UKCORRUPTFAMILYCOURTS

December 8, 2012

CHRISTMAS NUMBER ONE !

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December 4, 2012

After nearly 7 years of hell at the hands of this local authority

They are now being sued never ever give up x

EXPECT ME !

May 25, 2012

Anyone with feedback on Staffordshire Social Services Family workers

My child nearly suffered injury three times by a family worker who works in care and court planning team.

1. She failed to strap child into buggy causing child to fall out .

2. She failed to remove tray from highchair and pulled child out of chair causing child extreme pain and sctaches on her legs.

3. She places hot drinks on floor where child is playing .

4. She used contact time to get her own personal photographs .

5. all she does in contact is plays SODOKU

And these idiots are meant to supervide us and they don’t know even the basics of safety and wellbeing for our children ?

April 25, 2012

Have you seen this child . She has just been snatched from a delivery suite by staffordshire county council

Thi is the picture of  JENNY Sahota social worker waiting in delivery suite to snatch child.      AMBER ALERT mising child snatched from delivery suite at Burton Hospital by Marian Richards et al team denying a child of its breastmilk is against the childs HUMAN RIGHTS justice munby. Image

September 3, 2011

BLOWING THE WHISTLE – CHILD STEALING BY THE STATE

BLOWING THE WHISTLE – CHILD STEALING BY THE STATE

( Sunday 23rd October 2011) – Part of a 2 day event on 22/23 October 2011

Conference – Kings Hall – Glebe Street – Stoke On Trent

This is not a conference to discuss ‘issues’ and ‘concerns’ with children. and to set out a way to ‘help reform the system’ as some MPs suggest

This is a conference to expose and bring to trial those helping the State to Steal and Abuse Children. We will Name Name’s, Departments, Authorities, Organisations, Judges, MPs, Police, Psychiatrists and more. With help of those attending, we will expose the real evidence for:

MASSIVE STATE SPONSORED CHILD ABUSE AND TRAFFICKING AND COVER-UPS BY THE STATE AND ITS AGENTS

Have you experienced any of the following:

Children taken under false pretences ?

Bullying by Children’s Services, Cafcass, Local Authority ?

False verbal and documentary evidence in Court ?

Collusion behind your back by your Legal Team with the Local Authority legal team ?

MPs ignoring you and your plight ?

Child(ren) being abused in the ‘care’ of Children’s Services ?

Mental breakdown because of the attack on your family ?

Do you hold information and evidence concerning:

State trafficking of children ?

Falsifying of Family Court Documents ?

Children disappearing into the care system ?

Police deliberately blocking investigations into child abuse rings ?

Misinformation by the BBC and mainstream media ?

False help and support groups, charities and people ?

We need you and your evidence. We need you in numbers, because the State hides the evidence by isolating victims or controlling the support to whom you turn. By making out that only a few isolated families are affected the State can control national media to hide the truth.

Have you attended meetings in Westminster that ‘pat you on the head’ and achieve nothing ? – then you need to attend and be an active participant in Blowing the Whistle – Child Stealing by the State.

Please provide a 2 page summary of the basic facts of your case and indicate evidence that you hold. We will provide a pro-forma to help you do this. Active participants will be asked to provide evidence for use at the conference. Real evidence is vital to stopping the unlawful abuse of families and children.

PLEASE CONTACT THE UK COLUMN – TEL: 01752 478050 – EMAIL: childstealingbythestate@ukcolumn.org

August 1, 2011

Staffordshire Local Authority

You should know by now i will not be bullied over raising legitimate concerns over your staff . I will be compiling a press release about this .

April 23, 2011

Pregnant woman threatened with prison for breach of gagging order

Pregnant woman threatened with prison for breach of gagging order

By Andy McSmith

Saturday, 23 April 2011

The woman, who was eight months pregnant, drove for several hours to get to courtALAMY

The woman, who was eight months pregnant, drove for several hours to get to court

Parliament is being urged to intervene in the case of a heavily pregnant woman who was threatened with prison for naming her local council during a public meeting in the House of Commons.

The woman is subject to a sweeping family court order which makes it an offence to identify her, or the council involved, or any council staff involved, or to say what the case is about. It makes it illegal for her to seek publicity for the case, or for anyone else to approach her for information about it.

It is an example of the kind of gagging order which family courts have the power to issue, to protect the vulnerable, but there are fears that they can also be used as a convenient device for local officials who do not want controversial decisions to be subjected to public scrutiny.

They are distinct from the injunctions increasingly obtained by wealthy or famous men – and nearly all are men – who do not want the media publicising their sexual peccadilloes or information that may harm their businesses.

The increasing use of injunctions prompted David Cameron to say this week that he has become worried that judges, rather then Parliament, are creating a privacy law. John Hemming, the Liberal Democrat MP who has been campaigning against the spread of gagging orders, said yesterday he has referred the woman’s case to the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, because of the questions it raises about free speech. “I have referred this issue to Mr Speaker for a reference to the Standards and Privileges Committee,” he said yesterday.

He also plans to use parliamentary privilege to reveal the name of the local authority when Parliament returns after Easter.

Three weeks ago, Mr Hemming chaired a meeting in the Commons to discuss whether there is too much secrecy around family courts and courts of protection, to which the public were invited. Guest speakers included Anthony Douglas, head of the Court and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) which protects the interests of children in family court cases.

During the meeting, the woman, who was in the audience, spoke about her own experience, referring to a council and a social worker by name. Two weeks later, she received a summons to appear at the Royal Courts of Justice.

The message implied that she faced prison, though she learnt when she arrived in court that the council was not seeking to have her locked up. In the meantime, she had consulted a solicitor and engaged a barrister, leaving her with a legal bill of around £10,000.

Although she is notallowed to talk about the case itself, the woman described to The Independent yesterday what happened after her visit to the Commons. “I had been encouraged by different people to speak to MPs after I had had no joy with the council complaints procedures, so I thought ‘there’s an MP and the head of CAFCASS in the same room’ – that’s why I went,” she said.

“When I got the summons I was shocked. I only found out at a quarter to seven on Monday that on Wednesday morning I had to appear in court in London. I live hours away by car and I’m nearly eight months pregnant, but I got there. I thought it was sensible to attend. I didn’t know what I had done wrong. I was totally shocked that it was to do with a meeting in Parliament.”

Mr Hemming, who is collecting information on injunctions to present to the Commons Justice Committee, sees the case as a striking example that the courts, rather than MPs, are making decisions about privacy and free speech.

“With the judges acting to reduce freedom of speech it becomes even more important to protect freedom of speech in Parliament,” he said yesterday. “Citizens should be allowed to raise problems with MPs. The names of the local authority and the mother have to remain unspoken because of injunctions. But it is my intention to reveal this using parliamentary privilege when Parliament reconvenes next week. People need to know what is being done in their name. The truth must come out.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/pregnant-woman-threatened-with-prison-for-breach-of-gagging-order-2273736.html

April 19, 2011

Please post your gagging orders to John Hemming MP, House of Commons, London . STOP THE SECRET FAMILY COURTS !

Quaero Injunctions and the Inquiry

John Hemming MP, who is campaigning against excessive and unlawful court secrecy, has launched an inquiry in parliament into the growing numbers of gagging orders.

“I will be collecting a range of different gagging orders,” he said, “and then analysing and sorting them into different categories. I will then produce a number of parliamentary petitions summarising the details and pass them to the Justice Select Committee for further investigation.”

“What is clear,” he said, “is that almost all of the super and hyper injunctions have no public judgment. That means that they are not compliant with the rules for a fair trial. There is also the question as to whether there should be an automatic time limit on an interim order. Many cases have an interim order and no final hearing. This is clearly wrong. We also need to know what the costs are both for the applicant and for the media in defending these orders. It is wrong to have a system whereby people can buy the sort of justice they want. That is a contravention of Clause 29 of Magna Carta 1297 (which is still in force).”

“A good example of an injunction that is handled properly is that relating to ZAM and CFW/TFW. This is accompanied by a published judgment. However, what is not in the published judgment is the amount of costs awarded although the fact of the awarding of costs is in the judgment. The judgment should reveal the amount of costs as well.”

New type of injunction – the Quaeroinjunction

Mr Hemming has also revealed a new type of injunction against investigative journalism. “I have recently seen a gagging order that prevents people seeking information about a case from the parties. This goes a step further than preventing people speaking out against injustice. It also puts any investigative journalist at risk if they ask any questions of a victim of a potential miscarriage of justice.

“I call this the the Quaeroinjunction, after the latin work “to seek”. I don’t think this should be allowed in English courts. It has the effect of preventing journalists from speaking to people subject to this injunction without a risk of the journalist going to jail. That is a recipe for hiding miscarriages of justice.”

“Anyone who has a gagging injunction that they would like to go into this proceeding in parliament should post it to me at John Hemming MP, House of Commons, London SW1 0AA.”

ENDS

Notes for Editors
Magna Carta Clause 29 is here

Article 6 ECHR is here

April 17, 2011

A mother is threatened with imprisonment for talking to her MP

A mother is threatened with imprisonment for talking to her MP

The high-handed power of social workers and the courts, working in tandem, threatens even the privileges of Parliament, writes 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 16 Apr 201148 Comments

Last week a heavily pregnant woman, whose name is known to millions but whom I am forbidden by law to identify, was summoned to the High Court at very short notice to show why she should not be imprisoned. The charges against her, brought by a local authority I cannot name, were that she might or might not have been in breach of a court order restraining her freedom to speak about a matter which, again, I am prohibited from identifying.

One of these charges was that she attended a meeting, held last month in Westminster Hall, of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on family protection issues, at the invitation of John Hemming MP. He has been campaigning for greater justice and transparency in our highly secretive family protection system, on behalf of families torn apart by social workers for what appear to be no good reasons.

The main speaker at the meeting, the theme of which was transparency in the family courts, was Anthony Douglas, the chief executive of Cafcass (Children and Family Courts Advisory and Support Service), the state body which purports to represent the interests of children. When the woman raised concerns over the conduct of her case – which, as she understood it, was the meeting’s purpose – it was reported back to the council concerned. This contribution was listed among her alleged breaches of a court order which dictates that she must say nothing about her case to anyone outside the system.

In open court last week, it was stated that the local authority had agreed not to demand her imprisonment, providing that she also obeyed new conditions that forbid her to speak about her case to the media or to any “other persons as the parties may think fit”.

In addition, as I learned from John Hemming, a letter “agreed by all the parties” was sent to him by the woman’s solicitors, requesting him not to make any reference to her case in Parliament. By ancient parliamentary privilege, MPs are entitled to raise in Parliament cases where they believe that the conduct of authorities or the courts has been so questionable that normal rules of secrecy should not protect them from public disclosure. Mr Hemming replied to the lawyers that they were “clearly seeking to influence what I say in Parliament. The case already has aspects which are in contempt of Parliament” and their letter added a further element which “I am inclined to ask should be referred to the Standards and Privileges Committee”.

It is difficult to believe, he continued, “when a mother has been threatened with imprisonment for talking to me, that an agreement come to in a court is come to willingly by all parties. It strikes me as an agreement arising as a result of duress.” Mr Hemming went on to say that, before referring to the Speaker a letter which he saw as being “in contravention of the law of Parliament”, he wished the lawyers to explain why he should “feel comfortable that this is something your client should have agreed to without having been threatened with imprisonment and/or the removal of her child at birth”.

He emphasised that he had no intention of disclosing any “information relating to the care proceedings which could be linked to your client or the child”. But from long experience of such cases, he saw the letter “as an attempt by the system to bully your client in an attempt to influence proceedings in Parliament”. He concluded that he would be entitled to “debate the constitutional issues raised simply by naming your client and raising the issues of her treatment by the police and the authorities’ attempts to punish her for her comments to the All-Party Parliamentary Group” .

The mention of the police referred, inter alia, to a recent episode where the mother, who is seven months pregnant, was arrested and held on and off in police cells over a period of 60 hours. Three times she was rushed to hospital in serious distress due to complications in her pregnancy. She was then dragged from her hospital bed after midnight to spend several more hours in a dirty cell, before finally being released.

As Mr Hemming sums the situation up: “There are many very disturbing aspects of this case, about which I cannot yet say as much as I would like. But it appears to be a very extreme example of the lengths to which the family protection system will go to hide its activities from responsible scrutiny by Parliament and the media.”

Real-time updating is enabled.

29 minutes ago
Here Here I so agree with you on that 🙂

Yesterday 11:50 PM
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And here’s me thinking that the SS only ran Hitler’s death camps.

Yesterday 11:40 PM
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Has anyone raised this with the relevant authorities? That is: the Head of Legal Services and the Director of Children’s Services at Doncaster Council; the Chief Constable of Doncaster Constabulary and the Chief Constable of Humberside Constabulary; and also the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority.

If not can I suggest that whomever is representing Ms Haigh do so at once?

On the face of the complaint made Ms Haigh appears to have been the victim of perjury, harassment, wrongful arrest and false imprisonment. As well as police misconduct, and incompetence/dishonesty of social workers.

BTW: it is a criminal offence for someone to claim to be a solicitor when they are not.

Yesterday 11:33 PM
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5 people
Ah, England. Destroyed from the inside. It’s enough to make me convert to Islam.

35 minutes ago
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1 person
I love it, at least we would have more rights than we do at the moment and we would NEVER lose our children on a whim like they take brits at the moment.

Yesterday 11:14 PM
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This is horrific.

Yesterday 10:39 PM
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The courts and the ss’s behaviour smacks of intimidation and it is a disgusting way to behave.

Their behaviour has been building up to this for over 20 years.

Their need to have absolute control over others suggest the people who enter these professions have some sort of psychological disorders and quite frankly it is they who should be locked up.

They do it, because they can get away with it. Politicians have sat on the fence for a good 10 years, time for this appalling institutional abuse to be stopped.

I hope John Hemming MP names them (not his constituent) and discloses their behaviour in Parliament. Then it is captured in Hansard. What are they going to do try and get him arrested for doing his job?

Yesterday 10:42 PM
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Spot on Oldmaid. I have been thinking for ages that they have psychological disorders. They seem to be sociopaths. Cartimandua is a brilliant example.

Yesterday 10:08 PM
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Cartimandua of course says that MPs should not raise matters in Parliament if told not to by solicitors in the family courts division ! Perhaps MPs should also submit their speeches to social workers before they say anything?

Yesterday 09:59 PM
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Why isn’t this a headline on the front page?

Yesterday 11:09 PM
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3 people
Because editors value their liberty, perhaps?

Yesterday 09:58 PM
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The womans solicitors who knew about all of it asked that Hemmings not bring it all up and he did anyway.

2a letter “agreed by all the parties” was sent to him by the woman’s solicitors, requesting him not to make any reference to her case in Parliament.”

Brilliant genius well no, an abuse of his position.

33 minutes ago
@ Cartmandanua, do you know something I don’t expect any other kind of comments than like this from a “Professional Troll” like yourself and all your colleges whom work with you, I mean you are one of the ones who will go to extreme lengths to keep the Courts closed so that nothing can be reported so you will never be caught out for the bull that you and the rest spout”

Yesterday 10:55 PM
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Why should this woman not be able to speak to her MP?

What statute states a constituent cannot talk to their MP if they are involved in a civil Court case?

Kubizek
Yesterday 10:31 PM
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What a strange comment. The MP is there to represent the public interest as he sees fit. He is accountable to his electorate, not the Courts.

Yesterday 10:29 PM
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Carty – out for the evening or the weekend? Got your tag on?

You really are an idiot, aren’t you? I elect my MP to look after my interests and that is precisely what Hemmings was doing – what he was elected for.

Go and read the link IJ left earlier and tell me that the events and shady doings by the police in that are acceptable practice.

If our MPs are going to be gagged, and that includes the Family Courts, then that is the rest of our democracy out of the window. People like you need to be held accountable.

Guest
Yesterday 10:49 PM
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Comment removed.

Yesterday 11:01 PM
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cartimandua

That’s odd, an constituent can’t talk to her MP about it. A journalist cannot mention it.

But you can and in a newspaper!

I think you have just blown your purported right to secrecy.

Yesterday 09:53 PM
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This woman should have been jailed for the rest of her life,and to all the others on here who are moaning i would have you all rounded up and shot,this is a free democratic country,you can say what you like as long as you are in the bath by yourself when doing so,we are govened by honest, good,god fearing politicians who spend their every waking hour working for us, I fell very proud and so should you be,by the way, Hugh-oxford,you will have called at a bad time,expenses fiddling now takes a lot longer,so a bit more concentration is needed,try and be a bit more thoughtful in future,yes?.

Yesterday 10:04 PM
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My Lord Barnett (or should it be Comrade Barnett) – Presumably you’re in the Upper House and not biased about our honest, god fearing politicians?

Yesterday 10:16 PM
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Tollie, Is he extracting the urine? I ask myself.
Real-time updating is enabled.

Yesterday 09:42 PM
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If the link in my previous comment is to be believed it would seem that the mother in question could well be Vicky Haigh,the well known ex supermodel, also well known in the horse racing world as an ex jockey who was the first lady rider to win the military cup at Sandown and who was invited to tea with the Queen as a consequence !,She is also an ex trainer of many winners on the best courses in the land and a PR lady/ambassador for Victor Chandler,who is now widely acknowledged as the top individual bookmaker operating on British racecourses !As a confirmed ” horse racing man” I certainly know of Vicky though I have never met her.
Could such a person be the one being persecuted by the “SS” ? Well if it’s not her she can sue me,but I reckon the police did not know who they were mistreating when they dragged her out of her hospital bed after midnight so they could sling this 7 month pregnant lady into a dirty uncomfortable cell” !Maybe they were hoping to provoke a premature birth so that the “SS” could confiscate her baby?

34 minutes ago
Ian I believe it to be from what I have heard about it in the past few weeks, Its a sad state of affairs when even people like Vicky are been gagged etc.

Yesterday 09:52 PM
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Thanks for the info.

tumper
Yesterday 09:42 PM
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The way the police and CAFFCASS have handled this case beggars belief. (apparently) Because we are only seeing one side of the story here.
Nevertheless…if the story is accurate, there has to be a high-level inquiry into the way the police, the courts and the social care heirarchy are subverting the role of democracy.

Captain Lump Sum
Yesterday 09:38 PM
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We are bombing Libya right now to stop this kind of persecution happening. Looks like we need to start in South Yorkshire.

Yesterday 10:17 PM
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And the High Court Captain!.

Yesterday 09:36 PM
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This is evil.

Yesterday 09:04 PM
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Bout time our elected representatives reasserted the sovereignty of parliament over the family courts.

This is surely a shocking stae of affairs tha all parents should be wary of.

Blackadder2
Yesterday 09:00 PM
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I would hope that this could be referred to the House of Commons Privileges Committee.

I see no reason why any person, be they solicitor, barrister or Judge, who is involved in attempts to restrict the right of citizens to have access to their MP ought not be imprisoned in the Tower of the House of Commons for contempt of Parliament, without limit of time.

If that were to happen, and Her Majesty had no judges left, we might find a solution to this problem.

Yesterday 08:48 PM
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I cannot think of any justification for dragging a heavily pregnant woman FROM HER HOSPITAL BED to put her in the cells,especially as her only offence (if indeed it was an offence) was to talk to her MP !

Yesterday 08:37 PM
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http://inquiringminds.cc/updat…

I was sent this link anonymously and I wonder if it refers to the events in Christopher’s column…….

Yesterday 09:57 PM
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IJ, even if it isn’t, it is appalling. Why would the police knock on the door of a heavily pregnant woman at 4:00 a.m.? There is no excuse, and if the baby is harmed in any way through the stress caused by the police, then they should be made to pay. It is victimisation and says a lot about today’s police.

It is well known that Doncaster isn’t a place to bring up children, the SS mafia there are renowned for their cruelty and incompetence.

Yesterday 11:18 PM
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“Why would the police knock on the door of a heavily pregnant woman at 4:00 a.m.?”

That’s the way the police do things under a Socialist regime.

Yesterday 11:16 PM
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Essex SS are just as bad.

Yesterday 08:32 PM
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Outrageous! But it should not be up to John Hemming to uphold Parliamentary privilege. That is the role of the Speaker.

What should happen is that he summons the judge and any other party to the Bar of the House, and reminds them that it is the duty of an MP to make representations to the Executive on behalf of their constituent, and anyone who interferes with this process is in contempt of Parliament.

Of course the Speaker will do no such thing, so Mr Hemming should not then feel bound by any lesser convention. He should speak out and name names. The public interest must prevail.

Yesterday 09:04 PM
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3 people
On reflection, if the judge jails Mr Hemming and the Speaker jails the judge – who wins?

15 minutes ago
The judge should be called before the house and told to apologise on bended knee.

Yesterday 11:18 PM
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The public.

Yesterday 08:30 PM
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23 people
My (Labour) MP threatened to call the police because I phoned her to complain about the levels of immigration. I haven’t contacted her since.

Jackthesmilingblack
Yesterday 10:32 PM
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3 people
Name the bitch.

AntonyUK
Yesterday 09:04 PM
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5 people
Are you at liberty to say who she is?

Yesterday 09:46 PM
Obviously hugh_oxford isn’t. Pity!!!

Captain Lump Sum
Yesterday 09:40 PM
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If she’s a female Labour Oxford MP there’s only one culprit, I believe.

Yesterday 10:30 PM
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Captain, A Labour MP in Oxford? what is wrong in that city?, mind you there is a lot wrong with the other crowd also!.

Yesterday 10:21 PM
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Of course he is, he’s in the same secure placement as Cartimandua. (But you have to humour them).

Yesterday 09:42 PM
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Surely some part(s) of the Human Rights Law is being breached here?

And where is Cartimandua, never the same without her. She was acting quite sane in the letters area earlier.

Yesterday 11:26 PM
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Human rights law doesn’t apply to law-abiding ethnically British tax-paying citizens.

Just try a trick like that with a black or Pakistani mother and see where it gets you, especially if they are in the country illegally or an “Asylum Seeker”.

April 11, 2011

Miscarriages of Justice in Contemporary Child Protection:a brief history and proposals for change Dr Lynne Wrennall

Miscarriages of Justice in Contemporary Child Protection:a brief history and proposals for changeÓPresentation by Dr Lynne Wrennall to the All Party Group on Abuse InvestigationsAttlee Suite, Portcullis House2.12.2004Dedication
I dedicate this paper to Victoria Climbie, to the children we have failed and to the process of becoming civilized. By civilization, I mean the process of getting things done without harming people.
Acknowledgements
I would like to acknowledge the considerable advice and guidance I received in preparing this paper. Many people contributed directly, indirectly and through the literature. I would also like to acknowledge all the sources cited in the Joint Statement.
Systemic Reform
This paper addresses the questions: what is wrong with the Child Protection system? What are the indicators of the need for change? Which changes will solve the problem?
In this paper, I intend to argue that the Child Protection system is harming children, families and communities. The failure to appropriately act on genuine reports of abuse and the pursuit of false allegations, are seen as two sides of the same coin. This is the problem of too many false positives and false negatives. The causes are inter-related and the solutions must focus on both sides of the problem.
The rapid expansion of the Child Protection discourse has resulted in a loss of focus. Too many normal, trivial and misinterpreted factors are accounted into Child Protection investigations. The general public quite rightly expects Child Protection to focus on genuine cases of child abuse and neglect, not to be involved in general issues in child rearing, health and social care. That Child Protection has been unable to retain the focus on abuse and neglect is the source of the crisis of credibility that the discourse now experiences.
This loss of focus is also linked to adverse health and social impacts. Too many families feel terrorized out of accessing services for their children and for themselves. Social exclusion is the consequence.
The misdiagnosis of abuse also means that children do not receive the appropriate health and social care to which they are legally entitled. In some cases, the result is that children are dying. Professionals are increasingly aware that referring children to Social Services may result in children and families being harmed rather than helped.
Unexplained health problems have been interpreted as abuse and the burden of proof has been reversed. Families rather than doctors have been forced to try to explain why their child was unwell. Unexplained infant death has become an area prone to miscarriages of Justice. As the number of infant and child deaths declines, the proportionate significance of commercially, financially and politically sensitive deaths is likely to increase. This matter must be squarely addressed. There is a very real danger that undisclosed and undisclosable causes of illness and death lead to miscarriages of justice involving wrongful conviction and removal of children from their families.
Wildly inaccurate markers of abuse, draw families into the Child Protection net. Yet cases of serious reported abuse are ignored. Families claim that the potential for Child Protection powers to be mis-used leaves their children unprotected against harm and exploitation. The context is one in which unvalidated models, frameworks, theories, techniques and tests are generating serious adverse health and social impacts. Within this context, Child Protection powers are detoured into purposes which are unconnected with the needs of children. A pattern of discredited approaches linked to inaccurate targeting and pervasive miscarriages of justice legitimates the claim that systemic reform is required.
Some diagnoses and tests have become almost emblematic of the distortions and distractions that have blighted Child Protection. Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy/Fabricated or Induced Illness (MSbP/FII) has attained a particular status as a grab bag of myths, mystifications and superstitions. This diagnosis is particularly available for mis-use because it’s markers fall within the broad range of normalacy. Almost anyone could be conceptualized as falling within the diagnostic criteria. MSbP/FII is believed to be associated with large scale miscarriages of justice because the allegation is located in narrative spin and requires no actual evidence of abuse. It joins the long line of discredited approaches to Child Protection, though it’s ambit may be greater than all the other categories of misdiagnosis.
As a closed system, Child Protection has not been able to hear and to respond adequately, to the feedback which has been aroused over more than two decades of criticism. Violation of the privacy of service users co-exists with secrecy over the everyday practices of the discourse. There is grave concern that the secrecy of the Child Protection discourse has concealed and encouraged malpractice by professionals. There is a body of evidence demonstrating that secrecy has concealed child endangerment within the Child Protection system. So deep is the loss of trust now experienced towards the Child Protection discourse that the aphorism, everybody makes mistakes, but doctors bury theirs is increasingly being replaced with, everybody makes mistakes but fostering and adoption conceal the evidence.
The current model of Child Protection in Britain asks professionals to talk amongst themselves but has silenced service users.  This model became an article of faith in UK Child Protection though, like other features of the system, it is without an evidence base. Service users are unable to directly communicate the harm which is done, because to do so would be to risk further punitive action. The direct feedback received by the system thereby understates the harm that is occurring. Social Workers are aware that the Child Protection system is doing harm, but they do not receive the evidence of the full extent of the harm which is occurring. Service Users eventually broke the silence.
Let’s take an example of a service: Alcoholics Anonymous. It’s called Alcoholics ANONYMOUS for very good reason, because if people’s anonymity and confidentiality is not guaranteed, many people will not access the service. In Britain, the problem is that people are afraid that if they access services they will have their children taken from them. If they don’t get the help they need then social problems are not solved and we are all the poorer for that.
However, to know what is wrong with Child Protection, we must know why and I am indebted to Eileen Munro for focusing me on this. Why does the system entertain false allegations and fail to protect children who are genuinely being abused and neglected? Harker and Kendall from the Institute of Public Policy Research have acknowledged a truth that Britain has taken a long time to accept, that the role expectations of forensic investigator and social worker are mutually contradictory. Combining these roles has meant that neither is done well.
The role of forensic investigator and gatherer of intelligence has eclipsed the role of social worker to such a high degree that little actual social work takes place. British children and families have tended to receive police work performed by social workers rather than social work, recognizable by any international standards.
Britain is almost alone in adopting a model of Child Welfare in which these roles are combined. It is not the only country, but one of the few. Social workers have long been aware of the tensions and contradictions between the roles of carer and controller. The dictum, “we sometimes control because we care,” quoted in the literature, was meant to resolve the contradiction. But putting words together in the same sentence is not the same as resolving the problem of irreconcilable role expectations.
The countries which have combined the roles of forensic investigator and social worker in the same personnel, in the same agencies are the countries whose Child Protection systems face the greatest crises of credibility. In Britain, the emphasis has been on proof rather than prevention, such an emphasis is not likely to engender support for the system.
Blending of the care and control functions is also known as linking social control and service provision. Service provision has suffered in the bargain. Large expenditure on intelligence gathering, assessment and surveillance has concealed the impoverishment of expenditure on genuine service provision. Service users and social workers alike, lament the lack of investment in genuine services for families. For fundholders though, something I have termed “nombyism,” the Not On My Budget phenomena takes over. “The service is great idea, but not on my budget.” [A phenomena similar to “Nimbyism,” Not In My Back Yard.]
Forgive me for turning to accountancy, but the Child Protection discourse is strongly dominated by the disciplines of accountancy and law. It makes short term financial sense for fundholders to opt for rapid forced closed adoption, rather than to invest in supplementary services to families in difficulty and in universal provision of preventative services. Rapid forcible closed adoption is an example of financial short termism. However, a full health and social audit would probably demonstrate false economy. Cost cutting on one budget, creates expense on another. Rapid closed forced adoption is probably an example of those small rationalities that together, work against the larger rationality. Similarly, undereducated and untrained staff offered short term budgetary relief. It is time we started to count the cost.
Authoritarian practices in Child Protection centred on control, surveillance, issuing of threats and orders, and severing children’s contact with their families of origin have been counter-productive to the best interests of children. Some of the most vulnerable children of all, are double orphans and to deprive children of their families of origin, de facto creates these children as double orphans. This is what the Children’s Act 1989 aimed to prevent, but the Act has been widely subverted, due to financial conflicts of interest.
A small minority of children removed from their families of origin find loving adopting parents, but fully one quarter of adopted children are returned to the Local Authority. Many children in the “Care” system are under protected against iatrogenic abuse and suffer very adverse outcomes. False allegations of child abuse and authoritarian approaches to families harm children.
We need to face some uncomfortable truths. We need to acknowledge that the Child Protection agenda has been hijacked by interests entirely unconnected with the best interests of children. We need to acknowledge that Child Protection has become a battleground in which the professions fight for their own interests. The bodies and lives of children and families have become the terrain in which they fight their small wars out.
The claim that “the interests of the child are paramount” has become a euphemism for ulterior motives and unacknowledged sectional interests. When strategies which mis-use Child Protection powers for ulterior motives become destructive to children and families, remedy and reform are appropriately sought.
Summary: What is Wrong?Irreconcilable and unclear role expectations.Nombyism.Inaccurate markers of abuse and neglect.Unexplained health problems assumed to be evidence of abuse.Reversal of the burden of proof.Emphasis on proof rather than prevention.Children not actually receiving social work.Financial short-termism.Absence of a true health and social audit.Mis-use of powers due to conflicts of interest.
Summary: Adverse Health and Social ImpactsHealth and social consequences from mis-diagnosis; children not receiving appropriate assessment, treatment and support.Parents and carers being intimidated out of accessing necessary services.Diversion of resources from genuine life-saving courses of action.Families suffering health and social consequences from the trauma of inappropriate assessment, false allegations and false inferences.Children suffering in the “Care” system.
Systemic Reform: Out of the Silence
There is substantial support for the view that reform of the Child Protection system is necessary. The indicators of the need for reform are expressed in parliamentary debate, judicial decisions, research findings, media reports, incorporation as themes in artistic and dramatic works, discussion in professional newsletters and email lists, discussion in cyberspace and in complaints to members of parliament, professional bodies, Health Authorities, Local Authorities and Local Government Ombudsmen. The indicators may be measured numerically and in terms of population diversity.
In the Service Users’ Joint Statement, some 47 research studies were coordinated together with comment and guidance from 50 or so constituencies of children and families, service providers, academics, consultants and other colleagues as part of a research project to determine what reforms in Child Protect were necessary. The reform agenda is underpinned by that research and by an extensive body of critical literature.
Some eighty or so Child Protection service user websites are now in existence addressing the problem of miscarriages of justice in Child Protection.  It should be pointed out that the majority of Child Protection service users are the falsely accused and falsely suspected and their children.
Media reports on miscarriages of justice in Child Protection are probably in the thousands. Approximately seventy families have allegedly complained to the GMC about so called expert witnesses. The number of complaints to other agencies is not currently known, but is believed to be widespread.
Over four hundred Child Protection miscarriages of justice have been identified in the public arena in Britain and America. Yet how many of the 52,00-78,000 British “looked after children” were obtained through miscarriages of justice is not yet known. More than thirty preventable deaths have occurred among children administered by Child Protection. The implications of more than eleven legal precedents are yet be to cascaded down through the system.
Summary: Indicators of the Need for Reform
Miscarriages of Justice. Preventable injury and deaths. Under servicing. Poor outcomes in “Care”Complaints to M.P.’s.Complaints to professional bodies, Health authorities, Local Authorities and the Local government Ombudsman.Legal precedents.Research studies.Media reports: articles in broadsheets and tabloids, letters to the editor, radio & TV news.Documentaries.Internet activity: number of websites, hit rate, participants in chat rooms.Demonstrations.Discussion in professional newsletters and email lists.Artistic and dramatic expression.
Systemic Reform: Listening to Feedback
When perceived needs for reform graduate to the status of expressed needs and are reproduced on a large scale by diverse populations in diverse settings, a political claim may be regarded as having been intensively and extensively made out. Taken together, the indicators of the need for reform are strong and pervasive. The reform agenda has thereby achieved the critical mass necessary to legitimately assert that reform of the Child Protection system is essential.
In speaking to the reform agenda, I wish to stress the importance of consulting health and social care service users and listening to the insights their perspectives generate. The reform agenda has developed from consultation with children and families and those who share their perspectives.
Recommendations for change include the need for the social policing and surveillance functions which characterize Child Protection to be separated from the service provision functions which enhance the lives of children and their families. Under the current British system, contradictory role expectations result in conflicts of interests which undermine the roles that professionals are expected to perform. Families feel intimidated out of accessing services by the presence of draconian Child Protection functions. If they are to be able to access the preventative and therapeutic services which enhance the lives of children and families, then Child Protection must be quarantined, only to be called in where there is genuine evidence of abuse and neglect. To hamper service provision to children and families with destructive and failing Child Protection practices is to fail to meet the needs of children and families.
Summary: The Reform AgendaPlace the needs of children and families at the heart of policy development.Create opportunities for children and families to exert influence at all levels.Use honest language: poisoning is poisoning, suffocation is suffocation.Create role clarity:  police do police work, social workers do social work. Reconceptualise the role of Social Worker to bring it into line with international standards and requirements.Remove conflicts of interest.Locate Social Workers in an independent location to allow them to use child centred and family centred practice and to exercise professional judgment.Favour universally available services over targeted services, as this reduces stigmatisation and traumatic assessment. Divert resources wasted on assessment into service provision.The principle of self-referral to replace coercion.Respect privacy and confidentiality so that people are able to access therapeutic and preventative services.Create transparency and respond appropriately to feedback.Implement the real intention of the 1989 Children’s Act. Reform legislation and policies which are in conflict with the Act.Shared Care: adopt the principle that a child cannot be loved too much. (Abandon closed adoption).Cascade down the implications of International Law on Human Rights.
Placing Children and Families at the Heart of Public Policy
I would like to return to where we started. To Victoria Climbie and to the children we have failed, to those we have failed utterly and completely. I would like to repeat, the question Charles Pragnell asked, “What would Victoria have wanted to happen?” I think it is unlikely that she would have repeated the refrain which has been offered after every Child Protection Inquiry into a Child death that “more communication among professionals is required.”
Victoria would not have wanted us to talk more, but to listen more. Not to speak about her, but to speak to her. She may have wanted to return to the care of her parents. She may have wanted to attend Boarding School. She would have had a special and intimate knowledge of her own needs. We shall never know exactly what that knowledge was, because no one asked. We must now clear away the conflicts of interest so that children can be seen and heard, unequivocally.

http://ljmu.academia.edu/LynneWrennall/Papers/301109/Wrennall_L._2004_Miscarriages_of_Justice_in_Child_Protection_a_brief_history_and_proposals_for_change._Paper_presented_to_the_parliamentary_conference_held_by_the_All_Party_Group_on_Abuse_Investigations_Attlee_Suite_Portcullis_House_2_December

April 4, 2011

NOT SO INDEPENDENT REVIEWING OFFICERS

The following piece of information is intended for Gill Leather and Donna Greatorex the not so independent reviewing officers employed by Staffordshire County Council. Anyone who has attended statutory reviews about children will be well aware that these social care minions are not independent at all and generally kiss social workers backsides. Should a recommendation be made at these meetings that is not followed through these puppets do nothing about it. This is to remind these people what their role actually is as they do not seem to possess the slightest intelligence in understanding what they are supposed to do.

Social Care News: Looked-After Children – Concern as new reviewing officers’ powers not used

By Ruth Smith Tuesday, 10 May 2005

New powers enabling independent reviewing officers to safeguard the rights of children in care are not being used in practice, campaigners have warned.

An amendment to the Children Act 1989 that came into force in September 2004 obliges independent reviewing officers to review how local authorities implement the care plans of looked-after children. It also enables them to refer cases to the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) so it can act on behalf of a child if a claim is made against a local authority. But Felicity Collier, chief executive of BAAF Adoption & Fostering, said that no independent reviewing officers had so far taken a case to Cafcass, despite the fact that plans had not been implemented or inappropriately changed before reviews. Her comments follow a recent meeting of BAAF’s legal group, where serious concerns were raised about how some children’s reviews were organised. Cafcass confirmed that no cases had been referred to it by the end of March. Jane Booth, its director for service delivery, said: “While it is still early days in terms of this new safeguard for children, we would be very concerned if this procedure for the protection of the rights of children in care was not being used.” Andrew Christie, chair of the Association of Directors of Social Services’ fostering group, said he was not “entirely surprised” by the finding. “The procedure is new and you’d expect independent reviewing officers to make every effort to resolve the matter internally first,” he said.   http://www.cypnow.co.uk/news/474749/Social-Care-News-Looked-After-Children—Concern-new-reviewing-officers-powers-not-used

