As my third and final post of the week I wanted to address an issue I often get asked about by clients.
I frequently represent parents and family members who currently have Social Workers allocated and working with their family about their children. For some this is a positive and supportive relationship but for many they can find it much harder.
This may be for a number of reasons but examples could be a history of negative relationships with Social Workers or getting off on the wrong foot with their current Social Worker. Whatever the reason it is nearly always the case that I have to advise clients to try and work with their Social Worker. I will say that this is not the same as saying you have to always agree with them nor is it me advising they will always be right!
Unfortunately the fact is, especially for parents who find themselves involved in Court Proceedings where the Court is considering the future care of their children (I.e. Care Proceedings), that they need to find a way of working with them.
I know this is hard for many of my clients so here are some tips:
- Listen to what they are saying; make notes or request minutes of all your meetings so you can read them back.
- If you don’t agree with something tell them, but explain why you don’t agree and try and stay calm even if annoyed.
- If you struggle to understand everything in meetings, or get your point across to them, ask to take a family member or close friend to help. Some meetings this may not be possible and if this is the case ,and you can’t have a Solicitor there, ask about taking a Support Worker or consider asking to be given an independent Advocate (these are not Solicitors but can support you to help explain things if you are struggling)
Every person’s experiences are very different and when it comes to your children and professionals being involved in your life it can also be very challenging.
You can’t always have a Solicitor with you at meetings, as it isn’t always appropriate, but if you receive a letter to say you should bring a Solicitor to a meeting (these are called a Letter Before Proceedings) then make sure you contact us straight away so we can be there to support you.
If you currently have Social Services involved with your children and you would like a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL chat about it please get in touch with our specialist Child Care Solicitors on 01924 332395.