Features

Beware the baby-snatchers: how social services can ruin your family

The care system’s eagerness to separate babies from parents is taking a large but secret toll

6 February 2016

9:00 AM

6 February 2016

9:00 AM

Baby George was born into a happy family. His mother and father love him dearly. He lives in a cottage in a pretty village, with a six-year-old sister who adores him, and his grandmother lives nearby. His parents both have good jobs and his nursery is filled with toys. By most measures, George has had a good start in life.

It was only when his mother was diagnosed with post-natal depression that George’s prospects looked bleaker. Not because his caring mother was feeling blue, but because in this, paranoid, post-Baby P era, the authorities take no chances. The slightest whiff of a mother unable to cope, and they swoop down, ready to whisk the baby away.

When Rosie first realised she was depressed, she assumed the doctor would be able to offer her advice about how to cope. She knew one in ten mothers develops the ‘baby blues’, so she had every expectation of sympathy.

Instead, her condition was code red to the authorities. Before long, Rosie found her diary filled with visits from all kinds of ominous figures: social services, child protection officers, mental health workers, who offered little practical support but made her feel hounded. Soon, the suggestion was made that George — then six months old — might be taken away from her. Unsurprisingly, this made her feel worse, and so she was put on a cocktail of strong drugs. There was no option of not taking the drugs, according to the authorities. They could test her blood, they said, and if she had missed her medication, George could be removed.

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These sorts of covert threats increased to the point where Rosie began to feel that she was, indeed, incapable of caring for George, even though her baby was actually fine. George was well-fed, wearing clean clothes, sleeping well and cared for when he woke up in the night. He was a happy baby, blissfully unaware that the state was eyeing him up.

Unfortunately, Rosie’s worries that her baby could be taken from her at any moment were far from paranoid. In December, data was released which showed that there has been a ‘huge rise’ in the number of newborns taken into care: 2,018 babies in 2013, up from 802 in 2008. The report confirmed that there is now a ‘general trend towards taking more timely action’. The angle the papers focused on was that about half of the babies were from mothers with other children in care. But what about the others? What if there are a thousand mothers like Rosie who just needed encouragement?

It’s hard to find out who these poor mothers are because family courts, where these types of decisions are made, are so secretive. There is no jury involved, so the fate of the child — and the family — is usually sealed by a judge or a handful of magistrates who decide the result on a balance of probabilities, rather than the criminal-law standard of ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. Reporting restrictions are often in place and it is normally illegal to reveal court proceedings, or even the judgment. Appeals are also notoriously difficult. Families are being broken up behind closed doors, and while the culture of secrecy protects the children involved, it also protects the authorities.

Such secrecy means that we all assume babies taken into care are the offspring of junkies or teenage mothers with abusive boyfriends. But Rosie doesn’t fit this picture, and nor do many other mothers who have had to forfeit their children, if the internet is to be believed. In online chatrooms where anonymity allows mothers to speak freely, there is plenty of discussion about the fear that social services — or the SS — will remove your child if you ask for any help. Rumours about adoption targets also swirl around, with members of the ‘SS’ occasionally popping up to deny them. While it’s true targets are no longer officially in place, they were being used until 2008, with cash rewards offered to councils for arranging ‘forced adoptions’. It’s hardly surprising that some mothers still feel concerned about them.

Interestingly, Rosie says that throughout all the meetings, there was never any suggestion that her daughter should be put into care. The authorities only seemed interested in George. Rosie was convinced that this was because chubby, rosy-cheeked babies are easier to find homes for.

But even if targets are no longer being used, the world of adoption and fostering can be lucrative. As a Policy Exchange report in 2012 showed, fostering has become a profitable industry. The average cost of keeping each of the 65,000 children then in care in England was £37,000, an annual bill of £2.4 billion. According to results filed at Companies House, Foster Care Associates, the largest independent foster agency in the UK, made more than £5 million profit in 2014. As for foster parents, on average they can earn around £400 per child per week. Then there are the fees for other employees of the ‘childcare’ system — the sort of experts Rosie had so many appointments with. Does the money act as an incentive to turn minor and fixable family problems into situations from which a child needs rescuing?

Perhaps one of the most alarming elements of the new fashion for removing babies from their natural families is the lack of care provided to desperate mothers once they’ve lost their child. According to Professor Karen Broadhurst, who led the research into newborns taken into care, ‘The key issue is that England doesn’t have any statutory requirements for post-removal support.’ Until the child is removed, the system runs at full throttle, as Rosie discovered. But once the baby is gone, very little help is offered. Imagine having your child wrenched away from you, only to discover that the apparatchiks no longer gave a fig about your wellbeing. Keep taking the pills or don’t — it no longer matters to them.

There will always be children who are genuinely at risk, and social services have an undeniably hard job. But what families like Rosie’s need is support, not separation. Rosie is a good mother. Her post-natal depression has now subsided and, because she fought hard to prove her worth, George is still with her. For other families, there may be more tragic endings.

Names have been changed.

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Show comments
  • nancoise

    Once I became a mother and read about the untrammelled power and unanswerable irresponsibility of social services regarding children, I made a deal with my husband: if ever social services came calling, the next time he heard from me I would be ringing from a foreign country. There was an instance when my child burnt his hand and I remember wavering about whether I should take him to Emergency or not. Certainly the largest part of the wavering had to do with attracting the attention of social services if someone at the hospital became suspicious about the cause of his burn. We went in the end, I was extremely careful to allow him to explain how it happened and all was well.

    Because of the climate of suspicion we live in, I imagine that if someone were to read the last paragraph, they might be reckoning that I had something to hide. I didn’t and don’t. But see how they’ve gotten into our minds?

    • Mc

      That is why I’ve warned a very dim acquaintances to not even think about giving their child homeopathic medicines, even if the child is receiving conventional medicine alongside (I don’t believe homeopathy works). SS will seize on any opportunity to seize a child.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Even though the trendy social workers will all take homeopathic remedies alongside their prozac.

        • Mc

          And probably more dangerously, it’s likely that a higher proportion of SS workers won’t vaccinate their children. But where possible, they’ll use non-vaccination as reason to remove others’ children

          • helensparkles

            Oo err this is not entirely serious? I don’t believe in homeopathic remedies but don’t dismiss those who do…

          • Mc

            Again more claptrap from you: it is perfectly reasonable to dismiss and ridicule those who believe in pseudoscience such as homeopathy.

          • helensparkles

            It is a delight to hear from your again in your measured & polite tone. You can say whatever you think obviously but no need to be rude?

            The image of social workers as being trendy, not interested in vaccination or less likely to vaccinate is based on what?

            I’m with Ben Goldacre on homeopathy and children are not removed because they are not vaccinated. If they are not vaccinated and they are removed, it is usually because they haven’t attended other health appointments, like the 4 year old whose teeth were rotten etc.

            I will take this opportunity to point out that most LAs have called their service for children children’s services for about 20 years. SS is usually used to link to the Nazi’s, this I find offensive.

          • Mc

            Considering that Social Services departments’ appalling record and behaviour, I believe it is reasonable to satirize them

          • helensparkles

            That isn’t satire.

          • Mc

            I suggest you consult a dictionary next time: “the use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.”

            Note inclusion of “exaggeration” and “ridicule” in the definition.

          • helensparkles

            And aligning social workers with genocide fits in where exactly?

          • Mc

            The SS wasn’t known just for genocide. They were involved in or associated with tyranny, as well as arrest and trial of people on dubious grounds. Trials were in secret or in open court, depending on what suited the Nazis’ particular agenda in each trial.

          • helensparkles

            I’m Jewish but thanks for the history lesson, still not working on any level for me.

          • Mc

            I provided a detailed explanation because you seemed to have real difficulty understanding everything from definitions to the angle of the satire. But it’s well known that satire isn’t understood or appreciated by everyone.

          • helensparkles

            Just saying that mass murder & social work are so unrelated as for the mention of satire to be erroneous.

          • Mc

            That perceptual hissy fit is your problem, not mine.

          • helensparkles

            Afraid no hissy fits here.

          • Mc

            Well, you’re pretty dogged in refusing to apply basic perceptual skills & reading comprehension when faced with a point that doesn’t fit your view point. Your problem if you can’t read a dictionary or understand the mechanics of satire.

          • helensparkles

            Overcomplicated & missing the point entirely. Not that I would dream of extrapolating from that about families became I wouldn’t.

          • Mc

            I can’t help it if you have not the slightest grasp of satire. I gather it may be due to the fact that you don’t appreciate a brutally honest critique of SS.

            The unsurprising thing is that innocent people who are destroyed by spurious SS cases are so shocked to discover that state agents can be so evil. Their original naïvity is due to the fact that they never realized that the legislation relating to the SS sphere is seized on with alacrity by SS, in the same way that the UK police and security services lap up every bit of repressive legislation that comes their way. This is where you seem to share a similar blind spot, as it sounds like you believe SS aim to do good and that their wrongdoing is an aberration, not systemic.

    • Brutus974

      But you do have something to hide. You live in a police state.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Who decides you have something to hide?

        • Brutus974

          The police state.

          • whistletalker

            Who polices “The police state”, “The police state” does

  • David Prentice

    I would like to see the breakdown in the number of white, nominally Christian parents, who have their children removed, compared to Muslim and other ethnic minorities.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Please expand.

      • Hagen vanTronje

        Social Workers are like you and me, they will avoid obvious threats ! but having said that, they can always ask for the Polis to back them up !

        • freddiethegreat

          The Stasi, you mean.

      • EUSSR 4 All!

        Except you are yourself from Billingham, North Teesside! Mirror … get … look … lately?!

  • Mc

    “The care system’s eagerness to separate babies from troubled parents is taking a large but secret toll” The system is just as eager to seize children from untroubled parents, on the flimsiest of evidence or thr most ludicrous lies. All it needs is a suspicion or allegation of sexual abuse, neglect, etc. And vehement denials of guilt are considered to be further evidence of guilt.

    One of the reasons for this are the secret Family Courts. And yet people still are mystified as to what can be wrong about secret courts, when the government wants to extend them to other types of trials.

    • Hagen vanTronje

      Holland has secret Courts, no judge and jury system for Holland,! instead they have Judges (usually left wing) who decide the verdict and pass the sentence.
      Heaven forbid we get this awful system in the UK !!

      • freddiethegreat

        Holland really is on the brink. If I lived below the surrounding sea leve, I’d be a darned sight more careful about being righteous.

    • helensparkles

      Everyone knows, including social workers and the states itself, that the state makes a terrible parent. Just that some parents make worse parents. Nothing flimsy about what removes children from their families of origin.

      • Mc

        I believe you are ignorant on the subject. Of the few Family Courts cases that are permitted to be published, it is clear that cases are not infrequently brought on flimsy grounds – I’d suggest you use trusty Google to find articles describing these. And of course, this type of thing has been happening for a very long time – for example the Satanic Ritual Abuse cases https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_satanic_ritual_abuse_allegations#United_Kingdom

        • helensparkles

          I didn’t say we have a perfect system, far from it.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Wife verbally abuses you In public, children indoctrinated their mother hate you. What wouldn’t you give for the chance to start over, preferably beyond the grasp of Police State UK.

