New user - case conference

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David Roth
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Re: New user - case conference

Postby David Roth » Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:50 am

Hi Sasha

Firstly, it is very good to hear that you have made arrangements for some of your own needs to be looked after. Being the responsible person who is supporting everyone else's needs can become extremely draining if you do it for a prolonged period, and the counselling and other supports you described sound as if they will be absolutely vital to help you get through this very difficult period. Well done for arranging it!

If the main purpose of the foster carer completing the feed diary is so that your daughter can fit in with the pattern established by the carer, then it is clearly important for your daughter to get copies of the diary, quickly after it has been completed. It may be that the foster carer has to make two copies, but I wouldn't have thought tthis would be an insurmountable obstacle, e.g. if she wrote it up on her PC and printed out two copies then there would be no extra writing required on her part.

It is interesting if you are being seen as "too emotionally involved" - I wonder what the correct amount of emotional involvement is when there is a danger of a grandson being lost to the family? I do understand that solicitors are used to seeing the relationship they have with their clients as being very confidential, and it probably goes against the grain for them to communicate with anybody else about their client's information. Hopefully the advocacy service will be able to assist you with this issue.

With regard to contact during the Christmas period, you are right to start planning for this now. I wonder if there is anybody else who could supervise and monitor the contact, to make sure it is safe, and whether it could take place in another neutral venue - even a public park if there is nowhere suitable that is open. For example, could you supervise the contact in this way - after all the local authority trusts you to act responsibly in other ways.

There are probably two purposes to the contact. One is simply for your daughter and her son to see each other in such a way that his safety is assured. The second is for the contact to be observed, so that a judgment can be made about whether your daughter is capable of looking after him safely. By Christmas, they will have observed many contacts, so any that take place over that period are not going to add much to the sum of information they already have. The main point would be for your daughter to see him at an important family time of year. Perhaps if you or another trusted member of your family or community could do the supervising, then it might be able to go ahead.
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

sasha
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Re: New user - case conference

Postby sasha » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:26 pm

Hello David,
My daughter and I met with the SW involved in the case for a catch up meeting to discuss issues of concern we left with the SW approx 3-4 weeks ago.
I am yet to have the conversation with her about the Christmas period due to time limitations.
However, as you are probably aware we have been waiting on the psychiatric report for the assessment which was carried out in September for the courts. My daughter's solicitor promised to advise my daughter as soon as it arrived, which she did today and text her to say it was available for collection from her offices. But, the solicitor was unavailable until next week to discuss its contents!!! This is where I felt like screaming.
The solicitor admitted to me that she had NOT read the report and did not know it's recommendations or the implications it would have on the case, but was prepared to let my daughter have sight of it, knowing full well of my daughters inability to understand this jargon stuff, or to have any support to handle it's contents.
I have managed to avert the situation and express my concerns to the solicitor and she agreed to remove the report from the bundle of documents which awaited my daughter in her offices earlier today.
I telephoned my daughter to explain what I had done and my reasons for doing it and albeit, she was extremely upset because she wanted desperately to know what the report contained, she did calm down and now understands the reasons for doing what I did. She was extremely angry that the solicitor didn't take that line of thought in the first place and asked me if she could change solicitors at this stage!
With that said, reading between the lines of various conversations I am getting slightly anxious over what is ahead for us.
Do you have any knowledge or experience on what the SW would class as someone being a 'viable carer' whether that be a family member or friend? What type of things will they be looking at? Are pets acceptable? Having a disabled relative in the same home? Will that go against them? Relative working/ not working etc?
I am told that the contact centre will not be involved because it will become a private arrangement between family/firends and I do not know what arrangements would be put in place.
My daughter has a friend who is willing to be considered but is already an approved family carer for another child (for someone else) and her solicitor doesn't think she will be suitable. Her reservations seem to be because my GS is a three month old baby, and by all accounts, this makes a difference?

