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Dc school has sent social services after me

(100 Posts)
mincepied Thu 26-Nov-15 20:38:07

Have nc but have been MN regular for many years. Really need your advice!

Bit of background here:

After a few international moves found ourselves back in the UK with kids. One goes to school x, the others go to school y. This has had a severe impact on us as a family, I now spent more than 2 hours each day driving, parking, picking up kids and incurring extra costs for driver in the morning for one child and breakfast/after school club. The traffic here is bad and as I have a baby I'm also dealing with broken nights and have no help in house or with childcare.

My dad fell very ill and is now wheelchair bound, my mum is barely coping and I feel terrible not being able to help them, they are abroad. Mum downloads everything on me and somehow I cracked.

Thought it was menopause but was diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder and prescribed escitalopram and it has made such a big difference to my life, I am so grateful to my lovely, caring GP who saw what was wrong with me.

School y is a very competitive, heavily oversubscribed primary. Not long ago a parent took his own life, they had been trying to get both children into the school and could only get one place. Whatever the reasons he killed himself and now the school is desperate to give his family that missing space.

We are moving early in the new year to another county, less stress in terms of infrastructure and schools so all happy there.

Then this happened: headmistress asked me for a chat. Out of the blue she said school x has told me you are leaving and then highlighted the fact that she would like to know when we are going so she can give places to other families. Told me the story about the suicide and I felt she tried to exert pressure on me to hand in our notice. I said I didn't want to do this as contracts can fall through until we are certain.

I told DH and he went to see her the next day declaring my meds and saying she shouldn't have spoken to me like this and pressured me.

Headmistress now taken long leave of absence and her deputy has become concerned with our family.

Both dc are doing great in school, at parents evening the teachers were gushing what a credit the children are to me, delight to teach, etc.

Deputy rang DH and asked if all was okay with me, he had heard I'd been unwell and was he aware that I left the baby with a neighbour while baby slept and baby talker on. DH said yes and all good.

Then another phone call about kids absence why we're they sick, can he help at all.

Then another call, to say how great to see them back and would we like any help from social services. Husband said no need but thanks.

Today my youngest was bawling outside school gates about not wanting to wear something. Howling. She was tired, she's only 4, youngest in class. Another mum same issue with her son.

I explained to teacher but returned with books after dropping other dc off. So then her teacher comes out and says: why was dc upset, was it reall just her hair. She was crying yesterday in playtime.

(She cried she told me because some girls weren't allowing her to participate in a group game).

Then social services (!!!) rang DH today and asked if all was alright and saying school had asked them to investigate if I'm a fit mother. School were concerned.

I am so bloody upset, tried very hard not to cry all day but feeling awful. Feel like a failure. I'm being made to feel like a leper.

I used to hold a director post in the city, we are very middle class, I have had a family illness, a hardworking DH and absolutely no help so I'm sorry I developed anxiety issues. I'm sorry I was open about it.

Now I am scared to walk into school, picking up my kids, dropping off, I feel watched and judged. I spoke to ss and he was a lovely officer. But why has this escalated? sad

Louise43210 Thu 26-Nov-15 20:43:03

Are they just trying to help you?

mincepied Thu 26-Nov-15 20:46:24

You mean the school? If they wanted to help why not come and speak to me directly? Why does the deputy or teacher not seek a one on one with me?

Why be so aggressive and call social services after the offer was declined?

BackforGood Thu 26-Nov-15 20:47:42

Or put another way, school has cared enough to see if they can offer you some support .
Not sure what class has to do with anything.
Lots of people struggle. Social care are there to stop a strugle becoming a crisis.

cansu Thu 26-Nov-15 20:48:06

make an appointment with your dh and ask school politely what concerns they have about the children's welfare. there doesn't seem to be much here that would warrant a referral. I think you and your dp have just learnt a lesson about what info you should and shouldn't share with the school. Sounds like your dh telling them off for upsetting you plus telling them about your mental health issues has triggered this.

mincepied Thu 26-Nov-15 20:49:15

It's certainly not helping my anxiety now I can tell you that. Might ask for this to be moved to mental health board.

