WHO PROFITS FROM THE ADOPTION RACKET?
Local Authorities(stars,beacon status, and financial rewards under public service agreements .
Very highly paid “professionals” presume to “assess” the parenting skills of distraught mothers who have had their children taken into care.(around £3000 per 2-3 hour session ),”legal aid lawyers” (a case in the family courts costs an average of £70,000 per day so total legal costs of over £500,000 for one case are not unusual! ,)Therapists, psychiatrists , and counsellors who are paid around £3000 for a few hours work eagerly predict that parents might “emotionally abuse” their children at some time in the future. Tame medical experts somehow always side with social services against the parents.(They also receive around £3000 for one afternoon session plus a report)
Foster parents(up to £400per week per child plus allowances for Xmas and holidays)Special schools charging up to £7000 per week per child(as shown on tv channel 4,) Adoption and fostering agencies charging up to £18,000 per placement.
Here at last is PROOF that all concerned in “child protection” are receiving vast sums of money for work that can at best be described as “destructive” and at worst “criminal”…… There is NO conspiracy,no need for one ! Just a lot of different people all earning a lot of money in their different ways.All keen to keep on doing so and with one view in common “Don’t rock the boat !”
1: Fosterers typically £400/ week per child!
2: Special children’s homes typically £7,000/ week per child!
3: Lawyers and court costs typically £500,000 per case!
4: Experts typically £28,000 for a simple report!
5: Adoption agencies make £millions (£18,000/placement)
6: Local authorities get £millions hitting adoption targets!
Slough Borough Council
1: BALLOONS AND FAMILY FUN TO PROMOTE FOSTERING
Hundreds of balloons will be released from Slough town centre to mark a special event to launch Slough’s new fostering Allowance Scheme.
Saturday, July 2 will encourage more people to consider becoming foster parents to local children and see the launch of a new fostering allowance of £400 per week.
Between noon and 4pm, the Town Square will be bustling with activities including face painting and balloon modelling. Football fans should be sure to bring a camera as a David Beckham look-a-like will be ready to pose for photos.
Janet Tomlinson, head of education and children’s services at Slough Borough Council, will make a short speech at 1pm before the balloon release.
Team members from Slough’s Family Placement Services will be giving out fostering information including the fostering freephone number, car stickers, bookmarks, keyrings, wristbands and balloons.
Janet Tomlinson said: “Fostering offers great challenges and great rewards. Even if you’ve never thought about it before, why not come down on July 2 to find out more?”
The freephone fostering number is 0800 073 0291.
2. DISPATCHES: PROFITING FROM KIDS IN CARE
Channel 4, Thursday 25 November, 9pm
In 2004, caring for Britain’s most vulnerable children is a multi- million pound industry. Children in care cost the taxpayer over £830 million pounds a year. That’s an average of £2,500 per child, per week – more than four times what it would cost to send a child to Eton. Yet many homes are failing to provide children with even a basic standard of care.
In this programme, Dispatches goes undercover to investigate the consequences of the increased privatisation of residential children’s homes. The investigation reveals how homes are run by private businessmen charging social services departments enormous and unethical mark-ups on services – many of which aren’t even provided. Fees of £7,000 a week are not unusual yet Dispatches finds private children’s homes which are failing the children in many respects. Homes often use untrained, and sometimes unvetted, agency staff to look after some of the UK’s most at risk youngsters – many of whom have been the victims of abuse, prostitution and drugs.
The current system is failing thousands of children a year. According to a recent report, three in five kids leave care with no qualifications at all. One in five will be homeless after two years and one in three of the current prison population has previously been in care. Tragically, some don’t make it at all, with approximately 60 youngsters dying in children’s homes every year.
Information, advice and support for people who are in care, or have been in the past, can be found by checking out the following organisations and websites.
3: COUNCIL MUST PAY £500,000 FOR WRONGLY TAKING GIRL INTO CARE
Clare Dyer, legal editor
The Guardian, Friday March 17 2006
The following correction was printed in the Guardian’s Corrections and clarifications column, Thursday March 23 2006
(The headline for the article below was misleading. As the story made clear, the £500,000 was the total cost to public funds. The council was ordered to pay the parents £200,000 legal aid costs and will have to meet its own costs. The child would also have been represented and payment of those costs will be met from public funds).
A couple had their family life torn apart when social workers wrongly took their nine-year-old daughter into emergency care without good reason and kept her from her parents for 14 months, a high court judge said yesterday.
