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Children's Social Services - Will we ever get it right?


Cronky
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You can be guaranteed, that over the next 15 years, the following line will appear in most annual reports:

'Lessons have been learned'.

In the case of the Department of Education, let us hope so!

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Large crowd for social services meeting

http://147-5433bc3297b05.radiocms.com/news/isle-of-man-news/large-crowd-for-social-services-meeting/

 

Report highlights issue of over-referrals

 

A talk on child social services in the capital last night drew an audience of more than 70 residents.

 

The Positive Action Group organised the debate ahead of a raft of recommendations going before Tynwald next month.

 

A 150-page report by the Social Affairs Policy Review Committee concludes that too many children are unnecessarily referred to social workers; and that staff should be better trained in keeping families together.

Visiting speaker and law lecturer Allan Norman explained why over-referrals are a common problem.

 

 

 

Very well received and lots of people were taking copious notes!

Edited by Cronky
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I was going to go but I read the piece on the newspaper website and it seems that many people were more concerned about the lack of credibility his mullet conveyed than the subject matter. I hope an apparently bad 1980s hairstyle didn't put too many people off.

That just makes you sound like a twat.

 

That said, I have to admit to having harboured similar prejudices but I gave the guy a chance and within a few minutes it was clear he knew what he was talking about, and had the ability to convey some pretty deep legal stuff.

 

Well done PAG for having this meeting.

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If you are brave enough TheManxOne so will I.

 

We are one of the families too. Our issue is not with them becoming involved - we understood it's their job - but the absolutely shocking way they conducted themselves once an 'investigation' had started.

 

We asked for help for our son who was struggling and actually welcomed the social worker into our house thinking it would be another avenue (to the existing therapy) to help him. Without asking a single question being asked they told us our son had made an allegation of physical abuse (there wasn't any) first of all against both of us, but mostly against my wife and she was asked to leave the house immediately because of the serious nature of the allegations - which were not shared with us. Our son and daughter were then to be presented to Nobles Hospital the next morning (my wife was not allowed to accompany them but could meet us there). We did this because we are good people, just like you, and we did what we are told and trusted it would be sorted. The physical examination showed no injuries (obviously) and the doctor commented they clearly trusted us as parents and were absolutely fine.

 

The day after that we were told they were now concerned about 'emotional abuse' (presumably because there was nothing to back up the physical abuse allegations made by our vulnerable son). We tried to find out what emotional abuse they were talking about but couldn't and it was another two weeks before we were called to a meeting where they asked us the first question. We told them about our sons background, receiving therapy (we had told the social worker at the time to contact his therapist she would tell them he was lying. We later found out that they had not even spoke to his existing weekly therapist); his school problems and his history of behavioural and emotional difficulties; that we had asked for and been receiving support via the Children's Centre. Incidentally, us requesting this support historically was held up as 'evidence' that there were problems and we weren't coping. Not that we were trying to help our son.

 

They knew nothing about his background and had clearly not carried out any proper or even any investigation but at the end of the meeting it was agreed my child would get some urgent help from CAMHS. This never happened and the Childrens Centre stopped the existing therapy he was receiving whilst an investigation was carried out and never restarted. This was over 12 months ago now. Unfortunately the discussion of that meeting and the actual outcome were not recorded properly (it appears to us that the outcome of the meeting in their notes had already been agreed and written before the meeting and the DHSC notes state a further assessment would be undertaken which was the opposite of what we agreed - fortunately, because of the reputation of DHSC (friend works in Gov and warned us!) we had a respected friend with us who can confirm what was actually agreed). When we received a call from another social worker to start the assessment we said that wasn't what was agreed at the meeting and he replied "what meeting".

 

I now have a copy of the DHSC file and to say we were shocked is an understatement. There was nothing positive about our family in it, my son (who they never met) was portrayed as an unloved child with a controlling mother and who at a meeting of 8 people most of whom had never met my wife diagnosed her as mentally ill (she isn't!). When we asked for a copy of the minutes that was us "not cooperating' and this was then repeated numerous times in the file. When I then wrote to the Head of Children and Families, Ms Brayshaw, asking for the minutes this is recorded in their records as us "now trying to backtrack and blame the DHSC and the real story is that we are not cooperating with a difficult investigation". !