IRO Handbook Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers

IRO Handbook Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children IRO Handbook Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children  Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children Contents Chapter 1. Introduction 4 Aims and audience 4 Status of the guidance 5 Definitions 5 The legal context 7 The practice context 8 Chapter 2. An overview of the IRO role and functions 9 The care planning and review context 9 Core functions, tasks and responsibilities 10 Competences and qualifications 11 Independence 12 Chapter 3. IRO responsibilities in the care planning and review process 13 The care plan 13 Planning the review meeting 13 Preparation 14 Interpreters 15 Advocacy 15 Attendance and location 16 Timing of review meetings 17 Adjournment of reviews 17 Administration 18 The review: a child centred meeting 18 Issues to consider at the review 20 Statutory requirements 20 Safeguarding 21 Child’s developmental needs 22 Permanence planning 24 Issues in relation to adoption 25 Information that must be provided to children at the review 27 Legal status 27 Outcomes from the review 28 Review record 28 Decisions and recommendations 29 Monitoring the case on an ongoing basis 30 IRO Handbook Chapter 4. Considerations for specific groups of children 33 Children receiving short breaks 33 Children with additional communication needs 34 Children within the youth justice system 34 Children subject to secure accommodation orders 35 Children admitted to hospital 36 Unaccompanied asylum seeking children 36 Chapter 5. Planning transition to adulthood 37 Eligible children 39 Young people leaving care 41 Young people with a disability 41 Chapter 6. Dispute resolution and complaints 43 Complaints 44 Provision of independent legal advice 44 Chapter 7. Strategic and management responsibilities 46 Establishing an effective IRO service 46 Appointment of the IRO 46 Administration of the review process 47 Management 47 Role and functions of the IRO manager 47 Caseloads 49 Role of the director of children’s services 50 Interagency and interdepartmental working together 50 Delay and drift 51 Emergency placements 52 Chapter 8. Cafcass 53 Family proceedings 53 Referral to Cafcass 54 Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children References 57 Annex 1. Overview of statutory framework for care planning 60 Annex 2. Overview of care planning, placement and case review process 61 Annex 3. Key changes to the IRO role and function 62 Annex 4. Involving children with additional communication needs 64 Annex 5. Children in the youth justice system 68 IRO Handbook Chapter 1. Introduction Aims and audience 1.1 This statutory document seeks to improve outcomes for looked after children by providing guidance to independent reviewing officers (IROs) about how they should discharge their distinct responsibilities to looked after children. It also provides guidance to local authorities on their strategic and managerial responsibilities in establishing an effective IRO service. The aim is to give all looked after children the support and services that each one requires to enable them to reach their potential. 1.2 The guidance draws on models of best practice already established throughout the country. It is published as a ‘handbook’ with the aim of providing a format that IROs will find easy to use and enable them to share information about their role with those with whom they work, for example: .. social workers; .. other children’s services staff; .. professionals in other agencies; .. foster carers; .. the child; and .. parents and other relevant adults. 1.3 When consulted about an early draft of this guidance, children and young people were clear what they wanted from their IRO: “When they meet the child they should do this one to one so that the child can talk freely. They must check with both the child, and other people working with the child, on whether the child is OK and happy where they are living and with their care plans. They must regularly ask each child whether they are happy with how things are being done for them, and keep checking what is happening for each child against that child’s plans and the decisions made at their reviews.” 1.4 We have aimed to keep the voices of children and young people consistently in mind as we have drawn up this guidance.  Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children Status of the guidance 1.5 The guidance is issued under two provisions: .. The Children and Young Persons Act 2008, which created a new power for the Secretary of State to issue statutory guidance to IROs;1 and .. section 7 of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970, which requires local authorities, in the exercise of their social services functions, to act under the general guidance of the Secretary of State; unless there are exceptional reasons local authorities must follow the requirements set out in this guidance. 1.6 This guidance replaces the 2004 guidance.2 It should be read in conjunction with the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 20103 (‘the Regulations’). 1.7 The guidance is issued as part of a suite of statutory guidance which, together with the Regulations, sets out how local authorities should carry out the full range of responsibilities in relation to care planning, placement and review for looked after children. Annex 1 shows how these and other documents fit together within an overall framework, the aim of which is to provide looked after children with the most appropriate placement to meet their needs and improve their outcomes. Definitions 1.8 References in this guidance to: .. ‘the 1989 Act’ are to sections of the Children Act 1989; .. ‘the 2008 Act’ are to sections of the Children and Young Persons Act 2008; .. ‘the 2004 Act’ are to sections of the Children Act 2004; .. ‘the 2002 Act’ are to sections of the Adoption and Children Act 2002; .. a numbered section of a Schedule is a reference to that section or Schedule in the 1989 Act; .. ‘the Regulations’ are to the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010 (where other regulations are referred to, the full title is used); and .. ‘local authority’ is the local authority that is looking after an individual child (referred to as the ‘responsible authority’ in the Regulations). IRO Handbook 1.9 The term ‘child’ is used as an inclusive term to refer to all 0 to 18 year olds. Where the context specifically relates to older children, the term ‘young person’ is used. 1.10 The term ‘looked after children’ refers, under the 1989 Act, to all children and young people being looked after by a local authority, namely: .. those subject to care orders or interim care orders (under sections 31 and 38 of the 1989 Act); .. those children who have been placed, or are authorised to be placed, with prospective adopters by a local authority (section 18(3) of the 2002 Act); .. those who are voluntarily accommodated under section 20 of the 1989 Act, including unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. Where children are accommodated under this provision, parental responsibility remains with the parents; and .. those who are subject to court orders with residence requirements (for example, secure remand or remand to local authority accommodation), in accordance with section 21 of the 1989 Act. 1.11 An ‘eligible child’, defined in paragraph 19B of Schedule 2 to the 1989 Act, and in regulation 41 of the Regulations, is a looked after child aged 16 or 17, who has been looked after for a total of at least 13 weeks which began after s/he reached the age of 14, and ends after s/he reaches the age of 16. 1.12 A ‘relevant child’, defined in section 23A of the 1989 Act and regulation 4 of the Children (Leaving Care) (England) Regulations 2001, is a young person aged 16 or 17 who was an ‘eligible child’ but is no longer looked after. 1.13 A ‘former relevant child’, defined in section 23C of the 1989 Act is a young person aged 18 or above (i.e. legally adult) who was either an eligible or relevant child. The local authority has functions and duties in relation to former relevant children until they reach the age of 21 (or 25 in the case of former relevant children who are pursuing a programme of education or training). 1.14 To assist the reader in cross-referencing this text to key sections of primary legislation or to the Regulations or other sets of regulations, this is signposted in the text as follows: [Primarylegislation,e.g.1989Act] [Regulations;Part,Scheduleornumber] Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children The legal context 1.15 A House of Lords judgement4 in 2002 concluded that a local authority that failed in its duties to a looked after child could be challenged under the Human Rights Act 1998, most likely under article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights relating to family life. The judgement recognised that some children with no adult to act on their behalf may not have any effective means to initiate such a challenge. 1.16 In response, the Government made it a legal requirement for an IRO to be appointed to participate in case reviews, monitor the local authority’s performance in respect of reviews, and to consider whether it would be appropriate to refer cases to the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass). This is set out in section 26 of the 1989 Act, as amended by the 2002 Act. 1.17 Later, the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Reviewed Case Referral) Regulations 2004,5 made under section 26 of the 1989 Act, extended the functions of Cafcass so that on a referral from an IRO they could consider bringing proceedings for breaches of the child’s human rights, judicial review and other proceedings. 1.18 The 2008 Act extends the IRO’s responsibilities from monitoring the performance by the local authority of their functions in relation to a child’s review to monitoring the performance by the local authority of their functions in relation to a child’s case, as set out in sections 25A-25C of the 1989 Act (inserted by section 10 of the 2008 Act). The intention is that these changes will enable the IRO to have an effective independent oversight of the child’s case and ensure that the child’s interests are protected throughout the care planning process. 1.19 Together, the amended 1989 Act and the Regulations specify: .. the duties of the local authority to appoint an IRO; .. the circumstances in which the local authority must consult with the IRO; .. the functions of the IRO both in relation to the reviewing and monitoring of each child’s case; and .. the actions that the IRO must take if the local authority is failing to comply with the Regulations or is in breach of its duties to the child in any material way, including making a referral to Cafcass. IRO Handbook 1.20 Section 11 of the 2008 Act includes a power to confer the delivery of IRO services to a national body, outside the control of local authorities if, in the future, the measures to strengthen the IRO function do not contribute to a significant improvement in outcomes for looked after children. The practice context 1.21 The IRO’s primary focus is to quality assure the care planning and review process for each child and to ensure that his/her current wishes and feelings are given full consideration. To be successful, the role must be valued by senior managers and operate within a supportive service culture and environment. An effective IRO service should enable the local authority to achieve improved outcomes for children. 1.22 Every IRO should feel confident in his/her role and personal authority and understand his/her responsibilities to monitor and review the child’s case and, where necessary, challenge poor practice. This guidance recognises that it is not the responsibility of the IRO to manage the case, supervise the social worker or devise the care plan. Although it is important for the IRO to develop a consistent relationship with the child, this should not undermine or replace the relationship between the social worker and the child. 1.23 IROs were introduced on a statutory basis in 2004, and the Care Matters Green Paper consultation in 2006-07 provided an opportunity to take stock of the new role. The key concerns to emerge were: .. IROs were not sufficiently robust in challenging decisions made by local authorities even in cases where professional practice was obviously poor and not in children’s interests. .. Not every statutory review was being conducted in a way that encouraged a challenging analysis of the proposals for meeting the child’s needs. .. Insufficient weight was being given to the views of the child or to those of his/ her parents, carers, or other professionals with a role in securing his/her welfare. .. Unless care plans are rigorously examined the review is no longer an opportunity for informed reflection on the child’s progress and planning for the child’s future; instead it becomes merely a sterile ‘box ticking’ exercise. 1.24 The changes to legislation, supported by the guidance which follows, take forward the Government’s commitment to securing significant improvements in the contribution that IROs make, in order to improve care planning and secure better outcomes for looked after children.  Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children Chapter 2. An overview of the IRO role and functions The care planning and review context 2.1 Understanding the role and functions of the IRO requires an understanding of the centrality of effective care planning and review to good social work practice, as well as the duties of the local authority in relation to care planning and review, as set out in the Regulations. 2.2 Care planning and reviews are about bringing together children who are looked after, their families, carers and professionals, in order to plan for the care of the child and to review that plan on a regular basis. Effective care planning and review is underpinned by careful assessment of the needs of a child and making the right decisions about how best to meet those needs (see Annex 2). This is a fundamental part of social work, which not only requires an understanding of the importance of planning, but also the relevant conceptual and practice frameworks. 2.3 The Regulations set out the arrangements which the local authority must make for looking after a child and the making of a care plan is central to these requirements [Part2]. The care plan will contain information about how the child’s current developmental needs will be met as well as the arrangements for the current and longer term care for the child. It ensures that there is a clear plan for the child’s future to which everyone is working, including the child, the team around the child and, where appropriate, the family. There should be clarity in the care plan, particularly about the outcomes expected from services and other actions identified. This will support effective reviews. 2.4 The care plan must be prepared before the child is first placed by the local authority, or if this is not practicable, within ten working days of the start of the first placement [regulation4]. The local authority must maintain the care plan and keep it under review and if it is of the opinion that some change is required, must revise it or make a new plan. The care plan must set out the long term plan for the child’s upbringing and the arrangements made to meet the child’s developmental needs in relation to health, education, emotional and behavioural development, identity, family and social relationships, social presentation and self care skills. 2.5 The care plan and the assessment of the child’s needs, upon which the plan rests, should inform the decision as to which placement will be most suited to meeting the child’s needs.  10 IRO Handbook 2.6 The review of the care plan is one of the key components within the core processes of working with children and families of: assessment, planning, intervention and reviewing. It is the responsibility of the IRO to chair this review at regular intervals. 2.7 The purpose of the review is to consider the quality of the child’s care plan, based on the local authority’s assessment of the child’s needs. The care plan for each individual child must specify how the authority proposes to respond to the full range of the child’s needs, taking into account his/her wishes and feelings. The review will need to monitor the progress of the plan and to make decisions to amend the plan as necessary in light of changed knowledge and circumstances. The IRO must be satisfied that the plan identifies who is responsible for achieving the plan’s objectives and clear timescales set. 2.8 IROs then are well placed to assess the quality and effectiveness of local authority planning and support for children. The IRO has a crucial role to play in ensuring that the local authority fulfils its responsibilities as a ‘corporate parent’ for all the children that it looks after. The IRO should ensure that the child is offered stable care that is sensitive and appropriate to each individual’s personal needs so that the child is able to flourish and achieve. The plan for each child must demonstrate how the services provided have fully taken account of the child’s wishes and feelings. Core functions, tasks and responsibilities 2.9 The statutory duties of the IRO are to [section25B(1),1989Act]: .. monitor the performance by the local authority of their functions in relation to the child’s case; .. participate in any review of the child’s case; .. ensure that any ascertained wishes and feelings of the child concerning the case are given due consideration by the appropriate authority; and .. perform any other function which is prescribed in regulations. 2.10 The primary task of the IRO is to ensure that the care plan for the child fully reflects the child’s current needs and that the actions set out in the plan are consistent with the local authority’s legal responsibilities towards the child. As corporate parents each local authority should act for the children they look after as a responsible and conscientious parent would act. 2.11 There are now two clear and separate aspects to the function of the IRO: i. chairing the child’s review; and  Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their 11 functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children ii. monitoring the child’s case on an ongoing basis. 2.12 In exercising both parts of this role the IRO must ensure that the child’s current wishes and feelings have been established and taken into account, where appropriate. 2.13 As part of the monitoring function, the IRO also has a duty to monitor the performance of the local authority’s function as a corporate parent and to identify any areas of poor practice. This should include identifying patterns of concern emerging not just around individual children but also more generally in relation to the collective experience of its looked after children of the services they receive. Where IROs identify more general concerns around the quality of the authority’s services to its looked after children, the IRO should immediately alert senior managers about these. Equally important, the IRO should recognise and report on good practice. 2.14 In discharging these duties, the IRO has a number of specific responsibilities. These are discussed in more detail in the chapters which follow: .. promoting the voice of the child; .. ensuring that plans for looked after children are based on a detailed and informed assessment, are up to date, effective and provide a real and genuine response to each child’s needs; .. making sure that the child understands how an advocate could help and his/her entitlement to one (see paragraph 3.14); .. offering a safeguard to prevent any ‘drift’ in care planning for looked after children and the delivery of services to them (see paragraphs 3.39 and 7.23); and .. monitoring the activity of the local authority as a corporate parent in ensuring that care plans have given proper consideration and weight to the child’s wishes and feelings and that, where appropriate, the child fully understands the implications of any changes made to his/her care plan. Competences and qualifications 2.15 The role of the IRO is a specialist one which stands alone in the local authority. It is a role that may involve challenging senior managers and may require the IRO to seek legal remedies if the local authority fails in its duties. 2.16 The IRO must be registered as a social worker by the General Social Care Council or by the Care Council for Wales under section 56 of the Care Standards Act 2000 or in  12 IRO Handbook a corresponding register maintained under the law of Scotland or Northern Ireland. The IRO should have at least five years post qualifying experience [regulation46]. 2.17 The IRO should be an authoritative professional with at least equivalent status to an experienced children’s social work team manager. To be appointed, a prospective IRO should be able to provide evidence that s/he has: .. sufficient relevant social work experience in children’s social care to undertake the required functions; .. the ability to communicate with children and young people; .. the confidence and ability to work constructively with senior managers, offering a critical perspective and appropriate challenge; .. a thorough understanding of the legal framework relating to looked after children and care leavers, including knowledge of National Minimum Standards6 and the Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005;7 .. a thorough working understanding of the legal process and the issues involved when a local authority makes application for a care order; .. experience of providing social work supervision and support; and .. knowledge of the evidence about what makes for good quality practice in working with children and families to safeguard children and promote their welfare. Independence 2.18 The independence of the IRO is essential to enable him/her to effectively challenge poor practice. The Regulations do not prescribe the position of the IRO within the local authority but do prescribe minimum levels of independence [regulation46]. These are that the IRO must not be: .. a person involved in preparing the child’s care plan or the management of the child’s case; .. the representative of the local authority appointed to visit the child [Section23ZA,1989Act]; .. the child’s personal adviser; .. a person with management responsibilities for any of the above; and .. a person with control over the resources allocated to the case. Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their 13 functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children Chapter 3. IRO responsibilities in the care planning and review process 3.1 This chapter considers the specific responsibilities of the IRO in relation to chairing the child’s review meeting and monitoring the child’s case on an ongoing basis. Together, these are integral to the overall care planning and review process. Further detail about local authorities’ responsibilities for care planning are set out in Volume 2 of the Children Act 1989 guidance on care planning, placement and review.8 The care plan 3.2 As outlined in paragraph 2.10, the primary task of the IRO is to ensure that the care plan for the child fully reflects the child’s current needs and that the actions set out in the plan are consistent with the local authority’s legal responsibilities towards the child. 3.3 In order to properly consider the care plan at each review, the IRO should be satisfied that the assessments upon which the care plan is based are comprehensive and adequate, involving the appropriate people and addressing the appropriate issues, that the proposed care plan results logically from the assessments and that it is relevant, viable and achievable. 3.4 It will be important for the social worker to provide to the IRO the evidence on which the plan was formulated, for example copies of assessments or minutes of meetings. 3.5 In order for the IRO to agree any proposed changes to the care plan, s/he should inform the social worker in advance of the review. The IRO should outline his/her concerns, clarify questions that need to be answered and identify what action needs to be taken by the local authority. If necessary, following the review, the IRO will attempt to resolve the matter informally and, if this is not successful, may consider implementing the local dispute resolution process (see Chapter 6). Planning the review meeting 3.6 It is the responsibility of IROs to chair the review meetings of all looked after children. Reviewing must be understood as a flexible process that will vary in relation to each child. It may be one standalone meeting attended by all the relevant people in the child’s life, or a number of meetings, with one central  14 IRO Handbook meeting attended by the IRO, the child, the social worker and some of the relevant adults in the child’s life. It will be for the IRO and the social worker, in consultation with the child, to agree the best way to manage the process for each child before each review. 3.7 The status of review meetings is made clear in regulation 32(2): “The responsible authority must not make any significant change to [a child’s] care plan unless the proposed change has first been considered at a review of [the child’s] case, unless this is not reasonably practicable.” 3.8 In order to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child, consideration must be given at each review to the following issues in relation to the care plan: .. whether to confirm or change it; .. what actions need to be taken to implement it; .. by whom; and .. within what timescale? Preparation 3.9 In order for the meeting to be productive and sensitive to the needs of each child, time and careful preparation is necessary: .. The IRO must speak with the child before the review. .. The IRO should speak to the social worker at least 15 working days before the review. .. The IRO should be provided with or have access to any relevant reports/plans or background information, including the current care plan, the report from the social worker (which should be available at least three working days before the commencement of the review), the current health plan or medical assessment report and the current personal education plan (PEP). .. Written consultation documents should be sent out to children, parents, carers and other relevant adults at least ten working days before the review. 3.10 It is important that the review is child-centred and only involves the necessary number of professionals, alongside the child, his/her carers and his/her parents, except where this is not appropriate. A series of meetings may therefore be the best way to involve all the relevant people. The child should be consulted, subject to his/  Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their 15 functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children her age and understanding, about who s/he wishes to attend the meeting and about the venue of the meeting. 3.11 The IRO should ensure that all those involved in the meeting(s) make a meaningful contribution to the discussion so that an informed decision can be made about the short and long term actions that will need to be taken to advance the child’s care plan. The IRO is well placed to identify any concerns about how a child’s care is being managed and to ensure that the long term objectives agreed through the assessment and care planning process are implemented within a timescale appropriate for the child. Interpreters 3.12 Every child and his/her parents should be offered the support of an interpreter, if English is not their first language. This is the responsibility of the social worker. However, as part of the initial discussion between the IRO and the social worker, in advance of the review, the IRO should establish the first language of both the child and the parents. A child may be of the view that his/her use of the language is adequate but it is important that each child can participate appropriately in the process and that his/her views are fully represented. Decisions could be made at a review that will have lifelong implications. It may therefore be helpful for an interpreter to be present, even if his/her services are used for parts of the meeting only. 3.13 In addition, the local authority should have a system in place for the translation of all written documentation produced for the review and following the review. Advocacy 3.14 When meeting with the child before every review, the IRO is responsible for making sure that the child understands how an advocate could help and his/her entitlement to one. Advocacy is an option available to children whenever they want such support and not just when they want to make a formal complaint. Some children will feel sufficiently confident or articulate to contribute or participate in the review process without additional help. Others may prefer the support of an advocate. This could be a formal appointment from a specialist organisation or might be an adult already in the child’s social network. 3.15 Every child has the right to be supported by an advocate. The local authority must have a system in place to provide written, age appropriate information to each looked after child about the function and availability of an advocate and how to request one.  16 IRO Handbook Attendance and location 3.16 The review is the child’s meeting (see paragraph 3.29) and discussion should take place between the social worker and the child at least 20 working days before the meeting about who the child would like to attend the meeting and about where the meeting will be held. This allows time for subsequent discussion about attendance and venue between the IRO and the social worker and for written invitations to be sent out. 3.17 It is expected that parents and the child (if s/he is of sufficient age and understanding) will be present at the whole of the review but this will depend on the circumstances of each individual case. In exceptional circumstances the social worker in consultation with the IRO may decide that the attendance of the child or parent, if this is not in the interests of the child, will not be appropriate or practicable for all or part of the review meeting. This may be the case if there is a clear conflict of interests which might militate against the attendance of either or both the child and parents. However, the anxieties of professionals should not be the reason for excluding a child or his/her parent from a review. Alternative arrangements should be considered. If a parent or child is excluded from a review, a written explanation or the reasons should be given. Other arrangements should be made for their involvement in the review process, and details of this should be placed on the child’s case record. 3.18 If the parents are excluded from the part of the meeting involving the child, the IRO should be satisfied that consultation documents have been sent to the parents for them to complete. If these consultation documents are returned, the views expressed in them should be included in the review record, unless the IRO is of the view that to do so would cause unnecessary distress to the child. In cases of exclusion the IRO should also contact the parents directly and offer to meet with them. IRO contact with parents, though, will require the exercise of professional judgement and some discretion in this may be used, for example where there is a no contact order or the parent has consistently indicated that s/he does not wish to meet or be consulted. 3.19 Any reason for excluding the parents from the review should be kept under regular review with the social worker and team manager and a record of the reason placed on the child’s case record. 3.20 Unless this is the first review, the date will usually have been set at the previous review, with a provisional venue. However, circumstances may have changed since that time so that the venue is no longer appropriate.  Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their 17 functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children 3.21 The review should take place in a venue where the child is most likely to feel relaxed and comfortable. First consideration should be given to the review taking place in the child’s placement. It may not be appropriate for professionals to be present throughout the meeting and consideration should be given in advance to when they should make their contribution. In some circumstances it may be more appropriate for the IRO to meet separately with members of the professional network and/or with the parents. 3.22 The IRO should ensure that the views of the following are considered at the review, whether or not they attend a meeting: .. birth parents and any other adults with parental responsibility; .. other significant adults in the child life, for example extended family members; .. those caring for the child, such as foster carers; and .. relevant professionals. Timing of review meetings 3.23 The local authority is required to carry out review meetings in line with timings specified in the Regulations [regulation33]: .. the first review of a child’s case within 20 working days of the date on which the child becomes looked after; .. the second review no more than three months after the first; .. the third and subsequent reviews no more than six months after the previous one; .. a review whenever the IRO directs; and .. a review in all other circumstances as specified in the Regulations. 3.24 The date of the review meeting for recording purposes is the date of the first meeting that takes place and the review should be completed within 20 working days of the commencement of the process. Adjournment of reviews 3.25 The IRO has a new power to adjourn reviews [regulation36(2)]. Careful consideration should be given to taking such action and the wishes and feelings of the child, the carer and, where appropriate, the parents should be sought before any decision is made. The IRO should consider the effects on the child of delaying  18 IRO Handbook a meeting for which s/he has been prepared and should weigh up the relative disadvantages of proceeding with the meeting on limited information and the delay in decision making which would result from adjournment. Responsibility for deciding whether or not a review should be adjourned rests with the nominated IRO for the child concerned. In such circumstances the review may be adjourned once but should be completed within 20 working days. 3.26 Circumstances in which the IRO might wish to consider an adjournment include: .. the IRO not being satisfied that the local authority has complied adequately with all the requirements relating to reviews (e.g. the duty to consult the child, the child’s parents and others before taking decisions with respect to the child, or appropriate planning and paperwork being available) and that such omissions will adversely affect the efficacy of the review; and .. the IRO not being satisfied that the child has been properly prepared for the meeting. 3.27 Where the review is adjourned by the IRO, the date of the review for recording purposes is the date on which the review was originally scheduled to take place. Administration 3.28 The local authority should provide sufficient administrative support to facilitate the delivery of an efficient and effective review process. See paragraph 7.3 for more details. The review: a child-centred meeting 3.29 A review for a looked after child forms part of a continuing planning process for that child and is held in order to make plans to safeguard and promote the child’s welfare. 3.30 Subject to the age and understanding of the child, the child should be involved in decisions about the date, time and venue of the meeting, the agenda and the invitation list. 3.31 The meeting should take place at a time convenient for the child. Meetings should not be arranged at a time that would result in the child being absent from school or college or an essential health appointment. It should take place in a setting in which the child feels comfortable and relaxed. 3.32 The review must address a specified range of issues and must take place at specified intervals. Neither of these requirements may be in line with the child’s wishes and  Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their 19 functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children feelings. In order to ensure that the meeting remains the child’s meeting as far as is possible, the IRO should always begin from the perspective of the child, listen to his/her views and make sure that s/he is involved as much as possible in the review process. 3.33 The IRO is required to speak with the child in private prior to the first review and before every subsequent review [regulation36]. This should provide the IRO with an opportunity to discuss with the child matters to be considered at the review and for the child to raise any issues. The first review will be important and may set the tone for the longer-term relationship that will develop between the child and IRO. Time and consideration should be given to planning this and all subsequent reviews. It will be important to work with the child to discuss how s/he is likely to be able to make the most meaningful contribution to the review. 3.34 There may be some cases where a formal pre-meeting is not always necessary, for example in circumstances where the IRO and the child have already built up a relationship, the child is in an established placement and no significant changes are planned for the foreseeable future. Then it may be appropriate for the IRO to simply make phone contact with the child to establish his/her wishes and feelings about the planned review meeting. 3.35 In relation to babies and younger children, it may not be necessary or appropriate to see the child alone. Observing the child, or interacting with him/her, for example in play or by reading with him/her, may be a more appropriate way of establishing the child’s feelings and understanding. 3.36 If the main part of the review meeting takes place in a formal setting away from the placement, for example so that the parents can be included, it is important that the IRO also meets with or observes the child in the placement so that consideration is given to the suitability of the placement to meeting the child’s needs. 3.37 The IRO must, so far as reasonably practicable, attend and chair the review meeting, or the series of meetings which have been constituted to be the review for the child [regulation36]. It is hoped that for many older children and young people, especially as they begin to plan for independence, the IRO will hand over at least part of the chairing role to them so that they can take an increased ownership of the meeting.  20 IRO Handbook Issues to consider at the review Statutory requirements 3.38 As the chair of the review, the IRO should ensure that the following issues are all addressed as part of each review process [Schedule7]: .. the effect of any change in the child’s circumstances since the last review; .. whether decisions taken at the last review have been successfully implemented and if not why not; .. the legal status of the child and whether it remains appropriate – for example, where the child is looked after under section 20 of the 1989 Act, whether this status provides the basis for legal security for the child so that proper plans can be made to provide him/her with secure attachments that will meet his/her needs through to adulthood; .. whether the child’s plan includes a plan for permanence within viable timescales that are meaningful for the child – this must include plans for permanency from the second review onwards; .. the arrangements for contact in relation to the parents, siblings and other family members or significant others, whether these take into account the child’s current wishes and feelings and whether any changes are needed to these arrangements; .. whether the placement is meeting the child’s needs – this should include consideration of the attachment between the child and those who are caring for him/her, how the local authority is ensuring that the placement provides the quality of care that the child needs and whether any change to the arrangements is necessary or likely to become necessary before the next review; .. the child’s educational needs, progress and development and whether any actions need to be taken or are likely to become necessary before the next review, in order to ensure that the child’s educational needs are met and not neglected (this should include consideration of the current PEP); .. the leisure activities in which the child is engaging and whether these are meeting the child’s needs and current expressed interests; .. the report of the most recent assessment of the child’s health and whether any change to the arrangements for the child’s health are necessary or likely to become necessary before the next review, in order to ensure that the child’s health needs are met and not neglected; Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their 21 functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children .. the identity needs of the child, how these are being met; .. whether the arrangement to provide advice, support and assistance to the child continues to be appropriate and understood by the child; .. whether any arrangements need to be made for the time when the child will no longer be looked after, so that the child will be properly prepared and ready to make this significant move; .. whether the child’s social worker has taken steps to establish the child’s wishes and feelings, that the care plan has taken these into consideration and that the care plan demonstrates this; .. whether the child is being visited by the social worker at the minimum statutory intervals and when the child requests a visit; and .. that plans and decisions to advance the overall planning for the child’s care have been taken and acted upon in a timely way. 3.39 The IRO is responsible for setting any remedial timescales if actions have not been taken and there is a risk of drift in the delivery of a plan that will meet the child’s needs and planned outcomes within the child’s timescale. Safeguarding 3.40 In most cases where a child who is the subject of a child protection plan becomes looked after it will no longer be necessary to maintain the child protection plan. There are however a relatively few cases where safeguarding issues will remain and a looked after child should also have a child protection plan. These cases are likely to be where a local authority obtains an interim care order in family proceedings but the child who is the subject of a child protection plans remains at home, pending the outcome of the final hearing, or where a child’s behaviour is likely to result in significant harm to themselves or others. 3.41 Where a looked after child remains the subject of a child protection plan it is expected that there will be a single planning and reviewing process, led by the IRO, which meets the requirements of both the Regulations and the guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children.9 3.42 The systems and processes for reviewing child protection plans and plans for looked after children should be carefully evaluated by the local authority and consideration given to how best to ensure the child protection aspects of the care plan are reviewed as part of the overall reviewing process, leading to the development of a single plan. Given that a review is a process and not a single meeting, both reviewing systems should be aligned in an unbureaucratic way to enable the full  22 IRO Handbook range of the child’s needs to be considered in the looked after child’s care planning and reviewing processes. 3.43 It is recognised that there are different requirements for the independence of the IRO function compared to the chair of the child protection conference. In addition, it is important to note that the child protection conference is required to a be a multi-agency forum while children for the most part want as few external people as possible at a review meeting where they are present. However it will not be possible for the IRO to carry out his/her statutory function without considering the child’s safety in the context of the care planning process. In this context consideration should be given to the IRO chairing the child protection conference where a looked after child remains subject to a child protection plan. Where this is not possible it will be expected that the IRO will attend the child protection review conference. 3.44 This means that the timing of the review of the child protection aspects of the care plan should be the same as the review under Part 6 of the Regulations, to ensure that up to date information in relation to the child’s welfare and safety is considered within the review meeting and informs the overall care planning process. The looked after child’s review when reviewing the child protection aspects of the plan should also consider whether the criteria continue to be met for the child to remain the subject of a child protection plan. Significant changes to the care plan can only be made at the looked after child’s review. Child’s developmental needs 3.45 The child’s care plan should consider his/her developmental needs – including required action and planned outcomes – in relation to each of the dimensions set out in the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families10 (see Figure 1).  Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their 23 functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children Figure 1: Assessment Framework domains and dimensions of need Health Basic care Child Safeguarding and promoting welfare Family and environmental factorsChild’s developmental needParentingcapacityEnsuring safety Emotional warmth Stimulation Education Emotional and behavioural development Identity Family and social relationships Guidance and boundaries Social presentation Self care skills Stability 3.46 Health and education are two key dimensions within the domain of developmental needs. The care plan will include the child’s health plan and the PEP, which in addition to being part of the overall care plan, is part of a looked after child’s official school record. There is a statutory duty on the local authority to keep these documents under review. It is important that they are available to the IRO for consideration before each review. It is helpful if the updating of these documents is completed in advance of each review. 3.47 The social worker is responsible for initiating the PEP in partnership with the child, teachers, parents, relatives and carers. The current PEP should be provided to the IRO at least three working days before the review. The PEP should be the starting point for discussion about education at the review. The IRO should be satisfied that the current PEP has been developed in consultation with the child and all the relevant adults, that targets have been identified, and that satisfactory progress is being made in implementing them. At the review, consideration should be given to the extent to which identified targets and the child’s aspirations are being met. It should also consider whether appropriate support is being provided to the child to reach the targets. There should also be a general discussion about education in the placement, including reading/being read to and structured leisure activities, for example music, dance, sport, art and drama lessons. 3.48 The health plan or report from the most recent health assessment should be provided to the IRO at least three working days before the review. Depending on the  24 IRO Handbook age and understanding of the child, it may be appropriate to discuss with the child whether s/he is happy for this to be made available at the review. Consideration should be given at the review to the physical and emotional health of the child, including an update on any significant health issues or ongoing treatment. The IRO should be satisfied that any actions identified in the health plan are being implemented within an agreed timescale that will meet the needs of the child. 3.49 The IRO should be satisfied that the local authority has a clear understanding of the individual child’s needs in relation to his/her identity, and that the care plan addresses needs, as required in the Regulations [Schedule7]. The IRO should be mindful of the fact that identity issues extend beyond race, religion and ethnicity. The IRO should be satisfied that the care plan takes account of the child’s culture (including diet, disability and personal care needs), language and spiritual/religious needs and of how these needs can practically be met within the placement, the school and the local community where the child is placed, and that any shortfalls are being addressed within the child’s timescale. Permanence planning 3.50 Permanence is the framework of emotional permanence (attachment), physical permanence (stability) and legal permanence (the carer has parental responsibility) which gives a child a sense of security, continuity, commitment and identity. The objective of planning for permanence is therefore to ensure that children have a secure, stable and loving family to support them through childhood and beyond. Permanence provides an underpinning framework for all social work with children and families from family support through to adoption. One of the key functions of the care plan is to ensure that each child has a plan for permanence by the time of the second review, as set out in the statutory guidance to the 2002 Act.11 3.51 Achieving permanence for a child will be a key consideration from the day the child becomes looked after. A range of options for permanence exist, all of which can deliver high quality outcomes for individual children. These are described in the bullets which follow: .. For many children, permanence is achieved through a successful return to their birth family, where it has been possible to address the factors in family life which led to the child becoming looked after. .. Other routes to permanence include family and friends care, particularly where such care can be supported by a legal order such as a residence order, special guardianship order or in a few cases, adoption; or long term foster care where attachments have been formed and it has been agreed through the care planning and review process that this is where the child will remain until adulthood. Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their 25 functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children .. For children who are unable to return to their birth or wider family, adoption offers a lifelong and legally permanent new family. Twin track or parallel planning, including concurrent planning, may provide a means to securing permanence at an early stage for some children. .. The planning process, informed by multi-agency contributions, will identify which option is most likely to meet the needs of the individual child and takes account of his/her wishes and feelings. The child’s care plan will set out details of this plan and the arrangements for implementing it. 3.52 As part of permanence planning the IRO should be satisfied that: .. the local authority has explained fully to the child and the parents the implications of the permanency plan; and .. the local authority has provided information on post-adoption or special guardianship support to parents or extended family, where the plan is for adoption or a special guardianship order. 3.53 Review decisions should include timescales for the completion of: .. life story work; .. later life letter; and .. the post adoption/special guardianship plan. Issues in relation to adoption 3.54 Where the child is ‘authorised to be placed for adoption’ (that is, subject to a placement order or the parents have given formal consent to their child’s placement for adoption) or a child has been placed for adoption, the child’s review will be subject to the Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005 until an adoption order is made. In such circumstances there will be additional considerations for the IRO to undertake during the review process. It may be helpful for local authorities to provide specialist training to IROs in this area of their work. 3.55 Where the child has not yet been placed for adoption, the first review must take place no more than three months after the agency obtained authorisation to place, and thereafter not more than six months after the previous review [Adoption AgenciesRegulations36(1)]. When the child has been placed for adoption, the first review must be held no more than four weeks after placement, the second no more than three months after this, and subsequent reviews held at six-monthly intervals until an adoption order is made, or the child is no longer placed with the prospective adopter.  26 IRO Handbook 3.56 These provisions set out the maximum intervals between reviews. The agency may conduct additional reviews where it considers it appropriate, and should always be prepared to do so at the request of the IRO, the prospective adopter or the child. In addition, if the placement disrupts and the child is returned to or removed from the placement by the agency, a review must be held between four weeks and six weeks after the disruption. 3.57 The Adoption Agencies Regulations set out the matters to be considered at each review [AdoptionAgenciesRegulations36(6)] and the guidance on reviews of looked after children contained in this handbook should also be followed in respect of reviews conducted under the Adoption Agencies Regulations, in so far as it is appropriate. One major difference will be that, once the child has been placed for adoption, the prospective adopters, who have parental responsibility for the child, will always have a major role, and must be consulted, whereas the extent to which birth parents are consulted and involved will be a matter for the agency’s discretion depending on the circumstances of the case. It will, for example, rarely be appropriate for birth parents to attend a review meeting once a child has been placed with prospective adopters. 3.58 The IRO will need to be kept informed about the progress the agency is making in matching a child with prospective adopters, the process for which is set out in regulations and guidance [AdoptionAgenciesRegulationspart5;Adoption Guidancechapter4]. The IRO will also need to be satisfied that, among other things, appropriate timescales are being set and adhered to. Once a decision has been made that a child should be placed with a specific adoptive family, the agency is required to make a placement plan [AdoptionAgenciesRegulationspart6, regulation35;AdoptionGuidance,chapter5]. 3.59 If there is a delay in finding a family for the child, and s/he has not been placed by the time of the second review after the granting of a placement order, the review must specifically consider whether the child should still ‘be placed for adoption’ – that is, whether the adoption plan itself needs to be changed. If it is changed, the IRO will need to be alert to the fact that the local authority should then apply to the court for the placement order to be revoked; if the local authority fails to do so, it may be necessary for the IRO to assist the child to make the application, or to ensure that an application is made on his behalf. 3.60 Even before the child is placed with prospective adopters, once the agency is authorised to place the child, the usual duty (under section 22(4)(b) of the 1989 Act) to ascertain the parents’ wishes before making any decision does not apply and the IRO will need to consider in each case how far the parents should be involved in a review [AdoptionAgenciesRegulations45.2;AdoptionGuidancechapter7].  Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their 27 functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children 3.61 Once the child has been placed with prospective adopters, the review should consider the arrangements for adoption support, and whether there should be any reassessment of the need for those services [AdoptionAgenciesRegulations36(6)]. The IRO may wish to refer to the Adoption Support Services Regulations 2005 which set out the process for reviewing support arrangements. 3.62 Prospective adopters are entitled to lodge an adoption application at any time after the child has been living with them for ten weeks, although in most cases it is unlikely that they will wish to proceed so soon. This is a decision for them, but the review will need to consider the implications for the child of any decision about the timing of an application, and in particular whether any delay in starting proceedings is a cause for concern. Information that must be provided to children at the review 3.63 The IRO is under a duty to ensure that the child, where appropriate, has been informed of his/her right to apply, with leave, for an order under section 8 of the 1989 Act, and, where the child is in care, for the discharge of the care order and his/ her right to make a complaint and to an advocate [regulation45]. If the child wishes to take legal proceedings under the 1989 Act, the IRO must establish whether there is an appropriate adult able and willing to assist the child to obtain legal advice or bring proceedings on the child’s behalf or, if there is no such person, assist the child to obtain such advice. 3.64 Taking into account the age and understanding of the child, the IRO will need to consider carefully how best to explain to each child their right to: .. apply for an order or seek discharge of an order; .. an advocate (including an explanation of the role of the advocate); .. make a complaint and how to do this. These are all complex issues to explain to a child and the IRO will need to be able to satisfy him/herself and his/her manager that the child is aware and understands his/ her rights. Legal status 3.65 In addition to advising the child of his/her right to make applications to the courts, the review must consider whether there should be any change to the child’s legal status. The IRO should read all the assessments that have informed the current legal status, including the core assessment, and be satisfied that the child’s welfare continues to be safeguarded and promoted by this status. If the legal status of the  28 IRO Handbook child appears to be no longer appropriate, the IRO should request confirmation from the social worker and their manager that the local authority has given due consideration to the issue and if the response to this is not satisfactory s/he will need to resolve the issue through other routes or through implementation of the local dispute resolution process (see Chapter 6). Outcomes from the review Review record 3.66 The review record will be an important document to support any required changes to the care plan by the social worker. While it is likely that local authorities will have a range of recording formats, it is important that the review record: .. contains an accurate and comprehensive record of the meeting, including decisions made about the care plan; .. contains an accurate and comprehensive record of the views of all those who attended or were consulted as part of the process; .. addresses in detail all the elements of the care plan. 3.67 The IRO is responsible for completing a record of the review, evaluating the extent to which the care plan is meeting the needs of the child and identifying any changes that are necessary in the light of information presented at the review. The record should address all the issues required by the Regulations (see paragraph 3.38). 3.68 The reality of life for a looked after child means that there are likely to be many adults involved in his/her care and planning. The review record should provide a comprehensive record of the child in his/her placement, the needs of that child and the actions that the adults are taking to meet these needs. 3.69 Following the review: .. The IRO should produce a written record of the decisions or recommendations made within five working days of the completion of the review and a full record of the review within 15 working days of the completion of the review. .. The full written record of the review, including the decisions, should be distributed within 20 working days of the completion of the review. .. All those who attend the review should receive a copy of the record and the decisions, with any identifying details removed as necessary, for example, exceptionally, the address of the placement. Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their 29 functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children .. Where parents do not attend the review part of the meeting with the child and contribute their views in some other manner, a discussion should take place between the social worker and the IRO as to whether it is in the child’s interest for the parents to receive a full record of the review and, if not, what written information should be sent to them. Examples of where this should be a consideration are where there is a no contact order or supervised contact only. .. Within ten working days, following the completion of the review, the social worker should update the care plan in relation to any changes to the care plan agreed at the review. Decisions and recommendations 3.70 There has been much discussion and debate over many years about the status of decisions made at reviews and an acknowledgement that the review cannot tie the hands of a local authority in relation to some issues, particularly where there are resource implications. 3.71 In order to remove these difficulties, the local authority should have a system in place for a designated senior member of staff, for example a team manager, to consider the decisions made at each review within five working days of receiving them and to advise the IRO and all those who attended the review if they are unable to agree them. If no response is received the decisions should be considered agreed by the local authority and should be implemented within the timescales set out in them. If the senior member of staff disagrees with any of the decisions within that initial five working day period, this should be notified in writing to the IRO and all those who attended the review. In the first instance the IRO should attempt to resolve the issue informally. If this is not successful the IRO can consider activating the local dispute resolution process (see Chapter 6). In this way the child and all adults involved in the care and planning for the child can be confident that the local authority has made a commitment to implementing the decisions made at a review and within an agreed timescale. 3.72 The decisions should be framed in such a way that the identified needs and planned outcomes are clear. The person responsible for implementing the decision and the timescale for implementation should be recorded. 3.73 The IRO must identify the person responsible for implementing the decisions and the IRO must alert the accountable manager to any failure to take proper steps to implement decisions [regulation36].  30 IRO Handbook Monitoring the case on an ongoing basis 3.74 The monitoring role of the IRO is set out in the 1989 Act [section25B,1989Act]. Between reviews, if the care plan continues to meet the needs of the child there may be no need for any communication between the IRO and the social worker or the child. However, in the event of a change/event in the child’s life that is significant, the social worker must inform the IRO. This includes: .. proposed change of care plan for example arising at short notice in the course of proceedings following on directions from the court; .. where agreed decisions from review are not carried out within the specified timescale; .. major change to contact arrangements; .. changes of allocated social worker; .. any safeguarding concerns involving the child, which may lead to enquiries being made under section 47 of the 1989 Act (‘child protection enquiries’) and outcomes of child protection conferences, or other meetings not attended by the IRO; .. complaints from or on behalf of child, parent or carer; .. unexpected changes in the child’s placement provision which may significantly impact on placement stability or safeguarding arrangements; .. significant changes in birth family circumstances for example births, marriages or deaths which may have a particular impact on the child; .. where the child is charged with any offence leading to referral to youth offending services, pending criminal proceedings and any convictions or sentences as a result of such proceedings; .. where the child is excluded from school; .. where the child is running away or missing from the approved placement; .. significant health, medical events, diagnoses, illnesses, hospitalisations, serious accidents; and .. panel decisions in relation to permanence. Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their 31 functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children 3.75 A review will not be required for every change and the IRO will determine whether the change requires a review to be convened. The IRO should consult with the child, where appropriate, and the child’s wishes and feelings about the impact of the proposed change on his/her life should be taken into consideration in reaching a decision as to whether a review is necessary. 3.76 If, following communication with the social worker, the IRO is satisfied that the arrangements in the care plan continue to meet the child’s needs or that the change does not have significant implications for the care plan and that a review is not necessary, a record of this agreement and the reasons for it should be placed on the child’s file. The child and other relevant adults, both within the family and the professional network should be advised of this decision where appropriate. 3.77 However, a review must be convened in the following circumstances, prior to any of the following changes being implemented: .. whenever there is a proposal for a child to leave care before the age of 18, i.e. for the child to become a relevant child, rather than an eligible child [respectively section23AandSchedule2,paragraph19Bof1989Act] (see Annex 3); .. wherever there is a proposal for the child to move from foster care, a children’s home or other placement, to supported lodgings, or to other kinds of ‘semi-independent’ or ‘independent living’ before the age of 18 (i.e. from accommodation regulated under the Care Standards Act to unregulated accommodation); .. prior to children subject to care orders being discharged from custody; .. wherever any unplanned change is proposed to a child’s accommodation that would have the effect of disrupting his/her education or training; .. where a change of placement is proposed that would interrupt the arrangements for the education of a child in Key Stage 4; and .. where a change of placement is proposed for a child who has remained settled and established with the same carer for a significant period of time. 3.78 In all circumstances (other than in an emergency) when a move is proposed for a child, the child’s care plan should be up to date and based on a thorough assessment of the child’s needs. The IRO should be satisfied that the child understands what is being proposed and, if this is not the case, ensure that arrangements are put in place for this to be achieved. However, the child’s wishes and feelings, while being extremely important, will not be the sole factor in deciding whether any move is right for him/her and in his/her interests.12  32 IRO Handbook 3.79 The IRO should ensure that the plan for the move has been subjected to detailed scrutiny in order to establish that it meets the child’s needs and is in his/her interests. The plan should be viable and sustainable. If the IRO concludes that the plan is not likely to safeguard and promote the child’s welfare, the IRO should request that the local authority freeze the placement move. At the same time the IRO should initiate the local dispute resolution procedures to ensure that the move is reconsidered and alternative arrangements are made. The child should be advised about his/her entitlement to advocacy and representation and be informed about the right to complain about how his/her care is being planned. 3.80 For children who have experienced multiple placement breakdowns, or have persistently run away or gone missing, the IRO should be satisfied that the new care plan addresses the risks to the child and that the search for and selection of the new placement and the provision of appropriate support to the child and the new carers identifies how the placement will offer stability to the child and/or minimise the likelihood of him/her running away or going missing. 3.81 As part of the monitoring function, the IRO also has a duty to monitor the performance of the local authority’s function as a corporate parent and to identify any patterns of poor practice. Where these more general concerns around service delivery are identified, the IRO should immediately alert senior managers to these concerns. 3.82 It is equally important that the IRO recognises and reports on good practice demonstrated by individual social workers or groups of social workers.  Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their 33 functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children Chapter 4. Considerations for specific groups of children Children receiving short breaks 4.1 The planning and reviewing requirements have been modified for children in a series of short breaks. The plans for children in short breaks are reviewed less frequently than plans for other looked after children. This recognises that the child is placed for relatively short periods in each episode of short break care. The first review for children in short breaks must take place within three months of the first placement day or as soon as practicable thereafter. Subsequent reviews must be at intervals of no more than six months [regulation48]. Local authorities may decide to convene earlier reviews in specific circumstances, for example at the request of the child, parent or carer, or in cases where the child is particularly vulnerable or where a child is provided with a high level of short breaks. The local authority should not make any significant change to the care plan unless the change has first been considered at a review. Each review should consider whether the legal provisions under which short breaks are provided are the most appropriate to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child. 4.2 The role of the IRO for children looked after in a series of short breaks is likely to be more limited than for children looked after longer term. When working with children in short breaks, it is important that IROs are sensitive to the close and active involvement of parents. Given this sensitivity, parents as well as children and young people can highly value their contribution and independent perspective, especially in helping to resolve any difficulties with the placement. IROs have a responsibility to alert the local authority if the placement is not meeting the child’s needs. 4.3 The review therefore should focus on a consideration of those matters that will ensure that the child’s needs are fully met while the child is away from his/her parents. This will include consideration of the child’s emotional and behavioural development and how carers are meeting the disability and communication needs of the child, the leisure interests and activities of the child and the child’s educational needs, if the child attends school on the day of or the day after the overnight stay. Consideration, as for all looked after children, should be given to the child’s wishes and feelings and to ensuring that the placement is promoting the child’s welfare. Further details are set out the statutory guidance on short breaks.13  34 IRO Handbook Children with additional communication needs 4.4 Children with additional communication needs14 have the same rights as all looked after children in the care planning process to have their wishes and feelings ascertained and given due consideration by the local authority. The principles underpinning the involvement of children with communication needs are the same as for all children. However, this group of children require additional action by IROs. 4.5 If a child has additional communication needs the IRO service should be informed and the child’s preferred communication method should be recorded in his/her care plan. 4.6 The IRO manager should consider the child’s preferred method of communication when allocating the referral. This means allocating such a referral to a specialist IRO with knowledge and experience of children with communication needs or an IRO with experience of the child’s specific communication method. 4.7 Where specialist expertise is not available within the IRO team a presumption should be made that a child with communication needs will be supported by an independent advocate who has the appropriate expertise, with the child having the right to opt out or choose someone else to support him/her if s/he wishes. The allocated IRO should ensure from the outset that the child has access to this specialist support so that his/her wishes and feelings can be elicited effectively. This support should be made available throughout the care planning and review process including when any significant changes are proposed. 4.8 Further information on the practical steps IROs should follow in working with children with additional communication needs is set out in Annex 4, along with a flow chart and supporting case studies. Children within the youth justice system 4.9 The looked after status of children within the youth justice system is complex. Some children who were not previously looked after acquire this status, while others lose it when they are in custody. (For further details see Annex 5.) 4.10 IROs have an important role in ensuring that the local authority fulfils their duties to looked after children who are at risk of offending or involved in the youth justice system. This will include making sure that the child’s care plan addresses any unmet needs that may lead to offending and that, if appropriate, targeted services designed to prevent offending are provided. It is also important to consider the suitability of the placement in managing any behavioural problems.  Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their 35 functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children 4.11 If a court decides to remand or sentence a young person to a custodial setting,15 his/her entitlement to support will vary according to his/her legal status but the local authority will always retain some duties. The IRO should be notified as soon as a looked after young person is placed in custody, including the details of where s/he is placed and the relevant order. 