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To not want a referral to Social Services?

(31 Posts)
Treesandbees Sun 13-Dec-15 20:37:48

I've recently been diagnosed with PND. I've been having a tough time since the birth of my 2 DC (I have a 2.5 yo and 5mo). DD has been quite ill and the toddler just hard work. No family nearby to support so I've struggled. GP has been fantastic but referred me to community mental health but have referred me to social services. I don't really understand why. They said it was for support but I'm worried that the children are going to be taken away. Anyone know what this means?

mysteryknickers Sun 13-Dec-15 20:41:58

I have little experience of SS but things would have to be beyond dire for them to even think about taking your DC away. They will support you and ensure your family stays together.

MatildaTheCat Sun 13-Dec-15 20:42:58

No, please don't worry. So long as you aren't neglecting your children it will be fine. There is /was a category called 'children in need' if I remember correctly, which you and your family might fit into. The sort of things they could offer were family support workers, priority at children's centre activities and possible nursery places for toddlers.

It could be really very helpful for you. I hope you feel better soon. flowers

mincepiesforbreakfast Sun 13-Dec-15 20:43:03

How weird. What sort of support do they think SS will offer?

jacks11 Sun 13-Dec-15 20:45:50

They have referred you for support- practical support, which it sounds like you need. The CMHT can help with your mental health but they are limited in the amount of help they can give you as a family. Your GP obviously thinks you need a bit more support than you can get from CMHT and is trying to ensure you get all the help you need.

From what you have said here it doesn't sound like your GP has not referred to SS for child protection reasons, so I don't think you need to worry about your children being taken into care.

PeppasNanna Sun 13-Dec-15 20:47:08

Dont worry...
Honestly SS in my experience don't give any support unless.

I have 4 dc. 2 with ASD & ADHD.Both in Special school's. Cant wven get them to finish an assessment to get restpite. No support. No help. No nothing.

As long as your not beating the daylights out of the kids, dont worry! angryshock

PeppasNanna Sun 13-Dec-15 20:47:48

Excuse typos!blush

jacks11 Sun 13-Dec-15 20:50:03


No, it's not weird at all. SS can offer help in a practical sense (such as those things matilda has referred to) which can be a bit of a lifeline for parents who are struggling for any number of reasons. They are also there to support the children, should they need it.

chocadd1ct Sun 13-Dec-15 20:51:08

As may be able to sort out support e.g.respite care. I would grab that with both hands. My Dd1 is severely disabled, I have a dd2 and a partner who is unwell and needs care and I work 2 jobs. I have been begging for SS involvment to get respite care sorted but getting nowhere. you have actually been lucky.

BarbarianMum Sun 13-Dec-15 20:51:38

A friend of mine volunteers for Home Start and quite often supports mums in your sort of situation - chatting, playing with the children to give mum a break, bit of help with house work, help finding playgroups etc. Quite a few families are signposted to them by SS.

Cassimin Sun 13-Dec-15 20:51:43

You could ask if there is a Homestart near you. If there is ask if you can be referred or you could just give them a ring for a chat and ask them for some help. Their volunteers have training in PND and can offer you some support.

Thingsthatmakeugoummmm Sun 13-Dec-15 20:51:51

I am a social worker and the majority of the work I do is about supporting families. This is likely to be a referral for a child in need assessment. This is where the local authority assess whether you as a family need additional support.

Please don't worry. There are so many myths around social services. The social worker can help you get the support you need. Please pm me if you want anymore info

TaliZorah Sun 13-Dec-15 20:53:36

YANBU. I'd be asking exactly why you've been referred. I have mental health problems and a child, I was never referred and would have been livid if I had been.

SS can be good at offering support but I would question it

PenguinSalute Sun 13-Dec-15 20:58:36

Hi Trees

Sorry to hear you're having a rough time. But, well done in going to the GP. I had PND too and didn't go to the GP until DS was nearly 1 and massively regret it now.

I'm a children's social worker, and contrary to some of the opinion on this thread it's not 'weird' and we don't only care when parents are 'beating their children'. It's more than likely that what will happen is a brief consent based assessment of the areas you could benefit from support with under s17 of Children Act. This assessment would make recommendations that may include linking you in with homestart, support from a family worker, nursery place for 2 yr old if you don't already get free hours at 2, etc etc.

If you don't want this assessment, you're within your rights to decline it. Unless there are any child protection concerns (that the children have suffered/ are likely to suffer significant harm) then it won't go any further. People say no to us all the time, and that's it. It really is about trying to help you, should you want it.

Hope that sets your mind at ease a bit, appreciate social services being mentioned is always going to get people's backs up, but really it shouldn't be a horrible experience for you. I hope things get easier for you soon thanks

Angelika321 Sun 13-Dec-15 21:01:51

Please don't worry. I was assigned an outreach worker who helped me with the forms to apply for short break hours and the information to access this and other services such as the dietician for my DC. She also helped with strategies regarding my parenting and my perception of what was good parenting. It was a pretty positive experience for me.

GretchenBeckett Sun 13-Dec-15 21:02:01

Op I had PND and was referred to Ss. They were honestly brilliant. They gave me so much support and really understood. I actually missed my social worker one we stopped seeing her.

