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Burning questions

 

 

These are a selection of issues that I now consider are somewhat up in the air following the autumn decisions by the Court of Appeal in public law cases. I’m sure that there are many others

 

 

1. What, precisely, does “nothing else will do” mean?   [see my article in Family Law for more digression on this topic alone http://www.familylaw.co.uk/articles/nothing-else-will-do-why-the-last-resort-won-t-necessarily-be-the-last-word ]

 

2. When  properly rigorous judgments that comply with Re B-S finally filter through into appeals (i.e about 2 months from now), will the Court of Appeal intervene to replace the judicial decision about Placement Orders?  So far, what we have had is “go back and rehear the case, as the judgment is deficient”  – what we don’t know is the extent to which the Court of Appeal will want to get under the bonnet of cases where the judgment ticks the boxes (to mix metaphors horribly)

 

3. For the purpose of appeals, now that we know that almost anything one would ever appeal in public law cases has the test of “wrong” and not “plainly wrong”  – how much distance is there between those two phrases?

 

4. Has the previous latitude given to the decisions of the Family Proceedings Court that their judgments were not intended to be compared to the sort of judgment one would expect of a professional judge – and the time constraints on them were to be weighed in the balance  (Re M – Section 1995 appeals 1995  and Re O Care versus Supervision 1996) now gone where the case involves placement outside the birth family?  The rigorous requirements of Re B-S seem to apply firmly to the FPC as well as to professional judges. Where exactly does this fit within the standardised template?

 

5. Does the Court of Appeal decision in Re B (A child) 2012 2 FLR 1358 which suggests that even a solid application for leave for party status or leave to apply for a residence order can be refused if the impact on the child (including delay) is sufficient, stand in cases where Placement order is an alternative   [note particularly that the test now appears to be higher for s10(9) leave than it is for leave to oppose adoption]

 

6. Is dual-planning still legal, given the conflict between Re P and “nothing else will do?”  as highlighted in the Re DR 2013 case?

 

7. Where a Court is satisfied that the child has to be permanently placed outside the family, do they have to reject long-term fostering as an option in order to make a Placement Order?  (again, as floated in the Re DR 2013 case)

 

8. Should adopters be represented at a leave to oppose adoption application?

 

9. Should the child?

 

10. Will parents be given public funding for such applications? If not, will judicial reviews ensue?

 

11. What exactly does a contested adoption hearing involve? To what extent will the parents be able to cross-examine the adopters?  [particularly relevant if the parent can’t get funding for lawyers at a contested adoption hearing] How will Guardians approach establishing the wishes and feelings of the child without causing disruption? What impact will a contested adoption hearing have on future contact ?   How precisely can a Court assess the impact of having a contested adoption hearing when deciding an application for leave when nobody yet knows what a contested adoption hearing would involve?

 

12. Given that Re B-S and Re W both emphasise that the task for a parent at a contested adoption hearing is not necessarily to secure the return of the child but to persuade the Court to make an order other than adoption, and that at a contested adoption hearing the test will STILL be that before an adoption order can be made, “nothing else will do”  – aren’t the Courts going to be faced with arguments that a Special Guardianship Order should be made instead?

 

13. What impact will the combination of uncertainty over contested adoption hearings AND the possibility of a Special Guardianship Order being imposed on people who wanted to adopt have on  (a) timing of adoption applications and hence the Government desire to have adoption orders made in a more timely fashion [since you would be downright  CRACKERS as a prospective adopter  to lodge your application now when you may well end up being a test case] and (b) people’s desire to become adopters and (c) the willingness of approved adopters to seek to care for children from England and Wales rather than from abroad where they won’t face those issues.

 

14. What will be the new test for leave to revoke Placement Orders – given the alterations to the test for leave to oppose adoption, the test will clearly come down, so any Court deciding such an application NOW will be doing so in the dark

 

15. Will the test for leave to apply to vary or discharge a Special Guardianship Order change?  The test was largely modelled on the leave to revoke Placement Orders / leave to oppose adoption “change of circumstances + that change being sufficient to justify any disruption” which is now altered as a result of Re B-S and Re W.

 

16. When will the argument about the Court imposing a plan of therapeutic support on the LA, which is hinted at in both Re B-S and Re W (Neath Port Talbot) take place? How will it be decided? Can it be decided without going to the Supreme Court, given the Supreme Court decisions in Barry and Kent County Council v G?

