Here we hope to put helpful tips and information for you that might make things a bit more straightforward when dealing with officialdom.
Keep a folder with the following enclosed.
Copy of the Order you have on the child/children – Special Guardianship Order or Residence Order, etc.
A print out of the rules under which the Order is made – These are available from us on the website or Family Rights Group, etc.
A full history of why the child was placed; written in clear, bullet pointed sections, including:-
Why the child was removed – Neglect, Sexual Abuse, Death of a Parent, etc.
When the child was placed with you
How much contact the child has with parents
A list of siblings and where they are at present
A name of your Social Worker – if you still have one
A full history of the child's health problems in clear, bullet pointed sections including:
Whether the parents have any medical history themselves – Drug, Alcohol Abuse, Mental Health, etc.
Whether the child was born addicted to any substance
Any full diagnosis for the child, Foetal Alcohol Sydrome, Autism etc.
Any possible diagnosis for the child that is being investigated at the moment
List ALL the professionals involved with the child's care; Paediatricians, Dietician, Social Worker, CAMHS, etc – include contact details when known.
When a professional comes to you for information, all you need to do is hand over the folder.
It is not acceptable for you to have to repeat yourself in times of crisis over and over again.
Give them the folder and inform them that everything they need is in there.
Tell them if you are in a crowded ward or surgery that you WILL NOT discuss your child's case in public.
If they have any questions about the Order after reading the information, tell them to call the duty Social Workers or their own legal department.
This can also be adapted for children on a Care Order; make sure you list the Social Workers involved and the telephone number for the Duty Team. Make sure you also enclose any specific letters giving you permission to obtain treatment.
Most of all BE FIRM!
Your energy is needed for the child, not the doctor standing there too lazy to read the nursing notes.
Remember to just tell them:
“Everything you need to know about my child is here for you to read, take a moment to read it before asking me to clarify anything
afterwards, in a private room, unless it relates to what has bought us here today – i.e. broken arm, soldier stuffed up left nostril!”