Children’s service reluctant to help while I am sick

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QACH19
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:07 pm

Children’s service reluctant to help while I am sick

Post by QACH19 » Mon Jun 24, 2019 2:13 pm

I am a single mother of 2 special needs children. First son is 6 years old, he is autistic, non verbal, not aware of danger, self harms and eats non-edible things. The second is 3 and has same signs as my first only difference is he hasn’t been diagnosed and doesn’t self harm. I have been very ill following surgical complications. The kids where put in Forster care for a week due to this. 3 days to their return home I was hospitalised again and the children’s services didn’t want to provide support at home for them reason being they couldn’t find any one. After dragging it for a bit, the SSW phoned me to say they will put support for me and the kids at home if I can get someone they will pay, maybe someone from the church, I don’t have anyone but I told her I’ll have the pastor announce it and see if anyone will be willing to pick it as a job. Anyway, 2 hours later the SSW shows up in the hospital ward by my bedside without informing me she was coming and said she has spoken my doctors and nurses and they think I will be fit to take care of 2 children on my own when I’m discharged. When I asked the nurse if they were informed about the children’s condition, the nurse said no that all they were told is that I have 2 children. When I said I’m constantly in pain due to hematoma and seroma and can’t restrain my son when he kicks off, I further told her that all I’m asking for is support at home with them, just someone to keep an eye with them. She said I’m manipulative and arguing, she said I had the children and should take care of them myself. Mind you I have never been to them for help if not for my complicated surgery. My question is this :
Does the social service worker have the right to discuss my medical condition with the doctors without my permission?
Does the SSW have the right to show up in the hospital ward by my bedside without my permission?
Does the SSW have the right to discuss my family matters in front of other patients and doctors and nurses ?
Should I be made to feel embarrassed and harassed for asking for help from social services?
Any advice is welcomed and has any one been in my position ?

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Robin D
Posts: 1876
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: Children’s service reluctant to help while I am sick

Post by Robin D » Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:49 pm

Hi @QACH19.

I'm afraid you've posted this in the wrong forum to get the help you so clearly need. FRG are able to help, but you need to re-post your query on the parents forum at http://www.frg.org.uk/ParentsForum/. This forum is for those looking after the children of family or friends.

If you don't get the answers you so clearly need, I suggest you ring the advice line on 0808 801 0366. It's a free and untraced call.

Best wishes .... Robin
Former F&F carer, foster carer, adopter and respite carer for umpteen children. Now retired and when with kids, making sure they 'go home' at the end of the day.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 622
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: Children’s service reluctant to help while I am sick

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:04 pm

QACH19 wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 2:13 pm
I am a single mother of 2 special needs children. First son is 6 years old, he is autistic, non verbal, not aware of danger, self harms and eats non-edible things. The second is 3 and has same signs as my first only difference is he hasn’t been diagnosed and doesn’t self harm. I have been very ill following surgical complications. The kids where put in Forster care for a week due to this. 3 days to their return home I was hospitalised again and the children’s services didn’t want to provide support at home for them reason being they couldn’t find any one. After dragging it for a bit, the SSW phoned me to say they will put support for me and the kids at home if I can get someone they will pay, maybe someone from the church, I don’t have anyone but I told her I’ll have the pastor announce it and see if anyone will be willing to pick it as a job. Anyway, 2 hours later the SSW shows up in the hospital ward by my bedside without informing me she was coming and said she has spoken my doctors and nurses and they think I will be fit to take care of 2 children on my own when I’m discharged. When I asked the nurse if they were informed about the children’s condition, the nurse said no that all they were told is that I have 2 children. When I said I’m constantly in pain due to hematoma and seroma and can’t restrain my son when he kicks off, I further told her that all I’m asking for is support at home with them, just someone to keep an eye with them. She said I’m manipulative and arguing, she said I had the children and should take care of them myself. Mind you I have never been to them for help if not for my complicated surgery. My question is this :
Does the social service worker have the right to discuss my medical condition with the doctors without my permission?
Does the SSW have the right to show up in the hospital ward by my bedside without my permission?
Does the SSW have the right to discuss my family matters in front of other patients and doctors and nurses ?
Should I be made to feel embarrassed and harassed for asking for help from social services?
Any advice is welcomed and has any one been in my position ?
Dear QACH19

Thank you for your post. Unfortunately, as pointed out by Robin D, you have posted incorrectly on the family and friends carers discussion forum instead of the parents’ forum.

I will, however, respond to your post here but ask that if you post in the future you do so on the parents’ forum.

It is unfortunate that you seem to be having such a difficult time in getting additional help from children’s services to care for your children following your hospitalisation. Children’s services offered support when you first had to go into hospital so, I am assuming, that an assessment was carried out for them to offer to accommodate your children when you first went into hospital.

In response to your question regarding the social worker coming to see you unannounced, I think it would be good practice for her to have informed you that she intended to come to speak with you. She should have obtained your consent to speak with doctors and nurses about you. The hospital should, I think, have its own policy about discussing patients and you might want to discuss this with the hospital. If the social worker was asking as part of an assessment to provide support then it might have been helpful to have the doctor’s view about your ability to cope but I think she should still have asked your permission since there does not appear to be any safeguarding concerns regarding your children.

As a parent, you have the right to seek assistance from children’s services if you need it to safely parent your children. It is surprising that you have a severely disabled child but have never sought any help from your local authority’s children disability team.

Please read our advice sheet regarding Family support. As your child has a diagnosed disability, he ought to be treated as a child in need and you will see on page 24 at paragraph 3.6.7. which relates to help where a parent cannot care because of being in hospital etc. Your description of how the social worker spoke to you about your children seems unprofessional, you may want to consider whether you should raise your concerns with the social worker's team manager or make a formal complaint. Our advice sheet Challenging decisions and making complaints provides more information.

You might find it helpful to read through this advice sheet in full to see exactly what support you could be offered on a more general basis. As a parent with a disabled child, you are also entitled to have parent carer assessment to look at your own needs under the Care Act 2014.

If you wish to speak to an adviser you can telephone our free confidential advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday (except Bank Holidays).

I hope this is helpful.

Best wishes

Suzie

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