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Referral to Social Services(73 Posts)
I have name changed for this as I'm scared and humiliated.
I'll try and be as brief and informative as possible in the hope that someone can offer reassurance or advice.
I am currently suffering with depression and anxiety. I am under the care of my GP and have been since January. I have also been referred to the community mental health team.
I have an 18 month old son with DP. Upon my return to work from maternity leave, I felt even more depressed and ended up being signed off sick for a few months. During that time I also saw occupational health and have been seeking help and being as honest as possible.
I also started a blog which detailed my journey through motherhood and depression.
Recently I stared back at work and after a while someone found my blog and took it to my boss (who I have kept informed of my progress) and I met with HR and my boss to discuss this. As my blog details how I've been feeling (minor self harm, ongoing mild ED, suicidal ideation) I did end up crying.
It was agreed that I would take a bit more time to pursue decent help and that I wouldn't take my blog down.
I'd like to state now that my blog also talked about parenting and how wonderful I have found it. Also that I am involved with lots of different professionals who have never once expressed concern for my son. I am a good parent - it is the main thing in my life that has kept me going. My son hasn't a good routine, is a sunny, happy little boy and I do not let my illness impact on his life.
The woman from HR made a referral to social services last week. My boss told me and apologised for her. She said that she did it in a bid to help me but I can't see it like that. Now I'm waiting for a phone call from social services and worry every time someone knocks on the door. I worry that once I have to tell DP and my family, DP will leave and apply for custody of my son as I'm pretty sure that I would be really angry if he brought SS down on us.
Can anyone tell me anything about what is likely to happen next? Offer any reassurance? I'm absolutely devastated, I've only met this woman once and I work extremely hard to keep my illness apart from my son and to continue to search for the help I need.
Well if lots of different professionals express no concern then refer ss to them.
Ss may need to follow up but do knows you and presumably also has met the other professionals.no reason for him to leave is there ?
So speak to one of those professionals you trust and don't worry.
Don't catastrophise. Deep breaths. Why would your DP turn on you because an HR officer has been overly cautious? Hr hadn't so far.
Apparently most SS get signed off quite quick and easily either after a single visit or a phone call.
A SW is bound to wander along and give more insight, but I think we can reasonably assume they'll just check for child/related basics and that you're getting support, which you are.
Try not to panic.
That's what I keep trying to tell myself - several GPs, a paediatrician that DS was briefly under before he was diagnosed with s food intolerance, our health visitor, occupational health, two community mental health nurses and my boss (we work in a 'professional' capacity) have never once made any insinuation that they were concerned. DP and other family have never been concerned. It just feels like such a judgement. No wonder people suffering with mental health don't come forward - I feel as though had I tried to bury it this wouldn't have happened.
What has she referred you for? Something specific written on your blog?
You don't have to tell anyone apart from your DP, and I would focus on the fact that the woman from HR has massively overstepped her mark. How can your DP be cross with you when you've done nothing wrong? It's a big reaction from you to think that he'll leave you and want to deny you contact with your son! Can you talk to anyone professional about how you're feeling?
I think everyone is under such pressure to observe "safeguarding" and related buzzwords, that the odd fact thing happens , TBH.
As are there to support you as a parent.
They aren't some 'swoop in and steal your kids' secret police some people make them out to be.
I know feeding the panic makes it worse - I'm normally very sensible. I've spent the week since I found out contacting various people (like my GP) and asking them to write letters stating they have no concerns and searching out all my emails to private therapists so I can prove I'm being proactive. I've also worried if DS has fallen over and has visible scrapes. It's truly a horrible thing to hear.
Odd DAFT thing^.
Excuse my autocorrect.
Yes, it must feel horrible, but focus hard on staying centred. Don't let this knock you off course. And TALK to your DP!
Do you even know if they'll actually contact you at all? They might decide not to follow up if what you've been referred about is not considered an issue.
She referred because I detail how I feel as a result of the depression. Never have I mentioned anything like intrusivethoughts towards DS or anything negative surrounding him at all. In fact had she read it properly she would have seen how I said I've actually found parenting very easy, that it seems to come naturally and that he is the joy of my heart.
She has reacted to words like'binging' 'self harm' and 'suicidal' which I understand are sad to read, butall the actual evidence that she has been privy to thanks to being HR points towards me doing everything right in terms of accessing help. Just due to the remote area we live in and I suspect the state of MH services across the country, it is slow in coming.
