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To contact Ian Josephs about forced adoption, secret family courts, British Social Services or social workers or any related issues please use the details on this page.

Ian Josephs
(Free Legal Advice)
Monaco
ian@monaco.mc

TEL:-0033-607939352

IF you ring me from a any phone (even a mobile!) and you give me the number I will ring you straight back at my expense !

If you have no phone at home any public phone box will do.

Report for the UN Special Rapporteur on the sale of children in the UK;

 

The logical way to present this report is ,I believe to set out in turn (a)What is wrong with “child protection” and the family courts in the UK (b),How and why things went wrong and continue to do do,and (c)What legislation is needed to put matters right.

The basic flaws in the way the UK deals with “children deemed in need” are as follows:-

1:- Children are taken from parents and taken into State Care for “risks”  of harm that may never happen .Babies are taken at birth from law abiding mothers because social workers backed up by family court judges rule that they are at risk of future emotional harm.This conclusion is reached in general because parents are said to be in a violent relationship (even when this was verbal not physical)and even if the parents split up as there is often said to be a risk that the mother might find a new violent partner;

Other reasons are that a parent mght have mild learning difficulties,or that they did not engage properly with “professionals”,or had been abused in childhood ,or a parent that had been raped,and thus “traumatized” ,or had been brought up in care of the state and therefore had no experience of parenting,had a previous child or children removed many years before, had previous problems with alcohol or drugs despite being proved “clean for two years or more, or a parent is diagnosed with a” borderline personality disorder” or” narcissistic traits”, by a psychologist( who often makes a living by exclusively reporting to the court).Probably however  the next  most common reason for removal  after “risk” is an unexplained injury .Just one unexplained cut,bruise,or metapheasal fracture without a previous record of injuries can result in removal to fostercare and eventual forced adoption.

All these reasons are uncommon and often completely unknown to other E.U members especially Latin countries such as France,Italy, and Spain.

New figures released under Freedom of Information laws show that more than 4,000 child protection plans – which are automatically implemented for those registered as at risk – were initiated last year in England for babies still in the womb, which represents a 13 per cent increase over two years.

The figure for the UK as a whole is likely to be nearer 5,000, and hundreds of babies are being taken into care each year within days of birth.

Statistics  that show how much it all costs and how thousands of children run away from wonderful State Care (usually back to their parents !).The parliamentary briefing clearly states “Using the data collected and approach adopted this year we estimate that the average cost of residential care provision per child per week is around £2,900   !!!

 

2:-Why has this happened in the UK ? Well the concept of risk was introduced in the Children Act 1989 .

Child likely to suffer significant harm

  1. 31 of the Children Act 1989 sets out the legal basis on which a family Court can make a Care or Supervision Order to a designated LA in respect of a particular child. This is:

1) That the child must be suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm. 2) And that the harm or likelihood of harm must be attributable to one of the following:

  1. The care given to the child, or likely to be given if the order were not made, not being what it would be reasonable to expect a parent to give; or b. The child being beyond parental control.

If the LA can demonstrate evidence (on a balance of probabilities) that the threshold criteria have been met, the Court will then go on to consider whether making a Care or Supervision Order would be in the child’s best interests. Whether a child is likely or not to suffer harm will also form part of the criteria for the initiation of a S.47 investigation but may be an actual lower threshold than the test applied by the Court. Thresholds of harm for a S.47 investigation are likely to be defined by the local LSCB or local practice in a LA area.

It is almost impossible for parents to defend themselves against predictions made by court appointed experts .Also of course the courts are biased against parents whose children have been removed.

  • JUDICIAL COURT STATISTICS (page 26)

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

Lord Justice Thorpe said” There is nothing more serious than a removal hearing, because the parents are so prejudiced in proceedings thereafter.”

Another sad result has been the interpretation by UK judges of Article 8 E.C.H.R where it States that “all have the right to a private life undisturbed by public authority” (clearly drafted to protect the family from the State) .UK judges however interpret this to protect the State from angry parents by deciding that any parents protesting publicly when their children are taken and identifying themselves and/or their children should be jailed  for breaching the privacy of the babies or young children ! Harriet Harmen when home secretary estimated about 200 parents per year jailed annually for such offences .

Maggie Mellon, British Association of Social workers; Vice Chair  says:-

http://www.communitycare.co.uk/2016/02/19/parents

“I believe that suspicion of parents and of families has become corrosive, and is distorting the values of our profession.