Mr Justice McFarlane castigated the social workers for “multiple failings” and criticised the family court magistrates who had granted the emergency order. The costs of the case, payable from public funds, were £500,000, including the parents’ legal aid costs of £200,000, which the judge ordered the local council to pay. The judge took the unusual step of making his judgment public after a hearing behind closed doors, although the family, the local authority and the magistrates court are all unnamed.
He laid down guidelines to prevent future miscarriages of justice which are certain to lead social services departments and magistrates courts to re-examine their practices. He said it gave him “absolutely no pleasure to have to record the multiple failings of the local authority in this case”.
But to do so was “necessary not only in order to come to a conclusion on the issues in this case, but also in order that lessons may be learned for the future”.
He said the girl’s mother had sought the help of social services and child health services because her daughter, the couple’s only child, was displaying some “modest behavioural difficulties”.
Mother and daughter had been referred to the child guidance unit for psychotherapy and the girl had been put on the local child protection register.
The notes of a social services planning meeting read: “No neglect issues. Home and care good. Mother and child have good relationship. Detrimental to move.”
But social workers suspected it was a case of Munchausen syndrome by proxy – now called fabricated or induced illness (FII) -a rare form of child abuse in which a mother or carer makes a child ill or fakes illness to get attention. At the end of a case conference on the girl in November 2004, social services received a phone call from a nurse at the local hospital.
They were told that the mother had taken the girl there with stomach pains and was asking to see a doctor after the nurse found nothing wrong. Within hours and without any information from the doctor, social workers were at the magistrates court seeking an emergency protection order allowing the girl to be taken from her parents immediately.
They acted without telling the parents and without seeking any medical opinion to try to confirm their suspicions. The girl had had medical treatment before and no doctor had suggested fabricated illness.
The council’s actions were described by the mother’s counsel as “outrageous” and “inexcusable” leading, as it did, to “the destruction of this family’s ordinary life”.
Those descriptions “do not, in my view, overstate the quality of what took place on that day”, the judge said. The social services team leader, who had no detailed knowledge of the case, made 13 assertions to the magistrates, of which every one was “misleading or incomplete or wrong”.
He ruled that the council had no case to take the girl into care and made her a ward of court “to facilitate the child’s return home”.
4: THE EXPERT AS JUDGE AND JURY
After a host of miscarriages of justice based on discredited expert witnesses, calls are growing for radical reform of their use in court, writes Lois Rogers
The Sunday Times, Nov 18 2007
Yet another woman was sent to prison last week, following expert evidence that she had shaken to death a baby in her care. Keran Henderson, a 42-year-old childminder, was said to have killed 11- month-old Maeve Sheppard, by shaking her so violently she was left blind and brain-damaged. The infant died in hospital a few days later.
The case has grim echoes of those of Sally Clark, Angela Cannings and Trupti Patel, all of whom were accused of killing their children only to be found innocent later. Clark, a solicitor, who was released from prison after serving three years, died last March as a result of psychological trauma and alcoholism caused by her ordeal.
At the Court of Appeal, two days after the judgment on Henderson, a retrial was ordered in the case of Barry George, the loner convicted of killing the television personality Jill Dando in 1999 with a single shot to the head. Expert testimony as to the significance of a particle of gunshot matter in his pocket is being challenged.
There has also been the recent conviction of the true killer of schoolgirl Lesley Molseed, 32 years after the event – and after Stefan Kiszko had served 16 years for the sexually motivated killing, even though medical evidence could have pointed out his infertility proved his innocence. Once again the review of the evidence threw a spotlight on the role of expert witnesses, whose testimony is often crucial in criminal cases but can be unreliable.
Our blind faith in scientific opinion makes us reluctant to question pronouncements by “experts”, but while the law requires everyone from plumbers to nurses to be trained, registered and checked, there is no such requirement for witnesses who may be pronouncing on matters of life and death in court.
A study by senior barrister Penny Cooper of City University in London, has shown that the majority of lawyers and judges do not bother to check the qualifications of experts they approach to bolster an aspect of their case. She also found a substantial number of the expert witnesses had undergone no training to understand their legal duty.
The disquiet this arouses has led to a clamour for legislation to require expert witnesses to be regulated. But how to do that without calling into question thousands of court decisions will not be an easy task.
There is already acute unease over the proliferation of parents convicted of causing cot deaths, shaking babies to death, or harming them by creating symptoms of fictitious illness.
