UKCORRUPTFAMILYCOURTS

May 29, 2011

Biased Family Court System Hurts Mothers

Filed under: Secret family courts — nojusticeforparents @ 8:40 am

Biased Family Court System Hurts Mothers

By Garland Waller

WEnews contributor

Wednesday, September 5, 2001

Behind closed doors of the family court system, thousands of women each year lose child custody to violent men who beat and abuse mothers and children. The writer says family courts are not family-friendly and betray the best interests of the child.

Commentator Garland Waller

(WOMENSENEWS)–Studies show that in approximately 70 percent of challenged cases, battering parents have been able to convince authorities during custody battles that their victim is unfit or undeserving of sole custody, according to a recent report published by the American Judges Foundation.

That statement would have once shocked me, but no more. Nor am I surprised when I read that a family court judge has awarded custody of a 3-year-old girl to the father who has violently beaten her mother. I do not even lift an eyebrow when a 2-year-old boy, who comes home from unsupervised visitation with his dad, has a diaper filled with his own rectal blood and that same child is later turned over to his father on a full-time basis. And when a mother is thrown into jail, denied the right to ever see her children again, because she brought up the issue of child abuse in a family court, I’m sickened, but not shocked.

These injustices are commonplace today in the closed-door family court system. These courts often claim to operate in a manner consistent with the “best interests of the child.” In practice this often means that a judge, often a male judge, biased and imperious, defines that phrase. These judges decide, time and time again, when a woman raises the allegation of sexual abuse in a custody dispute, that it is she who will lose her children forever.

I used to think that the family court system was basically fair. That was before my childhood friend, Diane Hofheimer, asked me to consider doing a documentary on the family courts. She had taught herself the law so that she could work with her attorney husband, Charlie Hofheimer, in their Virginia law practice.

Thousands of Mothers Lose Their Children to Abusive Fathers

Representing only women in divorce and custody cases, Diane and Charlie began my education with one grisly case. I thought it was a fluke, but I agreed to look at some of the legal documents. And so began my journey into the dark world of family courts.

What I learned was that thousands of women are losing custody of their children to men with histories of violence and sexual abuse. Sure, these cases are complicated, but it doesn’t take a legal genius to figure out that it’s not good for kids to watch daddy break mommy’s jaw. Research shows a high correlation between domestic violence and child sexual abuse.

For more information:

Diane Hofheimer and Charlie Hofheimer:
http://www.virginiadivorceattorney.com/

Divorced From Justice:
http://divorcedfromjustice.com/home.html

California Protective Parents Association:
http://www.protectiveparents.com/

Family Law Courts.com:
http://www.familylawcourts.com/statenewyork.html

Stop Family Violence:
http://www.stopfamilyviolence.org/

“Domestic Violence and the Courtroom: Understanding the Problem … Knowing the Victim,” American Judges Association and American Judges Foundation:
http://aja.ncsc.dni.us/domviol/booklet.html

“Small Justice: Little Justice in America’s Family Courts,” award-winning documentary by Garland Waller:
http://www.smalljustice.com/


Garland Waller Says: We need a real overhaul, but let’s start with some basics:

    • Open the courtrooms to the public and make judges accountable for their rulings.
    • Get rid of the “best interests of the child” as the standard for custody and replace it with a new concept called the “approximation standard.” That means that the judge should try to approximate the same setup for the children that existed before the divorce. If mom was with the kids 70 percent of the time before the divorce, she would be with them 70 percent of the time after the divorce. In non-contested custody cases, the mother and father generally agree to this on their own.
    • Most significantly, the allegation of child abuse in a custody battle must be considered a rebuttable presumption, that is, that the sworn testimony of a parent or child claiming abuse is presumed to be true unless and until the accused sufficiently challenges its veracity.



“We have created a system that purports to be a gatekeeper–keeping victims from victimizers–but the system is really the welcome mat for victimizers to have access to the victims,” says Richard Ducote, a nationally recognized child advocate and attorney. He adds that there has been virtually no change in the process during the past two decades.

In fact, a pilot study in the early 1990s by the California Protective Parent Association and Mothers of Lost Children found that 91 percent of fathers who were identified by their children as perpetrators of sexual abuse received full or partial unsupervised custody of the children and that in 54 percent of cases the non-abusing mother was placed on supervised visitation.

One primary reason for what many consider a disastrous outcome, Ducote and other experts say, is the popularity of the theories of Dr. Richard Gardner, whose ideas are apparently more persuasive to judges than the testimony of battered women and victimized children.

Gardner’s brainchild is Parental Alienation Syndrome. This is the name given for the practice of one parent saying disparaging things about the other parent in an attempt to alienate the child from the ex-spouse. This so-called syndrome is based on anecdotal evidence. Gardner’s books on the subject are self-published, something that should give judges and experts pause, even though he does look good on paper.

He’s a professor at Columbia Medical School and has been publishing papers for two decades. Fathers’ rights groups love him.

Not addressed by Dr. Gardner and his adherents are what a mother should say to a child raped by her father. They merely discount all such allegations as examples of parental alienation syndrome, or some variation of it under a different name such as SAID (Sexual Allegations in Divorce) Syndrome, Malicious Mother Syndrome or some other fabricated condition.

These experts are certainly free to believe whatever they wish to, but much to the harm of thousands of children and their caring, protective parents, these ideas have been accepted by personnel in most of the family courts in the country: the judges, court-appointed lawyers charged with protecting the child’s interests, and custody evaluators such as psychologists and social workers.

In essentially every case in which courts place children with abusers, despite substantial evidence of sexual abuse or domestic violence and no evidence of fabrication on the protecting parent’s part, it is the parental alienation syndrome that is used by the judge, the evaluator or the child’s lawyer to ignore and discount the abuse evidence and to wrongfully construe all of the child’s symptoms as evidence of alienation.

Parental Alienation Syndrome Used to Wrongly Blame Mothers

My colleague Hofheimer is convinced that the so-called syndrome is to psychology what voodoo is to surgery.

“What would a good mother do,” I asked Dr. Gardner two years ago when interviewing him for the documentary, “if her child told her of sexual abuse by his or her father.”

His answer: “What would she say? Don’t you say that about your father. If you do, I’ll beat you.”

That’s on tape and I have a signed release.

In researching my documentary, I have met many honest, caring and courageous mothers who, for speaking the truth, have been publicly called crazy, hysterical and delusional, and labeled with all kinds of pseudo-disorders for being strong and for fighting for the safety of their children.

Yet some of them have been nearly broken by the family court system, and the damage to their children is immeasurable. We must act now to begin reforming our family courts.

Garland Waller is an assistant professor in the Television Department at Boston University’s College of Communication. She has produced more than 10 award-winning documentaries.

http://www.womensenews.org/story/commentary/010905/biased-family-court-system-hurts-mothers


Mother tries to kill herself in court during care proceedings.

Noone actually gives a damn about the living nightmare that family court proceedings bring. The aftermath leaves families destroyed . So cruel is the system that parents are tossed by the roadside after being devoured in proceedings . During proceedings they are sent for psycholgical assessments where many are given diagnoses they never had before , none of the experts assessing them comment that their current mental state may well be as a result of losing their children. If the parent breaks down or is emotional during proceedings this is seen as a sign of their instability rather than a normal reaction to the abnormal stressors and should a parent kill themselves after losing their  children you will hear the social workers saying ‘ see that proves our point told you she was unstable.

There is absolutely no help provided for these parents or no recognition of their pain . The lucky ones find support from fellow parents who have been through the same on social networking sites and forums.

As for the children , well i guess we will see the impact of this on them over the coming years …….

Mum tried to kill herself in court during care review

Mum tried to kill herself in court during care review

A DESPERATE mother tried to kill herself in court in the middle of a losing battle to stop her two-year-old daughter being taken into care.

Two barristers scrambled to stop the woman swallowing a handful of paracetamol pills, as she fought to prove herself a competent mother at Derby County Court.

She was taken to hospital and was still there the following day when Judge James Orrell ordered her little girl to be taken into care.

In his ruling last year, he said Derbyshire County Council had been concerned about the “unhygienic and unsafe” condition of the family home.

The woman yesterday mounted a last-ditch bid at London’s Civil Appeal Court to overturn the ruling, arguing it had been unfair to reach the decision in her absence.

But, while recognising the woman’s “huge love” for her daughter, Lord Justice Thorpe said there could be “only one possible outcome” to the case and rejected her appeal.

Ruling that the mother’s appeal had no real prospect of success, he said: “Sad as it is for the mother, I have no alternative but to reject her application for permission to appeal.”

http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/news/Mum-tried-kill-court-care-review/article-3581449-detail/article.html

Suicide watch would have saved patient
By Paul Jenkins

A REPORT into the death of a woman patient at a Stafford hospital says she could have been saved had staff checked on her overnight.

An internal investigation is being carried out into the death of a 28-year-old Willow Simpson who was found by staff at St George’s Hospital hanging from the window in her room on February 12 this year.

A Cannock inquest into her death heard an independent report which said Miss Simpson should have been on suicide watch after two previous attempts to take her own life.

It also criticised the system of checks on patients at the hospital and the lack of information on individuals given to staff after it found Miss Simpson had been told only seven days earlier that her son was being given up foradoption and she was unlikely to see him again.

The author of the report, independent case worker Julie Lloyd Roberts, said: “Miss Simpson relocated from Wales to Stafford in 2003 when a relationship broke down and she sufferered deteriorating health.

“In April 2006, she was re-admitted to St George’s’ Brocton Ward after an earlier short spell in the hospital.

“After seven months on the ward, she was coming to the end of her period there and the mental health team were looking to place her in supported accommodation.

“She had a meeting with social workers on February 7 to finalise the adoption process for her young son and was told she would have to apply for access to see him and there was nothing she could do to stop the proceedings.

“Staff on the ward didn’t notice her subsequent change of mood and there was no allowance for the possible risk to her health after the outcome of the meeting.

“She should have been on suicide watch after two previous attempts and was completely irrational and very ill at the time of her death.

“Checks were not made on her overnight and I have no doubt she would still be alive if they had been. “I realise the system of checks had been relaxed because of concerns from female patients about privacy and the noise of the doors opening, but their health and wellbeing should have overcome these complaints.”

Stanley Nevin, a health care support worker who was on duty the night before Miss Simpson died, said she had seemed fine and was smiling and chatting in the lounge before going to bed at midnight.

But when he went to wake her up at 7.15am the next morning he found the door locked and had to get his colleague to open it.

They subsequently found her hanging from a window in her bathroom and were unable to revive her.

He admitted he had not checked on her overnight between midnight and 7.15am and was not aware of the meeting she had recently had with her social worker.

But he said there was no fixed system of checks on patients and when it was felt necessary to check on them, it was not every 15 miutes, but more like every hour.

Coroner Andrew Haigh, in recording an open verdict, said it was clear Miss Simpson had killed herself but she was more upset than she appeared after the meeting with social workers and it may have been a cry for help.

He said the health care trust which runs the hospital had been criticised in the report for the haphazard distribution of information and system of checks, and this was being actively investigated.

Amanda Godfrey from South Staffordshire and Shropshire NHS Trust said it took incidents of this kind very seriously.

She said: “Any untoward incident is thoroughly investigated in line with our procedures and the trust endeavours to learn from and improve services as a result of such events.

“As an organisation, we also welcome the opportunity to receive feedback from users of our services, their carers and families and take their views very seriously.”

Mother’s Death: Suicide Not Ruled Out

3:57pm UK, Saturday March 17, 2007

Suicide has not been ruled out as the cause of death of solicitor Sally Clark, who was wrongly jailed for the murder of her two sons.

180 sally clark & husband releasedMrs Clark with her husband

A Home Office pathologist is due to carry out a post mortem examination on Monday on the body of Mrs Clark, 42, who was found dead at her home in Hatfield Peverel, Essex.

She had been found guilty of the murder of her sons – eight-week-old Harry and 11-week-old Christopher – following a trial at Chester Crown Court in 1999.

But she was cleared by the Court of Appeal in 2003 following one of the most high-profile legal cases of recent times.

Essex Police have refused to speculate on the possible cause of her death. Sources said they were keeping an open mind at this stage but suicide was not being ruled out.

A spokeswoman for Essex Ambulance Service said an ambulance and rapid response vehicle were sent but nothing could be done to save Mrs Clark.

Sue Stapeley, the Clark family’s solicitor, said although Mrs Clark was not suffering from any kind of disease, she was not “in the best of health”.

A familystatement described Mrs Clark as a “loving and talented wife, mother, daughter and friend” who will be “greatly missed”.

It read: “Sally was released in 2003 having been wrongfully imprisoned for more than three years, falsely accused of the murder of her two sons.

“Sadly, she never fully recovered from the effects of this appalling miscarriage of justice.”

Angela Cannings, wrongly convicted of killing two of her babies, said she was “shocked” and “angry” by the news.

Mrs Cannings spent spent 18 months in prison before her life sentence for murder was quashed. She criticised the authorities for providing no support for women accused, then cleared, of taking the life of their child.

“I’m really speechless, I’m so angry. This lady suffered so much, now she’s died – I’m just shocked and stunned,” she told Sky News.

On appeal, Mrs Clark was found to have been wrongly convicted of the murders after new medical evidence emerged which had not been presented at her trial.

Professor Sir Roy Meadow gave evidence during her trial claiming the probability of two natural unexplained cot deaths in the family was 73 million-to-one.

The figure was disputed by the Royal Statistical Society and other medical experts who said the odds of a second cot death in a family were around 200-to-one.

Sir Roy was found guilty of serious professional misconduct and struck off the medical register.

However, both of these decisions were overturned on appeal at the High Court.

Mrs Clark’s family used to live in Wilmslow, Cheshire, but moved south to Chelmsford when she was imprisoned in Essex.

