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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on fostering.

interested to see what everyone thinks of this

(14 Posts)
SquidgyBrain Sat 04-Jun-11 00:20:03

we have had our LO now 28 weeks, so we know him pretty well. He gets transported to and from contact by a volunteer driver who has been the same driver for a good few months. The driver is the grandmother of kids that go to the same school as mine so I know that she is a very hands on granny.

LO is being rehab'd home. He is on as high as possible contact (7 days a week with 4 over nights now) There has been a few suspicious things mum has done in the last couple of weeks, but they are pushing on forwards. LO's SW has gone off sick, and I would bet my bottom dollar that this is his new SW's first job (no bad thing but not much life experience or job experience)

right back ground over....

Wednesday night, when LO arrived home, the driver was really concerned about him. He was listless, staring, not chatting to her like he always does, making really strange little noises. I looked in the car and immediately noticed that one of his eyes was drooping, and half closed, and his mouth was droopy on the same side.

I told the driver that I would keep an eye on him. Brought him in and he sat still on my knee (he is 17 months and usually is bouncing off the walls) I took him to the kitchen and did as I usually d0 and sat him in the highchair. He normally sits and bangs the spoon, or other odds and ends I put on the tray to keep him busy and or kicks his legs off the foot plate - he sat staring vacantly, his pupils were like pin pricks.

DH arrived home, now he is a great dad but isn't usually that observant if one of the kids is off colour - unless it is very noticeable. I said nothing to him about LO and he came in and literally took one look at him and could tell he wasn't right.

This was enough to make me feel that I wasn't being over cautious or suspicious, so I called the fostering team out of hours. It just happened to be my link worker that was on duty, so she told me to go and get him checked over.

so went to the minor injury unit/out of hours and was seen by a nurse. She took his temp it was up a little bit (37.5) and he did have a runny nose and a very slightly pink ear. However he has been much hotter and more ill in the time he has been here and never acted like this.

His heart rate was up a bit (140) and she noted that he was very listless and not full of life at all, by the time we got to the hospital he had picked up a bit, and over the hour and 1/4 that we sat in the cubical he gradually returned to what I would say was normal - so some 2.5 hours since he arrived back to me.

The nurse phoned the local hospital and spoke to a paediatric dr, who told her to monitor him for a while - hence the wait, but when he called back he told the nurse if he was back to his usual self, and I was happy with his condition to take him home.

Now the nurse said to me at the time she felt it was suspicious that he got so much better with no treatment, as surely he would be getting more and more tired - it was his bed time about 30 mins after we got there.

so spoke to my link worker and she told me to report it first thing. So I did this, spoke to his own SW who was going into a meeting so was going to pass it to someone else.

To cut a long story short, the course of action that was taken was to tell his parents that he had been unwell, and if he showed any signs of being unwell to take him to the GP or to the hospital.

I expressed my concern that he had been really acting very strange, and he looked and was acting like he was stoned/on something. And was told there was no evidence to support that was the case. I said well that is because there was no testing done, and was told that testing would be at the discretion of the Dr that dealt with him - you know the one that didn't clap eyes on him?

I phoned the fostering team really to get it on record that I am not happy that no further investigation was carried out.

Am I being unreasonable to be unhappy about how this has been handled?

NonnoMum Sat 04-Jun-11 00:23:40

Um - not sure. Could he have been "out of it" due to change in surroundings? Not sure there is much else you can do?

anji9012 Sat 04-Jun-11 12:07:27

does sound strange, if there is history from BM, it should have been investigated. IF it happens again, take to out of hours and insist on them testing for drugs, if you push they do normally help you. due to him being LAC.

LaurieFairyCake Sat 04-Jun-11 12:13:12

Are the parents addicts?

I would get on the record what you just said and ask again for testing - some things can still show up - cannabis in hair follicle etc.

