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Speeding up of adoptions – a counterpoint to the political direction of travel

 

 

It has been a hot theme on the blog ever since I started, forced (or non-consensual) adoptions.  This article is by some people whose views I have a lot of time for-  Brid Featherstone, Professor Sue White, Kate Morris, June Thoburn and Anna Gupta.

 

Although you can see from the sidebar on the piece that many of them have Labour connections, I don’t read this as purely a piece of party political polemic.  The politicising of adoption began before our current Prime Minister (though it is accelerating) and it is a clear theme of Brid and Sue’s bloody marvellous book  “Re-imagining child protection : Towards humane social work with families”   http://www.amazon.co.uk/Re-imagining-child-protection-Towards-families/dp/1447308018/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1449769831&sr=8-1&keywords=brid+featherstone   that many of the seeds of the current problems were sown in the early days of New Labour – a reduction of parents to a set of problems to be solved and the idea that parents role in society was simply to deliver parenting to children rather than remembering that they were also people.

 

This piece is well worth  a read.

 

There is one paragraph that really struck a chord, and it is a theme that comes up over and over in our discussions here.  Before I started writing the blog, it would have been really easy to dismiss all those who complained about family justice and social workers as conspiracy nuts or people who couldn’t face up to their own shortcomings and found it easier to blame a corrupt system than to accept their own part in the sad outcome.  Having spent four years now listening to their stories, there’s more to it than that.  There are people who have had genuinely dreadful experiences in the system, there are individual cases that have gone badly wrong.  That doesn’t mean that one can assume blindly that the experience for everyone is the same and that nobody gets fair treatment, but equally we shouldn’t write off those experiences as bad luck or crackpots.

 

 

With services increasingly focused on protection rather than support, families fear rather than seek professional help when struggling in adverse social circumstances. The promotion of adoption sets up an adversarial dynamic that can seriously undermine social workers’ ability to develop trusting relationships with families needing help, as distrust and suspicion permeate the system.

I’ve spent twenty years working with social workers – sometimes on the same team, sometimes against them. I’ve seen good ones, great ones, mediocre ones, a few downright bad ones,  new and terrified ones, jaded and stressed ones, ones that went the extra mile,  ones that had a bad day and made a mistake, ones that pulled something amazing out of a family situation that looked hopeless, ones that were cold, ones who shouldn’t have been doing the job. I really haven’t seen ones who came into the career to make people frightened of them.  We have to look at the system, if that’s the dynamic that is existing between social workers and parents – because social workers by and large come into the job to help people, that’s what they want to do. But that’s certainly not the public perception, and it isn’t the practical experience of many people who share their stories with me.

 

Can something be done to lessen or remove this adversarial dynamic, because it isn’t good for anyone involved.  It stresses parents, it makes social workers miserable and it inhibits children from getting the improvements or help or support that might be needed.

 

https://theconversation.com/by-rushing-to-speed-up-forced-adoptions-we-are-letting-children-down-51609

 

 

 

 

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About suesspiciousminds

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

129 responses

  1. I’d agree with all that, the headlines on adoption are very unhelpful, and I have said that the combination of the PLO + adoption reforms + austerity created a perfect storm. There was drift which needed to be dealt with but not sure we have done that in the best way possible, hence the judiciary and the legislature falling out over adoption at the moment. More transparency would be helpful, as well as scrutiny of the HUGE impact of cuts to services. I am lucky that my LA has a lot of family support and often S47 enquiries result in transfers to those teams but that may not last and our senior mangers are quite open about only frontline services surviving in full given the savings they need to make. It is to state the obvious that without support/services families in crisis are more likely to result in child protection issues than earlier intervention.

    • Helen, I’m concerned about S47 enquiries – because you say that in your authority these often get passed on to the family support team.

      In my experience many section 47 referrals are ones where core abuse (physical and sexual abuse) is suspected following an incident or an allegation. Some of these raise child protection concerns that are so serious a joint investigation with the police is necessary. However, quite often the concerns are less serious and a single agency investigation is appropriate – the role of the social worker is to conduct an interview with the family in a way which leads to constructive discussion with the parents about the concerns and to see the child. There is a legal duty to investigate and at the end of the process there should be a better understanding of the facts and, hopefully, a clear view on what happened and how to proceed.

      It seems that this legal process does not always happen. Instead there is a Core Assessment by a social worker asking lots of personal questions that may not seem relevant to the family and may require several visits. I am concerned that if ‘child protection concerns’ are being dealt with informally there could be ongoing uncertainty about what actually happened and a failure to take the necessary protective action.

    • Helen what planet are you on saying parents needs prosecuting for lying? I would never ever lie on gods oathe in court You seem to think you knows it all I will post links and I want you to tell me if it is lies

      http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/the-real-story-behind-forced-adoptions-10408306.html

      http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/life/families/article4591347.ece

      http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/forced-adoptions-trebled-last-year-6578614

      are you going to call these journalists liars because if you do that could be slander

      are the above links lies????

      • Helen was extremely plain that she would NOT want parents to be prosecuted for dishonesty, so she said exactly the opposite of what you thought she said. Easily done, when there are lot of discussions going on at once.

      • I never said I wanted parents prosecuted for anything. Quite happy that they are not. Not really sure what you are getting at or where you got that from but happy to refute. I am also not quite sure if all your comments are aimed at me because there is whole string of them? Thanks for letting me know you are posting questions later. Obviously this is a blog, this is not my job, so am sure you will understand that your approach isn’t exactly conducive to me responding!

      • Sorry, didn’t see your post when I wrote mine Andrew.

    • are you a former lawyer/barrister because you are trying to act like 1? I am really overwhelmed by your attitude

      • Not sure who this is directed at or why? I have looked at those articles and most are clear about both the UK stance on adoption, which I have consistently said could be reviewed, and that children are removed from trauma and abuse.

      • Tanya, I have now had the opportunity to also read all the tweets about me on your timeline & those posted by others. Having sent me two requests to follow me, I responded to say that my account is locked on Twitter because it is my own stuff on my own dime & I get too much abuse. When I post here I am engaging in the discussion about family law and the board is monitored for any abuse.

        You have said that you don’t follow me on Twitter, you don’t, but that is because I didn’t accept your request. You sent me two, I sent the same message back twice. Apparently this was me lying, which was all you could expect from a SW.

        You have said that I deny “forced adoption exists” I have never done so and continue to say that the use of non consensual adoption needs discussion. I am not a wholesale advocate of adoption. I disagree with some views held here but not that practice needs serious consideration. It does.

        You have said that I have accused the press of lying, nowhere have I done that. I have commented elsewhere on the press reports.

        You’ve said I stalked you on FB, not sure what you mean by that. I clicked on a link, if you don’t want anyone to look, don’t post it. I certainly didn’t post or like your page.

