Daughter's boyfriend's mother has involved Social Services(25 Posts)
My daughters baby is 5 weeks old. Her boyfriends mother is being vindictive and has got Social Services involved saying that my daughter isnt taking care of her baby properly. The other day a Health Visitor from a different GP practice to her own visited without warning and said that she was informing Social Services that the baby was at risk. The upshot is that Social Services are now having a meeting on Thursday to discuss my daughters situation. The baby is not at risk, its purely the daughters boyfriends mother who is the problem.
A couple of questions I would like answered:
What right did this irregular Health Visitor have in getting involved?
Does anyone have any advice how we should approach the meeting with Social Services.
Do you know what the actual concerns are? Why did the HV think the baby was at risk?
Your daughter did not have to let the HV in, there is no rule that new mums have to see a HV, though it is probably a bit late for that now.
There is also no reason why you can't be there on Thursday with your daughter. Social Services do know that people make vindictive and malicious complaints.
What reasons did the health visitor give for the baby being at risk? There must have been something that she wasn't happy with. They don't just make random judgements like that, without some basis.
It's probably a very good idea for you to be at the meeting with your daughter, to show that she has some family support.
Social services try to keep babies with their families as much as possible, unless there is significant risk of harm.
well you need to know the reason HV thinks the LO is at risk? They cant do it without reason and clearly she has seen something to suggest it,
Certainly we never see the same HV in our area but i dont know what the practice is in your area.
The HV would have had to get involved if there was a concern, and it would have ben given to whomever was about at the time.
As for the meeting, go with your dd, support her, write any questions down and try not to get too angry and start shouting (it doesnt help at all). Look at the plan they want to put in place and see if its workable.
They arent in the practice of stealings babies, but see them as a suportive service
What were the concerns about the baby? How old is your daughter?
Your daughter has the right under the data protection act to get her notes.
Is there heath visitor arranging more visits. Are there any young parent groups that your daughter can go to for more support.
It may well be that social services are involved because they recongise that a young single mother needs support. Are you sure that do not see the baby as a child in need rather than a child at risk.
When you go to the meeting tell SS that you are supporting your DD in whatever way you can, whether that is just advice or even caring for your gd so she gets some rest.
Your Dd will need support and if you can show that you are and any family mambers can give it and have a good relationship with dd then that is better. Unfortunately usually once SS are involved they are there for a while but it doesn't mean they will take the baby away. They would probably ask you to take dd and baby in with you first.
How old is DD?
What are her reasons for being so vindictive?
The HV had to respond if concerns were raised. She must also have seen or heard something that worried her to say the child is at risk. Did the HV make it clear what the concerns were, or can your daughter think of anything?
As for the meeting, as others say, attend with your daughter, stay calm, ask lots of questions especially about why there are concerns. Be prepared to say how you can support your daughter (are you helping out at the moment? does she live with or near to you?).
reallytired she never said her dd was young or single
If there is no risk to the baby then SS will not take it further. However, for them to be involved in the first place, and the HV to be concerned, I'm inclined to say that everything probably isn't ok, and your DD may well need a bit more help and support. SS are not the enemy, they will look out for the best interests of the baby, and it may well be that your DD is struggling a bit.
My daughter is living with her boyfriend and they are both 20. But he is really a waste of space when it comes to looking after the baby and trying to get her to sleep when she's crying. Several nights my daughter has stayed at our house with her baby, and daughter's boyfriend's mother looks upon this as daughter is unable to care for baby herself, that's why she got Social Services involved.
I'm sorry but Hv must have seen something to get her concerned! Is the house very untidy?
If it is just that your daughter is looking for older women (you) for support, you might want to remind them that in Indian culture a new mum stays with her own mother for 40 days. New mums need support from women who have been there, done that, the new mother needs to be 'mothered'. I think the British culture of leaving new mums to fend for themselves, and the pressure on new mums to be seen to be coping by themselves, leads to an awful lot of stress and depression.
