EEek! Social worker coming to visit tomorrow -what to expect

Nanny G
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Re: EEek! Social worker coming to visit tomorrow -what to ex

Postby Nanny G » Wed Oct 21, 2015 1:35 pm

Hi,
a quick question to ask regards SW assessments and child's beds...
We are expecting a SW assessment again soon and i have been discussing this with my son. The bedroom that would be my Granddaughters room is a small almost box room and has a custom built bed in it, that is currently just under 36 inches off the floor at the top of the mattress, and like it is has space underneath for a hidey hole/play house and as the room is such a small room also has a small chest of drawers underneath as space saving.

so the question is, should we remake the bed to a lower height (which could be done) or would it be acceptable to cs to leave it the height it is with a guard rail and steps?

We would be happy to do it if needed, but personally think it is fun, as well as space saving as it is, but on the other hand don't want to jeopardise our chances of being carers over something as simple as the bed height...
What are your experiences of this sort of thing?

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ied53
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Re: EEek! Social worker coming to visit tomorrow -what to ex

Postby ied53 » Wed Oct 21, 2015 6:40 pm

How old is the child?
Irene
Grandparent carer in Lincolnshire
Tough times never last tough people do

Nanny G
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Re: EEek! Social worker coming to visit tomorrow -what to ex

Postby Nanny G » Thu Oct 22, 2015 8:44 am

She's coming up to 3 1/2 .
The next court case is Jan, so unless CS decide to move her sooner, she will be closer to 4 by the time she came to live with us

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ied53
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Re: EEek! Social worker coming to visit tomorrow -what to ex

Postby ied53 » Thu Oct 22, 2015 11:04 am

As a four year old should be fine with the height with a safety rail. As you say her own den will also be exciting. You could endure they see it and tell them your plan but add of course if you feel it would be better to be lower that can also be done. Don't make it sound as if she will be sent to her room to play though.. We had very low beds originally then had to change them as they got taller. So I love the sound of this. All children need a private place.
Irene

Grandparent carer in Lincolnshire

Tough times never last tough people do

Nanny G
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Re: EEek! Social worker coming to visit tomorrow -what to ex

Postby Nanny G » Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:20 pm

Thanks Irene,
That was pretty much what i was thinking, but wanted to check as you have more experience of SW's and 'the system' than i do.

SW rang today, he is coming back to see us on Wednesday now. He said he has to come back and discuss with us the points raised in my response to the court, then write a letter to send to add to the report. I guess it is those points that need to be readdressed, but was under the impression he had to re-do the assessment. The Solicitor said he had been told to talk to us separately this time.

Yes, the room was built for my teenage step son, but as he isnt here much now, we decided we would move him on his occasional visits to the spare room i use as a crafting room and use his little room for my Granddaughter if she came. When i cleared the room out, i realised just what fun it could be in there if you were little girl (like i am at heart) rather than a teenage boy, who used it as a hide for empty drinks bottles, and sweet wrapper/malteaser boxes (which had to be hidden as we tried to keep him on a fairly low sugar diet due to 'teenage' behaviour), and of course the obligatory teenage dirty clothes...!
Now its cleared, properly and not by a teenager, I want to set up camp in it!

will let you know what happens re the SW
thanks for your help,
NG

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: EEek! Social worker coming to visit tomorrow -what to ex

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:34 am

Hi Nanny G,

Irene is giving you lots of sound advice and support. I know you have our advice sheet about fostering assessments for friends and family carers which you could look back on before the social worker visits you.

You could also seek advice from the Fostering Network . They can also give detailed advice about fostering assessments.

Good luck on Wednesday.

