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Prenatal Abuse

May 28, 2010 permalink

One time when social workers are candid about the value of their "services" is a generation later. Parents who were themselves in foster care are branded as irreparably damaged by their experiences with social services. Today's example is British couple Daniel Hale and Francesca Douglas, whose daughter Taylor, due in June, has been condemned prenatally to the Child Protection Register, qualifying her to receive the same services that damaged her parents. It makes sense to social workers.



Why do they want to put our baby on the protection register?

Daniel Hale and Francesca Douglas
Daniel Hale and fiancée Francesca Douglas

A BEDMINSTER couple say they have been told their first baby will be on the Child Protection Register – before she has even been born.

Daniel Hale, 25, says he and fiancée Francesca Douglas, 20, are having their names unfairly "dragged through the mud" by Social Services.

Miss Douglas is not due to have the baby girl whom they have already named – Taylor – until June 17.

The couple say they were visited by a social worker out of the blue and now have what should have been the happiest and most exciting time of their life thrown into turmoil.

Mr Hale says he and his girlfriend, who live at Glyn Vale, are being penalised for their childhoods.

He said he spent much of his childhood with a foster family while Miss Douglas comes from a broken home, living separately with her mother and then father.

Mr Hale said: "She seemed very interested in our backgrounds.

"She basically said everybody who had been in care was more likely to abuse their child. They seem to be penalising us for our childhoods which has to be wrong.

"We are nice people who want to bring up our daughter like normal parents. We have everything in place ready for her.

"We are looking forward to the birth but worrying how many other people will be in the room with us to make sure what we are doing is correct.

"If I had ever been cruel or violent towards a child I would understand but it just seems that mine and my partner's name are being dragged through the mud for no reason.

"I do think it is sensible to have systems in place to protect children at risk but only if they need protecting. It feels like I am being accused of child cruelty before the child has even been born.

"From my experience, Social Services are part of the problem, not the solution."

Francesca said: "I had a problems as a child and she said my emotions could cause me to see myself in my child and then I would start abusing her.

"The way I was brought up makes me desperate to be a good mum but I feel like I have been branded a bad mum before I am even a mum.

"They are ruining what should be one of the most exciting times of our lives. I have been very upset.

"Until you have done something to be a bad parent, you don't warrant being treated like this."

The Child Protection Register, commonly refereed to as the 'At Risk' register, is a confidential list of children and young people in an area believed to be in need of protection.

A spokeswoman for Bristol City Council said: "We can confirm we have had contact with this family, but can't discuss details of an individual case.

"If there are concerns about risk to an unborn child, we always try to work co-operatively with the parents. However, the safety of the child is our primary concern."

BRISTOL City Council's Children and Young People's Services has a duty to ensure every child is safe from harm and neglect and, where possible, brought up by their own family.

However, safeguarding children is co-ordinated by the Bristol Safeguarding Children Board (BSCB), a local multi-agency partnership made up of education, health, police, social care and associated services.

Anyone can make a referral about a child.

It could be a police officer, teacher, midwife or member if the public and each contact will be followed up by Social Services.

A case conference will be held with anyone who could provide information. Parents or prospective parents have the right to attend but also have the right not to attend.

After the information is assessed, the decision whether to put the child/unborn child on the Child Protection Register will be made.

Having a case conference does not mean your child will definitely be placed on the register.

The register is designed to help parents.

An assessment will be made after three months and then each six months. A child can be taken off the register at any time and is automatically removed when it reaches the age of 18.

Source: Bristol Evening Post