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  1. #1
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    Unhappy How does Local Authority Safeguarding affect carers?

    I've been caring for my mum full time since mid February. Like many on here I've been dealing with abuse from my sister at the same time but have always had the support of Doctors, Nurses and Social Workers who are happy with the care mum is receiving. Tonight I received a curt email from mum's social worker, sent just before 5p.m. informing me that due to allegations made by my sister mum is now in Local Authority Safeguarding, that the outcome of the investigation could take 'some time' and that she is on leave for the next 2 weeks.I have no idea what the allegations are or how safeguarding affects what I can and can't do. I've looked on the internet but can't find the answers. I'm tempted not to respond to the email and wait until I receive proper notification. I was about to register an EPA. Does safeguarding prevent this now?

  2. #2
    Hello Adnkt

    I think, if I were you, I would contact your SW's line manager and make it clear that you need more information. In my own opinion, I do feel it was unfair to email you like this and then to say she is uncontactable for two weeks.

    With best wishes to you x

  3. #3
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    Hi,
    I'd carry on and register the EPA, there is no reason not to.
    A curt email is not a professional communication and you should wait for written word of what is happening but how horrid and worrying, you must be so upset, I am so sorry that you are facing such hostility.

    Two weeks holiday might be a good thing as it gives you time to get your wagons in a circle and get the EPA and other things sorted in your head but it's again pretty awful.

    I hope that you can keep on looking after your Mum without hassles from outside until you know the extent of the allegations that are being made, oh how upsetting though, my heart goes out to you.
    Take good care and let us know how things go, with best wishes from Jo
    There isn't enough darkness in the whole universe to put out the light of one candle (quote Hubby, 25 September 2010)

  4. #4
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    In my experience social workers rarely use email as a method of correspondence other than in reply to one received. The details of your mum's 'safeguarding' such as you describe should be sent to you by letter. If you do not receive a formal letter then you need to consider making a serious complaint about the SW.

    I agree with Christin - you need to urgently contact the SW's line manager to ask questions. Also find out the line manager's email address and forward the SW's message to him/her.

    With regard to the process of 'Safeguarding' - this is a very intimidating term that SS use when they are reacting to allegations from someone about possible abuse. It would seem that no matter what the allegations are, SS will automatically apply the Safeguarding Framework. The outcome is a long-winded investigation I'm afraid and it may take weeks before you are privileged to know the outcome. So if you have any idea at all what allegations may have been made then you need to start thinking about defending yourself. I know it sounds horrendous, but it doesn't have to be so if you are confident and you can show that your sister has got things wrong.

    I've no idea about EPAs so cannot advise you but feel sure that Jo's advice is sound. But you might want the reassurance of others on this so keep posting.
    "The best of life is further on, hidden from our eye beyond the hills of time" - Sir William Mulock.

  5. #5
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    Definitely contact your SW's Manager.

    The Social Worker has broken the first rule of any Safeguarding procedure: it's out of order for her to divulge to anyone the source of the safeguarding alert (your sister, in this case). And to inform you by email - takes my breath away.

    It's hard to believe that a SW could have sent such an email - so contact her Manager.

    The first and most basic principle of safeguarding requires the SW to keep confidential all aspects of the allegations that have been made. Especially from anyone who may be on the perpetrator of any abuse. It will all be handled by the Adult Protection unit in the local authority. Out of the hands of the Social Worker.

    If you can't contact your SW, you can always contact the On Duty Emergency Social Worker and ask them to provide you with the contact details of her Manager.

    Good luck!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPG1 View Post
    Definitely contact your SW's Manager.

    The Social Worker has broken the first rule of any Safeguarding procedure: it's out of order for her to divulge to anyone the source of the safeguarding alert (your sister, in this case). And to inform you by email - takes my breath away.

    It's hard to believe that a SW could have sent such an email - so contact her Manager.

