Get your children back

Also “How to keep your children if the SS threaten to take them !!”

State child snatchers: As social workers hand back a child they falsely claim was abused, an investigation exposes one of the great scandals of our age

By Christopher Booker

Daily Mail, 20th August 2011

Daily Mail readers will have been horrified yesterday to read the story of the South Gloucestershire couple whose two young children were removed from them because social workers thought their son’s bone fractures must have been caused by physical abuse.

Only after a nightmarish 18-month ordeal, which drove the couple apart, were they finally able to produce medical evidence to indicate that the boy’s injuries were caused naturally, by brittle bone disease.

The council dropped the case, and Amy Garland and her children are now happily reunited.

When I spoke to her last night she told me how lucky she’d been to be put in touch with a medical expert who established the truth.

I listened to her story with particular interest because it is only one more example in a very dark area of our national life I have long been investigating, and which I have come to see as one of the greatest scandals unfolding in Britain today — as shocking as anything I have come across in all my five decades as a journalist.

In the past two years, since the furore over Baby P, the number of children being taken away from their parents by social workers has soared by almost 50 per cent to an all-time record level of nearly 10,000 a year.

And having followed scores of such cases in detail, it is abundantly clear to me that in far too many of them there is absolutely no reason why the families should be torn apart in this way.

Forcibly separating happy, well-cared for children from loving, responsible parents creates a tragedy which will last for the rest of the lives of all those involved — even if they are eventually reunited. The emotional agony if the children are permanently removed hardly bears thinking about.

Of course there is no objection to social workers removing children from parents who have genuinely abused them. As we know from many notorious examples, social workers have failed to take into care children who died as a result.

But a key reason for the rise in the number of children now being seized from their parents is that, precisely to avoid such scandals in the wake of the Baby P case, social workers have gone to the opposite extreme, becoming trigger-happy, snatching children for no good reason.

Since Baby P, social workers have gone to the other extreme, becoming trigger-happy and snatching children for no good reason

What is most shocking about this is that the families then find themselves in the grip of a system which seems horribly rigged against them. Too often these cases will begin on the flimsiest of grounds, as when the social workers are tipped off by a malicious neighbour or an over-zealous teacher.

One mother I know, who holds down a responsible job, lost her two children when her only mistake was to tap her daughter’s arm with a roll of clingfilm.

The next day this was twisted by a foolish teacher into a charge that the girl had been ‘hit with an implement’, and the council paid a psychiatrist £14,000 for a 235-page report arguing that the mother suffered from ‘a borderline personality disorder’, one of the vague, unprovable claims they love to use.

Another lost her three children after she had tripped up on a charity walk, pulling the daughter holding her hand to the ground. When a health visitor reported the bruises the child suffered as a result to social workers, without asking how these had arisen, they sent the mother to one psychiatrist after another until they also found one prepared to say she had a ‘borderline personality disorder’.

One of the sanest and brightest mothers I have come across had her baby removed after the woman had accidentally fallen from a window on the FIRST FLOOR 12 feet from the ground, because the social workers alleged that she had tried to commit suicide.

They rang to tell her they were taking her baby while she lay temporarily paralysed in hospital.

On such dubious grounds, the social workers may arrive to snatch children from their beds, all too often accompanied by a gang of four or more policemen, who seem only too willing to comply with any demands the social workers make.

One mother was breastfeeding her three-hour-old baby on a hospital bed when two social workers and four policemen burst into the room to take the child forcibly from her arms, after a series of false allegations were made against her.

The parents in such cases often find themselves treated like criminals, held for hours in police cells before being released without charge. But worse is to come when they arrive in a family court, where all the normal rules of British justice seem to have been reversed.

The social workers can produce hearsay evidence which may be a tissue of lies, but which the parents are not allowed to question, or submit damning documents to the judge which the parents are not even allowed to read.

If they are represented by solicitors, in most cases forced on them by the council, they often find that their lawyers refuse to oppose the council’s application for a care order — which allows the children to be removed for a longer period — and accept every allegation the council makes.

The system hides itself away behind an impenetrable wall of secrecy

Most family judges are as much part of this broken system as the social workers themselves — one rare exception being the senior family judge who last year castigated the behaviour of Devon social workers as ‘more like Stalin’s Russia or Mao’s China than the West of England’.

Meanwhile the children, generally bemused and distraught at what is happening to them, are placed with foster carers, who receive on average £400 a week or £20,000 a year for each child from the state.

The biological parents and children may be allowed to meet for only a few hours a week of rigorously ‘supervised contact’, in a grim council ‘contact centre’.

Any expression of affection or mention of the court case is strictly forbidden and can be punished by suspension of the contact, possibly permanently.

It may sound hard to believe, but I know of cases where children have been groomed by the social workers and their foster carers to believe that their parents no longer love or want them. In several cases I have followed, it is clear that children in foster care are being maltreated or even sexually abused.

Finally, this travesty of justice may wind to its conclusion when, after anything up to two years, a judge agrees that a child can be sent for adoption — although in recent years our adoption rate has markedly fallen, leaving ever more thousands of these children as fodder for a ‘fostering industry’ which is now costing taxpayers more than £3 billion a year.

Obviously there are happier exceptions to this dreadful picture. Some children are rightly saved by social workers from genuine abuse, and there are many good and caring foster homes. But in far too many cases, the other, more tragic scenario has become the norm.

So, if things have gone so terribly wrong with our child protection system, why has this happened — and why have we not heard more about it? It is difficult for outsiders to realise just how corrupted it has become until they experience it at first hand — because the entire system has managed to hide itself away behind an impenetrable wall of secrecy.

It is time this astonishing national scandal was recognised for what it is

Supposedly designed to ‘protect the interests of the children’ by ensuring that they cannot be identified, this secrecy had been used by the system to conceal its workings from public view, by threatening parents with prison for talking about their case to outsiders, and even journalists like me for trying to report what goes on.

It is this cloak of secrecy which more than anything has allowed the system to go so far off the rails. Too many social workers are in the grip of a self-righteous, politically correct ideology which drives them to abuse the power the Government has given them over other people’s lives, in the conviction that they are doing good in the world.

The secrecy which surrounds the way they wield that power means they are hardly ever called to account.

Nothing did more to distort the system in this way than Tony Blair’s personal crusade a few years back to drive up the number of adoptions by setting councils targets for the number of children they place with new families.

They were given huge cash incentives to fulfil their quotas thanks to a policy which, though now technically abandoned, has left a terrible legacy in convincing both social workers and the courts that one of their prime duties is to seize children from their parents, even when there is no good reason for it.

It is time this astonishing national scandal was recognised for what it is, and for the trail of horrors it is perpetrating to be dragged into the light.


A baby comes home – but a mother remains in jail

A girl taken from her parents in France has finally been returned, but Vicky Haigh’s case has no such happy ending

Sunday Telegraph 7 July 2012

By Christopher Booker

ote also

Joe Ollis and Marie Black with their daughter Luna, newly returned home

There were contrasting outcomes last week to two of the stories I have been reporting involving parents whose children were removed from them by our family courts. In France there were tears of joy when Marie Black and Joe Ollis were reunited with their baby daughter Luna, born in France in February but then seized by Norfolk social workers, to be brought back to England to live in foster care. Although this action had been sanctioned by a British court, a High Court judge ruled in May that the seizure was illegal, because Luna was born in France and was therefore outside UK jurisdiction.

Despite further prevarication by the social workers, they eventually obeyed the judge’s order that the child should be returned to France. Last week, finally, Luna was handed by a French court back to her parents. “At first,” they tell me, “she was quiet and withdrawn after her time in foster care, but now she is alert and cheerful.”

This is a landmark case which should give cheer to those scores of parents who flee abroad for the birth of children threatened with seizure by our social workers. For this reason, perhaps the British taxpayer’s expenditure on this episode – estimated at £250,000 or more – was not entirely wasted. is our contact if you are in a similar situation and need advice .

Rather less happy was the outcome of the Court of Appeal hearing on Wednesday at which, as I reported last week, the former racehorse trainer Vicky Haigh awaited a response to her appeal against a three-year prison sentence for breaching a “non-molestation order”. The order had prohibited any further contact with the daughter whom Miss Haigh had lived with for the first seven years of the girl’s life. The breach occurred when she walked by chance into a petrol station and saw her daughter sitting alone in her ex-husband’s car. She opened the door to speak to her, the girl’s father came back, and there followed a brief, heated exchange, lasting under a minute. For this, Miss Haigh received the longest sentence, by far, ever handed down for any breach of such an order, even those involving physical violence.

Only allowed to observe Wednesday’s hearing via a video link to her prison in Yorkshire, she heard allegations that she had been planning to kidnap her daughter (for which no evidence has ever been produced), and reference to a very hostile judgment on her case made last year by Lord Justice Wall, head of the family courts, which he ordered to be published. The judges agreed to reduce her sentence by nine months, the most they could consider without allowing her, under the rules, to be freed immediately.

John Hemming MP, who has followed her case closely, described her unprecedented sentence as “ridiculously harsh for what was a minor technical breach of a court order”. That same morning, one newspaper reported that a woman who had a long record of criminal violence and had been found guilty of breaking a champagne bottle over one man’s head, then using it to stab another, walked free from court with a suspended 12-month sentence. The report was headlined “What does it take to be jailed?” The answer may lie , Mr Hemming suggests, more in the fact that Miss Haigh has been outspokenly critical of the failings of our family court system than in that brief encounter in a petrol station.


Hi Ian,

We hope you are well.

Attached is a recent photo for you of Luna, she will be 10 months old this thursday and is trying to walk already! She is so happy and laughs so much. We feel lucky everyday to have Luna home with us and we are looking forward to her 1st Christmas.

We get on well with the social worker here and she took us swimming last week and this week will be a baby group. She is also looking into if she knows anyone who can help us with French lessons too.

She commented on how happy Luna is! We have even been to see Mr Mondin the manager of social services who helped us in Court with a shining report and he has a photo of Luna on his desk, he was so happy to see us all together last week.

Thank you again in our rescue operation!

Best wishes

Marie, Joe & Luna.

Hi Ian,

We hope you and your family are well and that you had a good Christmas.

Sorry I did not email you before now.

My parents are over for Christmas and return back to the UK in a few days.

They send their best wishes to you.

I have attached a photo of Luna which I took Christmas morning. She had an amazing 2nd Christmas and enjoys playing with nanny and grandad.

It’s moments like this Joe and I can never forget how lucky we are and how much good there is in the world, yourself included of course!

Best wishes for the New Year 🙂

Please note that this section is quite long because it covers nearly all possible aspects.Save time and effort;SKIP all the parts that do NOT apply in your particular case !


There is a wealth of information in this section to help you get your children back or to fight in court to kep them if the “SS” are on the attack !.This includes help in drafting a statement for the court which you will find by scrolling down to the red heading “Your statement”.You are advised to read ALL the legal information in this section first however so that hopefully you are better informed before writing it out.

Here are the official guidelines to proceedings in the family court but these are largely ignored by judges and social workers:

They can be beaten (see this example and several others in the introduction section ! )

  • Children: Public Law Update (January 2013) Articles (21/01/2013) John Tughan, barrister, 4 Paper Buildings, considers some recent important public law decisions of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and High Court relating to children.

Solicitors that have won against SS

Jessica Goode

Keith Evans & Partners (Cwmbran)

Lawyer who won and settled with damages

Robert Tolson QC

Bedford Chambers No 5

Case Williams V Newport Social Services

LJ Cripsin Mastermann was so disheartened by this case that he removed the gagging order and made public this case

2007 — damages settled 2010


“Hi I spoke to u about a month ago. Well my 14 year old daughter ran away from her foster carer and came home to me; it went to court and the judge let her stay so we were happy just waiting for my 3. Boys to return bk home to me. I just wanted to thank u for ur advice n listening to me Julie greenway 07876470042 ”

Nearly all the arguments you need to present your case to the court  will be found here,and you only have to pick out those that apply to and also suit your particular case.

In many courts if you represent yourself you can get technical help with documents etc from the PSU (PERSONAL SUPPORT UNIT).In London they are to be found in room M104,Royal Courts of Justice,the Strand tel 02079477701/7703 or 4th floor Room 408,first avenue house,high holburn, Principal Registry of the Family Division Tel 02079477737. tells you what goes on in court and how you should behave.

The above link can help if you really do need a solicitor

Remember always that it is a waste of time attacking individual social workers(who investigate themselves) and fosterers who ,if they are looking after your children should be cultivated and made friends with however much you hate the idea !Make friends with the fosterers and potential adopters if you can meet them as this way at least you can keep track of where your children are! Attack in court with all your force both the reasons why your baby or your child was taken into care,and the system that allowed this to happen!

Remember also that if  children are 16 or more they will often be released from care.Sometimes however the “SS” take a particular dislike to a family and say they will keep the child until 18 when the care order must expire.

NEVER MIND!  There is a way out ! If a child marries at 16 then the care order ceases !A marriage anywhere in Scotland does NOT need parental consent.Take the hint !


Begin your statement for the court as follows:-(But miss out anything that is not true or anything that just does not apply in your particular case) and when you see the phrase “baby/child/children” “delete the two words that do not apply to you.

1:-I have never neglected or abused my baby/child/children.

2:-I have no criminal record (Most crimes are wiped clean from police records after periods varying from 6 months to 10 years depending on the crime ) ,and I have never been charged with a serious crime.

3:-I have no problems with alcohol

4:-I have no problems with drugs.

5:-I have no mental problems, or learning difficulties.

6:-I have never been involved in incidents of domestic violence .

7:-My husband/wife/partner has a similar record.

8:- My child/children have always been happy, well dressed,clean,and have a good attendance record at their schools,

9:-My accommodation is very suitable and has always been kept clean and tidy.

10:-My baby/child/children has/have been cruelly abused by the removal from my loving care.Contrary to section 8 (human rights act) that gives us all the right to a private family life undisturbed by public authority.

11:My rights unders Article 6(human rights act) have been breached denying me the opportunity in determination of my CIVIL RIGHTS to speak in court in person to state my case , to call witnesses on my behalf and to cross examine witnesses called to testify against me.

12:- The UN Convention on children’s riights give children the right to participate in proceedings that concern them.The Minister for Children (Simon Hughes) recently emphasised that children’s voices must be heard in person and not through third parties;yet I have been refused permission to call my children as my chief witnesses to prove that I have never harmed them ,never neglected them,and that they all want to come home with me as soon as possible because they are very unhappy where they are in care.

Note also the observation of Baroness Hale of Richmond JSC (para 143):

“We are all frail human beings, with our fair share of unattractive character traits, which sometimes manifest themselves in bad behaviours which may be copied by our children. But the State does not and cannot take away the children of all the people who commit crimes, who abuse alcohol or drugs, who suffer from physical or mental illnesses or disabilities, or who espouse antisocial political or religious beliefs.”

IF AND ONLY IF you have been accused of unreasonable hostility towards social workers,an inability to work with professionals,and as a consequence suffering from personality disorder or in need of anger management courses add the following response ! Do NOT use the following  paragraph unless youhave been accused of non cooperation or mental problems !

I am and always have been 100% willing to work with professionals performing their statutory duty of trying to reunite families and my family in particular.It is however quite unreasonable to expect me to assist persons whose clearly declared objective is to take my baby/child for  permanent foster care or for adoption by complete strangers .

It is also unreasonable to accuse me of paranoia or being a conspiracy theorist because I believe I am right and the guardian,the experts,and the social workers are wrong in taking my baby/child/children into care

I am sure that these “professionals” are sincere but I am also sure they are wrong .Not so long ago all the legal professionals believed that it was right to imprison gays for their relations even in private.Now it is acknowledged that these same professionals were wrong.Similarly in my case they are in error taking my baby/child/children/ because I have never committed a crime against a child or children , therefore neither I nor my baby/child/children should  be punished in this cruel fashion by enforced separation.

NEVER COMPLAIN NEVER EXPLAIN! Complaints about individual social workers ,lawyers,or policemen are a waste of time as they investigate themselves and you risk being diverted from the more important task of keeping or recovering your children.Complaints against social workers often result in them taking your children or redoubling their efforts to keep them if they already have them !They are a vindictive lot !

Never explain your actions unless forced to do so by direct questions in court.If for example you are asked “did you go to London yesterday?” Reply simply “yes” if that was indeed the case .Never blurt out why you went,when you went,or more importantly what happened when you went as you may by doing this  give your enemies fresh information they can use against you. A simple yes,no,I don’t know,I don’t remember,answer most questions and a simple time, date or name can often answer the rest.Explanations usually make you sound worse not better ;so avoid them !


Please note well,you can appeal any lower court decision,whether it be a magistrates court or county court,or even crown court ! Anyone who tells you differently is a barefaced liar ! If the judge as sometimes happens says “I refuse leave to appeal” then appeal against his/her refusal,and demand an oral hearing !Go to the court and ask for the correct form for your appeal.Do not take it home ,just fill it in while you are there and ask the staff to explain the meaning of any question or anything else you do not understand.Do not delay or they may say you are out of time !Get a receipt when you leave your appeal form with the court staff !

The process is the same if you want to oppose the renewal of an interim care order,get a residence order or special guardianship, get an adoption order revoked or care order discharged ; you must ask the staff IN THE SAME COURT WHERE YOU APPEARED PREVIOUSLYfor the correct form ,fill it in, then hand it in and get a receipt !

I repeat ” you must ask the staff for the correct form fill it in, then hand it in and get a receipt ! The staff in the court are paid to explain anything on the form you do not understand but cannot give legal advice or tell you what to write on the form as that is your case! Do NOT take the form home ! Go to the court in the morning and stay all day if necessary until the form is completed , you have handed it in and got a receipt.

To sack your solicitor and your barrister just download form N434 !If you do not do this the court will usually send all future correspondence and sometimes vital statements of evidence to your solicitor even though you have told all concerned that you wish to represent yourself.form N434

Even simpler,write the followin sentence”I no longer wish a solicitor or barrister to act for me as I now wish to represent myself.

Signed…… Date……

Case number……

Send this recorded delivery to the court,to your solicitor,and to the local authority legal dept.

Let me repeat!How to appeal , to apply for contact,or to oppose the renewal of an “order”(interim , contact or injunction for example)

Go to the same court in the morning and ask the staff for the correct form when you have explained what you want to do.Stay in the court to fill it in and ask help from the staff if there is a question that you do not understand.They are paid to explain legal terms but NOT of course to help you make your case.Do not go home before you have finished completing the form then get a receipt after you have handed it in for the staff to file.

—– Original

I wish to appeal (or ask leave to appeal) against the recent decision to make my child(ren) subject to an interim care order/full care order/placement for adoption.I am prevented from doing so because the court/my solicitors refuse to give me a copy of the judgement /my file and my appeal cannot be accepted without proper documentation.

The above is an example of how most statements for the family court should begin .USE A “SPELLCHECK” IF POSSIBLE BEFORE FILING YOUR STATEMENT . REMEMBER always your object is WIN your case not to score points or expose corruption !Your job is to do what it takes and say whatever it takes to WIN !!No lies in court of course but do not volunteer information unless asked directly and even then just reply “yes”,”no” “I don’t know” or I don’t remember” Think only of winning,winning,winning and forget getting your own back;proving you were right all alone ,etc etc just WIN your case and get your children back !

Remember your statement must be what you have seen with your own eyes or heard with your own ears and not what you think or what other people have told you !The same goes for any witnesses you are allowed to call. Back up your statement with relevant quotes from the Children Acts,and Human Rights Acts .YOU WILL FIND PLENTY THAT ARE SUITABLE QUOTES IN THE TEXTS THAT FOLLOW.

.Remember when appealing, that it is the previous judgement you must criticise point by point It is no use just rehashing the evidence unless court procedure was clearly not just unfair but illegal !If on the other hand a care order has been in force at least 6 months,you can ask for it to be discharged due to changed and improved circumstances.This is usually an easier process to initiate than an appeal. Follow this up after you have considered all the infomation found in this section ;you can then finally outline your case in your personal statement. (preferably after you have finished reading ALL the following hints and steps to take.)Your task is to prove that the children should be with you,that they will be healthy and happy with you,and that they are being abused by their separation from you.Do not waste time and energy attacking individual social workers or solicitors as no matter how bad you make them look it will NOT help prove that YOU are the right person to have care of the children!


