I would like to recommend Surviving Safeguarding to all of my readers.
It is written by a mother who has been through the family justice system and after a lot of struggle and hard work has been reunited with her child, and now spends time helping others. She therefore gives a very different perspective than the other child protection blogs written by professionals can give, and she’s also a very gifted communicator.
Please give her writing support and comments – I think this blog has the potential to be an amazingly helpful resource for parents, and also for social workers and lawyers who want to connect with how the process can feel for a parent caught up in it.
Thank you so much. A really balanced and clear account. Look forward to more
This mother must be a joy to social workers who would love every parent to follow her ten rules.An impression has been given that they succeeded for her ;but she writes at the end
“The LA continue to enforce supervised contact once per week with the two children who remain in Long Term Foster Care, despite having 3 children in my care and unsupervised, overnight access to another. I duly issued Proceedings as LiP (Litigant in Person) last year to bring their contact more in line with that of which their siblings enjoy.
However, the LA had failed to complete certain statutory requirements, so I have recently taken action to have the Care Order discharged, and my children returned to me. The LA are currently contesting, so it is going to be a very long, ardous, emotionally draining fight once again. However, I successfully applied for an ISW (Independent Social Work) assessment and an Updating Psychological Assessment which I hope will provide me with evidence to support my application.
This now marks my SIXTH set of Proceedings in under 3 years.”
If you want to have a chance of avoiding her distressing progress ,Disregard every one of her ten rules and fight social services every step of the way ! Concede nothing but oppose everything they throw at you and you at least stand a chance of keeping your precious children !
You have a different approach to her, but please respect that her experiences are different to yours.
Suesspiciousminds,thank god we all take a different approach .How would you re- act to going to the nursery to find your child gone.Some of these women losing children, are business people with money,cars,an have the intellect to snatch their children back an flee the country.
Rather than take this crap with contact centres,an assessments.in some cases other parents out smart the courts,an social workers.
I took a phone call one day,your a loser ,an am going to win our case as the Guardian is on my side.
Next call ,was ” am sorry ,your RIGHT AN AM WRONG help me”.
This case the LA abandoned court at the 11th hour .The parent run them ragged with a team behind for support,an the cost to the LA I dread to think.
I have read this blogger write don’t flee , you will only be brought back, well that’s not right for everyone,an the Daily Mail stories support this fact in other cases families are getting out .
The case of tumour boy family living in Spain,very smart father,perfect example of forward planning,use of technology ,an pronating your own story,while SS an hospitals wrote lies …..
That is a typo ,sorry propagating their story,through the use of You Tube ,which is what we have all done at one stage or another.
What you professionals fail to take on board is this, you are being investigated, recorded visiting,phone calls you are essentially having the misfortune to be writing about in some cases factually incorrect information, an sharing it, to create the worse case scenario for the court.God forbid, you get a parent who will wait years being stonewalled for files ,an cross references this, or blogs the paperwork for all an sundry to read.
I could not think of a better way to project that stress right back at certain failing professionals, or professionals who are evil enough to commit perjury in court , to destroy a family .
I forget which of the commentators said it, but it struck me “Every parent will have a different experience with social workers” and equally, every parent will have a different approach to how they strove to keep their children or get them back. I wouldn’t want to criticise anyone for having a different approach – I haven’t stood in their shoes.
I would like to fight Social Services but after going through the entire appeals process, which I did on my own, you need a solicitor to represent you. I have contacted every firm in Inverness and Aberdeen and nobody will take the case on. The same story is repeating itself in Edinburgh. I have all the documentation that proves Social Services neglect. There is all the legislation in force on child protection in Scotland. It means nothing whatsoever. I was told this morning to try and be a better mother. A little difficult when your children live in another country and you no longer have custody of them!
Dear Ian I find it incredulous that this poor mother is regarded as a success at being in the system. It is the most hopeless, barbaric, torturous piece I have ever read. How this mother and her kids have survived this treatment is beyond me. I cannot find strong enough words to say how deeply traumatising it is just what these people are doing to these mothers and the damage they are causing to Mother Nature itself. I am not sure why Suespicious minds says your experience is different to hers. Does he know how many desperate mothers call you day in day out terrified, haunted and suicidal because of the trauma of being separated from their babies. The people working in this current system are very sick individuals indeed and it surely should be them who’s children are unsafe with them and not loving caring normal mothers like the ones they are stealing babies from. Oh Dear God please do something……… This surely cannot go on too much longer.
