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It’s Dr SUESS plus SUSPICIOUS MINDS    (it’s like a Mash-up, if you’re simultaneously down with the kids and about 8 years late to the slang)

It is family law, mostly child protection; and a blog that is mainly centred around showing you the key bits of stuff that you didn’t have time to read in full, and adding cynical asides. In my own description, it is “cut and paste plus sarcasm”

Suesspicious minds is overly fascinated by law, and particularly child protection law – I’ll write mainly with a slight Local Authority slant, though I’ve walked in various shoes during my time in family law, so I’m no rabid pro-eugenicist.  I appreciate that not everyone else is quite as law-geeky as me, so I will be trying to break up the very technical law posts with opinion and newsy stuff.  Outside of law, I love sport, fashion, music, beer and cheesecake.  None of the stuff on this blog will ever be a substitute for legal advice, and I won’t ever be talking about individual cases, nor reading (or printing)  any comments that talk about individual cases.  [unless they're law report cases]

Oh, and obviously, the name is derived from a combination of healthy cynicism, a talent for doing impressions of the vocal style of Roland Gift, and a love of Dr Suess.

A quick addition on comments – I do have to come in and approve them if you’re a first time poster, so don’t automatically assume that you’re being censored, when it may just be that I haven’t gone in to approve them yet.  And after twenty eight days, any individual post is locked down for comments.

I have censored some posts, but with reluctance, as well as the incredible amount of fascinating spam that I get, but I’ve posted a truckload of comments which have had a starkly different view to mine, many of which have been fair, eloquent and reasonable, and some which have not been,  including some which come pretty close to calling me crooked and corrupt.

Boo, hiss, censorship, what about Voltaire and free speech etc. You’re free to have whatever rules or policies you want on your own blog, but  this one is mine, and after twenty eight days on a topic, I’ve run the course of wanting to log in each day to read posts about how I’m a nazi in the pocket of the system, sorry.

56 responses »

  1. Pingback: What Should You Do If Social Services Steal Your Children? A Lesson in How Culture Can Cloud Common Sense « Researching Reform

  2. I read quite a lot of your blog etc. You say that your a family lawyer and you dont believe that social workers lie. I can not only prove that wrong but show you just how corrupt some of them can be. Also my sons can likewise (especially now they are over 21yrs old and allowed to speak for themselves) It is dangerous to think there is no smoke without fire, especially when it involves breaking up the family that can destroy, yes, destroy a child’s life. Care, whether fostering or children’s homes is (and proven) highly damaging to a child, emotionally and educationally. Forced adoption for many is no better.

    Reply
    • Dear Sheila

      Do I believe that social workers don’t lie? I don’t know that I would go that far. I believe that, as with every profession, there are good and bad people within it, and that even those good and bad people have good and bad days. I think more often than not, where mistakes are made, they are where a social worker has a professional opinion and it is wrong [sometimes they can be very wrong in their opinions, even unfair, without lying], rather than them actively lying; but very very sadly, I do know that social workers, being human beings, do sometimes tell lies.

      It has happened to me very rarely in Court, maybe twice in nearly twenty years but I can think of a telling example where my social worker had filed a statement and was about to give evidence about very detailed conversations they had had at a meeting on X date, and I was taken aside by a group of troubled advocates to tell me that such a meeting had never taken place. On further enquiries, yes, it turned out that the social worker had filed a statement lying about a meeting that had never occurred, and he was sacked that same day. So yes, it happens.

      Do I think it happens routinely? I hope not. Does it happen to some families and do awful things happen as a result? I’m afraid so. Does every single instance of that come to light by careful cross-examination of the social worker and the truth revealed before the Judge makes decisions? It should always do, and the system is based on that being the protection a parent has against professionals telling lies. But in reality, does it always? I’m afraid probably not. Mostly it does, but even a tiny fraction of cases where the truth doesn’t come out, such as yours are tragedies.

      Reply
      • Dear Suesspiciousminds

        I was encouraged to read your blog as I am currently embroiled in Childrens’ Services myself.

        I would very much like to discuss engaging you to act on my behalf.

        How would we go about having an initial consultation?
        In anticipation

        Daniel

      • Hi Daniel, I’m afraid that this is a law and child protection discussion blog, not a business where I take cases on. I actually work for what a lot of my readers would term “the bad guys”…. I think just above your comment, should be some suggestions I made for good places to get help. I wish you luck.

      • Hi,
        Expert Speakers This is a free event.
        Children screaming to be heard and The Silent Witnesses Conference to be held on July 25th 9am to 5pm at the resource Centre for London on the Holloway road.
        We Invite you or any member of your organization to attend this seated and ticketed event.
        There is no charge a donation to the registered charity is appreciated on the day all tickets can be collected on the day from a member of our team.
        The aims of the conference is to which aims to prevent physical, emotional and sexual abuse and neglect of children
        by promoting the physical, emotional, and social well-being of children. We aim to promote the rights of children
        as citizens, through multi-disciplinary collaboration, education, campaigning and other appropriate activities’
        1:-The fact is that parents who have committed no crime are losing their children to forced adoption!
        2:-Experts who depend on court appearances for a living, nearly always agree with the local authority.They make predictions that parents just might abuse their children (including newborn babies) in the future ,so these parents lose their children to permanent fostercare or adoption,not for something they have done but for something they might (or might not) do!
        3:-Over 1000 UK children /month are taken into care ,Fosterers are paid an average £400/week per child (birth mothers get around £20/week),and a foster agency founded by social workers getting around £1500/week per child was recently sold for £130million !A real money driven industry !!
        4:-Parents whose children have been taken are gagged and threatened with prison if they protest publicly;At contact parents are gagged again and forbidden to get emotional,to speak any foreign language,or to discuss the case with their children otherwise contact will be stopped.
        5:-More children are taken for emotional abuse than physical and sexual abuse added together.Despite “baby P” the number taken for physical abuse is steadily falling as a percentage of the total number of children taken.
        6:-What are the solutions?
        (a)Impose criminal rules of evidence in family courts so children cannot be taken unless parents are proved to have committed a crime affecting their children. Also parents would be free to obtain a second opinion from an expert of their own choosing.
        (b)Abolish all gagging of parents leaving them free to protest openly if their children are taken, and also to say what they like to them at contact without censorship ! Two very simple changes, two very obvious solutions.,but will anyone impose them and derail the money-train ?
        Don’t hold your breath.
        Directions http://www.resourceforlondon.org/home
        Our Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/events/439559902831182/
        Charity http://www.childrenscreamingtobeheard.com
        Email Andy freedomtalkradio2013@gmail.com
        http://www.freedomtalkradio.co.uk
        Telephone 01469 510 558 Mobile 07827731060

