Help me someone please.... Desperate!! :(

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Mumofthree41
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:00 pm

Help me someone please.... Desperate!! :(

Post by Mumofthree41 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:25 pm

Here is my situation, please can anyone advise me on what to do? I'm barely breathing any longer. So reaching out for help is all I have left.

My 3 children currently aged 9, 11 and 14 were taken into Foster Care in 2016 due to neglect. I was suffering an emotional breakdown due to the fact that my mother who has lived with us since the children were born, became ill with dementia which got more extreme when in 2015 I remarried and my new husband joined the household. The children adore him but my mother didnt and things spiralled out of control. I could barely feed or care for myself, isolating myself in my room or going out and getting drunk or doing drugs with my husband to escape the situation at home. I always had sitters or carers on hand, the children never went without anything but I was not there for them emotionally. I was lost. Social services got involved when my mother attacked a carer and they reported it. They claimed I was putting the children in danger and either my mum left to a care home or they would take the children. Of course this made my emotional state worse and I was torn and unable to cope, I shut down. I either did drugs or drank or went out partying or I stayed in my room crying. The children started having bad behaviour issues too. It was a mess.
And none of the social workers cared about helping me, they just used everything I told them against me. And they built a case to finally take the children in 2016.

I was given a lawyer and I fought while painfully getting my mum into a care home. I was still very unwell emotionally but was getting to see the children 3 times a week and we spoke daily by phone.

After the first 6 months, the social workers declared the children should never come back to me that I was unfit due to my borderline personality disorder and anxiety and bad judgement choices. Also we failed hair strand tests showing positive for minor cocaine and marijuana use. However, my lawyer with the help of the children's guardian and others, was able to get a court order stating we were to be given another 6 months to work towards reunification and attend drug and alcohol programs, parenting classes, etc. So we did all of that. And we found a 3 bedroom home. We had a long list of achievements at the end of the 6 months all positive. However, I had not engaged enough with mental health services and we tested positive again for cocaine use although still minor and we had positive reviews from our attendance to the programs.... We were a work in progress.
But the social workers said it wasn't good enough so the kids couldn't live in limbo any longer so they moved them to a new Foster home in summer 2017 which was now to be permanent.

However, they agreed to allow family contact weekly and daily calls to remain and to work with us as we continued to make progress forward and come together for a plan in the future to change the order and for us to get the children home when we were ready.

So we continued our progress and even started doing our own requested drug testing at our group meetings to show clean. We had excellent contact reports all throughout 2017 and the children were reported to be settling well. My youngest had extreme behaviour issues and was difficult at school but they had a good team helping him and he was better and better at contact.

But then in January 2018 we were given a new social worker from the "transition" team. She made it clear that it was time to reduce contact now and cut back these daily calls and perhaps even look at moving my youngest away from his siblings to a new placement as he was too difficult to manage! I was HORRIFIED!! This is not what we had been led to believe was the plan!! We argued, challenged it, tried to stop it from happening.... Even the children all clearly spoke up about not wanting this to happen. But they wouldn't listen and changed the calls to once a week after being daily for almost 2 years! And the contact cut to seeing one child per week with seeing all 3 together once a month!! I was very upset and fought them every step of the way. They twisted my words, changed things constantly, lied about things they said.... And the more I challenged and complained, the more they labelled me difficult, mentally unstable, unable to listen to or follow rules.... And it wasn't long before they had the children fully estranged from me.

They stopped the phone calls altogether, reduced contact to once a month only, have told the children I'm mentally incapacitated, which has alienated my daughter and she wants nothing to do with me now. They barely take the older two to spend time with their younger brother even though it initially was supposed to be weekly visits between them. Now it rarely happens at all and any complaints I make are unheard. Or I get labelled as difficult.

I put in a formal complaint which went through stage 1 and was not resolved and now it is in stage 2 which also probably won't go anywhere. But while doing these stage 1 and 2 complaints months have passed and I barely hear from the children or see them and they are adapting to that and moving on and don't even seem bothered about not having me in their lives!!

At the last contact for the first time ever, my daughter didn't show up and the contact people said she doesn't have to. I had a complete meltdown and sobbed and lost it so they stopped the contact, my oldest called me a stupid mental case and my youngest clung to me and had to be dragged away and I was again labelled unfit and unable to put the children's needs ahead of my own emotional instability.