        As here, you have either misread things I have said or chosen to misrepresent them. You have also corralled others who have also been hostile to me on Twitter and they are the reason I don’t engage in any discussion on these topics there. 140 characters is just enough to be constantly and consistently misinterpreted.

        I don’t know if I will continue to post here, it seems a place where all views can be heard but maybe that isn’t the case. What I had hoped for is kind of honest and open discussions I have with the families I work with, they aren’t always easy, but we need that on a wider scale. The system isn’t perfect, changes is needed, I would have liked to have found a place to discuss that. I have left out the abusive stuff but we both know it was there.

        There will be people here who will be glad I am hurt by your comments. Schadenfreude gets nobody anywhere, it stops the conversation, and it is one we all need to have.

      • Dear Helen

        It is a place where all views can be expressed, and I think that it is not at all easy to come into what can be the lions den of comments and give a social work perspective. So I massively respect and appreciate you for doing it.

        Everyone please remember the comment rules – this is a place for discussion, and you can disagree with someone without quarrelling with them. If you can’t have a discussion with a different point of view without quarrelling, then there’s pretty much 90% of the internet available for that sort of thing, so take it there.

        These discussions can be emotive, I appreciate that, and sometimes the people who post here have had real world bruising and hurtful experiences that mean that hackles can get raised. But we do need once in a while to remember that there are real people on the other ends of these comments, so keep it civil.

        Thanks

        Suesspicious Minds

    • Social workers have a legal duty that goes beyond ‘coordination of professionals’. S47 puts a duty on the local authority to investigate ‘possible risk of significant harm’ and there should be a single agency investigation when the police decide not to carry out a criminal investigation. The aim is to find out what happened and how serious it was.

      I’ve written about this in my article Social Work Practice: Section 47: http://radical.org.uk/barefoot/section47.htm

      • Mine was clumsy phrasing on a blog post was response to a comment about the police because it was implied they weren’t involved. The investigation may indeed be single agency but many here think SW shouldn’t be involved if the police aren’t and it was with that in mind that I was responding.

  2. ashamedtobebritish

    Well written, the problem does not lie with social workers coming in to the system to destroy families, I’m in contact with a student who asks so many questions because she wants to learn how not to get it wrong, she is a lovely burst of fresh air and I do expect her to make an excellent team player.
    It IS the system, any social worker will tell you how they expected it to be, how they wanted to make a difference, then how they became jaded, bitter and bullied by the system, their managers and how the ranks closed in on them when they wanted to right the wrongs, but were not allowed, those above them pulling rank and threatening their jobs.
    How very sad that these are the very managers who started off with the intention of making a difference, we need a giant bolt cutter to break this chain, the only way this will happen is when the liars and corrupt ones get caught out and are imprisoned, rather than be rewarded with promotion

    • I can’t pretend I am jaded, bitter or whatever or have poor management, or even that ranks have closed. I always call anyone out on practice when it is poor, one of the key social work skills is managing conflict without causing conflict per se. The system is however a lot bigger than one LA and I know my working environment is one where the LA have a stable workforce who they value. That means there is effective work with families but social work is (as I keep saying) subject to a legislative and political framework. Politicians frame legislation and this reflects their goals/whims (Gove often felt like he was saying adoption worked for me so it works for all children) cuts that are barbaric at a time of austerity. Ifamilies. What I see is not a lot of lying corrupt social workers, but a lot of social workers trying to do a good job within an underfunded environment and families hitting crisis sooner because of the same. Paul Allen makes a case about cuts here which I would echo http://www.theguardian.com/social-care-network/2015/dec/08/mission-impossible-on-a-daily-basis-the-real-effect-of-spending-cuts-on-social-work I would be interested to hear the other side of the story on the social workers who lied, their LA is supporting them, and that won’t have just been because they lied!

    • 1989 Childrens Act, Birth certified named Child, Social Service from Magistrates court, to Family Court Proceedings changed the birth certified name to Christian name followed by fathers surname, followed by mothers surname there reason for doing so
      The Childs parents were not married
      ? Is this legal within this childrens act

      • Is it legal? yes, the Court have the power to hear a request that the child’s surname be changed and there are very strong presumptions that the child’s surname should NOT be changed – but there are circumstances in which that presumption can be overruled, and the Court then have power to change the child’s name and direct that an application be made to amend the birth certificate. Is it common? not at all, no.

        It shouldn’t happen without the Court listening to the objections of both parents. But if the parents had absented themselves from the Court process, it might happen without that. I can’t comment on individual cases unless they are reported on Bailii, where the facts are laid out.

      • ashamedtobebritish

        Is it legal for a social worker to go and register the birth of a child?
        I know the criteria for abandoned babies, death of mother, lost and found etc, but for example, if a child’s care plan is removal at birth, without the court having heard the case (obviously as the child has just been born) can a social worker book an appointment and register a child’s name all by themselves against the parents’ wishes?

      • @ suesspiciousminds
        I have in my possession QC Fockes file (whole proceedings) No request to any court to change the childs name, (obviously illegal then to cover-up the truth)
        At least we now know why the Guardian Ad Litem (Middlesbrough Court) are the opponents in our next case of suing, stated by the court
        Thanks for verifying

      • The same name was used but a surname was added?

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  4. Now that this is the “new” MHAct and some of us has been Alienated from our loved one by the corrupt scandalous CoP and Family Court, what will be done right the wrong that we received in the past since we have been dealt injustice? Especially with this paragraph from the Foreward by Dr. Leliot {Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospital Mental Health} where he states “One of the Code’s guiding principles is
    empowerment and involvement. As a
    result, we are particularly concerned that
    clinicians do not always involve the patient
    and their family or carer fully in decisions
    about their care. This is about more than
    simply a person’s right to be involved. Not
    engaging a person fully in decisions could
    hinder their recovery and future willingness
    to accept help”. Will this Act and this FAMILY INVOLVEMENT be put into Law for the Court of Protection to respect and adhere to? I THINK WE NEED TO ASK SOLICITORS THIS. I’VE ALREADY ASKED THE CQC THIS, WAITING FOR A REPLY. In the past the CQC sided with Councils so, I’d like to know where they stand now or is it a HOAX again!!

  5. Thank you Andrew for your usual thoughtful and inspiring work.
    I have been in CP for 35 years and a Guardian for 14 years and I despair of the direction of travel. The concept of ‘ good enough’ has been lost. The warm, fuzzy quick fix adoption agenda provides the solution and ceases to see a child as part of their social and familial environment but in isolatio ready to be transplanted. The Disney view of the’ forever’ family completely negates the fact children already have a forever family to which they will always be psychologically connected. Meanwhile adoptive families struggle and sometimes experience the same punitive attitude that birth parents did when they seek help. We have no research from adoptees and this is crucial as it is now a generation who have been adopted. The separation of siblings will one day be a major scandal in my view.