      • i cannot help but notice that you mentioned cross examination of the local authority, i sadly in all honesty can say that the only persons that were cross examined in the family law court were myself and my partner, niether of our barristers cross examined anyone, with the end result being forced adoption of our children, was this fair, i think not

      • That is very sad. You would have been entitled to have had questions asked of the Local Authority witnesses. Ultimately, whilst a barrister may give you advice and they may well have damn good reasons for that advice, if you disagree with them, you can still tell them what you want them to do on your behalf.

        There is a principle of advocacy that you only ask questions if it will improve your case, so that might be a reason for them advising against it; but a barrister does have a duty to ‘fearlessly represent’ you and your instructions, even if you are going against their advice.

    • Wendy Wolfendale

      Please can anyone help.
      My daughter and her partner have no idea what happened to our 3 year old back in September 12.(she had been smoking weed for some years – so not completely a Mary Poppins) But a consultant said it was “child abuse” -nb he specializes in this subject. A further £3000 report basically said “I don’t KNOW either, so I’ll agree with him”. Suddenly they are in the “pool of perpetrators”. Self infliction or a medical condition are just ruled out – bang.
      So a Lancashire in January. No more contact from Social Services or the Guardian; done deal as far as they are concerned.
      Relationship broken, new house, drug free, city and guilds in Childcare course. Counted for NOTHING.
      Friday 17th May – adoption.
      Friday 24th May – final goodbye booked.
      This is madness, sheer madness – she has lost her baby for something that NO-ONE saw or knew about. Police have said from day 1, there is no case to answer as there is NO evidence at all that they “injured” him.
      We hardly have time to breath, let alone launch and appeal –
      DESPERATE GRANDMA

      Reply
    • I know some of them lie I’ve been on the backend of their lies managed to win the case but it destroyed my career and left my future in doubt if I can’t go back to work how am I meant to provide a role model and a decent living for my children. Something which social services don’t give a shit about having told me it isn’t their problem and I should retrain get a new career despite being highly qualified and experienced in childcare

      Reply
  3. I totally agree with Sheila. My 12 year old daughter and I are currently waiting for final assessments , so we can go to court and have the Care Order lifted.
    She has been in care for nearly 5 years.
    ‘Risk of Emotional Abuse’ category ( seeing her dad had anger management issues NEVER directed at her, but only towards others, sometimes in her presence).
    The most tragically absurd thing is: she suffers FAR GREATER EMOTIONALLY in her foster placement, her health suffered SIGNIFICANTLY due to poor nutrition and constant worry and stress in her life. She is also subjected to RACIAL discrimination – being of a mixed race ( almost porcelain-fair skin complexion), SW decided to place her with Jamaican foster carer, her daughter and another Jamaican fostered child.
    So my daughter is always told she is not ‘full-black’. not ‘one of them’, et cetera.
    Its all too much for anyone to comprehend these atrocities happen in this day and age in the modern society, the country that signed the European Convention of Human Rights.
    My little girl developed more ‘emotional issues’ during this 5 years in ‘so-called care’,
    she is now scarred for life. We will be bearing these scars for the rest of our lives.
    Dont tell us about good and bad people and social workers.
    The amount of harm to come from an average bad person before they end up is jail is nothing compared to the amount of harm from a social worker throughout their questionable career-and ,surprisingly,its very rare they get prosecuted/convicted and locked up.
    Any action taken against them is investigated by their own… you get my drift.

    Reply
    • andrea marley

      I totally agree with you Anastasia in everything you say. My wee boy is mixed race wuth a white family. He’s broken hearted. Them sw don’t realise they damage the child. They do lie and they are heartless. I’ve seen it all. My boy has only been away a week over nothing saying my mental health is doolally which I was diagnised with diabetis and the medication was making me I’ll. I hope them sw get what’s coming to them. Theyr evil demons. Andrea

      Reply
  4. I totally agree with Sheila. My 12 year old daughter and I are currently waiting for final assessments , so we can go to court and have the Care Order lifted.
    She has been in care for nearly 5 years.
    ‘Risk of Emotional Abuse’ category ( seeing her dad had anger management issues NEVER directed at her, but only towards others, sometimes in her presence).
    The most tragically absurd thing is: she suffers FAR GREATER EMOTIONALLY in her foster placement, her health suffered SIGNIFICANTLY due to poor nutrition and constant worry and stress in her life. She is also subjected to RACIAL discrimination – being of a mixed race ( almost porcelain-fair skin complexion), SW decided to place her with Jamaican foster carer, her daughter and another Jamaican fostered child.
    So my daughter is always told she is not ‘full-black’. not ‘one of them’, et cetera.
    Its all too much for anyone to comprehend these atrocities happen in this day and age in the modern society, the country that signed the European Convention of Human Rights.
    My little girl developed more ‘emotional issues’ during this 5 years in ‘so-called care’,
    she is now scarred for life. We will be bearing these scars for the rest of our lives.
    Dont tell us about good and bad people and social workers.
    The amount of harm to come from an average bad person before they end up is jail is nothing compared to the amount of harm from a social worker throughout their questionable career-and ,surprisingly,its very rare they get prosecuted/convicted and locked up.
    Any action taken against them is investigated by their own… you get my drift.

