BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour are discussing depression tomorrow morning, in the light of an Ofsted report which says that children whose parents have mental health difficulties are poorly supported and protected, and they've asked us to ask you what you think.
In the light of the reports, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission are proposing there should be a legal requirement for doctors and specialists working with parents with mental health issues to pass that information on to Social Services and other agencies. What do you think?
Would this improve joint working between children's social care and adult mental health services, and lessen risks for children?
Or would such a requirement mean that fewer mothers would be willing to talk about their mental health issues, including post-natal depression, with their doctors?
If a single mother needs hospitalisation then there may well be no choice for social services to be involved. If a single mother had cancer then her children might have to be taken into care while she had high dose chemo.
While ss are visiting me, they are not visiting someone who's children are at risk.
Have you been told that it is because they believe that your children are at risk? Could it be that they have referred your family for support services?
Sometimes SWs can appear to be looking for abuse when they have actually been tasked with finding support for a family. Don't make any assumptions. Ask direct questions and expect honest and clear answers.
Try to find some reassurance in the fact that SS work very hard to keep children with their parents, even when what's happening at home appears to be really dire. You certainly don't sound like you're likely to lose yours.
Also try to see the SW as a key to support for your children. Explore carefully what might be available for them and expect the SW to do whatever he/she can to help them access that support.