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Desperately Needing Help - Social Services, Child Protection, family falling apart

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  • Desperately Needing Help - Social Services, Child Protection, family falling apart

    Not wanting to resort to this but i'm at the end of my tether and fear i'll soon lose my mind. Please bear with me here, i'll try to be as brief but consise as possible.

    My teenaged daughter had apparently had an issue with her school a few years ago with regards to the constant arguments in our household and domestic abuse on my part. They got in touch with the police who didn't persue this any further (i was only recently aware of this however mum did know). We are a family btw until recent months.

    We do argue, and both drink alcohol every night and the fact that i drink alcohol is what my daughter has pointed to the fact to make people believe that i'm 'violent' whenever i've had a drink.

    about 6 weeks ago there was an unconnected reason for social services to be involved with family support to assist us all to deal with a matter pertaining to our daughter which we'd been unaware of and caused quite a shock. She self harms and has done for some time. After the initial 'reassurance' from Social Services we were offered support on a 'child in need' basis. The social worker had asked if she could take our daughter out for a 'chat' which we both supported as we thought that it would assist her.

    After a couple of months of this, things slowly (and not immediately obviously) took a sinister turn, as the Social Worker was making references to maybe looking towards Child Protection citing the 'constant arguing' between me and my partner. Before i knew it there was a 'Conference' meeting, before which we were given notes as to what was to be covered during the child protection hearing. Incidentally just before this my daughter sent a text message to her social worker one night saying that she was going to commit suicide.. This resulted in her being admitted to hospital, again her social worker saying to me that it was due to the arguments in our house (there hadn't been any leading upto or around this btw.... Any I read the first page of the conference notes and was horrified and upset with what i read. My daughter (we've always been incredibly close) had apparently been using me as a perpetrator for the conflict within the home, being aggressive when i'd drink too much alcohol nightly and causing arguments with my wife. Thinking that this would be a witchhunt that i was walking into (and due to my anxiety issues) i couldn't mentally face the conference and reluctantly let my partner attend. I'd already had a frustrating time very recently and i'd offered to leave temporarily as i thought that they might be better without me. She didn't want this. We have in the past and very rarely had physical instances, mainly me pushing her out of my way if she's in my face which i regret. She has also had an affair in the past and i think that this hasn't done any of us any good. We've been together for an incredibly long time (more towards 30 years).
    Anyway i digress, the conference went ahead, and afterwards she looked visibly drained and stressed out. She said that it wasn't nice with a lot of direct questions and found it very unpleasent. Then, she told me that the results of the conference were that 'they've said that you have to leave, tonight'. This alone knocked me sideways but i packed what i needed. There was a call from the police asking her if i'd gone, 'outreach' workers knocked at the door... really there were so many people coming round that it was overwhelming not just for me, but no doubt everybody else. My daughter immediately seemed stunned at the decision and protested about me whether i was able to go home on my days off.. there was no response to this, nobody knew. My wife had told the social worker prior to and quite possibly to the conference members that i'd said that i was prepared to leave which they'd gone along with and agreed. They also stipulated that myself, wife and daughter weren't allowed to be together at the same time. This has brought about other challenges.

    So i'm now out of the house, the first core group meeting and my partner (i'll call her wife from now on, she as much is) and daughter were transported by the police. Outlining the plans until the next core group meeting and discussing our daughters progress...

    Then it happened again, she messaged her mum to say that she had razors and that she had self harmed and was going to die that night. My wife called me and i went home straight away, screw the 'rule' that i can't be with them both they're my family. She was admitted that night also.