 

17. To what extent do the judicial steers in Neath Port Talbot towards “order the LA to file a care plan in line with the judgment given, and JR them if they refuse to do so” impact on the regulatory duties under the Care Planning and Placement Regulations that mean that the Local Authority cannot approve a placement of a child with parents under an ICO unless satisfied that to do so “safeguards and promotes the child’s welfare”

 

18. To what extent do the judicial steers in Neath Port Talbot apply to Interim orders?  Not at all, or is there no difference between trying to compel a final Care Order at home and an Interim Care Order at home, on a Local Authority who are resistant?

 

 

19. Given that the Court of Appeal consider that the welfare of the child is throughout their lifetime and talk about decisions in care proceedings having impact that last for perhaps seventy, eighty years, how significant in that context is a delay  of eight weeks in resolving the child’s future?  Can any application to extend the 26 week period for a further 8 weeks be refused purely on the impact of delay? What the hell does that mean for timescales and targets?  Will the Court of Appeal uphold any case management decision to refuse such an extension? Given that if there is such a refusal and it is appealed, the case can’t be progressed until the appeal is determined, aren’t Judges likely to be invited to take a pragmatic approach on any case for extension that has ‘solidity’ rather than risk an appeal in such uncertain times?

 

20. Given that the appeals in Re B-S and Re W took over six months from decision to judgment, when are we likely to get answers to these burning questions?

 

 

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About suesspiciousminds

Law geek, local authority care hack, fascinated by words and quirky information; deeply committed to cheesecake and beer.

17 responses

  1. The problem with all of this is the lack of insight into a social workers and LAs determination to be seen as right. Therefore it is all depending on the Judge and there are some bad ones amongst the ‘flock’ who will ignor any proof that the social worker has lied.
    A case going on right now where the father presented to the Judge that the social worker had lied and gave evidence, the Judge promptly tossed it aside.
    Family courts need to be open to public scuntity, there should be no bar on anyone giving evidence where facts can be proven. Action should be taken on anyone including social workers who are found to have brought false allegations and false evidence.
    Until you have a rock solid blue print for family court cases mistakes, negligence and yes, crime by professionals will carry on destroying childrens lives.
    The family courts are still about protecting the professionals NOT the children.
    Only then can the whole family court process be improved by the new rules until then they are mere patches on a broken system that can be easily abused.

    • Interesting that the journalist Camuilla Cavendish wrote a piece in the Subday Times this year :

      “Officialdom’s golden rule of child protection: save your own neck first”

      So clearly it is not just parents in danger of loosing their kids isuggesting the system is self serving and has little to do with a childs best interests. Ms Cavendish has impeccible credentials and education.

      Until it is accepted by judges and the legal fraternity that lies, embellishments and fabrications are the norm in much of social work with its lowly educated workforce. (which has never been accepted as a real profession -as it was a once a vocation open to any ‘busybody’ in the community), families will be torm apart for not a good enough reason.

      The Children’s Act and statutory footing gave social work a status at government level which was not an intelligent move- but then who says government or politicians are intelligent when ambitious would be more appropriate a description of the modern variety.

      One feels for parents in modern times who may be not be risking serious harm to their children and have committed no crime but have come to the attention of a deviant social work system e.g. through need for some help. But equally the death of young children who the system fails show no one is taking the responsibility expected either where real harm is evident.

  2. Where are the cases of social workers and LAs who are so seriously in the wrong yet refuse to back down and admit it.
    http://www.forced-adoption.com/introduction.asp

  3. Ahh I see Mr Suesspicious Minds has thrown down quite a gauntlet, Let me answer [or try to answer] from the perspective of a mere lay person like me, sit tight, grab a coffee and some cookies this may take some time:-

    1. Using Lyrics from a song by the Swarbs of the same title this probably answers that:

    All I ever wanted
    Was a place to call my own
    A place that’s quiet and peaceful
    Where I can feel so all alone
    I’ve been told this place is heaven
    I wonder if it’s true.
    But it seems the path to heaven
    Is always round the bend
    And always in the distance
    There’s a road that has no end
    But I will hope to find it
    Before my life is through,

    “Nothing else will do” – The Ultimate- or Nothing Further Beyond, the question its self is too open ended because like in life there is always something more, more avenues more roads to travel, “We Tried Everything” has the same context.