Henderson, for instance, a mother of two herself, a long-term childminder and stalwart volunteer of her local Beaver Scout group, was sentenced to three years in prison for shaking baby Maeve so violently that she was left with fatal brain damage, despite the fact there was no evidence of any “grip marks” on the child, which would normally be expected to accompany such an action.
Her husband, a former police officer, has said she will appeal and hopes to create a campaign similar to that run by Sally Clark’s family, to try to prove his wife’s innocence.
Many character witnesses spoke up for Henderson in court and the family has dozens of supporters in their home village of Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire.
Some even believe her prosecution was only pursued because of the successful appeal by Roy Meadow, the expert paediatrician whose evidence led to the conviction of Sally Clark.
Following the Clark case, in which Meadow quoted a completely erroneous statistic suggesting the chances of Clark’s babies having died naturally were one in 73m, he was struck off by the General Medical Council (GMC) for misconduct. The Court of Appeal agreed he had acted in good faith.
In the meantime, Alan Williams, the Home Office pathologist who conducted post-mortems on Clark’s two infant sons, was less lucky. His appeal against a GMC finding of serious professional misconduct was rejected. Williams was accused of tailoring his diagnoses of the nature of the babies’ deaths to fit the police case against Clark.
The GMC is currently hearing a claim of gross professional misconduct against paediatrician Dr David Southall. The council has received evidence alleging that Southall falsified his curriculum vitae.
Southall’s evidence has figured highly in at least 50 criminal cases and possibly hundreds of family court cases held in secret, which have led to children being removed from their parents.
Questions of how frequently babies really are shaken to death, and indeed if it is possible to do so, have divided medical opinion for some years. There have, however, been up to 200 convictions annually for related forms of violence against babies and young children.
After Clark, Cannings and Patel, another bizarre case was overturned. Ian and Angela Gay, who had been convicted of poisoning their three-year-old adopted son with salt, were cleared when it was revealed the boy was suffering from a rare, and fatal, congenital abnormality.
Recently, the attorney-general ordered a review of almost 300 criminal convictions and 30,000 family court proceedings where children were taken into care. Only four were referred to the Court of Appeal. This, according to critics, was a function of the way the review was done, with authorities being asked to review their own decisions.
Social workers say the crusade to root out dangerous adults is to some extent a reaction to a previous era of regular criticism of their profession when children were left to die at the hands of their parents. Although some acknowledge the pendulum may now have swung too far, others are furious: “Do people think we spend all our time trying to break up families for no good reason?” said John Coughlan, a joint-president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services. “In comparison with the volume of cases, the number of errors is tiny. We never rely on expert witnesses alone.”
Others argue that the opinion of expert witnesses is often the decisive factor. And as we have seen most recently with Barry George, it is not just child murder cases that have turned on such evidence.
Last year the Home Office took the unprecedented step of holding a disciplinary tribunal against Michael Heath, one of its most senior forensic pathologists: 20 charges against him were upheld. One man was subsequently cleared of murder, and numerous other convictions have been called into question.
A spate of other convictions came from evidence supplied by Paula Lannas, another Home Office forensic specialist who was the subject of a long-delayed disciplinary hearing that collapsed because those investigating her said they had a conflict of interest. Not only has Lannas been deprived of an opportunity to clear her name, but dozens of prisoners who claim they were victims of her errors have been unable to get the evidence reviewed.
Police forensic scientist Peter Ablett, who is now chief executive of the Council for the Registration of Forensic Practitioners, points out there are only three ways to prove a crime: a reliable eyewitness, a confession, or forensics. The advent of DNA technology and other advances in recent years has brought increasing reliance on forensics, yet only about 3,000 of the estimated 8,000 expert witnesses operating are members of the council and signed up to its code of practice.
He said many of those who are not are unaware that their duty is to give impartial evidence to the court, not to bolster the case of their paymaster.
City University’s Cooper, who is also a governor of the Expert Witness Institute, was concerned to discover during her research that not only have one in five experts undergone no training to understand this duty, but one in 10 was so arrogant they said they saw no need for it. “There should be a requirement for them to be trained, and there should be rules requiring judges and lawyers to consider their credentials before accepting them as expert witnesses,” she said.
Such a provision cannot come soon enough.
A review is still going on of 700 cases in which bogus forensic scientist Gene Morrison gave evidence. Morrison, 48, from Manchester who was sentenced to five years for fraud in February, admitted he pretended to be an expert witness and bought his qualifications on the internet because it “seemed easier” than getting real ones.