    The next core meeting revealed that we were progressing well with the meetings with the social family worker however our daughter had gone worse.. After i'd mentioned that i was there with them both regardless as i was needed they agreed that i'd done the right thing and seemingly immediately allowed us to all spend time together. However, i still couldn't stay overnight 'for fear of arguments'. Whenever i challenged any references which supported that i'd be better at home to support the family than to be kept away i was told that social services job 'isn't to split families up'. By the same account they had also made reference to keeping us apart 'would mean that we'd either split up and go our seperate ways or come back together'. The family worker (relationship councillor?) also confirmed 2 months after, when i challenged the fact that they seemingly think that i'm a serial wife beater who comes home each night and beats people up that my wife had confirmed that this was by no means the case, and that any physical altercations had been extremely rare over a very long period of time... she confirmed that my wife had confirmed that with her. I was dumfounded by this.. "So why was i asked to leave at the start with the police involved and a tag being put on the house?".. She said quite calmly 'because we needed time to get all of the facts"

    Social services and Cahms have apparently established from my daughter directly that the 'house feels calm' which i'm not there however she obviously isn't getting better, she's having to change to a different school due to her mental health issues (hearing voices, self harming and suicidal thoughts) which are all seemingly being pinpointed at mine and the wifes relationship. If i want to go around to my house and i ask my wife if she'd like me round she just says that i have to ask my daughter... so she now decides if i go round or not.

    The last core meeting today before the conference next week i was hoping that i could go back home to stay more permanently to help support my wife and daughter.. however i felt somewhat dismissed by the people present. They covered what had already been done and achieved by us both, talked with enthusiasm about our daughters good points but didn't really address much about when she's really down. After this (and a focus upon me and the wife together arguing.... which tbh after all this i think we're both traumatised for life) they said that they'd be recommending that at the upcoming conference that the Child Protection order stays in place!!!!! I was knocked off my feet by this, and got nowhere when trying to reason with them that i should be there to help my daughter and support my wife. They then offered 'comfort' by telling me that the next conference would be 6 months after!! I can't go 6 more months away from home i'm already going out of my mind.. I'm still contributing towards the running of the house and my wife has left work, in part to care for our daughter... i don't know what to do

    I've been out of the family home for 3 months and i would have expected that if social services had her best interests at heart that they would accept that given the information that is now at their disposal the'd accept that the main cause for her ongoing issues isn't focused upon mine and the wifes relationship... Although we've been together during the day and i even stay at night up to about 10.30pm but then have to sadly go because of the system in place i fail to see how not sleeping at home would make any difference to my daughter self harming. Indeed everybody is aware that she self harms and has her issues worse at night, and as i'm not there i can't help any of them so i'm helpless.
    I challenged the legal situation about me not staying overnight and was then told that this was 'a strong recommendation' but wasn't law. She then went on to say '.... but we can also seek to have your daughter removed from the home if we think that she's at risk of further 'emotional violence'. So we can't do right here either... it doesn't add up. My daughter feels responsible as she spoke to the initial Social Services worker (who seems to have disappeared 'off sick' strangely) who set these wheels in motion.

    It seems as though i can't be with my family and SS almost using me as the excuse.. but i'm scared that my wife is close to the edge now... She won't back me up either with them, and keeps quiet. With what she's said to me she's scarred of losing our daughter, either from suicide or SS taking her away from us so she has to look after her needs first which i understand. But i feel bullied, helpless and imprissoned by the Social Services system with a very unwell daughter who's on the brink and a wife who looks close to a breakdown.. there's nothing that i can do.
    There have been numerous untruths told also, initially the social services worker had said that as they'd instigated my leaving the home that the'd find accomodation.. i was later told that this isn't what they do... it's all a very unprofessional mess with noone seemingly really knowing what they're doing

    I can't afford a solicitor, we have too many debts for this and my house insurance doesn't cover family issues so i please beg for some offer of guidance


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  • #2
    As an outsider looking in I can see you feel that being there is best for your family, but other outsiders objectively looking at the facts don't feel the same.

    Obviously I don't know your daughters upbringing and therefore can only tell you my experiences based around what you have told us, then compare them based on educated guess.

    I grew up in a house of chaos, an alcoholic father and regular arguments that over a 17 year period manifested into occasional violence. It ****ed me up!!

    As a young adult I was unable to control my emotions, I would cry when confronted by authority and be angry including extreme violence for no reason. I was football hooligan and went through a phase of taking cocaine and going out partying all the time. I was crying out for help and was self destructing.

    I was basically self destructive due to my childhood experiences and that is what your daughter is, self harming is self destruction along with threats of suicide. She can't cope with the emotions she is feeling based on the experiences she had and she's crying out for help.