    • EUSSR 4 All!

      Speak for you only, you daft, stupid fantasist! You really enjoy a bit of trolling here and there, now and then, don’t you, Andy “ex-Billingham” Milner?!

    • Kennybhoy

      Biographical…?

  • Paul

    Yes the state has become far too powerful and intrusive into family life. In typical fashion it over reacts to the Baby P case where evidence of abuse would have been spotted by anyone you dragged off the street but was somehow missed by social workers. Therefore, innocent lives must be destroyed so that state employees feel sufficiently protected from responsibility. No matter the cost the public employee must never be held accountable – see Mid Staffs health, Rotherham social services for reference.

    • red2black

      A number of nurses in the Mid Staffs case were struck off.
      Six people working in Rotherham Children’s Services have been sacked.

      • jeremy Morfey

        Scapegoats.

        • red2black

          They may well have been, but it did seem to be in the case of Mid Staffs, that the first disciplinary actions were taken in relatively short order well down the pecking-order, at Ward level, by the Nursing Union.
          The article in ‘The Star’ concerning Rotherham also stated that four other people had resigned.

  • roccolore

    Social Services doesn’t care about children.

  • Ivan Ewan

    “It’s a well-known fact that social problems increase to occupy the total number of social workers.” – Yes Minister.

    In other words, they’re malicious busybodies who enjoy tampering with the lives of others.

    • Chris Bartelt

      When you look at the kinds of people who become social workers (and yes I’ve actually known a few) it’s quite clear that they are, in many cases, people with quite severe ‘issues’ themselves…. there is quite a lot of ‘projecting’ going on…. ahem…

      • Ivan Ewan

        I did meet one once, or at least, someone hoping to become one. He was a bit abnormal, certainly, but didn’t seem yet to have acquired an all-consuming desire to play God with people’s lives. I expect that’s covered in on-the-job training.

      • helensparkles

        Issues that are not unresolved but might make them better social workers perhaps, & what you call projection, is probably just something you don’t want to face.

    • helensparkles

      Or the government tells them to. They work within a legal framework & otherwise wouldn’t exist.

  • Brutus974

    I’m so old I remember when Britain fought fascism instead of embraced it.

    • RobertDeLuce

      Bravo Sir, many of us are still fighting it.

  • colchar

    Social workers are out of control. In addition, health visitors are a ridiculous idea. The rest of us in the west get by perfectly well without them and I cannot understand why British parents accept their intrusion into their lives.

    • Mary Ann

      I found my health visitor very useful.

  • Chris Bartelt

    Deeply deeply sinister. Yet another emphatic reason to have as little contact with the state as is humanly possible. It really is time people started to realise the importance of complete independence from ‘the borg’… it doesn’t care, it has no heart, it doesn’t stop, it just lives to feed itself consuming all it touches.

    No wonder it and it’s cohorts of Cultural Marxist ‘useful idiots’ have spent the last 70 years working hard to destroy the family and community… actually quite evil if you think about it.

  • hyena

    Read about the Bodnariu family from Norway and Romania, who had their 5
    children taken away by na – zi norwegian state on the charges of raising
    the children in Christian faith. It’s just anotoher “European value”.
    Nothing to see here. Move on.

    • freddiethegreat

      Kidnapping, plain and simple. A crime which under a proper government, is punished by hanging.

    • Mary Ann

      Or, they were taken away because their parents were smacking them, a criminal offence in Norway.

      • jeremy Morfey

        Indeed. There are a number of Christians who follow the motto “spare the rod and spoil the child’. It is mainstream in parts of the United States. In other places, as you point out, it is considered a form of common assault.

        In secular nations such as Norway, civil law is paramount, so corporal punishment, however justified by the scriptures, must give way. The same is true for wearing a veil in France (which is considered a form of disguise that is considered a threat), but is part of the Islamic creed, or indeed the practice of abortion, legal in the UK since 1967, which is considered by Catholics to be murder, since for them you acquire a human soul at conception, not birth or independent viability.

        I think that removing the children was overharsh, especially on a first offence. A suspended sentence would have been better, making it clear to the parents that if they did it again while under Norwegian jurisdiction, there would be serious consequences.

        There are cases where refusal to accept civil law is warranted. The case in Northern Ireland of a baker refusing to ice a cake bearing a pro “gay marriage” slogan is one. It would have been perfectly right and proper for the disgruntled customer to boycott the bakery, and to advise their friends to do likewise. it was wrong though to take the bakery to court though, since you should not be allowed to force others to adopt a particular view if their conscience does not allow it. I also think the “gay marriage” Act of 2014 was improperly passed through Parliament, creating all sorts of constitutional issues, and I do not think it is the role of any civil legislature to define a word in my mother tongue to mean something quite different to what I grew up believing it to be.

  • jeremy Morfey

    My first reaction was that I will think very hard before entrusting a doctor with a medical condition. Better to attempt to diagnose and treat it online than risk the hostile intervention of the professionals.

  • Michael Oakley

    Just don’t forget it isn’t only children. I had my geriatric mother taken away by them which killed her. Their methodology was something I was unprepared for, but I came to know it only too well. First they jumped to wrong conclusions behind my back. Then they held meetings of their own at which everything was prejudged on wrong facts. Then I was presented with fait accompli decisions. Then when I protested that facts were wrong, doctors agreed with me, etc., I was dismissed as refusing to co-operate. Dozens of them repeated this mantra to courts, which believed them from sheer weight of numbers. It is obviously organised policy. There’s a word for it, and the word is paranoia.

    • Bad Lad

      The court of protection needs its gelt. Jack Straw set it up to terrify us all.

  • Hagen vanTronje

    Look a little bit deeper into Common Purpose and their stated policy ,”to fill the gap between the Citizens and the State”, and you will start to understand why our Society is being deliberately fragmented.

    • RobertDeLuce

      Indeed true, the last bastion against the controlling factors is the inner and extended family, in that they are self reliant, separate from the State, doing their own thing. This is not what is wanted by the authorities, they need reliant and compliant people. You will note, in addition to families, it is the populace who are most likely to vote for alternative parties, for change, for less intrusion, these are the ones pushed down, means tested, suffer the worst from austerity, more likely to lose their homes, TV programs made about them, dehumanized, which is a form of mental genocide, and all because they want out of the vile establishment.

  • R Shepherd

    has anyone heard of a charity called, ‘safe families for children’? it’s amazing and offers support to people who are struggling with family life. well worth a look at their work and offering them support. wish they could get more funding and work Nationally, everywhere.

    • Grumpier Old Woman

      I hadn’t heard of it, but just looked it up, and this is exactly what today’s society needs. So many young parents are in dire straits financially, or have had children without the benefit of a good home background themselves Often with a helping hand, some advice or a shoulder to lean on, this must mean that many more babies and children can be left with their natural parents.

      • helensparkles

        Helping families is what is needed as well as protecting children, early intervention services have been cut beyond belief, spend now save later. It isn’t rocket science. So vote for someone who will raise taxes and fund services.

        • jeremy Morfey

          No one has been able to raise Income Tax since 1992 and be considered electable by the media. Let’s hope at last we can put this right in 2020.

          • UncleTits

            Or find ways to maximise State efficiency instead of watching it gobble up countless billions into the abyss.

          • helensparkles

            The state is a skeleton now, there is nowhere you could cut or raise efficiencies, it’s slaughter is causing huge issues.

  • L Sharp

    It’s doubly crazy, but our “fearless” S.S. now wonder why they have such a high workload. I would suggest not obsessing quite as much with decent homes with the child’s mother and father both present and working for a better life. Here is an outrageous suggestion that might get me arrested – why not concentrate on drug-ridden sink estates and violent households? But like all other public protection bodies, they only go for the easy targets – that includes police. I am willing to bet on most of these afflicted decent households being white Christian and more traditional. It offends the social engineers to see any evidence of the stronger kind of households in native Britain. They seem to want ever increasing social control and manipulation – but when things go wrong, guess who is left with the mess?

    • helensparkles

      Most of social work is on those estates you describe.

  • james fitzgerald

    The Social Services are corrupt. Staff are instructed to fail the parents at the whim of some pen pusher.(I can prove everything I say) and the person who assess the parents mentality etc., are also on the side of the hand that feeds them. I CAN PROVE EVERYTHING I SAY. They have their mind made up before it even gets to court. The only person on this planet who can save the family is called “The Guardian” If it were not for him my grandchild would have been taken away. I CAN PROVE EVERYTHING I SAY. We had inside information from one of the people involved in the case. I CAN PROVE EVERYTHING I SAY.

    • Chamber Pot

      They get a commission for confiscating babies and placing them in foster care. This official confiscation policy was initiated by Tony Blair and is human trafficking by any other name.

      It is a disgrace in what used to be a Western civilised country – it is enough to make you go and join ISIS at least that lot would scare the sh**t out of the SS.

      Oddly enough they don’t seem so keen on confiscating babies from local Moslem jihadi families I wonder why that is ?

      • helensparkles

        I usually try to stay measured but this is rubbish.

        • Chamber Pot

          I assure you it is not and if you wish I will draw your attention to the factors that are distorting this disgraceful ‘market’.

          • helensparkles

            Please do! Care of any kind costs he state a fortune as does going into care proceedings.

  • Mark Giblin

    Baby P happened because of a career minded woman who had no kids of her own made poor judgement called, here name was Sharon Shoesmith and if you investigated this vile person you would find that she had a hand in the early release of the children responsible for the murder of Jamie Bulger.

    Shoesmith has been on the career ladder making decisions about children for many years and this is a person who has no children of her own. When things came to ahead with the Baby P case, she did everything to distance herself and passed the blame on to her staff that she had ordered to downgrade the case.

    So thanks to her and her alone, we now live in this post baby peter era of paranoia, thanks Sharon, you did the world a great disservice with your poor judgement that has gone on to ruin more families since that incident and I was almost a casualty through a similar concern to this lady and George.

    Children removed from care because of closed minded training, people follow their training more than sensible and logical ways of supporting parents, I posed a question to a social worker, I asked her if it is better to spend £2,000 on helping a child stay with their family or pay £16,800 per annum (as it was advertised) on taking a child out of care of its parents and in to a foster home and then do harm to that child for the rest of its life? I think that the term is irreparable damage.

    All I can say was that she was silent and lips pouting as she obviously wanted to say something but couldn’t and the sad fact is, child services has a large pot of cash which is ring fenced to provide payments to help lift families out of situations where money is a concern yet try to access it and you get stonewalled and given vague excuses why you can’t access the fund, more often its stated that the money is needed to help other families.

    • jeremy Morfey

      Didn’t Shoesmith get a £600,000 handout because the Secretary of State at the time intervened when Hackney Council did nothing about this? In the High Court, this was considered beyond his remit, and the woman was rewarded for her professional negligence.

