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Social services really getting on my nerves

(28 Posts)
claw2 Thu 25-Apr-13 13:48:42

In the last year ds has been assigned 6 different social workers, who do not have a clue what they are doing.

The pattern seems to be make an appointment, come to see us, then disappear. Next new social worker comes, has a chat with me, a chat with ds, looks around the house, then disappears. Then next, does the same thing.

None of them can even tell me the purpose of their involvement.

I have written to the senior manager twice asking them to define their role and clarify their purpose for being involved. I have given the last 2 social workers a copy of my letters and have been told, i will pass it onto my supervisor.

The last meeting i attended supervisor was there, she had a copy of my letter, but said she couldnt answer my questions and would have to get back to me, but never did.

I have today received a hand scribbled note posted to me from yet another social worker, as she couldnt get hold of me on the phone (they cant even get my telephone number right) wanting to make an appointment to visit us.

I feel like refusing the visit, until they clarify their position?

bigbluebus Thu 25-Apr-13 13:58:05

Are these social workers from the Disabled Childrens Team or Safeguarding Team - or do you not even know that?

claw2 Thu 25-Apr-13 14:07:08

They are child protection Bigblue.

School literally made up 3 allegations against me to get them to accept the referral. One example that i removed ds from school to home ed. I did no such thing, i made no attempt to deregister him from school whatsoever.

They have told me numerous times, there are NO safeguarding issues hence me then asking so why are you involved then!

Could you respond to them accepting another visit but make it clear that you'd like them to explain exactly what it's all about - ask them to come prepared so that you can answer any questions you have and 'sign you off' if they're happy? Write and follow up with a call to the social worker plus the supervisor.

(not sure if it really works like that but might be worth suggesting?)

claw2 Thu 25-Apr-13 14:19:56

Jammy this is what i did with supervisor at last meeting, i asked her to read my letter and come prepared to answer my questions.

She came armed with a copy of my letter, but then couldnt answer my questions! She didnt know why they were involved and said she would have to go back to the office, check the paperwork and get back to me. This has been going on since December, since i wrote twice, questioning their role, their procedures and asking them to clarify. I have chased them up several times.

Then this social worker will turn up, not have a clue what im talking about, i will give her copies of my letters, she will say i will pass them on to my supervisor. Leave it a couple of months, then another new social worker will contact me to make an appointment, turn up, not a clue what im talking about and so on and on.

Is the supervisor the same person throughout this? When did you last speak with her, and would it help to call her now about this latest appointment?

It sounds very frustrating.

bigbluebus Thu 25-Apr-13 15:17:35

I think I'd be inclined to complain in writing to the someone higher than the Supervisor setting out exactly what it is that you want to know and telling them that you will make a further appointment for them to visit once they have answered your previous questions in writing.
They are wasting valuable resources due to incompetence. Whatever their agenda, they appear to have made no progress whatsoever as noone has got a handle on the case - whatever the case is!

claw2 Thu 25-Apr-13 15:19:06

Jammy, no i dont think its the same supervisor. Ds is just being pushed from pillar to post. No one communicates or reads anything.

The fact is, it should never have got to the point of CP being involved. Well obviously they should have investigated if allegations were made, but they havent done that. They have taken what school have alleged as gospel, without even contacting me, then run with it.

Now i am asking them on what basis or what evidence was the case progressed, no one wants to answer.

claw2 Thu 25-Apr-13 15:26:06

Big blues, i have made two formal complaints to the senior manager in December and again in Jan, enclosing another copy of my dec complaint. These have been ignored, despite me passing on copies to the supervisor and 3 social workers too.

I have chased it up in writing several times too.

Maybe i need to make another complaint, about my 2 previous complaints being ignored. But i feel i am going in circles.

I was thinking, if i make a protest and refuse to speak with another social worker until my complaints are dealt with, they might take notice.

Rather than making a protest (which might not go down well) can you look up and see if there's a councillor responsible for safeguarding - would be at county level I think but you could ring the council and find out?

PolterGoose Thu 25-Apr-13 16:07:08

If they haven't responded to your complaints you need to escalate it. There's some limited info on the CAB website I think I would now write to the Director of Social Services at your LA enclosing copies of the letters you've already sent explaining you are concerned you haven't had a response. Tell them if you do not hear within 14 days you will take it to the Ombudsman.

claw2 Thu 25-Apr-13 16:40:11

Ok, thanks guys. The LA decision as to whether to issue a statement or not is due very, very soon. I think i will get that out of the way first, then complain higher as you have suggested.