    I joined the army, I learned to control my anger, it instilled a bit of self worth in me and I am a calm better person for it. I basically needed some structure in my life to counter the chaos of my childhood.

    Social Services are trying to do the same, you have admitted you drink to excess which leads to arguments. If you leave by a certain time then the likelihood of their being an argument is lessened restoring some normality into the house. Equally they are maintaining this to keep continuity for your daughter as structure will support her recovery.

    You need to seek help with your relationship to alcohol, it's not normal to drink alcohol to excess every night and you're doing your body a lot of harm. Before you say you don't have a problem or your relationship with alcohol isn't an issue don't try to kid a kidder! I used to say "oh I just like the taste of a beer" or "I work hard I'm entitled to a couple of beers in the evening."

    Nobody is saying you have to give up completely and I haven't, my self imposed rule is I only drink alcohol on days beginning with "S" except my birthday and Christmas day. There's a reason you are drinking every day and it's not just that you like it.

    You need to explore why, come to peace with it and change your lifestyle for the better. This will also help Social Service have a bit of faith that you are trying to be a better parent for your daughter and mean you live long enough to see her grow into a fine woman, plus meet your grand children.

    Build your daughter up like the army did me, take her to St Johns Ambulance or to the Army Cadets (it's not the armed forces it's a youth club with a uniform). Get her involved in something where she'll learn things, gain confidence and start to believe in her own worth. You'll see her flourish. In the case of St Johns or similar, join together to do it with her. It's time to get out the comfort zone and with actions show that you're taking positive steps to help your daughter get well again.

    Your wife is doing the right thing complying with Social Services, they will take children away and she needs to work with them for the sake of your daughter. Tell her she's doing the right thing, you love her and that you're gonna make some changes to sort this all out for the better. She needs some support as well.

    You need to stay away for now, start making the right noises to Social Services that you think the structure this is creating in your daughters life can only benefit her recovery and that you want to continue that with her via some youth organisation. Even ask the social worker for a referral to talk to someone about your relationship with alcohol.

    It's not going to be easy, but the things worth having in life are never easy and the things you have worked hard to achieve feel much better when you get them.

    I'm not judging you, I'm giving you the perspective of a child who was in a similar one to your daughter and then an adult who after seeing some shitty things in some foreign countries slipped into a bit of an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.

    I wish you luck and hope all turns out well.
    Last edited by jaguarsuk; 26th September 2018, 08:53:AM.
    HOW TO COMPLETE AN N180 DIRECTIONS QUESTIONNAIRE (SMALL CLAIMS TRACK) FORM?

    My posts on this forum are offered based on my experience dealing with a variety of life events. I have no formal legal training and if in doubt take professional legal advice or contact the CAB. If you follow anything I write on this forum you do so at your own risk and I accept no liability for any loss, costs or other outcomes.

    I do not come on here in the evening, at weekends or on public holidays.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi, and thank you so much for taking the time to both read and reply as you have done.
      your reference to alcohol is duly noted however I can assure you that since leaving I've barely touched a do. The same can't be said for my wife however as she's still drinking at night but tells social that she doesn't need help which they accept. Things seem very one sided, desired her admittal that she can also be very mouthy which only provokes matters. Needless to say that abuse had been both ways, both physical and verbally.
      I will be reading your post a few times. It has a lot to digest which I hope can help me see the light.
      My feelings aren't wholly selfish even if they may seem it. I've totally complied with social services for the lay few months and feel as though we're standing still.
      My daughter wouldn't attend any external activities as she's now to anxious to go out.. this wasn't the case before I left though.
      I feel very sad for my wife also but also very let down and confused that she hasn't offered me any real story through this. I know she had her hands full but we all have feelings and currently I'm so low that If I felt any lower I feel I wouldn't be here anymore.
      It's a shitty mess this it really is

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by TethersEnd View Post
        Hi, and thank you so much for taking the time to both read and reply as you have done.
        your reference to alcohol is duly noted however I can assure you that since leaving I've barely touched a do.
        That's good, but I would say it's not about abstinence and you might still benefit from exploring your relationship with alcohol. You may feel you don't need to do that and that really is a personal thing, but it doesn't hurt to try.

