What Effects Will an Allegation Have on Me and My Family?
Allegations can be classified as NBD, BD, or TD. (No Big Deal, Big Deal, or Total Devastation) The first time an allegation happens, the parent may get the feeling that they have moved from “saint to sinner” in the eyes of the agency and other caregivers. The initial impact of an allegation may produce feelings of chaos. Your first thoughts may be, “I’m through with this! Why am I putting my family through this?” Going from being seen by yourself and others as “the protector” to being viewed as “the prosecuted” is a BIG change.
Due to the inability to know the truth in a family situation, an allegation can plant “seeds of doubt” in people. Doubts about you may arise in spouses, friends, extended family and with your agency. Your initial reactions may be shock or disbelief. It can feel unreal, like a bad dream. Emotions that arise can include anger, sadness, guilt, and self-doubt, along with feelings of isolation, betrayal, and depression.
These “allegation emotions” can easily spread to the entire family. The child-in-care may be faced with another move because of the allegation that can be seen as a need to save face. The permanent children may have all the same emotions as the parents depending on their involvement.
This is a time you may be tempted to draw into yourself, not want to talk to others and feel self- blame. However, it is best if you do not become overwhelmed by these temptations but reach out to family and friends along with other parents who may have experienced similar allegations.