FORCED ADOPTION IS WICKED!!!
Forced adoption is not only illegal ,it is a crime against humanity for which the judges who order it should be put on trial ;as were the Nazi judges at Nuremberg. To deprive parents who have never committed any crime against children of all future contact with their own offspring is a despicable act.After all even baby p’s mother was allowed contact with her surviving children. 1:-Child cruelty or neglect should be the affair of police and the criminal courts. Innocent until proved guilty,no secrecy ,freedom of parents to speak, juries etc. 2:-Social workers should be there to help and should be forbidden to take children or to give orders to parents or better still gradually phased out ! 3:-Children in care should be allowed contact by phone or email with parents and friends.They and visiting parents should never be censored and told what they can or cannot discuss. 4:-No citizen in a democracy should ever be punished or restrained unless they have committed a crime or are certified by their own doctor and one other expertas dangerously insane ! The above 4 measures are both necessary and easy to implement so what are our politicians waiting for? Gordon Brown apologised for wrongdoings 40 years ago,and Cameron should apologise for even worse outrages now without delay.
See the ITV programme !
BARONESS HALE OF RICHMOND in Re B (a child) House of Lords.
20. Taking a child away from her family is a momentous step, not only for her, but for her whole family, and for the local authority which does so. In a totalitarian society, uniformity and conformity are valued. Hence the totalitarian state tries to separate the child from her family and mould her to its own design. Families in all their subversive variety are the breeding ground of diversity and individuality. In a free and democratic society we value diversity and individuality. Hence the family is given special protection in all the modern human rights instruments including the European Convention on Human Rights (art 8), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (art 23) and throughout the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. As Justice McReynolds famously said in Pierce v Society of Sisters 268 US 510 (1925), at 535, “The child is not the mere creature of the State”
Dear Mr Josephs,
I am not sure if you will remember me, but last year I was accused of FII fowards my baby son. He was taken into care on an section 20. Although I had done nothing to my son the social services were never going to give him back. I then found out i was expecting again. You advised myself and partner to take our son and ho to north cyprus. We did this last october. We now have 2 beautiful babies our son and a baby girl, who are hoth well and fantastic.
Even though there are social services here, they are fantastic. A world apart from those in the uk. They met with us and have been monitored us and sent their reports to the uk.
The social services in the uk made my son a ward of court and were trying to make my little girl one as well.
On friday our case was here in the high court and the judge recorded that all care proceedings and wardship orders be dismissed. We are free. This is thanks to us coming here. I owe you so so much for your advise and without it I am sure i would have lost my babies.
I have attached a picture for them for you.
Once again thank you.
THESE JUDGES ARE CRIMINALS!
In our so called “family courts” juries are urgently needed ,as they would offer the best solution to a multitude of flagrant injustices. When parents in family courts are deprived for life of all contact with their own children for “risk of emotional abuse”(the most frequent reason for removal) and similar legally undefined predictions the hardship is immense and the injustices are manifest. Establishment judges routinely and cautiously rubberstamp demands for “forced adoption” made by social services perhaps because one mistake would expose them to public castigation !Evidence from social workers (often unsupported allegations or hearsay)is too often preferred to that of the parents and their first hand witnesses. A jury would have no such fears and no such bias.A jury would be most unlikely to “confiscate” new born babies for “risk of emotional abuse” or for “failure to protect children from witnessing domestic violence”.(Battered women are now frightened to report their abusers to the police because social services are inevitably called in with the result that they lose their children permanently to forced adoption!) A BURGLAR FACING SIX MONTHS PRISON CAN DEMAND A HEARING BY JURY BUT A MOTHER FACED WITH THE LOSS OF HER BABY FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE CANNOT. What is more if she complains publicly she is jailed for contempt of court in a secret process! (Harriet Harman gave a figure of at least 200 such jailings every year!). Juries already operate in civil courts to decide complicated cases of libel and of city tax frauds and would be well equipped to decide if permanent separation of parents and children was desirable or necessary. I say “Bring on juries and lift the gag on parents!” Most of the injustices in the family courts would then disappear!
Child kidnapping by the State is far too profitable to be stopped by anyone at the moment, but contact is another matter altogether.The most cruel and positively wicked thing a judge can do is to forbid a non addictive,non criminal parent from contacting their own child not only face to face but by post, email,phone,facebook book,or indirectly through friends.This is compounded when the same restriction is placed on a child forbidding any form of contact with a parent it may love.I have a cluster of parents ,(mostly but not exclusively mothers) who have not only been forbidden all forms of contact but have also been forbidden by injunction from telling anyone about this prohibition !Several have been briefly jailed for leaving xmas or birthday presents on a doorstep,for waving in the street as a child passed by either on foot or in a car,leading to the worst extreme when Vicky Haigh was sentenced to 3 years (reduced by 9 months to 2 year 3 months on appeal)for speaking to a daughter she had not seen for more than a year !Rapists,burglars,and paedos often get off more lightly than that….But they have not experienced the vengeance incurred by those parents who defy the ultra cruel prohibitions of the family court judges !
JANE MOORE: Expose the tyrants of child protection
By JANE MOORE, SUN Columnist
Published: 28th November 2012
IT can no longer be ignored by those who purport to be in charge of this country that something is deeply rotten at the core of Britain’s social services.
Believe me, the case of the three Eastern European children removed from a loving home because their foster parents were members of UKIP is just the tip of the iceberg.
Lurking below, in the murky depths of our ferociously secretive “care” system, will be hundreds if not thousands of similar cases where a gross abuse of power has helped to destroy the lives of the very youngsters it was set up to protect.
Hopefully, they will now rise above the surface, expose the ugly, playing-God mindset, and prompt a dramatic overhaul of these tin-pot dictatorships more reminiscent of Stalinist Russia than a modern democracy.
Babies forced into adoption after being taken from mothers on a mere suspicion of “future emotional abuse”, fathers and paternal relatives denied access to children on nothing more than maternal hearsay, and prospective well-meaning fosterers and adopters subjected to the ridiculously stringent political correctness that is making the headlines right now.
All conducted under a cloak of secrecy that claims to be in the interests of the children involved but all too conveniently protects the increasingly warped system itself.
Don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of frontline social workers doing a fantastic job in often deeply challenging, sometimes harrowing circumstances.
That they are so poorly paid indicates that their motives for choosing to do it are well-intended.
But even they must be despairing of the lucrative industry that has sprung up around what was once the noble and pure intent to protect children but has seemingly morphed into the far uglier whiff of political or financial self-interest.
Roger Stone, the Labour leader of Rotherham council, says that while membership of UKIP should not prevent someone from fostering, this was a “complex” case (aren’t they all?) involving legal advice and an external agency responsible for finding the foster carers. Sounds expensive.
It could well be an outfit like the National Fostering Agency, set up by two former social workers in 1995 and sold earlier this year to venture capitalists Graphite for an eye-watering £130million.
And by the way, it’s only the UK’s second biggest private fostering business.
In other words, there’s money in them there ills.
Then there’s the outreach workers, the “experts” paid to provide statements to the courts, the state’s legal advisers, the “independent” legal advisers, the guardians, the police workers, the court officials etc etc. All with a vested interest in “child protection”.
Little wonder then that, according to a Children In Need census, in 2007 the number of children and young people who were the subject of a Child Protection Plan was 27,900.
In 2011, it was 42,700.
Plenty of those will be genuine cases where the work of social services has proved vital, in the spirit of its original ethos to act in the interests of children.
But all too many will be based on nothing more than an unfounded suspicion, plunging one or both parents into a Kafka-esque nightmare, a punishment without crime.
And worst of all, those who suffer most are the children, emotionally damaged by the actions of self-interested zealots who affect to “care”.
We are used to case-centric inquiries such as the one surrounding the Baby P scandal, but it’s now time to shine a torch into the dark, secretive corners of the entire system to try to make its work and objectives more transparent while still maintaining anonymity for the vulnerable.
The mother of BABY P was allowed to see her surviving children recently because despite the horrific injuries to her child she did not commit the ultimate sin “contempt of court”;Vicky Haigh , countless other mothers and a few fathers too have been sent to prison for daring to see,speak to,or communicate by phone or email with their own children.Injunctions have been placed on these unfortunates forbidding them from exercising their democratic right to protest about the injustices when their children have been taken from them.No judge should be allowed to forbid contact between children and parents who have committed no crimes against them or any other child;But alas mothers are jailed for sending birthday cards or leaving Xmas presents on a doorstep.A father was jailed for a month for waving when his children passed by his house in a car !. PUNISHMENT WITHOUT CRIME is a wicked practice that only takes place in the cold ferocity of so called “family courts” and that is why those courts should be disbanded and should hand over their functions to the criminal courts where cases are fully reported and where those accused can call witnesses , are presumed innocent until proved guilty, and where judges are not prejudiced against parents (as recently admitted by L.J Thorpe no less)
Much as we all detest social workers,the real culprits in our utterly corrupt family court system are the judges! Human rights Article 8 (the right to private family life) was designed to protect the family from the State.Thoroughly unscrupulous UK judges have interpreted this to mean that parents who dare to protest publicly when their children are snatched from them by the “SS” are violating the privacy of their own children and should be jailed ! Article 8 has been transformed by UK judges into protection for the State against families instead of the contrary;Hence “Secret Courts”….; I have nevertheless penetrated some of these courts helping parents and the most striking thing is the friendly smiles given to most social workers by obsequious judges who often treat everything their barristers say as gospel truth, but who snarl and constantly interrupt those rare barristers who actually try to defend their wretched clients ! Parents who avoid the “professional losers” (that comprise the majority of legal aid family lawyers) and who represent themselves (as they are legally entitled to do) are treated like scum of the earth and exhorted to get lawyers (who will tamely agree to care orders on the children). Lastly just look at those judges who make “non molestation orders” against parents who dare to contact their children in care of the other parent or in care of the local authority.The Oxford Dictionary defines to molest as “to subject to intentional annoyance” yet judges pervert the English language by jailing parents who wave at,phone,email,or leave presents for children only too anxious to hear from them and for whom “being molested” is often so far from the truth that those judges ,a disgrace to their profession, deserve being jailed themselves for a very long time.
Don’t believe me? Just read these 6 articles from the Sunday Telegraph and from The Times and then read on for further useful information.
Adoption increase fails to stop baby deaths
By Ben Leapman, Daily Telegraph 17/09/2007 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/09/16/nadopt116.xml
A dramatic rise in the number of newborn babies seized by social workers for forced adoption has failed to reduce the murder rate among babies.
Despite the action by social services, intended to protect children at high risk, the number of deaths has actually grown.