Suzie

Nanny G
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:47 pm

Re: EEek! Social worker coming to visit tomorrow -what to ex

Postby Nanny G » Thu Oct 29, 2015 6:28 pm

Thank you Suzie,

SW came yesterday, and spent 2 hours going on about how he had said this in his report and therefore that was his word! It appears he has no intention of 're assessing' us and was only here due to being told to by court. He argued al the way with us, in his opinion, the fact he gave us 24 hours notice of his initial visit, means we knew we were being assessed and therefore our house should have been spotless and childproof. The fact, that with time, we have now cleared the items out of our spare room (potential child's room) and made the house better, is irrelevant to him.
He is South African, and i am actually doubting his correct understanding of the English Language as he appears to be taking what we have said and changing it round to mean something different. He is changing and perhaps 'misunderstanding' what we have said and is accusing us of knowing what we didn't, and refusing to accept what we say we didn't know .
He kept saying how i was made aware of the issues with my Son at a recent FGC. I have the notes and his report from that and having read them all again it does not mention in there what risks my son posed. It focused on the mother, her inappropriate relationship with her new b/f, who she was saying she was splitting up with, how if she did this and kept to it, things would look up, but based on her history of lack of engagement with professionals they were dubious she would. It went on to say how the good points were that my son and the mother were now starting to work together as co parents, which was the direction they wanted things to go in, and that Mother had put her grievances behind her and was allowing my son full days contact starting that w/e.... it does not say my son posed a risk at any point. SW however is adament it did and because of that, i was aware of the situation and am negligent for not telling them (CS) what i (didnt) know...

He didnt get all the way through our notes to the court, so is coming back again tomorrow (Friday) to finish. I am absolutely dreading it!
NG

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: EEek! Social worker coming to visit tomorrow -what to ex

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Oct 30, 2015 2:00 pm

Dear Nanny G

Thank you for your further updating post.

I am sorry that your meeting was the social worker did not go as well as you expected and you have been left feeling frustrated on confused by what he said to you.

It is not clear why you think someone from South Africa would not have a clear understanding of the English language as you have not given any example of the sort of things he has said out of context or twisted around. If it is the case that the social worker it not looking at things with fresh eyes and his further assessment is negative then this is something that can be challenged when his report if filed with the court.

As he is due to visit you again, I suggest that you have the comments you made on the original assessment to hand so you can point out what you said if the social worker is not understanding it. I see from your previous posts that you mentioned some concerns about your son’s behaviour and your hope that he would grow up and be able to care for his child. This may be why the social worker takes the view that you were aware of the risk he poses. If that is not the case, then you should say exactly what you did know and what the social worker actually told you. If you are having difficulties with the social worker, I think it is important that you inform your solicitor or your son’s solicitor of your concerns.

When meeting with the social worker try not to come across as defending your son as this might lead him to believe that you may not be a good protective factor for your grandchild as you will let you son have free rein. Make sure that you talk about your granddaughter and how important it is for her to be is a safe and stable environment, which you can provide. Also, the importance of her remaining within her birth family.

At the same time you have try to be balanced in what you say about the mother as if it seems that you have an entrenched view about her, this might be seen as an inability of you being able to facilitate contact with the mother if the child lives with you. If both parents have issues then you must talk about the mother and your son’s difficulties.

I do hope that the next visit will go well. It will help if you also have an open mind and see the social worker with fresh eyes. Treat this as if it is the very first time you are being assessed. Knowing what you do know now means that it should be easier for you to cope with the social worker and his questions. Being open and cooperative is the best way to engage with social worker. What you want is to look after your grandchild so do not come across as defensive with the social worker.
I hope that you will find this helpful.

