Dealing with Social Workers

Lo123
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Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:41 pm

Dealing with Social Workers

Postby Lo123 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:51 am

Hi everyone,
I need some advice please.
My daughter 16 years old has got in the wrong crowd of friends and since the beginning of year 2017 she gradually changed, not for good tho.
She had a social life such as going out with friends during the day in cinema, shopping, lunch, sleepovers with only her best friends, going to some parties where we as parents would trust where is going to. Also having family time, going outs and abouts, holidays etc..
Anyway this wasn't good enough for her apparently, she started banking school, bringing friends (5-8) at my house, while we were at work and abusing alcohol, making my house a mess, furniture, making a mess, we noticed that even the neighbour told us later. Few friends she had, I wasn't happy about it but she still hang out with them.
She started having problems with some people her age on social media that we as parents weren't aware as she wasn't open about it. We had so much problems with our daughter for a year, every week from school/college had phone calls about her absence. We confronted her about all these and she apologised on and on until one day November last year again phone call from college saying that her absent is 50% and she might be kicked out of college. I was so disappointed with her after she lied to us. I had an argument with her and her attitude was apolling so I gave her a smack (lightly, no mark) and told her to go to her room. I do regret for smacking her but she pushed the wrong buttons. My partner came back from hard work that night and heard the same story again, never ending, therefore he told her off by shouting and told her to stay in your room coz we really had enough of your lies. Later that night my daughter called the police saying that she she is scare to stay home, that dad strungled her, took her down on the stairs, mum slapped me 5 times on my face and pulling my hair, all these stuff. Police didn't see any mark or anything like that but they still arrested my husband. They let him off the day after. I went for the interview and after 2 weeks of that we were clear. My daughter didn't want to come and stay with us, social services got involved. My son 12 saying that is my sister's fault coz she always bright problems at home, but social services don't listen to him, only her. She has made fallse allegation against us saying that she grew up in a bad childhood, mum is scared of dad, dad has bad things in life 20 years ago etc (bare that in mind she is only 16) how does she know?! If he did, he would have criminal records if us true.
S S don't believe a word what my son say, nor me and my husband. They believe her without any facts. School reports say that my kids have been always looked after, wellkept, excellent behaviour, very good progress in lessons. Dentis, Gp all up to date, don't know what else you need to prove to them. Neighbours have said this family is a very good family, no problems. We are working hard parents, I work with kids, so I know how to deal with kids.
They still believe her. Is a very long story so am trying to cut it short. My daughter lives somewhere 1/2hours away from here, with some strangers to us as parents, we don't know them, SS didn't take her there, she choose to go there. She isn't going to college or work, just studying for driving licence. I wonder who's paying for that and why? Isn't education more priority? Social workers say we can't force her to come home or attend education/work. They are only interfering for 4 months in our life concerned about my son while he is saying that am happy with family and they have seen him often so no worries. We have to attend meetings, as they put my daughter and son in child care plan. Just coz our daughter lied.
We are trying anything to cooperate for my daughter to come back home, but instead they just bring a pain. Now the people my daughter is living with are asking for "Child arrengment order". My husband and I refused to sign that, who told them to take my daughter in their house? Why? Who are they? Am worried coz they might have brainwashed her or I don't know, there is something strange about it. We have taken a solicitor to represent us coz they don't listen to our voice, so far 2 social workers have been changed, another one on the way, for what, my son is saying to them leave me alone coz you are disturbing me at school and home. first social worker have twisted stories in the past, the second one don't pass all information to us or to our daughter and this is causing problems. Soon we have the first review meeting after 3 moths since we had the first conference. We haven't seen our daughter 4months and she insists not to come home at all. I wonder why?
We are a solid family, will do anything for our kids, she knows that. She used to be a very good girl, I don't know her anymore, she doesn't sound the girl I gave birth to and raised her with love and care and to respect family. How can I get rid of SS they are taking over our life and don't care if our pain we have already but putting pressure o us even more. Any advice please
Thank you

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Dealing with Social Workers

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:00 pm

Dear Lolaa,

Welcome to the Parents Board and thank you posting.

I am sorry to hear about the difficulties you are experiencing with your daughter’s behaviour and that she is now living elsewhere and that children services are involved with your family. Both your children were made subject to child protection plans a few months ago and the plans will be reviewed soon.

It no doubt feels that things have escalated very quickly. It is a shame that support was not offered to you by the school or early help when your daughter was missing so much school. At this time, she could have been considered as vulnerable. Not only was her education being affected but also children missing school may be one of the signs that she might be at risk of exploitation, for example. It was clearly out of character given all the positive things the school have said about your family.
If support had been offered earlier, I wonder whether it would have reached the child protection level it is now.

She is now 16 years old and nearly an adult. This means that the legal power (parental responsibility) you have will have diminished and there are only a few decisions that she cannot make for herself.
So she can say yes or no to medical treatment. (A GP would not need parental consent from you). She can ask her social worker not pass any information on to you, and she can choose where she lives. A social worker and you would have to respect her decision.

In these circumstances, and given you are worried that she might be being influenced by her new carers, has your daughter got an advocate to help her with her decision making? That person could help her attend the child protection meeting or ensure that her views about being on a child protection plan are heard?

Does she really want the people she lives with have a child arrangements order? There is no need for one to be made. An advocate could help her make that decision.
National Youth Advocacy Service could help or if she is in London, Just for Kids law.