For the last 20 plus years the number of investigations or assessments into families suspected of child abuse has climbed steadily upwards and now accounts for one in 20 families in England and Wales !!!

A recent analysis found that since the Children Act 1989 referrals have increased by 311%, from 160,000 per year to 657,800 per year, between 1991 and 2014.

Assessments have increased by 302% over the same period, from 120,000 to 483,800, while the number of cases of ‘core abuse’ have fallen. The figures show that the ratio of referrals to registrations have fallen year on year from 24.1% to 7.3%.

England: 2011 – 2015   NSPCC STATISTICS

Children and young people who were the subject of a Child Protection Plan (CPP)

by category of abuse at 31 March.

Category of abuse 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Neglect 18,600 18,220 17,930 20,970 22,230

Physical abuse 4,800 4,690 4,670 4,760 4,350  = 9.3% reduction since 2011 !

Sexual abuse 2,400 2,220 2,030 2,210 2,340 =  2%reduction since 2011 !

Emotional abuse 11,400 12,330 13,640 15,860 16,660  =46% increase since 2011 !!!

Multiple 5,500 5,390 4,870 4,500 4,110

Total 42,700 42,850 43,140 48,300 49,690

So baby P caused a  social workers to concentrate not on physical abuse but  emotional abuse (risk of?).Not the picture usually painted

 

  1. Children Homes data pack 2014 – Gov.uk

 Using the data collected and approach adopted this year we estimate that the average cost of residential care provision per child per week is around £2,900 !!

1.www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/sn04470.pdf  = VERY COMPREHENSIVE STATISTICS COMPILED FOR THE PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY

2.Children Homes data pack 2014 – Gov.uk

3.Child protection register statistics: England: 2011 – 2015 – nspcc

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/…/childprotection-register-statistics-engl…

 

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-35064228

4.Explanation of stats above is that approx 5000 children go missing from care but on average each child runs away (very often back to parents) at least 3 times hence 17,000 reports of missing children !

5.http://www.communitycare.co.uk/2016/02/19/parents   (maggie mellon vice chair british association of social workers)

6.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35088794 Record numbers of UK babies taken at birth !!

7.Follow the dollar” as they say in New York and there you will usually find the answer ! Only one in 400 care applications is refused by the courts (judicial statistics) Ever Wonder why?1:- Thousands of worthy citizens such as ,social workers,barristers,solicitors,,court appointed experts,judges,cafcass types,fosterers,directors of charities (Barnardos?) and adoption and fostering agencies,directors and owners of special schools,and care homes providing “secure accommodation” etc etc all make a very good living out of it all . The more kids in care the more cash there is to be shared around ! No conspiracies necessary ;just “Birds of a Feather flock together” ! (rather like our MPs fiddling their expenses) All bureaucracies grow as fast as they are permitted to do so and the care system is positively encouraged to expand by its eager participants ! Social workers have scorecards to show who can achieve adoptions (mostly forced) in the least possible time !2:-Fostering and adoption agencies make millions in profits as for example the “National fostering and adoption agency” founded by two social workers and then sold on to a highly commercial company for $130,million +! Since then I believe it has been resold again at a huge second profit !3:-Care homes,special schools and similar enterprises charge Councils three or four times the cost of sending Prince Harry to Eton but offer none of the facilities or expertise found at Eton and similar schools so profits in these awful abuse ridden dumps are often enormous !Why should local authorities seek to take more children into care when it costs them so much money? That is a question often posed by social workers on the defensive. Well since when did civil servants care how much money they spend if they benefit as individuals with high salaries, all at the taxpayers expense,?Sadly the numbers of kids in care will increase until the public concience is aroused (as it was to abolish slavery,and later kids working in mines and up chimneys); Stop punishment without crime,abolish gagging orders, and bring back” free speech” so that parents and children can say what they like to press and public and to each other without being labelled as criminals for doing so. This will come about some day but meanwhile children and parents needlessly suffer.

If there is no physical or sexual violence involved wouldn’t it be better spending some of this money helping law abiding parents to keep their children at home? 

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 children go ‘missing’ from care 17,000 times

o    10 December 2015

o    From the section England

Image copyright Thinkstock

Image caption There was a 2% increase in the number of children in foster care in 2014-15

Foster children went missing from care in England more than 17,000 times in a year according to new figures.

Ofsted revealed 5,060 children were reported as having gone missing while living with foster carers in 2014-15, compared with 4,245 the year before.