    2..Can a judgment really tick all boxes?, obviously following on from Re.B Lady Justice Hale is the instigator to the way in which Judgments must be robust and detailed from now on, one asks why the lackadaisical approaches were allowed previously where children’s lives are involved, I know many many parents who’s judgments were “Not for Appeal”, Sir, we had a successful appeal as you know when previous Counsel said no, the Court of Appeal has laid the foundations, so surely there would be a reduction of appeals. if “Ticked Box” judgment’s are produced then would the appeal application pass the first stages, or will we see appeals dismissed as totally without merit, if that is the case we simply would not know the effects robust judgments will have.

    3. The distance between “Wrong” and “Plainly Wrong” is just 6 letters, that said,I feel this pretence is the result of exploring a Judge’s discretion, reminds me a lot of the Bolam test, a Judge being wrong is him/her using their belief they reach what they think is the correct conclusion, plainly wrong is Judge has had too many whiskeys to come to that conclusion.

    4.Children have the right that all things being equal have to be given the opportunity of residing with their natural parent, the well established principle derived from the Children’s Act 1989 that, particular in the context of Public Law Proceedings the courts should adopt a non or least interventionist approach and shall not interfere with family life unless absolutely necessary, this is also is strengthened with the article 8 of the human rights act of 1998,

    This is what I feel the standardised Judgments now and in the future would have to formulate too.

    5.That is a question I have problems with all the time, tests for leave to apply fall in to the realms of question 3 above, in those tests the bar is set so ridiculously high parents need to perform a miracle or gain a sainthood to pass that bar, many questions revolve around what impact in granting leave compared to refusing leave would the effect have on the Child ALSO on the way the proceedings would flow, hinting 26 wks here, I am however not sure comparisons should be made with the “Type” of leave applications being made, the principles could not be compared as the outcomes are overwhelmingly different.

    One should remember that For the parent gifted the opportunity to re-open the litigation their sole concern is to try to do something to prevent the current plans for their children.  However, the law dictates that even if they were to be successful under ACA 2005 s47 in passing the twin tests, all this would do would be to provide them with an opportunity to actually oppose the applications in hand, and, If that was successful, it would not necessarily lead to the return of the child, again, this has been explored in Re.P [2007]

    6, You Still here, I shall continue, What is Duel Planning?, not to be confused with Twin Tracking, those who do not follow the intricate niceties of proceedings would feel that those are one of the same, there not, I would have to say that Duel Planning would not stand the test now as it did then in Re.P, I do not think the question should be is it still legal, the question should be is it still viable, I think it is not.

    7.I have grave difficulty with this because most of my cases have faced that question, Long Term Fostering does no good for children, Re. A and S v Lancashire CC explored the damage it causes, there is too many variables that could lead the child to become a Statutory Orphan, which, is what should be avoided at all costs, I have yet to see the benefit Long Term Foster Placements actually brings for a child,, LJ McFarlane has explored this matter this year as well, the only way Long Term Fostering would benefit the child would be if the Birth Parents still play an active and be permitted to play a consistent role in their child’s life, sadly, and from experience, the Long Term Fostering Plans of many of my cases simply cut out the Birth Parent out to such a non-existent extent the Local Authority may just as well applied for an adoption order.

    Also what needs to be asserted is Long Term Foster Placements only have the umbrella of Sec. 31 Care Orders which, as we know can be discharged following a 6 month period, and there after 6 months, there is no issue for parents to pass the Leave test in applying to discharge the care order.

    8.Yes, overwhelmingly so, providing the parents can be reserved and act without malice or disruption, I remember a time when Birth parents were given the opportunity to meet with the Prospective Adopters at a suitable location, sadly that has not happened to my knowledge for some considerable time, one factor I find galling is when applications for adoption are being heard, it is usually, in most cases just the parents and the Local Authority present at court meaning a parent feels that it is the Local Authority applying for the adoption order which as we know is illegal for a Local Authority to do that, the Local Authority should just be playing a supportive role towards the application and not a leading role, it should also not be up to the Local Authority to add any weight in the decision making process of whether leave to oppose or oppose the adoption applications, they should simply be observers, many parents sadly do not see that and I for sure over the years have not seen that either.