Apologies for all the questions but my mind is spinning with questions and possible solutions but apprehensive of what is acceptable in these circumstances.

Frustrated and exhausted Sasha

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David Roth
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Re: New user - case conference

Postby David Roth » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:13 am

Hi Sasha

Your dealings with the solicitor sound very frustrating. It could be worth writing to the supervisor or manager of the solicitor who is dealing with your daughter's case, explaining your dissatisfactions with the way the firm is handling things. It sounds as if they haven't taken on board the distinguishing features of your daughter's case, and they are just treating her like any other client. They need to have a system put in place, even if it is just a note attached to the front of the file, alerting them that they need to handle sensitive information in a particular way.

It sound as if the local authority might be carrying out a 'viability study' of the potential carer that your daughter has put forward. This is a short assessment that some local authorities carry out, to see whether it is worth going ahead with the full assessment on a potential carer. There is no standard format for viability studies, so each local authority can have its own version of one. However, the versions I have seen have been based on establishing a list of 'risk' and 'protective' factors that would be associated with placing this child with this carer. It should establish how risky the placement would be for the child, and whether the level of risk is so high that the carers should be ruled out at an early stage, or whether it might be viable for the placement to go ahead.

The solicitor's comment about the carer not being suitable for a three month old baby might be based on some information about the carer that you're not aware of, eg if the carer has a job that they won't be able to get some time out from, or if there were ever any concerns previously about this carer with a baby.
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

sasha
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Re: New user - case conference

Postby sasha » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:57 pm

Hello David,
Apologies for my earlier waffle. My anxiety mounts as we near the 'decision making time' knowing it is probably out of our hands already......
Tomorrow is the big day when we find out exactly what the Psychiatric report says and its recommendations for my daughter and GS.
I have tried to speak to the SW involved to clarify the 'risk/protective' elements today but they were unavailable. I will continue to contact her over the next few days.
Not sure if I will sleep much tonight but will come back tomorrow.

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David Roth
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Re: New user - case conference

Postby David Roth » Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:50 am

Sasha, there is no need to apologise for anything you have posted, and it certainly wasn't waffle to outline the things that are of most concern to you at the moment.

Please do let us know what the report on your daughter says - what is important is not only the recommendation, but also the process by which that recommendation was reached - do you consider the assessment accurate, does the recommendation seem to follow logically from the assessment?
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