For many of the genuinely qualified experts, legal work isa lucrative sideline, and if they are perceived to be able to “tailor” their evidence convincingly, the commissions keep flowing in. John Hemming, a Liberal Democrat MP campaigning about the misuse of medical evidence, says fees for a basic written opinion, based on reading through existing files, start at £4,000. If the expert concludes there is a case to answer, they attract court attendance fees as well.
“I have known experts get as much as £28,000 for one report,” said Hemming, who is lobbying for experts to be required to produce the scientific publications on which their opinion is based: “Unless we start using evidence-based evidence in court, we will get nowhere.”
It is too easy for “hired gun” medical types working regularly with social workers to declare perfectly sane persons to lack capacity The Caesarean case,the 94 year old retired midwife, and a highly skilled compliance officer for a major bank are three cases that come to mind ! In the first case the victim was not allowed to prove capacity by calling on private medical help,in the second case the judge disbelieved the highly qualified psychologist who said the retired midwife had capacity so her life savings of £60,000 were squandered to pay the legal parasite called the “official solicitor” who as usual disagreed with his client and agreed instead in court with the social workers ! Sarah ,earning £550:day as a compliance officer met her barrister for the first time and her first words were that, based on a psychiatrists report and social workers notes Sarah had no capacity and would be represented on Monday by the official solicitor with no opportunity for her to testify ! Luckily I managed to arrange for a top psychologist to see Sarah on Sunday and he certified after testing that Sarah had perfect capacity to conduct her own case on the following day !The judge was furious and called the expert to come to court on the Tuesday . Unable to shake his opinion the judge decided that Sarah should pay £3000 for the experts visit to the court which he (the judge) had ordered !
Clearly anyone accused of lacking capacity should be permitted to call for an outside opinion and should also be allowed on request to testify in court to openly show their capacity to choose and instruct their own solicitor !
At the moment there are too many perfectly sane victims being legally robbed by the courts and the lawyers of their savings and even selling their houses to pay dodgy nursing homes ,on totally false decisions of lack of capacity . The remedies as outlined are simple !
5: FIRMS CASH IN ON SHORTAGE OF FOSTER HOMES
Published: Sunday, 2 October, 2005, Evening Standard.
LONDON: Private agencies are making millions of pounds out of a critical shortage of foster homes for children. Firms are charging councils on average £800 per child per week, an EVENING STANDARD investigation revealed.
This amounts to £41,600 a year to find suitable homes for the most vulnerable children in society.
One head of social services said: “It is cheaper to send the children to Eton.”
London councils are so desperate to hold on to their foster parents that two are offering them free loft conversions – worth up to £30,000 – so they can take in more children. Britain’s largest independent agency Foster Care Associates had a £56mn turnover in 2003, the last year for which accounts are available.
Its eight directors – seven of them social workers who set up the company 10 years ago – paid themselves total fees of more than £2.2mn as well as sharing pre-tax profits of almost £900,000.
The directors awarded themselves on average £285,000 each – about 10 times the annual salary of a social worker.
There is an estimated shortage of 10,000 foster carers across the UK. This has driven up the prices charged by the 150 or so independent agencies.
It costs councils between £300 and £400 a week to place children with their own approved foster carers but they cannot meet the demand and have to turn to outside agencies. More difficult children can cost as much as £1,500 per week to place in foster homes.
The problem is especially acute in London, where out of 11,500 fostered children up to one-third are found homes through independent agencies. Many of them are ‘dumped’ in outlying towns around the capital. A total of 60,000 children are fostered nationally.
A spokesman at the department for education said: “We know there are too many children being placed outside of authorities. We commissioned a report last year looking at how we can reduce that number.”
Out of the 11,500 fostered children in London, half of them are teenagers, about 3,000 aged eight to 12 and 2,500 aged under eight.
Children are typically being sent from London boroughs to Kent, miles from their schools and friends. Some 330 problem children from London are being fostered in the Margate area.
This has prompted the Kent child protection committee to compile a report, sent to ministers, warning the town is now at a ‘tipping point’ and branding the situation ‘explosive’.
Paul Fallon, director of social services at Barnet council and spokesman for all London’s social services directors, said: “Every penny we spend on one child is a penny we can’t spend on another child. If I place a child with Barnet it is £400. But it costs me about double that to place a child in an independent placement.
“It is a sellers’ market and that will impact on prices. We are stuck. It is cheaper to send children to Eton.”
