Parents with Mental Health Issues

PLEASE if you are feeling suicidal and you haven’t got anyone else you want to talk to, call the Samaritans. Call them now on 08457 90 90 90.


I’m a parent and I have mental health problems and/or a personality disorder. Can a social worker take my children away?

“Don’t ever let anyone tell you that your mental health challenges make you a weak person or a bad parent. Living and surviving and managing with all that stress and noise in your head requires strength, more strength than many other people will ever even have to find from within themselves. You are strong. Very strong indeed”

Debbie, aged 35, living with her four children and with lifelong schizoaffective disorder


Historically, there has been stigma and prejudice associated with parenting whilst living with a mental health challenge or personality difficulty. In the past, individuals who had or had been diagnosed with problems with their mental health were at unjustified risk of having their children taken from them. However, from the very beginning of disability rights legislation in the 1990s, mental health conditions have been recognised as disabilities. Therefore, people with mental health conditions have gained the right to protection from discrimination and parents with mental health conditions have gained the entitlement to support from Adult Services in their parenting role. Therefore, the courts should never allow a Social Worker to remove a child from a parent simply because the parent has mental health difficulties. Instead, Children’s Services would need to provide the court with evidence to demonstrate one or more of the following scenarios;

  • The mental health difficulties of the parent are of such severity that the parent cannot safely look after their child, even with the supervision of family members and/or the support of professional agencies, and that the parent is likely to have these difficulties for the foreseeable future. For example, Katie is suffering from psychosis, holds the resulting belief that she needs to add bleach to her son Liam’s baby formula and does not appear to understand why giving Liam bleach is harmful to him. Children’s Services would need to prove to the court that there was nothing Katie’s husband Rob or any professional could reasonably do to prevent Katie from feeding Liam with bleach before the court would allow a Social Worker to take Liam into care.
  • The parent is not engaging with the mental health treatment or social support necessary to enable them to safely look after their children. For example, single mother Shenaz is very depressed and struggling to keep the house clean, get her daughters Amira and Aisha dressed and ready for school and doesn’t want to take anti-depressants or have counselling and refuses to accept help from her ex or her sisters. Children’s Services would need to prove to the court that they had done everything possible to encourage Shenaz to accept help before the court would allow a Social Worker to place Amira and Aisha with their father or aunt.
  • The mental health difficulties of the pregnant woman involve a lifestyle so chaotic, risky or unpredictable that it is reasonable to believe that the newborn baby would be exposed to an unacceptable level of risk. For example, Shannon is six months pregnant and constantly moving between squats comprised of people who grow and use cannabis, a substance which Shannon uses to self-medicate against the voices she hears. Children’s Services would need to prove to the court that Shannon would be highly likely to try and raise her as-yet-unborn child surrounded by drugs and drug users, and thus at extreme risk of cot death, abuse and neglect.


Mental health advocacy services are experienced at helping parents to articulate and to explain to professionals their difficulties, and are skilled at helping parents to locate and request the help they need. Therefore, if a parent with current or historic mental health difficulties is able to explain and understand their difficulties and to explain the support they need, they should not find themselves in danger of losing their children.

However, this advice can be problematic for people in the following situations

 I have a diagnosis of personality disorder. Can a social worker take my children away?

You may also be interested in this post about personality disorder. 

Personality disorder is a contentious and disputed diagnosis, and one which can be used in different ways or mean different things to different professionals. Most people with a diagnosis of personality disorder have had difficulties for a long time, and most find that mental health services have not been able to help them. Therefore, people with diagnoses of personality disorder can find it difficult to access or engage with the sort of help they need. Professionals – including doctors and social workers – can sometimes find people with a diagnosis of personality disorder confusing or intimidating, and difficult to help.

Many people with a diagnosis of personality disorder manage well as parents. However, some parents with diagnoses of personality disorder do need some help. Most people with a diagnosis of personality disorder have a history of childhood abuse or neglect, and some may therefore need guidance in understanding how to keep their own children safe and cared for. Many people with a diagnosis of personality disorder struggle to manage relationships and emotions, and some may therefore need support in responding to the behaviour of their children. Some people with a diagnosis of personality disorder cope with stress in self-destructive ways such as by self-harm, substance abuse, eating problems or sexual risk-taking, and these people may need help in ensuring that their children are not affected by their behaviour. It is this latter category – those parents who are harming themselves, and whose children are witnessing them harming themselves or whose unborn children are affected by them harming themselves – who are most likely to attract the concern of professionals.

However, before allowing a Social Worker to remove a child from a parent with a personality disorder, the court must ensure that everything possible has been done to help and support the parent. In the past, personality disorders were regarded as ‘untreatable’ and some people with diagnoses of personality disorder may still be told they are ‘untreatable’: however, this attitude is now recognised as discriminatory and does not remove from statutory services the legal obligation to try and help. There is help and support available for people with diagnoses of personality disorder: treatments such as mentalisation-based therapy (MBT), dialectic behaviour therapy (DBT), cognitive analytic therapy (CAT) and therapeutic communities have been demonstrated as reasonably effective. Therefore, unless a person with a diagnosis of personality disorder is refusing all help, their Social Worker must do everything possible to find them the support they need before considering whether to take their children away.


The medication I’ve been given means that I sleep so soundly I don’t wake up if the baby needs me in the night – and I’m a single parent. Can the Social Worker take my children away?

Excessive sleepiness is a well-known side-effect of much psychotrophic medication, particularly the older antipsychotics. When prescribing, psychiatrists should be willing to take lifestyle factors such as the possible need for waking quickly into account – for most people, there will be alternative forms of medication to try.

When a physically-disabled single parent needs support at night, Adult Services should provide and fund a carer or personal assistant. Parents who have a similar need due to medication should therefore have a similar entitlement. Therefore, the court would insist that Adult Services provide the help parent needs as an alternative to removing the children. In practice, however, single parents with both physical and mental health disabilities often have to work quite hard to access and secure funding for such levels of help. Advocacy services such as those run by Mind and Rethink can be very effective.


I know I need therapy to be a good enough parent, but my Social Worker says the waiting lists mean that I won’t even get an assessment for another six months and that even then I mightn’t get any help because I’m too unwell or live too far away. Can the Social Worker take my children away?

It can be very difficult for parents with mental health difficulties and personality disorder diagnoses to find and receive the support they need. Waiting lists often exceed the government’s 18 week target and parents can feel very frightened and isolated in the meantime, which may increase the level of risk of harm or neglect they pose to their children.  However, Children’s Services should never consider removing children simply because of the difficulties in accessing help for the parent. The courts should ensure that this will not happen. National mental health charities and local advocacy groups can also be useful in helping parents to find the help they need within a reasonable time-frame – such organisations can often be more aware of available resources than social workers or psychiatrists.


 I know I could manage with the children if I had daily visits from a support worker, weekly counselling and 24/7 access to the Crisis Team. My Social Worker agrees, but says that there’s not enough funding within the system available to give me that much help. Can they take my children simply because it’s cheaper than giving me the help I need?

This is a scenario which should never arise. However, given the current budget cuts within the public sector, all local authorities are under pressure to save money, if only in the short term. Ultimately, the courts make decisions based upon the best interests of the child rather than on the financial convenience of the professionals involved. It would therefore be very difficult for Children’s Services to persuade a court to allow Social Workers to remove children simply to avoid the expense of supporting a parent. Parents who are struggling to obtain the help they need often benefit from a good solicitor and the support of advocacy services.  See for example, the advocacy services run by Mind and Rethink which can be very effective. 


 I have problems other than with my mental health. Sometimes I fall over and wet myself due to seizures I have, but the Social Worker think it happens because I’m drunk even though the doctor I saw at A&E last year could tell it was a medical problem. Can the Social Worker take my children for being drunk, even though I don’t even drink?

People who have mental health problems often find that any unexplained physical symptoms will be attributed to their mental health or behaviour: this is known as ‘diagnostic overshadowing’, and is very common. Furthermore, Children’s Services and the NHS do not always share information as effectively as necessary, and records and letters can be inaccurate, worsening the problem. The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) are generally very good at ensuring that doctors provide Social Workers with all the information they need. If Children’s Services were to make a court application on the basis of inaccurate information, the solicitor of the parent should successfully be able to highlight and challenge any errors.


 When I am most distressed, I can find it hard to talk to people or to explain what is wrong. I’ve tried to write things down, but I’m not very good at reading and writing and I don’t always understand what professionals say or write. This means that the Social Worker sometimes thinks that I’m not cooperating – can they take my children away?

Many people who have both mental health problems and difficulties with communication or literacy find that the anxiety, stress and confusion associated with their mental health can make it especially hard to explain to professionals what is wrong and to understand what they are being told to do. All professionals – and especially Social Workers – should be trained in working with and communicating with people with range of needs and difficulties. However, advocacy services can be helpful, especially when parents have additional learning difficulties.


The Social Worker told me that she ‘doesn’t believe in people with schizophrenia being allowed to be parents’. Can she take my children away?

As explained above, this opinion is discriminatory, and to act on it would be illegal. Social workers and other professionals may believe in many things and may hold a range of personal opinions. However, the law does not give professionals the authority to act on the basis of their individual views. Before a Social Worker is able to apply to the court for the removal of children, both the Social Worker and his/her manager will need to agree that the children should be removed, and the solicitor employed by the local authority will need to agree that there is a reasonable chance that the court will agree with them. No local authority solicitor would advise Children’s Services to initiate court action based simply upon such views expressed by one individual Social Worker.


 I’ve read some things online about Social Workers. I now realise that Children’s Services have hidden a camera in my daughter’s teddy, and I know that the way the Social Worker dyed her hair last week means that they’re going to take my daughter. Is this true?

Certainly, there are some frightening things written online. Many of these appear to have been written by people who suffer the unusual or scary thoughts often associated with diagnoses of paranoia, some personality disorders or psychosis. If a parent is frightened by their thoughts or beliefs, and if the parent is finding it hard to get these thoughts or beliefs out of their head, he or she may be experiencing a deterioration of their mental health. Parents with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or personality disorder sometimes hear persecuting voices that others cannot hear, and these voices can include those of authority figures such as Social Workers and psychiatrists.

Looking after children whilst experiencing such intense distress would be hard for any parent with or without mental health difficulties. The best thing a parent can do in this situation is therefore just to ask for help from a mental health professional or a trusted friend.


 I know that I need help in looking after my children and my partner does help – he’s a great dad and does everything for them. However, he beats me regularly and I’m scared to tell anyone because I know he’ll convince them that it’s just my mental health making me imagine the beatings…  even if I do leave, I know he’d get full custody of the children and ban me from seeing them because I know I couldn’t look after them on my own. If I ask for help, can a Social Worker take my children away?

This is probably one of the most difficult scenario for a parent with a mental health problem or personality disorder diagnosis. The Women’s Aid website provides some thoughtful and realistic advice here. Parents who find themselves in this very vulnerable position would do best to approach Children’s Services and mental health support via the support of an independent domestic violence advocate, who will help the Social Worker to understand what is happening and what will help. Some women’s refuges have intensive support available to mothers with specific mental health needs, and some refuges can allow women to stay for up to five years. However, the mother will need legal advice and representation to protect themselves from their abusive ex-partner, which is currently available free of charge to all domestic violence victims through legal aid.

You might also find it helpful to visit our section on domestic violence and abuse.


 I’m on my own with the children all week and I’m hearing voices telling me to kill myself and I’m having thoughts of doing frightening things. I want to phone 999 and ask for help – but will a Social Worker come and take the children away?

If the suicidal or severely distressed parent has no adult family members or friends around to help, it is possible that the children may be taken into temporary local authority care in order for the parent to receive the urgent help that s/he needs. Children’s Services should make a priority of initiating any longer-term support necessary to support the parent to care for children in the future. Therefore, the parent should never be afraid of asking for help in a crisis or emergency.

PLEASE if you are feeling suicidal and you haven’t got anyone else you want to talk to, call the Samaritans.

Call them now on 08457 90 90 90

386 thoughts on “Parents with Mental Health Issues

  1. Philip Measures

    This is an excellent page full of sound advice BUT in reality many parents will still be far from convinced that sharing their concerns with social workers is a safe thing to do.

    I very much endorse the use of Advocacy Services and seeking to utilise supportive services which Health Visitors will also be able to advise about. There may also be details of Parent and Child groups on the Notice Board of your local GP Surgery. Libraries will also often have details of what is available.

    I do intend to try to contribute something in more detail around social work and mental health especially as I have real fears that many, if not most, social workers have very little knowledge and experience of mental health matters. Their own anxieties can be as high as those of parents!

    By and large parents with mental illnesses present no greater threat to their children, and perhaps less, than in the general population as a whole as often they may even be over-protective.

    Mental illness is not a useful ‘global’ term to use because of the prejudices associated with it – we need to look at each situation separately and social workers need to be part of a larger supportive multi-disciplinary team which can provide a range of monitoring and support.

    1. Kacey

      I still fear that my child could get taken away from me if i get a diagnosis. I hear voices and see people that arent actually there. I get confused with whats real and what isnt. I have extreme paranoia and really want to tell a professional but i do not want to lose my son. He is my world

          1. Natasha Casey

            I poked my childs father in the face and spat on him in an argument while he was holding our daughter she has just come of a cin plan and now the social services have told my childs father to keep our daughter and seek legal advice so now he wont let me even see her and he is seeking full custody of her can he do this and can he just keep her from me and not allow me any contact how can I get her back

          2. Sarah Phillimore Post author

            If the SW won’t help you will have to apply to court urgently. It is not fair on your daughter to just have no contact with you at all.
            Will social services supervise it?

          3. Stephanie Privich

            Hi there saying I need intense therapy where can I find a impatient service through worker correct for mental health

          4. Elka J Causey


            I read your article and I would like some information on this topic. Im not local and maybe asking outside my country can lend me help from within.

            I am going through this situation but slightly different. I don’t have mental illness but a personality disorder, never had an episode, never was any risk to my child or called in on any accusations, but yet the individuals who wanted to “legally kidnap” my child made false allegations to a judge and now they are trying to determine my fate.

            They have not giving me a fair trial or representation and infringed on my civil rights. They brought up no witnesses or evidence of any of their allegations, but I have, and they refused to accept them.

            I fought for 7 months, a broken system as pro se, and the now attorney I have has now withdrawn from my case after 2 months only to collect a check without a court visit and before trial. I’m now in debt with a 3k bill no attorney and no time or funds to allocate new representation and any pro/low bono will not take a case ready for trial. Guardianship cases don’t give you the opportunity of a court appointed attorney.

            I have had the other party influence my supervisors on my visits, and the GAL I asked for, has made it impossible to show there is no cause to send me for yet another evaluation and sessions. I fear that they will get permanent guardianship and continue to try to adopt my child and essentially make me a surrogate for my sister and mother.

            My attorney knows they are narcissist and the case only came to a judge do to retaliation for doing no contact with them.

            They have not included my husband as if I am a single woman ignoring his parental rights. He is also pro se. The injustice of an unfair trial no meritt and my civil rights are violated. They continue to harass and discriminate me or make ultimatums and force me to act guilty though I maintained my innocence. Labeling “mentally ill and a risk of harm to my child” even though that was not what the key witness court appointed psychologist report states or recommends.

            I just would like someone to hear my story and reach out and possibly advocate for me. My sole purpose in life was to be a mother. I have medical issues that prevent me from having a child so she is my miracle baby for both me and my husband and I have had 6 miscarriages and a still birth and even after all that I had a beautiful healthy baby girl.

            She has been with me for 3 years until this case. 9 months later it has stalled. With very bad outlook on prospects.

            Please if you can forward this to anyone interested in helping a mama in Oklahoma I would be very appreciative. Or of any resources that can assist in my battle to get my daughter back.

            Thank you

          5. Sarah Phillimore Post author

            I am sorry I can’t be more helpful but this is a resource for people in England and Wales so its probably a long shot hoping that it might reach a lawyer in Oklahoma. But I hope you can get some legal representation, its definitely needed in a case like this.

          6. Sarah Phillimore Post author

            It will depend on so many things. A suicide attempt indicates a mental health crisis and the need for immediate intervention. Depending on what intervention is possible and what the response is, its not automatic that children are removed from someone who has tried to kill themselves. But it will certainly be seen as a serious thing.

          7. Darrell Wade

            I recently knew of someone who confided in members of their community about having suicidal ideation. There was no attempt at all. However Child Social Services arrived at their home just off of this report wanting to speak with them and the child. I sounds they were very abrasive in there approach. The did not allow the workers in the and the child was away out town. Can they take a child based off a report of ideation??

          8. Sarah Phillimore Post author

            No social worker has the power to remove a child without a court order. the police can remove a child for up to 72 hours if they think its necessary to use their powers of protection under section 46 of the Children Act.

        1. Coral Smith

          Some anti de depressant medication can actually cause some people to hear voices or behave strangely especially if they are suddenly stopped through pregnancy.

      1. Aishah

        Kacey I hear voices too and I have hallucinated in the past so I know exactly what you’re going through. It is really hard. Just remember that you’re the boss not the voices! You can defeat them. Keep fighting and keep strong girl.

      2. Lorna

        I have two children and I recently (around seven months ago) was diagnosed with BPD I was suicidal, having thoughts of harming my kids I even text the nspcc and told them I wanted to kill my children! Which I absolutely do not now that I am thinking straight and feeling better, I was hearing voices, I was getting so angry that I was lashing out at my children, my partner almost lost his job because most days I could just about manage to drag myself out of bed but would spend the whole time he was at work crying, self harming, shouting and even screaming at nothing sometimes just because I did not understand what was going on in my head I was just a mess I couldn’t function I couldn’t even cope with noise if the kids were noisy I would completely freak out. I was admitted to A+E after taking an over dose twice in a week the second visit it was the police who took me in and sat with me the whole time they insisted that I saw a mental health worker even though the nurses were asking them to arrest me instead because they didn’t want to deal with me the police men pushed and pushed and sat with me for six hours in the middle of the night they even stayed and supported me when the mental health worker finally showed up I told them everything once I started I couldn’t stop everything came pouring out anyway long story short I had a lot of appointments with nurses, psychiatrists, doctors and social workers and it wasn’t easy I genuinely feared they would take my children but every body could see I was getting better and eventually social care closed my case because they had no concerns! There are so many bad stories about social care but honestly they do not want to take children away it is an absolute last resort the sooner you get help the sooner you can start feeling better and you can start being the mum you want to be. Every day you go through hell inside your own head in my eyes that makes you one of the strongest people in the world you can ask for help and you can work towards getting better! I still have bad periods but I feel like a completely different person to who I was seven/eight months ago I look back and it’s like I am looking at somebody else’s life not my own x

        1. Gigsaw

          Thank you so much for your story it has encouraged me to get help…I love my children so much but feel I might be unfit. They are looked after in the traditional sense but I feel my mental health problems have taken over to the extent that I can’t engage with them properly therefore can’t provide the play/stimulation/communication that I know they need to grow into well-rounded adults. Feel like I’m falling to bits and failing my babies..I’m still scared of SS xx

          1. Christina Davidson

            I am currently going through care proceedings with my little one. I feel social services have wrongly treated me because of my mental health and ability to be a mum. This is unacceptable. We do not live in the victorian era. Society needs to change. I am a good mum if anything more understanding and equipped than a lot of other parents out there. Social workers are not medically trained so they are making huge mistakes left right and centre regarding children and babbies

          2. Sarah Phillimore Post author

            They may not be medically trained but the court will consider them to have expertise with regard to parenting and child development. Therefore you are not going to help yourself by dismissing that expertise. Yes, I agree that there is still unnecessary stigma and lack of knowledge about mental health issues so you are right to be aware of that and challenge any social worker who goes outside their expertise and seeks to comment directly about your mental health. However, you will make life a lot harder for yourself if you dismiss everything the social worker says.

            I agree that mental health issues alone do not stop people being parents, and – as you say – coping with mental health issues can make you more resilient and better equipped. But equally mental health issues can be very hard for both parent and child to cope with. So you need to get support from where you can and save your energies to fight the battles that matter.

          1. Sam

            Samantha, who has diagnosed you? If you can give some more detail without revealing your personal details someone may be able to direct you to some help.

          2. Lauren Tate

            Hormones don’t help either when your pregnant I ended up with postnatal depression coz I was scared to love my child due to my pregnancy and my ex nit Bein there but when she came the love I had was unbreakable I was against everyone else not her. I still struggle 4 years later will issues have ups and down the sooner u seek help the better for u both. U will b a great mam even if u have boarder line personally disorder if u are aware now and doing something about it u have nothing to worry about. Good luck with your little one all the best xx

          1. Crystal Bond Jackson

            I am a single mom of 4 with an with severe social anxiety disorder I was severely abused while in CPS custody when I was a little girl my son was born prematurely due to Medical disorders the day my son was due to come home from the hospital CPS showed up and took him saying that they didn’t like my behavior and I would not be equipped to care for him my other three children stayed in the home with me but they took my infant son for me and they keep telling me that I won’t get him back if don’t behave I think they are being very unfair anytime I cry or get upset because they have my son they say I’m being unreasonable and I’m not behaving and I try to hold back my feelings but I can’t seeing him leave with someone else every week it makes my problems that much worse I go to therapy I take my meds I do everything they ask but they don’t give him back and sometimes my anxiety gets the worst of me while talking to the caseworker and when I feel cornered I tend to yell and they say that’s why they took him from me for yelling at a caseworker I don’t think what they did was legal or Fair I’m a good mom I take good care of my children the other three are happy and well-adjusted they do well in school and play well with other children they’re very polite but CPS is saying that because of my mental problems I’m not able to care for my child is there any advice you could give me on how to get my baby back

        2. SUKIE

          I have researched and telephoned agencies i have had my children removed since my husband left and i fell to pieces since the ive been diagnosed with personality disorder i have no support from my social worker she supports my husband who jas my youngest child my other child is in care where do i get help ive been told i need 13 months phycotheapy i will have to pay privately on no income and cant claim benifits

        3. Beckie

          Hi Lorna, my friend is going through exactly the same as you however, her children were taken away, and even now she’s better and receiving treatment, social services say they shouldn’t go back for fear of a recurring episode. Who was the local authority you were dealing with if you don’t mind me asking – hers in Southampton Social Services. Kind regards – Beckie

          1. dawn

            the most ridiculous saddest shit ive ever heard in my life people want help
            is that comment really helping anyone sorry 4 your friend but surely she can get her child back if shes well.this has really angered my blood

        4. Stella

          Hi my name is Stella and I’m worried that I’m gonna have my daughter taken from because I’m suffering with bad mentel health problems I’m not sure what I’m exactly suffing from it’s my moods sometimes I can be really nice to people n the next I can be really nasty and horrible n say horrible things it’s like someone has jumped into my body n controlling me Im getting aggressive now but it all passes then I’m back to my normal happy self again after. If I seeked help and go see my gp about my moods would that go in my favour when the social worker comes to see me cuz I don’t wanna lose my daughter because of something I can’t control by myself

          1. Angelo Granda

            Stella,By all means you should see your G.P. and ask his advice. He may also refer you to the NHS for counselling .
            Main thing ,however, to bear in mind is that you are by no means alone. In this day and age, women often develop traits such as those you describe. Particularly when they have suffered from oppression ,inequality and abuse over a period of time. As you say ,your moods come and go. Your real self is happy but you are split between your real self and your alter-ego,if you can call it that.
            Please note,i am not a professional of any kind and definitely not a psychologist or social worker. I am merely a fellow parent with some experience of a woman with similar problems attempting to advise you as best as I can.
            The TRUTH is that you can take matters into your own hands and change/reform yourself if you learn how to do it!
            Think about fundamental moral values and put them into practice on a daily basis. You will benefit and change as sure as night follows day. You are already clear in your own mind as to the problem.
            You know what is right and what is wrong but you are unable to stop your mood-swings. How to get rid of the syndrome once and for all?
            Ask for advice from a vicar or priest and what will they say? Pray to God at least twice or day or whenever you feel it coming on. Beg for help from above. This is the best way,Stella ,although some will call you a religious nutter for praying regularly,it is the only true way. In my opinion.All of us are human and some much worse than you .You should understand that and recognise how thousands hold themselves ourselves in check daily.It works.
            Guff? I don’t think so…………!

        5. Beth

          THIS.Thank you, I been struggling as of late I am on a protection plan, I felt exactly like you and my ex partner spent many days off because of me.

          I really hope to become the mother I wanted to be. thank you for this post<3

        6. Crystal LEI

          I felt as if your words were mine.
          I’ve never made it to the point of having to have a social worker helping me.
          Ive had help since i was 15. Lots of coping skills.
          I also still talk to myself almost on a daily basis…questioning
          Everything that doesn’t make sense.
          My children are living with their father for the last 2yrs. Almost 17 my youngest and almost 19 my oldest. They have both gone through tests and tribulations as teenagers…i feel as if my oldest is just like me and i fear for her.
          I see shadows and hear things..but i have to say being on the right medication has made me see that these things aren’t as real as i thought they were. I still snap..out angrily on occasions due to frustrations of life.
          But all in all. I do have to say that you have the power..always have u just have to tell and convince yourself. It’s not real. Those thoughts..the noises..the shadows..
          I love your comment and had to tell you!!
          THANK YOU!!

    2. Sara

      I,m sorry. I dont no who wrote this but this is an absolute lie. This is not the reality of social workers or the court system. They lie an abuse you when u have a mental health problem an they do use that as a reason to take your. child even when no abuse is present because of potential future harm. I was forced to give birth then not allowed to leave the hospital because my scoial worker said so. I didnt even no I had a sociL worker.until.I was in labout an all because on my record it shows im a risk due to.mental health. The system is sick and I dont think u should be encourgaing mothers to seek help. That was the biggest mistake I made asking for help an engaging with services. We are still treated like animals and our. Hildren stolen out in care

      1. Anon

        I agree with you on this they are trying to take my son from me to give to his donor father 47 and boyfriend 21 and they say I have mental health issues emotional issues and anxiety issues it’s no wonder I’m anxious your trying to take my boy and put him in a one bed bungalow with unfit people who he didn’t and doesn’t want to be with they lie all the time and even calling my parents liars etc the courts are as bad they have no proof I’m unfit or a bad mum I’m a good mum his father does nothing it’s not the best way forward be aware guys before making a big mistake I asked for help worst thing I ever done

        1. Sam

          Anon I think your right. Getting help or talking to social workers/ therapist should be the last resort. Life or death situation. All they do is make lies and try to destory your life. It was a mistske to ever get mental health help as a kid. I should have just stayed home and let my parents take care of me and my family. It ruined my life to get a diagnosis as a teenager. It will haunt me for the rest of my life. Now I have to do all I can to bury my past and to live like a perfect little family with no freedom to take a breather like all the other moms can. Having a diagnosis signed my right away from ever having a normal and happy family. It is hard work to always have everything put perfectly in place and dress up my family like a little perfect doll. But anything is worth keeping my babies and my husband safe and happy together. Social workers are out to ruin peoples lives. Im a great mom. But i have to be better than any other mom to keep my family together.

          1. SUKIE

            There needs to be a big campaign on this children are being removed the system is in cris social workers lie twist truth they make mistakes theres Inaqurate report writting I have a time line that needs to be published the truth needs to be let out especially over mental health.

        2. Anon86

          You speak the truth! Do not engage or lie I’m sorry. I’m talking straight facts after having the worst year of my life dealing with these physcopaths! Because of my history and my mental health they used it against me. Even things that has nothing to do with the case. Once they got you in their grasp anything, I mean ANY discrepancy in your past, your fault or NOT it’s twisted and used against you.
          I wasn’t and still am not allowed help because I’m high functioning. Because I fall into a grey area. Because emotionally unstable personality disorder is not classed as mental health. I’ve had depression well over 11 years still not enough. I have aspegers and agrophobia still not enough. Mother and baby units will only accept those with depression pre existing pregnancy(mine pre existed my second child let alone my third, still ain’t enough), if your bipolar or have psychosis you’ll get the chance and help to be a mother. Anything else you just get written off as a crap human being get your baby ripped away from you and you just have to deal with it.
          I thought all mental health was equal? So who’s picking and choosing what mental health is more important and why aren’t we all getting equal oppertunity to try out hand at motherhood? These people are full of shit, will smile in your face and make it seem like you have a friend. Don’t tell them anything in detail they will surely twist that knife they’ve sharpened to stab in your back. The minute you let slip you have a temper issue or your ex is abusive or you have problems with finance etc. It can be anything they will dig until they have enough to build up a case against you take you to court and bye bye baby.

          Just because people may have been a certain way before doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. a baby can change people and their perspective on what’s important in life. Most people aren’t that far gone. Just need help and understanding and time. Not judged and labelled before they’ve even had a chance.
          We all get grouped together as unfit mother’s who are stupid to have spread our legs for these men, but there are lots of things that separate us that nobody is bothered or willing to go deeper into. Understand, there is NO MENTAL HEALTH SERVICE if you have anything other than what’s considered normal within the mental health range. You’re stuck by yourself with no backing or support. I know I’m living it right now! There’s no one that I can even point you to, to say that they helped me. I have tried to speak to EVERY health profession out there and just got passed between everyone. While their all messing around and thinking it’s a joke me and my child miss out and I’m meant to be okay with possibly never seeing my daughter again.
          I’ve had an abusive relationship before this they drag my daughter’s from that relationship into this as a way to say that I’m unfit when I’m actuality I had to get my daughter’s to a safe place and so while I couldn’t at that point physically escape that relationship I gave up my mothering role to protect my daughter’s who live with their grandad. Nobody knows how hard that is. When people who have no idea on your situation think that because you haven’t got your kids it’s because of something you’ve done! That you’ve failed them in some type of way. Anyway they used that, even having the history as a means to demonize me as this emotionally unstable wreck that would harm my daughter of my next relationship.
          They seem to side with abusive father’s and absent ones more so than help any woman. A partner/ex partner can batter you to a pulp and they would STILL get shared custody or weekend dad rights. That’s when you see on the news kids slain and the dads taken his own life because he wants one up on the mother. The problem is they think we’re all crazy and treat us less than people with no respect but expect you to give it fully. Knowing that especially with mental health regardless what you’ve been diagnosed with your going to find everything trying and harder to deal with but your left just to get on with and deal with your emotions.

