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To wish people would share positive SS experiences

(29 Posts)
Aermingers Wed 17-Jun-15 17:37:00

I understand why people don't. Because there is a stigma attached.

But I had an experience of SS in early Spring this year because of a bout of ill health. Because of things I'd read on forums like this I was terrified. I was under the impression that they were people who would remove my child for financial gain and who were totally amoral.

In fact, what I got was a group of supportive people who wanted to keep my family together but also made it very clear that my child's welfare was their paramount concern. I came away from it feeling reassured that children who were in need had good advocates, while those who were half decent parents were recognised and supported.

I'm not really sure what I'm trying to say, but after reading the Rebecca Minnock thread and stuff I'd just like to reassure people they're not always monsters.

FreudiansSlipper Wed 17-Jun-15 18:05:10

If it was not for SS I would be dead and my mother likely to be dead too

I have no doubt about that my step fathers violence had reached such a level of depravity he could not have got much worse without someone dying

Though how they handled things after were not great they did not help my mum though she did not always help herself but it was the 70's understanding of dv is much better but still some way to go

And they ignored family concerns about foster care family thankfully I was not abused but others were

throwingpebbles Wed 17-Jun-15 18:32:47

Not quite the same but in a similar vein I was very honest with GPs and health visitors (and subsequently psychologist and psychiatrist and mental health nurse) about how suicidal I was (pnd/ptsd)and how I was hallucinating with exhaustion and they were nothing but supportive and whilst they would have referred if they had concerns but they were happy that the best thing for the children was to stay with me and me be better supported. Honesty and openness got me and the children the support we needed and the children's interests were always paramount but there was no over reaction either and no judgement

Iammad Wed 17-Jun-15 19:37:06

From a child's perspective of ss having had a social worker for most of my childhood most were absolutely brilliant!
When I left foster care at 17 my social worker came to my new home with bags full of stuff for me (out of her own pocket)
Used to meet me once a week in a cafe to see how I was.
They went above and beyond to help me, and without them I think I would of been a total different person then I am today.
Although I'm not ignorant to know that there is some awful ss out there, and they really need more government funding.

Flashbangandgone Wed 17-Jun-15 21:59:19

Well, my grandfather did always said when he was a boy the trains always ran on time and litter was never a problem when the SS took over the running of his small home town in Northern Austria...

AngelWings74 Wed 17-Jun-15 22:07:05

Thank you for your positive post OP. I am a social worker and 99% of the work I do is about supporting families. Keeping families together is in the best interest of the child, however the supportive work never gets mentioned. I am so pleased you had a positive experience

Purringkittenmama Wed 17-Jun-15 22:11:16

Haven't had any contact myself, but did know a lady training to be a social worker. She was lovely.

Peaceloveandhobnobs Wed 17-Jun-15 22:12:48

I used to work as an administrator supporting children's social workers and hate to see them demonised. They are (for the most part) very hard-working and over-stretched people, just trying to do their best with limited funding, staff and time. The amount of paperwork they are expected to do is astronomical, but essential, because without it there would be no physical evidence for court cases.

Devora Wed 17-Jun-15 22:15:12

What a nice thread smile

fastdaytears Wed 17-Jun-15 22:19:36

I work with SS in a voluntary role and all the SW I come into contact with are just staggeringly committed to their job. It's all children and yp and they are so invested it's amazing. The young people I'm involved with are all looked after and will be long term so it's past keeping the families together, but the SW are open and honest about why and work so hard to make sure contact happens even though in some cases it's like pushing water uphill. Genuinely good, insightful, talented and caring people with crazy work ethics.

Idontseeanydragons Wed 17-Jun-15 22:32:07

I trained with SS (not in a Social Work role) and saw them many times on the job. A good friend of mine now works closely with them. I have never seen a more committed bunch of people who will go above and beyond for the families they are with - many times in their own time and with their own money.

Welshmaenad Thu 18-Jun-15 00:04:29

This thread makes me happy smile

I will qualify as a SW in 2 years, it's so nice to hear positive stories.

