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in thinking the SS have unreasonable expectations of me?

(236 Posts)
2tired2cry Tue 23-Dec-14 12:45:38

My family are involved with SS.

Please be gentle with my about this as I beat myself up about it enough and am constantly being crushed by the guilt and pressure of the situation as it is.

I am currently retraining in a completely different area than my previous career since my exH left me and my previous job was incompatible with family life, always working holidays, split shifts, late nights etc.

I have 2 dc's, one of whom is severely mentally disabled, physically he is in perfect health so no hospital visits etc just a lot of work on communication and so on.

SS think that retraining and attempting to get a job is unreasonable. They consider this to be selfish and me 'putting myself first'. I have basically been told by them that they think I should stay at home and just be a full time carer for dc.

I can see why they feel this but my argument is how am I supposed to support myself and dc's when I am not working? Yes, I can exist on benefits for a while but
a) I don't want to
b) I want my dc's to have a working parent
c) Its better for my own mental health if I am working
d) what happens when all the child related benefits stop when the dc's turn 18 (tax credits etc) and I can't get a job because I haven't worked for years?

All I have asked them for is help with childcare so that I can continue to train/work like anyone else but they feel that because dc is disabled that I shouldn't be working/training?

Who is right here? I really feel it is the best thing for me to at least try and work, if only part time for now, whereas they really seem to feel that me doing this is wrong and I just cant see why.

2tired2cry Tue 23-Dec-14 12:46:21

oops, posted too soon but that's the gist of things sad

Nabootique Tue 23-Dec-14 12:48:57

I don't have any advice but for what it's worth YANBU in my opinion. Why shouldn't you have something for you, and it benefits your family too! flowers

TheXxed Tue 23-Dec-14 12:49:42

YANBU, my gut tells me its about avoiding costs.

misskangaandroo2014 Tue 23-Dec-14 12:53:00

You're really the expert on your family. You're thinking longer term than SS, that is not self-centred. If you can realistically get the right supportive childcare then great, the work time gives you a different pace and focus which, as long as you don't get too overworked, could give you wider support networks.

PausingFlatly Tue 23-Dec-14 12:53:28

YANBU. I completely agree with TheXxed: this is about them avoiding costs, not about what's good for you or for your children in the long term.

ReputableBiscuit Tue 23-Dec-14 12:53:49

"All I have asked them for is help with childcare"

YANBU, and I have disabled DC and struggle to work, but social services/respite is not set up to provide childcare.

ILovePud Tue 23-Dec-14 12:58:37

That does sound really unfair OP, wanting a career for all the reasons you list sounds perfectly reasonable to me. I hope you don't mind me asking but are you a regular poster who has name changed for this as your story sounds very similar to that of a regular who has had lots of ongoing problems with school and SS. If it is the case then my pragmatic advice would be that it may be best for you to tow the line with SS is not doing so means you risk losing custody of your children. If you can show that you are listening to SS and that the kids are well cared for then hopefully you will be discharged and be able to pick up some of these plans again when your family life is not subject to such close scrutiny.

ReputableBiscuit Tue 23-Dec-14 12:58:52

Wait,, there are two threads on this?

Theoretician Tue 23-Dec-14 13:03:15

I don't think anyone (including children) should have absolute priority in any situation. There needs to be balance. Your interests are not less important than anyone else's. So even if the children would be better off if you didn't work, that doesn't mean you shouldn't.

I presume SS are only required to care about the children, it's not their job to care about your interests. If so, they are not a neutral judge in this.

Having said that, I have no thoughts on asking them for help with childcare. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks is reasonable, they either will or won't, and you'll have to deal with that.

Madmum24 Tue 23-Dec-14 13:03:23

Yes sadly SS can not facilitate childcare, which is why many carers fall below poverty line.

So many essential services such as respite have been cut. There are families in crisis because they are losing the 3hours a week "break" that made their situation bearable.

OP YANBU for wanting to better yourself, but YABU for expecting SS to pay for it. I assume your child is in school? Are you able to do anything within those hours?

PausingFlatly Tue 23-Dec-14 13:03:26

You can bet your boots that after trying to manipulate you with words like "selfish" because it suits their agenda now, in a few years time another agency will turn round and call you "lazy" or "entitled" if you don't work.

Heads they win, tails you lose.

So whichever route you chose (even if pragmatic, as ILovePud suggests), don't feel you have to buy in to their guilt-trips. They're saying these things to manipulate you, not because they're true.

FelineLou Tue 23-Dec-14 13:09:35

You do need to put yourself first. Who will care for the two children if you collapse with MH problems. Caring for the carer is very important. You are not there to make life easier for SS.
Can you approach some of the charities that help with these children? Young carers may be able to give advice for the other child.
Hope you can get this sorted. You are entitled to have a life too.