I know saying don't worry is easy to say and hard to do but don't. Social care may undertake an assessment, they would ask for your permission to talk to the professional s you are involved with. As you are well supported, have professional help you do not need to worry. Social workers do not remove dc because their Dm has depression they are seeking help for. (I spent 5 years working as a front line social worker if that helps)
I'm not a social worker but used to do some work with vulnerable families. In the county I live in referrals would involve a SW making an assessment based on the needs of the family not just the child. If they felt it necessary they would set up a TAC to monitor how things were going. There was no swooping in and taking children away (unless there was significant danger) It sounds as if you are doing all the right things and you are a good mother so please don't worry. They will take other professionals opinions into account and if they haven't voiced any concerns then I'm sure it will be ok
Right well it's her ignorance then.
This is already all in hand and she's well behind the curve.
Practise explaining that in a breezy but efficient tone together with a run down of the treatment you're receiving.
Why did they say to leave your blog up? I would be inclined to remove it.
SleepFree I definitely meant to type WOULD take my blog down!! It's gone, all gone...
I have been in your position OP only i self referred to SS because i was not being the best parent i could be due to being too ill. My DH didnt leave, the SS were amazing and not once did they mention taking LO away. They were just so supportive and to be honest they were the main organisation to help me through it all.
Try and put the SS horror stories out of your mind (hard to do when you suffer from anxiety i know!) and IF they do feel you would benefit from their support then see it as a good thing.
In my case they managed to pull a lot of strings for our family, they got us in a suitable home, they got my (then) doctor more on board who then referred me ASAP for CBT. Whatever weight is on your shoulders thats making you suffer they try everything in their power to help lift that weight for you, because at the end of the day any help they give to you will also be helping LO.
If i had to go back i would seek SS support again in a heartbeat.
On a separate note, you will get through the PND, it can feel like this is just you now, and this is how life is now, but its not and you will feel happy again i promise.
For those of you that worked in SS, do I have to sit and wait for them to contact me? I was told that they'd have to have a professional meeting(?) within 48 hours of referral which I believe has been and gone. I am also aware that I shouldn't know she made the referral, but my boss checked with a safeguarding officer and told me, but asked me not to tell anyone. I don't particularly feel any loyalty to my job anymore, so would I be alright to contact them first? Or would it go against me?
I genuinely can't believe that someone who is supposed to work with people can look at a crying woman with depression and think 'oh I know what I'll do, I'll add to her stress and self doubt by referring her to social services.'
Also want to add don't worry about standard scuffs and scrapes on your D.C., social workers are trained in what is an accidental injury and what isn't and they get pediatrician's report on anything they find worrying anyway.
HR was way unofficial order she had no right to contact SS. I would want her giving a kick up the arse for that.
The SS will read your blog I imagine as this is what has highlighted your previous feelings.
We were reported to SS once they didn't even come out to speak to us I talked to them over the phone (sobbed mostly - I was terrified of what they might do). SW explained she had no concerns and that no further action would be taken.
I think I would be tempted to change anything identifying from the blog. You are concerned how your partner will react what if he found the blog or someone tells him. I think you need to speak to him. I can only imagine what you have been going through this past week or so. Try and relax if SS were at all concerned they would have contacted you by now.
Wait for them, if they thought it was high priority they would have contacted you. They will be in contact in due course if they feel the referral they received needs looking into. Remember you are seeking the support you need so you have no need panic.
I desperately want to write an impact statement but I'm nervous of doing anything that looks defensive.
DP knows all about the blog and read it - the blog has now gone though. DP knows how I've been feeling, it's the referral to SS I don't want to tell anyone about
Op. I am a blogger and also an ex social worker.
From what you have written I don't think you have anything I be concerned about with regards to social services involvement with your son. By all means call them and say "I was told a referral was made about me and my son and I'm very upset about it. Could I please have a chat with the allocated social worker" they'll probably have popped you on the bottom of the pile because there isn't much cause for concern with regards to your son's safety. I'm glad you're getting the support as well.
As a blogger, I suggest a pen name. And also artistic photos which do not show your child's face if you are concerned about being identified. Personally I've shared photos of the kids but never divulged their names.
I have a pen name for a separate blog where I feel I can be more open and honest
Jenny thank you
Re the blog, I did have a 'blog' name but did post identifying pictures - in hindsight I obviously wish I hadn't but there are an awful lot of high ish profile people that do and I guess I got swept away with that! I do regret having to take it down as I 'met' a number of other women going through almost exactly the same as me and found them very supportive.
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