    9. Yes and yes again, I was at a conference this week and a discussion took place where a few Social Workers and Guardians were debating the time frame from Placement Orders to actual Adoption application was on average 18 months, in that time the Child would need to be if want for better words Re. H and Re. W and Re. S-H, “Ready” no independent person would have seen the child/ren since the granting of placement orders, if the time frame in delays has something to go by I would hazard a guess that this could be a reason why adoptions fail and break down, it maybe all good and well in a few documents highlighting the child’s life however that is not real every day scenarios, the child would be different from the granting of placement orders, Representation of the Child should be paramount, more so than the Local Authority.

    10. I am waiting for the opportunity to challenge the LAA about this, if a JR is needed then I am up for that battle, I am sure, after my lengthy letter to Pres. Munby the debate has not even started regarding that matter, who would allow this not to happen is beyond me, “Cuts” cannot be an excuse and also it should not be means tested.

    11. It follows the same principles of contesting Placement Orders, however its a bit of a none starter this if the Adopters are not present, in many of my appearances in opposition to adoption orders, it has never been about berating the adopters, its about the adoption being the wrong option, that would have to be a key issue if the adopters are present, I know again from experience many parents would prefer to see the adopters present and playing the right role, at present a Judge only reads about an adoptive parent, not sees them, whereby a judge see a Birth Parent and makes subsequent judgments about that Parent, what is the difference??

    In reality if there is no application for contact then that matter is often not heard, judges tend to follow the directs set out by the Local Authority regarding contact, in the Re. Kirsty case, the adopters were at one stage happy with direct contact to occur however due to Kirsty’s opposition of the adoption order, the Local Authority deemed it not suitable, this again highlights the reasons why Adopters should be present in court, it should not be the control of the Local Authority to direct contact rather the Adopters should have the ultimate say.

    12.I think its more about the legal status of the child in question, SGO;s V Adoption Orders has not really been debated at length and I am pretty sure there is not a case law where this has happened, again, I feel its more about avoiding breakdowns in the placement above anything else, SOG’s have some merit however it tends to be financial reasons why SGO’s are favoured over Adoption Orders.

    13.Good Question, there are a lot of parameters in the scope of this where one may find that recent decisions will have the opposite effect and despite valiant efforts by Pres. Munby, Gove and Narey the adverse effect will put many people off adopting, not that the media are doing that as well, there is currently a short fall of some 7000 adopters, that gap should have been plugged many moons ago prior to the want for speedier adoptions, without the principles in place it can only end in tragedy, I suppose only time will tell, give or take a few months or mid next year when Adoption break down figures are released in April will we know the full extent of these issues.

    14.Difficult one to answer without getting hands dirty on a case and giving it a go, I have seen in the past that revoking Placement Orders seems to be all over the place without any meaningful direction, Lady Justice Black derived a good “Check List” early this year, I would also like to see a comparison between Local Authorities applications for revocation and those from Parents.

    15.That I feel will not change, I suppose it would be down to who ever is applying for the Vary or Revocation, Its more like a high jump these days with parents trying to break the world record in getting over the bar, where as I feel Local Authorities and ors. would not have to face such stringent tests.

    16. Ahh a question I am all too familiar about, as you know Sir I am testing this in the COA at the moment and tried but failed this year in the case of Kirsty X V Oldham MBC, I feel you know my deep rooted opinion on this sore and sorry subject, I do know that when the figures for Adoption Breakdowns are finally published next year there will be the old adage of WHY? flying round the various places, I would like to explore in more details just the Why parts of that, I would bet my house that the majority of the breakdowns will be due to insufficient support and Therapy provided to the child, I would add that passing over the threshold of Re. G in June of this year it should be remembered that Re.G was won due to the principles of the ICO, and not any final orders, I do however believe that if Local Authorities that are all too keen to obtain child an/or parental Psychological assessments then the onus should be on them to provide what ever the conclusions would be, I am now using that argument in the appointment of Experts in that particular field, there comes a time that responsibility has to be made by many Local Authorities who remove “Damaged” children from harmful environments that for any plans for the children to be successful then all the issues and problems need to be fixed and addressed, failing that we will continue to see the revolving door effect.

