who do I complain to next?

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

who do I complain to next?

Postby worriedmum81 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:39 pm

In the past few years the one thing that has really driven me mad (apart from the fact that I am not allowed my kids home) is the lack of communication.
My four children have 3 social workers between them. I regularly phone, text or email them, about contacts or concerns, with very little response. I have good communication with the support workers for my son at the house he is now leaving, but they also say they have difficulty communicating with the socialb workers. I have been trying to find out details about meetings, such as lac meetings and education meetings, as well as trying to find out what plays/performances and parents evenings there are as it was agreed over 2 years ago that I can attend them all, but am rarely told when they are, especially for my youngest. I have also been trying for many months for a response over my partners dbs. I have on more than one occasion taken time off work for lac reviews, (and in my role at work that can be difficult to do), only to find on arrival that it has been re-scheduled and the social workers have forgotten to inform me. Which is obviously very frustrating.
A couple of months ago, my children attended an awards show for children in care, where my daughter did a solo singing performance in front of the audience and dignatries. Obviously my chilldren wanted me there. This is the 3rd annual awards show they have been to, and on previous ones i was not informed. This one i was invited by the social worker, less than an hour before it was due to start, when I was in work, a distance away with no car, and unable to get staff to cover, so I couldnt leave work. My daughter was then obviously upset that I didnt attend, as she was told I had been invited and chose work over her.
I have been told I am allowed phone contact with my older daughter but in the nearly 2 years since this was agreed I have not recieved a single call from her foster carer. It is brought up at every lac review, but is passed over with "when the foster carer has time im sure she will allow her to call you".
In the 18 months since my son returned to our home town he has been promised sibling contacts with his brother and sisters, but this has been put off repeatedly, despite all of the kids requesting it. The social worker for two of my children said to my face that it will never happen as he doesnt like the foster home where my son was staying. This has obviously upset my son, and made worse now as he has started college, and on the only day of the month that he sees his siblings, because of his schedule he only gets half an hour with them instead of 1 and a half hours. We have both requested this gets looked at and been denied as the contact workers are too busy.
As well as contacting the social workers i have emailed the LAC review officer and cc'd' her into emails that I have sent the social workers about all of these concerns, so she can see how I am trying to communicate with them, but again over the past few months had no response, except a shrug when i raise it in meeitings and "i forgot to get back to you".
In the past 2 years I havent recieved any paperwork before lac reviews so I can voice my opinions and havent recieved minutes afterwards, despite repeated requests. I kept all previous ones as a way of proving when promises where made, but cant do so when not given them. To cap it all, when i havent been able to give views due to not recieving the paperwork, it records as "mother did not respond", so it looks like I am not getting involved.
Sorry its so long winded, but you can see why I am getting so frustrated and trying to find out who I can turn to or complain to.

charmed1
Posts: 125
Joined: Sun May 26, 2013 2:11 pm

Re: who do I complain to next?

Postby charmed1 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:34 am

worriedmum81 I know it doesn't help to know you're not alone but I'm going through a very similar situation with my daughter's new social worker. She won't even give me her email address! She has a very strong accent so hearing her on the phone on the two occasions I've actually got to speak to her was very difficult so that leaves text messages. They don't get answered it's a nightmare. My son is at home with me now he used to be in the same placement as my daughter. I'm a single parent now and it wasn't deemed in her best interests to come home to me as well as my son as I wasn't coping. My daughter has a learning didsability and complex additional needs. It wouldn't have been fair on either of them. So with my family separated I too have to deal with a social worker who not only appears not to grasp the fact that my daughter has a disability despite attending a school for children with additional needs, she won't give me her email address, etc etc. Well with contact it's a case of hoping that it goes ahead. They get the times wrong which causes so musch upset. It's like they've never done this before! At least in my situation my daughter's school is brilliant and they appear as fed up as I am. My daughter lives and goes to school in a different county to me and the children's services that hold parental responsibility for her. Too many chiefs not enough indians comes to mind. No coordination or communication at all.

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

Re: who do I complain to next?

Postby worriedmum81 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:22 pm

To be honest charmed 1, its good to know other people understand what its like. Its so frustrating isnt it. Ive lost track of how often the lack of communication has had an impact on my case and negatively affected my kids. Even 6 years ago, before my kids were took off me it caused problems. Originally when I was begging for help for my son and requested he went on a voluntary arrangement, having to report any issues I had with him, messages wouldnt get passed between departments, so at reviews I would be accused of not reporting things, or it would be recorded wrong so it would be recorded as "a concerned person rpeorted.." When it was myself. A lot of these mis-reports where then used against me in court.
Some of it is almost laughable. For instance, i had my ex partner put in prison for abusing our daughter, having reported him to the police as soon as I found out and went through court. When the police contacted me last year to say he was due out this year, i phoned the local authority to warn them. It came back as someone had reported that he was due out and was concerned I would get back with him. Then this year when he was released i informed them again, as I wanted extra vigilance so he cant get near them. The information was passed around, so someone from social services went to my daughters school to tell her. But the 3 social workers and lac officer all said it wasnt them and that only 1 of them was aware of his release.
I am wondering if I could speak to someone like CQC about it as its ridiculous really, but dont want it affecting my chances of getting my children home eventually

Ignatious
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 8:17 pm

Re: who do I complain to next?

Postby Ignatious » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:49 pm

This is a reply to charmed,

In response to your new social worker, I can't speak about other authorities, but my social workers email is :-

'firstname'.'surname'@'county'.co.uk

you could give that a try, if you get no reply, you've not lost anything, if you manage to get through, at least now you can evidence (at least sending) an attempt to contact your social worker. If it's a valid address, she cant really argue that she's not received it.

Good Luck
I am a parent. My responses are not from any formal training background but from my own experiences, my own research and my own point of view.

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

Re: who do I complain to next?

Postby worriedmum81 » Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:55 pm

:x the frustration continues. My sons official return date is tomorow. But, on friday I got the news that it was now on hold. The reason? Because I haven't been communicating with the social worker. She claimed to my sons house that she has been emailing and phoning me, but I haven't responded. The only email I had received from her had been Friday afternoon when I was at work so hadn't had chance to check personal emails. The only missed calls I've had from the social workers number where after 5pm on Friday, while I was on the call with my sons house. I phoned her back immediately and got the answer machine.
To add insult to injury I was told I then had to explain to my son over the phone (knowing the staff where listening in), that it was my fault he can't move in yet as I haven't communicated with the social worker or provided proof that my partner has moved out.
If she had actually responded or attended the home visit we planned I could have explained why he had been delayed (the house he was supposed to move into was withdrawn at the last minute, but he has now been offered another home), and the solution we have been using, where he has been staying at a friends home in the interim. The only proof I can get of that is a letter off my friend, but doubt that would be accepted.
Luckily my son has been calmer than expected about this delay. But something needs to be dome about this. I'm lucky I have proof of the Times I have emailed but can't prove she didn't phone.

charmed1
Posts: 125
Joined: Sun May 26, 2013 2:11 pm

Re: who do I complain to next?

Postby charmed1 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:25 pm

Thank you Ignatious I don't know the social worker's surname unfortunately. I get the distinct impression that she wants to keep 'family' at arms length. I now know Christmas contacts will be changing as mine falls on Christmas Eve and sibling contact is on New Years Eve so they won't happen on those days. I'll even turn up at the council offices if necessary as I need to know. Horrible time of year made so much worse. I text the social worker a week and half ago still no response. I'll give it until the end of next week and try calling her. It's not right I have to work so hard!
Worriedmum81 they love to pass the buck as no one listens to your side. They always close ranks. Stay strong.


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