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Social services report blames me - how to respond?

(78 Posts)
smugtandemfeeder Wed 13-Jul-11 11:55:42

Draft core assessment report has just arrived from the social worker. Throughout the report it blames all my DSs problems on me being anxious and over protective. It says that by persisting in labeling my DS as disabled and chasing a label for him I am hurting his self esteem and confidence in social situations.

How should I respond - if at all.

The report concludes that DS is not a child in need. I requested social services do an assessment. I dont really want a permenant report which says that I am the cause of all my DSs problems.

coff33pot Wed 13-Jul-11 12:10:15

I feel for you as that is not a nice report to read. I dont know your personal circumstances but I dont think Social Services are medicaly trained to decide if there is a problem with your DS or not. They state opinions rather than medical facts iyswim. If they state your DS is not a child in need then to me I would assume that you are not causing his problems.

What do you think your DS issues are? A medical proffessional wont just "label" for the hell of it I am sure without valid reasons. Have you seen any?

I dont know how you could respond or wether you appeal to such reports or ask for a second opinion. If it were me and I was doubly convinced my DS had genuine problems that are being ignored I would treat that with the contempt it deserves and go down the CAHMS or peads route. I am sure someone with more advice would come along in a sec smile

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Wed 13-Jul-11 12:14:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

smugtandemfeeder Wed 13-Jul-11 12:25:42

Yes, we are prediagnosis and not coping very well so I tried to request direct payments and an OT. I was told we needed to have an assessment from the social worker which then turned into a core assessment.

DS is 3 and is waiting for assessment for ASD but can hide it well so its difficult to demonstrate to others who dont spend the day with us.

Report states that it is unfortunate that we are not patient enough to wait for the assessment. CAHMS who saw us for a year and a half apparently "did not want to comment" for the report. Not that it would have helped because they blamed us too and sent us on parenting courses etc.

Should I just let them go ahead with the report then? Its so frustrating. I guess the best I can hope for now is that they will just leave us alone.

bochead Wed 13-Jul-11 12:35:14

A few years down the line you can use this as clear evidence that your child has been denied appropriate support. Think of it as a post diagnosis stick to beat them with when your kid is a little older, bigger and harder for his school to manage - all is NOT lost!

Once you have a diagnosis then you'll be in a position to say - "LOOK i RAISED CONCERN & you people ignored those concerns". It's your job as a parent to raise concerns if you have any - it's the professionals job to help you to then help the child based on those concerns. You've ticked all the boxes by attending the patronising parenting courses etc and asking for help. Please don't take it personally or fret about it.

It's horrible but lots of us have gone thru similar recently. There seems to be a change of attitude from professionals at the moment from supporting to parents to blaming us for everything up to and including the weather, much less our children's disablities. You are not alone by a long shot. I'm wondering if it's more to do with the current media climate towards disability and the coming cuts to services than any massive deterioation in general parenting over the next 5 years.

r3dh3d Wed 13-Jul-11 12:38:55

Am I right in thinking that you don't have a formal diagnosis yet? And you are expecting to get one, but at the moment the jury is out on what the diagnosis will be?

In that case, it's not as bad as it looks because whatever goes on file can and will be superseded by better evidence when you get a diagnosis, when there's stuff on file from preschool and school backing up what you are saying, etc etc. I'm sure it's very common to have duff initial assessments in your Social Care file and I'm sure it's equally common for the entire department to quietly ignore them once it's clear they are wrong.

But I'd respond, yes. How I'd respond would depend on why they are blaming you. Do they have evidence/opinion from elsewhere which would make them think this? Or is it entirely conjecture? If it's just a guess on their part I'd point this out and ask them to retract or reword so that it's clear it's just a possibility and they have no evidence to back this opinion. If it's based on something eg CAMHS have said I'd try to get on record some plan for disproving it. You need them to agree that if it's your fault he does x, then if you change what you do then behaviour x will go away. Then you need to change your behaviour, show he is still doing x and then get that to them in writing. It's usual for them to signpost to other services even if you don't meet the criteria for need - so what are they suggesting would help him/you? Are they saying you should do a parenting course? If so - well yes, it's obviously an annoying waste of time, but otoh you might be able to come out of it with a piece of paper from the person running the course saying that your parenting is perfect and your child's problems are not your fault. So not entirely time wasted when you look at it that way.

Don't know if any of that helps - it sounds v frustrating. A LOT of the problem is that Social Workers all learn about something called "labelling theory" at college which basically says if you give someone a "label" (eg criminal, insane, disabled) they live down to it. So as far as they are concerned, treating a child as disabled while the jury is out is a self-fulfilling prophecy. It's a very blinkered/one-sided view because of course if the child IS disabled they are accessing no support meanwhile. But I think it helps to understand where they are coming from to cope with the system.

yearningforthesun Wed 13-Jul-11 12:51:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

smugtandemfeeder Wed 13-Jul-11 13:01:13

The report recommends that we are patient and wait for assessment and in the mean time treat DS as though he is a normal child. (I thought early intervention was key hmm ) It further recommends that I continue to get therapy for depression and seek further help with managing my anxiety. Finally it suggests we enroll DS in preschool again as this will be beneficial to his confidence.

Social worker has evidence from crap preschool DS attended 4 times. He only stayed once on his own during which the SENco said DS didnt move off her lap and was asking for us so they called us in after 45 minutes to collect him. Preschool has since changed its story and has told SW that DS loved every minute and stayed for two hours and was very sociable blah blah blah - NOT what they told us when they called us back early.

