"People have to understand we're not the Gestapo."
So said the social worker as my son was taken off the Child in Need register and the spotlight taken off me.
At. Fucking. Last.
I told the two social workers that nothing had been done to help my child and I except putting more stress on me. I'd been accused of being the cause of my son's anxiety and blackmailed and made to feel like an unfit mother.
They accepted what I was saying and when I expressed my fears that we would face eviction again in two years (can you believe I started this blog two years before the previous 'warning' and lost lost lost) said I could contact them and self refer back to the social services should that happen but they'd had reassurance from my housing officer it wouldn't.
"I'm afraid of contacting you," I said. "Everyone knows now I can't handle the stress and fear of eviction, so what? The next time the social services will just go ahead and put my son on the Child Protection Register and declare me unfit to take care of him instead of seeing it's the system doing this to us?"
They wanted to minimise the stress on families, they said. It was difficult, so difficult now, they couldn't change housing policy, things are getting worse.. All things I know, they know I know. They weren't really interested to take the conversation down that housing route, and nor was I.
The social workers repeated that it was not in their remit to take a child away from the parent and they had to find ways to minimise the fear parents had about that.
My son has never been a Child in Need of support because of me. He was a child in need of support because of what was happening to both of us. I am glad the light has been taken off me at last and thanks to my boy, under positive circumstances.
The deputy head had started the meeting you see, saying he was way above the year 3 average in many of his subjects. A 4c in reading - year 6 level she said. 3b in literacy, 3a in maths - year 5. I was quite blown away by that and want him to stay in the school if they encourage him to that level. I want him in a school that encourages and challenges him.
Bullying was not mentioned. Messy affair ey...but since I spoke to my son's teacher, mentioning to her that she had allegedly said I contribute to my son's anxiety... the boy who had been strangling my son has stopped. I'd like to say the school dealt with that but in truth I think I did. That time I did. I had to. The bullying has stopped. Phew.
Year 3, a tumultous year for my boy. The eviction which saw him isolate himself at school, not helped by me. Sorting that out, then trying to form bridges with his friend A's mother and Ugly coming along and kicking off all the shit once more.
He's doing well at school, I heard this morning. A strong group of friends, the deputy told the social worker.
You know, I'm not a bad mother; I'm not a great one but I'm not unfit to be one. My child is a beautiful child and very ordinary in his amazing extraordinaryish way.
I leave this post and quite possibly the label about social workers with the letter my son and his classmates had to write to their new year 4 teacher as homework this week.
Heart in my throat, I wish him so much luck that it's an easier, more enjoyable, more confidence building time for him and that his friendships go from strength to strength. Against so many odds and a couple of unkind parents he has made his peer relationships work and I do thank his school for that. I love my son so much more than I can ever convey to you.
Dear New Year 4 Teacher,
I am a boy who is a bit mischervous but quite clever. I am good at times tables and big writing and I really like history and science. I am looking forward to year 4 because it is a new class, new projects, new nearly every thing. The project I want to do the most is world war 2. I think rationing will be cool learning and lots of fun.