Social services advice(46 Posts)
Hi wondering if anyone can shed any light?? A couple of months back I was reported to ss by my ex and father of my children, it was a malicious report, he doesn't pay maintenance so I said I would report him to HMRC for tax evasion (he gets cash in hand) if he doesn't start paying maintenance big mistake which I regret as that very week I was reported to social services with alot of lies, anyway I was visited by ss who said they would do a child in need assesment, anyway she has got back to me today and said she wants to do a team for children plan?? Think that's what it's called, despite knowing that my exes allegations were false (this has been confirmed) she claimed it wasn't a child in need plan and there are no safe guarding concerns, however I contacted the family rights group who said it IS the same as a child in need plan. The social worker wants to have a meeting with me, my children's school a health visitor and herself, has anyone heard of team for children?? Why am I being made to go on it despite finding out my exes allegations are false? I'm so upset
It is team around the child meeting, or 'TAF'.
It's nothing to worry about, honestly. It's obvious you are going through a difficult time, controlling ex controlling you by reporting to SS is a red flag that you and the children might need more support.
They are not the enemy, they are there to help you.
Just don't panic. My children are now adults with families of their own but, many years ago, someone made a very serious false allegation against my former husband. There was a multi team meeting with gp, schools etc and everyone stood up for us. Unfortunately, because of the seriousness of the allegations they were put on the at risk register whilst things were sorted. Although devastated, we worked with SS every step of the way and I have to say they were very supportive. Unfortunately, we are living in a time where if they do nothing and something goes wrong, it is their fault. Don't take it personally, they have a job to do. Work with them and be honest at every opportunity.
So is it the same as child in need sorry not sure this is new to me??
And just to add my ex is totally out of the picture now I will never speak to him again for doing this and he has told me he wants nothing to do with our children anyway
Team around the child is about early intervention and support, no social worker involved. If they've done an assessment and think that team around the child will help you and your family then they don't have any safeguarding concerns. It's also voluntary and needs parents consent and engagement to go ahead. Hope that helps and things get easier soon
My ex reports me all the time.
The TAF meetings are fine, we ended up having one as he made physical abuse claims which was complete bollocks and proved to be complete bollocks.
The general consensus was DD was doing brilliant with myself and DH and it was all shut down. He still reports me but after the one investigation no more visits.
I don't blame them for investigating it's not exactly an accusation that can be ignored. The SW was lovely.
Where they serious allegations?
I'm sorry by the way it's very stressful, have you any supportive family members who could go with you to the meetings?
Make sure that you take someone with you to the meeting: your mum, or a trusted friend. Do not go alone.
I will explain the report he made against me.
Dd my oldest has autism, I applied for schools for her when she reached school age but we did they one of 5 of the chosen schools, instead she was given a school an hours round trip, we declined the place on the basis that the school wasn't suitable, dd was being homeschooled until a place was offered at a suitable school, she got offered a place at our 5th choice, that was delayed as although the paediatrician has said she is definitely on the spectrum she is yet to be diagnosed so doesn't have a ehcp so the school said she couldn't start as they wouldn't get the funding for the help she needs, however I went back to my paediatrician who said that isn't right and surprise surprise she was offered the place back at school.
During this time my ex reported me saying my kids aren't in school but obviously implied it was that I hadn't bothered, the social worker said she can see that isn't the case.
Second, my son chipped his tooth when he was a baby, he has been to the dentist and the dentist said it doesn't need removing and his new tooth will push out the old one, as it is his front tooth it's noticeable, ex told social services my sons teeth are rotten and I won't do anything about it, again she had contacted the dentist and told me she can see that isn't the case.
Ex said my children can't speak properly, dd has asd as explained and is non verbal which is correct, however has been to speech and language, my other two children's speech is fine.
I will go with my sister as I wouldn't like to go along with a social worker school and health visitor it will feel quite intimidating, I'm not sure why she bothered to make the enquiries if with school/doctors and dentist if she was going to put my children on a plan regardless of the outcome. The family rights group have told me not to attend any meeting till I have a copy of the assessment
Spud I wouldn't try and stress over it too much. I know that's easier said then done
Spud try to think of it as a two-step process:
Step 1: Do your Ex's allegations mean your children are being harmed or at risk of harm and need help to get them out of the situation they're in?
No. She's done her checks and found out that there are good explanations for everything need accusing you of.
Step 2: Do hours accusations mean that your children/you might need some support?
Possibly - they might be able to help you in some way and reduce the strain.
My friend had this same involvement and it was because she had very severe PND. It isn't the same as being at risk OP. It's more like adding a support network for you. Think of it as being FOR you and they're on your side.
You can tell them everything. I bet it doesn't even get repeated once you've had a couple of meetings. They will probably release you from it.
Work with them they will support and help you and your children. Don't be scared, you have nothing to be scared about.
Spud I just wanted to say you sound like an amazing mum and your ex sounds like a waste of space.