4.12 Where children are subjects of a care order they will remain looked after during their time in custody. The local authority therefore continues to share parental responsibility and the IRO will have an ongoing role in care planning and review. Going into custody is a significant change requires that if a review will not already be due to take place then one should be scheduled during the period that the young person is in custody [regulation33(3)(d)]. Where a sentenced or remanded child ceases to be looked after because s/he is no longer accommodated by the local authority under section 20 of the 1989 Act, the local authority should ensure that the relevant Youth Offending Team (YOT) case manager is made aware that the child had been looked after up until sentence. The local authority should also discuss with the YOT and the child any arrangements for remaining in touch whilst in custody and for assessing whether the child may need to become looked after again on release. Children subject to secure accommodation orders 4.13 When children are placed in secure accommodation, subject to a secure accommodation order under section 25 of the 1989 Act, the local authority is required under the Children (Secure Accommodation) Regulations 199116 to appoint a panel of at least three persons to review the keeping of a child in such accommodation for the purposes of securing the child’s welfare. The persons appointed to the panel, in reviewing the child’s case and having regard to the welfare of the child, must satisfy themselves as to whether: .. the criteria for keeping the child in secure accommodation continue to apply; .. the placement in secure accommodation continues to be necessary; and .. any other type of accommodation would be more appropriate. 4.14 At least one member of the panel must be independent and cannot be a member or an officer of the local authority by or on behalf of which the child is being looked after. The independent panel member cannot therefore be an IRO. However, an IRO may sit as one of the other two panel members (not as part of the prescribed IRO function), so long as s/he is not the allocated IRO for that child. If the panel concludes that the criteria for restricted liberty no longer apply, the placement is no longer necessary or another type of placement would be more appropriate, the local authority must immediately review the child’s placement.  36 IRO Handbook 4.15 A ‘secure accommodation panel’ review is not the same as a review of the child’s overall care plan and is restricted to the specific question about the necessity of a placement in secure accommodation for an individual child. Children admitted to hospital 4.16 An admission to hospital, whether planned or unplanned, is a significant change for the child and the IRO should be kept informed. In relation to medical admissions, the IRO should be satisfied that there is a plan in place to ensure that the needs of the child are being met. If the hospital stay is likely to be for some considerable time it may be appropriate to hold a review in the hospital. 4.17 In relation to children admitted to a psychiatric unit, whether as a voluntary patient or as a result of a compulsory admission under the Mental Health Act 1983 the IRO will need to be satisfied that the local authority is fulfilling its responsibilities and that appropriate plans to meet the child’s needs and planned outcomes are in place before discharge. Unaccompanied asylum seeking children 4.18 This group of children or young people, mostly accommodated under section 20 of the 1989 Act, have the same entitlements to support as all other looked after children. They are less likely than other children to have any parental figure available to them, may not have English as their first language and will have specific identity needs. The assessment of age may be difficult. They will also have an immigration and asylum status. 4.19 The IRO should help the child to be aware of the implications of all these issues when they meet for the first time before the initial review. At the first and subsequent reviews, the IRO will need to be satisfied that the local authority’s planning takes into account cultural, language and religious issues alongside wider asylum and immigration considerations as part of its plan to meet the child’s needs, in addition to all the other needs the child has as a looked after child.  Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their 37 functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children Chapter 5. Planning transition to adulthood 5.1 There are a number of significant transitions for all children during their childhood and the local authority should, like any good parent, prepare the child for these in a manner that will support the child to manage the transitions and to reach his/her potential. The first significant transitions experienced by most children will be within the education system and will include the moves from home to nursery, from nursery to full time junior school and then on to secondary school. Looked after children may require extra help and support to manage these transitions and the IRO should be satisfied that the local authority is making appropriate arrangements to meet the child’s needs at such times. 5.2 More specifically, transition planning for all looked after children with a Statement of Special Educational Needs should start at the age of 14 and the IRO should be satisfied that such planning is actively being undertaken and is linked to the child’s care plan. 5.3 At the point at which a young person becomes an eligible child their pathway plan must include their care plan. It should continue to be reviewed with the same frequency for as long as the young person remains looked after. 5.4 The pathway plan should be a comprehensive document that identifies the actions and services required to meet the needs and outcomes of the young person during his/her transition into adulthood and independence. The pathway plan must address: .. health and development; .. education, training and employment – the PEP should continue to be maintained while the young person remains in full or part-time education and information within the PEP should feed directly into the pathway plan; it should also have an explicit focus on career planning, taking into account the young person’s aspirations, skills, and educational potential; .. contact with the young person’s parents, wider family and friends and the capacity of this network to encourage the young person and enable them to make a positive transition to adulthood; and .. the young person’s financial capabilities and money management capacity, along with strategies to develop skills in this area. 38 IRO Handbook 5.5 The planning process should include a meaningful contribution from the young person as the voice of the young person should be at the centre of the pathway planning process. However, the weight given to his/her views will depend on the assessment of need by those professionals who are responsible for providing the young person with care and support. By themselves, these views will not be determinative. 5.6 The IRO should be satisfied that the proposed pathway plan includes the care plan and has been informed by a good quality assessment in which the young person, his/her family and professional agencies have been appropriately involved. 5.7 In a series of cases, the High Court has emphasised the rigour and detail required of a local authority in the pathway planning process. The local authority is required to demonstrate in the pathway plan [regulation43]: .. the manner in which the authority proposes to meet the young person’s needs; and .. the date by which and by whom any action required to implement any aspect of the plan will be carried out. 5.8 The IRO should be satisfied that the pathway plan is aspirational, that it will assist the young person with the transition and that it has contingency plans in respect of health and education. In the event that the IRO is not satisfied that the pathway plan will meet the child’s identified needs s/he should seek to resolve the issue through informal routes or if this is not successful, through the local dispute resolution process (see Chapter 6). 5.9 If a review is not due as the young person approaches his/her 18th birthday, consideration should be given to convening an additional review. This is a matter that should be canvassed in the first place at the final scheduled review before the young person’s 18th birthday. 5.10 The IRO should be provided with an updated copy of the final pathway plan 20 working days before the young person’s 18th birthday, whether or not a review is due to take place and should communicate directly with the young person in relation to the arrangements set out in the pathway plan. In the event that the young person or the IRO are not satisfied with the arrangements, consideration should be given to convening an additional review and/or taking other remedial action.  Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their 39 functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children Eligible children 5.11 All young people who are aged 16 or 17 who have been looked after by a local authority for a total of at least 13 weeks which began after s/he reached the age of 14 and ends after s/he reaches the age of 16, and who are still looked after, will be entitled to services to enable them to make a successful transition to the responsibilities of adulthood under the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000. Young people who continue to be looked after are known as ‘eligible children’ and the IRO has the same duties for these as for all other looked after children. Those who cease to be looked after from the age of 16, who were previously ‘eligible’ are known as ‘relevant’. 5.12 Too often young people who have been looked after have experienced accelerated and compressed transitions as a result of which they are expected to assume adult responsibilities before they have been adequately prepared and are ready to do so. While the average age for young people to leave home is significantly higher, some looked after young people are expected to move to more independent accommodation from the age of 16. Furthermore, past evidence has suggested that it was the most vulnerable looked after young people who were expected to make the move to semi-independence at the earliest age.17 5.13 This is inappropriate, as very few 16-year-olds will have the resilience, emotional maturity and practical skills necessary to make a successful move to independent living. Good practice should involve working with young people to take a long term view and providing them with the necessary support so that they are enabled to reach their potential and have some understanding about how they might be able to achieve their aspirations and ambitions. 5.14 The IRO will have a key role to play in making sure that a young person only moves to other arrangements if this move is planned and in the young person’s best interests. The overriding principles are: .. A young person should not be expected to move from his/her care placement at least before legal adulthood, until they have been sufficiently prepared and are ready to take this significant step. .. In any case where the local authority proposes that a young person should move from his/her care placement before legal adulthood, a review must be held so that the young person, local authority staff involved in his/her care, his/her carers, other professionals and any other significant people have the opportunity to consider the implications of the move and, if the move is agreed to be in the young person’s best interests, how the move is to be managed. 40 IRO Handbook .. Where the plan is to move a young person to accommodation that is not regulated under the Care Standards Act 2000, the potential future housing providers (who could be hosts offering supported lodgings, staff from local authority housing services, or staff from a registered social landlord’s supported housing scheme) should be actively engaged in the review process. This should ensure that there is absolute clarity about the young person’s housing needs and what services will be necessary to support him/her when the time is right to leave the placement. .. Before a review is convened for this purpose, the young person should have been made aware of the housing options available and be offered the opportunity to visit any prospective accommodation beforehand. 5.15 In addition to considering all the key areas in the care plan the IRO should ensure that consideration is given to the following: .. how the proposed move will meet the young person’s needs in such a way that the young person can progress in his/her gradual journey to assuming the responsibilities of adulthood; .. that reports provided for the review, discussion with the young person by the IRO prior to review and information provided by others during the review meeting are able to demonstrate that the young person has been properly prepared to make the move and will be able to manage in the new accommodation; and .. that the proposed move will maintain as much stability as possible for the young person, including family contact and links with the community in which s/he has been living. In particular, a young person must not be expected to make a move that will disrupt his/her plans to continue in education, participate in training or gain employment. 5.16 Where a review concludes that it is appropriate for a looked after young person to make the move to independent living arrangements, and such a move takes place, this does not automatically result in the young person ceasing to be looked after. 5.17 It is likely that given their vulnerability most young people will benefit from the support that results from being looked after (including having a pathway plan that is kept up to date and reviewed by an IRO) until the age of 18. However, where there is consideration that it might be in a young person’s interests to no longer be looked after and become a ‘relevant child’ (see paragraph 1.12), then this entirely separate issue must be considered by a properly constituted statutory review of the pathway plan chaired by the IRO. The proposed pathway plan for the young person  Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their 41 functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children concerned must be available for scrutiny at this review. The review should also stipulate how in future the pathway plan is to be reviewed and whether there would be any benefits in these meetings being chaired by an independent person, with an established competence in the provision of leaving care, housing support and other services to care leavers. Young people leaving care 5.18 Unless they return to the care of their parents or wider family, the needs of most looked after children will be best met by their remaining looked after until they reach legal adulthood at age 18. However, in order to maintain safeguards for looked after young people who do leave care before adulthood, ensure equity and enable all care leavers to have the benefit of an independent perspective, local authorities should consider the advantages of IROs continuing to maintain an overview of pathway plan reviews for relevant children. The IRO could oversee this process though s/he may not always be the most appropriate person to chair the review of a relevant child. It will often be good practice for these young people to chair their own review though, at least initially, their former IRO may wish to support them to do this. Young people with a disability 5.19 The transition to adulthood should be an exciting time for young people, when they become increasingly recognised in their own right and respond to new challenges by making important decisions that will influence the rest of their lives. Young people with disabilities will face many of the same experiences and challenges as other care leavers. However, the transition to adulthood for looked after young people with a disability may be particularly challenging as they experience different professional languages, styles, expectations and cultures during the transition from support by children’s services to support from adults’ health and social care services. 5.20 In particular, young people with a disability are able to remain in an education establishment until the end of the academic year following their 19th birthday. Following assessment by adults’ services during Year 13, a child may be financially supported by adults’ services to remain in the same placement, for example a residential school, for a further full academic year (Year 14). By this time, the IRO will cease to have a role. Subsequent arrangements made by adults’ services may be of a type or nature that the IRO would have deemed unlikely to meet the needs of the young person, had these arrangements been part of the final pathway plan reviewed shortly before the young person’s 18th birthday.  42 IRO Handbook 5.21 The IRO then, should be rigorous in scrutinising transition plans for disabled young people from the age of 14 years on and ensuring that children’s services are working closely with adults’ services to commence assessments in a timely manner and identify an adult placement at the earliest possible opportunity. Demand for adult placements for disabled young people is high and it is likely that there will be waiting lists for the most desirable placements. The earlier the assessment is completed and an appropriate placement identified, the more likely it is that the young person will be able to move to it at a time that will ensure a smooth transition. 5.22 The local authority should have agreed and published a protocol with adult heath and social care services in respect of transition arrangements.  Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their 43 functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children Chapter 6. Dispute resolution and complaints 6.1 One of the key functions of the IRO is to resolve problems arising out of the care planning process. It is expected that IROs establish positive working relationships with the social workers of the children for whom they are responsible. Where problems are identified in relation to a child’s case, for example in relation to care planning, the implementation of the care plan or decisions relating to it, resources or poor practice, the IRO will, in the first instance, seek to resolve the issue informally with the social worker or the social worker’s managers. The IRO should place a record of this initial informal resolution process on the child’s file. If the matter is not resolved in a timescale that is appropriate to the child’s needs, the IRO should consider taking formal action. 6.2 It is the task of each local authority to put in place a formal process for the IRO to raise concerns and to ensure that this process is respected and prioritised by managers. The process is referred to in the guidance as the local dispute resolution process. Taking into account different management structures within each local authority there are likely to be some variations in the process, but it will involve escalating the matter in dispute through a number of levels of seniority within the department with identified timescales for a response at each stage. The IRO may bypass any stage and progress the dispute to the level s/he considers most appropriate. The formal dispute resolution process within each local authority should have timescales in total of no more than 20 working days. 6.3 The IRO has the power to refer the matter to Cafcass at any point in the dispute resolution process [regulation45] and may consider it necessary to make a concurrent referral to Cafcass at the same time that s/he instigates the dispute resolution process. 6.4 The individual IRO is personally responsible for activating the dispute resolution process, even if this step may not be in accordance with the child’s wishes and feelings, but may, in the IRO’s view, be in accordance with the best interest and welfare of the child, as well as his/her human rights. 6.5 There will be times when the IRO may be advised that obstacles in the way of resolving the issue are outside or beyond the control of the local authority, for example in relation to staffing, interagency or resources issues. However, if these are impacting on the ability of the department to meet the needs of a child as identified in the child’s care plan, the IRO should continue to escalate the issue.  44 IRO Handbook 6.6 The resolution of disputes is a time consuming activity and can create tensions between the IRO and the local authority. The managers of IRO services and senior managers in the local authority responsible for corporate parenting, will need to ensure that IROs have sufficient time and support in order to carry out this function of their work effectively. 6.7 The IRO should ensure that all actions s/he takes in an attempt to resolve a dispute are recorded on the child’s case record. Complaints 6.8 The IRO has a responsibility to ensure, where appropriate, that the child understands his/her right to make a complaint to the local authority and to have an advocate to provide support with the complaint, should the child so wish. 6.9 In circumstances where the child does not have the ability or understanding to instigate a complaint, consideration will need to be given to who is best able to do so on behalf of the child. The right to make a complaint extends to parents, those with parental responsibility, local authority foster carers and anyone else that the local authority considers has sufficient interest in the child’s welfare. This could include the IRO [section26(3),1989Act]. 6.10 An outstanding complaint being addressed within the local authority’s complaints procedure should not prevent the IRO from continuing to work to resolve the matter, either informally or by using the local dispute resolution process. 6.11 The local authority’s complaints manager should advise the IRO of any complaint brought by or on behalf of the child and may enlist the help of the IRO to resolve the problem. 6.12 In all cases the welfare of the child is the primary concern. The IRO will need to make a judgement about whether a problem raised as a complaint is sufficiently serious to make a referral to Cafcass appropriate. Alternatively, the IRO may consider that it would be reasonable to await a resolution through the formal complaints procedure, and/or use of the local dispute resolution process. Provision of independent legal advice 6.13 Each local authority should have a system in place that provides its IROs with access to independent legal advice. The reason for this is that the IRO works within a complex legal framework, with a number of other professionals and adults who have access to their own legal advice. The IRO may feel isolated and vulnerable in this position. It is essential that the IRO too can access independent legal advice,  Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their 45 functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children in addition to seeking the advice and support of the IRO manager. In the past some local authorities have been of the view that Cafcass duty lawyers provide this service. However, Cafcass duty lawyers can only provide guidance, not legal advice. Other local authorities have considered it sufficient for an IRO to seek advice from its own legal department. This is clearly not independent. 6.14 It is important that this service is easily accessible by individual IROs and that IROs do not have to struggle to access it.  46 IRO Handbook Chapter 7. Strategic and management responsibilities Establishing an effective IRO service Appointment of the IRO 7.1 If a local authority is looking after a child (whether or not the child is in their care – see paragraph 1.10) they must appoint an individual as the IRO for that child’s case [section25A(1),1989Act]. 7.2 The local authority has a number of duties in relation to this appointment: .. It should have a system in place to ensure that the manager of the IRO service is advised that a child has become looked after within two working days. .. The IRO must be appointed to the child’s case before the first review and, as a matter of good practice, should be appointed within the first five working days [section25A(2),1989Act]. .. Sibling groups, whether or not placed together, should have the same IRO, except where conflict of interest between siblings makes this inappropriate or the size of the sibling group makes this unmanageable. .. The child should be given notification of his/her IRO, along with details about how to make contact with him/her. This could be by email or text. If the child is only informed verbally, then the date that s/he was given this information must be placed on the case record. .. The IRO should be allocated for the duration that the child is looked after and should continue as the IRO if a child returns to care of the same local authority at a later date, if reasonably practicable. .. Where a mother and/or father and their child are looked after, the child should have a different IRO. .. Each local authority must have a written policy regarding the manner in which the child’s case will be reviewed and provide the child, the parents and any other person whose views the authority consider to be relevant (e.g. the child’s foster carer) with a copy. This should include information on the role of the IRO and action that can be taken in the event that decisions made at a review are not implemented. Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their 47 functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children .. If the IRO leaves the employment of the local authority, or for any other reason stops being the IRO for a particular child, s/he should introduce the new IRO to the child in person. .. At no time, apart from in the first five working days, should a looked after child be without a named IRO. .. The name of the IRO and his/her contact details must be recorded on the child’s case record. .. The IRO should meet the child before the first review. Administration of the review process 7.3 The local authority should provide sufficient administrative support to facilitate the delivery of an efficient and effective review process, enabling review meetings to take place in accordance with the Regulations and good practice. Invitations to reviews and consultation documents should be sent out to all those participating in the review at least ten working days before the meeting and the record of the review should be distributed within the required timescales. The manager of the IRO service should inform the local authority of any shortfalls in the provision of this aspect of the service. Management Role and functions of the IRO manager 7.4 Each IRO should be managed by a designated manager who will be accountable for the quality of the service that is offered to each individual looked after child. The role will include providing oversight, professional advice and management support to each IRO. 7.5 The manager will be a qualified social worker who should be able to demonstrate a sound understanding of the legal framework and care planning process governing how the local authority meets its responsibilities towards looked after children. 7.6 The manager should have the independence, ability and confidence to support the IRO through the dispute resolution process and to ensure that the IRO’s employment is not put at risk, should the IRO progress a matter to a more senior level and/or outside to Cafcass. 7.7 The manager in each local authority should ensure that there are policies in place to ensure the quality of service delivery. This should include regular and routine  48 IRO Handbook feedback from parents, children and social workers and an audit of the records and direct observation of the IRO. 7.8 Alongside other colleagues in children’s services, the IRO manager should be responsible for establishing effective arrangements for looked after children to communicate with senior managers in children’s services and across the local authority and other agencies. 7.9 The manager should ensure that the size of the caseloads enables each IRO to comply with primary legislation, the Regulations and relevant guidance in order to achieve the outcomes for every looked after child that a conscientious and caring parent would seek for their own children. This may include having the authority to limit requests made by the local authority for the IRO to undertake additional tasks, which are not part of the IRO role. 7.10 The manager should be responsible for ensuring that IROs receive appropriate training on a regular basis. 7.11 The manager should be responsible for the production of an annual report for the scrutiny of the members of the corporate parenting board. This report should identify good practice but should also highlight issues for further development, including where urgent action is needed. It should make reference to: .. procedures for resolving concerns, including the local dispute resolution process and it should include an analysis of the issues raised in dispute and the outcomes; .. the development of the IRO service including information on caseloads, continuity of employment and the make up of the team and how it reflects the identity of the children it is serving; .. extent of participation of children and their parents; .. the number of reviews that are held on time, the number that are held out of time and the reasons for the ones that are out of time; .. outcomes of quality assurance audits in relation to the organisation, conduct and recording of reviews; and .. whether any resource issues are putting at risk the delivery of a quality service to all looked after children. 7.12 The report should be available as a public document from the local authority. It would be good practice to publish this on the local authority’s website so that  Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their 49 functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children looked after children can easily access their corporate parent’s assessment of the quality of its parenting. Caseloads 7.13 The IRO manager should take into account the following in relation to the size of caseloads: .. anticipated requirements set out in primary legislation, Regulations and guidance; .. caseloads in comparable boroughs; .. outcomes of quality assurance audits; and .. capacity to support developments within the service, especially in relation to increasing the active participation of children in the review process. 7.14 The provision of a quality service to each looked after child requires the IRO to have sufficient time to: .. consult with all the relevant adults, including foster carers, before each review; .. read all the relevant documentation before each review; .. meet with the child in a meaningful way before the review (this may involve meeting with the child on a different day in advance of the review); .. chair all meetings that make up the review; .. provide a full record of the review; .. complete quality assurance documentation; .. undertake any follow up work after the review; .. monitor drift; .. alert the local authority in writing of areas of poor practice; .. consult with the social worker and the child, following a significant change; .. resolve concerns informally, implementing the local dispute resolution process where necessary; .. travel to meetings; and .. undertake training and attend meetings for the purpose of consultation and professional development. 50 IRO Handbook 7.15 It is estimated that a caseload of 50 to 70 looked after children for a full time equivalent IRO, would represent good practice in the delivery of a quality service, including the full range of functions set out in this handbook. This range should reflect the diversity and complexity of cases across different local authorities. Role of the director of children’s services 7.16 IROs are in the front line of ensuring that the local authority acts as a responsible and conscientious corporate parent for the children that it looks after. For this reason it is essential that the director of children’s services (usually through his/her delegated senior manager responsible for corporate parenting, whose responsibilities will include quality of care, rather than operational or resource management) is accountable for the effective performance of the IRO function. 7.17 It will be important that the director is able to demonstrate that the child’s voice has been placed at the heart of the authority’s strategic planning for looked after children. His/her behaviour will provide real evidence that the local authority is committed to providing high quality personal services to every child looked after by them, which strive to be excellent in everything they aim to achieve and are good enough for any child in the community. 7.18 The director of children’s services will need to: .. understand the rationale and statutory functions of IROs and have the capacity to appreciate and support IROs in their role and in the execution of their duties; .. have a sound understanding of the legal framework and care planning process governing how the authority meets its responsibilities towards looked after children; and .. be satisfied that policies and procedures are in place to ensure direct communication between senior managers across the departments and partner agencies. Interagency and interdepartmental working together 7.19 The framework for interagency working between local authorities, health and housing departments is set out in section 27 of the 1989 Act. 7.20 This is further expanded in relation to education and the role of the IRO in statutory guidance on promoting the educational achievement of looked after children,18 which is issued under section 7 of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970.  Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their 51 functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children 7.21 It is not unusual for the social worker, who is often the most junior in the hierarchy, to be left to attempt to implement a review decision that requires the co-operation of other departments or agencies. It is therefore important that the local authority ensures that partner agencies (government and non-government agencies that work with the local authority) are clear about the role of the IRO. Reliable systems should be established that ensure that partner agencies comply with the objectives and demands of the local dispute resolution process. This should allow social work managers to obtain updates, responses and clarification to the local dispute resolution process. In the event that the intervention of the head of service is required, s/he should be able to call in his/her counterparts in partner agencies to seek a resolution within the child’s timescale and to address wider organisational issues that may be creating the obstacles. 7.22 Adult social care services, as well as agencies working with children, should be involved in these arrangements. Delay and drift 7.23 Children and young people are particularly concerned about delay and drift in the care planning for their lives and a lack of communication with them about progress in relation to the implementation of their care plans. In the words of the children consulted by the Children’s Rights Director for England, Roger Morgan, the job of the IRO is to: “make sure that everyone does what they are meant to, make sure the child gets their say and make sure things get done”. 7.24 There is a duty on the IRO to make sure that the person responsible for implementing decisions made at a review is identified [regulation36]. As part of this process the IRO should also identify a timescale for the implementation of the decision. If the decision is not implemented within that timescale, or only partially implemented, the IRO may consider activating the local dispute resolution process. Where the delay is having a negative impact on the child’s welfare, the IRO should not be deflected from fulfilling core IRO functions by issues relating to staffing or budget limitations that are given by others as reasons for delay. The timescale for the child must be the deciding factor. 7.25 IROs have a key role to play in preventing drift for looked after children. They will need to ensure that the local authority adheres to national guidance in relation to planning for and achieving permanency for all looked after children. As part of this role they should request tangible evidence of actions that the local authority has taken.  52 IRO Handbook 7.26 In relation to services required for the child from other agencies or departments, the IRO should expect to receive information about when the referral was made, to whom it was sent and the date by which a response was requested. In this way it should be possible to identify at an early stage any likely drift so that consideration can be given to the timely use of the local dispute resolution process. Emergency placements 7.27 Children are frequently moved to a placement on an emergency basis. This can be for a number of reasons but most often is a result of an unplanned entry into the care system or because of the breakdown of a placement. It will be important for the IRO to ensure that placements secured in these circumstances do not become longer term placements by default. The IRO will need to be provided with evidence to confirm that the needs of the child can be met in the placement and, particularly if the child is placed out of area, that all necessary services will be provided from partner agencies, within the child’s timescale. A series of placement moves for a child is not desirable but, equally, neither is retaining a child in a placement that does not adequately meet his/her needs.  Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their 53 functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children Chapter 8. Cafcass 8.1 There are two distinct areas in which the IRO will work in conjunction with Cafcass: .. as part of family proceedings when a child is looked after; and .. when an IRO makes a referral to Cafcass. Family proceedings 8.2 In relation to family proceedings, all children who are subject to care proceedings will have a children’s guardian, appointed by the court and an IRO, appointed by the local authority. The Public Law Outline refers to the ‘timetable for the child’. The IRO should feel confident that s/he is being kept fully informed of the progress of the child’s case, during and at the conclusion of the proceedings. This will involve: .. close liaison with the children’s guardian; and .. the legal department for the local authority providing the IRO with all relevant court documents and having a system in place to do so in a timely manner. 8.3 The IRO will need to consider together with the children’s guardian what communication is necessary in order to promote the best possible care planning process for each child. As soon as the IRO has been appointed to a child subject to proceedings: .. the IRO service should provide the legal department for the local authority with the name of the IRO and with his/her contact details; and .. the legal department for the local authority should advise the court of the name of the IRO and of his/her contact details. 8.4 The legal department of the local authority should have a system in place to: .. pass on the name and contact details of the children’s guardian, once appointed, to the IRO; and .. provide copies of all relevant court documents to the IRO, including court orders and directions, the reports of experts and the reports of the children’s guardian, within five working days of receipt of them. 8.5 Once the children’s guardian has been appointed, the IRO and children’s guardian should establish communication with each other. In the event that the children’s guardian has been appointed and is able to attend the first review, this may be an  54 IRO Handbook opportunity to establish the contact. However, if the appointment is not made until after the first review, it will be important for the communication to be established as soon as possible following the appointment. In addition: .. The children’s guardian should be advised of each review meeting and invited, where appropriate. .. Each local authority should have a system in place to ensure that the legal department of the local authority and the children’s guardian receive a copy of each review record. .. The record of each review that takes place during the proceedings should be submitted to court. .. The IRO should ensure that s/he is in discussion with the children’s guardian at intervals, as is appropriate for each child’s case and that the topics of discussion include: – the wishes and feelings of the child; – the current care plan; – whether details of the care plan are subject to a formal dispute resolution process and if so details of this; – any complaints that have been received about the case; and – any issues raised in court in relation to the implementation of the current care plan. 8.6 Prior to the Issues Resolution Hearing, the local authority should inform the court of any dispute between the local authority and the IRO about the plan for the child and of any issues subject to the local dispute resolution process. 8.7 In all cases where the child is to remain looked after, following the completion of the proceedings, the IRO and children’s guardian should have a final discussion about the child’s case with a view to identifying any outstanding issues or particular matters that should be kept under review. 8.8 The content of discussions between the children’s guardian and IRO should be recorded on the child’s case record. Referral to Cafcass 8.9 Since 2002 IROs have had the authority to refer the case of any looked after child to Cafcass [underSection118,2002Act] if they are of the view that the child’s human rights have been breached and all attempts to resolve the matter have been exhausted. The scope for such referrals is now extended.  Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their 55 functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children 8.10 The IRO now has the authority to refer a case to Cafcass ‘if the IRO considers it appropriate to do so’ [section25B(3),1989Act]. The IRO will encounter a wide range of situations in which there are concerns about the plan for the child or the service that is being provided. In most cases it will be possible to address these through: .. dialogue with the local authority, including access to the dispute resolution procedure; .. use of the complaints procedure, either by the child directly or by an adult who is authorised to act on the child’s behalf; and/or .. application to the court for an order under the 1989 Act, either by the child or by an appropriate adult who is able and willing to act. 8.11 When considering whether to make a referral to Cafcass, the IRO should consider the impact that a referral would have for the child. In some cases, there will be time available first to pursue the full dispute resolution procedure within the local authority (for example where the dispute relates to educational provision for the next academic year and it is currently still the autumn term). In other situations, the matter will be of sufficient urgency that the dispute resolution process needs to be curtailed (for example where there is a plan to change the child’s residential placement within a matter of weeks). It is the responsibility of the IRO to make the decision about whether and when a referral is necessary, based on the timetable for the child. 8.12 As part of any dispute resolution procedure and prior to making a referral, the IRO should notify a nominated local authority senior officer (to be identified in the local authority dispute resolution protocol) that a referral to Cafcass is being considered. Where the IRO has reached a decision to curtail the dispute resolution process to meet the needs of the child, the IRO should explain the reasons for this to the senior officer. 8.13 When considering whether to make a referral, the IRO should have access to management advice and support in addition to independent legal advice where necessary. Cafcass Legal operates a duty helpline which is available to IROs for the discussion of possible referrals. The lawyers at Cafcass Legal cannot give IROs legal advice, but will discuss with the IRO whether any other steps can be taken before a referral is made. 8.14 The IRO can make a referral to Cafcass by contacting Cafcass Legal initially by telephone but the referral should always be confirmed in writing to the duty lawyer who will provide contact details to the IRO. The Cafcass Legal duty helpline telephone number is available from the Cafcass National Office, the contact details for which can be found on http://www.cafcass.gov.uk  56 IRO Handbook 8.15 The information listed below should accompany a referral to Cafcass. .. copies of any final care order and the final care plan filed in proceedings; .. the report of the children’s guardian immediately preceding the making of any care order; .. the review records from the preceding 12 months; .. a report by the IRO explaining why the matter is being referred at this stage and setting out what steps the IRO has taken to resolve the position with the local authority; .. where the child is of sufficient age and understanding, a report by the IRO on the child’s wishes and feelings, including the child’s views in relation to any potential court proceedings; .. names and contact details for relevant professionals in relation to children’s social care and any other agencies involved, for example another local authority or an NHS Trust; .. any other relevant documentation including a chronology and statement of issues, a list of important people in the child’s life and their relationship and involvement with the child; and information about diversity issues for the child and family including whether the child or family members will need additional assistance to aid communication; and .. the most recent care plan. 8.16 Once a referral has been made, Cafcass will enter into final dispute resolution with the local authority before proceedings are instituted. While Cafcass cannot refuse to accept any referral, it is the responsibility of Cafcass and not the IRO to determine whether a legal remedy should be sought. If the problem is not resolved to the benefit of the child and within the child’s timeframe, Cafcass has the power to initiate the following types of action (under regulation 3 of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service [Reviewed Case Referral] Regulations 2004). .. proceedings under section 7(1) of the Human Rights Act 1998; .. claim for judicial review; and .. other proceedings (for example under the 1989 Act). Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their 57 functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children References 1. See section 25B(2)(b) of the Children Act 1989. 2. Department for Education and Skills (2004) Independent Reviewing Officers Guidance: Adoption and Children Act 2002. London: DfES. 3. S.I. 2010/959. 4. In March 2002 the House of Lords delivered its judgement on two conjoined appeals, Re S and Re W (previously known as Re W, W and B). These concerned the powers of the court to monitor the discharge of the local authority’s obligations (including implementation of the care plan) once a care order had been made. The judgement concluded that the courts have no general power to monitor the discharge of the local authority’s functions, but a local authority that failed in its duties to a child could be challenged under the Human Rights Act 1998. The most likely challenge would be under article 8 of the ECHR, relating to family life. However, the judgement also expressed concern that some children with no adult to act on their behalf may not have any effective means to initiate such a challenge. 5. S.I. 2004/2187 amended by S.I. 2005/605. 6. Published under the Care Standards Act 2000. 7. S.I. 2005/389. 8. HM Government (2010) The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations. Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Care Review. Nottingham: DCSF Publications. 9. HM Government (2006) Working Together to Safeguard Children: A guide to interagency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. London: TSO. 10. Department of Health et al. (2000) Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and Their Families. London: The Stationery Office. 11. Department for Education and Skills (2005) Adoption Guidance: Adoption Act 2002.  58 IRO Handbook 12. See Liverpool City Council v Hillingdon case [(2009) EWCA Civ 43 ]. In his judgement LJ Dyson said: …But the position in relation to subsection (6) {of s.20 CA 1989} is different. It does not provide that the child’s wishes and feelings are determinative. In view of the emphasis of the CA on the child’s welfare (replicated in subsection (6) itself) this is hardly surprising. Children are often not good judges of what is in their best interests. Subsection (6) is carefully drafted. The local authority is required “so far as is reasonably practicable and consistent with the child’s welfare” to ascertain the child’s wishes and feelings regarding the provision of accommodation and give “due consideration (having regard to his age and understanding) to such wishes and feelings….as they have been able to ascertain… The child’s wishes are given due consideration in the assessment process, no more and no less. There may be a case when the child’s wishes are decisive. But in my view a local authority should reach the conclusion that the child’s wishes are decisive only as part of an overall judgement including an assessment of the child’s welfare needs and the type and location of accommodation that will meet those needs. 13. Department for Children, Schools and Families (2010) Short Breaks: Statutory guidance on how to safeguard and promote the welfare of disabled children using short breaks. Nottingham: DCSF Publications. 14. For the purposes of this document children with additional communication needs includes those who use non-verbal means of communication as well as a wider group of children who have difficulties in communicating with others. It may be that they cannot express themselves effectively or they may have difficulties in understanding what is being said to them. Equally those who support them may not understand their way of communicating. This is drawn from The Communication Trust (2009) Explaining Speech, Language and Communication Needs. Available to download from http://www.ican.org.uk/communication%20trust/ downloads.aspx 15. This could be a secure children’s home, secure training centre or young offender institution depending on the child’s age, gender and particular needs. 16. S.I.1991/1505. 17. Dixon J, Wade J, Byford S, Weatherly H and Lee J (2006) Young People Leaving Care: A study of costs and outcomes. York: University of York Social Work Research and Development Unit. 18. Department for Children, Schools and Families (2010) Promoting the Educational Achievement of Looked after Children: Statutory guidance for local authorities. Nottingham: DCSF Publications.  Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their 59 functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children 19. Previous guidance suggested the power should be used “…if all other methods of resolving an identified problem [in relation to the child’s case] have proved or are proving unsuccessful and there is a danger of the child’s human rights being breached … so that legal proceedings can be brought to achieve a remedy.” Independent Reviewing Officers Guidance, DFES (2004), paragraph 5.4.  Existing guidance and regulations -Promotingthe healthand wellbeing of lookedafterchildren (statutory guidance,2009) -Personaleducational allowances forlooked after children statutory guidance,2008 -DesignatedTeacherRegulations2009and supporting statutoryguidance -Fostering ServicesRegulations2002-SpecialGuardianshipRegulations2005 -Children (LeavingCare)Regulations2001-HigherEducation BursaryRegulations2009 CareplanningPlacementsAdoptionFosteringChildrenshomesCasereviewCeasingtobelookedafterShort breaksCaserecordsArrangementsinyouthjusticesystem OverarchingframeworkCarePlanning,PlacementandCaseReviewRegulationsandstatutoryguidance:Guidance,regulations and national minimumstandards coming into forceby April 2011 -Promotingthe educationalachievementof lookedafterchildren (statutoryguidance) -Securing sufficiency (statutoryguidance)-Family andfriends (statutoryguidance)-Nationalminimum standardson adoption -Nationalminimum standardson fostering services -Nationalminimum standardson children’shomes -Visitingchildren in longterm care (statutoryguidance) -IROhandbook:statutoryguidance -Transition to adulthood(amendmentregulations and statutoryguidance) -Shortbreaks (statutoryguidance)-Dutytoprovideshortbreaksfordisabledchildren (regulations) -Visitingchildren in custody (regulationsand statutoryguidance) Keysupportinglegislation: Children Act1989,Children(Leaving Care) Act2000,AdoptionandChildrenAct2002, Children Act2004 60 IRO Handbook Annex 1. Overview of statutory framework for care planning Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their 61 functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children Annex 2. Overview of the care planning, placement and case review process Coreassessment Child needs to be looked after Legal processes to become looked after (S31 or S20) Short breaks under S20) (4) Careplanning– formulate care plan (Regs 5–7) No Does Reg 48 apply? Yes Careplanning– formulatemodiedcareplan (the shortbreakcareplan) Arrange health assessment Careplanincluding: -health plan -personal educational plan -placement plan -provision of services and interventions for child family and carer Placement -initiateappropriate placement (Regs 9–14) Permanence plan: – rehabilitation with family – adoption – other long term placement Visitstochild(Regs 28–31) IRO role (Regs 45/46) Child ceases to be looked after (Reg 39) Review – of care plan (Regs 32–38) Looked afterchild caserecord (Regs 49/50) At last review before age 16, preparation begins for pathway planning. Careplan becomes pathway plan (Regs 41–43) Last review before a child is 18? Transition to adulthood for looked after young people  62 IRO Handbook Annex 3: Key changes to the IRO role and function This annex summarises the key changes to the role and function of the IRO, as introduced by the Children and Young Persons Act 2008. Statutory provision Key change Rationale Section 25A(1) 1989 Act When a child first becomes looked after, a named individual must be appointed by the local authority as the IRO for the child. The intention is that each looked after child should have a named IRO to provide continuity in the oversight of the case and to enable the IRO to develop a consistent relationship with the child. Section IRO to monitor the This duty extends the IRO’s monitoring 25B(1)(a) local authority’s role, which was previously confined to the 1989 Act performance of its functions in relation to the child’s case. authority’s functions in respect of the review. The intention is to give the IRO a more effective independent oversight of the child’s case and ensure that the child’s interests are protected. Section IRO to ensure that the This requirement is intended to reinforce the 25B(1)(c) local authority give local authority’s duty under section 22(4) and 1989 Act due consideration to any views expressed by the child. (5) of the 1989 Act to ascertain and give due consideration to the wishes and feelings of the child when making any decision with respect to the child. Regulation IROs have the This new flexibility is meant to prevent the 36(2) of the authority to adjourn meeting becoming a ‘tick box’, exercise. So, Regulations review meetings if they feel that the process would be unproductive. for example the IRO might use this flexibility because there is a lack of key documentation or because the child has not been consulted about the purpose of the review. Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their 63 functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children Statutory provision Key change Rationale Regulation IROs must speak in This requirement is intended to ensure that 36(1)(b) private with each the child is properly consulted on matters of the child prior to each relating to his/her care and is given the time Regulations review so that the IRO personally establishes the child’s wishes and feelings about the issues to be covered at the care planning meeting. to contribute to the content of the meeting. Section 25B Referral by an IRO The intention of this change is to reinforce the (3) 1989 Act of a case to Cafcass should no longer seen a last resort,19 but can be considered at any time. authority of the IRO to challenge poor practice around the child’s case. 64 IRO Handbook Annex 4: Involving children with additional communication needs 1. Children with additional communication needs14 have the same rights as all looked after children in the care planning process to have their wishes and feelings ascertained and given due consideration by the local authority. The principles underpinning the involvement of children with complex communication needs are the same as for all children, however this group of children require additional action by IROs. 2. Children with additional communication needs may use a range of communication methods and approaches. These include signing systems such as British Sign Language, symbol systems such as picture communication symbols, and augmented communication aids. An individual approach to understanding each child’s communication method is required. Some children will communicate with only a sign or word or movement that indicates yes and another indicating no. This does not mean that the child cannot understand or is not able to communicate his/ her wishes and feelings. Some children’s involvement will need to focus on their likes and dislikes, which should be used to inform planning and decision-making. 3. If a child has additional communication needs the IRO service should be informed, prior to or immediately following the planning/placement meeting and the child’s preferred communication method should be recorded in his/her care plan. 4. The IRO manager should consider the child’s preferred method of communication when allocating the referral. This means allocating such a referral to a specialist IRO with knowledge and experience of children with communication needs or an IRO with experience of the child’s specific communication method. 5. Where specialist expertise is not available within the IRO team a presumption should be made that a child with communication needs will be supported by an independent advocate, with the child having the right to opt out or choose someone else to support him/her if s/he wishes. The allocated IRO should ensure that, from the outset, the child has access to this specialist support so that his/her wishes and feelings can be elicited effectively. This support should be made available throughout the care planning and review process including when any significant changes are proposed. 6. The IRO manager should recognise that more time will be required to elicit the wishes and feelings of a child with communication needs and adjust workloads accordingly.  Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their 65 functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children 7. Involvement should be seen as a process and not simply measured by attendance at a review meeting. Children with communication support needs should be actively encouraged to attend review meetings that are organised to best facilitate their involvement and feedback should be provided in a format that is accessible to the individual child. Figure 2: Flow chart for involving a child with communication needs At planning/placement meeting Communication support need and child’s individual means of communication identified and recorded in care plan At point of allocationIRO manager to establish if there is a specialist IRO or an IRO who understands the child’s individual means of communication If NoIf YesBy or immediately after By the first review the first review Specialist IRO or IRO who understands IRO to ensure specialist support child’s means of communication such as independent advocacy allocated and workloads adjusted is available to accommodate additional time required By the second reviewChild supported to express his/her wishes and feelings at whatever level and through whatever means works best for the individual child At every subsequent review The IRO assesses the extent and effectiveness of the child’s involvement at each review. Where independent advocacy is not already in place the IRO makes sure the child understands his/her entitlement to be supported by an advocate whenever s/he wants to express his/her wishes and feelings 66 IRO Handbook Case studies 1. IRO and an independent advocate working together Tuan lives in a residential school, over one hundred miles from his home. He has communication needs. He had never attended a review. A new IRO established that his family find the journey to visit him stressful and have requested that he be moved to a school nearer home. Tuan appears to be happy at school and has been progressing well, and the school think he should remain with them. The IRO enlisted the support of an independent advocate to shed light upon Tuan’s perceived wishes and feelings. The advocate met Tuan at school and visited him at home over a period of time. The advocate observed that Tuan was happy at school, but had made only one significant attachment with an adult worker and none with his peers. At home, Tuan had positive attachments with a wide variety of family members, and the advocate observed his joy at being with his family. The advocate was also able to establish that Tuan’s cultural needs were being met by his family but not at school. Although not able to determine what Tuan would say on the issue, the advocate’s observations, evidenced by a photo diary and log of his daily contacts and activities, gave a balanced view regarding Tuan’s life at school and at home. The IRO had a clearer picture with which to review his care plan. The independent advocate is continuing to work with Tuan to establish other important issues in Tuan’s life to feed in to future reviews particularly in the light of his future transition to adult services. 2. Specialist IRO Amy communicates through eye pointing. She has expressed her wish to attend her next review. The team’s specialist disability IRO is Amy’s IRO and her caseload is reduced to allow the extra time required to facilitate involvement of children with communication needs. Although the IRO has no direct experience of using this particular communication method, she does have an understanding of good practice concerning the involvement of children with communication needs, and has developed links with practitioners across the authority so that she can call on their expertise if needed. Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their 67 functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children The IRO starts with gathering information from those who know Amy well and observes her learning support assistant working with Amy. The IRO familiarises herself with Amy’s book of symbols that she uses for eye pointing and works with staff and Amy to add some particularly relevant symbols. The IRO supports Amy to identify key points she wants to raise at the review, and at Amy’s request ensures that only those professionals who really need to be there are present, in order to minimise numbers. The IRO then makes sure Amy has the chance to contribute in the meeting. The IRO maintains this case, makes sure Amy understands the outcome of the meeting and establishes a way for Amy to contact her if she needs to between reviews. 68 IRO Handbook Annex 5: Children in the youth justice system Care status 1. The looked after status of children within the youth justice system is complex. Some children who were not previously looked after acquire this status through section 21 of the 1989 Act. These are: .. children where police request a transfer of detention to the local authority pending a court hearing under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE); .. children remanded to local authority accommodation under section 23(1) of the Children and Young Person’s Act 1969, with or without a ‘secure requirement’; .. children subject to a youth rehabilitation order (YRO) with a fostering or local authority residence requirement under the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 (Schedule 1). 2. The local authority does not have parental responsibility but must care for and plan for these children in the same way as other accommodated children, and the IRO therefore also has responsibility for them. 3. Other children lose their looked after status. Children subject to a care order cannot lose that status unless the order is revoked but those looked after under section 20 or section 21 do if they: .. are remanded to custody and placed in a young offender institution (YOI) – these will be 17 year olds, or boys aged 15 or 16 and deemed not to be vulnerable; .. receive a custodial sentence. 4. Even where a child is no longer looked after s/he may still have an entitlement to leaving care services. If a young person is an eligible or relevant care leaver this status remains unchanged while in custody and the local authority that looked after him/her retains responsibility for providing support during his/her time in custody and on release. Some young people will achieve this status while they are in custody on attaining the age of 16: that is, those who have spent 13 weeks looked after since the age of 14 and who were looked after children immediately prior to entering custody. This is set out in the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000.  Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their 69 functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children Care planning 5. IROs have an important role in ensuring that the local authority fulfils its responsibilities to looked after children who are at risk of offending or involved in the youth justice system. Looked after children continue to be more likely than their peers to be convicted of an offence. They may be more troubled as a consequence of their history before becoming looked after, making them more likely to offend, and it is essential that their experiences in care help to prevent this rather than increasing the risk. The child’s assessment should have considered any unmet needs that may lead to offending and the care or pathway plan should set out the measures that will be taken to support the child. It may be enough to tackle the potential causes of offending but some children may also benefit from targeted preventative services provided in conjunction with the youth offending team (YOT). It is also important to consider the capacity of the placement to deal with any behavioural problems, both in relation to individual children and the dynamics within the group if several children are placed. The IRO may want to consider the level of supervision that is provided, approaches to behaviour management and whether there is a protocol about involving the police in order to ensure that children are not at risk of being unnecessarily criminalised. Where the IRO identifies any deficiencies in the service or negative trends in relation to offending behaviour, these should be reported to managers and the response monitored. 6. The IRO should be advised of any incidents where a looked after child is arrested or charged with an offence. If the IRO considers that the child’s care plan needs to be amended, s/he should request a review. This is particularly likely to be the case if the child is charged with a serious offence or his/her offending is persistent and a custodial sentence is a possibility. The IRO should seek evidence of the following: .. Is the child’s social worker working in partnership with the YOT, sharing information and actively contributing to the YOT assessment? .. Has the child been provided with expert legal representation? .. Is the social worker accompanying the child to court hearings? .. Has the social worker provided information that will assist the court in reaching an appropriate decision, including any mitigating factors, and the local authority’s plans for the child? .. Is the child’s placement able to support the child, including compliance with any bail conditions? 70 IRO Handbook Children in custodial settings 7. If a court decides to remand or sentence a child to a custodial setting,15 his/her entitlement to support will vary according to his/her legal status but the local authority retains some responsibility. Children can often feel abandoned at this point and it is particularly important that the IRO ensures that proper plans are made to support them both while they are in custody and on release. However, the nature of the IRO’s involvement will vary according to whether the child is looked after while in custody or not. Although a custodial placement does not have the same status as a local authority placement, information sharing and joint planning between establishment staff and the local authority should still take place. Children’s and human rights legislation are applicable, regardless of the child’s care status but subject to the requirements of imprisonment. The IRO should be notified as soon as a looked after child is placed in custody, including the details of where s/he is placed and the relevant order. IRO responsibilities to children who continue to be looked after in custody 8. Going into custody is a significant change in the child’s circumstances and a review should be held. The IRO is entitled to co-operation from the establishment, who should facilitate the review by providing a suitable room, enabling the IRO to have a private discussion with the child and enabling the attendance of key participants. Although the child will be the subject of remand or sentence planning meetings, and there is likely to be some overlap in attendance, it is important that the review meeting is a separate event and chaired by the IRO. It will be appropriate to invite the YOT case manager and a link worker from the establishment (such as the youth offending institution social worker or the child’s case supervisor), subject to the child’s agreement, but the child’s privacy needs to be respected. S/he may feel particularly vulnerable because of the custodial setting and a sensitive approach needs to be taken to the disclosure of personal information. This may also be the case regarding the involvement of parents. 9. The review has the same purpose as any review following a change in circumstances but there will be additional considerations as to how the child’s needs will be met during his/her time in custody. The child’s social worker should have assessed these and provided a report to the review. Specific questions to consider are: .. Is the child safe? .. Is there a risk of self harm? .. What is the child’s emotional state? .. Does the child need money, clothes, books or other practical support? Statutory guidance for independent reviewing officers and local authorities on their 71 functions in relation to case management and review for looked after children .. Are education staff aware of and able to meet the child’s educational needs, including any special needs or abilities? .. Are the health unit and wing staff aware of, and able to meet, the child’s health needs? .. Are staff aware of, and able to meet, the child’s religious and cultural needs? .. Is the child worried about anything? If so, what? .. What impact has the remand/sentence had on family relationships? .. Does there need to be help with contact arrangements? .. What action is needed to provide for the child’s accommodation on release? .. Are changes needed to the child’s care plan/pathway plan? 10. It is important to consider at this stage where the child will live on release. Wherever possible, placements that were working well should be retained so that the child can return there but if this not possible an alternative should be secured as soon as possible. A child’s ability to cope in custody can be adversely affected if s/he does not know where s/he be living on release. For remanded children, the IRO will need to be satisfied that the social worker is actively working with the YOT to develop a robust plan that would support an application for bail. 11. Although the local authority is not responsible for the placement and cannot terminate it, there may be situations where the IRO is not satisfied that everything is being done to safeguard the child or promote his/her welfare. There are steps that the local authority can take, such as approaching the YOT or YJB to initiate a transfer request, and the IRO can refer to Cafcass in the usual way if these are inadequate. 12. The IRO should establish a timescale for further reviews of the child’s plan according to his/her needs and circumstances but not less than the statutory minimum. The IRO is responsible for monitoring the implementation of plans and the effectiveness of services provided. An additional consideration that IROs should be aware of is the possibility of early release, which will be dependent on a suitable placement having been found and the child’s ability to cope with the required additional surveillance and electronic monitoring. 13. It is good practice to hold a review within the last month of the sentence to ensure that an effective plan is made for the child’s release. This must be aligned with the plans being made for the child by his/her YOT case manager, who will continue to supervise him/her on release, and it should be clear who is responsible for each aspect. Because of the high level of contact that the child is expected to have with his/her YOT case manager, there is a tendency for social workers to withdraw at this  72 IRO Handbook point and the IRO should be alert to this possibility. The IRO should be informed of the Notice of Supervision or Licence, setting out the conditions of the child’s release. IRO responsibilities to children who cease to be looked after in custody 14. Some children who cease to be looked after on entering custody will be entitled to support as care leavers: others will not have satisfied the necessary timescales. Local authorities have a duty [section23ZAofthe1989Act] to appoint a representative to visit and assess children who were looked after under section 20 of the 1989 Act and who therefore cease to be looked when they enter custody. This assessment will include whether the child will need to be accommodated again on release. 15. Depending on the length of the sentence, it may be appropriate for the representative to keep the IRO updated about the child’s circumstances and plan. This will be particularly important if the plan is to accommodate the child again, in which case the IRO should be informed of the plan before the child is released. 16. In the event that the child is re-accommodated on release the same IRO should resume his/her role for the child.  You can download this publication at http://www.dcsf.gov.uk Search using ref: DCSF-00184-2010 Copies of this publication can be obtained from: DCSF Publications PO Box 5050 Sherwood Park Annesley Nottingham NG15 0DJ Tel: 0845 60 222 60 Fax: 0845 60 333 60 Textphone: 0845 60 555 60 Please quote the ref: 00184-2010DOM-EN ISBN: 978-1-84775-673-2 D16(8675)/0310