That’s the problem with parents like this, they are addicted to working with social services,an the result is a perverse relationship with them full time
I kinda felt the same way to be honest, especially at the beginning, how do you reflect your mistakes and do something about them, when, for example you’ve been accused of taking drugs or alcoholism, done a dozen hair strand tests that have come back clear every time? Or accept an accusation that you are still seeing the man who beat you up when you actually haven’t? How do you accept and change the behaviour you are not displaying? You simply cannot put right what you didn’t do!
How many cases of vit D deficiency have come to light with fractures that the parents are blamed for? Too dumb to be a parent? You have been in care therefore cannot possibly know how to parent. You are a risk of what you MIGHT say due to EDL dealings some 2 years previous to the childs birth.
How does a parent accept their lies and agree? Why should they? Then have your children removed because you won’t engage? Engage with what exactly?
Who decides what the threshold is for being a perfect parent? How do you reflect on whether you are being a good enough parent just because some person comes along and states in THEIR opinion, you are not, are they with you 24/7? Do they answer their emails or phone calls? No is the answer, yet they are suddenly the expert on how crap you are.
There are elements of what is written that had me nodding my head in agreement, but really, most of what was written was diabolical and unrealistic when dealing with born liars who will manipulate, twist and lie their way through the process.
Jaw dropping stuff, in my opinion.
Well said.How do you begin to admit you have a problem,when they problem is this.
There is no criteria for Emotional Harm,so the interested parties can make it up as they go along.
I feel that this parent is being used by the system,that the lawyers & SW’s are also still taking the proverbial urine out of her ,if I am being honest.
It she had shown any emotional intelligence ,she would not have posted the last comments.
Sorry my Dear to upset you, but,you need to learn the harsh lessons in life,an these legal sharks an White Collared S..t Shovellers, are having a laugh at your expense .
Dear Suespicious minds. Are you actually recommending normal human beings to read that blog? That is the most inhumane treatment of a woman, a mother and her children, that I have ever seen. Is this really Great Britain today or the Dark Ages? Normal people will be traumatised for years reading that, but to you and people like you it is normal. I am so ashamed of you all who make your living terrifying mothers and their children. Do you actually know what you are doing or are you just so used to stealing women’s babies that your actions seem normal. I mean come on, when is this all going to stop? I am disgusted at you, disgusted at how the system in the UK has ended up and I am doing everything that I can to shame Great Britain throughout the world so that someone can step in and help the situation. Are any of you aware now of the huge publicity surrounding GB and the inept way children are protected, the massive peodophile publicity that seems to be infiltrating every state institution there and the Forced Adoption issue that the rest of the world are now learning about. It is a horror movie in real life being a mother in GB. One is hunted down, persecuted, tortured and made to feel worthless. Many mothers are killing themselves and their children and unborns. Do you ever ask yourself why? Do I need to spell it out to you? Surely you must know the industry is trafficking our children! Denise Robertson knows, so why don’t you?
I am utterly disgusted at this situation in GB and am astounded you are not too. You must be one sick minded individual to think the blog is a help as this sort of stuff should never even be happening in a civilised country in the first place. You are all obviously desensitised, robotic, pen pushers following everyone else like sheep instead of saying no, no more, this cannot go on.
Well said Vicky Haigh it is an abomination the treatment of our children after the very act of removing children and alienating them from their parents is ’emotional abuse’ and the state is not fit to protect as stats prove children are 7.5 times more likely to be abused in care.
in the interests of full and frank disclosure Ms Haigh, I am sure you won’t object to me linking to the judgment which sets out how you behaved towards your own child? Which might give a slightly different flavour to your continued protestations that you are a victim.
There is some very poor advice in that blog that even an 8 year old old work out. It does look like it’s been written by a puppet or plant. Why would you advise anyone not to record everything? There are excellent mobile phone apps that record every conversation which would be admissible to court. Only someone lying would have something to fear from being recorded surely?
Another clearly poor point made is around kids running away from care home or foster care. It clearly depends on their ages but I can assure anyone reading that LAs give up on kids that run away time and time again and often let them go back to their parents.
L.J WALL made a very serious error when he actually proclaimed in his judgement that Vicky refused supervised contact with her daughter ! He had no evidence whatever of this ,and in fact Vicky was only offered supervised contact on condition that she signed a document saying that she was quite happy for the father (whom her daughter accused of sexually abusing her) to have full custody ! This would not only have been untrue but would in effect have been an acknowledgement that she no longer believed he had been abusing his daughter and that too would have been untrue.She was also required to sign a document forbidding her to discuss the case and limiting her to meaningless platitudes which could lead her daughter to think the mother who had brought her up for the whole of her life up until then was abandoning her.
