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Information Sharing Dilemma


max321
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Here is the scenario I am trying to deal with, I have a 2 year old whose mother has mental health issues which include very low self esteem and self worth and an inability to cope with some everyday situations, we allow her to drop off and pick up early so that she doesn't have to deal with other parents as she is unable to deal with groups of people. At the end of last term she had a couple of occasions where she came to collect her child distressed and I had to take her to my office to calm down before we handed over her son so he didn't see her getting upset. She has been very open in discussing her problems and has ssid that she appreciates being able to talk to me without me making judgements about her parenting due to her insecurities. Today she was extremely distressed when picking her child up as she had had a conversation with her GP regarding her treatment and medication and she was unable to take in the information without breaking down. Once she had calmed down and I advised her to speaking to her therapist about her anxieities over her health care she was able to pick up her son with a smile and no sign of her distress. My dilemma is, should I write down this episode down in case it impacts on her child care, I know social services are monitoring the family because of issues with the older children and if i do, must I tell her that I am keeping account of all her 'episodes' as I am concerned that if she knows I am keeping account she may stop talking to me as she is really paranoid about other people keeping track and judging her. I can't seem to find anything on information sharing protocol which talks about this aspect where I don't feel the child is in danger but feel that I need to write it down anyway.

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Hi Max

What a difficult situation for you........but well done for dealing with it all so well :1b

 

I'm not sure what the 'official' view point would be so all I can do is tell you what I would do.......I would be keeping brief notes and I wouldn't feel that I would have to tell this mum that I was doing so.........

 

I will duck now to dodge the bullets! xD

 

Good luck with it all x

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Hmm.. keep a personal diary rather than 'record' at this point ?

 

Also I would be thinking about maybe phoning SW or HV and asking general advice without giving names.

 

I know SWs often get a bashing- but the ones I've worked with have always been fantastic in putting the family first and have offered good advice.

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Agree with all of the above - you can keep brief notes ( as you may at some point in the future have to write a report for a case conference or another professional and you need prompts) but as long as there are no issues around child protection and the care of the child you don't need to inform Mum. Is there not a CAF on the family - and TAC meetings as you should be invited to these and it would give you a better insight of the issues around the family.

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No CAF in place as far as I know, we don't tend to use them here in somerset, social services are involved as a complaint was made by a well meaning member of the public who had seen mum distressed whilst taking the older children to school, but we have not been contacted by them with regard to the youngest. I am not in contact with the HV as we really do not have any concerns about the childs development and as far as I am aware they are not involved with TAC meetings. Mum has agoraphobia and finds many situations difficult, we didn't see her at all when her daughter was with us but she has worked hard to get herself to a situation where she is able to bring her son but is is obviously really difficult for her. Interestingly she uses a camera as a form of crutch, in that she brings it with her and takes photos on the walk to preschool and then takes some of her son when he has those few minutes on his own before the other children come in, whilst distracted by taking photos she is articulate, animated and quite confident. Thank you for your comments, I have decided to take notes as part of our parental conversation procedure which is a system we use to record any conversations which might impact on our care of the child, these are not necessarily shared with parents so hopefully I am not breaching any information sharing legislation.

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Hi agree about keeping an informal log of the situation, and great that you have been able to accommodate her unique needs. Out of interest do you have Home start or a similar network near you that could offer support to families in times of need, without making judgements. Good luck with this .

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I agree with the above and if you are keeping brief notes, you are not making it formal and so are not doing anything behind mum's back. Sometimes I think we need to see past the 'rules' and do what is best for the family. I don't mean break the rules, they are there for a good reason, just be flexible enough to meet the child's / parents' needs. Best of luck.

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Hi agree about keeping an informal log of the situation, and great that you have been able to accommodate her unique needs. Out of interest do you have Home start or a similar network near you that could offer support to families in times of need, without making judgements. Good luck with this .

 

not heard of that Fredbear and to be honest I don't think she could cope with anyone else coming into the family, I have already suggested family support but between social services, doctors, therapist, husband and extended family she has enough people involved for her to cope with at the moment.

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not heard of that Fredbear and to be honest I don't think she could cope with anyone else coming into the family, I have already suggested family support but between social services, doctors, therapist, husband and extended family she has enough people involved for her to cope with at the moment.

 

Poor woman, my heart goes out to her.............you obviously have a very special relationship with her which is just wonderful..........

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I think this sounds worrying. In school we would definitely log everything, dates, times details etc . I would inform our CP officer in school but monitor the situation myself. If SS are already involved, are there not core group meetings at the very least for you to go to?

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We've not been involved with SS as they are only involved in a monitoring capacity after a concern was raised with them by a member of public and to be honest it sounds like they have been very supportive, offering to take her to her therapy appointments for example because she finds public transport unbearably difficult. They have not contacted me about the youngest child who is with us and as the issue is with the older children I feel it is difficult for me to justify asking for contact details, without you knowing the family it is very difficult for me to explain clearly how softly softly we are having to be with this fragile mum. If things deteriorate, however, then I will definetely be contacting SS for more involvement and advice

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I don't think it is unusual for SS to be involved with parents and for pre-schools to have no contact with them. We have this situation often and when i made contact with them recently regarding a Mum who had some mental health issues i was told quite firmly that it was nothing to do with me! If the social worker is not the childs then i think it's unlikely that they will speak to you.Having said this i also know that if you are concerned for the welfare then i would be contacting the duty officer but i think in your case MAx this is not the case. Pre-schools can be a vital support for these parents and can make a huge difference but they do take time and i know how hard you have to work with them......i spent about 2 hours yesterday sorting out 2 families ....one has just been evicted and the other Mum has Manic depression and is going through a 'crisis' at present. I do think you should note everything (with time and date) and if these are done on conversation sheets perhaps you could even say to Mum that you are just going to make a note .....perhaps saying something like "oh that worked well today....i'll just make a note so that i don't forget" this way she gradually gets used to you recording without feeling she is being judged, but if this is not possible i would still be recording. Try to record why you have not disclosed as well (because of her mental state at the time/or??)It is as important to record why you haven't done something as why you have.

CAf's are normally only done in our area if a families needs are not being met but it sound like this familiy are already being dealt with and have systems in place. Good luck with supporting this MAX ...i have to say this is one reason why i love this forum...without some anonymity then we would not have the opportunity to support each other over issues like this :1b

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You are absolutely right finleysmaid, after speaking to her yesterday my first thought was to contact you guys for advice. Will take all your comments on board and keep doing what I'm doing, I get the feeling some days that my job is more and more about the parents and less and less about the children, mostly I'm fine with that but some days the responsiblity gets a little overwhelming, at the end of the day its not what I signed up to do and having to think on my feet can be exhausting but I don't need to tell you all that as I see it time after time on here.

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Max is there anyone you can offload to, other than here of course? Who will be doing your supervision? You need to take care of yourself too. More and more practitioners are expected to be multi-skilled, without much training just instinctive empathy and relationship-building.

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