    Reply
    • I so understand your situation. Children who know they are loved and feel secure can cope with situations where there is disagreement and even arguments between parents and even anger for other people. They actually grow up knowing that life is not perfect and that life is full of ups and downs but they can learn from it and not only survive it but do better. They also learn that in spite of life’s ups and downs and differences there is something solid that cannot be broken, the fact that no matter the parents imperfections they are loved. To a child, this is something solid that the child can build on.
      To remove a child in these circumstances not only puts the child at greater risk of ‘abuse’ of all sorts but ingrains in the child that anything less than ‘perfect’ is unacceptable.
      The truth is that no-one is perfect but a child will have a view of him/her self that he/she is also not acceptable in the path of life.
      For you, so very sadly your daughter has also suffered racial issues and it is a fact of life (unknown or ignored by some social workers) that there is many forms of racial abuse, not just between black or white but beween different ‘shades’ of black of white. Just as there is between working class to the rich. Not many want it but it exists. But like you know, life and our existence on this planet cannot be rushed and until the time is right no person or govenment can enforce a global world of harmony until its ready.
      In the meantime I send my love and respect and feel so sad that your daughter is subject to such hostility. But I think there was a short straw drawn here as so many Jamaican people are such loving people. I so hope that it is resolved soon.
      And yes, I also agree with you that to spend time in jail is nothing compared with losing your child or having social services spending every day involved in your life in a negative way.
      They are not the child protection they say they are. The problems to the child can be far more severe than anything suffered within their family. x

      Reply
  5. I understand fully what you are saying, as do my sons. To put a child in care as most solicitors already know is not in the child’s best interests. Yet these care orders are still put through in their hundreds every day of the week leaving children scarred for life with terrible emotional, physical and sometimes sexual abuse received during care. The govenments answer to this is rush through adoptions. For a seriously abused child this may be the answer, the chance of a life within a family that hopefully will love and protect them. But the sad truth is many forced adoptions do not work, care has been proven not to work and there needs to be a time when the system will finally accept that for many children the answer is to work with the family. At least this should happen with most families unless there is proven sexual abuse, serious violent behaviour or serious drug problem. Would this protect the children? I think it would have a better chance than the child protection system at present. And for obvious reasons, on research there is more abuse within care than outside of it, children failure rates (education and emotional) are far higher with children who entered care, documented abuse is vast within care, a high number of children leaving care have no-one to support them, often due to the social workers and courts removing all family, including extended family from their lives, children are far too often removed from caring and loving families and the child, then adult, leaves care with an intense hatred of authority, (as do children who have suffered some emotional/physical abuse from parents) for the reason they understand that no-one helped their parent/parents in a crisis/ill health/housing etc. They then see a cruel and uncaring world where if they had a problem the system would only condemn them just at it did their parent/parents. Yes these people who remove children, from social workers to county halls to all involved need a reality check.

    Reply
  6. SS lie, Cafcass lie, solicitors lie, they all collude together in this billion pound industry. They are all in bed together. They are cold hearted, emotionless people who purport to have the best interest of children and families, THEY DO NOT. The way they conduct themselves is a national disgrace, SS get millions in government funding for meeting adoption targets.
    The most disturbing part is is the trauma that parents and children suffer from being parted. You need traumatised people because they are then dependent on a health care and social care system that simply does not provide care. Traumatised people are also compliant and conform to what they are told. They never aspire to much because they have no fight left. They struggle with the trauma on a daily basis and to live a good life.

    Reply
  7. I tried to comment on one of your posts (what to do when social services steal your children) i would like to share my experience both as a parent and an ex- professional. I will cut the long story short. My child disclosed that another adult exposed his penis and let my daughter touch it. i reported this. She also disclosed to police, social services and nursery. I alerted social services previously that this man had an alleged past and the mother was a risk but they failed to act, My daughter was returned a year later, and my social was accused by both myself and another social services of failing in the duty of care. On return my daughter disclosed what had happened. Social services became vexatious, altered meetings ensuring i went to the wrong location, falsified medical records, falsified reasons for child protection, falsified police investigations blah blah. They snatched my daughter last year and mislead the courts. In court we proved they had lied. I have to be supervised because i am a risk because i think pedophilia is wrong and perjury is wrong. Social Services thing is is normal what my child has said. Social Services constantly canceled contact sessions and we had evidence of police hearing them cancel contact but social services lied saying i canceled contact. The judge ignored police evidence supporting me. It came out that this man was reported my his ex wife 25 years ago for his other daughter saying similar thing. Another person came forward that he had done things to him as a child. Social Services had no concerns of sexual abuse.

    Social Services said it was emotional abuse reporting suspected abuse and also i was wrong to follow their advice – yes that is correct i followed their advice and they said i should not of done what a previous social worker to me to do.

    I was also considered a high risk because i made complaints, contacted my MP and was a fan of the X Files. These were the reasons given that social services hijacked my court case against them for failing to protect and make it public law.

    I am ordered to see a psych and until i say that child abuse is acceptable and there could be a logical explanation that 3 children from 3 different generations have all said he exposed and let him touch his penis i am a risk to my daughter.