Vicky at least saved her unborn child by fleeing to France where she has brought up Saphire and also sucessfully renewed her previous career training racehorses one of whom she trains for me ! Sentencing her to 3 years jail for meeting her daughter at a service station when the father drove in with his daughter for petrol (she could not have known he would do that) and later jailed again for giving a vicar a birthday card from her partners two children to pass on (which he did not do) .Yes jailed for giving the card written not by her but by two children even though the card was never delivered at all !
Sometimes indeed “the law is an ass!!”
Would you do that Sarah? Seriously??!!
You might want to consider your reputation first, which has already been damaged recently by your treatment of a certain film maker trying to expose the truth!
I think the linked blog is hugely courageous and honest. Self reflection and honesty are very hard to do.
Brilliant resource and a great help for parents, so disappointing the comments take the usual line tbh.
Be fair to the lady and analyse her 10 rules:-
1:- ADMIT MISTAKES,? No never do this as every single one will be highlighted in evidence against you !
2:- Do resist when your kids are taken? A terrible mistake as your kids will think you do not care.Fight every step of the way and let your children see you doing it !
3:-Don’t encourage them to run from fostering etc? On the contrary,why on earth should you discourage kisd from trying to return to parents who love them? At least it gives the lie to social workers claiming “your children do not want to see you” !
4:Gag yourself at contact and pretend all is well? Aterrible mistake.Always be truthful with your kids and make sure they know you love them miss them and want them back !
5:-Be represented in court by a barrister? No no, these legal aid lawyers are mostly Professional losers who will gag you and agree on your behalf with everything social services demand and you will lose your kids for good.
6:- Have a lawyer look at section 20 before you sign? Waste of time! You should NEVER NEVER sign any document Under duress (threats) no matter who asks you .
7:-Do not flee abroad? Rubbish ! THERE IS NO FORCED ADOPTION IN MOST eUROPEAN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE UK SO YOU AT LE
Sorry it broke off at that point but I continue:-
7:- At least you avoid forced adoption if you flee abroad.
8:-Engage with professionals? No never trust them when they say you will keep your baby when it is born.Hundreds of mothers believed their lies and lost when their babies were never allowed to leave the hospital despite previous promises from the “professionals”
9:-Make notes of everything every time you meet? No they will have no value in court and this is just a clever ploy to distract you from the real business of the meeting ie taking your kids while you are busy scribbling !
10:-Report abuses to professionals?? No no a thousand times NO ! Nearly every parent who reports that their children have been abused by another parent,a relative,or a stranger,lose their children.The same appliers to victims of domestic abuse.Not only the child that has been abused but also all the others are taken into care as well so victims are punished twice;It’s a wicked world and social workers are in the thick of it happily taking children or babies from loving parents so that they can be given for adoption by strangers !
Forced adoption, well said.I MKF for 1 mother who rang the police 3 times seeking help to protect her family from a violent boyfriend.The result was to remove the children on failure to protect.
The next question is this, why are violent men seen to be the best option as parents?
There is no evidence that they have done courses ,or had behaviour management ,well in our case this is true……
If you read on here, a person (SW)said they went into social care without training.It is the level of people who are accessing families to write up reports ,social workers assistants maying recommendations about contact,an what is, an what does not constitute domestic violence.
It’s ridiculous ,these people lay the foundations for EW’s to pick up an carry on writing reports for court.
important to note is the CV of EW’s they even write that in cases of sexual abuse, despite A lengthy CV they need to call in more experts to make a decision about child sexual abuse .Now that should raise a Red Flag .But it does not register.
I am contacted recently by a mother saying, you were right about taking your children off you.A school teacher friend of mine lost her kids ,as he ex-partner was violent .
I recorded SW’s threatening a family to arrest them ,if they did not return child as he run away from FC,being abused,his mother lost the older siblings / children, to long term care. he younger children to adoption.
In our community all ears, an eyes are on FC’s picking up children early an taking home.This case was a DV victim,most of them are DV cases .
Something has to change,as families are savvy, an aware of how children are being collected up on a regular basis ,in our towns.
it’s not right,is it?
It’s never going to be right,as it keeps idiots in jobs
Dear Blogger from another blogger, http://www.lyndamac.com and I am also another mother who has been through the system in 2004 – barred out in 2006 for 4 years .I write as a survivor with help from other parents,without this help,I would not have survived .
I lost came out the other end of it as a survivor ,forgive me when I say this to you,you lack emotion,feeling,compassion and also I think you write like a Grey haired single woman,has no children in the real world, otherwise I would have read with interest your blog if you wrote how it really feels, backed up with private posts of wrong doing ,or children who were taken without justifiable cause.
