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.