difficult choice

worriedmum81
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:37 am

difficult choice

Postby worriedmum81 » Mon Oct 31, 2016 1:01 am

Im looking more for opinions rather than advice on this at the minute. My eldest son is in the process (very very slow process) of being allowed to visit and hopefully return home. Im excited at this prospect as well as a bit nervous because he has had major issues in the past, but he is nearly 16 and its his choice. His social worker admitted to me that its in his best interest to have social work involvement but it will save the council a lot of money if he returns home full time...anyway ive digressed.
When the children went into care, our bond was extremely strong. The child psychologist in our original court case said it was the strongest family bond he had witnessed, and helped me to prevent my younger daughter being adopted because of it, although this didnt help to stop my youngest 2 because of their ages. Now 4 years later i still desperately want them all home, but my younger daughter has developed a very close relationship with her foster parents, particularly the mum, and they are extremely fond of her. The mum has even stated to me that she feels like she is her own but that she doesnt mind sharing her with me. Its good to see her so settled and happy but i feel this then means she wouldnt want to come home if i went back and got the care order overturned.
I also have a 13 and 11 year old in foster care, they live together on a farm, with all the benefits that being there obviously brings with it. Over recent months though (about 6 months roughly) ive noticed them both, particularly my daughter becoming more distant with me to the point that at contact she sits and talks to her older brother and barely speaks to me until near the end, then gets annoyed with me for not having time for her. She has also recently said a few comments that her foster mum has said about me which seem to put me down. Such as when it was the end of year shows i gave my son a box of chocs to share with his friends, i gave my daughter a pamper kit (lotions and bubble bath etc) to share with a friend if she had a sleep over and also another bath pamper package as a thank you for the mum. Apparently there were comments made that i treated my son better because of the chocolates. That is just one of the examples of comments.
Now id love to go back to court and get the care order overturned, and with a lot of the original evidence being proven as false (for instance the social workers saying i never phoned the police about the babys dad, when i had a police report of 13 different times in 3 months that i reported him), as well as the massive changes in my life, i have had cognitive behaviour therapy which i paid for myself, have had my own home for nearly 4 years, have a career working with people who have special needs, have completed many courses including ones about domestic abuse, autism and mental health (which i am now doing an a level in) and have done these courses myself without support from social workers. I have also been off my antidepressant tablets for over 2 years and cope fine. But as much as i want them home, would it be whats best for them, or should i bite the bullet, let them stay with the carers that they have had for nearly 3 years and hope the children will still want me as a mum when they are older? It makes me cry just to think of making that decision but ive always made choices, thinking of whats better for them not what would make me happiest. Sorry for going on with myself so much.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: difficult choice

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Nov 02, 2016 7:02 pm

Dear worriedmum81

Thank you for your post.

I can see that you are concerned about the decision you have to make regarding your children being returned to your care.

You have said you do not want advice but opinions in respect of your post.

The social worker has told you that your nearly 16 year old son would be better off with social worker involvement. If as you have said he has issues and you are worried about his return home. Perhaps you could ask for his return to be phased to give you both an opportunity to get used to him returning home.

As a looked after child, your eldest son would have an entitlement to support from children services as a child leaving care and this can include support up to age 21. If he leaves care then he would lose out on these benefits which include helping him into independent living and the provision of accommodation. Please read our advice sheet about care leavers’ entitlement.

Regarding your other children, it is difficult to express an opinion without knowing your children and their particular needs. You have yourself identified the concerns you have so I think it is important that you look at the pros and cons of the children returning to your care. It is important to you take account of your children’s wishes and feelings about being reunited to your care. Our advice sheet about children being reunited to their family from care is here for your information.

I think it will be for you to consider each of your children’s needs and make a decision. You should remember that even if you make an application to discharge the care orders, it will ultimately, be the judge who decides what is in the children’s best interests and if the care orders should be discharged.

You continue to have contact with the children so they know that you are mum and the fact that your eldest want to come home suggests that the others might as well when they are older. I suppose the best thing is to speak to the children about it and see how they feel.

I hope you will be able to reach a decision that is good for all of you.

