Gransnet forums


Feeling a lot of pain! :-(

(152 Posts)
nannynoo Sun 24-Aug-14 01:36:22

Had a difficult year and it is still ongoing so could do with some support please...

I lost my brother in law and mum in law in the space of a week back in March , difficult time , double funeral , family in pain

Younger DD turned to drink , things went from bad to worse , Grandson now 'looked after' by social services and I only get to see him for 2 hours once a week! sad

I adore my Grandson and he has special needs with only a little speech but I understand him and we are in tune with each other

As each week passes I miss him more and more and he cannot understand or ask why he has been taken away and it breaks my heart , especially when he cries each week and gets really upset when I leave him , the first time he was the most distressed and held onto my dress and would not let me go sad

Then 3 weeks ago my older DD lost her baby , my little Granddaughter , at 37 weeks pregnant! sadsad

I am heart broken!!!

I am dealing with it best I can but missing BOTH my Grandchildren , one in heaven , one been taken away at the moment is SO painful for me and it is difficult getting through each day at the moment

I have asked to have my Grandson full time once I am on my feet and that was the plan but social services rang me yesterday to tell me I had FAILED the assessment!

I am in SHOCK to be honest as I saw and still see no reason for them to refuse me and their reasons are not valid or even truthful , they think because I am close to my daughter I won't be strict with her re visits etc which is not true as my Grandson comes first , point blank!!

I don't know how to prove it to them but they won't even give me a chance and said it was ''just words'' when I said I would 100% be strict with my daughter but I WOULD...

We have already fallen out twice because I have been honest with social services about her drinking , once right in front of them in a meeting , but they said if my DD and I fell out I would go into a depression which is not true

They also said they are concerned about the death of my baby Granddaughter and the impact on me but I told them I am dealing with it which I am , extremely well under the circumstances and am having some bereavement counselling which helps a lot!

Everything I do is not enough and they said I could ''seek legal advice'' but it wasn't very nice of them to deliver the news around 5pm on a Friday of a bank holiday weekend after which I found all the advice lines were closed till Tuesday , so I am left alone to deal with the news sad

I was looking forward to having my Grandson for weekends at first which was the plan and then upping it to full time once I moved house and settled in and got his room ready etc and by then I would be in a much better place and as healthy and well as possible and fully able to have him and look after him well which I do , have always had him to stay for weekends and school holidays or if my daughter goes away with her friends for a break as she does find it hard being a single Mum with an Autistic little boy ( he is 7 )
My older DD is having a very hard time of course and I am worried about her , worried about the outcome of my younger DD's drinking which she is not getting the extra help she needs for as yet and worrying about my Grandson and the impact of him being separated for us long term sad

He always says ''Nanny's house'' when he sees me and I used to say ''Friday'' if I was having him for the weekend and he would say ''Nanny's house Friday'' with a huge smile on his face! ... He was so happy at my house he refused to leave even if I tried to bribe him with going to Macdonalds lol he would NOT go anywhere else once he was here , but that shows how happy he was

I am heart broken I was refused as his carer by SS and there is a complaints procedure if you disagree with their decision and you can ask them to look at it again or resolve things by putting a plan in place , if that is not acceptable to me I can ask for the decision to go to an independent board to be looked at again as I do not think the SW's reasons were valid or even true! So I may just go down this route as I feel the decision was unreasonable and not based on truth

I am prepared for my DD to try and manipulate me to extend her visiting time etc but even SHE knows I mean business and would NOT budge on the rules as I would NOT want to risk losing my Grandson and he comes first because he is a child who needs me and she is an adult who can access the help she needs to come off the drink for good and hopefully get her son back when drink free for life as she is a good Mum when not drinking but I am not willing for her to be around him when drinking , so I THOUGHT SS and I were on the same page ie had my Grandsons best interests at heart as HOW can putting him with strangers be better than a family member who yes has recently had a bad time ( due to no fault of her own ) but is taking EVERY step to recover and be and stay well as I would not offer to have him if I was not 100% certain I could provide the proper care and look after him well

They have no concerns at all for his safety and well being when with me , so seems they have resorted to ''coulds'' ... I ''could'' be too soft with my daughter which I WON'T and I ''could'' go into a depression if I fell out with my daughter which I WON'T as am prepared for that and the loss of my Granddaughter ''could'' mean I was not well enough to look after him which after a good few weeks and more counselling it definitely WON'T and they were not looking to place him with me straight away anyway but now they are saying they will not be placing him with me AT ALL! sad xx

nannynoo Sun 24-Aug-14 02:15:39

I do NOT see what harm me having him for weekends at first would do , my DD would not even have to visit him here - I could drop him back at the respite centre just before her Sunday visit!

