New user - case conference

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New user - case conference

Post by sasha » Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:13 am

My daughter was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 5 and is now mid 20's.

Life has been quite a rollercoaster for her and the family trying to get our heads around her condition as it is usually found in males.

Over the past 5-6 years I have noticed a decline in her symptoms as she has entered into adult life in respect to her trying to manage relationships both with male & females.

She is currently with a partner who for my own personal reasons the family do not agree with, however, he has his own medical problems (Alcoholism) amongst others and is out of work.

My daughter is currently pregnant (not sure who father is) and is past her due date.

Due to her 'mental health', Social Services have got involved and there is a case conference later today to discuss the child being taken into care until such time relevant assessments can be made.

We (my husband and I) are unable to have the baby with us due to my husband having serious health issues and I am anxious as to how my daughter will cope when they remove the baby from her at the hospital.

I have no professional medical background but my daughters symptoms are identical to those of Aspergers Syndrome.

I have managed to arrange legal assistance to attend the meeting today.

I am not against the system, but am wary of it's laws :(

Apologies for my post being semi bullet points, but time is running out and I only came across this website a couple of days ago.

If anyone can offer opinions, suggestions, legal advice or general support I would very much appreciate it.

I will post back this evening when I have more information as to what I am up against.

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Robin D
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Re: New user - case conference

Post by Robin D » Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:55 pm

Hi Sasha.

Hoping that the meeting is late afternoon so you get to see this!

I understand why you cannot offer to take the child, but is there anyone else within the family who might be prepared too? I have no idea how many children that are removed from the wider family at this stage end up not being returned, and we have to take into account that Social Services are duty bound to do whatever is right for the child, but I would suggest that if there is any other person in the wider family that can help, that their details are made available to the case conference today.

Social Services really should have good reason to commence care proceedings, but if you can get the message over that the wider family are prepared to either help, or take on the little one, then it may persuade them to look seriously at the options.

Thre is too little detail to be certain, but this might be a case for a Family Group Conference.

Best wishes ...... Robin
Former F&F carer, foster carer, adopter and respite carer for umpteen children. Now retired and when with kids, making sure they 'go home' at the end of the day.

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Re: New user - case conference

Post by sasha » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:03 pm

Hi Robin,
Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately, I didn't get back to my laptop prior to the meeting.

The wider family members which you suggest are very few. My sister is terminally ill and my niece has two children of her own, and has just returned to work following maternity leave.

Our only alternative is a friend who is a Foster carer.

My daughter's solicitor made reference to some inaccuracies within the report and the Chair person congratulated me on my techniques/skills on managing my daughter through this process because of her conditions.If the NHS had got specialists within the area of where we live, my daughter would have received the treatment she needed and her diagnosis would already be being managed!

Personally, I believe my daughter would be better off without her partner as his background is only complicating matters and when the DNA test proves he is not the father, I am not sure what impact it will have on the assessments, other than delaying the time frame in getting my grandson back.

They are applying for the court order to share parental responsibility and Psychological/psychiatric reports/assessments can not commence until 6 weeks after the baby is born due to 'post natal' implications.This was not explained to us until today!
We have requested a placement within a residential unit but that also can not be considered until after the 6 weeks. So, it is certain that my grandson will be going into foster care.

The SW has advised that my daughter will be entitled to daily contact of 5 days out of 7 at a local contact centre and there is due to be a core meeting next week to iron out the details of the Child Protection Plan.Is there anything I should ensure that should be included in that or, ask to be considered? My concern is that SW's don't move very fast and time will run into months down the line before my daughter would be allowed to have her son home. I don't expect the assessments will happen overnight but they should be given some priority to reduce the time frame of mother and baby being separated.

I am exhausted after today's events, but I hope that my daughter will get the support and care she needs for her own health and my grandson will be looked after by the authorities. Not an ideal situation but moving forward, so long as my daughter receives the special care she needs for her condition, she will then be strong enough to cope with looking after her son.

