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what to do when a sw lies about you

(6 Posts)
fostermumtomany Tue 05-Jul-11 17:43:42

i just received a call from my lw. basically the childs sw has said a pack of lies about us after we put an official complaint in against her
she has said we do not feed or care properly for the baby, that we are aggressive towards staff at hospital appointments (that have never happened) that we have innapropriate relationships with her dad (havent ever seen him!)
the list goe son and on and on.
luckily our sw knows its all rubbish but the babies sw has a letter from a doctor we have neither heard of or ever seen stating that demanded an xray at the local a+e. now if a lac is taken to a+e the health visitor is notified. our hv told us last week during a visit that she has never had a +e inform her of any visits.
what do we do. my lw said to put in another complaint. but all i want to do now is quit. i really dont need all this stress. i take these babies in and love them like they are my own. they come to me poorly and dirty and always leave healthy happy and clean knowing what love is. apparently that is wrong.

LaurieFairyCake Tue 05-Jul-11 17:49:01

Your link worker has told you what to do - you put in the complaint and follow it through. It's good that you have your link worker on your side.

If you need support the Fostering Network are very good too.

I am unclear about the social worker saying that a doctor has seen your child at a and e? If you haven't taken them to a and e just say that you haven't.

Fwiw we have had a couple of childrens social workers who have been very flaky and I have always followed up all conversations by an email since one of them claimed she had told me a load of information she hadn't. My link worker is excellent thankfully.

NanaNina Wed 06-Jul-11 00:08:13

I cannot understand why your link worker has just dumped all this on you, especially on the phone it seems. This seems to me to be unprofessional. When the child's social worker passed her concerns to your link worker, there should have been an agreement between them as to how to proceed. I woud have expected the child's social worker to give your link worker a list of her complaints in writing and evidence for the allegations that she is making. This should then be followed by a meeting between yourselves, the link worker, child's social worker and manager. In this way everything is out in the open and you have a right of reply.

I honestly don't think the right way forward is to put in another complaint about the child's social worker - it sounds to me like both her and your lw are not behaving in a responsible professional manner. You say your lw "knows it's all rubbish" - this is no way to go on. The matter needs to be dealt with face to face. I am assuming you have a carer's annual review. Any matter of concern should be dealt with at the time that it happens and then is noted at the annual review, so that there are no surprises at the annual review.

I agree with Laura that some social workers are "flaky" as she puts it, maybe too inexperienced to deal with the complexities of the job. I'm sorry but I think your lw is acting unprofessionally by just passing all this on. I think you should tell your link worker that you would like a written list of the sw's concerns (and evidence provided) and then ask for a meeting to thrash all this out.

I'm not saying the child's social worker has grounds for complaint at all, I am merely saying that proper procedures should be followed. Incidentally are you a LA carer or an IFA carer.

fostermumtomany Wed 06-Jul-11 11:53:34

hi nananina
thats just it, we had our annual review in june and the childs sw recieved her bit of the form and all she wrote on it was "no concerns". my manager sent it back as she hadnt signed it nor had she detailed anything that should have been detailed. she literally just wrote through the middle of it "no concerns".
i have asked my lw when it is we are supposed to have been aggressive towards the a+e doctor and apparently the childs sw refused to give dates.
we have asked this morning for a meeting but have been told the the childs sw does not wish to meet. where do we go from here?

fostermumtomany Wed 06-Jul-11 12:01:21

we also have been told that the childs sw has not been happy with us since the start of the placement back in september last year yet she is only just now complaining about us.
we foster for an la.
i wouldnt mind but the childs sw phoned our manager to complain about us, she hasnt put anything in writing. it seems very much like tit for tat.
we complain about her so she complains back.
the reason we complained is because she would be arranging meetings and not tell us until after the fact, she repeatedly changed court ordered contact arrangements, spoke to us regarding her personal view on the outcome of the court case and then would request us to keep it a secret.
she has been very unproffessional through out and we felt our postion as carers was being compromised. she has repeatedly accused of of discussing the court findings with birth parents, however we have not yet been told the outcome of said proceedings! (which happened in may). she refuses to discuss any aspect of the placement saying she hasnt got time.
so we decided to complain, 2 weeks later she comes back with a list of complaints as long as your arm all given verbally to our manager.
i think we will just quit. i did not sign up to be lied about.

NanaNina Sun 10-Jul-11 15:09:50

Fostermum - I can barely believe what I am reading. You must not quit. You are not at fault. I think your lw should be pressing for a meeting with the child's sw and the two managers should be discussing the issue. Are they all unprofessional - that's how it looks to me. I was a manager of a Fost & Adop team for 15 years and sometimes there were complaints about carers and we had to deal with it. Firstly the lw's manager should be pressing the sw's manager for these complaints to be written and evidenced and then the 4 of them should get together, to decide how to proceed and involve yourselves.

The child's sw cannot just refuse to meet, but your lw should not be just accepting this and telling you more of what the child's sw is saying (this is like playground stuff to be honest) and I feel very sad that there are LAs who are treating foster carer's like this.

This is what I think you should do.

Write a letter to the child's sw informing her that you are aware she has numerous complaints (even though at your annual review in June) she appaarently had "no concerns". Add whatever else you have gleaned from your lw and then send a copy to the childs sw, her manager, the lw and her manager. Remember to put in the bit about the child's sw asking you to keep secret about what she thought about the outcome of the court. (I don't understand why your lw hasn't told you the outcome of the court hearing)

State that you have asked for a meeting with the child's sw and your lw but the former has refused, and that you are wholly unsatisfied with this response. Say that you would appreciate a reply with 10 working days, and ask for a copy of the Complaints Procedure to accompany their response, as you intend to follow that procedure as you are so concerned about the unprofessionalism of the department. You could add that you are considering resignation but if you do so you will be writing to the Director about your reasons for resignation. This will make them sit up and take notice!

Read the complaints procedure (they may differ) but it is usual that complaints are deal with directly by the people concerned andif conflict cannot be resolved then the managers are involved, stage 2 is usually the manager's managers and an independent person and stage 3 is involving the social services committee and the director. Believe me when these social workers & managers know that you mean business they will be getting involved. All managers are exceedingly wary of stage 3 complaints. The child's sw will not be able to get away with slagging you off believe me/

I also think you need to keep some written notes about what has been said
and by whom (and date if possible)

Another route is to find out the name and address of the chair of the social services committee (should get it on google) and write directly to him/her (or your local councillor) who will pass it to chair of SS committee. The he/she will pass it to the director and it will get passed down the line to the managers, telling them they muct respond in so many days. Believe me this makes people jump about, because the chair of the ss committee will be pressing the director about this complaint and so she/he will want to know quicker than quick.

I know it sounds a hassle but it will be worth it. This sw should be disciplined (at the very least) and I am singularly unimpressed with your lw, who should be telling the child's sw to write down her complaints with evidence, and certainly not accepting that she refuses a meeting.

Go for it...............don't let them trample you down. It's not fair and it's not professional. You deserve better.

Please don't just quit - foster carers are like gold dust

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