There would be NO negative impact , only 100% benefit to my Grandson

Even after they let me have him if they were concerned I would not stick to the visiting time I could have a SW at my house to supervise the visits if they were concerned , I suppose they would be concerned I would sneak her in at other times but that would NOT happen and what about other Grandparents who have their Grandchild? Surely there has to be some sort of trust and we could do visits at a contact centre if necessary

I AM thinking of my Grandsons well being here , would not do anything to compromise his placement , but to not even be given a chance is beyond unfair

Will get some law advice on Tuesday and draft a letter to start the complaints procedure as this is not fair on my Grandson who would only benefit from this placement and the longer it takes the more concerns I have about his well being , bless him x

Aka Sun 24-Aug-14 07:45:40

Oh nannynoo that must be so soul destroying and I see you posted in the 'wee small hours' when things are at their blackest.

I don't have an answer but there are others who will be able to offer practical advice. In case they are away too keep 'bumping' this thread.

In the meantime (((hugs))) and I'm so, so sad to hear of your losses and especially that of your granddaughter.

vampirequeen Sun 24-Aug-14 07:58:44

I'm sorry I have no useful advice. All I can do is send you a hug.

JessM Sun 24-Aug-14 08:00:04

You could write to your MP. Last week the Prime Minister was praising the wonderful grandparents who look after their grandchildren full time. Use the website to write to your MP. You would need a shorter version of what you have written above.

NfkDumpling Sun 24-Aug-14 08:03:24

I have no answer either, other than thinking that perhaps SS are concerned that you may weaken with your daughter as you have been through an emotional blender in the last few months.

Of course you will fight on for your DGS and prove them wrong. I know there are grans who have experience and can help you. flowers

Grannyknot Sun 24-Aug-14 09:20:52

nannynoo I have no experience but you make a good case to counter the finding of SS. jess has a good suggestion, use what you wrote above as a "first draft" and write it up again in a shorter version for your MP and/or the complaints process.


kittylester Sun 24-Aug-14 09:36:46

I have no experience or advice either nannynoo but add some more (((hugs)) to add to vampirequeen's.

The advice you have been given already sounds good!

Iam64 Sun 24-Aug-14 09:44:53

nannynoo - from what you write, it seems likely your grandson is the subject of care proceedings. You must see a solicitor asap. Make sure the solicitor you see is a specialist in Family Law, and a member of the Children Panel, all that information should be on the firms website. It isn't unknown for local authority social workers to 'rule out' grandparents in the way you describe, but for that decision to be reviewed by the Court, an isw appointed, and things turned around.

Google Family Rights and you will find good information and advice.

If you want to PM me, I'll help if I can. I am a retired Children's Guardian so have experience of families in the difficult situation you describe

Crafting Sun 24-Aug-14 14:29:40

nanynoo what a terrible time you are having. I hope you get to keep as much contact with your grandson as you can. You obviously love him very much flowers

Mishap Sun 24-Aug-14 14:44:28

It might be good to go down the complaints route so that you get the opportunity to make your case once again. These situations are always complex and social workers have to make informed predictions (which is very very hard) and always put the needs of the child first, even when they fully understand how painful it is for someone who loves the child dearly to feel sidelined.

Take all the advice that you can, but please do bear in mind, in the midst of your pain, that social workers have an impossible task - they are damned if they do and damned if they don't. They have to assess risk, and will know that you, as a mother, will be torn between your DD and your GC. I know that I would find it entirely impossible to make that choice, as i would be so concerned about my DD's problems and also her child's - what a sad situation for you.

There is never any ideal solution to these very difficult situations.

I do feel for you and hope that there will be a happy outcome to all of this - it must be misery for you.

Grannyknot Sun 24-Aug-14 15:48:05

nannynoo I feel so bad for you up all hours last night posting on the forum. I hope you come back (or you may already have) and read all the good advice you have been given, GNetters are so kind.

rosesarered Sun 24-Aug-14 15:58:37

Nannynoo flowers Don't give up with SS [well named aren't they?]Keep calm though and do not show emotion with them even if it's really hard.Email your MP and tell him about the situation. Keep up your visits to DGS when you can.Keep on and ON at SS and go down all the routes available.

nightowl Sun 24-Aug-14 16:18:28

Not a very helpful or original dig at social services rosesarered. You must be aware that there are many members of GN who are or were social workers and who might like to offer good advice in this situation. Why be provocative?

Other advice given is good nannynoo. It might be worthwhile asking for a meeting with the SW and manager who have made this decision, and if they are not helpful or you are still not satisfied, taking it down the complaints route. Don't give up, many decisions of social workers are overturned in court. Is there a children's guardian involved? They often take a completely different view to the child's social worker.

Mishap Sun 24-Aug-14 17:25:28

Nightowl - you are right to point out the dig at social services. I let it pass, as I have heard it all before, but am grateful to you for making the point. It is this sort of comment that makes their job even more difficult.

Social workers are between the devil and deep blue sea: every time they are accused of under-reacting when a child is injured or dies, they inevitably become more risk averse, which on occasions can mitigate against a good outcome for the child emotionally.

Although we cannot know all the facts of this particular problem, we can begin to understand the position of both "sides." On the one hand poor nannynoo is quite reasonably desperate to make her contribution to her GC's well-being; but on the other the social workers have to be quite sure that this child is not put at any risk by possible contact with her mother, who sadly sounds to have some serious problems of her own. In other words they would have to take a calculated risk. Charged with the protection of the child as their prime responsibility, they have to weigh up the possible risk - so very very difficult to do; and so much to lose if they get it wrong - both the fate of the child (which is what matters most) and yet another exposure to public censure for the social services.

