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Can you ask for dc to be taken into care?(172 Posts)
Name changed for this..
Never thought in a million years I’d say this. I look at my youngest and can’t imagine ever feeling this way or saying this about him in 10 years. But we are where we are…
My oldest is 15, 16 next month. Things are really bad. They’re smoking cannabis and dabbling in other things. Out all hours. I’m reporting them missing to the police at least once a week. They’re involved in criminal activity which wasn’t necessarily through choice so the main priority from a safeguarding point of view is getting them away from those people, which seems to have happened.
But even taking them away from those people, which removes immediate risk, still leaves me with a child who is disrespectful and is making my life hell. I don’t know what else I can do, I can’t see it ever getting better. There’s moments, when we talk, where I can still see my child, we have really honest and frank conversations and I think I’ve gotten through to them but the pull of their social circle is too strong and once they’re out the door they don’t give a shit.
There’s lots of social services, police, school involvement.
But at what point am I allowed to say I can’t do this anymore?? I’m sick of not being able to go to bed, having to wait up in case they come home, or for the police to arrive once I’ve made a missing person report (which I have to do after a certain time). I’m sick of neighbours seeing the police here. Sick of worrying about the effect on my youngest. Worried about repercussions from the people she’s hanging around with effecting me or youngest or putting us in danger.
Fed up of not being able to make plans or do anything and everything revolving around their choices.
But most of all sick of feeling so powerless. I feel like if this was a relationship everyone would be screaming at me to leave, but because it’s my child I’m supposed to just put up with it yet the effects on my life and mental health are the same.
I’ve done everything in my power to help, constantly letting things go to try again, for their sake, because they need me and need help. But it’s just not sustainable.
My brother was taken from my mum in similar situation and placed into care, not because my mum wanted him to but she couldn’t stop him running away or getting involved with gangs so they took him into care, she didn’t have a choice they took her to court, so yes I’m sure they can if you tell them you can’t do it anymore
It's likely she'd be worse if she was in foster care or (more likely) a children's home.
I really feel for you. I don't know what's the best thing for you to do. I'd try to make sure she had decent contraception as the very last thing you need is her getting pregnant at the moment.
Do you have any family where she could stay for a day or two each week, just for some respite for you and your other child?
I’m sorry to hear things are so bad. I’m afraid to think care might make things 100’s times worse for your child
Agree with @HollowTalk. Or can you move? Move everything, far away from the kids who shes hanging around with and try and have a fresh start. It must be awful for you all
This happened with my husband's niece, for almost exactly the same reasons. It was the best thing for her.
It's an awful situation for you to be in but 16yos in "care" see very little actual care. If they're not already in an established foster home when they turn 16 they likely end up in an independent living flat.
There was someone I went to school with that got put into care at that age, for similar reasons to your DC. They've grown up now and whilst there are still obvious issues, they have a job, husband and kids and seem to manage well. It could be the best thing for him, you and your other DC.
Been through this. My DD was off the rails at 15. At almost 20 she is fully independent, has a lovely home and car and has worked her way up in her career to management. She doesn’t drink and she has savings . She’s a completely different young woman.
What did I do to fix her?
Nothing. On the advice of a youth intervention worker I did absolutely nothing.
She came and went with a key. She was provided with meals and an allowance for clothes etc. She called me in tears from a few parties where something had gone wrong and ‘kicked off’ I rescued and looked after her and her mates when they’d taken something and didn’t feel well. I had to get her seen to after she had a pregnancy accident. She burned out. She settled down , I just picked up the pieces until it did. I didn’t attempt to discipline her I offered advice and let her get on with it.
Sending your son to care ( believe me when she smashed my house up and wished her brother dead) I considered that too.
Best case scenario he gets a really dedicated foster career who sets him straight ( unlikely)
Worse case (likely) he gets lumped into a group home and exposed to worse drugs and behaviour.
It’d be better to let him crack on as he is and just step back. Find him a job or course he genuinely wants to do and hope he grows out of it. Most do.
They suggested moving but it’s an absolute no no. I don’t think it’s solve anything anyway as she’d just get on a train. Our whole support network is here and my youngest has sen and wouldn’t cope with moving away.
The social worker has said that care is likely to make the situation worse as children in care are more vulnerable to exploitation. They really want me to keep her at home. They praise me so much, but I just can’t keep doing it.