SuburbanRhonda Sun 13-Dec-15 21:31:20


Please read the posts above yours. Social services can support families in many different ways. There is no way for anyone to get "livid".

In particular please read the post from the social worker.

pointythings Sun 13-Dec-15 21:38:16

A very good friend of mine was referred to SS because of PND and needing support and it was a complete lifeline for her. She got enormous help and support, no judgement at all. I'd go with it and see what was on offer. You sound like you're going through tough times. flowers

PeppasNanna Sun 13-Dec-15 21:56:20

Imagine, I've got 2 ds with multiple disabilities yet we can't get an allocated social worker or support.

I've told the social worker that has been doing an assessment of our family since September (as I've requested restpite for the boys), that I'm really struggling to cope. Im at the point ofbputting both boys into residential schools.

I also have a 22 month old & 14 year old dd.

She told me unless there are CP concerns SS are not in a position to help other then awarding both ds Personal Budgets. Which should allow for 2 hours aweek restpite

I live in one of the most well known boroughs in the UK for child abuse deaths...

UbiquityTree Sun 13-Dec-15 22:13:08

I hope you will find my current experience helpful.

GP referred me to SS when she put in my psychiatric referral because I am currently psychotic and suicidal - it's a safeguarding referral for both me and the children.

SS interviewed me over the phone and told me they believed that the children were currently at no risk of significant harm. They asked permission to talk to the DCs' respective school/preschool/nursery, then spoke to the respective safeguarding leads in confidence. All agencies agreed the children are thriving and there is no cause for concern. I was stepped down from "proper" SS to Early Support Access (ESAT) and assigned an ESAT Keyworker.

The Keyworker arranged a home visit where she took me through all the same questions again and assessed the safety etc of the house and our routines. Then she said ESAT wanted to offer me support ...

... However, it turns out that I don't actually qualify for any of the support. It is, very sensibly, targeted at certain vulnerable groups, so there are sessions available to those who haven't got GCSE Maths or English, and to those who are under twenty, and those on very low incomes, etc. Since we can comfortably pay our mortgage and get the DC to school on time in clean clothes with full tummies, I qualify for nothing. No Homestart, no 2+, etc. I can go to a Sure Start Centre eight miles away at 3 pm on a weekday for a Stay and Play. Oh, and I have the Keyworker's phone number if I need to rant. hmm

Meanwhile my emergency psych referral (see above, psychotic and suicidal) took seven weeks to result in an assessment and will be a further nine weeks before I start "Preparation for Therapy" which will lead into actual therapy around six months or more from the emergency referral.

Nobody is going to take children away from someone who is trying her hardest and understands what children need. Getting in the system and being honest about your worst day, not average or best, will get you a step closer to actual help.

Does your 2 yo attend any formal childcare settings such as nursery or preschool? Any other groups you attend such as toddler groups? I have found these resources much easier to come by, and more constructive, than the official channels.

But although I was terrified of SS (and kind MNers gave me much the same advice they're giving you) I can tell you there's nothing to be afraid of. They aren't the enemy.

Good luck and get well soon.

TaliZorah Sun 13-Dec-15 22:17:44

I don't doubt that suburban I just think it would have been nice to ask OP rather than just refer her. Seems clumsy

BackforGood Sun 13-Dec-15 22:20:32

Too many people have a single image of Social care as being some kind of organisation like the child catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. hmm

You will have been referred for Family Support - people who work for Social Care providing support for families who need a little bit of help at the present time. It may be through a Nursery Place or some hours at a CM to give you a bit of a break, or it may be through introducing you to toddler groups at the Childrens Centre or something where you will get the chance to chat to others and realise you are not alone - very often, it's a combination of services. However, it is not to have your children taken from you.

5madthings Sun 13-Dec-15 22:30:44

I was referred after Ds4 as I ended up in psych unit for a week. It meant I got a homestart volunteer and they also sorted transport to school in the mornings for my primary aged children. The transport(taxis) was only for a short period of time. They also loaded with dh work( he actually works in child protection and was working in a children's home at the time) just so his work where aware and they could try and alter some shifts... It was normal for him to do 30+ he shifts, all sorts of crazy hours which were not great.

I have since had dd and am preg again, it was flagged on my notes that I had mh issues after Ds4 just to make sure the midwives and hv are aware but theu were happy that dh and I are aware and I had no issues after dd but am happy that they will keep an extra eye out tbh.

Vikkijayne2507 Sun 13-Dec-15 22:47:28

As an ex social worker (moved abroad so not registered) in child protection, where I had to remove children from the home, I can catagorically say social workers do everything possible to keep families together.
My sister and mum received ss support when I was younger as my sister is autistic, my mum was terrified at the time but she had a homestart volunteer come and support her when she needed it, it was a lifeline.

Its about preventing anything from escalating allowing you and your children to be as happy and content as possible.

SuburbanRhonda Sun 13-Dec-15 22:49:41


People who share your hostility towards social services may well say no to being referred before they even know what support is being offered. They would therefore be saying no without knowing what they're saying no to.

The MH Team clearly felt the OP would benefit from extra support. It's a voluntary process at this stage. She can say no if she wants to.

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