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This fear that social services will come and take your children...

(644 Posts)
willsurvivethis Fri 29-Jan-10 15:41:24 worries me!

There seem to be so many women out there who are afraid to seek help for depression and other problems out of fear that they will lose their children.

I have just asked MNHQ if they would consider doing something with this. Because surely if so many of us fear to lose our children something is going wrong somewhere! Surely we should all be albe to seek help with confidence?

What are your thoughts on this? I struggle with PTSD and even told my doctor that I tended to keep emotional distance from my ds when he's ill without even considering the possibility of that having repercussions.

StarExpat Fri 29-Jan-10 21:02:25

mmmcoffee how horrible!
Much less severe than that, but when DS was about 6 months old, I had to give him calpol for a fever. I was so exhausted from the constant bfeeding and not sleeping that I gave him the 2.5 ml spoonful and then immediately went into a panic that I had given him the wrong side and it was actually 5ml and he had overdosed and what would happen - would people think I poisoned him if I brought him to A&E? Or would he just be ok? But I didn't want to just let him lay there, overdosed... after a minute (which seemed like forever), I went and checked the unwashed spoon... which was still pink and sticky on the 2.5ml side. Thank goodness. Such a little thing, I know... but my heart was racing and I was in such a panic about whether I should "tell" or not and I still remember that feeling now!

StarExpat Fri 29-Jan-10 21:04:04

willsurvivethis It's ok! A little dose of reality is a good thing sometimes.

It's actually helpful to know that others feel this way, too. A relief!

BigMomma3 Fri 29-Jan-10 21:04:29

MadameC - I can assure you I act no differently than other mothers (I do not have compulsions, I have obsessions and they are all in my head) and my DCs are NOT aware. I am the one who has been suffering not them. It has only since I have recognised what I have (and that has taken 30 years)that I am starting to realise that I am not loony or evil and your posts are not very helpful!

ellymouse Fri 29-Jan-10 21:06:19

people aren't saying what your living for will be taken away, its a common concern, one that i myself have but what is alarming me more now is that people will read this and be badly effected. please everyone suffering from any kind of mental health problem, get help, dont stop help, dont read these posts and give up. i'm very scared and paranoid about ss myself but dont give up.

Mmmcoffee Fri 29-Jan-10 21:07:58

star that is the exact feeling I had. It is truly horrible.

willsurvivethis Fri 29-Jan-10 21:09:55

Well I guess I am now sure that i want MN to take this further - all your posts really strengthen my feeling that whatever the truth is and the facts are - many women find it too scary to get help and that is in noone's interest sad]

StarExpat Fri 29-Jan-10 21:10:57

at the time, with that calpol incident, ss didn't even enter my head!
I was just worried that the doctors at A&E would think that I was a bad mother or hurting my child. I have no idea why... just never considered that ss might come take my ds from me until I read this... but had that same paranoid feeling, iyswim.

So this thread is helpful!

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 29-Jan-10 21:13:01

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Reallytired Fri 29-Jan-10 21:24:58

I think that anxiety and depression are very closely linked. People can also post whatever they like on the internet. Children are not taken into carely lightly.

I had absolutely crippling depression seven years ago. To the extent that I decided it was a good idea to stop eating. I don't think I was fully in touch with reality.

In my experience health professionals worry when you hide things. With my daughter I have a truely gifted health visitor with 26 years of experience. She had postnatal depression 30 years ago so knows exactly what it feels like. She is monitoring me by telephone about once a month. She knows how to support without making me feel underminded.

Toughasoldboots Fri 29-Jan-10 21:34:44

Starlight- don't really want to go into my story but wanted to let you know that I went all the way to the ombudsman, it was rejected and I went back again. It took 3.5 years, nearly killed me but I still have in my file a complete and utter unreserved apology from all involved. Keep going, the anger did it for me. They also promised to review/ change the secrecy to parent. This was 7 years ago in Oxford. Sounds like nothing has changed. I was a nurse, middle class, happy family, at the time quite well off. It is obvious what I was accused of..

ellymouse Fri 29-Jan-10 21:40:57

i have never heard of the ombudsman before, can someone explain it to me? just in case i do ever have any dealings with ss, the more i know the better i'll feel! if anyone has the time of course.