    Reply
    • Its a seriously bad situation when you try and protect your child and you have the whole weight of social services against you. Any parent who reports any abuse especially sexual will become a target for the social services and consider that parent as a greater risk than a offender.
      When you consider a child is at high risk of abuse within ‘care’ it becomes very ‘dubious’ as to what ‘care’ is really meant for. And all the knowledge and research I have done proves to me that there are some very sinsiter motives, besides financial gain, for all parties removing children.
      Yesterday I replied to a blog, again on dishonesty of social workers. And I will say it again here, most social workers are NOT angels working to protect children, nor are most carers including children’s homes, foster carers and adopting parents. If the financial rewards were taken away, not many would be left in the bag, so to speak. If these people really cared about children they would be whistleblowing most days, campaigning with the many groups, campaigning with people who have suffered abuse in care, and giving their time helping parents who have had their children wrongfully removed. They would also not work within a ‘regime’ of social services care without fully complaining about bad decisions and alerting the top of the tree. On top of that they would spend time campaigning, writing to MPs fighting for change in family law and signing petitions to open up family courts.
      Adopting couples and singles would also insist on full knowlege of any child they may consider adopting and would certainly expect the parents to have contact with their own birth child, even if this was by supervised contact until no risk is proven.
      But the sad fact is, history has proven these people do not work in the best interests of the child and so many of them have proven who and what they really are.
      Therefore it is true that social workers, carers, foster carers and adopted parents will lie, work against ethics, tamper and change reports and assessments, add false information, accuse you of the unthinkable, build a negative profile against the birth parent and fail to assist the birth family.
      In all of this, the child is of no real concern to them. They are all fighting for their own personel gain.
      It is only the birth parents and extended family who are fighting for the rights of the child. They are the only ones where the love of the child already exists.
      This means that most cases that go before a court can be broken up as such.
      Out of every 100 children there are perhaps 10 who should have been removed and given a chance of a life within another family. And those are the cases of proven serious abuse.
      The rest range from no harm to the child and moderate harm where in all the cases I know and have researched should have been resolved by no action or support by a ‘caring’ supportive social system.
      Givin that the financial burden to the country would be less, the damage to children would be less, that there would be less people obtaining financial gain, less adopting families having a chance of adopting, less private children’s homes having financial gains (some charge on average £3,500 per week) less high ranking council officials making money out of them, and the list goes on.
      I cannot see an end to all this yet, until birth parents can realize their strengths, compile their cases and unite in a large group to prove the corruption. Of course so many parents are so distraught, so damaged and so worried about their children that paperwork is bottom of the list. Parents are also not lawyers and the system is not geared ln a legal way to deal with these corrupt social workers and carers.And nor is the law itself, the family courts are not there for any form of justice.
      So ALL birth families should realise that it can happen to anyone (especially the vulnable or those in crisis) If you are not a lawyer you can lose your children. And even being one will not always protect you against the vast headhunters that exist within a corrupt system.
      For all of you fighting for your children and anyone who reads this whether in law, social services, care, carer or other please help build a better future for ALL children. A negligent and damaging system such as it stands is destroying lives every day.
      And as the letter says above. The system is also keeping sexual abuse as a taboo subject and therefore does NOT help real victims of sexual abuse to speak out nor does it encourage those who are concerned of it in reporting it.
      Just as being a victim of domestic violence, many women (and sometimes men) lose their children, every day for this reason.
      The system makes a victim a lifetime victim. It is a non-working model.

      Reply
  8. Much sense spoken on this blog :)

    Reply
    • I speak a fair bit of nonsense too though Jennifer, but thank you very much. If that is, as I suspect, a pseudoynm, then you have chosen well, it was one of my favourite songs growing up. If it is your real name, then wow, top name!

      Reply
  9. I recently lost my children to a secret court and had no chance of securing their return. They were taken because we didn’t have a dentist (just moved in to the area) and the fact that my eldest son was told off for stealing at school.
    We’re an independent film company based in the UK and with out skills and knowledge already collected from families we intend to release a 90 minute Documentary in the style of Roger Cooke and Micheal Moore. We have plenty of interest from media sources.
    Below is a brief synopsis of our intentions:
    Have you been affected by the Social Services? if so we need your assistance. We’re currently making a 90 minute documentary highlighting the corruption within this department.
    We’re looking for families destroyed by trigger happy social workers, having their children taken for the most ridiculous reasons.

    If you would like to take part and get your story heard then please contact us. We can promise total privacy if you wish to stay that way or give you the airtime you deserve. I can travel to you for interviews etc, they will be no cost to you, only an hour of your time to share your story. It will also receive global coverage.
    With your help we can show the corruption within a service sworn to protect!

    If your interested please contact us via email @internationalpix@aol.co.uk or PM me and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

    Kind regards,
    Emma Ibbitson
    Producer at Pete Middleton Pictures.

    Reply
    • Hi Emma,

      I hope it’s not to late to contact you, maybe you or someone else can help?

      Just found this site and the discussions within.

      Just sent my sister an email with the links and said to her this is incredible, If my family and I were not going through the hell of our family being torn apart with the same sort of trauma right now I would honestly think this was fantasy, sadly I know only too well that every comment on this site is too believable.
      I am shocked and devastated that in this country in 2013 that children can be taken away from their immediate and extended family with no abuse or neglect taking place and with the full knowledge and collusion of officials who would usually be expected to help and support being responsible for destroying families.

      I’m disgusted that anyone as long as they can afford go to university and get qualified can then act as judge, jury and exceutioner in a childs life, and yet as soon as one SW makes a biased decision or personal opinion that you are either innocent or guilty, suitable or not suitable they can freely make accusations without proof and yet with the full support and endorsement of all around them.
      My nephew has been taken into care, my mum as his guardian was given 10 mins to get a solicitor and attend court and has been battling unsuccessfully since January this year, the final court date is set for 2 weeks and yet the reports make it clear that they have no intention of returning him and in fact ending contact with all of us so he can stay with foster carers in another county.

