I am writing about the experience my wife and I had with our local Social Services Department.
Today the 13th July 2010 we had our last contact with our great grandson.
Our story is of mistruths deceit and lies.
There was a drug related incident at the house where my granddaughter lived and we were lead to believe from the Social Services that my granddaughter had been involved.
In fact the Social Services Case Worker waved what we believed was the police report and stated in front of my wife and I that my grandaughter was looking at three years in jail for her involvement. “She has messed up big time” we were told which frightened us and we had no idea how to deal with this situation.
We just relied on the advice given to us by what we thought was professionally trained and competent Social Services Case workers.
At this same meeting with our minds racing we were told that under the circumstances the child would be better adopted suggesting the best way forward would be to fast track the adoption and we being naïve believed them and convinced our great grandaughter that it was for the best which has left her devastated.
We really believed that the Social Services were thinking about the best interest of the child.
While the Social Services were looking for a foster home for the child we looked after him for months providing him with the security and stability that children get from the love and affection of their family.
A considerable time passed and foster parents were found and we reluctantly give up our grandson still believing what we were doing was in his best interests having still full confidence in the Social Services.
Our role in our grandchild’s life changed and we were allowed unsupervised visits with him every two weeks which we again reluctantly accepted.
Looking back now we now know that we were not kept informed of the progress relating to our grandson and had no say at all into the decisions made with his life.
We received a call on the 13th July 2010 to tell us that this visit our last with our grandson would be supervised by the two Case Workers.
We were distraught at this as we had arranged a private party and were now being told that it wasn’t to be.
We knew our life was going to be upside down by losing the one family member who truly loved and needed us and us him.
We complained to the Social Services and we were told “it was protocol”
The situation was intolerable and I stress made worst because we were the only family there to say cheerio to the child.
The whole experience has left my wife and me ill. What we planned for a private family farewell was turned into a nightmare and we are so stressed out about this we think we shall never recover from the anguish and heartache of our situation.
My grandaughter the child’s mother was not allowed to see the child for months and when things did not go the way of the Social Worker he exclaimed the mother had let him down.
On reflection we never ever heard a thing about the child’s benefits or interests from the workers. Just who was letting him down!
We were advised that we could send the child two letters a year in January and July but the letters must not contain any affection or love mentioned in them and no photographs.
Our situation was beginning to kick in so much so that we contacted the Police to find out why our grandaughter had not been charged since we had been told that she was looking at three years in jail.
We were amazed to find out that there are no charges pending, so what was the case worker going on about intimidating us making us think our grandaughter was in serious trouble which was the deciding factor in us agreeing to advise her to give up her child.
We have now made a formal complaint to the management of the Social Services and advised our local MP and AM about the case and are now waiting to see what the next chapter brings.
Finally I would like to thank Grandparents Apart Wales for their help and support which has been invaluable to us at this traumatic time.
Grandparents Apart Wales