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Childminder who is a recovering alcoholic

(207 Posts)
connedbird Tue 19-Aug-14 15:08:29

Would I be unreasonable to make Ofsted aware of a person who has recently registered as a childminder but who has also recently been referred to AA following a recent mid day alcohol abuse episode which resulted in her children being temporarily removed by the police?

She has a sponsor and is attending AA meetings/ following 12 steps, so is by all accounts happily getting her life on track. Social services have deemed her suitable to continue looking after her own children on the understanding that she continues with AA and doesn't drink around the children. Also that she leaves her partner due to DV from both sides which she has done.

So, I don't want to be a bitch... but having left my own children with childminders from babies, I feel like it would be something I'd want to know that Ofsted had had the chance to assess before my children were left with a minder.

Wondering if I should even stick my nose in... maybe my own concerns about leaving my pfb DD when she was small are clouding my judgement.

Would SS have made Ofsted aware anyway?

What are your thoughts??

LadyLuck10 Tue 19-Aug-14 15:10:37

I'm not sure if ss would have notified ofsted, but if it was my child I'm sorry I wouldn't want to have my child in her care.

FinnsMum19 Tue 19-Aug-14 15:12:39

I wouldn't want her looking after my child either.

Topaz25 Tue 19-Aug-14 15:13:49

That's a tricky one. It sounds like she is taking steps to get her life back on track and that's good but I don't think this is the most suitable job for her given that her own children were recently temporarily removed from her care. If it was longer ago and she was further down her road to recovery I might feel differently. I think YANBU to notify OFSTED so they can assess the situation.

Topaz25 Tue 19-Aug-14 15:15:22

TBH it does worry me if someone is able to register as a childminder after police and SS involvement and not be flagged up.

realitygone Tue 19-Aug-14 15:15:48

I am a childminder. This job is incredibly stressful at times and requires a certain level of composmentus (spelling???)

No she is not suitable to be a childminder at this present moment in her life. Alcohol, dv, police and social services are not good environment for her own children let alone other peoples children

please do give ofsted a call on 03001231231 and speakto them

honeysucklejasmine Tue 19-Aug-14 15:25:26

I think you should tell Ofsted. If they choose not to act then at least you can rest easy knowing you did what you thought was right.

It's difficult because you are having to choose between the best interests of the adult, who is trying to start a new venture and perhaps a new life, and the possible safety of a child who is the in the charge of someone battling something terrible, however successfully.

It might be that she doesn't intend to start practicing until she has finished the AA programme, but at least that's something that they can find out and make a decision in an informed way.

Really difficult, that one!

SorryForTheTypos Tue 19-Aug-14 15:30:16

Agree with Topaz25 's posts

DizzyKipper Tue 19-Aug-14 15:30:53

I agree with others, whilst it's great she's taking steps to get herself sorted I wouldn't risk putting my child in her care. OFSTED should be aware and check her out.

IHeartLockhart Tue 19-Aug-14 15:33:00

Tricky cos on the one hand she is making positive steps to getting her life back on track, on the other hand it sounds as if she is still in recovery and not fully there get. Having been around alcoholics a lot I know I would never trust one to look after my child.

CeliaFate Tue 19-Aug-14 15:33:14

following a recent mid day alcohol abuse episode which resulted in her children being temporarily removed by the police
How has she been able to register as a childminder? shock Jesus, what have you got to do to be deemed unsuitable to look after children?
Yes, you should ring and let OFSTED know.

Has she actually registered and been approved or is she just in the process? I'd be surprised if this wasn't picked up in the vetting process

jackydanny Tue 19-Aug-14 15:43:09

Alcoholism doesn't discriminate.

I can tell you that all classes and professions are in recovery.
I know GP's, police, nurses, teachers all in recovery.

If she has a period of sobriety (say 12 months) she is probably more sober than most of the UK.

DaisyFlowerChain Tue 19-Aug-14 15:47:07

I don't think the vetting procedure is very strict, it's a CRB and medical letter from a doctor in the main isn't it?

I'd report to Ofsted for piece of mind. If anything happens then at least you know you acted rather than ignored.