Best wishes

Suzie

worriedmum81
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:37 am

Re: difficult choice

Postby worriedmum81 » Fri Nov 11, 2016 10:11 am

Just a quick update, my son has been allowed to start spending time at my new flat, he has his own bedroom which he is due to start decorating and in the new year we hope he will be allowed to start staying over at weekends.
My 13 year old daughter has been saying that when dhe is 16 she is moving back in with me and her social worker has supervised one of our contacts to see what our relationship is like. He wants to have a meeting with me about how we move forward with unsupervised access with her. And next friday I will be seeing all of the children in a restaurant with my family. The social workers will be supervising but I'm very excited.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: difficult choice

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Nov 11, 2016 4:13 pm

Dear worriedmum81

Thank you for posting an update of your current situation.

I am really pleased that things appear to be moving in the right direction for you and your children. Please remember to read the advice sheet (sent to you earlier), relating to the support a child should receive from children services prior to leaving care.

It is great that you will be able to have all the children together with the family and I hope you will have a really wonderful time together.

Best wishes,

Suzie

worriedmum81
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:37 am

Re: difficult choice

Postby worriedmum81 » Sat Nov 19, 2016 2:51 pm

Hi suzie. Just a quick update. Yesterday went really well. It nearly got cancelled at the last minute due to the weather but everyone attended and all of the children had a great time. The social workers were as unobtrusive as possible, and seemed very happy with how it went.
I have a TAC meeting with the social worker next week and my daughters social worker wants a meeting soon we can discuss unsupervised contact. Its taking time but definitely feels like theres progress x

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 1727
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: difficult choice

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Nov 21, 2016 12:13 pm

Dear worriedmum81

Thank you for your further update.

I am very pleased that all went well for you and the children at the restaurant outing. This was a good opportunity for the social worker to see the family together and how you interact with each other.

Best of luck with the meetings you are attending in the coming weeks and I hope things will continue to go well. Continue working with the social workers involved with the children as it often leads to a good outcome.

Best wishes

Suzie

worriedmum81
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:37 am

Re: difficult choice

Postby worriedmum81 » Fri Dec 09, 2016 2:46 pm

Im not sure what has gone wrong this week.
Last year i was told i was allowed to go to any shows/ special assemblies for the children by the social worker (she was temporarily in charge of all 4). Unfortunately last xmas and at the summer show they forgot to inform me until the shows had been done.
Last month i emailed the social worker, asking for dates of any shows. She finally emailed me back on monday (exactly 4 weeks from when i originally asked) telling me to just check with the schools. And yes she wrote it in plural. I checked with the schools, unforunately it is again too late to see my 8 year old as they were done last week. (The social worker fibbed to her last time and said i had been told but was too busy. Which understandably really upset her as she knew i went to the older childrens shows. She will be heartbroken that again ive not come to her show.
I told the social worker that there was a carol service that night that i would go to and a show next monday that i want to get a ticket for.
I went to the carol service on monday night. It was lovely
And the kids were excited to see me. The foster carer sent them to me for a hug, then left us alone while he went to the bathroom.
On thursday night i got a call from the older childrens social worker saying i shouldnt have gone to the church, that i hadnt informed social services and that the other social worker would not have said i could go to the shows.
He implied that this could stop the unsupervised contact he was supposed to arrange. He asked what i had said to my daughter when left alone. I told him, she had asked about unsupervised contact and had suggested a thursday when her brother goes dancing. I had said it sounda like a good idea but i would have to ask her social worker. (shes been promised since jan so its no wonder shes anxious for it to start). I also made a point of telling her foster carer what we had said to each other so he didnt feel we were keeping secrets.
The social worker said he would 'question' my daughter when he sees her on monday and would talk to me about it at the lac review which he then informed me was on wednesday, at the same time as my younger daughter also has a lac review at the oppsite side of town.
I emailed the reviewing officer to explain it all today and not heard back yet. I also got an email from the original social worker, backtracking, saying she wants to make it clear she was only talking about my younger daughter and if i want to go to the older childrens shows i have to speak to their social worker.
I dont know what the next step should be.


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