      • helensparkles

        Shoesmith was compensated for wrongful dismissal and didn’t work for Hackney. Such a short sentence in which to get so much wrong.

        • jeremy Morfey

          You’re right – I got my North London suburbs muddled up: it was Haringey.

          The grounds for wrongful dismissal were that it was Ed Balls, the Secretary of State, who terminated her contract, when it should have been the Council.

          • Mark Giblin

            No such thing as justice, its who can argue the best argument.

            Shoesmith had a good barrister and one that was paid for by the tax payer and you are right, incompetence rewarded and ultimately she is responsible for Baby P. The award was against the wishes of the public and paid to a woman who had earned a huge amount of money for what she did, I calculated that her career has netted her a couple of million clear of life expenses and she gets a nice golden handshake for her departure.

          • helensparkles

            I wish this were true, Shoesmith lost a lot of money & couldn’t get a job, after saying exactly what needed to be said. SW don’t kill children, those close to them do, and unless we can put CCTV in your house we won’t see you do it.

          • Mark Giblin

            She got paid a huge amount and given what she was responsible for and tried to pass the buck on to staff she ordered to ignore this problem that they raised concerns for, ultimately she was responsible for the call she made on this and consequently deserves NEVER to work in similar fields again, not that she needs to given the payout she was given, she can employ herself in her own business very easily.

            As for CCTV in homes, the councils use CCTV in benefit fraud cases, it is well documented that CCTV is used covertly in items that councils install like smoke detectors and replace PIR’s in alarm systems that also contain cameras… for example.

          • helensparkles

            Sharon Shoesmith was best placed to know what should change in that LA, bringing someone new in was short sighted. You should read the book Ray Jones wrote about the Baby P case which includes how the police failing to investigate meant that it wasn’t known who was in the house. They then got out ahead in the media and briefed against the LA, as did the medics. It was a doctor who lost their job because she didn’t spot a broken back and a lawyer who didn’t give the correct legal advice who left to work abroad.

            I have no idea about covert use of CCTV, it wouldn’t be something I would be comfortable with, I don’t think we need to place families under surveillance!

          • Mark Giblin

            The police fail to do many things and that is because the decision is left to the CPS.

            Shoesmith is an arrogant woman who has meddled in such things as the early release of the James Bulger murders and identity change for those kids.

            Google it, wake up to the fact what shoesmith is, nothing but a nasty piece of work when it comes to it. Most people will accept that they were wrong, she hasn’t and is not remorseful over what was her failing but was happy to take £140K a year for a position that put many children at risk over her decisions, one of which blew up in her face and she makes out that she is the victim while a child is laid to rest.

            I think that people need to stop running to this persons defence and realize that she was in the wrong, she didn’t deserve the position she held as she wasn’t fit for purpose. You can find plenty of examples online of how she is still earning fees from `her story` and this is yet another example of someone who is an odious person.

            She was in the wrong, should never have been awarded a pay out and she should have been sent to prison for manslaughter.

            Does any of this compute?

          • helensparkles

            Prosecution is up to the CPS, the police not investigating something they said they would is entirely down to them.

            I suggest you stop reading the internet and media an read some actual facts.

            If by does any of this compute you mean will I suddenly say you are right, of course not. If you mean do you I understand what you are saying, I do, I just don’t agree.

          • Mark Giblin

            Nope, its down to the people higher up that consult the CPS on whether or not to continue, they are given a framework to work with in and if conditions are not met within a set time limit, the case has to be closed.

            The chief of police is best port of call on why a case was not investigated and that needs an FOI for him to respond to. Make one FOI and ask him why the case was not investigated and leave it at that and wait for a response, DO NOT ask any other questions because if you do, the other question may be answered and the question is then treated as complete and the FOI closed. I suggest that you use the `What do they know?` web site as they are well known.

            Then you have an inroads in to asking further questions that won’t be considered vexatious.

          • helensparkles

            Thanks, I already know the back story.

          • helensparkles

            There were proper investigations into those deaths and Victoria’s changed policy and guidance following Laming’s report. In that report you will see how much was missed by the medical profession and the police, as was the case in Baby P, those organisations are often better at getting out in front of the press but I am sure you wouldn’t be fooled by that.

            Most children who are harmed are harmed by those they know, presume you mean they are the culprits?

          • jeremy Morfey

            Actually far more children are harmed by the Child Protection industry. The hysteria and emotional over-reaction to low level ‘abuse’ that does not harm children but does offend the political sensibilities of those in the profession and their theorist advisers creates two situations:

            1. that the cases of actual harm are not dealt with effectively, partly because social workers are overwhelmed with box-ticking and dealing with the low level cases, and partly because the genuine cases are much trickier to deal with, and it’s easier to pick the low lying fruit first. There are a lot of bad theories, from gender issues (and that includes the ridiculous idea that not to convince a 7-year-old that homosexuality is normal is a form of abuse) to so-called satanic abuse, that should not interest social workers, let alone preoccupy them. Sexual orientation is fluid up until just after puberty, and while biology dictates that mummies and daddies make babies and are made differently, sexual emotions and feelings come later.

            As a devout Catholic, yes I would teach my children the mythologies of my religion, and would relate other mythologies and practices within that context. I have no issue with dancing around a fire worshipping pagan spirits, since to me those spirits are no more than angels, and their physical manifestations are all created by God. I do have issue with hip-hop culture, because I find the mean-sounding aggression of the “singers” to be unpleasant and vexatious, even if others are fashionably favourable to it because it is “black”. What I find abusive though is if society imposes, by force of law, one set of beliefs over mine.

            It is the very nature of childhood to explore, to work out for themselves right from wrong and how to deal with each, to rely on their own instinctive intuition as to dangerous and safe situations, and occasionally to fall out of trees and have to be picked up and comforted by an adult they can trust.

            2. far more seriously, since it affects all our young people, there is a breakdown between adult culture and that of young people – be it in the churches, the youth organisations, song and dance societies and so on. My own morris side put a ban on children some years ago because of the intrusiveness and cost of the Disclosure and Barring regulations, so now we are all around 60 and dying off. It seems that the commercial hip-hop culture is all that is pushed on the young, and then we wonder why they suffer from mental illness.

            In addition, lack of exposure to all aspects of the adult world when a child has the support of parents, older siblings and grandparents to come to terms with them, and gain the confidence to make handling strategies (often through game play) means that teenagers are dangerously unprepared when they are deemed old enough to cope with the adult world on their own.

            There is this idiotic presumption that no child under 16 has any knowledge or interest whatsoever in sexual matters. I remember from my own childhood that this is not true. The problem lies that a child is all too easily coerced or bullied into something they may dabble with, but is not yet ready for full expression. Often, discretion is the better policy. Knowing that the full weight of adult moral condemnation is not about to descend on a child for pleasuring himself or herself, he or she may be a little more open about what is going on, so that caring adults can deal with a power imbalance long before it becomes an offence. Texting a saucy picture of your girlfriend or boyfriend around the school is a stupid thing to do, but it should not end up with a prosecution and a lifetime on a sexual offenders’ register.

          • helensparkles

            Not sure where to start with this but perhaps best to say most of what you say shouldn’t interest social workers, doesn’t.

    • helensparkles

      Shoesmith has a daughter.
      The law dictates children being removed, social workers have no power,.
      The state makes a poor parent. Sometimes it is a better alternative but supporting families to stay together is often viable, trouble is there is no money in that pot. You could vote to pay more tax and for a party who don’t want austerity and cuts.
      Early intervention services would mean more long term savings. It seems unpopular with votes, perhaps because most children are those of the poor. This government wanted to move where the poverty line lay so it could say fewer children live in poverty.

      • jeremy Morfey

        It is not early or late intervention that is the issue – it is the judgement of those who administer the law, and the social theories that guide them that is deeply flawed.

        • helensparkles

          Not those that harm their children then? The law of this land prioritises children and their safety.

      • Mark Giblin

        Shoesmith has a daughter… I thought it was her step-daughter.

        • helensparkles

          She identifies herself as Sharon’s daughter.

          • Mark Giblin

            I seem to remember in a news article that her daughter is not hers but her partners daughter from a previous relationship, what people identify themselves as is irrelevant. I have tried looking but its such a contentious subject matter that results are swamped by irrelevant facts.

            I distinctly remember reading a news report about some of the facts and she is quite a piece of work when it comes to being ruthless, one report highlights issues in an official report in to the case that `shoesmith is arrogant and smug.`

            As for Mrs, I am wondering when the ‘r’ got added as early reports of this case I remember as being Ms Shoesmith and its my opinion that it was a PR exercise because the fact that her daughters are not her paternal offspring and the Ms was changed to Mrs to soften the blow…

          • helensparkles

            This is absolutely not a contentious subject. It is totally irrelevant.

            I left a comment on a Radio 4 website and her daughter, same surname, left a comment in response. I think families are families, don’t have much to do with step children or half siblings. You don’t have to give birth to be a parent.

            Ms is usual in legal documents, and therefore in LA speak, regardless of marital status.

          • Mark Giblin

            I could identify my stepfather as my father, it still doesn’t make him my father…

          • helensparkles

            It obviously did to Shoesmith’s daughter which is what matters.

          • Mark Giblin

            In law your child is one that you produced by birth processes and not by adoption or by second marriage where children pre-existed.

            The ponit being, she was an obvious pawn wo came to shoesmiths aid by claiming to be her daughter to add an air of caring to her.

            If she really cared, she wouldn’t have insisted on the James Bulger murders were released early… Doesn’t sound too motherly now does she?

          • helensparkles

            I think the way the boys who killed Bulger were treated was inhumane, again a bit of reading wouldn’t go amiss. I am not sure what power Shoesmith had to do anything about them being released early, but our whole CJS is predicated on rehab, so I’d agree with her.

          • Mark Giblin

            That kind of statement I have to say, shows that you are cold and lack empathy. Our CJS should be based on rehab, I agree but also be based around punishment for what was committed and murder should be at least half the standard life expectancy and there should be no lower limitation on this. If you commit a crime at any age, you should receive an appropriate punishment, if you take a life then you should sacrifice most of yours for the crime committed, it is abhorrent to think that CJS should be predicated to rehab alone. How would you feel if your child was murdered (like in the Bulger case) or killed because of another person(s) actions (like in a car crash and the driver was drunk) would you say that the car driver needed rehab? No you wouldn’t, you would be vying for their blood, but because you are removed from the situation, the outlook you have is completely different.

            Shoesmith is not and never has been a victim.

          • helensparkles

            & my view is that your statement shows me you are cold and lack empathy. The reasons you cite about how I would feel are exactly why those who are immediately affected are taken into account but do not dictate punishment. It isn’t up to me, it is up to the law, and the review of the way the boys who killed James Bulger were treated by the CJS were that it was inhumane. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

          • helensparkles

            P.S. Sharon Shoesmith was a scapegoat and the government made her a victim of wrongful dismissal, not of anything else.