Brad Meyer, Director of Help4LiPs, a community interest company referenced by the Civil Justice Council in their November “Report on Access to Justice for Litigants in Person or Self Represented Litigants”.

If you or someone you know is facing litigation without professional legal aid, then you will want to know about what we are doing at:


52.11     Hearing of appeals

(1)     Every appeal will be limited to a review of the decision of the lower court unless—

(a)     a practice direction makes different provision for a particular category of appeal; or

(b)     the court considers that in the circumstances of an individual appeal it would be in the interests of justice to hold a re-hearing.

(2)     Unless it orders otherwise, the appeal court will not receive—

(a)     oral evidence; or

(b)     evidence which was not before the lower court.

(3)     The appeal court will allow an appeal where the decision of the lower court was—

(a)     wrong; or

(b)     unjust because of a serious procedural or other irregularity in the proceedings in the lower court.

(4)     The appeal court may draw any inference of fact which it considers justified on the evidence.

(5)     At the hearing of the appeal a party may not rely on a matter not contained in his appeal notice unless the appeal court gives permission.

CPR 52.11 [1]

Circumstances in which an appeal will be allowed

CPR 52.11 was a new provision. In Tanfern Ltd v Cameron-Macdonald [2000] 1 WLR 1311 Brooke LJ explained the governing principles of the new practice at paras 31-33:

“Under the new practice, the decision of the lower court will attract much greater significance. The appeal court’s duty is now limited to a review of that decision, and it may only interfere in the quite limited circumstances set out in r 52.11(3).

Judge’s private telephone conversation with Guardain

by mac1 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:21 pm

W (A Child) [2010] EWCA Civ 1449
Judge’s telephone conversation with the child’s guardian in the privacy of his room in the course of private law children proceedings was a material procedural irregularity. Appeal allowed, judge’s orders set aside and case returned for a hearing by a different judge.
The mother and the father appeared in person during the appeal and for a significant period of time in the proceedings in the court below. The child is a party and has had the services of NYAS, who has acted as the child’s guardian for the proceedings. The child is legally represented. The father and mother lived together between 1990 and April 2003. The parties separated when the child was nearly three years old and he remained living with the mother. Problems over contact started from the early days of separation. A court order was made in 2005, but it did not resolve the difficulties. From 2006 contact became very sparse. Considering the case in October 2007, the Judge noted that the father had seen his son for only seven-and-a-half hours over several occasions.
The child is now ten years old. The proceedings culminated in an order made by the Judge on 18 December 2009 providing for direct contact four times a year for two hours, with the mother to be present throughout, and for twice weekly indirect contact in the form of e-mails or letters. The Judge also made a section 91(14) order under the Children Act 1989 (“the Act”) preventing the father from making any further applications to the court for orders under section 8 of the Act without leave of the court. That order was to last until 17 December 2011. The father appeals from the Judge’s decision, with leave granted, in relation to contact and the section 91(14) order.
The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal, set aside the Judge’s orders and returned the case for a hearing in relation to contact and ancillary matters to a different judge sitting in the area of the country in which the parents live.
The Court of Appeal held that it is a basic principle of fair procedure that, in coming to his decision, a judge should not receive evidence or other material relevant to his/her decision of which all the parties before him are not equally aware. The parties should have the same knowledge as the judge of all the material that may be taken into account in the decision-making process and can make their representations in relation to it. In the present case, the Court of Appeal stated, the Judge’s decision in the course of the hearing to have a telephone conversation with the child’s guardian in the privacy of his room was a mistaken step for him to have taken, and the mistake was not cured by the fact that, as we are told, the judge then related the nature of his discussion with the guardian to the parties in court. There was no point in the conversation unless it was for the judge to derive additional assistance by way of evidence from the guardian, and he should not have sought to do so otherwise than in the presence of the parties. The unfairness of the procedure, it was held, was then magnified when the judge refused the father’s application to have the opportunity to cross-examine the guardian on the recent report, although that would have required an adjournment, which the judge declined. The perception with which the father must legitimately have been left was that the judge decided the case against him without his having been given any fair opportunity to test the guardian’s approach to the question of contact.

 You can always attack the therapists ,psychologists,psychiatrists,and other crackpot experts who are hired at vast expense to demolish your character!ASK THEM IN COURT HOW MUCH THEY HAVE BEEN PAID TO TESTIFY AND TO WRITE THEIR BIASED REPORTS !! Ask them also how many reports they have written recommending that children be put in care or adopted and how many contrary to social services wishes that children should be returned to their parents !. .Quite often their “qualifications” are false and bogus,and cannot be produced in court! Even more important,usually their own private lives can be exposed when questioned and shown to be in a far worse mess than yours.They are often littered with a series of failed marriages or partnerships with children they never see or who refuse to talk to them! This discredits them from daring to pass judgement on you from giving you any advice about your family ! You can in any case point out that these “moneyhungry charlatans” shamefully make their living out of the misery of others. They write long meaningless reports full of psychobabble and pretentious jargon to justify the removal of happy children and worse still newborn babies to meet “adoption targets”.Often,they pompously predict these children are “at risk” from “future emotional abuse” due to events that will probably never happen!Severely abused and physically injured children are NOT good adoption material so they are only too often callously left to die !

IF the “SS” threaten to take your children for adoption,make sure they never forget you !

Hug them tight “at last contact” so the ss cannot take them away easily.

Tell them wicked people are stealing them for money ,say “no” to adoption by nasty people as you are their real mummy !

THIS AT LEAST SHOULD HELP TO SABOTAGE ANY UNWANTED ADOPTIONS AND MAKE SURE YOUR KIDS WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER YOU AND GET IN TOUCH LATER .Not many “adopters” will want to take in a child who has been told to say “NO” to adoption in any case !

One way for any parent to counter attack the ss may be to launch a free-standing Human Rights Act 1998 claim, on a N1 Claim Form filed in the local District Registry of the High Court, submitting that the LA is depriving the child of his or her Article 8 right to respect for his or her private and family life for inadequate and or disproportionate reasons in a way which is not necessary in a democratic society.
Does the HRA 1998 trump the CA 1989? Yes, in terms of any provisions the HRA contains which apply to the situation, due to it being a more recent Act.
So, the LA would be obliged to present the evidence they have here and now which justifies them continuing to deprive the child of his or her right to respect for his or her private and family life, and if the LA doesn’t have adequate evidence here and now I think they will be obliged to return the child to the parent or parents asap.

How to file a Human Rights Act 1998 claim in the local District Registry of the High Court :-
HR claim goes on a N1 Claim Form :-
An EX160B Form can be used to say that the fee will be paid later or that a fee remission form will be filed later :-
An EX160 Fee Remission Form is at the end of this EX160A leaflet :-
Sections 6, 7, 8, 9 of the Human Rights Act 1998 being the most relevant ones :-…
Schedule 1 of the HRA 1998 containing the Articles, of the European Convention on Human Rights, Article 8 being the most relevant one :-…

(On average two or three will probably apply to you ). They are summarised here and explained more fully later.

Do not waste time reading all the 20 bullet points just look carefully at any that apply in YOUR case

 1 SS cannot stop you leaving the UK if no court order has been made.If you are pregnant and the “SS” are threatening to take your baby as soon as it is born your safest option is to leave the UK and take refuge in another European country where benefits are excellent and the regime is sympathetic such as Sweden for example.Even when there is a court order (often made in your absence while you are abroad) the publicity generated by the SS pressurising you to return can still end up with parents ,the winners!

There are no longer any frontier controls at the borders between 22 EU countries. This is thanks to the Schengen agreement which is part of EU law. The Schengen rules remove all internal border controls but put in place effective controls at the external borders of the EU and introduce a common visa policy. The full Schengen members are Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia,Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden (but not Ireland and the United Kingdom) plus Iceland and Norway (which are not EU members).

Better still providing no date for a family court hearing has even been fixed ,if both parents are later found together with the children in France,Spain,Italy,or Portugal the SS can do nothing at all about it !

2 Children in care cannot be prevented by force from afternoon visiting or from telephoning their parents!,(reverse charges if necessary)Also they can send and receive emails,so DON’T lose contact.

If social workers call the police to say a young person of ANY age is missing and they believe there is a danger of significant harm they can go to court for a recovery order and the police can take that person back temporarily. They have no power however to stop an immediate return to the parent’s home next day and after a few days of going backwards and forwards will nearly always give up !  Please note that police sometimes claim that they have a warrant or have authority but have no need to show any documents to support this!

BUT read section 50,subsection 8 of the children Act .They DO have to show you written authority!

8)  Where a person is authorised as mentioned in subsection (7)(c)—

    (a)  the authorisation shall identify the recovery order; and
    (b)  any person claiming to be so authorised shall, if asked to do so, produce some duly authenticated document showing that he is so authorised

Remember that any court document MUST BE SIGNED by a judge or a magistrate and usually stamped by the court . NEVER be taken in by a false order such as a paper that is waved in your face but not given to you to verify !

If children are under 16 and over 12 they are often classified as “young persons” and even when in care they cannot be prevented from visiting parents as social workers would risk charges of assault and false imprisonment if physical force was used to stop them. 


Section D: Family Proceedings and Protection of Children

JUNE 1999 Page 2 of 4

D10.1 A Recovery Order provides legal powers to help secure the return of a

child missing from placement.

D10.1.1 A Recovery Order may only be made in respect of a child who is subject


  1. i) a care order (including interim care order)
  2. ii) an emergency protection order

iii) police protection

D10.1.2 A Court may make a Recovery Order if there is reason to believe that:-

  1. a) the child is unlawfully taken away or kept away from the

person with responsibility for the child’s care, or

  1. b) the child has run away or is staying away from the

responsible person, or

  1. c) the child is missing

D10.1.3 A Recovery Order requires a person harbouring a child to hand him or her

over and a person with information about the child’s whereabouts should

disclose that information to the Police or a Court. It also empowers a

Constable to search named premises.

Section 50(i)

D10.1.4 If a child is missing from placement every effort must initially be made to

try and secure the return of the child by agreement. If the person holding

or harbouring the child refuses to hand the child over and there is no

immediate danger then that person should be notified in writing of the

action which the Authority will take if they refuse to comply. If however

there is an immediate risk then an application can be made without


D10.1.5 Effect of the Order

  1. i) The Recovery Order must name the child and the person

who has made the application.

  1. ii) The Order directs the person holding the child to produce

him/her at the request of the authorised person and empowers the

authorised person to remove the child.

iii) If any person has information as to the child’s whereabouts,

he or she is required by the Order to disclose this information if

asked to do so by either a Police Officer or Court Officer.

3 Shaken baby syndrome cannot be proved for sure without body bruising or a previous history of injury or abuse.(see addendum to attorney general’s report.)


Addendum to Report

Allegations that a baby has been shaken and consequently injured or even killed are hard to prove but also hard to disprove! Top experts who appeared for both sides in the Louise Woodward case in the USA disagreed with each other and testified in favour of the side that paid them in each case!This does cast doubt on the reliability of highly paid experts who give categoric opinions in court !

The attorney general called for a review by the best medical and scientific brains in Britain last year and in the addendum to the report paras 14.1 and 14.2 concluded that even when all 3 symptoms were present (known as the triad; being retinal bleeding,subdural bleeding, and brain damage) it would NOT be safe to conclude that a baby had been shaken without a previous history of abuse or other injuries such as extensive bruising or broken bones.

Format de fichier: Microsoft Word – Version HTML Her Majesty’s Attorney General. 14 February 2006. ADDENDUM TO REPORT. SHAKEN BABY SYNDROME. On the 21st December 2004 I announced the results of my review – Pages similairesLords Hansard text for 14 Feb 2006 (60214-04)– [ Traduire cette page ]

Child Protection: Shaken Baby Syndrome. 3.09 pm. The AttorneyGeneral (Lord presence of the triad of injuries is consistent with shaken baby syndrome, – 22k – En cachePages similaires

Dear Christopher Herewith my comments on the panorama programme for next weeks column. Good,as always ,to talk yesterday.BWjames

———- Forwarded message ———- From: James Lefanu <> Date: 22 January 2014 15:02 Subject: lefanu col

 The late Cassandra Jardine, whose career as a feature writer of this paper will be commemorated with the award this week of the Memorial Prize in her name, campaigned vigorously on behalf of innocent parents accused of the horrific crime of having deliberately injured their children.  In a typically brilliant article published six years ago she outlined the several contentious medical theories that had resulted in so many ‘gross miscarriages of justice’ but hoped ‘the necessary lessons have been learned’.  Regrettably not.

What, I wonder, would she have made of the case of Jill McCartan, featured in the Panorama programme a fortnight ago ‘I want my baby back’ , forced to flee to Spain to escape the tentacles of the Social Services determined to take her newborn son into care.

Two years earlier Jill and her partner had taken their daughter Alyssa, then aged just ten weeks old, to hospital with an unexplained fracture of the arm – where X-rays also revealed three further healing fractures of her ribs and leg.  The medical experts concurred these injuries had been caused deliberately – despite there being not the slightest hint of the sort of circumstantial evidence such as  bruising, pain or swelling of the limbs that might reasonably be expected had they been caused by excess physical force.

The experts, however, failed to comment on ,or  indeed advise the parents, that blood tests had shown Alyssa’s vitamin D levels to be virtually undetectable.  There were clear grounds here for an appeal as she  would almost certainly have had rickets which could only too readily account for those ‘unexplained’ fractures – but astonishing this was turned down on a technicality.  Alyssa was put up for adoption.

Meanwhile Jill was 8 months pregnant with her second child who would, in view of the judgement against her, have also been taken into care at birth.  And so, on the advice of the Lib Dem MP John Hemming, she fled to Spain and went into hiding.

Jill McCartan and her partner are not child abusers but their plight together with three very similar cases highlighted by the Panorama programme, clarify what has become the fundamental issue at stake here – that Cassandra would have recognised only too well.  There is no longer  the slightest possibility of those ‘lessons being learned’ because for all those involved- the medical experts, social workers and the judiciary, to acknowledge there might be would be to concede that they had been instrumental in so many miscarriages of justice in the past.  These parents have little hope  of getting a fair trial in Britain because as John Hemming observes ‘they cannot rely on the evidence being fair’.   Shocking but true.

A Local Authority v M & Others [2013] (11 01 13)

Second fact-finding concerning injuries to a child who suffered from rickets as a result of Vitamin D deficiency. Medical expert evidence considered. Held that there was insufficient evidence to determine that the injuries to the child were non-accidental.

This was the second-fact-finding in this case before HHJ Hayward Smith QC.  The case concerned three children.  Following the first fact-finding hearing in November 2011, the judge had concluded that the middle child, M, had suffered a series of non-accidental fractures that had been caused by one of the parents and that the other parent was protecting the perpetrator of the injuries.
It was a significant feature of the case that M had, at the material time, suffered from rickets as a result of a vitamin D deficiency.  Despite this, it had been the unanimous view of the medical witnesses at the first fact-finding that the injuries to M were non-accidental.
Subsequently, Theis J delivered her judgment in LB of Islington v Al Alas and Wray [2012] EWHC 865 (Fam), a case which also concerned a child with rickets and suspected non-accidental injuries.  Following this, the judge in the present case was persuaded that the parents in this case should be able to seek further opinions from Professor Nussey and Professor Barnes, both of whom had featured in the case before Theis J.  Having considered their reports, HHJ Hayward Smith was persuaded to reopen the fact-finding in this case.  This judgment arises from that fact-finding hearing.
The majority of the judgment contains a summary of the expert evidence.  Essentially the judge was presented with conflicting evidence from the two key experts in the case, one of whom (Professor Barnes) was of the view, based on his own clinical experience, that children of M’s age suffering from rickets can, and often do, sustain multiple fractures as a result of the disease and not as the result of a non-accidental injury.  Professor Nussey agreed with this view.  The other expert, Professor Bishop, gave evidence that multiple fractures were rare in cases of rickets and that it was likely therefore that in this case extraneous forces had been applied that had caused the fractures.  His view was that there was a 75% chance that the injuries to M were non-accidental.
The nature of this case was such that, if the medical evidence did not point to the injuries being non-accidental, it would be inappropriate for the judge to find that they were non-accidental on the basis of his previous adverse findings against the parents.
At this hearing, in addition to the new evidence about the significance of the presence of multiple fractures, the judge also heard evidence, not available at the earlier hearing, that the parents would not necessarily have noticed all of the fractures when they were sustained, apart from the fractures to the humerus and the skull and the parents had responded appropriately to both of these incidents.
The parents had been unable to give explanations for the injuries.  However, the judge did not regard this as probative of non-accidental injury given the lack of information as to how severe M’s rickets had been prior to the successful treatment.
For these reasons, the judge concludes that there was insufficient evidence to determine that the injuries to M were non-accidental and therefore that the threshold for the purposes of section 31, Children Act, had not been crossed in this case.

4″Failure of a baby to thrive” can be disproved by comparing progress after removal with that before,and in any case your own GP is the best person to say you have done all you could. Similarly your own GP is the best person to write a statement saying you have no need to take drugs like prozac to”manage your anger” and indeed that you are advised NOT to take any drugs against your will,since sometimes you may be ordered to take them by persons with NO medical qualifications such as social workers ,guardians and even judges !

If your child is slow to speak etc remind social workers accusing you of neglect ,that Albert Einstein the greatest mathematical genius of the century hardly spoke at all until he was three!

Albert Einstein as a childAlbert Einstein in Brief 1879

Albert Einstein was born to a middle-class German Jewish family. His parents were concerned that he scarcely talked until the age of three, but he was not so much a backward as a quiet child. He would build tall houses of cards and hated playing soldier. At the age of twelve he was fascinated by a geometry book.

“It is almost a miracle that modern teaching methods have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiousity of inquiry; for what this delicate little plant needs more than anything, besides stimulation, is freedom.”

5 Munchausen syndrome is a scientifically unproven theory and now largely discredited, that needs actual proof that some act of the parent has deliberately caused illness or physical harm to the baby or young child.Social workers have no qualifications to make this diagnosis though they often do !

