The SS Treadmill

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Granddad1
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:25 am

The SS Treadmill

Post by Granddad1 » Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:55 am

My Grandson is under a child protection program and we (my wife and I) with both attend the core meetings, the original proceedings were started while my grandson was supposed to be smacked by my son while in hospital this was overheard not seen by another patient, my grandson was checked and no sighs of any smacking, my son admits to raising his voice only.
So we attended the initial core meeting and the following Conference meeting where they only just made a decision to make it a Child Protection order not a Child In Need.
We were asked by the Chairman to be there and support the family not just my Grandson, we have attended all the Core meetings/Hospital apointments with both parents and all has been going along well, I will also add my Grandson is not his age mentally and has a few problems physically, he was nursed through 9 years from being a premature baby by both parents and believe me they have had a tough time with NO support or concerns from Social Services until the incident in hospital.
My Grandson due to his problems is prone to make up stories and on Thursday during a visit by a Physiologist Social worker because my son wouldn't give my Grandson permission to watch TV he decided to tell the Social Worker his dad smacked him! this supposedly in the next room (with the doors open!) my "Daughter in law was between my son and my Grandson during all this" the Social Worker didn't look for any signs of smacking (she wouldn't have found any if she had "bothered" to look) so the next day it was a visit by the police!
We had the whole family as asked to by the Social Services from Friday to Monday which was fine but there was NO contact by SS during this time
The Police interviewed my son but they decided there was no case to answer our concerns are is he under a section 47? he hasn't been told so by his Social Worker!

Since then
He had a call from his support worker telling him he has a section 47 not his Social Worker.

I did a secret Granddad interview with my Grandson who owned up to telling lies because his day wouldn't let him watch TV and he was sorry, he has been at home during all this with both patents!
We have the last Core Meeting on Monday followed by the 3 month Conference on Thursday to see if the Child Protection will be lifted so we are worrying whether there is a section 47 or not?
I have left messages, emails and Texts on both the Social Service Worker phone and her manager as yet no replies!
Any help advice would be appreciated we tried a local solicitor who is not up on this subject! so if you can help a worried pair of Grandparents!
We had a Core Group meeting on Monday where the latest Section 47 was brought up I put my case as a concerned Grandparent if my Grandson continues to tell lies! what will happen? "It will be a section 47 every time with the Police involved" where is the justice for an innocent father? will this help with the bond between them? The Social Service worker assigned was giving loads of input since the last core meeting "she has been to see the family ONCE in a month" she seems to be in collusion with a person who is from SFSS (Family Support) and every small mistake is highlighted by these two! others in the team praise the parents for their perseverance with my Grandson because of all their own difficulties (they are both classed disabled) but cope putting their needs second!
Last night my Grandson after an episode at a local supermarket where he tried to steal some sweets! kicked and bit his mother and exclaimed "I want to hit my dad" I know he has learning/mental issues but there is no SS path to protect the parents from repercussions due to false accusations, at the core meeting I said my grandson was guilty of telling lies that was a mistake I was told a child cannot be guilty perhaps "to blame" may have been better but I doubt it somehow.
We have the second CP Conference next Wednesday and ANY help on how to proceed will most appreciated we have done our best and have worked with SS but they are sadly lacking in some areas of their support :-(
Can we insist the Social Worker in charge be changed as there is a personality conflict?

So if you can help a worried pair of Grandparents with any advise!

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David Roth
Posts: 2022
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:14 am

Re: The SS Treadmill

Post by David Roth » Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:56 pm

Granddad1, I am very sorry to hear that you think your family is being unjustly subjected to child protection procedures. However, once these procedures are underway, there is no way to prevent them from following their course. Social workers are always obliged to act on any reports they receive that a child may have suffered harm, or be at risk of suffering harm.

Although you may be confident that you know your son would not have harmed your grandson, the starting point for the social workers will be that they do not have that knowledge. All they will know is that they have received a report that gives them cause for concern, which they have to look into. They will also be aware that there have been other cases where children were coming to harm, and the social workers involved didn't recognise what was happening or prevent the harm from happening to them.

My advice therefore would be to provide the social workers with the information they need in order to come to the correct decision. You should try not to seem too 'partisan' for your son - you will seem less credible if you seem to be supporting him only because he is your son, but more credible if you can explain the context in which these allegations arose, and the reasons why you think your son did not do what is alleged against him.

With regard to the possibility of a change of social worker, it is possible to request this, but most such requests are not granted. Particularly in the field of child protection, social workers are having to get involved in the lives of families in ways that many families do not like, and it is likely that any new social worker will have to deal with the same issues that the previous social worker has been doing. However, if you feel strongly that it is more than just the social worker doing their job, and there is a personality clash which is preventing your family from working with them, then you can contact the manager to rqeuest a change of social worker, or even make a formal complaint about the existing social worker.

There are two of our Advice Sheets that you may find useful: AS9 deals with child protection investigations, and AS25 deals with making complaints: http://www.frg.org.uk/need-help-or-advice/advice-sheets
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

Granddad1
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:25 am

Re: The SS Treadmill

Post by Granddad1 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:32 am

David thank you for the reply I understand all you say and I know our main responsibility is to our Grandson, the problem is our son has his own problems and this was recognised by the Chairman at the Conference so we were asked by her to support "all" the family so this is what we are trying to do and not finding it easy with the attitude of some of the SS at the core meetings as I mentioned previously.
The fact is my son and daughter in law have to work with the SS but if trust is being compromised by the attitude of two members! is making the whole experience rather difficult for them and us, we are both in our late 60's and have seen life from all angles! we are able to sit on a fence and listen before making decisions, so it is hard to listen to people who only see black or white and live in a world where grey is doesn't exist.
We have a 30 min meeting in private with the Chairperson on Wednesday so I have to try my best to get everything across for all concerned and I am not looking forward to it.
Thanks again,
Granddad1

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