          • Mark Giblin

            The staffers she ordered to back oof from the case and wind it down were the scapegoats, not shoesmith, she is not a victim.

          • helensparkles

            Do resort to the law, Shoesmith’s daughter considers Sharon her mother, for whatever reason and that is up to her. It takes a lot more than giving birth to be a mother.

          • Mark Giblin

            You fail to recognise that it was a PR stunt to soften opinion and the situation was contrived for that very reason. Shoesmith is a monster who allowed a paedophile out early who went on to molest again. Anyone of sound mind and reasoning would have said no to any early release, can you put yourself in Jamie Bulgers mothers shoes and see how she feels about the release the was ordered on shoesmiths report when she headed up the team who decided that both those criminals should be released?

            She has interfered TOO many times in the field of children with consequences that have resulted in more hurt. She is without a doubt, someone who called on her friends in power who provided avenues of escaping justice for her actions.

            What happened to those social workers who were being used as scapegoats? She was quick to dump on them the decisions that they were ordered by shoesmith to follow… Are you still being myopic and blind on purpose because this conflicts with your overall view of this nasty woman? Because it certainly seems like it, I have tried to highlight certain facts that are public knowledge and you run in defence of this person who you owe nothing to but you owe it to yourself to see between the lines and see the truth of the matter. The truth (information) is out there, you only have to accept it, a persons opinion and point of view can change, these things don’t have to be fixed and rigid, they are allowed to flex you know.

            Good Day.

          • helensparkles

            Think you might find the SW role is not to be a detective and there was a police investigation which didn’t happen. We know I disagree with you about the CJS and the Bulger case so shan’t comment on that again. I agree that views shouldn’t be fixed, I just disagree with you, and that is allowed too. It would be helpful if you read something that told you what had actually happened in this case and then you could aim your critique in the right direction, because there was obvious poor practice in various agencies.

          • Mark Giblin

            I disagree, mainly because I have read and did follow because I was horrified that such a person put cost above care and safety. Then shoesmith dumps on the staffers that she ordered to back off. That seems to fail to register, sure you can disagree yet you don’t seem to want to accept that shoesmith was yet another money grabber who then bailed when things got a bit hot. She got paid off whilst the staffers got what???

          • helensparkles

            Sharon Shoesmith was awarded £ because she was wrongfully dismissed, by Ed Balls, which was political grandstanding about how we won’t let this happen again. You can see this is impossible just by current news parents kill their children. You can also see the blame social workers narrative building. I absolutely agree the other social workers were punished by that agenda, that doesn’t mean a case of wrongful dismissal was wrong, it just means the way social worker are vilified is. It was the legal team that advised those social workers who carry a lot of responsibility for decisions taken, that lawyer left the country. I would never say that nothing went wrong, just that whatever you are reading, it is steering you somewhere inaccurately. Read Ray Jones book.

    • jeremy Morfey

      The case of the two James Bulger murderers Robert Thompson and Jon Venables is a required textbook study for all social workers. Thompson and Venables (now in their 30s) were barely over the age of criminal responsibility (10) and well below puberty when they murdered Bulger. They had a lot of growing up to do, but are they inherently evil?

      My feeling is such cases is that there are cases where it would be unjust to carry over childhood crimes into adult life, and there should be a time when child criminals should be given the opportunity to grow up and put their past lives behind them, if this is possible.

      My feeling (and this is mine, not backed up by any source) is that those that have committed a crime below the age of 13 should be allowed to apply for a review as to their ongoing threat to society at any time past their 18th birthday. A judge should have the power to order anything from ongoing incarceration to an immediate parole and cancellation of their past record, and anything in between according to what he or she judges, presented with evidence on both sides, to be proper.

      One sentence, very much out of favour right now, but actually might prove somewhat humane, is a purging of the past crime in the same manner King Henry II purged himself for the death of Thomas Becket by being flogged by all the monks of Canterbury and lying prostrate for 24 hours. It would be a ritual cleansing of the sins of childhood, from which one can emerge an upright and honourable adult.

  • Jac

    I just thank God that I’m allergic to doctors. I will take every opportunity to not go to them. I hate drugs of any sort and will always find a herbal alternative if I can.

  • Brett

    My daughter had her three children taken from her and placed with their Father I have regular contact and they are doing well however my daughter then had another child where the father was not interested, she was an active heroin user so quite rightly they took the child from her at birth. This all sounds ok but then comes the sinister part my eldest daughter applied behind family members backs to have the child. this again looks ok but both my ex wife and myself told Children’s Services that both sisters never got on and the best route would be adoption, we even wrote to the court after several meetings with several Children’s Services representative. They decided against our wishes (I emailed a complaint but apparently Grandparents don’t have a say) to give the child to the eldest sister who has debt and not the means to give her a good life. The mother has since spiralled back into drug use and has not been seen for months. Our family is torn apart, my son is about to get married and has told my eldest daughter not to bring the child to the wedding. Furthermore I am not allowed to see my other two grandchildren if I don’t accept the child as part of her family, what an absolute mess. Thanks to Children’s Services.

    • helensparkles

      It is the law not the social workers who made that decision, courts require children to be placed within their family of origin where that is possible, and expect the grown ups to stop falling out & be adult.

      • jeremy Morfey

        Fat chance of that. When my own daughter was examined by a child psychologist during a particularly acrimonious divorce and after I started court proceedings against her mother for denial of contact and parental alienation, he took one look at her nightmarish pictures (which she now makes a sort-of living from), and decided correctly that she was handling a bad situation in her own way, better than the adults around her, and that there was really nothing there to interest social services.

        The damage was done in the long term, since she confided in me, at the age of 28, that she has no confidence in the concept of love, since it always ends badly.

        • Kennybhoy

          Oh Jesus, I wish that you were the only person I have heard this from…

          You and yours are in my prayers.

        • helensparkles

          I don’t quite follow all of that but hope you have a relationship with your daughter which is supportive.

          • jeremy Morfey

            Sadly, after ten years of battling in the courts for contact, the judge said there was nothing more she could do. In October 2000, my daughter (then 13) told me I was not important for her any more, and I did not see her again until September 2014 when I tracked her down to an art exhibition in Wrexham, so I drove up there for a reunion.

            We had a lovely day together – I was a day early, and she was still setting up, so I spent the day hanging her pictures and those of her friends. It was uncanny, in that whenever I looked at her, it was like seeing myself in another body. We have very similar personalities (which has always been a curse for her, I think, since we both suffer from depression) and we actually worked together quite well – whenever we disagreed, neither of us took umbrage, but actually thought it made sense and spotted something the other had missed. I love the idea that she is an artist – my father was also an artist at heart and made his fortune producing promotions materials for advertising. He never liked to be reminded that Nesquik’s ‘Mr Mix’ was one of his. It was the only way he could find of getting him out of his dreams, selling him to the highest bidder!

            A few weeks later though, I got a horrible message on Facebook saying she did not wish to continue the relationship, and would I leave her alone? It seems she had a long conversation with her mother and relatives on that side of the family, and they advised her that this was best for her.

          • helensparkles

            I am horrified that you would track her down and turn up unannounced and not surprised that spooked her.

          • jeremy Morfey

            Actually we’d been communicating through Facebook for several months beforehand and she knew I was coming.

            Presumed guilty, I suppose? Not that I have encountered any better from the profession.

          • helensparkles

            Thanks for the clarity, I am no longer horrified.

      • Brett

        True but the courts generally act on advice from overpaid and under educated social workers who have a nice set of lawyers and solicitors backing them up (to an enormous cost from hard working taxpayers). So you think it’s a smart move to take a child from someone and give the child to a person they know and don’t get on with! I’m speechless.

        • helensparkles

          My response was to a family who the child was placed within which this had caused an issue, they need to repair the adult relationships so that there is stability and security for the child.

          Your exposure to social work must have been very limited and there are going to be poor representatives of any profession that one could cite, but undereducated and overpaid are misnomers. The hourly rate of a social worker is less than the minimum wage if you calculate it on the 60 hour week worked.

          Everyone has legal representation in public law proceedings. As a taxpayer I am happy for that to continue, it is possible for a child to be removed from their parents as the result of care proceedings and everyone should have the best representation possible in those circumstances.

          • Brett

            I’m sorry Helen but you are displaying the typical traits that give social work a bad name. You assume that due to your training that you know what is best for my family/grandchild. You also assume that I have limited knowledge, I have in fact worked as an Engineer for 19 years and for 20 years within the education sector until my retirement recently. For many years I taught prospective Social Workers. I have investigated my options with many professional organisations e.g. (www.grandparents-association.org.uk/ and Pathways to name a few). I do not see myself as having a better knowledge than you on general social work but like all of these people on here we know our families far better than you! One size does not fit all and Social Services are renowned for going by the book and ignoring the wishes of those families. I wanted to become “joined up” to the court proceedings but was told that it would be highly unusual for a judge to side with me against Children’s Services. I did however write a letter to the court jointly with my ex-wife. Thanks to not listening to the families you are punishing the innocents my daughter said to me that she would always be the child’s auntie therefore my grandchild will grow up without having the opportunity to call someone Mum. Furthermore no one has made any effort to help the real victim which is my Daughter.

          • helensparkles

            I didn’t make any assumptions, unlike you. I do assume that to wish to be joined to the proceedings means that you wished to be made party to them, and I presume you had legal advice that you could not be party to the proceedings? In which case I would have found a different lawyer. Being given that advice before you reach the court is preempting the outcome of court proceedings. You are absolutely right that one size doesn’t fit all, I think anyone thinks that. The only book anyone goes by is the law, everything else can be as creative as possible, if it is in the child’s best interests. Some children do grow up without anyone to call mum, that isn’t as important as growing up within a nurturing stable environment, where needs are met, and they understand their story. If children understand what and why they do thrive, however it is up to the adults around them to support them with that, which is why I made the comment about the grown ups getting on with it without falling out.

          • Brett

            Typical Social Worker missing the point! LISTEN TO THE FAMILY! YOU DO NOT ALWAYS KNOW WHAT IS BEST! READ THE MAJORITY ON HERE!

          • helensparkles

            Perhaps you could explain which point you think I missed?

          • Hans-Georg Lundahl

            “The hourly rate of a social worker is less than the minimum wage if you calculate it on the 60 hour week worked.”

            So much stress can hardly be good for the “clientele.”

            But since a normal work week is 40 hours a week, that still means they have 1.5, or sth less, the minimum wage.

            Also, even if they are not very well paid, they do look after the jobs they do have.

            And for doing people a grave disservice, overpaid is not quite a misnomer.

            “Everyone has legal representation in public law proceedings.”

            Again, like judges, more often same class as origin of social workers and of their boss, than as origin of the clientele.

          • helensparkles

            SW don’t do their job for the money and the reason SW do long hours is so that they give their user group the best service they can, reports are written in our own time, as are all other records. I wish SW weren’t needed but you haven’t seen what I have and you are lucky.