But the total number of instances of children going missing rose from 13,300 to 17,175.

Ofsted said the numbers were “an issue of concern” but believed better recording may in part explain the rise.

The South East and London reported the highest percentages of children going missing, 6% and 5% respectively, which “may be linked to the disappearance of children thought to be trafficked into the UK and removed from foster care”.

Kent County Council, one of the largest local authorities, reported the biggest number of instances of missing children, 792, in 2014-15.

In England 155 children went missing from foster care for more than 28 days over the year, while 545 were missing for at least a week.

A further 1,845 were missing from one to six days and 2,515 were missing for less than 24 hours.

  • Child protection dominates work Maggie Mellon ‘vice chair British Asociation of social workers) continues:-

 

Assessments will have been carried out mainly by social workers. For social workers in statutory children and family teams there is no doubt that ‘child protection’ dominates every aspect of their work. Despite there being no significant rise in the number of children who die as a result of parental abuse or neglect, risk of abuse is assumed to be high.

What does this say about how social workers view parents and families? And, just as importantly, what must it tell us about how parents view contact with social services? I believe that the evidence is mounting of mutual distrust and fear

  • “The policy imperative towards more and quicker forced adoption means we may well look back at this period in horror as we do now to the forcible removal of thousands of children to Australia in the 1930s, forties and fifties without their parents’ knowledge and consent.  That was done because it was felt it was the right thing but now we think how on earth could we possibly have done that ….”

Councillor Roy Perry, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said: “Councils work hard to ensure children are settled with Foster

Foster care and adoptions have become a lucrative business. Whether it should be a business at all is another question.

Click on the relevant link below to go straight to a particular company:

Foster Care Associates; National Fostering Agency, The Foster Care Agency; Acorn Care and Education, Fostering Solutions, Pathway Care Fostering and Heath Farm Fostering; Partnerships in Children’s Services, Orange Grove, ISP, Fosterplus and Clifford House; Swiis Foster Care; Capstone Foster Care; Compass Fostering, The Fostering Partnership, Eden Foster Care and Seafields Fostering; Caretech

Foster Care Associates

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

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

__£590/week per child to fosterers ! Nice work if you can get three at a time!

  • page !

Foster care and Adoptions have become  lucrative business. Whether they should be  businesses at all is another question.

Click on the relevant link below to go straight to a particular company:

Foster Care Associates; National Fostering Agency, The Foster Care Agency; Acorn Care and Education, Fostering Solutions, Pathway Care Fostering and Heath Farm Fostering; Partnerships in Children’s Services, Orange Grove, ISP, Fosterplus and Clifford House; Swiis Foster Care; Capstone Foster Care; Compass Fostering, The Fostering Partnership, Eden Foster Care and Seafields Fostering; Caretech

https://corporatewatch.org/news/2015/dec/15/foster-care-business

Foster Care Associates

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

 

National Fostering Agency (includes the Foster Care Agency)

Owned by: Stirling Square Capital Partners (previously Graphite Capital until April 2015)

Income from foster care in 2014*: £94.5m

Payouts to owners in 2014: £14.4m to Graphite Capital

Highest paid director’s salary and other benefits: £318,112

.

Acorn Care and Education (includes Fostering Solutions, Pathway Care Fostering and Heath Farm Fostering)

Owned by: Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan

Income from foster care in 2014*: £73.1m

Payouts to owners: £13m accrued in 2014

Highest paid director’s salary and other benefits: £266,420

back.

Partnerships in Children’s Services (includes Orange Grove, ISP, Fosterplus and Clifford House)

Owned by: Sovereign Capital

Income from foster care in 2014*: £29.8m

Payouts to owners in 2014: £1.9m

Highest paid director’s salary and other benefits: not shown in accounts

we have not heard back.