I get the vibe which goes more like this,you write as a 3rd person,not a real person whose gone through the system, who knows about the system from what you have read, and are ready to post your comments.
What kind of person are you ?
This kind I think
I feel that you buy a ready meal for one it could even be a drab salad ,just like the content on your blog a salad for one for your meal .
Its that, you have simply been around professionals for far to long,that you have even started to behave, or mimic them,or write just like one.
Just a hint ,each blogger has a kind of swag, or style, my own blog is based on facts, paperwork ,photos,and is real, and written from the trauma,of going to court,with the subject of a very sick child who just wants to go home with his mother from hospital,after a 14 day stay in Gran Canaria.
What happened ?
My son got Leukeamia.
I never gave this to him.
Prior to this BS an professionals making money an creating a case out of a cancer victim,he would never have gone into care.
Stop there,and think about the last sentence.
So what went wrong?
People got greedy,and those people had legal funding, and would not stop with wanting to drag out a case for nearly 42 weeks an longer.
What did I write about,
The Guardian News Paper Thought is was a hate campaign against social services,it was not just about that, and I tutored for want of a better word, others to follow my lead into blogging.
I run circles around solicitors ,who had to get up ,in the middle of the night to contact web masters, and hosting companies in the US ……
What drives a blog on to have great hits is the likes of a “Cancer victim, dying last days campaigning,”
Nobody predicted what I would do,not even an expert bloody witness ,and I thought they knew everything…
So here I am , no gag order, and a flare for the law ,and posting the evidence of how a child is placed with an father who can not read and write. That must have been awful for him, to have to struggle trying to read posts. Some posts even he had not read penned by Sw’s about how his house stinks, and their clothes smell of cigarette smoke.
The LA had a nightmare,a difficult case ,trying to cover it up. But when posted in the US hosting it is outside the jurisdiction of the UK Kangeroo Courts.
I am the Mother of a healthy child,who was acutely ill,as he was struck down with cancer,and was later on 6 weeks to be more precise has been legally kidnapped by the LA.
This was on the say so of a freshly registered consultant 20054,who has an interest in trials,UK 2003 ALL Trials google the data,and a journalist wants to see the data I collected from John Radcliff website.
Please not this, and this is a trial that is slow to recruit.
I am the mother who dared to makes complaints about the child’s care, and the consultant contacts the SS, an the SS bring on the father, whose had little contact and not interest in contact,and then the solicitors go after top EH experts or Trauma Experts,and then the mother walks out of court and goes shopping to New York,after all its only a Kangeroo Court after all said and done.
You simply could not write it, but am going to write,and not stop documenting the case, before an after as my son will want to know what happened. An am going to show him.
As for your advice go do therapy which is BS an wont get you your children back ……
Also I cant agree with you on all that you offer as solutions to proposals made by SS about playing the game , and as each person is an individual,and each case different,there lies your problem.
Just saying ,sadly Parents wont be able to relate to your experience either.
I am glad I never took no part in supporting the hospital, the professionals, the SS when it went wrong an went to court the judge covered it all up, an barred me out of court on a section 91/14 .
This when I had major surgery 6 weeks later I was in court ,on contact issues ,all recorded an posted to YT concerning Children’s Prisons aka contact centres.
It is necessary to record and document your own case, cross reference with evidence of harm the child suffered whilst being in care or at the hands of a parent who has made mistakes .The nurses pen every phone call you make, and I said I am walking away as I wont take part in watching mistakes being made with my son,when hes having treatment for leukeamia .
For me,I done the right thing.
An as for the so called assessments .
In my case, the assessments were wrong on all accounts.
They were not flawed. They were wrong because they were biased towards me from the start, they set out to give custody to a father. This said,as for recording, or keeping a diary, or even storing data online and then policing the professionals, why not do this,as they do this for a living, they make mistakes and one day they will get caught out.
Its important to blog,no one is saying stop, but write like its from the heart, write like it happened,and not like your a student social worker ,as its not going to get you hits.
When Will I Be Coming Home my son asked this in April 2004,its 2015 and I have no contact.I have everything ready,I have the answers , and the professionals without me, had no case.
I turned up for court,I should have gone home to bed,and stayed there,as taxpayers paid a bill for a family to be shredded.
I am back after reading more than one post.
Your having a laugh,seriously,I left her 3 comments.
Did you read the part when she writes makes me a better MUM, this is after the ordeal she’s been through.What she could not be a better mum before this.
Speaking as a mother who has knows who she is, what she is, an has not problems in trusting my instincts or detaching from violent men.