I have since started DS at a new fancy preschool which he has so far loved and is thriving in with 1:1 from the SENco there. Early days but again shows I made the right decision not to send him to crap preschool. SW seems to think its all just me being a bit soft and anxious and that I should just send DS to any old preschool - regardless of how crap it is.

Final comments in the report state that the risk identified is that "smug's perception of littlesmug and the fact that she referred to him as "being like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde""

Concerns: "It is concerning that little smug is being prevented from having the opportunity to interact with his peer group by attending preschool"

I told her that we go to lots of friends houses and special needs play groups where DS can interact with other children his age. But this is apparently still a concern.

Also apparently the preschools word is taken over and above mine.

Sorry for rambling weak smile

smugtandemfeeder Wed 13-Jul-11 13:03:33

We dont have a formal diagnosis. We have a private working diagnosis of childhood anxiety. I guess this is why she is blaming me. The private psych however does not blame me being anxious on DSs anxiety - he blames attachment parenting - another load of crap but different crap.

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Wed 13-Jul-11 13:08:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

smugtandemfeeder Wed 13-Jul-11 13:13:50

We think DS has pathological demand avoidance. The NHS diagnosis for this is often A-typical autism and PDA. DS can currently hide most of his behaviour in certain circumstances but then explodes. Eg on recent church camping trip he was a very happy observer for the first day - seemed really happy, not doing anything he does at home. Second day he woke up screaming and screamed for the whole day. No one at church had seen it much before and they were quite shocked. Im just hoping that if he attends assessment centre for 6 weeks that he wont be able to hold it in for this long!!! <<worst nightmare emoticon>>

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Wed 13-Jul-11 13:18:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Wed 13-Jul-11 13:19:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

smugtandemfeeder Wed 13-Jul-11 13:24:09

We were due for assessment in September (saw paed in February) but they delayed it until December. DH was in rehab for addiction problems and I am now depressed. We have no family support and struggling financially. Someone at the special needs place suggested we could get direct payments but it has just added additional pressure and blame onto us at a time when we need support.

However- after having applied for a statement and complained to the chief exec of the nhs trust about the time taken for assessment they seem to have bought DSs asessment back to September. If this is true then this isnt too far away now and will help.

I realised as soon as the SW arrived that I was not going to get her help but now it has turned into a core assessment (due to DHs rehab stint) it just feels like another opportunity for them to get at me.

SW hasnt even documented that DS ran out into the road out the front door in front of her - DH had to chase him down the road!!

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Wed 13-Jul-11 13:27:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

smugtandemfeeder Wed 13-Jul-11 13:28:27

At the time we applied for direct payments I wanted someone to come into our home to help me play with DS as he does not play. He just plays with toy cars, ride on toys all whilst hitting his sister and me and having melt downs.

My only option has been to send him to preschool - this doesnt help me have a nice time at home with DS. Will look at home start - havent looked at it before.

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Wed 13-Jul-11 13:39:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Claw3 Wed 13-Jul-11 13:54:59

Always challenge a report that you dont agree with.

For example "It says that by persisting in labeling my DS as disabled and chasing a label for him I am hurting his self esteem and confidence in social situations"

You could point out that a Paed referred your ds for ASD assessment, not you.

Claw3 Wed 13-Jul-11 14:18:39

Also crap pre-school that your ds attend write exactly what you have written, that he never wanted to stay there etc and you removed him because of this.

List all the things from the report that you dont agree with and respond with why you dont agree.

If you do not challenge this report, you are agreeing with what has been written.

smugtandemfeeder Wed 13-Jul-11 14:20:43

Ok, i'll write a letter. Why did I do this to myself!!! Argh! All self inflicted pain.

Claw3 Wed 13-Jul-11 14:26:37

They will probably respond with a load of nonsense or not respond at all, but at least you will have proof that you didnt agree with everything written in the report, just in case it comes back to bite you in the bum in future.

smugtandemfeeder Wed 13-Jul-11 14:26:57

At the recommendation of autism outreach - I sent video evidence to social services 3 weeks ago by email. I copied in the ed psych, portage, Area SENco etc. Not one single reply so far. Except to say that it has been forwarded to the portage persons boss. No mention of it in SWs report.

I no longer want help from them. I just want them to go away now. But I do feel that I need to argue with their report as its a load of old codswallop.

Claw3 Wed 13-Jul-11 14:36:18

Data Protection Act 1998 states the data provider (ie SS) should correct, block, remove or destroy personal details that are inaccurate or contain expressions or opinions based on inaccurate information.

If you can PROVE that the information is inaccurate or contains expressions or opinions based on inaccurate information, you can request that the information be removed from the report.

Good luck.

Lougle Wed 13-Jul-11 14:38:44

smug, I have been where you are. DD1 was first assessed for SS support when she was 3. She was sprinkling sand in her baby sister's eyes (baby of 9 weeks old) and the report reads that she was a 'happy child who enjoys adult attention'. We were refused help.

Now, she is 5.7, and goes to Special School. We applied again for help, and this time we have made it to the Children with Disabilities team, and are part way through Core Assessment.

Try to co-operate, even if you don't agree, unless the recommendation will actually be harmful.

If he attends a playschool regularly, his behaviours may well manifest themselves, which will support you.

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Wed 13-Jul-11 14:55:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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