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Sky-News-Archive/Article/20080641256260

 

Teenage mother found hanged days after discovering her baby had been adopted

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER

Last updated at 3:24 PM on 1st June 2011

 

Tragic: Annabelle Lee Morris hanged herself when she found out that her son (face blanked) had been adopteTragic: Annabelle Lee Morris hanged herself when she found out that her son (face blanked) had been adopted

A tragic teenage mother’s body was found hanged days after she discovered her baby had been adopted by another family.

Annabelle Lee Morris, 19, could not cope with her son being taken into care and then put up for adoption.

Her father, Thomas James Morris, found her in her bedroom on March 18 last year – nine days after she found out that her son had new adoptive parents, York Coroner’s Court was told.

The authorities had intervened as she was struggling to look after him herself.

Speaking after the inquest, her cousin, Lorna Dawber, said: ‘She adored her son and had she accepted the help when it was there her future would have been completely different. In time she would have got there.

‘That was the one thing in life that was hers, she absolutely worshipped him.’

She said Annabelle would not have put her family through that deliberately.

‘She was a good soul and she had a good heart,’ she said.

The inquest heard that the child was taken into foster care when he was less than a year old.

Annabelle, from York, was still allowed to see him a few times a week, but when a psychologist raised further serious concerns, steps were taken to have the baby adopted.

 

Although it was arranged for Annabelle to meet mental health workers in 2009, she did not attend an appointment.

She saw her son, then 15 months old, for the final time in January 2010. At the time of her death she was on a doctor’s waiting list to see a counsellor.

Prior to the adoption, her social worker, John Corden, said Annabelle was ‘ambivalent’ about accepting the support offered to her as this would involve ‘putting boundaries around her lifestyle’.

But he said that he and other colleagues had been impressed by the ‘high quality of interaction’ between mother and child and that she had been ‘dignified and honest’ in her work with social services.

Mr Corden said ‘I had frequent discussions with Annabelle about the way the case was going. She never suggested to me that if adoption were the outcome she would harm herself.

‘Annabelle was blessed with a warm and benign personality. She could present herself as a well functioning and capable young lady.

‘In the fullness of time, that may have been a considerable asset to her.’

Coroner Donald Coverdale recorded an open verdict and said the cause of her death was asphyxia due to hanging.

Noting that she had strong support from a loving family and from social services, he said: ‘Miss Morris was a 19-year-old with a number of problems relating back to childhood.

‘In recent times she had gone through the trauma of having her child adopted.

‘The final meeting with her child had been in January and that time must have been the most difficult of all.

‘It seems to me that she had time to reflect on the unhappy course of events culminating in the adoption. My best guess is that what has happened was an impulsive act, it could be described as a cry for help.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1393059/Teenager-mother-hanged-just-days-discovering-baby-adopted.html#ixzz1O6V1BMx1

The real scandal hidden by gags is what goes on in family courts

The real scandal hidden by gags is what goes on in family courts

The walls of secrecy surrounding snatched children are creating a one-sided justice system, argues Christopher Booker.

John Hemming MP is campaigning for greater transparency in our family protection system

John Hemming MP is campaigning for greater transparency in our family protection system Photo: PAUL GROVER
Christopher Booker

By Christopher Booker 7:00PM BST 28 May 2011

In all the fuss about the secrecy of our courts – after MP John Hemming named a footballer in the Commons – the point where the issue began has been almost entirely lost. Mr Hemming’s concern stems from his longstanding campaign to expose the secrecy surrounding our family courts, where one of the most shocking scandals in Britain today is flourishing, out of public view. This is the increasing number of children who are seized by social workers from loving, responsible parents, thanks to a system which often defies basic principles of justice, humanity and common sense. For example, last week, a woman was warned by a judge that if she raised her case with John Hemming or with a local MP, she would be imprisoned – contrary to one of the most ancient rights of a citizen.

It is hard to convey just how one-sided this system has become, behind its wall of secrecy. Another case I have been following concerns a devoted mother who lost her daughter, some years back, after complaining to social workers that the father was abusing their child. Astonishingly, although the couple had parted, the courts gave the father custody of the girl.

Two weeks ago, when the mother yet again told social workers that the father was abusing their daughter, they did nothing – but, independently, the police were called and the father was arrested. Social workers asked the mother to sign a document giving her child into foster care. She refused, asking for the girl to be returned to her, and was told to attend court at three o’clock last Monday to hear the council’s application for an emergency care order.

She arrived to find the council officials had not turned up, and was told to return at 10 o’clock on Tuesday. Again the officials did not show. Then the mother was told that the order had been given over the telephone the previous evening, by a magistrate at home, which appeared to break all the rules laid down for the granting of an emergency care order. This was apparently confirmed by a judge on Thursday – who nevertheless granted an order according to the proper procedures (the mother not being allowed to speak) and called them all back on Friday to hear an application for an interim care order. Thanks to the complications of the case, he then ruled that the council’s application should be heard in the High Court next month.

The mother’s only wish is to be reunited with her child – who apparently says her only wish is to be with her mother. But the implacable system, having made its error, seems determined to stand between them. Thus, hidden from public view, another unhappy family drama unfolds.

Filed under: Secret family courts — nojusticeforparents @ 12:00 am

May 25, 2011

John Hemming Debate Re: Injunctions

John Hemming (Birmingham, Yardley) (LD): Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker.

Hon. Members will be aware that I have a long-time concern about secrecy in court processes, which was highlighted in the story in The Guardian today. We have no true freedom of speech when people can be jailed for complaining about their problems. This country seems to have a penchant for covering up problems that would be discussed openly in others.

Florence Bellone, a Belgian journalist, recorded an interview with Carol Hughes and Lucille O’Regan in Ireland, which was broadcast on RTBF in Belgium. A copy was placed on YouTube, but access in the UK is now blocked as a result of what YouTube calls a “government request”. What can be so frightening about that interview that people in the UK are not allowed to see it, but it can be broadcast in Belgium?

The policy of international websites varies. The Twitter account containing the names of lots of people subject to super-injunctions is still there, and will remain there for some time, yet newspapers in the UK are not allowed to refer to it by name. It is clear that in the UK people are now recognising the oppressive nature of court secrecy in this country. For instance, I wrote and released a song about this in 2008, the lyrics of which would have been in contempt of court had they not already been spoken in the House. Since then, however, things have got even worse, with the force of money being used to prevent women from complaining about their ex-boyfriends. One woman who received a super-injunction said to me:

“The process is terrifying…For the first 2 months I shook! And I shake now when talking about it to someone”.

Questions have been raised about whether I should have discussed the row between Ryan Giggs and Twitter yesterday. I am not a party to the privacy case. I have not been served with the injunction. I have not actually seen the injunction and cannot guarantee that it actually exists. I have read his name in the Sunday Herald, and on Wikipedia and Twitter. I could obviously stand on a soapbox in Scotland and say what I said in the House of Commons. I believe I could probably say it on Hyde park corner, because it is in the public domain. For me to have abused parliamentary privilege, I would have had to use it in the first instance, but I do not think that the case has been made that it would have been contempt of court outside the House.

I remain concerned, however, that the process of issuing contempt of court proceedings has been kicked off against users of Twitter. Someone should not be able to hide behind anonymity to take action against others. I am completely unsure what the legal position is in respect of naming Giles Coren. I do not think it would be contempt of court to name him outside the House, yet The Times was worried enough yesterday not to identify him—and he is one of its journalists. I will not identify the footballer whom, it is rumoured, would like to see him prosecuted for tweeting.

Adam Afriyie (Windsor) (Con): I fully approve of the hon. Gentleman’s campaign to ensure that injunctions and super-injunctions do not interfere with our constituents’ ability to contact us and speak to us about issues. However, will he explain to the House why he thinks he is judge and jury on whether certain people under court order should be named in this place? Why does he feel he has the right above anybody else? It seems very strange to use privilege in such a way.

John Hemming: I explained that those details were already in the public domain and accessible in Forbes Magazine, the Sunday Herald and many other places, so I do not think it would have been contempt of court outside the House. However, I accept the Speaker’s ruling on this issue.

I refer hon. Members to a story in The Guardian today relating to another injunction. I shall read out the first paragraph:

“A wealthy British financier is seeking to have his sister-in-law secretly jailed in a libel case, in the latest escalation of the controversy over superinjunctions and the internet, the Guardian can disclose.”

What we have here is true secret justice: somebody is being prosecuted in secret; they cannot be identified; and the person prosecuting them cannot be identified. As a rule, the Attorney-General does not prosecute civil cases, which the privacy cases are; one of the parties usually prosecutes.

John Cryer (Leyton and Wanstead) (Lab): That has nothing to do with what the hon. Gentleman did yesterday.

John Hemming: Actually, it has everything to do with what I did yesterday, because Giles Coren was subject to similar contempt proceedings. There is a great danger that a secret form of jurisprudence will develop that aims to jail people in secret and keep their identities out of the public domain for relatively trivial issues.

The law of confidentiality and privacy, as being developed by the courts, seems to be in opposition to the views of Parliament about whistleblowing. That is an important point. A number of the court orders in place act to prevent people from reporting issues, whether to the police, the General Medical Council, coastguards or whomever. The rule of law is undermined by the court orders preventing that information from being given. That is another important issue.

Mr Richard Bacon (South Norfolk) (Con): Will my hon. Friend confirm that judges have also issued court orders naming Members of Parliament as people who cannot be spoken to?

John Hemming: Indeed. The issues of freedom of speech are not just about what goes in the newspapers; they are also about who communicates with whom and how tightly controlled things are. Some of the court orders issued prevent people from complaining to friends about what has been done to them; some prevent them from complaining to Members of Parliament; and others prevent them from going to the police with information. A dangerous system is developing. It is wrong to think that there is a difference between the ZAM case reported in The Guardian today and that of Giles Coren, because he could have faced exactly the same process.

John Cryer: What about Giggs?

John Hemming: The point I was making about Giggs was that his name was in the public domain already, so it would not have been contempt of court to name him outside the House. That is quite straightforward, and it does not, therefore, involve the use of privilege.

However, there is an argument about privilege where the legal position is uncertain, as it can be at times. We do not want to be unable to debate things because working out whether we can talk about them is so complex. Privilege is important and it needs to be used responsibly—there is no question about that—but my argument is straightforward. To have abused privilege, I would have to have used the name in the first instance, yet no one has evidenced to me the basis on which it would have been contempt of court for me to say outside the House what I said yesterday in it, and if it was not contempt of court outside, it cannot be an abuse of privilege within—

Nick Boles (Grantham and Stamford) (Con): Why did you not say it outside then?

John Hemming: Because it would not have been reported.

Anyway, the accountability of judicial processes depends not only on there being a public judgment, but on people having the ability externally to challenge the evidence that the courts are using. The problem with secrecy is that this all breaks down. Indeed, the report in The Guardian today about the secret committal of the sister-in-law is an example of exactly that situation, where there is no possibility of checking externally the evidence for whether the assumptions are correct. There are great questions about the reliability of much of the expert evidence provided in the family courts. If we cannot rely on the expert evidence, we will have difficulty relying on the conclusions.

There are many, many problems, and I will obviously be submitting a detailed report to the Joint Committee on the difficulties with the various injunctions. We also have a difficult day today, so I will not use up all my time. The issue of secret jailing is one that we cannot drop. Obviously we cannot do much more about it over the recess, but we cannot allow a process to continue whereby attempts are made to commit more and more people in secret proceedings. This all arises from the objective of protecting relatively trivial secrets, but it is not even close to open justice. The balancing act has completely failed when we are trying to balance somebody’s liberty on one side against something relatively trivial on the other.

posted by john

http://johnhemming.blogspot.com/

May 24, 2011

John Hemming Strikes Again and shows what a farce these injunctions are.

I do have to applaud Mr Hemming for naming the footballer trying to silence at least 75,000 people who have named a footballer ( name rhymes with Bryan Spriggs ) using parliamentary privalege .

Some people though will not be aware of why Mr Hemming has an interest in these injunctions.

Injunctions are being dished out on a daily basis through our secret family courts and people are being secretly imprisoned for breaking them.

John quite rightly wants an end to these injunctions that prevent people from speaking out about injustice and protects noone other than the judiciary , social workers and so called expert witnesses.

These injunctions do not protect children as many children end up having to endure a life in a failed care system or being forcibly adopted because noone has been able to speak to anyone about any injustice that may have happened during the secret family court proceedings.

Hence rather than serve to protect children an injunction can  actively promotes the abuse of children by allowing these children to be ‘ farmed out ‘ to the care system based on lies and questionable evidence with no one being able to question those procedures.

I do hope this ‘ civil disobedience ‘ continues and that more MPs start to question who these injunctions are ACTUALLY protecting .

QUENTIN LETTS: Good man John Hemming brought an end to the farce

By QUENTIN LETTS

Last updated at 8:32 AM on 24th May 2011

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Maginot Line time. Our rulers huff and puff and tell us plebeians we must not even think about the identities of ‘bonking’ injunctors. We should not worry our heads with such matters. Move on, little people. Nothing for you to see here.

Then John Hemming (Lib Dem, Birmingham Yardley) rises in the Commons and with a blurt names Ryan Giggs (Manchester United association football player, m’lud) as one of those press-gaggers. Gasps. Tuts. Calls of ‘disgrace!’ from the Labour side.

Why on earth should socialist Labour rush to protect a multi-millionaire alleged womaniser? Maybe it’s because Mr Giggs is a left winger.

John Hemming names Ryan Giggs during a discussion on injunctions in the Houses of CommonsMoment of truth: John Hemming names Ryan Giggs during a discussion on injunctions in the Houses of Commons

Agent Hemming, good man, did his deed during a Commons Statement about the injunctions farce. Everyone was mincing around the identity of the footballer, even though it was all over the internet, a Scottish newspaper and assorted foreign organs (if ‘organ’ be the word).