A message left on this blog for Sally Rees corporate director

Filed under: Staffordshire — nojusticeforparents @ 8:54 am
Tags: ,

The following message has been left on this blog by one of the sisiters who was beaten abused and starved in Staffordshire Local Authority Care

this was in response to another article on this blog you can see the article and original comment by viewing recent comments in right hand column

but Sally Rees i have been saying all along you are not interested and do not care seems i am not on my own in this

It is very sad to say but al the facts listed above are very true you can read my story of the horrific abuse suffered whilst i was under staffordshire county councils care. Never once have they been apologetic all though they had all the facts and i found that they rather like to side with the abusers to save face. My opionon is that the care system is a complete faliure run by heartless human beinging who only seem to care for themselves.A life in care only leads to a life of ruin you only have to look at the satistics for that. Staffordshire county should be totaly ashamed of the pointless operation that they run and the nice easy ride that they like to give to pedophiles.I would like to start a campaign to get rid of some of these over paid scumbags and see them replaced with people who actually care about their job. Yes Sally Rees i am talking about you!!!!!

You can read her story below and take note that despite the local authority settling an out of court settlement they still refuse to accept accountability .

THEY ARE BEYOND BELIEF

Twins who were beaten, abused, starved & driven to the brink of suicide by their FOSTER PARENTS

Mar 28 2010 Laura Armstrong

COMPENSATION AT LAST FOR…

Twins Helen Stuckey & Sarah Walsh (Pic: Newspics)

(Pic: Newspics)

Twin sisters Helen Stuckey and Sarah Walsh hugged each other with joy last week – unlike when they were little girls and hugged as they trembled with fear.

The reason for last week’s quiet embrace was that the 26-year-old sisters have finally won compensation from a council that put them in the care of the foster parents from hell.

From the age of two, Helen and Sarah were regularly beaten by the couple who should have given them a loving, protected life.

Both girls, who have bravely waived their anonymity, were also forced to perform sex acts on each other while their vile foster brother watched.

And Sarah was sexually abused by their twisted foster dad between the age of five and 16.

Staffordshire county council staff visited the children frequently but failed to spot warning signs.

These included both sisters trying to commit suicide DOZENS of times, SEVEN ignored reports of physical abuse and THREE disregarded admissions by their stepfather that he and his wife beat the kids.

Social services were unaware of the sexual abuse but Helen and Sarah claim it would never have happened if they been removed from the evil family’s care.

Helen told The People: “This battle was never about winning a large amount of money. For us it was our way of getting social services to admit blame for what happened to us.

“They will never admit blame – we understand that now – but in our minds this pay-out suggests they at least accept they were negligent.

“Now we can fully move on and try to forget those years of hell.”

Survived

The girls were placed with the foster parents in 1985 after their mother – a schizophrenic – was unable to look after them.

Almost immediately after they were taken in, the physical abuse started.

Sarah said: “If we hadn’t had each other, I honestly don’t think we would have survived. We were beaten and abused from almost day one.”

In 1988, social services admitted they were worried that the foster brother – then aged 15- was looking after the five-year-old twins during the day. But NO action was taken.

In 1993 the foster parents admitted to a social worker that the mother smacked them although carers are NOT supposed to use physical punishment. Again no action was taken.

Next year both parents agreed to stop using corporal punishment. This did NOT happen.

Shockingly, the girls weren’t only being physically abused. From 1988 until 1996 Sarah and Helen were forced to perform sex acts while their foster brother watched. Sarah was also sexually abused by her foster dad.

Sarah said: “We never did anything about it because we were too scared.”

Helen added: “Despite everything we have been through, we don’t want to be seen as victims because we know we are lucky to have escaped our foster family.

“But there must be thousands of helpless children out there trapped in abusive families.

“And one day we hope to change the law so that social services staff are required to take responsibility for the mistakes they make.”

Sarah continued: “Our foster mum was a nasty drinker and if she was drunk or hungover she would go after us with anything she could get.

“Whenever she did use her fists, she would wet them so the punch would hurt more, and then pull us upstairs by our hair.

“I wanted so badly for the beatings to stop, but we were frightened to say anything in case the social workers took us away and split us up.

“So instead we learnt to say nothing when we were beaten. And when it was over and we were alone, we would sit and cry together.

“I was so unhappy and frightened but knowing Helen was there holding my hand helped.”

Helen said: “It wasn’t just the beatings, it was the humiliation. We used to be called the waterworks by classmates because we’d always be crying when we arrived at school.

“And we never made friends because other children were too frightened to come to our house. They had seen the beatings, such as when our foster mum pulled Sarah outside by her shirt collar and slammed her up against a brick wall, screaming that she was a slag and telling her to p*** off.

“Other times we’d be banned from eating for ages, or made to eat until we were sick, just for trivial reasons. I remember once as a child eating Stork margarine with sugar on top because I was so hungry.

Desperate

“I didn’t care that it made me feel sick, I was just so desperate that I just shovelled it in like an animal.”

The People knows the identity of the twins’ foster family but has decided not to name them for legal reasons.

Their foster mother is still inolved with children while their foster brother now has children of his own. Their foster father died of cancer seven years ago. Helen said: “It scares me to think that our foster mum is still working with young children.

“In the 15 years I lived with her she never once showed Sarah or me a shred of pity, let alone any love.

“If we sobbed when she hurt us, she would just hit harder.”

Sarah said: “The things our foster brother made us do was more confusing than anything else at first. But when my foster dad abused me, I felt sick and alone.”

Helen, tortured by the belief that she was to blame for her sister’s suffering, took an overdose of pills and cough mixture.

Sarah was thrown out by her foster mum when the twins were 16. The homeless teenager began cutting her wrists and was hospitalised after four overdoses.

She said: “After years of abuse I really believed what our foster parents had told us – we were worthless and there was no point in living. It was only when my foster dad died in 2003 I finally felt that I could open up about everything.”

In 2006 Helen and Sarah reported the abuse to police.

Their foster mum and brother were questioned but released without charge after the Crown Prosecution Service ruled there was a lack of evidence of the brother’s abuse and the time limit to prosecute the mother for assault had expired.

So the twins – now mums themselves – launched a claim against Staffordshire County Council.

Now they have received £70,000 compensation three weeks before the case was due to be heard in court.

The compensation is NOT for the abuse but for social services breaching their duty of care.

Sarah said: “Hearing the settlement had been reached was like having a 10-ton weight lifted.”

Helen added: “I still see our foster mum in the street sometimes and she laughs if she catches sight of me. But now I can put all the anger that I used to feel behind me.”

Staffordshire County Council said: “We made an out-of-court settlement but do not accept liability for the allegations which have never been proved. We have, however, offered the claimants help and support.

“The fostering service has come a very long way since the 1980s. We were inspected by Ofsted in 2009 and our fostering service was judged outstanding.”

Solicitor Richard Scorer of Manchester law firm Pannone said: “We were able to find information to support Helen and Sarah’s case.

“Although no amount of money can ever compensate for what they went through, I am pleased to have played a part in getting them justice .”

http://www.people.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/2010/03/28/twins-who-were-beaten-abused-starved-driven-to-the-brink-of-suicide-by-their-foster-parents-93463-22143896/


May 30, 2010

Adoption move defended by council chiefs

Adoption move defended by council chiefs
by JAMES BENSTEADLast updated: 10/02/2007 00:00
SOCIAL services chiefs have defended their decision to place a toddler for adoption with a couple who were later convicted of neglecting and sexually assaulting her.
The child, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had been with the couple for less than a year at their home in Midway when she was taken semi-conscious to Burton’s Queen’s Hospital.
A trial at Derby Crown Court, which ended last week, was told by the woman that she heard a bang in the bathroom and found the then two-year-old girl lying motionless on the floor.
Instead of calling an ambulance, the 40-year-old rang her husband to return from work and it was he who made the 999 call shortly after his return.
Doctors examining the child at Burton’s Queen’s Hospital found genital injuries consistent with a serious sexual assault, described by one expert as the worst she had seen in more than 20 years of dealing with child abuse cases.
Both parents, who can also not be identified and had never been in trouble before, gave conflicting stories when interviewed by police, but each denied two counts of sexual assault on a child and three counts of cruelty against a child.
The trial jury convicted the 39-year-old man of both charges of sexual assault, and his now ex-wife, 40, of two charges of cruelty, relating to her failure to seek immediate treatment for the injuries and causing the baby a serious head injury, probably by shaking it. They are due to be sentenced on March 12.
Although the couple live in South Derbyshire, the girl was placed with them by the adoption agency at Staffordshire County Council after they had failed to conceive a child and an expensive round of IVF treatment had failed.
In September, 2004, following a series of tests and ‘rigorous’ checks, the adoption team placed a child in the couple’s care ahead of an official adoption being finalised in May 2005.
The court heard that, just two days after the horrendous events of August 6, 2005, the couple were also due to take in another child — their victim’s biological sister.
A county council spokesman said: “When people apply to be considered as adoptive parents, the council is responsible for undertaking preparation and assessment in accordance with regulations and statutory guidance.
“The assessment is considered by an adoption panel which makes a recommendation to the adoption agency.
“A review concluded that this was a well-conducted adoption assessment where events followed a proper sequence, the work complied with Department for Education and Skills (DfES) standards and good practice in place at the time.
“Naturally, we are saddened to hear of cases such as this and we would wish to point out that the council does everything in its power to safeguard children as much as possible.”

.”http://www.burtonmail.co.uk/News/Adoption-move-defended-by-council-chiefs.htm

May 29, 2010

‘Social Services in Staffordshire and their policy of “forced adoptions” are to blame for this,’ she writes.

Heartbreaking last letter from murder-charge mother: ‘They’re trying to take my children. I’m giving them a wonderful holiday before events you will start to read about…’
By PAUL HARRIS
Last updated at 7:52 AM on 29th May 2010
Add to My Stories
Gently holding her baby son, Lianne Smith is a picture of proud parenthood.
Hours later, the boy and his sister were dead and their mother had tried to kill herself.
The haunting photograph, apparently taken by Mrs Smith’s five-year-old daughter Rebecca, was included in a package which was posted from Spain to England.
It arrived only yesterday and is revealed exclusively in the Daily Mail. The fugitive mother compiled an album of their ‘wonderful holiday’ together on the Costa Brava, then sent it off with a farewell letter before allegedly smothering Rebecca and 11-month-old Daniel with a plastic bag almost two weeks ago.
Hours left to live: Baby Daniel Smith in his mother Lianne’s arms
The package leaves little doubt that the tormented teacher mapped out every last detail of her actions, and was fully in control until the end.
Crucially, a line in her letter pinpoints the exact moment  –  and the reason  –  she decided to put her plan into action.
She reveals that ‘an attempt was made to take my children’  –  so she intended to give them ‘a short and wonderful holiday before events you will start to hear about in the press’.
Smiling and apparently untroubled: Lianne Smith poses for the camera
Mrs Smith, 43, who is accused of her children’s murder, sent the package to a publicist she had contacted through the internet after the arrest of her partner Martin Anthony Smith.
He became one of Britain’s most wanted men when he fled with her to Spain more than two years ago to avoid child sex charges.
The former TV ‘psychic’ was taken from the flat they shared in Barcelona on May 8, and extradited to Britain shortly afterwards.
Ice-cream treat: Rebecca prepares to tuck into a sundae
Mrs Smith, a former child protection expert with Cumbria County Council, refused to believe he was guilty  –  and hoped publicity over her plight would allow her to keep custody of her children while she fought the allegations on his behalf.
In an anguished telephone interview with the publicist, she sobbed: ‘I really don’t know how I’ll cope.’
On May 14, she was panicked into fleeing Barcelona after what she described as ‘an attempt to take my children’. It is thought that Spanish social workers had tried to contact her.
Enlarge
She headed for Lloret de Mar, the resort where she and Smith spent three weeks after they arrived in Spain. The neatly written letter gives the clearest indication yet that she intended to end her life alongside her children.
According to experts, it was the work of someone who strives to maintain control over the situation in which she finds herself  –  ‘at whatever cost’.
The last trip to the beach: Five-year-old Rebecca Smith and her 11-month-old brother Daniel crawl happily in the sand together near the family’s Costa hotel
She put her Barcelona home address at the top and dated it Sunday May 16.
By that time, she was already staying in the beachfront hotel where the children’s bodies would be discovered less than 48 hours later. Crucially, she already speaks about them in the past tense.
Without explaining why, she says she packed essentials for only three days.
The letter from Mrs Smith, who lived in Lichfield, Staffordshire, before fleeing to Spain, coldly shifts responsibility for what happened.
Enlarge
Epitaph to a lost son and daughter: Extracts from the letter sent back to England by Lianne Smith
‘Social Services in Staffordshire and their policy of “forced adoptions” are to blame for this,’ she writes. Foretelling her own death, she adds: ‘If we were only dealing with the police and court system I would still be here for Martin.’
The final line appears to have been added as an afterthought. It makes certain that the exact location of room 101, where the bodies would be discovered, was identified.
‘Our hotel is the MIRAMAR,’ she writes. ‘Our room is the 1st floor far right.’ As it turned out, no one needed a guide like this to find them.
Mrs Smith survived to alert the authorities herself despite apparently using the same plastic bag which smothered the children on herself. This was followed by a further suicide attempt when she slashed her wrists.
Tender moments: Daniel plays with a banana next to the bed where he died and Rebecca enjoys a ride on the swings
What looks certain now is that the children’s deaths were not the result of any single, overwhelming moment of torment  –  but the culmination of a desperate, carefully calculated escape Mrs Smith had been planning for days.
Chillingly, the evidence suggests she took the pictures, wrote the letter, got the film developed  –  then put the rest of her plan into action.
The letter was written in blue roller-ball on two sides of A4 paper. It was sent in the same package as the set of colour prints, negatives, two blank Lloret de Mar postcards and rough copies of passport identity pages. It bore three Spanish stamps and was marked ‘Urgent’.
In one of the photographs, an envelope just like the one that arrived can be seen on Daniel’s bed, with a pen and paper nearby.
Enlarge
In another, also apparently taken by Rebecca, Mrs Smith is seen smiling and apparently untroubled.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1282341/Spain-murder-charge-mother-Lianne-Smiths-letter-toddler-deaths.html

May 27, 2010

Do You Trust Social Workers ? Take a look at this lot !

Eleni Cordingley Placed child at risk. Swansea
Dwight Mcguire Sexual Abuse. Darlington
David Cookson Sex with mentally ill woman Surrey
Stanley Lansdell Shouting homophobic abuse at child Bradford
Craig Mccoughlin Buying recovering alcoholic alcohol Sheffield
Michael Bird Filming up womens skirts Newcastle
Julie Andrews Obtaining money by deception Unknown
Douglas Makey Sexual Abuse Gravesend
Lynne Greenwood Theft Manchester
Martha Wright Theft from service user Manchester
Rosalind Shaw Misconduct Waltham Forest
Christopher Hardman Conning teenage girls to pose topless Kirklees
Ms C Abuse and neglect of own child Unknown
Tricia Forbes Proffesional misconduct Waltham Forest
Joy Coles Placing children at risk Leicester
Douglas Adams Inappropriate sexual comments Barnsley
Edward Evans Deception Aberdeen http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/1576910?UserKey=
Verona Reeves Failing to disclose convictions Birmingham
Richard Clasby Sexual Abuse Cambridgeshire
Alan Rhodes Breach of codes of conduct Leeds
Kevin Mence Sexual Abuse Cambridgeshire
Mrs X Biting own child Unknown
Catherine Watt Health,safety,financial and management failings Clydebank
Darren Macdonald Placed children at risk Fife
Karen Taylor Failed to adhere to employers abscence management procedures Glasgow
Catherine Forrest Dishonesty and plagerism Glasgow
Patricia Higgins Failed to adhere to employers reporting practices Glasgow
Kevin Glancy Possessing child porn Edinburgh
Jackie Mclhargey Ran stolen car factory Unknown
Alan Man Accused of using inappropriate and degrading language to young client Glasgow
Margeret Gribbon Accused of 12 counts of misconduct Clydebank
Derek Horrobin Running 3 licensed premises with violence and underage drinking Moray
Heather Clark failing vulnerable familes Aberdeen
Niamh Duigan Possessing class A drugs and 2 counts of offering to supply Manchester
Tracy Dawber permitting indecent images of children to be made and one charge of sexual assault on a child under 13 SEFTON
Lynda Barnes found guilty of hiring a hitman to kill her husband. Bath and North East Somerset
Andrew Walker forming an inappropriate personal relationship with a person who used services. Rotherham
Jacinta Hofstetter caused distress and anxiety to a child and placed other children at unnecessary risk of harm. Brent
Stephen Dent Assaulted 12 yr old autistic child Croydon
Carole Baptiste deliberately breaching an inquiry summons Haringey
Paul Collett Misconduct after sending mother to see prophet in Nigeria Southampton
David Holder behaving inappropriately towards three women colleagues. Gloucester
Rod Ryall Charged with 13 sex offences against teenage boys Calderdale
John Donnelly Failed to provide appropriate care to vulnerable adults to their detriment Lanarkshire
Michael Wrenn lied about taking taxis to work to fraudulently claim more than £4 Oldham
Lorraine Brimelow suspended for six months after taking a child under the care of Stoke-on-Trent City Council back to her own house. Derby
Andrew Bennett allowed ‘rapist’ to slip through net in litany of failure Dundee
Thomas Ritzler slept with a 14-year-old girl. SURREY
Daniel Bester suspended for not reporting a colleague who slept with a 14-year-old girl. SURREY
Alan Carr formed an inappropriate personal and sexual relationship with a vulnerable child in care. St Helens
David Crank a string of indecent assaults against a schoolboy Tameside
Michael Carroll indecent assault on a 12-year-old boy Lambeth
Unknown seven-year campaign of sexual abuse of his partner’s young daughter unknown
Unknown abused his three-year-old son unknown
Andrew Forbes McLauchlan dishonesty Sussex
Ruth Hughes prolonged and repeated” breaches of the code of practice for social workers Nottingham
Frederick Goudy five counts of sexual assault. Reading
David Michael Kendrick assaulting two boys in his care Staffordshire
Gordon Wateridge indecently assaulting teenage children. Jersey
Unknown sexually abused a minor Unknown
Venetia Tsiaka inviting a mother and her children into her home to conclude a formal meeting. Warrington
Brian Morris involved in domestic violence Bournemouth
Tom Watt sexually assaulted women Buckinghamshire
Adesola Adeniji-Smith Dishonesty Islington
Paul Derek Girdlestone possessing and distributing indecent images of children Hampshire
Wladyslaw Piotr Kiczma carried out inappropriate physical examinations of children Birmingham
Egbert Elijah Hall pursued two vulnerable women who used services. Brent
Rawle McCarthy worked whilst temporarily excluded from the Social Care Register Haringey
Frederick Keith Stockdale physically restricted a person who used services in a way that breached official guidelines Sunderland
Eogain Gallagher breached the code of practice. West Sussex
Mr Mncedisi V. Apleni found guilty of rape Essex
Neil Gabriel convicted in 2007 of indecently assaulting a 10-year-old girl Cambridgeshire
Mark Wooldridge found to have had sexual relationships with two vulnerable women who used services and were allocated to him. Somerset
Martine Boyd forming an inappropriate personal relationship and for failing to disclose information to her employer.   Bedfordshire
Jacqueline Mullins’ failing to store and maintain records containing sensitive information. Rotherham
Virginia Leckie forming an inappropriate relationship and for dishonesty. Hounslow
Stephen Douglas formed an inappropriate personal relationship with a woman described as ‘extremely vulnerable’ Northumberland
Hilary Sampson breached the profession’s code of practice. Derbyshire
Jean Stearn breached the Code of Practice Blackpool
Geoffrey Casey Making false allegations to police, nspcc and social services about a couple Witney
Mr Andrew Atkins forming an inappropriate and personal relationship with a person who uses services Leeds
Mr Richard Watkins breached the Code of Practice London
Theresa Guy forming a personal relationship with a foster carer Colchester
Ms Rosemary Arnold. breached the Code of Practice Portsmouth
Mrs Evelyn Mnene breached the code of practice
John Bennett maintaining a grossly offensive website as well as possessing indecent photographs of children. Lincoln
Anna Orlinski. physically restraining a child on two occasions. Gateshead
Mr Steven McGarry. failing to declare previous criminal convictions Barrow-in-Furness
Eric Charlesworth inappropriate touching and physical contact with service users. Rugby
Laura Lee driving with excess of alcohol and failing to declare the conviction to Wolverhampton
Eleni Cordingley Placed child at risk. Swansea
Dwight Mcguire Sexual Abuse. Darlington
David Cookson Sex with mentally ill woman Surrey
Stanley Lansdell Shouting homophobic abuse at child Bradford
Craig Mccoughlin Buying recovering alcoholic alcohol Sheffield
Michael Bird Filming up womens skirts Newcastle
Julie Andrews Obtaining money by deception Unknown
Douglas Makey Sexual Abuse Gravesend
Lynne Greenwood Theft Manchester
Martha Wright Theft from service user Manchester

Eleni Cordingley Placed child at risk. Swanseahttp://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/2009/01/27/110556/conduct-swansea-social-worker-struck-off-for-poor-judgement.htmDwight Mcguire Sexual Abuse. Darlingtonhttp://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/2010/01/26/113650/former-darlington-social-worker-struck-off-over-us-child-abuse.htmDavid Cookson Sex with mentally ill woman Surreyhttp://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/s/2049682_sex_offender_social_worker_struck_offStanley Lansdell Shouting homophobic abuse at child Bradfordhttp://www.pinknews.co.uk/2010/01/07/social-worker-struck-off-for-abusing-trans-child/Craig Mccoughlin Buying recovering alcoholic alcohol Sheffieldhttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/6515763/Social-worker-struck-off-after-buying-whisky-for-rehab-patient.htmlMichael Bird Filming up womens skirts Newcastlehttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/michael+bird.htmJulie Andrews Obtaining money by deception Unknownhttp://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/2009/09/29/112705/jailed-social-worker-struck-off-after-admitting-25000-fraud.htmDouglas Makey Sexual Abuse Gravesendhttp://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/4637776.GRAVESEND__Social_worker_struck_off_after_allegedly_sexually_abusing_two_girls/Lynne Greenwood Theft Manchesterhttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/Greenwood+release.htmMartha Wright Theft from service user Manchesterhttp://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/2009/04/08/111238/social-worker-struck-off-for-stealing-4000-from-service-user.htmRosalind Shaw Misconduct Waltham Foresthttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/Rosalind+Shaw+conduct+hearing.htmChristopher Hardman Conning teenage girls to pose topless Kirkleeshttp://www.lgcplus.com/news/social-care/social-worker-struck-off-over-porn-ruse/5004811.articleMs C Abuse and neglect of own child Unknownhttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/baby-p/6606365/Heroin-addicted-social-worker-struck-off-over-cover-up-of-own-childs-abuse.htmlTricia Forbes Proffesional misconduct Waltham Foresthttp://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/2008/02/15/107296/Social-worker-struck-off-social-care-register.htmJoy Coles Placing children at risk Leicesterhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/apr/09/social-worker-struck-offDouglas Adams Inappropriate sexual comments Barnsleyhttp://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/Barneley-social-worker-struck-off.5995217.jpEdward Evans Deception Aberdeen http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/1576910?UserKey=Verona Reeves Failing to disclose convictions Birminghamhttp://www.birminghampost.net/news/west-midlands-news/2010/01/20/birmingham-social-worker-struck-off-after-failing-to-declare-conviction-65233-25646050/Richard Clasby Sexual Abuse Cambridgeshirehttp://www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk/news/Social-worker-is-struck-off.5228172.jpAlan Rhodes Breach of codes of conduct Leedshttp://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-174210551.htmlKevin Mence Sexual Abuse Cambridgeshirehttp://www.lynnnews.co.uk/news/Social-worker-struck-off-after.5468025.jpMrs X Biting own child Unknownhttp://www.theratbook.com/Articles/Article/social_worker_struck_off_after_biting_sonCatherine Watt Health,safety,financial and management failings Clydebankhttp://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/2009/07/19/exclusive-secret-list-of-rogue-social-workers-booted-for-crime-corruption-and-porn-78057-21531865/Darren Macdonald Placed children at risk Fifehttp://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/2009/07/19/exclusive-secret-list-of-rogue-social-workers-booted-for-crime-corruption-and-porn-78057-21531865/Karen Taylor Failed to adhere to employers abscence management procedures Glasgowhttp://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/2009/07/19/exclusive-secret-list-of-rogue-social-workers-booted-for-crime-corruption-and-porn-78057-21531865/Catherine Forrest Dishonesty and plagerism Glasgowhttp://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/2009/07/19/exclusive-secret-list-of-rogue-social-workers-booted-for-crime-corruption-and-porn-78057-21531865/Patricia Higgins Failed to adhere to employers reporting practices Glasgowhttp://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/2009/07/19/exclusive-secret-list-of-rogue-social-workers-booted-for-crime-corruption-and-porn-78057-21531865/Kevin Glancy Possessing child porn Edinburghhttp://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/2009/07/19/exclusive-secret-list-of-rogue-social-workers-booted-for-crime-corruption-and-porn-78057-21531865/Jackie Mclhargey Ran stolen car factory Unknownhttp://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/2009/07/19/exclusive-secret-list-of-rogue-social-workers-booted-for-crime-corruption-and-porn-78057-21531865/Alan Man Accused of using inappropriate and degrading language to young client Glasgowhttp://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/2009/07/19/exclusive-secret-list-of-rogue-social-workers-booted-for-crime-corruption-and-porn-78057-21531865/Margeret Gribbon Accused of 12 counts of misconduct Clydebankhttp://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/2009/07/19/exclusive-secret-list-of-rogue-social-workers-booted-for-crime-corruption-and-porn-78057-21531865/Derek Horrobin Running 3 licensed premises with violence and underage drinking Morayhttp://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/2009/07/19/exclusive-secret-list-of-rogue-social-workers-booted-for-crime-corruption-and-porn-78057-21531865/Heather Clark failing vulnerable familes Aberdeenhttp://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/2009/07/19/exclusive-secret-list-of-rogue-social-workers-booted-for-crime-corruption-and-porn-78057-21531865/Niamh Duigan Possessing class A drugs and 2 counts of offering to supply Manchesterhttp://www.communitycare.co.uk/blogs/social-work-blog/2009/12/manchester-social-worker-due-i.htmlTracy Dawber permitting indecent images of children to be made and one charge of sexual assault on a child under 13 SEFTONhttp://www.southportvisiter.co.uk/southport-news/southport-southport-news/2009/11/20/sefton-council-social-worker-on-child-porn-and-abuse-charge-101022-25209653/Lynda Barnes found guilty of hiring a hitman to kill her husband. Bath and North East Somersethttp://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article6529831.eceAndrew Walker forming an inappropriate personal relationship with a person who used services. Rotherhamhttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/Rotherham+social+worker+found+guilty+of+misconduct+and+removed+from+register.htmJacinta Hofstetter caused distress and anxiety to a child and placed other children at unnecessary risk of harm. Brenthttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/media_release-14-07-09.htmStephen Dent Assaulted 12 yr old autistic child Croydonhttp://www.thisiscroydontoday.co.uk/courts/Social-worker-guilty-assault-autistic-boy-12/article-1709299-detail/article.htmlCarole Baptiste deliberately breaching an inquiry summons Haringeyhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-135326/Social-worker-guilty-Climbie-inquiry-absence.htmlPaul Collett Misconduct after sending mother to see prophet in Nigeria Southamptonhttp://tbjfansuk.wordpress.com/2009/10/18/paul-collett-guilty-of-misconduct-after-sending-woman-to-see-tb-joshua/David Holder behaving inappropriately towards three women colleagues. Gloucesterhttp://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/gloucester/headlines/Social-worker-guilty-misconduct/article-1636369-detail/article.htmlRod Ryall Charged with 13 sex offences against teenage boys Calderdalehttp://www.halifaxcourier.co.uk/news/Former-Calderdale-social-services-chief.5681482.jpJohn Donnelly Failed to provide appropriate care to vulnerable adults to their detriment Lanarkshirehttp://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/2009/07/19/exclusive-secret-list-of-rogue-social-workers-booted-for-crime-corruption-and-porn-78057-21531865/Michael Wrenn lied about taking taxis to work to fraudulently claim more than £4 Oldhamhttp://www.courtnewsuk.co.uk/online_archive/?courts=5&name=misconductLorraine Brimelow suspended for six months after taking a child under the care of Stoke-on-Trent City Council back to her own house. Derbyhttp://www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk/news/Social-worker-took-child-home/article-1370931-detail/article.htmlAndrew Bennett allowed ‘rapist’ to slip through net in litany of failure Dundeehttp://news.scotsman.com/dundee/Social-worker-allowed-39rapist39-to.5910966.jpThomas Ritzler slept with a 14-year-old girl. SURREYhttp://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/s/2064447_colleague_of_underage_sex_social_worker_suspendedDaniel Bester suspended for not reporting a colleague who slept with a 14-year-old girl. SURREYhttp://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/s/2064447_colleague_of_underage_sex_social_worker_suspendedAlan Carr formed an inappropriate personal and sexual relationship with a vulnerable child in care. St Helenshttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/Social+worker+barred+following+relationship+with+woman.htmDavid Crank a string of indecent assaults against a schoolboy Tamesidehttp://www.wilmslowexpress.co.uk/news/s/461/461764_jail_for_pervert_social_worker.htmlMichael Carroll indecent assault on a 12-year-old boy Lambethhttp://www.independent.co.uk/news/care-worker-had-paedophile-record-1104540.htmlUnknown seven-year campaign of sexual abuse of his partner’s young daughter unknownhttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/6678045/Paedophiles-continued-as-social-workers-because-of-watchdog-failings.htmlUnknown abused his three-year-old son unknownhttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/6678045/Paedophiles-continued-as-social-workers-because-of-watchdog-failings.htmlAndrew Forbes McLauchlan dishonesty Sussexhttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/6678045/Paedophiles-continued-as-social-workers-because-of-watchdog-failings.htmlRuth Hughes prolonged and repeated” breaches of the code of practice for social workers Nottinghamhttp://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/news/Notts-social-worker-banned/article-341472-detail/article.htmlFrederick Goudy five counts of sexual assault. Readinghttp://www.getreading.co.uk/news/s/2029387_care_worker_pervy_fred_guilty_of_sex_assaultsDavid Michael Kendrick assaulting two boys in his care Staffordshirehttp://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/staffordshire/3265321.stmGordon Wateridge indecently assaulting teenage children. Jerseyhttp://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/excare-worker-abused-kids-on-uk-isle-20090821-esd9.htmlUnknown sexually abused a minor Unknownhttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/Mr+X+release.htmVenetia Tsiaka inviting a mother and her children into her home to conclude a formal meeting. Warringtonhttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/news_release_260509.htmBrian Morris involved in domestic violence Bournemouthhttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/New_release_31-03-09.htmTom Watt sexually assaulted women Buckinghamshirehttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/media_release_20-03-09.htmAdesola Adeniji-Smith Dishonesty Islingtonhttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/media_release_18-03-09.htmPaul Derek Girdlestone possessing and distributing indecent images of children Hampshirehttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/Media_release_26-01-09.htmWladyslaw Piotr Kiczma carried out inappropriate physical examinations of children Birminghamhttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/25112008news.htmEgbert Elijah Hall pursued two vulnerable women who used services. Brenthttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/news20081107.htmRawle McCarthy worked whilst temporarily excluded from the Social Care Register Haringeyhttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/news20080930.htmFrederick Keith Stockdale physically restricted a person who used services in a way that breached official guidelines Sunderlandhttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/20080912.htmEogain Gallagher breached the code of practice. West Sussexhttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/news01092008.htmMr Mncedisi V. Apleni found guilty of rape Essexhttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/18082008.htmNeil Gabriel convicted in 2007 of indecently assaulting a 10-year-old girl Cambridgeshirehttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/20080813.htmMark Wooldridge found to have had sexual relationships with two vulnerable women who used services and were allocated to him. Somersethttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/news20080710.htmMartine Boyd forming an inappropriate personal relationship and for failing to disclose information to her employer.   Bedfordshirehttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/news20080714.htmJacqueline Mullins’ failing to store and maintain records containing sensitive information. Rotherhamhttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/Social+worker+cautioned+for+failing+to+maintain+and+store+records.htmVirginia Leckie forming an inappropriate relationship and for dishonesty. Hounslowhttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/Social+worker+removed+from+register+for+dishonesty+and+inappropriate+relationship.htmStephen Douglas formed an inappropriate personal relationship with a woman described as ‘extremely vulnerable’ Northumberlandhttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/Social+worker+removed+from+Register+following+relationship+with+vulnerable+client.htmHilary Sampson breached the profession’s code of practice. Derbyshirehttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/Social+worker+suspended+from+register+after+inappropriate+relationship.htmJean Stearn breached the Code of Practice Blackpoolhttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/2007+archive/Social+worker+admonished+following+conduct+hearing+in+Blackpool.htmGeoffrey Casey Making false allegations to police, nspcc and social services about a couple Witneyhttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/2007+archive/Social+worker+removed+following+conduct+hearing+in+London-Dec3.htmMr Andrew Atkins forming an inappropriate and personal relationship with a person who uses services Leedshttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/2007+archive/Social+worker+admonished+following+conduct+hearing+in+London-nov26.htmMr Richard Watkins breached the Code of Practice Londonhttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/2007+archive/Social+worker+suspended+following+conduct+hearing+in+London+-+Nov2.htmTheresa Guy forming a personal relationship with a foster carer Colchesterhttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/2007+archive/Social+worker+admonished+following+conduct+hearing+in+London+18oct.htmMs Rosemary Arnold. breached the Code of Practice Portsmouthhttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/2007+archive/Social+worker+admonished+following+conduct+hearing+in+London+August.htmMrs Evelyn Mnene breached the code of practicehttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/2007+archive/Social+worker+admonished+10.7.07.htmJohn Bennett maintaining a grossly offensive website as well as possessing indecent photographs of children. Lincolnhttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/2007+archive/Social+worker+removed+following+conduct+hearing+in+London.htmAnna Orlinski. physically restraining a child on two occasions. Gatesheadhttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/2007+archive/Social+worker+admonished+following+conduct+hearing+in+Newcastle.htmMr Steven McGarry. failing to declare previous criminal convictions Barrow-in-Furnesshttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/2007+archive/Social+worker+admonished+following+conduct+hearing+in+London.htmEric Charlesworth inappropriate touching and physical contact with service users. Rugbyhttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/2007+archive/Social+worker+admonished+following+conduct+hearing+in+Birmingham.htmLaura Lee driving with excess of alcohol and failing to declare the conviction to Wolverhamptonhttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/2007+archive/Social+worker+admonished+following+conduct+hearing+in+London2.htmEleni Cordingley Placed child at risk. Swanseahttp://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/2009/01/27/110556/conduct-swansea-social-worker-struck-off-for-poor-judgement.htmDwight Mcguire Sexual Abuse. Darlingtonhttp://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/2010/01/26/113650/former-darlington-social-worker-struck-off-over-us-child-abuse.htmDavid Cookson Sex with mentally ill woman Surreyhttp://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/s/2049682_sex_offender_social_worker_struck_offStanley Lansdell Shouting homophobic abuse at child Bradfordhttp://www.pinknews.co.uk/2010/01/07/social-worker-struck-off-for-abusing-trans-child/Craig Mccoughlin Buying recovering alcoholic alcohol Sheffieldhttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/6515763/Social-worker-struck-off-after-buying-whisky-for-rehab-patient.htmlMichael Bird Filming up womens skirts Newcastlehttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/michael+bird.htmJulie Andrews Obtaining money by deception Unknownhttp://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/2009/09/29/112705/jailed-social-worker-struck-off-after-admitting-25000-fraud.htmDouglas Makey Sexual Abuse Gravesendhttp://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/4637776.GRAVESEND__Social_worker_struck_off_after_allegedly_sexually_abusing_two_girls/Lynne Greenwood Theft Manchesterhttp://www.gscc.org.uk/News+and+events/Media+releases/Greenwood+release.htmMartha Wright Theft from service user Manchesterhttp://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/2009/04/08/111238/social-worker-struc

May 24, 2010

Well.well,well Peter Traves vindicated again ( and yes he still will not accept any responsibility ) even after his sudden departure

Boss of Staffordshire social services defends team in Spanish murder ordeal

May 24 2010 by Emma McKinney, Birmingham Mail
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THE boss of Staffordshire Social Services has denied any blame over the two children found dead in a Spanish hotel room.
Court officials say Lianne Smith, 43, has confessed to suffocating her children Rebecca, five, and Daniel, 11 months, at the resort of Lloret de Mar last Tuesday.
On the same day the children were discovered dead, their father Martin Smith, who was on Britain’s Most Wanted list after skipping bail in January 2008, was extradited back to Britain to face charges of having sex with a girl under 16.
Lianne Smith is believed to be on suicide watch in jail in Girona, Spain, and to be eating and drinking very little.
A Girona police spokeswoman said: “She tried to commit suicide before police arrested her.”
Staffordshire Police have said the force had originally attempted to trace Mrs Smith and her daughter after they left their Lichfield home in 2007, but failed to do so. It is understood Staffordshire Social Services had been monitoring the family.
Peter Troves, whose staff face a police probe over the matter, quit as head of the department three weeks ago. He said: “At the time there was nothing to indicate the family would abscond.
“We believe our action was appropriate given our understanding of the case at the time. At no time was the daughter at risk here – our social workers did a good job.”
Mrs Smith has told officials she suffocated the children to prevent them from being taken into care when her husband was sent back to Britain.
Mr Smith appeared before Carlisle magistrates last Wednesday charged with 13 sexual offences and one of jumping bail.
http://www.birminghammail.net/news/staffordshire-news/2010/05/24/boss-of-staffordshire-social-services-defends-team-in-spanish-murder-ordeal-97319-26505561/

May 15, 2010

CHILD SNATCHING CONFERENCE IN STAFFORD MAKES THE TELEGRAPH

Britain’s child snatchers are a scandal

The UK’s system of forced adoption requires the Government’s urgent attention, says Christopher Booker

Published: 6:15PM BST 15 May 2010
Is any human instinct more fundamental than the love of a mother for her children? Last week I reported how Maureen Spalek from Liverpool had been arrested and held in a cell for 24 hours for sending a birthday card to her son, one of three children taken away from her by a family court, despite its agreeing that she was “an excellent mother”.
In Runcorn magistrates’ court on Wednesday Mrs Spalek was told she must return for a pre-trial hearing, before her criminal charge of sending a birthday card goes for trial at a Crown Court. Last month, Mrs Spalek was one of 200 mothers who gathered in Stafford to set up a group known as Child Snatching by the State. They were addressed by Ian Josephs, a businessman based in Monaco, who has championed the cause of parents whose children were unjustly removed by social workers ever since he was a Tory county councillor in the 1960s.
Related Articles
All our ministers are ‘Europe ministers’ now
Chris Huhne will ensure the coalition is soon out of power
As Mr Josephs describes on his Forced Adoptions website, he has dealt with hundreds of such harrowing cases (always being careful to check that there was no evidence of physical or emotional harm to the children). One is that of Sarah White, repeatedly arrested for attempting to contact her “stolen children”, including an instance when she was jailed for a month for waving to her son when she unexpectedly saw him across the street. Two weeks ago, she was again held in custody for five hours, after her brother posted a YouTube video describing her plight.
Julie Cipriani is another mother arrested for waving to her child in the street and forbidden from further contact after reading out in court her daughter’s loving birthday card.
When another mother threatened with having her baby abducted recently fled to Ireland, her family were repeatedly visited by police, demanding to know her whereabouts. She is now receiving much more humane treatment from Irish social services. (Britain is almost the only country in Europe that permits forced adoptions against the wishes of loving parents.)
In the Commons last October, the Tory MP Tim Yeo described a case where Suffolk social workers waited until the father was out of the house to snatch an 11-week-old baby from the arms of its distraught mother, in order to put the child out for adoption. Until recently social workers were set “adoption targets” by the government, as part of a system where it seems they, the courts and the police are too often conspiring to abduct children from loving parents in the name of what amounts to heartless “social engineering”. Few scandals call for more urgent attention by our new Parliament than this.

Published: 6:15PM BST 15 May 2010Is any human instinct more fundamental than the love of a mother for her children? Last week I reported how Maureen Spalek from Liverpool had been arrested and held in a cell for 24 hours for sending a birthday card to her son, one of three children taken away from her by a family court, despite its agreeing that she was “an excellent mother”.In Runcorn magistrates’ court on Wednesday Mrs Spalek was told she must return for a pre-trial hearing, before her criminal charge of sending a birthday card goes for trial at a Crown Court. Last month, Mrs Spalek was one of 200 mothers who gathered in Stafford to set up a group known as Child Snatching by the State. They were addressed by Ian Josephs, a businessman based in Monaco, who has championed the cause of parents whose children were unjustly removed by social workers ever since he was a Tory county councillor in the 1960s. Related ArticlesAll our ministers are ‘Europe ministers’ nowChris Huhne will ensure the coalition is soon out of powerAs Mr Josephs describes on his Forced Adoptions website, he has dealt with hundreds of such harrowing cases (always being careful to check that there was no evidence of physical or emotional harm to the children). One is that of Sarah White, repeatedly arrested for attempting to contact her “stolen children”, including an instance when she was jailed for a month for waving to her son when she unexpectedly saw him across the street. Two weeks ago, she was again held in custody for five hours, after her brother posted a YouTube video describing her plight.Julie Cipriani is another mother arrested for waving to her child in the street and forbidden from further contact after reading out in court her daughter’s loving birthday card.When another mother threatened with having her baby abducted recently fled to Ireland, her family were repeatedly visited by police, demanding to know her whereabouts. She is now receiving much more humane treatment from Irish social services. (Britain is almost the only country in Europe that permits forced adoptions against the wishes of loving parents.)In the Commons last October, the Tory MP Tim Yeo described a case where Suffolk social workers waited until the father was out of the house to snatch an 11-week-old baby from the arms of its distraught mother, in order to put the child out for adoption. Until recently social workers were set “adoption targets” by the government, as part of a system where it seems they, the courts and the police are too often conspiring to abduct children from loving parents in the name of what amounts to heartless “social engineering”. Few scandals call for more urgent attention by our new Parliament than this.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/7728931/Britains-child-snatchers-are-a-scandal.html

May 11, 2010

Martin Narey Through Vicarious Liability Martin Narey has contributed to the destruction of vulnerable children’s lives through his negligence

PRESS RELEASE 8 SEPTEMBER 2009
“GOVERNMENT FUNDED CHILD ABUSE”

Chief Executive of Dr Barnardos, Martin Narey, employed Neville Husband: Prison officer and notorious child sex offender from Medomsley YOI.

The national press is awash with the disturbing comments from Martin Narey, Chief Executive of Dr Barnardos. He stated: “Take more babies away from bad parents at birth”

Last year Dr Barnardos income topped £215 million. They are responsible for the care of approx 100,000 children. This equates to an income of £215,000 per child per year.

Martin Narey was Governor at both Frankland maximum-security prison and Deerbolt Borstal for young offenders (both in Co Durham), when a known paedophile ‘Neville Husband’ was employed as a senior officer at Frankland and seconded as an officer at Deerbolt. Husband had been forced to leave Medomsley Detention Centre for young offenders after torturing and abusing boys. He was subsequently convicted and is currently serving a ten-year jail sentence. Prior to his conviction Husband was also a Church Minister for the United Reformed Church. Many of the victims have not received justice yet and Husband is due to be released from prison next month.

Cravings for young boys
Statements given to police by prison officers who worked with Husband suggest suspicions were rife about his cravings for young boys, who he went on to molest in the kitchens he ran.
One statement by an officer who served at Medomsley in 1978, reads: “I don’t know why but all the governors thought very highly of Husband and seemed to look after him.”

