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Unhappy with residential placement

(45 Posts)
chinax Fri 11-Feb-11 11:57:03

Hi everyone,

I am new to this site but feel pretty desperate at present.
My daughter is 16 yrs old and has a fully funded 52 week placement where she has been since she was 8 yrs old and until 18 months ago we were pretty happy with although not perfect but as you will all know - I feel sure - we do have to compromise more than most being parents of children with severe learning difficulties.
However, 18 months ago a new regime took over running of the school and residential centre and all the old management and lots of staff left and we are now very unhappy indeed with the manner in which everything is being run. These people seem to want total control over the children in their care and treat parents who insist in being actively involved in their childrens' lives horrendously. I know of parents whose child has been excluded with no notice allegedly because he was being disruptive which I find unbelievable when another child whose parents hardly ever visit and is incredibly disruptive is treated totally differently. They have accused us of the most horrendous things as parents, ringing SS behind our backs and telling blatant lies which we strongly believe is because we have had the strength to officially complain about their behaviour and management. What I now find incredible is that our SS now seem to be taking sides with them despite our allerting them to a very serious situation last year which they are still investigating and totally agree was highly contentious and unnacceptable. I am sorry to waffle on - I could list a mile long the issues but am trying to be as brief as possible. My husband is 60 yrs old and retired due to ill health and I am 55. We are so concerned that if there was any way at all our daughter could cope with living at home I would bring her home today but unfortunately her difficulties and autism is so pronounced that although she adores coming home and asks for us constantly, she can only cope being at home for 24 hours and then becomes very violent etc as she is so used to there being a change of carers every 8 hours or so.
I am now desperate to get her out of that place before something really serious happens as these lies about us are now totally out of control and it is making my husband seriously ill. Because of the revised working practises they now operate I honestly dont feel my daughter is totally safe - she was attacked in a very private place on her body a few weeks ago and it was totally covered up! Also one of her main carers has confided in me that she is finding it extremely difficult to cope with my daughters demands and needs as she is being forced to work 15 hour shifts with no break! Where do I turn for help please? Any suggestions at all most gratefully received and if anyone has ever experience anything remotely similar I could really do with a friend right now for some moral support. Mega thanks for listening.

coldtits Fri 11-Feb-11 12:00:15

does your daughter have a social worker?

You need to speak to your own daughter's social worker, as the ones who are vaguely in charge of disability services have their interest firmly wedged in keeping that home open. It's cheaper than providing proper care.

I hope you get some more advice as I have no experience of this situation

chinax Fri 11-Feb-11 12:03:16

It is my daughter's social worker who I now feel is being non supportive and is speaking with the centre behind our backs. I just dont understand this following on from the proof I provided last year from the serious issue mentioned. I dont know if she is fed up with us or believing all the "Soft Soap" they are obviously feeding her. I spoke with her yesterday and asked her to read an email I was sending to her and to ring me back but she never did and she has just ignored a follow up email. Where on earth do I go from here??

coldtits Fri 11-Feb-11 12:04:33

try this group

chinax Fri 11-Feb-11 12:22:31

Oh wow - thank you so much and will definitely give it a go!

Best wishes and many thanks

bittersweetvictory Fri 11-Feb-11 18:12:05

Hi chinax, this is terrible, no wonder you are feeling desperate, your daughter getting assaulted is very serious, are the police involved because they should be, were there witneses ?
my son is 17 and ASD but high funtioning so stays at home and goes to college but i have had my own battles with SS for years so know where you are coming from, they think they are above the law, i passed him over to adult services so i would get a new SW because the one from childrens services was rubbish and tried to patronise me even though she was younger and had no kids grrr, the one i was assigned from adult services was even worse so i went above her head to her team leader and complained straight to him and got a new one, i am now probably branded a trouble maker but i dont care, i dont need them to like me, only to do their job so is it possible for you to go above your SS head ?
I have also in the past threatened to go to the newspapers and expose their corrupt incompitence, ( dont know if i would have actually have done it but the threat got me results )
have you contacted your local mp to tell them of your concerns ? citizens advise bureau may be able to help, i wish i could be more help but that seems like a good site coldtits has directed you too, i have seen SS lying through their teeth so dont let it get to you, you know the lies are not true, i hope you get the help you need.