    The first and most basic principle of safeguarding requires the SW to keep confidential all aspects of the allegations that have been made. Especially from anyone who may be on the perpetrator of any abuse. It will all be handled by the Adult Protection unit in the local authority. Out of the hands of the Social Worker.

    If you can't contact your SW, you can always contact the On Duty Emergency Social Worker and ask them to provide you with the contact details of her Manager.

    Good luck!
    I logged off and came back as I forgot to add that the reason I stated that I believe that "safeguarding" was intimidating was because in my own case - I was the one who reported possible abuse and the Safeguarding procedures were put in place as a result but this was never explained to me so I thought that I was the one who was being investigated. This is relevant as JPG1 has highlighted the fact that in your case the SW has broken the rules by telling you that your sister is the source of the alert. Thanks JPG1 for clarifying this and with hindsight I understand my own situation much better now. Albeit I still think the processes mysteriously intimidating.
    "The best of life is further on, hidden from our eye beyond the hills of time" - Sir William Mulock.

  7. #7
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    Have a read through:-

    Statement of Government policy on adult safeguarding
    http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/.../dh_126770.pdf

  8. #8
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    Hello
    Sorry you are going through this,know u must be so worried and upset

    I know nothing about safe guarding procedures , regulations , but i do know that when someone makes allegations , their identity should not be revealed
    I too find it extremely strange to say the least that you were informed on such an important matter via an email by the social worker and the said social worker is not contactable for two weeks, hmm .

    I strongly suggest you contact the head of adult social services asap , for them to investigate this matter urgently .

    Whatever u do please do not delete that email , personally I would print out a couple of copies n keep them in a safe place , just in case u accidentally delete it.

    In my humble view the email notification is not a valid way of informing u of something so so important and to me a very odd way too , it should be done by either by a personal visit or an official letter , but im no solicitor , in your shoes I would still go ahead and register the EPA .

    Please let us know how you get on with this
    Lin

    Daughter and former carer

    If only I could have Hindsight beforehand, oh what a difference it would make .

    Odd words,mis-spelling and punctuation are most likely due to my clever phone, it seems to have its own ideas about what I am trying to say, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it lol

  9. #9
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    Like all the others I feel that this SW's actions are a cause for complaint in themselves.

    I shall have to read the link as this is an area about which I know very little, but I can well understand how upsetting and worrying it is.

    Do let us know how it goes.

    Mary
    x

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jancis View Post
    In my experience social workers rarely use email as a method of correspondence other than in reply to one received. The details of your mum's 'safeguarding' such as you describe should be sent to you by letter. If you do not receive a formal letter then you need to consider making a serious complaint about the SW.

    I agree with Christin - you need to urgently contact the SW's line manager to ask questions. Also find out the line manager's email address and forward the SW's message to him/her.

    With regard to the process of 'Safeguarding' - this is a very intimidating term that SS use when they are reacting to allegations from someone about possible abuse. It would seem that no matter what the allegations are, SS will automatically apply the Safeguarding Framework. The outcome is a long-winded investigation I'm afraid and it may take weeks before you are privileged to know the outcome. So if you have any idea at all what allegations may have been made then you need to start thinking about defending yourself. I know it sounds horrendous, but it doesn't have to be so if you are confident and you can show that your sister has got things wrong.

    I've no idea about EPAs so cannot advise you but feel sure that Jo's advice is sound. But you might want the reassurance of others on this so keep posting.
    I've tried to contact the line manager today. She was in the office but not at her desk. I asked for her to call me back but she didn't. My sister has been making allegations of abuse and neglect since mum came home. We have visits 3 times a day from carers, twice weekly visits from the District nurses, numerous announced and unannounced visits from our gp, dementia specialists, Phsio, OT, Social worker, Age concern and most recently an IMCA. We've had 2 formal meetings attended by my sister, myself, the social worker, her manager and the manager of the care company at which reports were introduced from just about every professional that's been involved. At the meeting the line manager said that my sister had raised concerns about my mum's care but that none of the professionals had any concerns. My sister's partner then said that they both knew that mum is receiving better care than she would anywhere else. I fully expected her to continue causing me problems but I'm stunned that she is now being taken seriously. Unless this is their way of stopping her. I suppose if they formally investigate then maybe she can't do any more.She has said that she's been talking to people 'higher than social services' whatever that means.But she's also made so many ludicrous threats to me that haven't materialised that I'm no longer taking her seriously. Magners time I think.