I have given no indication that I can't cope. My kids are achieving well, blossoming, well mannered and sparky. They are punctual and dressed well.

AliceInUnderpants Thu 26-Nov-15 20:49:39

They sound like they are concerned about you rather than your parenting. This will be a concern to them after the suicide of another parent.
As your 4 year old is the youngest is it her that's giving you broken nights?

SurlyCue Thu 26-Nov-15 20:51:08

Is it at all possible that the school is under scrutiny due to the other parent's suicide being related to school places and they are covering their asses by calling SS so that if (not saying you are likely to) you were to hurt yourself they can say "we did enough, we offered support, we called SS".

cansu Thu 26-Nov-15 20:51:26

Op most people on here will tell you to be grateful that you were referred etc. they would probably not feel so happy if it were them. My neighbours made an anonymous referral to social care because they found out my ds was autistic and they found his screeching and banging worrying. Nothing came of it because of course this is what severely autistic kids do. It did however really really upset me. Try and rise above it.

mincepied Thu 26-Nov-15 20:52:31

Exactly that cansu.

How do I rescue this situation?

By middle class I mean boring, normal, nothing out of the ordinary. Ignore the class thing. Twas a brain fart.

Honestly I've had better days..

mummytime Thu 26-Nov-15 20:53:25

To be honest it is unlikely that SS will have much resource to help you, unless things are very different from your OP. Schools though do have a duty of care, and are supposed to work with SS (and other agencies). If the Deputy Head is taking over at short notice (and possibly is inexperienced/unconfident) and especially as they obviously did miss a family in crisis - then they may just be extra/over - vigilant.

I really wouldn't worry about it. Lots of people have contact with SS, and it isn't necessarily a major issue.

I'd imagine they just gave them a call to see if anyone can help you and if all is ok.

Your husband went in to moan at you being talked to about what you've stated and gave you being on medication as a reason for him doing so and the conversation being appropriate. School would naturally assume from that that you are rather vulnerable and struggling at the moment,they may even think that your husband told them because he thought they should know that you have been unwell.

Then it's your husband answering to whether help is needed, rather than you.

Your daughter crying two days in a row at school.

Did you tell them you have no help too? Have to say at the start of your post I thought you were a single mum due to all the 'no help' and explaining where your parents are. If so it may make them wonder if your husband is much help!!

Honestly, given that lot, they are just concerned about you and want to make sure you and your family are ok and that you have support if you need it.

I don't think they phoned social services and told them to check if you are a fit mother!

Hassled Thu 26-Nov-15 20:55:21

I absolutely understand why you've reacted the way you have - it must just feel like an invasion of your privacy and that you're being judged for being unwell. I do see all that, and how upsetting it must have been.

BUT - you're stressed, you're exhausted, you have a baby - is there any good that could come of this? Did the social worker offer any practical help? Because it does sound like you need some.

IguanaTail Thu 26-Nov-15 20:57:02

Whoooooa there OP. Slowly slowly. It's all ok. They are worried and have sought advice from a professional. You did the same for yourself. You were worried about your health and sought advice from a professional (your GP). There is no judgment and people looking down at you - referrals are made all all all the time as schools seek advice and just want to be sure all is OK. Please don't worry. The point of social care is to care and to help. It's not about launching into families and ripping them apart. If you're worried they're going to take away your children that is not going to happen. They would have to be severely neglected or abused for that to happen.

