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Son sent back to context of abuse(5 Posts)
I have posted (too) many times before, so I will not repeat the entire context. However, my 17.8 year old son has been on delayed discharge from a CAMHS unit for five months. After a few incidents of challenging behaviour he was discharged on Monday. The Consultant at the CAMHS unit asked Children's Social Care to provide emergency accommodation for my son because he cannot return home due to Child Protection issues.
In fact reports from assessments by Forensic Psychology, the CAMHS unit, Children's Social Care (including details on both my sons' Child Protection Plans) and the police state that my son should not return home due to the risk of serious harm (emotional and sexual (sibling) abuse).
Yet, on Monday he was discharged. Social services told us there were no emergency placements available in the whole county and he returned home.
We have been given a package of support from outreach workers who take my son out so he spends as little time as possible with his brother and I supervise them constantly at home.
However, I know how quickly the situation can escalate and how I can find it impossible to manage (at 15 and 17 both boys are physically much stronger than me). I have been told to phone the police if I have any concerns.
Yet, the Child Protection Plans and the delayed discharge and months of work trying to find provision were designed to prevent this situation occurring. My son has been placed directly back into the context of 'abuse' with the perpetrator of the abuse (unfortunately my younger son), safeguarded by an adult who is assessed as being unable to manage their behaviour (and when it escalates, I cannot manage it!).
I am very angry, but I need to know how I can keep both boys safe in this context (my youngest is not a villain, but because I was unaware how the incidents occurred before, I have no guarantee that I can keep my eldest safe except by being in the boys' presence 24/7). My eldest sleeps downstairs on the sofa because both bedrooms are upstairs and in too close proximity for me to be aware of movements at night.
Social workers have encouraged me to make a complaint, which I have, and my son and his advocate have also submitted a complaint. Yet, the tension in the household is injurious to all members' mental health.
I suppose this is just another rant, but ranting helps me to get some of the bitterness out of my system.
Why has your younger son not been removed from the home if he is the perpetrator of the abuse? This situation sounds beyond awful & you have my deepest sympathy. It seems the boys cannot live together but I don't understand why your younger son is at home if he continues to abuse his sibling?
The situation is bizarre. Following my eldest son's arrest and Section in July, there was a police inquiry with respect to the behaviour. Due to both the boys' additional needs, the difficulties of evidence and the fact that my eldest son did not wish to press charges and that my youngest denied everything the case was closed and passed over to Social Services who were working with my youngest on a programme designed to assess his awareness of boundaries and abuse (one of the SWs specialised in cases of sibling abuse). Staff at the CAMHS unit were working with my eldest to help him safeguard himself against exploitation. Both the boys are on the autism spectrum (one diagnosed the other awaiting formal diagnosis).
Fostering has been discussed from time to time for each child over the last year, but each boy is extremely hard to place due to their ages and the behavioural issues (complicated now, for my eldest, by a quite detailed report from Forensic Psychology).
My eldest will be 18 in a few months and the most compassionate solution seemed to be to help him transition into supported living (which is what he would prefer) and for work to continue with my youngest with respect to helping him integrate back into education and social activities (he is making some clear steps towards this). Fostering for my youngest, at this time, would seriously impede the progress he has made with respect to attending a PRU and workshop and relating to others.
The boys can get on well together for short supervised periods and they can progress if they have, for the medium term future, separate lives, each with a robust package of support.
However, placing the boys together, puts each individual at risk. The risks include : the risk of abuse occurring because it occurred in exactly this context: the two boys living with me, and I am unclear how it happened, only that I was somewhere else in the house when it occurred. Therefore, my only safeguarding strategy is to ensure the boys are never alone together. Added to that, the fact that my youngest son's environment and routine is altered (and he needs a very structured environment) and my eldest does not want to be here, and is capable of inducing change through challenging behaviour, creates additional risk factors.
I apologise for the amount of detail, but I am trying to make sense of the situation myself. The question that keeps arising for me is why, after so may recommendations that the boys should not be placed together under my care, and after so many damning reports from social services, through which I have stated the difficulties that I have in safeguarding my sons, has this situation occurred. Added to that, how do I move things forward? I dread to think what would happen if another crisis arose, but there is a danger also that if somehow the situation is contained for the few months until my eldest is 18, social care will cease looking for appropriate supported accommodation for him and he will be left in this very unsatisfactory arrangement.
You have my utmost sympathy. Unfortunately I was in a similar position- my son was in forensic and sectioned for two years. I had huge reservations about him coming home and I felt bullied into just excepting it. It did work out ok but the support was sadly lacking. I refuse to believe their was no accommodation for your son.... you must push for supported accommodation even if you have to kick up the biggest stink.
Our child mental health services are appalling. I teach children desperately in need of help from cahms and they have been waiting months.
Sending hugs. If I can help message me.