The pomposity of the British Parliament at such moments knows few bounds. They are sent here by the populace yet they talk like semi-strangled gobblers from another era. Is it any wonder non-voters think politics is not for them?

Attorney General Dominic Grieve had spoken at length in a dry, lawyerly way. Mr Grieve gives every impression that he has just stepped from one of Mr Disraeli’s novels. His voice creaked, dust in its hinges. His words may have been scratched down by quill pen.

At one point he talked about ‘the blog-eau-sphe-ar’. Even his fellow pooh-bahs laughed at him for that. For heaven’s sake, matey, you’re a politician, not an extra from Downton Abbey.

Attorney Grieve left the distinct impression, by the by, that he regarded the Press and internet users as impertinent, malign hyenas. How dare they defy the legal establishment? Lord Prescott (gooser of Tracey) sat up in the peers’ gallery, grunting assent like an old porker.

On it went, the House stroking its big belly, lots of them laying into the Press Complaints Commission and, with greater justification, deploring newspapers’ misdeeds on phone-hacking.

Then Mr Hemming had his moment. ‘Mr Speaker,’ he said casually, ‘with about 75,000 people having named Ryan Giggs it is obviously impractical to imprison them all.’ The House took a moment to respond and Mr Hemming was ploughing further into controversy, saying that a newspaper writer, Giles Coren, was facing the threat of imprisonment.

At this point Speaker Bercow intervened, stopping Mr Hemming mid-flow and telling him that he should not flout the protocols of injunction law ‘for whatever purpose’. Translation: we all know you’re just doing this because you’re an appalling self-publicist, Hemming.

Chris Bryant (Lab, Rhondda) was outraged by Mr Hemming’s sally. Could this be the same Mr Bryant who laid into Prince Andrew in the Commons recently in an equally blatant bid for media coverage? It sure could be, folks. Others on the Opposition benches, and one or two on the Tory side, were disgusted by Mr Hemming. Maybe there was an element of envy – a case of ‘grrr, wish I’d said it first’.

The Sunday Herald newspaper in Edinburgh printed a barely disguised picture of Ryan Giggs on its front coverBreaking ranks: The Sunday Herald newspaper in Edinburgh printed a barely disguised picture of Ryan Giggs on its front cover

Mr Hemming, mission accomplished, sat contentedly in his place, unfazed by his fellow Members’ outburst of sanctimony. In the blink of an eye the Establishment had been confounded, the elite bypassed.

For years libel lawyers have held swanky sway over the public prints. They have menaced and manipulated and, in the process, charged their clients millions of pounds.

Now, thanks to Twitter and others, including Mr Hemming, their edifice has been left looking like one of those south-coast medieval castles which were once on the coast but are now stranded inland.

Earlier in the day I attended a gruesome event at the Royal Festival Hall where Ed Miliband tried, and failed, to connect with Labour activists. Few were there. The media turnout was particularly slim. Poor Mr Miliband seems to be attracting little interest at present.

Perhaps he should hire Messrs Schillings, legal advisers to Mr Giggs. From what one can gather, they are geniuses at attracting attention for their clients.

Speaker John Bercow immediately leapt out of his seat and rebuked Mr Hemming in an effort to protect the Manchester United player's identitySpeaker John Bercow immediately leapt out of his seat and rebuked Mr Hemming in an effort to protect the Manchester United player’s identity

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1390215/Ryan-Giggs-super-injunction-John-Hemming-brought-end-farce.html#ixzz1NH7wTLuX

May 22, 2011

Please can all visiting this blog take a minute to sign the petition below . Thank you

Filed under: Secret family courts — nojusticeforparents @ 10:32 pm

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/the-secrecy-of-the-family-courts-should-be-lifted-now.html

May 10, 2011

Gagging orders in UK are worthless when you have the internet . Sites hosted in America have different privacy laws and believe in freedom of speech.

Filed under: Secret family courts — nojusticeforparents @ 11:12 am

So if you have a story to tell of injustice tell it on an american hosted site .

Celebs have been outed on twitter.

When are judges going to realise parliament makes the law not them !

Gagging orders served in family court are not done to protect the children it is to protect the judges , social workers , cafcass etc over very questionable evidence.

Think about it if the media were allowed to print what actually goes on behind this secret system i doubt very much that ethically they would ever name the children involved or the parents.

Victims of injustice just want the people named and exposed who have made the decisions that caused the injustice.

This is of no risk to the children and families concerned as family courts do not have a public gallery but it is right and proper that so called ‘professionals ‘ face public scrutiny over their actions

GAGGING ORDERS: JUDGES MUST JUDGE, PARLIMENT MUST MAKE THE LAWS

Sunday April 24,2011

By Nick Ferrari

Comment Speech Bubble Have your say(1)

CREDIT to Prime Minister David Cameron for getting involved in the lunacy of the endless stream of gagging orders and injunctions coming from our misguided (but ludicrously over-protected) judges.

With shameless abandon, an ever-lengthening line of celebrities, stars and sportsmen queue to have any mention of their misdeeds banned by the most draconian measures imaginable including, in one instance, a worldwide silencing order, or contra mundum injunction, as it is known by my learned friends.

What utter arrogance! What on earth goes through the mind of a judge sitting in London that allows him to believe he can silence the free world (including the US, where freedom of speech actually appears in the Constitution), the internet, Twitter, texting and even good old gossip?

It is almost Orwellian that I know the names of those involved but I’m not allowed to pass them on to you or even chat in an office about it!

The judge involved, Mr Justice Eady, says publication of the story concerning the alleged adultery of a top TV star could have an “adverse impact” on his health or that of his family.

ì
The judiciary needs to be reminded that a democratically elected parliament makes the laws
î

Can I suggest the telly favourite should have thought of that before he unzipped his flies? One of the girls caught up in this extraordinary sex storm this week revealed her “clients” numbered four Premiership footballers, three actors, a top cop, a politician and, wait for it, a judge.

The judiciary needs to be reminded that a democratically elected parliament makes the laws, the judges merely rule on them. I would make all judges accountable for all decisions and have them available for interview and inspection in much the same way as our politicians.

I wonder how many would judge that a tad too close for comfort?

Read more: http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/242654/Gagging-orders-Judges-must-judge-parliment-must-make-the-lawsGagging-orders-Judges-must-judge-parliment-must-make-the-laws#ixzz1LwjCOFrg

Karma strikes again now social workers will have to have spot visits lol

Filed under: Secret family courts — nojusticeforparents @ 10:41 am

Munro Review: social workers ‘to face random checks’

Social workers will face random checks under major Government plans to improve England’s failing child protection system.

Prof Munro's report was ordered amid continuing fall out over the death of Baby P in Haringey, north London.

Prof Munro’s report was ordered amid continuing fall out over the death of Baby P in Haringey, north London. Photo: PA
Graeme Paton

By Graeme Paton, Education Editor 12:01AM BST 10 May 2011

A review published today will recommend unannounced inspections of social services units in an attempt to prevent a repeat of the Baby P tragedy.

The report by Prof Eileen Munro will also call for swathes of paperwork currently completed by social workers to be axed to give staff more time with families and vulnerable children.

Experienced social workers will also be kept on the front line – instead of being given back office jobs – to take a lead on the most demanding cases and supervise junior staff.

The overhaul comes in a wake of a series of high-profile child deaths in recent years. This includes the killing of Baby P – Peter Connelly – who was tortured to death in Haringey, north London, despite being seen by 28 different social workers, doctors and police officers.

In today’s report, Prof Munro, an expert in social policy at the London School of Economics, will criticise the amount of central bureaucracy in the system, saying staff spend too much time “ticking boxes” rather than working in the community.

Existing guidance that social workers must follow is now 55 times longer than it was in the mid-70s, her report says.

“Too often questions are asked if rules and procedures have been met but not whether this has helped children. Everyone in the profession can think of meetings and forms that don’t actually make a child safer,” said Prof Munro.

Her report will call for unannounced inspections of social services units by Ofsted to prevent departments spending weeks preparing for visits.

Ofsted will also be stripped of the power to scrutinise official reports into the suspicious deaths of children because its approach is too formulaic.

Greater scrutiny will be made of so-called serious case reviews by making them open to the public for the first time, she will say, although they will also be monitored by a new expert panel.

Her review came as Theresa May, the Home Secretary, confirmed on Monday that the policing body responsible for protecting children is to merge with the new National Crime Agency.

But in a key concession, the Government insisted the Child Exploitation and Online Protection agency (Ceop) agency would retain its own identity following concerns that child safety could be put at risk.

Jim Gamble, Ceop’s previous head, resigned in protest over the planned move last year warning it was not in the “best interest” of vulnerable children.

Concerns were also raised by Gerry and Kate McCann, the parents of missing Madeleine McCann, and Sara Payne, the mother of murdered eight-year-old schoolgirl Sarah.

Despite the merger, Ceop will now retain its name, operational control and a separate budget and governance structure.

May 7, 2011

The police hunt is on for Vicky Haigh, though she is not a ‘missing person’

Filed under: Secret family courts — nojusticeforparents @ 8:05 pm

The police hunt is on for Vicky Haigh, though she is not a ‘missing person’

Former jockey and trainer Vicky Haigh was surprised to discover that she had been declared a ‘missing person’ by ‘her’ social worker, writes Christopher Booker.

VIcki Haigh is well known and respected in the world of horse racing

VIcki Haigh is well known and respected in the world of horse racing Photo: PA/GARETH COPLEY
Christopher Booker

By Christopher Booker 7:44PM BST 07 May 2011

Following my report last week that the former jockey and trainer Vicky Haigh had fled to Ireland to pre-empt her unborn baby being seized by Nottinghamshire social workers, she received a call on her mobile from Nottinghamshire police. “Your social worker,” she was told, “has reported you as a missing person.” Miss Haigh’s reply was that she was not aware that she had a social worker, and that she was certainly not a “missing person”, since she was well aware of where she was – in Ireland, as had been reported by a national newspaper.

The policeman acknowledged that, since Ireland was “out of my jurisdiction”, there was nothing he could do about it. Some time later, however, the father of Miss Haigh’s baby (which is due in a few days) was visited in England by another policeman, wanting to search the house. The father rang Miss Haigh and asked her to explain to the policeman that she was in Ireland, and that there would therefore be little point in him searching the house.

The policeman left, but was eventually followed by two more CID officers, also wanting to search the house and to ascertain Miss Haigh’s exact whereabouts. When her partner explained that he did not know her address in Ireland, because she had been careful not to tell him, he was threatened with arrest for “perverting the course of justice”.

Miss Haigh has committed no offence; she is not a “missing person” – so the police should have no interest in her whereabouts. Is there not a punishable offence known as “wasting police time”?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/8500531/The-police-hunt-is-on-for-Vicky-Haigh-though-she-is-not-a-missing-person.html

OLDHAM MUM FIGHTS THE FORCED ADOPTION OF HER PRECIOUS CHILD THROUGH THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS

OLDHAM MUM FIGHTS THE FORCED ADOPTION OF HER PRECIOUS CHILD THROUGH THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHT

Mum’s care baby fight goes to Euro court

Reporter: Case will make legal history
Date online: 06 May 2011

AN OLDHAM mum, who had her child taken into care by social services, has found herself at the centre of a landmark case after refusing to give up hope.

The 23-year-old mother from Waterhead believes Oldham Council wrongly took her baby from her in June, 2009, just six months after she gave birth.

The mother, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, has already appealed the decision through UK courts without success.

Now the legal team from the Government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office has been granted until August 9 to put forward their case, following her submissions to the European Court of Human Rights.

The case will be a pivotal step in legal history as it is the first of its type to been lodged to court since its inception in 1998.

The woman says the psychological effects of neglect as a child in care herself were then used as evidence for the separation from her daughter.

She said: “It’s quite scary to be in the centre of such a landmark case, I’m hoping that this could change the UK adoption system.

“First and foremost my concern is my daughter, it’s been almost two years now since I’ve seen her.

“At the start I was working alone and a lot of people would have given up, but not me.”

Her legal team argue that it has recently had a new psychological assessment carried out, giving the woman a clean bill of mental health.

This, the team argues, contradicts evidence put forward in the case of the separation and subsequent adoption of the child, now two.

The woman added: “I hope this changes things. If it does I’m not just helping myself and my daughter, I’ll been helping a lot of others.”

John Hemming, the Lib-Dem MP for Birmingham Yardley, who champions the Justice for Families group in Parliament, said: “This is a significant case and it will set a precedent. I believe some 1,000 children a year are wrongly adopted in this country and this will highlight that on a national scale.”

Gerry Lonsdale, her special adviser from Justice for Families, said: “There has rarely been a proper legal challenge to the UK adoption system, the problem is most parents don’t have the legal rights to appeal once the child has been adopted. We’ve managed to get it through to Europe — it’s a first in that sense.

“Experts tend to side with local authorities, if this private psychiatrist had been involved since the start it would have been a completely different situation.”

http://www.oldham-chronicle.co.uk/news-features/8/news-headlines/56000/mums-care-baby-fight-goes-to-euro-court

BLOG COMMENT:
SADLY THIS TYPE OF SCENARIO IS UTILISED EVERYDAY IN THE UK FAMILY COURTS.  SOCIAL SERVICES USE THE SECRECY OF THE FAMILY COURTS TO NEEDLESSLY REMOVE CHILDREN FROM THEIR LOVING, CAPABLE PARENTS FOR FORCED ADOPTION OR LONG TERM FOSTER CARE, DAMAGING THE CHILDREN, PSYCHOLOGICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY.  LOCAL AUTHORITIES PAY SO CALLED INDEPENDENT EXPERT WITNESSES HUGE SUMS OF MONEY TO WRITE REPORTS BASED ON BAISED AND INACCURATE GROSSLY DISTORTED INFORMATION.  PARENTS ARE OFTEN ACCUSED OF BEING UNCO-OPERATIVE EVEN THIOUGH IT IS ONLY ONE MEMBER OF THE LOCAL AUTHORITY WHOM IS MORE OBSTRUCTIVE THAN THE BERLIN WALL, AND THIS CAN BE PROVEN BY THE PARENT, THOUGH THEY’RE RARELY BELIEVED BY THE COURT.  PARENTS HAVE NO CHANCE ONCE CHILDREN ARE REMOVED, LAWFULLY OR UNLAWFULLY, ONCE THE LOCAL AUTHORITY HAS THE CHILDREN THEY INSTANTLY BECOME A TARGET FOR FORCED ADOPTION.

