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Tips, hints for getting attn/help from social services


Registered User
Mar 13, 2012
I really am being driven bonkers by my attempts to elicit help from social services; does anybody know how to play the system? Briefly, I have tried since 2010 for social services to pay some attention to our family and have been supremely unsuccessful. I did get a carer's assessment in 2013 which resulted in direct payments which I use to pay for a carer (useless, but better than nowt and a nice person) to come in via an agency. But I've been looking after my mum who now has moderate/severe dementia and my son, now 16 with a learning disability and probably mental health issues too for over a decade and I just can't keep going.

The Older Adult Mental Health Team of social workers have taken Ma off their books, saying that as I'm a carer I'm under Adult Social Services and so should Ma be for continuity of care but neither of us have a social worker. I've just phoned up social services to ask for a review as a carer only to be told that "not being able to cope" isn't reason enough for a review.

Can anyone tell me how the system works before I just walk out of the house and leave the two of them to the tender mercies of the social services?


Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
SW London
Oh, Lord, that response is just terrible, Rosie. I don't have experience of SS, but would suggest emailing the head of SS, plus your local councillor and MP, and quote that response.

I seem to recall someone else on here who was so desperate with SS' lack of help, she told them if they didn't do something immediately she would take her mother to A and E and leave her there. And lo, they finally moved.

I hope someone with more experience of SS will be along soon. I do hope you get some proper help very quickly.


Registered User
Feb 10, 2015
West London
Maybe get some help from your doctor or community nurse...that's how SS got involved with us. Maybe explain to your doc that it's putting a huge strain on you and you don't know how much longer you can cope without help before you break down...am so sorry for your current sitch. :(

Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point


Registered User
Dec 11, 2013
Hi Boldredrosie :)

I cannot speak about children's services, but I do know that your mum is entitled to an assessment from social services. All she has to be is 'in need of, or appears to be in need of community services' (Community Care Act 1990). SS are not necessarily obliged to provide services if your mum doesn't meet the eligibility criteria, but they are obliged to assess her to see whether she does.

So....if they are trying to avoid this obligation, I agree with Kazza, see whether the GP can help. I did this, as I was being given the brush off even though I did know mum's rights.....it was amazing how quickly they got in touch after that!

Good luck :)

Lindy xx


Registered User
Nov 28, 2005
I've just phoned up social services to ask for a review as a carer only to be told that "not being able to cope" isn't reason enough for a review.
With the above in my mind I suggest you send a letter to the person who quoted above with a copy to the Head of SS in your area and also to your GP/and
Mother's +GP. I suggest you type it in bold and include a copy of your post - even saying you have asked for advice here on TP. Make it clear that your Mother (and son) are vulnerable, at risk and unpredictable (words that seem to get them off their backsides).

I mean letters sent by registered mail so that no one can deny they have been received. (Emails are great but there can always be excuses for not opening them).

It annoys me that they are each in their own compartments and do not relate to the whole situation (Arrrghh).


Registered User
May 21, 2014
Use the four magical words: "vulnerable adult at risk". Worked a treat for us but you obviously have to support it with some evidence like wandering or giving strangers personal information, making them susceptible for fraud. Or leaving the gas on? Anything really that places them at risk.


Registered User
Mar 13, 2012
Thank you so much everyone for your suggestions. I have tried most of all this already and have ended up in the situation we are.

GP said just before new year she'd write to social services about concerns about my mum -- she still hasn't despite me calling in to surgery on numerous occasions to ask this gets done.

Ma was assessed by the memory clinic consultant recently who staged her at moderate to severe dementia and agreed with me how much she's deteriorated since was last seen by the clinic. But Ma has been assessed by two social workers recently who say as she has capacity she can refuse all services offered, regardless of whether I can pick up all her needs.

I have told social services on repeated occasions I can't cope, I've told the memory clinic consultant this, and a number of the GPs at the practice that I am breaking down. I suppose, though, as I've been saying this for years and clearly just plod on nobody takes me seriously. My most recent threat which I really am sticking to is refusing to do Ma's medicines -- I feel this is the only think I can do that doesn't affect my son. If it was just me and Ma in the house I'd stop buying food, that I am sure, would gain people's attention pretty darn quickly.

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