Actually cannabis is the one thing I would suspect and I would probably test his hair if they refused to do it - there are private places online you could send a hair to quickly.

colditz Sat 04-Jun-11 12:19:00

yANBU at all. I would have wanted tests done, given the circumstances.

I wonder if he picked something up and put it in his mouth?

mumsiepie Sat 04-Jun-11 16:40:22

When my son was about 3 he had a brief bells palsy where one side of his face drooped. It happened because of an ear infection and just resolved after a few hours without treatment. Maybe it was something like that. It's worrying for you though. The fact his pupils were small is really worrying. Cannabis doesn't affect the eyes like that but makes them red and bloodshot so that does sound as if he could have had some stronger drug. Morphine related drugs would do that to the pupils. Hope you find out what is happening.

SquidgyBrain Sat 04-Jun-11 21:24:29

Thanks Ladies,

Yes both parents are addicts, father is currently clean apart from smoking cannabis on a daily basis, mother is supposed to be currently clean, but the family support officer wasn't sure about her presentation one day, and the urine sample she had to give for her drugs councillor was "not warm enough" to be fresh the following week, so you can see why I am suspicious that she isn't currently as clean as she should be.

NonnoMum - he has been coming here now since he was only 10 months old, so I wouldn't expect him to react like this at coming back.

Laurie, I may well try and push again for testing, but the fostering team do know I am dissatisfied with the sweeping it under the carpet. I had actually thought about trying to test his urine myself I am sure you can buy kits......

Mumsiepie, I am sure it wasn't a type of palsy, as he could move his face it was just when he relaxed his facial muscles there was the droop.

I am concerned as his parents (it apparently was his dad but mum took the blame) are known to be previous dealers and his maternal grandmother also has dealing in her recent history.

thanks again for making me not feel totally alone with this.

SquidgyBrain Sat 04-Jun-11 21:41:15

well have looked into hair testing, and he doesn't have enough hair for me to be able to take a sample from (you need about the diameter of a straw/pencil amount from the crown) and urine testing is not really an option as the time window has really passed

NonnoMum Sat 04-Jun-11 22:17:01

How is he today? Hope you get some answers soon...

SquidgyBrain Sat 04-Jun-11 23:59:19

Nonno - now there is the kicker! This all happened on Wednesday night, and he went back on Thursday morning for 4 nights overnight unsupervised contact.........so I don't know I won't see him again until Monday night

apprenticemum Sun 05-Jun-11 00:25:13

If this happens again, film the little chap, take him straight to A&E and insist on testing. SW can be informed when you have proof.

p99gmb Sun 05-Jun-11 12:07:04

Dear Squidgy.. I find the whole story totally shocking, - shocking in the inert response from SS - especially if a nurse said she found it 'suspicious'... WTF are they doing letting him go back for unsupervised contact... OMG I'd be out of my mind with worry for him... GOD.. are these being the 'missed opportunities' you often hear about...

sorry - don't mean to over-react, I just can't believe how this can just be put down to being 'unwell'....

Here's hoping he doesn't present like this again, and he doesn't go back too quickly... how on earth can 'one' be expected to let go and not worry????

xxx

shaz298 Sun 05-Jun-11 12:16:58

Hi Squidgy. I'm so glad he's recovered. I's second asking for bloods to be done if it happens again and asking for tox screen.

It could be that he's picked something up and eaten it, but that is still a child protection issue IMO.

Also definitely get it on record that you are concerned. Even just email your link worker/his worker if you can confirming the conversation you had regards your concerns.

Here's hoping for no more repeats. xx

SquidgyBrain Sun 05-Jun-11 15:37:24

Thanks ladies, I would have pushed for tox screens, but I stupidly assumed that the matter would have been dealt with fullythe next day.

DH and I have agreed that if it happens again I will ask for screening and will not take him out of the hospital till it happens.

Shaz I'm quite sure it has been accidental if he had ingested anything but there shouldn't be the opportunity for that to happen

P99 he is due at a children's hearing and will be being sent home on the 23rd

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