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Tips for pending Tribunal

(66 Posts)
santaclaw1 Sat 29-Dec-12 17:40:40

Have refusal to assess tribunal very, very soon.

I have the bundle here.

Where did you start?

What did you focus on?

and any other tips?

santaclaw1 Thu 03-Jan-13 02:06:53

Exactly Star,

It is difficult sometimes to see it from other points of views when you are living and breathing it day in and day out and the pressure is constant, never ending. You do get defensive at times, when professionals are constantly telling you cant do right, for doing wrong. Constantly critising everything you do, but offering no constructive critism.

It requires constant rethinking and readjusting, add to that lack of sleep, stress and having to do the everyday things like cook and clean and look after a child with SN's who has just suffered massive regression which needs your attention and planning, sometimes it is hard to focus on what you should be focussing on.

Sometimes a slap in the face is needed, rather than a sympathetic hug smile

and yes i cant sleep, hence 2am posting and early meeting in the morning!

I agree about the challenge. I had some very rough times on here wrt being challenged and it hurt, confused and frustrated me, but in hindsight I am so grateful for those people (some of whom were kind and others less so) who made me justify my actions, get my story together, consider other sides and give me practice before facing the cruel RL critics. I woukd NEVER have got through had I had a herd of posters agreeing with me all the time and patting me on the back.

santaclaw1 Wed 02-Jan-13 20:38:57

Maria, i appreciate it, as it does help to me think about things smile

mariammama Wed 02-Jan-13 20:24:41

and I keep only challenging you on here because when people have challenged me (the very best was an off-the-record chat with very competent and nice generic NHS SLT, who knew nothing about HFA and simply couldn't/ didn't understand why I was so worried about a child who could talk well), it's meant I'm not thrown off-balance and have my response ready for when the school/ LA then tries it on.

mariammama Wed 02-Jan-13 20:20:56

I'm also sure you'll get SW on side. If it's soon, she'll write a great report for ds's statutory advice wink

mariammama Wed 02-Jan-13 20:19:14

you know you're doing great, claw. That's why the thumbscrews are being tightened. The eggshells thing really isn't fair, but soon (fingers crossed) that stupid school will be gone from your life forever and then the other professionals will stop being dragged into their delusions. Wouldn't it be great if we lived in that universe, there'd be no need for MNSN, all the dc with SEN could magically have instantly and vastly improved outcomes, if only their unreasonable parents would just stop being so anxious hmm

santaclaw1 Wed 02-Jan-13 15:50:19

and you know what this SW will be on side, by the time ive finished. I will be walking on egg shells as she will be waiting for me to put a foot wrong, but she will have no choice!

School might smile sweetly and say all the things she wants to hear, but their actions say different, she will get the picture, its just taking a bit of time! smile

santaclaw1 Wed 02-Jan-13 15:39:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

santaclaw1 Wed 02-Jan-13 15:25:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Oh ffs. Send her a polite note telling her that she is welcome after the tribunal, and give dates. Tell her that you are keeping a diary on all that you are doing with DS in the meantime and on date after tribunal would appreciate her thoughts on it.

santaclaw1 Wed 02-Jan-13 14:45:57

I saw SW 2 weeks ago, she now wants to come here tomorrow, as well as the meeting next week.

I have sent her copies of my diary and ds's daily routine. I am preparing for solicitors meeting with pending tribunal and the tribunal itself. I just want a break during the school holidays!

santaclaw1 Tue 01-Jan-13 23:00:25

Mariam, i usually switch my emotions off, i have done for years, but i think with this and the ultimate threat of we can take your child from you, i am finding it hard not to get angry in private or on here and have a moan.

I had been treating it as a business arrangement, they have something i want and i will go about it in a business like way to get it ie support for ds.

But seeing what all this has done to ds, when i was looking at a shell of my former child, who was covered in injuries and then be threatened with taking him from me. I cant help but to get angry, i cant continue to remain emotionless 24/7 otherwise i would explode, i think.

It will pass, i will get on with business as usual, but given those circumstances i was upset, i was angry.

Inaflap Tue 01-Jan-13 22:26:41

Is it worth including something from your DS. Could you ask someone he trusts but isn't a direct family member to either video him speaking directly to the tribunal or writing his own thoughts about how he feels about school. I know that tribunals are really keen that the focus is the child and in a case like your where he is showing real anti feelings about school at home but is covering this up more at school, it might help the tribunal to'hear' his voice in whatever mecium you decide on.