Aermingers Thu 18-Jun-15 00:06:13

Flash, the SA would have taken over first right? smile

MrsGentlyBenevolent Thu 18-Jun-15 00:08:59

I'm glad a few have had positive experience of SS. My own experiences have been horrifying, and caused post traumatic stress, from more than one department. I will never trust a social worker again for as long as I live. Never met such a heartless bunch of people in my life, but as I said, glad there are a few good ones out there. Wouldn't wish the bad ones on my worst enemy.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 18-Jun-15 00:10:41

Luckily, individual families will tell you how what you do has changed their lives for the better. Because when I worked at SS, I would have sworn I needed horns and a 666 on my head from what the press said.

The vast majority of the families I worked with were a joy and a pleasure and said thanks to us for helping. I really miss it sad

CallMeExhausted Thu 18-Jun-15 00:29:49

As we speak, there is a positive SS experience sitting in my dining room. My niece's parents were entirely incapable of caring for their children, the boy was adopted and the girls were in and out of foster care their entire lives. DN2 is 19 now, and is spending her summer with us after completing her first year of uni.

There is no chance she could have completed her schooling and avoided substance use in her parents' care. However, she has only been here since Saturday, and she is knocking my socks off. She is so helpful, we are having great conversations. Without being asked, she mowed our front lawn and cleaned the kitchen yesterday (I was at the hospital in day surgery, DH was at work and the DCs were at school) and today, she went out and mowed the neighbours' lawns as well. She has been helping with DD and even set up a big painting activity so I could rest when DD got home from school.

She is a fabulous young woman, and SS involvement is to thank for it.

EnjoyTheSimpleThingsInLife Thu 18-Jun-15 00:34:06

For obvious reasons I can't say too much. But, my sister has had SS involved for nearly two years. Honestly? I hated them at first, for what they put my family through.

However, the social worker who worked closely with my sister has actually been very good. She has helped get the family away from a horrible bastard and keep him away. The children are so much happier. I am glad to say SS are no longer involved but and I (at least) understand they do help families.

AndNowItsSeven Thu 18-Jun-15 00:40:19

This is still really hard to type without tearing up. When I had my dd I was taking pain medication. My consultant obstetrician gave me the go ahead for breastfeeding. Despite this ( and evidence I had from clinical studies) the paediatrician said I could not breastfeed. I was very upset and tried to persuade them. I had researched it very thoroughly. They continued to refuse and told me they had spoken to my consultant who had also said I could not breastfeed. I agreed not to bf and ff dd with the milk provided. They even gave me ready prepared bottles to take home.
Three days later I was discharged in the evening. Early the next morning social services knocked on my door saying they were concerned for dd's safety as I was apparently bf against medical advice.
Sw could see the ( ready prepared) formula bottle on the table. I told them I was not breastfeeding. They said they were sorry but had to assess my other dc , phone their school etc and see where they slept.
I went upstairs with one sw, opened a bedroom door and broke down in tears. Sw was lovely she hugged me and told me not to worry. She said she could see I was ff dd and was really kind.
First thing the next morning the sw rang and said she had spoken to her manager straight away upon returning to the office as she was not happy with going ahead with the assessment ( there was a midwife at the hospital who was really unbearably horrible to me during my stay. Accusing me of not caring if I poisoned and killed my dd , I am almost positive she rang SS)
The Sw told me they were closing the case and said how sorry she was that I had gone through worry and stress when I should have been enjoying my new baby.
Nb I had another baby 18 months later. I found out the hospital had lied, the consultant had not said I could not breastfeed. It was actually cited as a positive thing to stop a baby withdrawing. I was then allowed and encouraged to breastfeed ds whilst taking the same medication.
It still makes me cry that I couldn't bf dd. Not because I believe ff is wrong but because the right for me to choose to bf my child was taken from me.