Sounds like SS had every right to step in,after they were invited in,an the Aspergers child made a self referral.
Then you have to read the BS advice from someone who has all the hall marks of a fragile mother, sitting duck for another unsuitable violent father for her kids .
Like the way these mothers have different fathers an still produce children,for the system to look after.
Not like some other mothers, who should never be made referrals, or lose custody for trying to protect their children from violent men.
Some mothers do have em is right !!!!
I read the blog you recommended a few days ago. I was impressed by the blogger’s ability to reflect on her situation and to be constructive despite the attitude of social workers. I found her articulate, thoughtful, intelligent and without venom. I thought she would be able to explain to her children what had happened to her, and to them in a way that would enable her children to avoid getting into the same situations, and to respect and understand what their mum had done to get them back. Every parent who comes to the attention of children’s services has a different experience.
As a semi retired social worker I bemoan the lack of preventative services, I mourn the loss of agencies such as Family Service Units, and patch/community work; the best protection is prevention. The social work world is a very different place to when I entered as a unqualified social worker in 1972; I mourn that world. When I read the recommended blog, I too felt angry about what she had to deal with but inordinate respect that she was able to do what is best for herself and her children; I know I would have had that self discipine in her situation.
Thank you Diane – Brid Featherstone spoke very powerfully at the Transparency Project Conference on Monday about how social work had transformed over the years from being an agency of support and prevention to a policing organisation, and how much that had been driven by external pressures and policies rather than the people on the ground changing. Even since I came into this field, twenty years ago, things have changed very radically. There’s a culture of fear and dread that a mistake will be made, and a risk-averse culture that means that too often boxes are being ticked and backs being covered, rather than working with families as people. Parents have become a list of problems to be solved, rather than the fragile human beings that we all are. I think there is a huge appetite amongst social workers on the ground to do what they came into social work to do, and help families, but that appetite is stifled by the pressure to never make a mistake, to never under-state a risk in case you are wrong.
sorry there should be a “not” in the last sentence! Hope you can add it in!
Just a note to say thank you very much to suesspiciousminds for this recommendation, and thank you to those of you who have left kind words, your feedback is truly valued as I have put my heart and soul into my writing.
To those who disagree with my advice and guidance, it’s simple, don’t read it. I choose not to read your advice because I don’t agree with it and I believe it to be entirely pointless engaging with you. You have your agenda, and I have mine. Let’s leave it at that and respect each other’s points of view.
As an aside, whilst I am happy to take on board constructive criticism and feedback and entirely respect differing opinions, I will not engage with abusive, nasty comments about my life. You know nothing about me, save what I choose to tell you. All of the comments on my site are moderated by me and my tech support to protect myself, my children and my loved ones.
Thank you again to those supporting me!
Is that blog written by Social Services/CAFCASS? Surely nobody is that naive. Ask me it is fantasy
I think we have to understand that the writer is only trying to share what worked for her, if it works it works, good luck to her. But, there’s always a but, this is rare, I do tell all my parents to work with them through gritted teeth, smile, stay calm, be relaxed, because sadly, it comes down to whether they like you or not. If they have it in for you, your child is doomed no matter how many rings of flames you’ve jumped through or hot coals you’ve walked over, they’re not going to give you or your child a chance.
Moving on to the writers final words, and the statement that she’s a better mother, a family member would absolutely agree with this, as she feels everything she was put through has changed her for the better, she definitely is a better mum, it was going very wrong at the start.
She does however, as does EVERY parent ever involved with them, suffer PTSD, that will happen regardless to outcome.
The writer, in my opinion is displaying signs of some sort of stockholm syndrome, there really ought to be a law passed that anyone involved in social services intervention, receives therapy paid by them for the damage they cause
I agree up to a certain point,as the writer if reading needs to see that she has changed her advice about one post,saying about not recording etc. There should be no room for mistakes with advice going live on a blog.She has changed her mind an been honest.
I also want to say this, it’s insulting to some other people who know more about the system, the law, an what works for others,won’t work for her.
So she’s limited in her logic, an thinking.
I to have PTSD an a harrowing case concerning a child with cancer .I was told by a criminologist that I will never get over this.
All out lives are basically win,or lose cases,an I have met lots of families,an they are screwed up after the intervention of SS.
I stick to facts,I don’t make stuff up,if I don’t know something.There are loads of people out there helping other families from all walks of life, an with something to give in the form of support.Sadly this blogger is a time waster .
I repeat ,again, been used by the system, an even fell in love with the abuser ,an is clearly happy to stay good bedfellows for ever more.
How abnormal is that ?
Just like you said Stockhomle Syndrome …….