Just seen this topic and it fits our case and highlights the issues.
The presumption is that Children’s Services will follow both the law and best practice which includes supporting and communicating well with parents.
As a parent who was struggling with my child’s behaviour I expected support and sensible solutions and help for my son not slander, inaccuracies and unsafe rules.
I’m lucky we only had a s17 review and going through the complaints process has taken 6 months so far and still not resolved.
I do now have a letter saying process was not followed, the assessment was unbalanced and rules were inappropriate. But that has taken a lot of battling which if we had been in court I probably couldn’t have achieved.
The senior managers are complicit in the way social workers work and in our case lack any scrutiny of the case and seem to have no attention to detail and seem to have barely read the case before the first response.
I will be submitting a complaint to the new regulator for social workers and after talking to the HCPC today they seem to think on face value there is a case to answer.
However some things will be hard to prove, I know I told the social worker I had left the house when threatened with a knife. She put in the report that my mental health was such that I have taken to leaving the house when my child is violent.
I had no mental health issues at the time and left for personal protection - as repeatedly advised by the police.
However I’m confident the social worker will say I said I had mental health issues etc which as it is verbal can’t be repudiated.
That’s where the big problem arises reports are written based on conversations but parents are given no chance to correct mistakes and misinterpretations.
The other area is that parents are given no chance to ask questions or dispute rules in safety plans.
I disagreed with the rule saying I was not allowed to have razors in the bathroom but my son could which we had to monitor due to his self harm. When I pushed back on the grounds I couldn’t control his access to all sharps including pencil sharpeners was reported for non compliance even though I followed the rule and described as not understand his self harm.
Pencil sharpener blades are the second most used items for self harm.
I was threatened with court action for this - the council have now agreed that wording was harsh.
It seems in our case that the difference between our experience and the guidelines and law was massive and since it has been so hard to get a grudging apology from the council I believe lots of cases are treated like ours.
I won’t ever trust Children’s Services again and live in fear of something happening that will involve another referral.