Social Worker problem

mancmum
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:34 pm

Social Worker problem

Postby mancmum » Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:25 pm

My son is in S20 foster care. As I have not been getting satisfactory information from social worker (after 7 weeks still not got care plan) I wrote an email to him, his boss and IRO setting out my desire to be included in all planning/decisions relating to my son and my intention for him to be home as soon as possible. Two days later I have had a call asking me to either phone or speak in person to social worker as he and his manager prefer working that way ! I explained that it was easier for me to email as less emotion involved and can list and think clearly. He suggested I write it all down before I phone and not to email again. What the hell. Maybe I am going mad ! but if they wont put things in writing how am I meant to remember everything, or is that the point, I'm not meant to !!!! Advice please. :shock:

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 1898
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Social Worker problem

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Aug 25, 2017 12:54 pm

Dear mancmum,

I think you were definitely right to email about not having the care plan (after so long!); asking to be involved in the decision making and your desire for your son to be returned home as soon as possible.
These are very important things and should, if possible be put in writing. They can also be raised at the looked after children (LAC) meetings.
As part of showing you can cooperate and work well with the social worker, on other less important matters, you could telephone first and only email if you have not had a response within a reasonable time.
I think reasonable time depends on what you are asking of the social worker. Often it will be giving the social worker a week to get back.
But if the matter is very urgent then you might expect a call back the same day, immediately or to speak to a manager immediately.

However, given you have memory difficulties, this needs to be taken into account. I suggest you let the social worker know this. This is a good reason to always have things in writing. Or you could suggest that the social worker agree to you recording the phone conversation-so that you can listen back to it.
Here are tips/ suggestions about working with social workers that you might find helpful.
Showing you can work well with professionals will be important, when asking for your your son to be reunited with the family.

Here is our advice sheet about Duties to children in the care system.
It has useful information about looked after children meetings, consulting parents and what should go in a care plan.
Also look at the tips on page 8 of the advice sheet about reuniting children with their family.

I hope this advice helps. Please post back if you have any further questions or need further advice.

Best wishes,

Suzie

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 1898
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Social Worker problem

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:08 am

Dear Mancmum,

Welcome back to the Parent’s Board.

Since you last posted things have not moved forward substantially. Your son is still accommodated in foster care and children services are taking things along the pre-care proceedings route. There had been a PLO meeting last October but there are as yet no care proceedings and your son remains in foster care.
You have been psychologically assessed and agree with the psychologist’s opinion including his recommendation that you need to undertake a parenting course and counselling before your son returns home.

Has any of this support started? What are children services saying about the support that is being recommended?

Family Lives have very good resources about parenting teenagers and may be able to direct you to appropriate courses as well.
Did the psychologist recommend any type of counselling? If not, are you able to access this support via your GP? Or are children's services paying for this? What are the timescales for counselling and is it in your sons best interests to wait? The Children Act 1989 makes clear that any delay in making plans for children is usually not in their best interest.

Your question is about disclosure of the unedited report to dad, without your agreement. You say children services, by doing this, have put both you and your children at increased risk of being harmed by dad. I can see how this would be very worrying.

Urgently, you need to discuss the danger you are in, with your solicitor and children services. What immediate protection might you and your children need against dads violence? Should there be changes in contact, for example and are you safe living where you are? Has dad’s risk been assessed?
You should also urgently discuss your concerns with a domestic violence support organisation. Is there any protective measures you need to take? Could an IDVA (independent domestic violence advocate) help you access support to protect yourself and your children, for example?
Here are our FAQ’s about domestic violence.

The second thing to consider is whether there has been a breach of the Data Protection Act. Here is guidance for professionals about information sharing that you might find helpful. Have a look at the golden rules on page 4.
Did you know that the report would be shared with dad? Was consideration given to part of it being redacted to protect you and the children?

Often at a PLO meeting, where you would have legal representation, the types of assessments would be discussed including who would get a copy? At this meeting was anything said about reports being kept back or edited to protect you?

Your solicitor should be able to advise you about what had been agreed.

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

Best wishes,

Suzie


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