    At the coal face there is no longer an ability to distinguish between real risk and parenting habits that are disapproved of. There is no longer reference to either social or emotional context. I think social workers are scared of parents, scared of tragedies and this leads to punitive and sometimes vindictive attitudes. I have come across lying and exaggerating social workers

    There are of course some great social workers but the increasing combination of youth, inexperience and maybe the training, is not producing a work force that can deal with complex human beings. The instinct is for black and white when child protection is always in the Grey.
    As a Guardian I hope I provide the check and balance but opposing a local authority requires energy, confidence and stamina. As Guardians become less experienced the tendency will uncritically agree with LAs. I just hope the judiciary can continue to hold the line.

    • ashamedtobebritish

      I hope you become a trainer for every social worker and future guardian in the UK.

      I also think you should be every child’s guardian, thank goodness for you.

      I’ve just had some dealing with a guardian who would say pretty much the same thing and did rip into the social work department due to their lack of action and was not afraid to cross swords with any of them including the court, thank fully this led to a great outcome for the children

    • This does not reflect my experience of social work at all, and having worked nationwide, I am surprised it is yours.

      • It was not the same name, with a surname added
        It was his Christian name, the missing off his second Christian name, adding his only surname, then adding his mothers surname Hence from INITIALS RJB to RBM making a name of a child that had never existed according to hospital medical records, that refused to obey a court order for medical records to be obtained by
        myself (named)

      • So not much of a change then, same first name, and one surname the same + DoB, should be enough.

      • All the Orders within the case, due to the name of a child that did not exist within their records held, had no legal stance for them to produce the evidence they did hold in the childs birth certified name Medical Records, hospital admittance record, record of any of the injuries acussed of, Birth damage records, in fact the hospitals, South Cleveland Hospital & Middlesbrough General were not party to the Case
        So where did Redcar & Cleveland Social Services Legal, outside solicitors Askew & Askew representing RCLA Child protection department, plus Askew & Askew solicitor Kathy Webb acting for child & Guardian-Ad
        Litum, Alexandria Scoffin obtain all the medical evidence from????to support a case?? Obviously not from Hospital

      • Sorry, this is really discussing an individual and unreported case more than we really allow for here. I’m sorry that you have clearly had a very awful experience; but we can’t discuss an individual case in this much detail unless it is one where there is a published law report.

      • As I said before, as long as you can prove you are asking for info re a specific child, there are ways of doing so and the professionals in this case would have been able to obtain them. I have obtained records held in an alias from all agencies in the process of a S47 enquiry and have no idea why this would be different, particularly since the first name and one surname are the same. I don’t know how this stands for LiP but if it was a Care Order you would have had representation. You need a lawyer is all, do you have one?

    • Amber, Parents Against INjustice, https://twitter.com/AmberJHartman

      Josie, could you contact me.

    • Josie this view of social work is indeed alarming. I have worked with 150 out of the 152 LAs in the UK and this is not my experience. Obviously I have missed it somewhere. It is your duty to report those SW where you have evidence of lying and exaggeration and I hope you do. Whilst the government’s direction of travel is to disney adoption land, it isn’t what we do in my current LA, where kinship placements are barely good enough in order to keep children within their family of origin when it isn’t possible for them to stay at home. We do of course value the contribution of the Guardian and a critique is invaluable.

  6. To me one of the saddest aspects of this is that the government misunderstand the structure of the looked after children population and believe that a relatively low proportion of children end up being adopted when in fact, if you look at those who are likely to be adopted, it is quite high.

    I analysed the figures to 31/3/2015 here.

    http://johnhemming.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/an-analysis-of-english-looked-after.html

    They also fail to understand that employees of an organisation are at times instructed as to the conclusions they should come to when doing assessments. (or the conclusions that they should not come to). Yet the courts make decisions based upon a single assessment by a local authority employee.

  7. Andrew, I’m surprised that you are so positive about the book by White, Morris and Featherstone . I think they are wrong to re-invent child protection as family support because this can easily lead to a lack of clarity about the reasons for social work involvement. The book does not prepare students for the realities of job. It presents the social work role as supportive and enabling but without placing this within the framework of legal powers and duties and encourages students to think that professional knowledge is more important than complying with the law. This book is part of the problem. It fails to realise that there is an urgent need for legal knowledge to be integrated into social work practice and for social workers to be properly trained for court work.

    • I didn’t agree with everything in the book, but I was pleased that the authors were promoting an important debate. You are right that it isn’t really possible to have the debate or shift the culture purely to supportive whilst there are both legal and social obligations on local authorities to intervene to protect children. Absolutely social workers and managers need to be aware of both the legal and social frameworks of the work that they do.

      [Oh, also, you make a good point, and I would agree – I don’t think it would be ideal for a newly-qualified social worker to read this book about the academic side of things before they have any practical experience. I thought it was more helpful for professionals who had been in the system for a while, to critically appraise and reflect. ]

    • ashamedtobebritish

      If the SW put in amazing support and kept the family safely together (I appreciate that can’t always work out) they wouldn’t need to be legally trained and ultra knowledgeable in court proceedings, as there would be no need for court.
      Your comment very much reflects on the need to get the case to court rather than solve the issue.

      The LA have a legal team, therefore the SW should be left to help heal families, not get them into court asap, unfortunately you have confirmed this is where your priorities lie, along with most other sw’s.

      The welfare of the child comes before anything, be it court orders or managerial orders, nothing should create a barrier. If i was sw I would happily defy any manager or court if it was in the child’s best interest to do so.

      • My comment certainly does not imply a wish to go to court. However, child protection work is about more than support. Supportive services may be provided to the family but they are often the ‘carrot’ used to persuade families to accept the ‘stick’ of social work surveillance and monitoring.

        I think that the threshold for formal child protection measures are not very well defined and authorities vary enormously in whether they work on a voluntary basis with families or decide they have a duty under s47 to commence formal enquiries. Sometimes there are benefits in moving up the tariff gradually – from s47 interview to Child Protection Conference to Child Protection Plan instead of going straight to court – as this gives the family a clear understanding of professional concerns and the possibility of working to prevent the need for care.

        A study in 2011 found that 28.7% of cases in which care proceedings had commenced had never been the subject of a Child Protection Plan and this surprised me. I thought it was considered good social work practice to try working collaboratively under a CPP before considering legal proceedings?

      • That is a surprising number. Of course, some will be ‘blue light’ cases where a child not previously known to professionals presents with an injury, or a risky adult moves into a household previously unknown to professionals, but I would not have thought those numbers were that high. Curious.

        (Curious as in I would not have predicted that, not curious as in “Aha! This is a smoking gun that proves that all Judges are secretly in the pay of Councils” )

      • ashamedtobebritish

        You’d think so!

        I mean how can a family recognise and work on concerns raised if not in CIN or CP? If it goes straight to court it is more likely than not a quick fix to get the child into care, leaving the parents/family/child/ren, wondering what on earth they did wrong

      • The legal team don’t have overview of all cases so SW do need to know something!