Critics claimed that the figures showed that social workers were tearing apart innocent families, while failing to protect babies at the greatest risk.
The concerns will add fresh weight to The Sunday Telegraph’s “Stop the Secrecy” campaign for greater openness in family courts. At present, judges sit in secret when deciding adoption cases, raising fears that miscarriages of justice go unnoticed.
Earlier this year, the Government abandoned plans to let the media publish anonymised reports on cases. In 1995, when 540 newborns were removed for adoption, there were 17 murders in which the victim was less than a year old. A decade later, in 2005/6, 1,400 were taken, yet the murder total rose to 24.
Liz Davies, senior lecturer in social work at London Metropolitan University, claimed the failures were due to new techniques introduced following the murder of Victoria Climbie.
“Performance targets and the tick-box culture are undermining professional judgement,” she said. In a separate development, ministers announced that 30 English councils shared a payout of £18 million this year for meeting Government targets to increase adoptions.
Critics say the targets give social workers an incentive to take away children who would be better off with their natural parents.
One that got away !!
You are right Ian. Im safer here, and to be honest so too is richard. i recall reading a case where a man helped his wife to dover, then onto france and got arrested on his return to the uk. So for that reason, we both have to stay, id hate for that to happen to us, because the police would arrest Richard probably on suspicions of being an accessory, even though we came seperately on different flights.
I would like to write the following as a help to other unfortunate victims of the UK FAMILY COURT SYSTEM and SOCIAL SERVICES in hope that it will inspire others to finally bite the bullet and leave the UK and get to safety like us; For months we had been at the hands of the family courts, and our local authority social services, theyd snatched our beautiful then five year old child, desperation and heart wreching lies the social worker and guardian convinced the magistrates, without medical proof or any convictions that we were both placing our child at risk of emotional harm. Our then solicitors convinced us to undergo assesments, and emotionally blackmailed us to sign the interim care order, and prove the social services wrong… telling us that this was in fact the best way of handling this situation… we did everything they asked of us, thinking that we would be better thought of by the judge, and reasonable, responsible people. Soon enough I was frantically searching the internet one day, looking for answers, seaching for information, a helping hand, a good samaritan, anything that would help me understand what was happening to us, because we just felt like the whole world was about to cave in on us; and with little knowledge on why social services were doing this, despite our pleas to the courts, I began reading Ians site. In disbelief that this was happening also to others, and in very similar circumstances, I felt somewhat armed with some knowledge and understanding that me and my husband were far from the only people going through the same nightmare. After severeral more pleas to the family courts, tears, and complete powerlessness, despite the judge making recommendations to the authority to start rebuilding the broken bridges with our child, social services ignored the Family Court Judge and continued their plight to destroy our family unit. They wanted our bright intelligent, beautiful now 6 year old child very badly. Every week we were calling Ian for advice, reading his site over and over. I became pregnant with my second child, a miracle, after trying for months through all the stress the social services were placing on us, and the heartless phonecalls to cancel contact sessions, Still fighting for our daughter in court, I would prove that my husband and I were a couple that were meant to be together, not split up like the social services were determined to acchieve. We soon realised that they were desperate to make each of us weak, as together we were making them look very silly in court, holding hands, being publicly close, still wasnt a hint to these people. So they began playing one of us against the other. Until reading Ians site, we were unaware that this was a ploy to split us as they do with all couples, showing that they are moving on from a difficult patch. Ian was right. Everything that was on his site explained what we were going through; this was a grim reality and a mirror image in other families lives also. We knew we had to take action, and after phoning Ian his advice on where our unborn child was best safe, our decision was made. I sold my car, I packed a large case with essential belongings, and put the rest into storage. I walked into a travel agents and booked my one way flight. Holding my unborn baby bump, I thought of nothing but our safety, and how I could avoid being in a situation where my baby would be snatched at birth also. This was fast becomming my biggest fear. I had no doubt in my mind this would happen if I stayed any longer. The hospital were sharing information with the social services, and were aware that my first born was in care, they tried to have me believe that all my medical notes and info I told them about myself would go nowhere but them. Confidentiality just nolonger existed not even with a hospital nurse, or my GP. Data protection clearly doesnt exist if one of your children is in care or even if your first child is wanted by the authorities for adoption. We thought for months we were able to fight the system, but with the odds being in the authorities favour, we knew after nearly a year, that we were powerless, and now our second child was in danger of being snatched, despite there still being no convictions, no medical problems, and no proof of domestic violence ever existing in our relationship. As a last resort which in hindsite, should have been done earlier, we took Ians advice we at least managed to protect our second child and future children from the outrageous, heartless, business built round a commodity of children, and we owe everything to Ian for his advice. Any other family in this situation really need to take heed, and just get out especially if you are expecting, and a child is in care or has been. I dont feel proud to be a British Citizen anymore because of what has happened to us. Its just a sick reality of a draconian way of dealing with family issues.
Remember to leave the UK in time if the ss are after you when you are pregnant ! IF the baby is born abroad S Ireland (no passports needed) or N.Cyprus (no extradition) are recommended. The following case should ensure that any attempt by the ss to kidnap your newborn will fail !
RE F (ABDUCTION: UNBORN CHILD)
 EWHC 2199 (Fam)
25 August 2006
Child abduction – Wrongful removal – Status of foetus – Habitual residence –
Stay of proceedings – Comity
The mother was pregnant when she went to Israel on 4 October 2002. The father
alleged that he agreed to her going to Israel on the basis that she would return to
resume family life in SouthWales after the birth, but that her real intention had been to
remain in Israel. The child was born in November 2002. On 3 October 2003 the mother
announced her intention to remain in Israel, and she thereafter lived there with the
child. On 23 March 2005, Hedley J stayed all proceedings in this jurisdiction in
relation to the child. In proceedings in which the father participated, the Israeli court
exercised a welfare jurisdiction in relation to the child on 9 June 2005 and in doing so
found that she was habitually resident in Israel.
The father also applied to the Israeli court under the Hague Convention on the Civil
Aspects of International Child Abduction 1980 for summary return of the child, and
sought the assistance of the English court in those proceedings. Notwithstanding the
stay, Hedley J permitted trial of a preliminary issue of whether there could have been a
wrongful removal or retention of the child within the meaning of Art 3 of the Hague
Held – declining to make any declaration and refusing to disturb the stay –
(1) The law of England and Wales conferred no independent rights or status on a
foetus and it was not possible in law to abduct a foetus so as to constitute a wrongful
removal under Art 3 (see para ).
(2) Habitual residence was a question of fact. The child had never been present in
this country, and to say that she was habitually resident here in October 2003 would be
wholly artificial (see para ).
(3) In any event, the question of habitual residence was for the requested and not the
requesting State, and the Israeli court had already pronounced on the issue. It behoved
the English court, on principles both of the Hague Convention and comity, to remain
silent on the subject. The English court had no role to play unless and until the child
was present in this jurisdiction (see para , , )
Statutory provisions considered
Family Law Act 1986, s 41(1), (2)
Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction 1980, Arts 3,
Cases referred to in judgment
Al Habtoor v Fotheringham  EWCA Civ 186,  1 FLR 951, CA
B v H (Habitual Residence: Wardship)  1 FLR 388, FD
M (Abduction: Habitual Residence), Re  1 FLR 887, CA
W and B v H (Child Abduction: Surrogacy), Re  1 FLR 1008, FD
The applicant appeared in person and was
Threat to Take New-Born over Emotional Abuse
By David Harrison, Sunday Telegraph, 26/08/2007
A pregnant woman has been told that her baby will be taken from her at birth because she is deemed capable of “emotional abuse”, even though psychiatrists treating her say there is no evidence to suggest that she will harm her child in any way.
Social services’ recommendation that the baby should be taken from Fran Lyon, a 22-year-old charity worker who has five A-levels and a degree in neuroscience, was based in part on a letter from a paediatrician she has never met.
Hexham children’s services, part of Northumberland County Council, said the decision had been made because Miss Lyon was likely to suffer from Munchausen’s Syndrome by proxy, a condition unproven by science in which a mother will make up an illness in her child, or harm it, to draw attention to herself.
Under the plan, a doctor will hand the newborn to a social worker, provided there are no medical complications. Social services’ request for an emergency protection order – these are usually granted – will be heard in secret in the family court at Hexham magistrates on the same day.
From then on, anyone discussing the case, including Miss Lyon, will be deemed to be in contempt of the court.
Miss Lyon, from Hexham, who is five months pregnant, is seeking a judicial review of the decision about Molly, as she calls her baby. She described it as “barbaric and draconian”, and said it was “scandalous” that social services had not accepted submissions supporting her case.
“The paediatrician has never met me,” she said. “He is not a psychiatrist and cannot possibly make assertions about my current or future mental health. Yet his letter was the only one considered in the case conference on August 16 which lasted just 10 minutes.”
Northumberland County Council insists that two highly experienced doctors – another consultant paediatrician and a medical consultant – attended the case conference.
The case adds to growing concern, highlighted in a series of articles in The Sunday Telegraph, over a huge rise in the number of babies under a year old being taken from parents. The figure was 2,000 last year, three times the number 10 years ago.
Critics say councils are taking more babies from parents to help them meet adoption “targets”.
John Hemming, the Liberal Democrat MP and chairman of the Justice for Families campaign group, said the case showed “exactly what is wrong with public family law”.
He added: “There is absolutely no evidence that Fran would harm her child. However, a vague letter from a paediatrician who has never met her has been used in a decision to remove her baby at birth, while evidence from professionals treating her, that she would have no problems has been ignored.”
Mr Hemming was concerned that “vague assertions” of Munchausen’s Syndrome by proxy – now known as “fabricated and invented illness” – had been used to remove a number of children from parents in the North-East.
Miss Lyon came under scrutiny because she had a mental health problem when she was 16 after being physically and emotionally abused by her father and raped by a stranger.
She suffered eating disorders and self-harm but, after therapy, graduated from Edinburgh University and now works for two mental health charities, Borderline and Personality Plus.
Dr Stella Newrith, a consultant psychiatrist, who treated Miss Lyon for her childhood trauma for a year, wrote to Northumberland social services stating: “There has never been any clinical evidence to suggest that Fran would put herself or others at risk, and there is certainly no evidence to suggest that she would put a child at risk of emotional, physical or sexual harm.”
Despite this support, endorsed by other psychiatrists and Miss Lyon’s GP, social services based their recommendation partly on a letter from Dr Martin Ward Platt, a consultant paediatrician, who was unable to attend the meeting.
