Mother and baby foster placement

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Kizler2021
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2021 9:42 pm

Mother and baby foster placement

Post by Kizler2021 » Fri Oct 08, 2021 12:38 pm

Hi I'm new here looking for some advice please. I'm an 18 year old girl, im currently 24 weeks pregnant with my first child. Social services did a pre birth assessment on me due to my traumatic difficult childhood, they only visited me twice and have made a decision that they want me to go to a mother and baby foster placement. Because when I was a child I suffered from mental health issues, self harm, I was a victim of cse, and I was also In care from ages 16 to 18 years old.

Since December 2020 I have been doing incredibly well, no mental health episodes, no self harm, no drink or drugs and no putting myself in risky situations at all. I'm due to have my baby girl in January 2022 and by that time it will be over a year since any incidents or risky behaviours have taken place.

While being pregnant I have attended all meetings and appointments asked of me with mental health professionals, perinatal mental health team, family nurses, midwives and social services and have show willingness to be involved with them and cooperated well with them. I've done several parenting courses that I have paid for and have certificates to prove that I did this. I am doing a face to face NCT parenting course in November. I plan to go to mother and baby groups once my daughter is born. I have my family around have always supported me. I am fully prepared for my daughter now, I have bought everything she needs and sorted our hospital bags out already. I'm doing so many positive things and I don't understand why social services aren't acknowledging this? It's so frustrating!

My assessment social worker has only visited me twice as I've already explained, the first time was for 30 minutes to introduce herself and for me to ask her any questions I had at the time, the second visit lasted 1 hr and 30 mins talking about my whole past from as young as 2 years old. She hasn't even asked me how I have prepared myself to be a mother or how I plan on dealing with stressful situations and how I plan to look after mine and my daughters mental, emotional, physical wellbeing.

She came to see me yesterday to tell me that they WILL NOT be taking my baby away under any circumstances as they have no evidence to warrant this and that they would be laughed at in court if they tried to do this, these were her words, unless I did something to put myself or my baby at risk in the meantime. She said they are advising that I go to a mother and baby foster placement once baby is born. Myself, my family and my professionals disagree with her due to my traumatic experiences when I lived in care settings in the past, this would not be a supportive suitable environment to suit mine or my babys needs.

The social worker said my baby would be on a CIN not a child protection plan as they do not have significant concerns or worries, and that they want me to go to the placement with baby to get support as I'm becoming a new mum.

I refuse to go for many personal reasons as it would be bad for my mental health, causing extreme levels of anxiety due to past traumatic experiences I had in the care system previously. And I would be away from my support network which I'll be needing when I come out of the placement and move into my own property.

Personally I want to move into my own house and be supported by my family and professionals I have now, and if needed I am more than happy to have a social worker visit me 2 or 3 times a week to begin with and even have some support from this organisation we have I'm my area that work with young mums called 'homestart'. I'm more than willing to work with social services but I'm not willing to go to this sort of placement as I've said due to horrific experiences I had when I lived in care. The annoying thing is the social worker is showing no understanding or empathy towards me and my traumatic experiences in the past.

I have already got a solicitor on board just in case they try to take me to court about this, as this kind of placement would be more harm than good.

I was just wondering if anyone knows the legality around this sort of issue and how much of a chance I stand at being able to fight social services if and when they do take it to court? Due to myself my family my professionals are all in disagreement with the social workers decision.

As a mother I feel I have a duty to do what I feel is in mine and my babys best interests and I strongly believe a mother and baby foster placement is not in our best interest

Any information would be greatly appreciated please 🙏

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

Re: Mother and baby foster placement

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Tue Oct 12, 2021 10:11 am

Dear Kizler2021

Welcome to the forum and thank you for your post. My name is Suzie and I will be responding to you today.

From what you have said, you are preparing well for your child. You are focussed and proactive. It is frustrating when the changes you have made are not acknowledged by professionals.

Due to concerns relating to your mental health needs and childhood experiences Children’s Services have completed a pre-birth assessment and recommended you and your baby go into a parent and baby placement under the support of a child in need plan .

You had negative experiences in care, and you do not want to go into a parent and baby placement. You are worried that you will be retraumatised and it will have a negative impact on your mental health which will affect you and your baby. You are worried about the possible implications of refusing a parent and baby placement. You want to know the legalities of this and how much of a ‘chance’ you might have to ‘fight’ Children’s Services if they decided to start care proceedings (although at this point they have reassured you that this is not their plan).

Have you explained to the social worker the reasons why you do not want to go into a parent and baby placement? If so, what was the outcome, and what measures are they proposing to put in place to ensure this will not happen again. I suggest you ask for their response in writing to you.

Has the social worker indicated what type of placement they are recommending? There are different types of placements for example, parent and baby foster placements, residential units, and supported accommodation. I suggest you ask the social worker to clarify what they are proposing in writing to you.

You say the professional support you have in place agree with your decision not to go into a parent and baby placement. Have the professionals made their views known to Children’s Services? If so, what is their response? If they haven’t, I would suggest you contact your professional support network and ask them inform the social worker.