Well if your DD is coping and there is nothing to worry about then the HV's concerns should be easily answered. If your DD is coping but her P is not then she needs to do something about that. If the HV had genuine concerns then these will be raised at the meeting and an investigation will be opened - you have every right (if your DD wishes) to be there and to be involved in the process. Social services should not get involved unless there are genuine concerns.
The Health visitor would have been asked to do a welfare visit by SS so if your DD had refused to let her in that would have raised concerns. The fact that the HV then reported concerns suggests that it's not just your DD's MIL being vindictive.
Have you talked to your daughter about exactly what happened when the HV visited? Was it a bad time? When I had my first, if someone had called unexpectedly after a difficult night, I could easily have been in tears with a messy house and given the impression of not coping.
Also, you make it sound like there may be some tension between your daughter and her boyfriend, if he is not as helpful with settling the baby as she would like. Could the HV have picked up on this? The nights your daughter has stayed at yours, has it been arranged in advance or a last minute 'Right, I've had enough, I'm off to Mum's' thing? Absolutely fine if it was, but I can see how if that was described in a certain way it might lead someone to think that there's a problem.
Health Visitors tend to work in teams, based in localities. They can cover a number of surgeries so won't necessarily be a single HV attached to a particular surgery. Just because your daughter hasn't met that HV before doesn't mean she is 'irregular'.
HV don't usually just pitch up and declare a baby "at risk" without reasonable cause - maybe the boyfriend's mum has seen or heard something that gave her cause for concern? If her own son is so useless, or potentially negligent, careless or aggressive with the baby then maybe his mum called SS out of concern for your daughter and the baby?
Bear in mind they could be concerned about your daughter's boyfriend, not just her!
sorry, this is just the way the system works. If anybody complains about your DD's parenting skills, no matter how unfounded the claim or what the obvious partiality of the informant might be, then random people are going to turn up and ask probing questions and make it obvious that they are there to find problems and other things to judge about. And issue unhelpful comments and instructions about. I am sorry to say that you will all just have to grin and bear it until they are satisfied that all their paperwork documents that they did their job properly.
Just relax, SS have to do their job, even if it's to do with false claims. I had SS 'round a while back, DS (2) had managed to escape out the front door and when I ran after him I could not see him, so phoned police immediatly because of the roads etc. and I couldn't go all 3 directions. SS came the next day I think, we laughed it off and I showed them I would be locking the door with the button thing, and that was that. Approach your meetings with honesty, SS aren't baby snatchers. It's annoying, yes, but they do have to follow up allegations.
Maybe HV thinks SS will be able to support your DD, if her DP isn't?
Yes just go with her, and make sure things are being discussed in a calm, reasonable way, with nobody getting defensive etc.
Has your daughter spoken to her GP about it? I have found that GPs and Community MW seem to possess common sense too and realise that it's okay to find it difficult to look after a baby and that you learn as you go along. I have however found that HV can (not all) be a little overzealous and sometimes look for issues where there aren't any. I think the best way to look at it is that if the HV had ignored the request to intervene then this would be extremely bad practice, at the end of the day the HV doesn't know your daughter or live with her to be able to see what is going on, however, some HV/MWs etc. do have an unfortunate manner and jump unnecessarily to conclusions. My child was referred back to paeds while we were still in hospital after birth and I was kept in hospital unnecessarily because of this - this had (and still has) a huge impact on my confidence as a parent but I went along with every single thing they told me to do inorder to get home, once home the community MW told us to forget everything we'd been told and follow our instincts. Your daughter really will just have to play ball and not get defensive or annoyed no matter how much she has to bite her tongue.
If you go with your daughter to the meeting make sure you take a notebook and write everything down. If there are any mistakes in the initial report you can challenge them but you will not be able to take a copy of the initial report - they will change or amend any inaccuracies, so be clear about everything. Also just to be on the safe side perhaps your daughter could get legal advice. Sometimes HV and SS work on the basis that there is no smoke without fire. I think there is nothing wrong with her staying at yours occasionally. Sometimes you just need support like someone watching the baby while you have a bath! Good luck to you all.
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