Was this ever Child Protection?

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Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:59 am

Was this ever Child Protection?

Postby Har1Her1 » Mon May 22, 2017 8:26 am

I apologise for this rather strange question. However, I need a little advice about how to respond.

I have posted many times here for guidance and information and this has always been tremendously helpful. However, I think, after more than two years, we are coming to the end of Child Protection intervention.

My husband and eldest son have diagnoses of Asperger syndrome and anxiety disorders and my youngest son has social, emotional and behavioural problems and a diagnosis of anxiety disorder. My youngest son also has a working diagnosis of ASD but he refuses formal assessment.

Concerns were raised over two years ago when my eldest was in crisis and revealed behaviour by my husband which was considered emotionally abusive and behaviour by my youngest son which was considered to be sexually and emotionally abusive. A Child Protection conference ensued; the family separated and the situation became complicated by factors which resulted in my eldest son being arrested and sectioned and my youngest being interviewed by the police.

The situation was and is very complex and we still operate as a fragmented family. My eldest son is now 18 and is in a therapeutic unit for adults recovering from mental illness. My youngest attends a PRU on a very part time programme and is (to his credit) taking two GCSEs. My husband lodges with a friend and is looking for single person's accommodation, with support from a mental health worker.

We have had a series of social workers involved in our case and our current SW seems to take a different perspective to previous members of CSC. She has told me explicitly that she does not consider our case to be one of Child Protection and that quite possibly, it never really was.

This statement has shocked me, but it has not surprised me because quite frequently I have struggled with the connotations of 'abuse'. 'Abuse' implies volition or intention and I am sure that the behaviour of all members of my family resulted from unmet needs related to autism, mental illness and inability to cope and this was escalated by the absence of effective services.

Yet, a review Conference is scheduled in June. My eldest is now in Adult Services, so he is no longer subject to a CPP. It is likely that my youngest will be viewed as a Child in Need, so his CPP will end. However, I really believe that our 'case' could have been viewed through a different 'lens'. The Child Protection Plans have not worked. They have not resulted in changes in behaviour. Rather progress has been made through appropriate response to the behaviour. For example, my eldest is more stable because he is receiving the support he needs for his mental health and my youngest is making progress because services are recognising that he has additional needs similar to his brothers and have arranged very low stimulus, structured education and allowed me to parent him in a way that helps him to understand his behaviour and to share that understanding with others.

Do you think there is a chance at the Review, that professionals will be able to reflect on this case and acknowledge that there could have been a different way of perceiving and approaching our case? I do not want to challenge professional opinion, rather I want the local authority to reflect on what has happened and perhaps consider if improvements could be made to the way they respond to families with complex needs when crisis occurs. I just don't want this case to close without an appropriate examination of effective and ineffective practice.

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Re: Was this ever Child Protection?

Postby Ignatious » Mon May 22, 2017 12:45 pm

Hi Har1Her1,

Potentially (as its not happened yet and no-one knows what's going to happen on the day) great news about coming off CPP. Typically, from what I've heard happens is rather that total abandonment, things should drop down to a child in need meeting and periodically you will attend meetings similar to CPP bit more focused on support around child(ren).

I know from my own experience, I had an issue which required me to put in a complaint with the Local Authority which escalated right up to stage 3 panel review. I know as a result of my complaint, policies and processes were looked at and changed. Do I think a complain in your case is worth doing, no. Right now, probably don't want to 'upset the apple cart'.

I would say its possibly not the forum for the CPP review to review examination and practice. Possibly the best thing you could do is write a letter directly to your districts 'Head of Safeguarding' with the hope he (or she) would reply.

Whatever you decide to do, I wish you luck in June.

I am a parent. My responses are not from any formal training background but from my own experiences, my own research and my own point of view.

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