-14 08:06:05

Yes, that is not a problem. Will look later. School run beckons, I'm afraid!

WynkenBlynkenandNod Wed 22-Jan-14 08:06:11

I have had SS involvement in my life this year after my Brother and Mother accused me essentially of financial abuse against my Mother in my position of Attorney. I know it is a very different situation but I was very aware at the time that I have 2 children and I had been accused of something very serious. SS have now said they consider I acted in Mum's Best Interests at all times and my Brother was at one point threatened with SS solicitors and the Court of Protection.

The accusations came out if the blue so I was in a state of shock however I realised immediately I had to be very very careful how I acted and what I said. I listened to what the SW said and did everything she advised. If I was unsure of anything I would ask what she advised. I made it very very clear that I only wanted to act in Mum's Best Interests and used this phrase repeatedly. Also I made it very clear that as my Mother was deemed not to have capacity and as her Attorney that I was very well aware I had a duty of care to her and also to my children and emphasised this repeatedly .

I followed up as many conversations as possible by email, effectively creating my own minutes. I made sure the other people involved in my Mothers care were fully informed at all times and made sure I had a really good working relationship with them. I agreed to attend a meeting where I would be opposite my Brother's solicitor even though I was terrified at the idea which the SW knew, but felt it would be beneficial for me to attend so I agreed. I did everything asked of me and went out of my way to find more I could do.

Obviously my case was very different but as Jakebullet and others have said, you need to do everything and more. Try to anticipate things and do them before asked, get an advocate and create a paper trail.

CouthyMow Wed 22-Jan-14 08:07:43

Changing the times at the last minute is a bit of a grey area. Realistically, that can sometimes be unavoidable, but should STILL be rebooked at a mutually convenient time.

CouthyMow Wed 22-Jan-14 08:08:07

Who chaired your meeting? The SW or someone separate?

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 08:15:08

And to everyone who says I got pregnant after he came out of hospital I was already pregnant, very verynearly stages when he went in, found out 2 weeks after he came out of hospital

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 08:18:07

They changed it at the last minute to a time dp could not attend knowing full well he wouldnt be ble to make it if she did that
Also she doesnt actually inform him of these meetings she relies on me to tell him which I did say in the meeting I felt was unfair and hope she took that on board

Spero Wed 22-Jan-14 08:19:11

But the problem is that you got pregnant with a man who must have been showing signs of being very unwell if he was admitted to hospital just after you found out you were pregnant.

I am not trying to be unkind, I know accidents can happen, but you can see how this would worry people about your judgment as a couple about bringing a new baby into a potentially fragile situation, when there is already a history of violent incidents involving the police?

Spero Wed 22-Jan-14 08:20:13

I agree meetings should be at mutually convenient time but also that he needs to show willing and miss work/leave early if meetings can't be changed to suit him.

allthingsfluffy Wed 22-Jan-14 08:27:11

I realise this is incredibly stressful for you, but they will not leave you alone until you show real insight into the problems in your relationship with your partner, and the damage that will do to your DCs.

It might be 2.5 years since the police were called, and 15months since DP was discharged. BUT, DP was admitted to hospital while having a mental health crisis. That is MASSIVE. People having mental health problems go to their GP all the time and get sent home with pills. To be admitted means it was serious.

Ok, he's been discharged now, and the team say he is ok, but what about the next time he gets stressed, is he going to fling plates and break windows, this time with two kids in the house?

I am afraid that until you can see that your relationship MUST end for the sake of your children, and you go about actioning that yourself, SS are going to be concerned about your ability to protect them from emotional harm.

"At risk of emotional harm" isn't so much about the risk of your DP harming them again, its more about your lack of ability to prevent it, should it happen.

CouthyMow Wed 22-Jan-14 08:38:18

Don't you think that it is emotionally harming the OP's DS to hear the SW say that his dad can't live with them? The OP has stated signs of obvious emotional distress.

Now it could be that the SW is young to argue that this is SHOWING the OP putting him at risk of emotional harm, yet not having the foresight to realise that it is being separated from his father that is causing him the emotional harm.

I've had that happen.

I will willingly argue most things in favour of SS, but the use of "at future risk of emotional harm" is one thing I refuse to accept. Mostly because it is based on the conjecture of a SW, and an outdated model of SW training based on the frankly laughable "cycle of deprivation".

CouthyMow Wed 22-Jan-14 08:38:48

Young = going, am walking and typing!

CouthyMow Wed 22-Jan-14 08:39:53

(And yes, I have done extensive personal research, NOT on conspiracy sites, about this outdated model of SW training.)

CouthyMow Wed 22-Jan-14 08:40:56

It's based on similar 'research' that stated that 'emotionally frigid' mothers cause Autism, rather than it being a neurological issue.

CouthyMow Wed 22-Jan-14 08:41:20

<<Gets off soapbox>>

Spero Wed 22-Jan-14 08:42:16

Couthy i agree that future risk of emotional harm is a difficult concept for parents and even some SW to understand.

But this won't be based on 'cycle of deprivation' - it will be based on a relationship with history of violence and mental health issues.

the op doesn't necessarily have to leave her partner but BOTH of them must show that they have insight into the issues and will do what is necessary to safeguard their children in the future. At the moment, it sounds I am afraid like the op is minimising and the partner just isn't getting involved.

it isn't a recipe for a happy ending I am afraid.

TeenyW123 Wed 22-Jan-14 08:42:20

Just

There's an awful lot of information here to take on board.

Print it off and start an agenda of actions in order of importance.

There are also suggestions that you need to change your (and partner's) behaviour and attitude to make it clear you are taking the SWs concerns seriously. Use the aforementioned print off to make a list of how you need to act.

If this is a bit overwhelming, get real life people in to help you. There's Women's Aid, CAB, solicitor, doctor, mental health workers, even a well organised, articulate friend or relative to make sense of the demands.

If the next meeting is arranged that does not suit you, your partner, or any other professional who is able to be in attendance for you, say NO. But be amenable to alternative dates.

Get someone to witness these meeting and take notes. When you try and make later sense of these very stressful meetings you might find you've forgotten chunks, misread responses etc.

Please stop banging on about how good things have been for x amount of time. I believe you, but the SW doesn't and it's her/them you need to convince. So start getting them on YOUR side.

Spero Wed 22-Jan-14 08:44:29

So yes, risk of any future harm is based on 'conjecture' but in many cases this is extremely well informed conjecture as one of the clearest indicators of likely future behaviour is past behaviour.

So if you have been violent in the past it is reasonable to assume you will be violent in the future, unless you can show how you or your circumstances have changed for the better.

Ditto mental health issues.

these things just don't 'go away' and are unlikely to resolve all by themselves without people getting help and support.

And a new baby is notorious for upping the tension and difficulty in a relationship - every one is more tired, more stressed and any fracture lines in a relationship are more likely to break wide open.

Iwasinamandbunit Wed 22-Jan-14 08:47:27

I have extensive experience of MH issues due to my own illness though minimal of social services.

I am writing this for any women reading this who may have PND and who has read this thread and it is scaring them. Social services do not want to take dc away if you have PND . I'm just concerned women in a very fragile state may see this and then don't seek help. I was so ill I was admitted with PND to a mother and baby unit for almost four months. Because I exhibited no violent behaviour and there was no DV I had minimal SS involvement and no child protection order was ever made. This was a few years ago so procedures may have changed. I have been in a regular psychiatric hospital as well.

I'm sorry your going through this op. Through my journey through MH services I have met many people who have had incredibly hard lives. I have a friend who I met last year at a day centre for people with MH issues, her partner committed DV. She stayed in the relationship so she did lose her dc due to her partners violence. I am under the care of a consultant and have a support worker so am quite unwell at the moment. Social services are aware dc live at home but I am in a stable relationship and they have not visited me since I became unwell again.

Your partner must be seriously ill to be admitted to hospital, it is incredibly hard to be admitted these days. You may be struggling to accept how ill he is. Though personally I am sure they are really concerned by the DV aspect.

There is also the fact that the police were called due to a violent incident, DP had a mental health crisis and you got pregnant all in less than a year.
I appreciate you feel that things have changed, and they probably have. But the social worker needs hard evidence of that. I'm not entirely clear what has precipitated the scaling up to CP proceedings but the report should lay out all the concerns very clearly.

ALittleStranger Wed 22-Jan-14 09:03:53

I think you need real life advice and preferably someone to advocate for you.

But I also think you need to start being organised and practical.

1. Write a list of everything SS have asked you and your DP to do. Then in the next column write very honestly whether you have done that. Then in a third column write why you have fallen short. Use that to either look at your own and DP's behaviour, whether there any barriers, what you need to ask for help for etc.

2. Ask SS to be very clear in setting out what needs to change and how you can demonstrate that. The second bit is key. It is not good enough for you to say "we're fine, we're fine." Your friends will likely not believe you, why would SS?

I also think you need, with the help of RL support, to make sure you're clear on why SS are involved. People on this thread are giving you likely explanations that you're just skipping past. Until you understand their concerns you're not going to address them.

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 09:08:59

The mental health nurse has said to them, written in writing and he has also been treated for hes depression
They refuse to believe he is not still depressed and will not listen to her
I get why they are involved I really really do I'm just scared and very upset about the whole situation
We are willing to do everything, we have been doing everything they say
I may be in the wrong here but I have never questioned anything they have said and gone along with every plan put in place although they are making it difficult
What upset me the most was when he suggested therapy I dared to question it she basically threatened me to go to court and apply for a care order, this is when I started to feel I am being unfairly treated as before this they had always said they had no issues with how I care for the children and have said on numerous occasions that I am a good mum
We do everything thet say and it keeps getting worse

ALittleStranger Wed 22-Jan-14 09:15:23

Have you asked them why they discount the mental health nurse's evidence? What else do they need to see?

Re the therapy, why did you refuse? What's the worst that's going to happen if you and your DS see a therapist? Therapy isn't about how you care for your children, it's to help you work out your own feelings and how you respond to them.

You say you do everything they say but I do think you need to be methodical and break that down. You know your DP isn't doing everything they say. I don't think I've ever 100% complied with anything in my life so I'm both in awe of and suspicious of anyone who says they're doing everything!

I can tell you're upset, but being frustrated isn't going to help you.

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 09:17:54

I didnt refuse I asked why I needed it, they made it sound as though it was optional
They asked for ds to have therapy and I straight away said ok
It was only for me that I said I felt I didnt really need it, I realise now it was a stupid mistake
Must add I did agree to it after she said about going to court

CouthyMow Wed 22-Jan-14 09:23:51

HE needs to ask IN WRITING why they are discounting the written statement of a MH care professional, what their concerns are for the future, and how HE can alleviate those concerns.

They absolutely CANNOT force him to take anti depressants against the advice of a MH care professional, and also his GP who has refused to prescribe them.

BUT the question as to WHY the SS are discounting these medical opinions, AND what they feel he needs to do to alleviate those concerns MUST come FROM HIM, IN WRITING.