    The interesting case of ABB v Milton Keynes is a good one to look at as it highlights the pressing issues failure to provide therapy has on children and minors

    http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2011/2745.html

    17.I was under the impression that Judgments/Orders are made that revolves around the care plans not the other way around as the question suggests, I am forever more seeing final absolute orders whereby the Local Authorities have been given the opportunity to amend their care plans once proceedings have concluded, I know of two particular instances this year where the care plans were not fit for purpose and the Judge allowed fresh ones to be produced however that is in the absence of any Judicial scrutiny I do not feel that to be the right move, Judges are supposed to ratify the care plans in a sense and make the Orders accordingly however without judicial scrutiny how is that even possible to know if the Care Plans are Re. B-S Compliant.

    I know of one case where the Children were placed with parent under the auspices of an ICO for 5 months, however it ended in disaster, which is no surprise, because the Local Authority did not take into account the added pressures of courts et al it placed on the parent, this was down to inadequate care plans

    18.Interim Care Orders to me seem to be in place for just evidence gathering, I cannot see any benefit in the Neath Port Talbot Judgment being used, due to no definitive plans for the Child/ren, in the very early stages it is neigh on impossible to ascertain what the future plans for the children will be.

    19.I am of the impression that the 26 wk, time frame has not been fully explored and neither has any real test taken place to what effects delays have on children, obviously if the child is aged 0-3 then there would be probably zero effect on the child caused by delays and a full challenge should be afforded to the child/ren by parents et al,, obviously when the child is of an important milestone in say education then I can see some probable causes of concern if the child is still unsettled, this again could be a factor in the question above about therapeutic support, any application to extend the proceedings should be allowed in most cases.

    I am currently writing a piece about the effects on parents the 26 wk scenario has and does have on parents mounting the most forceful challenge, I have noticed throughout the whole debate regarding the 26 wk target Lawyers, Social Workers, Children are mentioned but there is very little in the way of allowing Parents to have their say and input, I am astounded to think that just because of a couple of weeks delay may not be permitted when, like you say, the far reaching long term plans for children last a life time not just weeks, I can see many challenges to the EctHR next year regarding this, “Sorry your child has to be adopted because we ran out of time” I cannot see that to be fair or just.

    20.Well, I suppose by next April we will see what true effects the whole reforms have had on the system, by April we will for the first time be able to see Adoption Breakdown figures, I wait with baited breath for those because from experience I can see the figure being exceptionally higher than the likes of Narey, Gove and Pres. Munby would think they are,

    By at least March next year we will also see what effects the Re.B and Re.B-S rulings have placed on the lower courts, that would also take into account the 26 wk scenario, I think early next year will be very interesting indeed,

    I do not think you will ever receive full and frank answers to most of the questions you have laid down, most of my answers have been a shot in the dark, still, one would think the questions do need real answers

    Well that’s me out of things to say for a while, I can here the phews!!. I hope your still awake and not fallen asleep thinking what the ruddy hell is this guy twittering on about.

    • Jerry, such a penetrating analysis. Your unique perspective is positively illuminating. Thank you. I would add two comments:

      1. I have never understood or accepted why CLOSED adoptions are recommended and endorsed in so many cases. If nonconsensual adoption is going to be the outcome, why are specific assessments not undertaken about the pro’s and con’s of various options for direct post-adoption contact? Too often the court simply rubber-stamps the local authority pasted-in recommendation for (quite useless) “letter box” contact.

      2. Of all the distasteful events I have had to witness during a (quite) long career, one of the worst is sitting in waiting rooms (waiting to give evidence) at Family Courts in the company of sad, anxious and frightened natural family members – when adoption ‘celebration’ events are taking place in the the same courts, at the same time. It is tragic, bizarre and surreal to witness triumphal adoptive families, balloon-wielding ‘rescued’ children and their jolly social workers parading past the ranks of desperate natural family members awaiting their sad fate.

      • Peter, Thank You for the kind words and I wholeheartedly agree with the issues of Adoption Ceremonies I have never grasped why they need to be carried out in a court room and court building, personally its like an award ceremony for the judge himself, I feel its an old custom that needs redress, I could count in double figures the amount of times in the last few months general proceedings have been delayed due to the Ceremonies taking place in the same court room I am due to have a hearing in, the disheartening effect of parents sat outside waiting to enter the court room is insurmountable.

        Your point on Closed adoptions is a pressing one, unless there are people like me at the helm who have filed the contact applications then a Judge will simply not entertain those aspects and like I answered above the question of Contact is generally given to the Local Authority to decide, which in hindsight it is not the Local Authority looking after the Child/ren so why should they dictate the process, that is one for more questions, this issue cements my belief’s why Adoptive parents should be present at all the hearings regarding their application, that includes the initial directions.