      Reply
      • Hi Donna
        I wonder if you saw our story in the Daily Mail this week. We lost our little boy in another case of SS cock-ups. Do they care what pain they leave in their wake?

  10. Dear ‘Dr Suess’

    I came across your blog as I searched how to keep your children with social services involvement, I will not go into details publishing my experiences online, I ave been sanctioned for it before but I wondered if you knew if moving from the grasps of one local authority and though it may harm my case toi say so one HIGHLY unprofessional social worker, to another would help me, you see I am now pregnant with my 3rd child and lost custody of last two. I wish to show that I have changed, made many sacrifices, found courses in confidence building, emotional management and parenting, all things I have done before but am happy to do again to prove to a judge that I am willing to do anything it takes for this child. Then one day I can apply to have my others returned to me?

    I would appreciate an email reply in your own time of course x

    Thank you

    Reply
  11. Hi there, I came across your blog occidentally when searching on social services, I have been involved with them for 4 years, rather them me really but it has cost me 2 children courtesy of one social worker who I won’t go into but I can prove highly unprofessional and a downright lier, yet have never been given chance. However right now my main concern is the fact I am 10 weeks pregnant. I have already told the local authority here, I have moved towns and councils and pray this gives me a chance to be assessed as a sole carer, something that has yet to happen!

    I have given up smoking, admitted faults with first child, moved home, in fact was homeless and dragged myself with major morning sickness to estate agents begging for help till I managed to acquire a 2 bed house which is costing me £30 a week out of my £60 a week benefit just to keep hold of. I am job-seeking for the first time in a decade. I have found a women’s centre where I have applied for multiple courses, a children’s centre and applied for parenting courses, everything and anything I can think of to find support and a solicitor.

    If you can pls think of anything else that may help me then pls pls feel free to message me or email. I am so so desperate not to lose another child. I am a wonderful mother, if I could call witnesses in court I would have hundreds.

    Thank you x

    Reply
    • Hello, it is a bit difficult to give advice here, but it sounds to me like you have made the best possible start, you’ve moved away and made efforts to fix the problems that were there in the past, and you’ve actually taken practical steps. You should be given the opportunity to show that the changes that you have made mean that you can safely care for a child and I would hope that you would be given that opportunity, which you need to grab hold of with both hands. It really does sound to me that you are a different person now, and I hope very much that things work out for you. Don’t lose your cool, even if the social workers don’t want to give you that chance, you can still fight the case in court.

      Reply
  12. Sorry Moderator – I need to edit a couple of things

    I have a friend.. I know it’s a cliche – who had a quarrel with her extended family on holiday abroad -part of ongoing strife for many years.
    When she returned she was met by police at the airport – Her child (age range 10 – 12) and her sister and her niece (with both of whom she had argued) were taken by the police to another city 50 miles away for a social services interview. My friend was left at the airport unable to put her side of the case.

    The rest of the family must have planned this meeting before leaving the country where they were holidaying. They went off with her luggage and she was left alone in the airport. She had no idea who to call or what to do and it was 11pm.

    By the time Social Services arranged to see her 3 days later she was too ill to get to the appointment. Her daughter is now in the ‘protective custody’ of other family members and although they are required to make visiting arrangements they don’t respond to calls from her solicitor or social worker and my friend is not allowed to contact her daughter direct. She has not been able to contact or hear from her daughter for 9 weeks now.

    She engaged a solicitor who told her that legal aid is not available for these cases and charged over £900 for a preliminary appearance in court which achieved nothing. The police interviewed her over the family’s allegations that she beat her child – there were no marks or any other evidence. The Mum had quarrelled with her family and they had sided against her so the holiday had been ruined, There had been shouting on both sides but no evidence of any kind of abuse and any possibility of charges was dropped.

    My friend was at breaking point so we paid for her to go away for 2 weeks to come to terms with her bereavement and gather strength.

    When she returned the solicitor had done nothing to collect statements – My wife and I are both happy to testify that her daughter has shown no signs at all of physical or mental abuse over the years we have known them but he has not contacted us.

    The solicitor said he needed a copy of the report showing her innocence and charged over £90 to obtain it.

    He had to adjourn the court case for two weeks because he had not asked for the report before.

    Last week he said that the next court appearance – ‘which would definitely result in arrangements for visits’ – would cost about £300

    This week he said he needs to be paid £1000 to attend court.

    All her hopes are fixed on this court appearance. So if she does not get the £1000 she fears that she will lose her daughter. She has been told that her daughter does not want to see her but this is based on a videoed interview (which her nice lied the mother had given consent for) just after the holiday when her daughter was upset and vulnerable to suggestions and influence. We do not know of any contact between social services and the niece(who has protective custody) since the videoed interview so how do they know the daughter still feels the same way?

    My friend has no job and has suffered terribly since this happened. She is staying at our home -hates the idea of returning to her home without her daughter. We have funded her legal fees but cannot afford to any longer.

    What kind of system is this? – I phoned the social worker on her behalf when she was too ill to make the appointment and was stunned at the disbelief and cynicism in her voice. The social worker has been on holiday almost all the time since but was shocked that my friend needed a break.

    Although my friend was available by phone during her break neither solicitor or social worker contacted her for an interview or to mention the police report in her favour – they only expressed disapproval that she needed a break.

    My question is – How are people expected to pay thousands of pounds when their children have literally been kidnapped by the state and they have no income?

    Is there some support group? – Surely family law should be accessible to families – with all their faults, quarrels and financial hardship. Not run by middle class professionals with middle class incomes for middle class professionals with middle class incomes.

