Help

Har1Her1
Posts: 77
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:59 am

Help

Postby Har1Her1 » Mon Jan 23, 2017 7:00 pm

Hello,

I have started a new thread because, although I have written copiously about our family situation, we have a new crisis. My son has been discharged from the CAMHS unit where he was on delayed discharge because no suitable accommodation could be found for him. He has been discharged home, against his wishes, against our family's wishes and against the advice of Child Protection Plans for both children (my son and his younger brother).

The CPPs are for emotional abuse (both boys) and sexual and emotional abuse (my eldest) and professionals agree that the dynamic between the two boys is unhealthy (one has Asperger syndrome and the other has a chronic anxiety disorder and has screened positively for ASC).

This is the second Child Protection intervention the boys have received and throughout all the interventions the home/family environment has been cited as gravely injurious to my eldest son's mental health. He was arrested and Sectioned in July and my youngest son was interviewed under caution by the police.

So, my eldest is here. My youngest has started to try to control him (which is what happens when his anxiety escalates) and my eldest has had two episodes of crying and shaking. I have phoned CSC on an hourly basis to ask for emergency foster care for my eldest, and our social worker and her manager have just been to see us and told me that there are no emergency placements. They are sending a family support worker round to talk to my son.

I am so very angry. My eldest spent five months on delayed discharge to find a placement and to avoid going home. Yet he has been sent home with no pre-discharge planning and no post-discharge plan. There is a planning meeting tomorrow to discuss how the situation can be managed.

I have locked up the knives and my son will sleep downstairs on the sofa tonight because I cannot allow both boys to be upstairs unsupervised. I have been told to phone the emergency services or the police if there is a crisis. In the last crisis, my son was found screaming by the river with bleach and blades in his bag. He should not be put in a position where that could happen again.

I have complained at a low level before, but I never thought it would come to this.

nessie
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Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 1:47 pm

Re: Help

Postby nessie » Mon Jan 23, 2017 7:36 pm

I really feel for you. How did it go with the support worker?

Har1Her1
Posts: 77
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:59 am

Re: Help

Postby Har1Her1 » Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:01 pm

Hello,

The support worker was very nice and very understanding, but he does not know whether he will be working with us. He is a sessional worker who is located 60 miles away and he had trouble getting to us due to freezing fog on the moors.

My youngest son hid from him

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Help

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:39 pm

Dear Har1Her1

Thank you for posting again, I am so sorry that you and your children have been put in this very difficult situation which is clearly a safeguarding issue for your boys.

I recall that there was on offer accommodation with a foster carer which, I know you had some concerns about, why was your eldest son not able to take up this placement rather than return home? Perhaps if you had insisted you would not have your eldest son at home, children services would have tried harder to find an appropriate placement for him. Is the local authority disabilities team involved in supporting your eldest son? My suggestion is that you make contact with the disabilities team because of your son's mental health issues, to find out how your son can be supported and his needs met although the two services would need to liaise.

It might be helpful if you contact the disability law service details of which is here Having had the planning meeting, I hope that most of your concerns have been addressed and a suitable placement will be found for your son.

Your son has expressed his wish not to be at home and his wishes and feeling should be taken into account by children services as part of their planning and decision making regarding his future. Maybe an advocate would be helpful so that your son’s voice can be heard. You could contact NYAS on 0808 8081007, you might also like to make contact with Young Minds on 0808 802 5544 as may be able to provide an advocate for your son.

Unfortunately, I do not think that is going to be a perfect placement to tick all boxes so I think you may need to consider somewhere that meet most of his more pressing needs.

It is important that you register in writing to children services your concern that the identified safeguarding issues regarding your sons are not being properly managed under the current child protection plan although it is accepted by all professionals that having both boys at home is not appropriate.

I hope this is helpful but should you wish to speak to an adviser, please do telephone our advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Best wishes,

Suzie

Har1Her1
Posts: 77
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:59 am

Re: Help

Postby Har1Her1 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:28 pm

Hello,

Thank you for the reply. My son was working towards a placement with a Shared Lives carer, but this was withdrawn because the organisation considered him to be too great a risk. At various times foster placement has been suggested and although I have queried these, I have always made my positions clear: both my sons would be in danger if they lived together at home and I would agree to fostering as long as I knew where he was going and with whom.

The Local Authority have told me that there are no foster placements or appropriate residential placements in the entire county for my son. They have offered a few hours of outreach a week to help him have some time away from the environment. The situation is dire.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Help

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:55 pm

Dear Har1Her1

Thank you for posting again.

I am so sorry that the situation for your eldest son seem to be dire at the moment.

Unfortunately, as your children have never been accommodated under s.20 your son is not now entitled to all the leaving care support that would have been available to him. Is your eldest son still on the child protection plan? What plans are children services making for your other son, have they suggested accommodating him, since he is also at risk in the home?