WetAugust Fri 11-Feb-11 19:00:24

If she's been assaulted - call the Police.

Residential homes are covered by the Care Commission?? - they inspect them and you should report your concerns to them. Also, to the Safeguarding Children Team within the LA both in the local area of the school and your own local area.

chinax Sat 12-Feb-11 05:03:15

Cheers everyone for the great feedback. my daughter was apparently attacked by another student who lives in the same house but no proper investigation took place and of course we didn't feel we could involve the police to act against another special needs youngster. It's like we were just expected to put up and shut up. I have today spoken with citizens advice and they have pointed me in the direction to go but before we do anything we need to ensure our daughter is protected and have asked ss to explain what would happen should the centre exclude our daughter as it would be impossible for her to live at home. She just could not cope at all. My daughters social worker is refusing to speak with us and just says a letter is on it's way to us from her manager. Hopefully this should arrive today! Can't really believe all this is happening as we are decent,law abiding people and at present it feels like the centre and my daughters social workers are conspiring against us. I feel exhausted trying to protect both my daughter and my husband who has had a most vile and evil allegation made against him by a member of staff with an axe to grind. Following my own investigations I have proved this allegation is totally untrue and we are most definitely taking this matter further but of course we need to protect our child first. Nightmare scenario!

bittersweetvictory Sat 12-Feb-11 11:07:17

I still think you should involve the police regards your daughters assault, if the other student is deemed not responsible for his actions the staff who are supervising are to blame, and at least it would be logged with police as an incident even if it goes no further and might stop it happening in future, im glad you have been pointed in the right direction by CA but this centre should be under investigation as the staff sound horrible and not very well trained, if you need more advice you could try posting on the main SN childrens board as there is a lot more ladies on there with more experience.
Hope you get the help and support you need and get a new SS, keep fighting.

chinax Sat 12-Feb-11 13:53:14

Bittersweetvictory and everyone else who has responded - a massive thank you. We are in a very lonely place at the moment and it has been so good to be able to speak to someone. This would all sound so far fetched to most people. Well nothing arrived in the post today as promised. We shall wait and see!

bittersweetvictory Sat 12-Feb-11 15:35:21

I know that lonely place you are talking about, i have been there, seen the video, bought the T shirt etc, every thing is going fine at the moment but i have had to fight for years to get to this point, and had to put son on medication for anxiety,
when i mentioned medication to my sons SW she said in a patronising voice " we dont drug the disabled nowadays " which made me feel like crap, but luckily head of SN at college brought up the subject again and son is now on a very low dose of anti anxiety meds which has made things a lot easier so i fired off an email to SW telling her EXACTLY what i thought of her. ( made me feel a lot better )
Regarding the allegations against your hubby, this is slander, have you seen a soliciter.
I know what you mean about it sounding far fetched to some people, the only time you hear about it is when someone is so desperate that they contact the press and some people find the subject of disability uncomfortable so pretend it doesnt exist ( i have encountered this from members of my own family )
I know it must be awfull for you and your hubby at the moment but things WILL get sorted, you just have to find that extra bit of strength to keep fighting, at the end of the day it doesnt matter what ignorent SW and useless care home staff think of you, as long as they do the job they are overpaid for ( especially SS ) you know whats best for your own child despite what anyone else says.
If your letter doesnt come in chase it up as the SS motto is " promise lots, deliver little "