In recent years, several mothers in the autism community have been accused of Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy (MSBP), in which the mother is thought to be imagining the medical problems in her son/daughter. Former law professor, Dr. Bill Long, wrote a review paper for lawyers and judges on MSBP. Dr. Long’s Executive Summary is below. See the unabridged report (41-page .pdf)


A Guide for Judges, Lawyer and Parents Dr. Bill Long; Executive Summary

For more than 30 years prosecutors, social workers and many mental health professionals have used a diagnosis of MSBP/FDBP as a means of taking children from their caregivers and then, often, bringing charges against the caregiver for abusing the children. At the heart of MSBP/FDBP is the allegation that the caregiver (usually the mother) is either lying about the medical symptoms experienced by the child or has induced real symptoms through poisoning or other injurious actions against the child. Why would the mother/caregiver do such a thing? Those who “believe in” the diagnosis argue that she does so in order to get attention from the medical community, often for unmet needs in her own life, and become the center of attention in a complex medical drama that she is inducing. Thus, the heart of a MSBP/FDBP allegation is that the mother or child’s caregiver is secretly “working the system” and trying to deceive multiple levels of medical staff as she goes about her nefarious design of injuring and perhaps even killing her child. Because the allegation of MSBP/FDBP relates to child endangerment, it has been a “hot button” sub-issue in the larger world of child abuse that has been at the fore of American social services and law in the past generation. It is often difficult for prosecutors to “prove” that a mother has actually injured her child, especially since so many of the mothers alleged to be “MSBP/FDBP” “moms” themselves have medical training, personal charm, apparent solicitude for the child’s well-being and the well-being of the medical staff attending the child. Direct evidence (e.g., eyewitness testimony of induced poisons) is hard to come by; circumstantial evidence, too, is often scanty. Thus, the allegation of MSBP/FDPB—that the mother suffers from this “syndrome”–can be a sort of evidentiary boost for the prosecution when its case might otherwise be weak. By arguing that it is consistent for the sufferer of the “syndrome” to be an outwardly caring mother, one who eagerly seeks medical advice and affirms the medical staff, prosecutors can leap over a sometimes yawning evidentiary gap and help the state pry the child away from the parents. Then, as is argued in the paper, prosecutors need only refer to vague “studies” that show that children returned to MSBP/FDBP mothers face a significant likelihood of physical danger and even death at the hands of the caregiver, and courts almost always deprive parents of their child/children. Though child abuse is a significant problem and one that ought to be seriously addressed at all levels of society, the allegation of MSBP/FDBP can function as a evidentiary “short cut” to help make a prosecutor’s case for him/her when direct or circumstantial evidence is lacking. One of the criteria for MSBP identified in a classic study is that the child’s symptoms abate when separated from the perpetrator. This is taken to be a sign that the caregiver induced or fabricated the symptoms. Yet, when the classic article using this definition is examined, one finds that the statistics she provides not only don’t support her point but actually lead to the opposite conclusion. Indeed, her evidence points to most cases of worsening of symptoms happening in the hospital. Of course, one could argue that these symptoms were induced by the caregiver in that context, but she does not so argue. In addition, if one thinks about this point for a moment, one would normally expect the child’s symptoms to abate when give over to the medical professionals. Perhaps as a result of the flimsiness of this criterion, later papers and definitions of MSBP don’t include it as a feature of MSBP. I argue in the paper that the result of this kind of thinking and action has led to dramatically bad consequences for parents and their children, children who may have medical conditions that are difficult to diagnose and treat. If the mother, for example, denies that she has induced the physical ailment in her child, the state can say, “Ah, a denial is a sure sign that the mother is guilty of being an MSBP/FDBP mother. Thus, we recommend the child be taken away.” If, on the other hand, the mother “confesses” to having induced the illness in the child, the child will be taken away because a confession serves as direct evidence of the mother’s abuse of the child. Thus, mothers accused of being an “MSBP/FDBP mom” are in a Catch-22 type-of-situation. Shadowy allegations often are enough to take a child away from parents; and denials of abuse protect them no more than a confession. With this the problem before us, I do two things in the paper: (1) describe the history of the diagnosis of MSBP/FDBP since its inception in 1977 and divide that history into four “sub-periods,” so that we can see the nature of the syndrome as it emerged in psychology and was developed in law; and (2) point out a number of vulnerabilities in the diagnosis that my historical discussion has uncovered. Four major difficulties with the diagnosis are: (a) its definition; (b) who is able to diagnose it; (c) who suffers from it (mother or child); and (d) what statistical evidence we have of the phenomenon. I argue that the cumulative effect of these problems is that that courts ought to stop accepting a diagnosis of MSBP/FDBP until they are satisfactorily cleared up. The remainder of this summary states my conclusions on (a)-(d). First, with respect to definition, I show how the “classic” definition of MSBP in a 1987 article and the psychological definition of FDBP (the “successor” name for it), which appeared in the 1994 DSM-IV, differ in crucial ways. The 1987 article makes the mother’s intent and denial crucial to the definition of MSBP, while the 1994 definition focuses more on the induction of symptoms in the child than on caregiver intent. Indeed, in my article, I point to four ways in which the definitions aren’t consistent. On top of this is the fact that a new definition was introduced in 2000 as a significant professional group dealing with abused children created yet a third parallel syndrome—“Pediatric Condition Falsification.” Second, the issue of who can diagnose MSBP/FDBP is a subtle one with wide-ranging ramifications. If it is only diagnosable by a mental health professional, then it will be done after suspicions are raised and tests are administered to the one suspected of MSBP. If, however, it is more of a “hypothesis” than a “conclusion,” social workers, educators, police, or anyone who might come in contact with a child whom they “suspect” might be a victim of MSBP can “diagnose.” But this difference of opinion on who can diagnose goes right to the heart of what MSBP is—a “syndrome” or a “suspicion.” The literature, as well as court cases, are confused on this point. A subsidiary point is when such a diagnosis may be made—at the beginning of the relationship between caregiver and professional or only after a process of examination has concluded? Third, there is the issue of who suffers from MSBP. Most literature today says that it is the caregiver who does, but the classic 1987 article talks about the children being afflicted by MSBP. Finally, there is disagreement on the statistics for MSBP. How prevalent is it? The early studies talked about its comparative rarity. Indeed, the 1987 study only found 117 cases of it in the previous 22 years of literature review—about 5.3 cases per year. But by the mid-1990s, some articles were claiming that the condition was not rare at all, and that courts, prosecutors, social workers and doctors must be on their guard to “smoke out” some of the hidden ways that this “syndrome” goes unnoticed. Along with great differences on the number of cases of MSBP is the related issue of the treatment of children if they are released back to their “Munchausen home.” With almost no foundation, some of the literature claimed that there was about a 20% chance that a child who goes home to Munchausen caregivers is going home to die. But when the 1987 study suggested a much smaller number, even the inventor of the “syndrome,” Dr. Roy Meadow, wrote to the publication saying that the 1987 numbers were highly inflated. Thus, we have a major statistical problem on our hands that needs to be resolved before such a diagnosis should be allowed in court. Finally, it should be noted, the “godfather” of the diagnosis, Dr. Roy Meadow, has now been discredited in his native England for giving expert witness testimony in more than one case where he opined on statistical matters where he was later shown to have no competence, and his opinion contributed to separate jury’s finding that two mothers had murdered their children.Therefore, until these four problems are addressed by those who still support a diagnosis of MSBP/FDBP, I recommend that it should be interred alongside its eponymous ancestor, Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von Munchausen.

6 Smacking that does not leave a mark is no offence.Small bruises and scratches occur during the rough and tumble of ordinary life for nearly all children.Broken bones,cigarette burns,a child’s complaints (not anonymous tipoffs!) of sexual abuse,should all be looked at by independent medical experts.It is however very rare that parents who abuse or allow this sort of abuse ever dare to come to court to beg for the return of children they probably detest! 

Judgement:IMPORTANT !!

M (A Child) [2012] EWCA Civ 1580

Appeal against fact-finding where the judge had found that one of the parents had caused injury to the child and the other had failed to protect, but could not say which parent had caused the injuries. The child was taken to the GP and then to hospital by the mother. She had raised concerns about the bruising which, she stated, must have been caused by the father. There was significant bruising to the child’s left forearm, further bruising to the right are am the right thigh.
The bruises, the experts all agreed, were in unusual places for a baby to be bruised, certainly in the day-to-day care of the baby. The experts, however, could not come to an agreement as to how the bruises might come about. Swaddling, thrashing in the bath and being trapped by the bars of the cot were all discounted. The judge found that the injuries had been caused by pressure from an object imposed on the baby.
It was further determined that the parent who failed to protect would have been aware of the pain and discomfort of the child, given the severity of the bruising. Also, the house was such that the baby’s distress would have been audible throughout.
The appeal was brought by both parents. The mother argued that a lack of reasoning in the argument that the parents failed to protect led to the judge misdirecting herself as to who caused the injuries.
The father’s appeal criticised the judge’s approach and that the lack of parental care was the reason given by the experts for their conclusion that these were non-accidental injuries.
Essentially, the judge found that, due to the experts being unable to give an explanation, reasonable or unreasonable, for the cause of the injuries, they must have been non-accidental.
Ward LJ giving the judgment for the court stated: “[The expert’s opinion] was the effect of the judge’s view of the case: that absent a parental explanation, there was no satisfactory benign explanation, ergo there must be a malevolent explanation. And it is that leap which troubles me. It does not seem to me that the conclusion necessarily follows unless, wrongly, the burden of proof has been reversed, and the parents are being required to satisfy the court that it is not a non-accidental injury”.

We should remember the wise words of Hedley J in Re L (Threshold Conditions) [2007] 1 FLR 2050:

“Many parents are hypochondriacs, many parents are criminals or benefit cheats, many parents discriminate against ethnic or sexual minorities, many parents support vile political parties or belong to unusual or militant religions. All of these follies are visited upon their children, who may well adopt or ‘model’ them in their own lives but those children could not be removed for those reasons.”

7 Social Services  have a legal obligation to place children with relatives where possible if they have removed them from parents.

The Children Act 1989 clearly states in the following extract:-
(4)  A person falls within this subsection if he is— (a)  a parent of the child;(b)  a person who is not a parent of the child but who has parental responsibility for him; or(c)  where the child is in care and there was a residence order in force with respect to him immediately before the care order was made, a person in whose favour the residence order was made.

(5)  Where a child is in the care of a local authority, the authority may only allow him to live with a person who falls within subsection (4) in accordance with regulations made by the Secretary of State.
(6)  Subject to any regulations made by the Secretary of State for the purposes of this subsection, any local authority looking after a child shall make arrangements to enable him to live with—

    (a)  a person falling within subsection (4); or
    (b)  a relative, friend or other person connected with him,

unless that would not be reasonably practicable or consistent with his welfare.
(7)  Where a local authority provide accommodation for a child whom they are looking after, they shall, subject to the provisions of this Part and so far as is reasonably practicable and consistent with his welfare, secure that—

    (a)  the accommodation is near his home; and
      (b)  where the authority are also providing accommodation for a sibling of his, they are

accommodated together. 

    Althoughkinship placements are supposed to be the preferred option in this country, The UK has a significantly lower proportion of children ‘in care’ or ‘looked after’ in kinship care than in other countries, with approximately 12 per cent, as compared to New Zealand’s 75 per cent, and Belgium’s 33 per cent

Home › Resources › Statistics › England Statistics: England

Children in public care 67,050 children were in the care of local authorities on 31st March 2012


75% (50,260) of children looked after on 31st March 2012 were living with foster carers 9% (5,930) were living in secure units, children’s homes or hostels 5% (3,600) were living with their parents 4% (2,680) were placed for adoption 3% (2,340) were with another placement in the community 3% (1,980) were placed in residential schools or other residential settings

Where are the placements with kinship carers???

8 Despite what your lawyers may say,you are now permitted to consult friends and individual helpers to discuss your case(children act 2004,section 62) and even to “go public” once all court proceedings are finally concluded,(Clayton v Clayton)

Talking of lawyers and especially “legal aid lawyers”, the vast majority of these highly paid and highly useless paarasites are widely known as “professional losers “. They simply advise you NOT to fight the social services and to “go along” with everything the social workers tell you!For this easy and entirely useless legal advice they charge enormous fees and go home laughing, ready to fleece their next victim !

To sack your solicitor and your barrister just download form N434 !

N434 – Notice of change of solicitor (Court Service)

Download Form N434, Notice of change of solicitor, Court Service Forms, Administrative Court.

Samantha had 4 children removed after she ejected a rude and nosey social worker from her home(they said she must have a personality disorder!)She and her mother Philomena lost 3 cases in a row and 3 children to adoption when “represented” so when they threatened to take her new baby as soon as it was born she contacted me,and I advised her to represent herself.She did this successfully retaining her new baby and recovering her eldest child even after the SS appealed against her first win but Samantha still beat them again !She or her mother Philomena will advise you and tell you how they did it on 07947468340.

Do not be bluffed by social workers or even your own useless solicitors! If they tell you are not allowed by law to show your documents to anybody else tell them they are years out of date!Section 62 ,(para 251 explanatory notes), of the children Act 2004 allows you to show your documents and discuss your case in detail including names with as many individuals as you like! You are however still forbidden to reveal to the press,the public or sections of the public any information that might help identify the children concerned.Tell family ,friends,advisers, and any other individuals anything you like no matter what bossy social workers and expensive lawyers might tell you !! Jack Straw’s new rules simply confirm this position.

You can access the actual texts of the new rules as passed by parliament as follows;-

Statutory Instruments

See also Section 62: Publication of material relating to legal proceedings

The Children Act 2004 para 251.     Section 62(1) amends section 97 of the Children Act 1989 to make clear that the publication of material from family proceedings which is intended, or likely, to identify any child as being involved in such proceedings (or the address or school of such a child) is only prohibited in relation to publication of information to the public or any section of the public. This section will make the effect of section 97 less prohibitive by allowing disclosure of such information in certain circumstances. In effect, this means that passing on information identifying, or likely to identify, a child (his school or his address) as being involved in court proceedings to an individual or a number of individuals would not generally be a criminal offence .

News Release

27 June 2006


Clayton -v- Clayton: Summary of Judgment for Media

The Court of Appeal is today handing down its decision in the case of Clayton v Clayton.  This may well have widespread repercussions for parents and children, in relation to the identification of children as having been the subject of court proceedings once those proceedings are over.  Essentially, the decision concerns the balance between children’s right to privacy and their parents’ right to freedom of expression under the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Court of Appeal has decided that the prohibition from identifying children which section 97 of the Children Act 1989 provides only applies whilst the proceedings relating to the child in question are in progress. Once the proceedings have concluded, the protection given by the Act comes to an end, the entitlement to anonymity

The decision above means that once the court proceedings are over you are FREE to discuss your case with the press and anyone else you like even if it means that as a result you and/or your children may be identified as a consequence.

9 If your newborn baby is taken the SS have to have an emergency protection order or police protection order and if they cannot show you the document, hang on to your baby by force as they are acting illegally. You have the legal right to continue breast feeding the natural way (not expressing!).This of course gives you the right to much more contact with the baby than otherwise.

10 If SS take your baby and you have never caused it harm and neither you nor your partner have a criminal record you will have a good chance of winning (p,c,and s versus UK) by appealing to the court of human rights in Strasbourg (they have an office in the UK) once ALL proceedings(including appeals) in UK courts are concluded. Make sure of this last point or your application will be refused.

Strasbourg European Court of Human Rights

Please note that if the SS take your baby or very young child for no very good reason other than for ” risk of emotional abuse” or some similar vague notion then they are probably just trying to meet their adoption targets and your human rights have certainly been infringed .The decision by the  European court of human rights  (p,c,and s versus United Kingdom) was that the action of the UK in taking a baby at birth from a mother that had never been accused of harming it was “draconian” and merited a large fine and damages to the mother.

If the SS take your newborn baby QUOTE THIS CASE IN COURT as a reason for its return to your care.Make it clear that you will appeal on a point of law and if that fails go to the European Court of Human Rights if the judge ignores this case and rules against you. paragraphs 133,137,and 138)

Quoting Para 133.  The Court concludes that the draconian step of removing S. from her mother shortly after birth was not supported by relevant and sufficient reasons and that it cannot be regarded as having been necessary in a democratic society for the purpose of safeguarding S. There has therefore been, in that respect, a breach of the applicant parents’ rights under Article 8 of the Convention.

Mothers have the right to breastfeed!

If you are menaced by SS threatening to steal your baby start breastfeeding IMMEDIATELY !! The SS must allow you enough contact to continue, and this may give you enough breathing time to  defeat their adoption plans.!
*In the matter of unborn baby M; R (on the application of X and another) v Gloucestershire County Council.

Citation: BLD 160403280; [2003] EWHC 850 (Admin). Hearing Date: 15 April 2003 Court: Administrative Court. Judge: Munby J.


“Per curiam. If the state, in the guise of a local authority, seeks to remove a baby from his parents at a time when its case against the parents has not yet even been established, then the very least the state can do is to make generous arrangements for contact, those arrangements being driven by the needs of the family and not stunted by lack of resources. Typically, if this is what the parents want, one will be looking to contact most days of the week and for lengthy periods. Local authorities also had to be sensitive to the wishes of a mother who wants to breast-feed, and should make suitable arrangements to enable her to do so, and not merely to bottle-feed expressed breast milk. Nothing less would meet the imperative demands of the European Convention on Human Rights.”…

Published Date 16/04/2003

This case establishes the right of the mother to breastfeed,and is often ignored both by judges and the SS BECAUSE THE PARENTS ARE NOT AWARE OF THEIR RIGHTS UNDER THIS IMPORTANT CASE

11 According to the UN convention on children’s rights children old enough to understand the nature of a court have the right to take part and be heard in proceedings that concern them.

Article 12
  • Every child and young person has the right to express his or her views freely – about everything that affects him or her.
  • The child’s or young person’s views must be given ‘due weight’ depending on his or her age and maturity.
  • The child or young person has the right to be heard in all decision-making processes, including in court hearings. The child or young person can speak for him or herself, or someone else can speak for him or her.

If you can get your children into court to say they are happy with you and that they want to stay with you, plus your family doctor to say you have always been a good parent you stand a very good chance of winning!

Fight in court to have your children present in person to say that you have always treated them well and that they want to return home and call your own family doctor, who knows your family much better than the weird psychiatrists so often produced by the social services. If the allegations made against you by social services are false insist even against ferocious opposition that you cannot have a fair hearing unless your family doctor and any of your children said to have criticised you are present in person. Please understand this above all. YOUR CHILDREN IN COURT(IF THEY ARE OLD ENOUGH) PLUS YOUR FAMILY DOCTOR OR BETTER STILL AN EXPERT SELECTED BY YOU, GIVES YOU AN EXCELLENT CHANCE TO WIN!!… WITHOUT THEM YOU WILL ALMOST CERTAINLY LOSE!

The social workers ,the judge and even your own lawyers will usually resist the idea of children appearing in court (suffering emotional harm!) as they prefer to rely on videos where children have been rehearsed and pressurized into saying what they have been told to say.

Your answer must be the following 3 points:-

I wish my child to come to court to testify.

A:-Children suffer far more from a perhaps permanent separation from their families than from a few hours in court or from any publicity if the “neighbours” find out !

B:-Children who WANT to come to court to tell the truth will suffer far more from being forcibly prevented from doing this than from being allowed to do so.

C:- There cannot be a fair hearing if my principal witnesses are prevented from giving evidence, and therefore I shall appeal if this happens on the grounds that my human rights have been infringed.

Sent to me by a retired magistrate

>> Some years ago I was a magistrate. I never sat in family courts but I have been inside the system. There are some very balanced and fair  magistrates and although there are also some very prejudiced and narrow-minded ones, it should be possible to improve anyone’s odds of  winning with the right strategy. For me the key would be to make sure the parent can’t be de-personalised but is there as a living being and of course, as you say, they have to speak up themselves.  Otherwise it becomes a cold-hearted weighing up of written statements  and reports.

Convention on the Rights of the Child

Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by  General Assembly resolution 44/25  of 20 November 1989

entry into force 2 September 1990, in accordance with article 49

Article 12 of the United Nations convention on children’s rights gives a parent the legal right to call their children in judicial proceedings  as quoted below.

Article 12 (child’s right to participate in decision making)

1. Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.

2. For this purpose, the child shall in particular be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting the child, either directly, or through a representative or an appropriate body, in a manner consistent with the procedural rules of national law

Any claim that this clause is satisfied by the appointment of a “guardian” or “independent solicitor” to represent the children’s views by stating in court an opinion diametrically opposed to that of the children concerned should be exposed as the sham that it is.Simply a device to keep the children’s true opinions and desires from reaching the court and as such a clear breach of the spirit of the convention.

Simon Hughes, Minister for Justice recently made an important speech in which he said :-

I therefore want to announce that it is the intention of the Ministry of Justice, and therefore the government, that we move as soon as is practical to apply in all our family justice proceedings in England and Wales where children and young people are concerned the policy that it will be the normal practice, the norm, that, from the age of 10, children and young people involved in public or private law family justice proceedings before the courts will have access to the judge, in an appropriate way which reflects their feelings and wishes to make clear their views as to what is the best resolution of the family dispute in their interest. Children and young people of 10 and over will therefore be given the chance to make clear their views in person or if preferred in another way. We will also work with the mediation sector to arrive at a position where children and young people of 10 years old and over have appropriate access to mediators too in cases which affect them.

Why 10? It seems to me wrong that a 10 year old in England and Wales is deemed old enough to be criminally responsible yet has no automatic voice in family proceedings in which decisions are being made about them. Children and young people should be involved and be seen to be involved. And if a child younger than 10 years is able to express themselves and wishes to do so then they too should have that opportunity. Though of course we must also recognise that where a child or young person is too vulnerable and needs their views to be represented by others, this also should be the case.

Appeal allowed.