          1. Anon86

            My doctors are not supportive all. I’ve gone to every health profession you can think off doctors, nurses, therapies, mental institutes and they all argue it’s mental health… oh wait no it is not it’s learning difficulties i had that for a year and still never got anywhere. I tried telling my doctors I feel like I was getting worse due to my pregnancy something was heightened I could tell within myself. were they bothered? Not one bit. Just forced anti depressants and see you later. Even when I od while pregnant as a means of thinking that I would be taken seriously enough to get real help nothing. Just got left on a hospital bed for 5 hours to be told two contradicting things by different doctors to be sent home. And that wasn’t the first time to A&E where i had just been left to for in a corner for hours on end. So nobody can’t tell me why didn’t I try and do something or get the help. Because there isn’t any, and like I said If you’ve got anything other than manic depressive disorder(bipolar) or psychosis or depression it’s not serious enough or warranted that you deserve any type of treatment or help or even investigated. But we’ll take your baby from you though so whatever your feeling now will triple and send you spiralling and doing things you may have thought of before but would never do. Now you don’t care because what is left to care for? Who are you hanging for? Your child that ain’t going to know you for 18 years? So why does it matter what you do or don’t do it’s not going to affect your child either way. Alot of people who haven’t been in your position like to patronize you or try and make you feel guilty or use your other kids and say what about so and so. If it’s about how you effectively cope as a parent one your broken it’s going to take more than anyone saying think of your other kids. That’s an easy cop out sentence to say and not constructive to the mother. If anything it adds more guilt and pain. Not reassurance and security that they will get through it.

            I am raging, it’s clear there is no help for me so maybe something drastic has to happen as usual before something gets done. Because that’s how the world works. Usually somebody has to die before lessons should be learnt people saying should have could have and would have.

            If you have social services or cps in your life and still have your kids just concentrate on making your kids happy there the most important ones. They’ll remember it and create memories because at any moment it could be taken. You just never know with these people.

          2. Nicole

            Sorry for you.i sas reading your storry, i can tell you in your days nobody will care about you. If you are un luciu to an abusive partner no change to wien, ar last have tousend and you sens of dollar to fight with the all. Mothers in your days dont t have any value anymore they are trated as trush this is the true. This articles are out of reality. The reality is very sad and nobody is there to help. Better shut up if you have daily for suport you are luciu, if not… Gold be with you. The only one left is God. If i know it this before i no want any child with any abuser and i will have an abortion.ditroying my life systematicle this abuse and the family court, even if i no have a mental ilness documented, just because i am an immifrants and all face it story to preventiv me to ” claiming” kidnaping my one child! Sick society

        1. Anon86

          I really feel sorry for any mother who has mental health and no support or backing from anyone. Something needs to be done with this baby farm money making business heartless scheming gansters. They don’t care about the knock on effect a child not being with their mother could have. I care about all of my kids. Who their with, what their exposed to, what experiences could they have and I can’t protect them.
          I’ve had friends who are more messed up and affected after being in the system and exposed to things you’d never wish on any child. Now some of their parents were vile but they were never checked on once they got put into New foster homes and others who’s parents weren’t that bad were exposed to situations they wouldn’t have faced with their parents. i cant live not knowing how my daughter is/ isn’t going to be treated.

          Once your child is lost in the system good luck trying to get them back. Social services will try their best to cut of nearly all contact until your child is 18 and by then your young adult may hold resentment thinking you never wanted them or they weren’t important enough not realising you never got the oppertunity to be a parent.

          Half of these women haven’t even got kids. They don’t understand connections or bonds between mother and child. So I think it’s rich they can walk into your life and pass judgment not even knowing the full story which, would give them better understanding. There able just to look judge and decide to take you child away.
          We can all do that. Judge people. But not what you see is always what you get.
          As for me now, with these bitches, it’s on sight, meaning as soon as my baby gets taken there ain’t nothing stopping me from ripping them apart. Take away a purpose to be a mother you take away something worth living for. I don’t care what nobody has to say. I’ll give them mental health.

          1. Anon86

            I have rage issues mainly mixed with depression to do with my past. They say there scared I would harm my daughter. When? After protecting my past two I’m all of a sudden going to change and harm this one? Where’s the logic? My anger is focused on adults who should know better. Who knows life isn’t always straight forward but you get judged harshly, your mistakes never lived down and nobody wants to give you one chance to see if you are different or what arears you need help in.

            If you have social services in your life and you’ve gone to a meeting and they say your child will be taken off you after birth. I’m telling you if your not high risk and you can deal with pain, do not go into hospital to have your child. You will not be walking out with it.
            It’s hard because Im not saying you have to do this and especially if your high risk then I’m sorry I suggest you go hospital but if your pregnancy has been fine and baby’s fine all the way up till Labour stay your ass at home because i promise you, you will not leave with your child. You are kept in a separate room with a nurse watching you day and night until a social worker arrives to take your child away. The day before my daughter was taken there is another ward underneath maternity I think more so for mother’s who are either drug/ drink dependant or have given birth while in prison and while the girl looked as tough as nails I felt so sorry for her and knew I would be in her position the next day.
            I’m choosing to document everything because if anything happens these people will try and spin the narrative to make it look like we’re all nuts with screws loose and there always the innocent victims and they cant understand why people have so much hate/resentment towards them.
            My kids will know they were wanted and loved and I tried my hardest to keep my children together. And yes you can bet ive already told social if i were to take my life or turn into a murderer it’s because you took away the option for me to have any chance at happiness.
            And don’t be acting like you haven’t read at least one murderer who was a family man/woman and dotted on their kids. I’m not condoning killing (there’s always one who wants to get happy) anyone period, but just because you can be unsound in on thing doesn’t mean your void of all emotion. Is what I’m trying to get at. again im not condoning killing anyone or telling you to. But i understand when backed into a corner and desperate i can see see how it happens.

      2. Sam

        I agree Sara. I have been stable and happy young woman for 3 years now. But when I had my baby the social worker came into the hospital threatening to take my child away from me and she had no facts or reasons to do that! My household would be considered perfect and my life stable and safe for a baby. Just because of my mental health diagnosis from teenage years; she was sent to try and take my child at 1 day old! As a new mother it is my worst nightmare for anyone to harm my little one. Social workers are sick f*cks and will threaten and accuse you of things that dont exist. Shame on that woman for trying to hurt my beautiful and happy family. She can go to hell because I have worked hard to become the stable and healthy woman I am today. She has no right to treat me that way.

        1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

          Dear Sam – the SW has no power to take your child away. Only the court can do that. I appreciate it doesn’t seem like that when you have just had a baby and you are frightened. But she clearly did not have ‘no facts or reasons’ – you state you have a MH diagnosis, but you don’t say what it was or is. It was clearly sufficient to cause the SW to be concerned and the fact that you seem to reject any suggestion that you might face challenges will, I am afraid, be another reason to worry. I am glad that you now have reached stability and I hope this continues.

          1. Thesa Montalvo

            I Don’t Mean To Interrupt, But Make I Please Get A Contact Number For Someone Who Can Assist Me With Finding Free Legal Severvices If I Have Been A Victim Of Sexually Assaulted And Raped, By The Perpetrator Who Lived Right In Front Of My Apartment, Then Denied By My PHA Case Coordinator, Denying My Doctor’s Disability- Related Reasonable Accommodation Letter From My Doctor Who Has Also Requested For Me To Receive More Time On My Housing Choice Voucher Program Due To My Epileptic Grandma Seizures, Having Difficulties Understanding The Severe Flashbacks, Difficulties With The Severe P.T.S.D. From All The Trauma I Have Had To Endure From All That The Perpetrator Has Done To Me, My PHA Case Coordinator Denied My Doctor’s Disability- Related Reasonable Accommodation Letter, Illegally, Wrongfully Terminated My Voucher Program, I Was Refused The Emergency Transfer, I Have Been Forced Out Of My Apartment, Now I Am Disabled, Dyslexia, And I Am Homeless Person’s, I Lost My Food stamps, Cause I Wasn’t Living At The Apartment For The Getting Updated On The Re- Certication For Receiving The Paperwork For My Food stamps, I Am In Fear For My Life, The Perpetrator Has Verbally, Physically, Emotionally, Spiritually Threatened Me And My Life, That If I Told Anyone And He Meant Anyone He Will Come Looking For Me, Torture Me, Then Kill Me, But Make Sure I Knew That My Family’s Lives Would Be Next, My PHA Case Coordinator Deniies Me Any And All Emergency Assistance, I Can’t Find Any Free Legal Severvices, I Have Been Sleeping On The Streets In Pasadena, Tx. I Feel Like These Voices Are Right, Just Kill Myself And Get It Over With, HUD Online Complaint Form I Filled Out, No One Will Respond To Me. My PHA Case Coordinator Refuses To Help Me Find A Safe And Healthy New Place To Live In Pasadena, Tx, No Shelters Will Take Me In, Due To Me Swallowing My Tongue And Quit Breathing, My Fiance Who Is Also Disabled Person’s Has To Perform C.P.R. On Me In Order For Me To Breathe. I Feel My PHA Case Coordinator Refuses To Even Contact The Organization Vawa, I Am Worthless, Dirty, Can Someone Please Help Me Find Any Free Legal Severvices To Receive Any And All Emergency Assistance, I Just Want To Die. Then Maybe The Perpetrator Can’t Fulfill His Promise To Me To Kill Me. What Can I Do When I Have Been Begging, Pleading, For The City Of Pasadena Housing Department In Pasadena, Tx To Please Assist Me. I Receive SSI Check Each Month, But $ 734. 00 Doesn’t Pay for The Application Fees, Administration Fees, Or The Deposit For Getting Even A Studio Apartment, I’m In Need Of Emergency Medication for My Epileptic Grandma Seizures, And My Anxieties, I Have Scysoaffective, I Am Bipolar, What Can I Do To Receive My Voucher Program Back?? I Am So Sorry For Disrupting For Conversation, I Lost My Children And I Have Never Received Any Free Legal Severvices To Try To See My Son’s, I Want To Live In A Safe And Healthy New Place, Again. I Was Living In A Apartment For Almost 14 Yrs, Before My PHA Case Coordinator Refuses To Allow Me To Re- Instate My Housing Choice Voucher Program, Help!! God Bless You All Sorry Agi

          2. Sarah Phillimore Post author

            I am really sorry but I won’t be able to give any useful help or advice = this is a site about the law in the UK and I can see that you are in the USA. I hope you can get something sorted out.

          1. Jo Callo

            Will it be ok if i can tell you my story
            20 yrs till today my children’s father is still totally in control of emotions thought and my illness. 20 yrs ago I met him my 1st love 1st kiss love and totally my first partner. Great 1st 7 months he wanted to start family he 10 yrs older I was 21 topical Irish girl loved him worship him could never understood how a handsome man who had over 100 woman would won’t me… so I caught with my boy 23 things started straight after drink problem was his blame I for gave time and time bruise would heal and he was my hero it be fine 10yrs pass I caught again little girl she died I gave birth but no reaction no care or really nothing he made love that same night I gave birth to my dead daughter I need you to see I care I will make love to u still I was stupidly thinking he care he way 2 yrs my little girl was born wow this will make him won’t me and bring us together no no way now listen to this
            On 2nd off Feb my daughter turned 2 yrs old I was battered that bad I broke my jaw ribs and he took my body I felt nothing no pain I ended up on drugs cocaine was my hero thought I was amazing beating go worsen that bad I shouted our I’ve got a tuna. To make him stop and it did my lie became that I convinced my self I had no care on how was get ing hurt 1st time I felt loved happy I had this illness that was a lie SICK REALLY..
            My son who not once thought it would affect him started speaking out social involvement got bad then on my daughter’s 3 rd birthday child protection took kids into care due to d.v
            Partner went to jail And came out there left me broken no kids friends family left in same home told that if i seen along side him I would never see my children I was constant told by social worker I was ill I was sick I needed help I was sectioned I was hold my personally was not normal I had skizophenera court took year I done every woman aid every parent classes I became a totally new stronger person
            Finally hearing judge awards full custody to my ex partner
            Why you ask he beat raped me made me a complete waste
            Court thought he was more staff big family and fictional he was full reabliated
            I was a mess no family no home and mental healthillsuse
            6 month went but new social worker said I could have kids at my home if ex partner was there 8 yrs later I’m hear I live only for my kids I’m abused. Every day but if i don’t stay he will right to take my daughter so when u hear will social take your kids then think again I’m grated abused every day and will be for 4 yrs more till daughter 16 then I will be in pension or a box my experience is …. believe your self and not social

          2. Sarah Phillimore Post author

            I am really sorry to hear this. Abusive relationships are horrible and damaging and leave a very long shadow.

        2. Maggie Smith

          I am planning to become pregnant, and want a baby so bad. I am18 years old and have a history of depression and anxiety, along with self harm. I haven’t self harmed in a while or had any thoughts of killing myself recently. I will do anything for my baby, whenever I may have one.

          With my diagnosis of depression and anxiety, my boyfriend, also 18, has the same and anger problems. He hasn’t hit me, but has hit his mom in the past and blows up easily. Sometimes he can control it. His mom said that if I had a child, CPS would have it taken awau right from the hospital. Is this true????

          And if so, I feel like CPS should give people a chance to raise their children and see how they do before taking away the child

          1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

            You are very young with a history of depression and anxiety, your partner is also very young with the same problems and anger issues on top. He has assaulted his mother.

            I am afraid his mother is right. If you had a child with this man, given the histories of you both, if you lived in England I would expect there to be an investigation of your ability to parent. I assume the same for the US, which is where (I assume) you live as you mention ‘CPS’.

            The problem is that parents can’t be ‘given a chance’ with a baby when there are such serious and obvious risks. Babies are so vulnerable and so much hard work – it doesn’t take much to really hurt them or even kill them. Its a big ask for two young people facing so many challenges. Hopefully you have many years ahead of you to start your family. There is no rush. You need to take time to get the best help and support you can so you can be mentally prepared for parenthood. And your partner needs to get help and support to manage his anger issues. If he is prepared to hit his mum, do you really feel confident he would be safe around a child?

        3. Diana Sherick

          My daughter has been prevented from seeing her girls for almost 5 years now. She has jumped through all the hoops they have put before her. The X husband continues to lie, slander and deceive the courts do to vengeance. My daughter has been well and stable for quit some time. Is going to college, working part time. Have been consistent with Dr.visits and medications. She was never accused of any parental deglect or danger to her children. She was a full on stay at home mom who took very good care of her children. But the husband has used and manipulated the courts with the fear of mental disorder concerning my daughter. Which he used to threaten her constantly when she was married to him. Is this something common in the courts in the UK. My daughter lives in the UK she is reestablishing herself to have contact with her girls. I am from Texas. The narrative her X husband is putting forth now is that she will abduct her children. But he holds the passports. It seems neverending lies.

    3. J

      Dear Staff on this site,

      I hope that somebody on this site will be able to give me some really good advice. I am 45 years old and have been in a 25 year relationship which was so emotionally upsetting and dysfunctional that 10 years it seriously began to affect my mental health. I have had 7 breakdowns and admissions to hospital. The main cause was the emotional neglect and my husbands supressed rage and then his explosions of temper. These began to get worse after our honeymoon. We have one child who is 14 and I currently have a diagnosis of schioaffective disorder via the NHS and a diagnosis of Trauma via a private psychiatrist. My dilemma is I do not believe in medication and psychiatrist drugs for the treatment of mental health issues, I have had some very serious health problems caused by these drugs and also my private psychiatrist believes that these drugs are extremely harmful when taken long term. I also regularly read the work of the critical psychiatry network who are notable psychiatrists who do not believe that antipsychotic medications are safe or that they should be used long term. The problem is mainstream psychiatry can be highly Coercive and old fashioned and alpt of coercion is used still in mental health whereby you are told that you have the right not to take medication but you can be coerced to take this as the focus is on the medical model of care.

      The problem for me is that trying to get my wishes about my care listened to is impossible and even reading the above articles people with public diagnosis of mental health issues are regarded as being more of a risk to their children when I do not believe this to be the case. People like me are in fact more likely to experience harm and abuse ourselves. This stigmatised view of mental health is taught to all services and institutions so unless you are on medication everyone judges you are threat or a risk to your children meaning that you are coerced again by social services etc to take drugs which are not proven to work and are still disputed to keep your child when research shows that people in mental health services die 20 years earlier often due to side effects of the medication.

      In my case too it was in 2015 that a lady Counsellor told me to contact women’s aid as what I’d experienced all those years st home was domestic abuse and gaslighting. This meant that my hospital admissions were always linked to occasions when I tried to leave my partner and he would then be furious and would then use mental health services as a form of control.

      I am now in a situation where I have left a refuge, my child is with me but have flagged up a safeguarding alert due to concerns i have about my ex being inappropriate to my child. It took a lot of guts to do this because my current psychiatrist would not accept my disclosure of DV as she likes my husband but women’s aid did believe me.
      I went to the police today to flag my concerns they didn’t believe there was a risk to my child but my IDVA agreed with me and felt I had done the correct thing.
      I now afraid that I’ll be the one to lose my child if ss feel after their investigation that there are no concerns. As I’m not on medication I’m concerned that everything I do will be regarded as mental illness which is not the case.
      So as one person put it I have learned that the world sees mental health issues as a sign of craziness or dangerousness. We try to medicate in the hope of controlling people who are more vulnerable than the general population.

      I feel I did the right thing flagging the safeguarding alert but I also wish I hadn’t because I do not believe that people with mental health issues are treated fairly, as if we are normal and credible and we are seen as monsters who need to be drugged.

      Would welcome some thoughts from child protection experts to my message.

      Thank you

      1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

        I am sad to say that I recognise much of what you say and agree with it. There does appear to be over reliance on medication – but for some mental health problems, medication is the answer. Others – not. I guess the problem is that it takes time, patience and interest to work out what kind of mixture of medication/therapy can help someone and those are things that are becoming less likely to be available for those with mental health problems.

        I am afraid I can’t offer you much concrete advice, other than to say you should continue to be open and honest about your experiences and what you think would work for you. I hope that way you can establish more of a dialogue with those treating you or any other professional. But I do agree it is a hard road to travel and not much by way of effective help and support.

        1. Ann

          I am totally against this mental health thing. I was diagnosed by the police because my family and I are treated like shoplifters when I went to the police and investigated why this is happening they decided yo shut me up by saying I am delusional.

          They came and took me away because I never stopped writing emails to anyone I think could help, now my neighbours are laughing at me and saying I am mad if I have taken my medication. This happened because I had an argument with the neighbour. They are using this because they saw when the police came and picked me up in 2015.
          My family are being treated unfairly up to today we are still being treated like thieves, something we have never done, even our cars are on the ANPR.

          So I disagree with how mental health is dished out to shut you up so you dont fight for your rights

    4. Matthew

      I suffer from ptsd stress axsity and Depression and I feel I getting worse….I worry abart this as I don’t want to have my two sons taken from my care

      1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

        having stress and anxiety doesn’t mean you can’t be a parent. But if you let it get worse and overwhelm you that could cause problems. Can you see your GP and see what help you can get with medication or counselling? Do you have family and friends who could help pick up the slack for a bit if you find things getting too much? Don’t be afraid to ask for help. These problems are pretty common; you certainly aren’t alone.

    5. beenthere

      The article is correct in theory, but in practice childrens services, Cafcass and the family courts are likely to discriminate. If your ex is hostile, they will ensure your children/condition are weaponised. Then its a vicious circle. No kids—agitation—“risk”—no kids—etc Of course children should be safe, however the authorities/agencies will usually “err on the side of caution” and they dont diiferentiate between, for example, depression and psychopathy. Equality in mental health doesn’t actually exist for parents, especially separated ones. Progressive attitudes are still a long way off, sadly. In short, if you have a mental health issue, don’t expect to be treated equally as a parent.

      1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

        Don’t distinguish between depression and psychopathy? And your evidence for that astonishing assertion is?

    6. Rebecca

      Parents are afraid to seek help with mental heath I hid mine for years and when I was feeling I faked illness and asked for help from my parents. We should not feel scared to seek help I was in fear of social services taking my children so I stayed strong and family and friends have always said how good I was with my children. But it catches up with you eventually the coping and putting a smile on my face along with being in a controlling relationship wore and my attempted suicide which was triggered by ex partners anonymous calls making false claims tipped me over the edge I was mentally very unwell I had no support and the anonymous claim were valid about the man in my life but I had already lost it felt like everyone was out to get me they did I think a section 30 because Charlie my fourteen year old refused to answer the door when conveniently timed a social worker knocked at the door just as I’d nipped across the road to get milk. They reassured me the children should stay at my mums whilst I get some help my Charlie was crying it was awful they promised he would come back it never happened they didn’t return but sent my ex who beat me up and beat my dog to death no checks done they sent him to court . Fine it transpires the Man U was with was bd news but they never checked they never checked my medical records and basically said I could on,y be near my children supervised . It tore my family apart my son was so stressed he had a stomach ulcer I ran away couldn’t deal with life without my children turned to drugs got arrested and committed to mental hospital . My younger son turned to drugs he say it takes the pain away it hurts him so much that we were all torn apart he hates social services and says the6 caused more emotional harm than me being depressed I was coercively controlled an preyed upon by a cocaine addict ans everybody sat back and let it happen I’m rebuilding my life but my younger son beats himself up blaming himself as do I I am not the same person a can’t resume my teaching career my confidence is completely shattered I self harm and consumed by guilt I will never try to take my life again but I will forever be haunted by the way it was done I admit I was probably not in a good state but I was terrified anonymous calls from my oartners ex and yes she was right but nobody help me I was put in front of a panel of people talking about my children and the school claimed I’d never once been in to discuss Charlie’s problems with his leg they even told me that Charlie is happy to stay with his dad which is strange cos he cried for me to get him everyday that’s why he doesn’t trust anyone in authority I get they did everything in their power to protect them from a drug addict but where was the support no court order nothing. They pushed to get my children out of an emotional situation fuelled by ex partners yes needed because the man I was involved with but I or my children should not have been dragged down with once someone throws dirt at its amazing how many people join in and stories get twisted just sit me down and tell me straight don’t claim I’ve never sought medical hel or claim that I haven’t looked after my children. I’m sorry I’ve waffled I just need some form of justice and justice for domestic violence because when you have to defend yourself or you suffer emotional abuse you get arrested because his injury is worse or secti9ned because he claims you are mental. I hope I can connect with someone here who understands my children still adore me and they need answers they want justice because they see me suffering and they have to. I am bipolar 8 finally got help but I’m still a good mum

      1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

        I hope you can find some good support in real life to help you process what has gone on. I agree that no one should feel afraid to seek help.

  2. The woman who wrote this piece

    “I do intend to try to contribute something in more detail around social work and mental health especially as I have real fears that many, if not most, social workers have very little knowledge and experience of mental health matters. Their own anxieties can be as high as those of parents”

    I look forward to your contribution as I very much agree with you. It seems to me that a lot of what advocacy services do (deliberately or inadvertently) is around teaching service users not to scare professionals. If a parent is by virtue of their ‘mental health’ already frightened and confused, it can be very stressful for them to be handed the responsibility of reassuring and calming the social workers allegedly responsible for them.

  3. Eeyore Incognito

    Philip it would be great if you would contribute something around this. I too share your concern around the depth of knowledge about mental ill health social workers are required to have.

  4. phillimoresarah Post author

    thank you for taking the time to comment. I am sorry to hear you had such a bad time of it.

    I think this is definitely a discussion we need to have – obviously dealing with mental health issues is not just something you can ‘pick up’ . I would be interested to know/find out what degree of general training social workers do have in this area.

    I think your comment also highlights the fear that mental health issues can generate. As ever, I think the key is better communication and sharing of information and I hope comments like yours will only help this process.

    But I still think you did the right thing in getting help, as the consequences if you hadn’t could have been much worse.

    1. Eeyore Incognito

      I agree. However I this possibly does show must admit to thinking there was an element of good fortune in that Coping clearly had good proactive support from other professionals around her and her child, who were able to defend her case.

      My understanding (and I may well be wrong) is that children’s social workers are “expert” in assessing the effect of various parental behaviours, which may or may not be related to mental health issues, on a child. However they will likely lack the depth of knowledge to assess the cause, and potential treatment outcomes, on which they will rely on adult mental health services to inform. The difficulty comes when there are communication issues or the two do not agree on risk. I believe this can sometimes be further complicated by how closely the services work together and how well they are managed if under the same umbrella.

      1. Matt Harding

        Unfortunately there plenty of people in society who knowingly or unknowingly attach a stigma to mental health issues that they would not do so for people with physical disabilities. In the last 20 years or so things have been changing for the better at least state side where they have been running campaigns on mental health awareness.

        Of course if you do suffer from mental health issues it is best to seek help.

  5. Uncertainmum

    It’s difficult because in an ideal world all this will be true. But in reality things escalate quickly. While I haven’t had SW involvement, at one point I had a family support worker who came to my house to talk to me about weaning (something my MH was causing me to worry about). The woman who came decided that I needed to be taught how to sing to and play with my child. When I explained I knew how to do that, could she please talk about the weaning, she started making notes and covering them with her hand. I asked her what she was writing and she said “just making some notes”. She then hounded me to take my baby to a baby group even though my HV had apparently explained to her that my mh condition prevented this at the time. She asked me four times in the space of five minutes and tried to guilt me. I explained that I was working with a therapist on my mh issues to let me take her. She tutted and said “yes, but how long will that take?” and made more notes.

    Now I know this isn’t a social worker but this was someone who was supposed to behave professionally, who should be following guidelines etc, someone who should have respected the fact I was ill but instead made me feel bullied in my own home. It is unlikely that I would ever feel able to contact social services after experiencing this because I would be frightened that the same thing could happen. Who can guarantee that people follow the guidelines, rules and all the “shoulds”? No one. And how would the average person (never mind one with mh issues) speak up and be taken seriously?

    1. Matt Harding

      I have never understood the tactic of infantilizing people. All you do is upset the person by demeaning and treating them with disrespect. How are they supposed to take advice from someone perhaps unintentionally antagonizing them? Treat people with respect and they tend to reciprocate.

  6. Matt Harding

    The House of Lords select committee on the Mental Capacity Act has finished its report as can be seen at . I include it as the CoP does sometimes intersect with the family courts on occasion. I find it incredibly disgusting how so many patients in health trust and care homes are treated with the excuse being ignorance of the law. A very brief overview of it can be found at . How are vulnerable people supposed to have faith in the MCA if the MCA is ignored or poorly implemented. Hopefully strong reforms will follow this report as the first step in fixing a problem is the realization that they do in fact have a serious problem.

  7. Jim

    Court ordered contraception for those who lack capacity or have fluctuating capacity. Such a safeguard would save countless patients from the terrible emotional and physical trauma of going through the court process. All they would need to do is use a contraception implant through very minor non-invasive surgical procedure for the more uncooperative patients. The CoP could issue the order to protect the patients from harm. If the health trust feels the patient may react poorly to the idea, they should keep it confidential from the patient. Every few years the health trust could have a court hearing to determine whether to continue treatment. On the day of the hearing a court appointed solicitor could represent the interest of the patient in order to help determine the best course of action.

    1. Tracey sedgwick

      My niece had her 1st child put into care as soon as she was born due to mental illness. She was given an implant then allowed to have it removed and is now pregnant again. The whole family have to go through this all again just over a year later. I wish she didn’t have that choice to have the implant removed they are treating her like a breeding machine as I doubt she’ll be allowed to keep this baby either and was never and will never get offered any help and support to see if she could cope.

  8. Lucy connors

    Hi I’m 26 and have two children. I have had a personality disorder for sometime now and it is getting to the point I don’t want to do anything. I am am anxious 24 7 and I have a really good relationship which I am slowly poisoning.
    I know I have problems and with councilers and social visits I know I can talk the talk and they seem to think I am perfectly fine.
    I know my head isn’t right

    If my partner was to leave he would want full access to the children yet I don’t want him to leave and my kids won’t leave me. I do nt want this to happen however I can see it coming. What do i do.

    1. Deelite

      I am a single mom of three who was a single child abused by my parents and then taken 12. One day Mason woke up hypothermic and they took him away. Years later it was found that the medicine I took for my anxiety that I was forced to take since 12 did that not me. Then I was accused of trying to murder one of my children There is no evidence whatsoever it was expunged but I lost him for six months and was highly demonized it was terrible. No to rich narcissistic people in the community just wanted to destroy my relationship and my reputation which I don’t care about but they do because the woman is triggered from her on Hillsboro and they don’t know even tell me when court is I spent five whole years begging for help taking myself to the hospital asking them to give me my meds back and then I have went psychotic I’m sorry I got suicidal my landlord told my daughter to run away she told me she was going to ruin my reputation her husband is the district attorney and I’ll never see my child again there’s no opportunity and he is obviously guilty of parental alienation because he lies in court the district attorney is lying! They only told me when court was once, but there is no buddy involved qualified to make this decision they tell me there are no resources but they tell the Attorney General they’re doing everything they can I don’t have any options and the person who bought them knew this my children said they were paid to not speak to me she was lonely it’s not fair and even though I had a therapist the whole time none of these people will speak that they weren’t concerned. The DA and his wife threatened my neighbors not to ever defend me people who are honest don’t need to threaten but I am a piece of shit because I don’t have money. They are clearly sick just ashamed and why did they send the swat team when they know I’m afraid of police who laughed at me and said are you taking your meds no cause they wouldn’t give me any so I knew it was personal

  9. Becca dooly

    I’m 31+4 weeks pregnant. My social worker has recently been and told both me and my partner (the baby’s dad) that as soon as our daughter is born she would be taken straight off us the reason is because I suffer with depression but I am going back on medication soon! They have no proof that I would harm my baby and also I live with my partner witch he is with me 24/7 can they really do this when they have no proof of anything? I’m so scared that I am going to lose her.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      If they are going to issue care proceedings as soon as your baby is born then it is very important that you get in touch with a lawyer now and get some advice. You will be entitled to legal aid once the application is made. The court does have the power to order that a baby is taken away at birth but obviously this is a very, very serious order and can only be made if the court has evidence to show that your baby would be at risk of immediate serious harm. There may be other things that can be done to deal with whatever worries they have. Please do see a lawyer as soon as possible so you can get some help understanding what they are so worried about and what can be done to reassure them.