            As for the conspiracy & collusion, I shall leave you to discuss amongst yourselves. I made my point elsewhere. I find the assumptions you make about people who harm their children and class very interesting an naive.

          • Hans-Georg Lundahl

            I never mentioned conspiracy, did I?

            The kind of collusion I mentioned was rather a class and cultural one.

            I find it naive that you never ask how much your perspective on what harms children is purely cultural, one of your class and not shared by other classes, including that of the clientele, of course.

  • Grumpier Old Woman

    It’s as if social services have never encountered the desperate yearning almost all children separated from their parents feel when they become adults and the lengths many of them go to, to try to be reunited. On the one hand we have social workers removing children for frivolous reasons, and, on the other, headline grabbing stories of monumental error in which children at risk are totally overlooked.
    I would take great care not to have a child nowadays and I am all too glad to have missed this current era of hysterical over-reaction.

    • helensparkles

      When a case reaches the point that children are safer outside their immediate family, they are placed within their family of origin where possible. Children can’t be removed for frivolous reasons.

  • NotAFitMum

    When I asked for help caring for my disabled daughter, All I got was hounded and bullied and made to feel like I had jump through hoops. The goalposts kept changing. I was made to feel like an unfit mum by a senior social worker who would behave in my opinion unprofessionally (i.e, Banging on door until it is answered, looking and shouting through letter box if there is a delay in answering the door). Reminding me of the power she had to remove my child if I didn’t cooperate with her. If I disagreed with her she would write down that I was antagonistic and uncooperative. I thought help and support would be given, but SS definition of support is to tell the parent what they have to do whilst offering no actual assistance, just expecting you to ”get on with it” on your own under their ”orders”. This hounding made me the unfit mother they were constantly trying to make me out to be. I was living in so much shame and fear of this woman and her co-workers that I often was too afraid to answer the door to her or attend appointments. Which then made it a walk in the park for them to remove her in family court….Which doesn’t work on evidence. Conjecture and hearsay is enough (But only if you are a professional…If you’re just a parent, you are of course unfit to be a parent else you wouldn’t be there in the first place!). I am now, Three years later, Still left crying myself to sleep at night, plagued by night terrors, distrustful of ANYONE in a professional position, Living in a state of poverty due to not being able to afford a decent life since I am now unfit to work since losing my child. The kicker is, They took her away using the excuse that I, the mother, in their opinion can’t possibly cope with the child because I have been diagnosed with depression and anxiety (which they caused in the first place and then used against me to remove the most important thing in my life). No after care offered, The contact dropped from everyday unsupervised to postbox to none and now they want to put her up for guardianship. #shafted by the state. I don’t even know what to do to fix this, I don’t think it can be, This injustice is going to go on, not only for me but for any parent who is caught in the nanny state trap. There is NO ONE to turn to for us parents who are deemed unfit, and there is no one out there trying to clear our names or get back our children. For shame.

    • Germainecousin

      I am so sorry to hear about your distress, I wish to God that there was something I could do for you, but all I can offer is that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

    • peterdavis

      I believe Christopher Booker at the Daily Telegraph covers these issues and raises them in his column. Have you contacted him? These deplorable stories certainly need to be exposed.

      • helensparkles

        Please don’t read or trust Booker, he is way off.

        • Hans-Georg Lundahl

          Could I have link, please?

          Spontaneously, I tend to think you are wrong.

          • helensparkles

            What link?

          • Hans-Georg Lundahl

            To Booker at Daily Telegraph.

          • helensparkles

            Google you’ll find lots of his commentary.

    • Enoch Powell

      So sorry to hear about this. In this area, the state has indeed declared war on the people and as there seems o be sod all going on in Government to turn this unjust situation around, this is one thing I wish there was direct action on. Write to your MP. Write to every MP. Write to your councillor. Hound your GP. Don’t give up.

    • jeremy Morfey

      There seems something gravely wrong with the training these people are getting. All based on false assumptions and bad social theory. Another example of this is with those charged with getting job seekers back to work. If a mental block is causing the problem, the all the unrelenting bullying does is to reinforce it and make paranoias and inabilities to cope all the worse.

      The way to sort out the unemployed is to give them a job. None of this preparing CV nonsense – if it’s getting nowhere, then it will continue to get nowhere and all futility does is to reinforce futility. Better to say – “here is a job you can do, starts Monday, be there”. If they cannot do that, then they should withdraw and find someone who can.

      If a mother cannot cope with childrearing, then it needs someone to come in and say “this is what you do, and how you do it. Now you try”, and not leave until you’ve got the hang of it. Normally this is the job of the maternal grandmother. In your case, if that surrogate grandmother had actually tried herself to cope with your disabled daughter, she might have realised that doing is not quite as easy as telling someone to do. If she was any good though, she’d have had the right techniques to pass on to you and a few practical tips. A lot of it is about recharging your own batteries when they are being run down by constant demands for attention from those more deserving than you. Remember that piece of advice in the emergency procedures on board any
      plane: put your own air mask on first before attending to the
      child’s! Power napping and making use of every scrap of free time to rest and clear your head is very useful to learn. Another is the power of going for walks – out of the house, child in the pram and just spend an hour unwinding.

      I suspect though she knew nothing about the practicalities of raising a disabled child, such was the incompetence of her training and qualification.

      If you really couldn’t cope, then it’s up to you to ask if they could take the child off your hands for a short while, so you could sort yourself out. Part of the training should be therefore to get you into the frame of mind, and a clear unbullied head, whereby you can make a decision, either that with a bit of help you can muddle through, or that you really cannot handle it. They shouldn’t be making that decision for you.

      • Tom M

        Training? Some long time ago I watched a fly-on-the-wall documentary on Social Services. The Social Services lady was in need of a higher level of diploma to advance her carreer and all contact with her case load was geared to fulfilling the requirements of that qualification. Even to the extent of arranging a meeting with one of her clients at Social Services which was video recorded to be included in her submission.
        None of what I saw would have impressed me with their capacity to analyse a family and identify problems.

        • helensparkles

          None of that impressed me either, there is poor practice in all professions.

          • Hans-Georg Lundahl

            Especially in those where the clients are never in a position to complain, right?

            That means : psychiatry, social services involved in cps, compulsory schools where parents can’t take their children away from it because they aren’t paying a private school and because school education is supposed to be SO important.

            Only in cases of abortion is the most concerned even less in a position to complain before the justice available on Earth.

          • helensparkles

            There are miscarriages of justice but also complaints upheld and professionals prosecuted.

          • Hans-Georg Lundahl

            Too few, I’d say.

      • helensparkles

        I suspect and would hope that all of the support needed was put in place before any child was removed. The court would ask it of the SW.

        • Hans-Georg Lundahl

          Yes, and part of the support they claim to have put in place is precisely that kind of harrassment.

          • helensparkles

            That pesky kind that keeps children safe?

          • Hans-Georg Lundahl

            No, the pesky kind that keeps parents, especially exposed ones, including lone ones, stressed.

            It does NOT keep children safe.

            I just read about a recent case in Norway where the girl taken away was beaten to death in the FOSTER home.

          • helensparkles

            That is rare but shouldn’t happen obviously.

          • Hans-Georg Lundahl

            I don’t think it is all that rare. I think it is closer to the usual case.

          • helensparkles

            You’re wrong about that.

          • Hans-Georg Lundahl

            If you mean me being wrong about beating to death being closer to usual case, that is not what I said, my syntax was unclear.

            But if you mean me being wrong about foster homes not being safe being a usual case, I think YOU are wrong.

            Apart from being also in all probability involved in the business.

  • red2black

    Social workers: damned if they do, and damned if they don’t.
    Why did they intervene? / Why didn’t they intervene?

    • Paul Robson

      It would be so much more impressive if they were equally as keen to deal with children who would cost them money as the ones they can easily “sort out”.

      • red2black

        That’s a funding issue – something which Central Government seems to have taken more and more control over.

        • Paul Robson

          No, it’s a resources prioritisation issue. Children who will cost them $$$ – basically older ones who can’t be palmed off easily ; they aren’t bothered by.

          • red2black

            I live in England. Do the dollar-signs mean you don’t?

          • helensparkles

            In the UK there are statutory responsibilities for children, which means when funding is cut those services can’t be, so others are.

    • Enoch Powell

      There’s a very easy solution to that. Make the family courts open and in front of juries. 99% of this problem solved.

      • red2black

        I did have in mind instances where such a thing isn’t possible because people’s identities have to be protected for their own safety and that of others. I worked for a local authority whose social workers and others were tasked with dealing with families where, for example, babies and children had to be taken into care for their own protection. In some cases, intervention came too late. Even so, I’m sure there are circumstances where what you suggest is the fairest and most reasonable way of dealing with matters.

        • Enoch Powell

          I accept that there are times when peoples identities must be protected and that absolutely must be the case when necessary. However it should be the exception, not the rule.

          • red2black

            Each case needs to be dealt with in an appropriate manner. Clearly, from your comments and those of others, this isn’t happening.

          • http://rantingoldgit.blogspot.co.uk/ Arthur Sparknottle

            Why should identities be kept secret, and more to the point why should court decisions and process be secret? I struggle to think of a single sort of case unless we are talking about maniac fathers being kept out of the loop about where the family are living.

          • Enoch Powell

            That is indeed the example I was thinking of (though there have also been cases of maniac mothers). As you say, if a family needs to be rehoused because of threats, then anonymity is required and acceptable. it is not acceptable in any other circumstance that I can think of. Although it’s possible there may be one of two other examples. It most certainly should not be standard practice.

          • http://rantingoldgit.blogspot.co.uk/ Arthur Sparknottle

            Yes – the presumption should be that we have OPEN JUSTICE except in rare circumstances which may arise from time to time and ought to be exceptional, as you say.

          • helensparkles

            Transparency about court decisions is possible whilst maintaining anonymity in most cases, as can be seen from all the available judgements. As well as safety I would wish to protect the privacy of a family, family courts hear matter which is humiliating and that isn’t fair. JuriesI don’t agree with, balance of probabilities keeps children safe, beyond reasonable doubt is dangerous. They would be seriously harmed before you reached that point. Courts are open to journalists which is the way most of us read about cases.

          • Hans-Georg Lundahl

            “Transparency about court decisions is possible whilst maintaining
            anonymity in most cases, as can be seen from all the available
            judgements.”

            With anonymity, no way you can ask the concerned whether “we made an offer of psychological support at 5.II.1998 to the concerned” was sth which could stand as a decent offer, or sth which the concerned had reason to find very objectionable.

      • Hans-Georg Lundahl

        If I were you, and if you are not a name sake, I’d not be his fan.

        He gave shrinks far too much power, and that is part of the problem.

        (Yes, I did SOME serious research for my fan fic novel, in which Susan Pevensie, after doing some archery against police “doing their job” – killing no one – is taken into custody of psychiatry among other things for “believing she had been in Narnia”: about UK successive legislations.)

