AIBU to stop ds going to a sleepover because I know SS are involved with the family?(65 Posts)
This is really a WWYD post. Because the parent is a good friend of mine with some mental health problems. SS have recently become involved because the dc reported some things that were said at home to their teachers.
My friend is lovely, trying really hard to raise dc on her own despite her serious mental health problems. She is receiving treatment btw. Our dc are 9 and have been wanting a sleepover for ages. I have reluctantly agreed but know I am considering calling it off because I just feel uneasy about it.
However if I call it off I will need to say why to my friend and I think it may spoil our friendship (selfish I know) but I don't want to hurt her either.
It depends on the nature of the problem. Social services involvement isn't necessarily an indictment of parenting - it just means support is needed to ensure the wellbeing of the family. What are the issues? Are they well under control?
Hard to advise without knowing more details OP. I would assume SS are involved because the comments at school were of a serious nature which had a bearing on the welfare of the dc? If so, and you believe there to be truth in the comments, I would be reluctant to let my dc sleepover. Could you suggest a sleepover at yours instead, so your friend can enjoy some quality time with the other dc?
It is hard...but if you know what the issue is, then you should be able to make a judgement call.
My old neighbour...lovely girl...she has social service involvement but it was because she'd had PND and was a lone parent with no support from her own family at all.
I had no issues letting my DC play at her house...though there wouldnt have been a sleepover as she only had a toddler...her toddler adored my older DC though and the Mother enjoyed having more children around her...her flat got lonely and quiet she said...what issues are your friend's?
Can you offer to host the sleepover?
I am not a social worker but I work very closely with SS on a day to day basis. The thresholds for ongoing involvement from children's services are really very high these days. I recently referred a teenager who disclosed physical assault from a parent and that this parent also regularly threatens to commit suicide in front of her. I was told the family don't meet the criteria for ongoing SS support. I wasn't surprised, we are hearing this more and more.
For this reason, I would want to know specific details of why SS were involved with the family before I would agree to my DC being there. I'm sure some posters will be along to tell you to stop being so judgemetnal and that SS are interfering busybodies who get involved at the drop of the hat just because a family is having a tough time. This is far from the case, they are so overstretched that they don't (or aren't able to) intervene unless children are at risk of significantly harm.
I think your post highlights why lots of people are terrified of SS. There are lots of reasons why your friend may be 'enjoying' their involvement at the mo. Few are about terrible child cruelty.
Do you have other issues with this friend and this provides you with get out clause?
Could you offer to host the sleepover?
Close family members of ours have SS involvement and their kids have become very isolated because of it. I see where you're coming from, but maybe finding a compromise would help everyone?
Also there is a huge amount of difference between a referral, the investigation and subsequent discharge (but ages later) and long term sustained involvement. Do you know which this is?
I agree with Yorkshapudding, I work on public sector projects some of which involve social services. It's a bit of a Mumsnet myth that social services are a hand holding service for parents having a hard time, unfortunately there simply isn't the funding available for that to be the case. And what is done on that level isn't done by social services. If SS are involved in an ongoing basis there are going to be pretty serious concerns there.
I think you're right to be concerned. Could you offer to swap the sleepover to your house and couch it in terms of her having enough on her plate and wanting to lend a hand? You can still be nice and offer support, but I think you're right to be concerned. Not least because it sounds like the mother is struggling to cope with the children she has without another thrown into the mix.
Resurgam - I don't think she is cruel to her dc at all. I think she struggles as a single parent with depression and other MH problems. I don't have any other issues really. She is has been a great friend to me and I have tried to support her likewise which is why I don't want to hurt her feelings.
The support offered by SS is in the form of a family worker, therapy for one of the dc with some behavioural issues and some parenting support.
Our dc do play at each others houses regularly but a sleepover seems such a long time.
I could offer to host here but dh gets up very early for work. Perhaps postponing to next week might be an option.
Trifle - I don't think the issues are under control, SS involvement has only happened in the last month. I have known my friend for four years and seen her mental health fluctuate (including a period of time in hospital). But it is only now that SS have stepped in.
A few years ago my dd made friends with a girl at school and the teacher overheard the two of them making arrangements for a sleepover. The teacher phoned us to tell us under no circumstances to allow our child to go to the other child's house. We took their advice but this kind of thing worries me.
I am not a fan of sleepovers anyway. I like my dc home with me at night.
YorkshaPudding - That's really rather scary to hear. I'd be very worried of the long-term emotional damage to the teen. Sorry for the off- topic reply, OP.
An investigation is currently ongoing and I think there will be long term involvement. (My friend invited me to the meeting as her support but I don't want to say too much on here. )
No, I wouldn't be letting my child sleep over there. I would happily allow their child to sleep over at mine.
So actually there isn't a long term ongoing support from SS? It's at investigation stage.
You seem to know a lot of what is going on and this woman is trusting you fully if she asked you to come as a support.
Can you make a judgement call yourself?
Or is the issue that because of your previous experience with another child, you automatically associated SS involvement = no sleepover even though SS aren't fully involved yet as they are at the hearing stage?
This could be me. We have ongoing support from family services, they are all under the MASH umbrella here, not sure if it's the same everywhere. We don't have a social worker as they discharged us very quickly but we do have a family support worker, Dd has counselling and we have Team around the Family meetings every few months.
I have Bipolar and have attempted suicide several times. I'm not a danger to my kids or anyone else's and all the kids friends come here for sleepovers and to play. I'm quite open about my issues and the involvement from services.
Cricket, is it not bad enough the MiL micro-managing, she now has complete strangers telling her she might have left the guests hungry. The Op has said she has hosted many times, and wants advice about dealing with MiL.
Could you stay over too. Have a girlie night?
We had SS involvement because I'm shit at housework. That has no bearing on how I look after my or other people's DC.
The support offered by SS is in the form of a family worker, therapy for one of the dc with some behavioural issues and some parenting support
Sounds quite similar to the support I'm getting (not in the UK though so possibly threshold for support is lower here), have a family support worker who visits regularly and SS helped arranged for DD to start psychiatric assessment with the hope of some kind of therapy or something for her.
I would feel pretty upset if someone didn't want their child to come for a sleepover based on the presence of SS alone though SS is involved mostly because of my DD's issues and joint custody problems, not my own issues (but partly because of my depression and anxiety), but its still up to you, its not fair on you to send your DC if you will be worrying the whole time. But it seems like you know the situation well and are close to her so make a judgement call based on the actual situation, not just the presence of SS involvement.
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