This resource for young parents by the Family Rights Group is a good place to start to understand the terms social workers use and what they mean.
This online child protection resource has good information about common child protection issues including violence and poor mental health. It has contributions from a range of professionals that are particularly helpful.
If you had learning support in school or are autistic always let people know this before asking for advice so they better understand any difficulties you may be experiencing that would not otherwise be apparent to them. This will help them to help you better.
You may well be frightened, ashamed or embarrassed about the situation. Tell people you trust. Safely unburdening will help you cope. There are also non-judgmental support organisationsif your child enters Care, even for a short time.
To help increase parenting skills, see Family Livesfor advice on parenting although advice is for neuro-typical children. Also unicf have resources for parents that can be accessed here.
Organisations such as the National Autistic Societyprovide comprehensive parenting information for parents of autistic children for example how to brush teeth and toilet train autistic children.
Caring for a child with high needs can be very demanding. Being in the middle of any allegation is also very stressful. Make sure you look after yourself (eat, sleep, rest, self-care and keep your daily routine). If your mental health declines, this is not going to help how you are seen by professionals. See Yvonne Newbold and Malcolm Cooper Caring Responsibilities and Stress U tube.
Expert Consultants about specific issues If you cannot get free advice from organisations via their helplines or free advice sessions you may need to pay for advice from experts.
Most consultations need to be privately funded except in very specific situations when approved by the court. Please always carry out your own research into and check the credentials and experience of whoever is advising you in whatever capacity. ( Do they have insurance, Are they part of an organisation with a 'Code of Conduct' that you can complain to if they defraud you, are negligent?)
I've not used any and I'm not endorsing/recommending any particular consultants however some offer consultants via Skype about specific issues that may be more affordable than a 'full service' and at least you know the cost in advance. e.g Jenny Mather http://www.jennymaher.co.uk/ and Dr Judy Eaton https://www.pdasociety.org.uk/blog/2017/08/help4psychologymanaging-your-child-with-pda
I did speak to specialist SEN solicitors. First I drew up and forwarded a two-three page table ( keep it succinct…) with all the key briefing information so they could consider/discount various approaches before speaking to me. The table was organised along the lines of a timeline of 'events', 'effect of events' and ‘comments’ columns where I added my own thoughts/questions. Event might be - 'date of birth, born', effect of event might be - 'needed specialist care in hospital', comment might be - 'parents married/unmarried' ( this affects 'Parental Responsibility' of father so is important ) etc. etc I got good free advice that way.
Law Society, Bar Council & Institute of Chartered Legal Executives Litigants in Person Guidance Guidance about the role of lawyers when working with litigants in person (for lawyers, litigants in person and represented parties). Produced by the
Law Society, Bar Council & Institute of Chartered Legal Executives Public Law Project Exceptional Funding Project The Public Law Project assists people who wish to apply for exceptional legal aid funding. An advice line runs 10-11am on Mon, Tues, Weds & Fri : 0808 165 0170.
Good Initiative for parents with dual diagnoses that include addiction FDAC 'Trial for Change' http://www.familylaw.co.uk/news_and_comment/the-fdac-trial-for-change-combining-expert-assessment-and-intervention-during-proceedings#.Wa1fISjDHhq
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