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 09:24:05

At first it was agreed that if appears to become unwell again then he would seek help, he hasn't felt unwell again
Also if he was ever to become angry I was to call police,again this hasn't happened yet
Then they said he was not to be left unsupervised, we were already doing that he hadnt been alone with the children for a long time
Then he was discharged by hes mental health nurse as after an evaluation with her and a psychiatrist they felt he was no longer depressed or suffering from any other mental disorder
That was when she suddenly turned up and said she is very concerned and her manager has told her that he must be removed immediately from the family home and only have contact with the children in a public place, we were obviously very upset about it but agreed none the less
My dp was told after he came out of hospital that he would have ongoing work with mental health team and take medication, which he did
So yes we have followed everything she told us to do
The child protection was held as though he was still living in the family home

Blobbyblobbyblobby Wed 22-Jan-14 09:24:37

Is the HV not more involved? Child protection is their remit and I would have expected them to be visiting regularly, a good HV will work with you and be supportive while keeping CP paramount. They should help you manage ds's behaviour during this difficult period, why not ring and ask if they'll come see you and chat about the bed wetting etc.

I would write a letter to social services and copy it to all the professionals involved (Sw, sw's boss, HV, GP etc, and cc to your MP) detailing the steps you and your dh have taken to comply with what's asked and stating you cannot access certain services without SW referral, can this be done ASAP. Keep it calm, polite and factual and see if that helps you get on courses etc.

Also your SW must take annual leave sometimes...see if you get on better with whoever covers her holidays, you might feel better if you see a different SW and more able to hold your heads up and carry on working towards resolution.

Good luck.

AnywhereOverTheRainbow Wed 22-Jan-14 09:27:00

Justalilmummy

I am a domestic violence/rape survivor and I know what you're going through thanks.

It doesn't matter if you are saying everything is fine now. After you called the police, in three separate occasions, you actually signalled everybody you were under abuse.

They won't trust your word because social workers are trained not to believe the victims are 'over' it. It is their job and after a while you can understand where they are coming from.

One of the psychological stages of domestic violence and abuse is denial.
We even get to the point that it is our fault everything happened. Think that I even denied rape until a certain moment!

My advice would be to look for help and support at domestic abuse associations, such as women's aid or victim support. From there, work with them to find a capable lawyer who can take up your case.

Bug them until you get the support you need, don't get discouraged!
Then, if necessary go to therapy. It doesn't matter if you need it or not, it won't do any harm, right? smile

Big hug and I hope you can sort it out. If you need any address, feel free to PM me smile

CouthyMow Wed 22-Jan-14 09:29:22

Are any of your bills still in his name at YOUR address? Or is any of his post still being sent to your address?

If so, change the names on the bills to YOUR name TODAY. And get him to change the addresses of any of his post that is still sent to your address TODAY.

I fear they do not believe that he is living elsewhere, or that they believe that as you are not fully accepting the previous incidents as DV (which they WERE, regardless of your partner's MH at the time, regardless of the fact that your DC wasn't in the house at the time), that you are allowing him to be in your house.

Sometimes, if post for him goes to your address, or any of your utility bills are in his name, or paid from his bank account, it can be seen as that you are still FINANCIALLY linked, and then they won't believe you that he is not coming to your house.

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 09:35:15

Yea I'm gonna do the therapy
Its just so very hard to prove that things are going ok when they look at u so suspiciously

CouthyMow Wed 22-Jan-14 09:36:27

You DO NEED to understand and accept that you have been a victim of DV.

It doesn't matter to SS the reason WHY he committed DV, it matters that he DID, IYSWIM.

You and I know that he was obviously suffering from serious MH issues at the time, and may not have been in full control of himself, but that is an explanation of WHY, NOT a get-off clause for your partner.

As you have been a victim of previous DV, and you don't seem to be accepting that fact, that WILL give SS cause for concern that if you still can't see that you were a victim of DV, that you may be unable to prevent future incidents of DV, and may be unable to keep both you and your DC's safe.

Do you see the problem with trying to explain away the DV with the fact that he was suffering from MH issues at the time, and is 'fine now' so it won't happen again?

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 09:38:45

Nope no bills in hes name
They also do spot checks and have never once found him here, cant really do alot more to prove hes not here

RonaldMcDonald Wed 22-Jan-14 09:43:29

I'm sorry to hear that you are going through this

Please try to get the therapy that the SW suggests, as soon as possible.

As suggested send a respectful letter to the SW reminding her that you need a referral and that it is very important to you
Speak to your GP requesting the same. Often GP surgeries will have some access to therapy and it will show that you are willing to try whatever is required.

Parenting classes are often over subscribed and they may take a while for your partner to access.
As suggested, get him to send a letter to the SW requesting a place asap. Get him to speak to his GP to get a speedy referral to therapy as well
Ask for a copy of your medical records

If there is an ongoing question of an issue with your partner's mh, please get him to ask the GP for further assessment.
Write a letter to the GP explaining the importance of the assessment. Make the letter calm and factual. Request the assessment and state the reasons so that you can get an overview of other professional's opinions.
Ask for a copy of his medical records.

Stop looking at this as something that is unfair. Fairness isn't the issue now.
I mean that with complete respect and regard.

Continually trying to make SS see that there isn't a problem and that you should not be in the process will make them dig their heels in more.
Accept where you are with them now and work at moving away from this place.

Recognise that they feel that there is an issue that need to be addressed. Comply with every thing they request. Follow up meetings with calm letters. Go to the GP. Always speak calmly and quietly in meetings. DO EXACTLY AS THEY REQUEST. Get your partner to attend meetings.

I hope that everything works better from this point.
Parenting classes, therapy and even anger management are all things that will help you parent better in the future.
Try <I know it will be very very difficult> to look at the positives from this. Once you can try to change your attitude to these interventions SS often becomes a more helpful friendly place to deal with.

Couthy speaks sense. I can see why the SW feels you are minimising to be honest.

FolkGirl Wed 22-Jan-14 09:46:02

mummy Sorry this is long, I hope you read it because I hope to explain some of it smile

I work with, and have worked in the past with, a number of vulnerable families some of whom have/have had CP involvement.

Without exception, in cases like yours, parents feel that:

The SW is "shit" or has got it in for them
The SW wants to take their children
The SW is seeing things that aren't there
They don't need any support
The other professionals have also got it in for them...

If you agree to something after court is threatened, that is seen as not being obstructive, but is not positive because you're agreeing to avoid a 'sanction' and not working with the people who are working to make sure your children are safe because you understand why it is necessary.

As far as the MH assessment goes, they are only commenting on your partner and his current mental health status. The SW are acting on behalf of your children and they are assessing the risk of harm to your children should he have another episode in the future. As someone else said, it is conjecture, but looking at history, patterns of behaviour and other contributing factors is the best tool the SWs have for assessing the risk of future harm. And your reaction to it all demonstrates your ability to recognise the potential for that risk to arise and your ability to respond appropriately to it if it should.

For example:

An Initial Assessment was completed on my family a couple of years ago. My exh and I discovered that a PPRC had had contact with my children over an extended period of time. There was no risk from my exH or I directly, but they had to assess mine and exH's ability to safeguard the children from any risk. We already had suspicions and so had been safeguarding them (never alone with the person) and the case was closed.

It is horrible having someone come into your home, and comment on your decor and furnishing in a report along with questioning how you discipline your children, and what activities they do before corroborating it with your children in their bedrooms in private (so that they can see the state of their rooms, whether they have a bed or not, the presence of age appropriate toys etc). But you do it.

The Police were also involved briefly. They had no concerns whatsoever, but that's because they were interested in whether a new crime had been committed. But the LA still completed their assessment because they were interested in mine and exH's ability to protect our children from this person. Even though the Police were not interested (no reason to be) the SW told us that if we continued to have contact with the person/people involved then they would progress to a S47 Enquiry. Even though a crime had not been committed. It was a done deal because ExH and I had already decided we wouldn't have any contact with them again, but can you see the parallels between this situation and yours?

In your case, the MH team are my police - there is no reason for them to be involved, but the SWs have a different agenda. The LA need to believe that the parent/s have the ability to recognise risk and protect the children from it should it arise in the future.

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 09:47:49

Yea I see where u re coming from about the dv
I dont know how to prove it wont happen again
We all agreed to the therapy and he has agreed to do the parenting course, and I also asked if I could do it too
They want proof he wont get depressed again,
We cant guarantee that just like we cant guarantee anyone wont suffer from it it's unpredictable, but I will see the warnings signs and will know how to get help next time

FolkGirl Wed 22-Jan-14 09:49:10

Sorry, I left out an important bit!

Parents often feel like that precisely because they are vulnerable and the other people can see something they can't.

Wasn't criticising parents for feeling like that!

CouthyMow Wed 22-Jan-14 09:53:45

You CAN get through this. You CAN. I'm still here, at the other end of my second SS CIN investigation in 16 years. They closed my case last June, but didn't even tell ME that the case was closed until the August. (!)

1. You need to accept and understand that you WERE a victim of domestic violence.

2. You need to write a letter about the delay in referrals.

3. You need to get a copy of your Social Services complaints procedure, and their timescales - this MUST be available in their offices.

4. Find out who your Social Worker's immediate boss is, who SHE reports to. Copy that person in to ALL written requests.

5. Take notes during EVERY meeting with your Social Worker, even in your home. When she tells you that you need to do X, repeat that back to her, and ask if that is correct, so that you have accurate notes.

6. During every meeting, request a copy of the minutes. You are entitled to receive a copy of these. They WILL delay this. When they do, WRITE first to the Social Worker, asking for them within 7 days, and then to the Social Worker's superior if you haven't received them within 7 days. YOU ARE ENTITLED TO REQUEST AN INDEPENDENT NOTE TAKER.

7. If the Social Worker says she is going to refer you to something, again, repeat that back to her, and ask if that's correct. Then ask her to WRITE to you informing you when she has auctioned that referral. And ask when you can expect to receive that letter.

8. If you do not receive that letter within the timescale she has stated, escalate that to her immediate superior IN WRITING, explaining that on X date, your social worker stated that she would refer you to Y thing, and that you would receive confirmation of this in writing by Z date. As Z date has passed, and you have not received this letter, could 'Social worker's immediate superior' please ensure that this has been actioned and that your letter of confirmation is sent out by (date of letter plus 7 days).

Chase up EVERYTHING IN WRITING.

DO NOT GET INVOLVED IN THE ACTIONS YOUR PARTNER NEEDS TO TAKE WITH THE SOCIAL WORKER.

That is for HIM to sort out. You can ask on here what he should do, you can help him write letters when you are seeing him in a public place, but HE must write the letters and HE must deal with the lack of parenting course HIMSELF.

Give him the name of the Social Worker and her phone number too. He has Parental Responsibility, so he can request IN WRITING the minutes of every meeting, even if he has been unable to attend.

AnywhereOverTheRainbow Wed 22-Jan-14 10:01:46

justalilmummy

You actually can guarantee that.
If he gets abusive again, he loses the children... But you won't.

Therapy will do a lot of good to you lilmummy.

You need to realize that your priority is your children, not him not getting depressed again. Their health and wellbeing are the most important things to you.
You have no power over what your partner will do or feel.

I might add, SWs have studied (generally) a lot of psychology books and stuff about DV and abuse. I did that too after my therapy.