SADLY THE PUBLIC ARE NOT AWARE OF THE CORRUPTION OF THE UK FAMILY COURTS BECAUSE LOCAL AUTHORITIES AND SO CALLED CHARITIES PORTRAY THE CHILDRENA ND UNLOVED, UNWANTED, UNCARED FOR, NEGLECTED, ABUSED, ABANDONED, YET TRAGICALLY IN 95% OF THE ASES NOTHING IS FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. 

SOCIAL SERVICES WILL GROSSLY DISTORT FACTS TO SECURE ANY CHILD FOR ADOPTION, SO PLEASE BE AWARE THAT MICHAEL GOVE AND TIM LOUGHTON HAVE RECENTLY CALLED FOR A 50% INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN BEING ADOPTED IN THE UK, AND WHERE WILL THE SUPPLY OF THOSE CHILDREN COME FROM TO MEET THE GOVERNMENTS DEMANDS???????  ……….. YOUR CHILDREN, GRANDCHILDREN, NIECES, NEPHEWS, COUSINS, BROTHERS OR SISTERS COULD QUITE EASILY BE THE NEXT VICITM OF THE UK SOCIAL SERVICES

http://networkedblogs.com/hyrv7

May 4, 2011

Social workers accused of “penguin mentality” by MP

Filed under: Secret family courts — nojusticeforparents @ 2:35 am
Tags:

“It’s what I call the penguin complex among social workers. They live in a different continent to the rest of us, like Antarctica, and at the slightest criticism they all go into a huge huddle, turning their backs and shield each other.”
(Len Clark)

or they could be likened to sheep thus as sheeple

Sheeple (a portmanteau of “sheep” and “people”) is a term of disparagement, in which people are likened to sheep.

The term is often used to denote persons who voluntarily acquiesce to a perceived authority figure’s suggestion without critical analysis or sufficient research to understand the ramifications of that decision. By doing so, Sheeple undermine their own individuality and may willingly give up their rights. The implication of the term is that people fallaciously appeal to authority and believe or do what they are told by perceived authority figures who they view as trustworthy. The term is generally used in apoliticalsocial, and sometimes spiritual sense.

but for us humans out there i would like to quote this brilliant piece from Charlie Veitch

The Only Chains that Exist are in Your Mind

You were born free. You will live free. You will die free. You’re allowed to make a scene.  You’re allowed to scream for joy. You’re allowed to complain. You’re allowed to cry. You’re allowed to love people. You’re allowed to hug people. …We’re starting to forget just how divine and special we are as human beings. Every single one of you is the only example of you that will ever exist. There’s not a single authority in this world…who can tell you how to behave at any time, any place or anywhere.  You are free. You will live free. You will die free. The only chains that exist are in your mind. – Charlie Veitch

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAQrsA3m8Bg&feature=related

My friend has blogged this below asking the question below …. maybe someone would like to ask a certain Cannock social worker how she felt when i accessed her very public profile ….. I’ll tell you she said she felt stalked and harrassed which is exactly how i felt when Andrew Jenkinson who was also a Cannock social worker was following me around on the internet visiting forums id posted in even using my youtube videos in court which the judge watched despite the fact they had nothing to do with my children ! KARMA’S A BITCH CANNOCK SS and maybe next time Sarah Peace authorizes her staff to do this to parents she will be mindful of how her staff feel when it is done to them .

SOCIAL WORKERS ADMIT TO WATCHING PARENTS ONLINE ACTIVITIES, YET HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF PARENTS INTERCEPTED THEIR FACEBOOK/TWITTER ACCOUNTS???

use of facebook to investigate parents

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Top 25 Contributor

 romeo2001Posted: 3 Oct 2010 1:26 PM

is it unethical or common sense to search for a parents facebook and peruse if not private ? (and therefore open to the general public)

there is huge amount of information that can be found out about peoples behaviour via their facebook pages – eg whetehr they are substance misusing – often what times of tge day its are taking place and general relationship dynamics etc  – am not yet practising so am keen to see whethr this is a tool that is used

note that im not saying it should be used as evidence – just another form of info gathering

Top 25 Contributor
Female

 redana replied on4 Oct 2010 9:13 PM

I think it’s common sense to look at all the information that’s ‘out there’ …and SW’s should also beware as employers are increasingly using FB and the like as a tool to screen the lifestyle of potental employees.

I have cited inappropriate info via FB posted by a  parent re her child, as evidence of emotional abuse. But, I think you are right to be cautious about what can be used as evidence-I don’t think the example you have mentioned re substance misuse would be able to be evidenced in this way.

I think it is also a good tool for SW’s to trace information about parents where there is otherwise very little.

Top 200 Contributor

 gear replied on4 Oct 2010 10:46 PM

I had a huge issue with Facebook on a set of Care Proceedings – it did not however concern parents but foster carers. Basically a child’s parent googled the foster parents whom they had met at an initial placement meeting. The foster carer didn’t adopt any privacy settings on her page and had pictures of the children on her page detailing why they were in  her care, also using inappropriate language to describe the children such as ‘my little babies’ and ‘can you imagine abusing these little angels’. The mother retaliated by setting up a Facebook group referring to all foster carers as ‘child stealers’. We had to move the children to another placement and I did complain to family placement about the foster carers actions, in turn the foster carer reported the mother to the Police for harrassment and threatening behaviours . The foster carer also complained about her family placement department for never advising her on the issues surrounding social networking sites. The whole thing was a total mess and the children were extremely confused by everything that happened.

In terms of using Facebook for monitoring, I am aware that some of my colleagues have however I have not. I am aware that the Police frequently use this as a source of intelligence however I feel that caution should be excercised, it is extremely instrusive and often in the case of some of the children on my caseload – it how they wish to be viewed i.e. bravado. I personally will stick to non web based monitoring.

Top 10 Contributor

‘Pre-crime’ Comes to Children’s Services

Recorded Future
Introducing the world’s first
Temporal Analytics Engine
A new predictive analysis tool that allows you to visualize the future, past or present.

Top 25 Contributor

Question to myself… “how would you feel if someone did this to you???”

Well I know I would be extremelly angry if I found out, in fact to a point where I would most definitely seek legal advice with an aim to take action. However, I would obviously have to make sure my privacy settings are tight (which they are). I can see why intelligence/secret services may use this, and it has proved essential in some cases (particularly in relation to anti-terrorism) but as a student I am hoping (NAIVITY ALERT!) social work isn’t so investigative.

I personally think it is quite invasive and as I said I would be mortified if I found out someone had done that to me. But at the same time it is a good tool. I am guessing tho (bar the odd mistake) talented workers won’t need to go to these levels as either a good raport with parents/good social work skills will mean you could pick up evidence in other ways, without resporting to tactics used by services whose primary function is to investigate. But whether or not social workers should use it to confirm a hunch about something… again, i’m not sure. I question whether doing things like this is quite deceitful in some ways. Sure it could make life easier.

Anyway, ramble over. I know facebook is causing all sorts of issues amongst social work (such as above, children contacting parents they shouldnt be etc) but i dont think we need to start snooping. Im interested to see where this discussion goes, as it is quite a though provoking thread. :)

Top 10 Contributor

Social Worker contact and family visits, don’t forget:

Check fridge for adequate amounts of food
Check pets healthy and well feed
Check all family and friends latest Facebook and Twitter entries
Check wider family and environment
and
Take photographs throughout the home

“Other professionals, including school staff, health visitors, doctors and others [Police] involved with your family will be monitoring the safety and welfare of (insert names of children) and reporting any concerns.”

4722.procedure CPP visits and letter.doc

 Andy_Pandy:

Question to myself… “how would you feel if someone did this to you???”

Well I know I would be extremelly angry if I found out, in fact to a point where I would most definitely seek legal advice with an aim to take action. However, I would obviously have to make sure my privacy settings are tight (which they are). I can see why intelligence/secret services may use this, and it has proved essential in some cases (particularly in relation to anti-terrorism) but as a student I am hoping (NAIVITY ALERT!) social work isn’t so investigative.

I personally think it is quite invasive and as I said I would be mortified if I found out someone had done that to me. But at the same time it is a good tool. I am guessing tho (bar the odd mistake) talented workers won’t need to go to these levels as either a good raport with parents/good social work skills will mean you could pick up evidence in other ways, without resporting to tactics used by services whose primary function is to investigate. But whether or not social workers should use it to confirm a hunch about something… again, i’m not sure. I question whether doing things like this is quite deceitful in some ways. Sure it could make life easier.

Anyway, ramble over. I know facebook is causing all sorts of issues amongst social work (such as above, children contacting parents they shouldnt be etc) but i dont think we need to start snooping. Im interested to see where this discussion goes, as it is quite a though provoking thread. :)

Top 50 Contributor

I suppose if there was a S.47 investigation then it would be remiss of the social worker not to make investigations using facebook and the like.   But I certainly would not want anyway judging me by what I placed on my facebook page.    It all comes back to us being aware of how to make ourselves private.   But even then, large companies spend thousands+ on tracking their company image / profile through what is being said about them on social networking sites, its very big business logging everything we say and type.

So beware everyone – big brother (in some form) is watching you.

Top 75 Contributor

 hound replied on5 Oct 2010 12:54 AM

Andy, sorry, you’ve lost me on this one! You say you would be angry/mortified/seek legal advice if someone did this to you, but what activity are you thinking of when you say “did this to you”?  I know fb privacy setting can be a bit complex, but you do have a choice of what information you want to remain public.  And then you have to remember that you have chosen to put that into the public domain.  Why would someone looking at something you have chosen to put into the public domain mortify you? General rule: if you care about who knows certain things then don’t put them into the public domain.  I can understand that it would be different if someone is applying special legal powers to obtain information which is not in the public domain but I don’t think that that is what is being discussed here.

Top 100 Contributor

 PatHew replied on5 Oct 2010 1:45 AM

New Facebook Privacy Complaint Filed with Trade Commission

Today, EPIC and 14 privacy and consumer protection organizations filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, charging that Facebook has engaged in unfair and deceptive trade practices in violation of consumer protection law. The complaint states that changes to user profile information and the disclosure of user data to third parties without consent “violate user expectations, diminish user privacy, and contradict Facebook’s own representations.” The complaint also cites widespread opposition from Facebook users, Senators, bloggers, and news organizations. In a letter to Congress, EPIC urged the Senate and House Committees with jurisdiction over the FTC to monitor closely the Commission’s investigation. The letter noted the FTC’s failure to act on several pending consumer privacy complaints.

http://epic.org/2010/05/new-facebook-privacy-complaint.html

“The following business practices are unfair and deceptive under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act: Facebook disclosed users’ personal information to Microsoft, Yelp, and Pandora without first obtaining users’ consent; Facebook disclosed users’ information—including details concerning employment history,beducation, location, hometown, film preferences, music preferences, and reading preferences—to which users previously restricted access; and Facebook disclosed information to the public even when users elect to make that information available to friends only.”

http://epic.org/privacy/facebook/EPIC_FTC_FB_Complaint.pdf

http://www.reputationdefender.com

http://deletefacebook.com

http://www.reclaimprivacy.org

Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents


Google CEO: Secrets Are for Filthy People
Eric Schmidt suggests you alter your scandalous behavior before you complain about his company invading your privacy.

Secrets: on the ethics of concealment and revelation
Sissela Bok – 1989 – 332 pages – Snippet view
Shows how the ethical issues raised by secrets and secrecy in our careers or private lives take us to the heart of the critical questions of private and public morality.
http://www.google.com/search?tbs=bks%3A1&tbo=1&q=sissela+bok&oq=siss

Top 150 Contributor

 copperbird replied on5 Oct 2010 4:41 AM

Guide on ways to manage your privacy on facebook. Note that even if you have all of your own privacy settings turned on, you cannot control what your friends or family might choose to post, and you cannot control whether or not they use the privacy settings.

Facebook has relied heavily on naive users disregarding their own personal privacy as part of its engine for growth. (I like to think that this is because Mark Zuckerberg is using it as a base for his own weird philosophy rather than due to active malice.)

It’s a deeply worrying trend, but ultimately whose responsibility is it if a person chooses to leave personal information in a public area? Anyone remember the MI5 guy whose wife posted a picture of her kids on her public facebook page? It has become common practice for employers to check facebook/ twitter of potential employees, and once people are actually physically at risk I’m not sure I see a good reason to ignore it. Just as always, bear in mind that things you read on the internet might not be true.

Top 25 Contributor
Female

 redana replied on5 Oct 2010 10:44 AM

 Andy_Pandy:

Question to myself… “how would you feel if someone did this to you???”

Well I know I would be extremelly angry if I found out, in fact to a point where I would most definitely seek legal advice with an aim to take action. However, I would obviously have to make sure my privacy settings are tight (which they are). I can see why intelligence/secret services may use this, and it has proved essential in some cases (particularly in relation to anti-terrorism) but as a student I am hoping (NAIVITY ALERT!) social work isn’t so investigative.

I personally think it is quite invasive and as I said I would be mortified if I found out someone had done that to me. But at the same time it is a good tool. I am guessing tho (bar the odd mistake) talented workers won’t need to go to these levels as either a good raport with parents/good social work skills will mean you could pick up evidence in other ways, without resporting to tactics used by services whose primary function is to investigate. But whether or not social workers should use it to confirm a hunch about something… again, i’m not sure. I question whether doing things like this is quite deceitful in some ways. Sure it could make life easier.

