Social services won't put anything in writing

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MmumoftwoDS
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Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2021 10:50 pm

Social services won't put anything in writing

Post by MmumoftwoDS » Tue Dec 14, 2021 10:22 pm

Cant figure out how to delete the posts, so.
Last edited by MmumoftwoDS on Thu Jan 06, 2022 6:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

MmumoftwoDS
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2021 10:50 pm

Re: Social services won't put anything in writing

Post by MmumoftwoDS » Tue Dec 14, 2021 11:07 pm

2
Last edited by MmumoftwoDS on Thu Jan 06, 2022 6:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

MmumoftwoDS
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2021 10:50 pm

Re: Social services won't put anything in writing

Post by MmumoftwoDS » Wed Dec 15, 2021 1:41 am

3
Last edited by MmumoftwoDS on Thu Jan 06, 2022 6:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Re: Social services won't put anything in writing

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Tue Dec 21, 2021 10:20 am

Dear MmumoftwoDS

Thank you for your post and welcome to the discussion board. My name is Suzie, I am an online adviser and will be responding to you today.

I am sorry to hear about your situation, I hope the advice offered is useful and helpful to you.

Social Services, now known as Children’s Services, are completing an assessment for you and your family because they have some concerns about your mental health and your home conditions. You are not clear why they are concerned about your mental health because, from what you say, they have not made this clear to you. Also, you do not agree with the concerns Children’s Services have raised about your home conditions. However, you have where possible, made changes to address their concerns which has impacted on your budget and plans for the future. You are also worried about the impact Children Services involvement is having on your son’s emotional wellbeing. He has been tearful and upset since their involvement and when you have questioned him about this he had said ‘I'm not supposed to say anything.’ Understandably, this response has concerned you.

You mention some difficulties obtaining the social worker’s correct details and their conduct when assessing you and your family. You may find this link HERE helpful. It takes you to our working with social workers top tips and guidance page and offers practical support to parents and cares who are working with Children’s Services.

From the information you have provided it sounds like a Child in Need assessment is being completed. This type of assessment can take up to 45 days. It would be a good idea to clarify this with the allocated social worker. A Child in need assessment is voluntary. This means that parents or carers do not have to agree to have an assessment. A child in need assessment aims to find out what extra help and services a child and their family need. It is about making sure a child has what they need to be healthy and develop well. Help and services following a child in need assessment may prevent needs and difficulties escalating.

If a parent or carer feels that they do not want a child in need assessment it may be a good idea for them to:
 Take time to think about any worries they have about the assessment
 Note down the worries and any questions
 Speak to the social worker who is, or will be, doing the assessment (or another
practitioner) about these
 Ask for further information about the assessment process
 Ask for further information about what may happen after the assessment
 Ask them what they would do if you decided not to agree to the assessment.

If a parent or carer does not agree to an assessment, the social worker involved may:
 Become more worried
 Become concerned that the family and child will not get the help they need
 Worry that the child and family may struggle, and things may get worse
 Look at whether children’s services need to start child protection enquiries or hold a
child protection conference.

If a parent or carer decides they want to refuse an assessment, it is good idea if they:
 Show how the child’s needs are being met in some other way e.g. finding suitable
services and help themselves
 Share this information with the social worker
 Contact Family Rights Group for independent advice about their specific situation,
visiting our Parents forum is a good first step
 Get some independent legal advice about their situation from a solicitor.

For further information and guidance I have added a link HERE to our website page. On this page you will find information about:

• What the law says about children in need
• Child in need assessments
• After a child in need assessment is completed
• Child in need plans and extra support
• Children thought to be at risk of harm

You have written to the allocated social worker but have not received a response - did you copy in their manager? If not, I suggest you send another email to the social worker, copying in their manager to ask for a written response to your questions. If, following this you do not receive a reply, you may wish to make a formal complaint. I have added a link HERE from our website for further information and guidance on how to do this. On this page you will find links to the following:

What the law says about complaints and who can complain
What complaints can be about
Making complaints
How complaints are dealt with
Complaining beyond children’s services

You say that when the allocated social worker visited you, they were not carrying the correct identification and have subsequently refused for you to take notes in meetings and/or to record them. It would be a good idea to ask them for the local authority policy on both of these issues. You may also find the Transparency Project helpful. This organisation provides guidance and information in respect of recording meetings and discussion. HERE is their link.