The children are so brainwashed and turned against me that at this point even if I get to court and win, I won't really win because they children will say they don't actually want to be with me now and the court will listen to the children. They never listened to them when they were stating they wanted to be with me but now that they have alienated and estranged them to such a degree, they are happy to listen to them and they keep telling me to listen to what my children want...that I refuse to put their needs ahead of my own... That I'm mentally incapacitated.... That if I don't stop sending the children emails or letters by post or gifts or trying to phone them they will be getting a restraining order against me!!

I don't know what to do anymore. I feel I've lost everything and no matter what I do, I keep losing. They keep putting me on the naughty step and unless I do exactly what I'm told then I get punished more!! I did everything they asked for a year and a half and made improvements and had excellent contact reports... Everything was moving forward and we had a plan in place. And then they changed everything and when I challenged it they just took more and more away until I have nothing left. Nothing.

Please tell me what I can do.

There must be something I can do, anything??

Help me please someone before I choose to no longer keep breathing... :(
:cry:

Buzzlightyear
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:26 pm

Re: Help me someone please.... Desperate!! :(

Post by Buzzlightyear » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:25 pm

Hey mum of three, thank you for sharing your experience. Your situation sounds very difficult and i really do feel your pain. I was addicted to heroin but i looked after my challenging wife for 7 years and the s.s painted me as incompetent in court and generally twisted every word to suit their own ends. I've been clean for two years now and i teach guitar at the local treatment centre which i'm really proud of and just want to help others. I don't think i can go through another court case and my heart breaks with every single beat. Believe me love you're NOT ALONE i promise you. It may be of little comfort to you but some people on this site are actually going through much worse than us so please be strong because the s.s won't have your children forever. God Bless you always ***.
Last edited by Suzie, FRG Adviser on Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: To prevent a breach of confidentiality

Mumofthree41
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:00 pm

Re: Help me someone please.... Desperate!! :(

Post by Mumofthree41 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:11 pm

Thank you, your words mean alot. :)

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 2153
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Help me someone please.... Desperate!! :(

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:08 pm

Dear Mumofthree41,

Welcome to the Parents Board.
I am so sorry for your distress. Your last sentence makes me very concerned about your wellbeing. As well as your diagnosis of bpd, you have suffered the loss of your children into care after a lengthy court case.

I would urge you to seek help for how you are feeling. Are you under the care of a mental health team? Or can you urgently seek support via your GP? Or you could also contact the Samaritans who could listen and support you.

If you are feeling like this, it will make it much harder for you to make progress with children services. Children services seeing a distressed parent (even if they have every reason to be distressed) will see that distress as being harmful to children. They will be worried about the effect on your children.

Have you had any support to alleviate the worse effects of your diagnosis? You do not mention ever having this necessary treatment /support? If not speak to children services and your GP about a referral for this.

The second thing you need to consider is that the plans for your children only changed unexpectedly in January 2018. From then on, you felt things for you deteriorate. You could work to turn things around. Its not too late.

The third thing is to could consider getting the help of an advocate. An advocate could help you communicate with children services and be an interface between you and them when you are feeling distressed. Ask the social worker about advocacy services.

Your children are 9, 13 and14 and your youngest son has been moved to a different placement to his older siblings. At the same time new plans for contact with you were put in place. Your contact has been greatly reduced.

Children services should allow reasonable contact between children and their parents. What reasons have been given to you? Contact is usually reduced when children move to permanent placements. This is to allow them to settle. Could this be the reason?

Do you have a copy of their care plans and reports for the looked after children (LAC) reviews? The reports and care plan should explain why these decisions were made.

Children services should also promote contact between siblings. Why are they not sticking to what had been agreed? What does the care plans say? If it is less, ask the social worker and independent reviewing officer why this is so.

Although you have complained against the decision to reduce your contact, this has not made any difference. You could instead email the social worker and copy in the independent reviewing officer asking what needs to happen for your contact to increase. What can you do? What do they expect of you?
Also you could seek legal advice about whether you have grounds to go back to court to ask for more contact application.
Here is our advice sheet about contact with children in the care system.

You say the social worker has been talking about your mental health to your daughter who has turned against you. However, it would help her understand why she is in the care system and help her understand your distress. Has she processed what she has been told? You could speak to the social worker about how things can be mended between you and her. What can you as a parent?
For more information about duties to your children while they are in care look at Our advice sheet Duties to children in the care system .

I have only touched on your situation. If you need more advice post again or call our advice line on 0808 801 0366.

Best wishes,

Suzie

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