She’s burnt her bridges with family. She does the same to them.
@Millionnewnames the issue is, I can’t let her get on with it. I’ve been told by social services I have to call the police every time she isn’t home on time. So I can’t go to bed, can’t rest, as have to wait for the police.
I can’t give her a key because she can’t be trusted. She’d let herself in when I’m at work, not go to school, bring people to the house.
I’m genuinely worried she’s putting us in danger, or it could get to that stage. The social services involvement means I have to be actively trying to stop her.
I do worry, what would happen, where she would end up, how much worse it could be. But I also can’t live like this.
I would move but see that you don’t want to. You really need to stick with her or you’ll lose any future relationship with her. Teenagers in ‘care’ are extremely vulnerable & she’ll be even more likely to end up in trouble.
OP does she have additional needs? I behaved like this and now later down the line I believe I had ADHD it presents so differently in females. It's not that I didn't love my family I was just very impulsive, I liked the attention but also part of me didn't know how to "behave" and make the correct choices I was very easily lead. It was bloody hard for my family though and It does get to a point where it just gets to much.
You could but they'd most likely be worse off and more vulnerable.
I'd work on damage limitation now unless you can't go on anymore
Her age is hard. But are you able to restrict all money? This would hopefully eliminate travel and drugs.
I may be naive though. My eldest DD is only 13 so I can't advise based on experience. But this would be my first thing to do. No money until behaviour changes completely.
I assume if you restrict phones, laptops etc and not let her out of the house this would cause you more problems?
BTW I was a horrible erratic teenager, I got over it/recovered.
I used to work in this area of social services, and it happens a lot, where parents are at their wits ends and just (rightly so) cannot cope with it anymore. And it's definitely by no means any reflection on you as a parent. Sending hugs
They won't remove her from your care because you are doing the right things. Waiting up, calling the police, providing her with a home etc. You are acting like a parent and safeguarding her as best you can. Some children are not getting that from a parent, some are being neglected or actively abused by their caregivers and they need a place in foster care and statutory intervention because nobody is on their side. I know it is really hard. I have been on all sides. I was the wayward teenager, then I was a social worker, then I was the parent. If I can give you one piece of advice it is this: do not let your child go into foster care. It will damage your relationship and potentially damage her more. Please keep going. Is there a trusted relationships/no wrong door service in your Local Authority?
If you really, really can’t cope you need to do it now while she is 15 or the help will be minimal. Take her to the police station and say you cannot accommodate her anymore, leave and stand your ground with social services.
But only if you are 100% certain.
I would discuss what would happen if you did this with your social worker. What could you reasonably expect? What do they advise?
If, after taking advice and considering all your options, you feel you have no choice, for your own survival and your younger DC's, to relinquish DC's care... I for one wouldn't judge you. Maybe I'll be in your shoes when mine are teens.
I wish you happier times.
All you’ll be doing is passing the problem onto someone else.
My sister was a foster carer for over 20 years. She gave up after taking on a few “troubled teenagers”. Not only did she have to put up with them stealing from her, wrecking her home, sleepless nights, constant rows, bunking school, drugs/alcohol abuse, gangs of “thugs” barging into her home to see their friend, accusations of physical/emotional/sexual abuse (all disproved) police at the door day in day out …. She also had to put up with them running home constantly - only to be returned by the police because, “Their mother doesn’t want them home”. They didn’t want to be in Foster Care and Foster Carer didn’t want them. The crux came for Dsis and her DH when one teenager sexually abused their 9 year old DD.
Once children are placed in Foster Care SS are very reluctant to remove them. It took child abuse in Dsis case - and her dropping the teenager off, complete with his worldly goods, and her resignation, at SS offices to move him. Foster carers are not superhuman.
I don't know how feasible this is financially, but a friend said he was starting to go off the rails as a teenager and his parents sent him to boarding school and he said it was the best thing ever for him. It really turned him around, got him away from the "friends" he was hanging out with and gave him a different purpose and perspective.
Obviously this might not be possible from a cost point of view, but perhaps trying to find somewhere that you could send her for a while, just to try and break the cycle, and to try and get her to see the detrimental effect her behaviour is having on those around her.
I agree I don't think care is the right place though. I expect it would get worse.