      • I am really surprised the percentage is so high. My experience is that it is very rare to go straight into proceedings, not unheard of, but families need to be given a chance to effect change in the main.

      • For anyone interested the ‘Cafcass Care Study into care applications in November 2011’ can be seen at:

    • Amber, Parents Against INjustice, https://twitter.com/AmberJHartman

      Both are important but perhaps Family Support should have thorough training on full support- helping families in making lives less stressful with life skills (where needed and optional) such as Financial Training/ Budgeting; Education-Bullying, Schools, Clubs; Bereavement Support; Home Help; workshops/ guidance on Nutrition etc;
      If there is more proper (I stress) Family Support where parents are given help without scrutiny, there will be less children going into care/adoption.

      I do feel Cafcass are making more Independent decisions & not ‘taking sides’ with local authorities in most cases as many assume.

      The FJYPB Former Minister Simon Hughes founded has been an asset and I worry the Tories will not push it forward as Simon did.

      Legal Aid cuts may drive parents to dangerous MKF out of desperation & there should be regulation.

      Once proceedings begin LA’s rarely back down. Thankfully Judges are meeting children more which is a tiny step in the right direction.

      • All of that support is in place already and much more, too long a list for me to publish, but it does of course meet the needs of the family.

        Judges do meet children more but they can’t interview them. It is the role of CAFCASS to represent the child in court and there are lots of times when they don’t agree with the LA.

    • There is a whole module in SW education on the law and more in the PQ, are you around SW education?

      • So why do authorities fail to comply with the 1989 Children Act? Medway social workers were recently criticised by a judge for shocking misunderstanding of the law. Gloucestershire has been criticised for misuse of section 20. This seems to be widespread problem. I’m concerned that staff at all levels in children’s services do not seem to have a sound grasp of the law.

        I made a career out of being a front line social worker but am now retired. Before the Children Act 1989 came into effect I received excellent training in the law and at that time social workers were very interested in applying the principles of the new Act. I also leaned more about the law when I worked as a Senior Practitioner in children’s services.

        Social workers have always had an uneasy relationship with the law but we now have a situation where the conflict between the profession and the judiciary can be seen by everyone – because of greater transparency – and this is bringing the profession into disrepute.

      • I was as surprised about Medway as you & of misuse of S20. I think to extrapolate that this is widespread may or may not be accurate, not sure how you or I would know that. Is there research? I have worked with 150 out of 152 LAs in the country and practice varies but legal advice is available to all SW when their legal knowledge is overshot, which it will be at some point given they are not lawyers.

        Social work degrees continue to have a law module, usually with an exam you cannot pass the BA/MA without passing. PQ is often a prerequisite for Senior Practitioner role and of course there is all the reading we need to do for CPD.

        I am not altogether sure that social workers have an uneasy relationship with the law & conflict between the profession and the judiciary is another extrapolation, social workers are also praised in court, that just receives less oxygen. I would say that there is a huge conflict between the legislature and the judiciary, particularly regarding adoption, and social workers re agents of the state. That was ever thus.

        It is right and proper that all practice is exposed where it can be, really important that people know what social workers actually do, and about those who bring the profession into disrepute. Transparency exposes that to a wider gaze. Why anyone thinks that prior to judgements being published this wasn’t addressed would be more usual to hear from someone who thinks all parties are in collusion. I have one codicil, LAs are never able to respond to anything. In once case I know well, the LA were heavily criticised for a key issue for which another agency were entirely at fault, had they acted in accordance with the law, a child would have been removed sooner. I don’t say this to lay blame, and we should always own our own part in anything. but there is no space to critique the criticism.

      • ashamedtobebritish

        The problem here is that key word ‘transparency’ – social; workers pull some pretty corrupt and nasty lies out of nowhere, they’ve lied about me and I know for a fact they’ve lied about others, falsifying and rewriting reports, even changing names of wrong doers so that it fits in with their agenda.

        I myself and others have exposed this practise, but usually all you get is ‘go to complaints’ if you make a complaint, you will be punished by having contact stopped, on the understanding that the parents cannot engage or work with professionals, well no they can’t when they’re lying their butts off.
        I have yet to hear, out of thousands of parents, where a complaint has been made that it has been independantly looked at, the complaints system is self regulated by the very department who have acted in a corrupt manner.
        Of course no manager wants to accept that they’ve signed case work they haven’t read or that their sw’s are acting illegally under their noses.

        ( I DO have evidence of this, lots of it, recordings, written, emails, log sheets etc)

        I will say this again, you really need to watch undercover social worker and educate yourself in what’s actually going on out there, it is available on youtube in it’s entirety.

      • You only have to read the judgments from Family Courts to see the conflict with the profession. There have been a number of well-publicised case in recent years where judges have rejected local authority recommendations after being presented with poor quality social work assessments and flawed evidence. Munby has also criticised social workers for their ‘sloppy practice’ and the ‘recurrent inadequacy of analysis’ revealed in court reports and for their non-compliance with orders made by the family courts. Both Munby and Wildblood have reprimanded authorities in very strong terms for repeated misuse of section 20. Judges often complain about lengthy social work reports full of subjective opinions but without clear evidence on the threshold for significant harm.

        I am not extrapolating. Social workers are definitely being criticised by judges for their misunderstanding, or even disrespect, of the law – but social workers invariably react defensively. Looks like a power struggle to me!

      • Hiliary, I have been around in family courts in a different role previously and social workers were always treated with very little respect by judges, things have actually improved over the last 15 years as far as I can tell, rather than a power struggle developing recently. It is absolutely right and proper that poor practice or reporting is exposed, either in court or in judgements, but I don’t think the fact that judgements are being published means anything other than there is a wider audience.

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  9. My critique of Featherstone et al comes from a feeling that this is little more than an ideological attack on Cameron’s muddled thinking and fails to recognise that many children’s services are struggling to carry out their child protection duties and some social workers have got above themselves. I am inclined to think that the current rate of adoptions may be about right but I do not expect it to rise any higher.

    Their article says that the increase in the number of adoptions is due to children’s services being increasingly focused on protection rather than support. This may be the academic view but it needs to be challenged. I believe that a clearer focus on child protection is necessary and local authorities should be more realistic about what they can do. Of course many social workers do have the skills to work supportively – although sometimes a more coercive approach becomes necessary. Some authorities are managing to strike the right balance between care and control but there are many which fail to achieve an acceptable standard for safeguarding work despite additional resources being given to children’s services.

    It is possible that the increase in the number of adoptions is partly due to good social work practice resulting in more older children being adopted now. It may also be due to more good quality pre-birth assessments being carried out and better risk assessments leading to earlier intervention.

    • If children services have been given more resources not less, I would love to know about that. Most LAs have protected “the frontline” but it means the frontline are doing everything. My experience is that a lot of funding was put into Troubled Families Teams who have no idea about thresholds and 24/7 support has had the unintentional outcome of colluding with parents who present a serious risk.

