Help required - 11 yr old daughter sectioned - need to understand the processes etc.
My daughter is currently in a secure hospital and has been since 29th April.
She was placed on a 72 hr section on day 1, has recieved meds and behavioural support since and has been up and down in her behaviour.
She had an aggressive meltdown yesterday and was put on another 72 hr section.
We have a CPA meeting on thurs.
I could do with help understanding the support my child is due and what we as parents should be doing.
The background is thus...
Our daughter has been 'difficult' since birth, she struggled to socialise - always wanting to boss others around. This got worse at school, where her frustrations led to aggression etc and her first exclusion came around age 5-6.
Eventually she was statemented and she entered a EBD school.
She was diagnosed as ADHD, mild autism, pathalogical demand avoidance - psychologists describe her as a bit of an enigma.
School was tough at first, she was never violent towards adults until she went there, where she witnessed it, and then added it to her own toolbox of 'Ways to get her way'. School were trained in the art of restraint and she found herself pinned to floor by several staff, so she eventually changed tack to find other ways - verbal abuse, offensive language etc.
She lives with mum - we are divorced, and I personally have had few issues with behavioural problems, I see her each weekend and am luckily able to devote the whole time to doing stuff she wants to do - horse riding, pond dipping, walking dogs etc.
Mum on the other hand began to suffer at home as our daughter couldnt be given full attention 24/7.
She recently was taken off a long term medication, as it wasnt one that she could remain on permanently and we experienced progressively worse meltdowns - periods where she became unable to cope with being refused requests for food, requests to wash or shower, dress, or co-operate in day to day activities. She would become extremely aggressive, and altough only 11, she takes after me, and is a big, strong child. Mum would be punched, slapped, kicked, keys thrown at her, mums partner was nearly hit with the blow from a spade..
Social services and Cahms were useless - I assume because although seen as important, she was not seen as urgent. We requested respite care, accomodation, counselling (we got this but only for our older son who was 'traumatised'!). No-one was helping.
5 weeks ago she had a massive meltdown, police were called and she was taken to a local hospital where she spent 6 days confined to ward with no mental health involvement other than seeing a Cahms nurse twice. Our daughter was in a state - shutting her in a room with nothing but a bed and a few books was the worse thing you could do - mum had to stay 24hrs a day as nursing staff could not cope. Eventually after several nurses were attacked she was moved ***miles from home in ********** to a secure unit in ********.
She has gone from a chatty, reasonably happy girl, to a withdrawn shadow of herself. She is in the best place - We realise that - we could not go on the way things were - either her or mum would have been hurt.
She is by far the youngest child there.
We can only visit 2 times a week -but worse than this is the total lack of information.
Her doctor speaks very very poor english - I cannot understand what he is trying to tell me - It took him 2 phone calls to explain to me what turned out to be simply 'nurse practictioner' - he didnt know the meaning of it..
We can only visit evenings and weekends as no other times are allowed - at this point no doctors are around - its mainly quite young bank nurses, none of whom know the full ins and outs of what has been going on, or the results of assessments etc.
If I phone during the day, I can never speal to DRs or head nurses as they are short staffed.
I dont know who is in overall care of my daughter.
I get totally confused info - at one point I was told by the hospital that steps were being made via **** Cahms to repatriate her to *****, when I checked with Cahms I was told that they knew nothing about it.
Social Services have told us that she will now no longer be going to the school we fought for months to get her into in sept - that she will have to go a residential school 30 miles from home - this is without any results from the assessments or communictaion with us.
Our daughter is clearly distressed by the whole situation.
Where do I turn?
We have the CPA meeting on thurs as mentioned - I would like to go to this a bit more informed.
*** (information removed to protect privacy of child involved)
Last edited by Mischief; 21-05-12 at 00:21.
Reason: information removed to protect privacy
Jez, i have been thru this, you need to get a solicitor who specialises in family law and fighting the social services to make sure your child gets what is best for her and not for red tape or budget. and as for only being allowed to visit 2 x week, they are violating ur rights as parents ... you def need a family law solicitor hun! x
11 year old daughter.
Is yher doctor a general practioner or a CHILD psychiatris? There are Psychiatrist who specialise in working with children, so make ssure about that.
If there is a language problem ask for an interpeter who can use English and the language of the doctor's origin.
Keep a journal about your daughter's behaviour which can be produced for professionals if necessary.
Don't give up on her, she needs you although I am sure it is very hard and distressing.
She is at an age now when she is undergoing physical changes in her body and she should have a full physical examination.
I feel for you with a great deal of sympathy, and hopoe that you cans oon get more satisfactoryhelp. If not, then complain in writing(keep a copy) to your M.P. and the local mental health trust.
Sounds horrendous for all of you. Just wondering if you could do with an advocate? I'm not sure how it all works but heard of them when my husband was in hospital and I felt like I didn't know what was going on. As far as know they are generally for the people themselves who are ill but it was mentioned to me as a 'carer' for my husband.
I was just thinking they may be able to help clarify things that are going so you feel better informed and let you know your rights etc. just a thought. I think MIND can help with these services so maybe contact them?
The Department of Health provides information about the CPA here. It's a bit old but I can't seem to find a newer one: Care Programme Approach
The NHS's basic level of service is defined in the NHS Constitution.
Not being able to understand what the doctor says is a very serious problem. It creates medical risks and also denies you and your daughter dignity and respect. I suggest you report this problem to the trust's PALS at first, and if they can't solve it quickly (within a few days) go on to make a formal written complaint with the help of ICAS. If you have any difficulty finding contact details for these services, let us in the forum know which trust it is and someone will be able to help.
An advocate might be very helpful, as Han2403 has suggested. PALS can tell you how to get an independent mental health advocate (IMHA) for your daughter. If you cannot get an IMHA quickly then local charity advocacy services might be worth a try, but they are not all very good.
A solicitor would be useful if you feel the NHS trust has made a serious error that you can only force them to fix by getting a court order, or if you are seeking damages from the NHS trust. What you have told us here doesn't make me think either of these applies just at the moment.
As mckie says, keeping written records is very useful. A journal of not just your daughter's behaviour, but also the things that professionals tell you, can give you a firm basis for making decisions later on. If you're not keeping a journal, you could start it by writing down from memory everything that has happened so far, with names and dates.
I would hope the CPA meeting will tell you who is in charge of your daughter's care and reassure you that there's a reasonable plan, and I hope you will let us in the forum know what happens.
(By the way I am disappointed that forum moderators have removed all clues about where this is taking place. To provide specific help it is often useful to be able to work out the country, at least, and if it's England, the NHS trust.)