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Social Workers for All

May 26, 2013 permalink

Christopher Booker reports on a proposed Scottish law that will appoint a guardian to protect the interest every child from birth to age of majority. Before the modern family law system destroyed the family, every child had a mom and dad to protect his interest.

Booker also follows up on Vicky Haigh, now out of jail again.

In a second article, he reports on children who suffer more abuse in care than in the homes they were taken from. And senior members of the government? They ignore the problems in foster care.



Now it's a social worker for every child - in Scotland

More state interference in families will not protect children

guardian for every child
'Named persons': each Scottish child will have a state 'guardian' from birth

For anyone familiar with how our “child protection” system too often works in practice, rather loud alarm bells might be rung by a Bill currently going through the Scottish Parliament that takes the state’s intervention in family life to a startling new level. Under the Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill, every child from birth will be given a “named person”, charged with keeping an eye on that child’s interests until it reaches adulthood.

We are familiar with the idea that state employees are expected to take an interest in a child’s welfare, from health visitors to teachers at school. But this proposal that local authorities should be empowered to appoint an official to act as a personal “guardian”, or social worker, to oversee every aspect of a child’s life from birth onwards is a world first.

In fact, the Bill is remarkably vague about the powers to be given to these “named persons”. Will they be free to arrive unannounced at the family home to check on how a child is being treated by its parents, when it goes to bed, what food it is given, what political or religious opinions it is being brought up with? In other words, the Bill gives no idea of how this hugely ambitious scheme, estimated to cost Scotland’s local authorities up to £138  million a year, will work in practice. And most worrying of all, to anyone familiar with the failings of our existing “child protection” system, is how often the most damaging errors can arise when professionals are charged with reporting to social workers their suspicion that something in a child’s life might be amiss.

In too many of the cases I have followed where children have been removed from their families for what seems to be no good reason, their nightmare began with a report by a teacher or a doctor that got some overheard remark or slight injury absurdly out of proportion. Too often, such suspicions then harden into allegations that are never properly tested against the evidence, and the damage is done. However admirable, in theory, the thought of appointing a “guardian” to watch over every child might seem, experience suggests that, in practice, this may exacerbate those weaknesses in our existing “child protection” system, which make a mockery of the noble aims it was set up to promote.

Last week I promised to give an update on the increasingly bizarre story of Vicky Haigh, the mother of a two-year-old daughter who was last month sent back to prison for breach of a probation order, on the basis of a solitary “witness statement” that she hadn’t been allowed to see. After evidence was produced that seemed to show that this statement was highly questionable, Miss Haigh was released from prison to return to her bemused family.

Last week, however, she was called back, fortunately accompanied by an experienced solicitor, for an exhausting formal interview with two policewomen, who seemed to be trying to find new reasons for returning her to prison.

Although the interview ended inconclusively, the officers said they would like to interview her again this week. I will say no more until their enquiries are completed.

Source: Telegraph (UK)

Children pay a terrible price for 'care'

The Oxford sex-grooming case reveals the glaring failures of our child-protection system

Social services are failing to protect children, as the Oxford case shows

Most of the coverage given to the case of the seven men found guilty of the appalling physical and sexual abuse of underage girls in Oxford has focused on the fact that most of these monsters were of British Pakistani origin. But what should be seen in its own way as even more disturbing is the fact that five of these six girls were in the care of our “child protection” system.

Not only did the social workers consistently refuse to protect these children from hideous abuse over eight years – one 12-year-old girl’s parents pleaded in vain with them to intervene more than 70 times, another mother rang social services to report her daughter missing more than 100 times – but social services also actively connived in it, as when one care home bought a 13-year-old child “sexy underwear”, before sending her out to be drugged with heroin and gang-raped.

Almost identical was the case of those British Pakistanis from around Rochdale, jailed last year for similar offences against underage girls, most of whom were also in care. In Parliament, Simon Danczuk, Rochdale’s MP, quoted health workers who told him that the social workers had refused to intervene “because they believed that the girls had been making life choices, which was why they were seen as prostitutes”.

But these and other similar cases are only the most lurid examples of how our “child protection” system has gone so catastrophically off the rails that, by the law of “dark inversion”, it far too often does precisely the opposite of what it was set up to do. Again and again, in the scores of cases I have followed where social workers, supported by the police and the courts, have seized children from loving parents, I have been struck by how often these unhappy children are then subjected in “care” to abuse far worse than anything alleged against the parents from whom they were removed.

Most disturbing of all is the way this is covered up and ignored by politicians, the BBC and all those who continue to pretend that the system is working as intended.

Last year, when that Rochdale MP disclosed shocking details of his local scandal in the Commons, this was during a long debate calling for social workers to be given even more support in their holy task of breaking up families.

Neither the two ministers present nor a single MP referred again to what he said. We are dealing here with real evil.

On Friday, Vicky Haigh, the mother I wrote about two weeks ago, was released early from prison. A very odd story, of which more next week.

Source: Telegraph (UK)