      Otherwise, social workers pretty much are the service now and they do therefore need to have the skills of support and coercion and to move between the two when appropriate. Not sure what you mean by social workers getting above themselves? There is that legal framework, what social workers can do is pretty much dictated now. I don’t say that as a puppet of the state but I know exactly what I can and can’t do.

      The rise in adoption numbers was due partly to the PLO, the timescales, and a backlog of cases going to court at the same time. The fall is partly due to the placement of children with extended family members, some of whom barely meet the good enough bar. I would like to see more research into SGO placements as they are progressing, not just longitudial outcomes. It may be that kinship is the best option for those children but we need to know. I’d like a cohort looked at at each year post placement, outcomes measured, and emotional wellbeing.

      We are, whatever we do all trying to achieve safety, stability and security for children. I’m not particularly pro adoption, just for those children who really can’t be with family. I am professionally pleased that the judiciary stopped the government in its tracks re those reforms and flagged up the little matter of human rights. My wish would be that it generates more and ongoing early intervention services.Cameron could look at his own criticism of Oxfordshire to know how cuts have affected services.

      • Yes, more resources were given to children’s services in Coventry following the Daniel Pelka scandal. The council’s Labour leaders allocated an additional £5.6 million last year.

        What do I mean by social workers getting above themselves? Actually, I was thinking of the social workers in Hampshire who were slammed for lying under oath and for re-writing a report to suit their own objectives. The arrogant response to this from the Director in Hampshire is shocking. The report in Community Care has many comments from social workers who say this behaviour is not unusual.

      • Yes, I think that this situation, social workers being declared by a Judge to have lied and covered up those lies, and then being promoted to better jobs, is a proper scandal. I would have liked to have seen Booker write about this, where the facts are established, in the public domain and deserve more airing.

      • Coventry needed that funding, they were in dire straits without it, it is a shame it took the death of a child to prove that they had been cut beyond that which the service could withstand.

        I would like to hear why the Director of Hampshire supports the social workers involved in that case, LAs can’t speak, which is a shame. Not on either “side” there would just like it if they could.

      • It sounds like it is a proper scandal and I really wish the LA wasn’t gagged re their response. The Director of Children’s Services has said that he supports the SW (it was in a local paper and I can’t find the link now). Do you think the promotions would have been before the judges comments rather than afterwards, I think they would just because of timescales, ditto moves to other LAs. I have though just used the case to support someone in my team, the support worker trained to undertake parenting & similar assessments disagreed with the SW (senior practitioner) & team manger about who the children should be placed with. Her assessment of the people who are not their preference is going into court as is theirs, all are family members. I know courts need an LA to have a position but I do actually think it is healthier for options to be aired in court.

      • The promotions were before the Judgement but in my opinion they should all be criminally charged as otherwise there is clear bias and has damaged what little faith the public had left with Children Services.

      • It does remain that the outcome of the case was the same Amber, not that I don’t think people should be held accountable, but even with that?

      • Amber, Parents Against INjustice

        As the social workers swan off to new pastures how can others in the same profession be trusted? It is simply wrong not to have them charged & unfair on those who do an honest job.

      • That wasn’t my point & I would like to know why Hampshire is supporting them. Dishonest families aren’t prosecuted and I wouldn’t want them to be.

      • Amber, Parents Against INjustice

        Hampshire legal team are looking into appealing. I believe it is only in order to ‘save face’.

      • I am sure you do.

        I would just like to know more but shall wait for the appeal and to see if it was granted.

  10. to Susspeicousminds My sincerest thanks for allowing my comments on your blog, and I for one do believe your sincerity within this blog to allow freedom of speech or the written word
    of any sense of injustice a blogger wants to reveal, for this I thank you
    As a family we have lived in South Africa other than the NE of England, we have never prior to what I have stated on this forum had any involvement whatsoever with any government agencies, I think our trusting nature and adhering to legal advice brought about our demise
    Thank you again

  11. Be careful for what you wish for – I have been a social worker in France, Spain, Scotland, Australia and England. The standard of social work here in England is very high (second only to Scotland) and the system very effective at keeping families together and protecting children Simply look at the child death rates here compared to other rich countries.

    The problem is many of you use extreme examples which are bound to exist in an environment where thousands of social workers come across hundreds of thousands of families per year and our funding is cut year on year.

    Of course, bad practice must be tackled but by continuing to bang on the war drums we are, simply adds weight to Cameron’s war cry to have us all taken over by SERCO. You only need to talk to a probation officer to see how well that is working out.

    Most social workers will read the articles about speeding up adoption with concern and be rightly alarmed by the research out toady about the number of children removed. But there is good practice, in my Local Authority we have a small but well funded (For now) team of workers who support mum’s who have had children removed to move forward to reduce the risk of future removals.

    We should be looking at what we could be doing differently as opposed to arguing the way we are about the system. Because frankly, if we think it is bad now, you haven’t seen anything yet.

    • ashamedtobebritish

      Privitisation is going into different realms, I’m extremely concerned about this, fighting social services is mission impossible, but to fight a corporate business is going to be a whole new ball game of meeting dead ends, lies, corruption and banging heads on brick walls.

      One has to wonder why the PM would rather turn this into a corporate business (I know social services are actually registered businesses) rather than put effort into fixing the broken system we already have.

      I suspect there are many MP’s, Judges etc with shares and partnerships in companies such as SENCO, CORAM and G4S – I know my own MP is a founder of some of the businesses who collaborate with social services. Food for thought

      • http://www.communitycare.co.uk/2015/12/11/entrepreneurial-approach-can-create-true-champions-children/ You may not agree with me, mostly you don’t, but Richmond and Kingston social work led & is the only model that might work.

      • Amber, Parents Against INjustice

        I know Richmond/ Kingston well. There have been many families complain they are even not complying with Elective Home Education guidelines.

        Tania Clarence did not get correct support & ended up killing her children. The LA target those less well off when the affluent helicopter parents should be the concern in many cases.

      • ashamedtobebritish

        They’re not going to review themselves as crap are they?

      • You won’t be surprised to find I disagree with your case analysis but I would absolutely agree that middle class parents create different barriers to working effectively to protect children.

        My point is that if you follow DC today, this is the best outcome you can hope for, other companies will be worse. Except they might not sign up in the first place since most LAs running at a deficit.

        Once case does not a case make for Richmond and Kingston, what you don’t know is how many children were saved. Anyway, like I said, not expecting agreement.

      • Amber, Parents Against INjustice

        Richmond and Kingston have Merton as their Legal Advisors & Merton failed by not informing Latvia of the child they took in their care.

        There are many other unethical acts they have performed.

      • ashamedtobebritish

        They were very wrong not to inform the Latvian authority, but they were right to take the child.

      • Amber, Parents Against INjustice

        I agree. The mother had the child while inebriated whilst given a second chance. However, I shouldn’t digress.