Anyway, ramble over. I know facebook is causing all sorts of issues amongst social work (such as above, children contacting parents they shouldnt be etc) but i dont think we need to start snooping. Im interested to see where this discussion goes, as it is quite a though provoking thread. :)

Andy_Pandy,- children’s SW requires workers to be invasive- when you are gathering evidence for care proceedings-it is an investigative role-you are investigating child abuse and neglect. Deceitful? No different to sharing information other agencies have; quite often people think this will not get back to the SW- and become very angry that health visitors, nurseries, schools, etc have ‘betrayed them’.

No different to noting that the child’s matresses had no covers on and the child was grubby and smelly. No different to turning up unannounced to get a true picture of what is happening in the family. No different to hiring a private detective to get evidence that sexually risky person is living there-yes, that happens…..

I personally do not search out parents, other than, maybe to trace information for a child’s records about a parent-I believe the child has a right to know as much as they can in the future about absent parents.

However, I have had a child, as mentioned, where her mother posted very abusive messages about her and crowed about the child’s abuse- I was alerted to this by the child- who was being ‘protected’ in foster care from emotional abuse and neglect-but mother chose this forum to continue to emotionally abuse her. Evidence or not? Should we ignore this, thus respecting the mother’s privacy? (as there were privacy settings)

I think it is deceitful to pretend the SW role is not commonly an investigative one and I have always been clear about my role with parents.

Top 25 Contributor

errr i may be missing something but whats wrong with referring to children as “my little babies”??

the replies on the thread are interesting – does the policy vary from office to office ? or are you free to do it as is – i know the LA didnt allow facbook on their IT network during working hours

very interesting about the hiring of detectives – as it should be really

Top 25 Contributor
Female

 redana replied on5 Oct 2010 12:00 PM

I think I would be very concerned as a SW if a foster carer referred to children that they are ‘looking after for the local authority’ as “my little babies”. It suggests to me that the carer is quite unboundaried (which is already evidenced by the posting of pictures on FB). they are not their children and it’s very disrespectful to the parents, whose rights need to be respected even though they have abused or neglected their children. In my humble opinion, the language used implies ownership of the children. foster carers have a duty to build good relationships with parents.

Top 25 Contributor
 hound:

Andy, sorry, you’ve lost me on this one! You say you would be angry/mortified/seek legal advice if someone did this to you, but what activity are you thinking of when you say “did this to you”?  I know fb privacy setting can be a bit complex, but you do have a choice of what information you want to remain public.  And then you have to remember that you have chosen to put that into the public domain.  Why would someone looking at something you have chosen to put into the public domain mortify you? General rule: if you care about who knows certain things then don’t put them into the public domain.  I can understand that it would be different if someone is applying special legal powers to obtain information which is not in the public domain but I don’t think that that is what is being discussed here.

My privacy settings are all sorted… but everytime facebook upgrades or whatever, they all go back to normal, so make my information (and profile) public again. I use it for social networking, networking amongst people I choose to, and therefore I would be mad if anyone I didn’t know started looking through my information on there to try and catch me out on something. So although I may put my privacy setting on as high as I can, it doesn’t mean that when facebook changes in anyway that they wont go back to normal. If someone went through my profile for any reason, and I didn’t know them, I wouldn’t be impressed. But then that could just be me, as I am an overly private person (believe it or not). I think it also depends as to what people consider ‘public domain’, yes it’s on the internet, but I don’t consider my profile to be for the public to view as and when they like, I consider it for those people who I accept as a ‘friend’. I would just personally be angry if someone did this to me. But just reading Harrow CP thing from above…

Some people i’m sure find it alright, and if I had to do it then I guess I would. But following closely to read more about this as people comment…

Top 100 Contributor

 PatHew replied on5 Oct 2010 12:36 PM

Hello, this is one of my clients

Hello I am here to see my Social Worker

Some of my cases are quite complex

etc

those posting photos of children requires the consent of parents and even when parents post photos, if done so within the Public domain if may attract the attention of PC plod.

In terms of Super Size Big Brother it is of interest that the Contact PointCyclops has been curtailed and the Vetting and Barring Scheme was suspended and is under review and thankfully the UK ID Card Database State has been rolled back and this will at least stymie the ‘cradle-to-grave surveillance’ intentions.

Of course Social Workers are acting continually as investigators and to consider otherwise is highly problematic and the issues of care andcontrol should always be made explicit, which could be done by creating a new professional and protected job titles like Social Police or even Morality Police.

Top 10 Contributor
 romeo2001:

is it unethical or common sense to search for a parents facebook and peruse if not private ? (and therefore open to the general public)

there is huge amount of information that can be found out about peoples behaviour via their facebook pages – eg whetehr they are substance misusing – often what times of tge day its are taking place and general relationship dynamics etc  – am not yet practising so am keen to see whethr this is a tool that is used

note that im not saying it should be used as evidence – just another form of info gathering

you are assuming that anything a person puts on facebook is fact. 99% of the stuff i put on facebook between my mates and girlfriends is utter nonsense and drunk rambling. links to various nonsense etc etc. facebook for me is just a carry on so, no, you could not take facebook as anything resembling genuine.

Top 25 Contributor
 PatHew:

Hello, this is one of my clients

Hello I am here to see my Social Worker

Some of my cases are quite complex

etc

those posting photos of children requires the consent of parents and even when parents post photos, if done so within the Public domain if may attract the attention of PC plod.

In terms of Super Size Big Brother it is of interest that the Contact Point Cyclops has been curtailed and the Vetting and Barring Scheme was suspended and is under review and thankfully the UK ID Card Database State has been rolled back and this will at least stymie the ‘cradle-to-grave surveillance’ intentions.

Of course Social Workers are acting continually as investigators and to consider otherwise is highly problematic and the issues of care and control should always be made explicit, which could be done by creating a new professional and protected job titles like Social Police or even  Morality Police.

haha like it pat – tho i actually think  we’d have a better standing in society if there was a “re-branding”

Top 100 Contributor

 PatHew replied on5 Oct 2010 4:19 PM

Defendant STEELCASE moves this Court for an Order granting said Defendant access to Plaintiff’s current and historical Facebook and MySpace pages and accounts, including all deleted pages and related information upon the grounds that Plaintiff has placed certain information on these social networking sites which are believed to be inconsistent with her claims in this action concerning the extent and nature of her injuries, especially her claims for loss of enjoyment of life.
http://www.courts.state.ny.us/REPORTER/3dseries/2010/2010_20388.htm

Facebook Page? Or Exhibit A in Court?

Top 50 Contributor

 Bulldog Allan replied on5 Oct 2010 5:17 PM

 PatHew:

Hello, this is one of my clients

Hello I am here to see my Social Worker

Some of my cases are quite complex

etc

those posting photos of children requires the consent of parents and even when parents post photos, if done so within the Public domain if may attract the attention of PC plod.

In terms of Super Size Big Brother it is of interest that the Contact Point Cyclops has been curtailed and the Vetting and Barring Scheme was suspended and is under review and thankfully the UK ID Card Database State has been rolled back and this will at least stymie the ‘cradle-to-grave surveillance’ intentions.

Of course Social Workers are acting continually as investigators and to consider otherwise is highly problematic and the issues of care and control should always be made explicit, which could be done by creating a new professional and protected job titles like Social Police or even  Morality Police.

On the above points I do definately agree with you.     ‘cradle-to-grave surveillance’ is something that realy does concern me and I guess we have to all understand that whatever we put in the public domain, through websites, forums, blogs, social networking etc can all be accessed by most and if you pay some money you can find out even more about people.

Top 200 Contributor

 gear replied on5 Oct 2010 7:28 PM

Thanks Redana, my point exactly – the children are in the care of the ‘Local Authority’ and absolutely nobody has the right to refer to them as their own children. It is my personal belief that foster carers should never post any information about children in their care on any social networking site.

In response to Romeo – my council does not permit any use of social networking sites however specific permission is given in certain circumstances, as in the case I have detailed above- I did personally see the posts by the foster carer.

Top 150 Contributor

tbh anyone with a smartphone could access social networking from work regardless of any IT restrictions (usual caution applies about deliberately flouting the company handbook etc.)

Top 100 Contributor

 PatHew replied on5 Oct 2010 8:12 PM

And if you are sacked and make a tribunal or discrimination claim, your telephone records will be called by the employer’s side. And if you post to a Public blog or similar then the evidence will be there for all to see. Then again many employers give free unofficial reign to staff to create a positive work space, but this then allows them to quote IT breaches as and when needed.

 copperbird:

tbh anyone with a smartphone could access social networking from work regardless of any IT restrictions (usual caution applies about deliberately flouting the company handbook etc.)

Top 10 Contributor
Female

 cb replied on6 Oct 2010 7:32 AM

Just as an aside and not completely relevant point, as a foster carer, I have made considerable efforts to refrain from mentioning my foster child on updates – that hasn’t stopped friends of mine commenting on my status updates and asking after her – not for any nefarious reasons, but on the understanding that when a child lives with us for a year, of course, they will show an interest in her and how she is getting on.

Of course, my profile is ‘private’ to the max levels but – and this is a bit but – foster carers MUST be made aware of these issues and social workers must be aware of these issues.

The ONLY guidance we had from the local authority about facebook was telling us that we could allow children over 12 to create pages (we’d actually told our foster child she would have to wait until she was 13 as that was the guidance on Facebook and to create a page at 12 would mean that she would have to tell lies about her age to register!). Of course, once she saw this letter from the local authority, she wanted a page as the local authority said it was ‘ok’.

But seriously, that is the only input that they have had. I think there needs to be a lot more training about social networks as quickly children are becoming more au fait with the ways and means to manage their own information and contacts than their carers.

Top 100 Contributor

 PatHew replied on7 Oct 2010 3:55 PM

Surveillance and Child Protection: De-mystifying the Trojan Horse. 
Surveillance
and Society 7(3/4): 304-324. http://www.surveillance-and-society.org

Evil
http://www.tomscott.com/evil/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWSy8FqKwQc

How evil is Facebook?
Think of it as your life going down the drain while you spend hours casuallly stalking other people’s lives
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/sep/29/how-evil-is-facebook

Uploads from iPhones using the Facebook app will push all your contacts onto Facebook’s servers – where they’ll be matched against any and everyone. Worried at all?
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2010/oct/06/facebook-privacy-phone-numbers-upload

100m Facebook users collected and published
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-10796584

Top 100 Contributor

 PatHew replied on7 Oct 2010 4:10 PM

 cb:

. I think there needs to be a lot more training about social networks as quickly children are becoming more au fait with the ways and means to manage their own information and contacts than their carers.

PS:

Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre
http://www.ceop.police.uk/

Children’s Online Privacy Protection
http://www.coppa.org/

Top 100 Contributor

 Tink63 replied on7 Oct 2010 5:44 PM

Hi I have not actually used facebook to look up families myself, however other family members and families often share information such as information on facebook with me, on one occasion this was very useful as a mother had a new partner it was alleged on facebook, who was in fact a sex offender, so therefore don’t think we can always ignore information given to us in this way!! Tink

Page 1 of 1 (26 items) | RSS

May 4, 2011

Data Protection Act 1998 Section 36 Domestic purposes. Personal data processed by an individual only for the purposes of that individual’s personal, family or household affairs (including recreational purposes) are exempt from the data protection principles.

I met with a new social worker today and the subject came up about me having recorded conversations in the past.

The lady told me i wasn’t allowed to do that without consent  until i reminded her of section 36 of the data protection act whereby you do not actually have to ask for consent if you are in your own property.

What amazes me is what social workers are so scared of ?

After all if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear , and if you adhere to your codes of conduct and work in an open and honest way whats your problem ?

As for recording in SS offices etc my advice is if there have been occasions where your social workers have lied or fabricated information then do it but hide your recording equipment on your body somewhere.

SOCIAL WORKERS DO NOT POSSESS ANY POWERS TO MAKE FULL BODY SEARCHES ……… YET !!!!

Maybe the below article can demonstrate why social workers are so fearful , maybe they are scared of being exposed for lying or for being vexatious .

Believe me they can be vexatious and are so protected by the state or by using’childs best interest’ as a smokescreen for hiding their true intentions behind their decisions that I question whether some of them have psychopathic disorders .

A social worker can take a dislike to you or maybe they have got into trouble over a complaint you have made or some other exposure of their behaviour and you have had it !!!!

Whats in the best interest of the child goes out the window as the social worker is then so biased  and intent to exact her/ his revenge that the child in their eyes becomes nothing more than a useful tool in which to utilise to cause you distress in the same way as a vexatious ex partner will use a child to get back at a partner by ceasing all contact, turning the child against the absent parent etc.

There certainly does need to be an independent body to look at the conduct of some of these social workers made up partly of parents and service users like the man below who will not be blinkered by the fact that social workers are ‘ professionals ‘ and do not behave like that.

In all professions their are bad eggs look at bent police officers , crooked lawyers , etc what makes social workers any different ? On this site there is a list of social workers that have been struck off quite a long list.

IT is a very powerful role they have . If you are a victim of a vexatious social worker the odds are stacked against you.

First you have to get someone to believe that such a professional has acted vexatiously which noone will lets face it who will believe your word over a social workers ?

secondly if you make an internal complaint the local authority will back the social worker up .

thirdly if you try to take the matter to an outside agengy the process will take so long you could have ended up losing a child to adoption or foster care and had contact etc stopped . All based on the decisions and reports written by this vexatious person.

The poor child is used as a weapon to exact their twisted revenge on you.

