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Safeguarding and social services

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by anon2799, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    I posted this on a thread in opinion but it started me wondering, are other heads having similar experiences :
    "I am in daily contact with the social care team in my area. This year I have seen a tremendous increase in the number of malicious reports to social care. In my area this is one of the biggest drains on resources.
    The usual pattern is: mum and dad split, split is acrimonious, mum reports dad to social care and vice versa, hours spent investigating groundless allegations. Doesn't matter how many times they do this, each allegation has to be investigated.

    A more recent development, becoming increasingly popular, 2 mums are friends then their kids fall out, so the mums fall out, mum a makes up an allegation about mum b. again hours spent investigating. Mum b usually retaliates in kind...

    you get the picture.

    The latest development- teacher tells child off, parent reports teacher to social care.

    Thousands of pounds and man hours wasted. Social services are the new weapon of choice."
    Anyone else feel like they spend all their time taking phonecalls from the police and
    Social care, meeting with parents, acting as intermediary and generally getting stuck in the middle?
    I'm in a medium sized primary, deprived area. All I seem to have done this year is sort out family feuds and friendship issues between parents!
  2. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    It's a superb way of getting back at someone you've got issues with, isn't it? Complain about them to social services, who you know perfectly well must investigate any complaint.
    Even better when it's a teacher or (be still, beating hearts of all nowty parents) the headteacher.
  3. Have just been through the parent split up situation here. Complicated by the fact that we have both siblings who live with different parents.
    During an investigation of the "he said she said" variety a social worker asked me if I knew what lay at the heart of the parents problems. By now heartily sick of the whole situation I said "Yes the problem is that they are both 5 years old!". There was a slight pause and the sw said "Yeah that's what I have written down too, I think we can close this one then."
    It was such a refreshing change to meet a sw with a sense of humour.
  4. We have the same issues.
    The big problem I have is with the social workers themselves. They really don't seem to live in the real world and are driven by an overwhelming need to be totally PC.
    We had a case recently when a Dad was arrested for smaking his daughter on her leg, in a restaurant. A concerned customer rang the police on the basis that as he is white and the daughter mixed race, they weren't related. The police took the same view. Social services were involved and were dealing with it as a "racial" incident. They attempted to interview the child at my school without parental permission or allowing a member of school staff as a witness. I threw them out. Emails at Director level! Guess who's a naughtyboy now!
  5. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    I don't know whether to be glad it's not just me or totally despairing of the whole system.
    3 more serious CP cases this week so far - it's getting to the point where I will soon have more families with social care involvement than without.
    If only I had the cash to pay a member of staff to deal with these issues full time, I might actually be able to get my job done.
  6. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    Funny you shoulds say that, I've seen a number of job ads recently for teachers with no or very little teaching commitment to act as SENCO and CP contact in primary schools. I've got 2 kids in my class whose parents have separated and have played the SS game. Another parent helper is due to start as a TA after easter and , is unable to help at present because a parent who fell out with her has made an allegation and we are having to investigate and await an almost certainly clear CRB.
  7. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    What annoys me is I call social
    Services with serious cp issues and get fobbed off (until they get fed up of "that bloody woman at x again" - once overheard the social worker refer to me as that) but an anonymous referral is "actioned" immediately.
  8. Best thing we ever did, deputy does it we now have over 20% of the school with some form of CP issue........and rising!!!!!
  9. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    I'm currently on about 40% but if I carry on at this rate it will be half by Easter. Can't afford a non teaching deputy, sadly. She has a day per fortnight management time. I'm taking 3-4 referrals a day at the moment.
  10. bobbycatrules

    bobbycatrules New commenter

    I work in a PRU. One of the boys in my class is on the CP register. On a daily basis I write out CP forms regarding his disclosures and lack of emotional and physical care. He (and his 7 siblings) really need to be taken from his family (without giving details) but where are Social Services?
    The problem I am facing is that SS are just not effective in far too many genuine cases. The reason is probably due to the lack of resources and money, as CG has said, but this is just not acceptable in any way, shape or form. So many children are being damaged.
  11. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    I agree. We have one family with substance abuse and neglect issues. 1 of the children very disturbed. The children have been on and off the registar for 10 years now. Initially we fought for the parents because they were willing to work with SS and school and were always honest when they were struggling. They stayed off the drugs and got their act together. However they are now on their 5th major relapse and are back on SS. Enough is enough. They are lovely parents but the disturbed child need specialist support and she isnt going to get it through school and the LA due to funding cuts and their relatively young age. God forbid we sorted it out before they got really bad! Her only hope is to get her into a specialist theraputic foster care. The balance of damage has tipped too far now to continue supporting the parents. SS dont want to know and just use school to do all their bidding and pick up the pieces. There is a member of staff tied up everyday in the morning and end of the day dealing with behavioural and parenting issues. Our learning and parenting mentor spends 80% of her time with this one family. Funding end next week for our learning mentor after that it will just be the head.
  12. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    What I wouldn't give for one of these.
    I share a family worker who works 3 days a week with 5 other schools. Not really enough.
  13. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    Ours is shared too with 3 schools or at least will be until friday when they will be no more.

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