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Should the family reunite?

(11 Posts)
HarHer Sat 07-Jan-17 08:16:26


I will keep this short. Basically, both my children (15 and 17) are on Child Protection Plans. My eldest was trying for a placement with Shared Lives (who provide opportunities for vulnerable young people and adults to live with carer/families) but this is not going to proceed because the organisation considers him too high risk (after reading forensic reports). My husband is trying to find single person's accommodation, but he seems unhappy and vulnerable. My youngest son has been crying every night because he feels the family is breaking up and he is worried about his brother and his dad (who both have additional needs). he wants the family to reunite and, secretly, I do too.

My question is this. Although there are risks connected to the family reuniting, if it can be proved that the risks can be managed, would Safeguarding teams (in social services) support us?

I wanted to test this question out here before I consider mentioning it (in a different format) at a Core group meeting.


Manumission Sat 07-Jan-17 08:19:46

That's going to be quite difficult for anyone to opine on without more information.

Can you sketch out the background a bit?

What's the history? What are the additional needs? What were the child protection concerns? Why has your eldest got forensic reports?

It all sounds quite tough ATM flowers

SallyInSweden Sat 07-Jan-17 08:20:11

How long have they been on CPP.
Are the reasons for that being managed

HarHer Sat 07-Jan-17 10:47:56


The children/young people are under CPPs with the categories of 'emotional abuse' for my youngest and 'emotional and sexual abuse' for my eldest. These are the second CPPs in just over a year. The 'emotional abuse' is difficult to pin down but it seems to be a combination of my husband's behaviour towards the boys (my husband has AS and mental health difficulties) and my youngest son's behaviour towards his brother (my youngest has mental health difficulties and has screened positively for ASC; my eldest has AS and mental health issues). The 'sexual abuse' involves behaviour between the boys which involved my youngest being interviewed under caution (and no further action advised). It is unclear exactly what went on, but my eldest reported sexual assaults from his brother.

The forensic assessment was undertaken because my eldest was arrested when he made threats to kill. He had also written disturbing plans of how he would kill and sexually assault people in his diary.

It all sounds horrendous, but within the context of disability, I believe all three individuals really need help and support rather than simple separation. My eldest has been under a delayed discharge from a CAMHS unit for four months because social services and health cannot find him anywhere to go.

We see each other every day and the boys get on well. My husband is unstable, but I work from home now, so I can undertake the burden of care.

The situation just seems to drag on and I am afraid for each family member. As a unit, with substantial support, I believe we can progress.

Manumission Sat 07-Jan-17 13:09:24

Oh gosh what a situation. Mine is a thoroughly aspie household so I can see how AS might lead to misapprehension.

My immediate instinct is that if you're going to propose anything like that, the safest way would be via your own solicitor, IF a suitable therapist of expert your own supports your hunch that it is safe and advisable.

But the SA allegation will be your stumbling block to get all four of you back under one roof. Is your younger DS actually withdrawing it?

I hope someone better places to give specific advice comes along. My overriding thought is that you need to get to the truth of the SA thing before you can decide further steps.

NotTheFordType Sat 07-Jan-17 16:09:47

Manu if I read right it's the younger brother who has allegedly assaulted the elder.

I agree with Manu that the way forward hinges on the SA allegation. Did your youngest admit it, or admit that he had done things which at the time he didn't think were harmful? If he hasn't, I don't think you can proceed with an attempted reunite.

I would also be very concerned about bringing both boys back into a situation where they were emotionally abused, especially if your husband has made no attempt to actually address and correct his behaviours.

Have the boys reported feeling happier and safer while they were in other homes?

Manumission Sat 07-Jan-17 16:15:52

Oh sorry, yes I switched them.

HarHer Sat 07-Jan-17 18:08:04


Thank you for your replies. My youngest lives with me. My eldest has been in a CAMHS unit since July and has been subject to a delayed discharge since August because nowhere suitable has been found for him. Unfortunately, after a rather volatile afternoon out, it seems like my hopes of a 'happy family' are more distant than ever.

My eldest son did not want to proceed further with the inquiries and my youngest denied everything. I am sure he does not even understand that what he did was wrong, although it is still unclear what went on.

My husband is very angry and unhappy and, typically, cannot see other people's points of view very well and this afternoon, I felt like I was a beating block for each member's particular grievance. Added to the mix, I have just had my mother in law on the phone telling me how terrible I am to suggest her son (my husband) returns to a situation where HE is abused.

So, I think I will try to steer the focus of the Core Group on to finding my eldest appropriate accommodation and activities, and I will encourage my youngest to attend his workshop and the two sessions he has at the PRU and try to help my husband choose somewhere to live that is close enough for me to pop in to make sure he is OK.

Christmasnoooooooooooo Sat 07-Jan-17 19:00:34

I have come out the other side from not some bad situation. And the famliy is completely gone . But after about of space growing up . The children all now grown can chose when they see their dad or me . I don't see my ex at all . But the kids and I spend my birthday and christmas day together and it was lovely. One of them has a partner which has helped.
Give the space let grow and get them as much help as you can get.

HarHer Sat 07-Jan-17 20:39:23

Thank you,

I think my reactions simply reflect the stage that I am at with respect to the situation. I know at the bottom of me that we will not live together again, but every now and then, the false hope rises. I feel very sorry for my youngest who still has this dream that we can function as a 'typical' family unit. Yet he has difficulties and very concrete thinking. It is hard for me to accept a different concept of 'family', so it must be almost impossible for him to do so.

The 'help' is so difficult to find. My husband has a mental health worker who he sees once a week. My eldest needs a lot of support and both boys need to rebuild their lives in terms of education, training and employment, friends and social activities.

Christmas[...] I think you are right. I need to ensure the boys have the positive support and environments they need to develop and grow and accept that this will not happen if we all live together. The two brothers can get on well for short periods, but my youngest has little empathy and a pervasive need to control and my eldest's anxiety escalates to the point of delusion. Add to that, my husband's inability to regulate his behaviour and I am sure any reunification would lead to incidents that could result in care or criminal proceedings.

It is a horrible realisation, but I will cherish the hope that once the boys are older and more settled, they will begin to flourish. Both boys are highly intelligent and, with the right sort of support, they could excel in their areas of interest.

Christmasnoooooooooooo Sat 07-Jan-17 22:18:19

Good luck har her cos you going need . Please take care yourself as all this will have harm you too. Get help for yourself please . It really tough.

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