You have sought legal advice. Has your legal adviser seen the pre-birth assessment? If so, your solicitor will be able to advise you further. It will be important that you have a clear understanding of what the proposed plan is so that you can make informed decisions.

If you are not satisfied with the thoroughness of the assessment and feel that important aspects of the pre-birth assessment were not fully explored, you should raise this with the social worker, in writing, copying in their manager. If you are not satisfied with the response you may wish to consider a complaint. Please see HERE for information on how to do this.

There are a number of ways to make your complaint. This page explains those methods. If someone has been through all three stages of the children’s services complaints process but is unhappy with the outcome, they can complain to the Local Government Ombudsman. See HERE for more information about how to pursue this type of complaint.

I cannot comment on what your ‘chances’ would be if the local authority decided to start care proceedings but I can provide you with some information about the process of care proceedings and public law outline which is often referred to a PLO.

As a former care leaver do you have a personal adviser and a pathway plan ? If not, I would suggest you contact the Local Authority who placed you in care. Ask to speak to the care leavers team and they will be able to assist you further.

You say you would like to move into your own home and be supported in the community. Where are you living now? It is suitable to return to once your daughter is born. Have you informed professionals of your wish to live independently? If not, I would suggest you do. As a former care leaver with vulnerabilities, you are entitled to extra support and possibly priority housing. You may find the organisation HERE useful. The BECOME charity support former care experienced young adults. You can self-refer or we can make a referral for you if you contact the advice line.

Has Children’s Services discussed holding a Family Group Conference, often referred to as FGC. This link HERE explains what it is and what it hopes to achieve. The meeting is supported and facilitated by a trained and skilled independent coordinator. They help the family prepare for the meeting and attend to support. An FGC is used to identify people within the family who can offer support for the child and their family and to put a plan in place to achieve this.

From what you say you have researched some helpful organisations such as Homestart and the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) and are willing to seek support from your local perinatal mental health team. These are really good ideas, and I would encourage you to continue to seek appropriate support to meet you and your baby’s needs now and into the future.

I hope you find this information useful.  I appreciate there is quite a lot to read through and this can sometimes feel overwhelming.  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.) Or please post again on this board if you have a further query.

Best wishes, Suzie

BeautifulRose
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2022 10:25 pm

Mother and baby foster placement

Post by BeautifulRose » Fri Mar 04, 2022 3:48 pm

Hiya I'm currently in a mother and baby Forster care placement with my son who is only 1 years old I've recently found out I'm pregnant again and to be fair I don't want to keep it I am afraid to tell my soical worker incase she doesn't understand so I've been hiding it for almost 2 months what do I do I don't want to make the situation worse then what it already is

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 3453
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Mother and baby foster placement

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Mar 07, 2022 12:08 pm

Dear BeautifulRose,

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

You say that you are currently in a mother and baby foster placement with your 1 year old son. You have recently found out that you are pregnant - you say you do not want to proceed with the pregnancy and that you are you afraid to tell the social worker. You would like to know what to do.

The decision to proceed with your pregnancy or not is a decision that lies totally with you. No-one can tell you what to do and you should not feel pressured or coerced by anyone, nor should you feel pressured into making an immediate decision.

You can speak to the social worker about the fact that you are pregnant - like I said, the social worker should not tell you what to do. If you do proceed with the pregnancy, the social worker will complete a pre-birth assessment, after which a decision will be made as to what steps may need to be taken to keep your unborn child safe. Your social worker will be able to talk you through what to expect from a pre-birth assessment, what it may mean for you and your son now, and what the outcomes of an assessment may be. You can read more about this here.

If you have not yet sought advice from a healthcare professional, I would also advise that you contact your GP, you will talk you through all your options in relation to your current pregnancy.

I hope you have found this helpful.

Best wishes,

Suzie.

BeautifulRose
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2022 10:25 pm

Re: Mother and baby foster placement

Post by BeautifulRose » Mon Mar 07, 2022 10:48 pm

I've only got 7 weeks of placement left and so far things are going well for me an most of all for my son. I don't want to go and spoil how far me and my son have already come what if the placement brakes down due to this?

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 3453
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Mother and baby foster placement

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Tue Mar 08, 2022 3:24 pm

Dear BeautifulRose,

It is unlikely that your placement would break down just because you have become pregnant recently. As I suggested in my earlier post I think it would be a good idea for you to speak with your GP or with another healthcare professional who can provide you with information about your options. This may help you to decide whether to proceed with the pregnancy or not. You do not have to inform the social worker at this point, however if you do decide to proceed with the pregnancy then you will need to inform them as I advised above.

If you are not comfortable speaking with your GP then there are other organisations that can help. If you are under 25 then you could contact Brook, or if you are over 25 then BPAS, MSI Reproductive Choices UK and NUPAS are all organisations who can offer you support and advice about getting a termination or continuing with a pregnancy. You can also find out information on the NHS website here.

I hope that this is of some help. Please post again if you have any further queries or you can call our free confidential helpline on 0808 801 0366 (Monday to Friday, 9:30am – 3pm) to speak with one of our advisers.

Best wishes,
Suzie

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