    2. George

      The ss are absolute arseholes, they stick their noses in and do their up most to make you fall apart and then they can say see this is why we recommend that the baby is placed in foster..
      I was informed when I had an out patient appt by a ss that once my baby was born they(ss) were going to apply to the courts for a care proceedings of my baby as I have a history of depression & ODs. Even my obstricion didn’t know anything about them suddenly becoming involved. Never have they showed their faces, when I’ve been referred by other professionals! I had to fight with Everything I had to keep my baby, and I was so close to breaking so many times, but with the support of such an amazing health visitor (who I met at the 1st child protection case conference -7&1/2wks, before I was due.) She supported me, and helps me keep fighting, reminding me I had to find the strength to keep going for the sake of my little baby that was growing inside of me. 4days after I had my baby, I had to go to court-not medically fit and ss were saying a load of stuff from my past & all negective, nothing positive from recent yes! That was the worst days & happiest days of my life, 10hrs in court, to have the judge say my little baby could remain with me, 24hr supervison from named family, and extra support from my fab HV & children’s center support worker. For the next 26wks, I went thru hell, seeing my little baby grow up not knowing if I was going to be his mum in the end or not. They did(ss) everything they could to make me give up, and go back to my old coping ways..but I didn’t. At the final court hearing, 26wks after the 1st, i had the news that I had numbed myself of baby could remain with me. We are under a yes supervision, which means I have more support from sw, HV and anything else that my HV can suggest or thinks will help..HV are definitely on the mums/dads side to keep u & ur baby together.. Hope ur HV is as good as mine. Keep strong, it is a result that will change your life forever keeping ur baby.x

      1. Joanne May

        Yes I find the SS use your past against you and they openly lie with a smile on their face. My children were meant to be in respite so I could have a break and 4 years on they are on a care plan until they are 18. My son hates it there and has been making life difficult but now they are talking about splitting my children up. As far as I can see you do everything they ask of you, jump through all the hoops only for them to change the game. I don’t trust them, I will never trust them and I will never forgive them for stealing my children.

  10. C

    Beccy – Ask/research to find if their is any recommended depression medication that will still allow you to breastfeed. On most medication breast feeding is not recommended. But it is important for your babies health – and for bonding.

    Agree with Sarah. See a good lawyer soon – preferably one who does no work for the Local Authority – straight away, and don’t let Social Services or your solicitor push you into signing anything you don’t fully appreciate and agree to, e.g particularly an S. 20 agreement. Make them petition the court.

    Also, be very careful about agreeing to any psych. assessment recommended by Social Services. Check, or get your partner to check, their qualifications and independence. If they only work as an expert witness/assessor and have no current practice, I would advise you not to use them. You can suggest your own preference.

    1. melissa tomkins

      I have skitzodefective disorder. And have bin in a private rehab 4 two years. I have a 6 year old daughter. My auntie had resdency order over my daughter. I am now fit and well and on medication. I am stable and well. I’m in a flat and coping fine going to college. Getting on with my life. My daughter loves seeing me. And I’m so happy when I see her. But I want her back. Is there any chance that I can! And how do you advise me to do that? Please I need some advise.

      1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

        If you can show that you can care for your daughter, then there should be serious consideration given to her returning to live with you. BUT it all depends on the circumstances of each case – how long has she been living with your aunt? What are the chances that your mental health might get worse in the future? What does your doctor think? if she is happy and settled with her aunt, it might not be in her best interests to move to live with you, particularly if that would mean a change of school.

        If your daughter is living with your aunt under a residence order, this is now called a Child Arrangements Order. This means it is a ‘private law’ order i.e. I assume social services aren’t involved? If they are not involved it is a matter for you and your aunt to reach an agreement about what happens, and if you can’t agree, you will need to apply to court. If social services are still involved they may want to have some input.

        it is not possible to advise you without seeing all the papers and knowing more about the facts. Have a look at the Legal Advice section on the links and resources tab, there might be some useful information for you there about where to get some more specific legal advice.

        1. Kelli

          Hi Sara I have a quick question … iam a mommy of 4 beautiful children my world !!!! I would die without them !! My dad passed away about 3 years ago we were very close an I got hooked on pain pills then went to heroin .. I got clean went to meetings then got all depressed again an relapsed so I use heroin every now an again .. I do not use at my home or around my children .. I want help I want off the crap before it’s too late !!! I wanted to know if I talk to my dr or psychiatrist an tell them I have a drug addiction an I want something to help me get off of it would they help ? An would they tell cps an take my babies away ????? I’m so scared to get help an get clean becuz of the crap I hear about them taking your children away … I want the help I’m just scared please help !!!

  11. jay

    My wife has got mental health,paranoia Anxiety,Borderline,Self Harm,Depression,Suicidal,anger. I have been doing every thing for her more than 10 years I mean careering. Her mental is not improving any little things coming to her then she get really angry and upset crying a lot then she will have break down must the time she been taking out of me she look me out a few time. when she asking me to do some thing like watching move,going out for a meal or any other things if I say no I am tied or not today we can do it another day then she will start shouting me saying you don’t love me you never spend time with me she will bash the door or breaking some things a lot more. I can see I am struggling most of the time don’t know what to do any more but I still love her and career about her.
    the main reason I wrote this comment because we have two children the younger child has been diagnosed with ADHD I have been through really hard time with my son in school and home also we have a lot of support for the family. recently we had big meeting about my son in the meeting every one thinks my sons behaviour is my wife’s fault because they said kids can see what’s going on with mum and they told my wife you are emotionally abusing the kids. two weeks later I had another meeting about my son my wife didn’t go because her mental health was really bad after the last meeting and she has been admitted to hospital in this meeting every one still they thinks it’s all my wife’s fault and also my wife’s CPN explained mum will never change with her mental health she will be up and down go to hospital back home and she said the kids most going to be like mum she mean it will affect the kids in the future after she told me how this will affect the kids it’s worrying me because I really don’t want to the kids go to through this hard life like my wife I just want the normal future life for the kids. I just don’t want see the kids be like mum ill.

    Please any one can tell me what to do ? Thank you so much.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I am really sorry to hear that. It must be so hard for you all. You definitely need support as this is going to impact on your children. I don’t think it is helpful to say its anyone’s ‘fault’ – she can’t help being ill, it wasn’t her choice. I think she needs to focus on getting the help she needs and you need support. It is probably worth contacting some of the charities/organisations we have on the links and resources page – they will probably know more about what is available to you as a family.

      Hopefully the meeting you went to has set out some kind of plan about how to help you all? If it didn’t, you need to ask what support is available.

  12. Jas

    My grandson lives with his PD mother and her partner. In a drunken state they are spreading malicious lies about my son (PD’s ex) while my grandson (age 7) is upstairs in bed, hopefully asleep. This PD woman started with small lies of domestic abuse 2 years ago nothing was substantiated. She believes the lies and continues to embellish them, she has now enlarged it into rape and buggery with my son watching, it is disgusting. Her partner is threatening to kill my son, he has also threatened to kill my grandson when he was disciplining him. I feel a Social worker should become involved but what can they do?

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Their job is to investigate concerns about children’s welfare and to keep them safe. If what you say is true then this could be quite serious emotional abuse of your grandson and needs investigating. If they are frequently drunk whilst caring for him, then he is also at risk of physical harm. It would be important to know how your grandson is presenting at school and whether his teachers agree that he is being effected by what is happening at home.

  13. Judi

    Jas How much are the mother and stepfather drinking? it is just what you are describing could be alcoholism. It is not just drinking but alcoholics can very often be verbally and physically abusive as well. If so the whole family can access help and your grandson will certainly need it. If it’s OK with Sarah there is post on my blog that may help you

  14. Tyler

    Hi. I’ve been looking around for some answers pertaining to my (our) situation and this is the closest I could find.

    My girlfriend had a c section for our baby boy 2 weeks ago, has dealt with mental issues during her entire pregnancy because she cold-turkeyed her meds she was on (which the regiment she was on did wonders and had babysat for her brother just fine) due to harming the baby. Shortly after was 302ed (forced admittance) into the hospital as they put her on different, and more harmful meds snd released her two weeks later. A few weeks prior to the c section her new doctors had found something that might help her get through until pregnancy was over. Then a few days prior to the c sectipn, she admitted herself in, for fear of losing or possibly harming the baby, as well as bettering herself to be a mom. Day 2 of her admitting herself she was doing tremendously better as the meds were getting into her system, then her family visiting her said some demeaning things to her and it set her back. C section went womderful, child was flown medievac for respiratory issues and just came home a few days ago.

    The day the put her back into the psychiatric unit, they switched her meds BACK to what we took her off of because it didn’t do anything for her, only made her worse. They’ve been putting her on so many different meds and taking her off in just a few day to a weeks time. Meds that don’t even work for her, and I along with social workers have expressed countless times she be put back on her pill regiment that really worked wonders for her, but to no avail. They do not listen or for that matter seem to care what anyone elses thoughts and opinions are.

    Now the reason I’m posting is because she’s still in there, hasn’t seen or held the baby yet, and that’s all she ever talks about, requests to do. Is see the baby. We have an okay from the pediatrician and physician that she can see him…but the psychiatric unit keeps telling us “she isn’t ready, you can’t bring him in to see her”. CYS was already contacted and spoke with me and said even dealing with psychological problems, there’s no way to know or be able to say/deem her an unfit mother.

    Can the psychiatrics and doctors legally prevent us, I to bring the child to see her? Because without her seeing him, she won’t get better.

    There is no court order and CYS has rendered us fit parents. I’m just so baffled and upset that they won’t let a first time mom see her newborn son, at all.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I am guessing you are in the USA? I have never heard of someone being ‘302ed’ and I don’t know what CYS is. All I can say is – if she is very unwell then it may be that the treating doctors are able to enforce treatment on her that she doesn’t want; this is the situation in the UK under the Mental Health Act. Therefore there can be separate regimes between what a family court would order and what a hospital or doctors are legally entitled to do for a patient who is very seriously mentally ill, to the extent that they might harm themselves or others. All I can say is that if you are not happy with what is going on, and no one can explain to you what is happening you need to seek urgent legal advice from someone who knows the law where you live.

      Is there no doctor who will sit down and talk to you about what the diagnosis/prognosis is? It seems very unfair that you don’t understand what is happening, on top of everything else and worry about the baby.

  15. Tyler

    I do live in the US. CYS is children and youth services, which are the ones who decide if the baby has to/should be taken away.

    She was doing very badly off, but has been progressing as of late. Yesterday was a vast improvement and she’s returning back to normal (as in smiling, laughing, talking, being positive and being affectionate). She’s a very happy woman all around and wouldn’t so much as harm an ant, let alone herself or anyone else, when she’s on the right meds.

    They just care very poorly for her, try to coearse her into signing documents when she was clearly not in the right state of mind, which I made sure she didn’t and the only thing they do for her is feed her pills, that haven’t been working. She’s getting better as much as possible on her own to try and get out onto the right meds so she can live a normal life and be a mom and not fail at it.

    Now they’re recommending and trying to force her into a 90 day mental treatment program that is residential that she would live at AS SHE’S GETTING BETTER.

    I don’t know what more I can do, because they’ve overruled my say, her families say, her outside out hospital doctors say and even social workers say. They are in control of her in everyway.

    All I want and all she wants is for her to see our baby. But they won’t allow it. She even stated to me she hasn’t bonded or held the baby and she already feels she failed as a mom and because of that didn’t want to get better because all she’s ever wanted was to be a mom. And they don’t listen to her, her needs or requests.

    I may take legal actions, as I am already not allowing her I or the baby ever to go back to that hospital ever again once she’s released.

    Just don’t understand or get how they can be the ones to say she can’t see her own child.

  16. Sarah Phillimore Post author

    I am glad to hear there is some better progress.

    The major problem here is contained in your last sentence – is there really no one who is willing to sit with you and explain what is going on and why the doctors think that she can’t see her own baby? Does the hospital have any patient liaison service? There may be very good reasons behind this decision, but you need to be able to understand what is going on.

  17. Tyler

    I did finally get to the bottom of it. No exact reasoning why they weren’t allowing her to see our son other than they wanted to see more progress in her. So i made some more phone calls, this time amongst the higher ups in the hospital system and they finally worked it out that i can take him in to see her on scheduled short visits.

    The higher ups weren’t aware of the situation going on and how the nurses were handling it or not handling it for a lack of a better word.

    I appreciate your time and concern. Take care. 🙂

  18. Sarah Phillimore Post author

    Good news. Just a shame it didn’t happen sooner. Rather illustrates my fear that the majority of problems in most areas of life are down to poor communication.

  19. a farther

    Hi I’m currently in the middle of a relationship break down my partner is saying suicidal things and refusing help we live in small town and don’t have many friends here as she wont allow people to the house an none of us gp out ….anyway I’m afraid she is gonna kick me out an she will not let me take our 5yr old and I do not feel safe leaving our child with her as she hasn’t played much of a parent role at any time I need advice asap I really don’t want my child left in her care

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I think if you are worried that she might hurt your child, you should take immediate action. You can ask for help from your local children’s services, but they will probably just tell you to leave with your child and make an application to the court for a Child Arrangements Order. Has she had any involvement with mental health services? Is there anyone there you could call?

      You could also apply for an order that she has to leave the house and you stay there with your child but you are going to need proper legal advice about all your options. Can you go and see a local solicitor to see if you qualify for legal aid? Or could afford to pay for a short session of advice?

  20. A father

    My ex of 4 months has 3 daughters by me and a stepson I’ve raised since he was 2. She’s has a history of severe depression and is depressed now, because I haven’t lived with the children but have seen them every week of their life if I went to the courts to gain custody will it not go in my favour due to the lack of living with them and if she sm does go to the gp and get antidepressants will social services automically take the children into care or can she keep the kids and be on that medication? The last thing I would want is the kids to be put into care but she does need the help and doesn’t want it from me, …….

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Children can only be taken into care if they have suffered significant harm or at risk of suffering significant harm – being depressed doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t be a good parent, but it might make it more difficult. You need to accept that you need help, and get that help.

      If you are worried about the children and think that she isn’t looking after them, then you do need to tell someone. Maybe they could live with you for a bit while she gets the help she needs?

      If you wanted to apply to court for custody – which is now called a Child Arrangements Order – this is pretty difficult as you won’t get any legal aid now and you may have to try mediation first.

      Are there any friends or family members who can talk to her? Find out how bad it is before you get a social worker involved?

  21. Lorna

    Can anyone help me.
    My depression had progressively gotten worse over a 3 month period, I have three children age 5 and 2 year old twins. I was telling family members I was struggling to keep up as I am a single parent, but although they do care, I think people tend to get too bogged down with their own life and think things will pick up. Things all came to a head when during a particular bad epispode I was having, I panicked when running late for picking my oldest son up from school and stupidly somehow convinced myself it would be ok to leave the twins for 30 mins while I shot out to collect my oldest who has Autism and would be scared if I am not there on time.
    upon our return home the police was at my house waiting for me as a neighbour had seen me leave alone and knew the twins was home alone. The police had entered my house and as I had been struggling my house wasn’t in great condition. I was arrested and charged with 3 counts of child neglect to which I pleaded guilty. In court the prosecution said they could tell things had gotten bad short term and was pretty fair by saying there was evidence that my home wasn’t always in that state. I was given 2 years probation and I was extremely lucky to get that. They understood it was down to a mental health issue as leaving any of my children unattended under normal circumstances wouldn’t be something I would ever do.
    I am now on medication and although had some side effects, things seem to be ballanced out. I am so much calmer and less stressed, have less anxiety issues and with the help of onging counselling and attending a group called womens turnaround to help with my confidence and self esteem, I feel much more in control and organised.
    My eldest son went to live with his dad, luckily we get on well and his partner also and they have been very supportive. The twins was taken into foster care and after some period of time and a little fighting for it to happen, they are now living with my mum.
    I needed the help desperately. I wish it happened in another way but I am doing my best to make things good again. I have just completed a course called Triple P which I found massively helpful in opening my eyes to how I was with my kids. I have been putting new techniques into place that I have learned so I can manage misbehaviour better.
    Ok so the help I need is, I want my kids home now. I have always said I won’t push things till I am ready because I know for FACT if I do things too soon before I am ready, I will end up back where I was and could end up losing my kids forever! I will NOT let that happen again. It is now 6 months on from what happened. I have put in place many things for my children to help support me long term. I will continue to keep on top of my health and medication, I am welcoming any help in counselling as I get so much out of it (I done CBT Counselling about 7 years ago which helped massively also)
    I am still working with probation who are pleased I am more then grateful for anything that will help me in the long run. I have done everything Social Services have asked of me, including doing theraplay with my children with a lady I find quite patronising I must say! I don’t feel we needed the theraplay as a family but I’m more then willing to go along with it because I have heard lots of good things about it and I welcome every help possible. I just don’t understand what more I can do that I haven’t done, doing or happy to try to gain the confidence from Social Services in me that my kids can come home on at least a hours visit a week! I keep getting told “These things take time. We need to be doing baby steps” Thing is, I am not thick! I have never taken drugs, I don’t drink, I’m not some teenage kid, I’m in my late 30’s. I have a mental illness that I am now medicated for and being treated and helped with counselling. I haven’t even sat still at home during this time, I have given my house a complete clean and redecoration so any memories of bad days can stay in the past and everything be new and fresh for my kids. I am now keeping myself busy doing my garden up for them. I’ve made from scratch my daughter a dolls house and the boys a superhero cave. I have been throwing myself in keeping my hands and mind active so come bed time I actually sleep!
    Social Services are always saying how well things are going, saying how far I have come. My eldest keeps asking me when can he come home, he is asking his dad the same. His dad has been asking for our son to be able to have more sleep overs at my mums house with me and his siblings (we only have one so far and 3 other 3 hourly visits in the week) but we have been told no after previously being told future visits and sleep overs can be arranged between me and his dad as long as we keep Social Services informed of details. We don’t understand why they’ve now gone back on this without explaination. How can that be allowed? To tell a family this then suddenly take it away when it’s already been past on to the child what was going to happen. Having to tell our son it was no longer allowed was distressing for him. Also a set back for me in my depression. I often feel like it doesn’t matter what I do to turn things around, Social Services will always put a stop to them coming home back to me. Lucky I have help right now that help to give me focus and strength to keep going. It was actually suggested to me that my depression now is being fuelled by Social Services holding back while I am trying to move things forward.
    The kids are all over me when I see them, the bonds have never been broken or lost. Things could have been so much worse and I can’t thank my neighbour enough for stepping in when my cries for help wasn’t being listened to.
    can someone tell me what more can I do to get my kids home now support is in place, or tell me for what reason this isn’t being allowed yet?
    I did wonder if it was because I am still on probation but I have asked them and they said their only involvement is making sure I am working with them and giving feed back to Social Services how things are going and attending Family Action meetings if they can make it. They said they have no involvement in saying if I can or can’t have my kids back.
    Any advice gratefully received as I am at a loss what else I can do. Friends keep saying I was punished for having a mental illness and it shouldn’t be allowed but personally I feel so sick to my stomach that I left the twins alone let alone in the state my house was at the time, that I think I deserved what happened. I just want now someone to take notice that I’m not that person now and much more in control to be the mum my kids need.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      sorry to hear this. I can appreciate its frustrating for you but I can also understand why they might want to move more slowly than you would like.

      My suggestion would be to get the SW to give you a clear written plan of what needs to happen and a timetable for when the children can come back to you. If they can’t or won’t draw up that kind of timetable then I think all you can do is apply to discharge whatever orders are currently in force; I assume either care or child arrangements orders. This will at least focus everyone’s minds.

  22. Sam

    Sorry If I have posted twice but it didn’t seem to want to go through. My original query was Lorna has not mentioned a court or a solicitor is this a case of an over long section 20?

    1. Lorna

      Sorry for my late reply. Yes I signed a section 20 when my twins was taken into Foster care. I was told by the SW that the section 20 disolved once they went to live with my mum (maternal gandmother) because essentially (with supervision from my mum) able to be with my children on a daily basis. I sleep over my mums half the week so I can still be involved with bedtime/morning and school runs.
      Solicitors and court was only involved with my crime of neglect. When I was given probation the magistrates only said I had to comply with Social Services. I have done everything SS have asked and more off my own bat because I don’t want my mental health in that state again where I put my children at risk.
      I have the support now I never had before. The twins are in nursery now giving me the time I would need to keep on top of our home. Everything is different to how it was then. My eldest sons dad is extremely supportive now and infact pretty angry himself with SS for causing more upset with our son then they have helped.
      Yes they was right to act as they did back then. But from 1st April when the twins awas handed over to my mum, as a whole family, ex partner included, we feel we have been lied to, misled in some areas and most of all we’re not being listen to.
      I’m not asking for them to have no involvement, I’m asking for the chance to get my children home and into a more permanent routine for the long term future so they can feel settled while Social Services are still involved with their support. As it is my eldest is crying himself to sleep of a night telling his dad he wants to go home, the twins crying their hearts out after every visit from their older brother because they don’t want him to leave. They need to be together now and all be able to work as a family. I have been the one holding back on extra visits before because I felt it was too soon. I feel I am more then ready for them to come home now or at least have visits home so the can have the comfort of familiar suroundings toys, pet cat for example.
      I’m sorry I know I go on but I’m passionate about making things work and being a family again.

  23. Sarah Phillimore

    Sorry, I wrongly assumed orders were in place. If there are no orders then you simply say you want to take your children home now and give a short period of notice.

    The danger with this strategy is that it may panic the LA to apply for a care order BUT at least then you would be subject to a proper and focused timetable.

    You really do need to get proper advice from a lawyer who can sit down with you and read the relevant papers.

    But as a general point, drift is never helpful – you need a proper plan of action as to way forward and if they won’t give you one, you have to impose your own or ask the court to agree one.

  24. Sam

    This is what makes me so angry Social Workers using powers they haven’t actually got. I have seen it time and again now . It’s about time section 20 / letters of expectations were abolished. Some , not all social workers exploit people at the most vulnerable time of their lives without the parent accessing legal advice. GRRR. Lorna please take Sarah’s advice , go and see a solicitor, actually write down what has happened to give to them and if they don’t listen go to another one.

  25. Angelo Granda

    Sarah, If you don’t mind, do you sometimes represent Local Authorities in care proceedings?

    I ask that question for one reason only (in respect of this particular thread).If you do,then you are better able to comment on an issue I believe important.

    I allege ( or to use the words often used by sw’s, I have concerns) that Local Authorities are interested in these mental health issues for one reason only.
    They aren’t interested in solving a sick Mum’s mental issues! They want to be able to ask a court to order a fresh ‘ independent’ psychological report into the equation.

    By the use of pointed questions in ‘letters of instruction’, they force psychologists to make not only vague diagnoses but also rough estimates of the time required for ‘therapy’.
    I have concerned this is a deliberate, legal device to convince a Court that therapy cannot be completed in time scales relevant for the child/ children.
    That they appear to make little if any effort to support Mum’s backs me up to an extent.

    Ideally, they should be supporting families.

  26. Fiona Scott

    Please help me I am a single mother who suffered mental health issues due to developmental disorders I was diagnosed in April 2015 with asbergers after a life time of struggle and have suffered two of my chores taken by the courts by their fathers for no other reason than I couldn’t cope with the fight emotionally physically or mentally and have been traumatised and targeted ever since I have a 2 year old son who is Ailey in my care and has no contact with his father and after a sever breakdown in January 2015 social services became involved first a child in need plan was in place which I complied with to the best of my ability due to my health conditions then a child protection plan which again I complied with until a few days ago the social worker told me they have sought legal advice because I have mental health issues and are going forward with a care plan they have no evidence of harm or proof of risk to my son just my illness and they flare up only when social services attend and pursue me I am desperate if I don’t leave the UK now they will take my son I can’t win they see me as unfit and don’t have a shrewd of understanding or empathy for my disability and health or the fact I have doctors stating I suffer extreme phycological trauma due to involvement with solicitors courts anything Megan and especially social services.
    Please contact me time is running out I have no money nowhere to go and no support any my son is my universe I live for him I can’t bare the thought of losing him and his life being destroyed they are harming me significantly day by day and I need help now.

    [redacted to remove email address]

    If anyone can find it in their heart to help and my precious son me from this this nightmare I beg you please consider this I will do anything to protect him

    Sent from my iPhone

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Fiona, I have removed your email address as I don’t think it is good idea for you to publicise it on the internet.

      What is your lawyer doing to help you? Do you have a lawyer? If there are care proceedings, you are entitled to a solicitor on legal aid. Please go and see someone who can advise you. Trying to leave the country when you are not well is a recipe for disaster. You need help and support from the right sources; you need to engage with your mental health team and see your solicitor.

    2. *

      honey, i have been through the whole thing and i know it is hell on earth.
      i am hoping that sarah as administrator can pass you my email address, and in turn if you email me your phone number i will call you.
      having someone who listens is important in and of itself.
      please take care. x

    3. Joanne

      Hi, I have experienced the same thing recently, I went to court all the ‘evidence’ was fabricated. Basically because I took care of my mental health and took responsibility I lost my baby as I would require ‘an intense input from services’ . I am now wishing I went abroad if you have the funds to do so then do it. I am absolutely distraught I’m hardly allowed to her now everyday is a struggle I don’t know how she is , what she weighs ect it’s heartbreaking. My health visitor put in a glowing report saying there no concerns but they didn’t care.

      1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

        If ‘all’ the evidence against you was ‘fabricated’ then what on earth was your lawyer doing by not challenging this?

  27. Tracey sedgwick

    My niece has already had a child removed from her and placed into care just a few hours after birth with an order from high court obtained by social workers due to her mental illness. She was never offered any help or support to see if she could manage with help. Cannot get legal aid so that was that, nothing she can do about it. Now pregnant again with second child I believe plans to have this baby put into care also will happen don’t know what to do. Feel like got nowhere to turn. No help or support. All seems one sided because of her condition. Please help don’t think she could cope with losing another baby and family are so stressed.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I am sorry to hear that, I can appreciate the stress must be immense and sadly support is either patchy or just not there. If you have a look at the links and resources section on this site there may be some organisation that can help you, with either practical support or communicating with the LA. Sometimes children’s social workers are not that great at dealing with adult mental health issues.

    2. *

      Why did she not get legal aid? It is non-means, non-merit tested for parents in her situation.
      If they are planning to remove at birth again, then this should be being co-ordinated with midwifery and your niece should be fully aware. Unless there are very exceptional circumstances where the high court agrees that it would endanger the infant simply for the mother to know they are planning to remove. In normal removals at birth, there should still be at least a “letter before proceedings” during her pregnancy, which is the point at which she is entitled to legal aid.

      NICE guidelines state that mothers with mental health problems who require hospitalisation within the first year of birth should be placed together in an NHS mother and baby unit to recover. Her treating psychiatrist should be able to refer her prior to the birth.

      If her mental health is currently stable (ie, not worsened through being unable to take medication during pregnancy) then i would say your best bet is to ask that she be placed here:- it is an NHS run perinatal unit, but they have the special advantage that they will undertake full court parenting/risk/psycological etc. assesments. You would be best placed to have a solicitor help you to get social services to agree to this pre-birth.

      If all else fails (and knowing social services have a nasty habit of making “emergency”, ex-parte, out of hours EPO’s at 7pm on a friday eveing to remove a newborn) here is the out of hours number for the high court:- 020 79476260

      Give your niece a hug, she is going to need lots of them.

      take care. x

  28. Stella morgan

    Je tiens à dire merci à Oboh Edoku aiment temple pour tout jusqu’ici. Pour tous ceux qui ne croient pas en sort, je suis un de ceux au premier.
    [in so far as my rusty French is holding up this seems to be a plug for some kind of charlatan who will pray for you to get what you want if you give him – surprise, surprise – lots of money, so I am deleting it. ]

  29. amanda

    I see my doc tomorrow and it worries me. I have anxiety. Panic attacks. I basically am an extremely quiet (non talkative) person and continually twerl my fingers or pull my hair and constantly am saying the abc’s or counting in my head. If someone talks to me, i can begin to stutter a bit. I get hot/cold flashes, feel faint or feel sick to my stomach in public. I cant calls, answer my phone..or my door. I cant go to other peoples houses or eat in front of people. I tend to ‘zone out’ and find it hard to consentrate. It is just social anxiety and OCD.. and i found this page in a search on google on whether i should be worried that this might make my doctor feel i am unfit to be the single mother i am. (And i am a full time 24/7 mom. I dont go out. I dont drink or do any illegal drugs). I am 100% devoted to my daughter. I also worry a lot about nothijg in particular. Am.i just worried now for no reason or should i be worried?

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Please try not to worry – easy for me to say I know. But your child can only be removed from your care if there are really serious issues about your parenting that might cause your child significant harm. As you have insight into your illness and are trying to get help, the focus must be on helping and supporting you. I do hope your GP is sympathetic. Just be as open and honest as you can, don’t be afraid of asking for help. Have a look at the resources for Mental/Physical health on this site, there may be some organisations/people there who can give you some help.

  30. amanda

    I should also mention that i am 33years old and attempted to see my doctoe 12 years ago who, at that time, rolled his eyes at me when he asked if i had trouble eating in front of.people. he never did anything to help. No contact, meds or councellors. Nothing. I have the same doctoe whom is the one i will be visiting again tomorrow

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      If your GP is neither sympathetic or helpful I would try to get one that is. The last thing you need is someone rolling their eyes at you. Really unkind and unprofessional behaviour.

  31. anne

    How do you get help for someone with mental illness if they won’t admit to having a problem? My spouse goes from ranting for hours on ends, with racing thoughts, all over the place,to being in bed the next day for 14 hours. This is the cycle, with only 2 days last month where he was somewhat normal. The problem is it is my word against his, and when someone stops by to visit, he acts like he is o.k. and puts on a really good show!

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Its really tricky. If he won’t take responsibility for getting the help he needs, it is very difficult to see how anyone else can get it for him. You can’t make him. The only person whose decisions you are responsible for are your own. I would suggest that you tell him just how difficult you are finding this and that he really must get help. If he refuses, then you have to consider what your options are. You either continue to accept the situation and/or keep on persuading him to seek help – or you leave him. I don’t see what other options there are. But I am not a mental health specialist or marriage guidance counsellor!

      Maybe some of the mental health charities/organisations could suggest something else, or at least put you in touch with others in your situation so you can talk it through?

  32. angelo granda

    Anne, you are in a very difficult situation which is going to get worse.I am not a specialist or counsellor either but I do have practical experience of the behaviour you describe.
    It sounds a little like manic depression.Does he shift furniture about at all?
    Next time an episode starts, go to the GP and leave a message that your husband is DANGEROUSLY ill and demand an emergency visit by the Doctor.Leave the front door on the latch and put a note on the door asking the doctor to walk in QUIETLY without knocking.
    This will make it harder for your husband to disguise his true condition.
    It was years ago when I did this for a relation of mine.The doctor arranged the very next day for admission to the local mental hospital.
    Unfortunately,provisions for mental illness are not always available nowadays but if the GP sees him whilst at his worst, he might at least give him a course of drugs.
    Is he already on drugs?If so,does he take his medication.If he does,it may need changing.
    Do not leave him,stick by him through thick and thin and in three months,he could be cured as happened with my relative.