As a Prison Governor, Martin Narey either ignored or was grossly negligent by failing to observe Husband’s employment records: That he was arrested in 1967 whilst at Portland young offenders centre for the illegal importation of homosexual pornography. That the case was silenced and Husband was moved to Medomsley Detention Centre where he continued to import pornography direct into the Centre. That he was investigated by the police on numerous occasions but without further actions. That Husband then embarked on his horrific sexual torture of countless young boys. These boys are now men and want their story told.

Victims want their stories told
The victims of Neville Husband formed themselves into a group: justice4survivors. They recently approached award winning working class film director Bill Maloney (who has himself stepped forward as a victim of abuse whilst in YOIs and Borstals back in the 1970s – his whole family were abused in care). Maloney was horrified but not surprised by their stories of abuse and injustice as the hands of the UK Establishment. He decided to work with them to make a hard-hitting gritty documentary ‘Adam Rickwood & The Medomsley Heroes’ without any funding. He stated, “We’re going to let these brave men tell their stories without sanitizing the documentary for the middle-class driven media”. The victims are currently pushing for a public enquiry.

Adam brings the horrors up to date
Whilst researching Medomsley detention centre (now Hassockfield Secure Training Centre) Maloney discovered that as recently as 2004 Adam Rickwood (14), became the youngest prisoner to commit suicide in the UK. Adam’s family and friends all believe that Adam did not kill himself and that there has been a massive cover-up; this is truthfully and emotionally displayed in the documentary. Adam was found hanging in his cell with a broken nose, broken wrist and covered in bruises.

99.9 per cent of young offenders in the UK stem from the lower working classes. As Bill Maloney states in his documentary “You can’t keep bashing our kids like this, we’re not going to allow it any more”.

Now Martin Narey wants to rip lower working class baby’s from their mothers at birth. The effects on Mothers and Fathers and their families for the loss of their babies will be devastating. The huge funds invested into Dr Barnardos each year should be put to helping these young parents, it is immoral to suggest taking these young children into care when the care system continues to abuse them and profit from them. Successful and trusted families from within these peoples’ own culture and communities should be funded to adopt a support role to help ‘bad parents’ by befriending them, gaining their trust and encouraging and motivating them forward, they would also be better placed than an overworked inexperienced graduate social worker to recognise whether a child is in danger or neglected. Further funding should also be supplied to support the education, environment and welfare of the family.

Apparently, Philippa Stroud of the thinktank Centre for Social Justice reacted cautiously to Narey’s comments. “What we recommend is the model of the mother and baby going into care, filling that hole and giving the whole family a chance. “With child protection, all the legislation is actually in place: it’s the implementation that is the issue.” – Even this recommendation would require huge bureaucratic funding. The money needs to be spent at source – at the home and within the family with trusted support and guidance.

Maloney’s outspoken and unsanitised documentaries appear to be too controversial for major broadcast networks, but the public need to know what is happening to their taxes when private security companies such as Serco are looking after our children and receiving approx £178,000 per year per child.

And Dr Barnardos? A charity that has the Queen as it’s Patron and which the majority of the population appear to respect and believe in, acquires its funding of £215,000 per child per year through, government funded fees and grants, property development, donations/gifts and fundraising, and trading.

How is this right?
Unemployed parents receiving statutory benefits receive on average an additional £3,744 per year towards the care of one child (calculating child tax credits together with Child benefit). Plus one off payments in the child’s first year totaling approx £440. Dr Barnardos receive £215,000 per year per child.

Through Vicarious Liability Martin Narey has contributed to the destruction of vulnerable children’s lives through his negligence. He should not be telling us that our children should be abducted at birth.

The trailer for Maloney’s documentary ‘Adam Rickwood & The Medomsley Heroes’ is now available for viewing at: http://www.pienmashfilms.com or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D34cs…e=channel_page
Further information sources:
THE MEDOMSLEY HEROES: http://justice4survivors.com
ADAM RICKWOOD: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/20…stice.politics
MARTIN NAREY STATEMENT: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/20…care-barnardos
MARTIN NAREY CV: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/20…ietysupplement
NEVILLE HUSBAND: http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/north…name_page.html
NEVILLE HUSBAND:http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/north…name_page.html

For further information, or to arrange for an interview with Bill Maloney please contact: Tel: 07710 416470 Email: pieandmashfilms@hotmail.com

May 8, 2010

blatant lies were told to the Panel by social workers

Panel Minutes

I had a salutary reminder recently of how useful it can be getting hold of minutes of internal meetings held within the local authority which are not routinely disclosed. Thanks to the Guardian in the case who badgered the local authority to produce the minutes of the Adoption Panel the court was able to see the natural and unvarnished attitude of the social work team towards a parent in the case. I can think of a number of other cases in which these sorts of minutes have been useful. In one instance an Adoption Team Manager gave evidence that a child could be placed for adoption within 6 months. The following day we received the minutes of the adoption needs meeting which showed that her realistic time estimate in relation to the particular child was actually that it would take at least a year to place her. In two other cases the Panel minutes revealed that blatant lies were told to the Panel by social workers (for example, that a child had been injured when they had not and that the care plan approved by the court did not involve a recommendation for direct contact post adoption). Strategy meeting minutes can also be useful in identifying the approach of professionals to a case from the very outset. Running records and documents which follow the trail of internal decision making within the local authority can also be extremely helpful. There is clear case law reminding local authorities of their duties to disclose documents and in theory, according to Munby J, a suitably experienced legal practitioner from the local authority should identify any relevant records from the files and disclose them. When this case was first reported there was a flurry of requests for extensive and arguably unnecessarily burdensome automatic disclosure. Whilst things have settled down it is always worth seeking specific disclosure if you start to get a feeling in your bones that strange decisions have been made or that a social worker has formed a view that does not seem to marry up with your impression of the client.

Cafcass & fact finding

Speaking as one who is having enormous difficulties managing my own caseload I was interested to learn yesterday of a novel approach being adopted in the Stoke area to managing the deluge of cases in which domestic violence allegations are made and which would ordinarily be listed for a fact finding hearing. The pressure on the courts is such that Cafcass Officers are apparently being instructed to express an opinion on allegations and counter-allegations made by parents in order to assist the court and avoid the need for a hearing. In my view this is very dangerous territory. This is an effectively judicial function for which Cafcass Officers have no training and unless they are extremely careful they run the risk of making judgements without having the full facts or the skills to challenge the evidence being presented to them by one or other parent.

Has anyone else come across this approach in other parts of the country? The District Judge in the case in which the issue emerged expressed disapproval of the practice for reasons which will be obvious to family practitioners. He also picked up another important practice issue: the welfare checklist has been deleted from the new style analysis & recommendations pro forma with the obvious danger that the statutory criteria may end up being ignored by those charged with advising the court.

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May 3, 2010

MESSAGE FOR STAFFORDSHIRE LOCAL AUTHORITY please be law abiding citizens

After exposing that the most nazi branch of this authority advertised children without the mothers knowledge on bemyparent the forced adoption catalogue for BAAF.

Maybe as (per usual) it is up to me to educate the Local Authority on what is lawful or not.

Before advertising children as puppies you need CONSENT yes CONSENT.

We all know that you like to think of yourselves as being ABOVE THE LAW and that you glory in the knowing that you are never faced with any accountability.

But THERE ARE laws and procedures you are ( supposed ) to follow.This may come as a shock to the many of you that are not aware of these owing to your BULLY management team. For the majority of you , you will take no notice anyway.

This is from bemyparent website stating you need CONSENT and how to go about getting it.

http://www.bemyparent.org.uk/info-for-agencies/featuring-a-child/agreement-to-publicity-and-other-consents,326,AR.html

Not how you advertised these children without the mothers knowledge that all have a sudden have DISAPPEARED from the site .

Unfortuately you did not manage to remove the evidence of you CRIME before a campaigner took a screenshot and made a video about it.

Now anyone with a subscription to bemyparent or BAAF will see that this profile no longer exists.

WHERE WILL THEY APPEAR NEXT ?

THE DAILY MIRROR ?

Please seek appropriate consent next time !!!!!

May 2, 2010

Dear Dear Lord Justice Wall – President of the High Court Family Division

Sheena Williams

2 May 2010

Dear Dear Lord Justice Wall – President of the High Court Family
Division

Having forwarded a copy of the following email. I would like to
know if judges are paid for their contributions or if this is done
on a voluntary basis. If paid please provide the sums involved
encompassing all judges and records held.

I would also like to invite you and/or others to attend any of the

‘Child snatching by the State’ events that will be occurring
throughout the country. You are most welcome to put forward the
stance from the family courts perspective and will meet many
families with ‘first-hand knowledge of children’s social services
and the family courts’ who have shown great courage in adversity,
yet still show compassion and understanding for others, safe in
their knowledge that through love there is no separation.

I hope you will forgive this invitation being placed in the public
domain, but feel it is within the best interests of honesty
openness & transparency, in keeping with the justice system fully
engaging with families whose decisions affect so many children &
families lives.

Article – Family Courts ‘jolly good fun’ ?‏

Dear Judge Isobel Plumstead

I am absolutely disgusted to read the following article sent to me
by distraught parents who have had their children stolen by social
services in secret closed family courts; having attended the recent
‘Child snatching by the state’ conference in Stafford.

http://www.bemyparent.org.uk/features/it…

I have no reason to doubt these parents & grandparents accounts/
experiences of social services and the family courts, having
resigned from the Conservative party due to Conservative Kent
County Council taking my own offspring of 4 young granddaughters
for the exact same fate.

Many like myself bitterly regret seeking the advice & assistance of
social services and believe they should come with a government
‘health warning’

Could it be that I was hoping to raise the exact same concerns,
encompassing the lack of support for families by social services
and transparency & accountability within the system?

Forgive me for not finding it ‘ jolly good fun’ to be removed from
the court (without my consent) and my granddaughter’s lives
forever, through fear of social services canvassing for my own
young children. Having been lucky enough to be advised against
being bullied into‘ psychological testing’ by a gentleman who also
attended the conference called Ian Josephs an Ex Kent County
Councillor (Conservative)

You may find his website of interest

http://www.forced-adoption.com/introduct…

Nor do I believe the children will find it ‘ jolly good fun’ when
they realise as adults what has happened to them; many have been
abused within the ‘care’ system and separated from their siblings,
to then be given to strangers rather than blood kin, who dearly
love & care for them.

What I am certain of, is that they will want to know who is
ultimately responsible.

regards

Cllr Sheena Williams ( Independent – Maidstone Borough Councillor)

Link to thisSend follow up

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/article_family_courts_jolly_good#incoming-84164

A COUNCILLOR with a child porn conviction has defended his decision to join a committee, which deals with legislation including rules protecting children.

A COUNCILLOR with a child porn conviction has defended his decision to join a committee, which deals with legislation including rules protecting children.

Councillor Lee Wanger‘s appearance on Stoke-on-Trent City Council‘s licensing and consumer protection committee comes just a month after he said he would not take up the role.

The Tunstall ward member, pictured, had initially told The Sentinel he would step down after concerns were raised by council members about his suitability.

But he said he is taking on the role to serve residents who re-elected him in 2006.

Click here for more

He is adamant that his conviction has no bearing on his ability to serve on the two licensing panels.

He said: “I wasn’t going to join the panels at first, but after seeking legal clarification I was told that there was no reason I could not take up the roles.

“As leader of the Stoke-on-Trent Independent Group, I am entitled to these seats.

“I know some members are unhappy about my decision, but I think this is part of a political campaign against me in the run-up to the local elections.

“I have always voluntarily stayed away from any roles that would involve contact with children and will continue to do so.

“Should a case come to either committee involving a person with previous convictions for sexual offences then I would not sit in on that part of the hearing.”

Mr Wanger was convicted in January 2005 of paying $25 to subscribe to a child porn website in 1999, although he has always maintained his innocence.

He was fined £250 and ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for five years. The order expired last month.

He said: “My conviction is spent now and I have served my time.

“People in this city do have faith in me as a councillor, and that’s why I was re-elected after my conviction.”

Mr Wanger attended his first committee meeting yesterday.

The committee deals with issues such as licensees selling alcohol to under-18s and assessing whether those applying to become taxi drivers pose a risk to the public.

At yesterday’s meeting, vice-chairman Councillor Joy Garner asked officers whether panel members should be subjected to stringent child protection checks.

In a discussion on competence tests for taxi drivers, she said: “We are taking steps to improve the quality of cars and drivers, but there is legislation coming through dealing with safeguarding children and vulnerable adults.

“How do the Independent Safeguarding Authority checks affect drivers, operators and us as council members?”

Licensing officer Rachel Collier said it would be up to the council’s standards committee whether any council members would need to be registered with the safeguarding initiative.

May 1, 2010

What a Crock of Shit

Filed under: Secret family courts,Staffordshire — nojusticeforparents @ 4:00 pm

http://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/videolounge/parentscommissioner.htm

I rang this lady up try getting staffordshire social services to listen !

Maybe now there are group of us we will be heard !!

CARE TO SEE MY BUNDLE OF EVIDENCE MISS BAILEY ?

Charlotte Bailey
The Parents’ Commissioner

What will the Commissioner do?

• Listen to parents’ views and understand the range of needs across Staffordshire’s
parents

• To help make sure parents’ needs are met and that there are no gaps in service
provision

• To be a voice for parents at key meetings, influencing decision makers and making
sure that parent’s views are represented

• Make sure there is a plan in place outlining local improvements for parenting support

• Work with all agencies to make sure support to parents is of the best quality it can
be

• To help professionals work with parents in a co-ordinated way

I SHALL RING HER AGAIN NEXT WEEK !

April 29, 2010

Cannock social services advertise children like lost puppies on BAAF website

I have just found MY twins on the adoption website the way social services have described them is unreal they are just babies not animals that have just started walking they are not noisey children they need to be at home with there real family not some people who think they can parent a child because they cant have them themselves i might be a young mum but i would never harm my children and they was taken away from me because i was a young SINGLE mum of twins its unfair young single parents should not be a traget its not very often you hear a teen mum harming her child infact on the news its been growen adults killing their children strarving them its disgusting social services should be ashamed and as for SHEENA ADAMS coming into my home and taking my beautiful children away from me half of them doesnt know what its like to be a mum MUMMY LOVES YOU KEISHA-JADE AND KACEY-JAYE WITH ALL MY HEART

This is from the poor mother who has discovered her children for sale in the forced adoption catalogue courtesy of Cannock Social Services.

This mother has obviously not willingly surrendered her children so those in doubt of the barbaric trade of forced adoption take heed.

See this mothers beautiful twins here . Do they look abused or neglected ?

http://www.bemyparent.org.uk/

STOP FORCED ADOPTION !!!!!!

http://researchingreform.wordpress.com/2010/04/27/child-snatching-by-the-state/

BAAF British Association of Adoption and Fostering (child stealing scumshite)

> Chief Executive – David Holmes
Executive Director – Barbara Hutchinson
Director BAAF Central England – Nick Dunster
Director BAAF Northern England – Erica Amende
Director BAAF Southern England – Jeffrey Coleman
BAAF Scotland Director – Barbara Hudson
Director BAAF Cymru – Jenny McMillan
BAAF Northern Ireland Director – Frances Nicholson
Director of Child Placement – Mo O’Reilly
Director of Fundraising, Media and Marketing – Diane Gault
Director of Publications – Shaila Shah
Director of Policy, Research & Development – John Simmonds
Director of Finance & Administration – George Wood

Peter Traves to be replaced with another ignorant director

Filed under: Secret family courts,Staffordshire — nojusticeforparents @ 4:55 pm

Any of you hoping for accountability after Mr ( travisty ) Traves takes voluntary retirement or for ss staff to face any actions over lies and misconduct . I have been informed that his replacement is the one and only Sally Rees who comes from the same puppet family as Traves.

If Sally Rees wishing to prove otherwise then meet with me to see my huge bundle of evidence or with the other parents now coming forward.

I thought not. No worries after all but prepare yourself to be highly embarrassed when these documents go live on the internet.

April 28, 2010

BREAKING NEWS

Massive increase in Social Services taking children into care

image for Massive increase in Social Services taking children into care
“All children will be confiscated if in the company of adults.”
Responding to the criticism of all Social Services departments across the UK over the handling of the Baby P case, West Nowhere Social Services are taking a much more pro-active approach.
“We do not want to be caught with our pants down,” a spokeswoman for the SS said, “So we are taking children into care at the slightest allegation.
“Just yesterday, for example, a member of the public reported seeing an adult take a child into a public toilet and we just had to act.
“The parent laughably claimed that she was simply ‘changing the baby’s nappy’ – a likely story!.
“Another woman was apprehended as she held a child’s hand whilst crossing the road – clearly another sexual abuse case!”
The woman is in custody pending charges of child abuse and the child is now being brought up by our childless SS staff.
Warning signs at the entrance to the borough state:
“All children will be confiscated if in the company of adults.”
This reporter looks forward to an increase in the crime figures when these kids grow up.
http://www.thespoof.com/news/spoof.cfm?headline=s1i73960

Loony Social Services Stormtroopers take fertilized egg into care

image for Loony Social Services Stormtroopers take fertilized egg into care
Head of Social Services sends more snatch squads out.

Mr. and Mrs Jones had just settled in for the night in their pleasant home in Surrey and were getting “bu-sy” when there was an almighty thud from their front door followed by the sound of jackboots on the stairs, then their bedroom door flew open and social workers grabbed and pulled the couple apart.

“We have reason to believe you may be unfit parents”, announced one of them, then pulled out a large bathroom plunger and proceeded to remove a fertilized egg from Mrs Jones.

“We’ve never been so shocked or distressed, and I’ve never been so humiliated or in so much pain”, said Mrs Jones. “We’re decent folk. What do they mean ‘unfit parents’?”

We visited the Social Security Headquarters at the S.S. Building in Surrey, where Staff Sergeant Mrs Miller or possibly Frau Von Muller said “Vee had reezon to believe zat zee fazer had not paid a speeding ticket six months earlier. Vee vill be putting ze child up for adoption after it is born” (fake accent added by our editing department).

Justice for Families says that this is just one further example of overzealous behaviour by social workers. Their spokesman said:

“Previously, they used to stand by and do nothing when children were being abused by their parents and others. Now, it seems, they are going to the opposite extreme.”

The Joint President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, Mr. T. Hobbes, a nasty, brutish and short man, said “Who gives a shit what the parents think? My wife can’t have children so fuck everyone else!”

‘Disturbed’ Goldfish Removed From Family Home By Social Services

image for 'Disturbed' Goldfish Removed From Family Home By Social Services
£17,000 Worth Of Abused Fish

Pandemonium broke out this afternoon on a council estate in Oxford when Social Services removed a ‘disturbed and abused’ pet goldfish from its family home, in a bowl, on the sideboard, and took it into protective custody.

‘This is outrageous,’ said Jimmy Flagg, 19, a father of eight and the fish’s rightful owner. ‘These Social Services people have lost it altogether. Something ought to be done about this.’

Mr Flagg put up a fierce struggle in an attempt to prevent Social Services removing the goldfish but was overpowered by some burly policemen and could only look on helplessly as the family pet was taken into custody.

Neighbours, on hearing all the palaver going on came out in support of Mr Flagg, hurling insults, tomatoes, and old James Brown 45’s at the Social Services and the police.

As the situation deteriorated, some men in black suits wearing sunglasses and carrying big sticks emerged from a bus and cleared the streets, pronto, with threats of violence and tins of rice pudding.

‘You’ve not heard the last of this!’ Mr Flagg shouted before retreating inside and slamming the door.

Letitia Gambino, a Social Services agent said: ‘I’ve never seen such a blatant abuse of fish welfare rights. The poor creature was swimming round and round in never ending circles, opening and closing its mouth all the time.

‘To any trained Social Services agent, this obviously signifies chronic distress. I am in no doubt that we have followed the correct procedures.’

We don’t see what all the fuss was about quite frankly. Apart from the fact that the ooperation cost something in the region of £17,000.

For a fish.

More as we get it.

http://www.thespoof.com/news/spoof.cfm?headline=s1i44273

German social services take bi-polar bear cub from mom

image for German social services take bi-polar bear cub from mom
Little Flocke looks a lot happier now he’s not going to be fostered by the Orca killer whale family

Nuremberg, Germany – (Reuterus): Social service have intervened in the controversy of baby Flocke the bi-polar bear cub whose mother was recently branded a negligent old slag by Nuremberg Zoo officials.

The five-week old bear was taken into care after its mom, Gudrun, was suspected of Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome.

The controversial diagnosis was originally invented by British quack doctor Professor Sir Roy Meadow as one good reason to jail single mothers who harm offspring to get attention – or, in the case of polar bears, an extra thirty kilos of fresh haddock for dinner.

At first Nuremberg social workers were keen to foster little baby Flocke with a large family of Orca killer whales, based on largely unsubstantiated reports that they have excellent parenting skills.

Fortunately somebody gave them an oceanic food-chain map that showed what young Flocke’s lifespan expectations might be in that scenario.

Eventually young Flocke was taken into care by keepers who looked after little bi-polar bear cub Knut last year and helped him flourish into handsome manhoood.

Gundrun meanwhile is said to be on anti-depressants.

http://www.thespoof.com/news/spoof.cfm?headline=s3i29078

Dummy’s guide to being a family court judge

Continuing our undercover investigations into the dark and seemy world of family law, here is another excerpt from the book, the Dummy’s guide to being a family court judge, given to all solicitors/barristers and magistrates about to embark on their first sitting in that Alice in Wonderland world of the Family Courts…

Definitions – to make your life a bit easier, we have defined some of the common terms you may come across in your brief attendance in these courts:

Children – These are small versions of adults. You may occasionally have seen pictures of these at home. You may recall that they were the names on the cheques that you wrote on a regular basis in connection with some boarding school or court fine or something. They are the reason given for the court hearings, but in fact that is just an excuse for having a go at their ex-partner in front of you.

CAFCASS – This is the organisation who provide expert opinions on why the mother is the best parent. Their job is to spend lots of time with the mother and get to know her and her reasons for opposing contact. They then write out what she said in their own words and you mostly have to follow their conclusions. Beware! Some CAFCASS officers may suggest that children ought to SEE their father occasionally! In those rare cases, you have the perfect right to ignore their conclusions and find for the mother anyway.

OPEN Courts – This horrific suggestion has largely been ignored by the government. The idea that THE PUBLIC might want to see the unbelievable things that happen in secret in your court is too horrible for words! They might even compare what you say with what other judges say elsewhere and suggest that there is a difference and use it to criticise you, heaven forbid! Don’t worry, though, so far only the media are allowed in and none of them are really interested in ordinary cases – only those involving celebs.

April 27, 2010

Podcast With Researching Reform

http://researchingreform.wordpress.com/2010/04/27/child-snatching-by-the-state/

April 26, 2010

Social Services will snatch you at birth, Abuse you then dump you when your 16 ( by which time they will have alienated you from your natural family )

State Care; They’ll Snatch You At Birth, Abuse You Then Dump You When You’re 16

Welcome to the UK.  The only place on earth which guarantees one thing, Child Protection is the last thing on the Government’s agenda.  Child destruction is the method chosen by the current system.

How on earth can Social Services fail to save a battered baby after 60 chances to save him?  And why on God’s green earth do we allow these scum to get away with destroying the lives of innocent children day after day?

In the UK, this system currently in place allows this sequence of events to happen:

  • Mother declared unfit due to having previously been in an abusive relationship
  • Social Workers decide child could suffer future “emotional harm”
  • Child removed from loving stable environment with no unfixable problems
  • Child placed into care home costing £2,500 a week
  • Child bullied and sexually abused in care home
  • Child sent to Foster home
  • Good foster carer gives up on child due to life circumstances
  • Child sent to another Foster home where they are abused
  • Child leaves care with no education and addicted to class A drugs
  • Child ends up in prison, prostitution or worse, dead
Well congratulations Nazi Britain, you’ve ruined the life of another child, pat yourself on the back.  Some reading the above statements may say that that situation is highly unlikely.  Well check the sources of information below, backed up with the information on the UK Abuse section of this site and think again.

Sources of information:
http://www.epolitix.com/stakeholder-websites/press-releases/press-release-details/newsarticle/one-in-four-care-leavers-face-a-bleak-future-says-care-leavers-foundation///sites/national-care-leavers-week/
http://www.wisegeek.com/who-are-care-leavers.htm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/newsnight/8574591.stm

April 22, 2010

Jack Straw caught LYING about children

April 18, 2010

Dimbleby Rocked By Questions Of Paedophilia And Murder courtesy of Pie n Mash films

P&M Press Release 16 April 2010
Dimbleby Rocked By Questions Of Paedophilia And Murder
Angry documentary filmmaker Bill Maloney was thrown out of the ‘Leader’s Debate Question Time Special’ audience by David Dimbleby for speaking about Institutional child abuse, the restraining techniques used in YOIs and government paedophile rings.
Just moments before Question Time went live David Dimbleby introduced the panel asking each of them what they would be doing the next day. Michael Gove (Shadow Secretary of State for Children Schools and Families) said it was his wife’s birthday and Dimbleby asked if he had bought her a present to which he replied, “I actually bought her four presents”. Asked what the presents were Gove replied “A linen suit, a designer hand bag and two other presents that I’m not prepared to divulge”. Maloney shouted “Did we pay for them Mr Gove?” which raised a laugh from the panel and audience. Dimbleby concluded with Nigel Farage MEP of UKIP who made a sanctimonious remark to which Maloney shouted, “I don’t know why you’re so flippant, you’re guilty of stealing expenses the same as all the rest”. Dimbleby shook his finger and shouted at Maloney “If you are going to behave like this when we go on air I will have to tell you to leave.”
Maloney responded by shouting “If you want me to leave David tell me to leave. Don’t talk to me like I’m a piece of shit! You’ve got an angry electorate here and you select only five questions from 150? This is a biased audience which does not represent the lower classes.”
“I’m a documentary filmmaker and I investigate Institutional child abuse; the restraining techniques that are killing lower working class kids in Young Offenders Institutions; and paedophile rings in government that are fucking our kids! You don’t like talking about the children do you David?”
Security was then called. As he was led out Maloney turned to the panel shouting, “I’m here about the children, not about the economy. I’ve got more bollocks than all of you! Shame on you!” Maloney’s wife continued by shouting “Everyone in this audience should google Hollie Greig G.R.E.I.G and realise that the government does nothing!” †
The security guards didn’t lay a finger on Maloney as he was led out by the Producer – in fact the security guards looked like they wanted to pat him on the back!
Maloney submitted two questions to the show which were not selected, one on the issue of crime:
Considering the government has given £840 billion to bail out the banks, how much have they spent on getting 3.5 million children out of poverty? Give the £3.4 billion promised to get children out of poverty which ‘breeds’ crime.
The second was on the issue of institutional child abuse:
Considering it cost Australian taxpayers 200 million dollars for the Popes visit there in 2008, how much is the government spending on the Pope’s visit to the UK? And should we allow the Pope, whose Vatican City has the lowest age of sexual consent in Europe of only 12 years, into the country at all?
All Maloney wanted was his questions answered, as no politicians are willing to discuss these issues.
For further information or to arrange an interview with Bill Maloney Please contact Maria Maloney Tel: 07710 416470 or email:maria@pienmashfilms.com

We appreciate your comments about Bill’s work and for inviting him to consider speaking at future roadshows etc. He is definitely interested, particularly any that may be held in the South of England/London areas – and further afield if funds allow.

Many thanks to Pie N Mash films and we look forward to seeing more of their work and to hopefully work with them in the future.

April 13, 2010

Judge shocked by social workers who split families

Judge shocked by social workers who split families

New head of family courts warns against ‘arrogance’ as care applications soar in wake of Baby P case
Patrick Butler
The Guardian, Tuesday 13 April 2010
Article history
Lord Justice Wall: ‘The aim of social workers should be to unite families rather than to separate them.’ Photograph: Sarah Lee
Social workers have been criticised over attempts to permanently remove young children from their mothers by the new head of the family courts, who said their legal duty should be to “unite families rather than separate them”.
Lord Justice Wall – who will be sworn in today as the president of the high court’s family division – described as “shocking” the failure of social workers in the London borough of Greenwich to support a mother trying to make changes to her life and get back her two children, who are in care.
The judge said the case would do little to dispel the perception of many that social workers were “arrogant and enthusiastic removers of children from their parents into an unsatisfactory care system – trampling on the rights of parents and children in the process”.
The judge said: “I am very conscious of the criticism that social workers are damned if they do and damned if they do not.” But he added that at the same time their duties in care proceedings under the Children Act were plain and their aim “should be to unite families rather than to separate them”.
Sir Nicholas Wall’s appointment as the president of the family court division was initially rejected by Jack Straw before finally being confirmed last month. In December he made waves after he told a legal conference that the judiciary had to “come off the bench” to “speak up about the parlous state of family law”.
His comments on safeguarding practice come as social workers face increasing pressure to intervene to protect children at risk of abuse. Since the Baby Peter case in November 2008, when social workers were criticised for failing to prevent the killing of 17-month-old Peter Connelly at the hands of his mother, her lover and her lodger, there have been record numbers of applications to take children into care.
Hilton Dawson, chief executive of the British Association of Social Workers, said he was “a little astonished” by Lord Justice Wall’s remarks. He said it was incorrect of the judge to say the aim of the Children Act was to keep families together – it was to look after the interests of children.
He said: “I do not know about these cases in particular, but generalised remarks about ‘authoritarian’ social workers are just plain wrong.”
The Greenwich case involved a five-year-old boy and his sister aged three, who were taken into care in January 2008 after the girl was taken to hospital where her left arm was found to be broken in three places. Doctors said the injury was not an accident and both children were removed the same day.
At a hearing in November 2008 a judge said the girl’s father, who had a history of violence, was probably responsible for the injury, and confirmed the care order after concluding that Greenwich council was right to suspect the mother was still in contact with the father.
But Mrs Justice Baron, sitting with Lord Justice Wall, overturned the “draconian” order, saying that the mother was “warm and loving” and had tried unsuccessfully to get help from the council to help her escape her abusive relationship.
Lord Justice Wall called this a “very poor social work practice” and added: “She both needed and sought help and was quite improperly rebuffed by a local authority which had plainly prejudged the issue.”
A spokesperson for Greenwich council said: “Our priority was, and always will be, to protect children from being violently abused. In this case there was overwhelming evidence that a baby had been physically abused and we developed a care plan to provide safety and security for the baby and another young sibling.”
He said the council accepted the court’s concerns about the lack of support provided to the mother and said it was arranging for an independent review of the case “so we have the best plan to ensure the welfare of these very young children”.
In a second case, also heard last Friday, Lord Justice Wall criticised an attempt by Devon county council to overturn an court judgement that a teenage mother, known as S, should be given a last chance to prove herself fit to keep her baby boy.
Devon’s lawyers argued S had a propensity to form relationships with potentially dangerous individuals, putting herself and her baby, known as H, at risk, and the baby should be put into foster care as a further period of assessment was unnecessary.
Lord Justice Wall described the council’s argument as “pretty unattractive” and said: “Local authorities don’t seem to understand that the public perceive them as prejudging cases of this nature.”
Another judge, Lord Justice Aikens, who was sitting with Lord Justice Wall on the Devon case, said there was no evidence that the mother had maltreated her baby in any way, or that the violent father of her first child, whom she had agreed should be adopted, would have anything to do with S’s baby.
He said the “outside perception” might be of social workers who were effectively saying to the mother: “Whatever you may do doesn’t make any difference – we are going to take your child away.”
He added: “That is more like Stalin’s Russia or Mao’s China than the west of England – that is the impression you give.”
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/apr/13/judge-shocked-social-workers-families

010

Judge in charge of family courts criticises ‘arrogant social workers’

Baby Peter

Social workers have been criticised as “arrogant and enthusiastic removers of children from their parents” by the judge who takes charge of the family courts today.

Lord Justice Wall said that the determination of some social workers to place children in an “unsatisfactory care system” away from their families was “quite shocking”.

In a separate case, on which Sir Nicholas Wall also sat, Lord Justice Aikens described the actions of social workers in Devon as “more like Stalin’s Russia or Mao’s China than the West of England”.

The criticism of social workers from two of the most senior family court judges came as the number of children placed in care has reached a record high after the Baby Peter tragedy.

Social workers say that they are not prepared to take any chances after the death of the 17-month-old toddler at the hands of his mother, her lover and their lodger in Hackney, East London. He was being monitored by social workers at the time of his death.

The remarks are likely to be seen as a warning to social workers not to take children into care before all other avenues have been exhausted. They may also be seen as a signal to the family courts to challenge more robustly legal orders to take children into care.

Lord Justice Wall made his comments in a highly critical ruling against Greenwich Council, where social workers had taken two children into care and begun adoption proceedings despite their natural mother’s best efforts to change her life.

The Greenwich case involved a mother known as “EH”, who is seeking the return of her son “R”, aged 5, and daughter “RA”, aged 2, from care.

The children were taken into care in 2008 after the parents had taken RA, then a baby, to hospital, where her left upper arm was found to be broken. Doctors considered that the injuries were not accidental, social services were informed and both children were removed from their parents that day.

Initially they went to live with their maternal grandmother but were moved into foster care after a dispute between the grandmother and their father. Since June last year the father ceased to have any contact with the children and the mother has attempted to separate from him, alleging domestic violence.

Social workers refused to believe that the relationship was over, while rebuffing the mother’s request for help in ending the relationship. Lord Justice Wall described the conduct of the social workers as “hard to credit”.

“Here was a mother who needed and was asking for help to break free from an abusive relationship. She was denied that help abruptly and without explanation. That, in my judgment, is very poor social work practice,” he said.

“What social workers do not appear to understand is that the public perception of their role in care proceedings is not a happy one. They are perceived by many as the arrogant and enthusiastic removers of children from their parents into an unsatisfactory care system, and as trampling on the rights of parents and children in the process. This case will do little to dispel that.”

The adoption order has now been set aside after the ruling made last Friday.

In the Devon case, on which Lord Justice Wall also sat, Lord Justice Aikens criticised the actions of social workers in pursuing plans to have a baby adopted without giving his mother a last chance to show that she could look after him. The Devon legal team was given time to read the Greenwich judgment and withdrew their case.

Lord Justice Wall will be sworn in today as the president of the High Court’s Family Division. Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, originally challenged his appointment. Lord Justice Wall has been an outspoken critic of some government policies, including the funding of family courts.

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/article7095791.ece

Social workers were ‘enthusiastic removers of children’

By Richard Garner, Education Editor

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

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A leading judge accused social workers of behaving like “Stalin’s Russia or Mao’s China” for the way they went about permanently removing children from their mothers.

Lord Justice Wall, who will be sworn in today as president of the Family Division of the High Court in London, was referring to two specific cases. One involved Devon County Council, which did not give a mother a last chance to prove her baby was safe with her. The other was in the London borough of Greenwich, whose social workers did not support a woman in her fight to regain custody of her two children, who were in care.

Lord Justice Wall said the way Devon County Council acted was “more like Stalin’s Russia or Mao’s China than the west of England”. And he said the Greenwich case would do little to correct the perception that social workers were “arrogant and enthusiastic removers of children into an unsatisfactory care system – trampling on the rights of parents and children in the process”.

However, he accepted that social workers were “damned if they do and damned if they don’t” following the case of baby Peter Connelly, in which staff at Haringey Council in north London were condemned for failing to act on signs that the 17-month-old was being abused. Peter, who was on the child protection register, died in 2007 from injuries including a broken back.

Lord Justice Wall said the legal duty of social workers involved in care proceedings was plain and “their aim should be to unite families rather than separate them”. He said that when he heard the Devon and Greenwich cases at the appeal court, he granted each mother more time to show they could parent their children safely. In the Devon case, the council said the mother had a propensity to form relationships with potentially dangerous individuals extremely quickly, putting herself and her baby at risk – an argument that the judge called “pretty unattractive”.

The Greenwich woman’s son, aged five, and daughter, two, were taken into care after the girl’s arm was broken in three places. Lord Justice Wall noted that the mother had since separated from her partner despite being denied help from the authority “to break free from an abusive relationship”.

Judge says social workers are like ‘Stalin’s Russia’

Social workers have been called ‘arrogant and enthusiastic removers of children’ by judges.

Lord Justice WallLord Justice Wall: branded social workers ‘arrogant’

Their practices were more like those in ‘Stalin’s Russia or Mao’s China’ than what would be expected here, said one senior judge.

The comments came in two cases before the Court of Appeal involving bids to permanently remove young children from their mothers.

In both cases – in Greenwich, south-east London, and in Devon – judges granted the mothers more time to show they could look after their youngsters.

Ruling on the Greenwich case, Lord Justice Wall said of social workers: ‘They are perceived by many as the arrogant and enthusiastic removers of children from their parents into an unsatisfactory care system and as trampling on the rights of parents and children in the process.’

In the case, a mother was seeking the return of her five-year-old son and two-year-old daughter. Three judges set aside a decision to grant a full care order to Greenwich Council, which wanted the children adopted.

On Friday, they concluded the ‘warm and loving’ mother, who had left the girl’s violent father, had not been supported by social workers.

In the second case, Devon County Council was to appeal against a ruling that a teenage mother should be assessed to see if she is fit to keep her baby boy.

After reading the Greenwich judgment, the application was withdrawn. Lord Justice Aikens said of the bid: ‘It is more like Stalin’s Russia or Mao’s China… that is the impression you give.’

Greenwich Council accepted the concerns about lack of support for the mother. Devon County Council said it felt a care order was in the child’s best interests.

April 12, 2010

Reviews so far on conference

Well, what can I say? Considering the subject matter, it’s not at all surprising that the place was charged with emotion from minute 1. It was palpable. No punches were held back, the entire day was a wake up call, an assault on the senses and for anyone who wasn’t there, let me tell you; you had to be.

Fortunately for you all, there were cameras everywhere. I filmed it myself, and over time I will be posting videos uncut and unbleeped. Just to give an idea of what an emotional experience it all was.

At times I myself was on the verge of tears. We had parents whose children had been taken for no good reason other than to fill care contracts, who found within themselves the courage to stand up and give a three-minute brief on their situations. To those, I salute you! For myself, and I’m sure for many, many other people, we could bang on about our own cases all day long, but that isn’t the point of this conference, that’s what blogs such as this one are for. What the conferences are intended for is to make the wider public aware of what is going on, by giving an overview. Yes, we have plenty people waiting, willing and able to relate their stories, but for most of them, who don’t know how to go about it, they’re stuck. This is what my public hat is for – to show them how. To teach them how to blog, to give them the confidence to speak out without fear, and to give them the strength to keep fighting not just for themselves, but to give them that reserve back that they might be able to help others they find along the way who are in the same state as I found them. I am of course, putting all my energy into regaining my own children but as you all well know the so-called judicial process takes its sweet time doing anything, so I find myself with lots of spare energy while I wait for that to trundle along to offer myself to others who genuinely need help.

So to those I met Saturday, particularly to the very special guests Hollie & Anne Grieg, to the speakers: Brian, Ian, Jack, Robert, Shee, Zoomy, Jane, Linda, and the rest – you know who you are – I thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me the opportunity to meet you all and speak with you all, I only wish it could have been under better circumstances, but I do hope you would join the Roadshow (details as they emerge – it’s just an idea at the moment!) and help spread the word.

Videos to follow.

PS: Sam and Mark and partners, I so humbly apologise for not being able to get you the promised opportunity to say your pieces, it was not a technical problem I can assure you, the problem(?) was that the queue of people for the open mike and the fact that the laptop was the far end of the stage meant that Brian couldn’t scoot over with the mike for you! Next one we’ll have a teleconference going!

Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)

This entry was posted on 2010/04/12 at 08:41 and is filed underBackgroundBrian GerrishChild Snatching By The StateCommon Law,EducationFMOTLGenocideHollie GriegIan JosephsJane Webb,LyndamacMark McDougallNews & Current EventsRobert GreenSam HallimondSocial EngineeringZoompadcivil libertiescorporate crime,cover-upfraudkidnapslavery . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed You can leave a response, or trackbackfrom your own site.

http://thelostpacket.wordpress.com/

Su and I attended the Child Snatching by the State conference this weekend. It was a pleasure to meet her (and her family, albeit briefly!) I am hoping that Su will write up her notes, too, and I will amend this post as necessary.

There was a vast amount of information to take in and I am still processing it. What I propose to do in this post is to provide a brief rundown of the speakers and the key themes that arose from the day. I will then expand on the key themes and offer some Renegade analysis over the next week or two.

We started off with an introduction by Brian Gerrish, who is well-known for his work on forced adoption and Common Purpose. I know that some political bloggers exercise extreme caution around the issue of Common Purpose, preferring not to be labelled as conspiracy theorists, but nevertheless I think that there are valid criticisms to be made of this organisation, its modi operandorum, and the outcomes it seeks to achieve.

Fewer people doubt that children have been and are removed from innocent families by incompetent or vindictive social services departments. This problem – now covered by the mainstream media on a regular basis – is exacerbated by the closed nature of the family courts system, and the gagging orders that prevent parents (and children) from speaking out about what is happening to them.

Then Ian Josephs spoke. He witnessed first hand the collusion and corruption that can occur within local authorities when children are unnecessarily removed from their families and placed into care settings. Even now, many years later, he still offers free legal advice and help to anyone who is threatened by social services departments.

Ian described in some detail the individual and organisational drivers for forced adoption that operate interdependently, creating tightly controlled situations with foregone conclusions that are difficult to resist. However, he also provided clear information and instruction on the best way to deal with such situations and ensure the greatest possible chance of removing one’s family from the clutches of social services.

Jack Frost, author of the Gulag of the Family Courts, articulately described the deeply embedded and organisationally protected nature of false abuse accusations. Two consultant paediatricians alleged that his wife had Muchausen’s Syndrome By Proxy, after his daughter became ill with ME at the age of 12. His family had direct and prolonged experience of:

the veritable thriving yet dependant food chain of social workers, charities, local government officials and ‘public officials’, whose livelihoods and careers depend on instigating care proceedings and taking ever more children to feed the conveyor belt of linked foster care and adoption agencies. Which agencies are themselves, often owned or managed by ex-social workers and ex- local government officials!

After lunch the stage was given over to parents who had had their children stolen from them by social services (in at least one case aided and abetted by the NSPCC), and children (now adults) who had been stolen from their parents and violently abused in care settings. This was the most distressing part of the day and, I suspect, the reason why no social workers attended this event. To stand in front of these people and justify or defend current safeguarding policy – policy that fails abused children and non-abused children alike – is an impossible task, regardless of whatLord Laming says.

There followed a talk by a Canadian, Kevin Annett, who “told the untold story of the genocide of Aboriginal peoples in Canada”. He provided information and exerpts from his film, Unrepentant, to highlight the brutal treatment, torture and murder of children in church-run Indian residential schools. Whilst this topic was somewhat tangential, it was nevertheless something I was glad to have brought to my attention, and it also confirmed two other areas of thought:

  1. The tactics that people use to break up families and break down individuals are the same the world over, and
  2. State sanctioned, organised “care” of children is forever ideally placed to be hijacked and appropriated by those who harbour abusive, fascisteugenic tendencies.

I was also made aware of the Indian Act, which (as I understand it) mandates that Indians who live on reservations in Canada are essentially wards of the state, and cannot refuse the “offer” of medication or immunisation, for example.

Finally, Robert Green stood up and spoke at length about the case of Hollie Greig, who was sat in the audience with her mum, Anne. All of the information is available here, and I would advise that anyone who struggles to believe that such a monumental cover up could ever take place should first read the website and related documentation.

So, just off the top of my head, here are some key themes I am happy to expand on:

  • Crackpot conspiracy theory or legitimate concern?
  • Common tactics to divide and conquer
  • How to protect your family
  • Campaigning for change
  • What to do next
  • Reading list and resources

What do you think?

http://www.renegadeparent.net/post/Child-Snatching-by-the-State-conference-first-thoughts.aspx

Child Snatching Conference in Stafford was a great success

Pictures Courtesy of Stafford Post
Fight is to go national
Apr 21 2010
The Stafford mum behind the town’s controversial conference that ‘lifted the lid’ on forced adoption has announced she is organising a national tour to highlight the injustices of the family courts system.
Campaigner Jane Webb brought together over 200 people at Stafford Rangers FC for ‘Child Snatching by the State’ on April 10.
At the event distraught parents revealed their heartbreak battles to be re-united with their children while others called for changes in the law to prevent children being adopted without parents’ consent.
Ms Webb told the Post the event had been a massive success, having brought together campaigners and families. “The response has been incredible, both on the web and locally, so we are now organising a national tour,” she said. “We need to do this because there is nothing being done to support these parents and keep families together.”
She said the ‘Child Snatching by the State’ group would now fight to get juries into family courts, halt forced adoptions and call for end to parents being ‘gagged’ by courts.
Speaker and businessman Ian Josephs, who flew in from Monaco for the conference, described the family courts system as ‘a disgrace’.
‘State child snatch’ parents speak out
Apr 14 2010
By Lynn Grainger
Broken families revealed their heartbreak battles to be reunited with their children at a controversial conference held in Stafford on Saturday.
The emotively-titled ‘Child Snatching by the State’ brought together campaigners, parents and families fighting to make the public aware of ‘injustices’ in the family courts system.
They want changes in the law which would put an end to ‘forced adoptions’ – where children are removed without their loved ones’ consent – and to allow them to speak out about their experiences.
Around 200 people gathered at Stafford Rangers FC for the day-long event. Some travelled from as far afield as Spain and Monaco. They heard first-hand harrowing allegations of abuse, tales of families ‘torn apart’ and of one tragic case that ended with the death of a Stafford mother.
The event was organised by Stafford family rights campaigner Jane Webb.
On stage she paid tribute to local mum Willow Simpson who hanged herself at St George’s Hospital in 2007 after learning her son would be adopted without her consent.
“I’ve done this because there is nothing being done to support these parents and to keep families together,” she told the Post. “The main thing we want is to get juries into family courts, to stop forced adoptions and for the courts to stop gagging parents so they can speak out about injustice.”
One mum who took to the stage during the ‘open mike’ session of the conference spoke of her battle to win back her son who she claimed was abused in care. While being filmed for the event she said: “I will fight, fight, fight and I am not giving up, I will never give up. It’s me and his family that love him, not strangers in care.”
Speaker Ian Josephs, who runs a language school in Monaco, is fighting for changes in the law.
During the 1960s the campaigning father of seven re-united many parents with children who had been taken into care, while he was a councillor.
Now he wants juries, rather than a judge, to rule on family court proceedings and for the lifting of ‘gagging’ orders on parents who are going through the court system so they can speak out about their experiences.
“The family courts system is a disgrace,” he said.
He also criticised social services for removing babies from mothers due to the ‘risk of emotional harm’.
Organiser Jane Webb said the controversial event had been an ‘amazing success’.

http://icstafford.icnetwork.co.uk/news/localnews/tm_headline=8216-state-child-snatch-8217-parents-speak-out%26method=full%26objectid=26242040%26siteid=87875-name_page.html

Wow ! Many thanks to everyone for a wonderful day .I will post vids and media on here as they arrive.

