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Does MH make you a risk to DC?

(13 Posts)
AtSea1979 Sat 07-May-16 20:10:44

I had a telephone interview with CAFCASS recently. Despite DC stating XH was abusive. She said XH told her I had MH issues 3 years ago and must be having them now and brain washing DC. CAFCASS person then probed in to what happened 3 years ago. I was left in tears, feeling very upset that she seemed more interested in a MH issue from 3 years ago, where my DC were never at risk etc than what has happened recently with XH.
Does having mental health issues automatically make you a risk to your DC in the eyes of professionals?

NanaNina Sun 08-May-16 14:41:52

No of course it doesn't and I'm a retired social worker (30 year career all in children's services) The CAFCASS worker will have to look into any issues tat are brought up, and it's typical that your XH says you are mentally ill and brain washing the DC - so don't worry - can't count the number of times I've heard that one trotted out. Just tell them what they want to know and you'll be ok.

fuzzywuzzy Sun 08-May-16 14:49:32

Go speak to your GP, get letters stating your mental health is fine, some CAFCASS officers are absolutely dire, I had one who was utterly crap and another who kept pushing at me to allow contact with abusive ex till I told him I would hold him personally responsible when my children were harmed by ex due to his harmful recommendations.

I find its best to have as many authorities on your side as possible.

Speak to their school ask for a letter stating how the children are progressing now. My DC school sent a letter stating my DC's behaviour after contact was very worrying and DC1 was referred to the school SENCO, school were amazing and very supportive at the time.

AtSea1979 Sun 08-May-16 17:16:05

I'm banging my head against the wall everywhere I told. School haven't been helpful to say the least.

NanaNina Sun 08-May-16 17:46:59

I agree CAFCASS have sort of gone down the pan and it's mainly due to overwhelming caseloads, and bullying managers in some cases. A friend of mine has worked for them for a few years but as the workload has increased she is giving her notice in - the final straw came when her manager told her she had to write the report without seeing the children!!

So fuzzy has some good suggestions.

Atsea what do you mean about banging your head against a wall - obviously means you're not getting anywhere but do you want to give more info?

AtSea1979 Sun 08-May-16 17:58:31

SW referrals bounced back as DC safe with me, not XH.
School report no change in behaviour even though I see it and there record keeping is a shambles.
CAFCASS are writing a report without seeing DC and the basis of that seems to be XH bleatings about my MH, not DC abuse.

fuzzywuzzy Sun 08-May-16 18:13:33

Op do you have legal advice? I recommend you get legal representation for court, I had an amazing barrister and that was why I was able to have the worst CAFCASS officer removed.

Things like the CAFCASS officer writing up a report based only on an abusive ex's complaints and not meeting the children is detrimental for your children.

have a meeting with your children's school ask the class teacher if they've not seen any difference in the childrens behaviour. Letter from head was pivotal in my case.

NanaNina Sun 08-May-16 18:15:07

Sorry but I'm not clear - "SW referrals bounced back as DC safe with you" - what do you mean - bounced back where? I'm assuming that you are asking the school if these is any change in the behaviour of the children after contact with their dad? It's possible they don't see any changes and with 30 kids in the class it's going to be a tough call to observe one for any length of time. It's far more likely that you will see the changes because you are their mother and will be able to pick up any changes.
It's shocking that CAFCASS are writing a report without seeing the DC and I mentioned this in a previous post so it seems to have come custom and practice, so I don't think it will be on the basis of your ex going on about your MH. Do you think it would be worth getting a letter from your GP about your MH.
I assume you are going through the family courts for a Child Arrangement Order. Can I just say that the best thing to do is to keep focused on the best interests of the children rather than your ex and what he is saying. Judges get very impatient when parents are slagging each other off and trying to score points.

fuzzywuzzy Sun 08-May-16 18:19:00

Nina, I think op might mean she asked ss to help but they won't intervene as the DC are under her care and considered safe, it doesn't matter if contact is causing the DC upset or anguish.

Op how old are you DC?

fuzzywuzzy Sun 08-May-16 18:20:50

Also in my case SS refused of be involved as the matter was with the courts and they won't be involved unless ordered by courts. Which they never were as they were considered to be safe under my care.

Even tho it was recognised and accepted by the courts and the police and gp that ex was physically and financially and mentally abusive.

mrgrouper Sun 08-May-16 18:57:38

I think it takes a particularly nasty form of scum to play the mental health card. My ex was laughing at me before he started court proceedings saying "I will tell the judge all about your depression".
The court case was a character assassination of me. Lies and more lies. Cafcass saw through it all and it backfired for him.

NanaNina Mon 09-May-16 00:30:35

Coo the barrister must have cost didn't it fuzzy as there's no legal aid in these private law cases now, unless you got one who did it pro bono. Yes I see what the OP means about being "bounced back from Social Services" and no they won't be involved as you say unless ordered by the Judge.
You're right mrgrouper - it isn't on to play the MH card and it's one that men (mostly) play again and again but judges always see through them.

AtSea1979 Wed 11-May-16 20:25:57

So, I received the CAFCASS report today, based on the brief telephone conversation from me and the long ramblings from XH. Their summary might as well have been written by XH. It is riddled with lies and states that I had a 'mental breakdown'.

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