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To call SS in this country?

(13 Posts)
user1480954406 Mon 30-Jan-17 11:55:39

Ok, bear with me this is a bit complex but I feel really helpless here.

My friend has been struggling with anxiety and depression for the past year, she's a single parent and over the last year she's been struggling to cope financially and on a day to day basis. She's been under the mental health team and loves her daughter lots but has been struggling to engage with her emotionally and in December her school referred her to social services because they felt her mh was impacting her dd and she needed support. I think at that stage it would have been a case of supporting her to get better and was q low level, but she freaked out and has fled the country with her daughter to Australia (where she, but not her daughter is a citizen). I advised her against this but she is t thinking rationally and has gone with her dd for Christmas without telling her they weren't coming back, she's now lost her flat in the uk and has made it impossible for herself to come home. She seemed to think tings would be different in oz as she has family there who could support her but her family are a bit overwhelmed and seem not
O be offering her emotional support or he encouraging her to get help, they're just financially supporting her but this is temporary. Shes been avoiding my calls and I'm so concerned but her dd is alone and confused and has been taken away from any stability that she once had and it sounds from what my friend has told me that she is struggling emotionally and has been lashing out at her Mum and is refusing to do everyday things like cleaning her own teeth (she's 7) or get dress without mum's help.

She's supposed to be starting school
Today but was sent to the Drs because she had a temp but I'm so concerned for her wellbeing. Surely ss will have put some kind of flag on her or something for the school
To refer in Australia once she's there? I told her to go to the Drs and tell them everything f that has happened without omitting anything which she said she has done and the family support worker and her dd is having a psychiatric assessment but I don't know because she can be q evasive and I think she has put her dd through so
Much trauma and she seems more concerned with hiding what's been going on than getting her dd the help she needs. I don't know what to do. So my q is if I ring ss in this country and tell them the situation what will happen? Will they be able to help or do I just trust that the Drs in Australia will be dealing with this?

OracleofDelphi Mon 30-Jan-17 12:23:45

Firstly I am sorry to hear this. However I think that this whole thing has now escalted beyond something you can help with.

She was known to SS and has left the country
Her DD presumably had a father ? What is his take on this?
He surely will be seeking to have her returned to the UK?
Her family are with her in Australia as she is a citizen, so they will know the best way to contact the relevant SS there.
You say she is ignoring your calls but you know the child has had a temperature? If I were you, I would reiterate what I had already said, but she needs to go to a Dr, or SS in Australia and ask for help.

I think there is little you can do now to help her considering the vast location difference. Do you know any of her family? can you email / call / FB them expressing your concerns. I think they are the best way for you to help get her the help she needs.

OracleofDelphi Mon 30-Jan-17 12:25:39

I must reiterate Im not suggesting not trying to protect the child, but I dont know if you can just call SS in Australia from the Uk about this..... I think there are other routes you should go down first. If you really feel reporting to SS is the only way wouldnt it be easier to tell SS in the UK what has happened and where she is so they can help her?

user1480954406 Mon 30-Jan-17 12:33:31

The dad has never been involved and isn't on the bc so currently that's not an issue, though long term if she stays in Australia then it will be as she will lose the opportunity to contact her dad when she is old enough to understand, and should her dad want to step up then he now has location in the way.

From what she tells me her family seem
To feel she is a burden and don't want to help anymore Than renting a flat for her. I spoke to her yesterday and said I feel like I can no longer sit on how I fee and if she does t seek help and be honest then I will take steps to speak to somebody, and she has messaged me this morning and said that she's been in hospital with a temperature (which sounds odd to
Me, one of the reasons the school referred her was because she was blowing things out of proportion- she seems to obsess about things being wrong with her daughter and panic about it so I feel this may be her overeacting but location makes it hard to tell) she hasn't answered he phone for a few weeks and has just replied "things are not good" when I try to see how things are. I'm just worried that over they they won't have the full picture because she is ruled by the fear that they will take her daughter rather than wanting to accept help and work with ss. It's draining me so much, I care about her like family and her daughter means a lot to me, I cannot do anything to help or check up how things are, and I can't just stop caring either.

