Press one of the expand buttons to see the full text of an article. Later press collapse to revert to the original form. The buttons below expand or collapse all articles.
December 5, 2010 permalink
Christopher Booker reports on a common practice in child protection — setting up a visit with children then standing up the parents. An Ontario example is the Skinner family.
Child protection: how a cruel council plays its cat-and-mouse game
One distraught family's experience is typical of our warped system of child protection, says Christopher Booker.
Last Tuesday I dined in a smart Knightsbridge restaurant with Ian Josephs, who runs the Forced Adoption website, his wife, a mother whom I cannot name and her delightful five-month-old baby, who sat in a high chair perfectly behaved throughout. This was the baby who, shortly after she was born in June, was torn from her mother’s arms in hospital at 3am by six policemen and three social workers. Two months earlier, social workers had also snatched the mother’s five older children, to put them in foster care, costing taxpayers more than £2,000 a week.
On Tuesday afternoon, the mother had been unexpectedly told that she could have contact with two of her children, miles from north London where she lives. Yet again, when she arrived at the contact centre, she was told that the children were not coming, although apparently they long to see her. On returning to the station with her baby, given back to her by the court six weeks ago, she found that all trains had been cancelled because of the snow, forcing her to return to London by taxi at a cost of £50.
This was yet another instalment of a cat and mouse game the council has been playing with the parents for months, telling them they can see their children, only for them frequently to hear, after their long journey, that some or all of the children were not available after all. (It happened again last Friday.)
Months ago the court ordered that the children should be brought back into London, nearer their home. Meanwhile, the council should give the parents a travel voucher, worth more than £30 a time, for their journey. Only once did the council provide a voucher, which the parents discovered on the return journey was one-way only, costing them £100 in penalties.
Since then the court order has been ignored and the parents have had to pay up to £150 a week to see their children, only to be told on arrival that the agreed contact has been cancelled.Meanwhile, the case used to justify the seizing of the children has been collapsing in all directions, although the parents have not once been allowed to challenge the extraordinary statements made about them. Not until next year, 10 months after this family was ruthlessly broken up, will there be a final hearing to decide whether this utterly heartless farce can at last be brought to an end. If and when the facts about this barely credible story can be reported, it will be worthy of the front page.
Source: Telegraph (UK)