Well done to all !!!!

April 8, 2010

Child snatching by the state conference update

Great news Ian joesph has confirmed i hope you all give him a warm welcome.

Robert Green , Anne and Hollie Grieg also confirmed.

Express and Star covered event last night and their should be Lynn journalist in attendance.

Weather Forecast is great and a buffet is available.

Please give a donation if you can for buffet as i am doing it out my own pocket however small.

Conference finishes at 5 but Rangers are opening a seperete bar which will be open till 12 for people to do much needed networking.

I look forward to meeting you all Saturday.

Big shout to my eldest boys and their friend who are coming over to help.

xxx

If this goes well its a start of many more xxxx

April 6, 2010

Staffordshire social services bully their own staff as well as families and children

Social worker ‘harassed at home’
Last updated: 01/04/2010 10:43
A Staffordshire County Council social worker complained he was harassed by the management following a heart attack and unfairly dismissed after complaining about work changes.
Generic Online News 4Ronald Moruzzi made his allegations against the council at Birmingham Employment Tribunal after more than 25 years as a social worker.
Ann Morgan, representing the council, denied Mr Moruzzi had been harassed.
She said changes had been made, including providing duty manager cover by certain social workers.
But Mr Moruzzi, of Ashbourne Road, Leek said he objected over the way the cover policy was introduced and complained he had not been fully consulted.
“I was harassed at home with a series of council letters after suffering from a heart attack,” he said.
“This harassment was because I had made an official grievance against the management over the work changes. I was even refused to add further complaints to my grievance.
“I eventually lost my job and I am now seeking compensation for unfair dismissal and harassment.” Former Staffordshire County Council social worker Mr Alan Paling said Mr Moruzzi had been a member of a social service team which was asked to provide cover for the duty manager.
“He said the cover policy was introduced in 2008 and was expected to be short term but became ongoing.
“There was a voluntary aspect about the scheme,” said Mr Paling.
“I was Rob’s line manager at the time and he was distraught on returning to work following his heart attack.” Tribunal judge Ann Coaster adjourned the hearing to a later date when a decision is expected.

http://www.staffordshirenewsletter.co.uk/News/Social-worker-harassed-at-home.htm

peter traves on a wacking 128.00O Yet he cant be bothered to answer emails or investigate abuse or his staff

The town hall ‘fat cats’ revealed
Last updated: 01/04/2010 10:57
Stafford borough Council’s chief executive is one of a handful of people named in a new list of fat cat salaries in Stafford and Staffordshire.
Stafford Borough Council civic centreIan Thompson receives a total package of £105,980, made up of £94,012 salary, performance pay of £5,509.94 and a car allowance of £6,457.84.
The figures are revealed in the fourth Town Hall Rich List compiled by the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA), which shows which officers earn more than £100,000.
At Staffordshire County Council, there are six officers in the top pay bracket headed by chief executive Ron Hilton who is due to leave his £192,617 a year post after just two years in the job.
His package is made up of salary of £190,899.94, with a supplement of £1,717.
Corporate director Peter Traves pocketed £128,710 last year, while another corporate director Richard Higgs took home £127,861.
Eric Robinson, director of social services, was paid £125,753; Keith Caskett, deputy corporate director quality assurance, received £112,337, and Sally Rees, deputy corporate director vulnerable children earned £100,846.
In new legislation that comes into force today, authorities have to report on who their most senior staff are, their final remuneration and a breakdown.
Councillor Philip Atkins, leader of SCC, said: “This is a £1.24 billion organisation and the eighth largest authority in the country providing a significant range of services to the community.
“We needed to attract the very best of candidates to lead an authority that provides essential services to 830,000 people with a workforce of 28,000. These salaries are set below the market rate and are less than the chief executive and director salaries of other similar sized authorities.” A spokesman for SBC said: “Looking at the TPA figures the amount the chief executive receives is less than his predecessor. And Ian did not have a pay rise this year.
There is a great deal of responsibility on Ian who is the Chief Executive of the largest district council in Staffordshire and whose decisions can affect 123,000 people as well as thousands of businesses in the borough.”

http://www.staffordshirenewsletter.co.uk/News/The-town-hall-fat-cats-revealed.htm

Council chiefs earn more cash than PM

Thursday 1st April 2010, 11:30AM BST.

A town hall rich list revealing high-earning council workers who take home more than £100,000 in wages and allowances was today released.

Chief executives at Dudley and Birmingham councils both pocketed more then the Prime Minister Gordon Brown in 2008/09, according to the report by the TaxPayers’ Alliance.

The report claims the highest earner in the West Midlands was Birmingham chief executive Stephen Hughes, with a pay package worth around £200,000.

It also claims former Dudley chief executive Andrew Sparke had a package worth £194, 600 which included a redundancy payment of just over £85,000.

As well as basic salary, the report takes into account other allowances and bonuses, including performance pay and redundancy payments.

It claims there were 12 executives in Birmingham with packages worth more than £100,000, six in Staffordshire, five in Walsall and Dudley, three in Sandwell, one who has now left. Cannock Chase, Wyre Forest, South Staffordshire, Stafford and Lichfield all had one.

Wolverhampton has eight listed although the council says the figures accidentally include three headteachers who should not have appeared on the list.

Nationally the figures show there were at least 1,250 council staff earning £100,000 or more in 2008-2009 which is up from 1,009 from the previous year.

There were also 166 earning over £150,000 in 2008/2009.A total of 31 council staff earned more than Gordon Brown up from 19 in the previous financial year.The average package for chief executives, including the allowances and bonuses, works out at £125,745 a year or £2,418 a week.

The information was gathered under the Freedom of Information Act.

John O’Connell, policy analyst at the campaign group TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Town Hall bosses have had a very good recession at taxpayers’ expense.

“More of them than ever are earning massive amounts.”

http://www.expressandstar.com/news/2010/04/01/council-chiefs-earn-more-cash-than-pm/

April 4, 2010

social workers are targeting babies for adoption

The government is denying that social workers are targeting babies for adoption. Listening to desperate calls from pregnant women or mothers of new babies and toddlers on our help-line would quickly show their denials are not true.

Health visitors are often instructed to give all parents a “risk rating”, if possible while the child is still in the womb, or soon after the birth – this is done without parents’ knowledge or consent. The questionnaire used is highly inaccurate as a predictive tool, and has a very high rate of false positives. Pregnant teenagers, the unemployed, anyone with a history of mental illness, and so on, are on the watch list – supposedly so that they can get extra support, but it is often simply extra surveillance. Midwives are instructed to report risk factors, and are losing the trust of the women they care for.

When social workers investigate mothers as a potential risk to their children we see incredibly high stress levels in women who fear losing their babies (even if the fear may not be justified). Research has shown this high level of stress hormones in the mother’s blood can reduce the baby’s growth as well as causing behavioural problems in childhood. We also suspect that it is affecting the process of birth in a number of our clients. For example, delaying birth beyond term.

Expectant mothers who were themselves brought up in care have an increased risk of social workers taking their babies, without even giving them a chance to show that they can be good parents, and providing them support and help. The State is,in effect, saying “as your corporate parent we gave you such damaging care that you are unfit ever to be a parent yourself”.

Mothers with a previous history of mental illness (perhaps caused by bereavement or a damaging relationship), or mothers with postnatal depression (very common) or psychosis also risk losing their children. The extreme shortage of mother-and-baby psychiatric units where they can safely be together is a scandal; Primary Care Trusts are seldom willing to pay for such care outside their area. The grapevine in many communities is accurately circulating the risks, so mothers who may need medical care tell us they are concealing mental illness, for fear of their children being taken. Two academic studies have shown that questionnaires to identify postnatal depression no longer work, because mothers lie. This is dangerous, since we now know that suicide is the major cause of death associated with childbirth.

Women also tell us they are concealing the fact that their pregnancy resulted from rape, or that they suffer domestic violence, for the same reason. One man, after beating up his wife, hands her the phone and says “Now call the police – and the social workers will come and take your kids.” So she stays silent. Others tell us that social work intervention has resulted in aborting a baby they would have wanted.

Not all attempts to have children adopted succeed, and mothers may have them returned after weeks, or months. The intense bond fostered by the high levels of oxytocin the mother has from giving birth and breastfeeding has been damaged. The baby has lost the breast milk which gives life-long health advantages, and contact visits are never frequent enough to breast feed.

We are a pressure group with 40 years’ experience in supporting parents with complaints about maternity care. But since the unprecedented growth in calls about child protection proceedings in the last 9 years or so, we have accompanied clients to meetings and observed social workers’ home visits. We have been horrified at what we have seen, and equally appalled by the lack of accuracy and bias in many of their reports, and the selectivity of evidence they give to the courts.

Questions should be asked of the Commission for Social Care Inspection. In their annual inspections up and down the country they criticise local authorities whose adoption figures are not high enough. It is the rise in the adoption total that wins Brownie points, NOT a reduction in older children lingering in long term “care” with an unsettled future. Hence the social work snatching of new born – prime adoption material, which also met the needs of settled, wealthier, older infertile couples. As one client told us, “What they are doing is redistributive eugenics.”

Perhaps it is time we started measuring and recording the damage caused by ‘child protection’ interventions and doing the kind of cost-benefit analysis which is now required for drugs, surgery and other health interventions?

Beverley Lawrence Beech, Chair AIMS

Contacts:
Beverley Lawrence Beech – tel: 0870 765 1453 or email: beverley.beech@aims.org.uk
Jean Robinson – email: jean.robinson@aims.org.uk
Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services, 5 Ann’s Court, Grove Road, Surbiton, Surrey, KT6 4BE

http://www.aims.org.uk/

April 2, 2010

Staffordshire Social Services ignored yet another child

How my sister went from good kid to jail
by RICHARD CASTLE Last updated: 30/03/2010 18:04
AN 18-year-old girl has revealed how her big sister turned from a “good kid” to being jailed for faking a kidnapping and trashing a sheltered flat.
Speaking exclusively to the Mail, Jasmine Marshall has revealed what it was like growing up with selfharming sister Jessica.
Jasmine, who says her family will not welcome Jessica back post-sentence, admitted she longs to have “the old Jessica” back.
She said: “Jessica was a good kid. She was happy and content and would help me and mum look after the younger kids.
“But then she started secondary school, got in with the wrong crowd and started stealing from shops and her friends.
“She then started stealing from her own family, smoking and skiving school.” Jessica, 19, was spared jail in October after admitting staging the kidnapping of her 16-year-old friend and making ransom demands to her mother.
However, last month she was sentenced to 14 months after being convicted of trashing a flat at Burton’s YMCA sheltered housing complex.
When arrested, she was found with a knife and a wrap of amphetamine.
Jasmine said: “Jessica has turned to a life of crime, not because she wants to, but because she just wants help and to feel like she fits in again.
“It’s also down to the amount of drugs she was taking, which messes with her head.
“I miss having my big sister around, but, looking back on all the things she has done, the kidnap is the most hurtful thing.
“Hearing about this from my dad made me sick. I can’t believe she would do something like that – it’s the lowest of the low.” Jasmine said that when Jessica reached her early teens, she would routinely run away from home and tell social services her stepfather had beaten her.
She said: “Social services never believed her, as Jessica would contact them so often that it became a joke.
“Maybe if they had done something to help her when she needed help, she wouldn’t be the way she is today.”

http://www.burtonmail.co.uk/News/How-my-sister-went-from-good-kid-to-jail.htm

March 31, 2010

HYPOCRISY AT STOKE FAMILY COURT CHILDREN PUT AT RISK BY PROFESSIONALS

Ok being the kind of person I am I thought I would while waiting to be called to court enjoy a nice cup of coffee in the public cafeteria in the court.

After having sight of my childs social worker ( who in all fairness ) isnt that bad and her manager Cruella De Vil I decided it may be better to protect my unborn child from germs and infection to sit away from them at the opposite end of the cafe.

I sat behind some ladies sat in suits who i thought were probably discussing mundane things like the weather ( or at least hoped they were ) As i had previously bought to the matter of a judge that in my own case before Staffordshire Social Services , Cafcass and their legal reps were discussing my case in this public cafeteria which is in fact CONTEMPT OF COURT.

Needless to say the judge punished them accordingly ( NOT ) mmmmmmmm A judge swears an oath the uphold the law doesnt he ?

It seems to be at STOKE court a judge will not uphold the law against any professionals only parents when the parents have not even broken the law they are gagged and threatened with contempt of court.

Anyway moving on i started to take notes of this ( what should have been ) mundane conversation

These are as follows

There is an adoption case going through the court which relates to 2 boys .The family wishing to adopt the boys are called the Carters they are foster carers . On the 18th May there is a panel date for adoption.One of the suited ladies said ” I may be able to exert a little influence over the panel but only a little as im a legal advisor ”

WHAT A PROFESSIONAL TRYING TO INFLUENCE THE PANEL ? NO ! THIS DOESN’T HAPPEN SURELY ?

They discussed the pregnant mothers due date as being 1st June.

Comments were made about judge Duggan who sits at this court.

These were ” Duggan is pleasant but he likes to have control, has his own way of thinking ” ” I was here all day yesterday trying to argue the toss with Duggan ”

WHAT A JUDGE THAT THE PROFESSIONALS ARE SCARED OF WHO WONT JUST RUBBER STAMP THEIR APPLICATIONS ? NO ! SURELY NOT ?

They discussed the boys and said ” they are staying with the carters ! …. well thats the plan ”

One of these ladies said she hasn’t done an adoption for years where the child is adopted by their 1st birthday Ryan is nearly 2 now.

The guardian began to say ” despite her stupidity ….. ”

I didnt catch the rest but it was relating to the mother of the children

Then discussing someone else one social worker said guess what they have called the baby ?

She whispered something to her colleague they both laughed and the social worker said she had been taking the micky to her colleagues by saying what are they going to call the next one gonnorhea

This social worker then went on to talk about her twin boys Benjamin and Joesph well if shes naming clients children i dont see why hers shouldnt be named.

Anyway the Carters want to adopt the two boys and the guardian supports this.

The mother is not opposing ( has probably been bullied ) but on the grounds that she can have contact 4 times a year.

They discussed whittling that down to less. The Guardian commented ” 4 times a year is an awful lot ”

They said they dont want the Carters to be in a spat with mother about contact.

Deborah is the guardian to this case.

Other names mentioned were Caroline Crosby Local Authority Solicitor

I believe the case is CHESIRE COUNTY COUNCIL V FALLOWS

Now if the mother gets to read this you need to bring this up against these professionals .

They are in serious trouble I know your name and that of your children being adopted but i have kept your privacy intact something these blabbermouth professionals have no regard to.

SO WHEN IT IS RAISED THAT FAMILY COURTS SHOULD REMAIN SECRET AND IT IS THESE PROFESSIONALS THAT SAY ITS FOR THE CHILDRENS BEST INTERESTS

THE FACT IS THEY DO NOT GIVE A TOSS ABOUT PROTECTING THE CHILDREN AND FAMILES AS SEEN ABOVE AND ALSO IN MY CASE IT IS ABOUT PROTECTING THEMSELVES.

ANY JOURNALISTS THAT ARE HAVING TROUBLE ACCESSING FAMILY COURT HEARINGS OR ADOPTIONS JUST GO AND SIT IN THE PUBLIC CAFETERIA AT THE LOCAL FAMILY COURT OR WHEREVER YOU SEE A GROUP OF SUITED PROFESSIONAL LOSERS IN DISCUSSION.

March 28, 2010

Twins who were beaten, abused, starved & driven to the brink of suicide by their FOSTER PARENTS TODAYS NEWS AND GUESS WHAT STAFFORDSHIRE COUNCIL DID NOTHING

Twins who were beaten, abused, starved & driven to the brink of suicide by their FOSTER PARENTS
COMPENSATION AT LAST FOR…
Laura Armstrong
Twin sisters Helen Stuckey and Sarah Walsh hugged each other with joy last week – unlike when they were little girls and hugged as they trembled with fear.
The reason for last week’s quiet embrace was that the 26-year-old sisters have finally won compensation from a council that put them in the care of the foster parents from hell.
From the age of two, Helen and Sarah were regularly beaten by the couple who should have given them a loving, protected life.
Both girls, who have bravely waived their anonymity, were also forced to perform sex acts on each other while their vile foster brother watched.
And Sarah was sexually abused by their twisted foster dad between the age of five and 16.
Staffordshire county council staff visited the children frequently but failed to spot warning signs.
These included both sisters trying to commit suicide DOZENS of times, SEVEN ignored reports of physical abuse and THREE disregarded admissions by their stepfather that he and his wife beat the kids.
Social services were unaware of the sexual abuse but Helen and Sarah claim it would never have happened if they been removed from the evil family’s care.
Helen told The People: “This battle was never about winning a large amount of money. For us it was our way of getting social services to admit blame for what happened to us.
“They will never admit blame – we understand that now – but in our minds this pay-out suggests they at least accept they were negligent.
“Now we can fully move on and try to forget those years of hell.”
Survived
The girls were placed with the foster parents in 1985 after their mother – a schizophrenic – was unable to look after them.
Almost immediately after they were taken in, the physical abuse started.
Sarah said: “If we hadn’t had each other, I honestly don’t think we would have survived. We were beaten and abused from almost day one.”
In 1988, social services admitted they were worried that the foster brother – then aged 15- was looking after the five-year-old twins during the day. But NO action was taken.
In 1993 the foster parents admitted to a social worker that the mother smacked them although carers are NOT supposed to use physical punishment. Again no action was taken.
Next year both parents agreed to stop using corporal punishment. This did NOT happen.
Shockingly, the girls weren’t only being physically abused. From 1988 until 1996 Sarah and Helen were forced to perform sex acts while their foster brother watched. Sarah was also sexually abused by her foster dad.
Sarah said: “We never did anything about it because we were too scared.”
Helen added: “Despite everything we have been through, we don’t want to be seen as victims because we know we are lucky to have escaped our foster family.
“But there must be thousands of helpless children out there trapped in abusive families.
“And one day we hope to change the law so that social services staff are required to take responsibility for the mistakes they make.”
Sarah continued: “Our foster mum was a nasty drinker and if she was drunk or hungover she would go after us with anything she could get.
“Whenever she did use her fists, she would wet them so the punch would hurt more, and then pull us upstairs by our hair.
“I wanted so badly for the beatings to stop, but we were frightened to say anything in case the social workers took us away and split us up.
“So instead we learnt to say nothing when we were beaten. And when it was over and we were alone, we would sit and cry together.
“I was so unhappy and frightened but knowing Helen was there holding my hand helped.”
Helen said: “It wasn’t just the beatings, it was the humiliation. We used to be called the waterworks by classmates because we’d always be crying when we arrived at school.
“And we never made friends because other children were too frightened to come to our house. They had seen the beatings, such as when our foster mum pulled Sarah outside by her shirt collar and slammed her up against a brick wall, screaming that she was a slag and telling her to p*** off.
“Other times we’d be banned from eating for ages, or made to eat until we were sick, just for trivial reasons. I remember once as a child eating Stork margarine with sugar on top because I was so hungry.
Desperate
“I didn’t care that it made me feel sick, I was just so desperate that I just shovelled it in like an animal.”
The People knows the identity of the twins’ foster family but has decided not to name them for legal reasons.
Their foster mother is still inolved with children while their foster brother now has children of his own. Their foster father died of cancer seven years ago. Helen said: “It scares me to think that our foster mum is still working with young children.
“In the 15 years I lived with her she never once showed Sarah or me a shred of pity, let alone any love.
“If we sobbed when she hurt us, she would just hit harder.”
Sarah said: “The things our foster brother made us do was more confusing than anything else at first. But when my foster dad abused me, I felt sick and alone.”
Helen, tortured by the belief that she was to blame for her sister’s suffering, took an overdose of pills and cough mixture.
Sarah was thrown out by her foster mum when the twins were 16. The homeless teenager began cutting her wrists and was hospitalised after four overdoses.
She said: “After years of abuse I really believed what our foster parents had told us – we were worthless and there was no point in living. It was only when my foster dad died in 2003 I finally felt that I could open up about everything.”
In 2006 Helen and Sarah reported the abuse to police.
Their foster mum and brother were questioned but released without charge after the Crown Prosecution Service ruled there was a lack of evidence of the brother’s abuse and the time limit to prosecute the mother for assault had expired.
So the twins – now mums themselves – launched a claim against Staffordshire County Council.
Now they have received £70,000 compensation three weeks before the case was due to be heard in court.
The compensation is NOT for the abuse but for social services breaching their duty of care.
Sarah said: “Hearing the settlement had been reached was like having a 10-ton weight lifted.”
Helen added: “I still see our foster mum in the street sometimes and she laughs if she catches sight of me. But now I can put all the anger that I used to feel behind me.”
Staffordshire County Council said: “We made an out-of-court settlement but do not accept liability for the allegations which have never been proved. We have, however, offered the claimants help and support.
“The fostering service has come a very long way since the 1980s. We were inspected by Ofsted in 2009 and our fostering service was judged outstanding.”
Solicitor Richard Scorer of Manchester law firm Pannone said: “We were able to find information to support Helen and Sarah’s case.
“Although no amount of money can ever compensate for what they went through, I am pleased to have played a part in getting them justice .”
laura.armstrong@people.co.uk

http://www.people.co.uk/news/tm_headline=twins-who-were-beaten-abused-starved-driven-to-the-brink-of-suicide-by-their-foster-parents%26method=full%26objectid=22143896%26siteid=93463-name_page.html

Bungling Incompetent Staffordshire Social Worker Idiots at it again

FOSTERING FILES LEFT IN STREET
Saturday, March 27, 2010, 09:20
CONFIDENTIAL information held by social services about children in care has been found on a pavement by a passer-by.
Dozens of sensitive Stoke-on-Trent City Council documents were discovered on a memory stick left in Potteries Way, Hanley, yesterday.
The social services records of foster carers, family court proceedings, parenting assessments, child custody arrangements and the psychological history of youngsters were all included in the files.
The stick was found by IT consultant Gary Fox and reported to The Sentinel before one of our reporters handed it to the council. Now officials have launched an urgent investigation into how the security breach happened.
It is not known whether the social worker had permission to take the memory stick away from the council’s offices, or when it went missing.
But the information on the memory stick was not encrypted, which is against the council’s own policy.
A council spokesman said: “The safety of children in our care is our priority. We have procedures for ensuring that confidential and sensitive data is kept as secure as possible.
“We will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the circumstances in which the data was lost.
“We thank The Sentinel for returning the data, as situations such as this require immediate attention. The device has been put in a safe place.”
Mr Fox, who works in Hanley and lives in Stafford, had picked up the memory stick, which was covered in mud, because a blank one is worth about £10 in a shop.
The 53-year-old said: “I put the memory stick in a computer and realised there were about 40 documents on it.
“I was shocked by the vast amount of confidential information and the fact it wasn’t even password protected.
“Public bodies gather information on everyone, but it seems can’t be trusted to keep it safe.
“I handed the memory stick to The Sentinel, because people should be aware of how public bodies look after confidential information.”
The council will report the breach to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), responsible for regulating the use of personal information.
An ICO spokesman said: “We may serve an enforcement notice if an organisation has failed to comply with any of the data protection principles.
“We have statutory power to impose a financial penalty if there has been a serious breach of data protection.”
The security breach has shocked foster carers who rely on such confidential information being kept secure.
Carer Phyllis Hulme, aged 62, of Meir, said: “Everything to do with foster care is meant to be highly confidential.
“We are always told not to mention children’s names in meetings or discuss information with anyone. Somebody has slipped up badly here.”
Individual councils are responsible for creating their own data protection policies
NOW I JUST WANT TO ADD I HAVE THE NAMES AND ADDRESSES OF FOSTER CARERS LEAKED BY THEM BUT NOONE IS HELD ACCOUNTABLE !!!!

Another Staffordshire Mother Comes Forward

I am 34 yrs old and a single parent to 2 beautifull girls who have always been my greatest pleasure in life. Ive had a couple of relationships since the the birth of my first child 17 yrs ago. I gave birth to my second child 2003 and got married 2004, however this only lasted 6 months, he was a violent controlling bully. I was divorced 6 months later. Needless to say he never bothered with his daughter again, he never emotinally supported my daughter neither did he  financially supported her. We never heard from him again.

The LA involement in my familys life started when my eldest daughter was playing up a bit, there were no major concerens she was just behaving as  normal 15 yr olds do.
The LA never offered her any help or support, not that i would of wanted this any way, but surly this is an obligation the LA are obliged to do.
She is now doing great she is studying her A levels and has a part time job at the  weekends. The only thing lacking in her life is her little sister, these 2 girls had a fabulous bond which has now been destroyed by the  LA.

In aprill 2009 The LA held a secret court were they decided to place my yougest child on an ico their fraudlent claims are that of neglect they claim school attendence although she had a good attentendance at school, she had also just had her leval 5 assesment done were she was found to be OUTSTANDING as a five year, since her forciable removal she  now has a special learner every day at school her teacher says she is unable to concentrate. She was out of nappies at 2 yrs old however lately has had a couple of accidents were she has wet her self. These are so blantley the effects of being denied her loving mother. My baby is so stressed and wants to come home it is shocking.

The LA asked her if she wanted to meet her dad when they removed her she did not, however their brain washing has taken its toll and ten months later she has met him.

There are four police reports in the court bundle were this man a severly beaten me, there are pictures were he has put cigerttes out on my face urinated on me and so on .

The genius in the ss now think it is a great idea to place my daughter in his home to live permenently the police reports do not get a mention in court, rehashing old evidence they say, if we have not been able to adress them how can they be old evidence.
His police file has not been pulled, He also has another x wife and another 2 children which are not mentioned, WHY.

My final hearing april and their final evidence says they want my daughter to live with this man, on a supervision order, they will then cut my contact to once a fortnight still stricly supervised of course. That is the plan for the first year, then what contact i will be allowed i dont know.

THERE IS NO JUSTICE IN THE FAMILY COURTS

March 26, 2010

The Family court anthem many thanks to ZOOMY

March 12, 2010

Social Workers hitting my Blog Instead of Targets

Filed under: Secret family courts,Staffordshire — nojusticeforparents @ 4:10 am

This site had the most hits ever yesterday i can just imaging staffordshire social workers all searching through the articles seeing if they can pick things off to use against me in some way.

I share a glimmer of hope that they may actually learn something from some of the articles…….. but as ever i shall not be holding my breath.

The fact of the matter is I have a wealth of evidence about their failings and i have every confidence that justice is not far away.

Hopefully when it has been served i can start to lead somewhat of a normal life again instead of spending hours doing research and reading up on law.

I have never encountered such a local authority that blatently does not follow law or proper procedures.

That blatently ignore complaints or requests for information.

Challenge them and they will be vexatious against you or label you as being mentally ill without evidence.

Its strange as im now quite famous in the social services department. I am meeting staff i have never met before but they all say they have heard of me !

I would love to be a fly on the wall in their offices.

I bet not one of them will turn up to the child stealing conference in Stafford.

Id like to leave a note for them : while your searching my blog you are neglecting your duties of form filling , you may miss a few targets or has the corporate battle against me become a higher priority ?

Ed Balls wont be very happy if those targets are not met !!!!

March 5, 2010

Peter Traves Corporate Director ( does he actually exist ? )

Can someone please acknowledge the existance of Peter Traves ?

I am beginning to think he does not exist.

After three years of complaints , requests for files and having plenty of evidence that any decent corporate director would be interested in.

He has yet to do anything.

Even when other people are starting to wake up to this lying and secretive organisation he fails to do anything.

This leads me to question does he actually exist ?

If he does is he human ?

One would think that anyone with a shred of humanity would seek to put things straight for the sake of the children and parents in Staffordshire.

Not Mr Traves he seems to be suffering from ” bury my head in the sand or up my arse” personality disorder with traits of I will not accept any responsibilty syndrome.


Chiefs criticised for withholding records

Social services bosses have been rapped after refusing to hand over records to a Staffordshire mother whose children had been taken into care.

After a lengthy battle the county council has been found to have breached the Data Protection Act by the Information Commissioner after its refusal to give documents to the woman.

The council has now been required to hand over all the relevant files to the mother who claims to have been unfairly treated by the county council. She cannot be named to protect the identity of her children who were originally taken into care over claims of domestic violence.

The mother, from Stafford, tried to get access to the files for two years. In June last year the council was due to deliver them to her but a last minute decision was taken not to because of concerns over what the mother may do with the information.

The mother has now received the files and claims they show her children were made to feel unsafe in foster care. The matter has been investigated by the county council which has also accepted the Information Commissioner’s ruling.

The mother said: “The local authority deliberately fought to prevent me having access to the files for two years. I believe this was because there were things they did not want me to see.”

In its ruling to the mother the ICO said: “I have confirmed my assessment that the council have breached the sixth data protection principle in this case.”

Cabinet member for children at the county council Ian Parry, said: “We have only acted, and will continue to act, in the best interests of the children involved.”

Mum triumphs in epic social services battle

by Lynn Grainger
A Stafford mother who had vital files about her OWN children withheld from her for two years has won a David and Goliath battle with social services after it was found they had breached Data Protection rules.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, asked for the files in February 2008, fearing they contained inaccuracies which had led to her having limited access to her sons.

She wanted to use the files in court but Staffordshire County Council withheld them over concerns she would subsequently publish file details ‘detrimental’ to her children on the internet.

According to the Data Protection act, the single mum should have received the information or a formal response within 40 days, but she has been waiting 24 months to see the vital information – which the authority have now agreed to hand over.

The victory follows a ruling last week by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the independent body responsible for regulating and enforcing access to personal information.


A letter to the mum from ICO caseworker Angela Ellison, reads: “I understand that, to date, no information has been provided to you in response to your February 2008 request, or any of the requests you have made subsequently during the course of your contact with the council.

“…I have confirmed my assessment that the council have breached the sixth data protection principle in this case.

“It is clear that the council had concerns about the release of the information to you. Nevertheless, you should still have received a response to your original request, and your further requests, within 40 days of each request.”

The files were due to be handed over in June, 2009, but a last minute decision was taken that legal advice should be obtained before the information was presented to her.

There were fears the mum would publish details of any alleged errors in the data on her internet ‘blog’ which could have affected her children, so it was withheld. Mrs Ellison said although in some cases information held by social services departments could be withheld, the county council should have obtained legal advice within 40 days and responded within that 40 day time frame.

Mrs Ellison concluded: “The council are now ready to provide you with the information to which you are entitled.”

This week the angry mum said: “This just proves I was right and this isn’t the end. I plan to take civil action against the council for the stress this has caused me for the last two years and the detrimental effect their withholding of my files for use as evidence in court has had for my children and I.”

Last year Stafford MP David Kidney said he was “spitting mad” over the case because he had received assurances the council would provide her with the files in early 2009.

A spokesperson for the county council told the Post: “We acknowledge the findings of the Information Commissioner, and we are pleased that the ICO recognise we have legitimate concerns over the release of the information. We have only acted, and will continue to act, in the best interests of the children involved.”

l The Stafford single mum at the centre of the row over access to her children’s files has called on parents facing similar difficulties to contact her through the Post.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said: “I’d really like to hear from other parents facing the same problems. I know I’m not alone. I won this fight and was proved right so I’d like to help others facing the same difficulties.”

Contact the Post on 01785 212370 or write to us at 35 Eastgate Street, Stafford, ST16 2LZ. Email lynn_grainger@mrn.co.uk





EXCLUSIVE: HOW THE UK’S MOST SECRETIVE COUNCIL USED A CHILD IN CARE FOR ITS OWN PROPAGANDA
This is Keelie Cooper. She was taken into care by Staffs CC. No gagging orders for Staffs CC: she’s being featured in an ad campaign on private adoption websites.
The Slogger was a tad surprised to stumble across this shot on the website of kids’ charity magazine Children and Young People Now. After all, Keelie Cooper was removed from a genuinely fractured homelife and placed with another family by Staffordshire Social Services last year. And the Staffs SS – as we all know rather too well – combine very often with the local judiciary to injunct any reporting of its clients. Or its suppliers. Or its cock-ups. Or its…oh never mind, let’s get on with it.
Just take in this gushing propaganda that’s been forced into Keelie’s mouth (my italics):
‘When things got too messy within my own family I turned to my best friend for help and we got the social services involved. At first I wasn’t sure this was a good thing to do as I have heard about a lot of social services messing things up….However, this was not the case with my “new” family and things have worked out fine. I came to understand the support that they can give you, both financially and by having someone to talk to if you feel you are not being treated fairly.’
This is terrific stuff, Staffs: Alistair and Mandy could use some of the talent you’ve clearly got tucked away in the PR department up there.
Now it seems to me (having investigated the case) that on this occasion the County Council did the right thing for Keelie. I understand she wanted to be rehomed with a friend’s family, and they allowed this. How very tolerant of them.
But the hypocritical double standards of this self-defensive publicity drive beggar belief. So while the charity mag itself (a Haymarket publication) does a worthwhile job – and is in no way complicit in this grubby attempt to glorify a derelict and controlling Council – I thought I’d share this shining example of local government honesty with a wider audience.
Amazingly, Staffs care management have still to return my call.
POSTED BY JOHN WARD

WEDNESDAY, 3 MARCH 2010
EXCLUSIVE: HOW THE UK’S MOST SECRETIVE COUNCIL USED A CHILD IN CARE FOR ITS OWN PROPAGANDAThis is Keelie Cooper. She was taken into care by Staffs CC. No gagging orders for Staffs CC: she’s being featured in an ad campaign on private adoption websites.
The Slogger was a tad surprised to stumble across this shot on the website of kids’ charity magazine Children and Young People Now. After all, Keelie Cooper was removed from a genuinely fractured homelife and placed with another family by Staffordshire Social Services last year. And the Staffs SS – as we all know rather too well – combine very often with the local judiciary to injunct any reporting of its clients. Or its suppliers. Or its cock-ups. Or its…oh never mind, let’s get on with it.
Just take in this gushing propaganda that’s been forced into Keelie’s mouth (my italics):
‘When things got too messy within my own family I turned to my best friend for help and we got the social services involved. At first I wasn’t sure this was a good thing to do as I have heard about a lot of social services messing things up….However, this was not the case with my “new” family and things have worked out fine. I came to understand the support that they can give you, both financially and by having someone to talk to if you feel you are not being treated fairly.’
This is terrific stuff, Staffs: Alistair and Mandy could use some of the talent you’ve clearly got tucked away in the PR department up there.
Now it seems to me (having investigated the case) that on this occasion the County Council did the right thing for Keelie. I understand she wanted to be rehomed with a friend’s family, and they allowed this. How very tolerant of them.
But the hypocritical double standards of this self-defensive publicity drive beggar belief. So while the charity mag itself (a Haymarket publication) does a worthwhile job – and is in no way complicit in this grubby attempt to glorify a derelict and controlling Council – I thought I’d share this shining example of local government honesty with a wider audience.
Amazingly, Staffs care management have still to return my call.POSTED BY JOHN WARD


http://nbyslog.blogspot.com/2010/03/exclusive-how-uks-most-secretive.html

NEW STAFFORD SENSATION AS HOWARD LEAGUE REVEALS: ‘WE SENT WARNINGS ON STAFFORD 3 YEARS AGO’

WHERE WERE ANDY BURNHAM & DAVID NICHOLSON? (Ans: On the ladder to success)

Frances Crooke of the Howard League for Penal Reform.

This is HLPR director Frances Crooke’s damning indictment of Staffordshire County Council:

‘We sent a child protection referral to Staffordshire county council [in 2007] following the chief inspector’s report into forcible strip searching and videoing of a child in Werrington prison. I got a reply. (Well done, Frances – you’re way ahead of the rest of us)

‘Apparently the council doesn’t think it has to bother to investigate properly because the threshold of harm has not been crossed. Forcibly stripping a child is, according the child protection experts in Staffordshire, a legal and proportionate response. We can all rest happy that the child did not, I am comfortingly told, sustain any physical injuries. There is no discussion about whether he was traumatised, or felt that he had been assaulted or even sexually assaulted.

‘The letter says that the strip searching of children in prison is compliant with Prison Service Standards. So, as long as the Prison Service sets its own rules and abides by them, they can do what they like. It appears that normal child protection can be blithely ignored by children’s services.’

Three years on, the arrogant unwillingness to talk to outsiders and release documents to ombudspersons remains firmly intact.

This is a perfect lab-test-case of where Cool New Labour Britannia is going, Andrew Lansley. Where are you in the media on this?

TUESDAY, 2 MARCH 2010

EXCLUSIVE: EXPLOSION IN CARE-ORDERS SUPPORTS THOSE ACCUSING SOCIAL SERVICES OF TARGET MANIA


The latest figures available from Cafcass show that a new surge has begun in children being taken into care.

There now seems little doubt that huge numbers of children are being deemed to be ‘under threat’ from their domestic situations as a direct result of high-profile media cases. Behind this, it appears there is a desperate attempt to hit and exceed targets in a bid to show that local council carers are on the ball.

Although the Guardian reported in January that last quarter 2009 figures were 20% up year on year immediately following the media glare of the Baby P case in Haringey, the latest data show that care orders are up 73%. In December alone, the increase was 150%.

This has levelled off in the last two months, but the organisations and social service departments involved are being put under enormous (and cynical) political pressure.

“The word has gone out to get the numbers up” one insider in Plymouth social services told The Slog this morning, “And mistakes are being made”.

Last year, The Slog’s mother-site nby revealed the case of Bernadette McManus,a resident of Plymouth who had four children removed in a raid involving three police cars and five officers. The reasons given by the police officers at the scene were described by close neighbours at the time as ‘total rubbish’. But later, Plymouth Tory MP Gary Streeter sent McManus (a constituent) a letter written in such a manner as to seem like a threat of reprisals if she spoke to the media.

Private Care charity Children & Young People Now has looked at the problems currently faced by the under-resourced and hugely overworked quango Cafcass. They concluded:

‘The Baby Peter effect is continuing to put an immense strain on children’s professionals…North Devon service manager Mark Saunders says: “Before this recent increase we were getting one or two new cases every four weeks. Now it is around three to four a week”..’

Eminent expert in the field Alison Paddle expressed concerns that the system is poor, as it only looks at papers submitted by the council to the court and rarely involves meeting with the child and the family. “They call these cases ‘paper children’, as to them they only exist in a report” she said. A victim of this mentality in Nottingham, who ‘can’t be named for etc etc’ (yawn) writes to The Slog:

‘We have never been charged with any offence, nor have we seen the inside of a county courtroom….I can offer only the speculation that social services’ endgame is alienation between the children and ourselves to make their job of permanently separating us that much easier. Then they adopt them out, meet their targets – and get more money in the next budget.’

A senior professional in the private sector told us this lunchtime, “Cafcass has lacked continuity and been forced to hire agency workers. There is a lack of continuity, but it’s not their fault”.

A Stafford council insider was considerably more blunt last night:

“It’s the same old same old. The media catch on to the fact that central government has no money but keeps on insisting that things are improving. So the politicians take more budget away and double the targets. Then the managers dump the shit on us. This is the reason more and more people are leaving the service”.

Abusive and unwarranted child care orders represent a complex subject. But this huge leap in the latest figures suggests that many abuses can be laid at the door of target-obsessed Ministers sitting safely down in Westminster.

http://nbyslog.blogspot.com/2010/03/exclusive-explosion-in-care-orders.html

FRIDAY, 26 FEBRUARY 2010

REVEALED: HOW STAFFORDSHIRE SOCIAL CARE HIRED A CHILD PSYCHIATRIST FACING GMC INVESTIGATION AT £8500 A WEEK

undefinedChild psychiatrist George Hibbert is undergoing a formal General Medical Council Inquiry while being employed by Staffs Social Services.
Yet another reason why the people of Staffordshire are asking if there’s anything behind the slick social care logo (left)

Thanks to a ludicrous gagging order, this is an odd story because I can’t tell you the name of the victim of what I’m revealing:a heartless scam made possible by social care negligence.

Staffordshire Social Care (yes, it’s the capital of collapsing services again) uses the services of one George Hibbert – a psychiatrist located handily in Swindon. Dr Hibbert and his live-in partner Jill Canvin have an interesting past.

As the Guardian reported (16.8.2001) the couple tried with other promoters to launch GW Pharmaceuticals, a firm developing drugs from cannabis, onto the market.
GW was supported prior to its £175m flotation in June 2001 by a list of prominent people, many of whom saw the value of their investments surge five-fold in the public offering. GW’s flotation infuriated analysts and fund managers, who claim the offering was hyped and over-priced. Immediately after the flotation, shares in GW went into freefall as investors dumped stock.
“Hibbert did well out of it” a well-placed legal source told us yesterday. Investors didn’t.

George Hibbert is also doing well out of Broken Britain. He has a lucrative contract with Staffordshire Social Services: they send him lots of mothers (who’ve had their children removed and put into care) and he spends four to six weeks ‘assessing’ them. For this he is paid, on average, £8,500 a week.

The thing is, his assessments tend to suggest the ‘patients’ have conditions requiring ‘treatment’…at his clinic. One victim of this system – who can’t be named thanks to gagging orders – alleges:

“He told the social I was bipolar, which is rubbish. I discharged myself and got a second opinion from Stafford Mother & Baby Unit. They said the bipolar diagnosis was totally without foundation.”

The two psychiatrists refuting Hibbert’s diagnosis were Drs Singh and Hofberg. In the light of this outcome, a GMC investigation into Hibbert’s activities has begun. The Slog contacted the GMC earlier this week, and was given a ‘we can neither confirm nor deny Dr Hibbert’s fitness to practice’. But other sources confirm that he is indeed under formal GMC scrutiny: the inquiry reference number is ME/C1-205725548, and the investigating officer is Mark Elliot.

Environmental Law campaigner Dr Karta Badshar confirms the widely-held doubts about George Hibbert:

“He’s making a fortune out of this,” he alleged, “when there is often nothing wrong with these patients. He is also using cheap immigrant labour at his clinic, rather than properly qualified people. But you see, this can all be covered up because of the unhealthily incestuous relationship between social workers and judges. It is a scandal”.

The Guardian (like the Slog) has been hammering away at Staffs Social Care incompetence for some years. One spectacular examplefrom their pages in 2004 recorded how the authority had to:

‘….set up a £10,000 trust fund for her. Staffordshire county council is to take the unusual step on the recommendation of the local government ombudsman, who today finds the authority guilty of maladministration causing injustice to the girl, now 16…’

And as for Jill Canvin…she is (guess what) a solicitor specialising in childcare. A source who (again) cannot be named alleged on Wednesday this week:

“She turned up for a meeting as a supposedly objective legal person. Nobody know she was Hibbert’s girlfriend”.

Ms Calvin is (we were told by her pa Tuesday last) ‘moving on’. In rather a hurry, and far too much of a hurry to return five calls made to her offices by The Slogger over three days. George Hibbert also refused to answer our calls.

Next in the http://nbyslog.blogspot.com/2010/02/revealed-how-staffordshire-social-care.html: This is not an isolated case. How judges collude with ‘Social Worker Law’, and why their role should be reformed.

WEDNESDAY, 17 FEBRUARY 2010

EXCLUSIVE: ‘STOLEN’ CHILDREN – MYTH OR MURKY SECRET?

The Slog is in the process of putting together a special on abuses in the childcare system, systemic paedophilia in Britain, and the crisis faced by a shortage of reliable foster parents. But many observers think that disturbing signs of ‘child-stealing’ may hide something much worse than Broken Britain.

This site (and its predecessor Not Born Yesterday) has devoted much time and hundreds of column inches to the plight of non-coping families. As Gordon Brown remarked two months ago, “These people’s lives are more chaotic than most people understand”. But the chaos and frequent depression make them more vulnerable than socially dangerous in most cases. Whatever the Daily Mail likes to suggest, serious parental abuse and infant murder remain extremely rare.

The predators are sometimes paedophiles, sometimes cynical social care target-achievers – and from time to time, it increasingly seems to me, private and government organisations with an at least partially hidden agenda.

Most claims I receive about ‘stolen children’ turn out to have an innocent explanation. But a few don’t….and when this happens, a seedy world of judicial cover-up, gagging orders and local government incompetence comes to light. The police, in particular, play a role in some parts of Britain; a role that is, at best, hard to explain.

In this context, Ed Balls runs away to Tweet and mouth platitudes about crackdowns and databases of twelve million…while the ‘Minister’ for Women Harriet Harman shows no signs of caring formothers. But little is done.

In a forthcoming piece, The Slog tries to separate lunatic-fringe conspiracy theory from truth, and expose a disgrace that UK governments have been ignoring for decades.

If you have any factual evidence to support instances of stolen and/or wrongfully removed children, please contact me by emailing to john@johnaward.net.

There a thousands of Madeleine McCanns out there. Not all of them have erudite parents with access to the media.


March 1, 2010

Dedicated to my beautiful children ( im still fighting for you and i love you so so much )

Staffordshire Local Authority in the news

http://nbyslog.blogspot.com/2010/02/stoke-mp-david-kidney-blasted-staffs.html

http://nbyslog.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2010-01-01T00:00:00Z&updated-max=2011-01-01T00:00:00Z&max-results=50

http://nbyslog.blogspot.com/2010/02/revealed-how-staffordshire-social-care.html

http://nbyslog.blogspot.com/2010/02/whats-really-happening-in-staffordshire.html

http://nbyslog.blogspot.com/2010/03/fury-as-law-charity-admits-stafford.html

MORE TO FOLLOW

February 24, 2010

Dedicated to Staffordshire Local Authority

Dedicated to the Stolen Children

Fight Forced Adoption

ABOLISH FORCED ADOPTION!!

