Stourbridge mother slams social services over care concerns

A STOURBRIDGE mother has slammed Dudley Social Services, claiming social workers repeatedly ignore concerns she has for her two children.

The 26-year-old said her son and daughter have been in foster care on and off since 2011, after she had a mental breakdown.

During her monthly supervised visits with the children, she has become increasingly worried that the foster family are pushing their Muslim faith on the children, who are Christian.

She said during one contact session, she had taken her daughter a packet of sweets but the child said she could not have them as they contained pork gelatine and were not halal.

She has since been told that the children are not deprived of non-halal food if they requested it but said her daughter's comment suggests otherwise.

The mother said: "How does a five-year-old know about that? Why would she say she's not allowed it? They have their faith and that is fine, but don't push it on my children."

She also claims the children regularly arrive late for the visits, despite being told a social worker had reiterated to the foster carer that it was important that the children were ready for contact visits.

She said: "They are always at least 15 minutes late, one time they were one hour and 20 minutes late, the only time they have arrived on time was at Christmas. They should be ready and arrive on time, the foster carer has a list of visit dates."

Last year, she was horrified to find out from her daughter that her two-year-old son had been taken to hospital and insists she should have been informed: "During one visit I saw a scar on his head and asked my daughter what had happened. She said he had fallen from the sofa and hit his head and they'd gone to hospital. Social services didn't even tell me it had happened, I only knew because I asked my daughter. What if he had died? In my opinion, they tried to cover it up by not notifying me."

She was told that while the foster carer had acted appropriately by taking him to hospital and informing her social worker, the information was not passed on to the allocated social worker for the children.

She was assured that the matter had been discussed with a relevant team manager and it was hoped that information would be passed on in the future.

She added: "Dudley Social Services are failing my children on a daily basis and are making no attempts to correct the legitimate issues that I have regarding the care of my children."

Councillor Tim Crumpton, cabinet member for children's services and lifelong learning told the News: "We are aware of the concerns raised and have been in regular contact with the family.

"Our priority is the welfare and stability of the children in our care.

"As an authority we work closely with all our foster carers and parents to ensure children and young people are nurtured and cared for and receive the support they need to thrive."

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