To be terrified social services will take my child/children away now?(111 Posts)
A doctor just basically threatened me with having my child/future children taken away.
Here is the story:
I come from a fairly dysfunctional background - was looked after physically but a lot of family relationships broke up around me when I was young, and it left emotional scars that I've carried since. I also got into a bad relationship in my late 20s and became a lone parent on the back of that.
Have raised my child well, they are 4 now and the picture of health and happiness, they go to a nursery full time and have lots of friends etc. It's just that I have been alone raising them and it has taken it's toll. I feel like I've aged a decade, put on 3 stone, and I had what you would probably call a breakdown in the last year - couldn't stop crying. So was signed off sick, and am generally better now. Was put on anti anxiety/depression medication.
What I really wanted was regular counselling. So I pushed my GP over and over to give me access to this. About 2 years ago. They sent me to mental health services and that's where things seem to have gone wrong. All MH services did, was invite me to see them once every 4-6 months. A different doctor would see me every time. They asked me lots of questions, all of which I answered truthfully. They said I would benefit from the medication and long-term counselling, and put me on a waiting list for it about 18 months ago.
Today they said I've been rejected for counselling as I don't meet all the criteria. That made me cry as I've been waiting so long. The doctor this time (another different one) heard me explain, again, why I want the counselling - lots of information dating back years, I would just like the opportunity to get it all out and move on with my life. If I had known it would take this long to be assessed and then rejected I would have gone private in the first place so it's very frustrating.
The doctor then told me she was adding another medication - another anti depressant - to what I'm taking (even though I don't feel more depressed - if anything more anxious, but actually more even than 1-2 years ago and better). She wouldn't answer my questions when I asked about the medication, just fobbed me off saying it would make me 'feel better'.
Then she said she was making a referral to social services. I was shocked and asked why. She said it was for me and daughter to be assessed. I think because I am a lone parent. But my daughter is not at risk.
At this point I tried to backtrack, saying what happens if I just decide not to continue with this service, as you are not going to offer me any support anyway. At that point she basically told me that if I don't cooperate social services will force me to do an assessment, of my child too, and my child could be removed, also any future babies I have could be taken away by social services.
This terrifies me, especially as I am currently considering conception by choice - to give my child a sibling, and because I can afford it.
I have heard horror stories on here and elsewhere of people having their babies taken away by social services. Can anyone offer me any advice? I wish I had never met these people, and just want to run a million miles - but scared that if I do I will have a permanent black mark against my name, and lose my children.
It's crazy, I went in for help but have come out feeling a hell of a lot worse.
Your GP is a twat! Your baby will not be taken away based on what you have said and neither will any future babies. I very much doubt social services will do more than a phone call tbh.
Does your area not have a self referral wellbeing service?
I'm sorry to hear this. I think you should see another gp. Antidepressants aren't always the answer. If you can't have counselling I'm sure there are other things you can access x
There is nothing in your post to suggest that SS will remove your child. They will conduct a risk assessment and find you are not a threat to your child, you'll probably only see them once.
I dont think your GP is very supportive, and would suggest you find a private counsellor, take some time to find the right one
I promise you that your children will not be taken away.
I work in this field, and it may just be that your GP just feels like you could benefit from another layer of support but is really shit at explaining it.
SS may pick you up and signpost you tonother agencies that can help, or they may decide not to pick you up. They are there to help you, don’t be worried.
I am a social worker and i would say her reasons for referring you are ridiculous. GPs can often be real knobheads and think they know what a social workers remit/threshold is. If SW get in touch then co-operate fully. It is unlikely they will do anything other than maybe refer you on for support if they think it is needed.
Im so sorry you've had such a horrific experience. Basically you're being punished for having depression and anxiety which chose you. You didnt choose it.
It's small wonder some people suffer in silence and are phobic of GPs.
I'm no expert but I'm sure you have very strong grounds for complaint
I'll hold your hand until someone more clever comes along.
Don't see social services as a bad thing. They can provide you with support, they aren't always the enemy!
However, I agree, the way the Doctor went about this doesn't sound right. Unless there is more you aren't telling us (which is obviously your choice!)
Definitely see another GP - this one had no right to scare you like that, and it sounds like the meds situation needs clarification as far as the new one is concerned etc.
