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For Crying Out Loud! Anyone have experience of AWS please?

(5 Posts)
midori1999 Wed 08-Jun-11 19:45:30

Sorry this got quite long. I coudl really do with some advice though please if anyone has time to read.

I posted on AIBU last week as I had had a phonecall from Social Services asking to see me and they wouldn't tell me what it was about until they got here. A social worker came out the same afternoon and said the visit was about a comment my son (aged 10) had made to his friends and it had been overheard by an adult who made an anonymous report to SS. The comment was 'I have to live in a cardboard box, but it's OK as it's getting upgraded to a wooden one soon'.

The social worker had a chat with me about our general living situation, methods of discipline/punishment etc and then wanted to speak to DS alone. She then said she needed to speak to all my DC's schools and the GP as a matter of procedure and then normally the case would be either closed or otherwise. She said she suspected the case would be closed and it certainly would based on her visit.

I wasn't worried as although I am by no means perfect, I certainly don't even smack my DC, let alone put them in boxes as a punishment and have nothing to hide whatsoever.

However, today a letter came addressed to DH. He has already gone ahead to his next posting until we also move in the summer holidays so I opened it. It says:

"This office has recently been informed about an incident involving yourself and your son. The information related to an allegation made about an incident of innappropriate punishment. It is our understanding that social services are now involved with this situation and have made a recent visit"

It then says that the AWS are required to let DH know by law that they now hold data pertaining to him. It is not from our unit welfare office, but what I assume to be a 'regional' section of the AWS.

I have no experience of AWS, so am unsure really of what this means. I feel pretty annoyed though tbh. DH has a good career and I would hate to think something like this would affect it. I am also unhappy about the wording of the letter as I don't really feel that any allegation has been made at all, but that someone overheard a joke made by my DS and took it out of all sensible context.

I am going in to see the welfare officer about this tomorrow but I wondered if anyone who has any dealing with the AWS or knows anything about them knows what implications this could have, if any?

I am due to give birth in two weeks (maybe sooner) after what has been a very complicated pregnancy and my blood pressure is already needing extra monitoring and I doubt this is doing it much good at all!

vintageteacups Wed 08-Jun-11 20:12:41

Hopefully Pimms will be along - I'll facebook her and ask her to PM you - she's had a similar experience I think and I know the army really helped her sort it out.

wheresthepimms Wed 08-Jun-11 20:32:13

We had a similar situation, school overheard DS say that he was put in a cupboard and the lights turned out and the cupboard was locked. Totally overheard wrong as we just had 2 years living with tornado's and he was telling his friend what to do when one came. We had a visit from SS and they were awful, even called my DH a big burly army bloke who obviously hit his kids and what was wrong with the older 2 DCs that we had sent them away to boarding school. We were all interviewed, GP contacted etc and 6 weeks later we got a letter saying it was all dropped. It was an awful experience as you have to prove you are innocent but no one will tell you what it is you have done wrong. If it is a formal complaint then they should speak to your DH as they did with mine. We had issues with the school anyhow and CEAS advised us lots on how to deal with them as they decided the school was bullying us. I would speak to your UWO and give him all the facts, we were lucky as AWS were not involved but a similar situation also happened to a friend and AWS were involved and actually were a great help. All of it remains confidential and they cannot by law inform your DHs chain of command unless there actually is proof to the allegations. I know it will all seam like hell right now but it will work out, we fell out with the school so much that DS was moved to another school, with no army kids that understand him far more than the school that had lots of army kids. The problem is we get labelled and even though none of us are like their stereotype it is hard for outsiders to see our life and not think it is mad. Our SW had a real issue with any army families as we all mistreat our kids, I even complained about her attitude (once we were cleared). AWS will be a great help, go speak to your local one if you need. If you want to message me feel free, any help I can give I will. Talk to your friends, it does help and it will all pass (best bit we had was DH was accused by school of beating DS when he wasn't even in the countrygrin)

Have a glass of wine and relax, know that may be hard but you will need to.

wheresthepimms Wed 08-Jun-11 20:34:38

oopps just realised glass of wine whilst preggers may be naughty so only have a half grin

stopthebus Wed 08-Jun-11 22:29:39

midori - I've not been in your situation exactly but have recently had dealings with AWS. I like you was apprehensive about dealing with them and the impact on us as a family. I found them to be extremely helpful, unbiased and not interested in who/what my husband is. They will inform you of their legal obligations to report any situation where they feel that you/a family member is 'at risk' but I guess this is standard procedure. AWS are bound by strict confidentiality clauses and they can only pass on information where they feel people can come to any harm. In your position I would trust them, I found them to be a great support when I needed someone 'outside' of the normal chain.

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