He estimated that in Barnet about 30 to 40 children – about 10% of the number needing foster care – are unaccompanied child refugees. They have helped to swell numbers of children needing placements, putting added pressure on social services.
A spokeswoman for Richmond council, where private places at £900 cost three times as much as council places, said: “In emergencies we will negotiate with another borough for a temporary foster place, but that’s very rare.”
The crisis has prompted Barnet council and Hammersmith and Fulham to offer grants of up to £30,000 to foster parents to build loft conversions to house more children. A spokeswoman for Hammersmith and Fulham said the outlay would pay itself back within one to two years even if it creates just one extra fostering place.
Defenders of private agencies point out councils often do not factor hidden staffing costs – such as administration and on-call social workers – into their weekly fees. Private agencies also point out they are often called upon to find placements for the most difficult children. They point out they also provide round-the-clock social worker support as well as educational support and therapy. Not all agencies are profit-making with fostering services carried out by charities such as Barnardo’s and NCH.
Marcelle Ibbetson, service development manager at NCH, which also typically charges £800 a week, said: “We don’t think local authorities have properly costed the real cost of foster care. Their behind the scenes costs are hidden. What we provide is private placements at the specialist end of the market.”
None of the directors of Foster Care Associates was available for comment. But in an interview last year Sally Melbourne, FCA’s director for the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire region, said: “The majority of the fee we charge local authorities goes to the carer and on the welfare of the child. We are a business but we make very little profit, last year we made 5% profit.”
A spokesman for the company added: “The company specialises in children that are difficult to place. That is not necessarily behaviourally difficult children but it could be kids with five siblings that need to be kept together or from the ethnic minorities that needs to be placed in their own community. We offer a complete support structure including therapy and education, which is why the costing may look more expensive.” – LONDON – EVENING STANDARD.
6: Written Parliamentary answers
So many times have the “SS” denied the existence of adoption targets it is worth repeating again that they did exist and that local authorities greatly profited from them !
Monday, 3 September 2007
Children, Schools and Families
Adoption: StandardsAll Written Answers on 3 Sep 2007
Tim Loughton MP (East Worthing & Shoreham, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families which local authorities have received payments from central Government for achieving adoption target levels; and how much each received in each of the last three years.
John Healey (Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government)
I have been asked to reply.
30 local authorities have been rewarded for successfully achieving adoption targets in their local public service agreements (LPSA). The better outcomes and amount of ‘performance reward grant’ (PRG) each has received over the three years 2004/05 to 2006/07 in relation to their performance in these targets is set out in the following table. In addition, 13 local authorities did not achieve the adoption targets in their local PSA and hence received no PRG for this target. One local authority is still to make a claim
Local PSAs—which are negotiated between local authorities and central Government policy departments, facilitated by the DCLG—have helped to incentivise local authorities and partners to provide better public services to their citizens around priorities for improvement locally. Evaluation shows they have been successful in doing this, with real benefits in improved outcomes for local people and communities.
Local PSA adoption and placement targets: payments made to date under local PSAs
Local authority Amount of ‘reward grant’ paid (£)
Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council 210,173.00
Blackburn with Darwen 307,367.00
Bristol City Council 307,512.00
Buckinghamshire County Council 526,958.00
Bromley (LB) 499,440.00
Camden (LB) 318,916.50
Cheshire County Council 685,134.00
Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council 578,333.00
Durham County Council 502,675.00
Enfield (LB) 244,963.00
Essex County Council 2,469,200.00
Gloucestershire County Council 612,209.00
Greenwich (LB) 580,996.00
Halton Borough Council 153,938.00
Hounslow (LB) 165,019.00
Kensington and Chelsea (LB) 339,117.00
Kent County Council 2,156,583.00
Lewisham (LB) 602,854.00
Liverpool City Council 347,404.00
Luton Borough Council 400,027.00
Manchester City Council 984,877.00
Merton Borough Council 358,708.00
Northamptonshire County Council 1,119,115.00
Sheffield City Council 1,025,000.00
Southwark (LB) 435,242.00
St. Helens Metropolitan Borough Council 83,845.00
Wandsworth (LB) 387,627.00
Warwickshire County Council 231,061.00
York City Council 203,620.00
Back to Barristers ‘exploiting misery’ as fees in family law cases rise 25% in 5 years
Daily Mail Online June 19th 2008
Barristers have been making millions of extra pounds from the misery of families and children caught up in the family courts, according to new figures released by ministers yesterday.