Only 10% of abusive men have mental health problems.
It was also scary to learn that only 5% of abusers fully recover and stop being abusive. So that makes you understand where social workers are coming from.

CouthyMow Wed 22-Jan-14 10:02:22

I can see how you feel, OP, having been in your position in the past, but equally I can see SS's concerns.

No, I fully understand, there are no guarantees of perfect future MH. So do SS. What THEY want guarantees on is how YOU will safeguard your DC's in the event of any future MH crisis.

They are trying to prevent DV from happening around your DC's. THAT is their priority.

AnywhereOverTheRainbow Wed 22-Jan-14 10:04:51

CouthyMow

I agree with everything you said, especially the last bit about him.

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 10:05:18

Thanks folkgirl
Thats a good idea as I dont always understand what they are asking me to to
Also am going to request that she meets with dp as so far since the cp meeting she hadnt seen him, has relied on me telling him what's going on which is not going to give him a clear notion of what is going on
I have said this to her time and time again but I will pit it in writing
I think I need an advocate as I find it hard to say what I'm trying to and it may look like I'm not fully acknowledging the problems when in fact I am

RonaldMcDonald Wed 22-Jan-14 10:08:51

Depression is an illness and of course it can return but the difficulty is that people who suffer from it <I do> often don't want to talk about it or acknowledge that it has returned. We often wait until it gets very bad before seeking help.
This will be worrying for SS.

AS depressive illnesses can be completely devastating for those suffering from it and for their families it is very often a good idea to have some plans in place to help deal with its symptoms asap

Get you partner to work with a therapist. They can put a plan together to show that he can begin to recognise the symptoms and acknowledge some of the things that he started to feel as his depression took hold.
They can then plan some ways to monitor how he is feeling and encourage him to talk about it openly and seek help quickly.

This will help him and your family and reassure SS.

CouthyMow Wed 22-Jan-14 10:10:19

Anywhere - I think the fact that the OP's partner was receiving inpatient treatment for his MH SHOWS that he is obviously in the 10% of DV perpetrators who DO suffer from MH issues.

Surely SS can see that? (I'm asking that as I'm curious, sorry OP!)

I HAVE been in an abusive relationship in the past, and I am in no way, shape or form attempting to minimise the DV that has occurred in this situation, yet it seems patently obvious to me that the DV was a symptom of the OP's partner's MH problems, rather than because of a basic abusive nature.

Are Social a Workers not trained to deal with MH issues?

It seems to me that this sails very close to the wind with the Equality Act - you can get aggressive after a seizure when you have epilepsy, or when going hypo through diabetes, yet that us not seen as a reason to separate a loving parent from their child as that would breach the Equality Act 2010.

As MH issues are also covered by the Equality Act, surely the same thing stands?

If not, surely that is open to challenge?

CouthyMow Wed 22-Jan-14 10:15:22

It's just that during my last investigation, Social Services told me that they could not remove my DC's based on the fact that I am sometimes unable to care for them following a seizure, as I have back up plans in place for emergency Childcare in that situation.

Yet they seem able to remove DC from a parent (or in this case separate them) based on seemingly his gender (as he is the father, make him move out) and his MH issues.

That makes NO sense to me when both are covered by the equality act and recognised as disabilities.

"I dont know how to prove it wont happen again"

You cant. But I fear you will have them on your case for as long as they think you are standing by your man, rather than your children.

If you look at your history together, with drunken violence, reported 3 times, (How many times did he trash the place, or throw plates, smash doors and windows that was not reported to the police?)

In addition to a violent nature, he developed a mental health problem so severe he was hospitalized, and this coincided with you falling pregnant with your second child. This child is just a baby. I can see where they are coming from. You seem adamant he has changed. But you have no proof, and neither have ss, they can only go by the past. And your past together is not rosy. They are your childrens advocates, and they cant risk another baby death. I am sorry, but are you reading the news? A child die by their parents hand monthly, and every time the ss is scrutinized for fault, and criticized for not having picked up on risk and acted on it.

You sound eloquent and thoughtful. I think you need to separate yourself from your situation and try look at if from SS perspective, and as if you did not know the people involved.

Instead of looking at the obstacles you perceive that SS are laying in your course, try look for ways to jump through the hoops and work with them to safeguard your children.

Are you scared of him? I think you are. I think you are scared of the repercussions of being seen to side with SS, and not him.

I think you are scared that he will "loose it" if you work with them rather than him, and that you are "managing" his temper and his mental health by placating him. As long as you both appear to just do what ss tells you to without putting up too much of a fight, he can still have the impression that you are siding with him, as your ultimate goal in his eyes MUST be that you do this so that he and you can stay together and you keep protecting him and being HIS advocate, rather than your childrens.

I may have it totally wrong, but that is what is jumping out at me, judging by what you say.

Spero Wed 22-Jan-14 10:20:25

Couthy, if this blog does get up and running, can I cut and paste your post of 9.53 if you don't have time or energy to write anything else?

I think that is very good advice.

A lot of relationship breakdown between parents and SW comes from miscommunication and misunderstanding about what was said and why. I wish there were more clearly written Schedules of Expectations right from the get go then there is no room for 'I didn't understand i had to do this' or 'you didn't tell me I had to do this'. and it will help focus SW on what exactly the problems are.

I agree that sometimes good analysis of the problems is lacking at initial stage and that can push an investigation down unhelpful routes.

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 10:23:16

Me and dp have been together 9 years. In 2007 hes father suddenly passed away, he at first seemed to accept strangely well. However in the months following hes death was when it began very withdrawn and nit himself until and everynow and then he woukd lose it. I must stress the man has never laid a hand on me but did break things in the home which I know is still dv
We realise he became depressed due to to stress and not dealing with him father's death, bottling things up etc (when I look back I dont even remember him crying once)
In hospital he received therapy and treatment Andreas overcome this
Before abd after all this huge mess happened he was/ is the kindest loving person (bit lazy round the house) but honestly thats all I could fault him on
I would see it coming again a bloody mile off this time and would seek help straight away
How can I prove this to them without it actually happening and seeing it for themselves
Sorry to drip feed theres just such alot of information cant get it all out!

Spero Wed 22-Jan-14 10:23:31

Couthy - i think it would be very difficult to 'unpick' WHY he has been violent in the past. I don't think you can draw a clear line of causation between 'mental health issues' and abuse of a partner.

A lot of mentally ill people don't abuse anyone.

he could just be a violent nasty bastard.

A lot more information is needed before any conclusions can be reached about why he has done what he has done and what are the future risks, and this needs to be discussed taking on board the views of ALL the professionals he deals with - i.e. SW need to listen to his MH team, but equally I can see they must err on the side of caution because if they get it wrong and let him back into the family the consequences could be really serious if he gets ill and/or violent again.

Spero Wed 22-Jan-14 10:25:13

Op, it is crucial that you talk to the SW and say that you are now better able to spot any worrying signs and you will deal with it quickly and appropriately. Because that is what they are worried about - history will repeat itself and you have a very young and vulnerable baby.

I think it is all about open ness and communication, but protecting yourself as others have rightly said, by getting a clear paper trail, setting out WHAT must be done WHEN and WHY.

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 10:28:07

Sorry should have added that bit about hes dad at the beginning I thought I had mentioned it but looked back and saw I hadnt
Another reason why I think I should get an advocate I can never get a full story across!

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 10:29:43

Come to think about it that was never mentioned at the meeting maybe it should have been

Can I also add that court proceedings don't necessarily mean care proceedings and can be a useful means of accessing specialist assessments that would paint a clearer picture of the risk posed by his mh, DV and your insight.

allthingsfluffy Wed 22-Jan-14 10:34:37

OP you are still making excuses for him.

The fact is, your DCs will be damaged by DV taking place in their house and that damage will not be lessened if their are reasons for it so it doesn't matter why he was depressed, what matters is how it comes out and affects his behaviour.

It is very worrying that posters on this thread are agreeing with you that your SW is wrong/has an agenda or whatever, because they have not met her, they don't know the details of the case. If you insist on making excuses for him then how do we know there isn't one vital piece of info holding this all together that you aren't saying on here?

Work with the SW, not against her.

She threatened you with a care order when you refused to do therapy yourself because it is exactly that lack of insight that is the most worrying to them.

The loudest voice on a thread isn't necessarily the correct one. OP you need to stop acting like they are out to get you. They are trying to protect your children.

NigellasDealer Wed 22-Jan-14 10:40:00

it is true you have to 'cooperate' with them and think ' well honestly, is there a problem? and what can i do to change it?'

FolkGirl Wed 22-Jan-14 10:40:25

It wouldn't have made any difference if you'd told the SW why your partner was depressed.

That's not what they're interested in; because it's not important. The impact on the children will be the same. They are the children's SWs not the family's SW.

They are interested in protecting your children. Your partner has other people interested in his needs. They are there for the children.

fluffy is right, their concern is your lack of insight, your focus on sorting your partner out rather than protecting your children and your unwillingness, so far, to engage with them. These are all risk predictors.

Depressed people dont throw plates, smash windows and doors.

Your dp has a violent nature, and developed severe mental health issues on top of his violent nature. A dangerous combination.

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 10:47:56

I have protected my kids and am putting them first
He has been removed from the family home and he has limited contact with them
And I'm hardly unwilling as I agreed to do everything they said, it's just a very stressful time for us all

cory Wed 22-Jan-14 10:58:18

One thing that stands out is that you desperately want your partner to be allowed back with the children. For this to happen he needs to demonstrate that he is a safe parent to his children. But only he can do that. You can't do it for him.

What SS are seeing at the moment is that you are desperately trying to sort things out for him and speak for him, while he is not writing to them, not attending meetings, not organising his life around cooperating for the sake of the children.

If he is not depressed, then he can do these things. If he is not doing them but you have to arrange everything, then that is hardly going to convince them of his recovery. They will be worrying that you are trying to stand between them and him to cover up for the fact that he can't engage with them without losing it. And if he can't demonstrate that he is able to engage with SS without losing it, then he can't be trusted to deal with small children without losing it either.

AnywhereOverTheRainbow Wed 22-Jan-14 11:02:35

couthy

Anywhere - I think the fact that the OP's partner was receiving inpatient treatment for his MH SHOWS that he is obviously in the 10% of DV perpetrators who DO suffer from MH issues. Surely SS can see that? (I'm asking that as I'm curious, sorry OP!)

Depression is not included in permanent MH issues to justify any SW involvement just because of that. I was hospitalised nearly 20 years ago for depression and a nervous breakdown, would that make me permanently a MH patient? I'd say no.

I HAVE been in an abusive relationship in the past, and I am in no way, shape or form attempting to minimise the DV that has occurred in this situation, yet it seems patently obvious to me that the DV was a symptom of the OP's partner's MH problems, rather than because of a basic abusive nature.

Many mental health patients are not abusive at all. I've known of two cases in the family and to be honest they never harmed anybody, not even thrown a plate at a wall.
Unfortunately this is a common myth, but DV and abuse are not always related to mental health illnesses.

AnywhereOverTheRainbow Wed 22-Jan-14 11:04:35

cory

They will be worrying that you are trying to stand between them and him to cover up for the fact that he can't engage with them without losing it.