  33. angelo granda

    The message you leave for the Doctor at his surgery should be a brief written note in an envelope.Give it to the receptionist and demand that she gives it to the Doctor as soon as.
    The receptionist will not be able to refuse your request and the GP will find it difficult to ignore a patient reported to be dangerously ill. He will probably have to call straight after surgery.

  34. adele barnikel

    Hi am hoping u can help to tell me my 17 year old daughter and 3 of her friend two 18 years old and one 19 year who all have learning differ and my daughter never been way with her friend they all want to go and stay in black pool and go to the fair on there own for 3 days with out there mum or dad or a adult would she be allowed by lawer to go with her friend and stay

    1. angelo granda

      I think all of them are old enough to do as they wish by law.Unless there is some sort of order or injunction saying you must supervise her at all times I think you could let her go and it could be a good thing for them to learn to be independent etc.
      From your point of view,also it will depend how much trust you have in her to protect herself from danger.Personally I would not let my daughter out of my site alone ;she is almost 17.It would depend if I thought the others were capable of watching over her.Is there a non-special needs friend or relative of their own age who could go with them.
      To be honest,I would think twice about letting even a normal daughter of mine go to Blackpool for three days unchaperoned especially to the fairground. I’ve worked there and it is a dangerous place for vulnerable girls.

  35. Freya Watson


    I really hope you don’t mind me commenting on here. I am making a documentary for channel 4 that highlights the issues that you are discussing. We are making a film about parents that are trying to break the stigma that having a mental illness or a disability makes you a bad parents – parents that are trying to prove that with a bit of time, support and space that they can be amazing parents.

    I would really love to speak to some of you about your experiences. If you could contact me at [email protected] that would be great. Everything will be dealt with in the strictest confidence.

    Many thanks,


  36. Nic

    Looking for advice …

    My daughter is on child protection plan has been now for 6 months and my last meeting with social work and health profession they said the reccomendTion for my child’s name to be removed from it, but she called me today and asked me about an incident that happens where I got a black eye and was drinking where i shouldn’t have been … Now I am scared incase the police at the cp meeting tomorrow say I was drinking in this place all day when wasn’t the attack happened outside the house and mydaughter be taking away from me I need some advice pls

    I also asked the social worker for the police report number or name and she says there wasn’t one to see the police tomorrow to see if they have it

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      My advice is always to be honest and upfront. What do you mean by ‘drinking where I shouldn’t have been’ ? It sounds as though they have some serious worries, if you have ended up being assaulted after drinking. BUT that doesn’t mean you automatically lose your child. You need to know what exactly is being said about you, so if it is wrong you can challenge it. But if it is right then you need to be upfront and acknowledge what has gone wrong.

  37. Louisa

    I’m 33 and been diagnosed with BPD. I have 2 children 9 an6. Ss has placed my kids with family members. I had aa bad episode in march and the kids have been away since. So far I have followed the plan set out by case conference. I had a hair strand test. An independent psych report done which was advice that I was to seek urgent help to overcome by problems, I have been seen by the NHS and will b offered an appointment but I’m on a waiting list….. In the meantime in am abstinence from alcohol and cannabis. And completely renovated the family home. I see my children in supervised contact. I so desperately want them home but now the ss has said they r starting court proceedings for an interim care order. I have a solicitor who isn’t much help and tells me I should be realistic and face up to the fact that my kids won’t be home anytime soon. I don’t have many people I can go for support and my to says there’s nothing they can do. You are my last hope.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I am really sorry to hear that. I am also sorry but I can’t help you via this site; it would be irresponsible and wrong of me to try and advise on individual cases when I am not instructed and don’t know the facts. You need to urgently see your solicitor and understand why he/she is giving the advice that he/she is. What is the real problem here? Is it that you can’t access the therapy you need quickly? If that is the issue your solicitor could try pressing the LA to help with paying privately. I appreciate that this is unlikely to be something they agree to (and they can’t be forced to pay) but it might be worth pressing that point.

  38. angelo granda

    Loisa,You appear to accept the diagnosis of bipolar disorder.One question: Has the social worker given you a list of free advocacy services available to you and informed you of your right to have one attend child-protection meetings and so on to support you and intervene on your behalf?
    You have an illness and you are vulnerable,so if you don’t have one of these free advocates,i suggest you get one. Try asking your GP surgery for the contact details of a group which works with victims of BPD! Quickly.

    When the case goes to court ,you must heed your solicitors advice. However,please také this advice also which comes to you from an ordinary parent with the best intentions.
    When you have got an advocate,ask him or her to assist you at appointments with your solicitor or to telephone the solicitor to discuss your wishes beforehand.
    In my humble opinion as an ordinary parent,your solicitor is right to say that you should be realistic.I have no doubt she ( as a member of the Children’s Legal Panel) has already discussed the evidence,past precedent etc.with her L.A.colleagues and concluded the children won’t be coming home soon and that the LA will get their care-order.
    I think she might have been more helpful indeed she may well have been but you perhaps do not understand the legal complexities fully.

    You should understand that your evidence-in-chief will be in the statement you make to court and you have to discuss it fully with your free advocate and barrister when you get one.It is your responsibility to prove your claims in court.

    Before making any order which will remove the children from your care,the court will have to consider all alternatives to removal and give reasons for their rejection.Has the social worker examined the alternatives WITH YOU and allowed you to express your wishes?

    As an outsider,i think you should ask the court to make the BPD specialist a party to proceedings to give an opinion.Also i would suggest you ask your advocate to force a family conference.These processes are within the ‘Working Together’ frameworks but not always utilised by the Authorities.

    One alternative to removal which immediately comes to me is that your family can agree to let you live with the children together with them until you are better! They can support you.

    Louise,please remember i am not a solicitor just an ordinary parent responding to your plea for help.I don’t know if i should really be giving advice on this forum.If not, i hope the moderators will delete it.


  39. ian josephs

    Professor Jane Ireland in a Survey commissioned by the government described the expert witnesses who give evidence in the family courts as hired guns testifying for social services and relying on reports from social workers.She found that around 20% were unqualified and about 70% who made their living exclusively testifying in the courts and with no other patients !
    To make matters worse family court judges tell parents they may NOT ask for a second opinion without permission of the court.A flagrant breach of the Article 6 right to call witnesses, lawbreaking from our own judges who cherrypick the witnesses they allow choosing mostly those who will testify against parents and for social services . !
    Why should parents have to ask permission before obtaining a second opinion?There is no law forbidding second opinions especially from someone independent who will rely on what they see and hear from the patient without the baneful influence of reports from biased social workers anxious to win their cases.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Then you will no doubt be very pleased that the Children and Families Act 2014 has made it very, very difficult to now secure the services of any expert as the test for their instruction has been upgraded to ‘necessary’ and judges have made it very clear that they will be reluctant to order such reports.

      Parents have to get the court’s permission to bring in evidence because these are courts of law, not anarchic free for all Jeremey Kyle style fisticuffs. A judge must control what evidence is allowed into court and what evidence is to be tested. If you think that certain evidence is relevant, make that application. If the application is refused, appeal. But whatever you do, don’t rely on the ‘advice’ of such as Ian Josephs – unless of course you prefer solving your problems in the Jeremey Kyle bear baiting arena.

      1. angelo granda

        Unfortunately family court proceedings become anarchic free-for-alls when court orders and procedures are ignored by the authorities (including lawyers).
        As the subject of (independent)expert reports has been raised and an allegation has been made following Professor Jane Ireland’s survey that these reports rely mostly on reports social workers who we all agree do not make them with impartiality,I would like to give my opinion here.
        Often sw’s file their reports later than the court deadline.Because of that parents are unable to file their response on time,obviously.
        For that reason it is essential to justice that barristers carefully check the list these experts provide as a footnote to their reports.
        They may find that sw reports are seen by the experts but not the statements of respondents.
        When parents point out to lawyers that the CS have filed late,they are told “Don’t worry about it,it will make no difference;they often file late.”
        For the same reason,it can happen that a parent’s final statement is filed so late that the CS,experts and Guardian don’t see them until long after coming to their own conclusions.
        When ANY ORDER or any protective safeguard is not followed scrupulously,there is always a consequence.
        Overall justice is effected but i don’t think lawyers understand exactly how and why?
        They should tighten up on procedures or send cases to a higher court which will!

  40. Summer Prater

    ADA has been abused by child protective services. They took my daughter over 2 years ago and I am still trying to get her back. I have not ever been charged with neglect. I do have mental disabilities, but that has never stopped me from taking care of my 2 children until I moved to Owensboro, KY. I am begging someone, anyone to help me. Or an attorney to take my case. I have no money and my heart has been torn in two. I have not even seen my daughter for a year. SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME. GOD HELP ME. I DON’T KNOW WHAT ELSE TO DO.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I am very sorry Summer but judging from what you have written you are in the United States? I only deal with the law in England and Wales so I can’t help. I hope you can find someone who knows US law.

  41. Summer Prater

    Thank you for your time of reading and responding to my help request. Please spread the word and hopefully someone out there will be able to help me and my daughter’s crisis.

  42. Sam

    Summer I have read about similar problems we have here in the USA . I am sure there must be other mothers who might offer online support if nothing else. I personally do understand what you are going through . It may seem back to front but the best thing you can do right now is look after yourself, if you can get help with any mental health problems do so because you will need to be as strong as you can be both short and long term for your daughter.
    I do hope and pray that your situation improves

  43. Angelo Granda

    Sam. It may help folk like Summer if you call attention to the hypocrisy of the CP professionals in relation to MH issues.

    In a criminal Court, if a defendant has MH problems, he or she will be treated empathetically , any offence comitted mitigated and he or she will be helped .
    Ironically, in a family court the LA will be doing its level best to show a respondent has MH difficulties in order to prove its case for removal ,will not offer or try to arrange for the patient to be helped and that is the opposite of empathy.

    Is that honourable? No! So the child is condemned to permanent seperation from his or her parent as a result .

    1. Angelo Granda

      Sam,when i said call it to the attention of professionals ,i mean at next week’s conference not on here.

      1. Angelo Granda

        We should also remember that families are not parted permanently because of because of real or false concerns about MH.
        The alleged MH conditions may or may not be minor but what does it matter if families are not parted because of them?
        They are parted ostensibly because it is too risky that treatment is not available within ‘time-scales’ relevant to the children involved.
        If there happens to be a practicing clinical psychologist at the conference, i suggest that his or her opinion be sought as to the stated ‘time-scales and their worth. In my experience, practicing clinicians have stated it is impossible to anticipate or gauge time scales for treatment in advance. Counselling therapy might take a month, six months ,12 months or can continue for several years .Some folk continue with it for life.
        Thus ‘time-scales’ relevant to children involved is a false premise for removal of children.

        1. helensparkles

          Timescales for a MH condition will vary according to the condition and treatment, if the condition is treatable & if person is likely to comply with treatment regime. Counselling or therapy is only one option, and it may be ongoing alongside family life (lots of people who don’t have their children removed have those treatments). Timescales for the children depends on their age and it is always (or should always be) what is right for this child now.

  44. K ineed help

    My kids mum has weekly mental welfare checks and lies to them pretending shes fine. In the last year shes dated a drug dealer and involves my 3 year old son after a couple dates of internet dating sites. I wait a year as to be stable in involving anyone in my kids life and in the last couple months she begged me back and I did go back. She cheated in the first week and lied for 3 months. She has depression and has been vonvicted of fraud in the past I know she works illegally n is fraudulent in many areas and is a passive lier to family and friends. She has stopped taking her meds and I think in the last year shes made some terrible choices that affect my son and his longterm happiness with the people she involves my son in she smokes weed and ev year puts his stable home at risk by working and claiming benefits. She snaps at my son and iv been witness to this and my some is on amber at his nursary for his emotions or something and because I know all of this and she knows she has put a note in the nursary to be contacted every time I pick my son up. I had him 135 weekends before she had me back and I found out her issues and the risks she takes and im worried for my son. Know shes a compulsive lier and can prove it but am scared if I get services involved sheal stop me seeing my son. So im in a dilema let the mother of my child make me out to be a bad dad and not stop her involving risky people in my sons life with her mental state in question or report her just I think shes not thinking about the long term affects of her actions on my sons long term well being. Help what is there I can do ?

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      If you are worried that your child isn’t safe in her care, I think you have to do something. You can either ask children’s services for help or go to court if she won’t talk to you and reassure you. Yes, there is a risk that she will react badly and try to stop you seeing your child, but that isn’t her decision to make in the long term and the courts will support you having a relationship with your child – as long as you aren’t a harmful presence in his life.
      You can get information about going to court at
      Only you can know how serious this is, but if you are genuinely worried about your son, I don’t think you can just leave it.
      Sounds like the nursery is worried too, so they might be able to help and support you. Can you talk to someone at the nursery?

  45. Angelo Granda

    Dear K ineed help.

    I am an ordinary parent and my advice is that you take decisive action to protect your child right now . Do not delay taking action.Time-scales are short. Your son is not safe and is at great risk.
    The first thing you should bear in mind is that Children’s Services do not have the power to protect the child also that your son would possibly be taken into a position of great danger in care.
    More decisive action would be to report the drug-taking and addiction of your Mum and her partner to the Police.Also compile evidence and make allegations of criminal neglect to the Police. You should insist that they investigate your claims and charge Mum. That will be the best way to protect him. Most of all the criminal will consider the FACTS. The criminal court has the power to make orders which will ensure Mum reforms and changes. If she does not comply,the Court will gaol her and hand your son into your care. Either way ,your son will be protected almost immediately.
    The only thing which can go wrong if you follow my advice is that the Police may refuse to do their job,investigate fully and charge the pair . They may make a referral to the CS which MAY be the start of big problems and a life in care for your son. I must qualify this remark by adding that sometimes the CS do help and can support families. Just be wary .

  46. Angelo Granda

    By the way, if proceedings are eventually taken in a Family Court, it will go in your favour if you have reported matters to the Police. It is the responsible thing to do. If you do not do so, it may be alleged that you are unable to protect your son and put his welfare first.

  47. K thanks

    Ok thanks for your help il be going citizens advice before hand aswel to get asmuch info as possible and its the last year that shes been irresponsible in her choices to involve people not knowing them fully or in a stable relationship as I think its not good for my son and as for the drug dealer part it got reported she was un aware of him and he disappeared shortly after. she has taken weed in past but not regular jus stating her choices of witch there are many including men she involves my son in are not were smart in the long run for the stability of my son. I have and am stocking up info and proof and will contact other services so thankyou for your input no need for anymore your very helpful thankyou im not perfect but expect certain rules and just decentcy I the choices we make as they affect my son and her depression and anxiety and hate for me makes it like talking to a brick wall so my views are not being taken into account in any way and I will get it through so thankyou for you help that all I need.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I hope things work out for your son. In an ideal world he would have two parents who love him and keep him safe and he would get to see both of them. But if he can’t get that, he needs to be living with the parent who is best able to keep him safe.

  48. monica

    Hi I’m a single mother of 3 boys that are my life, this summer they get to spend it with their dad and stepmother, and for the few past months it’s been really rough for me since I lost my job and my car broke down I have no one to turned into, my parents are not close and well this few weeks have been really rough for me, not having my kids started to really get to me, specifically knowing they are doing so much better with their dad, since I’m not working I feel like I can’t provide for them, I can’t get a job, I can help but to thing they are better of without me, that they my be much happy if I wouldn’t be around, I don’t want to lose my kids but I know I need help, my house has never been this dirty, but on nights I can’t sleep I’ve been sleeping for up to 6 hours if I’m lucky going to sleep around 5 am and waking up at 11 am and then I feel drain the whole day past weekend I knew I would have my kids and I was sure I would of clean the house so they would of seen it like they have always seen it but I only clean up the living room and kitchen. ..then I realized my room and the boys rooms where really a mess and have been like that for the past few months and when they got home I saw their faces of disappointment I was mad at myself I only wanted to cry but I didn’t want them to see me like that I was so happy to have them back but seems like they didn’t even wanted to be with me anymore ..i m just so lonely I feel worthless, I feel that I can’t do much for them, that even if I do it would be enough, I can’t give them a family like the one they are having right now with their dad and his wife, they enrolled them in sport activities, they put them in paint classes, they are having time with their dad and spending Sundays in church with their stepmother. .while I don’t do nothing like that because I can’t afford it, I can’t get a job, because I don’t have a car , I feel like I have given up on them but in reality I’m not good for them anymore I feel like if I die they wouldn’t have to live all this pain cuz I feel I’m taking all that good stuff they have with their dad

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      You are their mum. the only mum they will ever have. Being a parent isn’t just about spending money and organising activities – its about being interested in your children, showing you love them and think about them. You might not get any recognition or gratitude while they are children because children can be quite selfish. But I am sure when they are grown, particularly if they have their own children, they will think of their mum and how much she loved them. I think it would be very sad for them if you died. Whatever their dad and step mum can give them, they can’t give them their mum.
      You sound really sad and in a bad way. I hope you can get yourself to your GP now and ask for help. Or call the Samaritans and just talk to someone. Sometimes it helps just to vent and let it all out.
      I am sorry you feel so sad and I hope you can get through it.

  49. Janet Wilson


    My children are about to go on Child Protection Plans for the second time in a year. The category is ‘Emotional Abuse’. The report from the social worker was damning and stated I had not set boundaries, I could not control my children and that I was responsible for their lack of life skills and independent living skills. I have had mental illness in he past, but for many years I have been stable and I was seen as the one stable member of our family. My husband has Asperger syndrome and so does my 17 year old son and my youngest has undiagnosed PDA. My eldest was arrested because he had expressed intentions to kill and he is now on Section in a CAMHS unit. My youngest is violent and controlling and my husband no longer lives in the family home. So, when the Conference came I lost control and began crying. I have been screaming in my sleep, screaming and crying at home and I feel very unstable. However I dare not seek help because I am frightened the social workers (about whom I have complained) will take my youngest (15) year old from me and this will damage him and I will have no children in my care. Yet, I cannot get the words of the report out of my head. Currenly I am working like mad (I am a distance tutor) o try to distract myself

    Sorry Janet, I can’t seem to post a reply to your comment so I am adding this to your comment. Sarah P. I am really sorry to hear this – you sound as if you have been through an awful lot and I think you do need some help and support.

    I know you are worried about asking for help, but I think distracting yourself through work can only ever be a short term solution. Can the LA put you in touch with any local support groups or mental health charities? What help can they offer you with your youngest if he is controlling and violent? Their first duty should be to try and help you stay together; the situation would have to be very serious to make them keen to remove a 15 year old.

    1. helensparkles

      If your children are made subject to a child protection plan there should be a plan, that is the point, and that plan should offer whatever support you need to make the changes that would mean your children are safe, emotionally and physically. There might be things you have to do but there will be things the other professionals need to do as well. The first core group will be coming up soon after conference and you should have been given the date at conference. It is work looking for advocacy services in your area and asking if you can invite someone to attend with you. It would be rare for this to be refused. If you take all the issues in your post and the report at once, it is overwhelming, There are some things you won’t be able to change but putting in boundaries, building up life skills and independent livings skills, parenting a child with additional needs – they are challenging but they are all doable and there will be services/support groups. The SW will also be looking at your support network so that it isn’t all just your responsibility, because that builds safety, so have a think about who can help you with what – if anything.

  50. Angelo Granda

    You must seek help. Don’t worry about the Social Workers at this stage ,worry about yourself and the children. I am just a parent like you and the way you describe it ,you have lost control of the children ,be honest. The Social workers are there to help you and you must see your doctor and ask him for help.
    Really , you have no reason whatsoever to blame yourself. I would get yourself a family solicitor as soon as you can. I don’t see how you can possibly be accused of emotional abuse.I have no doubt you have done your very best and you should be proud not ashamed of yourself. How you coped for so long especially when your husband and eldest son are Aspergers syndrome is a miracle?
    I suspect that the CS have failed to give you all the help and support you needed in the past. Don’t concern yourself too much about them taking the children away permanently.They are too old for that. Too old for adoption and they sound able enough to look after themselves in care. A bit more discipline will do them good,by the sounds of it and you will benefit from it in the long-run.
    You have done as much as you can. Get yourself better,acknowledge the children are out of control and let the CS take over for a while before they end up in prison. Most of all get help for yourself and get yourself back to normal then put your house in order and await developments.
    Remember, Solicitor,Doctors and ask the Social Worker to put you in touch with an independent advocate. Quickly as you possibly can.The solicitor will look out for your interests and keep you informed as to what is going on.
    Most of all don’t doubt yourself.Most women would have cracked years ago. The ages your boys are at now is the most difficult time for all many families but when they are special needs you cannot blame yourself. Get yourself right quickly because they will be home before you know it.

    1. helensparkles

      It is very sad when children come off a child protection plan because all of the help leads to change, professionals withdraw, and families are unable to do it without that scaffolding. It is always the aim to leave enough support in place for families to continue to maintain the changes over time.

          1. Sam

            I disagree that a child protection plan provides help. In my experience, yes just my experience any plans set out are just ignored. Like for instance we were supposed to have a family group conference, it wasn’t arranged so you go back to the next meeting the chair whinges that it wasn’t arranged , it’s minuted again and it still doesn’t happen.
            Please excuse if I see more disagreeable than normal, school holidays are never very pleasant when you are separated from your children.

          2. Angelo Granda

            Sam,Don’t let yourself be silenced . Other parents don’t find the truth disagreeable and you are just confirming our experiences.
            If you do get time to write a post, that will be great because all the posts seem to get publicity on Twitter. It might draw new readers Especially if you drop a few names into it like Devine, Mumby, Annie, Melon and perhaps Phillimore.That will draw readers.

          3. helensparkles

            Sam’s own story would be enough, is her lived experience, she doesn’t need to name drop.

        1. Angelo Granda

          Sam, I have visited your blog. Will it be you only who contributes or will others be able to comment on your essays? I was interested in the one about wrong labelling. I don’t know whether you will be using words like ‘evil’ on the blog or not. In my opinion, some of these labellers are positively so; they do it deliberately , of course.
          Just before a court hearing , a Social Worker presented a report of contacts to a court ( without asking for the parent’s response to allegations as is their habit. It was completely malicious rubbish e.g. that she had taken her child into a pub, bought the child a pint of bitter and beers all round including one for the contact worker and proceeded to blab and tell all the other locals in the Pub all about the court case. The parent does not drink and had never been in the bar at any time and spoken to anyone let alone buy any beer. There were other ridiculous ,false reports too and all were sent to court three days before the case so nothing could be done. Well we can expect this sort of thing from SW’s, I suppose.
          That isn’t the funny bit, though. I am sure it will cause a few wry grins from you. The parent’s barrister asked about it and naturally it was denied and the parent wanted to complain to the Judge and have the SW done for contempt of court for deliberately giving false evidence.
          The experienced barrister said ” No, I can’t possibly do that. You cannot say it is a ‘lie’. I suggest you think about the events in a slightly different way and think back . What would make the SW write that. Did you go in the bar perhaps and mouth off to the locals and call the CS because you were unhappy at the way they took your child,perhaps,I know parents do get angry? ” No, I’ve never been in the bar and bought any beer for anyone. I very, very rarely drink and I would not buy a pint for my child anyway. It’s untrue and it’s malicious!”
          Barrister , with an evil look ” What do you do all day? My advice is that you go to see your GP and ask him for an appointment with CAMHS and you shall get counselling. Work with the authorities. Life becomes a bit too much for lots of people sometimes and you should not feel stigmatised by it.”
          The barrister then tossed the parents objection and request to the Judge on one side. She never made any complaint about contempt of court . The Judge used the false reports against the parent in judgment and they will stay on file for evermore.
          This is how the system works,Sam. The SW’s know what they are doing. Their lawyers do. Your lawyer does. The Judge sees it regularly, I imagine. You know it.

          But facts are not checked rigidly and parents aren’t allowed to call witnesses such as the contact worker or their child to attest, the hearing is in secret so no-one can speak up for you because they don’t even know the case exists let alone the evidence. Finally your bozo lawyers turn a blind’un. They’ve probably already agreed evidence with your opponents.

          1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

            If a barrister behaved in that way Angelo, that was serious professional misconduct and you should have reported it to their Head of Chambers. This would also be a ground for appeal on the basis that your case was not put competently before the court, or at all.

    2. Angelo Granda

      May i add that you should ensure that you keep up with regular contact sessions with your 17 year-old who is already in care. If at any time ,he complains about abuse or exploitation in care or if he appears to be open to predators ( such as drug peddlars),do something about it. Look out for bruising,increased behavioural difficulties,self-harming etc. I know you are very stressed out but it is still your parental duty to protect your son and he is vulnerable. Inform the Police immediately of anything illegal.The CS may change his GP illicitly without your permission and they may not invite you to have input into his treatment. They may try to deny he is Asbergers syndrome and gain their own CAMHS assessments without your involvement and informed consent. Beware.
      Do not worry too much, my warning may be hyperthetical, the CS may be perfectly upstanding and supportive,just watch out. In some areas, they do sometimes make mistakes. Keeping close contact with your son is essential to prevent it.
      Getting help for yourself from your GP will help you help the children.

      1. Angelo Granda

        The above comment is not intended to denigrate the CS generally and not meant to strike unnecessary fears into the minds of any parents.
        It was meant to remind parents of the importance of keeping in regular contact with their children in care because they are still responsible for their safety. All sorts of things can happen in care,not always good,unfortunately.

      2. Sam

        Angelo anyone can comment on my blog and I welcome other people’s posts just as Sarah does here. Anything will be moderated just as Sarah does and hopefully I will not be trolled by witch doctors!
        Alternatively anyone of course can start their own blog.
        I do agree about trying to keep contact up and certainly can relate to your comments about self harming and bruising, unfortunately I have found that the police in my limited experience very much work in tandem to cover up rather than uncover bad practice within care.

  51. Sam

    The problem is CS are not bothered about your children’s safety, one of mine had her fathers hand around her throat (just as he used to do to me, which had been reported to the police) and he threatened to kill her. She fled to a neighbours who called the police. Now this is the unbelievable part, it happened whilst care proceedings were ongoing, and she was still placed with him under an ICO, not placed into foster care. This was the FOURTH time a member of the public,( three complete strangers) had reported him allegedly abusing his children to the police. In a joint decision after two weeks he was released from bail yet again. This is how Ellie Butler was murdered nobody listens .

    1. helensparkles

      You’re right Sam that doesn’t make any sense. Police reports about violence towards a child should have been part of the evidence in proceedings and those incidents should have been part of an S47 investigation.

      This is however not how Ellie Butler was murdered. The Sutton SW and police all knew how dangerous Butler was. There are other questions about that case.

      1. Sam

        Yes Helen police and SW know how dangerous my ex is as well, but rather than act they just lie and lose/alter records as they made a huge cock up in the beginning and would rather cover their backs. My children will still be at risk, of all types of abuse. I suspect my case and my tenacity is proving a thorn in the side of agencies that have been doing so called CP the same way for years.

        1. Angelo Granda

          QUOTE : but rather than act they just lie and lose/alter records as they made a huge cock up in the beginning and would rather cover their backs : UNQUOTE

          I now refer to this as the ‘ Hillsborough disease or syndrome’.
          Unfortunately it takes a mighty big thorn to penetrate thick skins .
          What it needs is lawyers of the same calibre of those who represented parents in the Hillsborough inquiry. I am so glad that the transparency project lawyers are making progress and working towards more robust ways of dealing with the problems the Public face.

          1. Angelo Granda

            I am also proud to say that the CPR leader ,Sarah,is at the forefront of the transparency project discussions on our behalf.
            She appears to accept there is an argument to be had about competing priorities viz. which is more important, Public trust in the system or the potential ‘risk’ to children posed by publication of names and open courts?

    2. Anonymous

      My children got sent to live with their father (see below) there have been repeated reportings to social services about his violence towards them. One from a student nurse, but mainly the kids. Social services did nothing and said it was okay as it had it been done for a couple of months. This is the same dad who we have had to call the police about several times and abducted his kids from school, the SW chose not include any of this in her report for the courts. Since even more deaths have been in the news, my brother has spoken to them expressing a concern for his nieces, he sees them every week, they have chosen ot to even investigate. Worryingly, this man also has a toddler living with him

  52. Emma

    I am a single mother who’s children have had 7 different sw’s in 3 years. Their dads have nothing to do with them (youngest’s one didn’t want to know when I found out expecting girl at 20wk scan, older ones dad just can’t seem to be bothered, is an alcoholic, used to emotionally and mentally abuse me in front of kids). Kids were on child protection, but removed at request of sw last year as she felt the only issues remaining were due to home not being big enough as we haven’t the correct number of bedrooms for our family, or suitable storage space for anything. Since Oct ’15 there have been 3 sw’s, the 1st done a proper hand over with the previous one, seemed ok, but then cancelled Feb ’16 cin meeting, and I heard nothing, left messages for her at office texted and called mobile, no replies. Then at easter got a phone call from the ‘new’ sw, which I knew nothing about. She came out, met kids, and arranged another home visit to sort out signing us off. Day of visit she never turned up so phoned office to be told she was probably running late, and message would be passed on that I had phoned. Had to phone the school and happened to mention this to be told by the school she wasn’t our sw anymore, someone else was! I put in a complaint to LA complaints department about how it feels like we are being messed about the same day. The new sw seems to of had issues with me from this moment on, and is now doing a cp conference with the intention of getting order allowing her to take at least some of my kids away. I will admit one of my boys scolded himself with a pot noodle (he wasn’t paying attention to what he was doing and spilt it on his tummy while still quite hot) and I treated it myself, cold water, clean tea towel wet with cold water, etc, insted of taking to a&e, this was mainly because how sw has been knew she would twist what happened, which she seems to have. Scold cleared up in 2 weeks, with me applying burn gel reccommened from chemist for a few days. Sw heard about what had happened somehow and ordered me to take him to a&e even though healed apart for a little scab. Hospital put a ‘honey dressing’ on it, which made it worse, and doctor’s have confirmed what I did was the right thing to do as there isn’t even a mark on him. I don’t know what I can do to stop sw from getting her way with my kids. Youngest still has health visitor as she only 19 mths, and hv said she obviously going to tell me off about scold, but agreed it has healed up perfectly, and she can’t understand sw problem as she was told house was a tip, but it better than it was last yr when cp was dropped to cin. Can someone please give me some advice as to how to sort this as I don’t want to lose any of my children, but not sure what else I can do as sw moaning about size of house and picking on other things that are beyond my control. I look every week on LA’s housing list, but nowhere suitable for me to bid on, and housing association I am with are the worst around here for getting repairs dobe, but again sw not helping with either of it, just blaming me and trying to use against me. Any suggestions would be really appreciated.

