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Been referred to Social Services - worst fear realised!

(74 Posts)
MiddleAgedMinger Tue 17-Oct-17 14:04:22

Have re-registered to get opinions.

DS's paediatrician told us she was doing a referral to SS today as I said that ideally I would like him to be in a residential school and only come home on weekends!

Background is that DS (15) has learning difficulties and associated neurological issues and has always displayed very challenging behaviour. When he was younger it was more hyperactivity and not following instructions/having no fear, now it's complete disrespect and meltdowns if he can't do want he wants. I have 3 other DC and I am worried about the effect on my youngest of him telling me to fuck off (etc) and slamming and banging around the house. He also constantly tries to upset the youngest by saying stupid things to him.

Last week I discovered that he had been 'trolling' by posting nasty messages threatening violence to complete strangers via You Tube and he had logged into an account his older brother has and sent a nasty message to his friend pretending to be his brother.

As a result we have had a weekend from hell as all internet use has been banned. I have put up with so much shit from him over the years and I really have had enough.

As a routine appointment this morning, I told his Paed all this (in tears) and she said the only way to get him into a residential school was by putting him into care which I don't want to do. I thought she may know of a way to do it via his EHCP due to his behaviour issues.

She said she would refer to SS as obviously we need support.

I suffer from anxiety anyway and have always judged myself as a shit parent. What have I done?

astoundedgoat Tue 17-Oct-17 14:06:18

It sounds like you have done exactly the right thing. She's taking you seriously, and taking action.

You're doing the absolute best you can in a hugely challenging situation - I hope you get positive support.

teaandtoast Tue 17-Oct-17 14:07:14

I think you're understandably at the end of your tether and you've reached out for help. flowers

Mustardnowletsnotbesilly Tue 17-Oct-17 14:07:40

Oh wow! You sound like an amazing Mother who just needs some more support. SS will give you that support. You have done nothing wrong. This could be a really important turning point for your family.

KatieHaslam22 Tue 17-Oct-17 14:09:34

The company I work for has a SEN residential school. What area are you from?

lemonsandlimes123 Tue 17-Oct-17 14:10:57

You haven't done anything wrong and you are not a shit parent.

It's not true that the only way to access residential provision on an EHCP is through Social services but if the need for residential is stemming from issues at home rather than school then the intervention and support of SS will hopefully support this. SS can support a placement in a residential educational setting without any need at all for the child to be in care.

Paeds actually know little about the EHCP system and often give out inaccurate information. I suggest you welcome SS with open arms, explain all the difficulties and the impact on the family and try and work with them. At the same time consider asking his school to set up and emergency review of his placement (is he at a specialist school?) with the objective of a change of placement to a residential setting. If you can get support from the school, ed psych, ss etc for this it will all help if this is what you want.

HoneyIshrunkthebiscuit Tue 17-Oct-17 14:11:32

SS will be able to explore with you accommodation options and may fund him a place at a residential school. I'm surprised he doesn't have a SW already tbh.

araiwa Tue 17-Oct-17 14:12:58

You do realise that social services entire raison d'etre is to help people exactly like you and your family?

Awwlookatmybabyspider Tue 17-Oct-17 14:14:23

Give yourself a huge pat on the back for speaking out. That takes courage.
Your gp has a duty of care to her patients. Therefore she had no choice but to refer you for support, and that's what you'll get support, not
We all need a little help now and again. There's no shame in that.

EdmundCleverClogs Tue 17-Oct-17 14:18:36

It will be ok, this is quite the opposite of being a 'shit parent'! You can't do it all, and you don't have the ability to access and chase up appropriate resources as SS do. Who knows what they might be able to offer - advice, respite or even a key worker than can take him out and give you a break every so often. Wouldn't he need adult services eventually anyway? You couldn't have possibly carried on like this forever. Try to see it as a positive start for all the family flowers.

BitOutOfPractice Tue 17-Oct-17 14:22:25

I think you have done the right thing totally.

I truly help you all get the help and support you need thanks

Mrsdraper1 Tue 17-Oct-17 14:22:53

Don't have any advice but flowers am so sorry for what you are all going through.

mygorgeousmilo Tue 17-Oct-17 14:23:42

I believe, and hope, that you're getting the wrong end of the stick with regards to being referred. SS are not only there for abused children, they work with old people, people who are vulnerable, people with disabilities, learning difficulties, adults and children. I have a social worker because I have a certain medical condition. She's never even met my kids. She's there to navigate and access various things that I need, and has been very helpful on many occasions. My son has autism but doesn't have a SW, and sometimes CAMHS or whoever will query why not. Other children I work with with autism and/or learning difficulties DO have an SW. There are no safeguarding issues with them.

Rachie1973 Tue 17-Oct-17 14:25:04

OMG you're so not a shit parent!! You're the very best type!

You see the issues, you see how it affects your whole family and you take action!

You're brilliant. I hope this all works out for you so you can see that for yourself.

Twitchingdog Tue 17-Oct-17 14:25:59

Sadly this what you have to do .
You have done alone for 15 year saved the country a forture now let the SS did their job .
Relax and post of special needs boards as I am sure they will have knowage of this.
You did a wonderful job .

Verbena37 Tue 17-Oct-17 14:29:14

Hi OP,
Does your ds have a diagnosis of SEND? If yes, then the usual route is to get an EHCP but that doesn’t mean SS have to be involved.
If his behaviour is more related to SENs then a specialist residential school that can provide for his needs, is a good idea.

