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Social Services have made a complaint, but I don't think I've done anything wrong

(6 Posts)
Freddiefrog Thu 13-Feb-14 13:07:16

Had an older teen in placement for 18 months.

Has been really difficult, lots of things we weren't told about at the beginning that would have affected whether we took the placement or not, but none of this came to light until YP was settled, despite a serious lack of involvement from our LA, things were OKish so we stuck it out.

With hindsight, nothing had really got better and it was beginning to affect my own younger children so we decided enough was enough. Being an older teen, we know there is a shortage of hostel and supported lodging placements locally, so we gave the LA 3 months notice to give them plenty of time.

YP then did something unforgivable and seriously put my children at risk so took the notice period down to 28 days (the minimum we can give).

YP was then told and then moved out and in with a friend and friend's parents and has since refused to come home.

During this time I've had no contact from YP, friend's parents, YP's SW, no one. Friend's parents have been really hostile to us and refuse to speak to us when we've called to try and talk to them, YP doesn't answer calls or reply to messages (other than to demand pocket money, etc)

My SSW has called several meetings and no one but me and SSW has turned up, emails are ignored (I always attach a read receipt), phone calls not returned

The police made it really clear, in writing (well, by email) that I am not to report YP missing to them each night, as far as they're concerned, YP is safe, we know where YP is, it's not a police matter so my SSW instructed me (also via email) to ring into the LA OOH service each night and report YP as unauthorised absence (if they want YP reported missing, they can do it) Which I've done each night, recorded the name of the person I've spoken to, and recorded times, etc, in my diary (I can prove that a phone call has been made to their number each night from my phone records), I've also sent an email to my SSW and YP's SW following the calls giving name/time details each night

There's then an 'incident' with my YP overnight a few days ago. YP's SW has made a complaint because I failed report the 'incident'.

I knew nothing about the incident, YP had not been here for over a week, I informed LA OOH that YP was not here, as per instruction, no one told me, so how am I reasonably expected to know about it? The first thing I knew about the incident was when my SSW told me about the complaint

So what happens next? SSW has been quite reassuring and thinks nothing more will come of it, that YP's SW has big time cocked up and is trying to pass the buck, but I am so fucked off and also worried that this will reflect badly on fostering in the future

scarlet5tyger Thu 13-Feb-14 14:11:47

I agree with your SSW - you have tons of evidence to back up your case, and tons of evidence against yp's SW. There will be much more pressure on him/her and they are bound to be trying to wriggle out of it. Stand your ground. Remain calm. If a meeting is called then have bullet points of everything written down because I know I always get flustered at meetings. If necessary, type them up and have copies you can hand over.

I remember reading some of your posts and thinking how difficult your placement was. Surely that will stand you in good stead for fostering in future. In my LA the fostering team and YP's SW are totally separate so should not really be any effect at all.

Freddiefrog Thu 13-Feb-14 17:03:26


Yes, I'm sure it'll be fine. SSW and I have gathered all my stuff together and sent copies of everything to the person handling the complaint. He's confident that nothing will come of it

I'm just fed up I think, sad that it's come to this with our YP, fed up with the LA never doing what they're supposed to do and then blaming me, YP wrecked their room so that's got to be fixed - radiator hanging off the wall, etc.

We think that our YP has fed the friend's parents a load of guff about us so they would allow them to stay which has upset me a bit (YP used to try this on with us, tell us some sob story about how terrible a friend's foster carer/parent was in an attempt to get us to let the friend stay with us - we always liaised with the other carers and parents so knew to take it all with a massive pinch of salt) which would explain why the friends parents are so hostile - DH and I are "vile" apparently - YP's SW was supposed to go and see the friend's parents but hasn't

I feel like throwing the towel in and telling them all to bugger off

2snugglets Thu 13-Feb-14 17:35:53

Hi, as a SW myself, it's pretty obvious it's the YP's SW who is in the wrong here and trying to make up for lack of visits and involvement with YP. I would advise you speak to the IRO and suggest bringing a review meeting forward the SW will have to attend that.

I hope you carry on with your fostering, we need to keep the good ones smile

Freddiefrog Fri 14-Feb-14 10:29:35


No, we're not going to give up.

I think I'm just on a downer at the moment, we've had a really tough placement with zero support and I'm done in

Officially, this placement ends at the end of next week so we're going to take a month off for some time out, spend some time with my kids, visit family and friends, etc.

Not heard anything more about the complaint yet, so fingers crossed that's it, I really can't be doing with any more stress about it.

Fathertedfan Sat 15-Feb-14 18:47:29

We have been foster carers for many years and had a number of placements who have not worked out. The notice period has often been horrid and uncomfortable and the SW for the children have often been hostile and difficult through the notice period. You've done fantastically well to keep this placement going for so long and deserve a big well done for holding on for so very long. Document everything, keep your paper trail up to date and talk to the IRO. Have a short break once this is over and then start having a look at the referrals for new placements. Our first supervising social worker told us 'think of this as a piece of work that you have completed, and now move on.'

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