There are many reasons I'd never use a childminder, the vetting process is just one of them.

maggiethemagpie Tue 19-Aug-14 15:47:13

Ah jackydanny but would most of the UK have a mid day alcohol abuse episode that resulted in children being taken away by the police. That's the point isn't it - most people can drink in moderation, alcoholics can't.

CeliaFate Tue 19-Aug-14 15:47:13

But she hasn't had 12 months sober. The OP says following a recent mid day alcohol abuse episode which resulted in her children being temporarily removed by the police.

treaclesoda Tue 19-Aug-14 15:54:25

I know this is off topic but where I am it is social services who inspect and approve childminders, and when I read stuff like this it makes me wonder why it's not the same in the rest of the UK. It makes far more sense to me.

Tanith Tue 19-Aug-14 15:59:54

It's the same vetting procedure as for nursery staff and registered nannies, Daisy.

I am, frankly, astounded to the point of disbelief if this has not already been notified to OFSTED. Are you absolutely sure she has actually been registered and is not simply going through the registration process?

It does no harm to ring OFSTED but, as I said, they should be informed by the authorities as well.

I'm pretty sure the scottish process involves them too (the process to register an after school club definitely does and I think they can be asked for CM) - plus the PVG isn't just a criminal records check but includes other stuff.

DaisyFlowerChain Tue 19-Aug-14 16:08:03

Tarnith, at least with a nursery nurse there are always other staff around. If they were drinking mid day somebody would notice. No guests allowed in nurseries so all adults closely monitored. Whilst not perfect, it's much safer than a lone childcare worker.

Haffdonga Tue 19-Aug-14 16:15:57

Although I would not want my child in her care if what you say is true, I'd want to be bloody sure of my facts before informing Ofsted. You seem to know a lot of fairly confidential stuff about her - I'm guessing extended family? So you must be close and have an idea how likely she is to relapse.

She might be a real risk but on the other hand she has moved from violent partner, is deemed suitable to look after her own children, is maintaining her sobriety and presumably has no criminal record. There are propbably an awful lot of other people in positions of responsibility out there who are in similar situations. Unless you genuinely believe she is a risk to children, I would tread very carefully.

Tikimon Tue 19-Aug-14 16:23:53

Tell them. I wouldn't want someone who recovered even years ago, because once an alcoholic, always one. The temptation will always be there, and you don't know when a moment of stress can cause them to relapse. You don't want a ticking time bomb like that around small children.

At least I wouldn't want her around mine.

connedbird Tue 19-Aug-14 16:24:38

Thanks so much everyone. Yes she is extended family and I've read the SS report myself so I have the facts. She registered with OFSTED about 3 months ago and had, up until then, not had the authorities involved so her checks would have all been clear. She was drinking very heavily at this time but presume not at the time of the visits etc.

The police incident and subsequent joining the AA was about four or five weeks ago. I assumed she had realised her problem and put the childminding on the back burner but it seems she hasn't and is actively looking for mindees.

She has been sober for this month to my knowledge but as others have said, the thing with childminders is that they operate allow rather than under the eye of a room of other nursery nurses so there is a risk.

I suppose I can't decide if any mindees are at actual risk of if I am just projecting my own worries about leaving my DD when small.

From everyone's comments I think I should report it and leave it in OFSTED's hands.

FuckTheseSixFishInParticular Tue 19-Aug-14 16:28:26

I'm a childminder too, and honestly I'm concerned about how she's managed to get through the registration process if this has all happened recently.

All childminders registering have to fill out a medical declaration, and get it signed by a GP, which very specifically asks about drug and alcohol dependency, and amount of alcohol units consumed per week.

If you state that you take any substance that may have an affect on your ability to care for children, Ofsted arranges for you to have a medical review, where you talk about it with one of their approved doctors, who will then judge if you are still eligible to be registered. (I take occasional anxiety medication, so I had one of these, and I was cleared.)

Either she has done all of this, and been passed as suitable, or she hasn't, which would mean that she has falsified her data in some way.

I would be very surprised, to put it mildly, if Ofsted is aware of all of the things you have said and has still registered her as a childminder if this is all recent, so I would definitely raise it as a concern with them.

Bluetonic123 Tue 19-Aug-14 16:28:38

Are you 100% sure this is true? Just checking as you are potentially ruining someone's life so it needs to based on what you know rather than what you have heard, if you see what I mean.

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