My name is IAN JOSEPHS.UK Social services have never hurt me, my family, or my friends, but their wicked abuse of power has simply shocked me into action!”Forced adoption” too often legally deprives healthy,happy,children from all contact with loving parents,brothers,sisters,,grandparents,and other relatives for the rest of their lives! Adoption is a wonderful thing for abandoned and neglected children if it is TRULY VOLUNTARY but is a wicked deed that should be severely punished if forced through the courts against the will and frantic opposition of loving parents. Many will say that I overstate and exaggerate my case  thereby undermining it. I promise you that on the contrary I am understating it as things are now far worse than the public could possibly imagine or accept as credible if I revealed all!Please feel free to use or quote anything you like from my site that you may find useful.

http://www.forced-adoption.com/introduction.asp

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/chat/r/t-9805973/index.html

http://www.fassit.co.uk/charles_pragnell_adoption.htm

http://www.infoniac.com/news/forced-adoption-doesnt-give-parents-any-chance.html

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Forced-Adoption-Ian-Josephs/dp/1847997988

http://johnhemming.blogspot.com/2009/11/forced-adoption-and-failures.html

Unborn children on at-risk register
Friday, December 26, 2008, 08:30
2 readers have commented on this story.
Click here to read their views.
LATEST figures show more than 60 babies are being put on “at risk” registers while still in the womb each year in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.
The authorities had some of the highest numbers of unborn babies at risk of harm or abuse in a table of 36 authorities’ figures from 2002 to 2007. Staffordshire ranked fourth on the list, while Stoke-on-Trent was at number seven.
From 2002/03 to 2007/08, officials in Stoke-on-Trent have put 168 unborn babies on the Child Protection Register.
In the last year, 31 foetuses were added to the register, with three babies being taken into care on the same day they were born.
The number of unborn babies being added to the list has risen from 23 in 2002/03.
Staffordshire County Council registered 34 foetuses as in need of protection in 2006/07 – up on 31 in 2002/03.
During that period the authority labelled 199 unborn babies as at risk.
The county council’s figures for the last year are not yet available.
Under national guidelines, officials are taking action when faced with violent, drug addicted parents and those in unsuitable accommodation.
Stoke-on-Trent councillor Roger Ibbs, portfolio holder for children and young people’s services, said: “We have robust and vigilant child protection procedures in place.
“National indicators for safeguarding show that we are in line or better than our statistical neighbours or the national average.
“We work closely with our partners on safeguarding and have clear and defined lines of communication to ensure all necessary action is taken as swiftly and as appropriately as possible where a child is, or is seen to be, at risk.”
The Sentinel reported earlier this month how, in an annual performance assessment (APA) looking at the work of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, its private partner Serco and other key agencies, Ofsted found big improvements in child protection work. It said the private team brought in to transform children’s services in the Potteries is starting to make “rapid progress”, despite overestimating some achievements.
But Ofsted added that provision was still only “adequate” overall because a few issues, such as the high rate of teenage pregnancies and inconsistent education standards, remain a concern.
It covers the period from April 2007 to March 2008 – the first year since Serco took over the strategic management of education and children’s social care in the city.
Councils must follow guidance in the Government document Working Together to Safeguard Children – part of the Every Child Matters agenda – and involve agencies such as social services, the police, health trust and NSPCC.
A spokesman for Staffordshire County Council said: “Decisions to make unborn children subject to a child protection plan are made in line with the statutory guidance.
“This same guidance is clear that the same procedures and timescales should be followed for unborn children.”
This month, following a review of safeguarding children policy, Ed Balls, secretary of state for children, schools and families, said: “Every Child Matters has led to some major improvements and the Children’s Plan continues this drive, underpinned by a resolve to make this country the best place in the world for children and young people to grow up.
“Where the most vulnerable groups are still at risk, we will continue to strengthen arrangements to protect them. Government will not rest until we have the very best possible arrangements to safeguard our most vulnerable children.”

A HEARTBROKEN Midland mum has claimed social workers have snatched her two year-old away from her because they say she is not clever enough to care for him.

The 28 year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is pleading with social services at Staffordshire County Council for her young son to be allowed to live back home with her and her parents in Tamworth.

The single mother, who is on anti-depressants for post natal depression, claims her only son, who is being currently cared for by foster parents, was taken away from her because social services ruled she was not bonding well enough with him.

The unemployed mother also claims her learning difficulties played a part in the youngster being taken out of her care.

The court case will be heard tomorrow.

She said: “I have learning difficulties, but I don’t think my son should have been taken away from me.

“I am really upset and angry they said we weren’t bonding well enough because we are really close.

“Now I see him twice a week and he keeps asking why he can’t come home.”

She added: “I have tried to explain he’s on holiday with his foster parents, who are really lovely, but he’s only two and he cries because he doesn’t understand. I just want him back home with me.

Upsetting

“My dad is not well with Alzheimer’s, and he’s very close to his grandson, so it’s really stressing him out and upsetting him that he’s not with us too.”

Staffordshire County Council said the future care of her son would be decided in court.

A spokesman for Staffordshire’s Social Care and Health said: “The Adult Social Care and Health team has been working closely with this woman for over two years now. During this time she has been offered several options of support. More recently, we have provided her with advocacy arrangements and a solicitor to represent her interests.

“Alternative arrangements have been made with the local authority to look after her son whilst a court date concerning his future welfare is fixed.”

A spokesman for Staffordshire’s Children and Lifelong Learning Directorate, which deals with all social care matters regarding children, said: “Children and Families Services have been working with this family for some considerable time.

“Specialist assessments have been undertaken and these will inform the future care planning, which will be determined by court processes. A court date has been set for September.”

The devastated mother added: “I’m upset this is going to court. I just hope the court decides he can come to live back home with me.”

http://www.sundaymercury.net/lifestyle-news/family-news/2009/09/06/heartbroken-mum-told-you-are-not-clever-enough-to-look-after-2-year-old-66331-24616019/

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 for adoption 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.”

http://www.staffordshirenewsletter.co.uk/staffordshirenewsletter-news/displayarticle.asp?id=236686

Extract taken from Staffordshire County Council Child Care Team Public Law Outline Training Document

Detailed Assessment – empowering social workers to regain confidence in their own

assessments, as professionals. Demonstrating that a more fuller, clearly evidenced,

analytical assessment would leave little room for parents to successfully obtain leave

for further assessment reducing the delay in this area.

The

worker completed all assessments and was in a position to rule mother

out as a carer prior to the birth of the baby, on historical information.

Mother was notified of our plan and obtained her own legal advice. The

application for a Care Order was in May 2008. Our forward

planning/assessment/evidence gave her no realistic legal argument to

oppose. The case was timetabled to the earliest final hearing date and

was concluded on the 6th November 2008, within 25 weeks. The court

made a Full Care Order and a Placement Order and it is envisaged

Child A will be placed for adoption with his full sibling.

This innovative and progressive training has prepared the client department for the enormous

changes involved in the way that they manage their caseloads. The programme and

expertise has facilitated understanding of the legislative requirements and how to manage the

extensive information that needs to be sought and collated pre-proceedings with a view to all

matters being concluded within 25 weeks instead of the previous 40 week target. The

evidence of the success and achievement of the training package is demonstrable in every

case now undertaken by ourselves.


Denying a child of breast milk is against its 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

Child Protection Police Officers Exposed

Filed under: Secret family courts,Staffordshire — nojusticeforparents @ 8:32 am
Tags: , , ,

Ex-abuse detective groomed girl
Andrew Rowe had worked as a police officer for 12 years
A former detective constable specialising in child abuse cases has admitted grooming a 15-year-old girl.
Andrew Rowe, 31, formerly of Ashwood, Stoke-on-Trent, pleaded guilty at Birmingham Crown Court to five charges under the Sexual Offences Act.
Staffordshire Police said Rowe, who was arrested in April, had sent the girl hundreds of messages on a social networking site.
He was remanded in custody and will be sentenced at a later date.
The girl’s family released a statement through the force saying Rowe had “completely abused” the trust people had in him.
It is hard to imagine a more shocking abuse of position by an officer
Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale
Staffordshire Police said after being arrested, Rowe was suspended from duty and then resigned from the force after his first court appearance.
Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale said Rowe, who had worked as an officer for 12 years, had “betrayed” his victim and her parents.
He added: “It is hard to imagine a more shocking abuse of position by an officer.
“There is also evidence to suggest that he tried to cover his tracks and hamper our inquiries by deliberately deleting phone and computer evidence.”
The family’s statement said: “As an officer within the child abuse investigation unit, we regarded Andrew Rowe with the highest level of trust possible – a trust which he went on to completely abuse.
“The hardest thing at the beginning was the prospect of reporting a police officer to the police, wondering what level of support, if any, we would receive.
“We would now urge anybody who finds themselves in a similar situation to report the matter immediately, as we have received the highest level of help and support possible.”

Child protection officer exposed as paedophile is still on police payroll

Sean O’Neill and Russell Jenkins

A police force is continuing to pay a former child protection officer’s £35,000 salary despite his conviction for serious paedophile offences, The Times has learnt.

DC Peter Cooper, 58, was found guilty last month of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy but remains suspended on full pay pending a police disciplinary tribunal.

West Midlands Police will not reveal when its misconduct panel will meet to hear the case, which is expected to result in the officer’s dismissal from the force. It may not take place until after Cooper has been sentenced at Stafford Crown Court this month.

Judge Simon Tonking has already warned the policeman that he could face a significant custodial sentence.

Cooper has been a West Midlands officer for 32 years and was assigned to the Family Protection Unit, investigating child abuse cases, between 2002 and 2005. He was attached to the unit when the allegations against him were made in 2005.

But a spokesman for the force said that it did not plan to review cases in which Cooper had been involved during that period, nor to alert families with which he may have had contact.

The offences of which the officer has been convicted relate to his position as a senior instructor in an Army Cadet Corps in the Midlands between 1983 and 1986. They surfaced two years ago when a former cadet who had been abused by Cooper in the 1980s came face-to-face with him again. Two other former cadets also gave evidence against Cooper at his trial last month.

The three spoke of a culture of sexual abuse in the cadet corps involving a number of volunteer instructors, who held officer rank. The principal witness said: “The cadets had been brainwashed into thinking it [indecent assault] was normal.”

The witness, now in his thirties, told the court that he had gone to the police with the allegations because he reached a point in his life where he could no longer keep it buried. He said: “When sexual abuse happens your trust is shattered and you worry whether people will believe you.”

The jury found Cooper guilty of buggery and indecent assault against the main witness. But it acquitted him of five counts involving the other complainants. Investigators believe, however, that there may have been an organised paedophile ring at work within the cadet corps and that there are more abuse victims who have not yet come forward.

Cooper was a soldier in the Royal Corps of Signals, serving in Northern Ireland among other places, before leaving in 1973 and joining West Midlands Police. He volunteered as a cadet instructor, rising to the rank of major. In 1987 Cooper married and, four years later, left the cadet corps to spend more time with his family.

During Cooper’s police career he spent periods as a firearms officer and in the regional crime squad before joining the Family Protection Unit. Police colleagues who appeared as character witnesses described him as a man who rarely became flustered and said that he was regarded as one of the best in the unit at interviewing suspects.

Cooper denied the charges and his lawyers asserted at his trial that the complainants had colluded to make make false allegations.

Rachel Brand, for the prosecution, told the jury during the trial in July that Cooper was quietly-spoken with a diffident manner but the kind of man that others looked up to. She said that one witness referred to him as a “James Bond figure”.

But she said neither the passage of time nor his service in the West Midlands force absolved Cooper of responsibility for a “gross breach of trust”. She said: “The damage done to these impressionable young men is far-reaching. It causes an emotional turmoil that lasts for many years.”

Miss Brand added that Cooper was “plausible” and “intelligent” but had lied when he denied the allegations. She said: “Throughout the intervening years he must have thought he had got away with it but the truth, we submit, is out at last.”

The force said that it would stop paying Cooper’s salary when he received a custodial sentence. It felt that it was unnecessary to review his work as a child protection officer because he spent most of his time interviewing suspects and would not have been alone with vulnerable children.

A spokesman said: “When complaints are made against officers we carry out robust, thorough and proportionate investigations to ensure the integrity of the organisation. This investigation has been conducted in that manner resulting in the conviction of Peter Cooper and we are clearly disappointed that this officer has failed to uphold the high standards of West Midlands Police.”

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said that all army cadet instructors recruited now were subjected to strict vetting and checks by the Criminal Records Bureau.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article2224849.ece

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/staffordshire/8242381.stm

Social Worker Humour ( please feel free to submit your humour via comments section below )

A woman stood and watched a social worker being beaten by ten people, after a policeman broke them apart he said to the woman, “why didnt you try to help”? to which she replied “i thought ten was enough”

Q. How many social workers does it take to change a light bulb???

A. 13 (1 to change the bulb & another 12 to hold a meeting to discuss how best to change it).

How do you know when there has been a case conference at your local social services office?

Because there is always a smell of bullsh*t in the air.

What is the difference between a social worker and a fly?

Nothing – they both spread crap from place to place.

whats the difference between a social worker and a rotweiler?

its easier to get your kids back off a rotweiler

What is the difference between God and a social worker?
God doesn’t pretend to be a social worker.

Real Cause Of Swine Flu discovered
scientists have made a breathtaking discovery and found that swine flu was actually spread by social workers.The amazing disovering was found after thousands of parents and children complained that they were pig sick of social services.Scientists found a link that social workers were spreading the virus orally by spraying verbal diarrorha.
Dr psychbabble said ” This is a groundbreaking discovery that may save the bacon of thousands of children and families.” He called for the immediate vaccination of every social worker in the land which would have to be injected in their eyeballs.Those that refuse to have vaccine face having compulsory tongue amputations and mouths stitched up to prevent it passing to nspcc workers, barnados,cafcass,and judges although early signs show it may already be to late.
A spokesman for the national swine flu helpline revealed they have already been innundated with calls from cafcass officers that think they have caught it from telling ” porkies “.
We tried to get several people to comment but they all said they were prevented from doing so after being gagged under family law.
This is yet another blow to social services.!
Baroness Dulleth Mingin spokesperson for the Dcsf said ” atchoo oink sniff “

Disclaimer and information for professionals that are:

Risk averse, mentally challenged, mentally disturbed, emotionally damaged.

The content of the thread is for entertainment purposes only & the content of postings are meant as jokes, if any of the above paragraph describes you or a condition that you are suffering from then this thread may be highly inappropriate for you.

Reading this thread whilst suffering from any of the above may cause severe life long emotional damage, even contemplating reading this thread may cause significant harm to your well being or self image or self worth.

However if you happen to be contemplating reading thread or will in fact read the postings contained within this thread and you are a typical child snatching robot nazi, “snatch kids first ask questions later” or you are “always right” & lack a conscience or any moral compass you will probably be indifferent to the thread or at most be angry that others are making jokes about you a “professional”.

Please remember we are not responsible for your mental state prior to or after reading this thread.

New Medicine Available For Social Workers

THE INJUSTICE OF THE CHILD PROTECTION SYSTEM ( great site check it out )

THE INJUSTICE OF THE CHILD PROTECTION SYSTEM

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How you deal with Social Workers, Court, Police, Prison, the NSPCC and Probation, is within these pages. Updated, as new laws and even more bureaucracy threaten to overwhelm us

Family advice and information to help with the hypocrisy of the Social Services, NSPCC and Police, who only see that which is beneficial to them. Most families just need help and space to recover, the Social Services, NSPCC and CAFCASS believe the cheapest solution, is to separate them.

The true cost of the overzealous Social Services, the inept and greedy NSPCC and the star chamber family court system needs to be investicated urgently, if the Professionals were sacked or faced prison when they lied, instead of being moved, or retrained when found out, justice would be done. It is left to a Family Court Judge, with the collusion of CAFCASS and Social Services to decide the fate of a family, unfettered by any outside judgement, or publicity, this is far from justice. The police, probation and prison services ensure this injustice is complete. Collateral damage, in order to protect children is seen as a means to an end, tell that to the families left in ruins.

http://www.legalsurvival.co.uk/

Social Workers are the problem not the solution

Social Workers “Wannabe Professionals”

Fighting Child-Stealing by the State

Conference : Lawful Rebellion – Fighting Child Stealing by the State

Duration : All Day

Date : 10th april 2010

Location: Stafford Rangers Football Club, Stafford , West Midlands

Speakers: Brian Gerrish ,Key activists and parents, including oversea’s speakers.

Anticipated support – MPs, local councillors, Police, Social Services, Charities and Quango’s:    None

Background: We now know that thousands of children are being taken from parents by the State using lies, false accusation, false evidence, perjury, intimidation, harassment and secret courts.

Those involved include some MPs, Judges, Police, NHS ( including Doctors, Psychiatrists and Paediatricians) Social Services and Charities.

We recognise that most people are good but that does not allow callous criminal activity to be covered up.

We understand that child-stealing is perpetrated by the State to break up families and leave the children to be claimed for nefarious purposes. The act of stealing is a template which is replicated across UK and in Countries overseas.

Further Details and Contact:

Watch http://www.ukcolumn.org, http://www.thebcgroup.org.uk, http://www.lawfulrebellion.org.uk

February 21, 2010

Adapted from a poem by Stan Gebhardt ( a child in care alienated from parents by social services with tragic results ))

I LOOKED FOR YOU THE OTHER DAY

I HOPED YOU’D SEE ME BUT YOU DIDN’T

I SAID ” I LOVE YOU ” AND WAITED FOR WHAT YOU WOULD SAY

I THOUGHT YOU’D HEAR ME BUT YOU DIDNT

I WANTED YOU TO COME AND PLAY WITH ME

I THOUGHT YOUD FOLLOW ME BUT YOU DIDNT

I DREW A PICTURE JUST FOR YOU TO SEE

I THOUGHT YOUD GET IT BUT YOU DIDNT

I MADE A FORT FOR US BACK IN THE WOODS

I THOUGHT YOUD CAMP WITH ME BUT YOU DIDNT

I FOUND SOME WORMD N STUFF FOR FISHING IF WE COULD

I THOUGHT YOUD COME WITH ME BUT YOU DIDNT

I NEEDED YOU TO TALK TO , MY THOUGHTS TO SHARE

I THOUGHT YOUD WANT TO BUT YOU DIDNT

I TOLD YOU ABOUT THE GAME HOPING YOU WOULD BE THERE

I THOUGHT YOUD SURELY COME BUT YOU DIDNT

I ASKED YOU TO SHARE MY YOUTH WITH ME

I THOUGHT YOUD WANT TO BUT YOU COULDNT

SOCIAL SERVICES HAD TAKEN ME INTO CARE

YOU WANTED ME TO COME HOME SAFELY

BUT I DIDNT

EXPOSING CORRUPT EXPERT WITNESS DR GEORGE HIBBERT……………. keeps trying to complain to wordpress for defamation ………. im not defaming you i have copied and pasted what others have said ……. reset to public view ……. sue me

THIS POST HAS BEEN MARKED PRIVATE BY WORDPRESS.COM STAFF IN RESPONSE TO A DEFAMATION COMPLAINT.

I cannot divulge my own case at the moment as it is currently under investigation but i believe this Dr is making alot of money by writing unfavourable reports about parents to secure that he still gets plenty of work from the secret family courts.

Organisations seeking information on him and others are

This is an urgent request for information on the experts in both Public and Private law proceedings from ELC http://www.elc.org.uk and FLINT http://www.familieslink.co.uk.We are seeking information on the following experts whom we have concern about;
Dr. George Hibbert of Tadpole cottage and Windmill Hill centers who is an adult psychiatrist.
Professor Zeitlin
Dr. Bentovim
Dr. Mumford
Further areas we are extremely worried about are play therapy, personality disorders and diagnosis, drugging children with drugs such as Ritalin and similar drugs (almost half a million UK children are on such drugs for ADHD) and Prozac.
We will accept material on all other experts working in family law and/ or with children whose procedures and actions are suspect. Please note all information will be treated confidentially and neither your family nor children will be identified but we will identify the expert and his or her allies etc. A legal letter of authority will have to be signed before we can accept the material for consideration.
Past story about his underhanded methods
Melanie’s Cornwall
County Council hell
Cornwall’s Corrupt County Council
In November Cornwall County Council
Social Services told Melanie she could
not look after her own children, and forced
her out of her parents house. Mr and Mrs
Garvey, in their 40’s and experienced parents,
with six lovely daughters of their own,
four now grown up, continued to look after
them.
In December 2005 a Dr Metcalfe put Melanie
on heavy medication for over a year
(600mg a day of Quietepane “enough to
bring a grown man to his knees”). In May
2006 social worker Ken Phillips came to
their house and left saying “I’m off on a
snatch now.” That was a foretaste of the
future.
Snatched by Ken Phillips
In June 2006, Social Services snatched
Melanie’s two children, both under four
years old, from the safety of the Garvey’s
loving family home and put them in foster
care with a view to having them adopted.
They were devastated.
A Dr Choudry wrote a report in September
2006 saying Melanie had learning
difficulties. This is extraordinary; Melanie
has 10 GCSE’s, and a City and Guilds in
hairdressing and beauty treatments. He also
accused her of substance abuse; she’s never
taken harmful substances and has hair
strand analysis reports to prove it.
Threats by Social Services
Then Melanie was told she would have
to live with her children in an assessment
centre in Swindon, Wiltshire if she wanted
them back. After a further 4 months she
passed the assessment with flying colours,
even though drugged with Quietepane
while being assessed. Cornwall County
Council said they would stop the adoption
and look for a house for Melanie. Mr
and Mrs Garvey suggested a second house
owned by a family member, and then a flat
they could rent. Cornwall County Council
rejected both.
Just before Melanie left the assessment
centre one of the staff verbally assaulted
her son and shook him violently, and Melanie
complained. Dr Hibbert, who runs the
assessment centre, changed the report from
good to bad. Ken Phillips and Dr Hibbert
got Melanie in a room and told her she had
to sign the children over for adoption or
they would be split up and put in different
foster homes. Melanie, who said she feels
like a zombie on Quietepane, still had the
sense to refuse.
Isolated and controlled
This has been the pattern; each time Melanie,
or her family, try to stand up for her,
Social Services wreak their vengeance on
Melanie tenfold. With their threats against
her children, they control her completely.
In February 2007 Melanie and the
children were moved in with a foster family
in an isolated hamlet north of Dartmoor.
There are three caged dogs in the house
which concern her. Ken Phillips has seen
them; is that why he chose that foster family?
When her family complained Phillips
visited and again threatened Melanie with
the children being moved up country and
being split up.
Rigged trial No. 1
Melanie spent the 19th to the 23rd March
2007 in Truro County Court. Cornwall
County Council had a barrage of “Expert
witnesses” falsifying their statements to
Continued on Page 6
EU methods and corruption are sweeping through our councils, courts and legal profession.Independent
Melanie’s hell from Page 1
suit the Social Services line. The trial was
effectively rigged – the only person to speak
up for Melanie was the CAF-CAS representative.
Judge Vincent ruled in favour of
the council – we ask is he incompetent or a
member of Common Purpose?
The barrister appointed for her was equally
useless, and Melanie quotes her as saying
“I’m off to get my money now; don’t worry
you’ll see your children in 16 years.” (Barristers
have to get a legal aid signature from
the court before they can be paid.)
The Judge granted Cornwall County
Council both a care order and a placement
order for adoption. Now Melanie had lost
her children, the Garveys were told she
would be taken off the Quietepane – but now
she seems to be back on it.
Injunction – Statement under duress
Social Services staff had recommended
Foot Anstey, Plymouth Solicitors to represent
Melanie. They did not seem to present
any evidence in her favour her or fight her
corner in court. In fact their main contribution
has been to write threatening letters to
Mr. Garvey, and get an injunction against
him to force him out of the proceedings and
the appeal hearing altogether, to further isolate
Melanie. She phoned to say she was under
duress when they took her statement.
Foot Anstey have completed Melanie’s
isolation; she’s cut off from all avenues of
help.
The solicitors organised an appeal on
the 9th May 2007 at the Appeal Court in
the Strand, Westminster London. The court
costs were astronomical – and delayed matters
further by ruling for a full retrial in
July. The total costs to your taxes are probably
already over a million; clearly Social
Service plan a larger jackpot on this case.
The Garvey’s have seen the Barristers fees
quoted at £35,000 resulting in one hour in
court.
Police threats to Paul Garvey
As all Paul Garvey’s attempts to get his
grandchildren back through official channels
have been blocked, he has put signs
up on the main A39 and outside his house
telling the public Cornwall County Council
are child snatchers. The police are threatening
to arrest him, and called round several
times; Mr Garvey had the good sense to be
out or hide and pretend he was out.
Demonstrating, with or without signs,
is of course not an offence. But under the
governments new legislation he could be arrested
on this trumped up charge – or indeed
no charge at all, and held for 18 days. Every
knock on the door is a worry – presumably
that was the intent behind the threat.
Malicious arrest warrant
That injunction was pure character assassination,
and prevents him from doing things
Mr Garvey would never do, but much of
which Foot Anstey are doing right now, including
harming his daughter. Mr Garvey is
now not allowed to see Melanie.
Foot Anstey then falsely accused Mr
Garvey of breaking their injunction, and set
a warrant for arrest hearing with three days
notice. Melanie was in court, guarded by
three staff, to ensure she could not get help
or speak to her family.
The trial date was set for 6th June. This
necessitates employing a solicitor to defend,
and Mr Garvey’s been quoted £5,000
in fees. The crooked solicitors’ cartel wins
again. But the simple fact is he has almost
no chance of a fair trial, with most of the
judges hand in glove with the solicitors. We
are watching perversion of the course of justice
up close.
Staff responsible for this abuse
The Director of the Social Services division
for children is Dean Ashton. He knows
all about this case. We have documentary
evidence that Cornwall County Council is
working to adoption targets – they plan to
snatch children regardless of the rights or
wrongs of the case.
Maurice Emberson is his assistant, and denied
this abuse is happening in reply to both
the front page of the Falmouth Packet newspaper,
and their columnist, the Skipper, who
rightly deplored Cornwall County Council
Social Services actions in this matter.
Alex Dashwood is Phillips’ manager,
(and stated Melanie had “a severe learning
difficulty” which is a lie.) These two seem
more like sadists than social workers, and
in our view should not be allowed to work
with children.
The council buries complaints
Mr and Mrs Garvey have been to the Council
Complaints Department. The Garveys
were warned no one who’s children have
been snatched get past the first level of three
levels, and their complaints are buried. Elisabeth
Taylor and Gill Dunstan are the Council
complaints managers.
The Head of Council Legal Services is
Richard Williams, in it are Karen Jackson,
Ian Kennaway, Deborah Stoleworthy; they
know what’s going on and allow this horror
to continue.
Mr and Mrs Garvey have been to the top –
to the Ombudsman, who won’t be involved
until the case is decided. By the time he consents
to be involved, the children are usually
adopted and its too late.
Fire these abusive staff
We ask Cornwall County Council that Dean
Aston, Maurice Emberson, Alex Dashwood,
Ken Phillips, are fired immediately without
compensation, and barred from all government
or public posts for life. It appears their
actions are closer to embezzlement and child
abuse than social work.
We ask for an investigation into the extent
to which Elisabeth Taylor, Gill Dunstan,
Richard Williams, Karen Jackson, Ian Kennaway,
Deborah Stoleworthy have perpetrated
this miscarriage of justice.
We ask that Cornwall County Council bar
members of Common Purpose, which is behind
this and most council corruption, from
both public office and employment within
the council.
We ask that Foot Anstey be barred from
all council, legal aid and public contracts
until those involved, such as Nicki Cozens,
have been dismissed from the firm, and their
fees for this “work” be withheld.
Criminal charges against social services
We ask the police and Crown Prosecution
Service to investigate all the above on
charges of abusing children and the fraudulent
misuse of public funds. Providing there
are enough honest, non Common Purpose
people left in the police and CPS to carry
out a lawful and proper investigation.
We ask that a permanent restraining order
be put on Social Services, preventing them
from contacting Melanie or her children at
any time, now or in the future.
Sheila Healy and David Whalley
The two people ultimately responsible are
Cornwall County Council’s chief Executive,
Sheila Healy, and David Whalley, the council
leader, both Common Purpose. We ask
for the resignation of both Healy and Whalley
for encouraging this horrific abuse and
fraud in scores of similar and worse cases,
to go on unchecked.
And finally we ask Cornwall County
Council that Melanie and her two children
are immediately returned to the loving family
home from which they were stolen.
Luke 17:2 “It were better for them that
a millstone were hanged about their
neck, and be cast into the sea, than
that they should harm one of these
little ones.”
other people that have contacted me comment …
Dear Jane,
Thankyou for geting back to me so fast. I have had personal experience of this Dr and believe his methadology to be flawed and harmful to those involved in the sensitive area of child care proceedings. I have a vested personal interest. I did not want to go into too much detail as I was not sure how publicly the message would be displayed. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask. I hope to hear from you soon.
Miss H
Dear Jane,
I understand your concern. I feel exactly the same. Without going into too much detail as I still worry about the privacy of emails etc. I am someone who is in the middle of care proceedings. The local autority had agreed my child was returing home and I had one assessment with this man and everything changed. I am now in court desperately fighting for my child. His report on me has been described by other professionals as “barbaric”, “flawed”, and “unorthodox”.  I hope this helps to put your mind at rest a little.
Miss H
Dear Jane,
I am so very grateful you got back to me. I thought I was on my own with all this. I can’t believe what is happening to myself and my son as a result of this man’s report. He misquoted me, generalised, some of what he wrote was tantemount to slander. He was rude to me, and had not even been supplied with the proper background information. The local authority seemed shocked when they got his report, but they had to take action as he criticised their decision to return my son to me without an “expert opinion first”. I would be very happy to discuss any part of my case with you. Maybe it would be possible to talk on the phone. Seeing your request for info on him and knowing their are others who feel the same has made a real difference to me. I hope we can stay in contact. Thankyou again.
Miss H
Hi Jane
Dr Hibbert certainly needs investigating. I believe he will not allow a government inspection team to view any of his records and he only allows them to inspect his premises. he’s probably got a lot to hide. I believe the government body is ofsted.
I hope you hear from the GMC soon. If you do get any information please let me know because it will be helpful to me.
Many thanks.
M.A.
It is of help to me me that that I know that you were in Tadpole Cottage and actually got Dr Hibberts evidence overturned. Unfortunately the information you have given me has so far not been enough to halt the process of the young lady going into Tadpole Cottage. As far as the social services are concerned they have no ‘evidence’ of any wrong doing.
A little about me I am the ex-foster carer of the young lady in question. She was with us for about 9months when she was 15yrs old. We were not given the full reasons for why she was placed in care (her first time) or I would have fought for her not to go home (she did not want to go). She has had a really bad time but from my observations and involvement with her she is an amazing mum who has just not had the love and support of her own family.
I was a foster carer for in excess of 20 years and also a family aide for 5years. I loved my job helping children and families. On more than one occasion I have had cause to disagree with social services decisions and had to act against them. One of whom said of a cleared parent that they had ‘ONLY BEEN FOUND INNOCENT IN THE EYE OF THE LAW’. For daring to do this my husband and I were ‘rested’ for about 6months for not having a full understanding of ‘the role of the social services’. There are good social workers and foster carers out there but there are also some who are really bad, who I would not trust or leave my dog with!
I have many stories about my time with social services that I have decided to write and talk about when this case is over. There are some good stories but they are are outweighed by sad ones.
I have been on the freedom of information sight that you have used. (it came up when I typed in Dr Hibbert and Tadpole Cottage). I will follow this to see if you get all the information you need.
I don’t know if you can answer this for me, but when your baby was taken away did you immediately appeal? Having met Dr Hibbert I am amazed that you have done so well. Have you done all the research and represented yourself? or do you have a very good solicitor and/or barrister.
When you have finished with your case (hopefully you will win) I would really be obliged if you could let me know the outcome as I feel we may have to go down the same road.
Thank you
Cathy
Jane , I found your comments whilst looking for information
about Dr George Hibbert and Tadpole Cottage. I have concerns after
a visit with a young mother who might be going into tadpole cottage
with her baby and would like to know of any information there is
available. I am worried as we feel she could be being ‘set up to
fail’. Do you know where I can find any statistics for his success
rate?
Yours,
Ms Fromow
Research by Dr Hibbert
Shrinking the Lawyers
January 19, 2008 by familoo
There is a really interesting article in the December issue of Family Law (Fam Law [2007] 1107) entitled ‘Attachment Problems Among Lawyers’. In it Dr George Hibbert, a consultant Psychiatrist, writes about the issue of attachment in the family courts.
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Ordinarily family lawyers come across attachment theory in expert court reports, particularly in care proceedings, where the attachment between parent and child is explored, and often attachment problems in children are identified. This article however looks at the impact of attachment issues in litigant parents and legal professionals may affect or be affected by the legal process.
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Its easy to see that in cases where there are difficulties in parenting leading to attachment problems in a child there is likely to be an element of attachment difficulty in the parent(s) perhaps arising from their own childhood and experience of being parented. Where else do we learn how to parent but from our own parents – for better or for worse. And family lawyers have much first hand experience of how a parent’s own psychological and emotional makeup or difficulties impacts upon their ability to handle and understand the court process and to work with and get the most from their lawyers. The family court system is difficult to handle for most of us, but as this article rightly points out it is the challenging, probing nature of the family court system into the very private or very personal, and the constraints of the formal process which litigants find extremely hard to accept or work within.
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What is most interesting however, is Dr Hibbert’s remarks about attachment problems in lawyers themselves, particularly the susceptibility of some lawyers to manipulation by dyfunctional clients with their own attachment issues. He suggests that clients with attachment difficulties may be expert at manipulating the feelings of other including their lawyers. I for one certainly recognise the scenario where a lawyer loses his or her objectivity and is unable to maintain a professional distance from the client. It often results in aggressive or inappropriate behaviour in discussions and negotiations between counsel and an inability to properly consider proposals for compromise. It appears to affect some lawyers in particular cases, whilst other lawyers adopt this over-personalised approach to counsel-to-counsel discussions as a feature of their representational style, taking on the persona of their client, and taking points against them as personal affronts. My heart sinks when I receive and read a brief which is full of righteous outrage on behalf of the hard-done by client – this is often a portent of a one-sided approach to the case which blinds the solicitor to the weaknesses of the case and puts counsel in the insidious position of having to impart bad news without support from the solicitor. For some lawyers this approach to client care appears to be a deliberate choice, the result of a belief that believeing a client or accepting their point of view is a core part of the professional service. I tend to disagree – the job of a lawyer, of counsel in particular, is to advise the client objectively and to represent the clients view or interests as best as is possible, regardless of one’s own opinion or viewpoint. Often that involves telling a client extremely unpalatable things, which can put a strain on a professional relationship. That however is far better than the decidedly unpleasant experience of explaining after the event why something utterly unexpected has happened to a client whose unrealistic expectations have not been tempered in advance.
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Dr Hibbert cautions against becoming drawn in by clients, on becoming too emotionally involved in a case to meet one’s own emotional or attachment needs. I am sure that this is a real danger for even the most psychologically stable of us, and I for one can recognise cases where I have been far more strongly affected and more heavily invested in the outcome than in others, none thankfully where I think I have overstepped the invisible line. I for one find it hard to identify why a particular case has drawn me in and affected me, but I do recognise it when it happens. And in my experience this heightened empathy is as often for the family as a whole or the children as it is for the parent-client him/herself.
.
Where I begin to disagree with Dr Hibbert’s article is this: he says that a professional who is seriously affected by the client’s attachment behaviour ‘will no longer be able to assist the court in finding a good solution for the children because he / she has become an extension of the dysfunctional client..[and]…the professional’s greater articulacy, knowledge of the system and professional weight add credibility and power to the client’s dysfunctional voice’. I think this is to confuse the role of expert, whose role is to give their opinion by way of advice to the court, with the role of lawyer, whose role is precisely to amplify the client’s voice (dysfunctional or not) without regard to their own opinion. It is the role of the court, having heard all the expert evidence and all the representations made on behalf of the various parties (all of whom will have a lawyer representing their own view of the matter with equal force), to decide what is right decision. Not only is it not part of our role as professionals to judge our client’s viewpoint, but we are simply not qualified to properly assess how dysfunctional our clients are save in the most crude way based upon our day-to-day experience.
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Towards the end of his article, Dr Hibbert goes so far as to warn us against being drawn by clients ‘into complicity with continued child abuse’.All of us in the family courts want the best for the children involved in these sorry cases. But we also want what is best for our clients. And we are employed to do our best to represent that client. It is the Judge who is paid to bear the burden of ensuring that the child’s interests are met. I am not sure if this was the intention but the article appears to suggest that in doing our job properly and with equal vigour for the sensible and the misguided, the balanced and the dysfunctional, we may should be critised as complicit with child abuse. That is an unfair burden to place upon lawyers and the wrong approach to parents – it is perhaps those parents with the biggest emotional and psychological problems who need most to have assistance from lawyers in order to articulate their position and wishes clearly, and to ensure that the decision of the court is based upon a proper and full exploration of all the factors bearing upon a complex case.

Legal Abuse Syndrome suffered By Parents Courtesy of Social Services and The Family Courts

Synopsis of Legal Abuse Syndrome
Legal Abuse Syndrome is a 234 page book which discusses the effects of, and steps to recovery from Legal Abuse Syndrome (LAS), which the author has defined as a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder resulting from abusive and protracted litigation.
Anyone subjected to the abuses of the American civil justice system will immediately identify with the cover and quotations appearing on the back cover of the book.
Ms. Huffer begins in the Preface by defining LAS, and in the Introduction identifies seven LAS victims whose stories she has woven into a highly readable self-help book for other victims of LAS.  Legal Abuse Syndrome also doubles as a text book for mental health professionals providing therapy to LAS victims.
The book is divided into 10 chapters.  Beginning in Chapters 1 and 2, Huffer identifies the symptoms of the LAS victim and the etiology of LAS.  These two introductory chapters are followed by 8 chapters in which the author breaks down the Eight Steps to Recovery, consisting of Debriefing, Grieving, Obsession, Blaming, Deshaming, Reframing, Empowerment and Recovery.
Each chapter begins with a relevant quote which sets the stage for the material presented.  The book concludes with Maya Angelou’s powerful poem, “I rise.”
CHAPTER SUMMARIES
Chapter 1 – “Invisible Hostages” reveals the hostage condition that results from betrayals of trust and the quiet crimes.  Symptoms of the hostage-stage psychological reactions are put forth with a list of the white-collar crimes, litigation/judicial atrocities and bureaucratic failings that cumulatively assault victims.  The case of James graphically portrays the path from the initial affront through the aftermath of the crime.  James went to law enforcement agencies, sued through the courts at huge expense, and found his situation worsened to the point of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  Chapter 1 includes one cartoon and two illustrations.
Chapter 2 – “The Epidemic” illustrates the chemical changes that take place in the brain during prolonged victimization.  It becomes clear that a profound sense of helplessness in the face of jeopardy causes post traumatic stress disorder.  The longer the feeling of helplessness lasts, the more pronounced are the symptoms.  Victims find themselves in the symptoms as they relate to their own experiences.  James shares that at the time he needed the protection of his judicial system, it betrayed him.  He was left unable to obtain justice.  Extensive research supports the theory that “psycholegal” post traumatic stress disorder is a common occurrence in litigants and victims of the invisible crimes.  The reader can look around and see the “cellophane-wrapped” victims who have moved beyond rage to an implosive, cyclical lifestyle.  These victims usually remain invisible.  The chapter includes one illustration.
Chapter 3 – “Debriefing” begins the second part of the book, the eight steps to recovery.  Debriefing is an activity that the reader can do.   It centers around a graphic, processing sheet that delineates losses, feelings and facts.  This chapter begins a caring journey.  The sense of isolation is relieved in victims as they see their experience(s) begin to take a manageable form.  The case of P.J., who broke through denial during debriefing helps us understand how to effectively respond to victims.  This chapter also lists “absolutely what not to say to a victim.”  The chapter includes one illustration and two reader participation graphics.
Chapter 4 – “Grieving” clarifies that loss of trust is the greatest loss known to a human being.  The case of Judy demonstrates the profound effect of bureaucratic and law enforcement behavior on a victim.  Judy had to face the FBI, the IRS, and court after a betrayal by her husband.  Grieving masques as depression (the common cold of mental illness), exhaustion, varied illnesses and conditions.  Grieving over loss of property is usually discounted in American culture.  “Takings” have become a part of business strategy and are often done through the use of the system.  Bankruptcy court, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the IRS effect takings of property without due process.  Takings threaten the lifeblood of the nation.  The case of John depicts the nebulous nature of grief.  It is pushed aside if the loss is not “respectably” large.  John breaks down over a tiny tangible issue that, in fact, reflects huge intangible losses.  In this chapter we see that the loss of belief systems, trust, and ideals are critical to the loss picture.  Each case will show that our protective systems did not function as intended, and inadvertently or by design, intensified the trauma.  Legal Abuse Syndrome , a journey Beyond Rage… and Back, articulates that the right to redress in order to prevent losses and to exact recompense is key to a sense of safety and security necessary for mental health.
Chapter 5 – “Obsession” leads us toward a sense of control over our lives again.  Readers become aware that obsession is a natural response to victimization.  Randomization is a difficult concept to grasp in life.  When good people are assaulted and left unaffirmed by their culture’s systems, life proceeds on a path with no moral compass – no guide to safety.  A list of obsessive styles is characterized by descriptive names, i.e. “Lifeguard,” obsesses around health; where as an “Inventorier” counts and accounts for all belongings, endlessly.  What to do about easing obsession is listed with case examples.  A sense of humor interweaves as victims look at their obsessive selves with acceptance.
Chapter 6 – “Blaming” faces victim-blaming head on.  Society discourages blaming; therefore, victims are praised for taking responsibility for the awful things that happen to them.  Further, victims often see little recourse once blame is established.  Attribution is a necessary step toward justice because it reinforces the moral code.  This chapter gives a victim a graphic for assessing degrees of blame and then enriches the reader with specific blaming actions dramatized by James and the other cases.  Barriers to blaming are explored, such as guilt and societal pressure.  There is a self-blame checklist followed by the danger of self blame.  Revenge and punishment are contrasted with appropriate, quality blaming actions which drive behavior toward the moral code.  Those ignored, outrageous assaults by attorneys and the systems, such as slander and character assassination in the courtroom and denied right to redress, are listed at the end of the chapter.  Victims begin to feel that they are not crazy or at fault.  This chapter includes a reader participation check list.
Chapter 7 – “Deshaming” offers a totally unique approach to understanding human motivation in terms of power.  A continuum is presented which ranks a person’s motivating force as either conscience-based or power-based.  Human interactions can be visualized as on a grid.  The conscience-based person is often victimized even though he may have spiritual power.  Power-based people are motivated by envy and a need for superior posture.  Lying is a key tool of the power motivated person.  Lying wins over truth.  Here is where violation of the moral code is “business as usual” for some and an outrage to others.  Shame is known to the conscience-based person,who often absorbs shame from the violator as well.  A tournament of the game, “Prisoner’s Dilemma,” is used as an example of strategies that help conscience-based people learn to identify and cope with power-based individuals.  Specific skills are taught regarding cooperation, competition, and self-protection.  Thus, to free them from shame, the readers are able to relinquish undeserved shame and to follow guiding principles for modification of their belief systems.  The case of Manny exemplifies the predicament and the process for deshaming.  The chapter includes two illustrations.
Chapter 8 – “Reframing” is the pivotal procedure that embarks upon recovery.  All five steps leading to reframing are required to effectively achieve this phase.  The victim shifts from a painful perception of self to a new, open, morally sound and personally inspired view of himself.  There is an LAS Reframe Exercise which allows the painful issue to come forth.  Then the pain is put to the reframe steps.  The victim might say, “I was a fool.”  Reframed, the victim will say, “I was a trustworthy person, I believed that others were largely trustworthy too.”  Then the victim searches for the wisdom gained from the experience.  The chapter includes one reader participation checklist.
Chapter 9 – “Empowerment” more than anything, brings a fresh approach for legal and bureaucratic problem solving to the ordinary person.  Steps are blueprints:  1) seek and destroy misinformation, 2) from pragmatic expectations, 3) avoid the predictable, 4) persevere, 5) use mental toughness, 6) become a vigilante consumer, 7) call a crime a crime.  Misinformation is a strategic tool used by abusers of the justice systems.  It crushes the force of truth distorting the course towards justice.  Oppression thrives on misinformation.  Empowerment requires effective attacks on misinformation through official channels.  The predictable path is owned by the power-centered.  They travel ahead and prepare to take the conscience-centered person out at every turn.  Victims need each other and creative approaches.  This chapter ties into Appendix B which contains a host of resources.  Eleven tools and techniques are presented.  Rules and regulations of an institution are usually broken by those who abuse from within the organization.  Finding those violations empowers a victim tremendously.  Mental toughness is the ability to never lose focus regardless of attacks or diversions.  Vigilante consumers focus on the real bottom line in America, the consumer.  When crimes occur, they must be treated as crimes and dealt with by consumers who keep the focus on the real bottom line.  The chapter contains one graphic.
Chapter 10 – “Recovery” brings perspective.  Victims become veterans who have an important function in correcting societal wrongs.  Readers are brought up to date by parting words from the victims whose cases were portrayed in the book.  It becomes apparent that recovery is not a destination but a journey wherein the eight steps are incorporated into a renewed lifestyle.  Forgiveness and restoration are discussed as quite separate issues from recovery.  Veterans are no longer cellophane-wrapped hostages but are back in the game of life, risking once more.  Trust as a staple, societal issue is explored in the context of LAS being a totally preventable assault to the mental health of our nation.
In the Conclusion , Ms. Huffer thanks her patients who have trusted her and taught her that there is an invisible fabric woven of American character found in the ordinary person.  It is an invitation for these victims who refused to be soul-murdered to lead the nation back into a future of hope, trust and a code of American conduct that they represent to quietly.  The Epilogue contains a snapshot of an LAS victim that has been driven beyond rage.
The book includes a Bibliography which cites referenced and related works included as well as a Glossary of terms used in the book.
Appendix A defines clinical post traumatic stress disorder.
Appendix B – Resources for the Empowerment of the Ordinary Person.  This appendix provides the LAS victim with a list of organizations dedicated to legal reform and victim rights.
Appendix C – Victims-Witness Protection Act of 1984.
Appendix D contains worksheets to be used in conjunction with the book.
The following pages contain the Preface and Introduction as they appear in the actual book.
Preface
If you are deeply disillusioned and feeling oppressed as an American Citizen, resulting from experience with our justice system, you may be suffering from Legal Abuse Syndrome.
If you’ve been a litigant in court and justice was not to be obtained at any price, you may be suffering from Legal Abuse Syndrome.
If you fantasize an act of vigilante vengeance because it seems like the only recourse, you may be suffering from Legal Abuse Syndrome.
If you’ve reported a crime and found that you were punished instead of the criminal, you may be suffering from Legal Abuse Syndrome.
If creativity and dreams have been left in the past because their development was ripped from you and torn to shreds by your protective systems, you may be suffering from Legal Abuse Syndrome.
If you feel numb, disconnected, and vulnerable, you may be suffering from Legal Abuse Syndrome.
If you feel that you have been victimized twice, once by a perpetrator and then by your protective system, you may be suffering from Legal Abuse Syndrome.
Some will deny that Legal Abuse Syndrome (LAS) exists.  They will remind us that we have an adversarial system of justice.  Abuses will be written off as adversaries battling for their clients.  Victims will be nothing more than casualties of a “fight for justice.”  Others will worry that victims of LAS will want compensation for their psychological injuries.  Skeptics will ask, “Aren’t LAS victims just malingerers wanting more from the system?”
I do not indict the legal profession, fine judges and hard working public servants.  I applaud those who serve their clients well in any milieu.  We do not bash any organization or profession in this book.  Lawyers, judges, FBI agents, police officers and investigators have all crossed my private practice and helped me to delineate the abuse of power that permeates every profession.  Many of these professionals are themselves invisible victims also and need the support of the public.
Abusers are studied in this book as a method of exposing to LAS victims the predicament that oppresses them.  The systems are explored in the light of victims’ experiences.  The psycholegal condition is revealed along with skills to help the victim cope with abusers of his systems.  The scope is a large one for a marriage and family therapist or or fellow victim to tackle.  It may feel unwieldy and threatening to the reader.  However, reading and rereading has produced results and has motivated me to risk a big project and perhaps an unpopular one in behalf of those invisible victims who can heal in spite of systems without a cure.
A firm warning to those who would use the following material to damage or discredit any citizen in any manner:
LEGAL ABUSE SYNDROME IS A NATURAL AND NORMAL RESPONSE TO AN ABNORMAL, UNNATURAL, CUMULATIVE TRAUMA, AS WITH ALL POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDERS.  ANY ATTEMPT BY ANY PERSON TO DISCREDIT AN INDIVIDUAL’S TESTIMONY, CHARACTER, OR ACTIONS DUE TO THEIR SUFFERING FROM LAS IS TO CLEARLY DEMONSTRATE THE ABERRANT NATURE OF OUR SYSTEM OF PROBLEM-SOLVING.  ANY ALLY OF CIVILIAZATION MUST CLEARLY IDENTIFY SUCH BEHAVIOR AS ABUSIVE, PUT A HALT TO DESTRUCTIVE ACTIONS, AND DEVOTE THEIR ENERGIES TO RESTORATION OF VICTIMS OF THE “SYSTEMS”.
No one likes to think of himself as a victim.  Immediately, it conjures an image of a loser or someone making poor life-choices.    Yet, in spite of resistance to facing our victimization, legal abuses have become common.  When abuses occur, victims are created.  We either have to face that we are victimized or accept an aberration to civilized living as being “just the way it is”.
Laws provide for courts, agencies, law enforcement bureaucracies, and regulatory services.  We depend on them to resolve our disputes and to protect our cherished rights.  When they fail, our nation must deal with the victims and vigilantes left in the wake of officially sanctioned wrongdoing.
In this book, we will explore cases that are shocking and fascinating.  They illustrate abuses perpetrated by our legally instituted protective systems and the pain and suffering that results.  Citizens are driven “Beyond Rage.”  However startling and moving our cases may be, we have only touched a segment of their lives and experiences.  Each case has left unrevealed depth of trauma and complication that would be prohibitive in space and time to write about in one book.
This work results from my experiences of the past twenty years as a marriage and family therapist in private practice.  Throughout my career, a certain discomfort gnawed at me regarding clients who attended my various groups and seminars.  While the seminars dealt with the subjects of codependency, substance abuse, parenting, divorce adjustment, assertiveness, stress, or whatever the current topic dictated, there always remained the walking wounded.  Those were clients, whose true source of pain was not recognized by family or friends.  Worse, it was never clearly defined by helping professionals.  With no diagnosis, their condition could not be targeted for treatment.  Invisible trauma nebulously danced around the topics, never to be healed in these hungry participants.
It wasn’t until a white-collar crime was perpetrated on my family that I saw these walking wounded with uncomfortably opened eyes.  After nearly a decade of struggling with the justice system, and working with other such victims,I have concluded that the enormous betrayals and inefficiencies that make up bureaucratic post-crime experiences, are literally attacking the emotional health of this nation.  Victims have no satisfying place to turn.  Rage accumulates and its sequelae have reached epidemic proportions.
A therapist must, of course, check such observations against the danger of inaccurately projecting onto a client personal feelings or attitudes that go beyond the therapeutic use of self.  I have done that.  Even more uncomfortably now, i see the massive validation of my theory by participants in the “Beyond Rage” seminars.  Still theoretical, but deadly serious, is the thesis of this book that victims in America are, first, assaulted by crime and, secondly, by abuses of power and authority administered by the systems their tax dollars support to provide due process of law.  In short, they get a “double whammy.”
People of principle find their decency, trustworthiness, responsibility, and use of their courts trounced by systems that perpetrate judicial and bureaucratic atrocities.  Americans, who follow a code of conscience, encounter a profound imbalance between the abuses of power perpetrated by those entrusted with the systems and the prohibitive conscience of the ordinary person to violation of values and laws.  At the heart of this book is the threatened psychic underpinning of the American citizen which is tied into the Constitutionally protected rights that we depend upon.  To imperil the basic freedoms, which Americans are taught are their birthright, is to jeopardize conditions of trust and safety necessary for a healthy, productive life.
Victims challenge the finest of counseling techniques.  The lack of closure combines with prolonged, cruel, and unusual punishment exerted by the court system.  Ongoing strain of litigation then interfaces with psychological issues.  Diagnoses are tricky and dynamic.  Healing techniques and strategies are interrupted by the trauma of the proceedings or behaviors of court personnel.  Stress reduction training is of marginal value for a litigant who will regularly be administered another dose of outrage.  The best of family intervention is defeated if the family court renders a visitation arrangement that destroys continuity in the raising of the children or if the current custodial parent is harassed and stalked, unprotected by the law enforcement system.
Outrage is tough enough.  Beyond rage is terribly painful territory.  I caution the reader that to earnestly use this self-help material for healing purposes will be challenging.  On the other hand, if you choose to stay beyond rage, you exist in a type of living death.  So victims of the systems are caught between a tough place and a really hard place.  Go slowly, get involved in groups, if possible, but don’t let your lifeblood be stripped from you without a fight.  This book will help to get you back on your fighting feet.  You won’t change massive systems or reform your country in all likelihood.  However, when all of the trauma has been processed, you will become an empowered, effective individual again.
More and more, helping professionals are being confronted by “psycholegal” issues.  Patients are driven beyond rage over an extended period of time during which victims travel an isolated road.  The impact of the invisible assaults usually are ignored.
Vigilante violence results when the needs of the majority are not being met by the systems (Tucker).  What of the gentle and decent person who values a law abiding mode of life?  Unless the unique needs of these victims are identified and healing processes made accessible to them, the cost in pain, suffering, disillusionment, and shutdown of creativity to the individual and society is immeasurable.

