Ask Sam letter


To Sam

In care

Hi Sam,

I'm wondering hider what circumstances that social services put children into Care because my mam slaps and hits me and we never ever get along and we have no relationship what so ever. In an online chat the counsellor advised that I should speak to social services but i don't know if I wanna do that yet. I'm very scared though and thins at home have been so bad for so long that I can't take it anymore and would rather be in care but I don't want anything to happen until I know more

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for your letter. Your mum has no right to slap or hit you and I can hear that you really want things to change. Remember that if you feel unsafe at any time, it’s always okay to ring 999 and ask for help.

I’m really pleased that you were able to have a chat with a counsellor about how difficult things are at home. I can hear that the thought of speaking to social services about what’s going on is scary. It’s okay if you don’t want to do that just yet. It’s fantastic that you’re thinking about what your options are and gathering some more information about what kind of support is out there.

Social services are there to support families and to make sure that young people are safe. If you decided to talk to them they would probably want to chat to you about what life is like for you at home, whether you feel safe there, and what you would like to change. If having this discussion at home would be uncomfortable for you it would be okay to ask for them to talk to you somewhere else, like school. They will want to talk to your mum and probably anyone else who lives at home too, to help them get a picture of everything that’s going on.

Once they’d assessed the situation they would work with you and your mum to decide what kind of support was needed. It’s not possible for me to say what might lead to social services placing someone in care, because every case is different.

Often Social Services will try to make things better at home first, if they feel that it’s safe to do that. This might mean you get help to fix your relationship with your mum first and they might help her to find ways of making home a safer place for you.

Sometimes social services do decide that it’s not safe for a young person to keep living at home and will help them to move. This could be to the home of another family member or even a family friend they think can care for the young person safely, or in to a placement that Social Services have found.

This doesn’t mean the young person will automatically stay where they’ve moved to forever. The arrangement would be reviewed at regular meetings to look at what work has been done, what the young person wanted to happen and where the safest place for them to live was.

If you make a decision to talk to social services you don’t have to contact them by yourself if that feels too scary. You could think about whether there’s a teacher that you trust at school who you could ask to make contact with them for you, or even chat to a ChildLine counsellor again and ask them to help you do this.

While you’re thinking things through it might be helpful to take a look at the Physical abuse page for more information and advice. You could also check out the message boards where young people support each other and share their experiences. There are boards about physical abuse and living in care or away from home that you might find helpful. 

ChildLine is here anytime that you want to talk more. You can speak to a counsellor by phoning 0800 1111, logging on for a 1-2-1 online chat or by  sending an email. Calls are free and confidential and the number won't appear on the phone bill, including mobiles.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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