Saturday, 16 February 2013

social workers colluding with psychiatry to separate families

I am very unhappy with the attempts of social workers and MHOs (mental health officers) to separate families in psychiatric circumstances.  It happened in Fife last year when the social work service colluded with psychiatry in their attempts to blame me, a mother, so that they could have more influence over my son who was 27 and not a bairn.  It didn't work.

The same thing has happened in a different area with another family member of mine.  Which tells me it's what they do and is common behaviour.  Separating children from families is a speciality of social work services.  And nothing they should be proud of.  Recently there was a report that Fife Council Social Work Service had overspent by £4 million, £1.5 million due to taking children away from parents with substance misuse issues. 

Social work needs to support families and not assume the worst.  Breaking up families is damaging society.  Much better if they were to do their best to keep families together.  Looked after children don't do well, it can't be the best way of resolving a situation.  In my opinion it's time for social work to investigate themselves.  Or get in an independent investigation team, made up of carers and families.  That would soon sort them out.

I attended the Carers Parliament last October in Edinburgh, the first of its kind.  And the main gripe I heard carers speak of was the problems with the social work service.  MSPs also mentioned this, including the long wait for assessments, difficulty in getting equipment and services.  It seems that social work has broken down and it's they who are needing to be separated and given a makeover.  

In the recent issue with an MHO in another area, not Fife, I've raised a complaint which is being investigated, by social work.  I'm not hopeful.  It will likely be judged as a 'learning point'.  I've been there before.  They make mistakes, they don't say sorry and likely go on and do the same again because it's a habit.  Interfering in families without due consideration or information or experience.

It's very annoying that families are targeted in this way.  It is negatively impacting on society and adding to the breakdown in family life.  Exacerbated by the financial recession and impending depression, brought about by consumerism and our spend, spend, spend philosophy.  Anti-depressant prescribing isn't having an effect, more pills are being popped

Therefore I hope the social workers and mental health officers stop blaming families and start helping them to stay together.  Stop colluding with psychiatry in their misguided attempts to solve life's problems with chemical straitjackets and sledgehammer treatments that replace one pain with another.  It's not working and doesn't make sense.


  1. I think in my case the social workers felt trapped between the professionals and me, the mother. Whom to believe? The doctors were saying: the mother keeps interfering and helping him off the drugs. He needs to be sectioned and forcibly drugged. The mother doesn't agree that he needs drugs, so lets go to the father in spite of the fact that the father hadn't seen his son for two months and didn't know what was going on. The father readily agreed to give free hand to the doctors. I wasn't too pleased about it all as you can imagine. My son came out of hospital depressed and a total zombie and I had to take him off the drugs behind doctors' backs. I think the social worker was on my side deep-down but didn't dare contradict the doctors.

    1. Yes, I've had something similar happen recently. Efforts made to separate parents, play off one against the other by social work mainly but instigated by psychiatry, to get the mother off their back. But it hasn't worked. The mother is still in there fighting.

      There's no excuse for it, social workers interfering in family matters. For we are the ones picking up the pieces, just as you describe. Blaming mothers because of the patriarchal psychiatric system. It's tedious and time that it stopped. They shouldn't be getting away with it.


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