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      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   06/04/2017

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Social Services have taken my friends children away - My disciplining given as a reason

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I thought I would come here to see if I'm missing something as I am confused by what is currently going on. I'm looking for a rationale explanation rather than advice in this case.


To give a little background:


My friend has 2 children close in age. The eldest is 3 with suspected Asperger's and I have been using my own experiences with Asperger's to help support which has built up a relationship between me and the the kid. My friend does have a lot of issues of her own, she lost her sister last year, was neglected as a child herself, has a lot of mental health issues, anxieties and trust issues which stem from it. She won't push back on people who are where she should do for her and the children's well-being. The father himself does what suits him best and has made things a lot worse for her in recent months, by never taking both children away with him at the same time (which I can appreciate as he does have Asperger's and the stress could be too much for him to handle). When he is present he does nothing to help at all, so she gets no break at all.


Me and my friend had both been hoping for a relationship, I had been holding off because her life was too far from the right place to have a healthy one and she was likewise holding back because I was.




On Thursday my friends health worker (She is a single mother) came over to check up on her and she revealed to them she was feeling suicidal. At the time the eldest was misbehaving. As her mother wasn't in a very good place I placed her on the step and told her why she was on it, something I have done before without complaint from the mother.


The children then went with my friends sisters that day to give her a bit of a breathing space. I was told this evening that she has lost the kids because of everything and one of the reasons given was that I disciplined a child in front of a careworker. My friend has said this wasn't an ideal thing to do, but isn't mad at me and has been singing my praises overall on the phone this evening for all the help and support I've given as a whole.

Ultimately I know my own actions on Thursday are only a minor issue in the big picture as social have been involved since the birth of the eldest and have their own larger concerns, but I am struggling to see why a fair and proportionate act of discipline is being cited as a reason for taking the children away when I was merely helping out in a capacity in which I have done a few times before. I've been through material from the NSPCC as well as legislation it lead me on to and neither has stated my actions are any form of social concern (Legislation mildly supports it by my interpretation). Any ideas what their thinking is in this case as I am struggling to see it.
Edited by Sakaratte

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I think it's because the mother cannot cope and so you are being left to look after the children in their eyes is the problem. Although you are doing the right thing by making sure she doesn't proverbially drown in her depression for some reason the social have interpreted this as something else.


I don't understand why family therapy isn't being offered in this case? I'm suspecting your friends mh is being sadly used against her, especially if one of her challenges is borderline personality disorder which many professionals dont get.


Hope I'm making sense here?

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That does make sense to me when it put like that. They have only seen me that once and the first and only impression they have had of me is that one small snapshot. The reality is that most of the care is coming from her and most of my general support is in the form of practicality (I.E. sorting out finances or emergency shopping). I would say around 80% of my interaction with the kids is in her direct presence and of that the primary for of discipline I would give is purely verbal reinforcement of her decisions when the kids play up as they often do.


Her suspected condition is Hystronic Personality Disorder rather than BPD and she is struggling to get any support at all with a diagnosis or treatment for this, even though a NHS psychologist has stated this as being highly likely. As for her motherhood being used against her, I'm not sure about this, but I know they have had to go to some extreme lengths to bring some unhealthy elements of her life under control (she is forever trying to save the world and ending up with people who need more than she can reasonably give), I suspect that as I am another male in her life this is a red flag for social as a whole as its been males that have been the root of problems in the past.


I have noticed that mental health support for all conditions has seemingly gone backwards as a whole as time has gone on which is counter productive to society. It really needs a radical overhaul to become proactive rather than reactive to benefit people in need and help prevent situations like this occurring.

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