My lea also provided no evidence. Obviously blenched when they saw what I submitted and caved in before I got to tribunal. The senco is in for a nasty shock if all they have provided is a few ieps. There should be data which indicates progress. If there isn't rub your hands with joy. Key terms to use are

X forms a significant barrier to learning
Ds is unable to access the curriculum fullt and on a par with his peers because ...
Ds is not showing the expected level of progress in despte being given x, y and s intervention.

mariammama Tue 01-Jan-13 21:37:25

I was advised ages ago to transform my anger from a hot, uncontrolled fireburst into a cold, hard, strategic weapon. Rage at injustice, how do they get away with it, etc is a wasted resource. My rage was (probably) deliberately provoked to try and set me up to 'lose' in various meetings... and it very nearly worked.

Happily, tribunal paperwork, whilst nearly killing me, was a very good reminder that this is chess, not Fight Club.

mariammama Tue 01-Jan-13 21:22:21

'Everything in writing' does help in tribunal. And if the CP threats ever got turned into really serious action. Otherwise, big files very rarely get read properly, and on those few occasions, inaccurate guesses, errors and hearsay are seldom recognised.

Even with a thin file, you're lucky if someone reads more than the last few pages, and so an inaccurate verbal summary by the lead professional trumps the facts in the file for most practical day-to-day purposes.

santaclaw1 Tue 01-Jan-13 20:41:15

Maria, i have been following everything up in writing for example i told SW my GP plan in writing and gave a copy of medical certificate. She has now changed this suit herself, but i have it in writing exactly what i told her at the time, as i sent her an email setting it out.

I do tend to spend more time on here stating what SW hasnt done, rather than making it clear what i am doing. I guess i just take it for granted that everyone will know what i am doing, despite my moaning!

Star taught me long ago, in fact drummed it into me smile to put everything into writing and i do.

I think im just a bit gobsmacked and finding it hard to believe that despite putting everything into writing, i am still being accused of doing the opposite and i suppose angry that someone can be allowed to get away with it.

mariammama Tue 01-Jan-13 20:37:52

The reason for that essay, is because the non-evil staff dealing with your DS will mostly be as naive as I was, and that's why I keep harping on about you demonstrating that the school's allegations are wrong. Otherwise SW, CAMHS, EWO, maybe even GP could be taken in. The allegations may stem from lazy, incompetent, groupthink, or there may be a power-crazed psychopath like the poster above's HT mistaken individual who is over-skilled at convincing others of their views.

mariammama Tue 01-Jan-13 20:23:02

I spent 20 years working in/ with various branches of health, social care and education before having a dc with SEN. Incompetent colleagues, saving face, professional in-fighting, poor systems, lack of training, overwork, essential paperwork getting lost... all very familiar ad something that drives you insane but can usually be got around.

Staff sometimes get badly harassed, though the unions usually step in. But persecuting a client is something I had never encountered till entering the SEN parent world, and it was a real shock. If someone back then had told me that they were threatened with CP for trying to help their child, I'd have assumed either 'no smoke without fire' or a dreadful misunderstanding.

mariammama Tue 01-Jan-13 20:01:48

Claw, I know you have not only engaged, but that you have bent over backwards to try to work with staff whose attitudes, actions and behaviour were totally unprofessional. Outside of this board (and including at tribunal) a social worker will usually be believed above a parent. It's worth a bit of work now to demonstrate your commitment to engagement is far greater than school /LEA/ SW have stated.

A bunch of emails setting out why DS came out of school, and asking for meetings a few days after tribunal is your insurance policy against the LEA requesting extra time / new witnesses / additional reports based on non-existent social care concerns.

You can do this extremely clearly and succinctly (think short comment followed by politician soundbite, or advert ending with slogan) shows that, on this point, the SW was mistaken, or misled by school giving poor information.

The school claiming your ds's issues are exacerbated by your 'failure to engage' has rubbed off on the SW, despite it being untrue. The problem with this is that, if tribunal does order SA, the social work 'advice' (and if you get the statement, thus parts 2, 3 and maybe 4) will be totally polluted by the same rubbish.

inappropriatelyemployed Tue 01-Jan-13 19:53:30

Star, it would be ridiculous to have a directions hearing on something so small and resolvable as where you live. I think what not responding to the appeal itself is, however, different so I have no idea why that has been rejected as it would clearly save everyone time and money.

So, I'm sorry but I have no faith in these bodies at all and I would certainty not hold my breath for them to resolve my child's fate or mental health. I think it is different if you need a specific type of provision like ABA or a specialist school. But even then, you need overwhelming evidence to support your case and these bastards will use anything and everything against you.

Presumably your solicitor will be dealing with the bundle anyway.

santaclaw1 Tue 01-Jan-13 19:40:03

Keep, maybe that is how i do come across on here, maybe a bad habit of not being believed in RL for years and a desire to be believed or me trying to make sense myself of the conflicting advice i have been given, i dont know. I will take that onboard smile

I havent given my POV in real life or to professionals. It has just been a case of me following the advice that is given.

