The CAF confusion

The CAF (Common assessment framework) was set up by Dinky’s old school, when we were homeless. Needless to say it is a little outdated now.

I see the fall out of my rash decision making, regarding the TAC (team around the child). We were supposed to have a TAC the week Dinky left her old school. However due to the comments made by the head teacher, I felt the school just wanted Dinky out, and that there was no point holding the meeting as I would just get angry and that wouldn’t help anyone.

This has no been the case though. It may have helped the current situation.

We cant have a family link worker because Dinky’s new school is an academy, we have no lead professional as the senco of the previous school who created the CAF is no longer our LP. I don’t want the new school senco as our LP as she is useless and I don’t think she is really fighting our corner. I need someone who will stick up for dinky, make her the priority. I don’t see the senco doing that, it will be about the schools funding and all communication deficiencies will be blamed, perhaps on the weather or something just as laughable.

The new senco gave me the number of the person named on our CAF paperwork for me to contact (god forbid she do some work herself!). I found it very difficult to get hold of the woman. Then I got a call back from a helpful, if not a little bad tempered person from CAP (Children’s access point). She said it was a shame we couldn’t access the family link worker service. It was due to the school being an academy and not buying into the service.

It did make me think of the new play equipment in the school playground. 

Anyway, there is another service which will accessible until Dinky is 10, the family resource team. I just had to pop down to the children and families centre to find out more.

It was there I met a helpful person. These are far and few between when it comes to accessing things. I asked for the family resource team, when I was asked why I wanted to contact them I told the lovely lady that we needed something other than the family link worker service and explained the situation. she was really nice and told me to leave it with her.

That was yesterday.

Today I got a call from the woman at integrated services! I had been trying to reach her for a couple of days to discuss the CAF.

She was actually quite nice. It is hard to say what integrated services are. They are not social services, and they are not NHS like CAMHS. I guess they are one of these new departments from within the county council.

Anyway, we spoke on the phone and I told her that at the moment we are just being left hanging. We have an open CAF with outdated information, no lead professional, no family link worker service available and a referral to the child development centre. Basically moving to this new school has been a nightmare and everything we had been putting in place has been stopped or held back by the new school.
To be honest it kind of made me angry at just how useless this new school are. Apart from the head teacher I don’t think I will ever knock the old school again in terms of what they did or didn’t do for Dinky. At least the senco there was nice enough to put me at ease and make me feel lie I could approach her. This senco makes out that any work I create for her is above and beyond for her.

At the end of the call the woman said it might just be easier if she comes out to the house and meets me face to face. So we have arranged it for Thursday at 1pm. I’m hoping she uses the time to get some things set up so she can give me more information. I think she might take on lead professional until a more suitable lead is found. If it wasn’t for the fact it was called lead ‘professional’ I would have said I would hold the meeting myself.

Now we just have to wait until Thursday for more information.

I just want to add that from writing this it may not seem clear as to why I am trying to get outside services in.

My reasons are as follows (from inside the head of a crazy person I might add!)

  • It is always good to open up and let professionals see I have nothing to hide. I will let them see my mediocre but not poor parenting skills (I don’t know how that happened, I have 2 of the most incapable parents ever but seem to do ok with Dinky… most of the time)
  • it gives me more backing when it comes to Dinky’s behaviour. I’m not a neurotic mother (well not in that way 😉 )
  • I will have more professionals to back my claim that Dinky meets the criteria for PDA (hopefully)
  • it gives me a safety net, if I’m struggling it wont impact on her as much as she will have other input.
  • Being a single parent is hard. Being a single parent with mental health issues is harder. Being a single parent with mental health issues and a child with suspected PDA = bloody nightmare!
  • Lastly, it gives me some indication of what is normal and not. Like I said I had 2 awful parents, I don’t want to be an awful parent to Dinky. She didn’t ask to be born, so it is my duty to bring her up the best way I can. However apart from the big no no’s I don’t really have anything to go on for what is acceptable and not. Such as… I found out during the CAF form filling that it is wholly acceptable and normal to want to get away from your child at times and send them of to play on their own. I felt bad for not wanting to spend every minute of her time at home with her especially during the school holidays. Turns out it is not abnormal at all.

I do have a slight confession… while I am fighting for services to do with Dinky, I have blown off my services.

L is really nice, but she doesn’t know what to do about the CMHT,  she cant actually help, and the idea of having to socialise with a bunch of people who are also struggling doesn’t fill me with a deep sense of joy.

I need some space.

Dinky has been really off  the past 2 days after school. I know yesterday was the substitute teacher, but today she was just as off. We went into town to get her furby party rocker and she picked fights with me by over exaggerating everything. She needed to blow off steam so hit me. I had hoped the idea of getting her party rocker might have calmed her but it only made her worse. I said we could get it another day but that was even worse.

It is really hard to see her like that.

Tomorrow is swimming, hopefully that will be ok. If she kicks off at swimming I will have to seriously reconsider the zoo trip on Sunday….


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