Help. SS wants to assess my husband(115 Posts)
Hi everyone hoping I could get some advice. My husband has to be assessed by the sw. He suffers from PTSD and have struggled since leaving the forces. There has also been dv as well which he got convicted for. I watched the man who was so great spiral out of control and I feel he has been let down by mental health services. He is a great dad to our daughter and has never done anything to harm her. Since the incident he has been given proper meds for his condition and seen by mh services. I want to resume my relationship with him but the sw said that she wants to see him and may need to assess him. Will they stop us being together? Or take our daughter away from us? Or will they offer help?
I don't know what's going through the sw's head right now so I can't definitely say what there outcome will be.
How old is your daughter?
They need to assess him if there are issues around mental health and domestic violence. They can't stop you from being together but they can say that in their opinion it is safest for your daughter to not live in the same house as him. They should hopefully offer support but you have to understand there number one priority is the safety of the child not the mental health of your husband.
If they assess that he is a danger to your daughter then yes, they can stop her living with you. Domestic violence isn't just about a child being harmed (very real possibility though). It is also about a child having the right to not live I that kind of horrid atmosphere. From the sounds of it they have good reason to be concerned based on past behaviour.
However, if you explain the changes that have been made then they may decide to see how things go.
Really, we can't answer you as there is obviously a lot of history that we don't know about here.
If he has a DV conviction I can see why they would be concerned. You have to go along with social services here, if you show any reluctance that will set off huge red flags. Surely better safe than sorry?
Please don't minimise or excuse his behaviour. Children who witness DV suffer in various ways and often have poor outcomes into late childhood and ultimately adulthood
I'm sorry you're in this situation, it must be so hard for all of you. PTSD is a bastard. Have you contacted any of the forces charities to find out about combat stress/PTSD support groups? There are bound to be other people who have been where you are, your local SSAFA rep should be able to point you in the right direction.
The fact that the SW wants to see your husband and assess him has to be hopeful, and if he seems to be cooperating with treatment and making improvements then that will be in his favour. The SW has a duty to make sure your daughter is safe and your husband needs to approach the whole thing from that point of view. His normal self wouldn't dream of harming her I'm sure, but traumatic stress makes people do abnormal things.
i know people who have been through similar and it was a hard road for them, I hope you get through it all safe and (eventually)together.
Thanks. He hasn't been a violent husband and cared for our daughter best he could. I know dv is bad but seeing what he went through is lime he became a different person altogether. The incident happened in June. We have since seen each other since and I have seen a huge change in him, like he's the one I remember before his PTSD. I think the meds are working. I'm worried that they will use his mental health against him and label him as a bad father along with the dv conviction. Has anyone been in a similar situation? He's meeting with social is tomorrow.
As someone who spent the first three or four years of their life in a household where my bio father was violent to my mother, it has messed my head up, and he never laid a finger on me.
So yes, I'm not surprised that they will make an assessment. It's about your DD's mental health as much as anything.
And I understand it must be awful for him and you, but like PP said, don't minimise the impact it may already have had on your DD. I think that's what the social worker will be looking at.
So she's likely to be more aware of anything happening.
If he's doing what he is supposed to be, they may well deem him not to be a danger to either of you.
the most important person in this is your child. you both should focus on her and do everything you can to ensure that he has the help he needs and that you comply with social services requirements.
Yes, he has to prove he isn't a danger.
That's not unreasonable.
Social services are not your enemy.
You need to be honest with them, open with them and he needs to show them all the help he is getting.
But do everything with your child at the heart of it. She is the most important person here and social services need to see that she is your focus and your husband's focus and what you are doing to create a safe and secure home for her.
He should have evidence of the help he is getting, he should be able to speak calmly and honestly, take responsibility.