Fees paid out of taxpayer-funded legal aid to barristers in family court cases have gone up by almost a third in five years and have now reached nearly £100million a year, they showed.
And there have been big increases in claims by barristers for obscure special payments that provide ‘uplift’ and ‘bolt-ons’ to their basic charges.
Jack Straw’s Ministry of Justice lifted a corner of the blanket of official secrecy that surrounds the family courts to disclose that barristers who appear in them can claim bonuses including bizarre ‘court bundle payments’.
These give barristers extra money if there are more than 176 pages to their court papers and extra still if there are over 350 pages. Yet another court bundle payment is paid if a barrister carries over 700 pages of papers.
Court bundle payments alone meant taxpayers were charged an extra £8.6million by barristers last year.
The Times on line
June 19th 2008
The Bar Council, which represents nearly 15,000 barristers in England and Wales, will announce its proposals in a paper before an all-party meeting of MPs tomorrow. Meanwhile, the Legal Services Commission, which runs the legal aid scheme, has just released figures to show how much barristers are earning from legal aid work.
Crispin Passmore, the commission’s policy director for civil legal aid, said that the sum spent on barristers’ fees since 2003-04 had risen from £71 million to nearly £100 million.
The number of barristers earning more than £100,000 from family legal aid work had gone up by 14 per cent in the 12 months between mid2005 and mid2006, he added.
“The average annual earnings from family legal aid work is £140,000 – and that doesn’t include any privately paid work they might do. So we are not talking about the minimum wage.”
Do we get value for money? Well this is what the BBC had to say!
Can children in care avoid prison?
Wednesday 15th MAY 2002
David Akinsanya was raised by the state and in a special BBC Two documentary he asks why so many kids leaving the care system end up in prison.
Government statistics show that 49 per cent of children in care go straight to prison. With 56,000 children in the British care system today, that means 28,000 are set to receive custodial sentences.
David Akinsanya believes the problem lies with the care system itself.
He says the care system is inflexible and does not offer appropriate care to young people.
Research found that 42 per cent of young prostitutes had been in care at some point
The “INDEPENDENT” 14 December 2006
The Government’s own research highlights how the care system is not simply a negligent parent but at times probably more dangerous than the family from which some children have been taken. A study commissioned by the Home Office has looked at the link between hard drug use, sex work and various vulnerability factors. The results are astonishing, if not heartbreaking.
Less than 1 per cent of the child population is looked after by the state, but the research found that 42 per cent of young women prostitutes interviewed had been in care at some point in their lives. “This is an extraordinary figure, which demonstrates that looked after children are very vulnerable to involvement in drug use and sexual abuse through prostitution,” the report concluded.
2 children in care die of neglect each week
The People, 22 June 2008 By David Collins
Children placed in care are three times more likely to die than others, a shock report has revealed.
In one year, 16 in 10,000 vulnerable youngsters died in care. The national death rate for children was five in every 10,000.
The study by the Department for Children, Schools and Families showed that 800 youngsters have died in care over the last ten years – an average of two a week.
Malnutrition and diseases were the main causes of death.
Last year 12,000 kids in care had no immunisations, 9,600 had no health check ups and 8,400 never saw a dentist.
By law children should get checks within two weeks of going into care. In some local authority areas, less than 50 per cent do.
A Children and Young Persons Bill, which should improve matters, goes before MPs tomorrow.
Tim Loughton, Shadow Minister for Children, said: “Despite the efforts of beleaguered social workers, the system is failing.”
Extract from the Telegraph:-
Official figures show that only six per cent of the 60,000 children in care gain five or more A* to C GCSEs and more than a third are not entered for a single GCSE.
Conviction rates for young people in care are three times the rate for other juveniles. One in four girls leaving care is pregnant or already a mother. A recent case which caused outrage involved a 12-year-old living in a children’s home in Blackburn who became pregnant while working as a prostitute.
WHY ,WHY,WHY, when social workers and worse still judges decide healthy happy children are “at risk” from their own parents do they not compare that risk with the horrific risks children run when put into the care system?
Leaving school with no qualifications,ending up in prison, or working as prostitutes (often pregnant from unknown fathers),or worse still dying violently either in care or soon after leaving it !
Even if they survive all the above horrors and settle down to form a new family with a loving and attentive partner the “SS” will rarely leave them alone !
Time and again the fact that the mother has been brought up in care is taken as proof that she is not capable of looking after her own children ! The unfortunate mother is usually put into an assessment process and more often than not ends up losing her children to adoption by strangers!In other words children are removed from parents deemed unsuitable by “experts” and then themselves deemed unsuitable to raise their own children such is the appalling standard of care inflicted on children hoping one day to be parents by an unfeeling state !