Toughasoldboots Fri 29-Jan-10 21:51:06

You can go to the ombudsman when you have exhausted the full ss complaints system. If you are going through the legal system you can't use the ombudsman. I found it impossible to get a lawyer to take them on privately ( ie not on legal aid) because many act for them in other cases. My children were not at risk of being taken away or even monitored but I was so angry at records made, meetings had without any effort to check any facts. They took every word of a malicious phonecall as truth because the caller ran a nursery. I hade complained about the nursery and it was in retaliation ( this didn't occur to ss though).

nickname123 Fri 29-Jan-10 21:52:08

If you have recorded suicide attempts just 2 years ago, regardless of how you feel now, i would advise you not to have a baby untill you've built up a good case of how you have recovered, because it's likely social services could be called in.

A social worker told me (as they were adopting my child because of 'depression') that if I had another baby within 3 years they would come and take the baby from the delivery ward and adopt it out. I had to go and have an abortion and I told the clinic I did NOT want to be there and I did not want an abortion but I couldnt cope with them taking another baby from me.
The son I have now who is my life was LUCKILY born 4 years after the adoption so they couldn't automatically take him and they actually only spent half an hour with us to 'assess' us and said we were fine.
And 3 years later we are fine :-)

I don't appreciate people saying my fear is from fabricated media stories, I have seen real cases around me, a girl i grew up with also had one child in care and the next was automatically taken at birth and both adopted.
I havent spoken to her about it but I suspect she was as guilty as me, depressed, very young and with absolutely no support, thought the social services would help and didnt know her rights.

Toughasoldboots Fri 29-Jan-10 21:54:32

In fact, I only found out because I saw something about ss meeting on the computer when I was at my gp for a sore throat. Sorry- I said I wouldn't go on about it and I have.
I have little respect for them, not just because of my experience as a parent but they were useless when I was working as a nurse.

willsurvivethis Fri 29-Jan-10 22:01:22

Nickname I don't think that your story is made up or media fuelled or whatever. I think your story is true and extremely painful.

I do feel it colours the way you see other stories and facts in a way that doesn't do anyone any justice.

Social services mess up - fact. Lawyers mess up - I'm one- fact. Doctors mess up. Bike mechanics mess up. In case of ss the consequences are unusually serious, but i don't think a witch hunt is helpful/

nickname123 Fri 29-Jan-10 22:07:04

My main concern is that when a young single parent is struggling, they may exagerate how hard it is to a social worker, like I did because I wanted them to take me more seriously and give me support.
But it's very dangerous to do that, because social services aren't there to help make parent's lives easier as I learnt, there there to asses the risk to the child alone and make some harsh judgements that will massively affect your life.
I am CONSTANT;Y made to feel like there must have been something wrong with me and that I must be at fault for thinking so negatively about social services.

*this thread is very relieving for me to read*

as I now know so many more people have gone through the same things and have the same justified feelings about the social services.

Chickenwoman Fri 29-Jan-10 22:07:48

Yes Social Services mess up, but the issue is really that the consistently and systematically mess up, and when challenged or asked for their accountability they have the power to make your life extremely difficult, moving their vendetta against your complaints to the secrecy of the family courts where you have no right of appeal of even representation.

It's dangerous.

ArthurPewty Fri 29-Jan-10 22:20:12

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nickname123 Fri 29-Jan-10 22:20:27

You needent worry about social workers becoming victims.
I can assure that people, even my own friends will far sooner defend social workers than take me seriously.
There is no risk of wronged birth mother's being anywhere near as supported as social workers.
Everyone I speak to is quick to defend social workers.

And I will too, simply because I understand the job is impossible.
Social workers can't possibly REALLY care and look into *every single case* properly.
If they're the kidest person out there they'll find it too distressing and quit, otherwise they'll become hardened and not care enough. But mainly it's that they don't have the time to do every single case properly.
It's a system that can't work 100%
The only hope of getting them to help would be to be assertive and on top of what they're doing with you, best believe i'm assertive these days.
But vulnerable parents arent assertive so they get screwed over because SS can't devote as much time as is needed.

willsurvivethis Fri 29-Jan-10 22:23:40

Nickname thanks for that - I think that's a really good and fair post

Chickenwoman Fri 29-Jan-10 22:24:46

LEonie Can you take SJW and BF?

ArthurPewty Fri 29-Jan-10 22:31:06

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ArthurPewty Fri 29-Jan-10 22:33:10

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Chickenwoman Fri 29-Jan-10 22:35:33

Thanks Leonie. I 'know' you and trust your sources. (not in a social-services reporting way I rush to add)

ArthurPewty Fri 29-Jan-10 22:36:26

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