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Post by tanker7 » Tue Apr 12, 2022 11:55 am

Hope this is allowed ten's of thousands of people are falling into poverty partly because of the effects of lockdown and the rising costs of living including food and energy prices please don't ask social services for help they now define poverty as neglect and are effectively using this to remove children from their family homes hope this information helps

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: poverty

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Tue Apr 26, 2022 3:19 pm

Dear Tanker

Thank you for your post. In future, please can you post on our specialist kinship carers forum as your involvement with children’s services is as a grandparent rather than as a parent.

I understand your concern about the financial difficulties that many families are experiencing and how this is placing them under enormous strain. Some families who have social work involvement are living in poverty which causes additional stress. Recent research has explored the relationship between social and economic inequality and how this is reflected in social care interventions. You can find out more via the Child Welfare Inequalities Project website. In addition, the British Association of Social Workers has produced an anti-poverty guide to support the practice of social workers working with families living in poverty.

I wanted to respond to your comment, to acknowledge the issues you raise but most importantly to provide some clarity for parents on this forum so that they are not misled, frightened about or discouraged from accessing help as early as possible to prevent difficulties escalating. Seeking support is a responsible thing to do if a family need it. I also wanted to provide the legal definition of neglect and some information about how it is assessed in order to assist parents where this may have been raised as a concern. Also, to let parents know about services that can advise them if they are having difficulties managing financially.

Where parents or their children are having problems they can ask for an early help assessment to be carried out; this does not involve a social worker. If their child needs extra help they can ask for a child in need assessment. Help can be provided under Section 17 as ‘family support; this can include help for the family and financial help where assessed to be necessary.

You can find the legal definition of neglect here and an explanation of the circumstances in which a child’s basic needs may not be met. This recognises that there can be wider challenges such as the effect of poverty which makes it harder for parents to meet their child’s basic needs. Plans and support can be put in place to improve the situation for the child. These will need to be reviewed.

It may also be useful for parents to know that children’s services should also work with families to keep their children safe and at home, where possible. Many parents worry that social work involvement means their child will be removed from their care. This FAQ sets out the only ways in the which this can happen e.g. with a parent’s consent or with a court order and more importantly it describes the steps which need to happen and what a parent can do if this is being considered. However, sometimes children’s need to be safe and consistently well-cared for means that they cannot be safely cared for at home by their parents. In such situations children’s services have a legal duty to intervene to keep them safe.

Parents who are struggling financially can get tailored advice about their financial situation including how to maximise their benefits, how to manage increased energy bills and can search for grants to help them via the Turn2Us website. Citizens Advice Bureaux also provide independent advice to help people address financial difficulties and access their entitlements. Please see our useful links to money, debt and welfare rights advice for more information about the services available to support families with these issues.

I hope this is helpful.

Best wishes


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