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Don't Take My Child
August 29, 2014 permalink
On July 15 Britain's ITV broadcast the program Don't Take My Child. It exposed the abuses of Britain's system of snatching children under pretext of protection. A review by Christopher Booker is enclosed. Booker notes the irony that family-friendly conservative politicians are great supporters of the system of family destruction. Link to our copy of the video. It mentions the case of Lucy Allan.
Under 'family friendly’ Tories, yet more children go into care
Too many children are removed from families for no justifiable reason, often because of government policies
It was curiously timely that David Cameron’s promise last week to put “the family” at the heart of all of his government’s policies should have coincided with the release of figures showing that last month the number of applications by social workers to take children into “care” was the highest on record. Up 18 per cent on the figure for July last year, many of these 1,013 applications covered more than one child, bringing the number of children being removed from their families in England alone in the past year to nearly 30,000.
What Mr Cameron may not be aware of is the immense groundswell of concern that far too many of these children are now being removed from their parents for no justifiable reason, thanks not least to the policies of his own government. Among the growing mountain of evidence for this was a powerful documentary, Don’t Take My Child, broadcast in ITV’s Exposure series on July 15 (which can still be seen via a link on the Forced Adoption website). This included interviews with several experts, including a former High Court judge, a top barrister for children, and a very senior social worker, all making the same point: that instead of trying to support families as they used to, too many social workers now seem bent on tearing them apart, not least to meet this government’s drive to see more children adopted.
The documentary opens with a terrifying sequence showing a newborn baby being snatched from its distraught parents by Staffordshire social workers and police. Much of what follows recounts the equally harrowing ordeals of other parents, only now free to speak about their experiences because, very unusually, they eventually managed to get their children back. Particularly telling is the story of Lucy Allan, a prospective parliamentary candidate for Mr Cameron’s Conservative Party, who describes the Kafkaesque nightmare that unfolded when her son was seized by Wandsworth social workers for reasons eventually found to be wholly baseless.
But what gives this documentary unprecedented authority is that these first-hand examples of how sadly the system has become corrupted from its original laudable aims are punctuated by interviews with some of the most senior experts from within the system itself. Sir Mark Hedley, a recently retired family court judge, emphasises that the shift from trying to give parents help to the almost routine removal of their children, has been “a major policy change”. He is echoed by Bridget Robb, head of the British Association of Social Workers, who says that “this government is much harsher than previous governments” in favouring the removal of children rather than giving help to “birth parents”, and “that is new”. Martha Cover, chair of the Association of Lawyers for Children, makes the same charge: that we are “moving away rather rapidly” from “giving support” towards “having children placed for adoption”, pointing out that Britain is now second only to the US in the proportion of children being “removed from their natural family and placed for adoption against their wishes”.
But the irony is that, despite our education ministry’s new passion for adoption, volubly championed by Michael Gove when he was Education Secretary (and who was successfully adopted himself), the number of children being adopted still remains ridiculously small: around 4,000 a year, compared with the 28,000 children who have this year been taken into care. This leaves an additional 24,000 children haplessly in state “care”, the cost of which alone, according to a new report from the Audit Commission, now averages £50,000 a year for each child. And this is not even to mention the unimaginable unhappiness inflicted on the tens of thousands of families who wrongly fall foul of this weirdly inhuman system.
In 2010, Mr Cameron told the House of Commons: “It is right to judge a society on how it cares for its most vulnerable, especially our children. So should not our legacy to future generations be to do all we can to make sure that the lessons learnt from these appalling events are learnt and applied so that such terrible mistakes will never be made again.” He was apologising for the horrifying scandal whereby, half a century ago, 130,000 children were secretly torn from their families, to be shipped abroad to a miserable new life in Australia and elsewhere. Little does he realise that a similar national scandal is unfolding right now – for which much of the blame lies with his own government.
Source: Telegraph (UK)