Exactly.

FolkGirl Wed 22-Jan-14 11:04:51

I understand that, but you've talked a lot about your partner on this thread and not very much about your children.

You've talked a lot about proving he's ok etc but not a lot about ensuring that your children are. Yes, you've removed him from the home, but you appear to be resentful of this and other involvement.

The bottom line is that you called the police three times on a man you then went on to conceive another child with immediately prior to a MH crisis that required hospitalisation.

I have depression and anxiety, I've been on ADs for years. Many people do. Some people are hospitalised. But not all these people (me included) have CP involvement. The LA are clearly seeing something here that you can't.

FolkGirl Wed 22-Jan-14 11:06:03

What SS are seeing at the moment is that you are desperately trying to sort things out for him and speak for him, while he is not writing to them, not attending meetings, not organising his life around cooperating for the sake of the children.

Yes.

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 11:11:50

Yea I would like him home one day, obviously only if he is safe for the children

Cory ur post does make alot of sense I never saw it that way about me talking for dp, he does need to do talk to the social worker more, he is the issue not me!
Maybe I do defend him too much u cant all be wrong, it's very hard to see things when ur in the middle of it

BlueJumper Wed 22-Jan-14 11:11:57

Well he has moved out, to be fair.

BlueJumper Wed 22-Jan-14 11:12:28

Sorry x post!

CouthyMow Wed 22-Jan-14 11:25:24

Spero, I have no problem with you C&P'ing that post I did at 9.53. Good luck if you can collate the information in one place, I feel that will be very informative.

CouthyMow Wed 22-Jan-14 11:30:33

This is what I was saying when I pointed out that anything HE needs to do NEEDS to come from HIM engaging with Social Services, rather than you being an intermediary.

HE needs to get proactive on his own behalf. YOU need to get proactive on YOUR CHILDREN'S behalf.

CouthyMow Wed 22-Jan-14 11:34:55

I wasn't necessarily asking about MH issues and CIN meetings just as pertaining to the OP's issues, as there HAS been DV, and DV is DV, regardless of MH involvement. I was also asking for general knowledge of MH issues / SS, as I've had a few acquaintances who I was unable to advocate for as I am unsure of that area.

CouthyMow Wed 22-Jan-14 11:36:10

I would like to find out more about how having MH issues can affect a CIN case with respect to the Equality Act 2010. I may have to do some more research.

Spero Wed 22-Jan-14 11:41:19

Thanks couthy.

Would also be interested to know what you find re research into MH issues and children in need plans.

2snugglets Wed 22-Jan-14 11:51:12

Hi OP I'm a Social Worker in frontline CP so I will offer you some advise

1) you need to firstly accept the decision made at CP conference, this would have included other agencies including education and health who will have agreed with the decision. Therefore accept these professionals have concerns for your children's welfare.

2) Although you are clearly the parent who is able to care for your children it is the fact that you are supporting your partner when his actions have potentially put the children at risk that you need to accept.

I can almost be 100% certain that they will have stated concern as you are "minimising the risks"

Please don't feel this is getting at you I'm sure your a great parent independently. You need to accept and engage fully with the plan, work openly and honestly with SW and accept that if nothing changes then DP would put children at continued risk of emotional harm.

Try and focus on the fact that the plan is there to make things better for your children and the professionals involved are also responsible for certain areas, it's not all on you!

MadIsTheNewNormal Wed 22-Jan-14 12:06:22

Alos, you say that your DP has never been anything other than a good, loving Daddy to your son, and that any violent arguments between you happened when the children were not in the house.

So why does the SW insist on your son having therapy?

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 12:07:54

2snugglets thankyou, I understand what u mean about accepting it, buts it's very hard I'm absolutely devastated this has happened
I do feel all alone in this im the one who has to look after the children 24 hours a day on my own with no help
Im the one who has to hold it together no matter how bad I'm feeling
I know I have to protect my children ive done nothing but try and do that
I said to them do they want me to cut ties with dp they said no, which tbh I dont want afterall I have been with the man 9years I cant just turn my feelings off
I just feel for my poor ds caught up in the middle of this,he wakes up at night crying for daddy we blow
Him a kiss every bedtime but he always saying I want a real one
Hes wetting himself which he hasn't done since potty training, hes not eating and hes behaiviour towards me is changing. He doesnt understand and its heartbreaking to watch when he does see hes dad he begs him not to go he has never done this
I spoke to her about this and honestly she just looked at me didnt say a word I was asking for help in helping him deal with this and she didnt want to know, she feels that its better this way, but surely she must know hes daddy not being around is going to have a bad effect

MadIsTheNewNormal Wed 22-Jan-14 12:08:00

Also, not alos!

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 12:12:37

Madisthenewnormal she doesnt believe me that ds never saw anything and I do understand that for all she knows I could be lying through my teeth many people do

Spero Wed 22-Jan-14 12:16:22

But it's not just whether or not he was right there to witness it himself. Was he upstairs in bed, terrified by what he heard? Did he see you upset or injured? Dd he see the aftermath of things being smashed? Was he there when the police came? Has he seen you be upset?

All these things cause harm.

A lot of my clients say there children didn't see anything, so it is ok. But being aware of violence in any form taking place in the home is harmful to children, I am afraid there is absolutely no doubt about that whatsoever.

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 12:21:25

Nope he wasn't in the house at the time
There have been 3 occasions 2 of which was before we had him
He never saw anything broken and I wasn't injured at all
I do get it wasn't ok though

oldgrandmama Wed 22-Jan-14 12:29:08

I've never had anything to do with Social Services, but I just wanted to add something to those who emphasised to OP that she should make a 'paper trail' documenting everything. I'd say, make sure that paper trail is not just emails, but also 'snail mail' letters, posted, preferably 'signed for' so OP has some record that they've been received. Keep copies, of course.

It's very easy for people to say that emails haven't been recieved. Not so easy to deny receipt of actual letter, when there's a signature to prove receipt.

FolkGirl Wed 22-Jan-14 12:29:38

I think the concern is, mummy that you would expect a woman to leave a man who behaves like that, not go on to have children with him.

By doing so, it points to a lack of insight, understanding and a vulnerability.

allthingsfluffy Wed 22-Jan-14 12:31:15

it's very hard to see things when ur in the middle of it

It absolutely is. No one is saying this process is easy. Its intrusive and unsettling for everyone.

The SW didn't answer yes when you asked should you cut ties with your DP because it has to come from you and it has to be real. There's no point in you asking them if you should split up, they say yes, and then you convince them you have split up until they go away. That helps no one.

MadIsTheNewNormal Wed 22-Jan-14 12:36:22

Sorry if I've missed this, but how old are you now and how old is your DS?

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 12:38:43

I'm 22 ds is 4 and 6 months in 3 days

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 12:39:43

Sorry thats not very clear ds1

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 12:40:15

Is 4 and ds2 is 6 months in 3 days

allthingsfluffy Wed 22-Jan-14 12:47:36

FWIW in my case with SS I ended the relationship in april 09 and the case wasn't officially closed until may 10. Though, in that time, the frequency of visits subsided greatly.

So you can't just pretend to split. There is no quick fix to this. They won't just disappear. The only way to stop it all is to co operate.

Spero Wed 22-Jan-14 12:49:46

So you have been with your partner 9 years, therefore you were 13 when you got together?

May I ask how old he is?

Spero Wed 22-Jan-14 12:50:30

Or sorry, did you say 7 years?

either way, you were very young when you started this relationship with him.

if he is quite a bit older than you, this will probably be seen as a worrying sign I am afraid.

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 12:52:16

Yea weve been together since we were kids although tbh it was very on and off in those days became more solid when we were 16 , hes 23

Spero Wed 22-Jan-14 12:57:37

thanks for explaining - that is a lot less worrying than if he was 40 plus!

the fact that you have been together so long should be seen as a positive, it is clearly a committed relationship.

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 13:04:12

Thanks spero yea he is my everything hes all ive ever known really which makes it so hard

Hes not a bad person but we went through a bad time together and be did some stupid bad things and now hes having to face the consequences, just wish it hadnt turned out like this
I have been fighting to defend him if I'm honest coz I know hes not the violent dangerous man he has been painted out be in that conference he was made out to be a complete monster who abuses me all the time which is just not true. But I guess I'm just gonna have to accept what they think and do all we can to resolve this

allthingsfluffy Wed 22-Jan-14 13:04:39

the fact that you have been together so long should be seen as a positive, it is clearly a committed relationship.

I disagree. Sorry. The length of the relationship doesn't lessen the damage caused by DV anymore than the "reasons" do.

Infact, if the length of the relationship is being used by the OP to justtify staying in an abusive relationship, the the length of the relationship is actually of detriment to the well being of the DCs.

Pheonixisrising Wed 22-Jan-14 14:02:57

bloody hell , you poor thing
firstly , ss are there to help protect your children , that said I would ask to see another sw.
I am no expert on this but if you have therapy will that too stay on your parenting / childs record ?
I personally would ask to change sw , speak to my GP .and enlist the help of friends and family
make it clear that you value ss support but relations between this sw and your family is not working

2snugglets Wed 22-Jan-14 14:13:05

You have been through a lot, it does seem like your doing an amazing job with your children aswell and you are a young mum.

Please pass onto the SW that you want some additional support/ help for your son, bring it up at the CoreGroup meetings so school and health visitor can offer something.

Have they asked you to engage with Women's Aid or Women's Centre, they do some good courses in some areas and the Children's centres. Either which agency who has a family support worker that is purely for you would really act as like an advocate
.
You can always add new core group members.
How long is it until next CP review?

MadIsTheNewNormal Wed 22-Jan-14 14:13:52

Do you have a supportive family and what are DP's parents like? You mentioned earlier that he 'broke a window in your house' when you would have been only 17 or so - were you already living away from your parents then?

CouthyMow Wed 22-Jan-14 14:27:49

The OP's DS1 is 6yo, and she is 22. Therefore, at 17, like me, she would have been living in her own home, obviously with her partner and baby.

NettleTea Wed 22-Jan-14 14:27:53

I would imagine that SS are suggesting therapy because they may be concerned that, having been with DP since you were kids, that you dont have a wide range of experience of relationsahips and may not be recognising abuse when its happening, whiuch is a possibility - without knowing your history we cannot make that judgement.
I am guessing thats the reason for it. It took me many abusive relationships, the last one being overtly so, to be able to look back and recognise that I had been abused since the first one and just never recognised it as anything abnormal at all. My childhood had set me right up for it, and even that looked pretty normal from the outside too until I started poking in the dark corners with help from a great therapist.

NettleTea Wed 22-Jan-14 14:28:31

Op's Ds is 4, not 6

AnywhereOverTheRainbow Wed 22-Jan-14 14:39:40

NettleTea

Same for me, I was a victim of child abuse so I was not able to recognise abusive relationships for what they were. When I really met a monster, well I went to see a therapist and.. Poof! All truth came out.
Most ridiculous thing is that I was referred to the therapist by the same person abusing and raping me... Because, of course it was all my fault, wasn't it?

I hope the OP doesn't waste her life as I did, given that I could come out of the nightmare in my 40ies......

lilmummy

Did you suffer any emotional or psychological abuse? Is he jealous or did he forbid you to see other people? What about work?