    Is family justice now a consumer commodity for the well off?

    Is there a way of going to mediation rather than the courts with all their costs?

    The Small Claims court provides mediation alternatives if people argue over money.

    if there is no mediation alternative to court for families this shows us all where the true heart of this nation and its governors lies. – In both senses of the word

    Reply
    • This all sounds very awful. The availability of free legal advice depends on whether this is ‘private’ family law (i.e the argument is between your friend and her family) in which case most free advice has now gone due to changes in the law, or ‘public’ (i.e that the argument is between your friend and Social Services) in which case free legal advice ought to be available. It sounds to me that although the child is staying with family members, the quarrel is really between your friend and Social Services.

      I’m afraid I am not able to give specific advice on particular cases, but the first thing your friend should do is work out if this is a private family law case (in which case the applications will be for Residence or Contact) or a public law case (in which case the application would be made by Social Services and would be for a Care or Supervision Order). If the latter, she can get free legal advice.

      If the former, she won’t get free legal advice, but there are alternatives to paying the sort of sums that she is paying. One would be to find a solicitor who wouldn’t be charging so much (those rates sound on the high side to me), and another would be to find a MacKenzie Friend, who may be able to help with advice and how the court system work. Some of them do charge, but not to the levels talked about here. I also heartily recommmend Lucy Reed’s book, Family Courts without a lawyer (which is a guide to the basics of family law) and her website here http://www.nofamilylawyer.co.uk/

      If you want a MacKenzie Friend, several of them post on this site – it would depend whereabouts in the country you are, but if you look on this site for Jerry, I am sure he can point your friend in helpful directions, to find someone who can genuinely help your friend in this awful situation.

      Reply
  13. lauri brierley

    Can you give me an email I need some emergency advice
    Regards lauri

    Reply
    • Hi Lauri, I’m afraid I am not an advice site, so can’t provide advice on any individual case. Good sources of advice are Lucy’s site, linked to in one of the earlier comments, MacKenzie Friends or solicitors who are on the Children Panel. If you google “family solicitors in X” (X being your nearest big town or city) that should turn you some up.

      Reply
  14. At the very beginning of this conversation you stated that not many social workers will lie, that some may be having bad days and so on. So could you answer this please.
    1/ Does a solicitor for an LA fact find before presenting a case into court for a social services department.
    2/ What are your thoughts on the huge immunity that social workers have in a family court
    3/ If it is proven in a family court that the social worker lied why do the LA solicitors continue to fight to present a case for the social worker involved and against the parents
    4/ Why do most Judges refuse to act on this contempt of court and or perverting the course of justice by the social workers and refuse to hold meetings or pass the matter to the police.
    5/ Why are the children still not returned in these cases
    6/ Why are records held at social services still not corrected by the information given in court.
    7/ Why when the evidence in court proves lies and deception by the social worker does the LA then insist on psychological reports on the parents when it should be done on the social worker who has with malice destroyed a family.

    Reply
  15. And to move these questions on to a question of ‘sinister’ motives as given on so many blogs and family rights activists.
    1/ Why having realised that the above is in fact, FACTS, why is there NO legal aid assistance for parents who have proved the above to take a case against the LA and social worker.
    2/ Why are Judges refusing leave to appeal.
    3/ Why are forced adoptions allowed in this country yet banned in most other countries.
    4/ When the reason for cash incentives was made it was to help children who have been lost in the care system for some years. But it in fact brought a fast track route to forced adoptions, 4000 unborn babies on child protection registers and the list goes on. FACT most children are adopted under the age of 4yrs old because adopters want the perfect family adding to the knowledge that too many are doing it to satisfy their own needs and not for the child.

    Reply
  16. Spin doctors.
    Why are cases of child deaths by parents/step parents so highlighted and for such long periods of time when:-
    1/ Cases of child deaths by adopted parents, foster carers and carers hardly ever reach the headlines.
    2/ Child deaths or serious injury have also occured by restraints against a child/young person by carers within the care system but not reported on.
    3/ LAs social workers and children’s home carers and managers are not financially punished by the system for children who are not receiving education but parents are financially punished and/or receiving prison sentences.
    4/ Why are draconian measures used by serving injunctions on parents and sometimes entire families when a social worker has been proven to lie in court,

    Reply
  17. SCRs are important where child/baby serious injury or death has occured and much can be learnt from them. (sorry but usually LA or social worker or system negligence) BUT
    1/ Where are the SCRs on child suicides within the care system.and up to the age of 25yrs when the LA are stilll responsible.
    2/ Where are the SCRs on serious injury or death within LA care on illegal restraints, excessive use of legal restraints, bad drug administration, failure in duty of care, child inflcted injury, self harm, carer abuse and the many other instances where child death or serious injury has occured while under state care.
    3/ Why are there no serious case reviews of children that have been failed by the protective industry by receiving poorer care under the state care than had they remained with their birth families. i.e. Children that have experienced serious sexual, physical, emotional and neglet within the LA care.
    .

    Reply
  18. Also under the heading of serious case reviews should be the lack of care to under 25’s in accommodation assistance to those leaving care.
    The reasons being thus:-
    Most care leavers are offered hostel rooms already let down by the system of protective care. These young people are also being denied a key worker support.
    These hostels are renowned for inapproiate accommodation where drug abuse is common, no job seeking assistance, crime and lack of role model support that has led to serious injury, suicides and drug problems for young people.
    These young people have been long term seperated from their birth families and often for little or no reason. Some do not even know where or how to contact their birth families.
    For those that do manage to contact their birth families, the birth family may not be able to offer the extent of support needed for such damaged young people.
    These young people are no longer children, the system does not want to know them. The birth families are left to mop up the damage and try to reshape a better future for their off spring. Yet ironically they were the ones deemed unfit to parent in a family court.

