These stories are becoming all too frequent.
In the interests of child safety, social workers have decided to robe themselves with the anonymity granted by an act of Parliament, to avoid scrutiny of their shortcomings, akin to state secrets involving National Security..
Unfortunately, this has being going on for decades, to varying degrees. I have previously related a story where I was involved on behalf of a parent who was trying to obtain custody of a natural child who had been put up for adoption by the other parent.
As I recollect it, this occurred 30 plus years ago, social workers took over the child, placed the child, a baby, with a family and then withheld the particulars of the family for some months. This was only revealed after a court order was obtained and a report on the family was eventually disclosed. The family wanted to adopt a baby.
It subsequently came out that one of the parents had a life-threatening condition, in certain circumstances. Those circumstances could have come about all too easily at any time.
The official Solicitor was also involved, ostensibly in the interests of the child. To say that I was unimpressed by their conduct would be putting it mildly. There was a lot of blather about their concerns for the welfare of children, but that is all it was, blather, there was no sense of urgency.
The months passed, and eventually the matter came to court and a judge, because there had been bonding because of the delays (engineered by the social workers) ordered that the child should remain with the people with whom the bond had been established, denying the rights of the parent. All because of the delays of the social workers. Was it because the client was a foreigner whose intentions and the care the child might receive abroad? I don’t know, but it was my opinion at the time that this was a material factor, but because of the vagueness of this, could not be brought into account.
I have another tale to tell, not a tale, fact. Parents moved into an abandoned building on a cold winter’s night to get children out of the cold. They made a small fire in the grate. The police intervened, took away the children, and aided and abetted by the social workers, kept the parents away from the children for two to three weeks until they were ordered by a juvenile court to return the children.
In justification of their actions, the police made 2 phenomenal scientific discoveries (never subsequently replicated). One was that asbestos burns, the other was that these of alcohol present in urine and beer and wine is capable of being ignited by a spark (god forbid you should be smoking at the time to go to the loo) and burns with a blue flame. This was not your local police, this discovery came from the forensic department of new Scotland Yard. The police and the social workers insisted on a hearing to keep the children away from the parents. It seems to me that truth and child abuse were the the main casualties.
Truth by the police, child abuse by the police and social workers.
Alf, working with children’s mental problems. If that be the case, and even if a social worker, you too would be guilty of child abuse because of the damage done to the children, their emotional and mental well-being and in those circumstances should not be allowed to work with children at all.
The system is desperately in need of change because of the abuse by social workers of children in a safe and stable environment, and where they want well adjusted children for their adoption programs. That is an abuse of process, and nothing less than criminal kidnapping, abduction and no less traumatic for the child/children involved.
In years past, it was the function of the official Solicitor, and probably still use in a number of cases, to look after the interests of a child. With the new legislation, the official Solicitor is out of the loop.
This is no less than state/court sanctioned kidnapping and, regrettably, has been going on for a very long time.
The longer the social workers can delay reunification, the easier it is to persuade the court that it is in the interest of the child to remove the child from the stable environment that they had. They even apply for sanction to have the children adopted. That cannot be right.
May I suggest, to counteract the incredible amount of funds that are available to the social workers to achieve their aims, they also be obliged to pay for an expert to match their expert, meeting for meeting, and the expert on behalf of the parent to listen in and observe any interviews, any and all interviews, parents and children and different experts to cater for changes in emphasis with different emphasis, more than one expert. That way there would be a degree of openness and scrutiny of the actions of social workers, and the police, if involved.
If the police are involved, as in this case alleging firearms, and it would not surprise me to hear that the idea of that they went in with was because of an invention on their part, I have seen this on several occasions, albeit not necessarily in relation to children. The degree of force used suggests that the police should have been interviewed under caution, and being made to have reveal the source of the report so its veracity can be tested.
On top of that, the blanket gagging of parents must be removed . All this does is bind the parents hand and foot in relation to any action that they can take to protect their rights and those of their children.
I am not saying that there are not parents who are bad parents, because there are.
Essentially, and this has been recently upheld, the rule is “justice must be seen to be done”.. This rule must be, indeed it is essential, in children’s cases, that the public see that justice is being done. Too many stories are coming out about the arrogant abuse of power by social workers in such cases where there is a stable family, and report is being prepared without the parents being allowed to have their representative, a qualified expert, present at any such interviews or being made aware of the nature of the allegations until months later. This lends itself to abuse by the “protecting” service, protecting their own back, not looking after the interests of the child. If not revealed at the time, the authorities cannot, without overwhelming incontrovertible evidence either bring it up or rely on it.
An opportunity should be given to the parents to appoint their own social expert and that that is expert be allowed to sit in on interviews conducted by social service and that until that facility is made available, social services are not allowed, directly or indirectly, to interview the child. Professor what is his name, South something or other, struck aff and then reinstated, as an expert in child matters, but prohibited from being involved here after with children, is a prime example of another expert being required to prevent abuse, expanding on pet themes, theories.
This is yet another case following on from the recent case of a parent speaking to a head teacher and then the headteacher speaking to social services and the nightmare that followed.
An appropriate punishment for his social workers would be that they are prohibited from having children of their own or having their own children taken away from them because of their lack of judgement. Unfortunately, whilst it is a good idea, it is not good for their children that they have. Preventing them from having children would be a good idea, but never sanctioned. They should be removed from the profession, because if they have one such instance, there are probably others and if they are prevented from having children, they are going to punish parents who do have children in favour of those wanting to adopt.
The social worker concerned must be identified. It is more than likely that there is one such case, the social worker concerned has been involved in other such cases and has caused parents to suffer, unnecessarily, because of their lack of judgement. This will only be revealed if their names are known. This does not identify either the family or the child so there is no excuse for keeping the social workers name secret, other than to protect the state from claims of negligence and damages. That is probably the reason for the anonymity rule. It is also the thin edge of the wedge by the state to control our thinking, do not make waves otherwise do not be surprised if your children taken away.
If a doctor suspects abuse, within 48 hours the state must pay for the doctor of the choice of the parent to verify the original findings, as an expert for the parents. All too often these allegations are made months later, when all evidence is no longer available, other than the word of the attending physician. The allegation must be scrutinised at the time, not left to a report to appear months later which, whilst largely factual, could have been the result of some entirely innocent action/incident, as in the case of the child falling down the stairs.
Actions for negligence must be allowed if the allegation is suddenly sprung several months later. The parent should immediately be informed to allow them to obtain independent expert advice, scrutiny of the original physician’s finding.
Clearly the state wants children’s cases dealt with in the same way as state secrets. What is needed to be protected is the names of the child and the parents, not the finding of abuse by the state, its servants or agents. Clearly they are seeking to protect themselves from having to pay substantial damages, even punitive, where there is an overzealous social worker/physician or where they have their own agenda.
The above rules (by statue, careful drafting) could easily be achieved without disclosure of the identity of the child and all the parents and at the same time being open to public scrutiny in respect of the behaviour by state employees. It would be more expensive, but cheap in terms of child abuse by the unwarranted actions of state employees who may have an agenda of their own, or be put up to it in return for past future/favours.