I can sit, smile and nod for a bit longer. I have responded to the SW letter, by leaving my correct phone number. It will probably take her weeks to get back to me.

cansu Thu 25-Apr-13 18:48:06

I can see why you are irritated but I would continue to smile and nod however annoying they are. The more you do this and continue to show you are reasonable the quicker they will go away. I would expect that once your tribunal is resolved they will go away as they are probably being pushed or leaned on by education. They will want you off their caseload so just keep smiling and saying v little. I think complaining will however unfairly make then dig their heels in.

You can send another letter but more as a record that you are continuing to be reasonable, and they are continuing to not have a clue why the are involved. But apart from that I agree with cansu, especially if their demands are no more than having a chat now and then.

I think it is reasonable to limit your conversations now to nodding and smiling and not say an awful lot more as it has been recorded already, many times and you are trying to move forward/onwards/positively rather than rehash and go backwards. Besides, since your ds has been out of that neglectful and abusive school everything for him and your family has been miles better (though still a VERY long way to go).

claw2 Fri 26-Apr-13 08:14:31

Cansu, we are no where near tribunal yet, still waiting on decision as to whether to issue statement or not from the LA, so potentially we could be talking almost another year, whichever way it goes.

Its the complaining that has got them off my back so far. They are very much being used by the LA as a bullying tool and are proving to be very dangerous.

The LA know we are going to end up in a Tribunal situation and obviously planning on 'turning up the heat' using these guys to bully again, when the time is right.

claw2 Fri 26-Apr-13 08:17:50

At the moment they are being used to convince other professionals 'look problems at home, as we said, ss are involved'

Then when i dont agree with LA's decision or go tribunal for contents of any statement, they will be used to put pressure on me to return ds to education, as they did before.

That's why you need to keep records of their dubious involvement and send letters clarifying that it is indeed dubious, politely.

Their knoweldge that you are keeping tabs will keep them at bay to some extent. And you are keeping evidence.

You will be able to do a bullet point list:

SS visited on x date. Gave no reason for their visit.
Sent letter on x date requesting reason for visit (enclosed). No response.
SS visited on x date. Gave no reason for visit.

etc etc.

claw2 Fri 26-Apr-13 08:56:19

Thanks Star, a previous SW told me and its in writing (not her, but me following it up) that she is staying involved as 'other professionals' have requested she do so.

So there are no safeguarding issues, i put the needs of my children first and in her opinion there is no need for SS to involved, it should be a case for CAMHS and school to meet needs, all in writing from social worker.

So SS are staying involved at the request of 'other professionals' to ensure that ds is returned to education.

So write to them again asking if their involvement is still as you were previously informed, no safeguarding issues, no concerns but because 'other professionals' have requested that they regularly visit you.

Ask if that is the case, please can they tell you which 'other professionals' have requested this and if they feel it is in your ds' best interests to have more than those professionals specifically involved in direct outcomes visiting on a regular basis given the anxiety he faces with regards to this.

You're just making a record. Don't expect any helpful response. They might back off a bit more though.

BTW, they should have no problem telling you which professionsl they are unless there are safeguarding concerns which result from them telling you iyswim.

claw2 Fri 26-Apr-13 11:40:33

When i asked previously verbally, i was told ALL professionals involved.

At that time CAMHS had yet to assess ds and social worker certainly hadnt spoken to A&E CAMHS.

So only other professionals involved were school.

Grrrrrr.

Written. Written request to name the professionals that have SPECIFICALLY requested that they remain involved despite no concerns.

They will have to tell you. If they don't then they have to give a reason.

Honestly. Don't get emotionally involved in these 'notes'. Don't make a big deal of them and don't expect anything to change. It's just for the record.

Dear SW, Please can you confirm your reasons for involvement are....... Please then can you tell me who specifically has requested that you remain involved and as give me their reasons.
Thank you for your time on this matter.

Yours Claw.

It's a reasonable frigging question. And a tribunal in future will see it as such. It's about time they became accountable for this waste of tax payers money.

Sorry, I would add to 'give me their reasons' a 'and the date that the request was made.

Grrrr on your behalf.

If they can't answer then you have a case for harassment imo (though you won't be able to do anything about it until your ds is safe sadly).

I have another MN friend going through a rough time with SS. Keep things as simple, transparent, clear and as polite as you can.

I know you will resent writing to them as a complete waste of your effort and time but you'll spend so much time thinking about them anyway they already have your time.

ALL the professionals? hmm

Lying feckers!

claw2 Fri 26-Apr-13 12:55:05

It all stems from THE social worker, you know the one who was overiding other professionals. She told CAMHS, school etc that my GP certificate wasnt valid, despite my GP telling her it WAS. The one who chased ds around the house. I made a complaint about her, they didnt reply to my complaint, but straight after my complaint she then disappeared and ds was assigned another social worker.

She was the one saying ALL professionals.

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