I might have a moan about professionals on here, however i would never do that in a meeting etc. I dont turn up for meetings and say i dont agree with that, its more a case of 'ok, il give it a try' kinda thing.

Regardless of why the CIN was called, i have taken on board there is nothing i can do about it and i have to work with it. That is what i have been doing.

However on here, i am saying it just appeared to me to be the case. SW had previously put in writing that she would be involved for 2 weeks, then close the case.

Her '2 week plan' before she closed the case, was for ds to return to school for one hour. It didnt work, because ds wasnt able to sleep of a night (i have now got Melatonin from CAMHS to try and remedy this, but i had to wait for this appointment)

She insisted during this time i attempt the plan regardless of ds not being able to sleep until early hours of the morning. I did attempt to wake him to get him to school and he went berserk.

She then turned up at my house and attempted to get ds to agree to return to school herself, it went wrong and i made a complaint about her.

I was then called to her office 2 days later, I was handed a core assessment and where i was told verbally by her that it was being raised to CIN because i did not get ds to school during those 2 weeks. If i did get ds to school, she would have closed the case.

Sorry if that is repeating again, but i am feeling misunderstood!

CAMHS have stated the plan needs to be flexible at the meeting SW attended too, step one is me completing school work at home, talking about school etc, etc.

SW then waited for CAMHS to leave the meeting and told me the core assessment was not finalised (i had told her the chronology was all wrong, with all wrong dates etc and asked for some time to get back to her) in the core assessment it states there is a time limit for ds to be returned to school and if he isnt then CP proceedings.

I expressed my concerns to CAMHS and asked what the time limit was etc, they had no idea what i was talking about and said we had agreed a flexible plan, with tiny steps.

I also told them, i felt like i was on my own again and was hoping for a comprehensive written plan from them, which everyone was agreed on.

The emphasis is again being placed on me to decide on a daily basis, if ds can attend school and if i make the wrong decision, then CP proceedings.

So now neither SW or CAMHS have produced a plan and all i have to go on was what was said at that meeting, which was conflicting!

CAMHS flexible gradual, tiny steps. SW start date of 7th Jan and time limit.

When we had signed contract for new address and submitted, but still lived at old, (but submitted end of contract there document) new LA requested a Telephone conference to 'establish where we are living because they were confused'.

My solicitor booked barrister and herself for this. I wrote directly to tribunal and told them not to be silly and if new LA were confused about anything they could call me as my number had been supplied with documents. Tribunal then agreed and inwas spared £2.5k. hmm

inappropriatelyemployed Tue 01-Jan-13 18:24:25

Keepon - my advice would be just as gloomy. If two years of fighting things has taught me anything it is the paucity of commitment on the part of those who are employed to know/do better, to even do their job.

We have just had a request for a case management directions hearing refused despite the fact that the LA hasn't even set out its case in relation to one of the two small, but very specific, issues we are going to Tribunal on. The Order which came back was mumbo jumbo and our solicitor had done a very thorough job in her application.

To be fair, if most of us agreed with and then followed professional advice there would be no tribunal system. If professional advice always led to our children's needs being met, there woukd be no parental wins at SENDIST.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Tue 01-Jan-13 16:20:23

claw I really hope that all goes well for you and DS at tribunal. atm you have to focus on tribunal. This means presenting the 'right' image - which means dispassionate, putting your emotions to one side and discussing the 'case' 'rationally'.

This other issue is not going to go away - regardless of the outcome of tribunal. I don't mean to be critical but your posts demonstrate a desire to tell your account of the facts as you see them over and over again. There is a practical danger in doing this as the account is unwittenly edited through repetition. Your 'not engaging' does not mean not communicating but relates to an idea of separate spinning cogs that fail to 'engage'. Every time you repeat your pov it reinforces the view that you are not able to see things from the pov of the professionals. There is also the possibility that you may be misinterpreting why things are happening as they are - it may be the case that the CIN was called to conform with statutory obigations following core assessment and not because you reported the SW to her manager.

Professionals will also interpret failure to engage (in terns of refusal of help/support) as indication that you do not have DS's best interests at heart. For example, at an ealier stage much was made of the need for CAMHS to complete assessment prior to any attempt at reintegration but when CAMHS did complete assessment and make recommendations they were discounted. This raises the question of whose advice you trust and will follow.

The other side can prove their appropriate engagement - how they have conformed to statutory advice and guidelines and have a paper-trail going back many months.

Please do not have false hope in the ability of tribunal to fix everything.

Sorry to be the voice of doom and gloom - again.

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