A Mum’s Brave Story of Loss and Hope: Chapter 3, the trauma of losing my daughter by Court Order

"As part of the Court process I completed a psychological assessment."

Social services had said they wanted me to do this. Even though they said I didn’t have to, I was scared that if I didn’t do it, it would go against me.

The report said I had trauma. There were some things that happened, but they weren’t necessarily traumatic.

The psychologist asked me questions from so far back that I couldn’t remember, like “what was my birth like”.. How would I know that when my mum had never spoken to me about it.

There were lots of things I couldn’t answer because I couldn’t remember. They didn’t believe me. They thought I was blocking it, that it was trauma, but it wasn’t.

“I felt the assessment was so unfair. How could they know me in an assessment that was done in only one day?”

I know my engagement wasn’t great in the assessment, but this was because it felt like I was forced to do it. It was another professional asking things of me, when I had so many already.

“At the end of a 5 day hearing, my daughter was removed from my care.”

They said it was because of my mental health and alcohol use.

I wasn’t given long to say goodbye.

The social workers boss asked if I was ok.

I felt, are you for real? What did she expect?

I was crying but I couldn’t say I really wanted to incase it went against me.

“Afterwards I was just left.”

My brother made social services check on me on the Monday, but after that they just leave you. That’s it.

My brother stayed for a few days.

I had contact with my daughter 2 weeks after the court hearing, then every 2 weeks after supervised, until it went to monthly.

It felt like everything else had just stopped.

“I only lived for the contact with my daughter.”

Each one felt like a lifetime away, especially when it was monthly. But as a parent I was always there. I didn’t walk away like my ex did when she was just a baby.

If I was lucky, I would get updates about my daughter during meetings.

“After my daughter was removed, I tried to get help in the areas they were worried about, but I got blocked at every turn.”

The social worker said I had a learning disability and the Court ordered that I contact the learning disability team. So I phoned them and spoke to someone who told me I actually don’t have a learning disability.

I was still under the mental health team even though a lot of the services were ‘inactive’ because of Covid. I kept phoning them for months after the Court hearing, but they were unhelpful. Eventually I found out I had been discharged from their team a while ago. I wasn’t sent any letters about this, they sent a letter to my doctor, but not to me.

I followed professional’s advice to go to the Wellbeing Academy to access courses, such as help with mental health, alcohol and money management and completed the course.

But after completing this, I was told they weren’t relevant, and wasn’t told what other courses I could do.

I had 3 negative hair strand tests, but that wasn’t good enough.

I was told to engage with alcohol recovery services but when I self referred to them they said it would do me more damage than good because I was abstinent from alcohol, whereas the people on the courses weren’t.

I spoke to my solicitor about taking it back to court to get my daughter back but was told I had to wait a year….

“At the end of a 5 day hearing, my daughter was removed from my care. Afterwards I was just left."

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