chinax Sat 12-Feb-11 23:29:09

We definitely intend to report them and to speak with a solicitor but before we do anything we need to be absolutely sure that ss would be able to rehouse our daughter either at another centre or similar as we can't take the risk of her being excluded and nowhere for her to go. If she had to come home she would cause serious harm to both us and herself within 48 hours and would destroy everything around us. This is why she had to go into residential initially as she destroyed virtually everything in our home and attacked us constantly. We couldn't take her anywhere at all as if we did anything she didn't like she would kick the windows of the car,smash mirrors, etc. We fought so hard to get her where she is now as it was a wonderful place 9 years ago and they have done so much good work with her. We can now take her to a restaurant for a meal and take her around a supermarket now but she is incredibly set in her routines and unless we stick rigidly to them she reverts back to the old behavioural problems. It has been incredibly difficult over the years. And even the good carers she has had have said they don't know how on earth we coped previously. However despite al this we love her dearly. and have to put her first. All we want is to live our lives in peace and visit ou daughter every weekend - which we have done religiously for the past 9 years which in itself is exhausting as it is a 4 hour round trip - but we are being constantly harassed and bullied by these people who now run the centre and cannot for the life of me understand why. We have always been really pleasant and kind to the staff but they treat parents better who are really offhand with them. The only thing is that we do complain about them constantly losing our daughter,s possessions or ruining her clothes etc but I feel we are totally entitled to do that. My husband now understandably won't set foot on the centre - he has to drop me at the gate whilst I collect our daughter and bring her to the car but of course if she is being difficult and not in the right frame of mind then he won't see her at all and will be stuck in the car by himself. Nobody at ss seems at all interested in this and is treating us as if we have caused this but of course because my daughter has to have residential care I feel like I daren't rock the boat too much. Don't know what to do for the best at present other than wait for the letter we were promised as I have asked ss what emergency measures would be available if worst case scenario should happen. Just don't know if legally they are compelled to arrange placement elsewhere and don't know who to ask if they won't answer the question. Sorry really feeling the strain at the moment. Sometimes I feel really strong as I know that we are in the right but cannot believe these hateful people are allowed to run a centre full of vulnerable teens and adults and no one is taking them to task!

bittersweetvictory Sun 13-Feb-11 11:18:22

Good that you are intending to report them and speak to a solicitor and i can understand why you have to get your daughter settled first,
SS SHOULD be answering all your questions but there are so many SW nowadays that dont know the answers because they dont bother to find out, there are good SW out there, its just finding one thats the problem.
I suspect that they treat the parents who are offhand with them better because they are probably more afraid and wary of them, i used to be a mild mannered person who accepted every thing but since my struggles with LA ans SS i have toughened up and now question every thing they do and ask for it in writing, i would probably be considered offhand with them but it gets better results, perhaps its time to stop being nice to them, ( it may not be in your nature but desperate times need desperate measures )perhaps the parents who are offhand know through experience that being nice and accepting gets you nowhere and the only way to get results is to be offhand.
Have you sussed out if there are any other care homes suitable for your daughter in your area and is the place she is at just for people up to a certain age until they become adults ?
Im in Scotland so not sure of some English laws but im sure SS would have to find her another placement if she is violent etc, as it is obvious she cannot live at home, have you been to see your GP, he/she might be able to give you advice and help you to cope through this awfull time, i would also advise you to post on the main childrens SN board as there is a lot more ladies than on this one who could point you in the right direction, ( have a read of some of the threads on the childrens SN board and you will see how " in the know " they are )

chinax Sun 13-Feb-11 17:07:04

Couldn't sleep again last night for worrying and was scouring the net for anyone who could possibly help re dd and came across parent line 24 hr service so rang them at 0530 this morning - how mad is that? Spoke to lovely lady who says she is pretty sure they can't exclude dd no matter what we do as serious breach of care but she also advised me to speak to family rights group who sound exactly what we need. Have just returned from visiting dd and took her for a meal so had very little to do with centre staff and dh stayed off campus. Have decided we are going to ask for advocate to liaise with centre and have emailed ss asking about moving dd but not sure if they will help with this as feel they will try and say that it is not in Dd best interests and claim we only want her moved because of fall out between us and centre which is so not true. Sorry but how do I access main sn board as still a novice user?

chinax Sun 13-Feb-11 17:16:12

Found mansion board - mega thanks bittersweet!

chinax Sun 13-Feb-11 17:16:59

Sorry should read main sn board,

bittersweetvictory Sun 13-Feb-11 18:10:37

Not mad at all chinax, just a normal worried parent who wants to do best for their child, im really glad you have found someone to help and someone to liaise with centre sounds like a good idea, in fact the more people involved the better to show them that you mean business but try to get everything in writing as things promised seem to have a habit of being forgoten, ( I know this through experience )leave a paper trail or email trail so you can refer back to anything that was promised and does not happen.
The main SN childrens board is always a lot busier than this one and full of ladies with a large range of experiences who have been fighting the system for years on behalf of their children so you are far from alone.