Should I be fearful of the authorities?

I know from listening to the solicitor today that some SW's tend to set some mother's up to fail and I suspect my daughter has one of those but am also assured that once baby is born there will be a different SW involved moving forward.

I have advised my daughter to keep a diary on events and conversations between anyone now involved so that we can advise legal counsel of any mis-guidance/inaccuracies etc, so that we can make the court aware.

Apologies for rambling on this evening. I am mentally drained from recent events.

Any guidance/opinions would be appreciated.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: New user - case conference

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:10 pm

Hi Sasha

Welcome to the board.

Just to pick up a couple of points that have been made so far.

Child Protection Conference (s)

The child protection conference can only consider whether or not the threshold for significant harm has been met, and if a child protection plan, and or additional family support is required, and over what timescale, not whether a child should be removed from their parents care.

Core Group Meetings

The core group meeting will be the forum to develop and progress the outline child protection plan made at the child protection conference. These meetings are usually shorter and more informal, than the child protection conference. They are usually chaired by the allocated social worker, or senior member of the team. The attendance at these meetings should be prioritised by all involved professionals, so they can update the core group about their involvement, concerns, and any support being offered.

Legal Planning Meeting

These meetings are held between professionals, where there are concerns about a child’s welfare, and allows the Local Authority to seek legal advice, particularly if there are doubts about whether this can be safely managed in the community. A parent could then be asked to seek legal advice, particularly if Children’s services are intending to take court action.

Pre proceedings (PLO public law outline) meeting

Do you know if consideration given to either a PLO (public law outline) or pre- proceedings agreement being entered into with the parents, as a last resort before care proceedings was mentioned? This is usually a further opportunity for both (or one) parent to meet with the social work team, in the presence of solicitor (s), in order to formally address the concerns that have been raised by the Local Authority, what support will be required, and within a set time period.

Residential Assessment

You say it is possible that a residential assessment of your daughter’s parenting capacity is being considered, this will be subject to resources, and funding being available. In the meantime, she should continue to engage with any assessments, or support, and work closely with her solicitor so she can participate in any plans that are being made for her child.

Family Group Conference

Family Group Conferences are usually held, when safe planning for children with alternative family members as carers or where additional support, if a parent is struggling to meet a child’s needs. The meeting requires at least one person with parental responsibility to give their consent, and will be chaired by an independent person.

Placement of grandson with your friend

You mention that your friend is a foster carer. Do you know what discussions, if any, have been held with her about the possibility of her offering long term care to your grandson? If she is in a position to take on this role, she should make herself known to the social work team. In doing so, identify her professional status, and relationship to your grandchild, so that the need for any assessments, can be clarified as soon as possible.

In theory, your grandson can be placed with her, with immediate effect. In an
immediate placement, Children's Services then have sixteen weeks to approve her as
a foster carer, which can be extended to twenty four weeks if necessary. She may have certain entitlements to support. Alternatively, she may wish to consider applying for a residence or special guardianship order. If she is already assessed as a foster carer, any previous assessments that have taken place, will be taken into account.

ADHD Support groups for parents

Resources for parents with ADHD are generally limited, but she may wish to contact Mencap 0808 808 1111 or Family Action 020 7254 6251, two organisations that may be useful, because of their experience of supporting parents with learning disabilities. For instance, there may be practical or mentoring support available to your daughter, at what is clearly a difficult time.

If your daughter wishes to discuss her situation in more detail, she could contact the Family Rights Group advice line, on 0808 801 0366 Monday to Friday 09.30 am to 03.30 pm.

Best Wishes


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David Roth
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Re: New user - case conference

Post by David Roth » Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:26 am

Hi Sasha

It sounds as if you have a huge amount on your plate at the moment. If you've never had dealings with social workers or children's services departments before, there can be a huge amount of information to take in, at a time when you've got massive worries about events in the family and what's going to happen in the future. Nevertheless, what happens now is going to have longlasting consequences, affecting the future of you, your daughter and your grandson. It is worth taking a deep breath and sitting down to make sure you understand exactly what is happening, and what you can do to influence the way things go. There is a huge amount of information in Suzie's post, but it is worth taking the time to absorb it all.