 

We are just normal working people but have been treated appallingly by a Government Department. There is something so wrong with DHSC and the culture that abounds that this can be ignored no more. We gave evidence to the Social Affairs Policy Review COmmittee and are grateful to Peter Karran and Marcia Brabbs and Tamasin for listening and trying to shine a light on the festering damaging culture that is happening here. Nobody could object to children being protected, but not at the expense of faith in a just society where fair and balanced investigations are carried out in order to help families not destroy them.

 

I hope Tynwald consider and support the recommendations made next month.

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I really get what you say and I don't want to make light of what you said above at all as it's pretty clear how you feel. However, I think that sometimes people looking for help fail to realize that on the other side you're dealing with people who are looking to justify a job and to make it look like they're fulfilling their brief to get a pay rise or whatever. The minute some people land into the social services system they're fair game to create case notes, and action plans, and formal notes to make up for the fact that there's a bunch of paedos, alcoholics and abusive people that manage to beat social services into submission and make them look stupid. I can't imagine ever getting into that situation unless it's engaging them to help you or basically doing yourself in. I think a lot of people looking for help and support just find themselves in an even worse situation than the one they were in to start with. You just become a product for the system to process.

Edited by JackCarter
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Ours is a very similar experience but without asking for help. First they started on one of us, then the other. They set a cp conference us just days after starting a s47 so hadn't done the basics or anyth9ng. In fact they hadn't even spoken to one of the parents by this point. They've been proven to lie yet apparently they are incredibly competent.

Everythint that they said about your wife is the exact same tale we've experienced.

 

As I've aid previously ynless you've been there or had close experience you just wouldn't get it. Before it happened to us I'd have struggled to believe it. One of us works in a close proximity to the work and again wouldn't have ever thought it to be true. Ms Brayshaw is the worst in terma of complaints. Believe it or not she sits on independent panels and gives judgement on things that she should mever be a part of as she is intrinsic to cases and handles complaints so should never appear on independent panels and choose her co workers.

 

Robinson I've sent you a message.

Edited by Themanxone
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I expect to be treated like a person like every other department including the police do

I don't expect you to get it as you've never been there but imagine being lied about and being called disproportionate, when all your doing is emailing about the fact we wanted them to investigate properly. Lying and twisting words to fit their aim is a disgrace. Imagine having things made worse because all you've done is ask them to do their job properly. Systems have policies nd this department don't ven stick to them.

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I expect to be treated like a person like every other department including the police do

I don't expect you to get it as you've never been there but imagine being lied about and being called disproportionate, when all your doing is emailing about the fact we wanted them to investigate properly. Lying and twisting words to fit their aim is a disgrace. Imagine having things made worse because all you've done is ask them to do their job properly. Systems have policies nd this department don't ven stick to them.

I would never let it happen to me in the first place as the people you are interfacing with are feeding off victim culture.

Edited by JackCarter
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at first i thought that wasn't a very nice reply but on reading it again it is quite good. yes of ĉourse there are ĉhildren who need protecting but there are an awful lot of social ẃorkers who need paying. there's lots of blank cheques walking about out there apparently.

Yes I wasn't meaning to be disrespectful as there are lots of genuine problems out there that need dealing with. But this notion that often these people are there exclusively to help you needs to be dispelled. Often the worse thing that can happen is being sucked into that system in the first place as then you're just cannon fodder for people to plot their next promotion out of.

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Agreed it's a tough job and yes, they are in touch with some awful people. Treating everyone who you encounter like a criminal or a paedophile like some police officers and social workers is counter productive and removes any trust that people may have.

 

When I was young,my little brother came home from school early, my mum had walked literally 100yds to the local shop to get something. A man from the DOE saw my brother knocking on the door and started asking him leading questions by which time my mum had returned, being away for five minutes.

He invited himself in to give them both the third degree and was still there when I got home.

This was followed by several visits and my dad having to take time off work to go for interviews with my mum.

 

My mum and dad gave us everything, we were well treated despite us having very little money. I don't question the mans concern but a bit of common sense would have prevented my poor mother and father having to go through all of that disgraceful treatment.

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