  • Nicki Richards

    My brother and his wife had their 6 kids taken by Wiltshire ss last year. Despite the family support for months before it became obvious no matter what they only had 1 thing in mind. They told lies in court about the whole case including incidents and situations all parties knew never happened. I even asked questions on certain events concerning the case and was meet by a wall of silence. I myself was prepared to give up work to take all the kids in with my wife and family’s support. They didn’t even turn up for the meeting but told the court we were not able to offer any help. The support from family members was only mentioned at once during the court cases and then nothing as if we didn’t or couldn’t be bothered. The 3 youngest ones are being put up for adoption this year and I have only been able to see them once. They move the goalposts to suit themselves and offer no real support to the families involved. It makes you wonder what the real reason for taking kids into care really is.

    • helensparkles

      It is always impossible to comment on individual cases but get a lawyer, if the LA are in the wrong you can sue them later. It is probable true that lies weren’t told but that you thought they were limited your ability to protect. Nobody wants children to grow up outside their family of origin. Nobody.

      • Hans-Georg Lundahl

        “… not even I.”

        * looks at statistics *
        * looks at primes for families taking care *

        “But there ARE cases ….”

        • helensparkles

          & most involve risks to children that even you would agree with.

          • Hans-Georg Lundahl

            I highly doubt that.

          • helensparkles

            Scary what you are prepared to think is ok for children then.

          • Hans-Georg Lundahl

            I’d say scary what you are prepared to take children away from their parents for.

            There are LOTS of things I would try to avoid as a parent and find per se unacceptable – but I still find it unacceptable to take children away from their parents for it.

            For instance, if you educate your children in a naive belief in Evolution and Darwin being science, I find that unacceptable. BUT I would find it unacceptable for a Christian state to take children away from parents for these being Darwinists.

            At least as long as there are so many of them.

      • red2black

        One of my cousins worked in a Home that housed and cared for around 50 children who had been removed from their families and could never be returned to them because of the extreme abuse that had been inflicted on them.

      • kia

        It is not a PUBLIC SPACE under family law rules. Know your stuff, before quoting something in legal terms.
        BTW ; spoken like a true sw.

        • helensparkles

          I didn’t mention the law, I made a comment about this being a page of a publication on the internet for the public to comment, and I would be very interested to know where family law comes into that?

  • Mary Ann

    And Lara would be the first to condemn Social services if they got it wrong and another depressed mother killed her child, they can’t win.

    • red2black

      The burden on the taxpayer / feckless and indolent / sob story narrative seems to have disappeared. It’s all Nanny State’s fault

      • Kennybhoy

        Touche.

      • Hans-Georg Lundahl

        The Nanny State IS a burden BOTH on the tax payer AND on “the indolent” (and a few more).

        • red2black

          It’s a necessity of the system we live under. If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t exist.

          • Hans-Georg Lundahl

            A necessity to its profiteers, yes.

            Systems have changed time after time and last system that fell was not quite necessary to everyone.

          • red2black

            That’s right. Making a profit is the basis of the system, but not all social and economic needs can be met on a for-profit basis.

    • jeremy Morfey

      Any half-competent psychiatrist can spot the difference between a mother with the usual baby blues struggling to get up in the morning, and one who is on the point of getting rid of the problem by killing the child.

      • Hans-Georg Lundahl

        “Any half-competent psychiatrist can spot the difference between a mother
        with the usual baby blues struggling to get up in the morning, and one
        who is on the point of getting rid of the problem by killing the child.”

        Or that is how shrinks THINK of their competence.

    • Tom M

      They can win but are incapable of doing so. All that is required, as in all other non-public services, is to get it right. Just do the job properly.

      • helensparkles

        The reality is that nobody can stop parents harming their children. You’d have to be there 24/7 or have CCTV. If you are a neighbour ring in any concerns would be my main piece of advice, don’t think you can’t interfere.

        • Tom M

          I agree helen. I swing between two points of view (or a combination of both) one which says the Social Services don’t do their job properly and the other which says that the problem of parents harming or neglecting their children is of such proportions as to be totally unmanageable by anybody.
          Many years ago I worked for a short period on the renovation of local authority houses and saw at close quarters just how some people live and what passed for the upbringing of their children. I could easily have placed a significant percentage of these children in the “needs looking after properly” category.
          Years later, in conversation with a colleague whose wife was a Social worker in Glasgow, he told me the biggest social problem in Glasgow wasn’t drugs or alcohol but incest.

          • helensparkles

            It is also true that the state doesn’t make a great parent, some of that is the issues that children experience as the result of trauma and abuse prior to coming into care, but the premise is generally that children are better at home with their family of origin except when they really can’t be. Otherwise we veer toward the eugenics a lot of those commenting here would accuse SW of anyway. It is probably true that most of those children you saw would not be on the radar of social workers. Housing is another matter, what I see people living in would depress me, let alone someone living in poverty with MH issues etc.

            The most common reason for children being removed from their family is not sexual abuse, interfamilial or otherwise, but those people who are abusing children are often neglecting them or abusing them in other ways. Sexual abuse is hard to quantify because most children don’t disclose either unless they are safe with people who love and look after them or later when they have their own children. Some never do.

            Generally I think people need to work out what they think social workers can and do do. They are not the police, they have very little power, and all the preventative services which prevent families reaching crisis have been eroded. Families are also being punished for being poor with austerity and cuts. Vote for a party that has a social conscience and taxes you at a higher rate and everyone might have a chance of living in a better society.

          • Hans-Georg Lundahl

            Parties that tax you higher are usually often giving more to social services too.

          • helensparkles

            Which means more can be put in place to support families. Some don’t work without professional scaffolding and it would keep those children at home. You can decide.

          • Hans-Georg Lundahl

            “Which means more can be put in place to support families.”

            How much of that “support” is actually experienced as threats against the integrity of the family?

            And I mean by perfectly normal people.

          • helensparkles

            No such thing as normal. If you knew anything about it at all, you would be surprised how many people actively seek out SW or other professional support, be glad you have the capacity not to be one of them – if you are.

          • Hans-Georg Lundahl

            First of all, SW have other tasks than that of “providing better childhoods” (or supposedly such). Like giving money to families.

            That accounts for some who “actively seek out SW”.

            Then there is Stockholm syndrome, people who have interiorised the p o v of the system in power.

            And there are also those who calculate consciously on avoiding a taking away if seeking support.

          • helensparkles

            SW do not often give money to families, what makes you think they do?

          • Hans-Georg Lundahl

            Well, who is it who gives the dole to someone looking for work while he has no wages and no money from unemployment ensurance either?

            In Sweden those doing so are the same social workers who also take children away from parents.

            Perhaps your system is different on that account?

          • Hans-Georg Lundahl

            How many cases of incest involved stay at home daughters who, in other cultures could already have been married, but can’t due to 16 years limit?

            Catholic Church of Middle Ages and on to 20th C. had the limit 12 for ladies and 14 for gentlemen.

    • Hans-Georg Lundahl

      I would not.

      State is not there to protect each and every person 24/24, 365/365 from all dangers.

      It is to protect public and victims from known evildoers, primarily.

      In other words, if you find someone involved in child sacrifice in some Molochist cult, like Bohemian Grove seems to be, do take THEIR children away, while locking that monster up or giving him a noose.

  • phuktifino

    All the more for the evil Establishment to prey upon!

  • johnhenry

    My dear mother was a social worker with the highest of qualifications, and she would have been appalled at the thought of families being torn apart on the flimsiest of grounds, such as illustrated here. She did once insist on the removal of child who was being kept in a cage and reduced to eating faeces to stay alive, but for the most part believed the family bond was a crucial element in children’s maturation and worth preserving.

    She would have scorned these Social Services types with their pissant diplomas and degrees. Her own qualifications were to be born illegitimate, to be placed – as were her three siblings – in an orphanage by her still living parents who came to visit now and then, to get an elementary school education, and to be thrown out into the world at 16 years of age. She walked the walk in other words.

    • helensparkles

      If your mother was a social worker you should know that nobody removes children for anything other than being at risk of significant harm.

      • johnhenry

        If you had taken the time to read this article, you would see that you are wrong.

        • helensparkles

          I read the article and it is wrong, I am not.

        • Hans-Georg Lundahl

          I think you over estimate her objectivity.

          • helensparkles

            I am being v objective by saying this article is scaremongering & inaccurate.

          • Hans-Georg Lundahl

            I think it is accurate. The measures taken prior to taking away were presented to court as good willed and as offers, but were presented to the persons concerned, primarily mother, as “an offer you can’t refuse”.

      • Hans-Georg Lundahl

        At how much “risk”, and of harm “significant” to whom?

        By what criteria? By whose criteria? By the criteria of what culture?

        NOT that of the common man, usually, even if many will start backing up the rotten system.

  • Walking with Anxiety

    It is appalling that this is allowed to happen without more care given to the parents. This is typical of the government’s closing the door after the horse has bolted.

    • helensparkles

      The law of this land prioritises the safety of children.

  • Steven Barr

    Sadly, the leader who gave social workers the unrestricted powers they currently have was not Blair,brown or any other Labour leader but Margaret Thatcher through the Children Act of 1989.

    • Kennybhoy

      Well said that man! One thinks too of the fate of the late Sir Stuart Bell MP and the late Ray Honeyford. On matters cultural the lady was worse than a failure…

    • jeremy Morfey

      These powers have been around longer than that. Remember ‘Cathy Come Home’?

      The Children Act removed the rights to family life from parents and gave them exclusively to the children ‘in the light of their age and understanding’. It did nothing to improve the burden of proof in Family Law cases, nor the imposition of secrecy, nor the prejudice against men in such cases. Subsequent laws on Child Protection made things much worse – not only are children taken away on hearsay, but the adults involved have their entire future lives blighted under Disclosure and Barring laws, which can blacklist someone without any proof of (usually his) guilt for life and without any effective right to appeal. Sometimes information on a blighted person can leak out, and he is subject to vigilante attacks – all this just on the basis of someone making a malicious comment that made it onto a police notebook.

      • helensparkles

        Social workers still don’t have power, they work to a legal framework but it is subject to the scrutiny of all parties lawyers and the judge in a court…

        • Hans-Georg Lundahl

          And the judges in court are usually so unbiassed, never biassed in favour of social workers, not by professional acquiantance, not by being same class (while most families targetted are a lower class), not by being equally un-Christian (while some families targetted are precisely “too Christian”, and some are un-Christian in less polite and socially accepted ways).

          In Argentina, the Mad Mothers at Plaza de Mayo could at least publically express their wrath. And in Spain, a judge has deemed parts of the Franco administrations culpable. But in democracies, that’s where one gets the tyranny most completely.

          • helensparkles

            SW get a harder time in court than you think, read recent judgements.

          • Hans-Georg Lundahl

            Can’t, but your word “recent” implies this trend has not been longstanding.

          • helensparkles

            The publishing of judgements is recent.

          • Hans-Georg Lundahl

            And the order to publish them might be part of a recent trend in favour of better security of rights for the family.

