New user - case conference

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

Re: New user - case conference

Postby sasha » Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:31 pm

Hello all,
I thought I would update to where we are at present.
The referral to the local Advocacy service is currently with the manager with case notes and we await their decision as to whether they are able to provide a service - hope to heasr before end of this week.
My daughter has attended the assessment with the Psychiatrist and we await his report no later than 2 weeks.
Based on a conversation with SW's in Adult disability services, my daughter approached her GP with a view for a referral to a speech therapist/coach. The GP was very helpful but the response from the therapist is that because the courts have instructed the Psychiatrist to draft a report, the local services will not get involved and therefore, no immediate support is being provided to my daughter in the interim. Feels like I am banging head against huge brick wall........
Due to lack of information being provided by FC (in respect to GS routine/feeds etc) HV suggested a feed diary be implemented a couple of weeks ago. However, the attitude from the FC when asked to completed this on a daily basis was "if I can"............When FC asked to clip GS nails as he was causing injury to himself was also "if I can"..........I knew some one maybe saying "if your GS is well and coming to no harm, then leave well alone" but quite honestly, this is disgusting. It has been reported to the HV and written evidence produced for her to follow up.
Shortly after my last post the new SW was appointed to the case and my daughter and I had a meeting with her to discuss issues of concern and to clear the air so we could start a new relationship pattern. Although we haven't heard back anything directly from the SW, we do know that she is working on issues we have raised, and things 'appear' to be getting sorted. We have another meeting with her next week for feedback on those issues.
Approximately two weeks ago my daughter had a small meltdown following the removal of her full benefits because the local authority had queried whether my daughter had claimed CB. I knew for a fact that she hadn't because I was with her when she asked a senior SW what the situation was in respect to that, so I know she wouldn't have claimed anything she wasn't entitled to but that didn't stop the benefits agency suspending her benefits for two weeks while they investigated it with the Inland Revenue.
Quite frankly, it is a disgusting system we have in place and the government should be ashamed of themselves - official complaint in progress.
My health - I had a heart scan last month and still await the results - symptoms continue but I suspect this is more stress related than anything else but time will tell.
My GS - I continue with my visitation rights on a weekly basis and try to put the stress aside while I enjoy my time with him. He's growing in accordance with the HV charts etc and I continue to look forward to his coming home one day.
I am slightly reserved pending the outcome of the Psychiatric report next month because I do not know how this matter will conclude.If my GS is not reunited with his mother I know this will have huge implicsations on my daughters' mental health and quite honestly, I don't know if I am strong enough to see her through that. I have to try and stay positive because I have no power to change the outcome!

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David Roth
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Re: New user - case conference

Postby David Roth » Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:13 am

Hi Sasha, thanks for coming back to update us on your situation.

I do feel quite concerned about the attitude of the foster carer, as you have reported it. She may have felt that she needed to get the social worker's permission before clipping your grandson's nails because he is a 'looked after' child, but if this is the reason she didn't want to agree to cutting them then she should have explained it to you. And she should certainly have agreed to keep a daily feed diary, particularly if the health visitor asked her to do so, as this was presumably done with the intention of monitoring your grandson's eating patterns so you and your daughter would be able to fit in with them, and therefore it is a request that is linked to your grandson's health and wellbeing.

Foster carers are supposed to work in partnership with the families of the children they are raising, and they are supposed to ensure the children's health needs are met. If this carer is not doing these things, then the social worker who supports her (her linkworker) should be told, so that it can be raised with her. You may have met the linkworker at some of the meetings you attend, but if you're not sure who it is you could communicate with the manager of the fostering team directly. It is to be hoped that the fostering team would want to take up the issue of a foster carer not doing her job properly.

Other than that, it does sound as if you are facing a lot of difficulties, but you are taking steps to manage them. I hope this is not having too much of an impact on your own health - it could be important to make sure there is some space in your weekly routines for you to unwind or talk things through with someone understanding - I know this may be easier said than done in the current circumstances, but these things can help.
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

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

Re: New user - case conference

Postby sasha » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:37 pm

Good evening David,
Thank you for dropping in on my thread.
I have spoken with my daughter today for clarity on the feed diary request made by the HV. Apparently, the FC completes paperwork for her link worker which includes my GS feeding pattern but it appears that the FC isn't happy as she feels this is duplicating the information. However, as I have explained to my daughter, she wouldn't be privvy to the link workers notes and therefore, the FC will have to duplicate the information. The Linkworker hasn't been present at any of the meetings to date but my daughter and I are due to meet with our SW for a follow up meeting next week so this will be raised at that appointment.

I do try to make time for myself and have recently started attending a counselling session on a 1-1 basis which I am due to attend tomorrow. It is early days in this respect but I found the first appointment help to lift a weight off my shoulders, just by being able to tell someone felt better. I also have appointments for Aromatherapy/reflexology at regular intervals so I am mindfull that I need some 'me time' along the way and I do feel it helps.

Another upward battle appears to be my daughters solicitor who feels that I am too emotionally involved and that although my daughter has given written consent for her to contact me in the first instance with any news, so that I could explain how best for the solicitor to handle/approach my daughter with the information, the solicitor will not adhere to my daughters request. Far be it for me to rock the boat but the solicitor isn't available all hours of the day and night when my daughter is inconsolable about the situation and turns to me in utter frustration about things that are out of her control. I hope the Advocacy service will pick up that point and run with that first, sothat she will be able to utilise the 'traffic lights' system which is implemented by the Autism Society as part of a communication process for people with AS/ADHD.

I know the contact centre is closed over Christmas (bank holidays) and I would appreciate opinions please of how to handle this period because my daughter finds it extremely difficult, because recently the FC was allowed to take my GS on a mini break and the contact time is not made up.

I hope to feel much better tomorrow after the counselling session and a new hairsyle.

Thank you for your supporting message David.
Regards
Sasha

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

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

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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