He wrote: “Even in the absence of a psychological assessment, if the professionals were concerned on the evidence available that Miss Holton (as Miss Lyon was briefly known), probably does fabricate or induce illness, there would be no option but the precautionary principle of taking the baby into foster care at birth, pending a post-natal forensic psychological assessment.”
Miss Lyon said she was determined to fight the decision. “I know I can be a good mother to Molly. I just want the chance to prove it,” she said.
The council said the recommendation would be subject to further assessment and review. “When making such difficult decisions, safeguarding children is our foremost priority,” a spokesman said.
- A recording of social workers threatening to take a newborn into care has been removed from the YouTube website after Calderdale Council in West Yorkshire started legal action, claiming the Data Protection Act was breached.
Vanessa Brookes, 34, taped social workers telling her and her husband that they would seek to place the baby, due next month, in care, while admitting there was “no immediate risk to the child.” ———————
Orders of the Day — Children and Adoption Bill
Wednesday 26 October 2005
That this House urges the Government to remove the veil of secrecy from the workings of the Children Act 2004; considers that the closed door policy of the family courts breeds suspicion and a culture of secrecy which does nothing to instil confidence in those using them, which affects not just the courts but the social services departments of local authorities; and believes that it is possible to preserve the anonymity of children involved in the proceedings without the cumbersome rules which obstruct parents from receiving advice and support, which in particular works to the disadvantage of parents with special learning difficulty.
Ask your MP to sign the EDM 869 (Now Ended) Eric Pickles (Brentwood & Ongar, Con) | Hansard source
I am grateful for the opportunity to make a modest contribution to the debate. It is a particular pleasure to follow the hon. and learned Member for Redcar (Vera Baird). I hope she will forgive me if I do not pursue some of her excellent points, as I want to concentrate on a narrower aspect of the Bill, namely adoption. I want to say something about the secrecy of the family court. I think that some of the general rules on adoption concerning foreign nations are relevant to our own system. A particularly sad case in which I have been involved over the last few months has a direct bearing on how adoption works in practice, especially forced adoption, the most extreme of the many issues that we must consider.
My hon. Friend the Member for Peterborough (Mr. Jackson) described the Under-Secretary of State as sparky. I am not sure that I can follow him down that avenue, but I want to record my enormous appreciation for the courtesy that she has shown me in connection with that case and my concerns about adoption. We have had three formal meetings and many more informal meetings. The Under-Secretary has changed my views on a number of important issues. She has also reinforced some of my prejudices, which is a nice feeling—but I am genuinely grateful to her, and grief-stricken by the fact that she is plainly suffering from a heavy cold. I wish her a quick recovery.
As I have said, I am concerned about the secrecy of the family court. I tabled an early-day motion on the subject. Looking around the Chamber earlier, I noted that almost every Member present, apart from Ministers and, obviously, the occupant of the Chair, had signed it. Early-day motion 869, entitled “Workings of the Children Act 2004”, stated:
“That this House urges the Government to remove the veil of secrecy from the workings of the Children Act 2004; considers that the closed door policy of the family courts breeds suspicion and a culture of secrecy which does nothing to instil confidence in those using them, which affects not just the courts but the social services departments of local authorities; and believes that it is possible to preserve the anonymity of children involved in the proceedings without the cumbersome rules which obstruct parents from receiving advice and support, which in particular works to the disadvantage of parents with special learning difficulty.”
The hon. and learned Member for Redcar spoke about the concept of the rights of the child being paramount. Her explanation was a good deal clearer than some that I have received from social services departments. However, I am less concerned with the effect on the courts than with the effect on social services. There is almost a process of Chinese whispers, whereby that noble concept becomes bastardised into an unwillingness to disclose, to justify, to listen to arguments, or even to see a need to explain decisions. The law was changed because of Members’ difficulties in obtaining information from social services departments. At one time, they were threatened with contempt proceedings and prosecutions for pursuing constituency cases. Since the beginning of April last year, however, we have been able to look at case files and discuss the issues. I may be wrong but I think that I was the first Member of Parliament to take advantage of that, after a constituent who was going through the process brought it to my attention in the early part of April last year.
The change in the law seems to have wholly passed by Essex social services department. Despite the will of the House and the change in the law, it led me through quite an elaborate dance when I wanted to get some basic information from it. At one point, it insisted that I went to court to get special permission, when by Act of Parliament I already had that right. Had it not been for my noble Friend Lord Hanningfield, who happens to be the leader of Essex county council, I do not think that I would have been able to pursue the case to the full.
I cannot go into the details of the case, but I can talk about it in the abstract and discuss the way it affects the law. It concerned the decision by Essex social services to remove two children from a family because they considered the mother to be stupid and incapable of bringing up the children because of her lack of intellect. The mother had an IQ of around 60. Social services sought to present her as stupid to the point of being unable to understand maternal feelings. In my view, she was a little slow but someone who clearly loved her two children. She was faced with an unending stream of social workers dealing with her case—at one point, I counted 16—who were pushing her in different directions. She was left bewildered and unable adequately to rebut social services’ allegations. I want to say a few things about people with learning difficulties and then move to the general question of social services. I want to stay firmly within the terms of the Bill.
A problem has been identified recently with the Meadow case. I do not want to go down that route but it illustrates the fact that, sometimes, proceedings have been initiated because hospital consultants or social workers have been a little over-zealous. It is typical for the person who initiates proceedings to see the complaint through. There is a need for a separation of powers between those who take the decision to initiate an investigation and those who actually conduct it. I am worried—I will come to this a little later—about the targets for adoption and the obvious financial benefits that accrue.
The principal problem is that social services departments cannot be entirely non-partisan in the way in which they identify the issues. Few people who initiate a serious chain of events are likely to admit it when it goes wrong. The temptation is to tailor evidence to fit the complaint. That should be resisted.
I can give a few brief examples of how that happens. As I said, I think that I was almost certainly the first MP to go through the process of wading through a social services file concerned with a forced adoption. It was thick, repetitive and at times confusing. I have talked to the Minister about that. I speak as a former chairman of a social services department and was used to seeing that kind of thing. I was shocked at the sloppiness of record keeping, the shoddiness of the process and the basic injustice. In that file—this is directly relevant—there was misinformation, embellishment and inappropriate assigning of motives.
I shall give just two examples, which illustrate the general problem. In the first example, the husband did not have learning difficulties but was, by mistake, described as having them. The mistake was recognised and corrected in the file but subsequently, such allegations continued to be made, as though it was a proven fact. More seriously, it was suggested that the child had witnessed domestic violence. It became clear that this was a single incident in which the husband, in a moment of pique, had picked up his slippers and thrown them against the wall. He is a gentle and passive man and at no time were the slippers aimed at anybody; nor was any damage caused, except, perhaps, for a slight mark on the wall. However, the file on that family states that the female child
“has witnessed domestic violence and this will have an impact towards her development”.
Following close scrutiny on my part, social workers told me that there was no evidence of any violence toward either child in the family. No doctors or casualty departments had expressed concern, and there was no evidence of repeated accidents involving the children. Yet the allegation remained on the file.
An allegation was also made of poor parenting and I asked for various examples. I was given two. First, the female child had been given sandwiches and a packet of crisps for her lunch, and because she chose to eat the crisps first, she was too full to eat her sandwiches. That was deemed sufficiently important to be regarded as an example of poor parenting. The second example—we should bear in mind that at this point, I was pressing for another such example—involved allowing one of the children to stay up late at night to watch television. I asked whether “late” meant 10 o’clock at night, or perhaps 9 o’clock. I was told that she was allowed to stay up until 8 o’clock to watch the end of “EastEnders” or “Coronation Street”. I have many middle-class friends with children of a similar age who are allowed to have crisps and to stay up until 8 o’clock. None of them is subject to a care order.
I turn to the issue of stories being embellished. By this point, the social worker was finding me a tad provocative. He said that the mother had screwed up a baby-wipe tightly in her fist and had repeatedly rubbed it against the genitals of the young male child, to the extent that they were “red raw.” However, the report actually said that the mother had used heavy pressure, and that the genitals were flattened and “very red”. There is a world of difference between “red raw” and discoloured.
I found distressing the way in which motives were ascribed in the report, without any obvious discipline. The father was criticised because he had refused to leave his job of some 23 years to become the full-time carer. It was said that that showed a lack of commitment. I believe that holding down a job—in his case, a humble job—for 23 years and putting bread on the table week in, week out sets a fine example to one’s children. The social workers wanted the father to live off benefits. That might have been a solution, but if someone can set an example to their children by working hard, that is something to be proud of.
I want to return to the way in which the primacy rule can be bastardised. I confess that by this time I was beginning to irritate people, although I am sure that hon. Members will find that hard to believe. I found myself being lectured by a very senior person whom I shall not name, as that would be embarrassing. He said, “We have to consider the welfare of the child. That is absolutely paramount; whatever is best for the child is what we do.”
I replied, “OK, but if that rule is applied generally, let’s apply it to your children. If I arranged for them to live in the house of Mr. Bill Gates, they would get enormous intellectual stimulation—probably more than you can offer—and they would certainly enjoy much greater financial well-being.” The very senior person did not seem to like that, which made me glad that I had not used my second choice of example—Michael Jackson.
I have talked these matters through with people who really understand them. They have said, “Look, Eric, what about the guardian? The guardian is there to look after the interests of children and to be impartial in the process.”
I put that approach to various leading counsel with an interest in the matter. Although some guardians may exist who are prepared to stand up to social services departments and act as bastions of freedom, they are very hard to find. Generally speaking, guardians act as cheerleaders for social services departments. They are entirely compliant, and seem incapable of doing more than being a cheering section.
I had the opportunity last night to speak about such problems to the Under-Secretary of State for Education and Skills, the hon. Member for Liverpool, Garston (Maria Eagle), and I shall give one example of the role of guardians. A leading counsel on these matters—who, by the nature of things, acts sometimes for the local authority and sometimes for parents—told me about one occasion when he was acting for the local authority. Just before proceedings began, people started to gather round the table. He was not paying attention to who came through the door, and was about to begin his contribution when he noticed that the guardian was sitting in the room. “What are you doing here?” he asked, to which the guardian replied, “Well, you know, I’m here as part of the team.”
That person should not have been in the room, because the guardian’s presence could demonstrate partiality. The system needs to make sure that the different strands of the process can be separated.
I was enormously surprised to find that there is no national system for the regulation or disciplining of social workers. No royal charter exists that sets out professional standards or disciplinary procedures and thus allows peer judgment to take place. The social work profession needs to address that defect. The solution does not need to be elaborate, but peer evaluation among social workers on relevant matters is important. Without that, there is enormous variation between authorities, which can be as slack as the one involved in the Climbié case, or as tough as Rochdale in the face of ridiculous accusations of satanism.
