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Mother's plea for missing teen in social services row

PUBLISHED: 17:43 23 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:40 12 August 2010

A MOTHER has released a shocking photograph of her daughter in hospital after a drinking binge. Lidia Guaranda, 42, first contacted social services about her 14-year-old daughter two years ago when her behaviour became erratic and violent. But she clai

A MOTHER has released a shocking photograph of her daughter in hospital after a drinking binge.

Lidia Guaranda, 42, first contacted social services about her 14-year-old daughter two years ago when her behaviour became erratic and violent.

But she claims she was refused help and left to cope with her 'uncontrollable' daughter who has now gone missing for over a month.

Mrs Guaranda handed the picture of her daughter Sonja at Princess Royal University Hospital, Farnborough, to the Times which was taken two days before Bexley council refused to allocate a social worker for the family.

She said: "I hope no other mother will have to go through the pain of a missing child before they receive help. My child is in danger. I told social services everything she was doing and they still didn't take it seriously. I honestly believe that if I received help the first time I contacted them then she wouldn't have gone so wild."

Sonja from Belvedere was rushed to hospital a year ago, aged just 13, after she was found drunk on vodka and incapacitated in The Glades, Bromley, in the middle of the afternoon.

When she started going off the rails last August, Mrs Guaranda called the council every week but a social worker has only visited the family once, in October last year.

She said: "I love her but I have to think about my sons' safety as well.

"I want to protect her but she keeps pushing me away."

She added: "She is really uncontrollable and she gets very violent.

"There is lots of pushing, kicking windows and doors and she tells me I can't do anything to stop her. I need help."

Now, the troubled teenager has been missing from the family home since January 15. It is the sixth time she has run away from home.

Police are now using her internet e-mail account to try and track her down.

Only when the Times contacted Bexley council did she get allocated a social worker two days later but the teenager had already gone missing.

A spokesperson for Bexley council said: "Children's social care have been trying to help the mother with her family's difficulties and will continue to try and do so."

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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