      • I would agree with you on both of those points Peter – I understand the need and desire for some form of celebration, but I think it could be kept out of the Court process and done elsewhere. Like you, I have sat with family members who are in the process of losing their children, and seeing happy families with balloons in the same waiting room just makes everyone uncomfortable. Post adoption contact is not something that has generally really been tackled by the Courts (when you read the authorities on the issue, they are almost all of the view that the adopters view prevails). I suspect that too, is something the Court of Appeal are going to tackle.

        Of course, until there is a sea change on the benefits of contact and adopters genuinely embracing this, we are currently in a position with so many children waiting that any individual child who leaves Court with an order for ongoing direct contact with birth family is at a marked disadvantage when it comes to finding an adoptive home. That’s no reason not to have the debate and if necessary to have the sea-change, just a practical difficulty in that interim period.

  4. Excellent words and so very explanatory of a life caught up with social services and the family courts.
    A crisis that needed a ‘friend’ to assist in a practical way becomes a marathon once social services walk in the door. Their very negative impact on your lives does nothing to resolve the crisis only gives you far greater trauma that you could ever feel your heart and head could take without death.
    Your life is not assisted by the capable ‘friend’ the social worker for instead you will find yourself and your families lives taken over by constant meetings, criticism, assessments and court dates. Then once in the midst of serious trauma, the social worker will bring in a psychologist to rip you apart further and state what the social worker wanted, that you are unfit to parent and need therapy. And no doubt will state that the therapy will take to long for you to take care of your children so they will consider a forced adoption or long term foster care.
    At the end of the final court hearing you of course will be refused leave of appeal because how can someone in need of therapy who had a obvious crisis parent their children.
    As for a check list, I would like to see one for parents. Many social workers would seriously fail if brought into the same scrutiny as the parents forced through the procedures of so called child protection and no doubt many of the same social workers would require therapy.

    So in a nutshell, dont ring a social worker if you have a crisis or ill health. Do what the real child abusers or the not so vulnable do, shut the door in their face or lie to them and get a few friends to support your story. And if that fails, join a gypsy camp, they never manage to take their kids. But then they are the only community that stick together and have not been broken by govenment re-settling programmes or faced with the huge financial burdens of austerity.

    .

  5. One more comment on the starting words of All I ever wanted
    Was a place to call my own
    A place that’s quiet and peaceful
    Where I can feel so all alone
    I’ve been told this place is heaven
    I wonder if it’s true.

    But it seems the path to heaven
    Is always round the bend
    And always in the distance
    There’s a road that has no end
    But I will hope to find it
    Before my life is through

    For all those suffering a seriously flawed child protection industry and caught up with a failed social servies and family court system I know your heaven is justice and having the right to a normal family life with your children. Be at peace knowing you are not the only one and prepare your paperwork to highlight this failed and sometimes corrupt system and push for a better future for all our children. You are not alone nor will we be beaten.

  6. Very interesting post with some brilliant, burning questions.

    It’s a real Pandora’s Box, given the recent departure from the traditional historic context because the child protection needle had swung too far away from a less-interventionist approach as intended by the Children Act and to remain compatible with the Human Rights Act.

    Having grasped the nettle whether the Court of Appeal finally musters the courage to actually follow through with this new trend to downsize disproportionality to its natural conclusion remains to be seen.

    For sure, it will test the courage of its member Judges convictions as a more robust, reformist, family-friendly agenda develops in family law in its wake.

    Meanwhile legions of parents remain bereft and genuinely aggrieved at having had their children, in effect, irrevocably removed nay stolen by not much more than surmise and hysteria at the hands of a core of simultaneously over-zealous and lazy social workers more attuned to meeting adoption targets than helping families, no doubt cheerled by Guardians of the same ilk.

    Another question I would venture is the locus standi of children matured suing the local authority because they were long-term fostered or adopted against their ascertainable wishes and feelings and against any objective standard of their actual welfare.

    If you genuinely believe in Justice you will not impede but welcome and relish the prospect of answering these Questions come what may – opening the floodgates and the inevitable class actions that may ensue are necessary because sunshine is the best disinfectant for secrecy, bad practice and for all forms of corruption.

    Its a big ask but time will tell.