I shall quote briefly from Andrew Scott, an admittedly newly qualified barrister who deals with these matters on a daily basis. I suspect that he may be known to some hon. Members, as he has made quite a reputation for himself. He said:
“I don’t think the public appreciates how low the threshold is. When children are taken from their parents, it is not because there is a certainty of future harm or even that, on the balance of probabilities, those children could be harmed. It is enough that there will be a possibility of future harm. If there is a 70 per cent. risk of a child being harmed and every child with that risk was taken into care then, in 100 such cases, 30 children would be taken from families where they would come to no harm. Sometimes, I wonder whether children are being protected, or whether it is social workers’ careers.”
Those are wise words. There may be a temptation for local authorities, possibly because of the financial advantage, to move towards adoption when other solutions may be possible.
Mr. Scott goes on to say:
“There’s an unspoken fear that children from poor backgrounds are being freed up for middle-class adopters.”
I would like to give an illustration which, of all the features of the case, has really chilled me. It is about the question of duty of care. In the April before the children were finally taken with a view to an enforced adoption, there was a case conference. The second child had not yet been born. The conference was considering whether to put the child on the at-risk register. The daughter was already on it. On the basis of the facts before it, the conference decided that it was not necessary to put the young boy on the register and furthermore that it was appropriate to take the young girl off it. Somebody at that conference, notably the chairman, did not like that decision. There was no change of circumstances and no other substantial incidents had taken place. Yet the same circumstances were seen as making it appropriate to put the children into care with a view to permanent adoption.
Let me say what I think needs to be done. Those who investigate a complaint must be independent of those who initiate it and those who may in due course be called on to care for the children. A proper code of conduct for social workers is long overdue. I certainly believe that those with special learning difficulties deserve special care. We are told that in 1 per cent. of all families one partner or the other has learning difficulties. We are also told that 20 per cent. of children in care have one parent with learning difficulties. There is some dispute over the figures, but whether they are precisely right or not, they demonstrate a problem.
The secrecy of the family courts needs to be opened up. We wait for the consultation document. I believe that there is a strong case for judgments to be published and that they can be published while retaining the anonymity of the child. I have one additional suggestion. It goes back to the Meadow case. There is a question whether the professional witnesses should be identified. If the Government take the decision that they should, I will generally support that. Once you become involved in a case you get e-mails from all over the country. Some are heartbreaking, but they all have strong emotion running through them. Very normal people sometimes become irrational. I recognise that there might be a problem obtaining witnesses if they are routinely named.
As an absolute minimum, each professional witness should be given a unique identifying number. I think that that is important—I suspect that hon. Members understand—because we need to establish a pattern so that if we get a problem with the veracity of a witness we can have another look at them.
We need to change the rules with regard to advice. Parents are put in the dreadful position of being unable to seek advice. They cannot talk to their county council or unitary authority; they cannot talk to friends or members of their family. Only recently could they come and talk to us. I can give examples of where there is a problem. In care or adoption proceedings it is understandable that parents want to take a fair amount of time off. Under the existing rules, parents cannot tell their employer why they are absent from work without going back to the court. Psychiatric evaluations are also often necessary in such proceedings, but people cannot make full disclosure without first going back to the court. We have to find ways to solve those problems, and I wholeheartedly endorse the Committee’s recommendations for greater transparency.
It might be slightly controversial to say so, but some cases resemble attempts to make bricks without straw. Once the facts have been established, the courts are reluctant to revisit those facts or their interpretation. However, if adoption has resulted from fraud or seriously erroneous evidence, we should have a procedure to enable that adoption to be overturned, although the period in which that could be done should be limited. In care proceedings, any carer who is accused of abuse should have an automatic entitlement to legal aid; the opportunity to instruct an expert of their choosing; a right of appeal against any findings; and legal aid for any appeal.
I am grateful for the opportunity to raise these issues, but I wish to make one final point. I hope to be a Member of Parliament for many years to come—[Hon. Members: “Hear, hear.”] Well, that is marvellous and makes me feel wonderful. However, the case I have described will haunt me, because a grave injustice has been done and the system has let those people down. Those two young people now live in my constituency in a flat that is spotlessly clean and well maintained, with a bedroom full of toys that their children will never see. The beds are made up and presents are waiting for them. While there will be an attempt to overturn the original care proceedings, everyone understands that the likelihood of reversal is not great. When the state intervenes in people’s lives, we must ensure that it does so fairly. In the case that I have dealt with over the past few months, that intervention was “intervention beyond the humane.”
YouTube Row over Social Services Baby Threat
By Ben Leapman, Home Affairs Correspondent, Sunday Telegraph, August 19 2007
A heavily pregnant woman is at the centre of an extraordinary legal battle with social workers after she secretly recorded them threatening to take away her newborn baby.
Vanessa Brookes, 34, who is due to give birth early next month, smuggled taping equipment into a meeting with social services officials, fearing they would try to take her baby for forced adoption.
advertisementShe recorded a social worker telling her and her husband Martin, 41, that even though there was “no immediate risk to your child from yourselves”, the council would seek a court order to place the child in foster care.
Mother and baby would be allowed “two or three days” in hospital together, but should not leave the premises until social workers came to remove the infant. In a desperate attempt to keep their baby, the couple have published the recorded conversation on the internet.
Calderdale council, in West Yorkshire, last night accused them of breaching the Data Protection Act by recording its staff without their knowledge or consent. The council said it had begun legal action to have the recording removed from the YouTube website. Mrs Brookes said: “Even puppies and kittens aren’t removed from their mothers at birth. Social workers always record everything, so why shouldn’t we record them?”
John Hemming, the Liberal Democrat MP and chairman of campaign group Justice for Families, said: “I find it very odd that a newborn baby would be removed when there is not any allegation by the authorities that the child is at risk. Yet this case is not unique. There are many cases in which newborns are removed because of allegations that their mothers may at some later stage ’emotionally abuse’ the child.”
The case returns the spotlight to claims that social services are being heavy-handed in removing children from their parents, in order to meet Government adoption targets.
The Sunday Telegraph has previously revealed cases of mothers who were not told why their children were taken away, and cases of families whose children were not returned even after the parents had been cleared of wrongdoing. More than 2,000 babies aged under a year were taken for adoption last year, almost triple the level of a decade ago.
Social services took an interest in the Brookes family after Mrs Brookes, who is partially-sighted, was diagnosed with depression and a personality disorder, leading to concerns that her baby might be subjected to “emotional abuse”. Neighbours have complained that the couple’s household was disorderly, but neither has been accused of abusing or harming a child.
In the recorded meeting, the social worker tells the couple: “It’s our intention as a local authority that when your baby is born, we go into court on that same day and ask for an interim court order because we would wish to place your baby with foster carers.”
He tells Mrs Brookes: “I would like you and your baby to stay in hospital until the courts have made a decision.”
The social worker says the two or three days the mother has with her baby in hospital will allow her to begin breast-feeding and that once the infant is taken away, social services will pick up expressed breast milk from her home and deliver it to the foster carers for bottle-feeding.
The social worker admits to the couple that a back-up plan is being drawn up in case the judge refuses the application for a care order. He says: “What we also have to think about is a child protection plan that looks at you, at home, with your baby. There is no immediate risk to your child from yourselves, that’s my understanding from reading documents.”
A spokesman for Calderdale council said officials would seek a meeting with Mr and Mrs Brookes “to understand how this information came into the public domain. We are taking action to have this item removed from YouTube. This recording was made without the knowledge or consent of our member of staff.
“The council does not take lightly any recommendation to the court for a child or a baby to be brought into care. The decision whether or not to institute care proceedings is made by social workers who have to consider the best interests of the child.”
Family Courts are the B-side of the Law
Camilla Cavendish, The Times December 26 2006
What a strange, fumbling kind of justice system it is that condemns a woman as an unfit mother for the heinous crime of trusting her husband. Yet this is what seems to have happened in a recent case that I feel compelled to write about, even though legal restrictions force me to leave out much of the detail.
The nub of the case is this. A woman, let us call her Janie, gave birth to her first and only child a year ago. That baby was taken away from her and subsequently put up for adoption. Not because of her own failure to care for the baby — her own love and care never seem to have been in question. No. She has lost her baby because of a suspicion that her husband John may have injured another child in his previous marriage almost ten years ago.
The suspicion was no more than that. John was never charged with anything, let alone convicted. Social workers were never sufficiently worried to take that first child into care. Since his divorce John has shared custody of that child perfectly amicably with his ex-wife. Yet the same local authority which left the first child with him has forbidden him to see this new baby. And his new wife, despite having nothing to do with the first case, may never see her baby again.
Unless this case is overruled in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg, where it is now heading, it will set a peculiar precedent. For it implies that any British mother could be penalised for choosing a partner to whom the State has taken a dislike: penalised with the loss of the thing that is most precious to her in the world.
It cannot be this simple, you are thinking. Well, not quite. The child of the first marriage is disabled, and did seem to have suffered an injury — I am not permitted to say more. But no one knows how. Both John and his first wife have always protested their innocence. They had a second child who came to no harm. No court will ever truly know whether John was innocent. But the fact is that he was never found guilty. For the local authority to leave him alone with a child that it thought he had harmed, and to take away another that had not been harmed, is utterly hypocritical. No court should be able to punish you for a crime you may commit, when there is no evidence.
It should, surely, be a crime to remove a newborn baby from a mother who has never harmed it.
For that in itself is a form of abuse. Yet the secret State often chooses to abuse the children itself, rather than let them run the risk of staying put. They are at least alive, it calculates, even if it is a diminished kind of alive, deprived of the mother bond. And too often, it strikes the wrong balance. In 2002, the ECHR ruled against the British Government for removing a new baby from its mother in hospital and refusing even to let her cuddle it under supervision, when there was no evidence that the baby faced a serious risk at that time. The judgment came too late, though. The baby had already been adopted.
This is what Janie fears. The ECHR has agreed to hear her appeal and to consider whether the English court ruling breached Janie and John’s right to family life, to freedom of opinion and to freedom of expression. That is quite a ticket. But even if the ECHR finds in Janie’s favour, it may be too late. The local authority is already seeking families to adopt her baby. Her only hope is that prospective adopters will be put off by knowing of her appeal.
Any lawyer will tell you that family courts are the B-side of the legal system. The majority of judgments will never be read outside the courtroom. Perhaps judges fear the consequences if they do not support social services and social services are later proved right. They seem to start from the assumption that children are de facto wards of court who need protection from their parents.
