Replace a social worker

Melly17165
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:34 am

Replace a social worker

Postby Melly17165 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:46 pm

Hi all
I am new to this forum but would like to ask if it is possible to request a different social worker ? I am a grandmother to 4 children 2 of which are involved with children's services my youngest daughters children. The eldest child is living with her father at present and my young grandson is in voluntary care right now. Social services took the case straight to court and pressured my daughter to give up her children straight away ( my 5yr old granddaughter made allegations in school they both had to attend hospital to be examined , the consultant said they had no concerns about the bruising on my grandson typical places a toddler gets bruises, my granddaughter is a tomboy and had bruises she still gets quite a few the consultant said they could not state if 2 bruises were none accidents ) the social worker told my daughter the kids could not live with her they stated they would get a court order the next day if she did not let the children move in with relatives straight away. At the first meeting they had already decided to go to court my daughters solicitor was very surprised.
My daughter has been dealing with social services and has done everything they have asked for , but her social worker obviously does not like her and is totally unreliable. She is very rarely supposedly available or even in work to take calls ( the receptionist always says I'm not sure she's in today etc one of my other daughters even caught them out when she was calling to return a call the sw made only 10mins earlier to be told by the receptionist that the sw might not be working today) . Whilst my grandson was living with his aunt for 9 weeks the sw only turned up once to see him and the only other visit was done by a unknown sw - we were told they should visit every 10 days. My daughter and his aunt also asked for some help with a nursery placement for my grandson as him and her daughter ( during the summer holidays) were clashing quite a lot she was asked by 1 sw that if they helped would she keep him for the whole 26 week court process she confirmed she would yet 3 weeks later still no word regarding nursery placement despite numerous unreturned calls to the sw . Eventually my daughter then gave up my grandson my youngest daughter had to sign a section 20 agreement to him going to a carer, This is just a sample of the behaviour of the social worker assigned to my daughter , even my granddaughters father has had issues with her.
Therefore we were just wondering if it is possible to be assigned another social worker ? Her solicitor said she best not do so prior to the first court hearing but is now saying it's quite late now .... we are one month into the 26 week court process .

Desperate
Grandmother

User avatar
Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 457
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: Replace a social worker

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:53 am

Dear melly17165,

Welcome to the Friends and family carers forum. I am sorry to hear about children services involvement with your grandchildren and that there are now care proceedings. I can see how frustrating it must be, when the social worker is not doing what she had agreed to do and is not returning calls. It would feel that she is not taking mums concerns seriously.

Change of social worker
You ask whether it is possible to request a change of social worker.
Although you daughter could request this, it would only be granted if the social worker’s manager believed it was in the best interests of the children. So she would need to set out why this is.

Such a request though, is not granted very often, and is less likely to happen, now there are court proceedings.
Children services are likely to want the same social worker to stay on the case throughout the proceedings. This is because it takes time for a new social worker to read through the case notes, get to know your grandchildren, so she can be addressing their needs as well as managing the court case under the strict 26 week timetable.
Also, it would mean having both social workers available to give evidence-which is costly for the local authority.
So if possible, they would prefer to keep the same social worker.

I suggest your daughter keep a diary of her dealings with the social worker and other professionals and pass information on to her solicitor. Her solicitor may then take up these issues with the local authority legal department and could advise further, whether there is evidence to ask for a change of social worker.

Here are useful tips about working with social workers.

Care proceedings
The medical evidence suggests there are possible non accidental injuries. This indicates that the children may have suffered
significant harm and be at risk of suffering further harm. Because of this, children services have taken care proceedings.
The court will be deciding two things. Whether the children have been harmed and are at risk of future harm. (called the threshold criteria). Second, where the children will live long term.

In priority they look at these options:
• Is it safe to return them to mum or dad?
• If not, what about any “connected” people-such as relatives and friends? Is there anyone who can safely parent the children until they are 18?
• Only if there is no one assessed as suitable in the family, then long term foster care, or, as a last resort, adoption is considered (usually for children aged 5 or under).

Because the care proceedings will be over very quickly, it is important that any suitable family and friends give their names to children’s services, so they can be assessed as carers, in case a child cannot return to parents. Family group conferences can be good ways of finding people to care for children as well as finding possible support for mum to care for her children, if this is assessed as being safe.

Here are FAQ’s about care proceedings .

I have given you a lot of information, which I hope it is not too confusing. But if you have any questions, please post back or contact our advice line on 0808 801 0366.
Best wishes,

Suzie

Melly17165
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:34 am

Re: Replace a social worker

Postby Melly17165 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:56 pm

Hi Suzie
I think I may have worded something wrong , regarding the hospital consultant she could not state that the two bruises were definitely none accidents , I understood this to mean she could not say they were deliberately done by someone. Am I wrong ?

Regards
Melly17165

User avatar
Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 457
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: Replace a social worker

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:46 am

Dear Melly17165

Thanks for your further post.

I can see that there is some confusion about what is meant by what the consultant said when your granddaughter had a child protection medical.

My understanding is that what was meant is that there is a lack of certainty about the cause of the bruising to your granddaughter. So the doctor could not determine exactly how the bruises were caused (accidentally or non-accidentally) and so they are being treated as possible non-accidental injuries which is why the court process has begun to find out if the child/ren have been harmed and if they are at risk of any future harm, as well as deciding where/with whom they should live. There can be alternative explanations of course which should be fully explored; concerns about bruises should be assessed in the children’s context and also take account of any explanations given.

Perhaps the best thing would be for your daughter to discuss this further with her solicitor, ask them to clarify the position and give her an update on the case including what evidence or assessments are being looked at.

We also have tips on working with a solicitor which might be helpful.

I also just wanted to add the link for family group conferences which we recommended in the earlier response as a good way of involving family members in supporting a parent or offering care for children, where it is needed.

Please do post back or call the Freephone advice helpline 0808 8010366 if we can help.

Best wishes

Suzie


Return to “Natter and chatter”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests