My Complaint. And Unaccountable Services

I had made, so many email, and oral complaints, that the social services stated in our core assessment,

Isabel’ s parents to discuss concerns with the Social Services in an appropriate way and accept that some issues have previously been addressed.’

As, the LA’s education, and agency support packages, and, her residential school, had cost well over a million, and by their abuse  had made Isabel much worse.

And, produced no education, or, respite,

a formal complaint , was long overdue.

I knew this process, would involve, even more timewasting, and, stress,

as an’ independent’, (paid by the Local Authority) investigator, went over, the already known, documented information.

But, as far as I could suss, this was a preliminary to a local ombudsmen claim.

Itself a preliminary to suing the LA, for breach of its statutory duties ?.

And, the complaints process, even if successful, would have little effect on Issy’s current, or, future service provision, at most producing limited compensation, at the expense of possibly bankrupting lawyers costs of the LA.

So much for the rule of law.

I didn’t know, all complaints, where automatically stalled by a  court application under the MCA.

If we sued the LA, for breach of their duties, and, our human rights, this would be tricky as they had all the experts, it was on the balance of probabilities.

and likely doomed on public policy grounds.

We could not get legal aid, nor, find a solicitor, who could, or would, take on the state.

If I did it myself, I‘d be fighting court systems, and, expensive lawyers, and risk their costs.

The sad, inevitable truth was, the services, were inadequate, because they were unaccountable.

My complaint disappeared into the internet ether, and I received a reference number, and a promise of acknowledgement within 7 days.

And, just as I was beginning to think, the computer had said ‘no ‘, I received one.

It forced two meetings.

The first, with the social workers boss, and, another with the social worker,  we never got to the ‘independent’, paid by the LA   investigator.

The boss, arrived in our kitchen two weeks ago, timed not to coincide with the care workers, for fear of a crowd.

Her first, and only previous visit, had been three months earlier, with the care agency boss, after, I’d refused to allow, the targeting, spying, inadequate, ‘education’ package to continue.

Little had happened at that meeting.

A change of agency staff, and, her, reassuring me, Issy’s  ‘best interests’, were decided by the court, not  the social services.

Yeah, in our speedy, clogged up courts, whose wishes/evidence, are they going to rubber stamp, mine, and Issy’s, or, the social services ?

On her second visit to our kitchen, about our complaints, she entered with a big grin, jollily asking,

How are things going?

How do you answer that?

Surely she must, or, should know.

And wasn’t this about our complaints?

Questions,  all too impolite, and, futile to ask.

She then explained, it was her, not our social workers, as the GP had stated in his letter, who had been concerned about my cough.

Not explaining, why this mattered,  nor why the GP said it was her,

or, how she was able to report a cough, she’d never heard, and,  conclude it was now affecting my general health.

She reminded me, though I didn’t recall telling her, ( had she seen GP note?), that my husband, had in fact taken me to the GP.

Inference being, I had been so ill, I was forced to go.

But, did not explain, how my cough, was relevant, to this last GP’s appointment  a year ago, due to recurring post viral fatigue.

She informed us, our GP had asked her about Issy’s care plan.

And, she had told him, it was for her to remain at home, as we wanted.

No mention of Issy wanting it so badly she had refused to leave the house for five months..

Then, why hadn’t the GP told me that, as he said he would in his letter.

More crucially, why is our GP, meeting with our social workers, and their boss, without our knowledge,  or consent,to discuss, our daughters future care, and, my health ?

She then informed us, as we  already knew, no school would have Issy, but gave no reason ie introduction of ECHS.

That, SEN statements had been replaced,  by rip off , ad hoc, skills for ‘independent’ living packages, at 16.

Issy would have loved to go to school every day, and, had loved her 3 visits, to the specialist day school, she should now be attending, and, would have attended in 2007, had the National Autistic Society, not been so greedy.

And, the LA had not colluded, by enforcing a 52 week education placement, on the excuse, of Issy’s behaviour, which was due to a faecal impaction.

I assumed, that was our complaints dealt with, although they, or, indeed the reason for her visit, were not mentioned, other than the ‘cough’.

She then asked, why I hadn’t gone to Wimbledon.

Forcing  me to point out the obvious, again already made known to the SS.

The effect on Issy, of everyone disappearing, for the first time ever, for as long as three nights.

And some 10 different itinerant shifted workers, who didn’t know what needed to be done.

At a time, when she was ill, not eating,  and, refusing to go out.

She made no comment.

I added, I was also worried, that  Issy’s behaviour might escalate, with strangers, one she had never met, and, result in her removal, and medication.

She looked surprised, and remarked,

‘But Isabel’s behaviour  isn’t that severe’.

( fishing ?)

As, why, was she paying two workers, at a cost of £50 per hour, to sit in our kitchen ?

This lead to Issy’s continuing illness.

And, although, I found it almost impossible, I was forced to go through her symptoms again, for the umpteenth time.

With as always no point.

Her reaction, was patronising, and,implied Munchausen/Fabricated Illness Disorder.

’If you think Issy has appendicitis,   you are bound to be worried ‘.

She offered to approach the GP about it.

We’d already had 7 GP visits, without success.

And,   I was also aware, a GP had already discussed Issy’s health with this lady, behind my back.

I asked what difference, this could  possibly make.

She did not reply.

I had previously sought, and, eventually managed to get, social services to write to our GP, when I had found it impossible, to obtain a faecal impaction scan.

This had been spun, the core assessment to,

At times they can present as reluctant to access services via the GP or Dentists as they appear of the view that Social Care should take care of these matters’.

Therefore, worried that  ‘yes’, supported this, but  ‘no’ was evidence of neglect, I agreed to the lady’s help, should the symptoms reoccur.

The most important question, as to why Isabel had refused to leave the house since April, after an apparent push by her education package, to remove her to ’ independent’ living, was not discussed.

Yet, it was one of the complaints, she had come to discuss.

So I raised it.

The Boss  said, she could get a ‘lady’, to try to find out why, and,get Issy out.

We all knew why but it was not being acknowledged.

How?

When some 10 workers, a social worker, and, assistant teacher had failed.

And why, had this miracle worker, not been sent in months ago? .

We had already completed Issy’s adult social services assessment, but, I assumed, the court would also require a psychologist’s report, to assess her MCA ‘incapacity’, and, our mental disorders.

Maybe that was the lady’s real role?

How would   I ever know?

Difficult, a   refusal was failing to cooperate, and not trying to get Issy out, would not be, in her ‘best interests’, so after an initial refusal, I felt forced to agree to this lady’s visit.

But what did all this have to do with our complaints ??

On one of Issy’s several appearances in the kitchen to ask for juice.

The Boss cheerily exclaimed,

‘She likes being at home, having her Mummy do everything for her.’

A loaded, inflammatory, and inappropriate comment, in light of Issy’s  autism.

The previous targeting of me, and her ‘skills’ training.

Finding it impossible to maintain civility, I retorted,

‘Please, don’t, start Mummy bashing’.

The Boss  looked surprised,

And, in a concerned, counsellor tone,  replied,

‘She hadn’t meant to upset me’.

Mother’s mental instability ?

Inexplicably, she spent her last 10 minutes, asking about our other daughter’s activities and future, and left.

Possible welfare issues?

As usual, we were none the wiser for her visit.

Is it me? The care workers ‘role’, and hissy fits.

I decided to read the agency bumph to try to gain an  insight into the care workers role and behaviour.

Had I done this sooner, even, I, would have been forcedinto the sad realisation that it was impossible to have a relationship with the people,  now permanently in my kitchen.

The state requires, you share your home, your child, your intimate daily life, and social niceties with any chosen, itinerant stranger.

Ignorant of their role, agenda or power.

On Isabel’s fulltime return, these workers were, and still are the only respite offered.

So naturally, I assumed, their role was to  give me a break.

But now two of them were in the kitchen all day.

What were they meant to do.

Clean, look after Issy,?

Mysteriously, however, our core assessment stated,

on Tuesdays one support worker is going to go to the family home to spend time with both Finola and Isobel to offer support in changing some of the routines at home. This will enable Finola to feel more supported to make changes to some of the routines at home.’  

What routine ?

What changes ?

Why were they needed ?

The workers, had started to tidy cupboards, clean, and wash clothes, and put a line up, useful in the summer.

As Isabel refused to go out, or engage with them, I assumed this was how they justified the agency’s £50  per hour.

It was only after questions like,

‘Why do you need the skills of an agency worker?’, from the education boss, and,

‘What are you going to do to keep your daughter?’, from the new main worker in April.

And she let slip, she was training to be a social worker.

And,  I was targeted in children in need meetings, that I twigged an agenda.

The LA’s statutory duty to  support.Was morphing into parental capacity. safeguarding supervision.

Issy was a ‘child in need’,  not due to her disability,

But, because of her home environment and parents.

Our core assessment supported this.

It appeared, despite ours, and Isabel’s human rights, the Social Services Codes of Conduct and Issy’s wishes, the agenda was intervention and removal.

Compassion, humanity, and any real communication were therefore made impossible, between me, and any state agent.

The agency workers were made ‘experts’ after a one day’s induction. They knew better than me how to look after my daughter before meeting her.

And, were in my kitchen to train and supervise me and protect Issy.

This appealed to egos,  allowed control and abuse, and justified the agency ’s exorbitant fees.

Inconceivably, no matter how bad my situation became, ‘support’ nor social workers sympathised.

What sympathy should be afforded to an incapable, abusive mother?

I  would plead to them.Why the lack of humanity, but  was met with silence.

Whilst the workers didn’t do empathy, the agency literature said they did assist by,

building self- esteem, confidence, giving reassurance to enhance  skills, signposting, observing wellbeing and health ’.

Explaining  their proclamations that I was a ‘strong women’,

their compliments of my clothes, and praise for my ability to cook ( although part of their  neglect supervision).

At the time, I hadn’t realised,that enhancing my skills, observing   my health and wellbeing, and bigging me up was part of their job.

I was their ‘project’.

And,  if I didn’t play my role, the workers could, andwould leave the kitchen.

On a particularly distraught day, on the arrival of yet another new worker, I dared to say to her, that workers were exploited by their low pay and zero hour contracts.

My truth had upset her.

Her perception  was as her training and the agency PR provided.

That she was a highly trained operative  from the best agency, a professional carer.

So I assume that she did what she had been told to do if she ever felt ‘uncomfortable’..

As after just  20 minutes in the kitchen, she secretly texted her agency team leader, who almost immediately stood before me in my hall,  unannounced having been  let in in silence by the worker.

She informed me this worker, felt ‘uncomfortable’ and was leaving..

As, the agency had risk assessed 2 to 1.

Despite the fact I was nearly always at home.

And, both workers  had to then leave the kitchen.

Telephone calls, and emails ensued, threatening, did I  want future support,

when I hadn’t asked anyone to leave, didn’t have a clue the worker felt   ‘uncomfortable’, or why,

and  had retreated out of the kitchen, before the team leader arrived.

Yet another such departure, happened a month ago.

This time,  a regular worker of four months standing.

The morning, had not been easy in the kitchen.

I had had four days of freedom, without the workers , so  let my husband meet and greet, and  ventured in at 10.30  for a coffee,  making my usual small talk.

The workers were unresponsive, and did not enquire of Issy.

So I wittered on about Isabel’s, loss of appetite, but  gained no response, so returned to the lounge.

I felt that they ought to know I was blogging, and, thought they might be interested in the blog post, ‘Isabel and the Horror of her Future Care’.

So took the lap top into the kitchen, and showed the post to the friendlier trainee social worker of 4 months.

Her silence, made me retreat to the lounge, returning eventually, to retrieve the laptop, handed back in silence.

I asked if had she read it, she replied, yes.

I remained in the lounge, and, heard Issy throw up in the hall, so decided, to ring the doctor.

The GP arrived, yet another lady, but, this time not a stranger, as she had diagnosed Issy’s faecal impaction last year.

My husband lead her into Issy’s bedroom.

Without invitation, or explanation, both workers  ran in too, one sat on  Issy’s bed.

My husband asked them to leave, .

As Issy had been freaked out by the crowd, no examination was then possible.

I met the GP in the kitchen,  and described the usual symptoms.

My husband expressed  concern at a GP  discussing Issy’s future, still unknown  care plan with social services, but not with us,  but was  met with,

‘all our disabled patients  have care plans’.

We asked about the urine test, it was negative.

Issy came into the kitchen, and put her arm out, she obviously liked this GP, so I told her to tickle it .

At 2.15   I wandered into the kitchen, announcing our departures, to Sainsbury’s, and tennis.

One of the workers replied ‘remember to buy washing up liquid ‘- innocuous enough,

But this is a lady, asks if you have enough coffee, counts how many tins you have, comments you’ve ran out of squash, when you haven’t , knocks bowls, and tells you, they are cracked, and only fit for the cat.

And had earlier, that day, on my buying yet another plant, told me,  only to take, the cash I needed  to the supermarket

We also had history, over the past four months, me giving her legal advice, online assistance, lending her gowns for functions, and giving her lots of stuff… without thanks, and, I was always grateful for her amazing cleaning.

I thanked her, with some sarcastic ramblings, yes I had noticed,… but was ignored.

So  continued to make a coffee, under her usual silent stare, irritated, I asked her to stop staring.

Remarking, how awkward it was, to have people in the kitchen.

But  gained no reaction.

As  I was on a  very uncharacteristic assertive roll, I dared to ask the other worker, why she had said nothing about my blog, she replied,

Oh, you wanted me to make comment  on it ?, I didn’t know’.

I took my coffee into the garden.

I heard the staring lady ranting,

She then walked out and shouted,

‘Finola, I’m not staying here any longer’,

She stormed past me, as I came to see what was going on,shouting,

’It’s up to you, to sort your  life out’.

This meant the other worker was forced to leave.

So  no tennis for Eleanor and Seamus.

The agency manager rang, two workers had had to leave.

We had told them to go,  when we pointed out we had not ,

the story changed to, they  left because they felt ‘uncomfortable’, and, ‘emotionally drained’.

The next morning at 10.00 am, the same workers, were sitting in the kitchen.

Not a word was spoken about the incident,  I was charm personified, and excepting for providing Issy with juice, they didn’t lift a finger all day.

4bd9fd42a763a97cd736abf0f6f7f9a9