I know it is terrible but all abused women are alone. Pls contact Women's Aid or one of their centres. They are brilliant smile

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 14:50:26

I dont feel I was abused we just went through a very hard time he lost hes dad became depressed which came out in a few outbursts yes that was not right but I cant say I have an abusing relationship based on 3 events in 9 years!
Op it was my mum's house where the window was broken and she was obviously very angry at the time
We were young and stupid back then in the last 2 years we have grown up so mmuch and got it together even more so since he came out of hoapital
We are doing everything we can to get our family back together but I feel it's going to be a long time coming
Can I request a new social worker? I wasn't aware u could I may do that
What bugs me the most is my whole life is in the hands of this women noone would listen tk me at the meeting only what she said a women who made so
Many mistakes on the initial notes for the meeting were unbelievable
She got the ages of both my children wrong, one of their names claimed my eldest doesnt do any extra curricular activities although she never asked- he does drama swimming and football, said I was on benifits I hadnt taken baby to health visitor when I was there just the day before! Yet thet all laughed off those mistakes

LEMmingaround Wed 22-Jan-14 14:54:04

You poor thing sad

Can you get one of the mental health charities to support you and DH? It could be a case for discrimination. Try contacting "mind" or "time to change" they would certainly be able to advise.

Its really scary isn't it - i can't help but feeling you are being unfailry treated because you are young. I have had a breakdown - no social worker has ever been near my house (thank god, its a tip, but that doesn't mean i don't take care of my DD, its just that we are messy buggers). If i were in my 20s or a man, i bet they would have been here like a shot.

I wish i could offer you more sound advice, but the MH charities may be able to offer something.

NigellasDealer Wed 22-Jan-14 14:55:52

I know it is gutting when they put stuff in the report that you know is not true, or not 'quite' true = some social workers are v good at twisting words slightly.
nontheless you have to put in a complaint about this, (you should have been told what to do if you are not happy about any part of the process, and given the printed complaints procuedure)
either you have to put in a complaint about it or stop being annoyed by it.
then you have to co-operate as much as you possibley can.
if they want you to go for therapy, go for therapy.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Wed 22-Jan-14 15:25:28

Justalilmum, I have read your posts and you remind me of a close friend. Despite being a lovely person, her relationships have shifted her sense of normal. She has redefined what is acceptable to her and her children because she is afraid. Of him. Of being alone. It doesn't make her a bad person, she is just ground down by it all. She is 15 years older than you.

it is normal to have mh problems. it is not normal to break things in anger. Its either done in a very controlled away. Or it is out of control.

Just because there are worse people than him, it does not mean his behaviour is ok.

sw in my area are very overloaded but I know that what sets them into action and its violence in households with babies. This is simply because they can be easily killed by their parents.

you sound like your partners mouth piece. i hope you change to become your childrens advocat.

Newname14 Wed 22-Jan-14 16:22:58

I think this thread 2 month old should be read as it gives a diffrent side to what your saying And Explains to me why ss are doing what they are, I know I shouldn't link to past threads but I think it's important so people can help advise

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/a1891780-my-partner-is-seriously-depressed-and-I-cant-take-it-anymore

AnywhereOverTheRainbow Wed 22-Jan-14 16:43:06

lilmummy

I dont feel I was abused we just went through a very hard time he lost hes dad became depressed which came out in a few outbursts yes that was not right but I cant say I have an abusing relationship based on 3 events in 9 years!

lilmummy, are you aware of what psychological/emotional abuse is? Because it seems to me you consider abuse = physical abuse.......

You are referring to 3 events... and to be honest, I never had any of these events you mention in 20 yrs, yet I was abused and raped. My ex was a rapist and a skilled abuser... he never hit me though...

Be careful darling because it seems you're very confused.

OK... First, why don't you ask for help to a charity? They have your best interest at heart and they usually have no contacts with the social services. You can also phone them for advice smile

Second, is it possible you ask to a friend to be with you during social workers' visits? He/She could help you with taking notes or also give you a different perspective?

Many abused people don't feel confident to ask for help and when things get worse they don't know what to do anymore.
Take action now, for the sake of your children.

AnywhereOverTheRainbow Wed 22-Jan-14 16:50:37

Newname

Thanks for posting that.

lilmummy

From your previous thread it seems like you're being emotionally/psychologically abused
Let me clear this for you:

- - - - -

Examples of emotional/psychological abuse:

•Yelling or swearing (read about: Emotional Bullying)
•Name calling or insults; mocking
•Threats and intimidation
•Ignoring or excluding
•Isolating
•Humiliating
•Denial of the abuse and blaming of the victim
•Threats of violence or abandonment
•Intentionally frightening
•Making an individual fear that they will not receive the food or care they need
•Lying
•Failing to check allegations of abuse against them
•Making derogative or slanderous statements about an individual to others
•Socially isolating an individual, failing to let them have visitors
•Withholding important information
•Demeaning an individual because of the language they speak
•Intentionally misinterpreting traditional practices
•Repeatedly raising the issue of death
•Telling an individual that they are too much trouble
•Ignoring or excessively criticizing
•Being over-familiar and disrespectful
•Unreasonably ordering an individual around; treating an individual like a servant or child

lilmummy do you understand now why social workers are worried about you and your children?

Spero Wed 22-Jan-14 16:57:30

He was discharged with anti-depressents took them for a week and now refuses to take them, was offered therapy will not take it

this is what you said in October 2013.

these are your own words.

And you are now saying it is all ok, and he is fine? Did he start taking the anti-depressants after you posted in October? did he go to therapy?

this is why the FASSIT sites etc make me so angry. They will just take what you say at face value and tell you that SW are evil, trying to break up your family, etc etc when it is clear from your own words that there are massive, massive problems here.

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 16:58:25

Ive removed him from my house he now sees the kids for 2 hours a week
I always call beforehand to make sure hes in a good mood
I'm protecting my kids yet they say I am not
I'm scared, they will make me cut ties and I'm scared of that
Ok yes he had a huge problems but we are trying our best
It feels like the whole world is against me right now and I'm all on my own

NettleTea Wed 22-Jan-14 17:00:36

why do you need to check he is in a good mood before he has his 2 hours with the kids??

Spero Wed 22-Jan-14 17:01:03

Your op says
4 months ago he was discharged completly as they felt he was fine now and he did not have a mental disorder

But in October you said that he refused anti-depressants and therapy.

Which is true?

I am sorry that you feel so alone and scared, but unless you are honest with SW and most importantly with yourself, your children are at risk.

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 17:03:26

I just do, as what if he is starting to feel depressed again and I let the kids near him, its not gonna look good

Spero Wed 22-Jan-14 17:06:20

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 he's problem

so this is actually completely true isn't it?

If he can't or won't get help I am afraid you are going to have to leave him if you want to keep your children. I am really sorry.

It must be very frightening if he is all you have ever known, but it is clear that he needs help to be safe around the children and only he can be the one to chose that. You can't make him. And you can't put the children at risk because you don't want to lose him.

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 17:06:22

Yea he did refuse to take them after a while, the mental health team stepped in and called them which was when he was re-evaluated by them and they felt medication wasn't needed anymore I didnt initially agree but he did improve

nennypops Wed 22-Jan-14 17:07:03

If you feel alone, you do need to get someone like a lawyer on your side - but make sure they are experts in child protection. You might qualify for legal aid.

JakeBullet Wed 22-Jan-14 17:09:10

sad

I have just read your previous thread OP.

Bless you, you have had such a hard time....and now this on top.

I suspect you are so close to it all you cant see the wood for the trees.

There is some great advice on tbis thread from people far more knowledgable than I am. I hope they have been some help amd have given you some hope.

So you are scared of him. And you do tiptoe around him. And he is abusive, in addition to having mental health problems.

I always call beforehand to make sure hes in a good mood

I guess you see this as protecting your kids. sad

So he cant live in the family home.

I have now read your other thread, and I also conclude that the SS is doing their best to protect your children. Your insistence on standing by your man, and him being violent and abusive, is what is ruining your family, not SS.

AnywhereOverTheRainbow Wed 22-Jan-14 17:17:23

Ok yes he had a huge problems but we are trying our best

lilmummy

He has a problem so he has to try his best, not you!
You are not involved with him at all in that. Sorry if that is not what you want to hear but if my DH has a problem related to his childhood or family, any time he takes that out on me, I tell him to go and see a therapist.

You can't solve your partner's issues. Love yourself thanks

www.womensaid.org.uk/domestic_violence_topic.asp?section=0001000100220042

Call them, good advice: 0808 2000 247, line is open 24hr and it is free.

smile

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 17:19:32

Ive tried so hard to keep it together its just not working is it?

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 17:21:31

Thankyou everyone so much for listening to me drone on all day!
And thankyou for making me see I am realising so home truths and as hard as it is I cant hide from the pretence that this is ok anymore

Spero Wed 22-Jan-14 17:39:18

I think that you have taken the hardest step today.And hopefully things will get easier now because you are not going to waste any more energy trying to pretend that this isn't happening or isn't fair.

it might also help him, once he knows you aren't going to try and prop up his version of the truth anymore, it might shock him into getting help.

Or it might not. he might never get help. But you know what you have got to do, to try to be strong for your children.

i know it is really hard but I do hope that you can get some help and support from somewhere, there has been some really good advice on here.

I think you need someone in rl to talk to and some practical help with the children. Hopefully SW can help.

CinnabarRed Wed 22-Jan-14 17:45:29

((((((OP))))))

NettleTea Wed 22-Jan-14 17:45:51

I think thats the most honest thing you have said today (and I dont mean that to be a criticism at all btw) and a huge step in the right direction and closer to SS realising that you are moving forwards.

Unmumsnetly hugs.
and cake

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 17:53:28

Thanks people
Op who posted my old thread that was the biggest help if all I had forgotten how bad I was feeling, I'm very good at brushing away my feelings and slapping a smile on they must have seen straight through me

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 17:58:18

U lot are very kind people I cant believe u all stuck by me for 8 pages! Ive got a long way to go but hopefully I will get there

NettleTea Wed 22-Jan-14 18:03:35

dont forget they have notes to go on - and when you are tied up in the madness of a messy relationship it is often impossible to see the truth of the thing, you are so busy just trying to sort one problem or issue that you have no time to stop and take stock, even more so when there are small children to cope with too. My therapist told me that she wasnt surprised that I just stayed, I was so busy just trying to get from one day to the next that I didnt have the space in my head to look at the big picture. Most people never do. Its only the luxury of space that allows you the benefit of hindsight. You will be OK. Once you free your mind from HIS responsibilities you will be far less stressed. Go see the therapist, it was a lifesaver for me, it literally turned my life around, and I had thought there was nothing wrong with me and I was fine! Even if there is nothing 'wrong' with you, you may find that some of the things that you have based your decisions on are completely skewed, or built of beliefs about how life should be that are wrong. Go with an open mind, be prepared to accept that you might be wrong, but that its not as hard to change as you think. And that an emotionally secure and sorted mum is probably the best thing that a young child can have to set them up for their future life.

