My daughter is in a home and no one is stopping abuse

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Scrat1982
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18 Jul 2013, 9:18 pm

Hi, My partner and I are absolutely at our wits end with a residential home which our daughter is in full time.
She's 17 and only began self harming a year ago when she arrived there, and has attended hospital numerous times at one point every night.
Obviously we have raised concerns throughout, but the care home have in all honesty fobbed us off with excuses.
She sometimes requires 5 staff to control her when she's violent and she can't go out and about with less than 3 staff and coming home and having to go back distressed her too much so we visit her now twice a week and speak every night on the phone.
In April she was assaulted by a staff member and had bruising which was consistent with how she said it happened. We foolishly trusted them to deal with it, but they didn't inform police until 7 days after when bruising had gone. 4 weeks later on a visit we witnessed an assault on another resident and we contacted police ourselves which is an ongoing investigation.
We have requested that she be moved, and they wouldn't move her. 3 months since her incident they are reinstating the staff member who hurt her, despite our protests and her being terrified.
We have complained to social services, Ofsted, our local MP, and we can't afford a solicitor but don't qualify for legal aid.
They have written to us today banning us from visiting her and are manipulating her to say things to social workers.

We have no idea where else to turn or what to do, any suggestions? We just want her and the other residents safe



ck2d
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18 Jul 2013, 10:23 pm

How can they ban you from seeing her?
Call a news station and tell them what's going on. They love stories like that. It's exploitative, but you better believe they'll make changes.



Scrat1982
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18 Jul 2013, 10:26 pm

They have said us being on site is not conducive and they won't support it, but they will supply transport to bring her home which is really too much for her.

We have approached a reporter.



AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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18 Jul 2013, 10:44 pm

Call the police. With the previous complaint, they really can't ban you.

In a brief and straightforward way, tell the police what is going on but, and this is the hard part, be respectful if the police say no. Understand that they have a tremendous amount of caseload. (this is the percentage way of approaching the police here in the States. I have no idea whether this translates to the UK)



Last edited by AardvarkGoodSwimmer on 18 Jul 2013, 10:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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18 Jul 2013, 10:46 pm

Longterm, this home has made a serious mistake. "Banning" you is almost an admission of guilt.

But you also have to worry about the short-term.



Scrat1982
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18 Jul 2013, 10:49 pm

I have to say the police have been brilliant, and yes they are very limited as they can't take a case forward to court unless they know practically 100% they won't lose.

That's actually a good idea, I did think of it but I was worried I would be being a nuisance to the police.

Thank you so much for replying



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18 Jul 2013, 10:55 pm

I mean, you contact the police regarding something you witness and the home responds by "banning" you. That is a serious mistake on their part.

Please note: I am not a parent. I am an adult on the Spectrum (middle-functioning!) and I try and be a pretty good guy and help out where I can. :D



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19 Jul 2013, 4:17 am

Scrat1982 wrote:
Hi, My partner and I are absolutely at our wits end with a residential home which our daughter is in full time.
She's 17 and only began self harming a year ago when she arrived there, and has attended hospital numerous times at one point every night.
Obviously we have raised concerns throughout, but the care home have in all honesty fobbed us off with excuses.
She sometimes requires 5 staff to control her when she's violent and she can't go out and about with less than 3 staff and coming home and having to go back distressed her too much so we visit her now twice a week and speak every night on the phone.
In April she was assaulted by a staff member and had bruising which was consistent with how she said it happened. We foolishly trusted them to deal with it, but they didn't inform police until 7 days after when bruising had gone. 4 weeks later on a visit we witnessed an assault on another resident and we contacted police ourselves which is an ongoing investigation.
We have requested that she be moved, and they wouldn't move her. 3 months since her incident they are reinstating the staff member who hurt her, despite our protests and her being terrified.
We have complained to social services, Ofsted, our local MP, and we can't afford a solicitor but don't qualify for legal aid.
They have written to us today banning us from visiting her and are manipulating her to say things to social workers.

We have no idea where else to turn or what to do, any suggestions? We just want her and the other residents safe


Is she under any Section? Is there any reason why she has to be in that particular home? I am sure you will have rights to move her to a home of your choice. She will also have rights especially if she is not under a Section.

I would chase up the police and make it clear that you will be going to the media if they do not instantly take action.

Did you write a formal complaint to the home management about the bruising incident? You should make everything in writing. Also, secretly record any visits where you interact with staff or meetings and also inform the police that they are banning you from visits because I am sure they can't legally do that. She is your daughter and it's for you to decide what is conducive for her not them. I will look up some information and repost if I find anything.


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Eloah
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19 Jul 2013, 7:07 am

This is terrible.

It's probably important to keep a journal of everything that happens. Times, places, people involved etc. Take your own photos of bruises etc.

Could you get in contact with other parents of the residents? If you all complain together, it might help?