Even then, Janie’s case seems extraordinary. Certainly the parents are not the brightest people in the world. They are not perfect. But the more I learn about it, the more I believe that Janie and John’s biggest mistakes were emotional. Janie seems to have been very co-operative. However, John has been irritable, even aggressive, which would support the view that he has a violent nature. But can you really convict on that basis? Which of us could control our temper if faced with losing a child to a bunch of hypocrites? In a Hollywood movie, anger is a natural reaction to injustice. In an English suburb, defiance makes you guilty. The legal system wants “remorse”. But how can you show remorse for something you haven’t done?
Until this case I had tended to be sceptical about the claims that the Government’s targets for adoption were leading to miscarriages of justice. I still feel that ministers were right to want to speed up adoption and to release more children more quickly from the hell of care. But I have now started to take more seriously the argument that these targets have created a perverse incentive for local authorities to take more babies into care. Babies are, after all, more attractive to prospective adopters than older children and therefore an easy way to reach those targets. In Janie and John’s case, you do have to wonder why the authorities have rushed to take away a healthy baby, when they did not take away a disabled one.
Janie’s case seems to me to make a strong argument for introducing juries. Why is a burglar facing six months in jail allowed to ask for a jury trial, but a mother facing the irretrievable loss of her only child is not? Mistakes will always be made when the ordinary, imperfect citizen is judged by the imperfect and powerful. Personally, I would rather face 12 men good and true.
The parents asked judge Munby to stop any adoption of their daughter until the European court at Strasbourg until a verdict had been given by the European Court in Strasbourg.Exceptionally Judge Munby published his refusal for all to see !
Camilla Cavendish, of the Times replied !
May 24, 2007
The Rank Hypocrisy of Family Court Judges
I was gratified this week to find that an article I wrote in December has been quoted in full by the Court of Appeal. (I only hope there were no typos.) It is flattering that Mr Justice Munby takes The Times seriously. It is of more import that he decided to publish his judgment on the case that I wrote about six months ago. For it is only when judges make their reasoning public that we can start to debate the grounds on which children should be taken into care.
A few long-suffering readers may remember that this peculiar case concerns a woman whose baby was removed by social workers, not because the child came to any harm but because there was a suspicion that her father might have injured a child from his previous marriage. That suspicion was never proven, no charges were ever brought and the child of the earlier marriage was never removed. But a woman who everyone agrees is blameless has lost her only child – for ever – because she is deemed to be besotted with a man who may pose a danger.
As so often in these situations, there are complex allegations and flawed characters. In my view it is questionable whether the father’s inability to conceal his loathing of social workers makes him unsuitable for parenthood. Mr Justice Munby has decided on several grounds not to grant an appeal. The case may still go to Strasbourg, but it will be too late: the child will have been adopted.
This couple have become a cause célèbre for campaigners who fear that the Government’s drive to get more children adopted is having a perverse effect on some local authorities. For the same local authority to leave a man alone with a child that it thought he had harmed, but to take away another that had not been harmed, does seem bizarre. Until you realise that the child from the first marriage was disabled, and older, and would have been hard to place with an adoptive family. The child from the second marriage was a healthy baby, just the kind of “adoptive commodity” that local authorities find relatively easy to place.
I still believe that ministers were right to want to speed children out of the hell of care. But they have put social services departments in a strange position. We now expect them to combine three contradictory roles: to protect children, to keep families together and to meet adoption targets (which bring financial rewards). Under pressure, in situations that are not clear-cut, those roles are bound to conflict.
What is the evidence? Government figures show a significant jump in the number of babies being taken into care, from 1,600 in 1995 to 2,800 in 2005: a 75 per cent increase in ten years. While there has been an increase across all age groups, it is much, much greater for babies. More 10 to 15-year-olds are removed, but the rate of increase was only 21 per cent.
One possible explanation is that the authorities are now monitoring pregnant women, especially teenagers and substance abusers. But there are also numerous examples of relatives being turned down by local authorities when they offer to take the children of a family member. Some of them may indeed be unsuitable. But the turning-down sometimes seems very peremptory. John Hemming, MP, who follows these issues closely, believes that “the [hard-to-place] children the targets were established to get adopted are not getting adopted; instead a completely new group of children are being taken into care, then adopted”. Ministers should be seriously alarmed if a failure to help difficult candidates find homes were being masked by a zealous pursuit of babies.
This case has also brought something else home to me: our hypocrisy about privacy. It is illegal for me to write about most care cases, or to read court papers, even when the parents involved beg me to. I can generally only write when judges go public. Yet I have discovered that even as I was writing about this case last year, painstakingly omitting much of the detail to ensure that no one could identify the child, her picture, real name and age were being published in a national newspaper. Not by a journalist, who would have been in contempt of court. But by an adoption agency, advertising for adopters.
Agencies have to find good homes for needy children. Many do a great job. But for parents who are routinely told that they will be in contempt if they dare to reveal the legal proceedings to anyone outside the court, or even to talk about the child by name, because his or her privacy is paramount, it is staggering to see their children being advertised like pets.
Contempt of court is a serious matter. Last year Harriet Harman, the Minister for Justice, admitted in Parliament that in 2005 “200 people were sent to prison by the family courts, which happens in complete privacy and secrecy”. Family court judges can send parents to prison for up to six months for contempt. Two hundred people is about four a week. That is far more than the number of suspected terrorists we have locked up without a fair trial. So where are the civil libertarians? One young woman was recently sent to Ashford prison for kidnapping her child back from social workers and trying to flee the country. Others seem to be committed for minor breaches of contact orders. The threat of jail is made time and again, and it is real.
The main justification used for keeping family courts secret is to protect the identities of children. It is the argument used to gag parents and the media. How strange that seems when a little girl, whose family struggled to get the right legal advice to keep her, can be paraded around the country.
Every judge in these adoption cases can decide to make their judgment public. Until they do, the pretence of privacy will be nothing but rank hypocrisy.
Guilty of child abuse! (Well, our version.)
By Camilla Cavendish Source: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/camilla_cavendish/article2310550.ece
For a brief time this week, until it was taken down, there was an extraordinary posting on YouTube. It was a covert recording, made by a 34-year-old mother, of her meeting with the social worker who wants to take her next baby into care.
Had it been staged, critics would have called it a caricature. A robotic official orders the sobbing mother to stay in the hospital until his colleagues come to remove her new baby. He refuses her desperate pleas to be monitored with the baby at home. He explains in the tones of a traffic warden the inconvenience of delivering her breast milk. He then lets drop an astonishing admission: that Calderdale Council is pursuing a court order despite there being “no immediate risk to your child from yourselves”. Will he say that in court? We will not know, of course, for the court will sit in secret.
Such a chilling drama plays to our deepest fears of state tyranny. There is something wrong with the system. But posting a conversation on YouTube, out of context, is not the way to right it. The council argues that Vanessa Brookes’s recording falls foul of the Data Protection Act. Her supporters say that she is a victim of social services and justified in publishing what is essentially her own data. But we do not know whether she is a victim. Who is abusing whom here?
Mrs Brookes’s case is not straightforward. She is partially sighted and has suffered bouts of depression. Two of her children have already been adopted. That does not prove that she is an unfit mother – mistakes can be made – but it does explain the council’s interest. Equally, I am told that she and her husband have never been accused of harming any child. But this dribble of incomplete facts is fundamentally unenlightening. All it does is illustrate the torturous trade-offs that the system has to make, and our inability to judge those trade-offs because it is illegal to read family court papers.
How should we treat someone like Mrs Brookes, who has troubles enough to worry social services but has not apparently yet harmed a child? She is one of a growing group of people who are categorised as capable of “emotional abuse”. You can see why the category exists. Ill-treatment comes in many forms, not just cigarette burns. But in that nebulous phrase lurks the potential for great injustice.
“Emotional abuse” has no strict definition in British law. Yet it now accounts for an astounding 21 per cent of all children registered as needing protection, up from 14 per cent in 1997. Last year 6,700 children were put on the child protection register for emotional abuse, compared with only 2,600 for sexual abuse and 5,100 for physical abuse. Both of the latter two categories have been falling steadily. Meanwhile emotional abuse and “neglect” – which replaced the old notion of “grave concern” in 1989 – have been rising. Both are catch-alls. But emotional abuse is especially vague. It covers children who have not been injured, have not complained, and do not come under “emotional neglect”.
The Department of Health defines emotional abuse as “persistent emotional ill-treatment . . . [which] may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or inadequate . . . and may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being placed on children . . . Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill-treatment of a child, though it may occur alone”.
Local authorities have printed their own, wildly differing, interpretations. In Enfield emotional abuse includes “swearing”, “conditional love” or “discriminatory remarks”. In Nottingham, it is “an ingrained pattern of interaction . . . which it is essential to observe and understand over time”. Under that definition, a baby could never be removed at birth. Nottingham also states that emotional abuse should rarely be a cause for removing a child. Meanwhile the NSPCC, the charity that has never knowingly undersold a statistic, states in its briefing on emotional abuse that “18 per cent of children experience humiliation and/or attacks on self-esteem”. Should we put them all in care, then?
“You’ll know it when you see it – except that you can’t see it” is no way to make law. Abuse literature repeatedly states how often parent and child are unaware of the damage done by their relationship patterns. How do we weigh that damage against the trauma of the conveyor belt of foster care? In most such situations, isn’t removing a child utterly disproportionate?
Just imagine that some social services departments were crusaders, seeing evil parents everywhere but unable to prove conventional abuse. It is plausible that the number of vague allegations would rise, backed by psychiatrists of a similar mindset who are prepared to enter a “maybe”. How else can one explain a 50 per cent rise in emotional abuse cases in ten years? How many of those cases are utterly marginal?
Next, imagine that the rise in these cases had left social workers even more overstretched. They would have less time to monitor children at home and to keep families together. They would also have less time for the hard-core cases. No system can ever protect every child. But the toddler on Haringey’s at-risk register who was found dead last week with fractured ribs, a broken back and two missing fingernails was surely more deserving of removal than those at risk of low self-esteem.
So many cases are gut-wrenchingly complex. We need social workers to be properly accountable. We need the family courts to be open. Mrs Brookes is clearly not perfect, but she deserves to have clear grounds for the removal of her child. Right now, it looks as though around 6,000 people stand accused of abuse, or potential abuse, that no lawyer can even define. That is an appalling vista that we must not continue to hide from public view.
The reason for the secrecy in the family coutrts is always touted as the need to protect the children’s identity at all costs!Unless of course there is money to be made by “advertising” them for adoption like pedigree dogs in magazines and newspapers with colour photos ages and first names for easy identification by the neighbours!!Here are some prices for those who are interested !
