Worried about upcoming Child Protection Conference

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Worried about upcoming Child Protection Conference

Post by silverfox » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:49 pm

Our daughter wandered off up the road while I was hanging laundry in the garden. A member of public found her and called the police. Social services were called and subsequently have crititicised us for that, plus the fact that I misuse sleeping pills and also our daughter is overweight. They have called a CP conference for next Monday, 24th September. They have told us they will put her on a plan and things will only get serious with court proceedings etc if we fail to follow the care plan put in place at next Monday's meeting. This is fair and acceptable, however the social workers distort the facts, lie, are unnecessarily hostile and are very sloppy with paperwork and arrangements. Because of this seeming lack of professionalism and casual dishonesty we are very worried about what made up story they might pull out of the hat. People we've spoken to have advised us not to resist them and to go along with there demands. However this is not easy when much of the case they are presenting is so biased against us and so peppered with distortions and dishonesty. Do we play along or defend ourselves? Any advice would be most welcome.

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Re: Worried about upcoming Child Protection Conference

Post by Kami2018 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:44 pm

First of all I'd like to say that the fact your child got out of the house while you were there as a parent is very concerning and i for one would be very concerned busy roads and the kinda world we live in is not a place for a child to be wandering about on there own and I can see why the social worker would call a cpc I agree , sorry if that sounds harsh but it's true and u can't minimise the risk that alone brings to the child protection table ...
But I would also strongly agree with the advice you have been giving and I would work with children as services completely because they will not be happy if you don't, I hate that social workers get critised and put down all over this website they are simply doing the job of safeguarding children when adults parents and carers can't

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Re: Worried about upcoming Child Protection Conference

Post by Brokenfamily » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:47 pm

I really feel for you. Years ago it was puppy fat, these days if your child’s skinny you’re not feeding them and if they’re slightly bigger than other kids you’re overfeeding them. I was so skinny I looked awful as a kid but I ate everything and never put on weight! Now my metabolism is slowly going lol but I swear if back then a social worker from today saw me I probably would’ve been taken away. Beggars belief sometimes. And don’t worry because I have many friends who’s children escape constantly. We even have posters in the shops here because one kid escapes that often and SS aren’t involved with them! If you don’t agree with something don’t be afraid to say! Get legal advice if you need to and always make sure the lies are corrected. I don’t stand for any of that now, I cooperate but there’s no way I’m having someone say things about my family that are false. It’s creating problems where there are none. Even when I receive the minutes of meetings and I don’t agree with what’s been said, when I wasn’t in the room, I’m straight on the phone.

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Re: Worried about upcoming Child Protection Conference

Post by Seadog01274 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:32 pm

Every parent makes mistakes and yes something could of happened to your child, but thank god nothing did. And this is just part of being a parent: things happen and then we learn from them. A child traps a finger in the door- you then think back about what could of been done differently and what you do to make sure that never ever happens again. Don’t let people chastise your parenting for a mistake many many parents have made. You go to hang out the washing, turning your back for maybe less than 5 minutes! That’s how life goes your eyes can’t be glued on them 24/7.

I have been dealing with an extremely unprofessional social worker for a few months now. At our last core meeting I decided to confront her over the amount of appointments she’d changed, missed or been late for. She told me she’s extremely over stretched with her work load and was very apologetic. I told her that it isn’t acceptable and would be happy to speak to her
Manager if she felt she didn’t have the time to commit to supporting my daughter and my family. She took everything I said really well and when I explained that I need continuity in my life and support from her when so many other things feel to be falling apart she said she had no idea I was feeling like that. That’s because she hasn’t taken the time to ever talk to me about it!

I would say any problems you are having with your social worker you need to get sorted sooner rather than later.
Make sure you don’t take your personal anger at the situation out on them though, this was something I was struggling with.
But anything you feel is genuinely unprofessional, makes you feel let down or uncomfortable, anything that you feel has been lied about or exasperated, write down a list. At the cp conference this is the place to talk openly infront of other professionals and get advice on wether you have been treated correctly. A report will be given to everyone and you need to tell the chair of anything in that report that you disagree with or feel has been reported wrong.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Worried about upcoming Child Protection Conference

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:29 am

Dear Silverfox,
Welcome to the Parents Forum.

I can see that children services are involved with your family and a child protection conference is being held next week to decide whether or not your daughter should be made subject to a child protection plan or not. You say that people have advised you to cooperate and agree with everything. As other posters have said, the conference is where you should be open and honest about your situation. You should be given the opportunity respond to what professionals have said. If they have made errors, it is important that these are corrected. After all as a parent you will know your daughter better than anyone else.

A child protection plan is not an automatic outcome of the conference. It would only be made if the professionals at the conference (for example, social worker, police, health visitor or school nurse, school/nursery) and the chairperson of the conference suspected that your daughter had suffered significant harm or was at risk of suffering significant harm and that the risk was ongoing.
If it is decided that your daughter is not at risk, then a child in need plan may be proposed instead.

You are worried about the social worker getting things wrong or even being dishonest.
You should ask the social worker to give you a copy of the report for the child protection conference as soon as she can-and a few days before the conference. The report will be based on her assessment. You should have the chance to correct any errors and make sure that your views are reflected in the report. That report will be circulated to the professionals who are attending the meeting so they can read through it. It will outline the risks to your child as well as the positive things about your family. So it is really important that it is as correct as possible.

Here are some tips about how to handle child protection conferences.
You can ask the social worker to let you have a copy of the written reports for the conference prepared by other professionals such as your child’s school, health visitor and GP. However, she may not be able to give them to you as the conference Chair and police must agree if these reports are to be shared with you before the conference.

It is a good idea to meet with the Chairperson before the meeting. That person will explain what the meeting is about and you can ask to see some of the reports (such as the police report) that you will not get before the meeting. If you are worried that you may become very distressed or agitated in the conference, you can discuss with the Chair having a short break if need be.

If you have concerns about any particularly sensitive information being shared at the conference discuss this with the Chairperson or social worker before the conference.
Ask the social worker about whether there are any advocacy services. An advocate could support you at the conference. Or you could consider having a solicitor support you at the conference.

Write down notes of the main points you want to make at the conference as a reminder. Ideally these notes should be brief, focused and should include:
- your views about the social worker’s main concerns about your child;
- any information or factors that you think are important about the concerns, for example, the support you could receive from your extended family, friends or community;
- any major areas of disagreement and why you disagree;
- any specific support that you feel would help your child.

Professionals such as your daughter’s health visitor, GP, nursery worker and the police will be invited to the meeting. They will share any information about your daughter and you and dad at the meeting. Be willing to cooperate with the professionals to draw up plans that will best meet your child’s needs now and in the future.
Make sure that you attend any appointment offered by any professionals. For example, the health visitor may want to see your daughter before the meeting.

You say the main risk seems to be your mis-use of sleeping pills and whether this may affect the care you give to your daughter. Children services might be worried this may make you neglectful. They may say that your daughter getting out of the home unattended was caused by the effects of the sleeping tablets on you. They will be worried about a further incident. For example, you might not wake if there was a serious incident within the home, such as a fire.
What support has been offered to help you deal with the drug use? Are you able find a resource yourself that might help you tackle your drug use.
Children services are also concerned that your daughter's health could be affected by being overweight. What support is being suggested to help you deal with your daughter’s weight? Has a referral been made to a dietician? You could you speak to your GP about this and let the social worker know you have done this.

Here are some FAQ’s about child protection that I think you will find helpful and films .

I hope this advice helps but if you have any questions, please post again or call our confidential advice line for detailed advice and support on 0808 801 0366.

Best wishes,

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