Swiis Foster Care

Owned by: Dev Dadral and family

Income from foster care in 2014: £29.4m

Payouts to owners in 2014: £1.5m (from the wider Swiis group, see below)

Highest paid director’s salary and other benefits: £169,000

Capstone Foster Care

Owned by: Different individuals and companies (see below)

Income from foster care in 2015: £21.1m

Payouts to owners in 2015: £406,000

Highest paid director’s salary and other benefits: £185,000

 

Compass Fostering (includes The Fostering Partnership, Eden Foster Care and Seafields Fostering)

Owned by: August Equity

Income from foster care in 2015: £25.9m

Payouts to owners in 2015: £3.1m accrued

Highest paid director’s salary and other benefits: £131,000

caretech

Owners: shares are publicly-listed – Farouq and Haroon Sheikh biggest shareholders with 20%

Income from foster care in 2014: £12m

Payouts to owners in 2014: £240,000 in 2014

Highest paid director’s salary and other benefits: £324,000

Education & Family

Education & Family

Foster carers ‘poached with golden hellos’

By India Pollock BBC News

  • 5 August 2016

http://www.bbc.com/news/education

Image copyright KatarinaGondova Image caption There is thought to be a shortage of 9,000 foster families

Large private foster agencies are offering cash incentives to recruit foster carers working for English local authorities – and then charging more for the service, councils say.

Some agencies pay “golden hellos” of around £3,000, but then charge councils more to care for the same child.

The Association of Directors of Children’s Services says the practice is immoral and should be banned.

Foster agencies question the way in which councils cost their own services.

The National Association of Foster Providers also says transfers of foster carers to agencies from local authority employment may happen for reasons to do with the needs of the child.

Naturally the government alarmed at the mounting costs of fostercare and “special schools” is calling for more adoptions to save money since adopters are usually (but not always) not paid once the adoption is finalised.

FORCED ADOPTION therefore has become the target of social workers . Family court judges routinely dispense with the consent of the birth parents and order babies and young children to be given to strangers for adoption .As a rule this means that a law abiding mother mother whose baby has been removed at birth for risk of emotional abuse (for example) will find that within the statutory period of only 26 weeks her baby will have been adopted by strangers and she will almost certainly lose all contact and never know whether her child is alive or dead ! Judges absolve Social Services from privacy laws and allow them to advertise children with colour photos and character descriptions in magazines and national press rather like pedigree dogs so that parents can pick,choose,and select the child they fancy.

Murderers in prisons are treated very well compared with children taken into care.They are allowed to phone out to relatives and to discuss their cases with family and other visitors. Children in the 7-12 sort of age group who are taken from their parents by police and social workers are put into fostercare with strangers .They then have their mobile phones and laptops/tablets confiscated to isolate them from family and friends. When parents are eventually allowed contact visits the children and also their parents are forbidden to discuss their cases,coming home,or any criticism of those who have removed them .They are especially forbidden to report any abuse suffered in care from foster families or social workers .If there is any breach of these conditions contact with parents is stopped immediately and sometimes for good.Foreign children are forbidden to speak in their native language to parents or amongst themselves.Their treatment by the State is inhuman and of course undeserved.

Yes murderers in prisons are treated much better than children taken into State care !

Supervised contact ( Parents are forced to sign a typical agreement as shown below before being allowed contact with children in foster care.) The example below is not a court document aqnd in any case court proceedings finished more than five years ago so it may be legally published;

Supervised contact will take place three times a week. Currently there are two regular sessions on Tuesdays and Fridays, between 3;30 and 4;45pmLukes Social Worker will make arrangements on a weekly basis in regards to the third supervised session until a contact supervisor can be allocated.

Contact betweenLuke and his mum wll be supervised by a contact supervisor at all times. The contact sessions will take place at the West Area Duty and Family Support Teams offices.

Telephone contact is to take place only under Lukes foster carers supervision.Telephone contact is to only last five minutes and is to be initiated by Luke only.

Ms Marques is expected to end the telephone conversation herself in an appropriate way once the five minutes have lapsed.

Luke will be transported from school and to the foster placement by a professional appointed by the West Area Duty and Family Support Team.

Ms Marques is expected to support Luke while he is staying with his foster carer.

She is not to encourage Luke to have any other form of contact with her apart from what has been officially agreed with the Local Authority. The Local Authority is worried that ms Marques has limited insight into how her functioning impacts upon Luke and that there is a risk that Lukes placement will be de-stabilised and Luke experience further emotional harm as a result of this.

Ms Marques is strongly advised ; to engage with Luke in a child centered positive way during contact. If she finds this difficult she is encouraged to request support/advice from the contact supervisor.

The contact supervisor will from now on make activities available during contact. Ms Marques is advised to engage with these activities and encourage Luke to do so aswell.

Ms Marques is encouraged to bring board games with her etc that she and Luke might enjoy playing during contact.

Ms Marques should not discuss issues relating to the ongoing court proceedings. If in any case Luke brings up the subject himself she is to encourage him to discuss these issues with his social worker and/or guardian.