Precedent All mothers have the LEGAL RIGHT to breastfeed their babies!
*In the matter of unborn baby M; R (on the application of X and another) v Gloucestershire County Council.
Citation: BLD 160403280;  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 bothby judges and the SS BECAUSE THE PARENTS ARE NOT AWARE OF THEIR RIGHTS UNDER THIS IMPORTANT CASE.
Crimes come and crimes go.Homosexual acts were once a crime and now quite rightly they are not.Racial discrimination used not to be illegal and now quite rightly it is a crime.I hope and believe that one day soon it will be a SERIOUS CRIME to deprive a newborn baby of contact with a mother of sound mind that has never harmed it .It is not just me (ian josephs) a lone individual saying this,I am suported in this view by TV programmes,journalists, MPs, and the above article from that ultra respectable newspaper,”The Times” !
The following extract from a judgement in the House of Lords confirms that alone in Europe the UK CONTINUES to allow and encourage the barbaric practice of taking children from loving and desperate parents and giving them to strangers for closed and secret adoptions without parental consent
House of Lords – Down Lisburn Health and Social Services Trust .
Baroness Hale of Richmond.Judgement
- There is, so far as the parties to this case are aware, no European jurisprudence questioning the principle of freeing for adoption, or indeed compulsory adoption generally. The United Kingdom is unusual amongst members of the Council of Europe in permitting the total severance of family ties without parental consent. (Professor Triseliotis thought that only Portugal and perhaps one other European country allowed this.) It is, of course, the most draconian interference with family life possible.
CA Doc 1.1 Lord Donaldson MR
Lord Donaldson MR, Re D (A Minor) (Residence Order, 1992) 2 FLR 332, 336. CA
‘At the risk of being told by academics hereafter that my views are contrary to well-established authority, I think that there is a rebuttable presumption of fact that the best interests of a baby are best served by being with its mother, and I stress the word ‘baby’. When we are moving on to whatever age it may be appropriate to describe the baby as having become a child, different considerations may well apply. But, as far as babies are concerned, the starting-point is, I think, that it should be with its mother.’
.At present any mother with a child already in care who gives birth to a new baby almost invariably has that baby snatched at birth by social workers anxious to meet their adoption targets .Changed circumstances are rarely taken into account.
THESE FORCED ADOPTIONS ARE WICKED CRIMES !! All those odious persons involved in these crimes against humanity,the social workers,the SS lawyers,the hired “experts” and most of all the RENEGADE COMPLIANT JUDGES should all serve prison sentences for their crimes just as their predecessors the Nazi judges were condemned at Nuremburg !
Sunday Mail – July 15
They’re in my life. I love and miss them so much.
also ‘Lost in the System’
by John Hemming Lib Dem MP for Birmingham Yardley
Review – Sunday Mail
They’re in my life. I love and miss them so much.
A year ago, weeping and unable to sleep at 2.30 in the morning, a 35-year-old mother sat down at her computer and set up a website in a desperate attempt to communicate with her four young children, taken into care by Local Authority social workers.
Posting messages on the web was, she says, the only way she could think of to reach them, to let them know she was fighting for them and that she loved them.
‘I’m sitting here thinking of you and me and life, and you are my life’, she wrote. ‘I love you and miss you so much, each and every one of you.
I sit and wonder how you all are, and what will become of our paths in life.’ Many more yearning website messages followed – birthday and Christmas greetings, accounts of happy family outings before the children were removed, poems and postings of sweet baby and family photographs. ‘I know the children won’t see the messages now because they are too little, but I wanted to create a record so that if they ever do search online later in their lives, they will know their father and I never stopped thinking about them, and that we never gave up’, she says.
But two weeks ago, the woman received a letter from the council’s Social Services department, demanding she close down the site immediately. If not, the letter threatened, committal proceedings would immediately be launched against her, and she would be sent to jail for contempt of court.
Heartbroken, she has complied.
Despite ongoing threats of legal action if she dares to speak out, however, this latest action by the council has pushed her into adding her voice to the gathering campaign to open up family court proceedings and the actions of child protection staff to greater public scrutiny.
Because of the strict rules of secrecy governing all family court proceedings in England and Wales, the children cannot be identified in any way, so the Mail on Sunday cannot disclose the woman’s name, nor where she lives. Nor can the council responsible for taking her children into care be identified, lest the mother’s decision to reveal her harrowing story be used against her in future proceedings, as she fights on to get her children back.
So we will call her Pauline, and not reveal the names of her five children now in care – three boys and two girls aged between nine years and just six months.
The local council cannot be asked for its side of this story, as Social Services departments always point-blank refuse to discuss the details of any individual case.
So this is, of necessity, only Pauline’s side of the story. Maybe social workers were justified in forcibly taking her children from her, and the physical and emotional abuse she insists the children have since suffered at the hands of foster carers has not happened, and the children are better off living away from home.
On the other hand, though, Pauline and her partner could well be in the same boat as many hundreds of other English parents who insist they have been grievously wronged by over-zealous child protection staff who ‘abduct’ their children on entirely spurious grounds.
Pauline says her family’s nightmare began one summer evening four years ago – ‘on June 18, 2003’, she says immediately when asked the date – when local youths on the drug-ridden, run-down council estate where they then lived began throwing rocks at their windows and screaming abuse.
When the police arrived in response to her call, she says they told her it was not safe for her young children to stay in the house, and suggested they be sent to relatives until the trouble died down. Pauline followed this advice quite happily, but a week later, she was shocked to receive a letter from the council informing her that child protection staff had launched legal proceedings to take the children into care.
‘I was taken into care myself when I was around six years old, and I have horrific memories of being moved from one foster home to another and of being punched and kicked by abusive carers and the council care staff doing absolutely nothing to protect and help me’, she says. ‘I ran away frequently, desperate to get back home to my mother, and when I was 13 years old, I was locked in an adults’ prison for a short while. Then, when I had children of my own, there always seemed to be social workers hanging around, watching me, I now believe, for any signs of being an inadequate parent.
‘It now seems clear that they were just waiting for an excuse to take my children away from me, and as soon as an opportunity arose, they grabbed it.
‘The only reason I was given for care proceedings being launched was my and my then partner’s ‘personal problems’. We were separated at that stage, and he was living apart from me and the children, but there was nothing to suggest that the children were being maltreated in any way.
‘In fact, we’d been a very happy family, and the children were well looked-after and healthy, as all the photos I took of them as babies and toddlers show. We used to go camping in the woods and by the seaside and the older children rode their bikes and climbed trees and went fishing – all the happy memories that I now try so hard to cling on to, and which I described in detail on my website in the hope my children will one day be comforted by as well.’
At the time the first proceedings were launched, Pauline had a teenage daughter whom the authorities did not try to remove and who is still living with her. But a boy then aged four, a girl of three, another boy of two and a baby girl were all removed by order of the court and placed in different foster homes.
Six months ago, Pauline had another baby – a son. She says that before giving birth to him, she asked Social Services if they intended to remove him, and says she was assured in writing they did not. Four days after he was born though, and while Pauline was still in hospital, she says social workers arrived, with three police officers, and informed her that this child was also to be taken into care, on the grounds that there was ‘a risk of future emotional harm.’
One week later, he was taken from her and driven away in a police car, despite the fact he was being breast-fed.
After taking the council to court to gain access rights, she and the boy’s father are currently permitted to see him for five hours every day at a neutral contact centre. But Pauline says his foster carers refused to give him the breast milk she expressed each day and instead put the baby on an infant formula to which he had a severe allergic reaction, covering his body in a nasty rash which she secretly photographed on a mobile phone camera.
Pauline says tearfully that she has ‘no idea’ where the two youngest children removed four years ago are now living, and says council staff have repeatedly refused to give her any information, even as to whether they have by now been legally adopted. The older girl now aged seven, is living with her grandmother, and Pauline is allowed to have occasional contact with her and speak to her by phone.
It is the oldest boy, however, now aged eight, whom Pauline is most desperately concerned about and talking about him, she constantly breaks down, tears rolling down her cheeks. ‘Tom [not his real name] has been moved over and over again to different children’s homes and foster carers, and is now on his 14th move’, she says bleakly.
‘Two years after he was taken away, I discovered from reading council papers our lawyers had obtained that he was so disturbed, he’d been put on Prozac – at the age of just seven!
‘One day, when I was allowed to see him at a contact meeting, he took off his shirt and showed me bruises and injuries on his arms and chest and told me he’d been thrown down a flight of stairs. At that time, both he and his younger brother were placed with a foster couple who had six children in their home, five under the age of five.
‘One day when I spoke to him on the phone, he said to me: “Mummy, I’m so hungry”. Apparently, one of his punishments for misbehaving was being given no dinner. ‘I am so desperately worried about what sort of emotional and psychological damage all this might be doing to him. Already, I know he has been excluded from school because his behaviour is so disturbed.
‘I have begged the social workers over and over and over again, sometimes literally on my hands and knees, to listen to me and investigate what is happening to my son, but nobody appears to care. ‘Instead, all our contact visits with him were stopped last year, on the grounds that I was “scrutinising” my children for supposedly imaginary injuries. The very last time we were allowed to see him and his younger brother, both the boys seemed so scared and vacant and withdrawn.
‘The younger one must have been so accustomed to seeing the older boy being beaten that he pleaded with me at one point when Tom got a bit boisterous: “Please don’t hurt him”.
It completely breaks your heart. I barely sleep, barely eat. I spend all my time thinking about them.’ The one thing that kept me going was creating my website for them and the hope that one day they might find it.
‘Now even that has been taken away from me.’
also Stolen Children ‘Lost in the System’
by John Hemming Lib Dem MP for Birmingham Yardley
Sunday Mail – July 15
Whenever local authorities are challenged over a decision to take a baby or young child away from their family the response is always the same: ‘It is in the best interests of the child.’
And that’s it – no further discussion is permitted.
Yes, they have to give their reasons to a judge sitting in the Family Court, but these hearings are held in secret, so journalists are never allowed to attend. The judgements of the courts are never published.
Outside the family court system, local authorities in England and Wales do not have to justify themselves to anyone. Officials, along with the Family Court’s judges and lawyers, are essentially accountable to no one.
Over the past year, during which I have been studying the workings of the system in England and Wales, I have spoke to many hundreds of parents in my constituency and elsewhere who have been ‘service users’ as the jargon used by social services staff goes.
And in many cases I have discovered, to my horror, the removal of young children and babies is not only unnecessary, but actually unjust and harmful to the children involved.