    Reply
  19. Political hypocrites
    Failure to bring in legislation to protect human rights in family courts.
    Failure to bring in legislation to protect the birth family against offences by public service workers and civil servants.
    Failure to protect children or care leavers from state abuse.
    Failure to bring in legislation to protect the children against their loss of identity or give legal assistance appropiate to their age.
    Failure to protect the children from offences by public service workers and civil servants in family court proceedings and therefore also denying their human rights.

    The Lord Justice Sir James Munby has just scratched the surface, he has been the only person to have at least attempted it. It is in the childs best interests that he continues to do so.

    Reply
  20. Ashamedtobebritish

    How do you fancy writing a blog on the plight of some friends?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2542161/Family-demand-answers-son-Downs-syndrome-dies.html

    The coroner did not see an inquest to be important as the local authority are blameless, this child had pneumonia, if he’d been taken to hospital as begged by the parents he’d be alive

    Reply
    • Wendy Wolfendale

      My Grandson was taken from our family because of a suspected Non Accidental Injury, this was then impossible to prove so the judgement was a Lancashire Finding ie He did and she covered it up or vice versa, either way the Court couldn’t blame anyone. But then handed down the maximum sentence – adoption.
      We have NO IDEA where he is or who he is with? We don’t know if he is safe or not. Would the adopters take him to hospital if he was ill or would they be scared of the same fate we suffered because we took him to the doctors?
      This country stinks. I never thought you would hear me say that,

      Reply
      • Ashamed to be British

        Am working on a case of exactly the same issue, it has been proven, child A is still displaying the same behvioural problems nearly 3 years after removal (but the LA say there is nothing wrong) and child B has been hospitalised after suffering an epileptic fit (but the LA refuse to accept this)
        So what happens next? Parents are getting frightened to get their child medical assistance in case they are accused – if they don’t take them it’s medical neglect
        I’m so sorry to hear your plight, hang on to the fact that he will come looking they always do

    • Dear Sandy, this is a very awful and sad case. I am surprised that there is not going to be an inquest, and that is obviously very disappointing. It must be right that this is properly investigated and the facts set out. An inquest would, it seems to me, to have been the best way of doing that with proper independence. This family are entitled to know whether this could have been prevented.

      Reply
      • Ashamed to be British

        They already know it could have been, they begged for him to get medical help as he had breathing problems and severe conjuctivitis, all treatable with antibiotics, but they were refused
        The LA is guilty of medical neglect and causing or allowing the death of a minor under the age of 16
        The parents weren’t informed until 4 and a half hours after his death, there should be a national outrage over this, JJ was a clean, happy and well loved little boy in his parents’ care, yet dead in the ‘care’ of the LA
        The so called justice system just tried to cover his death up, disgrace

      • If it had been his natural parents there would have been an inquest, the parents implicated for neglet and a SCR.

        So sadness will not do, disappointing will not do, sympathy will not do. This child is ANOTHER one who died because of 2 reasons. The negligence of the social services, the bully tactics of over powered and corrupt social work departments and their managers who blindly take children to cover their own backs and make money at the same time. And keep a load of idiots in jobs.

        I can quite understand when f4j wanted to kidnap a politicians child to let them know how it feels. But then it would not have given the full impact, their stolen child would have at least been looked after properly until returned and returned it would have been. Unlike the thousands of innocents parents who never see them again.

  21. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2542161/Family-demand-answers-son-Downs-syndrome-dies.html

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2476311/Orien-Hamilton-Father-year-old-girl-beaten-death-foster-care-warned-officials-danger-prior-death.html

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:iWEX2-XsAEwJ:poundpuplegacy.org/node/20813+&cd=30&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk

    http://edition.cnn.com/2013/03/27/us/texas-russian-adoption-death/

    Message more important than the F word below

    http://www.mommyish.com/2013/09/10/adoptive-parents-swapping-kids-on-facebook-and-yahoo-groups/

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/10/29/parents-sentenced-daughters-death/3304669/

    http://www.alternet.org/drugs/taken-pot-smoking-parents-2-year-old-murdered-foster-care

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-79961/Foster-parents-jailed-battering-year-old.html

    Tip of the iceberg, so many children being abused and or murdered by foster carers, in children’s homes and by adopted parents.
    Forced adoption should be made illegal
    Social workers should be prosecuted for perjury and contempt in a family court.
    Anyone removing children for anything other than a serious reason are on the bandwaggon of abuse to children.
    Patch up on a non working system does not protect children or innocent parents. Social services should be removed from any child protection and made to work with birth families to trouble shoot any concerns.
    Where serious harm is suspected it should be a police matter only. And the child removed to respite care until a full and proper investigation is carried out. Supervised contact should be a must to oversee the children are properly cared for and ALL and EVERY PERSON including the parents should have the rights to have concerns investigated.
    Family court proceedings should only happen when the police can prove a crime has been committed by a parent or parents.
    No child should be subject to adoption unless a crime can be proved in a criminal court.
    Emotional should be dealt with by social workers, as poverty, crisis, ill health and relationship breakdown giving support and practical assistance.
    Unexplained minor injuries if frequent or doubtfull (cig burns, bites, etc) could mean a move to respite care for 3 months to monitor the minor but frequent injuries before police intervention.
    Fractures etc should be properly investigated for all options of a medical condition. If major concerns then respite should be used for 3 months.
    Respite carers should be properly trained and registered.