          • helensparkles

            It is about transparency for those involved in family law. Not so much about right as everyone being able to see the process.

          • Hans-Georg Lundahl

            Well, even so, the trend is recent. As you said yourself.

          • Hans-Georg Lundahl

            Well, transparency SHOULD normally favour a security of rights.

          • kia

            MORE PROPERGANDA FROM A SW! THE SW’S GET CONGRATULATED BY WINNING IN COURT. STOP POSTING YOUR PROPERGANDA LIES ON HERE AND GO AND GET ANOTHER JOB WORTHY OF A HUMAN BEING.

        • kia

          You are lying again. The SS stand up in court against the parent (s) and lie to the judge. The so called justice in this country is such that the SS words are neither contested or indeed investigated, their own barristers have only one concern, that is WINNING the case against the parent (s) at all costs. Dirty tricks are played by the barrister working for the SS with the help of the SS. The Judges believe EVERYTHING the SS say, and worse than that, the Judges take a very dim view of anyone, especially parents, who criticise the precious SS. PATHETIC JUSTICE SYSTEM COVETING LYING PSYCHO’S.

  • jeremy Morfey

    I very nearly lost all contact with my son once, over a piece of complete idiocy on both our parts.

    Next door had the builders in and we were wandering in the garden when he saw a plank perched on a rock, so he stood on one end. My son, who was about 6 at the time, said “Dad, what would happen if you jumped on the other end?”. So I did, Homer Simpson style, and he went flying. A few bruises later, we both laughed at how stupid we’d both been, and how were we going to explain it to his mother. She was quite keen to report me to social services if she could pin anything on me, with a little smirk “you’ll have a nasty surprise if you do something I don’t agree with”.

    In the end, we both decided it wisest to keep very quiet about the incident.

    • helensparkles

      A social worker would not have been interested, people underestimate how realistic social workers are about family life generally, stories of children being removed for spurious reasons are usually incomplete.

      • Hans-Georg Lundahl

        well, do social workers allow completeness?

        • helensparkles

          Unfortunately SWs and LAs are unable to comment fully on cases in the press and other stories. Therefore they are incomplete.

          • Hans-Georg Lundahl

            What if families had the right to allow comment?

            Like in cases where they thought the social workers would be shooting themselves in the foot by doing so?

            The legislation is pretty convenient for … someones who are not the family.

          • helensparkles

            It isn’t convenient at all but it does prevent families being humiliated I guess.

          • Hans-Georg Lundahl

            Except when it is rather SW who would be humiliated.

          • helensparkles

            I don’t really care if anyone is humiliated except families whose dirty laundry is aired.

          • Hans-Georg Lundahl

            Safe to say so, when the rules keep SW non-humiliated.

          • helensparkles

            SW have been named in recent judgements, which I am sure you are aware of. Most family cases would though expose domestic violence, drugs and alcohol misuse, more FDAC might help.

          • Hans-Georg Lundahl

            “Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC)”?

            Anyway, two points:

            1) I don’t think these things are bad enough to warrant a taking away, unless physically dangerous violence at least (and even then only to family);
            2) I heard about sth perhaps similar to FDAC in Denmark. Drug users who get babies wanting to keep them get a chance to clean up in special facilities for that. Or at least document a capability of caring for the baby, despite some drug use. I think even that is excessive, but less bad than in Sweden or Norway where, apparently (at least for Sweden) this is not even an option.

            A third : “alcohol misuse” can depend very much on whom you ask about a person. And Muslims WILL be extra hysteric about alcohol (not denying they can be decent in other areas).

          • kia

            Here you are showing your true colours! I would love to see SW’s dirty laundry share in the public arena, lets see how they stand up for themselves then. HA HA.

          • helensparkles

            Missing the point, I don’t want families to be humiliated when details about their lives are made public, that isn’t fair.

          • kia

            So a sw can have a soul? mmmm, I will get back to you when I have mulled that one over. Im done – none of them have soul’s, they are all Satanists. LOL

          • helensparkles

            Which isn’t quite rational but go for it with the abuse.

          • kia

            If rationality were a prerequisite for being a social worker, you would all be out of a job. That is not abuse. Abuse is stealing children from their parents with no evidence, just a social worker with a crystal ball, saying that neglect or some other abuse might befall children if they are not immediately removed from the care of parents who have done nothing, but possibly wrongly asked serial abusers ( the social services ) for help. Squirm out of that one Helen Sparkles.

          • helensparkles

            SW can’t remove children, courts do that.

          • kia

            Also, its a little trite to say the least, when a SW says she doesn’t want families humiliated by the process of having their dirty laundry aired in court, which is by the way public to the extent that total strangers, including judges and barristers, whole legal team’s and advocates etc etc are involved in and privy to see the smallest details of a person’s life is humiliation in the extreme. You should not be on this site defending SW’S. How dare SW’s come on these sites trying to defend their own kind. I notice this on Netmums too. VERY VERY SINISTER INDEED. Not to mention CREEPY.

          • helensparkles

            They may be strangers but there is a reason for them all being in that room, anyone without a reason is a voyeur. This is a public space, you can’t dictate who uses it just becasue you don’t like what they say.

      • Dominican Organist

        Sadly my own experience of social workers does lead me to believe that they do take the ‘publish and be damned’ approach. Social workers who are part of children’s services do indeed lie, they do make up the most terrifying of stories to aid the removal of children. Most worryingly the parent has little recourse to real justice as the Local Authorities are large beasts indeed. Social workers will use libel, slander and just plain old lies to part a parent from their children. It is woefully difficult to counter lies with the truth it seems… Justice RIP?

        • helensparkles

          I can’t comment on your experience but I have never known a social worker lie, just people to have very different perspectives, and they have nothing to gain by removing children except to keep them safe. Here you slander them.

          • Hans-Georg Lundahl

            They have works, even if not very well paid, to keep by “doing something”, and if having a flawed perspective on people helps them do more, they have an interest in having it.

            If they do not lie, they have such flawed perspectives that their honesty is as bad as lies, and they slander thousands of families.

          • Dominican Organist

            I agree with you. This ‘flawed perspective’ is an interesting concept as it is exactly the one used by many social workers when they take the stance that a parent’s issues do not give them ‘insight’ into the problems they present to children. I think the flawed perspective, which does appear to be cultural within social services, will continue for as long as bad management is allowed to be the norm. I think accountability is a key issue in many social services departments.My experience has been that there is little accountability until matters are taken to final court hearings, by which stage most parents no longer have the will or strength to mount any form of practical defence.

          • helensparkles

            It might be useful to know that parents have legal representation way before a final hearing if the risks reach legal thresholds (so the LA are considering court proceedings) prior to that they are always welcome to use an advocacy service. There is accountability and scrutiny of social work with families throughout by an independent chair in conferences. Ultimately social workers work within the framework of legislation so you can always lobby your MP if you think that should change.

          • kia

            You are OBVIOUSLY a social worker, or as I always like to say, part of the SS. You stand up for LIARS, MURDERERS, CO CONSPIRITORS ( excuse my spelling ) and vindictive PSYCHOPATHS. I have had the terribly unfortunate time of dealing with these so called professionals, and believe me they are in no way professional. I was warned time and time again not to go up against them, and I now see why. They are guilty of domestic violence, breaking the law and so much more. It does seem that across our country the SS are failing children. In their hands children are being killed, and they take NO ACCOUNTABILITY WHATSOEVER. They focus instead on parents who do nothing more than ask for help, and then they bring in the artillery. God help any other parents who ask the SS for help.

          • Hans-Georg Lundahl

            “I think the flawed perspective, which does appear to be cultural within
            social services, will continue for as long as bad management is allowed
            to be the norm.”

            Thou accountability might help, I think abolishing the concept of such social services might be even better.

            But yes, you are right, social workers AND psychiatrist will have flawed perspectives themselves, cry out about flawed perspective of parents/patient, and hide their own flawed perspective behind their professional education at university and so on.

            Which is promoting a flawed perspective.

          • helensparkles

            It would be great if social workers weren’t needed, if only parents would always prioritise their children and not harm them.

          • Hans-Georg Lundahl

            As I just said: If the social workers do not lie, they have such flawed perspectives that their
            honesty is as bad as lies, and they slander thousands of families.

          • Dominican Organist

            Whilst you say that you can’t comment on my experience it is interesting to note that you say I slander them; looks like a comment to me…

        • sandraworries

          I couldn’t agree more,social services do lie,make up stories and make accusations against the parents to get what they want.They are nothing short of child snatchers

  • http://rantingoldgit.blogspot.co.uk/ Arthur Sparknottle

    There should be NO secret courts. Where are we – North Korea? If justice isn’t done in public, what justice is there?

    • helensparkles

      The different between secret and confidential is significant.

      • http://rantingoldgit.blogspot.co.uk/ Arthur Sparknottle

        Secret and confidential mean the same thing.

        • helensparkles

          We could go backwards and forwards but this just plain wrong. There is nothing secret about family courts, they just don’t expose families to the public gaze because they protect their confidentiality.

          • Hans-Georg Lundahl

            Sounds like the THEORY
            The practise is, they protect their OWN biassed and faulty reasons.

          • http://rantingoldgit.blogspot.co.uk/ Arthur Sparknottle

            Hence my use of the term secret courts. The general public have no knowledge of what goes on in them and how the decisions have been made.

    • Paul Smith

      Secret Courts only exist because your country, like most in the world, is ruled by a secret society of pedophiles. You should have never legalised gay marriage. Now this is a direct consequence of that because many kiddnapped kids end up in gay foster “families”.

      • http://rantingoldgit.blogspot.co.uk/ Arthur Sparknottle

        Oh do please shut up you lunatic.

        • Paul Smith

          Don’t call me lunatic you dumb ignorant! Do your own research!

          • helensparkles

            Gay people are not peadophiles!

          • Paul Lozba

            Maybe not but most of the people running the system are gay and pedos.

          • helensparkles

            Evidence please?

          • Paul Lozba
          • helensparkles

            That isn’t any kind of evidence.

          • Paul Lozba
          • helensparkles

            I know that case well and the children are in care because being coached to make false allegations of that kind is abuse. You also need to know that the posting of that content is contempt of court.

          • Paul Lozba

            Shut up you silly ignorant. Do more research. Even Daily Mail posted loads of articles about famous pedos, like some Lords or something. Looks to me like you have no idea what’s really going on. Contempt of court, what a stupid comment you could make there. IT’S A PUBLIC FREAKING VIDEO ON A PUBLIC WEBSITE, OK? AND THOSE KIDS ARENOT MAKING FALSE ALLEGATIONS, THESE THINGS ARE REAL. SATANIC PEDOPHILE RINGS ARE REAL! BRITAIN IS LOADED WITH PEDOPHILES, FROM LOW LEVEL SOCIAL WORKERS TO THE ROYAL FAMILY! WAKE UP TO THE HARSH REALITY OF THE END-TIMES!