HerrenaHarridan Thu 18-Jun-15 01:37:34

I used to know a fabulous social worker.
She was a true diamond. She drove a really fancy car. The gruff young lads all loved to get a shot on her car.
She worked 7 days a week, was regularly still checking in with her teenagers gone 1am, she used to go to the office abs do her paper work at 6am as it was the only time her phone wasn't constantly beeping.

She took on all the most difficult kids in a really bad area and never have up on any of them.

Yes there are shitty, power mad social workers out there but ime they are the minority.

Most social workers dint give a duck if you've dusted, they care if your house is warm, your kids have love, beds, clothes and food. Anything thing else is a luxury

MiscellaneousAssortment Thu 18-Jun-15 02:59:26

I think there is a huge amount of burn out in social workers.

I don't think people go in with the intention of behaving in a non constructive manner, but I do think the stresses and image of the job make many many sw into something not good for themselves or other people.

I'm sure there are good ones. I hear rumour that children's services tend towards being better, but that sounds a bit of a sweeping generalisation!

I would love to have a good sw, who becomes a force for good rather than one of the many barriers.

MammaTJ Thu 18-Jun-15 07:02:33

I was reported maliciously to SS and it was a very worrying time, from the initial phone call, to the visit!

They had been told my house was a tip (I had chance to tidy up, but it wasn't that bad) and my kids were covered in fleas and nits. Me and DP were 'always drunk' and me eldest DD had to look after the toddler and baby all the time. Oh, and we left the younger two home alone.

The SW came and said she had spoken to the HV and my DDs school and neither had concerns. She asked who I thought could have reported me and I showed her the text from someone I had fallen out with that said 'I hope your children enjoy their new lives with their new families, you don't deserve to have kids'. Showed her the number and told her the name.

She then talked to my DD, who told her about all the clubs and activities she went to. Ascertained that if she was the only one looking after the little ones then they would indeed be neglected as she did so much.

Sent my two DDs out in to the garden to play while we had a fairly direct chat and loads of kids gathered around my garden fence. She asked who they all were and I explained that most of them came to the youth club I was running at the time.

She left telling me she had no concerns but would be in touch in writing to confirm this.

She wrote saying 'I have come to the conclusion that the report from K***** B****** was malicious and has no grounding in truth'.

Very unusual to name the person reporting but I had told her that she had reported me and been very open about it.

I have since been reported again to them, and to the RSPCA by someone close to her. Also to the police for driving without insurance.

These people do not realise that SS, RSPCA and the police actually DO investigate before taking your children, animals and car off you. They waste an incredible amount of their time that could be use investigating real issues though.

Welshmaenad Thu 18-Jun-15 10:01:16

It saddens me when I hear that people have had negative experiences of social workers. There are so many good ones out there. My mum worked in LA child protection for 32 years, moving to a post with a private foster agency where she worked for seven years before she passed away last year.

Many of the families she supported during her time in child protection, as well as pretty much all her foster carers, came to her funeral. The place was packed out with people she had made a difference to, who loved her for it. One of her foster carers was a bearer. I'm still in contact with lots of her foster carers, they miss her dreadfully. I think if I can be half the social worker she was, and improve outcomes for so many people, I'll be doing ok.

dominogocatgo Thu 18-Jun-15 10:44:14

I must confess the thread title made me expect this to be a German WW2 discussion.

TheWomanTheyCallJayne Thu 18-Jun-15 10:47:01

We were maliciously reported to social services. I was cracking myself when they phoned to say they were coming around. Lovely lady arrived, asked us a load of questions. Said she had no further worries and left again.
They know when it's malicious. They're not stupid and they're probably as annoyed about it as we were.

howtorebuild Thu 18-Jun-15 10:53:23

We ha positive and negative experience with ss.

Negative was poor reporting of our words and opinions that were off the mark, for example one child is young for their age and ss thought they were mature. They didn't get permission to speak to other agencies from us.

Positive, they investigated everywhere and saw through other agencies errors which were designed to cover up their errors and make me look bad. Ss fell out with school who were mislead by medical professionals and chomping at the bit with pitch forks. I read in files school reported ss to the top and thought they knew better than ss.

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