I received a message from Child Protective Services today that they want to send my suicidal child to his abusive father, even though the child stated that there is a 50-50 chance he will harm himself or kill himself if he has to go see his father. It's the abusive father who has traumatized the child so much so that the child has been cutting himself and has been admitted to the hospital 3 times in one month for talking about suicide if he has to go see his father. Child Protective Services are coming down on me, and supporting the father, telling me that the child should still go visit with his father despite the fact that they acknowledge the child has said there is a 50-50 chance of self-harm. To me, a 50% chance of self-harm is about 50% too much! How can Child Protective Services want to send a child in that state to the man who makes him want to cut and/or kill himself?
Also, the fact is that the child said 50-50 one morning. By that evening, as his visit got closer, his 50-50 escalated to a 100% and he went to the hospital. The closer it got to the visit, the more scared and anxious the child was becoming. He kept stating he was not feeling safe. But in the end, Child Services ask me to justify why I did not send the child to his father. I had to explain taking the child to the hospital even though it was the Doctor, Crisis Nurse, and Crisis Counsellor who made sure the child knew that he should return to the hospital if he is feeling unsafe.
This message from Child Services was sent to me in response to a letter of concern that I had written when they FIRST told me that I should have sent the child to visit his father even though there was a 50-50 chance of self-harm. I had responded to explain how the child cannot be trusted with a safety plan because after the child was discharged from the hospital the first time, he had promised everyone he would turn to his resources as part of his safety plan if he was feeling too overwhelmed, but he turned to scissors instead and started cutting himself right in the classroom where his teacher and classmates were. He could have turned to them for support, but he chose his scissors. He said he was thinking about having to go visit his father, and he wanted blood to come out of him, and he wanted to feel pain, but he was frustrated that his scissors were not sharp enough. (They were school craft scissors). This is what the child did to himself, completely against his safety plan. I explained this to Child Services to try and make them see that we cannot trust any kind of safety plan, but my concerns are apparently not valid to them. Safety plans cannot be trusted when we are dealing with a suicidal child, and Child Protective Services see no cause for alarm.
This scares me even more. They are supposed to PROTECT children, not send them right into harm's way.