Children in care, mental health issues.

nessie
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 1:47 pm

Children in care, mental health issues.

Postby nessie » Mon Jul 03, 2017 2:12 pm

Hello, Can social services use the fact that I had made three complaints against them in a very negative way. I am currently undergoing an assessment for reunification with my children and in their assessment it states that I am not working well with ss and that my complaints has resulted in a change of social worker. This is despite it not being my idea to change sw and also receiving positive feedback from my complaints at the time and being told it would not go against me.
I just really don't know what to do. I have BPD and I can handle just about everything else apart from dealing with social services but because of the fact that they have my children I am constantly finding myself getting worked up. I think I am being seriously discriminated against for having a mental health condition which cannot be right or just.
Thanks for reading.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 1737
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Children in care, mental health issues.

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:57 pm

Dear Nessie,

The assessment for re unification will look at how you have worked with children services. This is alongside assessing how things have changed since the care order was made and assessing whether it is in the best interests of your children to come home to you and how this can be supported.

Children services need to be sure that they have can have a positive and cooperative working relationship with you. Any move back home would mean there would be support put in place to help your children settle back, as well as ongoing monitoring of you. A good working relationship would be needed for this to happen.

Often a return often a return of home, will be done while there is still a care order so that children services keep parental responsibility. In case they need to consider removing the children again.

Or your children may be placed on a child protection or child in need plan, which requires both parties to work well together, to be effective.
However, at the same time, a parent should be able to challenge decisions via the complaints process because children services make wrong decisions. This should not automatically mean that a parent is uncooperative. it should be put in the context of why the complaints were made. Were your complaints upheld? Are you able to justify the complaints?

Do you have a better working relationship with the new social worker?
Can you show how you would work well with the social worker in the future? What about with other professionals? Do you have examples of how you have a good relationship with the contact supervisor, foster carer or independent reviewing officer?
Or have you become more cooperative as your health has improved?
Here is our advice sheet about rehabilitation .


The NSPCC also has research published about what helps with children returning home. Please see the list of "what works".
If you need further advice, please post again.

Best wishes,

Suzie

nessie
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 1:47 pm

Re: Children in care, mental health issues.

Postby nessie » Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:47 pm

Hello Suzie,
The complaints I made were around contact issues. For example: I had first emailed the sw in October regarding me attending the school nativity. I was finally given permission to attend (I share PR with LA) mid December but when I attended the event (after having to phone the school to be told it was being held that day) I found myself in an impossible situation. I found a seat on the front row and to my dismay my daughter was in tears on the stage.
Another example: I had asked for contact to be extended to 6 hours to allow for a birthday celebration. Everything had been organised and on the day the foster carer said "See you in 4 hours."
I thought that every contact should be positive and thought through.
That's just two examples of incompetence, there are more. The sw wrote me a letter of apology and the service manager also wrote back confirming there had been a lack of communication leading to poor levels of services provided. They decided to change the sw not me which I was surprised at bearing in mind their intentions to reduce further my contact.
I am trying without success to get a solicitor. I have a meeting with SCS on Monday to discuss the recent assessment on me and I have requested the minutes from the professionals meeting which was held. The assessment was negative, the sw relied heavily on the original psychiatric report which was highly flawed in my opinion and was in factual on multiple occasions. My therapists have since written a report. I have been in therapy for two years, have an
"exceptionally high attendance rate of 98%,"
and have only self harmed once in 20 months.
I guess I'll find out on Monday our fate

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 1737
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Children in care, mental health issues.

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:17 pm

Dear Nessie

Thanks for your further post. I am sorry to hear of the problems you have faced with contact arrangements which you have already raised with children’s services.

You are struggling to find a solicitor. As well as checking on the Law Society website you can find tips on finding legal advice (including free of charge where eligible) and helpful links on the national bar pro bono centre website.

I see that you have a meeting today to discuss your recent negative assessment. I hope that the meeting is constructive. Do ask that any factual errors are amended. I hope that you have an opportunity to discuss any concerns you have about the weight given to your previous assessment and that you are able to explain what is different now, and to check how feedback from your current therapists might be included. It is good that you have asked for a copy of the professionals’ meeting minutes as this should help you find out more about the views of the different professionals. It is important to understand what the concerns are and what they recommend that you should do so that you can think about how to move forward. Do remain focused on the needs of your children throughout too, which I am sure you will.

You are welcome to post again if you have further queries following the meeting.

Best wishes

Suzie


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