Parental responsibility



This week I am feeling incredibly confident and proactive. I’m not the emotional wreck that seemed to take over my soul last week, no she is gone and in her place is someone determined to get what my family needs.


I have spoken to my SEN Officer’s manager who I really like. She’s very sympathetic to the potentially delicate situation, she listens and she puts forward useful suggestions. I have also spoken to the lady in social care (can’t remember her title) who I kind of leeched onto last week being that she was the only person I could think of to try and call out for help. I think I’ve annoyed her as she has subsequently become quite matter of fact and blunt with me. I guess in some ways this is fine; I know my place and know every conversation we have will be purely practical. She works within an arena full of emotions so I’m intrigued by her approach and last week on the phone I found some of the things she said to me pretty rude and insulting. But it’s fine, I’m not the doormat I used to be so can fight back with valid points and an even more valid argument as to why we need what we need for Jude.


The hilarious thing is, no one apologised for not responding to my email or even acknowledging it. The “cry for help” that it has been entitled by one council worker. And yes it was a cry for help so WHY DID THEY IGNORE ME?! A month is an incredibly long time to be living in an apprehensively static state, waiting and waiting…so for someone/several people to read my afflicted words and just pass it onto the next person is frankly disgusting. You know you hear those cases in the news where something tragic happens within a family? I can totally see how this can occur. The frustration of trying to manage the enormity of a social care case, even just getting to that point where you admit you can’t cope, to take on the guilt you feel in asking directly for help and the struggle of wondering whether you should call them back one more time. I’m beyond all that now. All I care about is Jude.


So here is the latest dilemma. Today, I was told that Jude’s father has been contacted in regard to the notion of residential schooling for Jude. He has parental responsibility so despite having very little involvement in Jude’s day to day life, his opinion is apparently valid. Straight away I was despondent and felt uneasy. In my heart of hearts, I don’t believe he would do what is in the best interest of Jude and whilst I can’t go into massive detail about why I think this, I know I now have another hurdle in my way to getting the care Jude really needs to help him become the best Jude he can be.  Naturally, he doesn’t want Jude to attend residential care, but why? No one asked this despite it being a pretty valid question. Is it out of spite? Genuine residential school fear? I have to show evidence of why it WOULD be best for Jude, so why can’t he show evidence as to why it WOULDN’T?

And as you know, my decision for Jude’s schooling isn’t entirely about Jude’s needs, so why would Jude’s father care about this side of my reasoning? He wouldn’t and quite evidently doesn’t. I find the whole idea of parental responsibility frustrating and in our situation, completely insulting. I work hard to give Jude (and the girls) everything they could possibly need – I give up working opportunities, free time, literally any freedom I may really enjoy for their happiness and I certainly don’t feel he shows this same level of selflessness.


The word responsibility means “the state or fact of being responsible, answerable, or accountable for something within one’s power, control or management.”

“Within one’s power“- this surely can’t be a decisively made power? I take it to mean doing whatever you can within your power.  Not picking and choosing when you use this power.


I’m frustrated and annoyed that yet again, I’m going to have to justify my beliefs and status. I’m meeting my social care (social worker?) on Wednesday and I have a list of questions and statements for her that clearly explain my upset with the situation but emphasise my point of view. I hope we can overcome this recurring habitual blip in our quest for the support our family needs. I, again, feel like I’m in a state of vilification for wanting residential schooling for Jude. It’s another example of them against me but now the “them” has taken on a secondary, sadly more familiar face. I’m not disheartened though, I am reading up on the law and will continue with fighting for what we know is best for Jude and his future.


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