As children services are saying there in no placements available for your son, have you had this in writing from them? If not, I suggest you ask them to put this in writing. Also, ask children services to provide you with a list of all the facilities that they have considered for your son which appear to be inappropriate for him to go to.

I suggest that you try to make contact with your local MP to see if he or she can get children services to put more into helping your family. At your son’s age now, you may need to seek additional support for him from the adult disabilities service department in your local authority.

Have you told children services that you do not want a placement out of the county, it may be that there are residential places further afield?

I hope you will get some positive feedback from children services after you make the suggested requests.

I hope this is helpful.

Best wishes

Suzie

Har1Her1
Posts: 77
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:59 am

Re: Help

Postby Har1Her1 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:39 pm

Hello,

I have written to my MP as suggested and I have requested that the statement re foster placements is put in writing. Quite significantly, I have had no minutes from the most recent Core Group meeting (three weeks ago), in which I stated I would consider Section 20 as long as I knew exactly where my son was being placed and could contact him, nor have I had any minutes from the planning meeting (two weeks ago) in which I asked for the chair of the meeting to note down that my eldest had been discharged to my care against medical, forensic, police advice; the recommendations of the Safeguarding Team themselves and against my preferences and my son's wishes.

My son is transitioning to Adult Social care and I looked around a group home, very close to where I live, that seemed really appropriate. The provision does not take people under 18, but they were arranging to assess my son just as he was discharged. The Adult Social care Assessment Coordinator was in contact with managers from the home, but I have heard nothing from the Coordinator since my son's discharge. Messages tend to go unanswered.

My youngest has made some progress. He now attends a workshop independently and he attends two sessions at a PRU independently, and yesterday he even worked with another young person (for the first time in two years). The specialist careers adviser is arranging visits to local colleges for him to begin planning transition to post-16 education. His behaviour is still controlling and challenging, but I feel foster placement would be detrimental to him and my eldest really needs the more specialised and social support a group home could offer.

I really fear that the LA will end the Child protection Plans, stop any support and simply leave my eldest here once he reaches 18. Apart from the immediate danger of the situation escalating again, the added danger that my eldest will be abandoned really frightens me.

Har1Her1
Posts: 77
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:59 am

Re: Help

Postby Har1Her1 » Sun Feb 05, 2017 6:20 pm

Just a quick update.

The boys had an argument which resulted in my eldest leaving the house. I couldn't stop him and, bearing in mind the context on July when he was found screaming on the riverbank after such an altercation, I called the police. My son returned unharmed. However, there was really nothing I could do to stop a young man who is nearly 18 and very strong, from leaving my home, nor could I de-escalate the argument between the two youths (the youngest is nearly 16).

As I stated, I have contacted the MP, complained to the LA and my son's advocate has also helped him complain. However, I am really angry and feel some law has been broken. Before I make a fool of myself at a solicitor's office, has any law been broken by sending my son back to a situation that places him in significant harm and which is against the recommendations of all people concerned with his care and against his own wishes?

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Help

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:54 pm

Dear Har1Her1

Thank you for your further posts.

It is clear that you are still very worried and anxious about your children and your eldest son in particular as he still does not have a settled placement. I will respond to both of your posts here.

I am pleased to see that you have made contact with your MP and I hope very much that this will result in more positive decisions being made for your son. If you have not already done so, it might be more appropriate to put your request for the minutes that you have not received in writing. It is really best to put things in writing to children services so that the possibility of not receiving a telephone message does not arise.
It is good to see that your youngest son is making progress and interacting with others.

As far as the group home is concerned, my suggestion is that you continue to pursue this to ensure that the assessment of your son is carried out so that he will be able to go into that placement once he reaches 18. I understand that it is frustrating for you when things are not done in a timely way but it is important that you take on board that some things can take time and not be completed within a few days or weeks. That is not to say, however, you should not continue to chase things up as this can sometimes move the issue forward.

Whether or not a law has been broken as you query would be a matter for a solicitor to advise you on. As your son is still a child and children services have a duty to children in need in their area, it seems that they have failed to exercise that duty to ensure your son is in a safe environment. You can of course consider making a formal complaint about the decision to discharge him to your home knowing the safeguarding risks that exists for both your sons. You want to consider asking children services for their policy about placing children with a disability.

I think you have already been referred to our advice sheet relating to family support but I am including it here for your information. You will see from this the sort of support children services should provide where a child is in need. A child with a disability is automatically a child in need.

I suggest that you continue to chase children services to support your son having a good placement as they should have done this prior to him turning 18.

I hope this is helpful. However, should you wish to speak to an adviser, please do telephone our free, confidential advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open Monday to Friday from 9.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m.

Best wishes

Suzie


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