          • helensparkles

            Oh go for it with your insults and shouting, anyone who wants to know more about the video link you posted can start here for reality https://hoaxteadresearch.wordpress.com/about-us/

          • Paul Lozzie

            So are you truly unaware of the fact that there is a global mafia stealing children for sodomizing them?

  • Pangolin88

    Perhaps the Spectator can expose and help eliminate the corruption in the Care System, which has extended from the lowest to the highest for more than 20 years.

    As “HaroGate” developed over 43 court hearings, we exposed the lies, cover-ups and falsification of evidence by the Professionals, despite being unaided by lawyers. It appears that such actions by the professionals are acceptable in Family Proceedngs. My kids were taken away, despite all parties knowing that the acknowledged sexual abuse involved a woman.

    Child Protection Conferences are nothing more than exercises in self-aggrandisement,
    where inconvenient truths – even criminal actions are simply ignored.

    Talk to your MP (any party will do), the BBC (You & Yours say that they read every e-mail, LOL),
    the GMC – none of them care or do anything – why should they?
    We were told by the Court’s Citizens Advice: Do not even think of going against the Official Solicitor.

    Who has the courage or non-involvement to do anything?
    Forget the ECHR – they ignored an evidenced presentation of 1033 violations.

    A solicitor whom I met by chance, on hearing a 20 minute summary said:-
    “This is Too Hot to Handle – nobody will touch it, it would end their career”.

    As Jimmy Savile, Cyril Smith, Baby P and others have shown: nothing is going to change.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    “Kids,who needs um!”
    After reading the comments in this topic, you’d be forgiven for reaching this conclusion, presupposing you reside in Police State UK. The solution îs so obvious, fly the coop.

  • Tale ofAMan

    How to deal with Children’s Social Services

    Firstly not all social workers are bad. I had the fortune (or misfortune) to work with two different units. The first one was very good and soon had a positive impact on our lives. My experience with the second unit has led me to write this sheet of advice.

    Judicial powers

    Children’s Social Services like to point out that they have no judicial powers. That much is true. Any big decision affecting a child has to be made by a court. However, the court bases its decision on the report by Children’s Social Services and seldom any other information. This way Children’s Social Services yields an incredible power, because they can influence the information which is passed on. Of course a report can be challenged in court, but this can be costly and/or difficult or the information needed to challenge the report is not available.

    Information

    Because of the above, it is essential to have all available information. Therefore make an Access to Data request immediately to access your own data, but also on behalf of the children. This request needs to be for data held now and all future data. If the files relating to the children are redacted, insist that the children have an advocate. They have the right to one and make sure that the advocate makes the same request on behalf of the children and checks that the children’s view are represented in the reports truthfully. Insist that the children are seen with a chaperon. The chaperon can relate to the advocate if they have doubts about the social workers conduct such as leading and one-sided questions.

    An Access to Data request needs to be fulfilled within 40 working days. It took over 10 months in my case before I received the first files. By then the final decision had been made at court. Therefore you have to follow up your request and make sure it is dealt with in the time frame. You also have to make the request again and again to make sure you have any new data.

    I have experienced information being withheld and manipulated, and on occasions there were outright lies. Whenever there is an instance of such behaviour log it with the social worker in question and with their superior. Just state the facts, do not imply any intention on their part. This brings me to my next point of communication.

    Communication

    You have the statutory right to choose how you want to communicate, may it be directly via telephone calls, by text or by email or by letter. Text or email cannot be refused, on the grounds that they are insecure methods to transmit confidential information, because all councils have to have a system in place with which electronic information can be transmitted securely.

    If English is not your first language you have the right to an interpreter.

    If your social worker insists on communicating by phone and refuses that these telephone calls are recorded, be wary. Recording is in everybody’s interest, because interaction will be more civil since it will be easy to prove any abusive behaviour and it is easier to clarify a misunderstanding, since there is a record what exactly was said. If there is no recording, the social worker can excuse many things as an unfortunate misunderstanding or, more sinisterly, discredit you, by claiming that you were abusive on the phone when you were not. Often a second social worker is quoted as witness. This happened to me. Therefore my advice is, if your social worker insists on unrecorded telephone conversations, say you first have to fetch a witness for the telephone conversation. Ideally this witness should not be emotionally involved with the case that is not a friend or family member. Colleagues at work or a priest, cleric are a good choice, if possible. Then during the telephone conversation, repeat everything which is said to you, to make sure you and your witness have understood correctly. After I implemented this, there were no claims of abusive language anymore. Also insist on a written record of the telephone conversation. This way the social worker cannot contradict themselves in future and claim it is an unfortunate misunderstanding.

    Emotions

    Do not show emotions, may it be anger, sadness, fear, desperation etc. neither to Children’s Social Services nor to your children. I know this is incredibly difficult. Children need stability. As much as your emotions are understandable, your children need to feel that they are safe and that also means they need to see that you are there to care for them. Emotions will be interpreted negatively by social workers. Be sure to make time for yourself to deal with your emotions. If necessary arrange for one friend to look after the children while you let yourself go, either with another friend or on your own.

    Protect yourself

    You should get advice from as many places as possible, for example the Citizen Advice Bureau or Women’s Aid, and there are many others, also small local ones. Especially find out what your legal position is and whether you are entitled to legal aid.

    If you are coming out of an abusive relationship, you do not have to be in the same meetings as your abuser. You have the right to split meetings. However, especially if it was emotional abuse, you might not be believed. My advice is not to waste time trying to be believed. Emotional abuse in the past cannot be proven, unless you have witnesses. Do not let children be witnesses. They are too young and often, because they have grown up with this, they think the behaviour is normal. All my children described the emotional abuse which happened as arguments. It will take a very long time and them experiencing normal family life that they will be able to understand. They also believed, mum crying so much is a problem with her. That she is “mad”.

    To protect yourself, consult your GP. Your GP also does not need to decide whether there was emotional abuse or not. Your GP only needs to assess whether attending the meetings has a negative impact on your emotional and mental well-being. If this is the case, they will recommend for you not to attend the meetings and information being exchanged in writing.

    Social Services will advise you, that you can bring a friend or family member with you as support in meetings. However, I felt much more emotionally vulnerable with a support. There are also advocacy services available. In some circumstance you have the right to an advocate. Even if this is not the case, I recommend to get in touch with an advocacy service. They have very specific experience which results in advice you would not get from organisations such as Citizen Advice Bureau or Women’s Aid.

    Lastly

    Deal with your own issues. All the above advice is mute, if you have your own issues and you are not dealing with them. Be honest about them. Once you are honest about them, help is forthcoming. This was my experience with the first unit I worked with. It was very unfortunate that the second unit did adopt a different story line and the situation deteriorated to a worse state than it was when Children’s Social Services got first involved.

  • Rose Ellen Bennett

    Unwarranted attention from UK social workers ? the golden rule, LEAVE THE COUNTRY TODAY
    99.7% of families who enter court proceedings with SS LOSE THEIR CHILDREN!
    My new book essential steps to take when social services target your children
    is available on amazon.com today
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/essential-social-workers-target-children-ebook/dp/B01FXH4078/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1463837574&sr=8-2&keywords=rose+ellen+bennett

    • kia

      Rose,
      You are so so right. If I had done that, instead of bothering to fight the ******s in court, I would still have my children. It has to stop. Our children are being used as commodities by the state. The UK courts NEVER EVER go against the social services. They are NEVER questioned on their findings, never investigated as to how they work, or how they came upon their findings. They lie about everything and anything in order to win their case in court. They are only interested in accommodating and furnishing the foster care agencies with more money and in turn the ss are rewarded for their efforts. They are failing children, and parents. They monthly have more blood on their hands from failing to attend to children’s needs when those children are clearly in danger, and seem to focus on families with no problems other than children who need help with autism and extra help in the education department. They act as though they have the powers of the Police, and they do not. They threaten the parents into submission, and are only happy when they have broken the will of the parents, and the children. They go to desperate desperate measures in order to keep the children they have stolen in the care system, and flout laws to protect children’s rights and the rights of the parents. The Independent reviewing officers are by no means independent of the social services, though they claim they are. The Independent reviewing officers work in the same building as the social services, and do not like anyone questioning their supposed findings. When a child is taken into care in this country, all means of communication is also taken from them, so that the children have no communication with the parents they were stolen from, except in “contact sessions” arranged by the social services, where two social services employees are present, watching and listening, also writing down what the communication was between the children and their parents. When you read the above, you might be mistaken for thinking that this is happening in a communist state like china for instance, but no! it is happening on your own doorstep. The foster agencies, which are on most towns across the UK are paid thousands of pounds for finding foster carers, or other places for the children stolen to live, then they are paid a WEEKLY wage for that accommodation ongoing, while the foster carers themselves retain a very substantial wage. Anywhere from £400.00 per week per child. Make no mistake – there is a silent war going on, and the threat is very real and present. Hiding behind security laden buildings across the country, the social services work diligently to pounce on unsuspecting parents and children, incestigating claims of abuse on the whim of a phone call, perhaps from a neighbour or someone who has seen a parent tell off their child in public. Once this happens, the cogs turn in the social services monstrous machine, and the end result is invariably court action by the social services. The parents are threatened again and again, if they do not attend meetings, where they will be questioned and intimidated by no fewer than three people at a time, and told they are not allowed to have anyone present to help them, this is nonsense. The parents are allowed a solicitor to be present, a friend, or a Mackenzie friend. I want all parents to know they should never trust or believe any social worker, and most importantly, never ever allow a social worker to interview or speak with your children alone. If this is done, they invariably make up stories they children are supposed to have told them. Once this happens, this is taken as evidence and used in a court of law. The so called evidence the social services then present is never ever questioned by anybody, and that includes the judge. It is no wonder that the vast majority of parents lose their children to these criminals. The most sinister thing I have come across, is that the social workers regularly monitor and go on social networking sites, defending themselves. These sites are often for the poor parents who have lost their children to the social services,and are looking for advice.

    • kia

      I also wanted to share these astonishing facts:
      If a child is taken into care, they are appointed a social worker. The social worker has a manager who NEVER see’s these children!!! but makes decisions on behalf of the social worker’s so called evidence, and NEVER investigates what the social worker under them has done or is doing. The children are prevented from having their voices heard, because after they have been taken into care, they are prevented from having their own solicitor or independent person to represent their wishes and feelings and possibly help them to get out of the care system, and yet the law is that the children are supposed to have a solicitor or independent person representing them throughout the whole of their LAC lives. The human rights of the children are taken away from them, because the social services are desperate to keep these children in the care system, and also desperate to cover their own backs. They NEVER EVER admit to having mad a wrong decision or apologise for anything. Everyone should be aware of how they operate. Any social worker coming on this site pretending that all social workers are not the same, etc etc are lying and misleading the public. What on earth are the social services doing, coming on these platforms for?! Sinister. All social services personel work to a set tried and tested template of bullying, manipulating, lying, subverting the course of justice, altering history in order to win their case in court against the parents.

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