Anyway back to the article below shows why you should record social workers and far from them saying you are not supposed to remember this judge did not have a problem with it being used as evidence !

and i say it again to social workers ‘ IF YOU HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE YOU HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR ‘

Dictaphone saves man from prison

Secret tape recording clears him of charges brought by social services

A MAN who was cleared of all charges after secretly recording a meeting with social workers on his dictaphone, has called for an independent team to monitor social workers.

Lovel Brian Dennis was accused of affray, threat to kill, assault and criminal damage, stemming from two separate encounters with social workers from Hackney Council’s Learning and Disability department as he tried to get social services to let him take care of his brother, who has Downs Syndrome.

Dennis was accused of swearing and threatening council officials in the first encounter, while in the second he was alleged to have pushed a social worker against a wall.

However, due to evidence from his recordings and conflicting testimony from a prosecution witness, Dennis was found not guilty last month at Snaresbrook Crown Court in east London.

A relieved Dennis told The Voice: “This is the wisest £50 I’ve ever spent in my life, because if I didn’t spend this £50, as the barrister said in the court, I would’ve got three to six years. I would hope that there would be a body that can monitor social services and see that they’re conducting their duties properly.”

The problems for 46-year-old Dennis, from Hackney, started in April 2009 as he attempted to obtain responsibility for his brother Kenneth Plummer’s wellbeing, because his former foster carer could no longer be responsible for him.

Dennis had met officials during a discharge meeting at Goodmayes Hospital, as his brother had been suffering from mental illness at the time.

After the meeting, Dennis said he was accused of using abusive language and threatening a social worker. However, unbeknownst to them, Dennis had recorded the meeting on his dictaphone, which was later used in court as evidence to show he had not behaved as alleged.

After the discharge meeting, Dennis said he was banned from seeing Plummer for four months. When the ban was over, Dennis went to visit his brother but faced another accusation from the same social worker.

“…She made the allegation that I attacked her,” said Dennis, who was found not guilty of assault.

Dennis also claims that the council ‘invented’ a non-existent brother and implied he had designs on his brother’s money.

Hackney Council documents obtained by The Voice, make reference to two brothers.

A Hackney Council review on Plummer’s health when he was under his foster carer’s supervision, stated: ‘One brother, Brian, visits regularly, and Kenny enjoys these visits… However, other members visit more sporadically, which can leave Kenny feeling confused. Additional problems have developed due to the inheritance. There is concern about one brother, Lowell (sic), who is keen to manage Kenny’s money.’

Dennis later formally complained to the Ombudsman, who considers complaints of service failure and maladministration causing injustice. The Ombudsman upheld some of Dennis’ claims, ruling on January 26, that Dennis ‘was the subject of false allegations by his brother’s care manager regarding his behaviour at a meeting in a hospital.’

The Ombudsman added: ‘The foster carer has signed a statement confirming that the complainant has never asked or bothered her for his brother’s money and that she had never given the social worker the impression that he had been behaving in this manner.’

Hackney Council reportedly offered Dennis an apology and a total of £1,600 compensation, but said in a statement: ‘The Council will be making no comment due to legal reasons.’

http://www.voice-online.co.uk/content.php?show=19493

May 1, 2011

Another reason why forced adoption should be abolished and expert witnesses need to be scrutinised

Filed under: Secret family courts — nojusticeforparents @ 9:57 am

At least half of all parents tried over shaken baby syndrome have been wrongly convicted, expert warns

By ANGELA LEVIN 
Last updated at 10:12 PM on 30th April 2011

It is a case that haunts Dr Waney Squier and one any parent will find deeply distressing.

Eleven years ago, Lorraine Harris stood trial at Nottingham Crown Court charged with manslaughter. Although described as a woman of good character and a careful and caring mother, she was accused of shaking her four-month-old baby Patrick to death two years earlier.

Neuropathologist Dr Squier wrote a report for the prosecution saying that the child was the victim of shaken baby syndrome (SBS).

Impeccable record: Dr Waney Squier says she is determined not to be silencedImpeccable record: Dr Waney Squier says she is determined not to be silenced

Lorraine, who vehemently protested her innocence, was convicted and jailed for three years.

Her punishment was not limited to incarceration, as tragic consequences rippled out from Patrick’s death. Lorraine wasn’t allowed to go to his funeral; a baby she gave birth to as she was starting her sentence was taken away for adoption; her partner left her and both her parents died while she was in prison. Her life fell apart.

By the time Lorraine’s appeal was heard in 2005, Dr Squier had become convinced the criteria she had used to define whether SBS had taken place were wrong. In a complete U-turn, she now appeared as an expert witness for the defence. Lorraine’s conviction was quashed.

It is difficult to imagine Lorraine’s feelings as she digested this news. Relief, perhaps, but the occasion could hardly be described as joyous. One of her children had died and she had not been allowed to grieve. Another child had been taken from her. And she would possibly never be free from the taint of the original conviction.

Ordeal: Lorraine Harris was accused of killing her baby sonOrdeal: Lorraine Harris was accused of killing her baby son

‘Her conviction was overturned but it was a hollow victory because her life had been completely devastated,’ says Dr Squier, who had helped right a wrong but could not erase the pain it had caused.

‘I did and sometimes still do feel terrible about what happened.

‘I now believe that half or even more of those who have been brought to trial in the past for SBS have been wrongly convicted. It is a frightening thought.’

It is indeed, and it is an extraordinary claim but one that should be taken seriously. Dr Squier, 63, is the most experienced paediatric neuropathologist in the country. She has spent 30 years researching baby brains and has a solid international reputation.

She has appeared countless times in court as an expert witness in cases of SBS, when a child is said to have been shaken so violently that it results in brain injury or death.

You would imagine that when such an eminent scientist says recent scientific developments show that, in the past, she and others have been wrong about SBS, she would be listened to.

Instead Dr Squier has been on the receiving end of vicious attacks by some doctors, lawyers and police officers who do not like her views. She has even been referred to as a supporter of child abusers.

‘Why would I want to do that?’ she asks.

‘I have children of my own. I am chilled by the thought of getting it wrong because of the risk of sending babies back to abusive households, or taking them away from families, or putting people in prison.’

More…

About 250 SBS cases go to court each year. Expert witnesses play a pivotal role in trials. Babies often do not have any symptoms other than bleeding to the head and eyes so, unlike most criminal cases, the opinion of the pathologist may be the only evidence to consider.

However, some convictions are controversial. The problem has been that there is no single agreed definition of SBS. Instead, for the past 30 years, the findings of a U.S. radiologist, John Caffey, have been used in courts.

These findings centre on three signs – swelling of the brain, bleeding between the skull and the brain, and bleeding in the retina – known collectively as the triad. If they are present then a conviction is likely.

But Dr Squier is one of a growing number of doctors who believe that relying on the triad alone is no longer enough.

‘Over the past ten years so much more has been discovered about how a baby’s brain develops in its first year and these developments have seriously undermined SBS,’ she explains.

‘Over the past ten years so much more has been discovered about how a baby’s brain develops in its first year and these developments have seriously undermined SBS.’

‘We now know, for example, that almost half of babies have a triad at birth, which can be caused by different factors.

‘In the past four years there have been several discoveries about the dura, the membrane covering the brain. It was thought that it was there to protect the brain from shock, but we now know it also has the very important function of controlling blood flow out of the brain.

‘At birth the dura has huge blood channels that can leak – and not always as a result of trauma. They do, however, disappear during the child’s second year of life.

‘These findings are so significant that I now believe that half or even more of those who have been brought to trial in the past for SBS have been wrongly convicted.

‘I am also convinced we can virtually exclude shaking as a cause of death in babies unless, as well as bleeding in the brain, we have additional evidence of trauma, such as serious damage to the neck.

‘When a baby is shaken, the head will flop back and forth and the neck becomes the weak point. In other words, if you shake a baby so hard that it dies, it is the neck that is going to show the damage, not the brain.’

Although her view is gathering momentum worldwide, it has ignited an increasingly toxic argument between doctors, lawyers and police.

‘Some pathologists want to remain in an unchallenging comfort zone of an outdated theory,’ Dr Squier explains.

‘Some judges don’t like the fact that new scientific discoveries make convictions more complex, and the police don’t like them because it can prevent them from getting the convictions they want.

Fragile: Blood channels in an infant's brain can leak during the first year of lifeFragile: Blood channels in an infant’s brain can leak during the first year of life

‘I think the police are so put-out that they are trying to ban me from court. It’s why I would like Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke to set up an inquiry into the methods police have used to deter expert witnesses who challenge old mainstream beliefs.

‘This raises serious concerns that one side of the argument is not being heard and means there cannot be a fair trial.

‘If I am blocked from giving evidence in court, defendants already having to cope with the tragic death of a baby will not get the benefit of the new science. Equally, if the courts fail to accept that the mainstream view of 30 years ago can no longer be relied upon, there will be serious miscarriages of justice.’

Dr Squier, who is divorced with two grown-up daughters, is devoted to her work and, despite the pressure she is under, she speaks calmly. Born in Surrey, she qualified as a doctor at Leeds Medical School.

After spells in Bristol, Cornwall and London, she moved to Oxford in 1984 and took up a post as consultant pathologist at the John Radcliffe Hospital, where we talked.

‘Once I came here I specialised in baby brains,’ she explains. ‘I have looked at thousands and written more than 100 medical papers on normal brain development and what happens when things go wrong both in pregnancy and after birth. In the past 15 years, I have investigated many unexpected deaths.’

Her change of opinion was triggered ten years ago by pioneering work carried out by Jennian Geddes, a former consultant neuropathologist at the Royal London Hospital.

Geddes argued that, in a small number of cases, injuries associated with the triad can occur naturally; that some babies suffer from a lack of oxygen supply that triggers bleeding; and that there should be some signs that the baby suffered trauma.

‘A light went on in my head,’ Dr Squier says.

‘I became concerned that the whole basis for shaking was poor.’

She began to conduct her own investigations and found similar evidence to Geddes.

‘It made me feel guilty about my previous unquestioning acceptance of the shaking hypothesis.

‘All my cases are now based on a newer understanding of the science. I am happy with rigorous debate but take exception to attacks on my integrity and professionalism. It is intellectual laziness to apply the old triad diagnosis when symptoms can be explained by natural causes.’

‘I am happy with rigorous debate but take exception to attacks on my integrity and professionalism. It is intellectual laziness to apply the old triad diagnosis when symptoms can be explained by natural causes.’

Dr Squier has an impeccable professional reputation so she was shocked early last year to receive a letter from the Human Tissue Authority, an organisation which ensures that doctors keep good records and have consent for everything they do.

‘The Metropolitan Police had raised concerns about the way I was handling post-mortem tissue and the possibility that unrecorded material was being stored, used and disposed of without the knowledge of the police. Fortunately, our procedures at John Radcliffe are absolutely robust, we know where every piece of tissue is, and no action was taken.

‘Then last June, I heard that a complaint on the same subject had been lodged against me with the General Medical Council.’

Dr Squier had to face an interim orders panel, which was set up after the conviction of Harold Shipman to protect the public and the profession from dangerous doctors. Her appearance was requested by the National Policing Improvement Agency and Detective Inspector Colin Welsh, lead investigator at Scotland Yard’s child abuse investigation command.

‘I barely slept for six weeks,’ she says.

‘It was a terrible experience but the hearing had barely got under way when it was dismissed and no restrictions were made on my practice.

‘However, the panel couldn’t remove the complaint lodged about me with the GMC and I don’t know whether it will take it forward. It is hanging over me like a dark cloud.

‘I know the GMC will not approve of me speaking out but too much is at stake for me to stay silent.’

Unknown territory: Doctors are still learning how a baby's brain develops - and discoveries in just the last ten years have 'seriously undermined SBS' according to Dr Squier Unknown territory: Doctors are still learning how a baby’s brain develops – and discoveries in just the last ten years have ‘seriously undermined SBS’ according to Dr Squier

The accusations began to make sense following a conference on shaken babies, which took place in Atlanta, Georgia, last September.

DI Welsh, in a public lecture, talked disparagingly about prosecution cases that had failed largely due to expert defence witnesses.

He described a way of eliminating them from criminal and possibly family court trials, thus precluding alternative views being presented. He believed they confused the jury and possibly the judges with the complexity of science.

DI Welsh’s solutions included ‘questioning everything – qualifications, employment history, testimony, research papers presented by these experts, go to their bodies to see if we can turn up anything’.

Among the audience was lawyer Heather Kirkwood, who was so shocked that she took notes and has signed an affidavit that these notes are a true record.

She says: ‘In the past decade, we have learned that much of what we thought we knew about SBS was wrong, and that many of the babies that we thought were shaken were instead suffering from birth injuries, childhood stroke, or metabolic or infectious disease.

‘Now that we know we got it wrong, we need to get it right. Instead, many prominent advocates of shaken baby theory have resorted to attacking researchers such as Dr Squier, who is one of the world’s leading experts on the infant brain.

‘Families and children deserve better. To get it right, we need open, honest debate, not cover-ups or attacks on those identifying the problems and seeking solutions.’

Dr Squier was outraged to learn of DI Welsh’s comments.

‘It proved in my mind that the police have set out to remove me and two other neuropathologists who share the same view from the courts because we have stood in the way of their campaign to improve conviction rates. If an expert witness bases an opinion on reasonable scientific ground, even if the opinion is a minority one, it should not be excluded.

‘I am determined not to be silenced and if I can’t speak out in court, I shall do it in scientific papers. It cannot be fair to gag one body of opinion. The whole thing is a nightmare, not least because instead of researching vital things about babies, I have to spend time trying to clear my name.

‘Meanwhile, the number of court cases I have been asked to attend has plummeted from 30 a year a few years ago to five in the past year.

‘Some lawyers are still willing to instruct me because they believe I will give them an opinion based on the science. Others feel they can’t use me while the complaint is hanging over me.

‘The experience has made me feel like a whistleblower – on the one hand challenging all those who prefer the comfort of old mainstream opinion, and on the other struggling for my professional life.’

