Inappropriate sexual behaviour / safeguarding(10 Posts)
It is with regret, fear and worry that I found out my 9 year old DS has been engaging in sexual behaviour/acts/abuse towards my two younger children (4 and 5) These were serious and also coercion involved. I made a safeguarding referral myself and social workers are saying the children are all likely to be placed on a children at risk plan. I am mortified. DS9 is currently with Grandparents but will need to come home soon. Myself and their father recently split up and I have very little support from him (5 DC) and the relationship is tense. I have also had anxiety which is under control. I feel I am to blame for this for not picking up on this. I am mortified and wondered what the process will involve? How long will it be for? Will be children be removed? The SW said very unlikely to be removed but there is still a huge fear in my mind. DS9 said he learnt about this type of behaviour through experimenting with other children in the neighbourhood but the SW wants to check that he himself hasn't been a victim. Does anyone have any advice or experiences?
You say your DS will need to come home soon however it is likely (assuming they are willing) that you may be asked to keep him apart from your other children for at least the duration of the assessment, if not for the duration of social care's involvement depending on the nature of his behaviour towards his siblings.
In terms of what happens next - they'll have 45 days or so to complete an assessment and from that decide if the case needs to stay open. If it doesn't stay open it may step down to another kind of support provided by services other than social care. If it does stay open it would likely be on a Child in Need plan or, given the serious nature of the concerns, you may be referred to an Initial Child Protection Conference. There a multi-agency group chaired by an experienced social worker will decide if the children need to be subject to a Child Protection Plan. There'll be actions for you, the social worker and the other agencies (school for example). You'll be visited regularly by the social work team and your son may be referred to another organisation that works with children displaying sexually harmful behaviours. Hopefully your younger children will also receive some specialist support. What happens after that really depends on the outcome of that intervention and how well he engages with it all.
If you can demonstrate you can keep your children safe then it's unlikely they would pursue a care order to remove them. But do be prepared to be told your older child cannot live with his younger siblings.
Listen to your SW. Cooperate with them. Show that you are willing to do whatever you can to keep all of your children safe.
SW is saying it's very unlikely they'all be removed - listen to that. No one wants to swoop in and take your kids away, it's a complete last resort. The situation you've described is awful, it's every parent's worst nightmare, but it has happened before and will happen again. There are professionals who will understand and who can help you all come to terms with it - I would suggest contacting MOSAC (http://www.mosac.org.uk/) who will be able to offer further support and signpost to helpful organisations.
I would also be worried about where your 9 year old learned this behaviour.
I am so sorry that you are going through this OP. I supported a friend through something very similar at the start of this year. I will be completely honest, her son no longer lives with her. I cannot imagine the emotional turmoil that you are going through right now - no doubt your heart is breaking for your young DCs but human nature will also be willing you to protect your DS. Please keep posting, you will get excellent support and advice on here x
I don't have specific advice or experience I'm afraid but I did work as admin support for children's social work for a couple of years and as PPs have said removing your children is an absolute last resort. The team of 10 social workers and other supporters from various organisations were brilliant and genuinely want the best outcome for all the family. The important thing is to listen and take their advise and expertise and work with them. Please know that behind the scenes social workers (in my experience at least) do genuinely care and will have nothing but sympathy and a want to help you all.
Sorry you are going through a tough time. You can't change the past but you can help your children move on in the best way possible from here.
Just an update really. Thanks for your advice. Social Services have undertaken an assessment and felt it appropriate to put the children under a children in need plan, rather than a children at risk plan, which is reassuring. My son who undertook the assault has huge behavioural issues now and we are awaiting support from CAMHS to try and resolve this. The Social Worker produced a safety in the home plan which means DS9 cannot be alone with the younger children. It's very hard to unsure this happens due to my home being on 4 floors (townhouse) but I'm muddling along as best I can. No signs of similar types of abuse those, thankfully.
No wisdom OP but glad to hear you are getting support and that your younger DC are at home with you
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