Imagine finding out you are pregnant for the first time, the emotions you feel, scared, excited, curious, wander. Two weeks later just as you are sort of getting your head round the news you have a phone call or a knock on the door, it’s social services, they know you are pregnant, they want to assess you to undertake a pre-birth assessment, your emotions change at that instant;
scared becomes petrified
excitement becomes dread
curiousness becomes doubt
and wander becomes fright at what might be
So Social Services want to assess, more than likely a young, petrified hormonal pregnant female who is now full of doubt and dread, fair? I think not.
So what does a pre-birth assessment entail?
It includes a social worker asking questions (some see this as interrogating, to which from my own experience cannot say is an over exaggeration) to a young woman who has had no previous children, has probably little or no experience on how she deals with certain tasks of looking after a baby.
Now for the most part from my own experience, its easy to answer with a bit of common sense and maybe a little bit of help from the work done on child development. However that is my own experience. I passed my pre-birth assessment with flying colours and with nothing but a referral to a Children’s Centre my case was deemed closed.
So what the assessment is based up on in your mental knowledge of child care, how can this be the basis of an assessment when you have no previous experience of having your own child.To me this is but a pointless and worthless exercise which does nothing but puts stress and strain on the mother during pregnancy.
My own experience led to me being unable to bond with the small miracle growing inside of me because I was petrified of losing her at birth. They never made it clear to me why they were doing the assessment and only told me a few days before I gave birth that they were supposedly closing the case, it later transpired they never did, instead they turned up to the hospital the day after I gave birth but were sent away as I was in no fit state to see them after spending the early hours in theater.
Imagine being one of these mothers that have to endure this. No drink problems, no drug problems, no criminal record, no other reasons for concerns, other than you were awaiting to be housed but yet being told you have to be assessed, reason given because you were in care as a child!!!