The presumption against a child giving evidence could not be reconciled with the approach of the European Court of Human Rights, which always aimed to strike a fair balance between competing Convention rights. For that reason LM v Medway Council (2007) EWCA Civ 9, (2007) 1 FLR 1698, R v B CC Ex p P (1991) 1 WLR 221 CA (Civ Div), P (A Minor) (Witness Summons), Re (1997) 2 FLR 447 CA (Civ Div) and W (Children) (Care Order: Sexual Abuse), Re (2009) EWCA Civ 644, (2009) 2 Cr App R 23 should be overruled. Article 6 required that the proceedings be fair, and that normally entailed an opportunity to challenge evidence presented by the other side. However, even in criminal proceedings, account had to be taken of the Article 8 rights of the perceived victim. Striking that balance in care proceedings might mean that the child was not called in the great majority of cases, but that was a result, and not a presumption. A court considering whether a child should be called would have to weigh the advantages that it would bring to the determination of the truth against the damage it might do to the welfare of that or any other child. In weighing the advantages of calling the child, the court would have to consider: whether it could determine the case without making findings on particular issues; whether, because of the quality of the evidence it already had, there would be nothing useful to be gained from the child’s oral evidence; the quality of any ABE interview; the nature of any challenge a party might wish to make, as the court would be unlikely to be helped by generalised accusations of lying, or by a fishing expedition, though focused questions putting forward a different explanation for certain events could help; and the age and maturity of the child and the length of time since the events in question.


Three-year-old becomes youngest trial witness

Jonathan Brown, The Independent, Saturday 12 November 2011

A three-year-old boy was given a packet of crisps by a judge after making legal history by becoming what is believed to be the youngest child to give evidence in a British court case.

The toddler, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was led gently through a series of questions about an alleged attack during the informal hearing. Answering via video link from an adjoining room at Bradford Crown Court, the boy told Judge Jonathan Rose that he liked Transformers and that his favourite flavour of crisps was salt and vinegar.

The court heard that the boy from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, then aged two, suffered life-threatening injuries and had to undergo surgery on his bowel after Daniel Joyce, 29, allegedly stamped on his stomach.

The judge and both barristers removed their wigs and gowns in accordance with Ministry of Justice guidelines on questioning young witnesses.

Michelle Colborne, for the defence, handed the boy cardboard cut-outs representing people and locations involved in the case as she reconstructed events.

The child was accompanied by a court usher and a female intermediary and was allowed to draw during the short cross-examination. He had been warned that he had to tell the truth before giving his evidence.

At one point the judge asked him: “If Michelle asks you just three questions should we stop for a bag of salt and vinegar crisps?” He replied: “Yeah.” The boy was also questioned by Caroline Wigin, for the prosecution. She asked: “How did Danny hurt your tummy?”

“He stamped on me,” the boy replied. “Did he touch you anywhere else apart from your tummy?” asked Ms Wigin. “Yeah,” said the boy.

“Where was that?” she asked. “He put his hand on my mouth,” said the child who is also alleged to have suffered injuries to the face and ear. “Do you know which room you were in?” asked Ms Wigin. “Yeah … in my bedroom,” said the boy. The prosecutor said the boy had appeared “his normal chatty self” according to a witness the night before the alleged attack. Mr Joyce raised the alarm the following day when the boy appeared pale and floppy.

A few weeks later the boy was asked what had happened and he said “Danny” had stamped on his stomach, it was claimed. Mr Joyce denies GBH with intent and an alternative allegation of causing grievous bodily harm. The trial continues.


Girl, 6, makes legal history as judge in child abduction case allows her to choose whether to live with her mummy or daddy

By Andy Dolan Daily Mail 15th April 2010

In a landmark case, a six-year-old girl caught in a tug-of-love battle has been allowed to choose which parent she will live with.

She became the youngest child to have her wishes influence the courts in an international child abduction case.

A judge heard how she had been left with a ‘visceral’ fear of being sent back to live with her father in Ireland.

The girl and her two brothers, aged three and eight, were brought to the UK by their English-born mother last summer.

They are now free to remain with her in this country after the Appeal Court yesterday upheld an earlier ruling by a family court judge to refuse the father’s application for them to be sent back to Ireland.

Giving her decision last month, Mrs Justice Black said the six-year-old and her older brother had ‘attained an age and level of maturity’ to have their wishes taken into account.

She said it would be ‘intolerable’ for their younger brother to be separated from them.

The court heard the three siblings had spent all their lives in Ireland, their father’s homeland, before their mother ‘unlawfully removed’ them last summer.

Their father’s counsel, Edward Devereux, said it was a ‘ clandestine and well-planned’ operation carried out while the father was at work.

He asked to have the children ‘summarily returned’ to Ireland under the Hague Convention, the international treaty which tackles-child abduction in family cases.

But Mrs Justice Black refused to order their return after hearing the strength of the two older children’s objections to the move.

A social worker who interviewed the pair said that, when she told them they might be sent back to Ireland, the boy ‘became very fidgety’ and his little sister started to cry.

The youngsters said that, if they had to return to Ireland, they wanted to live in a secret location as far away from their father as possible, the court heard.

In her ruling, Mrs Justice Black said the children’s objections were rooted ‘in their own experiences of family life and their fear of their father’.

She added that there was nothing to suggest that they had been influenced or put under pressure by their mother.

At the Appeal Court, Mr Devereux argued that the judge’s ruling undermined the whole basis of the Hague Convention, which requires that the future of children in such cases should be decided by the courts of the country from which they have been unlawfully abducted.

Describing the case as ‘unique’, the barrister said that six ‘is the youngest age in the reported jurisprudence at which a child has been found to have attained an age and degree of maturity at which it is appropriate to take account of her views’.

Mrs Justice Black’s ‘radical’ ruling, he said, would have ‘a far-reaching impact’ on child abduction cases.

However, after a two-hour hearing, Lord Justice Wilson and Lord Justice Sedley refused to grant the father permission to appeal, with the result that the children will now get their wish and stay with their mother in England.

Recognising the potentially widespread importance of the case, Lord Justice Sedley said the court would give the reasons for its decision at a later date.

Last month’s Court of Appeal hearing attracted much attention in the national press because at first instance Black J had taken account of the views of two of the three children involved. The younger of them was five years old at the time of her interview by a Cafcass officer.
Edward Devereux, representing the father, told the Court of Appeal that Mrs Justice Black’s decision to consult the girl had been “radical” and “unique”. He said that five was “the youngest age in the reported jurisprudence at which a child has been found to have attained an age and degree of maturity at which it is appropriate to take account of her views.”
The father’s application for permission to appeal was refused.
Delivering the main judgment of the Court, Wilson LJ cited the observation of Baroness Hale in In Re D (A Child) (Abduction: Rights of Custody) [2006] UKHL 51, that

“children should be heard far more frequently in Hague Convention cases than has been the practice hitherto”.  He shared the concern that “the lowering of the age at which a child’s objections may be taken into account might gradually erode the high level of achievement of the Convention’s objective, namely – in the vast majority of cases – to secure a swift restoration of children to the states from which they have been abducted.” However, he added: “A considerable safeguard against such erosion is to be found in the well-recognised expectation that in the discretionary exercise the objections of an older child will deserve greater weight than those of a younger child.”


In Mabon v. Mabon [2005] 2 FLR 1011, the Court of Appeal considered Rule 9.2A and the older line of authorities in the light of Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989, and Article 8 of the ECHR. The court acknowledged the greater appreciation and weight which must now be attached to the child’s autonomy and consequential right to participate fully in the decision-making process that fundamentally affects his life. It held that

in the case of articulate teenagers…. the right to freedom of expression and participation outweighed the paternalistic judgment of welfare.”[paragraph 28].

However, if direct participation would lead to a risk of harm that the child was incapable of comprehending, then a judge could find that sufficient understanding had not been demonstrated. Judges must equally be alive to the risk of emotional harm that might arise from denying the child knowledge of and participation in the continuing proceedings [para.29].


22 September 2008

Jacqui Smith, Jack Straw and Ed Balls today announced that the UK Government is removing two reservations, relating to immigration and children in custody with adults, on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
The Government will now also ratify the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography by the end of the year.
The news comes ahead of the UK’s appearance at the UN this week (23/24 September) where it will set out its commitment to the Convention and update it on progress on children’s wellbeing

So if lawyers say the UK law does not incorporate the convention the above proves them wrong !

W (Children) [2010] UKSC 12

Appeal to the Supreme Court by father in care proceedings relating to five children. At issue were the principles guiding the exercise of the court’s discretion in deciding whether to order a child to attend to give evidence in family proceedings.

Appeal allowed.

In this judgment the Supreme Court reformulates the approach a family court should take when exercising its discretion to decide whether to order a child to give live evidence in family proceedings. In so doing it removes the presumption or starting point of the current test, which is rarely if ever rebutted, that it is only in the exceptional case that a child should be so called.
At issue in this case is the care of five children.

The mother and father at the relevant time were in a relationship and the father is the biological parent of the four youngest children.

A sixth child is due to be born to the couple this month. The proceedings began in June 2009 when the eldest child, a 14 year old girl, alleged that her de facto stepfather had seriously sexually abused her.

All the children were taken into foster care and the four younger children are having supervised contact with both parents.

The father has since been charged with 13 criminal offences and is currently on bail awaiting trial.
In the family proceedings the parties originally agreed that there would be a fact finding hearing in which the 14 year old girl would give evidence via a video link.

The judge however asked for further argument on whether she should do so.

The local authority, having had time to consider the material received from the police, decided that they no longer wished to call the girl as a witness.

In November 2009 the judge decided to refuse the father’s application for her to be called.

Instead, she would rely on the other evidence, including a video-recorded interview with the child.
The Court of Appeal dismissed the father’s appeal (see [2010] EWCA Civ 57).

They did, however, express some concern about the test laid down in previous decisions of that court and suggested that the matter might be considered by the Family Justice Council.

The father appealed to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court unanimously allowed the appeal and remitted the question of whether the child should give evidence, and if so in what way, to Her Honour Judge Marshall to be determined at the fact finding hearing in light of the principles set down in this judgment.

  • The court agreed with counsel for the local authority that there were very real risks to the welfare of children which the court must take into account in any reformulation of the approach [17 to 21].

However the current law, which erects a presumption against a child giving live evidence in family proceedings, cannot be reconciled with the approach of the European           Court of  Human Rights, which aims to strike a fair balance between competing Convention rights.           In care proceedings there must be a balance struck between the article 6 requirement of fairness, which normally entails the opportunity to challenge evidence, and the article 8             right to respect for private and family life of all the people directly and indirectly involved.           No one right should have precedence over the other.           Striking the balance may well mean that a child should not be called to give evidence in a great majority of cases, but this is a result and not a presumption nor even a starting point [22, 23].

  • Accordingly, when considering whether a particular child should be called as a witness in family proceedings, the court must weigh two considerations:

the advantages that that will bring to the determination of the truth and the damage it may do to the welfare of this or any other child [24].           The court sets out a number of factors that a family court should consider when conducting this balancing exercise.           An unwilling child should rarely, if ever, be obliged to give evidence.           The risk of harm to the child if he or she is called to give evidence remains an ever-present factor to which the court must give great weight.           The risk, and therefore the weight, will vary from case to case, but it must always be taken into account [25, 26].           At both stages of the test the court must also factor in any steps which can be taken to improve the quality of the child’s evidence, and at the same time decrease the risk of harm to the            child  [27, 28].

  • The essential test is whether justice can be done to all the parties without further questioning of the child.

The relevant factors are simply an amplification of the existing approach.           What the court has done however is remove the presumption or starting point; that a child is rarely called to give evidence will now be a consequence of conducting a balancing exercise              and not the threshold test  [30].

  • In this case the trial judge had approached her decision from that starting point.

The Supreme Court could not be confident that the judge would have reached the same result had she approached the issue without this starting point, although she might well have           done so.           Nor did the court consider it appropriate to exercise its own discretion, given that all of the relevant material was not before the court.           The question is remitted to the trial judge to decide at the fact finding hearing scheduled for next week.           Taking account of the detriment which delay would undoubtedly cause to all of the children concerned, including the unborn baby, there should be no question of adjourning that hearing   ______[31 to 35]._

IMPORTANT !! If after quoting this decision by the Supreme Court you are still refused permission to call your children to testify in court ,IMMEDIATELY ask the judge for permission to appeal on the grounds that the lower court is ignoring the Supreme Court decision and disregarding Article 10 of the Human rights act that allows all a fair hearing with the right to call witnesses!!

[2010] UKSC 12            On appeal from: 2010 EWCA Civ 57
W (Children) before: Lord Walker Lady Hale Lord Brown Lord Mance Lord Kerr JUDGMENT GIVEN ON     3 March 2010 Heard on        1st and 2nd March 2010
Charles Geekie QC Michael Liebrecht (Instructed by Andrew L Webb) (Appellant)
Lucinda Davis QC Sarah Earley (Instructed by The County Council Legal Services) (Respondent) Kate Branigan QC Maggie Jones (Instructed by Larcombes LLP) (Respondent)
LADY HALE giving the judgment of the court: 1. At issue in this case are the principles which should guide the exercise of the court’s discretion in deciding whether to order a child to attend to give evidence in family proceedings. The current approach was stated by Smith LJ in LM v Medway Council, RM and YM [2007] EWCA Civ 9, [2007] 1 FLR 1698, at para 44:

“The correct starting point . . . is that it is undesirable that a child should have to give evidence in care proceedings and that particular justification will be required before that course is taken.

There will be some cases in which it will be right to make an order.

In my view they will be rare.”

She went on to explain the factors which should guide the judge in considering whether to make the order, at para 45:

“. . . the judge will have to balance the need for the evidence in the circumstances of the case against what he assesses to be the potential for harm to the child.

In assessing the need for oral evidence . . . the judge should, in my view, take account of the importance of the evidence to the process of his decision about the child’s future.

It may be that the child’s future cannot satisfactorily be determined without that evidence.

In assessing the risk of harm or oppression, the judge should take heed of current research into the effect on children of giving evidence and should not rely only upon his impression of the child, although that will of course be relevant.”

  1. That approach was based upon the earlier authority of Butler-Sloss LJ in R v B County Council, ex parte P [1991] 1 WLR 221 and Wilson J in Re P (Witness Summons) [1997] 2 FLR 447.

It was endorsed by Wilson LJ in the Medway case and by Wall and Thorpe LJJ in SW v Portsmouth City Council; Re W (children: concurrent care and criminal proceedings) [2009] EWCA 644, [2009] 3 FCR 1.

And it was followed by Wall and Wilson LJJ in their joint judgment in the present case: [2010] EWCA Civ 57.

Each had previously stated that in all their years of experience in the Family Division of the High Court he had never heard oral evidence from a child in care proceedings.

That is also my own experience.
3. The complaint, very moderately advanced by Mr Geekie QC, is that a “starting point” of undesirability, placing the burden upon the person wishing to cross-examine a child to show some “particular justification” for doing so, gives insufficient weight to the Convention rights of all concerned.

All the parties in care proceedings are entitled to a fair hearing in the determination of their civil rights and obligations – the parents who stand to lose their children if allegations of abuse are made out, the children who stand to lose their parents if allegations of abuse are made out, but also stand to suffer abuse or further abuse if they are left at home because those allegations cannot be proved.

And it is not only their article 6 rights which are in play.

The civil rights in issue are also Convention rights in themselves – the right to respect for the family lives of the parents and their children but also the right to respect for the private lives of the children, which include their rights to be protected from attacks upon their physical and psychological integrity: X and Y v The Netherlands (1985) 8 EHRR 235. Even a “stranger” child, whose future is not in issue in the proceedings but whose statements are relevant, has privacy interests which deserve respect.
4. Hence, argues Mr Geekie, there should be no starting point or presumption that such cases will be rare.

Instead, the court should adopt the approach explained by Lord Steyn in In re S (Identification: Restrictions on Publication) [2004] UKHL 47, [2005] 1 AC 593, at para 17, when balancing of the right to respect for private and family life in article 8 and the right to freedom of expression in article 10:

“First, neither article has as such precedence over the other.

Secondly, where the values of the two articles are in conflict, an intense focus on the comparative importance of the specific rights being claimed in the individual case is necessary.

Thirdly, the justifications for interfering with or restricting each right must be taken into account.

Finally, the proportionality test must be applied to each.”

Mr Geekie understands that article 6 is not a qualified right in the same way that article 8 is a qualified right, but he accepts that what is entailed in a fair hearing in Childen Act proceedings will have to take account of the article 8 rights of all concerned.

All he asks for is “an intense focus” upon their comparative importance rather than an assumption that the one will almost always trump the other.
The background 5. The starting point of English criminal and civil procedure has historically been that facts must be proved by oral evidence given on oath before the court which can then be tested by cross-examination.

Hearsay evidence was mostly inadmissible.

But wardship proceedings in the High Court were an exception.

The High Court was exercising a protective parental jurisdiction over its wards in which their welfare and not the rights of the parties was the paramount consideration:

see In Re K (Infants) [1965] AC 201; Re W (Minors) (Wardship: Evidence) [1990] 1 FLR 203.

It was assumed that hearsay was also admissible in proceedings about the future of children in other courts.

But the Court of Appeal held otherwise in H v H (Minor) (Child Abuse: Evidence) [1990] Fam 86 in relation to matrimonial and guardianship proceedings and Otton J held otherwise in Bradford City Metropolitan Council v K (Minors) [1990] Fam 140 in relation to care proceedings in juvenile courts.
6. The result was an addition to the Children Bill then going through Parliament, which became section 96 of the Children Act 1989.

Subsections (1) and (2) allow a child to give unsworn evidence in any civil proceedings, even if he does not understand the nature of an oath, provided that he understands that it is his duty to tell the truth and has sufficient understanding to justify his evidence being heard.

Subsections (3) to (5) provide for the Lord Chancellor (with the concurrence of the Lord Chief Justice) to make provision by order for the admissibility in civil proceedings of hearsay evidence relating to the upbringing, maintenance or welfare of a child.

The Children (Admissibility of Hearsay Evidence) Order 1993, SI 1993/621, simply provides that such evidence shall be admissible “notwithstanding any rule of law relating to hearsay”.

It does not make the more detailed provision allowed for by section 96(5). 7. Meanwhile, there had also been developments in the criminal courts, not in relation to the admissibility of hearsay, but in relation to the way in which a child’s evidence might be given.

In 1989, the Report of the Advisory Group on Video Evidence (the Pigot Report) recommended that both the evidence-in-chief and cross-examination of child witnesses should be video-recorded and the recording stand as their evidence at the trial.

The Group received evidence that “most children are disturbed to a greater or lesser extent by giving evidence in court” which was a “harmful, oppressive and often traumatic experience” (para 2.10).

They attached “particular importance to the psychiatric opinion we received which suggests that not only do abused children who testify in court exhibit more signs of disturbed behaviour than those who do not, but that the effects of a court appearance are most severe and prolonged in those who have suffered the worst abuse and those without family support” (para 2.12).
8. The Criminal Justice Act 1991 implemented the Pigot Report’s proposals for video-recorded evidence-in-chief but not for cross-examination.

A Memorandum of Good Practice on Video Recorded Interviews with Child Witnesses for Criminal Proceedings, drawing on expert psychological advice, was published in 1992; replaced in 2002 by Achieving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings: Guidance for Vulnerable or Intimidated Witnesses, including Children; and again in 2007 by Achieving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings: Guidance on Interviewing Victims and Witnesses, and Using Special Measures.

As its name implies, the aim is to enable witnesses who would not otherwise be able to give of their best in a criminal trial to do so.
9. The Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 now provides for a variety of special measures to assist children (and other vulnerable witnesses) to give evidence in criminal cases. These include screens, live television links, using video-recordings as evidence-in-chief, providing aids to communication and examining the witness through an approved intermediary.

(There is also provision for cross-examination and re-examination to be video-recorded but there are no plans to bring this into force.)

The 1999 Act also allows witnesses of any age to give unsworn evidence in criminal proceedings unless it appears to the court that they are unable to understand the questions put or to give intelligible answers.

On top of these measures designed to improve the ways in which the evidence of these witnesses is put before the court, the Criminal Justice Act 2003 now allows for hearsay evidence to be given in criminal trials in a much wider set of circumstances than used to be the case.
10. Family proceedings are typically very different from criminal proceedings.

There is often a mass of documentary evidence, much of it hearsay, from which a picture can be built up or inferences drawn.

A child may reveal what has happened to her in many different ways.

The dangers of over-enthusiasm and leaping to conclusions were well illustrated in the Report of the Inquiry into Child Abuse in Cleveland 1987 (1988, Cm 412).