DI Welsh was unavailable for comment, but Scotland Yard said in a statement: ‘The Metropolitan Police did register concerns about certain practices of a doctor with the Human Tissue Authority in December 2009. The Metropolitan Police also agreed to provide any relevant information to the GMC following a report registered by the National Policing Improvement Agency with the GMC.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1382290/At-half-parents-tried-shaken-baby-syndrome-wrongly-convicted-expert-warns.html#ixzz1L5qBCwAo

IS THE FORCED ADOPTION OF A CHILD ABUSIVE IN ITSELF ?

Adopted Child Syndrome (ACS)

IT’S HISTORY & RELEVANCE TODAY

Adoption secrecy is credited with fueling several types of negative outcome issues for adoptees, including the statistical possibility that siblings separated by adoption, unaware of their biological relationship, have engaged in incestuous relationships (see the story of Joel Domingues at AdoptedPrisoners.com , under GEORGIA, and “Keeping it in the Family: Incest and Inbreeding,” at http://poundpuplegacy.org/node/3436 . But it’s the apparently higher probability of criminal and sociopathic behaviors by adoptees that has been the most documented — and most disputed by pro-adoption groups and supporters of “tough on crime” legislation.

Reuben Pannor, former Director and now Consultant to California’s Vista del Mar residential center for emotionally disturbed children is quoted by Los Angeles Times writer Beverly Beyette: “I started working in adoption at Vista del Mar 30 years ago…There, I was surprised to note that every 3rd child had been adopted and had problems.” The Adopted Prisoner and Adopted Killer pages, as well as the free download for the e-book, Chosen Children, not only documents the existence of the link between adoption and emotionally disturbed to sociopathic behaviors, but also explains WHY.





That adoptees are prone to specific behaviors referred to as “Adopted Child Syndrome,” says famed attorney and Harvard Law Professor, Alan Dershowitz, is just another “abuse excuse” to avoid reponsibility for their actions, including felony crimes. But this is the same Alan Dershowitz who, in his op-ed piece in the LA Times,suggested using “Torture Warrants” — court ordered to control what Dershowitz calls the “inevitable” use of torture by U.S. law enforcement in the “war on terrorism.” He claims torture is “constitutional,” regardless that it is also detrimental to a democratic society. He rationalizes that its sanctioning by warrant would make it more accountable and transparent. “If we are to have torture,” he argues, “it should be authorized by the law.” Notwithstanding that falsification of sealed birth records, and adoption itself, have never been deemed “constitutional” or democratic, Dershowitz seems to be missing the point of our profiling people who are victims of adoption abuse, not as an “excuse,” but as a “reason” for the prevalance of sociopathology and violent crime among those whose lives were forever manipulated by adoption politics and lawyers “in their best interests.”

In 1953, Jean Paton, MA, MSW, a social worker and adoptee, conducted the first studies on families involved in sealed adoptions under the name “The Life History Center,” in Philadelphia. In the June 1955 edition of the Western Journal of Surgery, Paton described “passive, hostile and dependent behaviors” in an adopted boy–behaviors she later defined and which would later be more widely known as “Adopted Child Syndrome.” Her studies revealed confused, damaged children and families due to this secrecy based on ever-changing social work theory and political expediency. Subsequently, terminology such as “slave psychology” was applied to the adoptee “because he feels he must submit to the will of his adopters as a reflection of what they have done for him.”

In 1978, Dr. David Kirschner coined the term “Adopted Child Syndrome” as underlying “Dissociative Disorder,” in his paper, “Son of Sam and the Adopted Child Syndrome,” Adelphi Society for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy Newsletter, 1978)… and in the same year, the Indian Child Welfare Act (Public Law 95-608) was amended to provide adult adoptees of Native American heritage “different rights” than non-Indian adoptees.

In the 1980s, adoptees who exhibited “Attachment Disorder” were further categorized as a “sub-set spectrum” of adoptees who, to varying degrees, exhibit eight specific antisocial Adopted Child Syndrome (ACS) behaviors — according to noted psychologists, Kirschner, Sorosky, Schecter, Carlson, Simmons, Work, Goodman, Silverstein, Mandell, Menlove, Simon, Senturia, Offord, Aponti, Cross and others. However the “spectrum” is never defined, so it is argued that all adoptees are at risk due to the complexities of adoptees’ dual identities and secret pasts. Although Brazelton referred to ACS as “malarkey” in the press, psychiatrist David Cooke said “Adopted Child Syndrome is simply a new name for a phenomenon that has been observed since the 1950’s” (by Paton). The ACS behaviors most commonly referred to are:

  • conflict with authority (for example truancy);
  • preoccupation with excessive fantasy;
  • pathological lying;
  • stealing;
  • running away (from home, school, group homes, situations);
  • learning difficulties, under-achievement, over-achievement;
  • lack of impulse control (acting out, promiscuity, sex crimes);
  • fascination with fire, fire-setting

By 1982, in children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) for hyperactivity, a 17% rate of non-relative adoption was found, –or eight times the rate for non-adopted children — and it was estimated that 23% of all adopted children would have ADD;. Today that percentage is much higher. As Jean Paton pointed out, “Do you have to be truant, or drop out of school, steal, get into juvenile detention homes, in order for people to realize that you need to have someone tell you about your origins?” Apparently the answer is still YES.

Years laters Kirschner still maintained:

“In twenty-five years of practice I have seen hundreds of adoptees, most adopted in infancy. In case after case, I have observed what I have come to call the Adopted Child Syndrome, which may include pathological lying, stealing, truancy, manipulation, shallowness of attachment, provocation of parents and other authorities, threatened or actual running away, promiscuity, learning problems, fire-setting, and increasingly serious antisocial behavior, often leading to court custody. It may include an extremely negative or grandiose self-image, low frustration tolerance, and an absence of normal guilt or anxiety.” (“The Adopted Child Syndrome: What Therapists Should Know,” Psychotherapy in Private Practice, vol. 8 (3) Hayworth Press, 1990)….

Kirschner concludes his paper with “Finally, I believe that most adoptees have the same emotional vulnerabilities that are seen in dramatic form in the Adopted Child Syndrome, and that all adoptees are at risk.”

In 1992, David M Brodzinsky, Marshall D Schechter & Robin Marantz Henig, authoredBeing Adopted: The Lifelong Search For Self.” Using their combined total of 55 years experience in clinical and research work with adoptees and their families, the authors use the voices of adoptees themselves to trace how adoption is experienced over a lifetime. Studies have shown that being adopted can affect many aspects of adoptees’ lives, from relationships with adoptive parents to bonds with their own children.

On September 23, 1992, Attorney Donald Humphrey, himself an adoptee, called attention to the Syndrome as a factor in cases where children murdered their adopters in Violence in Adoption,” a talk he gave at a conference of the American Adoption Congress.

In 1993 and 1994, the Syndrome was used as a defense in two cases of juvenile adoptees who murdered their adopters. Kirschner, a child psychologist, identified the Syndrome as a contributing factor with regard to Patrick DeGellecke who was 14 when he killed his adopters by setting fire to their home.

In “Heikkila,” Courier News (NJ, front page story, 10-12-93), Laurence Arnold added that the Syndrome is further characterized by “an absence of normal guilt or anxiety about one’s deeds” and newsstories that characterize young adoptees who killed their adopters as displaying “no emotion” or having “no remorse” support this. TheNew York Times account of Matthew Heikkila’s crime, “How the Adoption System Ignites a Fire,” by Betty Jean Lifton (3-1-94, p. 27), cites Kirschner as well as psychiatrist Arthur Sorosky, who helped set the precedent in the DeGellecke case with the Adopted Child Syndrome defense.

Adoptees including Larry Swartz (Maryland), Patrick Campbell (Connecticut), and Tammy and Kathryn Tomassoni (Arizona), now adults, were tried and convicted “as juveniles” for the murders of their respective adopters but also are among the very few adoptees who, having served their sentences, were released from prison. They never killed again and were reportedly living “normal” lives. Swartz, who married and had a child, was well liked by the community who called him a caring person; he was only 37 when died unexpectedly of a heart attack in 2004. His compelling story is detailed in “The Second Life of Larry Swartz: Friends Remember Murderer as ‘God’s Gift to Life,'” by MarylandMissing, Websleuths forum at:http://websleuths.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-18711 Other adoptees, such as Heikkila and Marty Tankleff, who were juveniles when they murdered their adopters (in Connecticut and New York, respectively), were neverthless convicted “as adults” and remain in prison.

One of the most intriguing and probably the most accurate assessment of the psychological dynamics of adoptees–particularly adoptees who commit violent crimes–has been advanced by many incarcerated adoptees themselves. They suggest that adoption, whether legal or illegal, is a dysfunction of kinship, and that the adoptee perceives many people in his world as “strangers.” What is seen in many adopted children is the beginning of a cycle of violence against adopters, or strangers, or both, as supported by AmFOR’s pages athttp://www.amfor.net/prisoners/ and http://www.amfor.net/killers/. There may be a reaction experienced by the adoptee in childhood that is the most primitive wound to the psyche — a theory shared by many adoption researchers – and that this wound is re-experienced at the very essence of his/her humanity even in adulthstory which, when focused, may find its end as predatory violence.

On 12-26-00, David Kirschner posted to the Internet newsgroup, alt.adoption:

“Rather, I have repeatedly emphasized the Syndrome describes a sub-set of adoptees at the end of a spectrum–and not ALL adoptees.”

Not only does it appear that Kirschner has acquiesced under pressure to be politically correct via AdoptSpeak, but also, in that moment, he contradicted decades of his own research, beliefs and published statements. And, again, he does not define “the spectrum of adoptees,” who have ACS, a point not lost on Kay Russell, anti-adoption activist, who posted a response to Kirschner under the screen name Saxon War Lord, as follows:

“Dr. Kirschner, is the spectrum a graduation of these symptoms? Would ACS be the end of the spectrum you’re talking about, like the MPD end of the Dissociative spectrum? What I mean is, I would not expect ACS to be at the end of a spectrum of all stable unaffected people, then suddenly a sub-set of affected adoptees. So the next sub-set on your spectrum would be ‘pretty disturbed’ but not ‘as disturbed’ as those with ACS — and next to that sub-set and other sub-sets affected, but to a lesser degree, and on and on down that spectrum….clear on down to the other end of the spectrum where we’d find adoptees who ‘fair pretty well despite being adopted.'”

Kirschner never responded.

Until the 2002 book, Chosen Children, and AmFOR’s web page athttp://www.amfor.net/killers/ made this information available, free on Internet, no one work had linked the majority of serial killers and others by the abnormality of their adoptive status. Increasingly, profilers, psychologists, sociologists, educators, journalists, script writers, defense attorneys and other researchers understand and explain adoptees’ behaviors in the context of their adoptions.

Interestingly, in 2007, David Kirschner, PhD, announced his new book, “Adoption: Uncharted Waters,” resurrecting his nearly abandoned “Adopted Child Syndrome” terminology; and his new book finally acknowledges cases of adoptees who committed homicide. Kirschner even goes so far as to suggest how to treat and prevent Adopted Child Syndrome. A browse of this website more than suggests the best way to prevent Adopted Child Syndrome is to prevent adoption.


A Casey Family Programs/Harvard Medical School study finds “rates of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD] among foster care alumni are up to twice as high as for U.S. war veterans!” Adoption has also produced an epidemic of disturbed kids, as hundreds of “examples” on this page beg the question: (1) WHY is the number of known Serial Killers, who are known to be adopted, disproportionate to the general population who are Serial Killers? and (2) WHY are there twice as many Adopted Killers who are known to be in the category “Adoptees Who Killed Their Adopters?”

On 9-17-07, after years of political waffling on his own theory of Adopted Child Syndrome, New York Psychotherapist David Kirschner, MD, finally acknowledged “The Connection Between Adoption and Murder,” but targets sealed adoptions, athttp://www.crimemagazine.com/07/adoptionforensics,0919-7.htm. This was five years after Lori Carangelo’s revealing statistical and anecdotal research on the subject in her book, “Chosen Children,” (originally published in 2002 by scholarly book publisher, Schenkman Books, now a free download athttp://www.amfor.net/chosenchildren/). Carangelo finds that competing interests of parents, adopters and adoptee, and how the adoption itself is perceived and handled in the adoptive family, even in so-called “open” and stepparent adoptions, is crucial to the child’s outcome.


In “MY ARMENIAN GENESIS: The Last Survivor” athttp://ArmenianAncestryBook.com – author Mary L. Foess (Judith Movsisian) exemplifies the adopted individual’s dilemma of a dual existence — one that demands suppression of pain from actual or perceived rejection while accepting as “normal” the abnormal status of one whose origins are secret — and one that compels a search for normalcy of familial relationships. Mary’s book lays bare not only her own feelings and admissions, but also the complexities of those who hold the answers to family secrets and who fear the proverbial “knock on the door” from an adoptee so obsessed by her need to know and to be accepted.

In “FORBIDDEN FAMILY” at http://ForbiddenFamily.com – author Joan Wheeler (Sipple), an adoptee who is a social worker, adoption reform activist, advocate for donor offspring and a suicide prevention and crisis counselor who has, for years, suffered clinical depression and battled thoughts of suicide, reveals how being adopted by strangers as a “half orphan” created the emotional abuse that has dominated her life ever since.

