Child going into foster care

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Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:59 am

Child going into foster care

Postby Har1Her1 » Sat Jul 04, 2015 11:34 am


I posted on another strand of the forum about the issues we are facing as a family. Basically, my children are being treated for mental health difficulties and during an admission to CAMHS as an inpatient, my eldest child (16) disclosed physical and emotional abuse by his father (my OH) and physical, sexual and emotional abuse by his 14 year old brother.

Despite the disclosures, my son was discharged back to the family, and I took time off work to try to manage the situation. It was unmanageable, particularly after the disclosures has been made explicit to my OH and younger son and my eldest son self harmed and needed treatment in the A and E department of the local hospital. Despite further disclosures to the consultant psychiatrist on call and a member of the CAMHS team who came to see him in hospital, my son was again discharged back to the home environment. I tried to manage the situation by offering my OH (who was extremely stressed and flying off the handle over anything) time out and emotional support and by trying to redirect my 14 year old's anger, but it was an impossible task. I received some excellent advice from Ange and Suzie on the other strand of the forum and the advice and comments justified my conviction that my son should not have been sent home after he made the disclosures.

In the end, my son has forced the issue to be taken more seriously. On Thursday he went to school (he attends a special school and commutes by taxi) but when the taxi appeared to take him home, he had a violent panic attack in which he threatened to harm himself and kill his father and brother if he were to go home. The panic attack lasted for two hours and the Head of his school arranged for my son to be taken to hospital with his two key workers (people he trusts and knows well). He was admitted to the children's ward and the consultant in charge has very forcefully advised Children's Social Care to arrange a foster placement. There is a CP strategy meeting on Wednesday to consider the disclosures

CSC contacted me on the ward where I am staying with my son and asked if there were any other options e.g. my OH leaving the family home etc. Unfortunately, there are no relatives with whom I could stay with my son; my OH could leave the family home and agreed to this, but my 14 year old son could not accompany him, added to that my 14 year old has threatened to kill my other son if he comes home due to the allegations my eldest son made against him.

So, I am considering a 28 day initial foster placement. Yet, instead of feeling relieved that finally my son is getting away from the toxic situation at home and taking the opportunity to work with my OH and younger son to sort things out, I feel an utter failure. I feel like I have lost my son and that my weakness as a mother has led to both boys suffering mental health problems, ruining their education and (ultimately) ending up in care. I have no doubt that my younger son will also end up in a foster placement because, through my ignorance, I allowed him to suffer the same emotional and physical abuse that his brother experienced. My younger son just reacted in a different way. I was not aware of the extent of the abuse until my son made the disclosures and the family were working with various agencies to help my OH cope (he has Asperger's syndrome)

Yet, I know, if I want to help my sons, I need to remain objective. What I would really like to do is to separate from my OH (maybe not a divorce) and create a safer place for my children, but I do not know how I can do this under the present circumstances.

Any advice would be really appreciated and I apologise for the length of the post.

Posts: 77
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:59 am

Re: Child going into foster care

Postby Har1Her1 » Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:37 am


The CP Strategy meeting took place today and I received a little feedback from our social worker who, unfortunately, had to leave half way through the meeting to chair another case. What I have been told is that there was 'overwhelming agreement' amongst the attendees that my eldest son was not safe with my husband due to his emotionally and sometimes physically abusive behaviour. A 28 day initial foster placement is, therefore, going to be applied for. Concerns were also raised about my younger son, not in terms of the allegations made by my son (which were taken seriously), but more as another victim of my husband's abuse. However, CSC are not sure that he is unsafe. They say more investigation needs to be carried out. Incidentally, I really do not think my husband raised confidence in his/our ability to keep my youngest safe because he hit the boy today and then reported himself to CSC in a strange effort to prevent my eldest from returning home again! The Manager of CSC in our are came to see my husband after he had reported hitting our son and my husband agreed to work closely with FIT and CSC. My son, on the other hand, told the Manager to 'F... off'.

I feeI a little helpless at the moment because I am currently in hospital with my eldest son. The hospital have very kindly agreed to let us stay until my son's placement is secure. I am still wracked with the guilt and despair that I wrote of in the previous post. In fact it has increased because my failure to protect the boys is so blatantly obvious, although it was not referred to as such by the SW who attended the meeting, rather it was called 'inability to manage the conflicts'.

I can, however, see some resolution for my eldest. If the right sort of placement is found for him, he will be safe and cared for and contact will be retained between my son and family members he wishes to see. He is also almost certainly going to a residential college with a recommendation from the LA for a 52 week provision. I will contact him as much as is humanly possible and I can create a safe place for him when he is on leave from college.

However, I am really concerned about my youngest son. I have failed the boys, but there may still be a chance to stop my youngest going into care. In a sense, my eldest is 'protected' a little by the framework put in place for his special needs (e.g. a short time with specialised foster carers, residential college, supported living and so on), but no such protection is available for my 14 year old. I fear he is going to end up spending a long and challenging time in the care system if he enters it, or worse that he will start offending or develop into a very troubled/dangerous adult. I doubt if he would live with me, if somehow I found a place for us, because he has a very strange relationship with his father, a mixture between love, mutual bullying and attachment. Yet I know my husband's behaviour will not change, despite his best intentions. The conviction that he can change given the right incentive is one of the biggest mistakes I made concerning my children's care (or neglect of it!). I am also sure that my youngest will not engage with the required interventions (his retort to the Manager of CSC almost proves this). So the only outcome I can see at the moment is that both our children will end up in care.

is there anything I can do?

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Child going into foster care

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Jul 10, 2015 4:25 pm

Dear Har1Her1

Welcome back to the parents' board.

I am sorry to hear that you are going through such a difficult time in respect to the current Children's Services involvement.

In you post you have stated that both of your children have mental health problems and a child protection investigation is being undertaken. A multi agency strategy meeting has been held to plan a way forward to see what if any actions need to be taken to help you keep your children safe. Furthermore, that your partner who suffers with Asperger's Syndrome continues to live at home whilst the necessary risk assessments are completed.

It seems that a 52 residential placement is being recommended for one of your sons, whilst the other remains at home. You have also expressed fears that both your children may end up in the care system.

From the information you have posted, it is apparent that you have cooperated with professionals and are being assessed as a protective factor at what is clearly a difficult time. Can I suggest you speak to the social worker about your fears, and ask them to be open with you about their current concerns so that you can continue to make safe decisions in relation to both children and the relevant support can be put in place to help you do this.

If you would like to speak to an adviser about your situation, please contact our advice line on 0808 801 0366 Monday to Friday 09.30 am to 03.00 pm.

Best Wishes


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