Brandnewstart Tue 23-Dec-14 13:16:04

But SS can put together a package of respite care or you could apply for Direct Payments and put together your own. Have you got a local Carers Centre? They can help you.

I take it you get DLA for your child? You could do with some benefits advice to see how much you would be losing by not working BUT I can understand you wanting to stay in employment.

Is the SW a children's disability one? It is so hard and you are doing great. The system unfortunately does not support Carers enough and it puts immense pressure on those that care.

Take care.

2tired2cry Tue 23-Dec-14 13:17:25

Whoops, not sure how but have accidentally posted twice, Ive asked for the other one to be removed.

I'll put here what I put on the other thread just to make it easier:

I have heard variations of this exact same thing from several different people, they always write it in a different way though, like 'they feel that [studying] is my priority and not the children' or 'things seem to be slipping in the house now that [2tired] is studying', basically things that make it obvious they feel I should be at home. I can't remember all the examples as they are very numerous.

One person even suggested that not working and being at home all the time and not working is 'normal' for families with disabled children and that most people in my situation would not work. I disagreed but she was adamant that I must be some sort of freak for even considering it.

I'm retraining in science, starting a degree next year.

I've tried extremely hard to access appropriate childcare for my dc and have finally found one that is suitable yet they still feel this is not a viable option and that it should be me looking after them all the time.

They are both in (the same) mainstream school full time, apparently he isn't considered disabled enough to warrant a place at a special school yet but this may be reviewed.

Brandnewstart Tue 23-Dec-14 13:25:51

You are perfectly entitled to retrain and work!! I know many, many Carers that work. Get some support behind you and keep reiterating that the children are your priority and retraining will ensure their needs are met in the long term.

FWIW I think you are amazing. It isn't easy and you should be congratulated on improving your family's life chances x

2tired2cry Tue 23-Dec-14 13:25:51

Brandnew, I'm not currently working as my previous job was impossible to maintain with the hours I was expected to do and no childcare available.

I am receiving direct payments but it took SS months and months to set it up and the person I was using (who I found myself) was so inadequate I had to stop using them. I am yet to find a replacement since the family information service (who I was told to ring) was no help whatsoever.

SW is not specific to disabilities just general SW.

They have been talking about removing the children and placing them with my parents, who live at the other end of the country. When I questioned how this would improve the situation, since my parents would need support if they looked after the children, I was told that there would be support put in place for them because they are not the children's parents but that I could not get access to the same services.

So they will provide support, just not to me.

2tired2cry Tue 23-Dec-14 13:27:42

When I said that I was trying to think long term and plan for the future I was told that I was planning too far ahead and that 'you cant just ignore your children until you've finished training'.

I just cant win.

Brandnewstart Tue 23-Dec-14 13:28:33

Oh that's crap. Have you not been assigned a disability SW? You should have one. If your child starts to attend a SN school you will find a lot of the support workers will also offer be willing to offer PA work - in my experience.

Have you got a Carers Centre near you? I think you need other agency support and someone to fight your corner. It is exhausting doing it on your own x

whois Tue 23-Dec-14 13:31:00

Oh god how frustrating OP :-(

Cheaper to have you living in poverty as a full time carer than to provide you with short term support to build a better life for your family and be a more 'profitable' member of society in the long run. Such a stupid system.

simbacatlivesagain Tue 23-Dec-14 13:31:16

Look SS don't automatically have involvement with families who have children with additional needs. There will be additional factors (which I now see you allude to when you mention they have suggested removing the children) - I don't think people can comment with only partial facts and I don't think the full facts can be shared appropriately- as there are 2 sides to every story.

Trollsworth Tue 23-Dec-14 13:31:21


But just do what they say because they can take your children away.

Sorry x

saintlyjimjams Tue 23-Dec-14 13:31:49

Welcome to the cuts. They have a legal duty to support carers working (although they try to forget this).

Calling you selfish for wanting to work is appalling. So bad I would put in a complaint & contact my MP. You may find they didn't quite mean to say that then.

BTW when you get to adult services you'll be told you're obstructing your child's independence if you reduce work commitments to fill in their gaps

Purplepoodle Tue 23-Dec-14 13:33:23

Im guessing you havnt got the right balance if social services are talking of removing your children. Yes retraining us great but I wouldn't do it at the risk of my children being removed. Perhaps you need to take a step back from retraining - scale it back to part time perhaps

saintlyjimjams Tue 23-Dec-14 13:33:38

Look SS don't automatically have involvement with families who have children with additional needs

They do if your child cannot access mainstream playschemes without support. And given the OP's description of her child it would be expected that SS be involved. How else will she access childcare?

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