One consequence has been that video-recordings of “Achieving Best Evidence” (ABE) interviews are routinely used in care proceedings if they are available.

The near-contemporaneous account, given in response to open-ended questioning, in relaxed and comfortable surroundings, is considered inherently more likely to be reliable than an account elicited by formal questioning in the stressful surroundings of a court room months if not years after the event.

Unlike criminal proceedings, however, it is “rare” for the child to be called for cross-examination in family proceedings.
The facts of this case 11. These are care proceedings relating to five children:

a 14 year old girl whom we shall call “Charlotte” and her four half-siblings, aged 8, 7, 3 and 18 months.

The mother is expecting another child later this month.

The appellant is father to the younger children but not to Charlotte and her 17 year old sister “Nancy”.

The mother and father are not married to one another, but the appellant is de facto the step-father of both Charlotte and Nancy and has been referred to as the father throughout the case.
12. These proceedings began in June 2009 because Charlotte made allegations at school that the father had seriously sexually abused her, specifically on the previous day but also on a number of occasions before that.

This was not the first time that she had made allegations against him to friends and other adults; the police have disclosed statements and interviews from these people.

There were two previous investigations which came to nothing: in 2006 when she had failed to confirm what she was said to have told others and in 2008 when she retracted a serious allegation made in a text message to a friend.

This time, however, she was immediately “ABE” interviewed and medically examined and there is also some relevant forensic evidence.

The father has been charged with 13 criminal offences against her and is currently on bail awaiting trial.
13. Charlotte has been in foster care since making her allegations.

Her four younger half-siblings were at first taken into foster care, then returned to their mother following an order excluding the father from the home, then taken back into foster care after the mother allowed them unauthorised contact with the father.

They are having supervised contact with both their parents.

Charlotte is having contact with the younger children, but the local authority do not think that contact with her mother is beneficial for her.
14. At a case management hearing in September 2009, the parties had agreed that there should be a fact finding hearing in relation to the allegations of sexual abuse made by Charlotte, at which she would give live evidence over a video link.

The judge, however, asked for further argument on the matter.

The local authority, having by then had time to consider the material received from the police, decided that they no longer wished to call Charlotte as a witness but to rely upon her ABE interview. The father however applied for her to be called.

On 30 November 2009 the judge refused this application.

The fact-finding hearing is currently listed to begin next Monday, 8 March 2010.
15. On 9 February 2010, the Court of Appeal gave their reasons for dismissing the father’s appeal.

In their joint judgment, Wall and Wilson LJJ adhered to the practice as laid down in the previous decisions of that court.

They did, however, point out that the evidence upon which the Pigot Report had relied related to the criminal law as it stood in 1989.

They wondered whether the time had now come for “a wider consideration of the issue in relation to family proceedings than is possible in the light of the doctrine of precedent” (para 27).

They therefore proposed to send the judgments to the President of the Family Division so that he could consider whether to take the issue further, perhaps by referring it to the Family Justice Council for a multi-disciplinary committee to look into it (para 30).

Rimer LJ drew “back from the brink of dissent”: he concluded that the judge’s decision was “for all practical purposes, imposed on her by a mixture of jurisprudence and practice, being however a mixture whose underlying soundness I would respectfully question” (para 69).

He endorsed the proposal for reconsideration and we have since been told that the President of the Family Division has referred the question to a multi-disciplinary committee chaired by Thorpe LJ.
16. Wall and Wilson LJJ appeared to accept (at para 30) the observation of Wall LJ in Re W, above, at para 57, that this was not a matter for the judiciary to resolve.

While this must be true of the criminal justice process, with the greatest of respect to them, it cannot be true of the family justice process.

There is no problem with the admissibility of hearsay evidence.

The problem is whether the current practice of rarely calling children to give live evidence even when they could be called can be reconciled with the Convention rights or even with the elementary principles of justice.

That is a question of law for this Court, even if it is one on which we should very much prefer to have the up to date advice of an expert multidisciplinary committee.
Preserving the status quo 17. There are a great many reasons for not departing from the present practice.

The principal reason, urged upon us by Ms Lucinda Davis for the local authority, is that the whole purpose of care proceedings is to protect the interests of children.

It does not make sense to set up a process to protect them and then for the process itself to traumatise them by making them give evidence.

This does, of course, depend upon the view that giving evidence is indeed harmful to children.

But, she argues, the evidence we have is that which was before the Pigot committee in 1989 and it would be wrong to change the practice until there is fresh evidence which casts doubt upon that. As to whether such evidence might be forthcoming, we note the experience of Wall LJ, as related in Re W at para 55, which does not suggest that it would:

throughout his time in the Family Division, he attended numerous conferences at which every child and adolescent psychiatrist to whom he spoke, or whom he heard speak, condemned as abusive the process in criminal law whereby a child was required to attend court to be cross-examined, often many months and sometimes years after the event in order to have his or her credibility impugned over abuse allegations.

He had never been persuaded that it was impracticable to implement the Pigot proposals in full.

Recent research (Joyce Plotnikoff and Richard Woolfson, Measuring up? Evaluating implementation of Government commitments to young witnesses in criminal proceedings, 2009, Nuffield Foundation and NSPCC) has shown that, although special measures have made the experience better for children, many still find it difficult and stressful.
18. There are other problems with changing the present practice.

It might well be possible to do far more in family proceedings to make the process of giving evidence less traumatic for children.

There is no reason in principle why the family courts should not adopt the Pigot proposals in full.

Care proceedings are said to be inquisitorial.

The parties are not permitted to “keep their powder dry” as they are for the full scale battle before the jury in criminal cases.

They have to disclose what their answers are to any allegations made.

They are compellable witnesses.

If the child is ABE interviewed and they wish to put questions to her, the facilities could in theory be made available for them to do this in a further video-recorded session soon afterwards.
19. But what if those facilities are not made available?

What if for some reason the ideal cannot happen?

Is the judge to say that, because the best trial cannot happen, the proceedings must be abandoned?

The children’s need for protection is just as strong and the children’s right to be given that protection is just as powerful.

Say, for example, in a case like this, an older child went missing or died after having made her allegations.

Is the evidence of those allegations to be ignored in deciding whether or not the younger children require to be protected against something similar happening to them in future?

It is one thing for the State to abandon the prospect of punishing a person for his misdeeds.

It is another for the State to abandon the children who may need its protection to their fate.
20. There is a further fear.

It is, of course, not unknown for children to make false allegations of abuse.

But it is also not unknown, indeed it is believed to be more common, for children to conceal or deny the abuse which is happening to them.

They may have been “groomed” to believe it normal and natural.

They may have been threatened with dire consequences if they tell the secret.

They may be perfectly capable of working out for themselves that making a complaint will lead to pain and distress for all concerned and probably to the break up of the whole family.

These are powerful deterrents to coming forward or persisting in complaints.

It is as much for this reason as for any other that the family justice system has sought to minimise the deterrent effect of its own processes.

Were requests for children to give evidence to become routine, the uncertainties which this would generate would add to the deterrent effect both in individual cases and in general.
21. These are all, it can be said, very real risks to the welfare of individual children, and to children as yet unknown, which this court must be careful to take into account in any reformulation of the present approach.
Conclusions in principle 22. However tempting it may be to leave the issue until it has received the expert scrutiny of a multi-disciplinary committee, we are satisfied that we cannot do so.

The existing law erects a presumption against a child giving evidence which requires to be rebutted by anyone seeking to put questions to the child.

That cannot be reconciled with the approach of the European Court of Human Rights, which always aims to strike a fair balance between competing Convention rights.

Article 6 requires that the proceedings overall be fair and this normally entails an opportunity to challenge the evidence presented by the other side.

But even in criminal proceedings account must be taken of the article 8 rights of the perceived victim: see SN v Sweden, App no 34209/96, 2 July 2002.

Striking that balance in care proceedings may well mean that the child should not be called to give evidence in the great majority of cases, but that is a result and not a presumption or even a starting point.
23. The object of the proceedings is to achieve a fair trial in the determination of the rights of all the people involved.

Children are harmed if they are taken away from their families for no good reason.

Children are harmed if they are left in abusive families.

This means that the court must admit all the evidence which bears upon the relevant questions:

whether the threshold criteria justifying state intervention have been proved;

if they have, what action if any will be in the best interests of the child?

The court cannot ignore relevant evidence just because other evidence might have been better.

It will have to do the best it can on what it has.
24. When the court is considering whether a particular child should be called as a witness, the court will have to weigh two considerations:

the advantages that that will bring to the determination of the truth and the damage it may do to the welfare of this or any other child.

A fair trial is a trial which is fair in the light of the issues which have to be decided.

Mr Geekie accepts that the welfare of the child is also a relevant consideration, albeit not the paramount consideration in this respect.

He is right to do so, because the object of the proceedings is to promote the welfare of this and other children.

The hearing cannot be fair to them unless their interests are given great weight.
25. In weighing the advantages that calling the child to give evidence may bring to the fair and accurate determination of the case, the court will have to look at several factors.

One will be the issues it has to decide in order properly to determine the case.

Sometimes it may be possible to decide the case without making findings on particular allegations.

Another will be the quality of the evidence it already has.

Sometimes there may be enough evidence to make the findings needed whether or not the child is cross-examined.

Sometimes there will be nothing useful to be gained from the child’s oral evidence.

The case is built upon a web of behaviour, drawings, stray remarks, injuries and the like, and not upon concrete allegations voiced by the child.

The quality of any ABE interview will also be an important factor, as will be the nature of any challenge which the party may wish to make.

The court is unlikely to be helped by generalised accusations of lying, or by a fishing expedition in which the child is taken slowly through the story yet again in the hope that something will turn up, or by a crossexamination which is designed to intimidate the child and pave the way for accusations of inconsistency in a future criminal trial.

On the other hand, focussed questions which put forward a different explanation for certain events may help the court to do justice between the parties.

Also relevant will be the age and maturity of the child and the length of time since the events in question, for these will have a bearing on whether an account now can be as reliable as a near-contemporaneous account, especially if given in a well-conducted ABE interview.
26. The age and maturity of the child, along with the length of time since the events in question, will also be relevant to the second part of the inquiry, which is the risk of harm to the child.

Further specific factors may be the support which the child has from family or other sources, or the lack of it, the child’s own wishes and feelings about giving evidence, and the views of the child’s guardian and, where appropriate, those with parental responsibility.

We endorse the view that an unwilling child should rarely, if ever, be obliged to give evidence.

The risk of further delay to the proceedings is also a factor:

there is a general principle that delay in determining any question about a child’s upbringing is likely to prejudice his welfare:

see Children Act 1989, s 1(2).

There may also be specific risks of harm to this particular child.

Where there are parallel criminal proceedings, the likelihood of the child having to give evidence twice may increase the risk of harm.

The parent may be seeking to put his child through this ordeal in order to strengthen his hand in the criminal proceedings rather than to enable the family court to get at the truth.

On the other hand, as the family court has to give less weight to the evidence of a child because she has not been called, then that may be damaging too.

However, the court is entitled to have regard to the general evidence of the harm which giving evidence may do to children, as well as to any features which are particular to this child and this case. That risk of harm is an ever-present feature to which, on the present evidence, the court must give great weight.

The risk, and therefore the weight, may vary from case to case, but the court must always take it into account and does not need expert evidence in order to do so.
27. But on both sides of the equation, the court must factor in what steps can be taken to improve the quality of the child’s evidence and at the same time to decrease the risk of harm to the child. These two aims are not in opposition to one another.

The whole premise of Achieving Best Evidence and the special measures in criminal cases is that this will improve rather than diminish the quality of the evidence to the court.

It does not assume that the most reliable account of any incident is one made from recollection months or years later in the stressful conditions of a courtroom.

Nor does it assume that an “Old Bailey style” cross examination is the best way of testing that evidence.

It may be the best way of casting doubt upon it in the eyes of a jury but that is another matter.

A family court would have to be astute both to protect the child from the harmful and destructive effects of questioning and also to evaluate the answers in the light of the child’s stage of development.
28. The family court will have to be realistic in evaluating how effective it can be in maximising the advantage while minimising the harm.

There are things that the court can do but they are not things that it is used to doing at present.

It is not limited by the usual courtroom procedures or to applying the special measures by analogy.

The important thing is that the questions which challenge the child’s account are fairly put to the child so that she can answer them, not that counsel should be able to question her directly.

One possibility is an early video’d cross examination as proposed by Pigot.

Another is cross-examination via video link.

But another is putting the required questions to her through an intermediary.

This could be the court itself, as would be common in continental Europe and used to be much more common than it is now in the courts of this country.
29. In principle, the approach in private family proceedings between parents should be the same as the approach in care proceedings.

However, there are specific risks to which the court must be alive.

Allegations of abuse are not being made by a neutral and expert local authority which has nothing to gain by making them, but by a parent who is seeking to gain an advantage in the battle against the other parent.

This does not mean that they are false but it does increase the risk of misinterpretation, exaggeration or downright fabrication.

On the other hand, the child will not routinely have the protection and support of a Cafcass guardian.

There are also many more litigants in person in private proceedings.

So if the court does reach the conclusion that justice cannot be done unless the child gives evidence, it will have to take very careful precautions to ensure that the child is not harmed by this.
30. It will be seen that these considerations are simply an amplification of those outlined by Smith LJ in the Medway case, at para 45, but without the starting point, at para 44.

The essential test is whether justice can be done to all the parties without further questioning of the child.

Our prediction is that, if the court is called upon to do it, the consequence of the balancing exercise will usually be that the additional benefits to the court’s task in calling the child do not outweigh the additional harm that it will do to the child.

A wise parent with his child’s interests truly at heart will understand that too.

But rarity should be a consequence of the exercise rather than a threshold test (as in Huang v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2007] UKHL 11, [2007] 2 AC 167, para 20).
31. Finally, we would endorse the suggestion made by Miss Branigan QC for the child’s guardian, that the issue should be addressed at the case management conference in care proceedings or the earliest directions hearing in private law proceedings.

It should not be left to the party to raise.

This is not, however, an invitation to elaborate consideration of what will usually be a non-issue.
The outcome in this case 32. We commend the care with which the judge approached the issue in this case.

She considered the factors which we have outlined above most conscientiously.

But she approached them, as she was required to do on the authorities as they stood, from the starting point that it is only in exceptional circumstances that a child should be required to give evidence.

We cannot be confident that she would have reached the same conclusion had she approached them without that starting point, although she might well have done so.
33. We have considered whether it would be appropriate for us to exercise the discretion afresh but have concluded that we should not do so.

It would have the advantage of a speedy decision, one way or the other, in advance of the hearing which is due to start on Monday.

But we are not confident that we have all the relevant material before us.

In particular, although we have seen the transcripts, we have not seen the video of the first ABE interview.

Nor have we seen the video of a second interview, conducted after the Court of Appeal decision, in which Charlotte made allegations of physical abuse of all the children and domestic violence between the adults.

In the circumstances we see no alternative to remitting the question to be determined by the judge in the light of the judgment of this court.
34. However, there must be no question of adjourning the hearing fixed for next week.

That would undoubtedly be detrimental to all the children concerned.

It has already been adjourned twice.

Charlotte is understandably anxious that matters be resolved as soon as possible for the sake of the younger children.

They have been away from their home since June last year.

Even more important is the fate of the baby who is expected later this month.

The court’s findings will be crucial in deciding what steps, if any, are required to protect the baby.

This means that the parties will have to consider their positions and make written submissions to the judge in time for her to decide the question on Monday morning.

There is, of course, still time for the father to change his stance.
35. For these reasons, the appeal will be allowed and the question of whether the child should give evidence at the hearing which is to begin on Monday 8 March is remitted to the judge for her to determine in the light of this judgment.

12Never sign any documents or undertakings, and never agree that the “thresholds” of abuse or neglect have been reached. If your solicitor “agreed the thresholds” on your behalf this amounted to an admission that you abused or neglected your child or put it at risk.Make it clear on appeal that you did NOT agree to this at all but were prevented from saying so in court by your own solicitor or better still by the judge telling you to sit down !You are entitled to receive a judgement so that if you wish to appeal or ask for a discharge of an interim care order,a final care order,or an adoption placement,you have a valid excuse for the delay. You state that you are “out of time” simply because you have been refused a judgement and therefore cannot know the grounds against which you are appealing !

13 RISK = future danger and “experts” make gypsylike predictions that are really just guesses that can never be proved.These so called “experts” are not infallible,Professors Meadows,Southall,and Dr Marietta Higgs have all been discredited and in the Louise Woodward case the top experts in the country violently disagreed in a shaken baby case and each testified for the side that paid them!SS ignore experts who do not agree with them and only produce experts in court that will help their case!

14 You do not suffer from a “personality disorder”just because you distrust social workers as many distinguished MPs,journalists,and broadcasters think the same as you but do not face the same accusation!

15 If your house was “cluttered” or untidy the SS should have helped you tidy up or at least warned you to do so rather than take your children without giving you a chance.

16 Emotional abuse= expecting too much of your child,or treating the child with contempt and without love. This  can and should be disputed if you apply the legal definition specified later in this section.Usually the accusation of “risk of emotional abuse” is so vague that it cannot possibly be covered by the official definition given by the Department of Health. 

Your statement should say :-“There is no evidence to show that my children ever have suffered or risk suffering emotional abuse as defined below by the Department of health.

Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill-treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. It may involve causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment of a child, though it may occur alone’. (Department of Health et al, 1999, p.5-6)

17 If school attendance was bad you should at least have received a written warning from the school or from SS before your children were removed! 

18 Remember that social workers ARE NOT POLICE and cannot give you orders or forbid you to tell your children that you love them,miss them and are fighting to get them back! It is absolutely essential that you blurt out “I love you and want you back but wicked childstealers have kidnapped you and these horrible thieves are stopping you from coming home !” Say this or words to that effect before anyone can stop you as SS nearly always tell children “mummy does not love you or want you any more” and the children MUST know the truth. Only a court can legally give you orders so do not be bluffed into signing documents or obeying orders from the SS !

19 Social Workers have a statutory duty to try and keep families together not split them up ,so they should be asked in court just what attempts they made to keep YOUR family together before taking the baby or the children !

QUOTE THE “HUMAN RIGHTS ACT”section 8:- (The most important)

Article 8: Right to Respect for Private and Family Life

  1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.
  2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

Obviously those who drafted Article 8 intended it to defend the family against oppression by the State.Only in the UK do perverse UK judges use it to defend the State against protests from  aggrieved families ! Yes,these UK  judges say that the “privacy” of babies and young children outweighs the freedom of speech of their own parents . Those parents therefore who believe their children have been taken wrongly by social services are forbidden to protest openly or to go to the media under threat of jail if they do for “violation of their own children’s privacy ! A privacy that is ruthlessly disregarded by Social Services when they advertise those same children for adoption in the Daily Mirror and other periodicals like pedigree dogs complete with colour photos ,first names ,birth dates,and character descriptions that make these children easily identifiable by “the neighbours” !

20:- YOU MUST BE ALLOWED TO SPEAK IN COURT AND TO SAY ALL YOU WANT TO SAY,CALL ALL THE WITNESSES YOU WANT TO CALL,AND MAKE ALL THE POINTS AND ARGUMENTS YOU WANT TO MAKE ! Sack any solicitor or barrister that refuses you these very elementary legal rights OR worse still who advises you to surrender and go along with everything the SS demand.You do not need a lawyer to earn easy money by arranging your surrender. If you represent yourself as at least then you won’t be gagged !You will at least have a chance to win !

For a more complete list of articles see below. (6,8,10,and11 are the most relevant)

Click on the categories below to read the relevant article of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The right to life l Freedom from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment l Freedom from forced labour l Right to Liberty l Fair trial l l Retrospective penalties l Privacy l Freedom of conscience l Freedom of expression l Freedom of assembly l Marriage and family l Freedom from discrimination l First Protocol

Article 2: Right to Life

(1) Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which the penalty is provided by law. (2) Deprivation of life shall not be regarded as inflicted in contravention of this Article when it results from the use of force which is no more than absolutely necessary- (a) in defence of any person from unlawful violence; (b) in order to effect a lawful arrest or to prevent the escape of a person lawfully detained; (c) in action lawfully taken for the purpose of quelling a riot or insurrection.