The story of ‘Pauline’ described overleaf, is a case in point. Having studied 300 pages of documents relating to her case, I am entirely satisfied that her children where removed from her without any justifiable cause.
I then agreed to chair a campaign called Justice for Families, which alongside many other groups is working to expose injustices in the Family Courts and to end the secrecy which allows wrongdoing to go undetected and unpunished. Justice for Families has a small number of volunteers to talk to people who claim to have had their children wrongly removed. So far, we have had details of over a hundred cases where miscarriages of justice do most certainly seem to have occurred.
Two weeks ago, I lodged papers with the High Court asking for permission to inform professional bodies such as the Bar Council and the General Medical Council about alleged wrongdoings by professionals who make a living from allegations of child abuse. I need permission because as the law stands, I could be sent to jail for lodging any complaint relating to actions in the Family Court.
In May, I also reported England and Wales to the United Nations for contravening its Charter on Human Rights and have requested a UN investigation, similar to the one in Australia into the forcible removal of Aboriginal children from their families and their placement with white families – an international scandal which came to be known as ‘The Stolen Generation’.
In my view and that of many other campaigners, ‘stealing’ describes actually what local authorities are doing to children in England and Wales today.
Of course, no body objects in any way to social workers and other council officials removing children and placing them in care where there is any suggestion of abuse or maltreatment.
Indeed, whenever cases of horrific long term abuse of children come to light – such as the case of Victoria Climbie, the eight-year-old girl beaten, starved and tortured to death by her aunt in North London – many of us wonder why Social Services staff did not intervene more energetically and competently.
What is utterly unacceptable to campaigners though, along with an increasing number of concerned judges, lawyers and MP’s, is the clear evidence that social workers are literally snatching newborn babies and children from good, stable, loving homes, such as the one highlighted on these pages.
The fact that these children are then placed in care homes and with foster parents, where, abuse does sometimes occur, further adds to the sense of outrage at what is happening in England and Wales today.
I realise that many people’s first reaction is to say: ‘Surely this sort of thing could not be happening in any modern society, particularly one as sophisticated and enlightened as ours.’
But unfortunately, due to a toxic combination of money, incompetence and secrecy, this is exactly what is happening here, over and over again.
Many millions of pounds in grants are available to local councils if they hit badly thought-out Government ‘targets’. These grants are meant to act as an incentive to councils to find adoptive parents for older children left languishing for years in care homes.
The brutal truth, however, is that healthy white babies and children under the age of five are far easier to place for adoption than older children, particularly older children who are actually physically, emotionally or psychologically damaged by parental maltreatment.
Last year, the number of children under five taken into care and swiftly adopted was more than double the number in 1995 – which strongly suggests to me that babies and young children are being deliberately taken into care in order for councils to hit adoption targets and get their extra money.
This may seem an outrageous allegation. Yet how else to explain newborn babies literally being torn from their mother’ arms on no other grounds than that the mother ‘might’ get post-natal depression, or that the child is at ‘risk of emotional abuse in the future’?
Financial considerations also taint the work that lawyers do on behalf of those families whose children have been snatched. What families often don’t know until it’s to late is that these same solicitors sometimes get a lot of money from the council for other work. If this Solicitor upsets the council, the work may well stop.
So when the case goes to court, the solicitor says the family do not oppose an application for a baby to be placed in care and fast-tracked for adoption – even though they do.
I recently asked the Law Society if this behaviour was acceptable and it my surprise it said it was. I currently have three firms of solicitors I wish to report to the regulatory authorities for behaviour out of this sort, but I am forbidden to do so by the secrecy laws.
There are excellent social workers, lawyers, doctors and judges working in the Family Courts, but there are also some very bad ones. Yet action is rarely taken against conduct that is incompetent, misguided or even – to use a very strong word which I nonetheless believe is warranted – corrupt.
Another problem is that the system is biased almost entirely upon opinion. In judging future risk of possible harm to a child, the court hears from social workers and their paid experts.
He who pays the piper normally calls the tune. So parents end up battling against a battalion of people paid to say how bad they are as parents.
The scandalous case of Mark and Nicky Webster, from Norfolk, who lost three children after being accused of child abuse on medical evidence that was later proved to be wrong (a case brought to public attention by the Mail on Sunday ), shows how things can get skewed up by ‘expert’ opinion.
But the most damning issue to emerge from a recent court battle over Norfolk County Council’s attempt to take the Websters’ fourth child was the pressure placed on a care worker to change a positive view about the Websters.
Injustices of this sort are going on all over the country and it will take a lot of effort to get things right. But that just strengthens the resolve of campaigners to keep fighting.
Sunday Mail Review
By John Hemming MP
Because it is so important I NOW REPEAT in slightly different format some of the information already outlined in the introduction section.
As a result of care orders made by secret family courts, every year literally hundreds of new-born babies are torn from their loving mother’s arms by harsh unfeeling British social workers who then put them out for adoption .It is no excuse to say they were “following orders”. Any self respecting social worker should resign rather than obey any order that involves removing a baby from it’s mother’s loving care and sending it away to be adopted by strangers when no harm has ever been done to that baby by the mother.Alas not one single social worker ordered to snatch a newborn baby at birth has resigned and made any kind of public protest about this barbarism so all those involved in this revolting activity are at least guilty of criminal indifference to the cruelty in snatching these new-born babies. This draconian practise has already been condemned by the court of human rights. http://www.nkmr.org/english/p_c_and_s_v_united_kingdom_verdict.htm (see paragraphs 133,137,and 138)
- 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.
Why does this happen?
In December 2000 the Guardian published an urgent demand by Tony Blair made in a white paper that adoption figures be increased 40% by the middle of 2005, http://society.guardian.co.uk/adoption/story/0,8150,468359,00.html and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/08/02/ftadopt02.xml yet in the same article Moira Gibb who is President of the Asociation of Directors of Social Services stated that the UK ALREADY has the second highest percentage of children adopted from care in the industrialised world. Many Councils make public service agreements with the government to meet certain targets including increasing adoptions so as to save money spent keeping children in care. Kent for example more than doubled it’s adoption figures over a 3 year period 2001-2004 and received around £20 million from the government for hitting 10 out of 12 targets set of which increasing adoption figures was target No1
Most adopters seek BABIES not children so that far from taking children out of care the result was a frantic search by Kent Social Services for babies that could be adopted; More than 3000 babies under 1 year old every year for the last ten years have been snatched by ss and put into care prior to adoption by strangers. (The figure of 3000 per year rising to 3900 per year over a ten year period comes from the answer to a parliamentary question put by Tim Loughton MP in 2004 to the Minister for children.) Most of these were taken from mothers who desperately wanted to keep them but they stood no chance of prevailing against the onslaught of the mighty forces of social services…
The demand for new-born babies for adoption used to be satisfied by young girls who had babies out of wedlock. This is no longer a disgrace so that need now has to be satisfied as far as possible by making claims of abuse or neglect against mothers (in their past) that more often than not are false and unsubstantiated ,and using these as an excuse to take new born babies away to secret places for adoption by persons who are too ashamed to show their faces to the real parents .These selfish adopters prevent the baby from ever meeting it’s brothers, sisters,aunts,uncles,and grandparents,or even knowing that these relations exist.
Kindness is practically never shown to these mothers and the only abuse to the baby comes from the social workers who deprive it of the bond formed with the mother at birth and prevent it from breast feeding which is the natural way to nourish any baby.The unfortunate mothers however are mostly condemned for life to produce babies not for themselves but to swell the adoption figures for the social services.
ONLY IN THE FAMILY COURTS DO VICTIMS(and consequently their children )GET PUNISHED NOT FOR CRIMES THEY HAVE COMMITTED BUT FOR CRIMES THAT SOCIAL SERVICES THINK THEY MIGHT COMMIT IN THE FUTURE!!
Is all this wild talk or can it be proved?
Recent articles by Nick Cohen in the Observer http://observer.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,6903,1391537,00.html by Melissa Kite in The Telegraph and by Stuart Wavell in the Sunday Times http://www.msbp.com/secretcourts.htm confirm that thousands of children (including hundreds of babies) have been taken via secret courts which imprison parents who dare to complain publicly and which condemn parents on the basis of rumour, gossip and hearsay from witnesses who cannot be cross examined because they do not go to court. To make matters even worse Margaret Hodge, the former Minister for children admitted in the Telegraph that tens of thousands of children have been wrongfully taken from their parents and given for adoption. She stated however that in the childrens interests it is better in most cases to leave them where they are. Surely the least she could do in these circumstances would be to end the secrecy and let the birth parents know where their children have gone and by whom they have been adopted? In the name of common humanity please Minister allow parents who have suffered by unjustly losing their children to the State, and then to adoption TO KNOW WHERE THEY ARE! www.freedomtocare.org/page63.htm
Legal aid solicitors never challenge anything the social workers say and hardly ever call the right witnesses to help the parents because they wish to maintain good relations with the social services. Ask any legal aid solicitor who specialises in the family court, how many cases they have won against opposition from social services so that parents have recovered their children and the answer is usually a big fat ZERO!! .Parents cannot complain either by revealing what happened in the secret family courts ,or by naming themselves or their children publicly without risking prison for contempt of the secret court.(Unlike more civilized countries such as Australia, New Zealand Canada, and Ireland where such secrecy in family courts does not exist) .Social Services however disregard this secrecy that they tell parents is meant to protect the children ,when they openly break this secrecy themselves by placing advertisements in adoption magazines such as adoption uk with large colour photographs and first names plus financial incentives for those willing to adopt the children so advertised !! Imagine the feelings of distraught mothers seeing their beloved children advertised in this fashion and being powerless to recover them ,or even to protest publicly themselves !!
The secrecy is also broken when a self important government minister like David Blunkett is involved,so that when he goes to the family court the details of the court proceedings and the names of the children he claims are his are all made very public !!This despite the opposition of the unfortunate husband whose wife he seduced ,and who only wants to keep his family together.