If I were you, I’d perhaps pat this on the SNchat board.

shouldnthavesaid Tue 17-Oct-17 14:30:34

She hasn't referred you to SS because she believes you're a shit parent at all , far from that I'm sure. You sound like a fantastic mum who recongises that things need to change for you all to live a better life.

My sister is severely autistic with associated learning difficulties and probably other undiagnosed stuff. Takes an antipsychotic and anti depressants. It got to the stage that my mum was put into hospital with concussion before she accepted the situation at home wasn't good. My sister was a little bit older , she was 19 or 20 (can't quite remember) so school was no longer an option unfortunately.

SS assessed the situation for a long time , did various referals to day respite, and weekend respite, local services for disabled adults etc but kept saying best option was for her to go into some form of residential care. As she was over 18 it wasn't social care exactly, but she was placed into a scheme run by a local well established charity. It's sort of like very sheltered housing. She shares a flat with an older girl who has downs syndrome, and downstairs there's 3 lads with various difficulties too. They have 24/7 staff on site, usually someone is in her flat from 7am until 10pm with phone access and door alarms overnight (so if they approach the front door an alarm rings).

They have stuff to do every day via SS referals and through the charity, and there are options to meet other people too in the community. Her wants and needs are respected and met. Her staff are able to help do her what she would like within safe limits.

Mum is very involved with regular reviews, phone calls, and visits - sister can home as and when she wants with staff and mum's agreement.

Sister also knows that unlike Mum's, her staff are in a position where they will take action against violence and she knows she cannot hit them or threaten them as she'd lose her place. They can also support her in keeping the rigid routine and relative stability she needs , so she's less likely to kick off.

SS were also able to identify needs that my mum had, and myself as the older sibling, and were able to help to some extent there.

Mum was petrified - both of allowing SS to help and of letting go , but it has had a hugely positive impact on everyones' lives so far. Sister has a life she couldn't have had at home at all , my mum couldn't care for her 24/7 and neither should she have to. I think she felt very guilty and like she'd failed but in reality failing my sister would have been keeping her at home I think, putting her into residential has given her the chance to thrive.

I know the issue is a little different as your son is younger so there would be other issues I imagine , and I know SS aren't always fantastic - but this might well prove very helpful for you all, I would see what sort of help they can offer. They aren't coming on the premise of you being a bad mum, you're the total opposite.

I hope this helps , even a little bit.

shouldnthavesaid Tue 17-Oct-17 14:31:13

Oh God, that was long, sorry! I get carried away ...

Verbena37 Tue 17-Oct-17 14:32:53

Aha just seen he has an EHCP.
Have you also looked at ‘section 41’ schools? They are independent private schools that can be funded by having an EHCP. Obviously there are also non independent schools that will get funding too.

Callamia Tue 17-Oct-17 14:33:49

Social services will not punish you, they want to keep your family functioning in the best way possible.

I've worked wth families where one child with difficulties has caused so many problems for their parents and siblings, that social services have been involved to support - with home care/despite or residential.

I've also worked with young people in residential schools, and they often thrive.

I know this must feel like a black mark on your parenting, but it's not - it's absolutely not.

MiddleAgedMinger Tue 17-Oct-17 14:40:15

I have just been reading horror stories of teens who have ended up in residential units and their parents can't get them out years later!

I was thinking more of an LA boarding school to 18 not that he might get put into an institution and not be able to get out. If SS get involved and they say he has to go into one, they can force it so it seems.

He has just moved from mainstream into a SN school after years of fighting for it but they had problems with his behaviour there as soon as he started.

DS has not been violent yet(apart from tussles with his older brother) but I worry it will escalate as he is a very angry lad. I took him to be assessed for his mental health and he was deemed not be needing any support as starting his new school should have solved his problems.

He was outside knocking everything over in the garden at the weekend and he said he would slit my throat. He shouts and swears loudly. I am horrified at what the neighbours must think. He is very isolated as he can't make friends and refuses to go out apart from to school. He is collected by school transport or I wouldn't be able to get him to go.

I am terrified of being judged on my parenting. My abusive (and now NC) mother told me that there was nothing wrong with him, it was all down to me just before he was diagnosed with learning difficulties. I am really scared that SS will pick up on my anxiety issues and decide all the DC are at risk due to me, although I know rationally that the others are reasonably OK and my oldest is 20 and at Uni.


Mishappening Tue 17-Oct-17 14:40:37

I have a close relative in a very similar position. After a lot - and I mean A LOT - of fighting, the young person (a bit older than your son now) is in a sheltered flat with full support of every kind and is doing well. It is all funded by SS. So there could be an upside to this. Well done for soldiering on for so long - puberty often makes these sort of problems worse. Reach out for all the help that is on offer.

Here is a hint - ask SS for a full written assessment of his and your needs. And ask to have a copy - you should be offered one, and sign it. You then have detailed info about what needs the SS should be meeting - and you can hold them to it!

A child does not have to be in the care system to be offered support and help.

Mishappening Tue 17-Oct-17 14:41:56

Stop worrying that it is all down to you. My relative has had the best of parenting, but that could not stop the in-built problems.

Whereisthegin1978 Tue 17-Oct-17 14:45:12

what a difficult situation for you to be in. I imagine you're feeling vulnerable and frightened. SS are there to help & hopefully you get someone who can support you all in the next steps. I wasn't aware that you need SS for residential schools - the current school may be able to help you explore this but I'm sure SS will do this also.

MiddleAgedMinger Tue 17-Oct-17 14:45:54

Thank you so much for all your responses. They have helped thanks.

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