I understand and I don't think dv is acceptable. I also don't want to come across like im making excuses for his actions. But I have been with him since he was 18 and all through his army career. He spent a long time trying to get help while he's condition worsened. Our daughter even with PTSD he never harmed or treat bad. He adores her. The incident In June is like he just came to a boiling point. Our daughter cries alot that she wants him home, and I do to. Again there's no excuses for dv but with the help hes getting and his medication I do want to resume my relationship. I'm just worried about the assessment and how it will play out. I must say as well just after the incident the sw said if he comes back they'd have to do a child protection. Is that bad? Would they take my daughter away?
How are social services involved enough with your family to know that you are thinking about reconciling? They obviously have concerns - unfounded or not - why do you think they have concerns?
* He is a great dad to our daughter and has never done anything to harm her*
He HAS done something to harm her though, with violence serious enough to be convicted for.
If you don't show SS that you understand that, things are not going to go well for you from the outset. He needs to show that there will not be any more violence of any kind, and you need to show that you can put your child before him, no matter what.
Its not about using his mental health against him, its about making sure that his mental health does not make him dangerous to you and your child, which it already has done. You really have to stop looking at this as something they are doing TO him, because its something they are doing FOR your child.
Engage fully and co-operate.
I told the social worker that I want to resume my relationship and told her about he help hes getting etc
"". I think the meds are working""
That will be part of the assessment, the SW has to calculate the impact that any possible behaviour will have on your DD.
You've got to start making this about her and her future MH. It's terrifying for a child to live in a household that could explode any at time.
You've got the gift of Adult emotional intelligence, reasoning and understanding, she doesn't, she'll just live in constant fear, if things don't continue to improve.
""cared for our daughter best he could"".
You may have to take responsibility for the majority of the care of her and show that you can safeguard her, if necessary.
They can seem him a risk and and then make decisions on what needs to be done, next.
The latest incident was in June, and when was the conviction? Was that for previous violence or do they convict that fast that he's only been convicted of the June violence?
When did you get back together? Has he done anything other than new medication (counselling, moving out or anything else that shows he's taking the incident seriously and doing something about it)?
Hopefully the new medication is why you've seen the change in him, but I think PTSD is quite often a bit more complicated than a quick pill change. Domestic violence has a really, really common pattern of a violent incident followed by them saying they're sorry, being really charming and luring you back into a sense of love and security (so you remain in the relationship) and then another violent incident occurs (often with a "reason" like stress, illness or family problems). SS will need to work out which is the case in your family, so they really do need to do the assessment, otherwise how would they know if your dd is safe or not?
Cross-posted but I still get the impression you are minimising whatever actually happened in June for SS to be so involved.
And in answer to your question, if they do an assessment and find your DD is at risk of harm if he returns to the house then yes they could take her into care. But surely you wouldn't let it get that far?
You need to understand that social services will consider it a problem that you do not accept or understand that your daughter is harmed by violence against you.
you will need to show them that you understand that it harms your child.
They will want to see this.
They will want to see that you understand this because it will form part of their decision as to whether you can ensure your daughter's well being.
What other posters said ^^
He doesn't have to lay a finger on her to damage her. She may cry for him to come home, of course she loves her father but you have a duty to understand that this isn't about you and your DH, you seem to be making excuses for him.
If SS don't see you taking this seriously (it really sounds like your sympathy is with your DH), then they aren't going to be too happy about the situation.
Please take on board what people are telling you. Domestic violence doesn't have to be against the children for them to be totally fucked up by it.
A CP plan would direct support at your DD, at home and in school.
The teen years are fraught enough, without someone committing DV when they "get to boiling point".
It's also a time in a girls life that the relationship that she has with male members of the family and the example that is set, of relationships, carries on into her Adult life, so support is essential.
I think the advice upthread to get on to SSAFA for support is a very good idea.
Also get in to the veterans MH services (based St Thomas London, but also regional centres). SSAFA caseworkers should be able to get you the contact info so your GP can refer him.
Cross posted with a few others.
You are minimising the impact on her, your concern seems to be for him.
He got convicted in august. Fot the incident in June. He has been getting help from MIND and crisis team and also on a waiting list to see council ing. Along with his medication. He currently lives apart from the family home .
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