My situation, need advice and help. :(

Mumofthree41
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:00 pm

My situation, need advice and help. :(

Postby Mumofthree41 » Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:08 pm

Hello. I'm in a pretty bad situation. I don't know what to do so I hope someone here can advise me. My 3 children were taken into foster care in June 2016. I was accused of neglect. I'm guilty of this but there are many reasons why. I cared for my mother who is 94 for 13 years and 2 years ago she began terrible dementia which impacted all of us. I was a single mum with no family support. I did get married last year and the children love their stepdad but unfortunately he entered our lives when I was emotionally falling apart. The worse my mother became, the more I isolated myself and the more the children behaved badly. Social services got involved when my mum attacked a carer and I was told she was unsafe around the children. I began to get sitters in for the children and went out drinking and doing drugs with my new husband in order to escape my emotional pain. I made endless bad decisions which eventually resulted in the children being taken. We see them 3 times a week at supervised contact. My mum was placed in a care home. I got diagnosed with depression, anxiety and borderline personality disorder. After the first 6 months in care, the hateful social worker wanted the kids gone forever and said I wasn't capable of ever parenting them. She did a terrible parenting assessment on us filled with lies and inaccuracies, which the Guardian and the psychologist disputed so the court granted us another 6 months to prove ourselves to be fit parents and get sober and work towards the children coming home. Well, I am in endless emotional pain from this and I never stopped trying to escape my pain and despite attending parenting programs successfully and drug and alcohol support groups, I have continued to drink and do drugs. We were hair tested 6 months ago which we failed and now they plan to test us again, which we will fail again. We're trying to stay sober but it always becomes too much, the thought that I won't get them back, my sadness, my pain... And I run to escape again and again. When they hair test us next week and see pot and cocaine use again, I am scared they will close the file and end it all. They tell me the children are in limbo and depending on our hair tests, they will decide how to proceed.
The social worker never complied with the court order either but my argument is disregarded. It originally said once we started the drug and alcohol support groups we should be regularly urine tested to show our constant commitment to sobriety. I feel this would have helped us stay sober but the worker never ordered the urine tests despite us being proactive in asking about it constantly. She just said oh, the support group can't do that. But she refused to look into anywhere else that could do it and just decided to go for hair tests again after 6 months. I feel we have been wronged because if she had followed the court order and got the regular urine tests done, we would have stayed sober and if we hadn't, it could have been addressed sooner. Do I have any argument of validity with this?
I tried to get my lawyer to help me but the lawyer said she's off my case now as it's been given a plan at the final hearing and if I want to go to court now, I have to fill in the forms for legal aid and take the social workers to court with my fight. But since we are guilty of continued drug and alcohol abuse and they found out I cancelled several of my psychiatrists appointments, they have alot against me now and I am terrified this is all going to end badly. I can't take any more pain from this. For many years I was a good single mum, and carer to my mum, involved at school, active hiker with the kids (the kids even were featured on the cover of the ramblers magazine for their hiking!) and just overall a very good parent, never in debt, away on top of everything. I never beat my kids or verbally abused them, or not feed them... I just fell apart in myself and now I might lose them forever.
The workers also say my codependency on my husband is unacceptable because we go everywhere together and he doesn't work because I go into emotional meltdown at being alone. He cares for me 24/7 and we are best friends but they want to see us do things apart. Yet I can't stand being without the only person I have in my life. I don't have any friends. No family. No one. Neither does he. I'm terrified. I don't know what to do anymore.

Please someone help me... Advise me... Please don't be mean to me. I'm so exhausted from the cruelty of so many people trying to throw "tough love" at me. It just makes me hide in a corner and cry. I can't cope any more.

I just want my children home and they want to be home.

Please someone help guide me....

User avatar
Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 1690
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: My situation, need advice and help. :(

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:18 pm

Dear mumofthree41,

I can see what a difficult time you were having when children services became involved.

Care proceedings were issued by children services and the social worker gave you a negative assessment. However, exceptionally, the judge and the guardian wanted you to have more time in which to become sober, seek the counselling and support for your mental health diagnoses and become again, the independent mother you clearly once were.

However, you have not been able to achieve this within the timescale that has been given. You will test positive for drugs and alcohol and you have missed appointments with your psychiatrist.

Has a final care order been made, or are you going back for the final hearing? If, there is no final order, there I am unclear why your solicitor cannot represent you at the final hearing. Please contact your solicitor and ask why.

However, from the information you give, it seems that you may have a further negative assessment. I wonder whether you could have been offered other types of support such as a residential detox away from your partner. (Is he involved in the drinking and drug taking as well?)
I can see how you could argue, that if you had had the blood testing, it would have been the extra pressure to make you become drugs free. So you would have made it easier for you to become sober, in the long term.
What efforts did you and your solicitor make to push children services to provide this aspect of the plan? Ask the organisation who is supporting you to be drugs and alcohol free, whether this impacted as much as you say. If so, can they do a report?

The treatment plan for a borderline personality disorder may also be very intensive and takes many months to complete. Is it possible to contact the psychiatrist now and ask about the treatment and how it could happen in the future? Or contact rethink or Mind who can advise you how this type of support can take place.
I am just wondering how your partner has been able to help you with your wish to get your children back. Is he also abusing drugs and alcohol with you?
Did the social worker suggest any support to you to help you separate from your partner?

I think the overriding worry now is the time factor. The law says that any delay in planning for children is contrary to their best interests. Usually, the court expect all assessments to be completed within a 26 week period. If a parent cannot provide “good enough” parenting by the end of the proceedings, then a court will make orders for the children to live elsewhere. This could be with another parent or a connected person (family or friend) or long term foster care.
As a last resort, if nothing else will do, then adoption may be considered-usually for younger children.

Here is our advice sheet about care proceedings .

If the court decides that your children cannot come home, you still need to complete the treatment and continue working to be drugs and alcohol free. Your contact with your children will depend on this.

I have only touched on things. Please post back or call our advice line on 0808 801 0355.

Best wishes,

Suzie


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