    It is quite easy to do a new blueprint. Why does it not happen. I

    Reply
  22. I am tired of writing FACTUAL and proven facts and nothing being done. Blogs, campaigns, protests, letters, MPs, solicitors and all the crap. At the end of the day these social workers are gaining powers beyond all explanations, they continue to be negligent where they ARE needed and the whole system is corrupt and negligent at best. Even the decent social workers will state that. Whistleblowers are punished, parents are bereaved and in huge trauma, mental health is on the increase and children are being murdered and abused on a far greater scale than by natural parents.
    Somewhere I can see the point of taking the law into your own hands. This country is DEAD in the water. It has NO principles, does not care for those that fought for it, has NO heart and is run by those in ignorance and money powered.
    Sad but true.
    No wonder the people are demanding some power in every country around the world who are suffering the same.
    To the rich and powerful who ignor the warnings, I can only say. YOU WILL LOSE. You will have no-one left who cares or will protect you.
    As for the crap social workers who get off on these blogs. F–K you, your days will be numbered.
    You no doubt have no soldiers in your families because your all money grabbing deceitful and cowardly excuses for human beings.

    Reply
  23. And no I will not take that back and will not apologise. Because I have seen too many children suffer at your dirty hands.

    Reply
  24. I went to court to fight for my son. I won the case with the local authority admitting at the final hearing all their concerns about me were unfounded. My son was never removed from my care and the social services admitted their concerns were mostly relating to my son’s father however the initial court papers were full of inaccuracies most of which I could prove were not true at best and bare faced lies at worse. The haphazard apology I received from the local authority does not make up for the 7 months of hell I went through neither does it excuse the fact my career was left in tatters thanks to their actions.
    But you can win cases even if your child has been removed by doing everything they want even if you don’t agree. I gave that advice to a young girl whose son was put into care and now she has him back permanently some social workers are jobs worth but for anyone fighting the system there is hope if your a good parent who doesn’t neglect or harm your children you just have to tow the line and prove it

    Reply
  25. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2567147/Did-social-workers-middle-class-familys-adored-child-meet-adoption-targets-Four-year-old-boy-torn-loving-mother-hospital-no-one-hurt-him.html

    This is my story. Does anyone know a doctor who would look at the photos of my grandson on that fateful hospital trip and offer an answer. My daughter or her boyfriend did not harm her baby, so there has to be a real reason – I’m not a doctor, could you help?

    [Sorry Wendy, have taken out your surname just in case it is the same surname as the child's. If anyone is able to help Wendy though - put your email up and she can contact you directly. Suesspicious Minds]

    Reply
    • Ashamed to be British

      Hi Wendy, a friend put your case before me a couple of days ago, have you looked through facebook to find family army open group? If you join there I’ll let you in, we can try to help

      Reply
  26. Hiya Sues I dunno if you remember me but I was the lady who posted about being pregnant right after losing my last child to their abusive father and was determined to do all I can to keep custody of my unborn baby.

    Since then I have been working with my LA and SW’s and managed to sort a house, a voluntary position for a women’s centre as admin and found, myself, so many local networks and charities willing to support me that my SW has joked many times they should be paying me their wages!

    I have admitted my faults from the past and at the same time proven that the last SW I had in another town WAS corrupt, not only am I keeping ym unborn child BUT this has also meant I have been fast tracked to a final court hearing where I am expected to be granted weekend access to my last child.

    The SW put in a report from Feb 2013 I never reported any abuse from my ex in the past to them

    I now have in my possession an incident report from a children’s centre that not only shows I DID report abuse but the very same SW helped me find a safe place to stay for the night at a friends house!

    Ironic there were concerns on my apparent not reporting his abuse… but granting him custody when admitting he was ‘has problems’ is something the SW’s in THIS town are questioning as they know I am right.

    I wanted to update you and thank you for your advise. By maintaining a good working relationship with the SW’s here but at the same time proving myself right whilst admitting where I went wrong with my first child (not my second) and showing I am determined to do I can to prove myself with my 3rd, I am now much more hopeful for the future :)

    So thank you

    Casee

    Reply
    • Hello Kelly, I am really pleased to hear that – everyone should have the chance to show that they can change, and you are proof that people can. I am delighted that things are going well for you and your family, and wish you all the best for the future. Well done – it isn’t easy to do.

      Reply
  27. Wendy Wolfendale

    Many Thanks – My daughter does Facebook, I will get her to do as you have suggested. MANY THANKS
    Wendy

    Reply
  28. You can all say what you want,but you can’t work with people who are stealing children for money. As the more you work with them the more lies and wrongs they do to try and take you child away And whoever you were who said they come from different end of the spectrum to Ian Joseph, must be a corrupt evil sick twisted individual as Ian is a kind,honesty,helpful caring individual,who has only said the truth in his every word about the system and the people in it,why they do it and what they do.

    Reply
    • Here, here! Ian Josephs doesn’t make a single penny from the free advice he gives to desperate families – unlike Social Services, Legal Aid Representatives, Adoption Agencies, Local Councils & more – who are all riding the gravy train of Forced Adoptions!

      Reply
  29. Social Workers don’t lie? What planet are u living on suesspiciousminds? Take a look at the evidence submitted by ppl directly affected on your own blog already – they’ve provided links & proof to back it up! These are not stats, they’re real ppl, many who thought these so-called ‘wild rumours’ about social services would never effect them, til 1 day they did! That’s when a person wakes up to the madness of it all – secret family courts, trumped up charges of ‘potential emotional harm’, social workers, lawyers, doctors, police & judges – all going against perfectly normal & innocent families. It’s became an industry, ss & councils being paid big fat bonuses for increasing adoption numbers. Wake up & smell the coffee ppl, b4 it’s too late! Ban Secret Courts & Outlaw Forced Adoptions!

    Reply
    • You probably want to read my very first response in this series of comments to the first person who said that I believe that social workers don’t lie. I’m not going to say it all again.

      Reply

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