Are there any women's groups by you? The one by me offered myself and my daughter counselling after my estranged husband left and they were brilliant. You can self refer and the groups themselves often have activities and course for both you and your child. They will also help you with anything else (if SS do become involved, you want to complain about gp etc)
hi op I sorry this happened sounds super scary! I guess just be honest with social services I don't think anything you have said would mean your child is at risk. could you look at private counselling? where I am from there is something called talking therapies and you can self refer to it I'm not sure if this is available all over but may be worth looking into x
Your GP is an idiot. Neither they nor social services can make the decision to take a child away from its parent(s). That decision is with the courts and it's not one they make lightly.
A well looked after, loved child will never be removed.
If i were you and you can afford it. Id go private for counselling then if the ss do come to assess you. You tell them truth like you have here and that you were frustrated and so have taken matters into your own hands and gone private. They wont take your child away and actually could potentially give you support.
Why not ask them to recommend a counsellor and pay for a couple of sessions and see how you get on. Dreadful how long wait times are
I can understand ops fear, though, Snowy
SS do not remove children from their parents without serious reason and even then they are not the ones who make that decision, they would have to apply to a court for a care order and demonstrate that the care your daughter is experiencing meets the threshold to justify removal. You sound like you are struggling and need support and the truth is I just don't think the NHS (or SS in many places for that matter) have the resources at this time to offer you what you need. If you have the money I suggest you seek out a private counsellor, there are some who can affordable rates if they know you are struggling. If you can get a diagnosis (anxiety, depression) and bring that back to an NHS GP it may help you access the services you need.
If your daughter isn't neglected, abused or at risk from your behaviour then you do not have to worry about Social Services.
As a former mental health nurse I have seen a lot of people who probably should have more intervention from social services and haven't ,think you are over thinking this im sure its jusy a safe guarding exercise .
Please don’t worry about losing your children OP. Social services do everything they can to keep children with their birth families unless of course they are at risk of significant harm (which is not the case here). What the doctor should have said is that she would make a referral to Social Services so that you could have an assessment of your needs and then maybe you could access extra support for you and your child if you need it. I have a son with autism who has recently started in a special school and like you I was quite surprised when the HT suggested that if might be a good idea to make a referral to SS, but she quickly said that the main purpose was to access extra support and respite care, not to remove my child. There are many services you can’t access unless you have a social worker.
Please try not to worry. SS will not take your child away
My understanding is that it was a doctor from the MH service that saw you? Do I have this wrong? Regardless, it's rubbish, please relax, cooperate if any SS contact comes up and you will be fine. Hugs x x
Sorry, I don't understand this.
You can afford to have another child, but have sat around for 2 years waiting for an underfunded NHS to send you for counselling - which could be great, could be shit, might not be long enough instead of using the money you would like to eventually spend on another child to find a counsellor you like and paying them to give you the counselling you need weekly / monthly whichever you can afford.
Yes, you shouldn't have to, yes your Dr was awful, no you don't have anything to fear from SS (so long as you cooperative), but if you can afford to help yourself, why not?
Putting everything aside OP..nhs counselling is very very underfunded and you would only get 12 weeks of cbt. Or similar. You need proper psychotherapy if you want to talk about your past as cbt doesn't look at the past at all.
Please don't worry. From what you've said in your post there is nothing that would make social services doubt your ability to care for your child/future children.
What medications are you on if you don't mind me asking?
Easier said than done, but you need to relax. No one is going to take away a well cared for much loved little child.
Co-operate with ss when they call explain you have had mild depression and were referred. Don't go into detail about the past, just say you thought it was helpful to talk to someone as you don't have a dp.
I would never ever see this GP again. It is not helpful to have scared you so much, and you were there for help. Don't start the second anti -depressant and ask the surgery to recommend a kind GP that you can see to discuss all of your medication from scratch.
Writing down your feelings, talking to a trusted friend or family member and a good combination of eating well and exercise could really help whilst you wait for some proper counselling.
Please don't worry about it. If you do get a visit see it as support. Be honest about your mental health and that you've been let down by your GP. Social workers are sadly only too aware of the sorry state of mental health provision.
I self referred to social services as a gateway for services for my son. The social worker was lovely, interested in helping my son and supportive of me. It really was not scary in the slightest and you have nothing to worry about.
I think you need a new GP though as your current one is awful.
Your GP is not a twat. If you’re a parent and you’re regularly going to the GP complaining how terrible your MH is they have a duty to your child to make sure all is okay at home. If everything is fine you will probably see them once or twice and never again. The best thing to do is cooperate. They’re short enough on resources for kids from terrible homes to bugger about taking kids from decent ones.
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