PANS, PANDAS and Safeguarding and FII
We know that many UK families with children who have PANS and PANDAS are currently subject to safeguarding referrals or allegations of Fabricated or Induced Illness (FII). The factors behind why this is happening are multiple and complex, but the impact on families is simple. Families who are already struggling to support a medically complex child are being further traumatised by being blamed for their child's illness.
In collaboration with Cathleen Long (independent social worker and co-author of the recent British Association of Social Work's practice guidance on FII and Perplexing Presentations), PANS PANDAS UK have written a guide for social work, healthcare and education professionals.
This guide sets out the reasons why so many PANS and PANDAS families are unfairly being accused of harming their child.
It explores what professionals can do differently to ensure that all children are kept safe without unnecessarily targeting families of children with medical conditions.
It makes recommendations about how professionals can work collaboratively and in a trauma-informed way to assess any children presenting with symptoms of these post-infectious disorders.
We also suggest that families who have concerns about safeguarding and FII might like to read our position statement on FII. This statement gives some information about what FII is, why PANS and PANDAS parents are particularly vulnerable to allegations of causing harm to their children and where to seek advice and support.