You mention the financial burden of making changes to your home. You may wish to consider asking children’s services for support with this. They do have some discretionary funds they can use (Section 17) and they may also have knowledge and information about grants and or charities that may be able to assist you.

Children’s Services have said they are worried about your mental health and the impact of this on the children. It was a good idea to get your GP involved. I would suggest when you email the social worker and manager you ask them to put in writing their concerns to enable you to better understand them. It may be that they are waiting for the outcome of the assessment to inform their recommendations and support. I have added a link HERE which you may find helpful. It offers information and guidance on why Children’s Services may be worried about children when mental health difficulties are considered a concern and what your rights are in respect of this.

It was a good idea to keep a paper trail of your discussions with the school. They should be keeping you up to date with any concerns they may have and how these concerns are to be addressed. I think it would be a good idea to ask for their policy on working with parents, information sharing and of safeguarding children. Once you have this information you may wish to ask the head teacher for a meeting to discuss and also to raise the matter about your son not wanting to share information with you.

The team manager was right when they told you that your child cannot be removed without a court order . The police are the only professionals with the power to remove children without an order in place. Please see HERE for further information.

I hope you find this information useful.  Should you wish to speak to an adviser please call our free advice line: 0808 801 0366 (Mon to Fri 9.30a.m. – 3.00p.m excluding bank holidays.) Or you can post again on our discussion board.

Best wishes, Suzie.

MmumoftwoDS
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2021 10:50 pm

Re: Social services won't put anything in writing

Post by MmumoftwoDS » Fri Dec 24, 2021 6:40 am

4
Last edited by MmumoftwoDS on Thu Jan 06, 2022 6:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 3417
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Social services won't put anything in writing

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Jan 05, 2022 1:03 pm

Dear MmumoftwoDS,

Thankyou for your further post.

I am sorry to hear that you are not getting any response from the manager despite contacting her yourself. As I advised previously you may wish to make a formal complaint if you have continued not to get any response from the social worker or manager. We have guidance on our website here about how to do this.

You say that children’s services have raised that they have some concerns that your partner may be a perpetrator of domestic abuse (which you deny). Concern that a child is experiencing or witnessing domestic abuse is a very common reason why children’s services become involved with families. Research shows that children can suffer long-term as a result of experiencing or witnessing domestic abuse. You may find it helpful to read our website page here. I know that you say that your partner is not abusive, however it may be helpful to read this information so that you have a good understanding of what children’s services may be considering in their assessment.

Children’s services have also raised that they are concerned about your mental health. You say that you were willing to attend some counselling however this is not being provided due to covid. Children’s services have put in writing that you have ‘refused counselling’. It may be helpful to get in writing from your GP or the counselling service that they are unable to provide you with this. Hopefully your GP has by now spoken with children’s services to clear this up. Again, you may wish to put in a formal complaint if this is not acknowledged by children’s services.

You say that your GP has provided you with a supportive letter detailing your son’s health issues. Again, hopefully children’s services have now received this and this should be taken into account during their assessment.

Given the lack of clarity there seems to be between different professionals involved and children’s services, I would suggest that you ensure that you get as much as you can in writing from the other professionals and it may be helpful to take copies of these documents to the meetings arranged by children’s services.

Please do post back if you would like any further advice, or you can call our helpline (on 0808 801 0366, Monday to Friday, 9:30am-3pm) to speak with an adviser.

Best wishes,
Suzie

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