Can you take your daughter out of the home? Maybe get people to help out with her inside your home?



whirlingmind
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19 Jul 2013, 11:48 am

As your daughter is not yet 18 you still have parental rights.

Here is some information:

http://www.autism.org.uk/living-with-au ... ights.aspx

Quote:
If, at any time, you are not happy with the services provided and feel that they are not suited to your child's needs, you can complain either through the complaints procedure at your child's placement or through the local authority, if they are funding the care. If your son or daughter is receiving residential care from the NHS for example, if a young person with autism has additional mental health needs you still have the right to complain. You can complain about residential care in the NHS with the help of the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS). Your local Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) will have ICAS contact details (see 'Further information and contact details').

Citizen advocates

Parents are often their children's main advocates well into adult life. However, when you feel you are not being listened to or if you are concerned you will not always be around to represent your child, you have the option of appointing an independent citizens advocate. Citizens advocates are volunteers who befriend and get to know individuals, often those with acute needs, and help them to get their voice heard by official organisations such as health, social, education or care services. A number of citizen advocacy schemes operate around the country. For more information, contact Action for Advocacy (see 'Further information and contact details').


There is lots more information on that link above including further links to helpful organisations. Here is another NAS page with further information about complaints (about half way down):

http://www.autism.org.uk/living-with-au ... gland.aspx

This also might be useful:

http://www.autism.org.uk/news-and-event ... homes.aspx

This might also be useful:

http://www.gmc-uk.org/learningdisabilities/


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InThisTogether
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20 Jul 2013, 7:58 am

Well, in the US, I would call the State Attorney General. Do you have an equivalent type of position in the UK? In the US, there have been State AGs who have placed hidden cameras in congregate adult living settings to capture abuse. People have been put in jail for it. Also, do have the equivalent to a Department of Health? Any report of abuse to the DOH will result in an investigation here.


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20 Jul 2013, 12:15 pm

This is so heart-wrenching (my expression of the week). I am so sorry this is taking place and I can't imagine what must be going through your mind!! I'm sure you're struggling over having to send her there in the first place - but going through this on top of it.. I cry for you.

It's scary because when my son is going through a really difficult time (at 12) I wonder if this would be an appropriate solution for him - to have him live in a residence of some kind. Then I hear stories like yours and know it's not even an option for us. I can not imagine my son being put through this hell your daughter is going through.

I like the idea of contacting the reporters. Not only should you advocate on your daughter's behalf, but on behalf of all children living there. Contact other parents and have them sign a petition of some kind. Be angry and use that anger productively.

There are a lot of smart people on this board who can support and guide you through this process. Big hugs your way!!



Scrat1982
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20 Jul 2013, 4:30 pm

I would like to firstly thank you all for your support!
This is a terribly difficult time so I will let you know where we are up to...

On advice from responses we are now recording audiovisual conversations with staff, without their knowledge

We will not accept being banned as we are not the ones under investigation, they are. Also, another alarming incident which has come to light is that our daughter has inserted a piece of material from the floor into her vagina, and despite medical advice it is still there 72 hours later, we have demanded she is taken to hospital.

We have recommended this site to her, as I must confess it was an eye opener on autism and maybe we have seen things differently before hand. She is excited to visit and I hope she will post and make friends on here in the other forums.

Would it be ethical to name this home on here?

We cannot tell you how alone we have felt until now, and thank you so much for replying.



Tequila
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20 Jul 2013, 4:34 pm

Other thing is, you don't know what else might be happening to her in that home.

Why was she attacked by this 'minder' in the first place?



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20 Jul 2013, 4:40 pm

Ethical, probably, legally problematic, depending on the laws where you live. They could possibly try to threaten you with a civil suit for slander or something. I would tread lightly, unless a lawyer tells you otherwise.

I wonder if you can give the police a heads up that are going to visit, so that the cops would know to ignore them if you show up and they try to call the cops on you to remove you. Maybe the police would escort you there so you can see your child.

As far as the other thing goes, if they are ignoring her medical needs, I wonder if you could call an ambulance or something so she could be taken to a (medical type ER) real hospital so that they could handle all of her immediate medical needs. You may not even know all of what needs to be fixed on her.



Scrat1982
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20 Jul 2013, 4:44 pm

She was having a moment where she was shouting at staff and throwing chairs in the dining room, and her 'safe place' is to sit cross legged with her head down.
Her words;

"They laughed and called me fat and he hurt me mum"

There is no record of a physical restraint taking place, however she had a cut lip and a bruise across her forehead approx 7.5cmx2.5cm.
She says that her head was pressed into the floor and kept there when they laughed by a senior. My partner is an A+E nurse who is trained to recognise such injuries.

Problem is we didn't take photos as we trusted a proper investigation was taking place. Deepest regret.

This man will be working back there 25/07/13 and she is being moved to a unit 30M away from where he is. We didn't know until tonight she has been asked to documents regarding this without parental consent, social worker or advocate present.