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Social workers and confidentiality

(14 Posts)
spittingfumingmad Tue 26-Jun-07 13:10:31

We have low level involvement from social services at the moment, mainly due to my postnatal depression.
Our social worker has basically read our entire file to my FIL over the phone, without even questioning who he was and seeking our permission.
This has caused unbelievable repercussions and stress for us and I am so angry yet feel so defenceless.
Surely he has broken the procedure and/ or law?
I feel as though we shouldn't mke a com-laint as we basically want them out of our lives asap so don't want to cause trouble.

chopster Tue 26-Jun-07 13:14:38

please complain. If you keep quiet then they think they can do whatever they want and you may find they make more and mroe demands upon you. You have to take control of the situation. Have you had any conferences? It might be worth complaining to the chair, and complaining to the sw's supervisor.

Gursky Tue 26-Jun-07 13:20:13

This sounds like a very big breach of the data protection act. I am a DP specialist, and this should not be disclosed to your FIL without your consent, and certainly not in this way. I can give more details if you want something that sounds good for a letter.

spittingfumingmad Tue 26-Jun-07 13:20:21

No. We had an initial asessment after refferal from our health visitor. We were told that there are no child protection issues and it wouldn't be taken further, but they wanted to stay in touch for a couple of months to ensure we were getting the right support. It has all been blown out of proportion by this disclosure and I am not at all sure what to do.
Should I wait until our case is closed before complaining?

NAB3 Tue 26-Jun-07 13:21:40

This is wrong. I feel for you. My MIL gave out info to my M that I didn't want. Families/authorities suck at times. Definitely make a complaint in writing and keep copies. What was his justification for reading it your FIL?

Gursky Tue 26-Jun-07 13:24:17

I would complain now - otherwise it might happen again. You have the right to request that they stop disclosing data immediately, but they have 21 days to respond, so these things can take time to resolve.

spittingfumingmad Tue 26-Jun-07 13:27:36

FIL's wife (absolute bitch, wants nothing to do with us, lots of 'issues',has only seen our children 3 times) made a malicious call to them, saying she thought they were unhealthy (that topic deserves a whole other thread, my children are perfecty healthy and happy) and then told FIL about it after as they said 'oh we have a case open with them'. He called the social worker who read out every detail of the file to him.

chipkid Tue 26-Jun-07 13:29:41

You have a legitimate complaint. I would raise it now in writing. Stay calm and reasoned. There is no need to wait for your case to be closed-you appear to have co-operated fully with the authorities-you are entitled to say that your confidence has been breached in a very unprofessional manner.

spittingfumingmad Tue 26-Jun-07 13:35:37

This is what has upset me the most. I was careful to be really honest at the initial assesment about all the problems we are facing, yet they have now been told to someone we really wouldn't trust with such information, and FIL is twisting it now and basically saying I am an unfit mother and we should put them both in full time nursery immediately. FGS the social worker himself adimiited we didn't really need involvement, but once we were referred he had to follow through.
I am angry beyond belief.

Gursky Tue 26-Jun-07 13:41:33

This is so wrong - for all of the reasons you have set out - this is why there are laws about data/confidentiality etc - I am so on your behalf.

Please please contact them about this before it goes any further.

chopster Tue 26-Jun-07 13:57:34

If I were you I would tell them you don't want anything mroe to do with them, unless they are actually offering you support. If there are no child protection issues there is absolutely nothing they can do if you jsut tell them to bugger off. And you would be jsutified in doing so. I know it can be so intimidating, but please don't be frightened to stand up for your rights.

chopster Tue 26-Jun-07 13:59:23

btw I have been through ss involvement. My children were placed onthe register for a while, despite the social worker feeling it was unecessary, I had problems with them diverging information, and now they are at a level of minimal involvement. I've not told them to go yet, since I want the kids to have their chance to wrap things upw itht he sw, and say goodbye, but then I am going to tell him where to stick his 'support'.

harrisey Tue 26-Jun-07 19:07:20

This is appalling and utterly, utterly wrong.
SW should be disciplined for breach of confidentiality, you should complain as soon as possible. THere is no justification for this at all.

for you. Had some sw involvement myself due to health issues after dd2 was born and it was so stressful it made my PND worse and in the end my doctor got them to back off.

mmelody Wed 27-Jun-07 13:38:00

Im shocked. I am a cpn and would NEVER EVER breach someones confidentiality in this way. Confidentiality is a big deal, and there are strict policies that your social worker should adhere to. They really should have known better and you HAVE to complain NOW. Dont wait.

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