Why dont you ask the SS to help you and your kids. Tell them you are realizing you cannot help him, he needs to do that, and you can only help yourself and your children, but you find it so hard, and you have been conditioned to tiptoe around him for so long, that is so hard to take the "outs" they are offering you.

Sweetheart, the social workers won't make you cut ties with him, but they will expect you to get to a point where you want to cut ties with him (emotionally, not in every sense, you have DCs)
Splitting up doesn't work in cp cases if it's just lip service/temporary until "things get better" because social workers know that there is always a risk of things becoming dangerous again with an abusive man. Whilst a woman is still emotionally invested in an abusive man the children are not safe, because at some point in the future she will almost definitely return to the relationship.
I think you need therapy to realise that this relationship is over and to work through that.

I also think that there is something very odd about how you describe your son's behaviour. You state in your other thread that he doesn't spend time with them, treats them like noisy inconveniences yet you say your son is inconsolable every night? I've got a 5 yo with a part time father and although I can see they are well attached, DS doesn't get distraught when he doesn't see his dad for a couple of days. He asks where he is sometimes, has a quick chat on the phone some days, but he's fine. That level of distress at being separated from a frankly uninterested father is not healthy. I don't think it's the separation per se that has distressed your son, I think there is some element of fear/anxiety there around his dad and it is manifesting as anxious attachment.

NettleTea Wed 22-Jan-14 18:34:32

also the 'blowing him a kiss every night' probably isnt the best. whatever his feelings about his dad, you are reminding him, last thing at night. Let him bring him up in his own time, dont force him on the boy, he is only 4. I know you are trying to do the kind thing, but its kinder to let him control the level of conversation about him

BlueJumper Wed 22-Jan-14 18:46:29

I second what NettleTea says about how you talk to your DS about his dad. It is easy to start rituals with the best of intentions and actually they can do more harm than good. It is better to just ensure that when your DC bring their dad up in conversation you can respond in a measured and kind and positive manner.

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 18:59:36

Tbf I didnt start the blowing a kiss thing ds did

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 19:04:29

Op maybe ur right about ds and hes dad it's hard to tell didnt look at it that way
Either way hes gone from having hes dad here most night to suddenly not at all its got to be confusing for the poor boy

Oh good, the thread (and you smile) have moved on a fair bit.

You are so young and have been through so much. As has your DP, but as other wise people have said, it's up to him to sort his problems, not up to you.
It can be such a hard process to even recognise what's been going on in your life for a long time and to try and be objective about it.

Apologies if this has been brought up already, but go and have a look at Freedom Program - it's v interesting reading.
thanks

AnUnearthlyChild Wed 22-Jan-14 20:03:59

Gosh, you are doing so well.

I aren't half as experienced as most posters on here, though I have had and also lived with people with very severe depression.

One thing jumped out though. You said several times that you knew the signs of your partners depression nd you knew to get help. That my have been one of the things that worried the agencies involved.

It isn't your job to 'police' his illness. If he wants to sort this out he needs to deal with his part in the situation. Telling people you know how to deal with him will just sound like denial and minimising and you trying to be responsible for him. I know. I got into the habit of excusing someone. And it was just that, habit. You live with the behaviour, you strt to own it after a while.

If he wants to resolve this he needs to stay well. Reassure the agencies he can be trusted and then re engage.

This is not your problem. Keep him at arms length until he proves to them he can cope. Please don't try to sort it for him.

You sound like a good mum stuck in a terrible situation. But you can get out of it.

IamGluezilla Wed 22-Jan-14 20:21:59

I agree that your relationship has to end permanently. The reality is that you are at risk of having your children forcibly adopted. Choosing to be in a relationship with him is being OK with that risk. SS see it that way, and that is how you prove it won't happen again.

You know that now and must action it based on that. He has to fight for his access to the children separate to you.

thingswillgetbetter Wed 22-Jan-14 20:39:35

I was in very similar circumstances to you 4 years ago, child on CPR, abusive H with mental health problems, I was constantly trying to get him for help, he would leave all CP/SW meetings to me.
I stopped trying to help him, left him to it, completely separated from him, social services withdrew - took, maybe, 2 years for that.
My life and my child's life is now great, Ex-H, similar place to 4 years ago.
By the way, my Ex also discharged from mental health services, not because he was in any way better but because they could not treat him.

AnywhereOverTheRainbow Wed 22-Jan-14 20:54:53

awww justalilmummy, remember something... You're never ALONE. I know that reaching out is so difficult... isn't it? Been there, done that

I am so happy we could help you thanks if you need encouragement or help, post again smile

AnyFucker Wed 22-Jan-14 21:02:19

I have read this thread all in one go.

What brilliant non judgmental but insightful and honest advice you have had. I am literally blown away. Mumsnet truly has some wonderful posters who know how to tease out the truth of a situation.

I don't think it is an exaggeration to say, that if you take the advice on this thread coupled with doing everything recommended by the professionals, that there is every chance you will get to keep your children with you

What will not work is if you continue to put your relationship with this hugely damaged man before their welfare and it certainly appears that is what you have been doing. Like you said, social services and others have seen right through you. No big surprise, they have seen it all before and there truly is nothing new in the world of dysfunctional relationships that damage children.

Sweetheart, end your relationship then the rest if your life can start. You will look back in a few years and be so grateful that you posted here and you got the RL support in such a timely fashion. It isn't too late for you, but time has a habit of running out very quickly

be strong now.

justalilmummy Wed 22-Jan-14 21:26:33

Hey everyone
I had my social worker dropped by for an unannounced visit this evening
I told her I was going to try real hard not to fight against her and if I do I dont mean to
I said I'm not talking on behalf of him anymore and she seemed pleased
I told her my fears of what will happen if he wont do anything to help the situation as this is out of my control and shes put my mind at rest. As long as I stick to my end me and the children are safe.
Still obviously am stressed out but feeling a little lighter
I asked what the next step will be if he doesnt cooperate and it will be phone contact only
Also told her my concerns for my son and how hes reacting to all this and she said shes gonna push for asap for help for him
First time I was almost! Pleased to c her, especially whilst ive been mulling it all over in my head today
I cant thankyou enough uve forced me to look at the light and see thi bf s in a differentw
ay. Cant tell u how much uve helped
Think this is the longest ive ever been on here my poor ds took my phone off me earlier!

smile Well done.

AnyFucker Wed 22-Jan-14 21:33:45

When the FOG (fear, guilt, obligation) of covering for an abusive man and pretending to yourself (and it's only you that believes it) that he is worth putting your children's well being behind that of his you will start to process things better. You will start to properly hear and better see the ways that these professionals want to help you.

I am so pleased to see your update. Today is the day you start to move in the right direction, love.

AnyFucker Wed 22-Jan-14 21:34:11

oops, fear, obligation, guilt...you get my gist blush

Yes. This is a fantastic thread.

To add to the attachment thing, my DS is 5 and when he was almost 4, my now DH who he saw (and still sees) as, basically, his Dad, came to live abroad. Okay, it's a different situation as we talked to him about it beforehand and it wasn't a massive shock but it was still a sudden change. He's been fine - a few tears every now and again, an "I WANT <HISNAME>!" when he thinks I'm being unfairly harsh or something, but not every night, he was happy in the knowledge that DH was here and we were there, now we're all living together again he's adjusted to that no problems either.

I'm sure you've been recommended it before by the sounds of your previous thread (I did not read it) but Lundy Bancroft is excellent about the myth of mental health and abuse and the relationship between the two.

NettleTea Wed 22-Jan-14 21:53:00

really glad you spoke to the sw this evening. I think you will start to see her in a new light, and in time understand what help and support they can be.
Stay strong, and come back here if you feel a wobble, because he may start trying to put the guilts onto you, or saying the right stuff. Remember, its THEM he needs to go and say the right stuff to, not you. If you want your kids, your hands are tied as far as he is concerned. If he wants his kids he needs to start jumping through the hoops instead of you now, and prove it to them.
But I think now that you have seen the reality you cannot unsee it. Your SW will be happy for you to call her anytime, any moment you feel he might be pressuring you, any time he tries to blame you or persuade you. The fact you have kept him out of the house is such a good sign. If you dont have to actually see him, that will make things much easier. You dont have to answer his calls or texts you know either, or you could get a phone to just keep for him and his phone contact with the kids if you think he may cause you a problem
but you are doing so well xxx

AnywhereOverTheRainbow Wed 22-Jan-14 21:57:46

lilmummy

Well done! smile

bertie

"Why does he do that?" by Bancroft was such an eye opening experience, I could see so many things in a different light, the truth...

It was my bible even after the report. I stuck to that advice, no matter what smile

Now for me love is love and abuse is abuse.

allthingsfluffy Wed 22-Jan-14 22:09:00

You deserve so much better than him OP. This isn't a normal relationship. It shouldn't be you doing all the "making it work."

I am glad that you are beginning to see what we can see now. You still have a long way to go, but you can do it. Step by step.

You have been with him from a young age. You have no experience of being single as an adult, so its entirely normal for you to feel alone right now. But if you reach out and accept the help that's available out there, you can learn a new way to be. You can learn to be single, to bring your kids up on your own. Hopefully you will have support from your family that will enable you to have a social life, maybe go to college, if that's something you want to do.

You are still young, there is so much for you to look forward to, please don't get bogged down by this man and his depression.

He needs to access help in order to be a good father, but you can't make him. I have seen this point made on here before, and its a very good one. You are not responsible for his relationship with his kids.

I hope that once you process all these thoughts and feelings you will begin to see a way forward! We are all here to help along the way!

DeriArms Wed 22-Jan-14 23:52:55

What an excellent thread.
I have recently started work as a children's social worker and there is definitely some great advice and support here as well as food for thought about how the whole process is experienced.
Keep posting OP and kudos to you for listening to and responding to all the points and suggestions made. You sound like you are trying to take things on board in a difficult situation and that's very courageous and the right thing to do.
All the best.

CouthyMow Thu 23-Jan-14 01:48:31

I've caught up on this thread, and read the earlier thread.

I can see now why SS have such great concerns.

I'm glad you have taken this on board, and spoken to your SW about that. I think you might find that she, in time, will become your ally in these meetings rather than your enemy.

It IS hard to see the wood for the trees, and I think one thing that Social Workers don't seem to realise is that when you add in the stress of a CIN case, where you are at risk of losing your DC's, it puts so much added pressure on a parent that is already under pressure and a victim of DV too, and often EA that they haven't yet realised, that it becomes almost impossible for the parent to stop being fearful and stressed for ling enough to see the truth of their situation.

I DO feel that a gentler approach from SS would actually in the majority of cases like the OP's resolve the CIN concerns much faster.

Clearly setting out what constitutes EA and DV for the parent would open their eyes to things that they have often been minimising. With examples of each thing that can constitute abuse - including financial. Also stating clearly about the long term effects on a child of living in a DV situation, with possible issues it can cause for the children - NOT everyone knows this, it's NOT taught about in schools.

Ask them to look at the list, and to answer it honestly, while the SW isn't present, and going back for a second session with them, being clear about what they need done would also help.

It isn't easy, as a parent who still loves their partner, to truly see an abusive situation for what it is. And it's even less easy to know without being told, what you are meant to do to fix it.

