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Children Services Abuse:
The start of the Core Assessment
15 May 2011
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The Initial Assessment has a start date of 7 September 2009 printed on the front page.  This was the day the Children Services received a report from the hospital and the day before they visited Dave and Helen in the hospital.  The very next line on that front page is the statement "The information in this report was based on the information available on 21/09/2009".  If one is to interpret the words in the report as meaning what they say then this report was completed on 21 September 2009.  But on page 8 of that document it is stated that the Assessment was completed on 16 September 2009.  It is also authorised by the manager Damon Markham on 17 September.  The initial Assessment is supposed to be completed within seven working days from the date of referral.  From the 7th to the 16th is seven working days.  Obelix apologised to Dave for the report not being completed in the specified time.  She specifically explained that they had a lot of other issues to be dealing with.  It was clear from her explanation that the report had not been completed in seven days.  But they have forged the completion date on the document.  And worse, there is collusion between the social worker and the manager.

On Tuesday 22 September Dave received a card through the door stating that Obelix had called and tried to get Dave's attention but failed and that she would call again at 4 pm on Thursday 24 September 2009.  The doorbell rang at about 20 past 4 on Thursday and Obelix and her colleague Cathy were at the door.  They delivered the Initial Assessment and a plan was made for the Core Assessment.  The first meeting was planned for 1 October 2009.

This whole affair is so sloppy it is difficult to fit the pieces of the jigsaw together.  The Initial Assessment is supposed to be completed within seven working days and it states that a Core Assessment will be done.  The Core Assessment is planned to start on 1 October unless it is deemed to have started when the Initial Assessment is complete and concludes that a Core Assessment should be done in which case it would start on 21 September because that is when the Initial Assessment was completed.  But the Core Assessment states that it began on the fictional completion date of the Initial Assessment.  That is the 16 September 2009.

It gets far worse.

The first meeting planned for the process of doing the Core Assessment was set for Thursday 1 October 2009.  This meeting was cancelled by Obelix.  The next meeting, which was a fiasco of charades, finally materialised on Tuesday 13 October 2009.  Amongst other things Dave raised some questions and concerns about the Initial Assessment.  One concern was the clear error on page 2 that Helen had been interviewed on 12 August 2008, over a year before the start of the Assessment.  A number of other erroneous facts were raised and Dave wanted them corrected.  This idea was dismissed with the statement "It doesn't matter because no one will ever read it."  Most of us have encountered that kind of dismissal before.  A few of us have been bitten in the derrière as a result.  But Dave was successfully fobbed off at this point and other issues were discussed and the meeting concluded.

At the next meeting Dave re-raised some questions and concerns and Obelix, realising she couldn't deal with the problem, presented Dave with another common distraction.  She suggested he wrote his concerns down and she could consider them in more detail and they could then discuss them.  Needless to say Dave did write them down in a letter dated 23 October 2009 and no consideration was given to the content except perhaps the consideration to ignore the problem.  There was no further discussion on these matters.

The arrangement had been to have four meetings; one with parent and child, one with parent, one with child, and one with both.  What actually happened was a meeting with both followed by a meeting with the child, followed by a meeting with the child and the decision to complete the report with no more meetings.  Dave wanted another meeting because he was still very concerned that the Children Services were simply bolstering their initial prejudicial view and were not recognising the real problems.  Obelix tried to avoid this but reluctantly agreed to a meeting at her office with Dave on the 23 October 2009.  Come the allotted meeting Obelix was absent.  There was no meeting.  Dave hand delivered the letter outlining the problems.

Three days later with no apology for the missed appointment Dave wrote a letter dated 26 October 2009 to the manager making a stronger representation of the problems.

Nothing was heard from them again until after Dave contacted them with his concerns approximately three months later.  After they dismissed his concerns Dave wrote again to question the state of the Core Assessment.  It was hastily cobbled together and sent, breaking the expressed confidentiality, to Dave.

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