Return to top

Article 3: Inhuman treatment

No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Return to top

Article 4: Slavery

(1) No one shall be held in slavery or servitude. (2) No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour. (3) For the purpose of this Article the term “forced or compulsory labour” shall not include: (a) any work required to be done in the ordinary course of detention imposed in accordance to the provisions of Article 5 of this Convention or during conditional release from such detention; (b) any service of a military character or, in the case of conscientious objectors in countries where they are recognised, service exacted instead of compulsory military service; (c) any service exacted in case of an emergency or calamity threatening the life or well-being of the community; (d) any work or service which forms part of normal civic obligations.

Return to top

Article 5: Right to Liberty

(1) Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be deprived of his liberty save in the following cases and in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law: (a) the lawful detention of a person after conviction by a competent court; (b) the lawful arrest or detention of a person for non-compliance with the lawful order of a court or in order to secure the fulfilment of any obligation prescribed by law; (c) the lawful arrest or detention of a person effected for the purpose of bringing him before the competent legal authority on reasonable suspicion of having committed an offence or when it is reasonably considered necessary to prevent his committing an offence or fleeing after having done so; (d) the detention of a minor by lawful order for the purpose of educational supervision or his lawful detention for the purpose of bringing him before the competent legal authority; (e) the lawful detention of persons for the prevention of the spreading of infectious diseases, of persons of unsound mind, alcoholics and drug addicts or vagrants; (f) the lawful arrest or detention of a person to prevent his effecting an unauthorised entry into the country or of a person against whom action is being taken with a view to deportation or extradition. (2) Everyone who is arrested shall be informed promptly, in a language which he understands, of the reason for his arrest and of any charge against him. (3) Everyone arrested or detained in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1(c) of this Article shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorised by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release pending trial. Release may be conditioned by guarantees to appear for trial. (4) Everyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings by which the lawfulness of his detention shall be decided speedily by a court and his release ordered if the detention is not lawful. (5) Everyone who has been the victim of arrest or detention in contravention of the provisions of this Article shall have an enforceable right to compensation.

Return to top

Article 6: Right to a fair trial

(1) In the determination of his civil rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law. Judgment shall be pronounced publicly but the press and public may be excluded from all or part of the trial in the interests of morals, public order or national security in a democratic society, where the interests of juveniles or the protection of the private life of the parties so require, or to the extent strictly necessary in the opinion of the court in special circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice. (2) Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law. (3) Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the following minimum rights –

(a) to be informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him; (b) to have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence; (c) to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing or, if he has not sufficient means to pay for legal assistance, to be given it free when the interests of justice so require; (d) to examine or have examined witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him; (e) to have the free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand or speak the language used in court.

Return to top

Article 7: Retrospective crimes

(1) No one shall be held guilty of any criminal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offence under national or international law at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the criminal offence was committed.

(2) This Article shall not prejudice the trial and punishment of any person for any act or omission which, at the time it was committed, was criminal according to the general law recognised by civilised nations.

Return to top

Article 8: Right to privacy

(1) Everyone has the right for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

(2) There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.


Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

This is, in the most basic sense, a right to privacy. And it was passed by Parliament into law. Whenever it is cited in court in injunction cases, it is always balanced by judges against another right enshrined by the Convention, the right to freedom of expression under article 10.

Moreover, the Human Rights Act also has a specific provision which seeks to bolster the freedom of expression side of that balance. Section 12 provides

The court must have particular regard to the importance of the Convention right to freedom of expression and, where the proceedings relate to material which the respondent claims, or which appears to the court, to be journalistic, literary or artistic material (or to conduct connected with such material), to

(a)the extent to which (i) the material has, or is about to, become available to the public; or (ii) it is, or would be, in the public interest for the material to be published; (b)any relevant privacy code.


Article 8 of the Human Rights Act gives the right to enjoy a private family life without interference from public authority;Clearly those who drafted this article intended it to protect the family against interference by the State.I was always taught that statutes should be interpreted as far as possible so that they gave effect to the obvious intentions of those who drafted them .You do not have to be a lawyer to see that this article was drafted as a protection for the family against the State not vice versa ! Only perverse UK judges anxious to protect the family court system from criticism could interpret the article as a protection for the State against outraged families! UK family court judges are so determined to cover up the injustices that occur when babies are snatched by the “SS” from non addictive mothers at birth for “risk of emotional abuse” that if such a mother goes to the media to protest both she and the publisher are threatened with jail for violating the baby’s privacy ! The right for her to enjoy a private family life is discarded in favour of a “cover up” nominally to protect privacy but really to suppress the democratic right to protest publicly against a perceived injustice that normally forms the cornerstone of any genuine democracy.The hypocrisy of these judges is further exposed when they give the local authorities permission to advertise these same babies and toddlers for adoption in the Daily Mirror and other periodicals with colour photographs ,birth dates, etc;The privacy of these children is soon abandoned once the exposure of injustices in the family courts has been sucessfully suppressed.

Article 9: Freedom of conscience

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.

(2) Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

Return to top

Article 10: Freedom of Expression

(1) Everyone has the right of freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without inference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.

(2) The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

Return to top

Article 11: Freedom of Assembly

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

(2) No restrictions shall be placed on the exercise of these rights other than such as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

This Article shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on the exercise of these rights by members of the armed forces, of the police or of the administration of the state.

Return to top

Article 12: Marriage and the family

Men and women of marriageable age shall have the right to marry and to found a family, according to national laws governing the exercise of this right.

Return to top

Article 14: Discrimination

The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status

Many of the above points will probably apply in YOUR case,and if they do you are advised to include them in your statement.

Practice Guidance: McKenzie Friends (Civil and Family Courts)

1)This Guidance applies to civil and family proceedings in the Court of Appeal (Civil Division), the High Court of Justice, the County Courts and the Family Proceedings Court in the Magistrates’ Courts.1 It is issued as guidance (not as a Practice Direction) by the Master of the Rolls, as Head of Civil Justice, and the President of the Family Division, as Head of Family Justice. It is intended to remind courts and litigants of the principles set out in the authorities and supersedes the guidance contained in Practice Note (Family Courts: McKenzie Friends) (No 2) [2008] 1 WLR 2757, which is now withdrawn.2 It is issued in light of the increase in litigants-in-person (litigants) in all levels of the civil and family courts.

The Right to Reasonable Assistance

2)Litigants have the right to have reasonable assistance from a layperson, sometimes called a McKenzie Friend (MF). Litigants assisted by MFs remain litigants-in-person. MFs have no independent right to provide assistance. They have no right to act as advocates or to carry out the conduct of litigation.

What McKenzie Friends may do

3)MFs may: i) provide moral support for litigants; ii) take notes; iii) help with case papers; iii) quietly give advice on any aspect of the conduct of the case.

What McKenzie Friends may not do

4)MFs may not: i) act as the litigants’ agent in relation to the proceedings; ii) manage litigants’ cases outside court, for example by signing court documents; or iii) address the court, make oral submissions or examine witnesses.

Exercising the Right to Reasonable Assistance

5)While litigants ordinarily have a right to receive reasonable assistance from MFs the court retains the power to refuse to permit such assistance. The court may do so where it is satisfied that, in that case, the interests of justice and fairness do not require the litigant to receive such assistance.

6)A litigant who wishes to exercise this right should inform the judge as soon as possible indicating who the MF will be. The proposed MF should

1 References to the judge or court should be read where proceedings are taking place under the Family Proceedings Courts (Matrimonial Proceedings etc) Rules 1991, as a reference to a justices’ clerk or assistant justices’ clerk who is specifically authorised by a justices’ clerk to exercise the functions of the court at the relevant hearing. Where they are taking place under the Family Proceedings Courts (Childrens Act 1989) Rules 1991 they should be read consistently with the provisions of those Rules, specifically rule 16A(5A).

2 R v Leicester City Justices, ex parte Barrow [1991] 260, Chauhan v Chauhan [1997] FCR 206, R v Bow County Court, ex parte Pelling [1999] 1 WLR 1807, Attorney-General v Purvis [2003] EWHC 3190 (Admin), Clarkson v Gilbert [2000] CP Rep 58, United Building and Plumbing Contractors v Kajla [2002] EWCA Civ 628, Re O (Children) (Hearing in Private: Assistance) [2005] 3 WLR 1191, Westland Helicopters Ltd v Sheikh Salah Al-Hejailan (No 2) [2004] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 535. Agassi v Robinson (Inspector of Taxes) (No 2) [2006] 1 WLR 2126, Re N (A Child) (McKenzie Friend: Rights of Audience) Practice Note [2008] 1 WLR 2743.


produce a short curriculum vitae or other statement setting out relevant experience, confirming that he or she has no interest in the case and understands the MF’s role and the duty of confidentiality.

7)If the court considers that there might be grounds for circumscribing the right to receive such assistance, or a party objects to the presence of, or assistance given by a MF, it is not for the litigant to justify the exercise of the right. It is for the court or the objecting party to provide sufficient reasons why the litigant should not receive such assistance.

8)When considering whether to circumscribe the right to assistance or refuse a MF permission to attend the right to a fair trial is engaged. The matter should be considered carefully. The litigant should be given a reasonable opportunity to argue the point. The proposed MF should not be excluded from that hearing and should normally be allowed to help the litigant.

9)Where proceedings are in closed court, i.e. the hearing is in chambers, is in private, or the proceedings relate to a child, the litigant is required to justify the MF’s presence in court. The presumption in favour of permitting a MF to attend such hearings, and thereby enable litigants to exercise the right to assistance, is a strong one.

10)The court may refuse to allow a litigant to exercise the right to receive assistance at the start of a hearing. The court can also circumscribe the right during the course of a hearing. It may be refused at the start of a hearing or later circumscribed where the court forms the view that a MF may give, has given, or is giving, assistance which impedes the efficient administration of justice. However, the court should also consider whether a firm and unequivocal warning to the litigant and/or MF might suffice in the first instance.


A decision by the court not to curtail assistance from a MF should be regarded as final, save on the ground of subsequent misconduct by the MF or on the ground that the MF’s continuing presence will impede the efficient administration of justice. In such event the court should give a short judgment setting out the reasons why it has curtailed the right to assistance. Litigants may appeal such decisions. MFs have no standing to do so.

12)The following factors should not be taken to justify the court refusing to permit a litigant receiving such assistance:


The case or application is simple or straightforward, or is, for instance, a directions or case management hearing;


The litigant appears capable of conducting the case without assistance;


The litigant is unrepresented through choice;


The other party is not represented;


The proposed MF belongs to an organisation that promotes a particular cause;


3 Legal Services Act 2007 s12 – 19 and Schedule 3.


The proceedings are confidential and the court papers contain sensitive information relating to a family’s affairs

13)A litigant may be denied the assistance of a MF because its provision might undermine or has undermined the efficient administration of justice. Examples of circumstances where this might arise are: i) the assistance is being provided for an improper purpose; ii) the assistance is unreasonable in nature or degree; iii) the MF is subject to a civil proceedings order or a civil restraint order; iv) the MF is using the litigant as a puppet; v) the MF is directly or indirectly conducting the litigation; vi) the court is not satisfied that the MF fully understands the duty of confidentiality.

14)Where a litigant is receiving assistance from a MF in care proceedings, the court should consider the MF’s attendance at any advocates’ meetings directed by the court, and, with regard to cases commenced after 1.4.08, consider directions in accordance with paragraph 13.2 of the Practice Direction Guide to Case Management in Public Law Proceedings.

15)Litigants are permitted to communicate any information, including filed evidence, relating to the proceedings to MFs for the purpose of obtaining advice or assistance in relation to the proceedings.

16)Legal representatives should ensure that documents are served on litigants in good time to enable them to seek assistance regarding their content from MFs in advance of any hearing or advocates’ meeting.

17)The High Court can, under its inherent jurisdiction, impose a civil restraint order on MFs who repeatedly act in ways that undermine the efficient administration of justice.

Rights of audience and rights to conduct litigation

18)MFs do not have a right of audience or a right to conduct litigation. It is a criminal offence to exercise rights of audience or to conduct litigation unless properly qualified and authorised to do so by an appropriate regulatory body or, in the case of an otherwise unqualified or unauthorised individual (i.e., a lay individual including a MF), the court grants such rights on a case-by-case basis.3

19)Courts should be slow to grant any application from a litigant for a right of audience or a right to conduct litigation to any lay person, including a MF. This is because a person exercising such rights must ordinarily be properly trained, be under professional discipline (including an obligation to insure against liability for negligence) and be subject to an overriding duty to the court. These requirements are necessary for the protection of all parties to litigation and are essential to the proper administration of justice.


20)Any application for a right of audience or a right to conduct litigation to be granted to any lay person should therefore be considered very carefully. The court should only be prepared to grant such rights where there is good reason to do so taking into account all the circumstances of the case, which are likely to vary greatly. Such grants should not be extended to lay persons automatically or without due consideration. They should not be granted for mere convenience.

21)Examples of the type of special circumstances which have been held to justify the grant of a right of audience to a lay person, including a MF, are: i) that person is a close relative of the litigant; ii) health problems preclude the litigant from addressing the court, or conducting litigation, and the litigant cannot afford to pay for a qualified legal representative; iii) the litigant is relatively inarticulate and prompting by that person may unnecessarily prolong the proceedings.

22)It is for the litigant to persuade the court that the circumstances of the case are such that it is in the interests of justice for the court to grant a lay person a right of audience or a right to conduct litigation.

23)The grant of a right of audience or a right to conduct litigation to lay persons who hold themselves out as professional advocates or professional MFs or who seek to exercise such rights on a regular basis, whether for reward or not, will however only be granted in exceptional circumstances. To do otherwise would tend to subvert the will of Parliament.

24)If a litigant wants a lay person to be granted a right of audience, an application must be made at the start of the hearing. If a right to conduct litigation is sought such an application must be made at the earliest possible time and must be made, in any event, before the lay person does anything which amounts to the conduct of litigation. It is for litigants to persuade the court, on a case-by-case basis, that the grant of such rights is justified.

25)Rights of audience and the right to conduct litigation are separate rights. The grant of one right to a lay person does not mean that a grant of the other right has been made. If both rights are sought their grant must be applied for individually and justified separately.

26)Having granted either a right of audience or a right to conduct litigation, the court has the power to remove either right. The grant of such rights in one set of proceedings cannot be relied on as a precedent supporting their grant in future proceedings.


27)Litigants can enter into lawful agreements to pay fees to MFs for the provision of reasonable assistance in court or out of court by, for instance, carrying out clerical or mechanical activities, such as photocopying documents, preparing bundles, delivering documents to opposing parties or the court, or the provision of legal advice in connection with court

4 5

proceedings. Such fees cannot be lawfully recovered from the opposing party.

28)Fees said to be incurred by MFs for carrying out the conduct of litigation, where the court has not granted such a right, cannot lawfully be recovered from either the litigant for whom they carry out such work or the opposing party.

29)Fees said to be incurred by MFs for carrying out the conduct of litigation after the court has granted such a right are in principle recoverable from the litigant for whom the work is carried out. Such fees cannot be lawfully recovered from the opposing party.

30)Fees said to be incurred by MFs for exercising a right of audience following the grant of such a right by the court are in principle recoverable from the litigant on whose behalf the right is exercised. Such fees are also recoverable, in principle, from the opposing party as a recoverable disbursement: CPR 48.6(2) and 48(6)(3)(ii).

Personal Support Unit & Citizen’s Advice Bureau

31)Litigants should also be aware of the services provided by local Personal Support Units and Citizens’ Advice Bureaux. The PSU at the Royal Courts of Justice in London can be contacted on 020 7947 7701, by email at or at the enquiry desk. The CAB at the Royal Courts of Justice in London can be contacted on 020 7947 6564 or at the enquiry desk.

Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, Master of the Rolls

Sir Nicholas Wall, President of the Family Division

12 July 2010


Remember that if you need transcripts from a previous case you can get at least one free !

Practice Memorandum No. 4 – Transcripts at Public Expense (PDF 16KB) 31 December 2004 Sets out when a transcript of an oral hearing before a Commissioner will be provided at public expense.

Transcripts at public expense

11.1 Where the lower court or the appeal court is satisfied that an unrepresented appellant is in such poor financial circumstances that the cost of a transcript would be an excessive burden, the court may certify that the cost of obtaining one official transcript should be borne at public expense. 11.2 In the case of a request for an official transcript of evidence or proceedings to be paid for at public expense, the court must also be satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for appeal. Whenever possible a request for a transcript at public expense should be made to the lower court when asking for permission to appeal. Transcripts of evidence are not generally needed for an application for permission to appeal.

11.3 If you wish to ask the court for transcripts at public expense and you did not ask the lower court or your request was refused you should contact the appeal court immediately. Civil Appeals Office 30 June 2004


The various Children Acts all say that every effort should be made to keep children with their birth families.




This question makes sure that you have a chance to say everything you like and the opportunity to put across all the important points that would otherwise get left out!

In court, above all be brief !Your two special words in court when questioned by SS lawyers (or by the SS at case meetings or by therapists,psychologists etc) must be YES and NO.If you are pressed to explain further, do not elaborate or try to explain your answers with more than 9 or 10 words as only things you let slip that can count against you will be noted and anything favourable will be discarded and forgotten !Never think that if you “admit” some small fault that it will make your story more credible.It will not ,it will simply help the SS to keep your children so admit NOTHING voluntarily;keep firm in the simple and forceful assertion that the children need love and care and you are the best person to give it! Above all stress that THEY are the victims of SS abuse not you,as it is their welfare that is paramount not your’s!

As already stated in the introduction section,children of all ages even those under 12 aged 7 or 8 for example can go to any phone box and call parents reverse charges if they are quietly told how to do this.

Dial 100 from any private phone or public call box and you will be offered 4 options(choices) Choose option4 ask the operator for a call transferring the charges. The operator will then ask you for your name and the number you are calling.(this must be to a fixed line not a mobile)Your mother or father will then say ok they accept the call and no money is needed from the child who is calling!

If there is no court order section34 forbidding contact they can always meet you for an afternoon or so and it would be an assault  for social workers to physically stop them !

The important thing is firstly to keep in touch with your children  telling them you still love them and are fighting the wicked social workers who kidnapped them.(social workers have absolutely NO legal right to censor your conversation)You should then take positive steps to recover them and welcome them back home .

Allegations that a baby has been shaken and consequently injured or even killed are hard to prove but also hard to disprove! Top experts who appeared for both sides in the Louise Woodward case in the USA disagreed with each other and testified in favour of the side that paid them in each case!This does cast doubt on the reliability of highly paid experts who give categoric opinions in court !

The attorney general called for a review by the best medical and scientific brains in Britain last year and in the addendum to the report paras 14.1 and 14.2 concluded that even when all 3 symptoms were present (known as the triad; being retinal bleeding,subdural bleeding, and brain damage) it would NOT be safe to conclude that a baby had been shaken without a previous history of abuse or other injuries such as extensive bruising or broken bones.

FORCED ADOPTION:- The weak point!

Take a look at the articles in the complete convention to see which of them SS have broken in their dealings with you !Remember that brothers and sisters and newborn babies all have a Human Right to enjoy face to face contact with each other even after being adopted into different families.Remember to tell any older child with whom you still do have contact who is capable of understanding the situation to go to a solicitor to demand visits to a sibling  that has been adopted and consequently that child when old enough to speak and understand can let you know all about the baby or child you lost so that eventually you can contact them yourself and tell them who you are and who they are !

One mother I have been helping succeeded in persuading the court in Strasbourg to take up her case! The whole affair is still very much ongoing and despite delays initiated by the SS we are hopeful eventually of a satisfactory conclusion. She is willing to talk to other parents whose children have (like her’s) been wrongly put in the “care” of social services.She will explain the steps she took after her baby and her other children were brutally snatched even though she was never accused of harming them.The lawyers acting for the SS were so worried when Sharon asked the judge for a copy of the judgement in the family court,that their barrister shouted out across the court room”Don’t give her anything she’s contacted Strasbourg!” Sharon’s home number is 0151 295 2268.Or try her mobile 07877316250.