    1. Emma

      Forgot to mention I am currently on antidepressants which sw doesn’t seem to like, and waiting to see a councillor again, but most of my depression is being caused by how sw is treating me and my kids

      1. helensparkles

        Anti depressants are a way of seeking help so not sure why a SW would have a problem with that, I think it is v constructive.

        It is stressful to have CS involved and it sounds like a high turnover of workers. It also sounds like you need to be v clear what the issues are and you aren’t. I hope you will be reassured that I doubt that the SW has taken a personal view of you at all because of the complaint. However, don’t avoid seeking medical attention for anything again, even if it is trivial to you. It is good evidence that you seek appropriate support for your children and it helps you.

        If the LA are really seeking to remove their children you should be in pre-proceedings unless they are going straight to intent to issue, but in both cases you have access to funded legal representation.

        If you haven’t reached that stage, you may feel an advocacy service would help with the communication issues and clarity.

    2. Anonymous

      I feel your pain, whilst there are good SW, they are getting fewer and fewer. The one involved in the story below, gave me a load of abuse for not taking my daughter to the dr about a grass allergy I said she has, she said not doing this was neglect. I pointed out thatI did not see the point of wasting the Drs time with something that was obviously a grass allergy. ANyway, I took her just to have it on therecords, the Dr was surprised I had bothered going as I knew what the problem was, the treatment is over the counter and we had been managing it for years. I explained the situationand she put it on after getting the ok from a senior Dr. Sw and ex still insisted I was crazy, for this and other things. The kids are at hisnow, found out off my eldest that he took her for an allergy test recently as he was so convinced I was lying. She is allergic to grass, as I said and he now allows her to have her antihistamines with her. Somehow though, I am still the one with issues….

      I tried asking for a new SW as I felt she was biased (she was, she even changed evidence for court, I proved this but it was sen as an accident. She also did not acknowledge or supply police reports as stated below) but they refused me and when I complained refused to investigate. However, that isn’t to say everywhre is the same. Try speaking to her manager and express concern that this SW is having a disruptive effect on you kids lives, especially as previous SW have signed you off etc. Hopefully, you will get some help. Good luck

  53. Anonymous

    My ex partner accused me of manipulation and having a mental health problem. He claimed that our youngest child didn’t like him because I made her that way (she still doesn’t like him after two years living with him, it is because he isn’t a nice person). He told thecourts, and convinced them, that I did not see things as they were and made things up. This was because I had moved the children school as it was dangerous for them to go. It was, the police had been heavily involved as there were several parents receiving death threats etc from two other parents. In the end one parent was forced from the school, most of the other families left after the incidents as their children were not safe. My ex also came to the house being very agressive and threatening, he also removed our children from school in the middle of the day, without warning and did not inform me. The social worker involved did not get these police reports, nor did she get one in regards to the previous incidents at the school. She told the judge I was making them up. Obviously I denied this and requested time to file the reports myself. I was denied, had the kids removed and was told I was paranoid etc. SOcial services do not even work well with people accussed of mental health problems. I do not have any issues, I did speak to a counsellor after they were removed to help me deal with the grief, but, that is circumstancial. I would not trust the social work system as it is today, which is a shame as one that worked with people is needed.

  54. kassie

    a lot of the posters are going to hate me for this but each and every post seems to be centralized on the mothers needs and how she can get support and help to raise children where is the concern for the children who are having to live with a parent who ofttimes not capable of contolling their emotions, of interacting with the children offering them a stable home, emotional support and knowing that every day they get up they won’t have to worry about if mummy is going to feel okay today or if shes going to stay in bed or refuse to cook or clean, stop crying or being hyper….I was one of these children and it took me YEARS to get over the uncertainty and the emotional neglect from my mother blow the Mothers right what about the children

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      This is the tension. Sometimes children do need to be removed – and quickly. Other times, removing children causes them great pain. Sometimes we don’t know which situation is which, until it is too late. I think we have to try to keep the balance by providing the right kind of help and support for parents to enable them to parent with mental health difficulties BUT we also have to act to get children out of a situation which, as you rightly point out, can cause damage that takes years to heal, if it ever does.

  55. Angelo Granda

    Thank you for being brave and sharing your views.No posters will hate you for it at all and i do wish more child victims of abuse would tell us more about their experiences.
    It must have been terrible for children in the situation you describe. Broken families ,single-parent families when Mum has no support.Illegal drugs.Alcohol.Gambling. It all l eads to much mental health issues .and treatments should be available. The lack of facilities and treatments are a bane on so many children these days and always have been.
    The kind of Mum you speak of should be dealt with strongly,punished for child-neglect and reformed. There is always someone,family ,foster-carers,local authorities etc who will care for the children whilst the parent is reformed.The law is there to help children in the awful position you describe.
    You asked what about children.They should be right at the top of everyones list of priorities.
    There are laws in place to deal with the problems,guidelines put children at the top of the list and the processes must always be followed.
    Result: Happier children and healed mothers.

    The system is there,the rules are there,the will is there.
    The Law has to be followed more scrupulously.No-one should shirk duties and responsibilities for the children’s sake.
    What we all need is the TRUTH and it is child victims now in a better position like you, Kassie,who can give it to us straight.I hope you will make further comments in the future.

      1. Angelo Granda

        Mental health issues do NOT warrant punishment just treatment.
        However i think it right that the kind of parent of whom Kassie was talking i.e. neglectful,too lazy to get up and clean or cook or who are guilty of criminal offences( drugs etc) should be seen by the Police Protection Department Officers and charged with a criminal offence.
        Reform with punishment as the prelude is the only effective solution.
        Perhaps these parents mental health issues are due to cannabis orcocaine.They should be reformed and treated.Even if it means foster care for the child for two years, they can change and when they do,their child should be returned home.That is the humane way. (
        The law says permanent liquidation of a family is wrong unless the circumstances are so dire nothing else will do and mental health issues won’t usually satisfy that criteria.It would be inhuman.Rather than help the child or Mum,it would ensure continual MH difficulties for both.

  56. Sam

    I have every sympathy for with Kazzie but would just like to make the point people do not choose to have mental health issues no more than they chose to have a broken leg. As a child is is very difficult if your parent lets you down, what I have come to realise as I have got older that most parents do their best within the limitations we all have. It sounds as if Kazzie’s Mum was suffering from depression, if nothing else and that does not just happen without a cause. It maybe she was badly treated herself. It is not meant as a criticism, just something to think about if you wish.

    1. helensparkles

      Absolutely true that MH issues are nobody’s fault and are likely to have an antecedent somewhere, which is why I said SW shouldn’t have an issue with anti depressants, and people not being punished. If someone seeks help, imho it is evidence if insight into a problem, sourcing the right kind of support, and ability to protect. Obviously that might not always be enough, depending on how that MH issue affects those children’s lives, but it still is that evidence.

  57. angel

    I have a beautiful 2 and a half old son and chidrens aid got in vovled and now a childrens lawyer got inovled and we got her final re post and she says I need to b supervised just out of the blue and they are using all my disablitys agenst me and I have never been even so much as told of other sepoorts who can help me to be a better mother and my son is kindda in foster care the courts haven’t given me a chance to find and get the help I need because the lady who has my son has to sine consent and wont so it limites me


    I’m a single mum to 3kids. My eldest 2r with my mum while the youngest is with his dad. I have anxiety and depression. I attend woman’s aid and mental health classes and c my kids one hr a week supervised contact. Iv been told I’m not getting kids back because I’m emotionally unstable. I’m only emotional as I’m missing my kids and want them home. Iv asked social services for a chance and the happy person the once knew will b back. They r refusing as they r worried il b emotionally unstable around my kids. I’m only depressed because I don’t have my kids. My ex who has my youngest drinks round my son all the time and if the show was on the other foot my kids would b took away from me in a heartbeat. He’s getting away with it. Social services don’t have a care order im place. If i applied for a residential order and got granted one will my kids return to me or will social services keep them were they r

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Sorry to hear this – you are caught in a bit of a vicious circle. I think the problem is that the local authority are going to be very reluctant to support you getting your children back if they are worried that you are still not well. And I appreciate that yo say you are anxious and depressed because you miss your children.

      But if there is no care order, they don’t at the moment have any right to interfere in arrangements that you make with other family members. However, if you can’t agree what happens with other family members, you will have to go to court. If you applied for an order that children come back to you (this is now called a child arrangements order, not a residence order any more) the local authority would almost certainly be asked by the court to write a report and from what you say, they wouldn’t support the children living with you.

      I don’t know how old your children are, how long they have been living away from you or what your doctors says about your diagnosis and prognosis, so its just impossible to say what I think would happen if you took it to court. But I am pretty confident in saying that the local authority would then get involved.


    The docs mental health team and woman’s aid all agree that if depression that’s it and under the circumstances its clear y. I feel that social services r bullies and they aren’t taking my feelings into consideration even my solicitor agrees with me. I’m very concerned about my children and the care they r recieving is limitless. The judge knows my circumstances regarding my ex and was abit lenient in giving my ex residency of our son but I didn’t want him in care and assured the judge it was the right thing to do at that time. Now things r going wrong and I’m scared of something bad happening to my son when my ex has a drink. A mth ago my son was basically threw out of the house in his bare feet while his father was drunk because he didn’t wana look after him

  60. helensparkles

    If you are worried that your child isn’t safe you need to tell Children’s Services. I can understand why you might not want to, but you are the person who knows your ex best, what professionals have evidence of is often just scratching the surface. It seems to me that you have good reason to think that, whatever age he is, your son could be at risk of harm. I can almost guarantee that CS will receive the information from whoever you did or a worried neighbour/teacher etc. They are also likely to find out you knew at some point, and if you haven’t told them, that gives them evidence of you not acting to protect your child. I don’t know how you got the information you have, and it would be best if you tell CS that in case it has been given to you maliciously. CS always look for family/friends before foster care so if you think of someone your child could stay with that would always be helpful should there turn out to be a problem. If you feel bullied you could use an advocacy service or ask a friend you trust to help. You can look for advocacy services in your area or phone the Family Rights Group for advice. Or you could take a friend you can trust to put your Saying dad is not a good parent may not result in your child returning to your care (I don’t know details so can’t comment on that) but you need to put your child first.

  61. Angelo Granda

    A parent’s view.

    I would be wary about reporting anything to the Children’s services.It is the experience of many parents that they just make matters worse.However,I agree totally with Helen Sparkles that you are responsible for keeping the child safe.
    Report alcohol abuse and alleged neglect on your ex’s part to and they will react in one of two ways as witnessed by other parents on the forum.
    Either they will downplay allegations against their golden boy .cover-up your child’s sufferings and use them to emphasise your previous (ongoing?) MH problems.
    Or they will také the allegations as gospel,do an immediate ,hasty risk assessment ( without consulting your husband and turn up on his doorstep to také the child from him.They may suddenly show up at school or nursery ,drag your child out of class and subject him or her to an inquisitIon about life at home.They will make suggestions and then just sit back and let the child talk freely taking everything adverse to father down.
    They aren’t supposed to také any child from homw without a Court Order but that won’t necessarily stop them.They are quite capable of convincing other professionals that a man who consumes alcohol at home in front of a child and who on one occasion is alleged to have allowed the child to walk outside without shoes on is such a serious,malicious abuser that he cannot care for a child.Or not that he has been seriously abusive but that he may become so in the future. They may not talk to him;they may just také the allegations at face-value and say to him.”Get a solicitor and we’ll see you in court”.

    So remember what Sarah says,keep matters away from the family court if possible and do that by keeping away from the CS.
    You are unlikely to get any genuine,helpful support from them.They have already got your card marked. I also advise you not to go making allegations to school because they keep in close touch with the CS and may only pass on what you tell them to the CS.
    The CS won’t protect your child,they can’t except by going over the top and taking him or her away from the family completely.
    Try and sort disagreements out and build bridges ,correct his behaviour etc. Through your own family support network.Try mediation,family guidance,a family conference etc.
    As Helen has suggested the CS are watching you at all times and taking note.Should any harm come to the child whilst in your ex’s care and they think you knew about it and might have prevented it then they will hold it against you.You have a duty to protect the child!
    I recommend that should you have evidence of criminal neglect or child abuse you should také your complaint to the Police but not unless you have clear evidence.They are responsible for keeping the child safe (along with you).
    The CS are responsible for supporting the family only.
    Hope this helps.Good luck.
    Hold a family conference with a mediator present.Both families present not just yours.The Family Rights group can advise.Ring their advice line.

    1. helensparkles

      Reporting to CS gives them evidence you are willing to protect your child regardless of the outcome. You can of course contact the police instead. Regardless of who the information is given to there would be a strategy discussion between the police and CS and that would involve a decision about who will investigate. The decision is either that it would be a joint investigation, or that CS will be the lead-investigating agency. If you are worried about your child being harmed you need to report it, if you think the information could be malicious, you just need to say so. It doesn’t take long for that to be ascertained by the professionals involved.

      Social workers do not have the power to remove a child when they turn up on the doorstep. If a child is assessed as being at immediate risk, the police do have that power and would attend with a social worker. To remove a child a social worker would have to make an application for an ICO. It is very rare for an ICO hearing to be held ex parte and your ex therefore would be advised to contact a solicitor in those circumstances.

      The investigation will involve making enquiries with education, health and any other services involved with your child. They will also talk to the child, your ex and anyone who lives with your child. All of those enquiries are usually undertaken with consent, unless it is thought that would increase the risk to the child. Children are often not removed from their home at all, a social worker would determine if there is another adult in the house who can ensure safety during the investigation, at most would ask if a safe family member can help out for a couple of days whilst they investigate.

      Most cases social workers are involved with do not go to court full stop. A very high volume of such investigations come into CS duty teams every day and are resolved without public law proceedings ever commencing. Should this case enter into care proceedings, CS would be considering other family members, and would need to be able to evidence the changes Gemma has made. As I said, it is impossible to comment on the outcome of those assessments, we don’t know enough unless we are involved in the case.

      Angelo – I did not suggest that CS are watching all the time and taking note at all. They don’t have time. I did say that information usually comes into CS from another source and it is not uncommon for it to become apparent that Gemma was also aware of this information. Not least it would become completely obvious if she was to make a court application for her child to return to her care using this information as evidence. Having unreported concerns about a child’s safety would undermine any evidence of her ability to protect.

      I don’t know how this information has been received, but the allegations may not be true, or there may be no evidence to support them. You couldn’t call it a cover up if that were the case.

  62. Angelo Granda

    Thanks for the information etc.,Helen. My reference to cover-ups was purely to inform Gemma that many SW’s cover-up and/or refuse to accept that allegations made against their golden boy by a Mum with past problems with MH are actually happening. Much abuse passes underneath their radar as we all know. They don’t undertake impartial investigations.
    Gemma, if you do get evidence of criminal neglect or abuse , report it to the Police immediately. It is their over-arching duty to protect your child . If this happens, as Helen says they will involve the CS if they deem it necessary. However, I advise you to insist on a comprehensive criminal investigation in line with the duty of the Public Protection Department . Don’t let the Police palm you off by saying they will report it to the CS for support services and child-protection procedures. The CS cannot be trusted to protect your child. In many ,many instances the department just makes matters worse. They may not carry out their duties as the should. They don’t always follow correct procedures and as a result of that they mislead other professionals. This often ends up with innocent children suffering even more.
    Once again, i advise you to take your case to the Family Rights Group and try mediation.
    As Sarah has warned, if you get court involved, the CS will be called in and that would be bad for the child .They have already set their stall out about you! Keep them out of it if you can!
    Any criminal abuse, involve the Police directly but only if the child is in imminent real danger. Don’t make the mistake of reporting non-criminal or non-violent behaviour . The Police won’t do anything except report your concerns to the CS. That will give them more ammo to sling at you.
    Contact the FRG for advice about mediation. They are there to help you .This site is not able to advise fully about individual cases but the FRG is. Hope you get matters sorted out to your satisfaction .

    1. helensparkles

      The police will contact CS because this is a safeguarding issue involving a child so they have to.

      The police will determine if a criminal act has taken place, their entire job is to detect and investigate crime. If they decide that there are not grounds for arrest/investigation etc. no amount of a parent insisting on a criminal investigation would make any difference. That would be unlawful and you are usually quite quick to point out when things are done incorrectly.

      If a referral about this child leads to a safeguarding enquiry, the police would always be involved, and involve CS. The decision about who investigates is based on the above.

      Getting the court involved is not a bad thing per se. It may be that mum thinks her child would be safer with her than with their dad, but CS would need to be involved both because of family history and these allegations. You are entitled to your view about any investigation/assessments/CS generally and Gemma has her view about CS, I am commenting on processes.

      What is important here is that Gemma is saying her son isn’t safe with her ex, if that was me, I would not be worrying about anything except that harm. I would be worrying about that whatever the age of the child. I hope her child tells a trusted teacher because, at the moment, he doesn’t appear to be able to trust the adults around him to report their concerns appropriately.


    My child is 3yrs old. I have involved police and again the situation is still the same. It’s as if neither care about my child’s safety. I’m seeking legal action to get the residential order in my name and I’m hoping I get it. The social services don’t have a care order against me at the minute. I’m jus asking if the judge says residential order is in my name instead of my ex then will my child b returned to me r will social services put him in care regardless not having a care order. Thanks for your info too. Part of it makes sense. I didn’t report my ex to police straight away as I’m afraid of my safety and the consequences. He threatens alot and I’m scared of reporting. The police only know some things but again they r saying its all hear say as iv no evidence. Iv no friends r family r no-one to turn to for advice. My mental health isn’t bad. I’m not on medication. I do go to councelling etc. I’m jus depressed cuz I miss my kids

  64. helensparkles

    The judge is not going to just change a name on an order. If you make an application for a Child Arrangements Order (Residents Orders don’t exist any more) a report will be requested from Children’s Services as Sarah said; they may not be involved now but they would be.

    There is a reason your name isn’t on the current order and you would need to evidence change. There will also need to be an assessment of the way your son’s needs are being met and his current stability; children aren’t moved backwards and forwards for no good reason.

    There is no evidence about your ex because nobody is reporting anything to anyone would the person who saw him kicked out barefoot report that?

    If the assessment of neither you or your ex is positive, it is possible the LA would become more involved but that doesn’t necessarily mean your child would be placed in care.

  65. Sam

    Gemma I am so sorry to hear that it has happened. Please be assured it is not your fault, though in future it may be helpful to work out how you were vunerable to be in such a bad relationship and it is not unusual. Any judge should look at the short and long term welfare of the child, that basically means can the parents supply what the child needs ,both physically, such as food, warmth,safety and emotionally, such as do they put the child’s need to have stability and a routine above their own need to go out, drink or have a violent row in front of the child. So try to put down on paper, if you haven’t already what strengths you have as a parent and discuss this with your solicitor. The judge should not place a child with a parent who has bullied/controlled the other parent
    You will be isolated, as that is part of domestic violence, but now you have left you can rebuild relationships. It is worth asking Women’s Aid, if they know of a local Freedom Programme or something similar. Lastly the Police may have said there is no evidence to prosecute your ex partner regarding the domestic violence, but there is now an offence of coercive control, which is emotional violence, which is always present as part of domestic violence. Look up a coercive control check list and once again see what you relate to.

    1. helensparkles

      This is an interesting read by a Barrister on Coercive Control as is the Guardian Article it links to

      “Only 62 people have been charged under the legislation, as opposed to 20,000 for offences involving domestic violence over the same period.The reason for this, I politely suggest, is twofold. First, this is a largely pointless law, re-criminalising already-criminalised conduct. And second, where it does provide for something new, it trespasses on territory over which the police cannot reasonably be expected to ride.”


    Thanks everyone. I hope the outcome is good news. My children need their mum and I’m gona fight to get them back and to prove I’m not emotionally unstable

  67. Pingback: ” Leave it Aaaht Treacle, this Eastenders storyline can’t be realistic can it?” | smalltimemum1

  68. Sam

    I commented on twitter, including CPR in my tweet yesterday regarding a feature on Radio 4 Womans Hour regarding a consultant talking about how PMS can be misdiagnosed as BIPolar, amongst other things. Sarah took objection to this, which is up to her of course and argued back. Its pointless trying to argue with me, as I am not really that argumentative , a grey person . She kindly apologised as well.
    The point I was trying to make ( and it is more difficult to make anything other than a rather bald statement on twitter) was that mental health issues can often be misdiagnosed and this was an example of that. I have got an awful lot more to say on this matter, but I really think rather than go on I would be better to start my own blog.
    May I wish everyone a very happy and peaceful Christmas and a healthy New Year.

  69. Josie

    Ive had problems and with the years they seem to progress.. I took anger management as a child. In `13 i was diagnosed bipolar 2 i stopped going b because i got scared for my child. Its basically four years and the thoughts the fits of rage and horrid thoughts or my negative self image have all gotten worse. I’ve dealt with custody court battles and various cps because of it.. I’ve passed everything but I’ve never told anyone all of my problems in my head .. I’ve scared myself with the things I’ve become interested in.. Its all gore murder rape nothing but violence…mass murder…its become sexualised ( sorry tmi) it scares me but if i could burn the world i would. Ironically though my loved ones i couldn’t even phathom.. I love all of them dearly my son more than anyone on the earth.. He knows nothing of this and it will stay that way always..i want to seek help.. My criminal record is clean ive always managed to control worst thoughts or feelings. . But i get fits of rage i do my very best to control them and over all i have I’m far less violent in reality than i am inside its all emotional i show top others and my boy changes everything he’s kept me sane this long but I’ve noticed a decline over time i want to live without these thoughts wants or philosophies but i will never risk my son.

  70. Beverley Sandler

    My name is Beverley Sandler and I am a highly qualified Counsellor in Manchester. I read your post with great interest and can relate to a lot of what you have said.

    Just a quick thank you for creating the content and if you ever need any insight into Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or Wellness Coaching I would be more than happy to help.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      thanks Beverley, much appreciated. If you want to write a guest post, that would be welcome. Or come and talk to us at this event – but I appreciate Bristol is a bit of a trek from Manchester!

  71. Anonymous

    After my child was born in 2006, I allowed this former friend to be “Godmother” of my child, because she was a nurse. I allowed her to babysat my child; while I attended an orientation on a Friday for 5 hours only, I returned home 15 minutes after the orientation was over, I gave her a call and told her I’m home now and she could bring my child home to me his mother now, she told me she would bring my child home on tomorrow (Saturday), after she didn’t return my child on that day (Saturday), I called the police, the officer didn’t do anything, but said it was a legal way she gotten my child, so I kept going over to her home trying to get my child, but she wouldn’t answer the door, so I kept calling her on the phone, she said she would bring my child to Church on the next day (Sunday), but she didn’t come to Church that Sunday with my child at all, on that Monday morning, she took my child to CPS and lied, said I gave her my child, from what the social worker said and he believed her and written it up as my disability, they have always coerce, my child in what to do and say to me, because I know and remembered; how my child has always treated me and this is not him. Now 2 years later, my child is now 5yrs. old, he tells me that his dad and three other family members of his dad are playing with his pee-pee, etc. I reported that, to CPS and the Police Dept., but they flipped the script on me saying it’s my disability, they didn’t do anything at all

  72. Sam

    I am just a parent like you and I can sympathise with you not being believed. It sounds as you are not from the UK and this resource can only really help if you are as the laws are different. I hope you can get help from somewhere more suitable

  73. Ashleigh Stevenson

    Nearly two years ago my gran was diagnosed with cancer and my mental health started getting worse, then i became “trapped” in the house because i was really unwell loads and couldn’t risk my gran catching anything with cancer treatment, around last summer my social worker thought my house was too cluttered, too many toys downstairs and basically not sitting like a showroom, impossible with a two year old, and she started visiting weekly which made me feel suffocated by them, i started avoiding doing housework because i was so out of sorts with these random spot checks that my anxiety went right through the roof, i ended up asking for a family care worker for help, which i have been getting, i was uncomfortable around the first one, so got another and from november to febraury it was going great, until i decided to finally get to ym doctor about meds, and they made me feel terrible like i couldn’t even care about anything at all,i was like a robot feeding washing clothing my daughter, then i had a jump in my head and decided to stop them cause the house was getting a mess, my family worker phoned my social worker (who hadn’t been out since september) and she came out and gave me a lecture, told her to come back in a few hours and house would be perfect i just started feeling better that day, skip forward to march, i was stripping the hall wallpaper ready to be decorated before the person cancelled the offer of helping, famile worker was due the next day and i was exhausted so decided to finish cleaning in the morning, worker was not happy with this decision, and phone social worker who again gave me a lecture, same with painting the living room, i was told to just focus on the house.
    Another bit is they decided to come first thing in the morning, and i get really anxious about people being in my home that i wind up with stop issues before they appear so struggled to get my daughter to nursery, i tried explaining and it was ignored
    my house doesn’t sit perfect, theres clean washing to be ironed, ironed stuff to put away, stuff drying and stuff to be washed, theres toys, books (daughter reads i write to calm down) knitting and dvds in the living room, and kitchen i’m always too tired to do dishes and brush everywhere and wipe everywhere so i decide to do it in the morning when i have more energy

    Today social worker appeared (unexpectedly which made me anxious) because i asked for reduce time with my family workers as i started feeling like i could do this on my own, she has told me because i refused access to HV on monday (i was out shopping, and didn’t know she was coming) I don’t take my daughter to nursery everyday (she’s been every day for nearly 3 weeks now) because theres clothes piles, and dishes, and quite obviously my mental health isn’t doing good if so much makes me anxious, that she feels my child is at risk, that i’m not coping and wants a more intense program in place as well as child protection… what the hell? I felt i was doing better the past few weeks, i had changed my diet ate foods good for anxiety started doing walks with a friend and a family member, I begged the social worker not to ask the nursery for more time because i couldn’t face them if i knew they knew about my mental health, so she did it, and told them i was struggling to cope because i said i liked shopping in the mornings without my kid as it’s easier, which doesn’t suit them because they like coming in mornings, mornings is also the only time a friend can take me as i can’t go alone… I feel like they’re going to suffocate me and not let me do this myself and i’m going to just give up with my life and end it all and get my daughter something better than constant workers in
    She only comes out when someone thinks i’m doing bad, so she only has bad reports for hher team manager, she hasn’t came out in nearly a year where i’ve had a good day, house is shining, i’m dressed half decently, and we’re getting out having fun, no no it’s just the days where i’m struggling to even care about anything and that’s all she has to go forward with. I can’t go on like this anymore

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I am sorry Ashleigh, it does sound like you are overwhelmed. It is sad when you should feel supported but it feels like they are just adding to your stress.

      You say “and i’m going to just give up with my life and end it all” – please will you talk to someone about this? The Samaritans are really good. Please call them. Call Free 116 123.

    2. HelenSparkles

      Absolutely follow Sarah’s advice.

      I also wondered if this might be helpful.

      Social workers don’t expect to see a show home, they do expect your house to be a safe, comfortable and hygienic environment for your children. Cluttered means different things to different people so it is important that you understand what is expected of you. A social worker would expect to see toys and various things around that reflect a two year old lives with you, but some of the things that were in your house could have been things that the social worker thought were hazards, or houses can be hazardous for children if they are very cluttered. Decorating would not be a priority if the home conditions were otherwise unsafe, uncomfortable or unhygienic for children. Hence the need to focus on the house, and several unfinished decorating jobs can create more hazards for a toddler.

      You don’t sound clear about what the social worker expects to see and it is important that you are. Sometimes I’ll leave a list with people, other times just talk it through, whatever works best for them. I would suggest you arrange a visit with the social worker at a time when you think your anxieties would lower and have someone with you that you trust and feel comfortable with if you want to. The social worker will need to know that you are happy about sharing your information with that person, so it is worth discussing it with them first. You just need to make sure you are comfortable with that person being involved in those discussions.

      Weekly visiting will reflect the level of monitoring a social worker thinks is needed to make sure your children are safe. It is intrusive but I am sure you and the social worker want the same thing, for your children to be ok in your care. Unannounced visits are often part of a child protection plan, they are not there to catch you out, but social workers need to know that things are ok whether you know they are visiting or not.

      I don’t know how long your children have been subject to a child protection plan but visiting patterns reflect the level of concern, if they have increased, it is likely that concerns are greater. I completely understand your level of anxiety but I think you need to have a conversation with the social worker so you are clear about this, and exactly what they are worried about. Visits are less frequent when everyone is less worried, because social workers are very aware of how intrusive they are, but if you feel you reach a point where things are going well and you have a “shiny” house, it is worth telling the social worker so they can see it.

      It is very important that children see health professionals and attend whatever kind of educational setting they should be in regularly. This shows that you are looking after your children in the way they need to be, ensuring their needs are a priority, and whatever your problems are they don’t get in the way of meeting their needs. It also means there are other professionals who have sight of your children, even if the social worker did only see the bad stuff, they will be speaking to those other people who can give them positive information in your core group meetings if it is there.

      I don’t know what the more intense support is but it is being offered as help. Obviously it isn’t helpful if it isn’t what you need but again I think you need to be clear about what is expected of you and what exactly that involves.

  74. Mia Klaus

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  75. Deb

    So I am wondering my friend has mental illness (symptoms are similar to schizophrenia she takes antidepressants. they relieve some symptoms but she can deal with the others). She is pregnant, The father has anxiety issues. I was wondering if she gave the baby up for adoption so it was being raised by someone what are the chances of the bay having issues?

    1. HelenSparkles

      A baby who has parents with those issues is more vulnerable than others (whose parents don’t) to developing them, BUT this is completely unpredictable. If baby is nurtured, loved and cared for, that would decrease vulnerability, and that would be true whether bought up by mother, father or adopters.

      Why would this child need adopters?
      Schizophrenia needs managing but sounds like it is, if medication treats some symptoms and she can manage others.
      One in three people in the UK have anxiety/depression, it has an impact, but doesn’t stop people being good parents.

    2. looked_after_child

      I’m curious why this question has been asked on a child protection website- not of clinicians. Who has concerns about parenting capacity if anyone or are concerns about having ‘a defective baby’?

