My oldest daughter, in the midst of an argument, reported me to Children's Services after she told me to stop letting my 16 yr old daughter continue looking after horses owned by a man who has been accused of CSE against a 17 yr old. I know both parties and dont believe the accusation, but to safeguard my daughter I talked to her at length about grooming, signs to look out for, etc and keeping herself safe. I started popping in regularly and have spent a lot of time in their company and was satisfied she was at no risk and that it would be more detrimental to keep her from the horses which are her passion. CS did a lot of digging and came up with only positive reports about my daughter who did great at school and has no issues or history of any problems, and after the first visit the SW assured me she had no concerns about my daughter's welfare. We were invited to the Child Protection Conference but the SW did not impress upon us the importance of attending - she merely said it would be advisable. Neither of us wanted to go because we did not want to have to confront my eldest who I assumed would be there, and because of this they have imposed a Child Protection Order on my daughter, despite absolutely no evidence of her being at risk and despite the fact that the man hasn't even been found guilty.
There were no concerns at all about her wellbeing or my parenting and yet they have imposed this on the basis of my NEGLECT. This is so far from the truth as I have always been there for both my girls - I go out rarely (and I mean rarely), don't smoke, don't drink, and haven't had a relationship with a man since my daughter's father, 16 yrs ago - I am always available and I am very close to my daughter who confides in me personal and intimate things. She is seeing a solicitor on Monday and at some stage I intend to write a book about all my negative experiences with fostering and Children's Services. I had a lot of conflict with them whilst a foster carer which resulted in them having to make changes in policies and procedures and eventually some trumped-up allegations were made against me which should never have been taken seriously and I de-registered but kept on my current foster son who has been with me for 5 years and will be until he turns 21. In my opinion, as soon as my name came up they decided it was the ideal opportunity to get their own back on me since they failed to get their own way previously. Does anyone else have similar experiences? My daughter is so distressed by all this and has lost a lot of weight in the past two weeks, from all the stress over it.
How can you have been a foster Carer for all these years and NOT realised how vital attending a child protection conference was?
Even the invitation should say it is very important for you to attend.
Sorry but they don't call these things lightly....there is something there which concerns them and you need to look at this and take it seriously.
Are you honestly telling us that all these professionals from all areas sat down and imposed a child protection plan on your daughter to get back at you?
Sorry but think you need to rethink this...the fact you don't agree with them is fine and from what you have posted I think you have covered all bases with your DD to keep her safe. They are not convinced though and they have to take these concerns seriously.
I've never been involved in one and since the SW said there were no concerns about my daughter's wellbeing or safety and only suggested it would be a good idea for us both to attend "to speak to them in the same way" we had done to her, and seeing as she appeared to have a positive view of us I assumed she would put forward those same views. On a checklist of 20 areas of possible concern none were ticked except for two which were just their own opinions as to whether there MIGHT be a risk and whether further action needed to be taken. If there is no area of concern with my daughter or my parenting, and the man has only been accused by one family and not yet found to be guilty, why are we not allowed to use our own judgement and to decide ourselves that there is no risk? Surely CS have better things to do, when children are being allowed to die under their scrutiny? My daughter is 16.5 - she has the right to smoke and risk her health, but she doesn't - she has the right to get married as her grandmother did at 16, but she wouldn't be that daft, and she is allowed to have sex, and yet she is not considered old enough to be able to use her own judgement, knowing both parties involved in the allegation.
This sounds awful for you and DD. Following the CS's complaints procedure might mean that someone might get involved in a mediating capacity - at some point in the process, there will be an external body who can look dispassionately at all this.
Don't beat yourself up about not attending the meeting - it would have been a very good idea but CS should understand how hard it would have been for you had your oldest DD been there.
This is a time for putting things right and healing - I really hope that you can soon recover your relationship with oldest DD.
What has CS said about the man with the horses? Has he come to their attention? They should be advising you - not causing you this amount of upset. Tell them that and good luck - be strong.
To be fair and from what you have posted I think you did all the right things with regard to safeguarding your daughter where this man is concerned.
I am concerned that you don't believe the accusations.....but you are erring on the side of caution and talking to your DD about grooming etc. that IS safeguarding her as far as I am concerned.
A case conference includes far more than just social workers which is why I seriously doubt this is being done to get back at you in any way. But as you said, they didn't hear your side at all because you were not there. Horrible though it is, it is important to sit there while your other DD is there so you can hear what she is saying or worrying about and then adding your defence. As it is, they only got her side of things and have made their decisions based upon that and other evidence (which might have come from police with regards to this man). Plus anything else from other agencies.
Neglect sounds odd but covers a fairly wide range of issues as far as I recall. (I am not a SW but have sat in on these conferences which is why I feel it is unlikely there is any form of getting at you going on).
Finally, yes Childrens Services are a mess but when you face the poor funding they have with the workload then it isn't totally surprising,