A second mother,had her baby ruthlessly “confiscated” at birth because her husband was merely “suspected” nearly 10 years ago  of injuring one of his children from a previous marriage and who contracted cerebral palsy..Both children were left in the joint care of their father and his ex wife so the SS were not too concerned at the time.The second wife’s new baby however was the SS said “ideal for adoption” and though she was herself blameless ,she was judged too supportive of her husband !

They persuaded the European Court of Human Rights to take up their case in Strasbourg and will explain how they did it to you and other parents. Just contact them at Tel:- 02084823019.

Your Rights: The Human Rights Act: European Court of Human Rights …

F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex France Fax: 00 33 3 88 41 27 30 When it has received your letter the ECHR will send you one of its application forms to complete.…/european-court-of-human-rights/european-court-of-human-rights.shtml – 20k – CachedSimilar pages

How soon can I be released?

You can’t be kept at a police station for more than 24 hours without being charged, although this can be extended to 36 hours with the authority of a police superintendent, and longer with the authority of a magistrate.

The one exception is for arrests under the Terrorism Act, where you can be held without charge for up to seven days.

If there’s not enough evidence to charge you, you’ll be released on police bail. You don’t have to pay to be released on police bail, but you’ll have to return to the station for further questioning when asked.

If you’re charged and the police think there’s a risk that you may commit another offence, fail to turn up at court, intimidate other witnesses or obstruct the course of justice, they can impose conditional bail. This means your freedom will be restricted in some way. For example, a curfew may be imposed on you if your offence was committed at night.

If you’ve been charged with a serious offence, you may be refused release and remanded in custody until trial. If you are found guilty, the time spent in prison before trial will be deducted from your sentence.

Can I complain if I think I’ve been a victim of police misconduct?

I never advise anyone to complain;but if you insist….

If you believe you’ve been arrested and detained unlawfully or your rights have been abused, you can complain to:

Important please note: A ‘sympathetic’ Social Services complaints officer brought up in care thought this might be worth sharing.

  1. When writing complaints it is a good idea to write as little as possible in the complaint!

He recommends writing something like…

Your name/address/date ect

I wish to make a complaint about the Local Authority’s failure to consult with me regarding my child’s medical treatment (for example) I also make this complaint under section 26 Children Act and request assistance to write this.

Yours sincerely etc
He says they are then obliged to visit you, take the details, write your complaint and give it to you to check before signing.

That way not only do you get help to write the complaint but you don’t ‘show your hand before the investigation begins.

He said “never give them all the evidence until you see the independent investigator.”

If you really do have a serious complaint against the police I advise you to go directly to the independent police complaints commission and follow the procedure outlined below .

How to make a complaint

There are many ways you can make your complaint, you can make a complaint directly to the police force concerned, through the IPCC or another advice organisation. Whatever the route, all complaints, by law, must be forwarded to the ‘appropriate authority’ for consideration.

You can make your complaint:

  • You can complete an online complaint form
  • You can download a complaint form or we can send a form to you.
  • Via the IPCC by phone, email, post, fax, minicom.
  • To any police force by phone, email, post, fax or in person
  • By contacting any local Citizens Advice Bureau, Youth Offending Team, Racial Equality Council,
  • Probation Service or Neighbourhood Warden. They can give information about what to do next. A solicitor or MP can make a complaint on your behalf.

If you would like someone to act on your behalf (perhaps a relative or friend) please provide their details and your written permission separate to your complaint.

What you should include in your complaint;

As well as your full contact details, please try to provide the following information;

WHO? Which police force is your complaint about? WHERE? Where did the incident/s happen that led to your complaint? WHEN?When did the incident/s happen that led to your complaint? WHAT?Please describe the circumstances that have led to you feeling the police have treated you badly.

Please include details of:

  • Who was involved
  • What was said and done
  • Any other people who witnessed the incident
  • If there was any damage or injury
  • Details of any witnesses

We also need your consent for us to pass the details of your complaint to the police force concerned for consideration

Also  the site of the citizen’s advice bureau gives a lot of information including the following:-

When can they enter and search premises

In general, the police don’t have the power to search premises without a warrant unless they have obtained the permission of the person concerned, or unless a delay in obtaining a warrant would be likely to defeat the ends of justice, for example, that evidence will be destroyed or removed.

A search warrant authorises the police to enter premises on one occasion only. If the police have a search warrant they can, if necessary, use reasonable force to enter and search the premises. The householder or occupier of the premises is responsible for any repairs that are needed as a result of the police forcing entry. However, if the police search an address in error, the police should be asked to repair any damage they cause.

As well as getting a warrant to enter and search because of suspected crime, a warrant can be issued to enter premises to check if the occupant is at risk because of mental illness. A warrant can also be issued to enter the home of a sex offender to do a risk assessment.

When can they seize property

If the police have used a search warrant to search premises or a vehicle and they have found articles covered by the warrant, they have the power to seize them and take them into safe custody, for example, to a police station. The articles are held there as possible evidence in any criminal proceedings which the Procurator Fiscal may decide to start.

Where a warrant is granted to search for specific items of stolen property, the police have the power to seize other items not referred to in the warrant if they show the suspect may have been involved in another crime.

If the police have seized certain articles after a search, you have no right to make the police return the articles and there is no time limit on how long the police can hold them. If you want to enquire about retrieving articles from the police you should write to the Chief Constable to establish if the property is to be used in evidence. If the property is to be used as evidence, the Procurator Fiscal is responsible for its disposal and the Fiscal will deal with enquiries concerning the property.

You may be able to take legal action to get a court order for the article(s) to be returned but this would be a complex process, for which legal advice would be needed.


1. If your children have been taken into care indefinitely or even “temporarily” do not be bamboozled or fooled by Social Workers or by legal aid lawyers!!  In cases such as these Social Services are not there to help you, they are your WORST ENEMIES !! Whatever they suggest is usually not to help you or your children, but to make sure you lose any case you  are pursuing to recover them. You must oppose any suggestions in or out of court that your children would benefit from a period in care otherwise at a later hearing the judge can and probably will say that you have already admitted that your children would be better off in care than with you. The decision will usually confirm that opinion and you will probably lose them for good.

Above all NEVER NEVER NEVER agree that the thresholds have been reached ! They may tell you that this is the only way to get your children back. In fact if you agree that the thresholds of abuse or neglect have been reached you are in effect already admitting that you are a child abuser and the only question left for the final hearing to decide is whether or not you can confess all the errors of your ways and reform! Usually of course the decision is “no” and your children are lost (often for good). The interim care orders normally only last one month, and the only reason for that is to allow parents to challenge the orders each time they expire. That therefore is exactly what you should do !

DIVIDE AND RULE is another SS tactic.When social workers tell you that if only you split from your partner you will keep your children,DO NOT BELIEVE THEM ! Unless to your knowledge your partner is a violent or sexual abuser of children STAY TOGETHER!Once you are apart in court represented by two (often opposing) lawyers it is child’s play for SS to win their case and take your children.
2. Do NOT fall for any suggestion that you engage a local legal aid solicitor with “experience” of dealing with care problems ,especially those who are highly recommended by a helpful social worker!. I advise that you represent yourself if possible .Samantha is a young 25 year old mother of 5 children whom I have helped and she began with legal aid lawyers who lost every case by not putting up a real fight and as a consequence she lost 3 of her children to adoption.At this point she decided to represent herself and defeated attempts by social services to steal her newborn baby and her eldest son.The fact is that her lawyers had a 100% FAILURE RATE in each of several court actions, but Samantha acting for herself has had 100% SUCCESS in each court hearing where she represented herself!She is willing to advise any other young single mother as to how she did it . Samantha’s phone number is 07984373141.

If you do get legal aid use a solicitor who lives well out of the area from which the children were taken, and if possible from a completely different county.Search Google “family law solicitor Manchester”(or whichever nearby but not too near town you choose).There are many other ways of contacting a solicitor outlined at the end of this section.Select someone who will promise to fight social services all the way and allow you to speak your mind in court .Do not bankrupt yourself by paying huge fees to private lawyers who will take you for every penny and leave you with financial worries to add to your family problems.

3. Most of the legal aid solicitors are a bunch of professional LOSERS. They can certainly afford to be ! An average case can cost at least £500,000 when all the legal fees on both sides are added up ! When they represent parents begging for social services to return their precious children  they lose nearly every case they take on because they rarely call the witnesses that can help and they practically never challenge anything the social services say because they work closely with these people and want more business from them. These so called lawyers will usually advise you to plead guilty if you are accused of abuse or neglect as this saves them a lot of trouble. The less time they take over your court case and the fewer witnesses expenses they have to pay the more money they make while their friends the social workers applaud as you lose your case. Luckily there are a few exceptions as the following article from the telegraph shows !!

4. Unlike social workers, the Clerks in the court are nearly always very helpful if you file an application to get your children backyourself. Even if you are not used to court proceedings, at least you can call your own witnesses and unless there is some special reason to the contrary ALWAYS  ALWAYS call the family doctor and the children themselves.This usually makes the difference between winning and losing.

The most difficult accusation to deal with is when SS pay enormous sums of money to “experts” ie Therapists,psychiatrists,psychologists,and medical specialists, who will dutifully support SS (with reports comprising 20 or more pages of meaningless jargon) in their dire forecasts that your children (or even newborn babies) are at great risk of “emotional abuse”.These reports avoid like the plague pointing out specific faults in your parenting that you could possibly rectify.Instead they ramble on about your “state of mind”,your unreasonable hostility to dedicated social workers (who have literally kidnapped your children!),amounting to paranoia and personality disorder;and of course your emotional instability (sometimes suicidal) .It incredibly seems to surprise them that desperate mothers who have lost their children show these symptoms, and they then claim that it proves their instability and unsuitability as parents!

Happy ,healthy,well dressed and well fed your children may be,but these accusations by experts predicting the future like gypsies gazing into crystal balls are difficult to refute and are usually enough to lose you your children to adoption by complete strangers!Sometimes a distraught mother fighting for her children against the opinion of medical  “experts” called by social services will be questioned by the judge.”Do you think the experts are all wrong?”He will ask.A good answer is that experts tend to side with those who pay them.Professor Meadows,Professor Southall, and Dr Marietta Higgs are three supposedly   “top experts” in their fields paid by social services for supporting the legal kidnapping of literally hunreds of children through evidence based on crackpot theories that have now all been thoroughly discredited !Even more respectable experts can be “suspect”. In the Louise Woodward case in the USA for example some of the most eminent experts in the country appeared for opposing sides and disagreed on the evidence.Parents in family courts usually have to submit to evidence from experts called by social services or by the court and are either not allowed to call their own experts or cannot afford to do so.Social Services call only those experts who agree with them !If exceptionally they stumble on one who disagrees that expert is simply not called and is quietly replaced with someone more amenable! No experts can understand the needs of a child like its natural mother no matter how many degrees in psychology they have,especially if their motivation for their testimony is at least partly financial !

There is however another good argument to use against these money hungry charlatans.Their rambling accusations seldom fall within the official definition of emotional abuse as specified by the Ministy of health.

You should get copies of your SS files to see if anything “inaccurate” (to put it politely) has been recorded against you.

5. The social workersoften rely on winning their cases on “hearsay”. This means that they tell you what the children have said to them (sometimes on video) and what neighbours and other people have said without ever producing them in court. They say they do this in order to spare the children the ordeal of appearing in court when in fact it is to stop you asking awkward questions which may show up any lies that have been told or pressure that has been put on young children to make them criticise their parents or parent. Often the children desperately want to come to court to tell the truth but are prevented by social services.

6. If you represent yourself, the judge should give you a lot of help. You also have the right to have a friend to sit by you and help you by suggesting questions that you should ask witnesses and making notes of their replies. This is called a McKenzie friend after the first person who established this right. Mention that you will require such a friend when you make your application to the court naming him or her if possible at the time.

7. If the children are old enough you should try to get them to telephone you reverse charges when no one is watching them so you can keep proper contact with them. You can also discreetly give them mobile phones  equipped with sim cards so you can contact them. Unfortunately most social workers, once the children are in care will do everything they can to break contact with you and will even stop you talking about the case with them during those rare closely supervised visits that they allow. It is important that you let your children know that you have not abandoned them and that you want them back at home. You have the right to say what you like to your own children so do not let them stop you with a lot of bluff. If the phones are confiscated children can still go to any public call box(usually there is at least one available in every school),dial 100,choose option 4 and ask for charges to be paid by their parents !.

Grand parents and any other relations you can think of should be persuaded to apply for regular contact and to receive them for home visits. Such applications should be made to the court. If lawyers are used they should not come from the same county as the one from which the children were taken.

8. Contact must be fought for before,during and after any court proceedings. As a rule SS will gradually reduce contact between parents and children that have been “selected” for foster care or adoption on the grounds that there is a risk that the placements with foster parents or prospective adoptive parents might be undermined.

It is vital that phone contact at least be kept up with older children, and all children must know their parents still love them and want them back. SS will almost certainly have told them the contrary! Any mother who has never harmed her children and  has been served with a section 34 forbidding her any contact at all with the children to whom she gave birth should defy the order at least once !!  .Go to their school and meet them as they come out,and if they are guarded in an enclosed area tell some of the other children to let your children know that you are trying to see them. Jailing a blameless mother for loving and trying to see her children one last time would give SS and the courts such bad publicity that they would be unlikely to risk such extreme measures!

If you do not know where your children are fostered and you know the name and district but not the address, then first look in the phone book and then the voters list available in the library.Brothers and sisters have the human right to keep in contact and if this is denied them go to court to protest the illegality of this ! When they are in contact you only need one to tell you where all the others are! If your child is about to be freed for adoption and the adopters are put in a separate court so you cannot see them or identify them persuade a friend to hang about the corridor tables outside the court room looking busy but ready to follow the adopters to find out who they are and where they live! Do everything you possibly can to avoid losing contact altogether.

9. If you are a parent who is denied proper access by the other parent, try and arrange for the right to take your children for half the school holiday periods or at least once a year so that you have exclusive contact for a short but continuous period rather than frequent contact for only a few hours at a time. Keep applying to the court for this, however often and however many applications it takes to succeed. The point is that if you have the right to take them on holiday or at least to live with you for a specified period and you go to fetch them, you are not kidnapping them and they will probably be anxious to go with you.

If a parent flouts a court order for contact with the other parent then that parent should as a last resort apply for a care order to the court so that care and custody is transferred to the parent aggrieved.Just the threat of this happening can sometimes ensure that both parents have the contact that the court has awarded.

10. Never shout and get angry with social workers;always be very quiet ,calm, and polite ,no matter how much they try to provoke you into showing “character instability”. Nevertheless  take NO NOTICE of any advice or instructions that they try to give you, and above all NEVER sign anything they place before you !! Apologise profusely each time for “doing what is best in the interests of your children” and smile sweetly WITHOUT getting angry or above all violent.You can serve your interests much better by making repeated court applications for return of your children from care, refusing to sign adoption papers when this is proposed, and repeatedly asking for more contact for your children  from grandparents,aunts, uncles, cousins and their own brothers and sisters (if they have been split up ) by numerous court applications that you and your relations make individually by filling in simple forms with the help of one of the Clerks at the court. Your one advantage over the social services is that you are concerned only with your own children while they have any number of cases to deal with so that if you keep dragging them into court, supported by solicitors and barristers who cost them money, they will give up and return your children as often as not.

This is one  tactic I employed for mothers who came to me for help when I was an active member of Kent county council years ago and was known for helping parents recover their children from the clutches of social services. Until they changed the law so that only those with parental responsibility could apply to the court,for the discharge of a care order I was able to apply in person and so effectively represent these parents against my own county council . I never lost a case. These tactics worked better than any other so take no notice of lawyers and social workers who tell you to cooperate with “nice social workers” because in fact you and all the close relatives you can persuade to help you should make their life as difficult as possible by repeating court applications  for better access, and you the parent must keep applying to have the children returned to you.for every  reason you can think of until they just get fed up. They have no right to stop you talking to your children about how much you want them back as the judge never restricts your conversation and only social services do this by bluffing you when they have no right to do so. Tell your children to keep on asking to go home until they are allowed to do so.

To whoever needs the information needed to challenge social services
Myth 1:  “family court secrecy protects the identity of the children”

Reality:  In fact social services advertise these same children for adoption on many websites such as and in magazines such as ‘adoption UK’ giving first names, photographs, birth dates and characteristics. Essex council has also featured a complete judgement concerning the children featured in the Mail on their website for all to see. In other words the Councils can break secrecy but parents risk prison if they do the same.

What the secrecy does do effectively is to stop aggrieved parents going to the press or revealing their names (like rape victims can do if they wish). The courts also often issue gagging orders stopping all discussion as indeed they did to Barry Aspinell even though he was an Essex Councillor trying to help a constituent.

Myth 2: Social workers pathetically repeat “damned if we do and damned if we don’t ” as an excuse for their actions.

Reality: They get damned because they avoid the violent type of parents and carers who torture their children as they are afraid for their own safety and feel damaged children might be hard to foster or adopt, and they therefore prefer to take the easier option of targeting  happy healthy children  whose mothers have  low income or low IQs (as pointed out by the Daily Mail and the DailyTelegraph). Rather like some police who prefer to target motorists with a defective rear light rather than go after armed robbers.Social workers often point to the large numbers of children in voluntary care but do not mention that many of these were given up to care because parents were promised that if they cooperated by agreeing to this the children would be returned in 2 or 3 months.Of course this promise is too often broken . Parents are frequently horrified to see these same children advertised for adoption,(often when subject only to interim care orders and before the court has made any decision on their futures) When these same parents lose their children for good to the “adoption industry” they feel betrayed both by social workers and their own lawyers who have inevitably advised these parents to cooperate with social services when they affirm that “temporary care” is the best option .

Myth 3: Social workers, judges, foster carers and heads of special schools all do what they can to reunite children with their parents.

Reality: In 2000, Tony Blair called for a 40% increase in adoptions. Margaret Hodge fixed targets for local authorities giving beacon status and stars and even large financial rewards (Kent got £21 million pounds for hitting 10 out of 12 targets under a public service agreement) to those councils who were successful. Most social workers are therefore motivated to take children into care with a view to adoption to meet their targets. Government research papers have publicly confirmed this. Judges have admitted in court that it is safer to “go along with social services” rather than take any risks and that is why parents almost never win their children back.

As for foster parents who are lucky enough to live in Slough, they get a tax free allowance of £400 per week per child so a fosterer with 3 or 4 children is very well off indeed and is not likely to encourage the children to return home.

Private special schools according to channel 4 charge the council up to £7000 per week per child so they too prefer to keep the status quo.

Myth 4 “The welfare of the children is paramount”

Reality: This phrase of course does not say who is to decide what the best interests of the children are. Social workers trying to meet their targets soon translate this principle into “the children’s welfare is best served if we win our case” and they try to win at all costs. Judges, as I have said freely admit that they take the safe route of “going along with social services” when their evidence conflicts with that of the parents. Mothers who come weeping into court to try and recover their children are not usually the type of person who would abuse or neglect their children. They should therefore usually win and get their children returned but they nearly always lose. Even worse CONTACT between mothers and children is gradually reduced(and used as a weapon if mothers are “difficult”),phone calls are forbidden and grandparents,aunts,and uncles are frequently stopped  completely from any form of contact.Criminals actually in prison are allowed phone calls and family visits but this is very often denied to parents and grandparents seeking contact with children in care or worse still “on track for adoption”

Myth 5: The British legal system is widely admired through the world and the family courts are fair and highly respected in other countries.

Reality: The European court of human rights in the case of P, C, and S, vs United Kingdom, condemned as draconian the action of the UK family court when they followed their usual custom of taking a baby from the mother at birth because on a previous occasion one of her children had been taken into care many years earlier. The UK was fined but the child was already adopted. The essential difference between British social workers and those in Latin countries for example is that in France, Italy or Spain children are only removed from their parents if they have suffered severe physical harm. In the UK however children are taken not because they have actually suffered physical harm but rather some very ill defined sort of “emotional harm” or more often because so called “experts” (using a crystal ball?) decide that there is a risk that children might suffer “physical “or far more often “emotional “harm at some date in the future.