Best wishes

Suzie

Nanny G
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:47 pm

Re: EEek! Social worker coming to visit tomorrow -what to ex

Postby Nanny G » Fri Oct 30, 2015 11:18 pm

Hello Suzie,
Thank you for replying. Having just re read my post i realise it may perhaps have sound a bit racist as i was so frustrated with the Social worker and my comment about him possibly not having a good understanding of the English language. It was by no means intended to come across like that, it is all quite complicated and i will try to explain a little what i mean. I was a single parent to my son until he was 12 when i met my now partner. My son had always been very close to me and almost 'possessive' right down to telling me i wasnt allowed a boyfriend unless they were approved by him. When i met my partner my son was just coming up to 12, and whilst the two of us were quite happily ticking along together, the 'invasion' of another male for my attention in his life pushed my son into very bolshy behaviour and became quite argumentative with me. My partner seeing this, started to discuss it with me and we both concluded my son needed more discipline than i had been giving him and i agreed to my partner taking over the male role in this respect. Obviously my son was not happy at this, and many arguments were had.
Well, my son in a previous parenting assessment described his childhood after my partner came to live with us as 'horrible' and described it as abusive. Obviously this was questioned in our assessment and we explained our side of how we saw it and what went on. I explained to the SW that i did find it very hard, where my son was trying his best to drive a wedge between myself and my partner and as much as i knew my son needed the discipline, it was hard for me when my son was bickering continually about my partner along the lines of 'hes not my dad he cant tell me what to do' . This was translated by the SW as my saying i felt 'my life had been invaded when my partner came to live with us'... that was NOT what i said. There are several other, almost picky things, where he has changed it slightly, where one word means one thing and another similar but slightly different word which puts a whole different twist on what was said.
My son has since said to me, in the last week, that he actually only said it was as bad as it was, as he was still speaking to the Mother, and she had such an issue with my partner and that she wanted to be made to sound better so it was 'decided' he would make it sound worse than it was. He also said he was going to tell the SW this. My response to him was, that it was entirely up to him whether he said so or not, i did not want him to feel guilty or sorry, and that if he had felt his childhood was abusive, again i could only apologise, as that was not how i saw it. However he said, no, it was an unfair comment, that he needed the discipline as he was quite rude and he appreciated that my partner brought him back in line and taught him to respect me as his mother.

The SW seems convinced i was part of the lies all along, and seems to refuse to hear me when i say, that i had no idea it was as bad as it was. I understand their concerns, i completely understand the feeling that they have been lied to all round for so long and are obviously quite 'sore' making them wary of the situation, however i was not as aware as even i thought i was, and was promised by my son that whilst he was meeting with the mother, it was all amicable, child focused and only on occasions for brief amount of time, then more recently 'he had stopped seeing her now'... it appears we were all lied to in the same way. Yes, i am still hoping my son will grow up and be able to take care of his daughter. He is physically more than capable of caring for her, but it depends how he can grow up enough to stop the silly games, and pull his mental age away from 4, to the nearly 24 that he is.

The SW came back today, we went through the notes together, while he made further notes on his copy. Both my partner and i explained to him that we didn't feel he was coming in to discuss things, more to bang on about the same things over and over again, that his attitude seemed to be quite tiresome and defensive of his original views. For instance he kept saying that the first time he came to see us, and that we knew he was coming, the house wasn't child proof enough and therefore we would not be suitable as carers. After the initial tension, things calmed down between us all and his attitude became more friendly, more like the first time we met, and we managed to establish at least on the subject of the house, that he cannot take anything for granted. Although, again we did say to him at the time he first visited, that we were in the middle of sorting things out after a busy summer for us outside re landscaping the garden, and we had now made our way into the house to sort the house out. This was said at the time of the initial assessment, however he seemed to either not hear, forget or ignore (or maybe not understand) us

However, as I say, the situation calmed down and in the second half of the time he was here today, I did at least feel he was listening to us and trying to understand our point of view. Whether he has or not, remains to be seen.

He now has to write his notes up, to be put as an addendum to the court, then it has to go to his legal team, who will clear it and release it back to him to share with us. This should be done by 5th November as that when he officially leaves the case and the new SW takes over (they are working together at the moment in the change over). He has said he will ring us next week and let us know when he will be able to come round to discuss it with us again.

Thanks for your help,
NG

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ied53
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Re: EEek! Social worker coming to visit tomorrow -what to ex

Postby ied53 » Sat Oct 31, 2015 8:17 am

As a person who has also been through the mill I doubted the sw ability to understand English regardless of their standard of education. I put it down to them dealing with poor parents and forgetting we are the cavalry . We often found totally off the wall comments that were down to their interpretation. Though also noted changes in our favour when a sw was moving on.
Irene

Grandparent carer in Lincolnshire

Tough times never last tough people do


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