  76. Vignon

    Hi ,my name is vignon I’m only 13 and I don’t know what to do , my parents have been treating me so bad I can’t handle it no more,when I was younger they use to beat me a lot compare to my little brother,I’ve steel have the scars they’ve done to me when I was younger,everytime I’ll get yelled at ,I’ll go in my room and start staring and my scars n start crying every girl wants to have a dream body but I can’t enjoy my body at all while filled with scars that are permanently suck on my for I’m 13,they don’t abuse me any more cause I’ve told school about it and the school has called this people to talk to them , but now they shout at me ,calling me a witch,I’m ugly and I should die I CANT HELP IT I NEED LOVE ,I can’t stop crying every time I write a word,since they wanted me to die I decided to find way to kill myself ive took my mothers pill and handnatizer and drank it with the pills I’ve done that for about 2 weeks without my parents knowing, next week I wasn’t feeling well ,my mom called me to look at her dress and as I came out of the room I blacked out I woke up in da hospital and starting crying I’ve lied to the doctors I’ve ate something expired so that my parents won’t go to jail. Since that day my parents still call me ugly I’m not worthy to live that I’m a witch a hoe ,that there gonna kill me ,I need love ,love is what I want,love is all I’m asking for ,love seems to make people happy but I don’t even know what’s love so how can I know, I want help before my parents actually kills me I don’t feel safe .if we ever met I promise you I’ll show you all the scars I have and tell you more of what I’m leaving through,if u don’t get this message,I don’t know what to do anymore there’s no point of living if know one loves you or wants you to live .its better off dying cause everyone will be happy without not perfect and I’ll never will be but if I ever get the opportunity to get loved by someone my life would change.i am ugly and agree ,I guess am a witch aswell cause my parents birth me they know me well if they tell me to kill my self I shall do it just for there happiness.

    1. Angelo Granda

      Vignon, Don’t believe anyone who tells you that you are an ugly witch. They are jealous of you. Ignore them. I suggest you tell your Grandparents and extended family what your parents are doing to you. I am afraid when children report even serious abuse even institutional abuse to teachers or social workers, they often don’t listen and/or cover it up which is what seems to have happened.
      If they beat you to the extent that you are physically scarred ( or mentally) if you report it to the Police next time and let them take photo’s and forensic evidence, they have a Public Protection Department with a duty to solve the problem for you.
      I think when you are 16, if your parents won’t change, you will be within your rights to leave anyway.
      Let gramps and gramma know everything that’s going on!

  77. Sarah Phillimore Post author

    Dear Vignon – I don’t know where you live and if its outside the UK, I don’t know what happens in those countries. But I am really sorry to hear you are going through this. You have to tell someone. You have to tell an adult that you trust – a teacher maybe? And you have to get out of this situation. I hope you can find someone to help you. You shouldn’t have to try and deal with this alone at 13. I am sorry I can’t be more help. You need someone in real life.

  78. susan

    i want to say a very big thanks and appreciation to Dr.uwota the chief priest of all spell casters worldwide for bringing back my husband who left and the kids for almost three months within the space of two days after following all instruction given to me. i am very much grateful for restoring peace in my marital home, and i pray God almighty give you the strength and wisdom to continue helping more people having similar relationship and marital problem like mine. for help you can contact him now through his email and mobile number below [email protected] whatsapp Number: +2347039144181

    1. Sam

      Clearly all this arguing over family courts is pointless, how about Sarah, Angelo, Helen , Looked After Child pool our resources and contact Dr Whatisname, he or variations of him seem to be able to cure all relationship and family problems. Sarah could ask if he can deal with Twitter Trolls at a discount rate. Maybe even the Brexit divorce. Angelo will be ecstatic as all Children’s Panel solicitor’s will be out of a job, unfortunately that probably means so are Sarah and Helen.

      1. Angelo Granda

        Only just seen this post Sam. Glad someone has a sense of humour . Unfortunately lots of legal panel lawyers are going out of business currently owing to legal funding cuts. Some of them deserve it! No professional ethics!

  79. Tara vanichi

    I am a mother of 5 but 4 live with me and 1 lives with his dad. My husband has mental health problems and sometime self harms or is suicidle and he sometime will loose it and break thinks or shout loud. Mainly when the children are in bed. I am a good mum and I keep my children from being affected. My husband is a good father and helps me cool clean and loves his children but and even when he has an episode he doesn’t do it around the children.
    The neighbours have called the police and so I have on one occasions as I have not been able to control his behaviour.
    He is now seeing a probation officer once a week and also crisis team regularly.
    I was supposed to be seeing my son this week but his father called me and said social services have advised him not to let me have him and to take me to court to get his daughter too as my husband is a threat. I need some advise because this is upsetting me and I feel soon with all this I will be depressed. My ex is a violent person and now won’t let me see my son and said he is taking my daughter too. I also have 3 children by my husband and I’m scared social will take them now. What do I do.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      If your husband is working with probation and sees his crisis team then I assume that children’s services are already aware and if they aren’t taking any action, I also assume they are confident that things are under control? So I hope you have nothing to worry about in that direction. I would like to see confirmation about the reasons why your ex is saying that your son can’t visit you. Does he have a letter from social services? Who did he speak to? Can you have contact with your son somewhere else while this is sorted out?

      It does sound very stressful but maybe the best thing is for him to bring this to court so it can get sorted out. Even if he is not happy with the children being around your husband, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be seeing you.

      1. HelenSparkles

        & if a social worker is advising your ex, you could call children’s services to find out why, they can share information about risks but those risks would (if they are about your husband) also be relevant to you, particularly if you have children living with you. The local authority would (in the form of a social worker) be knocking on your door if they were worried about the children living with you. Please take that as reassurance that they are not initiating care proceedings which could lead to the removal of your children. Whilst it is true that mental health issues do affect your husband’s capacity generally to be a parent and engage in family life, you sound like the protective factor and such circumstances are not uncommon. If a social worker does knock on your door, you should also be reassured that they would be assessing that and not whether they want to remove your children. I think Sarah is right (well she is a lawyer) that the court arena, though stressful, might be the place for this to be resolved. If you have any evidence (police reports etc.) that you were subject to domestic violence (I don’t know if you were but you say your ex was violent) you would be entitled to free legal representation in private law proceedings. i would suggest you are proactive about this and take the matter to court. They may well ask for a report from a social worker, which would involve a full assessment of everyone, and that is something that you might find helpful as well as securing the arrangements for any children you have in common.

  80. Patty

    Is signing adoption papers when a child is in foster care, while under a out patient psychiatric treatment legal? How can a contract adoption paper be legal when the participant is under prescribed meds?

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      It must depend on capacity. Being on prescription medication or under psychiatric care doesn’t necessarily mean you lack capacity to sign legal documents. Capacity is a test about whether or not you understand the nature and quality of your decision making.

      1. Angelo Granda

        Patty, I suggest you contact the Family Rights Group ( FRG) on its website for an answer to your question when you will be able to give more detail. At first sight, as an ordinary parent, I would say it is fairly obvious that if the fact that some -one is under psychiatric care is being used by the LA against a parent in that they are unable to care for a child then it must also be true that they are unable to sign adoption papers legally. No genuine doctor or lawyer would encourage the mentally ill to sign away their children hastily.
        Local Authorities ,however, will find it cheaper to get a Mum to agree to adoption because they will not have to apply for a care-order, I guess. In days gone by, thousands of children were procured for adoption in that way when so- called ‘fallen women’ had their children removed at birth . They were ‘persuaded’ to sign their babies away whilst at their most vulnerable just after birth.
        Your question as to the legality of the papers can only really be answered after hearing all the detail so, as an ordinary parent, my advice is that you contact the FRG immediately.

        1. Angelo Granda

          Patty, Do you remember whether the Social Worker informed Mum of her right to an independent advocate (like the FRG) and give her the address and invite the advocate to all meetings? If so, the advocate will have advised her, explained procedures fully and possibly intervened in the signing if it was illegal.
          If the Social Worker did not do so, it is possible she exploited Mum’s vulnerability. Whether it was intentionally or not , she will have not kept within the Working Together Frameworks. Mention it to the FRG.

  81. fatma arkan

    hello i want to give my girl for adoption, i just do not want her to suffer so i need a very loving and suitable home for her. any couple or single looking to adopt a newborn 3 months old message me now:

    [REDACTED EMAIL ADDRESS – I assume this poster is not in the UK. You cannot adopt a child in this way in the UK although I know in the USA ‘private’ adoptions seems to be more common but I assume (hope) there is some legal framework around them to protect the children.

    If this poster IS in the UK, please contact your local Children’s Services at your local authority urgently, if you are worried you aren’t coping. ]

  82. Anna Caudill

    i have ptsd and mood disorder socail service is saying that because of my mental health i cant meet my infant needs my baby is in the nicu cause i had her too early and she telling me i may not be able to bring her home cause of that i have been getting treatment for my mood disorder and ptsd i have been meeting her need at the hospital i dont understand why there doing this

    1. Sam

      Anna you must contact a family solicitor immediately. You may be asked to sign something called a section 20 , do not do so without talking to a solicitor. If your baby may be taken away from you, you are entitled to free legal advice so don’t worry that you can’t afford it.

    2. HelenSparkles

      I am a social worker Anna and there is sometimes a problem with mental health issues affecting the ability of a parent to meet the needs of a baby. Your baby being in NICIU does mean they are likely to have addition needs and it’s important that you all get the help you need. Caring for a baby in the hospital setting is very different from being on your own without support. Have a think about how could help in terms of family & friends.

      In terms of your treatment, it is very positive that you access it, sometimes it takes a while for medication to kick in, but seeking medical advice is definitely a strength. I think the social workers are worried (don’t know you all personally yet so can’t comment full) Social workers have no powers to remove children .

      1. Sam

        Helen Social workers may not have powers to remove children without a court order, but time and again they do. The number of worried parents that have contacted this website confirm this, as does my own experience. I believe I would have my children now if it were not for the unlawful actions of both the police and the social worker. Funny enough I have yet to see a criminal case for unlawful kidnap or a HCPC ruling against a social worker.

        1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

          Sam, if the SW is removing with the police that is because the police have deemed it appropriate to remove for 72 hours under section 46 of the CA. So it won’t be ‘unlawful’ if the police give it that sanction. Any longer than 72 hours without court order or section 20 agreement is unlawful. I can appreciate many parents maybe don’t know their rights or don’t feel able to speak up. But its highly unlikely any criminal charge of ‘kidnapping’ could stick if police are using their powers under CA 1989.

          1. Sam

            But if the police do not give that sanction, simply remove the child it is unlawful and a breach of human rights. That is what happened in my case and that is why I have a huge resentment about it and it has not been remedied in court. I may have mentioned that a few hundred times.

          2. Sarah Phillimore Post author

            But I thought your ex gave consent? Its not best practice, I completely agree, but so long as one parent with PR gives consent, I can see why SW would think it ‘lawful’. It isn’t, I don’t think but I can understand why some SW may act on that basis.

          3. Angelo Granda

            Frankly, Sam,it is highly unlikely any case for kidnapping, child abduction , perjury, malpractice ,malfeasances in Public Office or any charge would be made to stick against the authorities because they have themselves covered. Denial, silence and a general ‘no smoke without ‘attitude on the part of even a parent’s own solicitor will go against the victims and even magistrates are infected by the same attitude and a propensity to play it safe. Anyway, once a child has been taken unlawfully, the possession 9/10ths of the law precedent takes effect and a family proceedings court will decide it best to leave him or her where they are ( in care) pending further enquiries.
            So I am with you and the other parents.
            Sarah, in my opinion, it is unlawful for Police to sanction the use of s46 powers of emergency removal unless a child is in imminent danger of harm. It must be an emergency as s 46 says quite clearly and, as you quite rightly pointed out, it is only valid for a maximum of 72hours. So that gives the Police Officers 3 days in which to clear the emergency from the scenario, ensure the immediate safety of the children involved and return them to the care of their parents.
            For example, if there had been a fire, a road accident ,if a parent were drunk and incapable , if the house was deemed uninhabitable or in other emergency circumstances the Police must go back to the scene and review circumstances. If the fire was out, they would have a clear duty to return the child home.
            This is where Spanish practices and malpractice comes in! Here is what often happens-
            The CS receive a referral, concoct one themselves or arrange for one. They then rush to their computer database and ,without checking the information with the parents or anyone else, they take what they find therein as fact. Sometimes it is completely false. Most often it is incomplete, uninvestigated intelligence. This will have been inputted into computers by badly-trained, overworked SW’s without any checks on its truth. E.G. It isn’t unknown for the background of one family to be entered in the file of another.
            The CS then initiate a behind-closed doors strategy meeting with the Police ( and no-one else) take the referral and database as read without checks and initiate a s47 investigation. At that point, two SW’s along with several Police Officers will ‘drop in’ without warning . Believe me, when they do that and also have other officers and back up police cars and vans waiting in the street out side the home ( or neo-natal unit) they have only one intent and the Police don’t hang around checking the information with parents, doctors, relatives etc., The parents will not be asked to give an account of circumstances or even told by Police the nature of the background information they have been given.
            That is unlawful and it is unlawful for the CS to hand false information to Police without checks. It is unlawful for any official body to make a false referral to the CS without visiting the scene and checking its information.
            But it happens!
            Of course, when they set out acting unlawfully, they are not disposed doing their real duty at all. They have decided to remove and that is that as far as they are concerned, they aren’t going to start giving a parent the chance to put things right or perhaps even help them to do so. No support will be offered and no alternatives ( such as a temporary family placement ) will be investigated.
            Sam, I researched it on the FRG forums and I feel confident when I say that many of these unlawful removals happen on a Friday evening. The law says that children removed under so-called Police protection must be returned within 72 hours . The Police ,unfortunately have no intention of doing so. They don’t visit the parent again to check whether the so-called imminent danger or emergency situation still exists. They make no further effort to visit the family home and make further enquiries. They don’t bother visiting the child to check how the Social Workers or foster-carers have treated them or to take note of events since removal. They just take the children and dump them on the CS. That is unlawful .They have no interest in the child’s human rights and they have a callous disregard for the 72 hour time limit for return.
            If , after full enquiries, it is decided an emergency protection order is needed ,the CS have to apply for it within 2 days. By law, that is the norm.
            I don’t think I need tell you ,Sam, they don’t act lawfully. Despite the fact that magistrates are available at weekend , they leave it then on Monday they will ‘persuade’ the vulnerable family there is a need for an S20. Afterwards they can always make the excuse of short staffing levels, weekend skeleton staff at Court etc. If an emergency order is applied for on Monday or Tuesday they have broken the 48 hour norm laid down in common law and you can bet your life that they, also,have made no attempt to either check on the so-called emergency situation or visit the parent again to check the false background.
            Anna, take the advice of Sam and Helen ,get yourself a solicitor. Be prepared ,however, for the solicitor to fall prey to the same no-smoke without fire mistake as an emergency magistrate. a voluntary care agreement may not be necessary and will cause great harm to the child but he may advise you to sign the S20. The solicitors like parents to co-operate fully with the social workers then you can’t be accused of defensiveness and an inability to accept concerns ,accept and work with support and so on.
            Don’t forget to try and get the consultant and health visitor on your side. HAVE THEY ANY CONCERNS ABOUT YOUR MENTAL ABILITIES. If not ask them to put it in writing. Before any order is issued. After one is issued, they aren’t allowed to discuss it with you or provide you with evidence except through the Court.
            Sarah,if you read this , I don’t expect you to accept these malpractices I describe without evidence. All I can suggest is next time you get such a case, check everything from the earliest stage carefully.

          4. Sam

            He gave consent to the section 20 but days before that the children were taken from my home ( where they lived) and placed with him, without EPO, PPO, section 20 or CO. I was simply told this was what they decided. Incidentally only days after I and my son had been assaulted by him. I was naive, like so many parents. Rather than argue against authority initially we trust too much and get burnt.

          5. Sarah Phillimore Post author

            I am not for one moment trying to justify or defend what happened to you. However I do think it is a different situation where children are removed from the care of one parent to another, as opposed to removed from a parent and placed in the care of the state. While both parents have PR I don’t see this as unlawful. But obviously there should have been proper investigation of what had happened between you, and from what you say, it does not sound as if there was.

          6. Angelo Granda

            I am only an ordinary parent, of course,and I may be wrong, but I disagree that while both parents have PR it is not unlaswfulI don’t see this as unlawful. Even if there has been proper investigation I would contend it is unlawful and totally disproportionate for the CS to ‘interfere in the lives of a family ‘and remove a child from Sam or any other Mum without a Court . It would seem the CS aided and abetted the infliction of serios emotional harm to a child. Sarah, what would be the position legally if Dad had taken the child from Mum and his habitual residenceAnd his usual FORCIBLY without an order from a Court?

  83. Angelo Granda

    Might I suggest that you ask to see the consultant paediatrician who is in charge of your case and also that you contact your GP’s surgery to request a hospital visit by your health visitor.When you see them tell them you seek protection for the baby from the Social Worker possibly removing her from your care.Enlist their help and request an assessment of your abilities.
    Is Dad in the picture? Are you married? Does the SW have any problem with him?
    Whilst you are still in hospital, I suggest you call a family conference and ask all members for help .Also look up on Google the Family Rights Group (FRG) who have a helpline and Qand A forum.
    Good Luck!

  84. Sam

    I am answering Angelo’s recent comment. You have a very good point. I really don’t see how someone can come into your home, who hasn’t got parental responsibility and take your child without it being a breach of your family life and emotionally abusive to the child. It is also not creating a level playing field right from the outset. I have proof that the threshold for a care order was not met at the time as well.
    Up until the 1970’s children were removed from single mothers in the same way. It was wrong then and it is just as wrong now.

  85. Angelo Granda

    Sam, As you know I can only give you advice as one ordinary parent to another but I would suggest that, in your case when correct procedure was not followed and when it appears that the case was not conducted correctly and it does not sound like there was a proper investigation plus the SW seems to have interfered with your child’s life unlawfully, I suggest that the only genuine remedy for you and the child was an appeal to a higher court.
    Please can you say whether your lawyers recommended an appeal and apply for legal funding? . I can hardly believe that they would have failed to see the injustices you describe. As Sarah often says ” where were your lawyers” ?
    Did you engage with them or did you fail to cooperate and not acknowledge and accept concerns?
    Surely they believed your story or did the CS tell everyone you were mental?

    Personally ,I have advocated that in such serious cases, permission for leave to appeal should be granted automatically . No-one appears to agree with me to date . Would such a rule have helped you get justice for your child? Also ,I think the 21-day time limit is way, way to short given that many things don’t come to light until long after that when parents have made subject-access requests, looked over court bundles and transcripts etc. and received responses to official complaints. ( they can take many months). Plus, i have found that one’s own solicitors appear to be most unhelpful in that they deliberately shut down the shop and stop communicating.
    I will be grateful if you can answer these questions and I hope you back me up but that is up to you. It was a letter from Mr. Cameron’s office to an MP which advises in no uncertain terms that the only remedy is an appeal to a higher court when cases are conducted incorrectly IN ANY WAY and the letter asks the MP to make that clear to any parent that complains. It was insistent that the Working Together Frameworks must be followed scrupulously in every case to ensure that it is conducted correctly.
    No-one should turn a blind eye to malpractices and the flouting of procedure and fail the child in such circumstances. I feel your lawyers should have recommended an appeal straight away.
    In fact ,even at this late stage, I think they should appeal on your child’s behalf before he comes to real harm. You know I have accused lawyers of turning a blind-eye, being too timid and that some solicitors are not strictly acting in the interests of children at all rather their own. Looking through the dictionary last night, I hit on the perfect word to describe why the system is so regularly accused of ‘corruption’ ( rightly or wrongly). The professionals are ALL prone to pseudomutuality.
    All comments welcome .

    1. Sam

      My first solicitors can be best described as chocolate teapot solicitors i.e they didn’t know the law themselves despite being members of the Children’s Legal Panel. Neither did the Guardian, apparently. Also neither did the High Court Judge, or if he did, he decided to ignore it, thus breaking his oath. Some judges simply should not be family law judges, they ought to specialise in what they practised in as lawyers. Far too much is left to chance.
      To be frank Angelo, it is far too late for an appeal now, I know there has been a miscarriage of justice as does everyone else including the judge. That satisfies me and in future I hope my children sue the LA for negligence.
      I think there needs to be an independent oversight body, criminal courts have one and they are not held in private.

  86. Angelo Granda

    Pseudomutuality means they respond to complaints and conflicts by ignoring them completely. That should never happen in any Court .

  87. cloe

    After being in relationship with him for seven years,he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster lord Adamu that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that never believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the lord Adamu and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days my ex will come back begging. I thanked him in earnest hoping he will come back to me because I miss him so much.To my very surprise on the 3rd day he came back begging and asking me to accept him back and he will never leave me again. All this would never had been possible but for lord Adamu I will always and forever recommend you to the world lord Adamu This is his contact below: [email protected]


  88. Grayham

    I have a bit if a predicament.
    I have been married for over 20 years, have 2 sons (25 & 11).
    In early 2017 my wife & I separated & I was removed from the house based on false allegations ( my wife didn’t attend the last 2 hearings)
    In may 17 I returned to the house after the courts dismissed the orders & my wife also dismissed the occupancy order.
    In June my wife again started to verbally & emotionally abuse me(sometimes in front of the boys). My wife would often keep the boys physically close to her and stonewall me. On the day of my youngest son’s birthday late July the stonewalling occurred again, this time with none of my family communicating with me until 1st Aug when I discovered my wife had taken a credit card & was paying for things online even though money was being put into the joint account every week. The credit card was a company credit card & not meant for this purpose. The other money I was placing in the account had been drained(talking over £2k) & the account had no ninety left.
    I called police & showed evidence of payments being processed. I volunteered to leave the house that night & po!ice then tell me that I cannot go back to stay. Because of concerns po?ice had regarding the boys they referred the incident to children’s services.
    I have been in contact with children’s services & they advise the matter is closed even though I was not involved. I queried this & got a very defensive and obstructive response & was not even given the detailed of how the decision was made.
    I am concerned that nobody is monitoring my boys & as I have not been back to the house since I cannot do this. I know they are being coerced & controlled, but nobody is giving this any attention.
    I have had to formally request the information from children’s services & their only advice was to get a solicitor and go to court! These are my children to and I am genuinely concerned for their emotional wellbeing.

    Any thoughts or advice?


    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Sorry, if children’s services won’t get involved then I think your only option is to go to court if you are not having any contact with the children – although I note the oldest is 25 so presumably old enough to make his own decisions about that.

      If there was an order made on the basis of your ex’s allegations then that suggests the court are likely to have found they were true which might cause you problems. I don’t understand what you mean when you say your ex ‘dismissed’ the occupancy order. Do you mean she ignored it and let you back in?

      This all sounds very messy and complicated and thus to unpick it would probably require the court’s help. You won’t get legal aid but you may want to think about a direct access barrister, just to get help at the hearing. This is sometimes a cheaper option.

      you may find some useful information here

  89. George Cruz

    Logical Tricks On How To Get Your Ex Girlfriend Back Without Losing Your Dignity Urgent Love Spell I have been in a relationship for 3 years, me and my partner live here in the England, we lived in two different cities which was only 2 hours away. she used to drive down to see me every week before for the past 2 years. i moved to the same city 4 months now, i thought it was a good thing that i would be more closer to her. she saw me in the first month of when i moved. then she never saw me in the next 3 months, she never bothered to make the effort. then she got a job in London about 2 months ago and she said she would see me but never did. these last 2months she has been avoiding my calls and since he moved he makes excuses saying she is ‘tired’ or ‘busy’ and that she was ‘sleeping’. she always makes these excuses, I’ve been crying my eyes out, I’m lost, confused, heart broken. i feel like it’s all my fault and i don’t want to lose her, all she told me was that the relationship is over she blocked me on whatsapp and facebook . now i begged her to consider me but she’s did listen, she left and i was devastated, i began searching for help and answers, then i heard about a man that can cast a spell to remind her of all the things we have been through together, at first I was scared then i decided to give it a try, and like magic my girlfriend came back, apology and begging for forgiveness, thanks to this man, I’m posting this to help people with similar issues. you can contact him for help too. or view his page on…. his whatsapp number: +2348133873774 email contact:… [email protected]

  90. Quinn Lincoln

    My heart was filled with remorse and pain for the past 7 months when my husband ended our marriage and went to his EX lover because i was unable to give him a son. I was so devastated and almost committed suicide. I asked everyone i knew for help but all my efforts were useless not until i was refereed to Doctor Casera by Oliver who i met online that he could be of help to me for he has helped her before. I got in touch with him and i poured out everything i had in mind to him and he promised to make me smile and make me live a better life by getting my husband back with his powers between just 24 hours. I believed in him and to my very eyes, my husband came on his knees pleading for forgiveness to come back and rectify his mistakes and today we are living with so much Joy and happiness. If anyone out there needs help of any-kind, get in touch with the Doctor now for he will help you out..

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  91. curtis

    hiya my wife is recently pregnant and she has some mental health issues and also borderline personality disorder before we got together she had a child with a previous partner due to to drug taking (cannaibis)
    for self medicating for the voices in her head and the stressful mental abuse she went through on a regular basis she lost the case for the child and he got adopted after the child protection order which as you can guess was horrible this was three years ago since then she has sorted her life out got married and doesn’t take no drugs and is stable in her mental health issues but we are still very worried because of social services because we feel that we cant trust them and they will do anything they can to take this new baby away from us how can we get paper work to show this is sorted now i have no background with social services but my wife has so we are trying to get things in order for the baby and our selfs we would like to know where to go for support and how to be ready when they get involved and whether we should trust them would be nice for some advice
    take care

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      the Family Rights Group has an advice line so it might be worth contacting them – there are also some support forums.

      your child can only be removed from your care if you cause him/her significant harm or if there is a serious risk of serious harm. Lots of parents do fine even with quite serious mental health issues – what is important is whether or not the parent has insight into their condition and how to manage it. The social services might need to come visit/talk/do an assessment, in light of what happened 3 years ago, but if all that you say is true I can’t see any reason to take your child away. You should be supported to be the best parents you can be.

    2. Bernadett Balogh

      I would suggest to go to your GP and raise your concerns re previous issues with SS. Wife to make sure she takes suggested medication and you both attend prenatal courses to show you are in this together, you are supporting her, and you are aware that post natal depression is a thing and especially with past experiences your wife might experience It or even delayed PTSD ( post traumatic stress disorder) brought on at /near the birth.
      You need to show that you are aware what signs to look out for- ask your GP to print out a leaflet, and have a plan, should it happen, how will you support your wife in looking after herself and the new baby. It will very likely bring up traumatic memories about the adoption and you personally will need to be very gentle with her. List all the support you can ask for – granparents, uncles, aunts, neighbours, a cleaner once a week, online shopping with delivery, some time off for mum to just sleep when you take baby for a stroll etc. You being this well prepared will put their mind at ease. Save Samaritans’ or any other crises line numbers on your phones in case you both feel overwhelmed but dont want to offload on eachother.
      Hope these suggestions help.

  92. Tandra Siewers

    Regardless of how somebody is diagnosed as alcohol dependent or how they got here to understand they have a severe drinking drawback, step one to treatment is a honest want to get help.

  93. Marshall

    The pendulum has swung too far. People with mental health issues were treated terribly by many agencies. Now however the response from these agencies is to ignore the impact of ALL mental health conditions on a child.

    Depression + Bipolar + Personality Disorder + a record of class A drug abuse + alcohol mixed with meds + an escalation /increase of mental health issues following the birth of a child and marriage + imprisonment for ABH + a history of abuse that includes being part of a gang involved in the gang rape of a young girl, documented as the first date rape trial in the UK (the guy who put the pills young girls mouth and walked her out of the club with a coat over her head. This mix of violence, rage and history of criminality in conjunction drug and alcohol abuse is not to be ignored in our attempt to treat the entirety of those with mental health issues.

    Due to this country’s inability to treat individuals but rather focus on saving ££ we, this society, are allowing sociopaths and narcissist to continue their abuse of partners (ex/current) and their children.

    I’m not a direct victim and this is new to me but I’m shocked that our government and professional services including SS and Family courts only have the nous to either lock up people with mental health issues wholesale or work to give them all regardless of their history of violence and absolute absolute preference over their victims ie partners and children.

    There is a Risk Assessor in each government department who has determined that the lives of the partners and children of these thugs are worth sacrificing.

  94. Layla Bennett

    I am physically disabled and live with my husband. We have both been diagnosed with anxiety and depression. Sadly our three year old son was diagnosed with cancer. We have spent a great many months in hospital just popping back briefly and so our home had slipped into a unorganized state also that we had been decorating at the time he was first diagnosed with cancer. We remained at his side throughout treatment and it is due to several harrowing experiences during this time that I found myself needing medication to help me through our sons last few months of intensive treatment before the gentle maintenance treatment. Sadly after only two visits from social services and them advising us to move back into our home before it was ready they have taken him off us with a forced section 20 then a interim care order one week later. We have received no support from social services and no ref to adult social services they hadnt even acknowledged our disabilities as anything to do with them. We embraced social services in the hope we would gain some extra support. Instead we have been ambushed and had our child taken. We were served papers at 10pm for court 9am 30 miles from our home. We have been treated like criminals and have only received four days of access at two hours daily under supervision. With nothing organised from once he is taken by the foster home. We thought we had a strong case to present but our barrister only had 30 mins to read the papers before court. There was social services records used to bulser their case from 2001 and 2009 when my ex husband had made false allegations to social services as he suffers from paranoia and delusions when he goes off his meds. We had false reports made about us not cleaning while in USA for treatment as we were seen as evil for not believing in their christian God so they exaggerated everything. They called us liers when there were issues over regular nappies changes. We had changed him as needed but due to his treatment it was often one after another and we were accused of not having changed him when we had. This was used to get social services involved. Upon our return my mobile was not working reliably and though I had informed them of this I was treated as if this was a avoidance technique rather than simply an unfortunate issue. Dispite the mobile issue we had only missed one blood test since diagnosed in Oct 2017 and no appointments were missed. Dispite this we were listed as not engaging with services because they didn’t believe us. They then did a home check and didn’t like our collection of books and ornaments. They proceeded to list everything they didn’t like about our home such as cat trays fish tank used for aquatic plants instead of fish. The door in my son’s room was painted floorboards and room sized rug instead of carpet. We liked to keep our hall and stairs bare and painted. We felt it was better to keep everything easy to disinfect to protect our son from his compromised immune system. They turned up with police having already picked a foster carer and not yet even looked at the property or consulted his oncologist on his required home environment. No parent of cancer children have homes inspected before allowed to return home. We were told he was bring removed because they didn’t feel I could maintain the standard of clean I had achieved long term. Based solely on previous lies and prejudiced towards us as a result. We are now having to fight for him to be returned to us. We wish we had never engaged with any social worker so openly but instead just ticked all their boxes for them.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I am sorry you are feeling so bruised by the whole process and it certainly isn’t right that your barrister was given only 30 minutes to read the papers.