Dismal outcomes are the norm despite the £2.5 billion a year spent looking after them. It costs £100,000 a year to keep a child in a children’s home, more than four times the fees at top private schools such as Eton or Winchester.
Fostering can cost up to £30,000 a year, compared with the £7,500 a year that state boarding schools charge parents for accommodation, with the £5,000 cost of education covered by the local authorities.
Harriet Harman (Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs) Link to this | Hansard source My hon. Friend raises an extremely important point, which she has put to me in a written question, so I know what the answer is. Last year something like 200 people were sent to prison by the family courts, which happens in complete privacy and secrecy. The idea that people are sent to prison without any reports of the proceedings makes even more important the work that we are undertaking with the family courts, and with the important intervention of the Constitutional Affairs Committee, to open them up so that they act in the public interest while maintaining personal privacy.
Only in the SECRET family courts are punishments (losing their children to long term fostercare or worse still adoption by strangers) imposed on persons (parents) who have neither committed a crime nor even been accused of committing any crime! THERE IS NO OTHER CASE IN UK LAW WHERE THIS CAN HAPPEN!
From: Kira Verry
Sent: Thursday, August 07, 2014 3:31 AM
Subject: thanks Ian
I hope that this will be useful for your forced-adoption website. I hope to make an info leaflet for people seeking help in Ireland and will give copies to you, FASSIT, FASO and John Hemming. I cannot believe this continues to be happening
The Great Escape
by Kira Verry
(all names have been changed for the ongoing protection of my children and their anonymity in their new lives)
Until 2009 I never had any dealings with Social Services in the UK, which is surprising as life hadn’t been easy. I was born deaf and lost my brother at a young age. My children’s father and I married in our teens and due to the ineptitude of Medway Council were rehoused several times due to a combination of ruthless landlords and poor social housing. We separated in 2006 and I was diagnosed with Bipolar and Epilepsy. We had had five children, but one died of Spina Bifida. I went on to have another child, but the father abandoned us long before the child’s birth.
I entered into a new relationship in 2009 and social services immediatley became involved and I did not know why. Initially they blamed the bipolar, but that had been diagnosed several years before and was controlled by medication. They then blamed wear and tear on my sofas, which is to be expected when one has five children playing. Eventually I learned the truth and that was that the new partner’s family had abused him, social workers knew this but did not intervene.
I took my then partner Ralph to a police station outswide of the local area and the father was arrested and later sentenced for abuse. The Grandfather however was not and when I questionned this I was taken into the local police station and without legal representation or anyone else present was told that should I mention the Grandfather again I would be arrested on false charges and they would ensure I would go to prison for a minimum of five years. I could not believe it, it was like something from a movie!!! Shortly after a good friend took me aside and informed me that the Grandfather was a freemason and that for my safety I should leave it alone.
At the same time I was representing Ralph in his CICA claim for compensation and using the Freedom of Information act retrieved historical documents including a number of Social Services and CAMHS reports that stated SS were aware that he was being abused.
Shortly after I received a visit from two social workers on separate occassions reiterating what the police had said about testifying against the Grandfather. At one meeting I naively told the SW what I had read in the report, she asked for the name of the author and it was a colleague of hers. Her tone changed and she told me that if I did not hand over the report she would be ‘forced’ to investigate or remove my children.
I confided in my mum, but matters escalated police documents altered and the school had an ex-social worker acting as a home-school contact, a colleague of our SW. She started to make all sorts of bizarre and unproven allegations that I was injuring my children. My youngest had what I can only describe as a pin prick wound on his hand so slight it was barely visible. The home-school contact instantly called my SW claiming my son was abused. I took him to an independent Doctor who wrote a report stating there was no sign of abuse at all.
In addition to police and SW threats Ralph’s abusive family had been making threats. I reported this thinking I was doing the right thing, but instead of addressing the real concern the SW attempted to steal my children from school. Fortunately my mum was collecting them and absolutely refused to allow her near them and refused to co-operate. The SW carried out an illegal search of my home without just cause or more importantly a warrant going through cupboards, draws and my private paperwork. The SW insisted on visiting again and interviewing the children ALONE.
My eldest two watched as she recorded lie after lie including the disgusting suggestion that my two sons were engaging in inappropriate behaviour with one another. My eldest son was devasted and at this point the SW was behaving in such an aggressive manner and suggesting such sick things that I knew there was a problem.