How have things progressed since last week? Has your grandson been placed in foster care? Were you able to arrange for him to go to your friend who is a foster carer? Is your daughter getting all the contact with him that she was promised? And are you involved in any of the contact?

I would suggest you also need to ask what the social workers are doing to arrange the mother and baby place for your daughter. There are not many such places, and the demand for them is high. You need to make sure that the baby isn't placed in foster care, only to be told that he has to stay there as they couldn't find a suitable placement for him and your daughter to go to.

I know this is a huge amount to take in, and I imagine the whole family must be feeling a bit shellshocked, especially with the other family issues you mentioned in your reply to Robin going on at the same time.

If you need to talk this through, or your daughter wants to talk about her situation to someone, please do call our advice line 0808 801 0366, open 9.30-3.30 Mon-Fri - the number is free to all landlines and most mobiles.

Good luck!
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

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Re: New user - case conference

Post by sasha » Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:27 pm

Hello David & Suzie,
Thank you very much for such detailed information, yes, it is a huge amount of information to absorb and get my head around but here's where we are today. Hope you are sitting comfortable because I have had a day from hell.

Earlier this week I attended the Core meeting whereby the CPP was drafted and to be honest, a lot of the information went straight over the top of my head. I struggled to make notes because my daughter was in such a state and it took quite awhile for me to calm her down. However, the 'system' accepts that it is my influence that works to calm her down and they agreed I should remain within the 'team' of discussions so long as my daughter agrees as her main support.

I had thought the family friend idea would be suitable but it appears there would be someone in the equation that won't agree to it and therefore, that will now not work. I haven't shared that information with my daughter as yet because I am fraught with worry as to how she will respond and I don't want to stress her at this point of the proceedings. Managing my daughter over the years I have learned to slip bite size chunks of information to her so she has time to absorb a little at a time which seems to work. She will understand my reasons when the time comes for her to know, but I have contacted the SW to explain in order that they have the best opportunity to locate a suitable FC within the location of my daughter's home, in the hope that not too many miles will be between them.

Baby remains unborn at the moment and will go into foster care when he arrives.My daughter refuses to sign section 20 and the SW will continue to proceed to the courts.

I have established that my daughter and her partner will both have to have assessments done as previously mentioned and the residential placement will depend on whether they will be qualified to cope with the outcome of the assessments and whether they are equipped to deal with my daughter's health and, if there is a place available. So, I appreciate, it is not just about funding.

I am not aware of a PLO meeting at this stage.

I am aware of the ADHD support group as I was a member when my daughter was growing up and represented them many years ago when Jemima Khan visited as a speaker for them and Harry Secombe was their patron.I have done some in depth research into Asperger's Syndrome also to get a feel for what I might be dealing with and what might be required.

Now today, I was driving to meet with a friend (nothing to do with this situation) for a chat and was over taken by 7 police cars and a police van with all siren's blazing. Didn't think anything of it until on the way home I popped in to the local post office and a staff member said they had found a body in a certain churchyard which is very close to where my daughter lives. I didn't give it a thought and just went on my merry way home. Whilst out, I had been trying to get hold of my daughter to speak with her on the phone but was getting no answer and she hadn't returned any of my calls.
Once home, I started some chores and suddenly my mind started to race and I was putting 2+2 together and coming up with 16. I got myself in to such a panic, I jumped into the car and drove to her flat, calling the SW on the way. I explained what had happened and asked if she had told my daughter that the family friend could not foster 'junior' and she hadn't spoke to her which to a certain degree, put my mind at rest but I couldn't imagine what was wrong.
I arrived at the flat but no one was home, my sister had tried to contact my daughter but no answer. Then finally, my daughter called me. She had gone to the bank with her partner and had forgotten her phone. She had also picked up the wrong bank card so had sent her partner back to the flat - I had just missed him apparently - and he also picked up her mobile phone. When she realised she had missed so many phone calls she called me to say she was ok. Rightly or wrongly, I went ballistic!!! Eventually, when I came down off the ceiling, I remembered that this is a symptom of AS, when they have no empathy for other people's feelings. She had no clue as to why I was so worried :(
I called the SW back and explained what had happened and she was relieved that all was ok.
The SW has suggested that I might want to appoint my own solicitor as Grandmother, to ensure my rights to have access to junior when he's born in case my daughter decides to withdraw her permission etc. I have no idea what this will involve or provide for me but it is an avenue I am prepared to take.

