Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.
The saga continues - help and advice needed please!(121 Posts)
My DD 1 (age 8) has recently been making allegations against various adults. These are quite far fetched and I'm not sure if she believes these allegations or if she actually knows truth from fiction as she lies constantly. Most of these allegations are about my partner or her dad's partner (we are separated/divorcing) as she wants us to get back together. She is (finally) under CAMHS having psychotherapy after a difficult few years. (Bit of background, she has attachment difficulties, high anxiety, emotional and behavioural issues, history of self harming and attempted suicide, can't find my previous threads but they are on here somewhere)
Last week I took her to A&E as I was concerned about a non- blanching rash that she had. While we were there, with the doctor, she repeated some of these allegations and they made a safeguarding referral because the dr thought that the rash could have been caused by one of her allegations.
We were there for 11hrs (all he obs were fine and there were no medical concerns) until a senior paediatric consultant said the rash was totally not linked to any allegations and there were no safeguarding concerns and they let us go. He said he had contacted the safeguarding team and told them there were no concerns and basically stopped the referral.
The next day, we had a visit from a social worker. He said that normally he would have police officers with him but they were unavailable. He asked me to sign an agreement that my partner would not see any of the children (two adopted and one birth child with DP) until the police investigation was completed. I refused and said that I didn't think my DP was a risk, that this would unsettle DD1 more etc as we had plans to go away and that I would agree to no unsupervised contact between DP and the children. If I break this agreement, they will start care proceedings against all three children. The social worker had not seen the hospital discharge letter saying that there were no safeguarding concerns and had not spoken to CAMHS.
The SW agreed to my suggestion of allowing only supervised contact and let us go away. I have been in contact with him and they are holding off interviewing DD1 until they have spoken to CAMHS and the school etc next week.
So, next week, my fragile, anxious DD with mental health issues, a phobia of the police, a questionable grasp of reality (she thinks she is bad and they will put her in jail etc) and fear of strangers is going to be interviewed by three strangers, two of whom will be police officers. I have asked and although they will be in plain clothes, they will have to identify themselves as police to her.
I am really worried about how she will cope with the experience and wether it will unsettle her and make things worse. Also, if she knows that her allegations have caused all this drama, (she loved being in hospital getting her obs done etc) that rewards her with attention and power which is not a positive thing for her and she may go on to make lots more allegations. She will need to be interviewed without me present so I have asked if her psychotherapist or a friendly teacher can be there to support her.
I am also worried about what happens if she repeats these allegations to the police and they believe her. Will they try and charge my DP? He is so supportive and I'm not sure how I will cope if he's not allowed to be with the children. Will they start care proceedings against all three children?
My DD is such a complex little girl and it's been such hard work trying to parent her so far, I am going through hell with this latest mess.
I am sorry if this doesn't make much sense, I am really stressed out.
Rain I may be wrong but what you said .... Apparently they are going to speak to a manager and get back to me. I feel like I have to accept every crumb that they toss my way because it may be the only help I get, I don't want to appear to be uncooperative and maybe it's a hoop to jump through to get to some real support. was what I felt. That you need to engage with this and if/when it makes no real difference you can say, "Hey, I played your game, can you now play mine!" Or words to that affect.
BUT I am a total newbie, only 6 months in with a very easy little boy, and a rather more of a handful birth dd, but not the issues you have and so please feel free to ignore me.
I know logically I'm not responsible but I can't help feeling a bit guilty by association iykwim.
I rang PAS for clarification on the suggested "relate" referral. Apparently a manager suggested this because DD may be "struggling to share" me with DP and she may feel "threatened" and that she is "jostling for attention". When I
repeatedly asked how me going to relate would help her I just got another barrage of waffle. I made notes and the most succinct explanation was that "it might help you to manage yourself in terms of helping DD to manage"
I am still confused. I explained again that there is no conflict in my relationship that she is witnessing. I asked them if they were concerned about me making poor relationship choices and I was told "not at all".
Apparently they are going to speak to a manager and get back to me. I feel like I have to accept every crumb that they toss my way because it may be the only help I get, I don't want to appear to be uncooperative and maybe it's a hoop to jump through to get to some real support.
I have asked them to be specific about which service from relate they would be referring me to and what the expected outcomes would be.
I am so confused.