It's very easy for me now, as a 30-something adult, who has BEEN in a previous abusive relationship, to see what you are meant to do.

As a teenage parent, or a young parent, who has no experience of this, how in the name of hell are you meant to GUESS what you are meant to do??!!

And this is, I feel, where SS goes wrong, and stops putting the DC's first. If SS were clear right from the beginning with handouts that explained everything that constitutes abuse, with examples, it would be far easier to spot when you are being abused. If they also gave clear directions on what is expected in that situation to protect the DC's, many more DC's would be protected from living in an environment with DV MUCH FASTER.

And parents who are in an abusive relationship would not feel so confused, fearful, and would be far less 'obstructive' in many cases, towards the SW's attempts at helping.

It's not always possible to find the time for navel gazing personal reflection to attempt to work out that you are in an abusive relationship and that you need to get out of it pdq when you are actually coping with being in an abusive relationship, dealing with the day-to-day stuff that comes with having DC's, AND are fearful of losing your children and not knowing why or how to fix it!

I think that a clearer picture from SS would actually PROTECT far more DC's from living in a situation with abuse present.

CouthyMow Thu 23-Jan-14 01:52:16

And I would wholeheartedly recommend the earlier suggestions of the Freedom Program and reading Lundy Bancroft. And of not doing HIS work for him. Work with SS to make things better for you and your DC's.

(((Hugs))) thanks

I'm here if you have a wobble, and I'm sure others on this thread will be too.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Spero Thu 23-Jan-14 08:23:31

Couthy, what you are saying is EXACTLY the kind of stuff I would like to get together on a blog/website aimed at helping people navigate the child protection system.

Do you mind if I cut and paste a variety of your posts? Or do you feel up to pulling them together into one piece?

I suppose I could link to this thread as an example of the kinds of thought processes you need to go through.

I agree that sometimes SW go in very hard and harsh and make immediate demands of already stressed people.

All I can say in their defence, is when you have been doing the job a while and seen the damage done to children you must get hardened and impatient to the excuses of parents as to why they won't change.

But I agree it can often be counter productive. I think it is very interesting for e.g. that over the years I have only had a handful of clients who could not or would not relate to me - because they know I am on 'their side' and we sit and chat and I listen to them and hopefully treat them with respect.

the SW however often complain that my clients are rude and won't engage.

But as my clients are polite and friendly to ME, its clearly not an issue with the clients but the toxic relationship that develops between clients and SW on occasion.

I think that is a real shame but it is so difficult for SW who have to wear two completely different hats at once - trying to protect the child and trying to keep the family together. Very often, these are competing aims.

Spero Thu 23-Jan-14 08:25:32

op, I hope you are feeling ok this morning and that you can take on the good advice in this thread and move forward to a happy future with your children, in whatever form that takes.

you are still very young and you have a lot of life ahead of you! I hope it is a good one. Take all the help you can get, never be afraid or ashamed to ask. There are a lot of people out there who do want to help, even though it might be difficult to see that at times.

cory Thu 23-Jan-14 11:21:43

So glad to hear you are able to move forward OP thanks

When you feel yourself wavering- read that old thread again and remind yourself how down you felt living in that miserable atmosphere of always having to be on tenterhooks. And then try to imagine what it would be like to grow up in that as a small child. That is what SS mean when they say there is a risk of EA to your children- they are afraid being exposed to that would harm their development.

Excellent post from Couthy above. The kind of thing you learn from years on MN all distilled on a handout- brilliant idea!

ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight Thu 23-Jan-14 17:43:04

Couthymow you've given fantastic support and advice to the op on this thread (most have but yours stand out) well done smile
You should be proud of yourself

Op, best of luck I hope everything works out for you and your dc x

CouthyMow Thu 23-Jan-14 19:02:42

Having a 'family situation' with DD tonight, won't be able to turn my posts into anything coherent, feel free yo type it out and edit as you see fit, Spero.

brew OP. Take time out for a bubble bath for yourself.

AnywhereOverTheRainbow Thu 23-Jan-14 19:17:14

couthymow

And this is, I feel, where SS goes wrong, and stops putting the DC's first. If SS were clear right from the beginning with handouts that explained everything that constitutes abuse, with examples, it would be far easier to spot when you are being abused.

I absolutely agree with this. Incredibly good advice!

Spero Thu 23-Jan-14 19:43:40

thanks couthy, I will stitch your posts together; I will link here to the website when it is up and running so please come and read it, if you want to change or add anything let me know.

justalilmummy Thu 23-Jan-14 19:53:21

Hello all
Couthymow ur post is very much how ive been seeing things
Whenever she said dv I just assumed hes never hit me so it's not true, and the term ans when she said risk of emotional abuse I instantly fought against it as I couldn't accept it...im not an abuser I would do anything for my kids and would never ever hurt them
What u said about stress hit the nail on the head, I'm already stressed and this women walks into my house and starts making so many demands I cant process the
em, feel like shes added another mountain onto my shoulders, so I cling to my dp for support and try to get rid of her, once shes gone it will all be ok
She also speaks alot of getting US all back as a family as thats best for the kids, so I have been fighting for that, but wanting it all far too soon, so yea ive downplayed things but she wasn't fooled
Despite all thats happened I do feel terribly sorry for my dp, an already desperately unhappy man who lost hes family overnight. I just hope he has the strength to help himself. However I am trying real hard not to feel guilty, I didnt make him depressed and I cant fix him no matter how much I want to

Spero Thu 23-Jan-14 20:36:29

Ok, it is very rough and ready but this is the start.

Couthy, please check and see if you are ok with me doing this kind of thing to your posts.
childprotectionresource.wordpress.com/category/birth-parents/

Spero Thu 23-Jan-14 20:52:45

OK, that link might not work try this instead
childprotectionresource.wordpress.com

AnyFucker Thu 23-Jan-14 21:04:07

OP, you are so brave and strong to still be with your thread.

DangerRabbit Thu 23-Jan-14 22:22:59

I work in social services with care leavers. If our young people are unhappy with the service they are receiving from our team they can go to barnado's to see a childfen's rights advocate. Maybe they run a similar service for parents? Or would you be entitled to legal aid?

PeriodFeatures Thu 23-Jan-14 23:23:14

Spero, to add to your early comments regarding the timing of meetings and DP's attendance you are correct BUT It is common practice for practitioners to focus on mother and they will not always consider that fathers need to attend. There is certainly a case for this being the responsibility of the parent but where the power balance is obviously lying with the agency it can be very difficult for families to step up and challenge. or even recognize the need to challenge until after the conference.

PeriodFeatures Thu 23-Jan-14 23:27:16

DangerRabbit Family rights group offer advocacy for families. Advocacy isn't as visible at the entry point of children services. When children are in services, in foster/residential or care leavers, it is available and accessible, or should be. It should also be available to families before conference. It is for children but not for parents.

Allergictoironing Fri 24-Jan-14 07:54:40

However I am trying real hard not to feel guilty, I didnt make him depressed and I cant fix him no matter how much I want to

You have to remember this & keep it in your mind. You didn't make him ill, you can't fix him, there's no reason to feel guilty over something that isn't your fault and you can't fix.

Sad things happen, you can't prevent them all or fix all those that do happen.

justalilmummy Tue 11-Feb-14 12:12:26

Is anyone around having a wobble today
sad

Lweji Tue 11-Feb-14 12:13:40

hmm?

justalilmummy Tue 11-Feb-14 12:21:15

Had core meeting today found out they needto tell my work which means they wont want me anymore (I work with newborn babies) dp gone off sick so he has no money what am I going to do?

Also been told I have to tell my mum or they will, im very worried I didnt want her to know what's going on

Ive lost all control of my life

I'm here. I'm sorry to hear this. You haven't been prosecuted for anything and you may not loose your job. Financially and in every other way you need to sever ties with dp. I know this is harsh but SS will see that you're choosing him over your DCs.

Your mum might be able to help you. I understand you feel ashamed and embarrassed but showing you have family support will really be a plus for you.

angeltulips Tue 11-Feb-14 12:27:48

Sorry your DH had a mental breakdown 15 months ago and you have a 5 month old baby? You fell pregnant a month after his breakdown? confused

justalilmummy Tue 11-Feb-14 12:35:08

Baby is 6 1/2 months fell pregnant just before

justalilmummy Tue 11-Feb-14 12:38:17

Whitershadeof pale they told me not to severe ties
Hes currently not living with us and only sees the children with supervision
He was giving me money for the boys but cant now hes gone off sick

justalilmummy Tue 11-Feb-14 12:43:55

I said I was willing to cut him off she said no as that would be damaging to the children
But having them around is as well... I feel like I cant win

Other than that though meeting went well they said dp has shown good interaction with the boys
Eldest starts music therapy after half term
Dp is being reassessed tomorrow and may be offered cognitive therapy so there was some good progress
Just very scared about telling my mum

With work social worker thinks it wont affect my job as its not me in question and I'm a good mum, doesnt stop me worrying though!

I think maybe you need to clarify what they expect. My suspicion is that they don't want you sever ties between him and the children as that would be damaging but that they believe that you two being in a relationship is not good for them either and that there is an expectation for you to eventually end it.

They're not keen on decisions that a seeming come out of the blue. It looks as if you're just saying what they want to hear without really thinking about it and knowing the real reasons behind the decision.

justalilmummy Tue 11-Feb-14 13:02:10

.Well I did say it out of anger tbh

All they ever say is they are helping us get back together as a family as they feel we are both good parents but the boys dad is is a bad place and cannot return until he gets help..which finally hes acknowledgd
I fully understand why all this is happening but just a little upset today thats all

Spero Tue 11-Feb-14 13:04:38

Sorry to hear that. I hope it doesn't have repercussions for your job.

angeltulips Tue 11-Feb-14 13:20:08

Sorry just caught up w the thread - ignore the above! Sorry op

Spero Tue 11-Feb-14 13:33:09

It sounds like you are not sure what the plan is - presumably someone has sat down with you and discussed what needs to happen, timescales etc, etc?

If this hasn't happened I think it needs to as it isn't fair on anyone to have you floundering about like this.

What do they want you to do? What do they want him to do? no vague waffle but something concrete for e.g. 'we would like you to get X kind of help by Y date'

justalilmummy Tue 11-Feb-14 13:41:24

No they havnt said anything about timeacales ive got no idea how long this will go on/and also what to do
At first she told me I need councilling for support but today she said as I go to a singing class with baby once a week thats enough?

On the timescale note at the initial conference they said that what if he relapses when the boys are teenagers? There babies there is no way I can tell u what's gonna happen in 10+ years, so are they gonna stick around till they are 18?
And she said dp will be allowed to visit once he starts therapy, does that mean on the first session, in the I middle once it's finished? Theres not really answer for that one I know but the way she words things leaves me a bit confused sometimes

justalilmummy Tue 11-Feb-14 13:44:29

Dp agreed to councilling back in November but they have only just arranged this meanwhile theres been about 8 meetings and they all say the same he is to seek help but hes asked and asked

He wants help he doesnt want to feel this way, or be a threat to hes own kids, took him a while but he realises that when hes having a really bad day he doesnt care about anything but himself which is why he cant be around
We're getting there slowly but we are

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Tue 11-Feb-14 13:58:40

As the OP is an adult, can they actually discuss this with her mother without consent? Surely that's a breach of data protection and client confidentiality laws?