If 'junior' doesn't put in an appearance before the 18th, they will induce her. The midwife also advises me that my daughter will be in a normal bay at the hospital and not in a side room which, to my way of thinking isn't going to be easy or suitable, unless of course the hospital has 4 mothers whose having their babies put into FC. Is that a right way of doing things?
The midwife has asked if my daughter would permit a 'sweep' being done but the whole idea freaked her out and she declined.

Throughout all this my husband is suffering immensely psychologically because of the effects this is all having on my health and how upset I have been. I will have to evaluate his medication and keep a close eye on his symptoms because at the end of the day, he only has me and my daughter has all the care she needs, albeit, some of which she would prefer not to have.

I have noted down your contact number because sometimes during the day it would be beneficial to 'speak' to someone who understands the feelings and emotions in these types of cases.

Thank you all for your input. I am not in a good place right now and really appreciate your support/advice.
'Virtual hug'

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Re: New user - case conference

Post by sasha » Thu Aug 09, 2012 6:42 pm

Does anyone know if there is a minimum distance between where my daughter or other family members live and where the FC will be?
or, how long the baby is expected to be in hospital once all his checks have been carried out?

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Re: New user - case conference

Post by sasha » Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:59 pm

Thanks for that Irene,
Well, the LA has got this case completely wrong then because they have approached a FC next door to a family member and given them wrong information on the circumstances/sex of the baby and I know it's the right baby because they gave the surname! There's confidentiality for you...........
I am fuming - obviously, the SW hasn't read her own notes properly or done her homework has she before passing information on to the placements team?????? :x

On another point - as Grandmother, in order for me to access a solicitor, would I be expected to pay costs incurred or would legal assistance be available?

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Re: New user - case conference

Post by sasha » Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:03 am

Hi Irene,
The SW has only been given two addresses which are in the same road. Address number (1) is a FC. Address (2) is a family member and both addresses are in the same road, but the FC at address (1) is related to my family member at address (2) via her partner, if that makes sense?
The SW has contacted a different FC who just happens to live in between both addresses. So no, the FC has not spoken freely, she was talking to the other FC.
Surely, it is a conflict of interest to place a baby so close to family members in ANY circumstance? Albeit, there would be no problem from our point of view as we are fully aware of the contact centre procedures etc. My point is the fact that the SW has provided incorrect information to a FC about a prospective infant, which actually isn't even born yet.

As the SW intends to go to court to obtain an order, will family members be advised of the hearing date and can we object to its validity or is that for my daughters solicitor to argue on her behalf?

Thank you for the solicitor/ legal aid advice.
Thanks Irene

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Re: New user - case conference

Post by sasha » Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:23 am

Well. I am the proud Grandmother of my first Grandson this evening, and I am extremely proud of my daughter for all her hard work as I witnessed his entry into this world. Very pleased that mother and baby are doing well and that she is having some very valuable quality/bonding time with him.
It appears that my suggested plan worked, in so much as he came into the world at a time unsuitable to the SW to obtain a court order this side of the week-end.

I am however reserved on my daughter's hormones for the next few days and I sincerely hope I will be able to comfort her if/when the time comes that her baby is removed into FC.

For the moment, I am basking in the glory that she did herself and us proud, with no pain relief and that they are both doing well.

My prayer's have been answered for that stage.

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