Rain I had CBT for anxiety 15 years ago and it worked amazingly well. But I did not have any of what you have going on! I hope whatever is offered will help you.
I am not sure how you should react to this 'offer'. If you accept this counselling will it mean you are more or less likely to be offered any other counselling/support, or will it make no difference at all? I expect you don't know but maybe you can guess.
My only 'gut; feeling is that if you refuse some offer of help it might be used against you later in terms of 'we offered this and you did not take it.' This would be totally unfair and untrue but I am just concerned it may be a thing 'they' say. But wiser heads like Lilka or Kristina could advise. I guess if you can manage to get along to a session and it may feel like time for you as long as it is not too stressful. I know this will sound mega odd but in the past when I had a difficult pregnancy (my only one) I had to go and have times of my baby being monitored and it actually felt a relief to lie down quietly and be monitored. Now, I quite like going to the dentist because I get to lie back and relax, somewhat! So if the sessions might be useful for you, I would give it a go but then I have had a lot of counselling and I like it!
Anyway, back to you Rain, huge hugs and best wishes for the future to be brighter and for you to get the help you so richly deserve and PLEASE try and hear Lilka's wise words, ou are precisely 0% responsible for this.
You are precisely 0% responsible for this. The people responsible are the birth family and other services who failed her years ago. Leaving you to be the one who is hanging on through all the issues caused by that. I do know though that no matter people tell me 'don't feel guilty, Lilka' it doesn't change my feelings so I completely understand that you feel guilty. But you aren't responsible in any way shape or form
I'm glad you have the PND charity, that there's someone professional you can talk to.
The fact that you can't access talking therapy right now makes me even more clueless as to why PAS think a relate referral is a good idea. Well, not entirely clueless, I completely agree with you that they are just suggesting all the cheaper options...
Lilka - the only impact it has had on our relationship is that I feel a bit guilty because, as her mum, I feel partly responsible for her actions. DP is amazing and has been so patient.
They didn't specify which type of counselling but it was definitely just for me. I did try CBT earlier this year for PND but I had so much crap going on that my counsellor said I was "too distressed" for CBT and referred me to the CMHT. The Drs there say that anyone in my situation would be feeling like I am with so many stressors and they agreed that I am not yet ready to engage with any psychological therapies that they offer so I'm just on ADs at the moment. I do go and speak to a lovely wise woman every week as part of the support I'm receiving from a great local PND charity. She is marvellous. I will hopefully sort out some counselling CBT soon though.
Jameme - I think they must have a chart of cheap "solutions" for adoptive families and instead of offering something appropriate, they have just looked for the next thing in the "under £100" box and decided to offer me that. I had relate counselling with my exH, twice, it was shit. I'm not even in a bloody relationship that needs any fixing at the moment. I have an image in my head of me and a relate counsellor sitting and shrugging our shoulders at each other in bemused silence as the minutes tick away.
Italiangreyhound - I am composing an email to my MP, before things kick off again!
Well, thank goodness some common sense (or lack of resources) has prevailed in the child protection team.
I am also trying to work out why Relate are being suggested. They do parenting and family counselling as well as relationship issues, however looking at their web pages about it, the service isn't specialised enough to help you build your relationships with your DD etc or 'building a stronger family' in the parenting respect, for that you need the access to a specialist adoption support centre which is not forthcoming from SS
So IMHO I would want to establish exactly what is being proposed. You could ask them exactly which type of sessions they want to refer you to, and then contact Relate directly for more detailed information on what that type of session entails and what the aims of that are.
If you do think that your DD's allegations or other issues have impacted on you and DP's relationship, I guess maybe relationship counselling might be worth investigating?
I've benefitted from counselling/therapy (CBT) in the past, because it's all about me helping myself with my thoughts, feelings and taking care of myself. If you think you might benefit from that, ask specifically for that, but that doesn't sound like what's being offered to me
Rain, while things are not 'kicking off' for want of a better word, is there any local MP or professional person who you can get on side to help?
I am thinking of you.
Well... The support I need (according to PAS) is "Relate" sessions just for me!?
I have no idea why they are suggesting this. DP and I are getting on great, no arguments that would be stressing DD out. I have never asked for help in this area. I asked PAS if it was to address the impact of DDs allegations on our relationship but they are suggesting it just for me. I need to ring them back tomorrow. I didn't have time to get to the bottom if it today because I was on my way to Camhs.