      • ashamedtobebritish

        … and the rest

      • Well, the child wasn’t in their care at any point, so no they didn’t. The child was in the care of parents, then grandparents, then back with parents.

      • ashamedtobebritish

        She wasn’t Suess … She was taken under a PPO then handed into the care of social services, thankfully for the child

      • Err, it wasn’t a review, it was an opinion piece about how to privatise rather than one of those giant companies you mention.

    • ashamedtobebritish

      They can’t even support their own staff! One of my very close friends’ mother was murdered while working for them, they couldn’t even bring themselves to send a poxy sympathy card, they have no empathy and should never be let lose around children imo

    • No, in fact standards for social workers in UK are appalling compared to France (the example you give).Social Workers in UK are on the whole rude aggressive ,feared and hated as they take babies at birth for risks that may never happen , with the result that many newborns end up forcefully adopted thanks to mostly rubberstamping judges . Usually their mothers never see them again. As a result family courts up and down the country are crowded with parents fighting to keep their children.The UK is the only country in the world where pregnant mothers flee in substantial numbers to foreign parts to evade forced adoption.

      In France,generally speaking social workers are kind,friendly,and understanding. They would never confiscate a baby or young child for risk of future emotional abuse and do not believe me when I tell them how that actually happens in the UK. Forced adoption (disputed by parents in court) does not exist and the courts are not flooded with parents disputing family court decisions.Pregnant mothers do not flee the country and on the whole french social workers are respected and even sometimes admired;

  12. I only see in the media the so called good side of adoption and never about the consequences to the child and creators/parents.

    Thanks to Dr Lynne Wrennell, I began researching into the dark side of adoption business and then began meeting in person with adoptees in adulthood, etc

    The consequences of seperating children from their mothers is well known since 1952.
    http://www.adoptionbirthmothers.com/known-consequences-of-separating-mother-and-child-at-birth-implications-for-further-study/

    “Reports from the 1950s of emotional problems in adoptees

    In fact there were reports from Britain and the USA, from 1952 onwards, that a large number of children seen in child guidance clinics and other psychiatric services were adopted.”

    The dark side of adoption.

    “The myths I had been told about adoption were totally shattered. ”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mirah-riben/the-dark-side-of-adoption_b_8501560.html
    “In the nearly three decades since the release of The Dark Side of Adoption, nothing I suggested has been done and the number of adopted child victims of abuse of all kinds continues to climb. Adopted children are burnt, beaten, left outside in the cold barefoot and barely dressed, starved, caged, made to drink hot sauce, given ice cold showers, abandoned on airplanes back to Russia all alone, or rehomed as each year we “celebrate” adoption month and encourage more. The website Pound Puppy Legacy (PPL) documents reported cases of abuse in adoptive homes, categorizing them into physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect and deprivation. ”

    I am always coming back to my history teaching days and Hitler’s slogan of best interest of the child and I wonder why in 2015 would anyone in society use that energy signature?

    I could write forever here, but I understand that many in the business will do a cognitive dissonance on me.

    I have met adoptees who were supposed to have better lives, but haven’t.

    Some have financial security but that is not what adopees seek. They are stuck having to pretend to their adopters that they appreciate being taken in and chosen but they are not treated as true family.

    The hardest thing for me was to go on adoption sites and read what adopters do and did to their adopted children in order to force compliance. They should have been jailed- if the law was being followed. I mean what adoptive woman- cannot call her a mother as children only have one mother- would cut off the child’s hair to discipline it? What adopter would force newly adopted child to eat a bowl of cornflakes -same bowl with sour milk- for 5 days until the child complied? Its like Ms Trunchbull’s boot camp.
    But no one in the group did anything – all comparing their new possessions that filled their needs. I had to stop reading as I was puking and thinking- some judge rubber stamped these children into these abusive adult adopters hands. Who approved these 2 faced people as adopters? I have seen many psychopaths fool judges, social workers, Guardians etc. Its a fascinating study actually

    http://www.amfor.net/acs/

    “No one wants to talk about adoptees who have obvious negative outcomes, including adopted serial killers such as David Berkowitz and Ted Bundy, nor the fact that even apparently successful adoptees have abandonment and rejection issues over being adopted — such as the late entrepeneur-founder of Apple Computer, STEVE JOBS, who is quoted as similarly expressing “unresolved pain” stemming from being adopted. Both famous and infamous adoptes at times demonstrate anti-social behaviors, as detailed in “CHOSEN CHILDREN,” which documents the changing psychiatric theories and labels pinned on adoptees to attempt to explain away their problems as being caused by them and which have often resulted in dangerous treatments — such as “Attachment/Holding Therapy, and “Re-Birthing Therapy” that have even killed them, as documented in the largest collection of “Adopters Who Abused and Killed Adoptees” with sources. “

    • ashamedtobebritish

      Thank you. Personal experience tells me that the adopted adult is mentally unstable, regardless of the love, care and handling of the family dynamics … Both of my parents were adopted from barnardos, both into wealthy high influence families, my mother, a commodity to show wealth, oh she had everything, but love and her birth family.
      My father, a much loved, wanted, cared for child, adopted by beautiful people who wanted to give him a beautiful life.
      My mother was a mental train crash and my father an unhappy sad boy who grew into a deadbeat dad.
      I seem to have picked up friends along the way who are also adopted, without actively seeking them out, every one of them has ‘issues’ ranging from panic/anxiety attacks, bullying and nearly all are pathological liars, who enjoy creating extreme drama.
      I have noticed they also tend to produce twins, something that could be researched further.
      Suicide also seems to be high on the list of adoptees traits, with my own child sadly losing a school friend to suicide aged 18, again, he was adopted into a wonderful family who loved and supported him throughout his issues (unlike social services who basically said ‘you wanted him you deal with him’) even more sad was my child’s statement of resignation, that ‘we all knew it would happen, it wasn’t a case of if, more when’
      An interesting article is this one, which sums up some of the issues surrounding adoption:

      http://pages.uoregon.edu/adoption/archive/ClothierPAC.htm

    • You are absolutely right that adoption is a highly complex field often over simplified, particularly by political rhetoric. I would just like to know where you would account for the information we now have about brain development and the impact of early years trauma and abuse which we have from the geneticists and neurobiologists, as early as in utero?

  13. I

  14. It is all about cash ! Forced adoptions are very very big business !

  15. JUDICIAL COURT STATISTICS (page 25)

    In 2011, there were 32,739 children involved in disposals of public law cases, including 31,515 orders made, 792 applications withdrawn, 350 orders of no order and 72 orders refused.

    Only 72 care orders refused out of 32,739 cases !What chance do these poor parents have in our hopelessly prejudiced “family courts”?

    Judicial and Court statistics 2011 – Gov.uk

    Despite all these wonderful descriptions of overpaid foster carers, 10,000 children went “missing” from care, as you will see from the article below:

    Joint Inquiry into Children Who Go Missing from Care

    Extract (point 9):

    In June 2012, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Runaway and Missing Children and Adults and the APPG for Looked-after Children and Care Leavers published the report of their joint inquiry into children who go missing from care.

