Referred to Social Services by school, how to manage relationship with school

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EVRuby
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Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2021 1:05 pm

Referred to Social Services by school, how to manage relationship with school

Post by EVRuby » Mon Nov 22, 2021 5:48 pm

Hi,

I've have a 10 year old with Aspergers who finds school very stressful and is recovering from panic disorder centred around the classroom. The SENCO doesn't quite understand that his anxiety and issues all centre around school and she and I have quite a tense relationship.

She has referred me to social services because I mentioned in a call that a couple of months back I had given my son melatonin to help him get to sleep and that I'd asked my GP for a CAMHs referral to get it on prescription (melatonin isn't illegal, it is just a prescription only medication though freely available for children and adults out of Europe).

I'm fairly confident that social services will not see the need to assess further, our family is stable and secure and well-supported and my GP has said that this is a social services tick box exercise and once they have done initial checks they will close the case.

My question is, now I feel any relationship with the SENCo and staff at the school has gone from tricky to impossible, this referral has so completely surprised me that I just don't feel I can seriously engage with them on problem-solving the difficulties my son has - are there services to help mediate through a situation like this?

Thanks in advance,

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

Re: Referred to Social Services by school, how to manage relationship with school

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Nov 25, 2021 3:00 pm

Dear EVRuby,

Welcome to the parents' board and thank you for your post.

You have a 10 year old son who has Aspergers - you say he finds school stressful and is recovering from a panic disorder. You say the SENCO does not understand that your son's anxiety centres around school and that you have a tense relationship. You told the SENCO that you had given your son melatonin a couple of months ago and that you had asked your GP to refer you to CAMHS for a prescription and this has resulted in a referral to children's services. You now feel that this referral has impacted upon your relationship with the SENCO and staff at school and would like to know if there are any services that may assist in mediation this.

Firstly, it is positive that you feel confident about children services assessing your family. Following a referral, someone from children's services will contact you and inform you of what action they think needs to be taken. They may offer you a children and families assessment to take a further look at what is going on for your son and to assess whether any ongoing involvement is necessary. You can read more about what to expect from this kind of assessment and the possible outcomes here.

In relation to your relationship with the school's SENCO, it is important to consider that if she had a safeguarding concern about your son, she had a statutory duty to report this to children's services. A good working relationship with the SENCO will be important in ensuring your son is getting all the support that he needs. It is understandable that you feel that this referral has impacted on your relationship, however, I would advise that you initially request a meeting with the SENCO in order to discuss how you may be able to improve communication/address some of the barriers to this that have existed. It may be helpful to ask that another member of staff also attend.

Here are a number of organisations who provide advice surrounding children with special educational needs, which you may find useful to contact 1) Independent Provider of Special Education Advice (known as IPSEA) offers free and independent legally based information, advice and support to help get the right education for children and young people with all kinds of special educational needs and disabilities. Book an appointment here. 2) SOS!SEN is a national charity aiming to empower parents and carers of children with SEN to tackle successfully themselves the difficulties they face when battling for their children’s rights. Helpline: 0208 538 3731.

Best wishes,

Suzie.

EVRuby
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2021 1:05 pm

Re: Referred to Social Services by school, how to manage relationship with school

Post by EVRuby » Sun Nov 28, 2021 8:24 pm

Thank you for responding. The social worker contacted me last week to let me know that no assessment was needed and the case has been closed.

Thank you for your advice and suggestions. Our school's Assistant Head has agreed to be across any communication that I have to have with the SENCo and a SENDIASS representative has agreed to support us in EHCP meetings so I'm hoping we can get through the transition to secondary and leave this super-stressful experience behind us.

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

Re: Referred to Social Services by school, how to manage relationship with school

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Dec 02, 2021 12:48 pm

Dear EvRuby

Thanks very much for the update. Make sure to ask the social worker to send you written confirmation of the decision that no assessment is necessary and that they have closed the case.

It is good to hear that you have a strategy in place to manage any difficulties.

I hope everything works out well for your son.

Best wishes

Suzie

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