Mothers are sent to jail and even condemned for murder in the High Court on the basis of unproven crackpot theories put forward by charlatan doctors with no forensic evidence .In the family courts parents are often judged to have neglected or even abused their children purely on the balance of probabilities instead of beyond reasonable doubt .Judges nearly always believe social workers to” probably” be more truthful than parents who therefore have no chance of clearing their names let alone winning their case. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/main.jhtml;sessionid= NRRRIPGJMMUNXQFIQMGSNAGAVCBQWJVC?xml=/ health/2004/10/19/habuse19.xml&secureRefresh=true&_requestid=86469
Common sense would indicate that mothers who go to court and who are desperate to rescue their children from care orders and from the social services are not usually the type of mothers who abuse or neglect their offspring. That type of mother would hardly ever bother to go to court as she would be glad to be rid of children she did not care for. On this basis, surely most mothers going to court to ask for the return of their loved ones should win with the help of social workers who say that their main job is to keep families together. In fact the opposite is the case, the mothers nearly always lose thanks to the determination of social workers to split up families and make every effort to keep parents and children apart.The sad fact is that children are more than 100 times more likely to be abused in care or worse still in a childrens home than if they were left alone to stay with their own sometimes feckless but almost always loving parents
The terrible truth is that only too often the state equates poverty or illiteracy with inadequate parenting.This results in taking babies and young children from the poor and giving them for adoption to” the better educated and the better off”.This is WICKED and WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.!!
What about fathers when mothers refuse contact?
This is also wrong and quite simply I believe the partner who does not have custody should normally have the right to receive the children at least during half the school holiday period. There is less room for argument with this system and less disruption for the children. Any parent flouting a Court Order giving access to the other parent should either risk losing custody to the other parent or be liable to prison for contempt until both parents enjoy the access granted by the court.Family allowances should be split and drawn seperately in proportion to the access specified.
Older children who are put in foster homes are forbidden to telephone or contact their parents and vice versa by cruel unfeeling social workers even though no judge ever gives such an instruction. Meetings arranged on average 4 times per year are carefully supervised by social workers who harshly forbid parents from discussing their case or even from letting their children know that they have not abandoned them and that they want them back. This censorship takes place even though no judge orders it but the social workers achieve it purely by intimidation and threats.
Very often children are ill treated by the foster parents. Even worse there are frequent examples of sexual abuse by careworkers in children’s homes. The parents are powerless to complain in public because of gagging orders from the court which are supposed to protect the children by concealing their names and which in fact often leave them open to horrible and vile abuse in the places where they are sent. Children’s homes are frequently staffed by paedophiles, and horrific cases of abuse are time and again reported in the national press..
BEWARE —– BEWARE —– BEWARE —– BEWARE —– BEWARE —– BEWARE
Above all remember the “number one” golden rule!!! NEVER ,NEVER,NEVER, contact Social Services for help or advice concerning your children because if you do, more often than not they will take your children and have them put into care or worse still get them adopted.Hundreds of angry mothers all over the country have lost their children in this way and can now do nothing about it.
THE GOLDEN RULES!!
Do PLEASE remember the golden rules: (By all means print this off and keep the copy near at hand if SS approach! Show these rules to your lawyer or social worker to prove that you KNOW your rights!)
REMEMBER THESE EVEN IF YOU FORGET EVERYTHING ELSE I HAVE ADVISED!
1: NEVER contact social services (child protection) for help or advice. Usually you should not report a partner who batters you or even a stranger who sexually assaults your young child, as if you do the SS will as often as not take your children into care (and later for adoption) to “protect them” from risk! If they have your children and you are fighting to get them back, NEVER NEVER tell social workers how you think you are going to defeat them, or what you are going to do next!Remember, without mentioning it to “them”, that even if your children are “in care” social workers do not have the legal power to stop your children going to a call box to phone you,from going to any public library and emailing you, or even meeting you for a meal as long as they return “home” to the fosterers afterwards!
Care home girl abused by 25 men in 2 years
Source: Daily Mail Published: 27th August 2006 A 14-year-old girl placed in a council children’s home was prostituted to a group of depraved middle-aged men because staff were powerless to stop her going out. The horrific story of ‘Becky’ is highlighted in a BBC programme presented by Fiona Bruce this week which reveals how she was sexually abused by 25 men over two years – despite being known to social services and having been placed on the Child Protection Register. Even when she was put in a children’s home – six months after her earliest allegations of abuse -staff allowed her to be used as a prostitute for fear their intervention might infringe her human rights. If the “SS” cannot prevent a young girl in their care from working as a prostitute then surely they cannot prevent other young people they “care for” from spending the day with parents if they so choose!Remember also that children of school age have a break so you can call them and speak to them through the railings without trespassing and nobody can stop you except a judge by serving a court injunction on you that will be too late to stop you reminding your children of their real family !
2: Never believe a word “they” say and always insist they put their promises down in writing. Always be pleasant and polite to social workers,but never forget they are your ENEMIES ! Remember that they may deliberately try to provoke you into shouting or violence that they will exaggerate in court leaving you with a criminal record and no children! When they shout at you forget your “pride” and look very hurt saying “why are you being like this to me?” or “I thought you were so nice until now, please don’t bully me!” Be very respectful “tongue in cheek”, but remember THEY ARE NOT POLICE so never follow their “helpful advice” especially if they say your only chance of getting your children back is to split from a partner, or parent you love and respect! They will try and turn you against each other as the “divide and rule” principle makes sure you are confused and demoralised when you lose your case and your children too! Quite often they arrange deliberately awkward contact times with your children. This can result first in the loss of your job and then as a consequence of that, your accommodation also. Object firmly and forcefully in court to their plans and fight hard to keep your job and your house or appartment.
3: NEVER, NEVER, NEVER sign any documents they present to you, even if they say “you have to!” Social Workers rely on BLUFF. In reality they have NO POWER and no right to threaten you or give you orders of any kind! Only a COURT via an order from a judge can give you orders, and you always have the opportunity to contest those orders in court either before or after they are given to you. No matter what threats,or promises they make, you can be 100% sure that if you get intimidated into signing they will break their word and expect you to keep your’s! So, DO NOT SIGN! If your enemies run out of ammunition never send them over a case of bullets to help them out! Answer “yes”, “no” or “I don’t know” to questions WITHOUT further explanations that could be twisted to be used against you! If the “SS” do not have enough evidence against you do not “cooperate” by supplying them with what they need even if they threaten you. Once the SS have applied for a care order remember their main object is NOT the welfare of the child ,it is to WIN their case against you ! Disregard any threats that you must “do as they tell you “. Be polite and even apologetic when you refuse to obey them !
4: Never, never agree to let your children go into foster care (especially if they say it is TEMPORARY OR VOLUNTARY) Never “agree” the thresholds even if you are advised that this will ensure the return of your children, because if you do you will have admitted neglecting or abusing your child and the only question left will be to decide if you have really repented and are capable of “change”! Usually the answer is no! Sometimes your own lawyer may tell you to agree the thresholds and/or agree to an interim care order otherwise “you will never see your children again! “That is a wicked lie designed to save the lawyers work and to help you LOSE your children! Sometimes lawyers will tell you there is no need for you to give evidence as they will speak for you; that way you may find you have lost your children very quickly without being allowed to say a word, so BEWARE!Most of the “legal aid lawyers” in the family courts are rightly known in the trade as “PROFESSIONAL LOSERS”!! Many of them pretend to work for you when in fact they are really on the side of the Local Authority. Sack your lawyers and represent yourself if they will not let you speak! Never admit to social workers (who are your ENEMIES) that you have been at fault in even the smallest possible way,(they certainly will never admit to you that they were ever at fault!). You must never lie in court, but you should never never admit to any fault on your part unless forced to do so by a direct “yes or no” type question in court. You must never disobey a court order by taking abroad a child already in care, but if you are pregnant and threatened neither a court nor the “SS” can stop you leaving the country before the baby is born! Sweden and Ireland are good choices!
5: Refuse to be assessed by so called “experts, “(psychiatrists, therapists, psychologists, counsellors, professionals, and the like) unless your children are returned first as otherwise the process will take place in an artificial atmosphere with you as parents emotionally distressed because your children have been taken. Remember that if the “SS” insist on these assessments their sole purpose is to gather sufficient evidence to help them win their case against you in court! Try not to answer questions with more than 5 or 6 words (they write down anything unhelpful you may let slip). Try indeed to answer “yes” or “no” whenever possible. NEVER COMPLAIN NEVER EXPLAIN! Complaints are a waste of time and divert you from the more important task of keeping or recovering your children. Never explain or elaborate when questioned as this only gives extra material to those who wish to discredit you. Never make angry personal attacks on anybody or threaten to sue the “SS” or police at a later date, as it just makes YOU sound bad. Your whole tone must be one of “sweetness and light” regretting that your children were mistakenly taken and that THEY (not you) suffered harm and anguish as a result! Your whole case must be that YOUR CHILDREN have suffered harm (not yourself) and that you are taking action for their sake not for your own! If you are accused of “being unable to work with the professionals”, reply that you will work 100% with them if they say their objective is to reunite your family by eventually returning your children, but that it is unfair to expect you to work with anyone whose objective declared to the court is to put your children into care or worse still have them adopted!Remember that the SS often “brainwash” children in care by telling children in care that their mother is too ill to care for them or worse still does not love them or want them any more, but when they are adopted they will have a lovely new “for ever mummy and daddy”! Make sure you tell the children that wicked people have stolen them for money and that you will never stop fighting to get them back ! Whisper in their ears or calmly make the statement in spite of horrified supervisors Even children as young as 3 will remember all their lives such a brutal but necessary message. Vital however as it will eventually make a stable adoption impossible to sustain !Your reluctantly adopted children will as a result come back to you in the end !
6: Protect yourself against social workers barging uninvited into your home by fitting a small chain inside your front door. This means that if you do not unlatch the chain when you see who is calling that person would have to push the door hard enough to break the chain which would be a “forced entry “and a criminal offence if committed without a document from the court such as a “recovery order” specifically allowing entry using reasonable force. Unless they intend to actually arrest someone or have good reason to believe someone in the house is in danger of severe physical harm, police also would have to have a warrant before breaking the chain. Usually they will not have one and would have to convince a judge that a serious crime had been or was about to be committed before one was granted.
7: If social services request a look at your medical records (probably to try and find something to discredit you) ALWAYS write to any doctor or psychiatrist that has seen you as follows:
“I respectfully request you to keep all my medical notes strictly confidential as I intend to take legal proceedings against social services and any other persons who might obtain my medical details without my express authorisation”.
8: Never write a letter to anyone connected to Social Services as you might include something that could damage your case in the family court. Only accept a solicitor if he/she promises to allow you a free hand to speak in court! You should be asked this simple question in the witness box “Have you anything you would like to say to the court?” Without this promise you may be “gagged” and as already explained in Rule 4 you can lose your case without being allowed to say a word!
Well good luck to you who are reading this with if you are forced to struggle with those horrible and disgusting childsnatchers. It is interesting to note that the majority of social workers do not have a happy family life with their own children and that is why they take it out on you. Fight back and fight back hard. !!
By all means contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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.