She was known but hadn't had a visit yet. It's all so sad how mh and not Having a support system in this country has escalated things so much,but I just think about how scared and alone her daughter
Must be.

justilou Mon 30-Jan-17 12:34:01

You certainly can call them. They are called the Department of Child Services (DOCS). If you can tell me what state they are in (or city) I can send you the link with the number. You can contact them directly and I would also recommend you request communication between Social Services in the UK and here in Australia.

justilou Mon 30-Jan-17 12:35:07

By the way, the health system here in Australia is very different and I would think that she would need to be the ones going to see health workers initially. It is rare that they do housecalls here.

Astoria7974 Mon 30-Jan-17 16:26:28

You mention family. Can you speak to them first before contacting the SS equivalent in Austrailia? No offence but you aren't there and so have no idea what the family may be doing (or not). She very well might have been referred for all you know.

user1480954406 Mon 30-Jan-17 17:15:32

I don't know her family at all, but I know her dad is mainly speaks Anothwr language (don't want to say which as I don't want to identify her if anyone knows her), so her dd is very isolated, she said they don't speak to her and when they do look after her they don't really talk or do anything with her (although it's hard to tell as my friend can have q high standards of the activitys she wants her daughter To be doing). Her dad has told her he thinks both her and her dd have psychological problems and is apparently shouting at her and saying she's ill and she needs to clean the house and stop going out all the time- they seem to feel like they're are a burden instead of wanting to engage with her. If her family there are anything like her family here that I do know then they are very mistrusting of the government/authority and will be q evasive in order to cover up what's been going on. So I'm not confident that they will take action if necessary or that they're the support network she had hoped for 😫.

Trifleorbust Mon 30-Jan-17 17:47:45

Tricky one. The referral came from the school, so I am assuming they didn't tell you a lot about the actual issues. I am assuming you weren't worried enough when she was here to refer her yourself? Now she is in another country and - with respect - seems less than keen to keep up frequent contact with you. I am not sure you know enough about the whole picture to contact SS about someone who has moved this far away and is involved in a completely different situation.

user1480954406 Mon 30-Jan-17 17:55:49

Trifle- i was unsurprised when she got the referral as myself and my group of friends have been worried about her for a long time. She had been telling me that her dd was struggling emotionally and was regressing in her development but whenever we were together her dd seemed totally fine and I thought it was just her obsessing over her, which is something she also does. In retrospect I think her dd obviously wasn't fine but felt happier when she was with an adult that was able to engage and adulting (for want of a better word) and felt safer. I do know in detail what the school referred for and it was nothing serious but small things that added up to a picture of her dd being affected by it.

After speaking to other friends it appears she's been selective about which information she tells us and once she had left and we spoke about it it became evident that things had become much worse than she led any of us individually to believe.

user1480954406 Mon 30-Jan-17 18:00:11

She doesn't not keep in frequent contact, it's more that it's erratic and is either intense contact when she will speak to me for
Hours and want to discuss the same problems over and over (but not follow any advice) and she will become incredible dependent, or she won't answer any calls.

Oh had/ been getting a bit fed up of me staying up and talking on the phone for hours with her (obviously she's a day ahead) and felt like I was trying to help somebody who didn't want to be helped and had run away, so I actually said look I can't keep talking to you for hours every night, but I've checked in and she will just respond alarming things and then not elaborate 😫

HorridHenryrule Mon 30-Jan-17 18:09:45

Your poor friend and her daughter it must tough for her. Her family made her the woman she is today.

SenoritaViva Mon 30-Jan-17 18:23:22

I work in a school and we make it our responsibility to call ALL school's our children love on to to ensure they've arrived safely etc. With a child involved with social services there would obviously then be sharing safeguarding info. You might be advised to speak to her DD's old uk school to make sure they know where she's gone and how to contact new school? Your friend may not have told them this and we'd appreciate the info. /"at our school.

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