When I was asked to speak to you all today, I was told that other people would talk about facts and figures and statistics. I can tell you what these statistics mean in real life. I can tell you about my own experience. When social services are involved in your life, you are in the spotlight. It is like living under a microscope. You feel like you have to agree with everything the social workers say. If you don’t agree with them you know that you will lose your kid. It feels like having a gun to your head. (…)
It is also important to have a good support network. I am lucky to have family, friends and ATD Fourth World. This made a difference because having them there meant I could fight to go back to work and know they would visit my wife to support her with our children.
You need to know what support my family has needed outside of social services: holidays with ATD, someone to come to court with us, someone to come to case conferences and meetings with social services, someone to visit us when we were in the family assessment unit, someone to support my wife her confidence and get her out of the house when she was having her panic attacks, someone to support our son through the loss of his brothers and take him out places so that when he feels he can’t talk to us he has someone to talk to. (…)