      However, I can see that there is an awful lot going on for you here and I can understand why the social workers and the courts would have been concerned. There is a lot of history – I note you say your ex made ‘false allegations’ in 2001 and 2009 – were those found to be false? I hope you now have a lawyer you can trust as I can see there is a lot to unpick here.

  95. Benjamin Lees

    PND is more common than many people realize with 10-15 women in every 100 being affected after having a baby. It can often go undiagnosed, as some women don’t recognize that they have PND even though they are feeling very low, or they choose to ignore their symptoms because they are worried that people will think badly of them.

  96. Kimberly

    I am a single parent with very little support in the area I have struggled with depression and anxiety for over 10 years and I have been through many traumatic things: molested by father,sexually assaulted by mothers ex, raped by a boyfriend, emotionally abused by my step dad was suicidal in middle school and high school watched my mom struggle and loose a battle with cancer, more emotional abuse from family, pregnancy with zero emotional support post partdom and more and haven’t ever been able to really get past any of it or manage with medication due to memory issues I’ve tried alarms and setting medication near something I use daily but despite my depression and anxiety I’ve managed to suppress any feelings or desires to self harm and recently I had a very very bad day with my depression and tried to strangle myself…my toddler witnessed it and stopped me he is very in tune with emotions and when someone is sad but otherwise has no real obvious signs of it affecting him he’s super smart friendly playful laughs and acts like his usual self I went to dhs the following business day and told them what happened and asked for help because I didn’t want it to happen again and didn’t want to leave my son without a mom and didn’t want to loose him had already made arrangements to get assessed for therapy and made an appointment with my primary doc and I am now on like a 10 day probation thing where I am not allowed to be alone with my son at home and I am terrified that they are gonna say I’m an unfit parent and take him from me the last time I attempted was over 5 years ago had thoughts of it but hadn’t attempted anything…since then we have lost both our family pets due to illness/old age I’ve been laid off and have struggled to find work due to my anxiety and asthma this one time I was just overwhelmed with anxiety and sadness and fear it’s not a daily occurrence on a norm I am able to control it and I am seeking help would they really take my son for just this one time I’d never hurt him and I always put him first he’s always fed clothed bathed and I kind of feel like I’m being punished for seeking help and loosing my son would be the worst thing to ever happen and considering everything I’ve already been through he’s the one good thing I’m doing my best to cooperate and do what I’m told but I’ve heard so many stories about cps I’m terrified my one mistake is gonna cost me my son.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I think from what you are saying you are based in the USA and this is a site about child protection laws in England and Wales. But I hope that the system works in a similar way in both countries so I can say something general that will still apply to you.

      you do sound very overwhelmed. You need to get whatever help and support you can. you tried to hurt yourself in front of your toddler and that is likely to have a really serious impact on him. That doesn’t mean you don’t love him or you couldn’t be a good parent with support, but it is reasonable to assume that he will suffer very serious emotional harm if he has to witness this repeatedly.

      I really hope that no one wants to punish you for something that is not your fault, that you didn’t chose. I know it may feel like they are. But I don’t think there is anything you can do that will be better for your son other than to ask for support, accept what is offered, work with any social workers or mental health professionals and try to show that you understand why they are worried.

  97. Angelo Granda

    A probationary period, support and monitoring with supervision does seem to be a proportionate response to the situation you have presented them with but problems will multiply and they may take more intrusive,less proportionate sanctions in the future if the Local Authority gives inadequate support and SETS YOU UP TO FAIL.
    Setting you up to fail would ijnclude the Authorities failing to provide the correct,effective medical treatment and ,in that respect,I am afraid,they are sadly lacking. A lot will depend on impartial assessments from the CS .By that I mean,they should report your positives as well as all the negatives.If the LA lacks integrity and is more concerned with saving expense ,they may bring pressure to bear on your assessors in order to ease the implementation of their own policy imperatives.It is easier for them and they have more control if your child is in care.Often budgetary considerations take priority over the humàn rights of children.
    I hope this does not happen in your case.The response so far is helpful ,let’s hope it continues in the same vein but you must insist on therapy or your mental health will only get worse.
    I am only an ordinary parent not a health professional but to be honest,I think you are out of control if you tried to self-harm in front of a toddler.What will that teach him and all your other distress too?
    I suggest you call a family conference and ask for family support before matters go too far.You need respite care .
    The Authorities will not supply it when it is required; as I said before,they prefer to go the whole hog sometimes.
    I suggest you contact the Family Rights Group who will put you in touch,hopefully,with an advocate experienced in mental health, childcare and the child -protection system.Then get the advocate to accompany to all meetings with the Local Authority in order to support you and put the brakes on them if they begin to run out of control.
    Hope this helps.

  98. Mary

    I overdosed trying to kill myself and am in the ER. I didn’t want to be forced into treatment somewhere or something so I just told them I was trying to get high. I have a 1 month old baby and an open CPS case for using heroin during the beginning of my pregnancy, but I had gone to rehab and everything before I had my baby. So after my hair follicle test came back clean, just a few days ago, my safety plan was lifted and I could take care of my baby 24/7 without any supervision again. The drug I overdosed on was not an illegal drug, but it was a prescription drug (with very low potential for abuse), one for which I did not have a prescription. When I starting to really OD, someone called 911. Because I had breastfed my baby a few times before the meds had really started to mess me up, when the ambulance came, they took me but also took her to a different hospital to make sure she was ok. I wake up in the hospital this morning with a notice of child removal due to ongoing drug use. I called the hospital they had taken her to, but thaey had already released her into CPS custody. If I’m honest with my caseworker and tell her that I was actually trying to kill myself (as opposed to just getting high), will I be able to have my child back? I’m no longer suicidal, seeing the reality of my poor baby getting taken away and knowing someone else would be taking her and everything. I want to be there for her. Ok, sorry for the horribly long backstory; I maybe could have just asked whether CPS would take my child due to my attempted suicide. And not sure this is the perfect forum for this question, but I can’t seem to find info on this anywhere. Any help would be appreciated. Please no mean replies about my addiction problem or anything though. I’ve heard way too much on that already :/ so please no judgment

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Dear Mary – I guess from what you are saying that you are in the USA – this is a site about English law so there may not be much to help you specifically. But I can make a general point that I think would apply with equal force to a parent in any country. Mental ill health is common. Lots of parents have some really serious conditions but can still be good parents. This is because they have accepted that they are ill and that they need help and support, sometimes they need this for the rest of their lives. Wanting to kill yourself is obviously a serious thing that will alarm a lot of people and it could mean that you put your baby also at really serious risk of harm. But I think lying about what happened has the potential to cause even more harm. I hope you have some people around you that you can trust and that you can be honest with them and ask for help. The best thing for your baby is to have her mum be well and able to look after her safely. Good luck.

  99. A.

    The examples here nearly all of them are aqeful and a direct risk to a child.

    But the way this is written is rediculous. Because even in serious situayions they write there woudnt be a danger that children are taken away.

    I amabsolutely sure if a social worker has decided to take a child fr which reason ever (that surely doesnt need to be a reason connected with the parent or the child or from that the child benefits instead of suffering) then she is takenthe child away as quickas she wants to. And that is suuuuuuuper easy.

    It is rediculous to say that for example a parent who has a minor mental hwalth issue but still is coping perfecty well is safe from this nightmare of course not !!!!

    How easy is it for a sociak worker just to write down million of words against the parent?

    Why do they write here “they cannot take the children away” “can not”?? Of course they can. They just write down the parent failed to do this or that… because of mental health . Nobody in this whole world cares if that is true or not. They can write it down and thats done. They can also write down liads more shite if they feel like it NOBODY cares if that is true or not.

    I knew a mum who was alcoholic PLUS mental ill and taking anti depression medication (but she did not take it. She should have taken…) she instead was drinking alcohol. She was literally throwing herbaby away which i cared for during that time.

    No social worker ever tool her child. also not after knowing she is drinking and depressiv. They knew there are serious mental heath ussues but they never ever in ife have taken the child and always lied that everything is positive.

    In another case the womam was fully healthy and zero alcohol and they took the child. And now they are trying again . they lie she is mental ill althoughshe is feeling wobderfuly (as long as they leave her alone with these horrible fase allegations).

    Therefore this page is so extreme rediculous.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      you are entitled to your opinion, however misinformed I think it is. This post has been the consistently most read post since this site began in 2014. So some people are finding it useful.

  100. A.

    The examples here nearly all of them are aweful and a direct risk to a child.

    But the way this is written is rediculous. Because even in serious situations they write there woudnt be a danger that children are taken away.

    I am absolutely sure if a social worker has decided to take a child for which reason ever (that surely doesnt need to be a reason connected with the parent or the child or from that the child benefits instead of suffering) then she is taking the child away as quickas she wants to. And that is suuuuuuuper easy.

    It is rediculous to say that for example a parent who has a minor mental health issue but still is coping perfecty well to care for children, is safe from this nightmare, of course not !!!!

    How easy is it for a social worker just to write down million of words against the parent?

    Why do they write here “they cannot take the children away” “can not”?? Of course they can. They just write down the parent failed to do this or that… because of mental health . Nobody in this whole world cares if that is true or not. They can write it down and thats done. They can also write down loads more shite if they feel like it. NOBODY cares if that is true or not.

    I knew a mum who was alcoholic PLUS mental ill and taking anti depression medication (but she did not take it. She should have taken…) She instead was drinking alcohol. She was literally throwing her baby away, which i cared for during that time.

    No social worker ever took her child. Also not after knowing she is drinking and depressiv. They knew there are serious mental health ussues but they never ever in life have taken the child and always lied that everything is positive.

    In another case the womam was fully healthy and zero alcohol and they took the child. And now they are trying again . They lie she is mental ill although she is feeling wonderfuly (as long as they leave her alone with these horrible false allegations).

    Therefore this page is so extreme rediculous.

  101. A.

    It is nearly FUNNY how they write : “They cannot win at court to take children awaywhen they say this and that… there would need to be this and that..” they cannt say only because of mental health we take the child. It shoud be that the parent faied to do this or that.

    Hahahahahaha ????

    Well what does socialwork to do then ? (And they do do it!) Well just saying and writing down the correct version !

    Of course they dont go to court and just say “she is mental ill thats why i take the child.” Hahaha

    Of course they write down all the other shit that is needed they know best how to write it . But i mean everyone knows what to write after reading this page (in case someone is so stupid that they couldnt imagine themselves what to write down in order to take the child).

    If they want they can also do an assessment where they cofirm the shite. NOBODY cares if that has anything to do with reality. It doesnt need to be true why shoud it ?

    When they decided to take the chidfor any other reason, then they will not care if they write down the truth but they of course will write down exacty this that is needed to take the child !

    Oh My god . So rediculous and obviously people out there who can honestly think this page is informative ?

  102. Angela

    I was training to be a Nurse when I split up with my ex and he used ‘mental health’ against me by teling social services falsehoods. Social services became involved and made it so that my abusive ex would have my children. Social services have now decided i have a personality disorder! And now wont leave me alone. Because of their involvement, i have had to give up my Nursing position and my life has gone down the hole since then. Suicidal thoughts? Now i do! Depression? Now i do! Because of social services giving me an ultimatum..give your children to the dad or we will issue care proceedings.

    Social services DO NOT need evidence and all a court needs is a bullshitted report by social services. Nothing more. A court will do anything social services says as they dont have a back bone.

    The fact i am well spoken, have a degree, was a Nurse – means nothing.

    I am 9 months pregnant and expect the SS to take my unborn child.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Then please, please, please engage with your lawyer and challenge what the local authority says if you don’t agree with it. The court can only make decisions on evidence and can only decide on the evidence before it. If you think that evidence is wrong or unreliable SAY SO and get help from your lawyer to do this.

  103. maz

    every situation is different, the same as each person, Yes there is still an excuse made with “mental health” sometimes for controll, fear, pay back. ill not go into what my child is going through, i know my own issues have been used to stop try to stop me from correcting a wrong, my Mental health was used, what wasnt thought about was the affect it was having on my child. but i do know despite this i have also had to ask the question whats this process doing to me thats affecting my child. Not everybody is the same, all i know that no matter what happens my children will always come first. I will always look for truth,correction and prevention but when it does not affect my childs life no matter what happens to mine in the process, i just know ill do what i can for them no matter how hard. because of a process ( started by professionals ) i now need social services, im not going to categories “social services”the same way “mental health” is.

  104. Mel

    I am 6 months pregnant with a disassociative disorder. Meaning that under INCREDIBLE stress I black out due to my brain not being able to process more trauma. I do not black out when I am with children (I was a nanny for 8 months while this diagnosis was shorted out and only found out about the blacking out after getting a new job not involving children), a sort of maternal override. All other times I am fine and live a semi normal life, though I am not able to hold a job due to this condition. I am being referred to a high risk hospital for this. I have many support systems and a fiancé who is very excited to be a father. Obviously in my mind I pose absolutely no threat to my baby but my condition is serious when it comes to giving birth and I cannot withhold that information for my benefit or I could be seriously injured during birth only. Is there a chance they will try to take my baby? Should I marry my fiancé before the baby comes to legally solidify our relationship?

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      You need to be honest and open about your condition and ask for help. If you are more likely to black out when stressed then I imagine it is going to be even more stressful if you are struggling to keep such a secret. If you have a loving partner and many support systems I do not think there should be a significant problem.

      But obviously you should only marry someone (or have a baby with them!) if you are confident that they are a kind and loyal person who will support you through all life’s ups and downs. Whether you are married or not will make very little difference to any legal status – he won’t automatically get parental responsibly unless his name is on the birth certificate but he is likely to still have Article 8 rights ECHR as biological father.

  105. Mandy

    Please help me. My baby has been put on child in need plan as I had intrusive thoughts after he was born .they did a section 47 and now he’s on the plan .is have always had anxiety and take medication .my partner has schizoaffective disorder but he’s stable and working .in the back of my mind I’m worring they will try and take him away because we are both labelled with mental health problems. Please help !

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      No one can give you proper help on line – you need to engage with and work with the people who are in your life now. If children’s services are worried about your child’s safety, they cannot take your child away without an order of the court or without the police – but the police can only take a child away for up to 72 hours and then it has to come to court. If it goes to court you will get a lawyer, for free. So I know its easy for me to say but please try not to worry. If the worst things happens, you will be given the opportunity to fight your case. The only advice I can give is to take a deep breath, keep talking to people, keep taking your medication.

  106. Angelo Granda

    Mandy, When your baby is on a child-in-need plan the general idea set out in procedures is that the CS and parents work together in the paramount interests of the child which is that families remain together.
    If you and your partner are willing to work with them that is good. The CS have a duty to work with you both and to offer as much support as they can with that legitimate aim in mind at all times . One of the first things they should do and i do hope they have is to inform you of your right to an independent advocate who will advise you,mediate with professionals and help you. If they haven’t organised this service for you yet,you should make immediate efforts to obtain your own advocate. Advocacy is felt to be essential by other parents to lessen any possibility of misunderstandings and to ensure good relations with professionals. Otherwise, proper procedures are often flouted and muddled communication can cause antagonism and failure.
    That is the best advice i can give you. Working together is essential, support and monitoring also necessary where mental conditions exist . The CS should not fail in their duty otherwise matters deteriorate and the baby will be failed.
    I suggest the following:-
    1.Go to see your GP AND HEALTH VISITOR ,tell them of your worries and get them on your side. Ask them to organise specialist advocacy for your family who will attend meetings with you and ask the Health visitor to attend meetings too. You need professional help and you need to show you understand the professional concerns and are keen to cooperate with professionals.
    2. Contact this charity who can help you.
    They can provide with advice sheets, a free helpline and a parents forum where you can discuss matters online with other parents in the same boat as you.If you live in London ,they may be able to provide advocacy at meetings for you.
    3. Arrange a family conference. Get all your relatives together and ask them for help and support . The CS can’t really take your baby away if one of them is willing to help you care for the baby perhaps even look after him or her for you in their own home.

    I agree with Sarah, try not to worry too much or you will get worse not better. Same goes for your partner, tell him just to concentrate on his breadwinning role and carry on going to work.Good luck for the future ,i hope my advice helps.

  107. Angelo Granda

    Mandy, I would like to add the following . Take it in.
    You have mentioned that you are both ‘labelled’ with mental health problems and you are,of course,worried and anxious for your baby.
    The best way to cure mental health problems and get the CS off your back is to be a HAPPY and settled family. Happiness will solve your problems and keep the authorities happy in their turn. It also cures anxiety and makes life,as a whole, much simpler.
    What makes a happy life and settled relationships with partners and all around you?
    Happiness means doing what you ‘have to do’ not what you ‘want to do’.
    Act with that in mind doing your duty to your family , as a whole, at all times.Your partner’s job is to work tirelessly to the best of his ability and bring home wages every month to feed and house the family ,no more no less. He is not working for himself but for his family and if he does that he will be happy and you will.
    Your job is to care for the baby to the best of your ability, to work tirelessly and keep your home as clean and tidy as you possibly can, and to cook good,wholesome meals every day for the family and keep their clothes clean and in a good state of repair etc. Those domestic tasks are your responsibility. You do them for the family not yourself.
    Both do what you ‘have to do’ and fulfill your responsibilities in the best way you can without complaining and you will all be happy. If either of you don’t do your duties and chores,choosing to follow your personal egos and preferences , it will only lead to arguments,disputes ,shame and misery.
    Hope this helps.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      If a child is believed to be suffering significant harm or is at risk of suffering significant harm then the LA has a statutory duty to make an application to the court for a care or supervision order and this may involve taking the child away from his parents. If the child is not suffering significant harm or at risk of it then the LA is not allowed to remove the child because it would not be possible for the court to make any order.

  108. Angelo Granda

    No,they should not do so.They decided on the cin plan so chose not to go for a good sign; they want to work together with you and offer help and support.
    However,even being put on a cin plan can be trying because of monthly meetings etc.
    You need an advocate to help you.

  109. mandy

    Angelo I know you can’t really say but from your opinion how long to u think the cin plan will go on for??as they are saying it’s because he is so young that’s why they have done it?obviously if our mental health remains stable how long do u think it could go on for ?
    Also I am worrying that when I get the new social worker she could feel different and want to put him on child protection instead of cin?would that happen?or does the new sw have to go by what the other has said,which is a cin plan

  110. Angelo Granda

    Mandy, You really must try and contact an independent advocacy service like the FRG for which there is a link above. Also see your GP and health visitor who might be able to help you find an independent advocate locally who knows something about mental health in particular.
    You can explain your case to them in detail,show them any documents or letters you have .
    We can’t really advise on here; the CPR is set up to discuss reforms and so on in general. We could advise you wrongly. Try and take an advocate to the next meeting if you can to mediate .
    In answer to your question about CIN plans,from what i have seen they can last a long time and can be quite distressing but you should be thankful you have been put on one rather than taken to Court . You have a chance to show you can work with the CS. Lots can go wrong and most of it can be caused by the lack of mediation hence the need for an advocate to mediate with professionals who are sometimes arrogant ,oppressive and authoritarian. That is not to say they will be, they can be very helpful and supportive. Try asking to be put in touch with a MEDICAL social worker; they are very helpful and understand problems such as yours better than ordinary SW’s. Don’t forget the forum on the FRG either where others on a CIN plan can give you tips and share their experiences with you. There are all sorts of reasons ,in my experience of the FRG forums why CIN plans can last a long time. For example, nerves and stress of the meetings may cause parents to adopt a defensive attitude ( often with good cause) and the CS are very risk adverse and will play it safe if they feel the need. Another one which i found out from talking to a SW is that they tend to be very busy with an overload of cases. They may have 30 individual cases on their list.Thus they prefer to keep cases they have well under control on their books.
    Good mediation between parents and SW’s is the key to me.
    Good Luck!

    1. mandy

      Thanks for the comment.when you say I should be thankful it’s a cin plan and not been taken to court…what makes you say that?would someone with my issues usually be taken to court?

      1. Angelo Granda

        Mandy,please remember i am just a parent like you trying to help. The last thing you should do is worry yourself sick about what MIGHT HAPPEN , or your mental health will get worse not better.
        I am afraid to say that where child-protection is concerned
        there is a post-code lottery. In some areas when a s47 inquiry is launched, and the CS have evidence a baby is at any ‘risk’ of significant harm ,they apply to Court for a care-order. In other areas, they are more interested in following working together frameworks and will put support plans in place as they have in your case. That is why i said you are lucky. You need help, they are offering help. Plus get independent help and back-up from family.
        Don’t hesitate about asking for help. Every new mum needs advice about baby-care. The more help you have and the more support you have with you when they come visiting or when you go to meetings, the more likely it is that their concerns will disappear and you will be taken off the cin plan. Think more positively.

  111. mandy

    Angel of thanks for the advice.yes they have arranged a family conference which will happen soon. But I am stable and so is my partner so why do I have to do a fgc?is it about choosing a family member to care for my babyou? As I am really NOT struggling and the house is clean and baby is very healthy etc. .?and yes the health visitor is totally on my side as is my mental health worker,none of them agree with the cin plan….
    I ask again,is it possible for the new sw to want him on a child protection plan instead of cin?or does she go by the reccomendation of the previous sw who did the assessment and cin plan?
    Also she wrote in the assessment for on going assessment and monitoring. ..does this mean they will do a new assesmentopic, like questions again etc…?

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I assume they have arranged a Family Group Conference to be clear about who your family support is and for having a back up plan in case you or your partner get unwell in the future. This seems to me a sensible idea – it could stop a problem turning into a crisis.

  112. mandy

    Thank you for your advice.she put in the assessment for ‘on going assessment and monitoring ‘.does this mean they will be doing a new assesement,witch questions etc…?
    Also(obviously if nothing major happens) is it possible for the new sw to put him on a child protection plan instead of a cin plan if she doesn’t agree with the other sw?or does she go by the reccomendation of the previous sw??

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      It sounds as if you are getting very anxious and possibly over thinking this – which isn’t a criticism, I am sure it is very difficult and stressful to have to deal with this. But at the moment things seem to be going ok, focus on getting a support plan in place and hopefully things will carry on going smoothly with your health etc.

  113. Angelo Granda

    Mandy, we understand you are worried,stressed and naturally defensive and protective of the baby but this is one of the things which they don’t appreciate fully and can cause rancour.
    Just perhaps you will show an element of impatience and/or disagreement with their assessments or the NEED for a FGC .All these form a part of the working together frameworks and you should make the best of it.Or just perhaps your partner might show impatience and raise his voice in disagreement or get angry .None of that goes down well.
    Always remember that neither the current SW or any new one decides.The management have their general policies and hand out all the instructions.They can change the plan from cin to a protection plan any time they want and they also pass round their ‘information’ and ‘advice’,instructions etc. to all the other professionals too.Indeed it is they who often ‘support ‘ the SW’s and write their reports and assessments for them.
    This is why an advocate can be a great help to explain to you the process,get your views and mediate.For example why family conferences and family support networks are so important not only for you and your baby but for EVERY MOTHER AND CHILDREN throughout life. For all you know,it may have been the lack of family support which caused your problems when the baby was born.One tends not to worry so much when mum,sisters,aunts and the rest are behind you.
    Remember,the CS are there to help you .If you need any help ASK them for it and they may oblige .If there is a family centre,go one or two mornings a week and make friends there,ask for advice from the nice lady there and let her see how clean and well the baby is,how steady and reliable you are etc.
    If you want to know what can go wrong and what could happen,how the CS can suddenly change,go on the FRG .
    I agree with Sarah,don’t worry so much ,things seem to be going well but guard yourself.Get as much independent support as you can.I’m glad the HV is on board.They are very influential.

  114. Mandy

    Hi Angelo I have taken on your advice.but I don’t understand why the new sw would suddenly want to change it from a cin to child protection ?surely that was the whole point of the assessment and she has to go by what the other one has said.?unless obviously something happens along the way.?also I don’t know what you mean by the cs can suddenly change,,,?

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Mandy I really think your time would be better spent trying to focus on what is happening on the ground, rather than continuing to try and unpick this on line. No one an give you anything other than very general advice and comments as we don’t know your case. Is there anyone in real life you could talk to who could reassure you? If the social workers want to make any drastic change to their plans – such as wanting to remove your child – they will HAVE to take it to court and you will get a lawyer. So please try not to worry too much – I know its easy for me to say, this isn’t my child. But I am worried that you seem very anxious and I don’t think this is helping.

  115. Mandy

    I don’t understand why the new sw would suddenly want to change it from a cin to child protection ?if everything stays the same of course why would they do that?surely that was the whole point of the assessment and she should go by what the other has said?also what do you mean that cs can suddenly change ?

  116. Mandy

    I don’t understand why the new sw would suddenly want to change it from a cin to child protection and what do you mean that cs can suddenly change ?

  117. Mandy

    I don’t understand why the new sw would suddenly want to change it from a cin to child protection and what do you mean that cs can suddenly change ?

  118. Mandy

    I mean surely that was the whole point of the assessment and the new sw would go by what the other says,unless something new happens ?

  119. Angelo Granda

    Take my word for it ,Mandy.I have advised you to contact the FRG for advice because we don’t know all the details.However, you may have noticed that when you have been visited by the SW ,she always has a notebook with her and she will be writing down everything she sees and everything you say. She is collecting evidence and no matter how sympathetic she may seem to you and no matter how friendly and supportive she may be , no matter how good a Mum she thinks you are and no matter how well she thinks you are caring for the baby, The MANAGER calls the shots. The LA management is more interested in saving money than your child and often choose to overrule the SW. Countless SW’s have resigned from the CS because of it and many more are contemplating leaving the service.
    The fact that you admitted to problems when the baby was born was enough for someone to refer you to the CS and they are ultra,ultra cautious, to say the least. Any evidence they collect in their notebooks can be used against you. So if you or your partner dare to express any disagreement with them or get impatient or angry, they CAN TURN against you and decide the baby is at risk of harm.Then they will change the plan .
    Should the SW disagree with management , he or she will be replaced by another .
    Therefore get independent ,professional support as i have already suggested. Health visitor, GP, go to hospital and request a MEDICAL social worker, go to the Family centre, get an advocate experienced in mental health and child-protection , collect your family about you and enlist their support .
    If you don’t you will leave yourself vulnerable to all the things you are worried about. The last thing to do is underestimate matters because it can be claimed you are unable to understand concerns because you are incapacitated.Have you seen your Mum? If not,contact her immediately.
    I should not really be advising you on this resource. Please visit the FRG. My advice was intended to warn you but it seems to have caused you more worry. You are on a cin plan and that is quite proportionate to the referral the CS received. Don’t worry, co-operate and work with them but at the same time get INDEPENDENT help and support too! Then it cannot be said you don’t accept the need for support and you are unable to work with professionals.

  120. Mandy

    I understand what your saying and no I wouldn’t come across anxious or be argumentative with them.i am working with them and show that I’m confident as my role as a mother and do you still think the new sw could go against what the previous have said,which is have a cin plan?surely they can not change to child protection if there are no further concerns

  121. Mandy

    Also I don’t really agree with what your saying that the LA are more Interested in saving money than the child ,because if that was the case they wouldn’t of proceeded to do a cin plan and not just close the case,as it clearly states in my assessment there are no concerns

  122. Angelo Granda

    Yes, Mandy, you’re absolutely right! I am wrong. There is no reason why they should change the cin plan .
    Luckily in your area they have not put saving money before the baby and they will probably stick to the original assessment. Keep up the good work and the very best of luck to you and your family in the future. I am sure everything will be okay if there are no concerns and hopefully, they will take you off the plan soon and you can get back to normal. Don’t worry so much.

      1. Angelo Granda

        I am not being sarcastic,honestly,Mandy. I understand what you say. There is no reason why they should suddenly change if there are no concerns.You already worked that one out for yourself. You were asking whether they could change the plan to protection because you were worried they might do. I said they could indeed and would if management wished to. pointed out that ,in some areas, they are more interested in saving money but you then disagreed saying that if saving money was more important in your area they wouldn’t have instigated the cin plan in the first place.
        I agree with you, you are clearly in one of the better areas. I was wrong! So don’t worry so much but remember,if you will to involve the independent professionals i suggested as well as your own family.
        Just one example of the fairness of your local LA is that they are arranging the FGC. In many towns they don’t bother.You are quite right that they could have just closed the case and not bothered with a cin plan ,working with you etc. In that respect, many departments do close the case without offering any support then matters simply deteriorate, issues get worse and months down the line,they are called in again.

  123. mandy

    Ok thanks then.I just still don’t get why the management would possibly want to change the
    Cin plan to protection if no other concerns arise .is child protection plan cheaper then cin plan or something? All of this is worrying me so much ?

  124. Angelo Granda

    Stop worrying about possibly being upgraded to a protection plan is my advice.As Sarah says,don’t overthink it.
    What you should do is concentrate on why and how you have been put on a child- in-need plan. You reckon the SW has no issues with the baby’s care nor do your GP,health visitor or you yourself. Thus why is your child in need?
    Have you or your partner ever been involved with Children’s Services before even if only as minors?
    Did you attend a child-protection conference ? What issues were discussed ?

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      children can be ‘in need’ even when their parents are doing everything they can. Some disabilities for example make a child especially vulnerable and require specialist help and intervention. It is supposed to be a helpful and supportive thing, not send parents spiralling into more anxiety and worry. Mandy, please stop unpicking your real life on here. It isn’t going to help you, I strongly suspect its going to make you feel worse. We can’t help other than make general comments which are clearly causing you even more worry. Talk to the social workers. If you don’t understand what they are trying to do, ask them to explain.

  125. mandy

    Thanks.and angelo this is my point, that the baby is 100 percent healthy and thriving amd does not meet the criteria for cin. Bit they cant answer how is he a cin .there answer is because he is so young they want to monitor. .

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      The place you need to be raising these concerns is not here. This is actually happening in your life now and I think you need to speak to people in real life and explain you are worried and try and get some clearer picture of what is happening. Otherwise you are likely to get so worried that this does cause problems when there should not be any.