I felt gutted that the system had let my partner down in terms of justice and were now using my children to hide their failures. I contacted FASO and Ian Josef who advised I should move to Ireland. I had no idea what I would do once in Ireland, but spoke to my mum and arranged a house in Mayo through daft.ie. I had contacted families on the Forced-Adoption web-site and they advised me that the North-Western counties were the most supportive. I spoke openly with the children and mum and we decided to avoid detection that we would leave overnight on a Thursday on the Liverpool to Belfast ferry.
Due to the landlord not having set-up the electric we waited in a holiday cottage for a week before moving in. At this point it was 2012, SS had been in our lives since 2009 and after going through Ralph’s father’s trial and all of the other strains we both decided to separate. The damage to our relationship done by the system, but agreed to stay friends. Ralph returned to England.
I contacted the local SW department in Ireland, attended Mayococo and registered for our PPS numbers, I put the children in schools and registered with the local Doctor.
When the Irish SW visited I told her everything and at first she was dubious, but as time progressed she realised that SW and police in the UK had lied and were THE real threat.
In the first instance she made contact with UK SS and was told that they had no intention of removing the children and had only planned a child protection conference and assured Irish SS that is they were to persuade us to return to the UK there would be no problem.
I told our SW that we would not be going back and that I did not trust them. Then they showed their true colours. Initially they stated that their concerns were with Ralph, but as he was not in the picture it was up to them to come up with something a little more incriminating against me. An urgent letter was sent to my Irish SW to say that I had assaulted two people in the UK (untrue) and that I was in the middle of a bipolar breakdown (also untrue).
The Irish SW contacted the UK SS and stated that they wanted proof that I had assaulted two people. The Irish SW wrote back with the police who had threatened me and together wrote a fairytale of allegations, so the Irish SS wrote back and stated again this is allegation show me the evidence even if its the victim testimony. There was no evidence to be had.
In the meantime I visited my new GP. Irish SW had told him my history and he said to me you are a brave lady testifying against the real abusers, you’re a hero and you don’t deserve what you have been through. He also went through my medications and mental health and confirmed that I was perfectly stable and reasonable.
The information was returned to the UK SS who again replied that my eldest son was failing in school. I assured the SS in Ireland that this was a lie and when his GCSE results were sent (via my mum) his straight As supported what I had said.
The schools in Ireland assessed the children as UK SS accused me of emotionally neglecting them and again the reports came back thoroughly positive. At this point the Irish SW including the senior SW and chair felt that there was no problem and that the problem lay with the UK SS who were now being spiteful and unco-operative.
UK SS also told Irish SS that I was unstable due to the number of house moves that we had had, but I was able to show through old letters and tenancies that it was actually the council moving us against our wishes and that I had fought against these moves because I wanted to stay in one place!!!!
This continued for 12 months easily and the final information from the UK SS was that the children’s dad was underage when we had our eldest. I immediatley said to Irish SW not only is that untrue, but you can prove its untrue by checking birth certs. The SW went off and returned twenty minutes later stating that I was again telling the truth.
Irish SW did not act to take the children away at all in fact they went out of their way to help us as a family. We were referred to community welfare and St Vincent De Paul to help settle in and furnish the house. My mum visited too and co-operated with Irish SW in getting my belongings shipped out. We had support from our Parish Priest and GP and soon found ourselves intergrating in the local community, a rural parish by a beautiful coastline. We made so many friends and the locals did all they could for us.
I started seeing a neighbour Martin. He helped us settle in showing us how to dig turf from the bog, build a fire, erect a chicken run for eggs, helped decorate and introduced us to everyone locally and in the next two parishes. My SW met him and found him a good stable choice, particularly as the children accepted him and were able to freely talk about how settled the whole family is.
The case was closed with no concerns and a very supportive chair who understood that I was only doing what was just and right for an abuse victim. I realise now that by standing up to someone with connections in high places I was vulnerable to SS and Police abuses of power, I also realise looking back that my youngest son and daughter would have made good candidates for the adoption market and feel that these two factors encouraged Medway SS to act illegally, immorally and spitefully.
I am eternally grateful to Ian Josef as our family have an excellent and peaceful life here and if I can do anything to help anyone thinking of coming to Ireland I will do so. I would like to write a guide that may help and submit it as it may be of some benefit.
Thankyou again to Ian, please continue the excellent work that you do.