It is impossible for parents to prove that their children will not suffer emotional harm in the future when these experts swear to the contrary so the unfortunate parents nearly always lose. (see page12 tableB)

If social services are starting care proceedings against you, they may not tell you about it until you receive a notice from the court through the post telling you when the first hearing is.If you do not feel able to represent yourself You MUST get immediate legal advice. You MUST get a solicitor who is a member of the Law Society Children’s Panel, and specialises in family care work. the solicitor will act on your behalf and may instruct a barrister to represent you in court. You can get legal advice on solicitors from:-

Government booklet from the Legal Services Commission explaining  Parents and Carers Legal Rights in Care Proceedings.
Your Local Citizens Advice Bureau
FASO 0870 241 6650 Mon – Fri 6pm – 12pm
The Law society of England and Wales Tel: 0207 242 1222
The Law Society Information Line Tel: 0870 606 6575
or you can get limited Free Initial Advice by Email from firms of Solicitors listed here

Only employ a solicitor who will promise to fight social services fiercely,call your witnesses and above all allow you to say your piece in court ! Maybe you can persuade one of the sources above to put you in touch with one of those named below !

To sack your solicitor and your barrister just download form N434 !

N434 – Notice of change of solicitor (Court Service)

Download Form N434, Notice of change of solicitor, Court Service Forms, Administrative Court.

Solicitors and barristers who fight for their clients:-


Alison Burt at Bindmans & Partners 020 7833 4433 275 Grays Inn Road London WC1X 8QF

Beth Prince at Steele & Shamash 020 7803 3999  12 Baylis Road London SE1 7AA

Malek Wan Daud – barrister engaged by Bindmans – 020 7993 7890

Bill Bache:  =email =website

John Batt

Crockett & Co:

Barristers who fight for their clients:-

Andrew Scott (often works with Bill Bache)

Telegraph – Parents Champion

Parents Champion. Telegraph Magazine by Cassandra Jardine. Photographs by Neil Drabble. February 11th 2006. ‘The Barrister Andrew Scott is drawing plaudits – 48k – CachedSimilar pagesNote this

Sarah Harman

Park Court Chambers:

– Valerie Sterling:  – Joanna Dodson:

Yes it’s difficult to get hold of “the best” but search google for the name you have selected, or consult the law society so that even if your first choice is not available their office may be able to recommend someone sincere in your area who is willing to act for you!

Crusading Journalists in the family courts:-

Camilla Cavendish (The Times)

Christopher booker (TheTelegraph)

Melissa Kite (TheTelegraph)

Stuart Wavell (Sunday Times)

Nick Cohen (The Observer)

John Sweeney (CHANNEL 4)

Fiona Barton(Daily Mail)

Sue Reid  (Daily Mail)

Denise Robertson (tv)

MP’s who are “on your side”

Eric Pickles

Anne Widdecombe

John Hemming






use this if a FINAL CARE ORDER HAS BEEN MADE, otherwise in ongoing care proceedings use Form C2.

  1. As it may be argued that a free-standing application is not a family proceeding it may be better to lodge this Application using Claim Form N1, under the Civil Procedure Rules 1998, but LINKING it to a CA 1989 Application for Contact and/or Discharge of the Care Order, using Form C2, which secures appointment of a Guardian for the child/children.

FORM TO USE: N1 CLAIM FORM (CPR Part 7), download a blank copy from HMCS website as a PDF Document

IN THE _____________ COURT                   CLAIM NO.____________

CLAIMANT:                    [ Applicant Mother/Father/Child]

DEFENDANT:               [ Name of Local Authority]

Brief Details of Claim :    [The Mother] applies under s 7 of the Human Right Act 1988 for Orders requiring [name of Local Authority] ‘the Local Authority’ to return the [child/children] to the care of [the Mother]

Value : Nominal and punitive damages are claimed in just satisfaction to name and shame this local authority and publicly expose its blatant impunity.

AMOUNT CLAIMED : £ 1 000, 000 – 00


PARTICULARS OF CLAIM: use specimen below to help you to compose your own

  1. [Parent’s name,] ‘the Applicant Mother/Father’ [delete as apt] applies under the Human Rights Act 1998, s 6, 7 & 8, for injunctive relief requiring the Local Authority to return the [child/children] to the care of [the Mother].
  1. The [child/children] are the subject of care order(s) made on [date] by [HHJ name judge] in the [which] county court.
  1. Following the making of the aforesaid care orders, the Local Authority rehabilitated the [child/children] to the care of the [Mother].
  1. On [date] without prior notice to the [Mother] the Local Authority removed the [child/children] from her care and in to foster care where the [child/children] presently remain[s].
  1. The Local Authority claims that the [child/children] had suffered non-accidental injury whilst in the [Mother’s] care.
  1. [The Mother] denies the claim, and/ maintains that if the [child/children] were injured or abused in any way whilst in her care then she was not the perpetrator and the injury or abuse did not involve any failure to protect on her part.
  1. In the circumstances the Local Authority has acted and/or proposes to act in a way which is incompatible with a convention right contrary to section 6 of the Human Right Act 1998 in that:

(a) The removal of the [child/children] is an unnecessary and disproportionate interference in the right to respect for family life.

(b) The removal occurred without the [Mother] being sufficiently involved in the decision-making process.

  1. In the circumstances the Local Authority’s actions and its proposed retention of the [child/children] in foster care is in breach of Articles 8 with 6 of the convention for the protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1950.
  1. In the circumstances, the [Mother] is a victim of the Local Authority’s action within the meaning of section 7(1) of the Human Rights Act 1998.
  1. The [Mother] seeks an Order in the following terms:

(a) that the Local Authority by its officers, employees or whoever otherwise be required by injunction:

(i) to return the [child/children] to the [Mother]; alternatively,

(ii) to devise and implement [in consultation with [eg the Guardian / name of expert] and subject to further

injunctive direction of the court, a plan for the rehabilitation of the [child/children] to the [Mother], and,

(b) that the Local Authority be restrained by injunction until further order from pursuing any plan to identify an adoptive placement for the children

  1. Further, the [Mother] seeks such other orders or other relief within the jurisdiction of this court as may be necessary or as the court may think fit given its range of powers under BOTH the CA 1989 and the HRA 1998.

Statement of Truth etc….    



  1. A SPECIMEN FREE-STANDING APPLICATION TO BRING UK PROCEEDINGS UNDER s7 HRA1998 – use this when CARE PROCEEDINGS ARE STILL ONGOING, i.e. whilst Interim Care Orders are being renewed monthly
  1. Lodge this Application using Application Form C2, under the Family Proceedings Rules 1991,rule 4.3, LINKING it on the SAME FORM to a CA 1989 Application for increase in Contact and/or Discharge of the Care Order, which secures appointment of a Guardian for the child/children

FORM : C2, APPLICATION FORM, download from HMCS website as a PDF Document

IN THE _____________ COURT                   CLAIM NO.____________

Statement of Truth etc…

  1. The [Mother/Father or as the case may be] applies under Human Rights Act 1998, sections 6, 7 & 8, for injunctive relief requiring [insert name of the Applicant Council] ‘the Local Authority’ to amend its Care Plans in respect of [name child/children] who is/are the subject of the present proceedings. This application is issued without prejudice to [the Mother/Father’s] main case which is that care orders should not be ordered in respect of the [child/children].
  1. The Local Authority has acted/proposes to act in a way which is incompatible with Convention Rights contrary to section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 in that:

(a)  The care plans in these proceedings in respect of the [child/children] provide for the Local Authority.

[i] [eg to find Adoptive placements for the [child/children];

[ii] [stipulate other disputed element in the care plan] and,

(b) The Local Authority would not, in the event of its being granted care orders in respect of the [child/children], either:

[i] [set out desired elements in care plan, eg] attempt to rehabilitate the [child/children]  to the Mother; and / or alternatively;

[ii] identify and place the [child/children]  in the present or some other foster placement in the long term.

[iii] [set out other desired elements in care plan].

  1. The present care plans, if implemented as the Local Authority proposes, would be incompatible with the right to family life which is duly established under Article 8 taken in conjunction with Article 6 of the European convention for the protection of Human Rights and fundamental freedoms 1950 enjoyed by the Mother [and the child/children/and the Mother’s other children/ other members of the family or as the case may be] as follows;

(a) [The Mother and the child/children] [and name others necessary] would – either wholly or substantially – be deprived of their established family life and mutual enjoyment of each other’s company including contact.

(b) [The Mother would lose any legal status as parent in respect of the [three] children.]

(c) [set out any other alleged incompatibilities]

(d) Such an outcome would not be in accordance with the Law or necessary in that;

[i] The prospects for a future successful rehabilitation to [the Mother] are, in fact, sufficiently high so as not to displace the presumption under European Law that a care order is to be regarded as a temporary measure to be used to reunite the family as soon as practicable;  and,

[ii] Even if the [child/children] are not to be rehabilitated to [the Mother], the advantages of enjoying the enhanced opportunities for contact with their [Mother/Father/siblings/others] offered by any likely foster placement are either such that adoption is not in the [child’s/children’s] interests or alternatively such as to make the circumstances not so exceptional that adoption should be pursued.

  1. In the circumstances, the [Mother] and the [child/children] would be victims of the Local Authority’s proposed action within the meaning of s 7(1) of the Human Rights Act 1998.
  1. In the event of care orders being made in respect of all or any of the children, the mother seeks an Order in the following terms pursuant to s 8(1) of the Human Rights Act 1998.

(a) that the care orders be interim orders only. And,

(b) that the Local Authority by its officers, employees or howsoever otherwise be required by injunction to devise and implement, in consultation with the Children’s Guardian and subject to the further injunctive direction of the Court, a Plan for the rehabilitation of the [child/children] to the [Mother]. Alternatively,

(c) that the Local Authority by its officers, employees or howsoever otherwise be required by injunction to use its best endeavours to either:

[i] maintain the [child/children] in their present foster placement in the long term; or,

[ii] identify and place the [child/children] together in an alternative long-term foster placement. And, further,

(d) that the Local Authority be restrained by injunction until further Order from pursuing any plan to identify an adoptive placement for the children unless it shall first have demonstrably exhausted the possibility of any long-term foster placement. And, further,

(e) that pursuant to s 34 of the Children Act 1989, the Local Authority permit the [Mother] and the child/ren to have reasonable contact with each other pursuant to their established family life [ insert desired Order for contact], or in such other terms as the Court may think fit.

  1. Further, the [Mother] seeks such other Orders or other relief/remedy within the jurisdiction of this Court, given its range of powers under BOTH the CA 1989 and the HRA 1998, as may be necessary or as the Court may think fit

2. A SPECIMEN FREE-STANDING APPLICATION TO BRING UK PROCEEDINGS UNDER s7 HRA1998 – use this when CARE PROCEEDINGS ARE STILL ONGOING, i.e. whilst Interim Care Orders are being renewed monthly

  1. Lodge this Application using Application Form C2, under the Family Proceedings Rules 1991,rule 4.3, LINKING it on the SAME FORM to a CA 1989 Application for increase in Contact and/or Discharge of the Care Order, which secures appointment of a Guardian for the child/children

FORM : C2, APPLICATION FORM, download from HMCS website as a PDF Document

IN THE _____________ COURT                    CLAIM NO.____________

Statement of Truth etc…

  1. The [Mother/Father or as the case may be] applies under Human Rights Act 1998, sections 6, 7 & 8, for injunctive relief requiring [insert name of the Applicant Council] ‘the Local Authority’ to amend its Care Plans in respect of [name child/children] who is/are the subject of the present proceedings. This application is issued without prejudice to [the Mother/Father’s] main case which is that care orders should not be ordered in respect of the [child/children].
  1. The Local Authority has acted/proposes to act in a way which is incompatible with Convention Rights contrary to section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 in that:

(a) The care plans in these proceedings in respect of the [child/children] provide for the Local Authority.

[i] [eg to find Adoptive placements for the [child/children];

[ii] [stipulate other disputed element in the care plan] and,

(b) The Local Authority would not, in the event of its being granted care orders in respect of the [child/children], either:

[i] [set out desired elements in care plan, eg] attempt to rehabilitate the [child/children] to the Mother; and / or alternatively;

[ii] identify and place the [child/children] in the present or some other foster placement in the long term.

[iii] [set out other desired elements in care plan].

  1. The present care plans, if implemented as the Local Authority proposes, would be incompatible with the established right to family life under Article 8 taken in conjunction with Article 6 of the European convention for the protection of Human Rights and fundamental freedoms 1950 enjoyed by the Mother [and the child/children/and the Mother’s other children/ other members of the family or as the case may be] as follows;

(a) [The Mother and the child/children] [and name others necessary] would – either wholly or substantially – be deprived of their established family life and mutual enjoyment of each other’s company including contact.

(b) [The Mother would lose any legal status as parent in respect of the [three] children.]

(c) [set out any other alleged incompatibilities]

(d) Such an outcome would not be in accordance with the Law or necessary in that;

[i] The prospects for a future successful rehabilitation to [the Mother] are, in fact, sufficiently high so as not to displace the presumption under European Law that a care order is to be regarded as a temporary measure to be used to reunite the family as soon as practicable; and,

[ii] Even if the [child/children] are not to be rehabilitated to [the Mother], the advantages of enjoying the enhanced opportunities for contact with their [Mother/Father/siblings/others] offered by any likely foster placement are either such that adoption is not in the [child’s/children’s] interests or alternatively such as to make the circumstances not so exceptional that adoption should be pursued.

  1. In the circumstances, the [Mother] and the [child/children] would be victims of the Local Authority’s proposed action within the meaning of s 7(1) of the Human Rights Act 1998.
  1. In the event of care orders being made in respect of all or any of the children, the mother seeks an Order in the following terms pursuant to s 8(1) of the Human Rights Act 1998.

(a) that the care orders be interim orders only. And,

(b) that the Local Authority by its officers, employees or howsoever otherwise be required by injunction to devise and implement, in consultation with the Children’s Guardian and subject to the further injunctive direction of the Court, a Plan for the rehabilitation of the [child/children] to the [Mother]. Alternatively,

(c) that the Local Authority by its officers, employees or howsoever otherwise be required by injunction to use its best endeavours to either:

[i] maintain the [child/children] in their present foster placement in the long term; or,

[ii] identify and place the [child/children] together in an alternative long-term foster placement. And, further,

(d) that the Local Authority be restrained by injunction until further Order from pursuing any plan to identify an adoptive placement for the children unless it shall first have demonstrably exhausted the possibility of any long-term foster placement. And, further,

(e) that pursuant to s 34 of the Children Act 1989, the Local Authority permit the [Mother] and the child/ren to have reasonable contact with each other pursuant to their established family life [ insert desired Order for contact], or in such other terms as the Court may think fit.

  1. Further, the [Mother] seeks such other Orders or other relief/remedy within the jurisdiction of this Court, given its range of powers under BOTH the CA 1989 and the HRA 1998, as may be necessary or as the Court may think fit.
DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED INTO SILENCE BY THREATS FROM SOCIAL SERVICES  !!!! You can make public your own name, your childs identity, and all the circumstances of its’ removal, as long as you do NOT reveal anything to the press or public at large that happened in the family court or any documents used in the court, or the name of any witness called by the court.  (See paras 81 and 82 especially 82 (v) )

Since that case para 251 section62 of the children act 2004 now allows you to show all documents and discuss EVERYTHING with family,friends,advisors,and any number of INDIVIDUALS! Only the press and “sections”(groups) of the public are still not covered by the new exemptions.

I can only finish my advice by repeating that you and your relations should file repeated court actions by the dozen, as many and as often as possible. Never give up !
Good luck to all of you

Ian Josephs (Free Legal Advice)

Phone me at 0033686875684

IF you ring me from a fixed phone (not 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.


DON’T LOSE HEART IF YOUR LEGAL AID SHYSTERS LET YOU DOWN !You can  represent yourself!The list of forms below shows you what you need whether you are appealing against a care or” freeing for adoption” order , asking for a discharge from care,or asking for more and better contact.If you are not sure ask the staff at the court to help you;They are actually paid specifically to do this but they dont make it too obvious!.Sometimes you might run into an initial fee of around £100 maximum but providing you don’t employ more lawyers that should be the lot! DON’T GIVE IN!!
To find out the address of your local Family Court in England or Wales (or to order the above forms by telephone) click on this link.  If you require assistance with obtaining a court order, you should see a solicitor or call in to your local Citizens Advice Bureau. Please click on a link below. This will show a link to your chosen form and links to related guidance. Alternatively, if you click on the form format your form will open for viewing online.

Description Forms/Leaflets

Details Adoption
A4 Application For Revocation Of An Order Freeing A Child For Adoption
A5 Application For Substitution Of One Adoption Agency For Another
A50 Application for a placement order Section 22 Adoption and Children Act 2002.
A51 Application for variation of a placement order Section 23 Adoption and Children Act 2002.
A52 Application for revocation of a placement order Section 24 Adoption and Children Act 2002.
A53 Application for a contact order Section 26 Adoption and Children Act 2002
A54 Application for variation or revocation of a contact order Section 27(1)(b) Adoption and Children Act 2002.
A55 Application for permission to change a child?s surname Section 28 Adoption and Children Act 2002.
A56 Application for permission to remove a child from the United Kingdom Section 28 Adoption and Children Act 2002.
A57 Application for a recovery order Section 41 Adoption and Children Act 2002.
A58 Application for an adoption order Section 46 Adoption and Children Act 2002.
A59 Application for a Convention adoption order Section 46 Adoption and Children Act 2002.
A60 Application for an adoption order (excluding a Convention adoption order) where the child is habitually resident outside the British Islands and is brought into the United Kingdom for the purposes of adoption Section 46 Adoption and Children Act 2002.
A61 Application for an order for parental responsibility prior to adoption abroad Section 84 Adoption and Children Act 2002.
A62 Application for a direction under section 88(1) of the Adoption and Children Act 2002.
A63 Application for an order to annul a Convention adoption or Convention adoption order or for an overseas adoption or determination under section 91 to cease to be valid Section 89 Adoption and Children Act 2002.
A64 Application to receive information from court records Section 60(4) Adoption and Children Act 2002.
A65 Confidential information.
FP1 Application under Part 10 of the Family Procedure (Adoption) Rules 2005.
FP2 Application notice Part 9 of the Family Procedure (Adoption) Rules 2005.
FP3 Application for injunction (General form).
FP5 Acknowledgment of service Application under Part 10 of the Family Procedure (Adoption) Rules.
FP6 Certificate of service.
FP8 Notice of change of solicitor.
FP9 Certificate of suitability of litigation friend.
FP25 Witness Summons.
A20 Adoption – A Guide to Court Users.
A20(1) President’s Intercountry Supplement
A20B President’s Adoption Guidelines Booklet (Adoption Proceedings – A New Approach)
A50 Notes Application for a Placement Order (Form A50) Notes on completing the form.
A51 Notes Application for variation of a placement order (Form A51) Notes on completing the form.
A52 Notes Application for revocation of a placement order (Form 52) Notes on completing the form.
A53 Notes Application for a contact order under section 26 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (Form A53) Notes on completing the form.
A54 Notes Application for variation or revocation of a contact order made under section 26 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (Form A54) Notes on completing the form.
A55 Notes Application for permission to change a child?s surname (Form A55) Notes on completing the form.
A56 Notes Application for permission to remove a child from the United Kingdom (Form A56) Notes on completing the form.
A57 Notes Application for a recovery order (Form A57) Notes on completing the form.
A58 Notes Application for an adoption order (Form A58) Notes on completing the form.
A59 Notes Application for a Convention adoption order (Form A59) Notes on completing the form.
A60 Notes Application for an adoption order (excluding a Convention adoption order) where the child is habitually resident outside the British Islands and is brought into the United Kingdom for the purposes of adoption (Form A60) Notes on completing the form.
A61 Notes Application for an order for parental responsibility prior to adoption abroad (Form A61) Notes on completing the form.
A62 Notes Application for a direction under section 88(1) of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (Form A62) Notes on completing the form.
A63 Notes Application for an order to annul a Convention adoption or Convention adoption order or for an overseas adoption or determination under section 91 to cease to be valid (Form A63) Notes on completing the form.
FP1A Application under Part 10 of the Family Procedure (Adoption) Rules 2005 Notes for applicant on completing the application (Form FP1).
FP1B Application under Part 10 of the Family Procedure (Adoption) Rules 2005 Notes for respondent.
A21  Intercountry Adoption;