  126. mandy

    Also the reason I am worrying is because you said they can change it to a child protection plan for no reason

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      They can’t. Or they should not! That’s a big step up and should only happen with good reason behind it and some real concerns about child’s safety.

        1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

          Good luck Mandy. I really do hope you can look back on all this soon as just a bad memory.

          1. mandy

            Thank you and so do I. I just pray it doesn’t get worse that they change there minds for no reason …

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Nobody here can give you those reassurances. Seriously Mandy I don’t think this is helping you. you need to speak to the people in real life who are dealing with this.

  127. Would like remain anonymous

    I have a serious question that is concerning and was looking around when I found this information. I want to make it clear I wish my sister no harm or ill-will or heartache. My sister had skitzophrenia fully medicated the best that she will ever be and she does go to appointments and does keep up with health her illness which I’m proud of her for she’s trying to better herself .My concern is she became pregnant while living in a halfway house ,she served prison time and it was her mental health issues that really landed her there. She still talks to herself and has fits of crying and hitting herself and becomes very angry over loud noises or to many people around. She does live with my mother who has RA and other health issues a reason I never let my son stay over anymore cause I feel my mother wouldn’tbe able to protect herself let alone my heart (son). She has had moments in the past and present that really have me concerned about her capabilities of caring for my soon to be niece. Many red flags example 1. She has food agression from prison my son and I were visiting the other day he ate her last poptart his grandmother and I okayed it she saw this and started snapping out i asked her to calm down she was scaring my son .well that infuriated her she stepped forward to me yelling , I took my son out of that situation immediately. The issue was later talked about after I took my son and left . Example 2. She has yelled at my son for playing and giggling yes it was loud but we were at grandma’s having fun I corrected her by saying he is ok children do this and left with my son again immediately so no problems arouse. Example 3.before prison she lived with my parents this was probably 5 years ago she had an episode where she killed my parents cat and tried to cover it up. My father tried to have her arrested but animal laws weren’t enforced by the cops at least that’s what they said he actually had to convince them to have her put in a hospital for a 72 hour watch cause he was scared and upset. They did she was released she is very good for short periods hiding her health issues until something sets her off. Example 4 . She has had horrible drug problems in the past, unhealthy toxic relationships, very selfish erratic behavior ,suicide attempts . Very serious things that are heartbreaking and very traumatic for our family. I’ve been really unhappy with my mother lately she keeps saying she doesn’t want to be invasive or overstepping cause it is her baby when they visit the ob/gyno. But refuses to tell the ob/gyno she’s smoking cigarettes ,dying her hair,eating lunch meats among other foods your dr says to avoid while pregnant. I really feel after she has this beautiful baby with stress and post partum she will have an episode and worry for my nieces safety and my mothers. My mother isnt sure how she will do with her baby and will never give my sister the advice, details or information of how hard,stressful ,raw and ugly after birth can be she only tells her the good things like cuddling and holding your baby is so precious, or funny thing my son did when he was tiny. My sister seems to be delusional like it’ll be just perfect and she will have someone love her ,I so desperately feel bad for this situation babys need love they dont give love at the baby diaper stage they are so fragile and starting out their life and dependent on care and love .I feel I can’t rely on my mother to do what might be necessary to protect this baby which is upsetting and stressful so I feel I need to. Should I see a lawyer just in case so I can leagally get my niece safely if anything should happen ? I rather have the baby safe so nothing will happen but like I’m reminded the bundle of joy is her soon to be daughter and i shouldn’t push for my sister to answer legitimate questions like do you think ababy crying is aggravating ?or do you feel ready?or what will you do if your exhausted and stressed? Or the simplest who is the father She doesn’t know who the father is between two rather shady gentlemen but neither has expressed any want or will to see how she is or the baby is doing and most likely wont put anyone down in the father part of the
    Birth certificate and they have pretty much avoided her at all costs . What rights do I have to ensure my niece will be taken care of ?like she deserves. Sorry For ranting I’m very very worried and dont want my sister to regret doing something hurtful or have my niece in an unstable situation. My sister loves the baby already and is kind and caring but she has episodes here and there and I’ve seen and heard things from that seem very concerning just popping left and right out of her mouth since shes moved back home. Either she forgets her medication or even on the medication she has issues with hitting herself, hysterically crying, aggressive out bursts. Help I’m kinda lost on where to start. I want to make it clear I dont want to be put in this position and would love for her to enjoy motherhood in all its wackiness, loving moments I just dont see her as a stable caregiver it really breaks my heart but this baby desperately deserves stability, care,love and a safe environment to be a crying,playful baby.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I am not sure what country you live in but i am guessing somewhere in the USA? If so I can’t give you much sensible advice as this is a site about English law only. However, I shall assume that the USA and England are similar in that concerns about children suffering really serious harm are dealt with by the state, not by private individuals and family members. If you are in England I would suggest that you contact your local children’s services team which will be run by your local authority/council. They can do assessments and offer support. I would have hoped that her midwife has already referred her if there are concerns. The aim will be to keep mother and baby together unless its too dangerous to do so and family support can be really important.

  128. Jane

    My partner is being told by sw that he has to be separated ad he has bpd depression and anxiety found by psychology report he us now medicated and ref feral for autism made also allegations have been on file for 7 years none that is based as all no action taken no evidence and we had lost a twin and now he is being separated from me n the other twin and we are finishing patenting assessment in 2 weeks they want me under asdessert on my own for 2weeks then if I fail it’s a ico but we want to be together as a family any help

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      You will get non means and non merits tested legal aid to get a lawyer when care proceedings are issued, please get a lawyer.

  129. Pingback: Child Protection Resource: 2019 The Year in Review | Child Protection Resource

  130. Rita Maskill

    Hi recently my 2 grandchildren were up for legal adoption they were put into care in april 2018 because my son and his wife split for quite a while my sons ex wife wouldnt let my son see his kids she apparently told them he was dead then social services took them into care because my daughterinlaw allowed another man to move in with her and the kids ,and her new partner abused my sons daughter there was a few court appearances and the social workers applied to the court for the children to be legally adopted in all this time my son had fortnightly visits with his kids my son tried to fight this has he had never done anything wrong they said he was a good father but he had turned to alcohol since his his ex wife and her partner did that to his kids he even slept on the streets for 2 months just so he was near his kids he was then into a new relationship who his girlfriend abused him giving him bruises and cuts he left her and obtained a 1 bedrooms flat but the social workers said because he wasn’t in a position to take care of his children they would be put up for adoption this has totaly destroyed my son he has been diagnosed with addictive personality disorder and drinks he can’t cope with all what has happened and now is very depressed and be can’t believe they are takeing his kids when he has done nothing but love them he feels has been punished for loving his kids since they stopped him having contact he is suicidal and as I am their grandmother but in ill health they never gave me a chance to have my say or allowed me visits while they were in care I also feel me as a grandmother and my son were never considered or allowed to give us the chance to live together and look after the children together is there anything we can do or stop the adoption or is there anywhere or anyone who can advise us

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I am really sorry to hear this but it sounds as if your son has been fighting a lot of demons recently and I can see why the court did not think he would be able to look after the children. He is allowed to argue that an adoption order shouldn’t be made but it is hard to succeed – he would have to show that his circumstances had changed for the better and it was in the children’s best interests not to be adopted. If he wants to challenge the making of an adoption order, he will need to get urgent legal advice. I would try local firms of solicitors who specialise in family law to find out how much they would cost for an initial discussion or to find out if he qualifies for legal aid.

  131. MIssy

    My son and daughter in law took their twins to the doctor at 4 weeks old due to a clicking sound in the little girls shoulder. The shoulder was fine but they found tiny fractures on her back lower ribs. Long story short, lots of testing, no other physical signs on either twin of abuse on their skin, eyes or ct of the brain. Daugher in law was experiencing some post partum OCD sysmptoms at this time. She has a history of it from her prior births and is also manic depressive so we watch her carefully. The babies were taken from their care along with the other two older children. Court is shut down and she is currently experienceing severe depression, OCD and in a manic episode, Her phyciatrist is working with her meds but she is afraid to take to anyone outside of the family for fear that CPS will use it against her. Her mother currently is fostering the twins after they excluded my husband and myself because we were around in the first month and her mother was not. She is not fond of her mother, has a terrible childhood and can not tell anyone this because her mother has care of the babies. Can she talk to a psychologist for help or will they have to turn in all the records,

    1. MIssy

      the abuse is unfounded and diagnosed by a child abuse doctor who only looked at 1 xray, and did not take in consideration family history of gene mutations causing joint and bone issues.

    2. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I assume from your reference to the CPS you are in the USA? I am an English lawyer and I don’t know anything about the American system but I shall assume it works on similar lines to here. The courts in England would request an expert report from a psychologist or psychiatrist; she would be interviewed and her medical notes reviewed. The court would need to know if her mental health condition could be treated or stabilised and what impact it would have on her parenting. She has to be honest. She has to talk about her experiences as openly as she can, or it is more likely that any treatment will fail and her chances of caring for any of her children will be greatly reduced. I am sorry, I know it must be very stressful and frightening. But I honestly do not think it is possible to hide these things or present a false front. The truth will come out and you will do more harm if you are seen to have tried to hide it.

  132. Helen Grieves

    The big problem is that Social Workers are happy to diagnose Mental Health issues with no basis. For a variety of issues (mental health, drugs, friends) my son became incredibly violent at 14, a total change of personality. Because I cried a in few meetings I was ‘diagnosed’ as having mental health issues by the Social Worker.
    They then used this to avoid giving us any support even saying my mental health was such that I’d taken to leaving the house when he was violent, rather then dealing with the fact that I left the house when threatened with a knife.

    I’m still working through a complaints procedure where I have asked what I should do if threatened with a knife in future but apparently it is very difficult to advise.

    But the label of having mental health issues remain but I have never been offered any support

    Interested they came back and did another assessment when after living in a violent situation for a year and watching my son self distruct, my mental health had declined and I was suicidal and self harming I was described as a great mum dealing with a difficult scenario. No mention of mental health issues.

    Social workers seem to play the mental health card to justify any opinion they want and as they don’t have to provide any evidence for thief decisions or even record notes for meeting they attend the system is unsafe.

    I was shocked when I discovered our local councils policy is that Social Workers do not have to record meetings even ones where the parents, school and police are in attendance and can just add comments to the final assessment, recording things said totally out of context or incorrectly.

    1. Beeeeeeeeeee

      I agree 100%, Helen.
      This is exactly my experience – and they treat Oxbridge graduates with multiple post-graduate degrees like dirt and are so patroising it is unbelievable.

  133. Judith Reyes

    I was admitted to the hospital for suicidal thoughts because my husband passed away, I volunteered to be admitted to a mental health facility but the place was very scary gave me a different perspective and I never want to leave my daughter again, I checked out after one day through ama (against medical advise) discharge because that’s what the lady told me to request if I want to leave I left because my daughter was not eating, sad and asking for me and I know i didn’t have to be institutionilzed to get learn how to cope but my physiciatrist had to approve it first ,he accepted with a family session to make sure I have the proper support and safety plan before discharging me. I also have appointments for counseling for my daughter and me. Will CPS come for my daughter because of my admission?

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I think such a MH crisis is something that will certainly need to be assessed/invesigated but it should never mean an automatic removal of any child. The issues is not whether or not you were unwell, but how you are coping with it now, what support are you getting etc etc.

  134. Patricia

    Please could someone advise me what I should do. My daughter recently had some kind of mental health problem which resulted in her leaving my grandson at home at 4am in the morning to drive to a cash machine to check her account as she belieived her identity/bank was being stolen/cloned. She entered her pin wrongly twice which made her panic more. She went to drive back home and started panicking about leaving my grandson on his own and crashed the car. She told the emergency services/police that her son was on his own and they arranged for his Dad to go get him. She was breathylised and taken to hospital. Whilst in hospital they wanted to take a blood test but the nurse couldn’t get any blood out of her despite trying numerous times in numerous places. The police wanted to take blood from the cannular but the nurse said they couldn’t use that for an accurate blood test. The nurse took a urine sample as my daughter needed xrays so they had to check if she was pregnant, the nurse and my daughter offered the sample to the police. They insisted they needed blood and tried again to use the blood from the cannular. When they were told once again that they couldn’t they said to my daughter “so you’re refusing to give a sample” My daughter insisted that the nurse wrote down that she hadn’t refused. The breath test at crash site was negative but as she has a previous drug use history they wanted to test for drugs. The officers left and she wasn’t arrested and they haven’t been back in touch. The social services have said that the police now say that she tested positive from a swab taken at crash site. Although no other sample was taken at hospital. My daughter says she cannot remember them doing any swab but remembers the breat test. She is adamant that it wasn’t drugs and the social worker agrees that it seems that the police have assumed drugs due to her history. They won’t let her have her son back until this is cleared up and until she has a mental health assessment. I understand all of this and until it is all clarified I have offered to stay with her and my grandson 24/7 if he’s allowed to come home to her. He won’t do that at the moment until he knows what we’re dealing with so he can advise me what to watch out for and I get that so he’s staying with his Dad at the moment. I have now found out that his Dad is a drug dealer. He doesn’t have a job as his income from drug dealing affords him a very comfortable life. If you didn’t know you wouldn’t be able to tell as he comes across as very charming and in control. I know my Grandson is in no physical danger from him and he’s not a bad Dad but he hasn’t ever been very hands on and has him very infrequently. He has never had him overnight before.
    His new GF has just had a baby and so he’s not dealing from the house at the moment apparently. I am terrified that if I tell social services this information that they will take him off all of us and he could go into care. I know this seems like a no brainer and that I should tell them but what if it all goes wrong. I want to be honest but couldn’t live with myself if he had to go to total strangers. Does anyone know how it works if neither parent is deemed to be ok to have him in the short term. Does he automatically then go to a Grandparent?

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      He wouldn’t automatically go to a grandparent, they would have to be assessed. If you are ready and willing to offer him a home then I think you need to make sure the social worker knows this and carries out a ‘viability’ assessment – this is a quick assessment to either rule you in or out. If its positive, it should progress to a more in-depth assessment. If you are worried about your grandson’s well being with his father, you must tell someone as otherwise you risk being found not able to protect him if it comes out later on that you knew and did nothing. However, it doesn’t sound as though you have fears that something seriously bad will happen to him, just that is dad is inexperienced. The drug dealing is a worry as it means that his father could get involved in the criminal justice system or could have dealings with some dangerous people. All that puts your grandson at risk of harm.

      i know its really hard as you don’t know how the information will be used and it might mean that your grandson gets looked after outside the family. But the key here is his safety and well being. So I think you have to be open and honest about all your fears and ask to be assessed. I don’t know what will happen in the future. but i think secrets and lies about all of these things do come back to haunt you in the end.

  135. Natalie Richards

    Hi I just thought I would come on here for a bit of advice and support. I was in foster care at a young age my mother basically left me on the streets most days to fend for myself, I got sexually abused my my next door neighbour, starved and mentally abused my my step dad. I finally got placed into full time foster care at the age of 9. I had my first child at 17 and I still had social services involved for a short while. I met my second child’s dad and we had a baby together, he was mentally abusive in our 7 year relationship i found out he was messaging over 30 girls on Facebook I tried to make it work for 6 months but I just couldn’t do it anymore so ended it. A few months later he was begging me back but I ended up meeting someone else, it was his childhood friend (I know I should of never done it but things happen). For the past 6 years my child’s father has done nothing but ring social services on me and basically said that I’m not a good mother. I’m very aggressive I’m not going to lie, I get very defensive and push people away apparently this stems from my childhood experiences. I do suffer from depression and anxiety but social services and other professionals think it’s more than that but I have not been diagnosed with anything other than depression/anxiety. In March of this year My children were taken away from me. I can’t really say much more than this because I’m at court in December. But I will say this, I have this absolutely vile social worker who does nothing but tell lies twist and manipulate everything. I’ve had around 6/7 social workers in my life and they’ve all helped me but this one seems to be happy my children are with there dad. I’ve just had to self refer to talking therapy because apparently I need it. I honestly don’t want to bring things up that happened in my childhood I don’t think I can deal with it, it’s been kept inside for so long and I really don’t feel like mentioning now will do any good. I just really would like someone to talk to right now as I just don’t know what to do or say when it comes to court. I feel like I’m fighting the world and I’m going to loose ? there is so many negative things against me that aren’t true but because I’ve been very aggressive and challenged things that have been said they think I’m a liar! I just deal with things a lot differently to other people.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I am sorry to hear this, it sounds like you have a lot on your plate and it must be really stressful. It is very hard when you feel the social worker is against you or not helping. could the local authority put you in touch with any local groups that you could speak to? Have you contacted Mothers Apart from their Children?
      Just having someone to talk to who gives you a sympathetic ear, can make such a big difference. You need to be emotionally strong for the court hearing coming up.

  136. Cat

    Hello I was diagnosed with Dissociative identity disorder when I was 13 years old and was not told as I was in care and I had a baby at 22 years old and was told she would not be taken off me but when she was 7 months old she was because of my mental health that I did not know I had and my family did not help it was like from the start as soon as I announced my pregnancy my mum took control of everything and after my baby was born my mum and grandparents did as I had to live with them because soushal serves and the soushal worker I had at the time did not help either in me getting somewhere better to live I am still in my old probably that is shared accommodation and no children allowed I tryed so hard to get a place but it did not work as I had no help and so i had to go live with my grandparents i did not even get to nest or anything my family made me out to be a bad mum even as i had mental health problems but did not know so they always made it kick off i did not k ow what i was doing and they was ment to teach me how to do stuff but instead they took over and wanted my little girl for them self as they admitted to me when they got together they wanted a baby my nan has been married 3 times so it is not easy and I felt like I was just a surrogate to my own daughter they always wanted me out the house and I was not allowed to be left alone with my daughter even now I am not as her dad has full custody but after my daughter was taken I was told that I had dissociative identity disorder and suffered since I was 13 years old that explained my behave and the soushal workers did not want me to have my daughter they thought that my grandparents could do a better job then me even as they are so stricke we went to court and they said it is for my daughters best interest that I leve with out her a d is killed me so much as I had to leve soon as i got out of court the final court hearing my daughter was put in her dads care and i am trying so hard to get my self sorted to get her back but feel like it is not good enough and that i will never get her back so i k ow were you are scared to have your children taken from you because i had it done to me and so did my mum due to mental health I am so scared incase all the work I am doing to get myself stable will not be enough to get my 2 year old daughter home and it kills so much her dad I have always loved and still do were best friends but it does not help when he has is ex girlfriend around my daughter even as she got her children taken off her and he still has her around my daughter when they was together and even now I only get 3 hours a week with my little girl and all this because of my MENTAL HEALTH AND THAT NO ONE BELEVED I COULD RAISE MY DOUGHTER I AM SO SCARED TO TRY TO GET HER BACK BECAUSE IF I GO THROUGH IT ALL AGAIN ANF DRAG HER DAD IN TO IT AGAIN AND I DONT GET HER BACK IT WILL KILL EVEN MORE

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I am sorry to hear this, it is such a hard and difficult thing to do. I hope you have some good support in real life.

    2. Cat

      All I have in serport is my yourhclub for people with disabilities no family to help me as they dont want to know me and my daughters dad when he is around his ex he changes so much towards me so I dont really have no one to help me apart from my touthclub and they are doing there best to help but that’s not just it I am struggling to get a decent place to live and ever place I look at is gone by the time I get payed and I only want me daughter back with me were I know she will be safe as I have not let a man come between me and my daughter unlike her dad when is ex is around she just want to go to his room and that’s not right I feel like a shote mum but I know I can take care of my daughter but no one believes I can

  137. Beeee

    Social workers cause more depression than they prevent.
    Currently have Social Care investigating an accident involving my daughter’s child and they have taken him away from her – depite overwhelming evidence it was an accident. Their accusation that one doctor said it wasn’t has shown itself to be a lie (they took 6 weeks to produce his email which does NOT state he thought it was deliberate) but now it is in court, it apparently has to go ahead.

    And today a Health visitor friend reported to me the suicide of a father – a previous drug addict – but clear for 10 years – with the note saying it was so Social Care would stop harrassing his wife and she could have her life back.

  138. Erin Page

    I just found this when looking for information online. I’m hoping you can help. I was forced to go into hospital yesterday for self harm, due to the severity of the injuries. I couldn’t treat them myself at home. I really didn’t want to go in because I was fearful that my children would be taken away, but at the same time I was terrified that I would end up dead and leave my children motherless anyway.

    I was treated and seen by a mental health team. No mention of social services etc. Should I be expecting them at my doorstep soon? Will the hospital automatically inform them?

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I think the hospital may have no choice to make a referral, if it is aware that you have the care of young children. But I hope the LA would offer support, not simply consider taking your children away.

  139. Lottie Louise

    I’m currently going through the mental health. So my sw has no concerns with me but my partner. He has mental health, I have a son he’s 6 and expecting our baby in 5 days. In the past 14 month my partner has had two break downs and told me he’s suicidal but wants help and hate feeling like it. He’s getting the help he needs he rang loads of people, talking changes doctors, humankind, harbour and been asked to be referred to the access team for further testing. He’s a good man he works full time and supports out family. But the sw says he’s a threat when she’s never listened or helped in a way that I feel was beneficial. She’s cancelled on me multiple times. Haven’t had the support. And now she says my son has to stay with his dad I’m not allowed to pick him up from school he’s not allowed no contact with my partner. When I have the baby my partner is allowed on hospital but when I’m discharged me and my partner are not allowed to live together and she said she has to do a risk assessment before hes allowed contact. I’m worried for him, we just want to be a family and stay together. The school have said they have no concerns with my son as he’s excelling very well and such a happy little boy. We have a loving family yes we not perfect but everyone had some sort of depression. I haven’t eaten or slept in 3 days I’m worried about my baby and now my mental health.

    Please what should I do. I think I’m going to seek legal advice and contact my MP. As the grounds she’s splitting the family up is not right. The baby won’t bond woth her dad or her brother and I’m so worried about my son.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Unless these proposals are approved by a court, then you do not have to comply with them. But if you refuse, then the local authority may make an application to court. It might be better to have this issue before a court so that a Judge has oversight over what is going on, but of course that is a lot of additional stress. No application for a care/supervision order can be made until the baby is born.

      I appreciate its really stressful but is a compromise to get through the risk assessment and then see where you are? If your partner is getting all the help and support he needs then I hope the risk would be assessed as low or manageable.

      But if you aren’t happy with the risk assessment process or it ends up recommending your partner can’t have contact, then the local authority can’t enforce any of this without going to court and getting an order.

  140. Lisa ward

    Hello in 2019 I left my son with the father he lied about me and social services took his word even though my son who is scared and distress with pictures of recording with recent activity I have been to court it’s slowly progress to more and more contact with my son I have to wait for the next court in January but social services said I have to remain Supervised until if the judge approves it unsupervised but I feel now I’m am pregnant again by my own as my ex boyfriend don’t want to be involved with me as he not ready will social services take my baby away from me because at the moment I’m not allowed to be unsupervised with my 7 year old son while the father abusing him but they don’t really care will have a chance please let me know? As I don’t have custody just contact with my step family in there home when he sleep over

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      The courts are very reluctant to remove babies from their mothers and it should only be done as a last resort and in the most serious circumstances. Residential placements and mother and baby foster placements should be considered over removal, unless the risk is really serious. I do not know the reasons why your son can’t live with you but hopefully the court will agree you and your baby can stay together while you are assessed. It is the court that makes the decision, not the social workers, and you will get legal aid if it goes to court.

  141. Maria sarapuk

    To staff on this site I would like more information on how can I prove police reports are lies (even children know they’re lies) also what can I do as I’ve now been diagnosed with bpd after my children were removed also no help was offered by social services before putting it to the courts 🙁 I feel my physical and emotional state right now is a million times worse since they removed my children also my social worker has lied and I’ve caught her out I need help to prove I’m not an awful parent even with my mental illness.

    Thank you

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      It is difficult to prove that police reports are ‘lies’ – you may be able to argue in court that they are wrong or the police officer was lying, but that is a serious allegation and hard to prove. You can make a complaint to the relevant police force Professional Standards Department if you think they have got something wrong, deliberately or otherwise.

  142. Curious

    Can my children be taken away for a text message sent from my phone by someone else of a suicide threat? They keep bugging me to talk to a therapist but, I am not suicidal or having any mental issues.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I would very much doubt that a single text message could be sufficient evidence of significant harm or the risk of it, that would make removal of children lawful, but I don’t know the context of this message, why it was sent etc. It could be indicative of more serious problems.

  143. benita

    I almost let go buy something happen when I sat down and had a review on how I can bring back peace ‌into our relationship on a site seeing a lot of people discussing about solution temple who help with the same problem I was passing through I contacted him and had a chat with him for peace restoration because I was really tire of fighting, A spiritual prayer was done on my partner by priest Adu which totally restore the peace back to normal that I have praying over a long period of time. thank God everything worked out again we don’t fight anymore since the intervention of priest Adu. am out here to show my gratitude and share his contact as-well {solution- temple.webnode. com}

  144. Yvonne Sauve

    It’s an absolute blessing to have come in contact with Dr Amber who’s an expert in lottery spells and he made me a winner of $36,449,852.60 dollars within 7 days after giving me the numbers to play the lottery game. It’s not everybody that is naturally lucky to win the Lottery but the solution to win is Dr Amber. Here’s his Email….. amberlottotemple (at) yahoo . com

  145. Maria

    My sister is really struggling with some extreme depression and i’ve helped her all i could.. so my question is if my sister were to voluntarily check herself into a mental hospital with drugs in her system, would she lose custody of her child?

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I hope not permanently – but it sounds like she does need some serious help and intervention which may not be possible for her to get if she is the full time carer of her child. I think showing insight and seeking treatment means she is more likely to be supported and helped. Are their friends or family who could step in on a temporary basis?

  146. Ella

    Please I need some help with my situation
    Last march 2022 my son was taken off me by social services
    Due to LOW MOODS and 3 incidents which I understand
    In July 2022 I had to do a 3 months parenting assessment in a high security placement on the 26th of September I had my recommendation meeting and it was negative because they believed in just in the beginning of my healing childhood trauma yes there was parts of corners for me caring for him but it was 90% positive I haven’t been diagnosed with any mental health issues but my perinatal worker believes I have depression and anxiety since I was young I’ve used self harm as a way to feel the pain in my head on the 26th I self-harmed and my placement got terminated due to the risk to my son being high???? My sons social worker took him of me to the paternal grandmother who has passed her viability assessment but it had MAJOR PARTS OF CONCERN
    I have ask her to find myself and my son a placement but she keeps saying there’s no placement that will take us because I cut myself 10days ago I’m still waiting for an emergency court hearing since the 26th which was making me believe that they didn’t file it yesterday I got the referral saying the court have accepted the referral
    I would like to know would the court file for separation what can I do to stop this
    Thank you x

  147. Ella

    Me again ^^^
    I forgot to say I had a physiological assessment done the beginning of July high came out positive just suggested I need cbd therapy which I’m on the waiting list for but because I have moved areas again I had to sign up to a new gp and have to start the wait again I’ve signed up to every mental health organisation none of them are taking me basically I’m not sure what else they want me to do IVE DONE EVERYTHING THE THE SOCIALS ARE STILL ASKING FOR SEPARATION

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I can only assume they are saying that it will take too long for you to make the necessary changes even with therapy – I hope you have legal representation, if not you need to get some urgently. If you are in England and Wales you are entitled to a solicitor for free.

  148. Ellaa

    Hi Sarah
    Thank you for replying
    I do have legal representation and has been really helpful
    But what I don’t understand is did the SW have the right to take my son of me?
    not once durning the incident did they ask my if I was suicidal do I have the rights to go and get him back? I’m stuck in the middle

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I think you need to speak to your legal team about this and ask them to explain so that you can understand. Social workers only have a right to remove children if a court allows them to do this, by making an Emergency Protection Order or an Interim/Final Care order. yes, you do have rights to argue that he should be returned to you and your legal team should be able to help you with all this.

    1. Anonymous

      Social services will try everything or say they have tried everything to help you regarding mental health but actually they do nothing and still use it in court , I’ve been through it myself with both of my boys and just recently my youngest was made a placement order due to unfinshed mental health.
      Even the judge agreed with social services and the guardian.
      I’m sorry to break people’s heart but some social workers ,guardians and judges already know what they want to happen and they make it happen.
      Even as much as the social worker lying in court and in reports.
      Guardian too.
      The system is broken from child’s social services and they need to rethink it and put more things in place for parents that do have mental health difficulties.

  149. Darrell David

    The article on reporting post-natal depression is informative and well-written. The author does an excellent job of breaking down the process of reporting and seeking help for post-natal depression. The use of real-life examples and personal anecdotes makes it relatable and engaging. Overall, a great resource for anyone dealing with post-natal depression or supporting someone who is.

  150. Pingback: When Mental Health and Parenting Time Issues Collide - Your Law Geek

  151. Pingback: When Mental Health and Parenting Time Issues Collide - Your Law Geek

  152. Sandra Ellis

    My friend has bi polar and her son I’d being assessed for autism and adhd, he presents with a lot of challenges and mu friend is a single parent, her only crime is maybe she doesn’t stand her ground. She was hospitalised for 7 weeks, then 6 weeks 3 years later and last year for 5 weeks, her ex husband is in the navy and took custody, but within 1 day (not even the night) said he couldn’t cope, a Foster family also said they couldn’t cope, so the father placed him in residential care and 13 months later she still doesn’t have him back. The court said she should see him for 4 hours 1 week, and 2 hours the next, and 2 facetime phone calls. In reality she sees him for 2 hours weekly and 1 half hour phone call. She attends absolutely every contact and phone call, they promised a review every 8 weeks but in 13 months there have only been 2 reviews and they have said that although reunification was talked about last year they are not there yet, the father doesn’t visit and he doesn’t keep his promises of contact, social services have said they are going for a full care order, she has taken her medication, understands the triggers, has a good support network, but it seems no matter what they are determined to keep him, she asked about weekend visits, with her parents as support and me, but they responded with he lives in . … and they don’t want to confuse him, they recognise his challenges but refuse to recognise they have a whole team whilst she has been a single parent coping, without shouting and encouraging him at every step how do I help her?

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I am afraid it looks as if her only option is to go back to court to seek a different order. But if the local authority is applying for a care order then it will come back to court and she will get legal aid.

  153. Sandra Ellis

    I should also add my husband and I have been special guardians and police checked, and I have worked in residential care and risk assessment and also contact between children and parents


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