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social services aaaaaahhhh

(7 Posts)
jennybensmummy Mon 08-Jun-09 16:19:37

i self referred asking (well in tears begging) them to help us with respite back in october, they came in february to fill out a form - the woman who came was late and only here for 10 mins (mencap referral not core assessment). we finally heard now that the mencap people will offer some befriending but were on a waiting list and they wont do anything til at least september but could be well after, in the meantime they insist on a CAF being done which at the multiagency meeting everyone decided was not necessary for numerous reasons. I am at breaking point and we need help now over the summer as there is no way we can afford anything and there is nothing running playschemes etc in this area for free or that they will fund, social services wont turn up to the multiagency meetings and really dont care, they just say that its nothing to do with them, so my ecap worker (like portage) said if i wanted to ask myself for a core assessment (shes asked but they refused) then it couldnt do any harm! so what i need to know is cvould it do any harm?? and what do i do, i have the name of someone to write it to in social services who has heard of us (the person who told the ecap worker she wouldnt do a thing) and i have a vague idea of what to write but can anyone guide me so i dont miss anything important?

jennybensmummy Mon 08-Jun-09 21:12:38


feelingbetter Mon 08-Jun-09 21:28:49

God that sounds like shite service!
Wish I could help but have no experience to share, so I'll give you a bump instead, and hope someone more useful comes along.

daisy5678 Mon 08-Jun-09 21:47:48

Firstly, I think you do need a CAF. The idea is that the CAF is the pathway to multi-agency services, including SS and respite.

For anything written (whether requesting a CAF or respite or a core assessment), just focus on the need for services for A) Ben and B) you and why. Give lots of real examples of what is happening without those services.

(Disclaimer: I'm having a real battle to get my respite upped, so probably not the best person to be advising! wink)

donkeyderby Mon 08-Jun-09 22:32:29

Sorry, I don't really know about the CAF as I don't think it was invented when DS was younger.

Some years ago, feeling in a similarly desperate state as you do now, I wrote a letter to the local paper about not being able to get respite despite waiting for over a year. I got the 'Star Letter' slot and within a month, we had respite.

Shame the fuckers, it is the only thing they respond to.

jemmm Tue 09-Jun-09 11:11:46

Hi Jenny,

My wife works in social services, and I've had a word and she's going to have a look at your post later - it all sounds a bit shoddy to say the least - and there should be certain standards their working towards - we were promised and received an initial assessment in 7 days.

As for the multi-disciplinary meetings - didn't the Govt. and "Every Child Matters", insist on agencies providing services that were "more joined up"?

Can you give a few more details - what's Ben's dx and whereabouts are you?

I'm sorry I can't be of more help - but I'm sure my wife will be - it's awful feeling desperate - I promise she'll be along soon - at least by the end of the day.


jemmm Tue 09-Jun-09 20:25:39

Hi Jenny,

I am Jemmm's wife. Good to meet you (albeit online!).

Firstly, everyone with a 'child in need' (as set out in the Children Act '89 - and it can be useful to quote these things) has a right to a full children's social care assessment. (i.e. as you say, core assessement). Further, under the Carers & Disabled Children Act (2000)you have a right to request an assesment of your needs (as distinct from those of your son, (for example, respite, support etc.)This is really important but lots of social services authorities are not very good at it - and many forget to tell you about things - we've experienced this too.

If this is not happening, as you suggest, I think you should make a complaint. This tends to get things moving (I spent 15 years as an inner London complaints manager for a social services department). If you make a complaint, put it in writing to the 'children's social care complaints manager' (it's a statutory role) with a cc to to the director of children's social care (or equivilent), the lead elected member for children's social care in your authority area and your local MP. If I were you I would also give a covering note to your MP asking him / her to help your cause and monitor / intervene in your situation. If you need some help finding out who all these people are, let me know - I will happliy let you know. and I'll also help with the drafting of the complaint if that's in any way helpful.

I know it can feel very uncomfortable making a complaint, but it does often move things along and also show that you are serious. Certainly, my experience is that lots of people with children with a disabilty need to make complaints to move the system. The complaints process is also statutory, set out in the Children Act (1989)and provides parents with a three stage process, whereby you can ask for an independent investigation if you are unhappy with the first response, and if that doesn't work, a Review Panel like an informal court room experience with independent people reviewing the situation and making recommendations.

I do hope this in some way helpful. I do know how hard this is - we are at a similar stage. Let me know if you need some help negotiating the system,

Best wishes,


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