        Originally posted by TethersEnd View Post
        The same can't be said for my wife however as she's still drinking at night but tells social that she doesn't need help which they accept.
        Social Services are playing a fine line of limiting the damage at the moment, but they won't take this view forever. Your wife would benefit from the same advice about exploring her relationship to alcohol.

        As a country and a culture we have a pretty bad relationship with alcohol, so it's by no means directed solely at you or your wife alone.

        Originally posted by TethersEnd View Post
        Things seem very one sided, desired her admittal that she can also be very mouthy which only provokes matters. Needless to say that abuse had been both ways, both physical and verbally.
        Again, I don't doubt it. My Father was the physically violent one, but my Mother was no innocent that she made herself out to be. Arguments aren't one person, it takes two people to argue. We don't have arguments in my house for that very reason, when my OH wants a row I walk away and refuse, it's impossible to argue with someone who won't. It pisses her off even more than if I did argue with her, sometimes less it more

        Originally posted by TethersEnd View Post
        My feelings aren't wholly selfish even if they may seem it. I've totally complied with social services for the lay few months and feel as though we're standing still.
        Please don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying you are being selfish at all. Your feelings are what they are and you can only deal with how you feel. Often someone pointing out a few things can help you understand a little better and change perception though.

        Originally posted by TethersEnd View Post
        My daughter wouldn't attend any external activities as she's now to anxious to go out.. this wasn't the case before I left though.
        Keep making the offers though, maybe one day she will and especially if you say "I've always fancied doing this, lets do it together and make a day of it." You probably won't have, but she might feel more inclined to do something where she doesn't have to venture in alone.

        Originally posted by TethersEnd View Post
        I feel very sad for my wife also but also very let down and confused that she hasn't offered me any real story through this. I know she had her hands full but we all have feelings and currently I'm so low that If I felt any lower I feel I wouldn't be here anymore.
        It's a shitty mess this it really is
        It's a tough time for all involved right now, try not to apportion blame because it'll lead to bad feeling and in the long run could be really awful for your relationship. It's stressful and it's difficult, but it's not forever and that's what you have to keep telling yourself. Chip away at the things you need to do and try to make your wife see a little sense.

        I'm telling you that if you deal with your relationship with alcohol and start to help your daughter with coming out of her shell a little it'll be noticed, but if your wife continues to drink and does the opposite that will be too. The roles could very quickly be reversed in terms of whom is living where and that's not what you want.

        Both of you need to get things in order and present a united front to help your daughter with a view to getting the family unit back together under one roof, it should be all of you against the world.

        HOW TO COMPLETE AN N180 DIRECTIONS QUESTIONNAIRE (SMALL CLAIMS TRACK) FORM?

        My posts on this forum are offered based on my experience dealing with a variety of life events. I have no formal legal training and if in doubt take professional legal advice or contact the CAB. If you follow anything I write on this forum you do so at your own risk and I accept no liability for any loss, costs or other outcomes.

        I do not come on here in the evening, at weekends or on public holidays.

        Comment


        • #5
          While I agree with Jags on the whole I do have to add a word of warning ... Social Services often try to play parents off against each other (personal experience has taught me this).

          I'd suggest that both you and your wife start recording all meetings/visits/appointments with SW's (either with or without their knowledge). This is completely legal and guidance can be found here - http://www.transparencyproject.org.u...ocial-workers/

          Core Group meetings and CP conferences can be scary and frustrating, often making you feel as if everyone is against you, but you have to try and keep your cool. The chairperson is supposed to be independent and is there to ensure the conferences run smoothly ... don't be afraid to tell them of any issues you have regarding conduct/reports from the other 'professionals' involved. All reports that are to be used in the conferences/reviews are legally meant to be handed to you at least 2 working days prior to a review to enable you to read through them and pull up any inaccuracies, I've known of chairpeople who have postponed these meetings if this has not happened.

          You might find it easier to write your own reports for reviews too (use the same templates as the ones you are given) and pass copies to the others beforehand. This could help you to get your views across coherently and ensure you don't forget any important points you want to make.
          Debt is like any other trap, easy enough to get into, but hard enough to get out of.

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