Oh Rain that is good news. I hope you can get the support you need.
PAS have said that SS are not investigating or taking any action over DDs latest allegation.
Thanks for everyone's support.
Infinityseven thanks for sharing, it must be very difficult. Some of your experiences with your sister sound familiar. DD has also done things like bite herself and blame her sister etc from a very young age.
Rain I did suspect it might be her own idea, which although very sad, does at least mean the other girls were not being horrible to her.
InfinitySeven I am so very sorry to hear about your sister and the toll it has taken on you and your family.
I had a sister who did this. A birth sister, but we were taken into foster care frequently, and separated.
She's 19 now, and she lives in a hotel funded by social services. They sort her benefits for her, and make sure she's okay. She's not allowed contact with me or any of her family, because cahms don't think that she'd be able to process it, but she had therapy with them three times a week. She hasn't accused or hurt anyone in a while because she simply isn't allowed close enough to anyone.
With her, she was referred to cahms at 4 for disturbed behaviour. She started accusing my dad and my sisters at 5. By 8, it was weekly. She then learnt to, for example, scratch herself, so that she had "evidence". Every time it was investigated. She started accusing foster carers around then, too.
By 10, she got violent with other people. She'd threaten people, and she took two kitchen knives to school. She'd try and hurt our baby sister... That bit of your post hit me hard. It was small enough to start with, poking her to make her cry, scratching her. Then she'd throw things, or give her scissors. She cut her face and all her hair off once.
Cahms did eventually offer us respite. On her third time, she accused the family of beating her. She cut her thighs, covered herself in blood, and ripped her pants. It was very deliberate. She was inconsolable when she got home.
I'd like to say that I found a solution, but I didn't. Social services update me on how she is occasionally, and should anything happen to her, I'd be involved in decision making. But other than that, there is little I can do.
I'm happy to help or talk if I can be of any use, though. I sobbed through a lot of her childhood. It's an unbearable feeling.
Please get some support put in place for you. I know we have focused on your daughter, but the emotional toll this is taking on you will drain your resilience and tolerance.
My heart really does go out to you.
I am too early in the process to offer practical advice about where you can get help.
I do have experience of working with chaotic, young people who threaten do/to harm themselves and others. I am happy to chat through any strategies I have used, but they were very much 'learnt on thee job' rather than formal, professional qualifications.
I am thinking of you and your family and wish I could offer more tangible support
I feel totally on the brink. It's affecting my health. Not sure how much longer I can carry on but the alternative is too awful to contemplate.
Thinking of you. I am sure you are doing this but taking a log/diary of events to the GP could help them understand. You must be physically and emotionally exhausted, please take care of youself as best as you can.
I spoke to school this morning (and cried on the way home because she is so socially vulnerable and open to exploitation) they are very supportive and are talking about sorting out a social group for her. It was probably her idea, she's always trying to make people like her by giving them stuff.
Oh Rain I am so sorry. Are you going to tell the school about the tuck money thing? Do you know if the idea came from her or from the girls? I am so sorry this is only one small part but I am just wondering if you can do anything about that aspect of it? Bless you, you are carrying so much. Are you writing all down? I think you need social services to see the terribly heavy weight you are carrying.
Thanks for your thoughts etc.
PAS finally got back to me and said that there will be no referral to FF/PAC at this stage. This is because Camhs are already involved and I think they are going to step up the psychotherapy (one session a week at present, not sure what more they can realistically and practically do TBH).
Camhs review is being brought forward from jan (no date set yet but hopefully ASAP) and PAS will attend so at least we will all be around a table.
Concerns are that if we are referred to FF/PAC then Camhs will stop (not sure why) and the therapeutic relationship will come to an end and be unsettling for DD.
No idea what action is planned over the SS referral, as yet.
Highlights from this weekend include threats to throw herself out of a window, being worried about "devils that scratch your legs when you are asleep", wanting to become the actual real Father Christmas (to the point of tears) and finding out that she is saving her tuck money at school to pay other girls to play with her .
Thinking of you Rain. She did well to tell you how she felt - and what she did. hope baby is OK.
Rain how is it going? I know it is so hard and just wanted to check in with you and say I am thinking like you.
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