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school want to do a CAF form. i don't see the point

(11 Posts)
piratecat Tue 09-Oct-12 11:48:36

dd is yr 6 now, lots of low attendence due to illness. lots of stress from not seeing her dad over the yrs.

two hospitalisations with genuine illnesses.

I have spent these 6 yrs, trying to get school to help more. setting homework, bit more support emotionally, or at least someone to make sure at school she is ok.

time has moved on, head asked school counsellor two yrs ago to help, and message never got thru to her, or she didn't/forgot to contact me. I only found out he had asked her, at a recent meeting with EWO. Had i know i would have chased it up.

No support till now it seems. whats the point of doing a form, and do i have to. It's for getting everything down, so that other practitioners/agencies can see what's been going on for dd. But it's too late imo. Just made to feel like the worst mum. NO social services are involved, she's just a kid who has always been the first to get anything and it strikes her down. NO learning difficulites, she's G&T for english. Hasn't been late once.

Was in hosp in july for enlarged ovary, which was the icing on the cake, two weeks off school, and they even had to warn me it may be cancerous at the start.

The meeting coming up was meant to happen then, to fill in this form, but obv, dd was in hosp.

I just want to get her through this year and out of this primary school. They have let us down so much depsite me always being available to offer info, keeping written records of any major illness. I have done far more communication wise, and it erks me that they want to fill in this form with me, it's like an invasion of privacy to me.

Head even said, we'll do it, and you can have one meeting then you don't even have to do it again.

so why bother.

piratecat Tue 09-Oct-12 11:50:02

thanks for reading. x

Chopstheduck Tue 09-Oct-12 11:57:50

It does sound like you both have had a rough time.

I was in a similar position last year, school wanted to do a caf on dt2, because they were struggling with his behaviour. I'd spoken the the SLO and explained that we did not have problems at home coping with him, and I'd rather be left out of it. I refuted some other issues outright.

I had previously started the CAF process with dt1 at one point, until it got far too intrusive when all I wanted was some advice - which I took and and it resolved the issue I had. So when it came to dt2, I basically dug my heels in over the whole thing, and eventually the SLO went to see dt2 and agreed there was nothing wrong with him and it wasn't necessary.

The school did tell me that a CAF was necessary so that they, the school could get extra support in place if needed, so I guess that would be the purpose of it. In our case though, he just clashed with the teacher, so I didn't see any point of it in the long term.

Sorry for the rambling, but if you don;t think it is going to help you or your daughter, I'd leave it. It sounds like you don't need the additional stress.

piratecat Tue 09-Oct-12 12:07:47

thankyou so much, i have felt like i am banging my head against a brick wall.

have even said, it comes down to ticks in boxes doesn't it. which was denied,but which i do understand.

Being ill has never been on purpose, which is how it's been made out to be.

I can only think that the benefit could be to get it all down, esp for the future transfer to big school next year, so that if one of her health probs comes back (it might) at least it's recorded?

I am scared that SS will be involved if i refuse tho. She's a charming girl, hard worker, lots of friends, loves school. Is supportive to her mates and always a happy girl. Just hate her to feel differently to others, as i know they may well wish to speak to her too for these meetings.

Chopstheduck Tue 09-Oct-12 12:19:07

they def spoke to my dses regarding them. I think if you are concerned at all about the transition to senior school, it might well be worth having a meeting with them and going through her health issues with them, so they are aware.

I think it does come down to tick boxing and bureaucracy, so many of the questions we were asked were totally irrelevant to the issues we had. And when you aren't even getting help when you DO need it, it is incredibly frustrating.

Make sure you keep records of every medical appointment, or absence she has, and I'm sure it will be fine. It might be worth looking into ways to boost her self esteem to help her deal with her not seeing her dad too. I know my dd started asking a lot of questions around that age, and with all the hormones kicking in, it can make it harder.

I know what you mean abotu the ss issues, because that was a concern of mine, if i refused then maybe they would get ss involved, but really the caf has nothing to do with ss at all, and it certainly went no further for us in either case.

cansu Tue 09-Oct-12 19:44:41

I can totally understand your reluctance. If you don't want to do a CAF, then don't. Be firm and polite. Maybe write a letter stating what your daughters difficulties are. Highlight that absences from school whilst very unfortunate were necessary due to medical problems. Ask how they think the CAF will help to address these issues. Stay positive and pleasant. They will probably back off. If not take a deep breath go along with the box ticking and they will drop it after a few meetings.

piratecat Tue 09-Oct-12 21:10:40

thankyou cansu. really torn. just feel like i should have FAIL stamped on my forehead. i know i have done a good job with dd, but it's all so seemingly bureaucratic, and she needed more before iyswim.

the ewo is not very nice, she's very patronising. listens, then tells you stuff that makes you feel like she actually was listening to an ipod throughout.

not very good me, with the 'system'. lol

annbenoli Wed 10-Oct-12 10:48:34

if you do not consent to a caf then it can't happen. Health warning though if you do not consent and at any point things do go to ss it could be used as evidence that you are not engaging. I speak as one who organises cars so if you do not consent it can't happen.

annbenoli Wed 10-Oct-12 10:48:59

doh organises cafs not sara

FolkGhoul Wed 10-Oct-12 12:29:21


As a teacher I've been involved with CAF meetings. They are arranged when there are 'issues' of any nature and provide an opportunity for the parents and other people involved with safeguarding a child (so school, an any relevant outside agencies) can get together to thrash out a few things - share ideas, problems, come up with solutions.

The problem in a lot of cases is that you will talk with agencies in isolation, they will talk to each other in isolation and (as you have seen) communication can be very poor! The idea is that if agencies are communicating with each other and families and the left hand knows what the right hand is doing, then problems can be solved and families supported as necessary to avoid getting as far as CP - which is a possibility in some cases.

By getting everyone in a room it means that every one gets a say and everyone gets heard. Just a way of making sure everyone's on the same page. As it were.

IME they've all been really positive (been involved with CAFs for a few children). The parents know they're being heard, the school have a better idea of what the issues are from the parent's perspective, all agencies and the family say what they will do about it and because it's all recorded and reviewed it has to be done.

Doesn't mean it's nice though.

dixiechick1975 Wed 10-Oct-12 12:51:48

Can someone support you to fill in the CAF. I found parent partnership useless but maybe they are better in some areas.

I found it very depressing and hard emotionally to do. The nursery just gave it to me - i'm a whizz at filling in paperwork but it's very different when it is your child. Many questions seemed to be aimed at neglect/abuse/broken families. I struggled to 'fit' my DD's circumstances (physical disability) into the form.

Made no difference in practical terms - she wasn't entitled to any support or even an annual review.

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