Let your mind clear and focus on improvements since the medication. There are plenty of people who have far less on their plates and cope far worse. You are doing just fine. flowers

toddlerwrangling Thu 26-Nov-15 21:00:44

OP it sounds like they really are trying to help. You are unlikely to find social services anything but very willing to help you! I would find this mortifying myself too, but I don't think this is malicious or worrying. The school do have a statutory duty under the children's act and the deputy is probably over-assiduous and trigger-happy at suddenly being in charge whilst the head is ill, and it may be that the deputy head isn't that good at addressing these things directly. S/he may also not be that experienced and may be stressed him/herself. Please don't feel like you are being attacked or cornered by them, it sounds like they really are concerned and not malicious.

titchy Thu 26-Nov-15 21:01:19

Not helpful I know, but did the Head really tell you about the suicide of another parent shock what a major breech of confidentiality.

cansu Thu 26-Nov-15 21:01:48

Be careful what you share in the future. If you can stomach doing it, ask for appointment to see deputy with your dh, be nice and thank for their concern. Explain that you are doing well and ask whether they have any particular concerns about the children.

Darvany Thu 26-Nov-15 21:04:39

I know it's sodding awful OP but it isn't personal. My family were once reported because of policy by the medical establishment who were supposed to be the first port of call / defense should an unwarranted referral be made confused

mincepied Thu 26-Nov-15 21:11:13

Alice, sry my youngest is a baby and 1 year old.

Curly Sue, yes there is an inquest. You are probably spot on.

I just feel so vulnerable now. And I'm not happy no one ever bothered to speak to me directly.

TheoriginalLEM Thu 26-Nov-15 21:12:12

Am seeeeething on your behalf!!! They have jumped on the fact you are on medication and used it against you. I am outraged! I am on escitalopram and most of the time, it works, but with what you have on your plate im not surprised you are struggling. The school are losely aware that i am on medication as i make no secret of it. They also know we struggle financially as i am always late paying dinner money (sounds a very similar type of school to your DC's - naice, middle class, catholic school - I don't exactly fit in grin). Have been suicidal (school dont know this of course but my GP does) and no mention of social services.

IguanaTail Thu 26-Nov-15 21:13:27

Well you see most parents will say everything is fine and schools really aren't in the best position to judge.

Fidelia Thu 26-Nov-15 21:15:08

I don't understand why all this contact has been with your DH and not you? Surely SS would want to talk to you, to gauge how you're coping?

(I also don't understand why he decided to go into the school and tell them that you were emotionally fragile and on medication?)

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Thu 26-Nov-15 21:16:34

Did social services call yo without warning?
What was their actual concern? They must have had a specific issue they asked you about, they don't accept referrals for vague 'find out if she is a fit mother' referrals.
Try not to worry - it doesn't sound like there is anything for social services to be concerned with. The school however have behaved very badly - they should have discussed the referral with you before making it.

mincepied Thu 26-Nov-15 21:17:35

Thank you toddler, iguana, daran, hassled, mummy time and titchy star

I know, I must not forget to breathe.

Hearing of the suicide shocked me and upset me. I didn't know it had been a parent of a schoolchild sad

I take this very personal which you are all right is silly. But I feel so uncomfortable now. Like I've been back stabbed.

Why would they not have a fireside chat with me first? Deputy (male) is nice and young. I see him almost every day.

My youngest girl cried yesterday because she was excluded at play and today because she didn't want to wear her hood and it was dreadful weather.

I definitely feel judged.

goddessofsmallthings Thu 26-Nov-15 21:19:15

This school sounds as if it's a hotbed of gossip and if your dc are going to remain there I would suggest you be very circumspect about what you tell teachers/other parents in relation to your personal circumstances.

The HT should have limited her conversation with you to whether or when you intended to give notice that your dc would be leaving but it may be that, even without the tale of the another parent's premature death and the numbers of dc on the waiting list, you would have felt pressured to the point where you complained to your dh whose well-meaning intentions appears to have set off a chain reaction of chinese whispers that have led to the DT erroneously concluding that you may not be 'coping'.

I don't see that you have anything to worry about. Hundreds of thousands of other dps are on meds of one kind of another due to feeling the weight of caring for relative who are unwell while juggling the demands of dc of varying ages and I very much doubt you'll hear any more from SS.

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