    The report argued that the Government was under-reporting the number of children going missing from care. While the official figure for 2011 was 930, the report argues that, according to police data, an estimated 10,000 individual children went missing. The report cited that this high number was symptomatic of a care system which was far from being fit for purpose and in need of an urgent rethink.

    Foster Care AssociatesFoster Care Associates logo

    Owned by: Jim Cockburn and Janet Rees through Ideapark Ltd

    Income from foster care in 2014**: £127.2m

    Payouts to owner in 2014: £7m

    Highest paid director salary and other benefits: £406,000

    Founded by carers Jim Cockburn and Janet Rees in 1994, Foster Care Associates (FCA) has become the biggest foster care company in the UK, and even has branches in Finland, Australia and Canada. The FCA website assures potential foster carers that it does not have any “shareholders or private equity interests to serve”, but this is only half right. Unlike many of its rivals it is not owned by a private equity firm. But it certainly does have shareholders – principally Jim Cockburn and Janet Rees, through a holding company called Ideapark Ltd.

    The latest accounts of Core Assets Group Ltd (Foster Care Associates is a trading name) show the company paid out £7m in dividends to Ideapark Ltd in 2014, and £11.6m the year before. Ideapark Ltd’s accounts show it only paid out £50,000 to Cockburn and Rees in 2014, but a whopping £9.2m the year before

    nationalfosteringagency

    ———- STOP PRESS !The agency above has been sold for £130+million!

    busad2014

    • You won’t get any argument from me about private equity companies or individuals being involved in children’s service. Charities which run Independent agencies are one thing, profiteering is another entirely. There is also an argument for very specialist companies who offer services that LAs just couldn’t have standing idle the amount of time they would, so shared services which is common in other ways across regions. I would only add that foster carers themselves are only paid what it would cost them to keep a child and what it costs them not to work if they can’t, that seems reasonable to me. What agencies charge LAs is another matter. I’m not debating here (again) the need or not for care etc. but would like to make the point that this is the way the WHOLE service will look if DC has his way. Statutory services can be franchised out as a trust from the LA, it isn’t cheaper, and so far it hasn’t been better for anyone. How anyone will find a profit in that I don’t know, the £££ everyone here seems to think are in adoption are mythical, but I am sure a private equity company could find a way to find some. Oh, and it will be the same SW because they have statutory roles, they’ll just be working in an environment which makes it much tougher to do any of the work they do.

      • Your support of the changing of a childs birth registered name for court proceedings,(supressing the truthful EVIDENCE) should be enough evidence for any reader of comments as to your stance on truth, justice and family court proceedings

      • To be fair, I think anyone with two brain cells to rub together can work out her stance on transparency and diversity.

        Zero empathy or morals

      • Am I going to have to introduce a yellow and red card system next year? I have repeatedly had to say on this thread discussion that there are comment rules and the main one is about being respectful to other commentators, even if you disagree with their viewpoint or philosophy. Enough of personal abuse and snide digs, now.

        Not specifically at you – this I think is your first offence, but I am not happy about the personal attacks that have been made within this threat. Disagree all you want, debate the ideas and thoughts, but seriously ENOUGH of attacking someone as a person for holding a different view. I don’t want it here.

      • ashamedtobebritish

        Apologies.
        I think sometimes, when those who have seen files full of corruption, altered evidence, parents being blatantly stitched up, children begging to go home unheard, or reported as not wanting to see their parents, lies, support of parental alienation, tearing apart of families, illegal removal for no reason, severe harm and even death of a child in state care, it becomes extremely frustrating to be told it’s a stretch of the imagination.
        Understandably one would expect those who don’t know the system to react by disbelieving the unthinkable, but when someone within the system, who has been cited and linked to several facts that expose the truth (and would have seen it in the field) simply refuses to accept those facts, it leads to frustration, which I think has come across as maybe aggressive or bitchy.
        This was not my intention at all, I’m just done trying to educate a social worker in order to improve her services for the good of the child, which led to my opinion.
        After all … There are parents, advocates and other professionals stating the same, unfortunately, this is not going to be accepted as the general consensus by one person out of many (including the affected child themselves, oh and government) therefore one can only conclude that there is either a total unwillingness to learn, or a deliberate ignorance to the fact.
        P.S. You have rapped my knuckles before, but hey, I am what I am, it didn’t hurt as much as the abuse I suffered in the care system 😉

      • Actually I was trying to work out what the issue was & how you could access the info. So quite the opposite NOTINMYNAME I didn’t ever comment in support anything you mention & am an advocate of transparency. Misread but don’t mislead, that is no fairer on me than you say the system has been on you?

      • Is it a bit ironic that comments are just as oppositional when I’m agreeing with something!

      • I have consistently said poor practice should be exposed, that would include lies & corruption etc. I haven’t ever really commented here on those accusations, simply because I would never know anyone’s case well enough to be able too & the info has never been comprehensive enough – which is right & proper. I have definitely not seen that in the field. Had I, I would have reported it. Where there are truths to be exposed, they should be, as in any social injustice. I don’t disbelieve, but I do question here sometimes, I am genuinely trying to work things out when I do.

        I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t interested in family law & slate me all you like but I have masses of empathy even for those who have committed a criminal offence. I wouldn’t prosecute most parents and the socio/psychopath is rare. We need more of the Pause project & FDAC nationwide, as well as a halt to cuts. It is all very well the “frontline” being protected but families hit crisis sooner without early intervention & preventative services. What I see on my caseload are families who I provide that for. I am the service. As I keep saying, vote for someone else if you think that’s wrong, I do, we need more scaffolding to hold people up.

        Apart from that it isn’t being disingenuous to cite the legal framework, social workers have very little power, all of which is subject to scrutiny. The law currently operates as it does & this is clearly at odds with how some people here would like it to. In terms of current law, I am genuinely (again) horrified at misuse of S20 or the Hampshire social workers, I just probably want to know more about the later. I have never had any experience of a social worker lying, I have seen deeply entrenched & oppositional perspectives taken by all parties. The court decides.

        I had no idea anyone was trying to educate me, or put me on a path of self improvement, perhaps the lesson there is to enter into an open discussion. This is really no place for a SW as it is now. The only professionals you want to hear from are those who agree with you, wholesale if possible & who want to slate SW.

        Lastly, I have plenty of experience of children wanting to go home. Children would always want to be with their parents, if only they would stop doing xyz. Xyz usually being substance misuse, domestic abuse, & mental health issues (often being self medicated). Please don’t extrapolate that I mean all, I don’t. The child’s timeframe for change was at the heart of the PLO. It is impossible for children to understand why a parent would prioritise heroin over them but it happens. It breaks my heart to separate children from their family, I haven’t yet worked with a family where that wasn’t accepted as inevitable because they knew they couldn’t effect change & meet their children’s needs. That doesn’t lessen the grief for anyone.