OP, I think you need to seek legal advice in real life. The CAB and/or Womens' Aid can refer you to a solicitor who specialises in this kind of case.

justalilmummy Tue 11-Feb-14 14:41:44

Well she said to me once before that if I dnt tell my mum she will to which I said I would put a complaint in, so she dropped it but recently starter back up on it, as she is a protective factor. We have said she can talk to dp mum but she never has

I dont know if she is allowed to do this or not, she says I need support but I feel like I have enough support as it is

Spero Tue 11-Feb-14 14:45:47

This just isn't good enough. If they are having child protection conferences, there ought to be a clear plan about what everyone is doing and some timescales by which time it has to get done.

things can't just drift on like this, it is frustrating for everyone and hardly in the children's best interests.

I would ask them again to set out very clearly a written plan about what needs to happen and by when to reassure them that your children are not going to be at risk of harm.

If they can't or won't do this, I agree you probably need to see a specialist firm of solicitors.

boomoohoo Tue 11-Feb-14 20:48:35

op i have read the whole thread... you are still calling him 'dp' - are you still together?

and yes they see your mum as a protective factor, as a single parent you will really benefit from her support

boomoohoo Tue 11-Feb-14 20:52:45

have you felt yourself getting drawn back into dp's problems? detach detach detach, you have to for the sake of your kids.

As well as the amazing support you have received here, i think you may really benefit from counselling. i know theres always a long waiting list, but put your name on it love.

Wierdowith6fabkids Sun 04-May-14 03:35:05

Social services have repeatedly invaded my life stressed my kids to the point of abuse,,lied said vile untruths just the usual. Why? Because I am not the norm and I believe in speaking my mind( a crime in poor people). How do I combat these monsters? Oh my older children have all done normally well,my youngest at 14 has a 99.6% attendance and teachers love her! Not relevant apparently,how can these monsters operate,I realise there must be services but why do they have to employ mostly underachievers with huge chips or foreigners who cannot understand my queens English ?.My partner of 7 yrs is 24 yrs younger than me,and they cannot leave us be,they want him out so badly they will do almost anything? Damm should have got back with abusive 1st hubby,they love him!,they used to have a cuppa at his house when in the area!

flipflapsflop Sun 04-May-14 07:52:37

right now social services are actively gaslighting my sister. they have been told to change their incorrect files by a judge, but won't as they prefer their analysis of " parental discord" than to accept the view of the court that the father is a nasty bully. he of course plays the poor me card which they buy, and that allows him to actually emotionally abuse and physically hurt his son. bonkers.

flipflapsflop Sun 04-May-14 07:56:09

he basically has spent 8 years saying she accuses him of sexual abuse to bar contact. weirdly, she hasn't barred contact or accused him of sexual abuse. she has said he is emotionally abusive and cafcass and the court agreed. however, social services prefer to think of it as a he had presented it to them. they keep saying that she has accused him, despite there being no evidence other than him saying that she has. utterly surreal.

FelineLou Sun 04-May-14 17:00:56

Weirdow and Flip neither of your posts are helpful to OP who has just begun to recognise SS positive attempts to help her little family. I do not doubt your terrible problems but they should be in their own threads not reinforcing OP's original worries.

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Sun 04-May-14 17:40:30

hmm

justalilmummy Wed 07-May-14 23:43:06

Something really bad has happened o think they might take my babies

NigellasDealer Wed 07-May-14 23:44:41

what has happened lilmummy?

justalilmummy Wed 07-May-14 23:45:04

And op yr posts are not helpful

justalilmummy Wed 07-May-14 23:55:44

He turned up at my flat told me he could hear voices so I called an ambulanc, he was on the main stairs so not inside my house. No-one came and he had passed out so I went up to bed. At 3am he let himself in and threw up everywheren then passed out again so I left him I didn't want to cause problems, I didn't know he still had a key to my house! 10 mins later police and ambulance turned up and took him away.
My baby was here but eldest was on a sleepover police took babies details
I'm scared social services are gonna take my babies coz it looks like I've let him in again. When I woke up there was an empty bottle of whiskey on the floor I didn't notice it butno bet police did.
The hospital let him out next day but he's mum called today asking for him I havnt seen him since but he phoned me 3 days ago ranting down the phone as if he was talking to himself about how he was a failure and the world is a better place without him
I'm not with him still but I'm panicked that he's hurt himself I've phoned all hospitals/police he isn't there
I won't let him back but I'm still really worried
I'm gonna lose my kids

NigellasDealer Thu 08-May-14 00:00:12

change your locks lilmummy

justalilmummy Thu 08-May-14 00:19:46

I got the key so he cant get in again
I am scared though although we are not together and I told him he couldn't see the children till he got some proper help and now he's disappeared
It's not very easy to switch it feelings off

weatherall Thu 08-May-14 00:44:43

Ss will visit again about this.

They may not believe that you forget he had a key.

Why did the police show up as well if only an ambulance was called?

You may need to show willingness to move to women's aid or similar safe place to reassure ss that ex doesn't know where you are and can't turn up at your door like this again.

He put your DC at risk and you will be seen as enabling this.

Have you been to any therapy yet? I think you really need some awareness raising about domestic abuse- tell ss this. That you were trying to protect your DCs but didn't know how to manage this situation. Tell then that you now know to do differently if it ever happened again.

I'm sorry you're going through all of this.

justalilmummy Thu 08-May-14 00:57:45

That's what. I'm scared of I generally didn't know he hada key but they won't believe me
I did the fr eedom programme thats what made me see sense
I don't know why police turned up
I only didn't fight to get him back out as I didn't want to cause a row and wake baby and I knew ambulance would turn up already, he was so drunk he was practically unconscious soI didn't try to remove him I thought I would wait till ambulance came so I wasn't alone with him

justalilmummy Thu 08-May-14 01:01:18

I'm scared they will take my kids
Believe me when I say he's not coming back ive had all I can take but I can't help worrying about him disappearing, it won't change anything he still won't see me or the kids if or when he shows up at he's
Mums but I'm still very worried he is generally very unwell

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 08-May-14 01:22:52

How's your Counselling going OP?

LittleMissDisorganized Thu 08-May-14 01:33:57

justalil you did really well tonight in scary circumstances. Please tell yourself that and try not to panic. Like Couthy upthread I've also lived through this. I know that blind panic feeling and the feeling that all the odds are stacked against you.
Now - sleep, if you can, rest if you can't.
In the morning - the best thing you can do is to take the initiative and ring your children's social worker. That will come across way better than waiting for them to hear via the emergency services. I know you probably don't want to but you must. Clean up, obviously, don't tell your eldest, go about your normal Thursday. Keep talking. Thinking of you.

weatherall Thu 08-May-14 07:38:29

Yes take the initiative and call the sw this morning.

Been reading through, you have my sympathies as I've been through something similar recently. She can still be your ally, call her, explain and ask her for advice on what to do next time, and more importantly what you can do to prevent a next time. The dv team at the police station can be helpful too. Will be thinking of you today.

cestlavielife Thu 08-May-14 09:14:25

Why did the police show up as well if only an ambulance was called?

it is standard procedure to send police as well when there are dc in the house / when certain issues are mentioned on the 999 call.

call the sw.
ask for support you need.
SS dont want to remove children if they can help it - much cheaper better to support you to keep them. have you got rl support friend relative who can come with you to meetings?

cestlavielife Thu 08-May-14 09:19:45

you need to write a list about what you are doing to ensure he cant come in your house eg does he have a key? if you need police help ask - they can come to your home an review safety and security.

let hospital and mh services deal with him. focus on your babies.
tell ss you only want supervised contact for your kids to see him - they or his mh team can help him set this up. let other people handle your ex. he is ill. he needs help. you cannot give him this.

you need to look after you and your dc.

keep feeding your dc and yourself, keep going one day at a time.

clara777 Sat 17-May-14 22:53:04

You are in trouble and I don't know what to advise but I think it would be a good idea to ask to be transferred to a different social worker. You also need to watch every word you say in front of them, say as little as possible because it will be twisted. If the father is getting worked up it is actually better he does not attend but you need someone on your side in there take as many people as possible. I also think you may have to tell them that you have parted from your other half and wait it out because otherwise you are in danger of losing your children. This is the real choice that you are facing now. Social Services did destroy my family. They were initially called because I was 17, had left home and my daughter was premature. I loved her deeply and looking back I can see that I cared for her extremely well but for months they would not let up it was relentless. Eventually I offered to do anything they wanted including leaving my partner, her father but nothing worked. In the end they took her from me she was healthy when they took her but she died shortly afterwards. It was truly a vendetta and Sarah would be alive today if it were not for them. That was over 20 years ago and I think their powers have increased since then. Once they are in your life they are almost impossible to get rid of, only those who have been through this will understand that there does not have to be any real reason for their unwanted attention but once it starts it is very hard to get out of their clutches and the stress and worry is intolerable. Be very careful and get all the help you can.

Spero Sat 17-May-14 23:17:01

I am sorry to hear things are not going well but I hope you can still try to work with children's services.

I really don't think it is helpful when people post stuff like 'there does not have to be any real reason for their unwanted attention'.

I know some people report horrible experiences, and I am truly sorry that so many people have only negative things to say. However, in my experience, they don't have the time or the resources to mess about with families where there are no real problems. I hope your energies don't get diverted fighting the wrong battles.

Try to be as open and honest as you can about what is going on and what you are going to do to make sure he doesn't gain access to your home again.

Your children CANNOT just be taken at the whim of a social worker. They have to get authority from the court. Our website is now up and running; you may find this link helpful.
www.childprotectionresource.org.uk/category/the-law/key-legal-principles/interim-removal/

Icimoi Sun 18-May-14 17:50:35

OP, please ignore clara777 who doesn't seem to have read the thread and who really isn't helping. You did the right think in calling the ambulance, which will help to demonstrate that you didn't want him in the flat, and you should follow Spero's advice.

However, hard as it may be, you really shouldn't be frantically phoning around hospitals and police about him. That is going to give the impression that you aren't letting go and might let him back into your life. Leave it to his mum to look out for him.

socialservicesrscum Sun 29-Jun-14 05:53:40

Anybody out there suffering the institutional abuse that is social services and while I respect all opinions on here please don't ignore clara777 I say this as I know what it's like when social services are after you purely for a vendetta and yes it's very true that once they are involved it's really difficult getting rid of them and the twisting they do today is worse than ever be very careful when dealing with them say as little as possible and always make sure you have legal representation for your child when dealing with these people they are truly dangerous and have a completely negative effect upon the family.

apermanentheadache Sun 29-Jun-14 19:01:46

Not my experience with social services , previous poster. They were involved briefly, I got treatment, they left us alone. End of story.

Isetan Sun 29-Jun-14 19:45:41

Change the lock/s now! You didn't know he had a key the first time, therefore it's unlikely that you'd know if he has another set. For the sake of your children, you really need to disengage from this man, currently he is a threat on too many levels.

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