Ms Marques should not make reference to herself and her current situation if this will result in Luke feeling worried/guilty about ” mum being on her own”.

Ms Marques is to make reference to Lukes father and paternal side of the family in a positive way at all times.

Ms Marques is expected to make reference to all professionals involved with Luke in a positive way.She is to encourage Luke to be open and trusting of these professionals.

If Ms Marques feels anxious/unwell she is expected to seek help from her GP and /or her mental health key-worker. Lukes social worker is to be notified of this as soon as that is possible. If in any case contact is to be affected, then Ms Marques is expected to make contact with Lukes social worker immediately.

Ms M is expected to keep to all the points made in this written agreement.

If Ms Marques fails to keep to any of the expectations as set out by this written agreement; it is made clear that the contact supervisor has been instructed that contact is to be stopped, and Ms Marques will be asked to leave.

The Local Authority will also review the contact arrangements and amend them as necessary to promote and ensure Lukes welfare and safety.

This is not a legally binding document and all relevant parties are encouraged to seek legal advise if they wish to do so.

Any changes to contact will take place only once an updated written agreement has been drafted and signed by all relevant parties.

The last but not least of the failings in the UK Child Protection system concerns complete suppression of the contacts described above.

Sometimes parents who have never been charged or convicted of harming their children are deprived of contact of any kind with those children by court injunction.

Mothers who have believed children reporting to police or teachers their fathers for sexual abuse habe been accused of coaching and forbidden to contact their children either directly or indirectly by phone,email,letter,or via third parties.

Those who break the injunction are ruthlessly jailed;Vicky Haigh (who was named in parliament and so can be named here) was sentenced to jail for 3 years (reduced by 5 months on appeal) when she met her daughter (whom she had not seen for two years) by chance at a petrol station ! Other parents have been jailed for sending a birthday card,or waving as their children passed by in a car ! Depriving parents who have not broken the law of any contact with their children (even by post) must be against human rights but the practice continues in the UK .

3:- WHAT SHOULD BE DONE

WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO CHANGE THIS SITUATION ?The only remedy is new legislation on similar lines to the following:-

1:-No Punishment without Crime. Children must never be removed for simple “risk” (of something that may never happen)

Children must never be considered for removal from their parents unless a parent has been convicted in a criminal court of a serious crime against a child or children.If a parent is charged with such a crime the child or children may be removed temporarily but returned if the parent is acquitted.

2:- Parents and children must never be legally gagged

Restore absolute freedom of speech and public protest as already exists in the USA;. Parents must be allowed to identify themselves and protest via the media if their children are taken from them.When children are in care they should be allowed free discussion with relatives and friends,and given  mobile phones if of an age when they can use one.They should be allowed to speak their own language (if foreign) to parents and others.All allegations of abuse in care should be investigated by police and never ignored.Parents must have the right to call their own children to court as their witnesses (Article 6 human rights act ) irrespective of age.

3:-Always allow some form of contact between non criminal parents and children..

Parents not guilty of crimes against children must never be deprived of  face to face contact with their children; but even if they have been convicted of such crimes (providing those offences do not include child sexual relations or violence towards their own children) they should then still be allowed to initiate indirect contact by phone,email,or post . Non molestation orders should only have effect if a parent molests a partner ,spouse or child ;To molest =to intentionally harass or annoy  (Oxford dictionary) and must not extend to legal  prevention of indirect contact.

4:-Abolish forced adoption !

Forced adoption = adoption despite active opposition from parents via the courts and other forms of protest.The UK is the only country in the world in which babies can be taken at birth for “risk of future emotional abuse” and then forcibly adopted despite law abiding mothers begging to keep them !.

HOW TO BRING ABOUT THE ABOVE CHANGES ?

All major changes are brought about by parliament as only MPs can bring about changes in the law by their votes in the House of Commons. They will only do this if public opinion is strong enough to cost them votes and possibly their seats if they do not comply;Most  MPs advertise in local press and on the internet their surgeries to hear grievances from constituents at least once a month. Parents should press for changes in the law at these meetings  with their own MPs.Do not as a rule plead your own case as most MPs will refuse to interfere with the courts but cannot easily refuse to discuss changes in the law that you suggest.Also write letters to all the National and also local newspapers that you can think of cutting and pasting the above  paras or writing your own versions if you prefer. If enough pressure is brought in this way the law will eventually be changed.