      • ashamedtobebritish

        Like I said, I know reunification can’t always happen, the safety of the child always comes first.
        However (here comes the but) I did report to you that no child Ian has helped escape has come to harm, nor been removed from the parent/s – that has to count for something in anyone’s book, that the UK social workers are snatch happy.

        You mention funding, and you’re right, but as I stated before, the funding must go into supporting families to stay together where possible, unfortunately it’s going into adoption and children already in care, as clarified by my MP only yesterday.

        Some of what has been said must surely have made you question what’s really going on? Thousands and thousands of parents who don’t know each other, are stating the same thing over & over, they cannot be lying, it’s impossible for them to share the exact same experience.

      • We are kind of saying the same thing except for some things obviously – I’m not commenting on cases because even Ian doesn’t have enough info to risk assess. I’m glad no child he’s helped has been hurt but the correlation is an extrapolation too far. The numbers are statistically insignificant & there is often no reason to think same wouldn’t have happened here. Many is the case I’ve worked about to enter proceedings when we have been able to avoid that.

        I’d agree with more funding going into supporting families, that doesn’t mean all those families can stay together. There was once family support & other funding, if anyone that voted for this government thought that would happen now they need their blinkers off.

        The political rhetoric around adoption is as unfortunate as Narey has recently stated, targets & bonuses should be less confusing. All was aimed at speeding up the process for those children for whom it was the only option & that was too slow sometimes. I’d argue against the speeding up of assessing adopters, that was slow for good reason, not the clunky beaureaucracy right wing parties like to accuse public servants of.

        I don’t think the system is perfect but I also don’t think UK social workers are snatch happy. I can’t tell you anything about the families I work with but I can tell you the risks I am managing are high, I don’t want any of those children separated from their families, & I hope enough change is effected to avoid that.

        SW is a global profession & we use learning from sell over the world, some is culturally specific, other aspects are open to adaptation. Achieving stability for children in foster care is a challenge in the UK & we should do that better as well as more open adoption where possible. Children who needs substitute families should know they have a birth family & a family they need to grow up with because of xyz.

        I do listen to the stories of those who have a different perspective, I don’t think the system is perfect but I do think what happens on the ground is not corrupt. I suspect in most cases (with access all areas) I would understand why an LA is acting the way they are, not all, but most. I’m not going to talk specifics, but where some people cite injustice, I can often see flaws in their cases, I don’t know the whole story so don’t comment on that but do ask questions.

      • ashamedtobebritish

        I concur, absolutely, I’m not against adoption, not at all, I am against forced adoption.

        So many parents come past me stating they asked for help, next thing they knew their children were in care, onto full care orders, placement and adoption, they always say two things “how did we get here?” And “I thought social services were there to help”
        From my own personal experience, I know what it is to be the one who’s face didn’t fit, my entire family has been trashed with lie upon lie, complaints about this upheld eventually by the ico and lgo, resulting in a 7 year battle ending in the neglect box being untucked, because it was simply a stitch up born out of bad practice, goal post moving and lies. For example my two year old child having an extensive criminal record … Now we all know that’s impossible right? Would SS accept the fact? No.

        As for Ian and his endeavours, we can only go with the facts, babies absolutely going to be placed for forced adoption in the UK, flee abroad only to be assessed and found to be perfectly safe with birth parents, grow and flourish nicely, I’m just doing the math …

    • Dear NOTINMYNAME your interpretation of my comments is erroneous. At no time did I support anything other than trying to work out what your issue was & how to resolve it. It is a shame you didn’t read that. I have advocated for transparency & thus see no reason why the name change would prevent access to the documents you cite.

  16. It seems you need more than two brain cells to work out complexity or nuance then. it is a shame that people who hold a different position on some aspects of family law have to resort to just trashing the other person. I don’t do that to anyone here but do, by all means see me off here. It won’t be a loss except to the real debate we should be having. If you wanted to know anything about me, you could ask the families I work with (but you can’t) instead, as Andrew has said before you, would find most cases are not “why are they in court” but “why did it take this long to get them here”. I would like more transparency, people should know what we do & why, but jigsaw ID is v easy & I do worry about that for the sake of some families.

    • Thank you for the observation about jigsaw ID, how can a 6week old child possibly have jigsaw ID? how easy to cover-up the truth, allowing such malicious changing of evidence, from a child (from his Birth) under the spotlight of outside experts from the day of his breech, axphyicsiated birth, numerous development poblems, (had to be taught to suck????) the most basic expectation of a parent, ORDERED by his family doctor to be taken back to the hospital of birth for investigation by a (Neurologist) A&E department,due to appointment awaiting to be arranged by hospital taking too long, all logged at hospital registry, end up as a child rushed to hospital after a fall to kitchen floor, then the injuries he supposed to have suffered, without a document within the hospital file in his birth certified name to support, printed on Bailli for the world to read, having to approach outside charity for development help, under the threat of his removal from relatives, the whole sorry saga contained within QC Fockes file, misrepresented 8 doctors agreed report signed only by 2 outside paid for doctors, every person involved should be truly ashamed, and there is an old addage which I truly believe what goes around comes around

      • ashamedtobebritish

        Maybe if you send Suess the link he may find something there to blog about?

        Try to have a pleasant day tomorrow, wishing you the best 🙂

      • Jigsaw ID was a general comment about transparency.

        I hope your QC is still working for you because the judgement you posted was v clear that the baby had a serious NAI.

  17. The judgement has already been posted thanks to HelenSparkles???? No hospital photographs to support a bruise or mark on him??? 48hrs observation then released home???????? no mention he was transferred for a MRI Scan (with a different childs ACCIDENT REPORT) to a different hospital, which is enclosed within QC Fockes file, written by the solicitor requested to attend the hospital by the parents, to sort out what had gone wrong and why, definately not to cover-up
    Same wishes to you and yours
    Bird Family

    • I thought you posted the link? It was v clear & doesn’t support your version. Let us know how the appeal hoes.

      • Truth was covered-up by using wrong name of child, according to your argument a childs name makes no difference, it certainly did to the hospital trust that was never party to the case, ignored all orders within the case to release the truth, after the court of appeal judgement, the guardian who attended a later court, wanted us the family to know she had nothing to do with R’adoptions

      • It is impossible to comment on your case, I don’t know enough & I am not arguing any particular point. It would just be unusual not to be able to access the documents & the nominal name change should not have affected they. Hospital, police etc. would not normally be party to the proceedings.

      • I think probably best to not discuss the individual case – as Helen says, there is not enough in the public domain. I’d just echo what Helen says and wish ALL of the commentators well for Christmas. [The comment replies do sometimes go a bit weird as to whom you are meaning to reply to – that’s the fault of the WordPress system, not the commentators themselves)

    • This comment was in answer to ashamedtobebritish

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