chinax Sun 13-Feb-11 18:34:14

Cheers medears bittersweet - you have been a star! Will update once things start moving as could well be useful for others. Wish me luck - gonna need it! Don't worry I keep written copies of everything and at present make all calls from my business phone - own business so not a problem - as It records the calls!

bittersweetvictory Sun 13-Feb-11 18:49:28

No problem chinax and good luck, im happy to see you are sounding a lot more positive smile
yes, update as it will be helpfull to others and just remember that whatever any so called expert says YOU know whats best for your own child so dont take any crap from SS.

Davros Sun 20-Feb-11 22:25:29

I am full of admiration for you, I hope you get things sorted. You may find The Challenging Behaviour Foundation useful
Our son with severe ASD is nearly 16 and we have just applied to increase his placement from 44 weeks to 52 and, although I know that residential has been the right thing for him, I do have some reservations about our plae in his life once he goes 52 weeks.

chinax Sun 27-Feb-11 00:03:43

Well making progress! Ss say they understand the current placement relationship has completely broken down and they are currently considering 2 alternatives within county but want to check further before giving us more info. Keeping fingers,toes and everything crossed!! Off to see dd again today! Sure she senses something is going on as she has wanted to phone me nearly every day this week. Will keep posting and let you know outcome.

bittersweetvictory Sun 27-Feb-11 11:02:07

Thats great news Chinax, glad to hear SS are now working with you, your DD probably does sense that something is going but its definitely for the best all round that she leaves that awfull place, not only for her sake but for yourself and your DH, i really hope one of the other places is suitable and i will be keeping everything crossed for you smile please let us know how you get on.

chinax Sat 09-Apr-11 16:17:47

Fantastic news - finally got the call we were hoping for. Dd will be moving off residential centre and into brand new house with 3 other teenagers and will attend special needs day school in next village and she will only be 55 minutes drive from home. Will have to wait a few month as house being built and staff need to work with dd in transition before she moves. Can't tell you how excited I feel as last few weeks have been hellish. Can't tell you what a relief this news is to dh and myself. Feel sure dd will much prefer this new placement. Mega thanks for all the fantastic support and hope everyone else is ok. Davros thanks so much for the tip re challenging behavior site which is great. Also if you can get 52 week placement I can certainly recommend so long as staff work with you and understand you are still the one constant in your ds's life.

bittersweetvictory Sun 10-Apr-11 19:42:45

Really happy for you Chinax grin it must be a great relief for you and your DH after all the hassle you've been through, New house, new staff and nearer to you smile
Great that staff are getting to know your DD before the move, im sure she will be very happy there.

chinax Mon 30-May-11 15:51:21

Aagghh! They are winding me up again! Just been to visit dd - she is moving in 5 months and new school is superb - and current place has now completely redecorated her room in lilac and deep purple and stripped her room of both the bedding and matching soft furnishings we bought in cream and pale coffee shades which we chose. Had a blazing row with one of the senior staff over the telephone who authorized this redecoration and the vile colours and has accused me of causing a fuss over nothing and spoke to me as if I was a piece of rubbish! I asked who the hell she thought she was speaking to and reminded her that I was a parent and expected to be treated with respect! God help me I am a professional woman with my own business but feel like throttling this cow who is constantly trying to cause problems for us. She is constantly making snidey insinuations that we are responsible for our dd behavioural problems and trying to create barriers for us. Please someone tell me honestly how you would have reacted in my situation? The little items we buy for our daughter are small links to us and home whilst she is away and I feel devastated that someone has decided to take them away from her and replace with things so not to our taste and with no link to us at all and more than likely cast offs from another child!! I have just screamed down the phone SHE IS MY DAUGHTER NOT YOURS!! Why do I feel so upset?? Am I going completely mad?? Dd is totally unaware of this of course as didn't say a word until I arrived home as she is so sensitive to atmospheres. Just needed to get this off my chest - Bank holiday totally ruined by them AGAIN!

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