  7. There should be no fear in opening a Pandoras box because real child abuse is a crime and the crime is obvious. But what has taken over is a fear of child abuse rather than real child abuse.
    This protects the real abusers and leaves so many innocent parents without their children which in turn does not protect the children from all forms of abuse which in its concept perpertuates state abuse.
    And yes, there should be justice for all those children forced into a life of care and or forced to accept their loss of identity. If not, who are we protecting the LA, social workers, govenment agencies or the children.

  8. PS. In the past the public have been too frightened to open the Pandoras box, trusting the portrayed image of a social worker who lives and works to protect children. But most of those who became a social worker with that intent have left or just given up and settled in their box.
    Only a few fight on and those ones rely on the day when the public become aware of what is contained in that Pandoras box.
    Yes, it needs to open and the public would be shocked. But not by what they already know, that there are some terrible and cruel parents out there, they will be shocked that so many children have been taken for such little or no reason. They will be shocked to find that the people whom they trusted in the protection of children actually destroyed more children’s lives than they ever protected. They will be shocked that their image of the Mother Teresa type person does not exist. They will be shocked at the vast sums of money spent on the so called child protection only for those children to receive terrible abuse in state care or suffer forced adoptions away from loving birth families . They will be shocked at the vast sums of money that childrens homes get paid, they will then want to know who owns them. They will
    then be shocked when they find out. They will realise that it could have also happened to them.

  9. Ashamed to be British

    10) No they’re often not given funding, and yes, there is a JR in the RCJ for this very reason as it stands presently, I hope more parents take the cue

  10. HOPE
    AND PRAYER

    At Christmas the table was full and around the table sat all members of the family, young and old. The meal was perfectly cooked and presented until the last piece that was brought to the table. The granny walked in with a huge blackened batter pudding. It was burnt beyond being edible. The children looked at it in dismay. The granny put it at the centre stage of the table and told everyone to take a piece and put it on their plate.
    Granny said, and now we must say Grace. Thankyou for our meal today and we remember all those that are starving around the world. Amen.
    To the children the blackened pudding then did not seem so bad and everyone ate their peice along with their dinner.

    The moral of the story is that perfection is really not the answer. Good characters are built on knowing both good and bad.
    Hope comes from knowing the bad.
    Care comes from someone giving Hope a chance.

    Without that the world is left with greed fuelled by the need for perfection.
    But perfection does not exist but greed does

  11. CHRISTMAS PAST AND PRESENT

    There was a crisis and the mother rung the social services department asking for help.
    A social worker came and told the family there was nothing she could do and she really could not see the problem.
    A few months later the crisis worsened and again the mother asked for help. Along came a social worker and started family court proceedings.
    The children were removed.
    During this time the children suffered abuse in the care system, the mother was lied about and the children told their mother was unfit to parent them. But in reality the mother had resolved the crisis and fought on for her children to be returned. It did not happen until many years later.
    By then the children had suffered deep trauma and it took some years to rehabilitate them with no help from the social workers.
    Then one of the sons met someone and fell in love. They had a daughter born of which they both loved .The son had to accept that the social services would be involved in their lives because of a previous bad relationship of the girlfriend. The son against his feellings of anger from their past actions accepted this and worked fully with them to reassure them that they would be good parents. But the social services came and took the baby daughter and the child from the previous relationship of the girlfriend They told lies to remove them.
    The son clung on to HOPE that the courts would see that the social services were in the wrong. That they had worked fully with the social services and the children were well cared for. The son presented into court the lies of the social worker. The Judge showed no interest.
    Adoption meetings were held for the 2 children. The son was told to leave his girlfriend and go for custody. Both of them trusted that the other would not have harmed a child. The social worker than told the son he must have nothing to do with his biological family as the historical case they were removed from their mother and father. The son told them that they got it wrong and that their mother was a very good mother. The social worker was not happy about that and told him they would go for adoption of the children.
    The son pleaded with the social worker, why are you doing this to us again. HOPE started to drain from him but his mother told him to be strong and told him the story of Christmas Past. Never give up on HOPE because one day CARE will give HOPE a chance.
    I pray that this Christmas which brings the final hearing that the social workers are given the blackened pudding to see the error of their ways and HOPE is allowed its chance to heal the wounded by the CARE of the Judge.
    A greater lesson for the future of all children would be taught. That CARE is better than greed and a perfection that does not exist.

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