sasha
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:11 am

Re: New user - case conference

Postby sasha » Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:03 am

Hello David,
I have been through the most gruelling three and half hours with my daughter today in her solicitors office going through a lengthy report and to be fair, in the most part, it is written better than I expected. With that said, its not good!
The Psychiatrist instructed by the courts is not experienced or qualified in ADHD in children/adolescents, his specialist field is in adults and therefore, albeit he had access to my daughters medical records (GP) only, not hospital or Psychiatric records he was unable to confirm or deny the liklihood of an accurate diagnosis of ADHD or Asperger's Syndrome in my daughters earlier years.
I have had to explain or correct a few things in his report to her solicitor and I guess she will emphasise that in her deliberations with the courts later in the month at the next hearing.
Due to my daughters exaggerating stories and fantasies which she admits she has used as a cover to 'big herself up' amongst certain members of the community as her way of self preservation against bullies, which she also admits is no excuse and is unacceptable, has been her coping mechanism and this has lead to where we are now.(I hope I have explained that properly?)
The Psychiatrist believes this probably relates to her personal se3nse of emptiness and search for her identity and is also her attempt to counter her extremely low self esteem through inventing a series of fantasies that serve to exaggerate her own self image. He states that the condition used to be referred to as 'pseudologia fantastica' and is now considered to be part of the factitious disorders. On that basis he is inclined to view that my daughter suffers with a borderline personality disorder within the meaning of the DSM-IV Classification (American Psychiatric Association 1984), more commonlu known in the UK as Emotionally unstable personality disorder within the meaning of the ICD 1- Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders (WHO 1992).
This is more likly to be liable to episodes of depression and she may have had these although there is nothing in her notes to suggest severe clinical depression. Other than this, there is nothing to suggest that she suffers from a mental illness.
He has stated that due to her behaviour and conduct including her motivational triggers to exaggerate situations are a core part of her personality. These are likly to be a significant challenge to her ability to parent since they will inevitably affect the way in which she is perceived by those around her. In the context of the current proceedings, this is likly significantly to compromise her ability to work consistently with and be supported by Social Services and other professionals.Indeed, given her history, it will not be possible for professionals working with her to know at any point whether what they are being told is the truth and this may lead them either to
over -estimate or under-estimate the severity of the situation. Furthermore, a small proportion of patients who show these features may invent or exaggerate the healthcare needs of their children thus representing a potential for the child to come to harm either through over treatment of conditions that do not exist or through not disclosing the extent of problems that the child has. There is, of course, nothing to indicate that my daughter (his words not mine) has or would demonstrate these behaviours but it is an element of risk which he wishes to raise with the Court's consideration in determining the outcome of any proceedings.
On a more personal note to my own parenting skills which the Psychiatrist contributed to the report, he adds; that both my children had some significantly and unstable and distressing childhood experiences and in respect to my daughter whether this was attributed by the ADHD is irrelevant. (children being involved in a serious road traffic accident when aged 7, disabling me from work for 4 years due to injuries sustained during and after the accident, the financial stress caused by same) I found this comment to be condesending. Both my husband and I are from stable back grounds, honest and retain a good work ethic I find some elements of this report insulting and challenging of our parenting skills, yet we addressed both our children's social and health needs throughout their lives and it is quite clear from my daughters medical notes that the 'system' has failed her on several occasions during her childhood.
In concluding her report he states that their are no clinical trials which suggest the use of any medication for this condition. They recommend engagement with one of the cognitive therapies providing an idividual is capable of enegaging and working within that model. This will require careful assessment by a suitably qualified therapist. IF, an individual is able to engage, the therapy takes between 12-24 months and is usually delivered on a weekly/fortnightly basis.
Given his comments, he feels that my daughter would be extremely challenged to engage in this therapy and may need considerable preliminary work. On the basis of her presentation and history he suspects that the prognosis for engaging her in therapy is poor and that the liklihood of her completing a course of therapy and benefitting from this is extremely low. I know for a fact, given the right professional she responds extremely well and has done in the past for her weight issue, but that hasn't been recognised.
Naturally, the day has been quite a painful one and with all that said, I will ensure that my daughter will receive the right care from the right professionals to ensure that my daughter's life is not tarnished furthermore by this experience.
I do have one question: Is my daughter allowed a second opinion?
I will have to sleep on this for now and naturally emotions are high. I would like to review my thoughts on the matter but I don't see a good ending with respect to my GS and that hurts like he**.
Thanks for 'listening'.

sasha
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:11 am

Re: New user - case conference

Postby sasha » Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:51 pm

Having had a few days to absorb this information, the more I think about it the more I think the diagnosis is wrong! Putting aside the aspect of me being potentially biased, if I were my daughters best friend and had grown up with her I seriously question this report.

Does anyone have experience of the courts and whether they would consent to a second opinion?
It is clear that my daughter has been failed by the NHS during her childhood and I will not standby while they fail her again and remove her son permanently, scaring her for life!

Where can I get advice from on this?

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David Roth
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Re: New user - case conference

Postby David Roth » Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:29 pm

If you want to make sure that your views about the diagnosis of your daughter being mistaken were being considered by the court, then you could consider asking to be joined as a party to the proceedings, so that you would automatically be present at all hearings and receive all the court papers. This may not be agreed however if you are not likely to be directly involved in the outcome for the child.

Alternatively, you could meet jointly with your daughter and her solicitor, and explain your concerns, so that he can arrange for this to be represented in court as your daughter's instructions to her legal representation there.