Even though it might feel that you have lost your daughter, you haven’t and you must still put her needs first and act in a protective way towards her.
So still question everything that is being done by children services for your daughter. So you are right to ask about where she is living. Have children services and the police run checks in respect of the adults in the house where she is living?

The people who your daughter lives with have asked you to sign a consent form for a child arrangements order. This type of order would give legal parental responsibility to the carers (which they will then share with you). The order would only last until she is 18. It says where your daughter lives. Given your daughters age there is no need for this order except to help the carers claim state benefits.
You have refused to sign it, which you are entitled to do.
The carers will need to apply to the family court for the order. If they do, you will be served with the court application and can attend the court hearing. Given your daughter is old enough to make her own decisions I wonder whether the order will be granted.
For private law advice you could contact Rights of Women or the Child Law Advice line.

Even though things are very difficult and you might be hurting very badly, I am glad that you are doing everything to help your daughter come home. She needs to know that this is still an option. Ask the new social worker, what you can do to help your daughter come home? What changes do you need to make in your parenting style? Family Lives have information and support for parents about how to parent teenagers.

What support is on the child protection plan to help this happen? Is there a teenage intervention worker? Are you being referred to parenting classes?

The child protection review conference
This meeting will be similar to the initial child protection conference. So it will be a large meeting and professionals will be deciding whether the child protection plan should continue for up to a further 6 months. So are either your children still at risk of suffering harm or have things improved? Is your son at risk of being physically abused as alleged by your daughter? Or has the social worker now seen that you have cooperated and completed any positive parenting courses?
Has the support within the plan happened yet? You could ask whether it is safe enough for there to be a "child in need plan" instead.

However, it is still early days. Children services may want a child protection plan for a further 6 months to test how well you and dad are cooperating and to be sure that your son will be safe with you.
Here is information about child protection review conferences .

I hope this helps but if you have any questions please post back or call our advice line on 0808 801 0366.

Best wishes,

Suzie

Lo123
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:41 pm

Re: Dealing with Social Workers

Postby Lo123 » Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:11 pm

Hi,
thank you for replying back at me.
we had the review conference last week and both my kids are in child in need plan.
I still dont get why my son (12) is in that plan when they have no concerns about him, the only part is that he will miss his sister not being home but why does he need a social worker? my son doesn't want to have that. he says that they are distracting him and asking questions that he already has said before. he simply wants then to leave him alone. I told that to them but they still insist. why cant they listen to him but they do listen to my daughters lies?
is my daughter's birthday in the end of April but she doesn't want to come home, even tho she says she misses us and love us when she face time her brother?
I feel like I am the only person to help my daughter come back home, but I don't know how? I don't want to do the wrong thing by doing the right thing? how can I start? she needs mummy and daddy, she needs her family, not those strange family or social workers that they are only interfering. we haven't seen her in 4/5 months, we miss her a lot. I cry every single night and morning, every time I see teenagers walking pass by, girls that look like my daughter :(
I don't really know why cant she come home?
parents will be parents but why does she have to leave us just like that?
I know is not easy for her but she knows that we only want her back, other things will get sorted, she is aware of us how much we love her and will do anything for her, as we have done so far.
I want her to come home sooner rather than later, I don't want her to come back when she is older 18+.
how can I take the power in my hands and bring my girl back home? I know she needs me, she needs us, also I know she feels that she let us down, but I want her to know that it wont matter as long as she comes home.
please help me :(
thank you

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Dealing with Social Workers

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:51 pm

Dear Lo123

Thanks for your further post.

I can see that you are still very worried and concerned about your daughter and the fact that she does not wish to return home.

The child protection plan has now been downgraded to child in need plan which suggests that children’s services has offered support for the family. A child in need plan is voluntary where a child protection plan is not. You can say you do not want the support offered but, if you do, then you will need to have the same or similar support in place. If not, the children’s services can say you are not meeting your child or children’s needs. Please read our advice sheet Family support

You are concerned about why your son is on a child in need plan. I think this might be because of what happened in the home with your daughter. I know that you regret slapping your daughter but there may be concerns about the same thing happening to your son. Has children’s services suggested any parenting courses or any other support?

The position regarding your daughter and whether she comes home is very much the same as in the previous response posted. Your daughter is 16 and, as such, she is able to decide herself whether or not she comes home, no one can force her to do so. All you can do is continue to support her as much as you can. Understandably, as her parents you want what is best for her and for her to be safe at home with you but from the situation you described it appears she has made a choice that being with her friends and this family is what she wants at the moment.

Have you contacted any of the services that was suggested in the previous post? Perhaps you can get some held from Family Lives. Having a meeting with your daughter and the social worker might help you to understand why your daughter does not want to be home at the moment. You could ask the social worker to arrange family mediation to see if the issues can be resolved.

Unfortunately, there is nothing that will give you the power to bring your daughter home except giving her time and continuing to support and love her. You could try writing to your daughter just to let her know how much you love want her home. At 16 your daughter can ask children’s services to accommodate her, she has chosen to live with this family herself, so she is not actually accommodated at the moment and because of her age it is not a private fostering arrangement, so the duty that children’s services have monitor is limited. Do you know if they have carried out any background checks to ensure that it is a safe environment for your daughter?

I can only reiterate that at 16 your daughter can make her own choices and your exercise of your parental responsibility is now limited.
Should you wish to speak to an adviser, do telephone our advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday.

Best wishes

Suzie


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