I often have many restless nights, usually from being woken up by one (or all) of my children, and then I’m left processing the unfolding events that have happened throughout the day. Mostly, at the centre of those permeating thoughts will be my brain trying to fathom out the truth or sincerity from some of those people I am trying to work with.
Last night I tossed and turned thinking about yesterday’s interactions with social services and what they really meant.
With the support of recent advocates I have been requesting a carer’s assessment for quite some time. It has been declined or obstructed and I have been told that the information I provided in September 2019 has not changed despite ‘my claims’ that the two younger sisters have their own emerging needs. One of whom is now on a restricted timetable and despite the adjustments being made has still not made the return to school. This information was not to be considered if another assessment was undertaken because there are no diagnoses as yet. They insist it can only go on the caring duties for my eldest; thus meaning the situation still stands since the last time they assessed and the support in place they feel is adequate.
Yesterday, I was finally given the chance to start that assessment again, whilst now also incorporating both the younger siblings. What has suddenly changed? I try to ask in the assessment but the answer given to me is evasive.
Next I am told that I will be moved up to a social worker as well as the child and family practitioner that I have been assigned to. I ask for clarity on this, but again there is no answer.
To contextualise, my advocate had queried why I didn’t have a social worker back in June but she was shut down and in turn the meeting was closed. I was told “Danielle, you do not WANT a social worker, you only have one of those when a child is very ill or you are on a child protection plan AND TRUST ME you don’t want to be on one of those.”
So I asked yesterday in my assessment what does this mean? Why now am I being given a social worker? Are you actioning the original request or are you putting my children on a child protection plan?
Once again, the answer was evasive and I was left full of fear as to what their hidden agenda could be.
I also requested to have a copy of the minutes to the last child in need meeting (earlier this month) in which they raised claims I was the main issue behind my children and provided their version of evidence of this. They said the minutes do not exist yet. I replied that another professional already has received them and they stated it must be a mistake because the minutes are still in draft format.
I’m left bewildered and confused as to what it really means and try to detect the truth once again. My mind now starts to reflect over the actions of the last few weeks and makes the process of returning to sleep that much harder.
I remember that they had an agenda for a secret meeting to bring all of the professionals around the table without me to act on their concerns. I asked for it and they wouldn’t provide it in writing.
Then I ponder over the phone call from senior management in the social care team who now claimed the meeting was actually to share the work I do at home and that I am an expert on my own children. They try to blame school and health professionals for not sharing the information around the whole team. They say they are extremely cross with how I have been treated and that they will come back to me in writing as soon as they can. They ask for my consent to the meeting to go ahead, I decline, unless I am present.
Again, what is the truth?
In one meeting they said they had multiple concerns from everyone around me that I was intimidating and challenging; also the source of the anxiety. Next, I am doing a grand job and their goal is to pull all the professionals into line.
I can’t keep up.
I just want social care to support our family and understand the needs that we have.
If only they would just tell me the truth?