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URGENT - any Social Workers out there please?(17 Posts)
My ds (16) has had a malicious allegation made about him by another student at school. He wasn't there when it was made, was not told the content, and school called SS. He has Autism, clinical Anxiety and SEN.
I got a quick call from SS that day (Tues) to say someone would call me on Weds. I got the call on Friday afternoon. Yesterday a SW came to the house for 3.5 hours. Spoke to me mostly, but both kids at end of it (allegation involves ds 'feeling guilty about touching dd 5 years ago' - rubbish). SW did a 'triangle' of worries, hopes dreams exercise with them. Looked at their bedrooms. Spoke to Ds and asked him many questions. Ds shaking (his Anxiety is so severe he has uncontrolled motor activity) and was able to reply to say he had never behaved wrongly with his sister or any girl but he was worried, because he worries about everything. SS not happy to leave it at that and said he would be back next week, and back to School in New year too. Ds is terrified.
His Caamhs worker today told me that she thinks he is on 'high alert' for suicide risk (he took an overdose in Aug) there is a long history of the accuser bullying him and making up allegations to school (that he ran away, that he was going to kill himself - months before he tried) - school have been hopeless.
My Qu is (sorry for details) - can i insist that our family lawyer is present at any further questioning? I cannot get hold of an Advocate from caahms or LEA at short notice (SS want to come back Friday) and I dont' want him to be alone. Apart from anything else he has auditory processing disorder and cant understand the SW accent?
I think he needs someone in his corner due to his ASD and Anxiety. The family lawyer was recommended by a fellow parent with an autistic ds with tourettes and she is really good.
SW are saying that I can be with him, but until they can Qu him on his own they cant move forward with dismissing anything. So it's a catch 22 as they want to come back before I can arrange any other Advocate but the lawyer but I don't want them to see him with me there as they can't 'clear him' like that and its just an extra visit. I am not trying to be obstructive in any way and I certainly don't want them to think I am but I am worried about his MH in all this.
He is allowed someone with him and you can record it for your own records too
They should make adjustments for him due to his autism. I’d be asking what special measures they plan to put in place - he at very least should have an appropriate adult (which is a specifically defined independent role) to support him and protect his interests, but could also have communication aides etc. You can refuse the interview if they don’t have things in place or you can’t get an advocate for him in the time available.
It’s not a criminal process, social workers can’t legally demand to see your son, it’s perfectly reasonable that you seek confirmation of the steps they will take to protect his well-being and that you ask for time to arrange support for him.
Could he be spoken to by the SW in school, so it is ‘alone’ as in away from the home, but he could have a teacher or TA with him.
I wouldn’t say this would need a lawyer, just an adult who is not family so he can speak freely.
If I am totally honest, I feel that people who say they want a lawyer are probably guilty of something, so i would not want to give that impression of my child.
As the PP said, I would ask for him to be seen at school with a teacher present.
If this isn't possible it might be that an independent advocate could be arranged. If you feel that you want a solicitor present you can ask but I wonder if that might be more stressful for your son.
The social worker is right that they can't close this unless they talk to your children alone without a parent or other close relative there. Can you imagine the amount of disclosures that are shut down in this way?
Did you post something about this last week re the allegations are made by a girl bullying him? Speak to the school and see if they can have someone present and request the SS worker meet him at school. From what I remember you saying (if post is related) was school were aware she was fabricating and had history of such so they should be able to inform worker of this.
My son has ASD and was arrested at 17 for sending somebody in his friend group a dirty anime picture. He didn't realise that the girl wearing a tie meant school uniform/under age. He admitted it to the police as soon as they asked him and cooperated fully but his anxiety and over thinking made it a total nightmare. They felt he was hiding some thing (he was not) , that his lack of eye contact was wiring as they felt he may have been engaging in other stuff. He wasn't. Then social services got involved as I have a daughter and they were even worse. They were like the Spanish Inquisition and suggested to my son time and time again that he would hurt his sister. Three weeks later he was on suicide watch as he was convinced he would hurt somebody. When questioned he couldn't say how as they hadn't told him that part.
I would 100% have a legal person with me again given the chance. Going through that was absolute hell and if nothing else they may be more on their guard. I would also ask the solicitor about putting into writing that the school are failing in safeguarding your son and consider legal steps against them.
You’ve posted this before. Was it deleted? Are you genuine?
I understand he needs to speak to them without a parent there.
It cannot be school as they have ignored long standing evidence of this child severely bullying him so they are not remotely impartial.
It cannot be Caahms this side of Christmas but it needs to be soon if possible as Caahms say its having a big effect on his MH.
The family lawyer was recommended as someone good with Autism. I know it might make him like he's got something to hide but she would be the best person available right now.
LEA / NAS / Caahms cant provide an advocate for weeks and he really needs to make some progress with this.
They won’t close the case yet they will be doing a child and family assessment which can take up to 45 working days, in which time I would suggest he sees the social worker with a teacher present at school so he is not alone. You are not in court and a family lawyer would be over the top.
Social workers need consent to see children, you do not have to consent however I would advise that you work with them so that they can complete their investigation and assessment and put it all to bed if it has no truth to it. If there are any concerns or the social worker feels you may need some support that will be suggested/recommended and again you will have to consent to further work. There is an assumption that social workers have all this legal power when quite frankly it is not the case!
Try not to worry and just be honest and open.
Also an advocate would speak for your son, your son needs to speak on his own, although a social worker can not force him to either. If he doesn’t want to then he doesn’t want to.
I understand what you are saying about the school but a teacher or TA that knows him well will just sit in the room with him, they are not there to speak for him, there must be someone whom he would trust?
If it were me, I would definitely engage the solicitor and insist they be present, and record all meetings / calls with the social workers.
I did post something about this last week yes but I made a new post because it seems to have got worse since then.
Yes I am genuine. Please dont report this and get it deleted as it is helpful to me to understand what my position is when I am scared for him.
thank you for your post. I am so sorry that you went through that. That is waht I am afraid is in store for us too. The SW was nice but he doesn't know my son (I appreciate he is trying to) or how his ASD affects him. I feel they think he is 'hiding something' because he is SO afraid. But he can be almost that afraid when he has forgotten a piece of homework too so it is not an indication he's done something criminal but it almost felt that way when he was being questioned. That is why I felt that the lawyer might not hurt. Lawyer also says their attitude is 'a bit odd and they seem to be missing the point spectacularly about his Autism and clinical Anxiety'.
It is sad to hear this. As many of the posts say work with the SW. It is important to have an impartial advocate. Be aware of advice not to use a solicitor. It is your right and part of our legal system to ensure people are not mistreated during anything that is or could lead to legal proceedings. Hearing people use comments that it is ott or people who use then have something to hide worry me more. As a retired police officer I heard comments like this from SW and police officers they were usually wanting to influence the person whilst looking as if they were helping. My point is there are two sides to the argument and it is your right to have legal representation or advise. My concern would be if your some said something incriminating by mistake where would he stand legally I am sure the SW would use it as evidence. Just take care work with the SW but also remember this is your son and he deserves the best help and support available.
I'm rather confused this sounds like it is all about your son. Have you had a proper conversation with your daughter. What are you concerned about. Social will speak to him and then leave you all alone?
Was closed on 12 Feb. No information given to family at any point.
Had to discover this today via a lawyer.
My son was brought to the point of suicide and nothing was ever even written down? No Report? No direct contact with family letting them know? What a hideous system.