Interview with Child Protection – A Problem Shared

Today’s problem is from our Life on the Frontline mum.

Following our family’s involvement with Child Protection a couple of weeks ago, which you can read about here, we have been contacted now by another Child Protection social work. She has asked to come and visit us, as a follow up and to see if there is any additional support they can offer, which I’m fine about. During our phone conversation she also disclosed, “And I’ll need to see the children on their own”.depression

This I am not fine about, and I fervently made my opposition to this request known. I can’t see why the children need to be seen on their own when the incident which led to CP’s involvement has already been resolved and dismissed by the social worker we saw on the day. I know for a fact that Tall was quite distressed by the whole event and would not want to be interviewed by a social worker again. As for Small, I’m certain he will give short change to any social worker, not his favourite kind of people. She has agreed to come out and just so me “for now”.

So I’m asking for help in understanding, can they insist on seeing the children? Has anyone else been through this experience and what happened with the follow up interviews? And can anyone suggest any additional support this department may be able to access for us. The only thing I can think of support wise is that they educate the school on dealing with families living with early life trauma, but I’m not holding out much hope for this.

 

One thought on “Interview with Child Protection – A Problem Shared

  1. Hushabyemountainblog

    My heart goes out to you. And thank you so much for sharing such a traumatic experience (just read the other post as well). I don’t know enough about this to know if social workers can insist on seeing the children on their own in this instance, but I share your concerns. Even during the placement stage before the AO, our children were frightened of seeing social workers on their own, and angry that this had to happen. Then their anger and fear would turn back on us for not, in their eyes, being able to protect them from these intrusions, all in front of the social worker. But it seemed impossible to convey this to social workers without making them think we had something to hide or had encouraged the children to dislike them. Some alternatives to seeing the children on their own at home offered were: observing the children at school, another familiar and liked professional seeing the children, or talking with a current therapist who sees the children on their own. At a minimum, we tried to agree what would happen when the children were seen on their own.
    We also had a similar experience, although in this case our LO will make up stories about us at school (we think that when he dysregulates he forgets which parent he has or expects past responses to occur, or recalls past trauma). It did not go as far as CP, but came close and the school CP staff went into CP mode, which terrified our LO as it resonated with his past. He became very confused and it took all weekend to calm him and reassure him that he was safe at home. Unhelpfully the school did not tell us until after the weekend, so we had to guess what had happened.
    Reading about your experience, and thinking of our own, It makes me wonder about school CP procedures for our children, and how to safeguard them from procedures that actually terrify them and feel very inappropriate, especially when a child has trauma and attachment disorders, or is not even sure which of the many parents they have had they are talking about it. At that moment in school, our LO really needed reassurance that he was safe at home, but the opposite happened. Like you, were were totally dependent on being able to draw on a sensible social worker in myriad of other far less knowing ones. Heaven knows where we would be without that. As ever, more training and understanding is needed in schools to make safeguarding more appropriate to our children’s needs.

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