  11. #11
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    I'm not sure this will help

    Back in February I had to let my mum walk away from my home which we share as she said she is leaving. I was told by law I may not stop her. I did phone the police after one hour because I was told I should. She managed to walk to the bank where she told the staff that I had beaten her and stole her monies. In walks SW.
    The police did tell me via phone she was safe but could not tell me where she was due to the allegations. I know how you are feeling right now, friends and family kept telling me to use the time as respite, easier said than done I was terrified and I felt as if my life was being pulled apart. My stomach was churning all the time, lost my appetite. The SW was aloof when she came and picked up mums meds and some clothes, she refused to listen to me when I tried to tell her mums anxiety was off the charts. I took solace in I did nothing wrong and unless being overdrawn was a crime it's the only thing I commit regularly. I cannot give you solace I wish I could, hopefully it will sort it self out and everything will be fine, it did in my case and mum told SW she was off her rocker if she thought her daughter (me) would ever harm her. And the police found no signs of unusual activity in her account and not a mark on her. Still took them over two weeks though. Good luck and my heart is with you

  12. #12
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    Thank you Jennifer. Mum has been unable to weight bear since she went in to hospital in January and sometimes I think that's a blessing. A least I always know where she is.Many times over the past 6 months I've felt that I've been treated like a criminal. Few people seem to understand why we carers choose to devote so much time to our loved ones without an ulterior motive that they keep searching for. On her last visit, last Thursday, the Social Worker wanted to check the care arrangements I'd made as I was staying away overnight. She said this is because mum needs 24 hour care and it's her job to make sure satisfactory arrangements are in place. I asked why we're only given 2 hours a day if she needs 24 hours care which flustered her. I always thought that she was supportive but now I'm even suspicious of her. Everyone appears to want to check up on us and give their opinions but no one actually offers to do anything practical. I'm sick of assessments and form filling and meetings and wish everyone would leave us just to get on with what's important. I'm turning into Mrs Angry but I think that's the only way not to buckle.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adnkt View Post
    Everyone appears to want to check up on us and give their opinions but no one actually offers to do anything practical. I'm sick of assessments and form filling and meetings and wish everyone would leave us just to get on with what's important. I'm turning into Mrs Angry but I think that's the only way not to buckle.
    Oh Adnkt, I do feel for you as I have had to go through similar (though not quite as bad).
    "The best of life is further on, hidden from our eye beyond the hills of time" - Sir William Mulock.

  14. #14
    I haven't much to offer in the way of practical solutions for you. I wonder what your sister thinks she will gain by putting you through this?

    The only advice I can give is to keep your cool, keep your wits about you and keep a daily diary of what is going on. In that way you will be able to refer back to things which you may overlook.

    I wonder if you could try the organisation MIND. They have extensive experience of social service reviews and safeguarding procedures and may be able to give you a local advocat to go into meetings etc with you.

    As regards the e mail, I'm not sure what to think. If it had been taken seriously by social services they would have already moved your mum to 'a place of safety'. As they haven't done this and she still lives with you, I wonder if the e mail was sent as a 'friendly' warning that your sister was up to mischief again. It is indeed a strange and unauthordox thing for the social worker to have done.

    Above all, keep your cool. You have done nothing wrong except have a malicious sister in your family. I would be telling social services, review panels etc., exactly this. Keep your chin up

    xxTinaT
    If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for everything....

 

 

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