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Alcohol testing and disengagement from Social Services.

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:02 pm
by Fa235
In March 2108 my children were put on CP due to my alcohol use which I hold my hands got out of the control. I was still holding down my part time job (just about at the end I have to admit). I had to move out of the house and my ex husband moved back and I could only see them supervised. Luckily, this was only for about 6 weeks instead of 1-2 years that the assessment social worker had said. Due to my work with young people they informed my bosses and I have not been able to work with young people since. However, my bosses have been amazing and found me a project to do that does not require contact with young people. I worked with kids for the past 14 years and never drank at work and must have done a goodish job for them to keep on. I had a hair stand test 3 months in which I was told would prove I hadn't drunk but this was not the case it was just an indicator of levels of alcohol. I was told to wait another 6 months before I could have another one. For whatever reason this second test came back still with heavy use of alcohol. Even though it was 9 since I had last a drink. They are taking this one test and my social worker has said that I have to work with support services to reduce it. How I am supposed to reduce 0 alcohol is beyond me. I have worked really hard to overcome my dependency through social services, almost losing my job, my 20 year relationship finishing. They have even said when you get some stress you will relapse.

All other reports from my children, employers, family etc their is no evidence that I have been drinking (simply because I haven't but SS refuse to believe me or my children). Due to them still being on the plan I may lose my job because how can my employers pay for something I am not doing? SS response has been we don't care about your job or that would be a shame. Will they care when I can't put food on my kids table? They repeatedly kept telling me to go back to the alcohol service. Last week the alcohol service sent a letter to SW to say I had completed everything they can offer and I was getting the support from AA etc.

The alcohol service advised me that if I wanted to challenge to the hair strand test I would have to get the courts involved which I assume I can only do by disengaging with social services. I am scared what might happen if I was to do that. But I also want to prove my innocence and I have not drank alcohol for nearly 10 months. The last visit he said it is not just about the alcohol but about my parenting. When he did a scale with my kids they both scored 10 as to how happy they were and he said he had never heard this before. It's like they move the goal posts all the time. Sorry rambling on. I suppose what I really want to know is if I disengage with SS and they go to the legal planning team what is the worse that can happen. Bearing in mind their is absolutely no other evidence that my children are neglected or at risk of harm. Sorry for the long post. I am not good at getting to the point.

Re: Alcohol testing and disengagement from Social Services.

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:59 pm
by Suzie, FRG Adviser
Dear Fa235

Thank you for posting on the Board.

You ask many questions in your post and I shall start by suggesting that you seek support to help you with reducing your alcohol intake. I understand that you have said that you are doing this: perhaps you may need more than one professional source to prove your sobriety. Your GP may be able to help with regular blood tests; if you have not engaged with your local drug and alcohol services, contacting them may be helpful; and Drinkaware provides links to national alcohol support services which may be of use to you too.

In relation to your children being subject to a child protection plan, it may be useful for you to revisit the plan and see exactly what is being asked of you and point out the areas where you are on task; those that you are working towards and if need be ask for suggestions as to how you might comply with any you find hard to achieve. From what you have written I imagine that you are ‘on task’ with some of what might be written in the plan otherwise the social worker would have informed you that this was not the case. You said that the social worker mentioned your parenting, did she/he suggest a parenting course for you, if not do ask for one if she/he thinks you (and your children) will benefit from it.

In relation to disengaging from Children’s Services, at this point it may not serve the purpose you want. May I suggest that you read our advice sheet about Child protection procedures and the guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 will give you an outline of how Children Services work with families, please read from page 47 onwards. Your children’s social worker may also be able to give you a copy of the local policies on child protection.

If you would like to speak to one of our advisers our confidential telephone service is open Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 3.00pm on 0808 801 0366.

I hope this information is helpful.

Best wishes