It might help if yo uwere able to identify someone with more expertise and experience in your daughter's condition than the expert who carried out the assessment.
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

sasha
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:11 am

Re: New user - case conference

Postby sasha » Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:57 am

Hi David,
Firstly my sincere apologies for not responding to your last post. I had not had eaten since lunchtime the day of my last post and was rushed into hospital on the morning of the 14th. They admitted me and kept me in for a week on an intravenous drip and anitbiotics for a serious condition but thankfully, it isn't my heart. I am awaiting a date for surgery!
Whilst all that is going on the SW hijacked my daughter after contact to get her to sign the contact agreement (without her advocate being present) which left my daughter in quite a state because she was also due in court that day for the case and was concerned when I was unable to answer my telephone.(I didn;t want her to know of my condition until after the court hearing as I knew it would be too upsetting for her).
The day I was discharged she eceived a letter by Recorded Delivery which advised her with immediate effect that the contact times and days would be reduced with no explanation. I now know(only today) the reason for this is because they have made their minds up of what they intend to file at court I believe next week, is to have my GS adopted!!!
My daughter was so frustrated with the poor communication from her solicitor she asked me to help her compile a letter of complaint to the firm involved and to cut a long story short, they have said find another solicitor.
We had also always intended to complain about the SW's onvolved and the treatment received from their department and we did that letter at the same time. The Director of Childrren's Services has responded vis their complaints team that they are unable to deal with the complaint whilst the matter is before the courts.
So, this leaves my daughter in a very vulnerable position with no legal counsel, the SW hijacking her at anytime they feel like it and we can't do a damn thing about it.
I tried to make contact several times with the SW yesterday and she finally got back to me at 5pm asking to meet with me in my home today/tomorrow. What she wants to discuss with me, my daughter is not aware of and I have told my daughter about the meeting, and that I am going into their offices to see her.
The SW's seem to think they can use me as their pawn between them and my daughter and they will most definately come unstuck. My daughter are united in this matter and will not be torn apart by their tactics.
It is quite apparent that they will not permit the judge to agree to a second opinion and we are seeking advice from another law firm tomorrow but the whole handling of this case has been a serious mess from start to date and if I can prevent this happening to anyone else my time won't have been wasted.
I have managed to speak to the guardian for my GS (again late this evening) because she forgot to take her work phone with her to work today would you believe? and she has said that she is happy for my daughter to meet the Adoptive parents and have a say in what type of family she would like her son to go to - WOW! Is that meant to be a bonus for us?
On top of this mess, last week my GS was symptomatic of a cold with sneezes and snuffles but the FC didn't seek medical attention for him until Monday this week when they said they hadn't got a hospital bed and sent him home (to the FC's) with antibiotics and therefore contact has been cancelled on a daily basis. However, as my daughter heard nothing from anyone this morning she made her way to contact, only to find out by her telephoning enroute that contact had been cancelled for the whole week. My GS was also due his jabs yesterday but it was my daughter who cancelled that appointment explaining the reasons why, nobody else had bothered and neither have they kept her informed of his progress.
I asked the SW yesterday why it took so long for the FC to seek medical advise and her response was and I quote "we can ask her that next week at the LACC review hearing"..........
Says it all really.
For anyone going through similar proceedings - stay strong, don't give up and fight your corner.
There are some good FC's out there but we unfortunately drew the short straw where that's concerned but I will make damn sure she doesn't get another new born baby in her care.
I make no apologies for the rant this morning - I am preparing myself for the Rottweillers tomorrow.

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Help 1870
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Re: New user - case conference

Postby Help 1870 » Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:33 pm

I have mentioned this before but I will mention it again.

I really do think that there could be reason here to involve the Official Solicitor.

The role of the Official Solicitor is to protect the interests of vulnerable adults and children either due to their age or mental capacity. It seems your daughter might fit into the latter category.

Before you rule it out have a read as to what the OS can and cant do.

http://www.justice.gov.uk/about/ospt


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