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I am a child protection social worker - AMA

148 replies

KeepingUpWithTheKs · 08/08/2022 12:20

I feel as though there are a lot of false information in the press and in general knowledge about child protection social workers so, ask me anything!

OP posts:
Mammyloveswine · 08/08/2022 14:11

You mention teachers... ime teachers report and report yet nothing happens..I know of children who we repeatedly contacted ss about and the only time action was taken was when the youngest (age 2!) fell from an open window and fractured his skull!! The life changing injuries should've been prevented!

I get how busy you are but the most experienced member of your team only being ten years into their career is a shocking statistic!! I really feel for you op and your colleagues!

KeepingUpWithTheKs · 08/08/2022 14:13

xxcatcatcatxx · 08/08/2022 13:20

Why are so many children falling through the cracks? It seems like there’s a new story everyday on DM about another baby who’s been killed by their parents

This will probably go against most people on here but when you consider how many cases are with social services at any given time, in comparison there are not so many children falling through the cracks.

Does it happen? Yes. Should it happen? No. There are a mix of reasons which the media often fail to report on and always shove the blame on social workers shoulders. However, social workers are not the only ones to see the child and they should not hold all the responsiblity. Alongside this, we do not make the decision to remove a child, the court does.

I have seen dozens of cases that are refused to be taken to court, even when the social worker is desperate because the thresholds are too high and the legal team refuse. Equally cases which do go to court but the children are left at home.

It is not just the social workers.

OP posts:
KeepingUpWithTheKs · 08/08/2022 14:15

dustandroses · 08/08/2022 13:24

Why do you think families are continuously bumped back to early help?

Why do families who would have previously met the threshold no longer meet it?

Why is the threshold so high for social work involvement?

Are social workers now effectively crisis response as opposed to prevention?

The threshold for social work involvement is too high in my opinion.

What was once seen as current risk is then seen as previous risk and therefore not as relevant.

I do not know why the threshold is so high, my personal opinion would be because of budgets

In my opinion, yes.

OP posts:
KeepingUpWithTheKs · 08/08/2022 14:16

itwasntmetho · 08/08/2022 13:59

How many malicious reports do you get?
We always see on here about children being left alone in terms of the normal building independence in middle childhood, then without fail there will be a poster saying the parent should be reported. How many complaints are just about differing parenting styles?

I would say around 30% of reports are deemed malicious.

OP posts:
KeepingUpWithTheKs · 08/08/2022 14:18

TooHotToTangoToo · 08/08/2022 13:55

Do you see many adoption breakdowns

Personally no just because it's not my team however I know it is a lot more common than people would believe.

OP posts:
KeepingUpWithTheKs · 08/08/2022 14:19

RichardOsmansXraySpecs · 08/08/2022 14:04

Why do so many social workers go to known abusive homes where the DC are at risk and not INSIST on seeing the DC?

(How many times have we heard about the parents making excuses to the SW to not see the DC and the SW just left?! Logan Mwangi being one of them 😡)

This I cannot answer because it makes no sense to me. There is not a chance in hell I would not see a child on a visit, they are the person I am working to protect. However, I can understand how it happens, parents saying the child isn't there etc.

OP posts:
bloodywhitecat · 08/08/2022 14:20

How do you view foster carers and why do you think numbers of foster carers are falling?

KeepingUpWithTheKs · 08/08/2022 14:21

I will be back to answer anymore later on this afternoon, I'm not dissapearing!

OP posts:
puddingandsun · 08/08/2022 14:27

Hi,

I was wondering how are you treated by the families - have you ever felt not safe, have you been threatened, etc?

Thanks for the thread.

somanybooks · 08/08/2022 14:31

I'm interested in how home education is seen by social workers. Is it something that crops up regularly? Do you see many substantiated cases involving home educators? Is there an element of malicious referral around home education? Should home education be regarded as a safeguarding risk, as some people seem to believe?

Triffid1 · 08/08/2022 14:41

KeepingUpWithTheKs · 08/08/2022 14:09

So, firstly there is a difference between public and private law. In cases of reports of abuse etc it will go to a local authority social worker whereas in child custody cases it will go to a different team altogether so I can't comment on that.

We get cases that go through the initial screening process which happens with the assessment team and are decided that they reach the threshold for child in need or child protection.

Thank you. But can you clarify? Or perhaps, a better way to put it would be:

If I have a concern for a child, under what conditions are those concerns likely to be taken seriously? eg, if one or both of the parents are screaming and yelling at each other constantly is that something that would be considered a problem (on MN, I've seen people insist this is abuse and SS should be called). What about if the parents are under extreme stress and as a result are yelling at the DC or using language that is arguably inappropriate?

I mean, obviously, you see clear neglect or abuse that results in clear physical harm and it's obvious, but it's less clear to me where the threshold is otherwise.

Bottlesandjars · 08/08/2022 14:45

Fabricated or Induced illness (FII)

What is your opinion on the huge increase of parents being accused of this ? It seems to be most prevalent among parents of children with SEN, ASD, EDS, ME, allergies, feeding /digestive issues, PoTs amongst others. Also often when one or both parent has ASD. There seems to be a huge connection to parents complaining about lack of care or services being available or asking for help/EHCP and then they find that a paediatrician or school has reported them.

