Will my my unborn baby be removed?

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Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:11 pm

Will my my unborn baby be removed?

Post by mickeymouse1000 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:34 pm

I had my first child removed and adopted over 7 years ago because of concerns about domestic violence cannabis use neglect and getting on trouble with the police as a teenager. I am now 24 and have since turned my life around I no longer use drugs and I am not in a violent relationship however I do have depression which is well managed on medication.
I am now pregnant again and the GP informed SS straight away
The social worker now wants to hold a TAC meeting and has referred me to mental health services even though my MH has been stable since 2015😠.
on top of this I'm also told by midwife that I will have to see specialists for pregnant women with mental health issues.
When I met my social worker I made it clear that I was no longer living my old lifestyle I also showed her various documents such as
.clean drugs tests to date
.letter from psychiatrist regarding completion of CBT
.3 certificates from different drug and alcohol courses
.a certificate from a domestic violence awareness course
. letter from probation officer detailing how well I had engaged with them to turn my life around
.a certificate in safeguarding children from abuse & neglect
.a certificate in early years attachment
The social worker was not interested in any of this and kept insisting that she needed to do a family tree for her assessments ( I HAVEN'T SEEN MY FAMILY IN 4 YEARS!)
she also grilled me for information on the baby's father I gave her his details but he disappeared when I told him I was pregnant.
The problem I have at the moment is that I'm staying in a friends spare bedroom I can't get any help from the council or find affordable housing but my friends have had previous children removed can the social worker use this against me ?
Further to all of this the social worker has asked me to sign a consent for for her to contact my family members and do background checks do I sign this form or not ?
any advice would be much appreciated

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

Re: Will my my unborn baby be removed?

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Sep 06, 2019 11:41 am

Dear mickeymouse1000,

Welcome to the Parent’s Forum and thank you for posting. Congratulations on your pregnancy.

I am so sorry to hear that your first child was removed and adopted. It must have been very difficult for you, particularly as you were only a child yourself at the time. Since then, your circumstances have changed and you say you have turned your life around. You list the courses and support you have taken and the certificates you have obtained and that list is impressive.

Because of your pregnancy your GP has referred you to children services for an assessment to see what support you might need to look after your baby.

The social worker is carrying out an assessment of you and your circumstances. Although you have completed so many courses, the social worker will still have to carry out the assessment.

An assessment involves:
• Looking at your unborn baby’s likely current and future needs. For example, she will want to know that you are attending all your midwife and hospital appointments.

• Looking at your parenting capacity. So what has changed since the last assessment of you? She will have taken into account all the support and courses you have completed. However, she will also want to do her own assessment to see whether you have maintained those changes. It is important that you try and build up a good relationship with her. She will be testing your ability to work with her now as she may well still be involved when your baby is born.

• Assessing the environment you live in. Is it safe and appropriate for your baby or do you need support to help you with your housing? You recognise that the social worker will be concerned that you are staying with a friend who has had her children removed from her. She may pose a risk to your baby, so this will need to be assessed. Also this home may not be secure for you and your baby. You are in a spare room but could be told to leave by your friend anytime. Do you need to take steps to sort out new accommodation? The social worker can support you to find new accommodation.

• Finally, the assessment will look at your family and friend network. The guidance produced by the government says social workers must do a family tree.
One of the reasons for this is to see what support might be available to you in your friend and family network. Children services would want to assess friends and family in your network in case your baby could not stay with you for some reason. For example, if you were ill after birth who could look after baby? Is there a friend who could be assessed or any family members who can care for your baby?

You could ask for a family group conference . This is where support is looked for in your network (friends as well) to help you care for your baby.

So much has changed for the positive in the last 7 years so care proceedings seems less likely for this baby. However, if there was care proceedings, the court would want to know where in your family your baby could live if s/he could not live with you. So, thee social worker needs to know about your family and friends. Do you know about dads family? If there wasn’t any suitable person then adoption could be considered again. Adoption is the last resort-if you and dad, and all family and friends have been ruled out.

I advise that you give her the details of your family but explain to her why you do not want them involved. Is any family member potentially dangerous to you or your baby? If so, let the social worker know this. This would be a good reason for them not to be contacted. You should not be put at risk of being harmed.

The social worker has referred you to a TAC meeting (team around the child). This is “early help”- so it may be just health professionals who will advise you about help and support that might be available for you and your baby. The social worker may not be involved in this meeting but I think you would be expected to consent to the TAC meetings taking place.
I can see why your midwife has suggested referring you to specialists who deal with pregnant mothers who have mental health problems. Even though the last time you were ill was in 2015, pregnancy can cause a relapse. Mums who have had depression are at an increased risk of getting post- natal mental illnesses which can impact unexpectedly on a mum’s ability to care for her child. So it is a good idea to assess you now-plan ahead- just in case you need that help later. For example, you might benefit from a mother and baby unit place.

Have a look at our Young parent’s website and our information about assessments.

If you have any questions please post again. I suggest you also call our advice line for in-depth support and advice on 0808 801 0366.
Best wishes,

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