"Pressure from social services"

About: Guernsey House / Primary care addiction service Sheffield (PCASS)

(as the patient),

My partner and I attend Guernsey House as we both have used drugs for a long time and have chaotic lifestyles. But after my partner got pregnant things calmed down a lot and now my son is 5 weeks old. We have struggled to make the transition to stable lives and feel considerable pressure from social services because we have had a couple of slip ups and fear having our child taken from us. We wish Guernsey House was more involved in the decision making process and could explain to other services the difference between a slip up and relapse. We would like to be able to give more urine samples too.

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Responses

Response from Patient Opinion

Thank you for sharing your worries with us, it’s really good that you have raised this issue and given us a chance to respond to you. Firstly we would like to reassure you that Guernsey House is fully involved with all the agencies that will be supporting you at this time. We fully understand your concerns.

We want to reassure you that we would always work with other agencies to make sure they understand that the "odd slip up" does not mean that significant progress has not been made. Any decision to remove a child would involve a full and careful assessment that we would take part in . It would look at a child’s environment, parenting skills and how stable the addiction is and we would always make sure that the agencies involved have an understanding of all our service users. For example a positive urine sample or setback would not mean in itself that any sort of proceedings would result. It’s much more important to focus on how people are as parents and how we, and other agencies, can support you when you are struggling.

For us we would always want to carry on working with you and address any issues that come up . We understand why you might feel worried but please don’t be put off coming to see us and we would be happy for you to do more samples, please speak to your drug worker about this or any of the other issues you have raised. Thank you.

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