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Social Worker Thinks He is God
November 29, 2014 permalink
British social worker Neil Swaby demanded that a client treat Him like God. He is not the first self-deified social worker. In Dufferin, Jennifer Foster boasted to a client "We have as much power as God", inspiring the title of a documentary by Esther Buckareff.
'Social worker told us to treat him like God', couple claim
Grandparents say social worker was determined to have their grandchild, 3, adopted rather than live with them
A social worker who was determined to have a three-year-old boy adopted rather than being cared for by his grandparents told them they should treat him like “God”, it has been claimed.
The couple, who cannot be named, said they were accused of defiance because they challenged North East Lincolnshire social services department’s plans to have the boy adopted instead of remaining within his wider family.
A judge took the unusual step of publicly naming social workers involved in the case who he said had presented “visibly biased” evidence in court in a failed attempt to bolster the council’s case that the boy should be adopted.
The boy’s mother has died and his father is not able to care for him but the grandparents, who are already raising an older sibling, went to court to fight to be able to care for him.
In a judgment published online, Judge Simon Jack dismissed the evidence of the social workers Neil Swaby and Rachel Olley as unreliable, accusing them of having “grossly overstated” suggestions of drinking and domestic violence in the family to back up what they had already decided should be done.
He added that some of the evidence of a third social worker, Peter Nelson, also “smacks of the same bias”.
The judge dismissed the council’s application for a final care order, which would have enabled it to begin the process of placing the boy for adoption, ruling that the department’s case had been “wholly undermined”.
He ruled instead that the boy should be cared for by the grandparents, adding: “I have never, in over 10 years of hearing care cases taken the view, as I did in this case, that the local authority’s witnesses were visibly biased in their attempts to support the local authority’s case.
“It is very unfortunate and I hope I shall never see that again.”
Social workers representatives warned that the decision to name the individual social workers would heap further pressure on the already embattled profession and put others off considering a career in the field.
But the boy’s grandparents praised the judge and questioned why anyone so severely criticised should have their identity specially protected. The grandmother told BBC Radio 4 :“When he was about six weeks old we were informed by a social worker that if he had his way he would put him up for adoption and he didn’t care how long it took,” she said.
“I asked him why and he said: “We’ve got our reasons’ .”
She went on to say that she had clashed with Mr Swaby in particular.
“He told me I defied him and I said: “Who do you think you are? God?” she said. “He said: ‘In this situation, yes — get used to it, your grandson will go up for adoption’ .”
Cathy Ashley, chief executive of Family Rights Group, said: “This ruling puts a spotlight on fears that family members are being too readily discounted in caring for children who are unable to live with their parents.
“This may well reflect the Government’s focus on adoption, as well as local authorities facing both growing pressure in terms of case load and the speeding up of the process itself.
“It is crucial that children are able to be safely raised by loving family members where possible, and this necessitates that family members receive a fair hearing.”
Source: Telegraph (UK)
Aside: Where do we put people who think they are Napoleon (mp3) ?