Most of the criticism of social workers' actions is with the benefit of hindsight - would that seeing into the future were so easy.

Social services do not always get it right, and the quality of the social workers inevitably varies - and this is where independent review via a complaints system rightly comes in. But it is important to remember that thoughtlessly branding social workers as villains serves only to make the situation worse.

I feel for poor nannynoo and for her DD and GC - life is so hard for them all at present, and I hope fervently that the right solution can be found. But there is no doubt that, when faced with these challenges, the social services department's solution is never going to feel perfect to all parties - it will inevitable represent a compromise. It is to be hoped that her DD will get the treatment she needs to deal with her addiction and that things for this family can gradually settle down.

I know that many people here on Gransnet will be hoping for a happy outcome for you all.

Nelliemoser Sun 24-Aug-14 17:55:42

nightowl and mishap Well put! You have saved me a post.

nightowl Sun 24-Aug-14 18:19:27

Mishap and Nellie smile

Iam64 Sun 24-Aug-14 19:45:31

Thanks night owl and mishap, for your posts smile

Eloethan Sun 24-Aug-14 19:59:07

nannynoo I'm so sorry to hear of all the heartache you have suffered recently and how much you and your grandson miss each other.

It is natural that you feel social services are mistaken in making the decision they have. But they know that you have been -and continue to be - under a great deal of stress, and I imagine they are concerned that it will be difficult for you as a mother to limit or prohibit your daughter's access to her son. That is not to say they are necessarily right, but it may help you to view their action as one which no doubt recognises how much you love your grandson but which must take into account the whole family situation.

I do hope the posts on here have given you some ideas as to where you can get advice and support. Good luck, and wishing you, your grandson and your daughter happier and more settled times ahead.

nannynoo Sun 24-Aug-14 20:00:57

Thank you all for your help and support

I am happy to explore all options with SS including my daughter not being allowed to visit at my house and having visits at a contact centre

Of course I feel for my daughter but she is an adult in this situation who must seek and obtain the help she needs the first step being admitting she needs help

My Grandson is a child and one with special needs who has not got full speech , he can't be asked questions about his care

I am not hiding anything and am fully open about the situation , my abilities and where I am at

I just want a positive outcome for him which I feel would be a successful placement with me and am happy to work towards this role even if I have to ''go through the wringer'' in the process

Mishap Sun 24-Aug-14 20:16:33

I admire your balanced approach nannynoo.

You may find that you are more likely to get the outcome that you are seeking if you are able to control the understandable anger and frustration that you are feeling and try to stay calm (hard I know) when discussing things with SSD - if they can see the person that we can from your last post then they are more likely to listen. They need you to show that you understand their position and their duty to make sure the child is safe.

One of the ways you can do that is to be absolutely clear about the strategies that you might use to prevent contact between your DD and GC. Just saying that you will keep her away may feel too vague to them - they have to be sure that they are protecting the child.You need to be clear about how you might achieve what is needed without the child being subjected to distressing scenes of his mother at the door being cast away - very traumatic for him - something that SSD (and you of course) will want to avoid.

It is a very precarious situation all round and I am sorry that you are having to endure this.

nannynoo Sun 24-Aug-14 20:26:42

I have faced everything life has thrown at me thus far head on

Have got through the difficult days even the ''days from hell''

Tea helps wink lol seriously though as does getting plenty of sleep albeit at unconventional hours right now , eating well and generally taking care of myself and my well being

Am not saying it is not an extremely difficult time with plenty more to come but am facing everything life throws at me as best I can and in the healthiest way possible

I would say I was doing well under the circumstances! smile xx

Greenfinch Sun 24-Aug-14 20:31:59

Good for you nannynoo.I admire your

nannynoo Sun 24-Aug-14 20:37:30

I have given much thought to the ''possible scenarios'' and of course I want to avoid them too and my Grandson becoming distressed , especially as I know I can offer him a safe , calm and stable enviroment which is vital for him continually

I am not sure how other Grandparent carers or even non family carers deal with this situation or possible situation?

She does not know my new address , just the area I will be living but I doubt it would be difficult for her to find out my address

These are things I have myself thought about too

Surely other people have been in this situation and worked a way through it?

nannynoo Sun 24-Aug-14 21:37:16

Would it help to notify the police in my area to let them know that IF there is a call from my address if my DD turns up unannounced at the door it would be a priority call?

Obviously IMMEDIATELY take my Grandson upstairs to his room which is at the back of the house ring 999 straight away and stay in his room with him , close door to keep any noise out , put something calming on TV for him like 'Thomas' which he loves and and keep him calm remain calm and wait for police to arrive

Not enter into ANY verbal communication with DD as if she was going to do something as irrational as that she would NOT be in a place to have a rational conversation!

Am sure it is a scenario non family foster carers have to be prepared for as well??