Chronological List of Psychopathology Studies

1937 David M. Levy, “Primary Affect Hunger,” American Journal of Psychiatry 94 (November 1937):643-652.
1937 Sydney Tarachow, “The Disclosure of Foster-Parentage to a Boy: Behavior Disorders and Other Psychological Problems Resulting,” American Journal of Psychiatry 94 (September 1937):401-412
1938 Edwina A. Cowan, “Some Emotional Problems Besetting the Lives of Foster Children,” Mental Hygiene 22 (July 1938):454-458.
1941 Robert P. Knight, “Some Problems in Selecting and Rearing Adopted Children,” Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic 5 (May 1941):65-74.
1942 Elsie Stonesifer, “The Behavior Difficulties of Adopted and Own Children,”Smith College Studies in Social Work, vol 13 (November-December 1942):161.
1944 Houston McKee Mitchell, “Adopted Children as Patients of a Mental Hygiene Clinic,” Smith College Studies in Social Work 15 (1944):122-123.
1952 E. Wellisch, “Children Without Genealogy�A Problem of Adoption,” Mental Health 13 (1952):41-42.
1953 Portia Holman, “Some Factors in the Aetiology of Maladjusted Children,”Journal of Mental Science 99 (1953):654-688.
1953 Bernice T. Eiduson and Jean B. Livermore, “Complications in Therapy with Adopted Children,” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 23 (October 1953):795-802
1954 National Association for Mental Health, A Survey Based on Adoption Case Records (London: National Association for Mental Health, 1954 est.).
1960 Marshall D. Schechter, “Observations on Adopted Children,” Archives of General Psychiatry 3 (July 1960):21-32.
1961 M.L. Kellmer Pringle, “The Incidence of Some Supposedly Adverse Family Conditions and of Left-Handedness in Schools for Maladjusted Children,”British Journal of Educational Psychology 31, no. 2 (June 1961):183-193.
1961 Bruce Gardner, Glenn R. Hawkes, and Lee G. Burchinal, “Noncontinuous Mothering in Infancy and Development in Later Childhood,” Child Development32 (June 1961):225-234.
1962 Betty K. Ketchum, “An Exploratory Study of the Disproportionate Number of Adopted Children Hospitalized at Columbus Children’s Psychiatric Hospital” (Masters Thesis, Ohio State University, 1962).
1962 Povl W. Toussieng, “Thoughts Regarding the Etiology of Psychological Difficulties in Adopted Children,” Child Welfare (February 1962):59-65, 71.
1962 Frances Lee Anderson Menlove, “Acting Out Behavior in Emotionally Disturbed Adopted Children” (Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1962).
1963 Michael Humphrey and Christopher Ounsted, “Adoptive Families Referred for Psychiatric Advice,” British Journal of Psychiatry 109 (1963):599-608.
1963 Jerome D. Goodman, Richard M. Silberstein, and Wallace Mandell, “Adopted Children Brought to Child Psychiatric Clinic,” Archives of General Psychiatry 9, no. 5 (November 1963):451-456.
1964 Marshall D. Schechter et al., “Emotional Problems in the Adoptee,”Archives of General Psychiatry 10 (February 1964):109-118.
1964 H. J. Sants, “Genealogical Bewilderment in Children with Substitute Parents,”British Journal of Medical Psychology 37, no. 1964 (1964):133-141.
1964 H. David Kirk, Shared Fate: A Theory of Adoption and Mental Health (New York: The Free Press of Glencoe, 1964).
1965 Frances Lee Menlove, “Aggressive Symptoms in Emotionally Disturbed Adopted Children,” Child Development 36, no. 2 (June 1965):519-532.
1966 Nathan M. Simon and Audrey G. Senturia, “Adoption and Psychiatric Illness,”American Journal of Psychiatry 122, no. 8 (February 1966):858-868.
1966 H. David Kirk, “Are Adopted Children Especially Vulnerable to Stress? A Critique of Some Recent Assertions,” Archives of General Psychiatry 14 (March 1966):291-298.
1966 Alfred Kadushin, “Adoptive Parenthood: A Hazardous Adventure?,” Social Work (July 1966):30-39.
1968 Shirley A. Reece and Barbara Levin, “Psychiatric Disturbances in Adopted Children: A Descriptive Study,” Social Work (January 1968):101-111.
1970 Marshall D. Schechter, “About Adoptive Parents,” in Parenthood: Its Psychology and Psychopathology, eds. E. James Anthony and Therese Benedek (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1970), 353-371.
1975 Arthur D. Sorosky, Annette Baran, and Reuben Pannor, “Identity Conflicts in Adoptees,” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 45 (January 1975):18-27.
1988 David Kirschner and Linda S. Nagel, “Antisocial Behavior in Adoptees: Patterns and Dynamics,” Child and Adolescent Social Work 5, no. 4 (Winter 1988):300-314.
1990 David Kirschner, “The Adopted Child Syndrome: Considerations for Psychotherapy,” Psychotherapy in Private Practice 8, no. 3 (1990):93-100.
1990 David Brodzinsky and Marshall Schechter, eds., The Psychology of Adoption(New York: Oxford University Press, 1990).
1993 Nancy Newton Verrier, The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child(Baltimore, MD: Gateway Press, 1993).
1995 Katarina Wegar, “Adoption and Mental Health: A Theoretical Critique of the Psychopathological Model,” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 65 (October 1995):540-548.
1998 Joyce Maguire Pavao, The Family of Adoption (Boston: Beacon Press, 1998).

Vicky Haigh flees the babysnatchers

Good luck Vicky yet another mother who has had to flee the barbaric child protection and family court system here in the UK.

And i would like to just mention a few things to the social workers and police who have subjected this lady to all this stress. I accuse you all of abusing her unborn child and what about this unborn childs human rights ?

“Per curiam. If the state, in the guise of a local authority, seeks to remove a baby from his parents at a time when its case against the parents has not yet even been established, then the very least the state can do is to make generous arrangements for contact, those arrangements being driven by the needs of the family and not stunted by lack of resources. Typically, if this is what the parents want, one will be looking to contact most days of the week and for lengthy periods. Local authorities also had to be sensitive to the wishes of a mother who wants to breast-feed, and should make suitable arrangements to enable her to do so, and not merely to bottle-feed expressed breast milk. Nothing less would meet the imperative demands of the European Convention on Human Rights.”…
In the matter of unborn baby M; R (on the application of X and another) v Gloucestershire County Council. Citation: BLD 160403280; [2003] EWHC 850 (Admin). Hearing Date: 15 April 2003 Court: Administrative Court. Judge: Munby J. Abstract. Published Date 16/04/2003

Babies in womb feel mothers’ anxiety at only four months

Women who suffer stress during pregnancy transmit their anxiety to their unborn child from as early as 17 weeks, research indicates.
Stress levels in foetuses only four months old — about the time the pregnancy starts to show — rise and fall in line with those of their mothers’.
The findings prompted calls for employers, family and friends to be aware of the risks and offer more help to moth-ers-to-be.
“For the first time, there’s solid evidence to show that an unborn child may be exposed to maternal stress as early as 17 weeks in development,” said Claire Friars, a midwife for Tommy’s, the baby charity.
“What is now clear is that high levels of stress in pregnancy can, in some cases, be detrimental to the health of the baby and to remain as stress-free as possible is certainly important. It is vital that pregnant women are given adequate support and reassurance from their family, friends and employers, to ensure they have a happy and healthy pregnancy.
A recent survey of 1,000 mothers-to-be conducted by Tommy’s found that pregnant women regularly felt stress at work. One in ten said that their employer was unsupportive when they announced their pregnancy and a quarter felt under pressure from employers who expected them to work just as they did before they became pregnant.
The research measured the stress hormone cortisol in the mother’s blood and in the amniotic fluid around the baby.
As the mother’s stress rose, so did that of the baby, according to Professor Vivette Glover at Imperial College London and consultant obstetrician Pampa Sarkar, of Wexham Park Hospital in Berkshire.
“We do not wish to unduly worry pregnant women. It should be remembered that one of the best ways for people to avoid general stress is to lead a healthy, balanced lifestyle,” Dr Sarker said.
“We are all a product of our developmental history. One of the times when we are most susceptible to the influences of our surrounding environment is when we are developing as a foetus in our mother’s womb. We found that the strength of this correlation became stronger with increasing gestational age. We now need to carry out further work to unravel the mechanisms by which maternal stress affects the foetus, both during foetal life and through into childhood.”
The theory behind the effect is that foetal programming is supposed to prepare babies for the life they will experience outside the womb. If the mother faced serious dangers, the baby had to be programmed to be born into a dangerous world. But these hangovers from the evolutionary past are no longer relevant, Professor Glover said.
The research is published in the May edition of Clinical Endocrinology. Professor Glover has previously shown a link between stress in pregnancy and the baby’s IQ. The greater the stress felt by the mother, measured by cortisol levels, the lower the IQ. The babies of stressed mothers were also more likely to be anxious and to show signs of attention-deficit disorder.

Women who suffer stress during pregnancy transmit their anxiety to their unborn child from as early as 17 weeks, research indicates.
Stress levels in foetuses only four months old — about the time the pregnancy starts to show — rise and fall in line with those of their mothers’.
The findings prompted calls for employers, family and friends to be aware of the risks and offer more help to moth-ers-to-be.
“For the first time, there’s solid evidence to show that an unborn child may be exposed to maternal stress as early as 17 weeks in development,” said Claire Friars, a midwife for Tommy’s, the baby charity.
“What is now clear is that high levels of stress in pregnancy can, in some cases, be detrimental to the health of the baby and to remain as stress-free as possible is certainly important. It is vital that pregnant women are given adequate support and reassurance from their family, friends and employers, to ensure they have a happy and healthy pregnancy.
A recent survey of 1,000 mothers-to-be conducted by Tommy’s found that pregnant women regularly felt stress at work. One in ten said that their employer was unsupportive when they announced their pregnancy and a quarter felt under pressure from employers who expected them to work just as they did before they became pregnant.
The research measured the stress hormone cortisol in the mother’s blood and in the amniotic fluid around the baby.
As the mother’s stress rose, so did that of the baby, according to Professor Vivette Glover at Imperial College London and consultant obstetrician Pampa Sarkar, of Wexham Park Hospital in Berkshire.
“We do not wish to unduly worry pregnant women. It should be remembered that one of the best ways for people to avoid general stress is to lead a healthy, balanced lifestyle,” Dr Sarker said.
“We are all a product of our developmental history. One of the times when we are most susceptible to the influences of our surrounding environment is when we are developing as a foetus in our mother’s womb. We found that the strength of this correlation became stronger with increasing gestational age. We now need to carry out further work to unravel the mechanisms by which maternal stress affects the foetus, both during foetal life and through into childhood.”
The theory behind the effect is that foetal programming is supposed to prepare babies for the life they will experience outside the womb. If the mother faced serious dangers, the baby had to be programmed to be born into a dangerous world. But these hangovers from the evolutionary past are no longer relevant, Professor Glover said.
The research is published in the May edition of Clinical Endocrinology. Professor Glover has previously shown a link between stress in pregnancy and the baby’s IQ. The greater the stress felt by the mother, measured by cortisol levels, the lower the IQ. The babies of stressed mothers were also more likely to be anxious and to show signs of attention-deficit disorder.

Vicky Haigh flees the babysnatchers

Using parliamentary privilege, John Hemming MP has named renowned jockey and trainer Vicky Haigh as the woman threatened with imprisonment for speaking to him, writes Christopher Booker.

VIcki Haigh is well known and respected in the world of horse racing

VIcki Haigh is well known and respected in the world of horse racing Photo: PA/GARETH COPLEY
Christopher Booker

By Christopher Booker 7:00PM BST 30 Apr 2011

Last week brought two further startling developments in a story I reported a fortnight ago, concerning a heavily pregnant mother summoned at very short notice to the London High Court to show why she should not be imprisoned. Among the charges against her were that she had spoken at a meeting in Parliament convened by the All Party Group of MPs on family law related issues.

On Tuesday, the convenor of that meeting, John Hemming MP, who has been at the centre of the much-publicised campaign against excessive court secrecy and “super-injunctions”, used parliamentary privilege to name the mother on the floor of the House, which is why it can now be reported. On a point of order, he referred to “Vicky Haigh, a horse trainer and former jockey” as the subject of “an attempt by Doncaster council to imprison her for speaking at a meeting in Parliament”.

We can still say nothing about the case which led to the increasingly controversial order Miss Haigh was alleged to have breached. But it may be added that her successes as a trainer and a jockey have made her very well-known in the racing world.

The other new twist to this story, which I can also report because it is a wholly different case, not yet the subject of legal proceedings, is that last week Miss Haigh took flight from Britain to Ireland, because she had apparently been forewarned that the social services of another local authority, Nottinghamshire, were planning to seize her baby when it is born in two weeks’ time. Her new child is by a partner with whom she has lived happily for six years, as a loved stepmother to his three children. They were all much looking forward to the new addition to the family.

It is hard to imagine the ordeals to which this prospective mother has been subjected in the final stages of her pregnancy, which, as I reported earlier, included being arrested and held for much of 65 hours in fetid police cells. Three times she had to be rushed to hospital because of complications with her pregnancy, but each time the police took her back to the cells. They finally released her, exhausted, three days after her arrest.

In escaping abroad to evade England’s “family protection” system, Miss Haigh is following the example of an increasing number of parents desperate to avoid their loved children being seized. Dozens of others have fled, often at great personal cost, to foreign jurisdictions such as Ireland, Sweden, Spain, Uganda or northern Cyprus (though councils have been known to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money trying to get the children back).

The excuse social workers increasingly favour to justify seizing newborn babies from parents is that the child might be “at risk of emotional abuse”. This is an innuendo so vague and emotive that it can be made – and too often accepted by judges – without social workers having to produce any evidence that can be proved or disproved. “Emotional abuse” is now used in more than 50 per cent of cases where children are taken into care.

Fortunately for Miss Haigh, as she prepares for her child’s birth, she has many friends in the Irish racing world who have given her a warm welcome. She is a strong woman – a quality she may have inherited from her father, the footballer Jack Haigh, much respected in his day – and she is determined to fight for the right to have her family. We have not heard the end of this disturbing story.

For legal reasons, comments are disabled on this story.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/8485742/Vicky-Haigh-flees-the-babysnatchers.html

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