Being a single mum to 3 kids including one with SN is not easy and that's probably why they are doing the TAF - they know how useless your ex is but want you and your kids to thrive. I hope it leads to some additional support for you
TAF are great when you have a child with additional needs. They should be able to help with getting the schooling and ehcp sorted as well as anything at home you might need. It's honestly a good thing, not any kind of criticism of your parenting. And it will be minuted that your ex has behaved maliciously, which may help if he does similar in the future.
Fwiw any child with a disability is automatically legally considered to be a child in need. NOT due to parenting issues, but so that the LA has a legal obligation to provide support services.
I'm a teacher and I've been to lots of TAC meetings in that capacity. There's usually all the professionals who work with the family. I've been to Ines where there's been SW, school nurse, homestart people, and ones where it's just been me, the SENCO and the parent. It's a very non judgemental "how's it going" kind of meeting, where the parent is encouraged to talk about any issues and the other offer support. The only ones where it has been difficult have been where the parent kicks off or refuses to engage. Also, not that you would but if the parent doesn't turn up the meeting goes ahead anyway and if there are any medical or social workers there it gets recorded.
A child in need plan isn't a child protection plan. "Child in need" is defined in the Children Act 1989 as including a child with a disability, and your child with ASD comes within that definition. It is about providing support, not any suggestion that there is anything wrong with your parenting.
If your oldest child is non-verbal I would have thought that she should have an EHC Plan - it's not something that paediatricians really know about. I would suggest you talk to the school about applying for one.
She hasn't put your children on a plan! You're not listening to what people are saying - a TAF meeting isn't a child protection plan, it's about putting in place any additional support you might need. It's a good thing.
Spud it sounds like you've really been through the mill, what with your ex being horribly controlling and everything you've had to fight to put into place for your children.
You had some really good advice already and from what you have said there are no safeguarding concerns, but there are some areas where you and your children sometimes need extra support.
I just wanted to explain a little bit about what happens if the LA where I work in hope it clarifies things further.
SS work at 2 levels- 1)Child Protection where children are put on a child protection plan and the children are at risk of significant harm 2) Child in Need - where complex additional needs have been identified, these needs could be detrimental to the children and an assessment is required to determine what support is needed. The malicious allegations your ex has made makes it sound as though your children are in need and SS are obliged to investigate because of this. During the assessment information has been gathered and the Children's plan is a way of pulling together any outstanding needs so that you and the other professionals working with your family can be clear about who is going to support you and your family with what areas. Please think of it as a way of not having to tell any professionals you work with in the future what has been happening time and time again, which can be so stressful, because you can choose to share the documents the SW has produced.
The Social Worker may talk to you about a 'step-down' to Early Help - this is were SS close and the Children's Plan holds the professionals, who said they were going to offer you support, accountable. Early Help is voluntary and lead by you for your family, but is a way of having someone you choose as your main point of contact (sometimes called a Lead Professional). This is in case the support you were expecting doesn't take place or if a type of support is not working for your family, this person will help you explore other options. Team Around the Family meetings will take place if you are supported at an Early Help level, professionals will give updates on what they have been asked to do and you can talk about how things are or are not going for your family. These meetings are usually monthly until all of the needs you want supporting have been met.
Sorry for the long post but I just wanted to explain how the Children'splan is nothing to worry about and it's probably the way the SW has explained it which makes it sound like she is going back on her word. Stay strong, you've come so far already
They are saying my 2 year old needs a health visitor though despite the fact I don't want one and haven't seen one since he was 6 weeks old, so why do I need one?? They are voluntary as is the TAC by the sound of it however she didn't make it sound voluntary, I just want to move on with my life which I don't feel I can whilst the case is still open, it almost feels like my ex has 'won', as I said the frg said not to attend the meetig until I have seen a copy of the assesment however when I said that to her I said "I'm not happy to attend a meeting until I see a copy of the assessment" she said "your not happy to attend the meeting" clearly twisting what I had said, sorry but I really don't trust ss
As others have said, you have nothing to worry about. The meeting sounds like a way to support you. Do you have any local support groups you can attend. There are groups all over UK for parents of kids who have additional support needs.
Spud I still see a a health visitor and till recently DD2 had a support worker. It wasn't about my parenting just my DD has/had a few minor additional needs.
They got speech therapy pushed through for her quicker then her pre-school would of been able to.
My 2 year old doesn't have any additional needs at all, and my dd has already been referred to an autism outreach programme (not by ss) tbh I don't want any 'help' or 'support' from ss as I don't want the association to me, like it or not there is a stigma attached to having as involved, my exes allegations have proven to be lies so I don't see why I can't be left alone, if it is indeed optional then I will be declining, I had a health visitor before who told me if I didn't see her when my son was 15 days old she would report me to ss, I told her it was my dds birthday and I had plans for the day but could see her any other day, she wasn't having any of it and told me I was being difficult and refusing to let her see my child, no doubt as this Hv is being put in place by ss I will have the same kind of thing, threats to report if I don't do as they say. I just want to know that if I decline this TAC then it won't be put up to another level as CIN, if there are no safeguarding concerns then I should be left alone.
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