Have you seen the guidance the independent social worker Cathie Long has produced on this subject ? I’m interested to know if it’s actually filtering through yet so that these families can be spared the hell they go through with an allegation of FII

jammiewhammie65 · 08/08/2022 14:53

What should a person do who suspects a child is being neglected. Their hair is matted fingernails dirty clothes dirty skin is red and angry. Child is autistic and non verbal so can not tel anybody. Child cries when it is time to go home from care setting. Has been reported several times to the care setting manager but nothing ever seems to change for this child. Is there an anonymous route to report this ? Thank you

Strulch · 08/08/2022 14:55

How do you stop children that have been adopted from contacting birth family when they become old enough to have access to social media and from stopping their birth family from finding and contacting them?

Bottlesandjars · 08/08/2022 14:57

jammiewhammie65 · 08/08/2022 14:53

What should a person do who suspects a child is being neglected. Their hair is matted fingernails dirty clothes dirty skin is red and angry. Child is autistic and non verbal so can not tel anybody. Child cries when it is time to go home from care setting. Has been reported several times to the care setting manager but nothing ever seems to change for this child. Is there an anonymous route to report this ? Thank you

I know this isn’t my thread but I had to comment. This sounds like a family that may need extra support. Children with ASD very often hate the sensory experience of hair care, teeth brushing and washing.
my own child would cry at home time each day - nothing was wrong at home he was simply overwhelmed. Don’t assume neglect - have it in mind but keep an open mind as this sounds more like extra support is needed for issues relating to ASD

Rahrahrahrahannoyed · 08/08/2022 15:01

No real comments other than I wish someone had been there when I needed help as a child. My parents covered it well although I have since learned that the school were concerned. I grew up financially privileged and given plenty of toys, clothes and extra curricular activities.
It was also 30 years ago.

I6344 · 08/08/2022 15:02

Why is what my DSDs mum does classed as "good enough" by social services when she is actually being abused? 😢

steppemum · 08/08/2022 15:10

if you have children removed because of emergency situation (eg children found wandering in the street) what is the procedure then?

is it possible for the family to 'earn back' their kids? What would they have to prove?

I ask because I work with a charity with families who are in need of support but not bad enough for SS involvement. There are often stories of other families/friends and their involvement with SS. I can never work out if there is a timeline of training and improvement demanded of parents and a second chance, or if once the children are put in foster care that is it. I can't work our what the hoops are that the family are being asked to jump through, and the reports I hear are not always from objective reporters!

larkstar · 08/08/2022 15:18

I have wondered about a friend of mine, who retired from a senior position in children's social services after many years, who was recognised with a national award - obviously he was unable for professional reasons to say very much at all about his work - in fact - he rarely did - other than to say that there are some terrible things going on in the world. Since he retired I and a couple of other friends have had to put some distance between him and ourselves - he's become quite outspoken on issues relating to his charity work - which is all very laudable - but he is apt to over react to the tiniest things said when discussing anything remotely related to his charity work - in short - he's become a bit unhinged. I wonder if the mild mannered man who loved to laugh loudly, the guy I genuinely liked - is now paying the price and suffering from the after effects of his work - have you heard of anything similar? He's made a number of long standing friends very wary of him - I have opted to have no further contact with him - he was so unreasonable about a multi-faceted, nuanced discussion we were having - I had been involved with some charity work for 30 years - I never mentioned it to anyone - my former friend talked about his work too much - well - ranted rather than talked - I know from my work how difficult it is for charities to get local people involved with implementing projects to actually account for money spent and that it's not unusual for charities to have to withdraw from projects when they are not satisfied with the way things are going - I thought we had things to discuss - I was shocked by his rather unhinged over-reaction to a discussion about both the realities and complex ethical issues of charity work - I do wonder if he needs help to adjust to retirement and perhaps to deal with the effects his job has had on him. Unfortunately I just can't talk to him ATM.

CharlieD2020 · 08/08/2022 15:19

What is your take on putting photos of children on social media?

Is there a real danger from revealing the faces of your children online?

I often wonder this as minimise the number of photos of my LO online but family members share photos of her sometimes. This makes me feel uncomfortable because my LO doesn't have any say on what is posted about her and I don't know who my family members have on their social media friends lists.

RelentlessForwardProgress · 08/08/2022 15:24

Would you recommend your work to someone thinking of retraining in this area?

And what sort of voluntary work would be most useful in weighing up whether I would be suited to the future job?

Iamdonewiththis · 08/08/2022 15:33

Why do some children move from foster carer to foster carer. One bloke on TV last week said he went through nearly a 100 different foster homes.

kindereggxo · 08/08/2022 15:35

hi! thanks for this thread! i’ll be at my final year of uni this year and plan to go onto a graduate social worker course. Was your training difficult? Was you thrown in the deep end? Any tips or advice you would give? thank you Flowers

hatgirl · 08/08/2022 16:16

kindereggxo · 08/08/2022 15:35

hi! thanks for this thread! i’ll be at my final year of uni this year and plan to go onto a graduate social worker course. Was your training difficult? Was you thrown in the deep end? Any tips or advice you would give? thank you Flowers

I'm not the OP but do you mean the two year PG Dip/ masters or one of the fast track schemes?

The fast track schemes are extremely competitive and from what I have seen favour career changers over people straight from undergraduate courses.

kindereggxo · 08/08/2022 18:10

hatgirl · 08/08/2022 16:16

I'm not the OP but do you mean the two year PG Dip/ masters or one of the fast track schemes?

The fast track schemes are extremely competitive and from what I have seen favour career changers over people straight from undergraduate courses.

it’s frontline social work! it says on the website and both from my careers appointment they take on people with undergraduate courses with a minimum of 2:1 only (or so i believe)

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