Synopsis of Legal Abuse Syndrome
Legal Abuse Syndrome is a 234 page book which discusses the effects of, and steps to recovery from Legal Abuse Syndrome (LAS), which the author has defined as a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder resulting from abusive and protracted litigation.
Anyone subjected to the abuses of the American civil justice system will immediately identify with the cover and quotations appearing on the back cover of the book.
Ms. Huffer begins in the Preface by defining LAS, and in the Introduction identifies seven LAS victims whose stories she has woven into a highly readable self-help book for other victims of LAS.  Legal Abuse Syndrome also doubles as a text book for mental health professionals providing therapy to LAS victims.
The book is divided into 10 chapters.  Beginning in Chapters 1 and 2, Huffer identifies the symptoms of the LAS victim and the etiology of LAS.  These two introductory chapters are followed by 8 chapters in which the author breaks down the Eight Steps to Recovery, consisting of Debriefing, Grieving, Obsession, Blaming, Deshaming, Reframing, Empowerment and Recovery.
Each chapter begins with a relevant quote which sets the stage for the material presented.  The book concludes with Maya Angelou’s powerful poem, “I rise.”
CHAPTER SUMMARIES
Chapter 1 – “Invisible Hostages” reveals the hostage condition that results from betrayals of trust and the quiet crimes.  Symptoms of the hostage-stage psychological reactions are put forth with a list of the white-collar crimes, litigation/judicial atrocities and bureaucratic failings that cumulatively assault victims.  The case of James graphically portrays the path from the initial affront through the aftermath of the crime.  James went to law enforcement agencies, sued through the courts at huge expense, and found his situation worsened to the point of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  Chapter 1 includes one cartoon and two illustrations.
Chapter 2 – “The Epidemic” illustrates the chemical changes that take place in the brain during prolonged victimization.  It becomes clear that a profound sense of helplessness in the face of jeopardy causes post traumatic stress disorder.  The longer the feeling of helplessness lasts, the more pronounced are the symptoms.  Victims find themselves in the symptoms as they relate to their own experiences.  James shares that at the time he needed the protection of his judicial system, it betrayed him.  He was left unable to obtain justice.  Extensive research supports the theory that “psycholegal” post traumatic stress disorder is a common occurrence in litigants and victims of the invisible crimes.  The reader can look around and see the “cellophane-wrapped” victims who have moved beyond rage to an implosive, cyclical lifestyle.  These victims usually remain invisible.  The chapter includes one illustration.
Chapter 3 – “Debriefing” begins the second part of the book, the eight steps to recovery.  Debriefing is an activity that the reader can do.   It centers around a graphic, processing sheet that delineates losses, feelings and facts.  This chapter begins a caring journey.  The sense of isolation is relieved in victims as they see their experience(s) begin to take a manageable form.  The case of P.J., who broke through denial during debriefing helps us understand how to effectively respond to victims.  This chapter also lists “absolutely what not to say to a victim.”  The chapter includes one illustration and two reader participation graphics.
Chapter 4 – “Grieving” clarifies that loss of trust is the greatest loss known to a human being.  The case of Judy demonstrates the profound effect of bureaucratic and law enforcement behavior on a victim.  Judy had to face the FBI, the IRS, and court after a betrayal by her husband.  Grieving masques as depression (the common cold of mental illness), exhaustion, varied illnesses and conditions.  Grieving over loss of property is usually discounted in American culture.  “Takings” have become a part of business strategy and are often done through the use of the system.  Bankruptcy court, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the IRS effect takings of property without due process.  Takings threaten the lifeblood of the nation.  The case of John depicts the nebulous nature of grief.  It is pushed aside if the loss is not “respectably” large.  John breaks down over a tiny tangible issue that, in fact, reflects huge intangible losses.  In this chapter we see that the loss of belief systems, trust, and ideals are critical to the loss picture.  Each case will show that our protective systems did not function as intended, and inadvertently or by design, intensified the trauma.  Legal Abuse Syndrome , a journey Beyond Rage… and Back, articulates that the right to redress in order to prevent losses and to exact recompense is key to a sense of safety and security necessary for mental health.
Chapter 5 – “Obsession” leads us toward a sense of control over our lives again.  Readers become aware that obsession is a natural response to victimization.  Randomization is a difficult concept to grasp in life.  When good people are assaulted and left unaffirmed by their culture’s systems, life proceeds on a path with no moral compass – no guide to safety.  A list of obsessive styles is characterized by descriptive names, i.e. “Lifeguard,” obsesses around health; where as an “Inventorier” counts and accounts for all belongings, endlessly.  What to do about easing obsession is listed with case examples.  A sense of humor interweaves as victims look at their obsessive selves with acceptance.
Chapter 6 – “Blaming” faces victim-blaming head on.  Society discourages blaming; therefore, victims are praised for taking responsibility for the awful things that happen to them.  Further, victims often see little recourse once blame is established.  Attribution is a necessary step toward justice because it reinforces the moral code.  This chapter gives a victim a graphic for assessing degrees of blame and then enriches the reader with specific blaming actions dramatized by James and the other cases.  Barriers to blaming are explored, such as guilt and societal pressure.  There is a self-blame checklist followed by the danger of self blame.  Revenge and punishment are contrasted with appropriate, quality blaming actions which drive behavior toward the moral code.  Those ignored, outrageous assaults by attorneys and the systems, such as slander and character assassination in the courtroom and denied right to redress, are listed at the end of the chapter.  Victims begin to feel that they are not crazy or at fault.  This chapter includes a reader participation check list.
Chapter 7 – “Deshaming” offers a totally unique approach to understanding human motivation in terms of power.  A continuum is presented which ranks a person’s motivating force as either conscience-based or power-based.  Human interactions can be visualized as on a grid.  The conscience-based person is often victimized even though he may have spiritual power.  Power-based people are motivated by envy and a need for superior posture.  Lying is a key tool of the power motivated person.  Lying wins over truth.  Here is where violation of the moral code is “business as usual” for some and an outrage to others.  Shame is known to the conscience-based person,who often absorbs shame from the violator as well.  A tournament of the game, “Prisoner’s Dilemma,” is used as an example of strategies that help conscience-based people learn to identify and cope with power-based individuals.  Specific skills are taught regarding cooperation, competition, and self-protection.  Thus, to free them from shame, the readers are able to relinquish undeserved shame and to follow guiding principles for modification of their belief systems.  The case of Manny exemplifies the predicament and the process for deshaming.  The chapter includes two illustrations.
Chapter 8 – “Reframing” is the pivotal procedure that embarks upon recovery.  All five steps leading to reframing are required to effectively achieve this phase.  The victim shifts from a painful perception of self to a new, open, morally sound and personally inspired view of himself.  There is an LAS Reframe Exercise which allows the painful issue to come forth.  Then the pain is put to the reframe steps.  The victim might say, “I was a fool.”  Reframed, the victim will say, “I was a trustworthy person, I believed that others were largely trustworthy too.”  Then the victim searches for the wisdom gained from the experience.  The chapter includes one reader participation checklist.
Chapter 9 – “Empowerment” more than anything, brings a fresh approach for legal and bureaucratic problem solving to the ordinary person.  Steps are blueprints:  1) seek and destroy misinformation, 2) from pragmatic expectations, 3) avoid the predictable, 4) persevere, 5) use mental toughness, 6) become a vigilante consumer, 7) call a crime a crime.  Misinformation is a strategic tool used by abusers of the justice systems.  It crushes the force of truth distorting the course towards justice.  Oppression thrives on misinformation.  Empowerment requires effective attacks on misinformation through official channels.  The predictable path is owned by the power-centered.  They travel ahead and prepare to take the conscience-centered person out at every turn.  Victims need each other and creative approaches.  This chapter ties into Appendix B which contains a host of resources.  Eleven tools and techniques are presented.  Rules and regulations of an institution are usually broken by those who abuse from within the organization.  Finding those violations empowers a victim tremendously.  Mental toughness is the ability to never lose focus regardless of attacks or diversions.  Vigilante consumers focus on the real bottom line in America, the consumer.  When crimes occur, they must be treated as crimes and dealt with by consumers who keep the focus on the real bottom line.  The chapter contains one graphic.
Chapter 10 – “Recovery” brings perspective.  Victims become veterans who have an important function in correcting societal wrongs.  Readers are brought up to date by parting words from the victims whose cases were portrayed in the book.  It becomes apparent that recovery is not a destination but a journey wherein the eight steps are incorporated into a renewed lifestyle.  Forgiveness and restoration are discussed as quite separate issues from recovery.  Veterans are no longer cellophane-wrapped hostages but are back in the game of life, risking once more.  Trust as a staple, societal issue is explored in the context of LAS being a totally preventable assault to the mental health of our nation.
In the Conclusion , Ms. Huffer thanks her patients who have trusted her and taught her that there is an invisible fabric woven of American character found in the ordinary person.  It is an invitation for these victims who refused to be soul-murdered to lead the nation back into a future of hope, trust and a code of American conduct that they represent to quietly.  The Epilogue contains a snapshot of an LAS victim that has been driven beyond rage.
The book includes a Bibliography which cites referenced and related works included as well as a Glossary of terms used in the book.
Appendix A defines clinical post traumatic stress disorder.
Appendix B – Resources for the Empowerment of the Ordinary Person.  This appendix provides the LAS victim with a list of organizations dedicated to legal reform and victim rights.
Appendix C – Victims-Witness Protection Act of 1984.
Appendix D contains worksheets to be used in conjunction with the book.
The following pages contain the Preface and Introduction as they appear in the actual book.
Preface
If you are deeply disillusioned and feeling oppressed as an American Citizen, resulting from experience with our justice system, you may be suffering from Legal Abuse Syndrome.If you’ve been a litigant in court and justice was not to be obtained at any price, you may be suffering from Legal Abuse Syndrome.If you fantasize an act of vigilante vengeance because it seems like the only recourse, you may be suffering from Legal Abuse Syndrome.If you’ve reported a crime and found that you were punished instead of the criminal, you may be suffering from Legal Abuse Syndrome.If creativity and dreams have been left in the past because their development was ripped from you and torn to shreds by your protective systems, you may be suffering from Legal Abuse Syndrome.If you feel numb, disconnected, and vulnerable, you may be suffering from Legal Abuse Syndrome.If you feel that you have been victimized twice, once by a perpetrator and then by your protective system, you may be suffering from Legal Abuse Syndrome.Some will deny that Legal Abuse Syndrome (LAS) exists.  They will remind us that we have an adversarial system of justice.  Abuses will be written off as adversaries battling for their clients.  Victims will be nothing more than casualties of a “fight for justice.”  Others will worry that victims of LAS will want compensation for their psychological injuries.  Skeptics will ask, “Aren’t LAS victims just malingerers wanting more from the system?”
I do not indict the legal profession, fine judges and hard working public servants.  I applaud those who serve their clients well in any milieu.  We do not bash any organization or profession in this book.  Lawyers, judges, FBI agents, police officers and investigators have all crossed my private practice and helped me to delineate the abuse of power that permeates every profession.  Many of these professionals are themselves invisible victims also and need the support of the public.
Abusers are studied in this book as a method of exposing to LAS victims the predicament that oppresses them.  The systems are explored in the light of victims’ experiences.  The psycholegal condition is revealed along with skills to help the victim cope with abusers of his systems.  The scope is a large one for a marriage and family therapist or or fellow victim to tackle.  It may feel unwieldy and threatening to the reader.  However, reading and rereading has produced results and has motivated me to risk a big project and perhaps an unpopular one in behalf of those invisible victims who can heal in spite of systems without a cure.
A firm warning to those who would use the following material to damage or discredit any citizen in any manner:
LEGAL ABUSE SYNDROME IS A NATURAL AND NORMAL RESPONSE TO AN ABNORMAL, UNNATURAL, CUMULATIVE TRAUMA, AS WITH ALL POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDERS.  ANY ATTEMPT BY ANY PERSON TO DISCREDIT AN INDIVIDUAL’S TESTIMONY, CHARACTER, OR ACTIONS DUE TO THEIR SUFFERING FROM LAS IS TO CLEARLY DEMONSTRATE THE ABERRANT NATURE OF OUR SYSTEM OF PROBLEM-SOLVING.  ANY ALLY OF CIVILIAZATION MUST CLEARLY IDENTIFY SUCH BEHAVIOR AS ABUSIVE, PUT A HALT TO DESTRUCTIVE ACTIONS, AND DEVOTE THEIR ENERGIES TO RESTORATION OF VICTIMS OF THE “SYSTEMS”.
No one likes to think of himself as a victim.  Immediately, it conjures an image of a loser or someone making poor life-choices.    Yet, in spite of resistance to facing our victimization, legal abuses have become common.  When abuses occur, victims are created.  We either have to face that we are victimized or accept an aberration to civilized living as being “just the way it is”.
Laws provide for courts, agencies, law enforcement bureaucracies, and regulatory services.  We depend on them to resolve our disputes and to protect our cherished rights.  When they fail, our nation must deal with the victims and vigilantes left in the wake of officially sanctioned wrongdoing.
In this book, we will explore cases that are shocking and fascinating.  They illustrate abuses perpetrated by our legally instituted protective systems and the pain and suffering that results.  Citizens are driven “Beyond Rage.”  However startling and moving our cases may be, we have only touched a segment of their lives and experiences.  Each case has left unrevealed depth of trauma and complication that would be prohibitive in space and time to write about in one book.
This work results from my experiences of the past twenty years as a marriage and family therapist in private practice.  Throughout my career, a certain discomfort gnawed at me regarding clients who attended my various groups and seminars.  While the seminars dealt with the subjects of codependency, substance abuse, parenting, divorce adjustment, assertiveness, stress, or whatever the current topic dictated, there always remained the walking wounded.  Those were clients, whose true source of pain was not recognized by family or friends.  Worse, it was never clearly defined by helping professionals.  With no diagnosis, their condition could not be targeted for treatment.  Invisible trauma nebulously danced around the topics, never to be healed in these hungry participants.
It wasn’t until a white-collar crime was perpetrated on my family that I saw these walking wounded with uncomfortably opened eyes.  After nearly a decade of struggling with the justice system, and working with other such victims,I have concluded that the enormous betrayals and inefficiencies that make up bureaucratic post-crime experiences, are literally attacking the emotional health of this nation.  Victims have no satisfying place to turn.  Rage accumulates and its sequelae have reached epidemic proportions.
A therapist must, of course, check such observations against the danger of inaccurately projecting onto a client personal feelings or attitudes that go beyond the therapeutic use of self.  I have done that.  Even more uncomfortably now, i see the massive validation of my theory by participants in the “Beyond Rage” seminars.  Still theoretical, but deadly serious, is the thesis of this book that victims in America are, first, assaulted by crime and, secondly, by abuses of power and authority administered by the systems their tax dollars support to provide due process of law.  In short, they get a “double whammy.”
People of principle find their decency, trustworthiness, responsibility, and use of their courts trounced by systems that perpetrate judicial and bureaucratic atrocities.  Americans, who follow a code of conscience, encounter a profound imbalance between the abuses of power perpetrated by those entrusted with the systems and the prohibitive conscience of the ordinary person to violation of values and laws.  At the heart of this book is the threatened psychic underpinning of the American citizen which is tied into the Constitutionally protected rights that we depend upon.  To imperil the basic freedoms, which Americans are taught are their birthright, is to jeopardize conditions of trust and safety necessary for a healthy, productive life.
Victims challenge the finest of counseling techniques.  The lack of closure combines with prolonged, cruel, and unusual punishment exerted by the court system.  Ongoing strain of litigation then interfaces with psychological issues.  Diagnoses are tricky and dynamic.  Healing techniques and strategies are interrupted by the trauma of the proceedings or behaviors of court personnel.  Stress reduction training is of marginal value for a litigant who will regularly be administered another dose of outrage.  The best of family intervention is defeated if the family court renders a visitation arrangement that destroys continuity in the raising of the children or if the current custodial parent is harassed and stalked, unprotected by the law enforcement system.
Outrage is tough enough.  Beyond rage is terribly painful territory.  I caution the reader that to earnestly use this self-help material for healing purposes will be challenging.  On the other hand, if you choose to stay beyond rage, you exist in a type of living death.  So victims of the systems are caught between a tough place and a really hard place.  Go slowly, get involved in groups, if possible, but don’t let your lifeblood be stripped from you without a fight.  This book will help to get you back on your fighting feet.  You won’t change massive systems or reform your country in all likelihood.  However, when all of the trauma has been processed, you will become an empowered, effective individual again.
More and more, helping professionals are being confronted by “psycholegal” issues.  Patients are driven beyond rage over an extended period of time during which victims travel an isolated road.  The impact of the invisible assaults usually are ignored.
Vigilante violence results when the needs of the majority are not being met by the systems (Tucker).  What of the gentle and decent person who values a law abiding mode of life?  Unless the unique needs of these victims are identified and healing processes made accessible to them, the cost in pain, suffering, disillusionment, and shutdown of creativity to the individual and society is immeasurable.

http://www.legalabusesyndrome.org/synopsisof-legal-abuse-syndrome.php

A poem by a victim of Staffordshire Local Authority Child Abuse

Betrayal of the Innocent
(fucking social workers)
Betrayed by social workers & the state
Left to contemplate my own fate
They thought they knew what was best
Where are they now its time to confess?
They said my parents were failing me
That they could do better I would see
That I needed protection from my self
The state would provide it with all its wealth
So the court sent me into care
Stability would be found once there
But stability was not found
Just state sponsored child abusers
Paid by the state sponsored pound
So forgive me for pointing out your hypocrisy
For you were the ones protecting me
Yet my parents only ever loved me
My parents never ever hurt me
You took me away from a loving home
And with sick perverted abusers
You left me alone
You said there would be no losers
Well my mom died when I was nineteen
I’ve lost forever what might have been
I feel like I don’t know my own dad
I have every reason to feel this sad
You social workers & barristers & judges
You really think you know
You know nothing fucking nothing
How plainly it does show.
Note:
I have no doubt that at some point I will re write this in another way.  As the days months and years go by I get more and more angry that the state and the know it all social workers had the audacity to say my parents were not fit to look after me. For sure they were both simple people who found it hard to cope. But all they ever did was love me the best they knew how.  The so called wise people in court sent me into care of the local authority. I spent time at Chadswell assessment centre in Lichfield, and then went onto Riverside children’s home in Rocester near Uttoxeter. Both places after years of cover ups have had several people jailed for serious child abuse. Charges of rape + sexual assault + assault and all manner of smilar stuff have been proved.  At the time children and that’s what we were were crying out to be heard.  We were so often ignored.  Things were swept under the carpet.  The thing that hurts me the most is that I was deprived of time with my mom who died when I was so young.
The state was taking and making decisions about children’s lives. About our futures & yet they left us at the mercy of perverts I can never ever forgive that. Bastards bastards bastards……………….

Betrayal of the Innocent(fucking social workers) Betrayed by social workers & the stateLeft to contemplate my own fateThey thought they knew what was bestWhere are they now its time to confess? They said my parents were failing meThat they could do better I would seeThat I needed protection from my selfThe state would provide it with all its wealth So the court sent me into careStability would be found once thereBut stability was not foundJust state sponsored child abusersPaid by the state sponsored pound So forgive me for pointing out your hypocrisyFor you were the ones protecting meYet my parents only ever loved meMy parents never ever hurt me You took me away from a loving homeAnd with sick perverted abusersYou left me aloneYou said there would be no losers Well my mom died when I was nineteenI’ve lost forever what might have beenI feel like I don’t know my own dadI have every reason to feel this sad You social workers & barristers & judgesYou really think you knowYou know nothing fucking nothingHow plainly it does show.Note:I have no doubt that at some point I will re write this in another way.  As the days months and years go by I get more and more angry that the state and the know it all social workers had the audacity to say my parents were not fit to look after me. For sure they were both simple people who found it hard to cope. But all they ever did was love me the best they knew how.  The so called wise people in court sent me into care of the local authority. I spent time at Chadswell assessment centre in Lichfield, and then went onto Riverside children’s home in Rocester near Uttoxeter. Both places after years of cover ups have had several people jailed for serious child abuse. Charges of rape + sexual assault + assault and all manner of smilar stuff have been proved.  At the time children and that’s what we were were crying out to be heard.  We were so often ignored.  Things were swept under the carpet.  The thing that hurts me the most is that I was deprived of time with my mom who died when I was so young. The state was taking and making decisions about children’s lives. About our futures & yet they left us at the mercy of perverts I can never ever forgive that. Bastards bastards bastards……………….

http://www.robbowker.co.uk/poemsaa.html

Infant Adoption – What They Knew and Didn’t Tell Us. 1943.


PSYCHOLOGY OF THE ADOPTED CHILD.

Clothier. F. MD. 1943.

Clothier says in her paper in Mental Hygiene (1943). “Every adopted child at some point in his development, has been deprived of this primitive relationship with his mother. This trauma and the severing of the individual from his racial antecedents lie at the core of what is peculiar to the psychology of the adopted child.

The adopted child presents all the complications in social and emotional development in the own child. But the ego of the adopted child, in addition to all the demands made upon it, is called upon to compensate for the wound left by the loss of the biological mother”.

The child who is placed with adoptive parents at or soon after birth misses the mutual and deeply satisfying mother and child relationship. The roots of which lie deep in the area of personality where the psychological and physiological are merged. Both for the child and the natural mother, that period is part of the biological sequence, and it is to be doubted whether the relationship of the child to it’s post partum mother, in its subtler effects, can be replaced by even the best of substitute mothers.

But those subtle effects lie so deeply buried in the personality that, in the light of our present knowledge, we cannot evaluate them.

Clothier says: “We do know more about the trauma that an older baby suffers when he is separated from his mother with whom his relationship is no longer parasitic, but toward whom he has developed active social strivings”.

For some children, and in some stages of development, the severing of a budding social relationship can cause irreparable harm. The childs willingness to sacrifice instinctive gratifications and infantile pleasures for the sake of a love relationship has proved a bitter disillusionment, and he may be reluctant to give himself into a love relationship again.

The child who is placed in infancy has the opportunity of passing through his oedipal development in relation to his adoptive parents without an interruption, that in the childs phantasy, may amount to the most severe of punishments.

Because of the love the baby has come to need to receive from his mother and to give to his mother, he accepts his first responsibility in life, namely toilet training. He gives up infantile sources of pleasure for the sake of his mother, who’s love he wants to hold and whom he wants to please.

The child who lacks the motivation of a growing social and emotional relationship with a highly valued love object, does not accept training in a spirit of co-operation. If he accepts it at all, it is likely to be in response to fear of the consequences of wetting and soiling. Many children use persistent wetting and soiling as a method of expressing their antagonism to a mother with whom they have not experienced an early, satisfying love relationship.

Brisley. (1939) points out that the illegitimate baby (and this applies to the prospective candidate for adoption) is under abnormal pressure to “be good”. This implies first being quiet and taking feeds well, and later, accepting toilet training at an early age. This emphasis Brisley suggests is a “contributing factor to the insecurity and feeling of aloneness which seems characteristic of the illegitimate child.”

Clothier goes on to say, “that every child, whether living with his parents or with foster parents, has a recourse to phantasy when he finds himself frustrated, threatened or incapable of dominating his environment. For the adopted child it is not a phantasy that these parents with whom he lives with are not his parents, it is reality.

For the adopted child, the second set of parents are obviously the unknown lost real parents. His normal ambivalence will make use of this reality situation to focus his love impulses on one set of parents and his hate impulses on another. He finds an easy escape from the frustrations inherent in his home education by assuming the attitude that these, his adoptive parents, are his bad and wicked persecutors, whereas his dimly remembered own or foster parents, from whom he was ‘stolen’ are represented in his phantasy as the good parents to whom he owes his love and allegiance”.

1960

FANTASIES AND BEHAVIOUR OF THE ADOPTED CHILD;

Marshall D.Schechter. M.D., Beverly Hills California.

In his paper on the Observations of Adopted Children.

In a series of cases seen by him the percentage of adopted children was 13.3 as compared with the national average of 0.134. This indicates a hundredfold increase of patients in this category compared with what could be expected in the general population.

Toussieng (April 1958) of the out patients and admissions service said that one third of all patients coming to the Menninger out patient clinic were adopted.

Schechter, goes on to say. The striking thing in most cases was that the feature of their adoptive status played a significant role in the underlying dynamics of the problem.

He observed in many of his case studies on adopted children symptoms relating to such things as fantasies and “acting out” regarding the real parents, i.e. their appearance, their names and killing and murder especially toward their real mother.

Observations also included outbursts toward the adoptive parents telling them they would not do as the parents say because they were not their real parents. He also goes on to say that adopted children suffer symptoms of depression, feelings of incompleteness, phobic fear of abandonment, anxiety, aloofness and distancing of them selves which made close relationships impossible.

Schechter also noted hyperactivity and unmanageability in children of a young age. He also observed,
particularly with one child, that it had relationships of the same quality with strangers as his parents, namely, superficial and dominated by a driving need to have his impulses satisfied immediately. The child could easily be comforted by a stranger as easily as by his mother.

In the behaviour of young adopted girls Schechter observed instances of such things as sex-play, exhibitionism, seductiveness and regression.

He also noted in cases of adopted boys, problems of lying, stealing, and lack of integration with others.

Schechter’s observations of the adoptive parents were that often the adoptive mothers had intense feelings of inadequacy regarding their womanly functions that contributed to an over protectiveness to the children. These feelings also served as a constant reminder of her barrenness, stimulating her need to tell the story of “the chosen one”.

Prior to adoption, some of these people had recognized emotional problems within themselves. Some had thought of the children as potential saviours of their marriage. Some felt that a child was essential to prove their masculinity.

Toussieng. (1958) commenting on the repetition of the story of adoption and of how “we picked you” suggests that the real parents did not want him and therefore were bad parents. Therefore, though the parents stress the wanting aspect they at the same time play the “abandonment theme”.

The belief of “I’m no good: because my parents gave me away because I was no good and I am going to prove them right” is not uncommon in adoptive children.

In his comments Schechter reports we could see how the idea of adoption had woven itself into the framework of the childs personality configuration. It played a role in symptom formation and object relationships. It certainly had an effect in later development, giving the stamp of antisocial behaviour and that of a paranoidal system.

He summarises by stating ” The patients in this paper do not have a fantasy about being adopted, they were adopted. Their daydream, which cannot be combated by denial, is the connection with their real parents. Who were they? What were they? Why did they give me up? Do I have any living relatives? What was my name, etc?

Clothier. (April;1943) states. A deep identification with our fore-bears as experienced originally in the mother-child relationship, gives us our most fundamental security. . . Every adopted child at some point in his development has been deprived of his primitive relationship with his mother. This trauma and the removal of the individual from his racial antecedent lie at the core of what is peculiar to the psychology of the adopted child.

Toussieng (1958) states; the adolescence of the adopted child seems to be a particularly difficult one because it is harder for adoptive adolescents to accept their rebellion against the adoptive parents, to give them up as love objects. Furthermore, I have now seen a number of cases in which children in adolescence start roaming around almost aimlessly, though some times they are seeking someone or some thing. They seem to be seeking the fantasised “good real parents”.

Benedek (1938) presents an important concept regarding the development of confidence based on
mother-child relationship. This is the area so sensitive in these adopted children and which can be found to under-lie so many of their disturbances.

1962

DISABILITIES IN ADOPTED CHILDREN AND ADOPTIVE PARENTS

Dr. Povl W. Toussieng. M.D.

Dr Toussieng was a child psychiatrist at The Menninger Clinic Topeka, Kansas.

Dr Toussieng suggests that adopted children seem more prone to emotional disturbances than non-adopted children; he concludes that their conflicts are caused by their adoptive parents unresolved resistance to parenthood.

He says that in spite of careful screening of adopted children and their prospective parents prior to adoption, a disproportionately large percentage of these children eventually come to psychiatric or other professional attention because of emotional, educational or social problems.

The fact that sixty one percent of the first and only child in an adopting family were particularly prone to disturbances suggested that they should look elsewhere than in the children themselves for the factors contributing to later disturbances. The children presented at the Childrens Service tended to present many severe difficulties.

Toussieng also acknowledges that severe emotional disturbances and personality disorders are
over-represented among adopted children and that they may have severe emotional difficulties that may never come to the attention of professionals.

He points out that on reaching adulthood some children become obsessed with finding their real mother because they had revealed a feeling of never having been really attached to their adoptive family and never had the feeling of real belonging.

Toussieng refers to Deutsh (1945) where she discusses the influences of unconscious attitudes and conflicts on the abilities of the adoptive mother to be motherly toward their adopted children. She believes that an adoptive mothers failure to develop motherliness is the major cause of later disturbances in the child. They (the mothers) view the adopted child as narcissistic injury, as evidence that they themselves are damaged. The child in trying to identify with such parents may well acquire shaky and defective introjects.

Toussieng summarises by stating “children who have been adopted at an early age and/or who have not been exposed to psychological traumatization before adoption seem to be more prone to emotional disturbances than non-adopted children.

1963

ADOPTED CHILDREN DISABILITIES.

Michael Humphrey and Christopher Ounsted.

Michael Humphrey, M.A. B.Sc Principal Clinical Psychologist. Warneford and Park Hospitals.

Christopher Ounsted. D.M.,D.C.H., D.P.M., Consultant-in Charge Park Hospital for Children.

In a control group of 41 early age adoptees they distinguished the following symptoms. Emotional reactions (tantrums, negativism, jealousy). Enuresis, anxiety, disturbed social behaviour, aggression, withdrawl, stealing, cruelty, destructiveness, lying and encopresis.

They were impressed with finding out that one in two children adopted late had been stealing as compared to one in four children adopted at an early age. The action appeared in several cases to be expressly directed at the adoptive mother, either from a sense of rejection (in some cases well founded) or as an appeal for more individual attention. Sometimes the money would be spent on presents for friends in the hope of gaining popularity. Some of these children have stolen compulsively over a long period with no sign of remorse.

They found the adopted children suffered from varying degrees of parental deprivation, neglect, parental rejection or at the opposite extreme, over-indulgence, mental or physical illness sufficient to impair the quality of parental love, and jealously of a sibling born before or too soon after the adoption.

1963.

FANTASY OF ADOPTED CHILDREN AND ADOPTIVE PARENTS.

Schechter.M. Carlson.P.V. Simmons. J.Q. and Work. H.H.

In a paper submitted to the Childrens Bureau, US Department of Health Aug 1963.

The factor of adoption played a consistently important role in the genesis and perpetuation of the given
symptom picture. Two major hypotheses were suggested for the higher incidence of psychological disturbances in the adoptee. Firstly the adoptee may intra-physically continue a split between good and bad in his infantile object relations, since in reality he has two sets of parents. Secondly, the adoptive parent is often confused in his or her role due to unconscious guilts and hostilities and tends to project this disturbance backward into the heredity of the child i.e. the natural parents.

Phipps(1953) mentioned the tendency of parents to speak about the heredity of the child as the major causative factor in behavioural difficulties.

Lemon E.M. (1959) referred to the difficulty that the adopted individual has in dealing with communication concerning his adopted status with a resulting tendency to weave factual material together with much fantasied material in his thoughts as he seeks his natural parents.

They went on to say that these patients perceived their adoptive parents as inadequate especially with the setting of limits and viewed their natural parents as their adequate set of parents.

Livermore J. B (1961) suggests that the adoptees have specific problems in identification, since the adoptive mother constantly reactivates primitive unconscious fears that her own insides have been destroyed.

They summarised by saying. “We feel that we have offered substantial evidence from many sources that the non-relative adopted child may be more prone to emotional difficulties”.

1967.

ADOPTED CHILDREN.

A statement from the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 1967.37 402. Mid-Fairfield Child Guidance Centre Norwalk Connecticut.

The number of adopted adolescent children who are referred to our centre and other centres is larger than their ratio in the general population. “We are impressed with the extent to which these children are pre-occupied with the theme of their adoption”.

They go on to talk about the similarity of the traits and attitudes in these children which they refer to as the “Adoption Syndrome”.

1970.

DISABILITIES OF ADOPTED CHILDREN.

Dr Christopher Ounsted, MA, DM, MRCP, DCH, DPM.

Dr Ounsted states that in the late fifties it had become apparent to him and his colleagues at the Park Street Hospital for Children that they were seeing an unexpectedly large number of adopted children. Many of the children owed their disabilities either to some inate handicap or to defects in the structure of their families, such as having parents who were psychotic, inadequate, psychopathic, defective, or in some other way not able to fulfil their parental roles adequately.

Ounsted noted that of the symptoms of adopted patients, compulsive theft was more significant.

1971.

ABUSE.

Henry Kemp. Archives of Diseases in Childhood (1971) states that some children may be more vulnerable to abuse than others. Among them are the hyperactive, the precocious, the premature, the stepchild and the adopted.

1974.

IDENTITY:

1974 Dr Triseliotis in his research paper on Identity and Adoption, gives examples of adoptees views on identity.

1st adoptee,
“I look in the mirror and cannot recognise myself”.

2nd adoptee,
“I feel there is something about adoption that gives you a feeling of insecurity as regards just
exactly who you are”.

3rd adoptee,
“I feel that I am only a half a person, the other half obscured by my adoption”.

4th adoptee,
“I never really felt I belonged. I feel empty and I find it difficult to make friends or be close to
people. I have been hovering on the edge of a break down”.

One of the main anxieties of adoptees is the fear of being different and somewhat set apart from the rest.

The adopted child has to gradually accept the loss of his natural parents and the “rejection” this implies. Yet he has to also accomodate a preferably positive image of the original set of parents and their genealogy in his developing self.

Children who are adopted into a different culture will still need to identify with aspects of their original heritage.

1975.

ABANDONMENT.

Bennett Olshaker, MD. In his paper “What shall We Tell the Kids”, he notes that the adopted person has to contend with the feeling that he was abandoned, but we can try to help him in a positive manner by portraying his natural parents in a positive manner. He goes on to say that some adoptive parents may feel that their childs’ parents were immoral for having a child out of wedlock. These sentiments create difficulties for the parents when the child has questions regarding sexual matters.

1976.

ADOPTED CHILDREN ADMITTED INTO RESIDENTIAL PSYCHIATRIC CARE.

Harper.J.; Williams. S. 1976.

This was an investigation over a period of five years from 1969-1974 into 22 adopted children admitted into the childrens unit at North Ryde Psychiatric Centre. Six were referred at age eleven and over, three were referred before their fifth birthday and the remaining thirteen fell between five and ten years and eleven months.

Symptoms in the children ranged from depression, aggressive acting out behaviour to stealing. In some
instances stealing was a desperate attempt to buy friendship since the stolen money was to buy sweets and toys for peers. In other instances it seemed to compensate for the loss of the real mother by acquisition of material goods. In all cases it could be seen as a cry for help.

In some instances admission to the unit signals the relinquishing of parental responsibility as evidenced by eight cases where the child was made a ward of the state and placed in a child welfare home. A summary of the various outcomes indicated that they on the whole were unsatisfactory with one third settling back into their adoptive families with a positive prognosis and two thirds demonstrating a breakdown or possible breakdown in the adoptions.

Family trauma and parental pathology was investigated since it was felt that the stress of adoption could not alone account for the severity of symptoms and outcomes in the children. In terms of family trauma one mother and one father suicided after a history of depressive illness, one set of adoptive parents were murdered, two fathers were killed in car accidents with the adoptive child present and three fathers were unusually violent and aggressive men.

In seven cases, the mothers had a history of psychiatric illness prior to the adoption, including one with a schizophrenic illness. In the case of the seven mothers and three fathers for whom a psychiatric diagnosis was made after the adoption, one can only speculate on the degree to which extra-familial stresses and internal pressures contributed toward this decompensation.

1980.

ADOPTED ADOLESCENTS.

Rickarby. G.A. Eagan. P. 1980.

Rickarby and Eagan say that in their and others studies, there has been consistent evidence of morbidity of various types in adopted adolescents. He states that adoptive families are four times more as likely as biological to seek help for their distress. Acting out, degrees of depression, identity crisis and special roles, (the bad one, the mad one, or the sick one) may constitute an adolescent’s expression of a families dysfunction.

With the added issues of adoption, adolescent development crises become more difficult and the concomitant distress and behaviour exaggerated. These situations include the adolescent who is unable to communicate to others his frightening or idealized fantasies about his biological parents and who cannot readily accept the identity expected of him in his adoptive family and the adopted adolescent who is struggling to cope in a family beset by marital conflict or mental illness.

Cultural fables may have a destructive aspect on the adopted adolescents development. One such fable is “the chosen child”. This is often a source of great anger to the child whose experience of his family has not been “good enough”. His anger is directed at the adoptive parents because these people “chose him”.

Another fable is that of “the poor child whose parents did not want him” and who was adopted by the bountiful parents to whom the child should be ever more grateful.

1985.

ADOPTIVE ANXIETY, RAGE AND GUILT.

Silverman. M.A. 1985. Discusses in his paper that when adoptive status is foisted upon a child, the child is encumbered with so many problems that he or she is at risk of developing a host of psychological problems. This is particularly so if the child learns of his adoption at an early age.

These can be unhappiness, separation problems, difficulty knowing and learning, aggressive fantasies and acts, preoccupation with knives and other weapons, and his feelings of being deprived and robbed.

Adoptive status tends to affect multiple aspects of the developing personality. It interferes with the childs sense of security, the modulation of and channelling of the childs aggression, the development and resolution of the Oedipus complex, super-ego formation, and identity formation.

To lose a parent early in life, especially when there is a felt element of cruel rejection and desertion, as there tends to be when a child is told of adoption while still in the throes of “sadistic-anal” ambivalence and the hostile-dependent struggles of the reproachment crisis of separation-individuation, mobilizes in tense fear and rage. The rage at the abandoning parents is in part directed toward the adoptive parents.

In part the rage is turned back on the self, contributing to the fantasy that the child was abandoned by the original parents because he or she was bad, troublesome, greedy, and destructive.

Silverman goes on to say “nearly every adopted child or adult I have treated sooner or later has revealed the fantasy that the reason for the adoption was the biological mother died in childbirth, which tends to be depicted as a tearing, ripping, bloody, murderous affair in which the baby gains life by taking the life of the mother”.

The adopted child not only needs to learn about pregnancy and childbirth to solve the mysteries of his or her origins, but also needs to find out if he or she is really a murderer! Adopted children often entertain the fantasy that the original father too has died.

1986.

BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER IN ADOPTEES.

Wilson. : Green. : Soth. : 1986. Report that many adopted adolescent patients in their hospital (10 out of 21) have received a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder. This diagnosis, made official in the American Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (3rd edition 1980), includes the following symptoms: impulsivity or unpredictability in areas that are potentially self damaging, a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships with idealization, devaluation and manipulation, inappropriate intense anger.

Identity disturbance was manifested by uncertainty about several issues relating to identity, intolerence of being alone, affective instability, physically self damaging acts, and chronic feelings of boredom and emptyness. It is theorised that this disorder arose because of deficits in early parenting experiences which did not enable the child to develop a core identity, so they didnt feel part of a fused dyad, which explains their fear of abandonment and intolerence of being alone.

1988.

ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOUR IN ADOPTEES. ADOPTED CHILD SYNDROME.

Kirshner.D. Nagel.L. 1988.

Is there a distinct pattern of presenting behaviours and symptoms among adopted children and adolescents referred for psychotherapy? Some clinicians and clinical researchers whose day to day observations strongly suggest that such a pattern does, in fact exist. The senior author has observed extreme provocative, aggressive, antisocial, and delinquent conduct much more consistently among adoptees than their non-adopted counterparts.

Behind the recurrent behavioural and personality patterns there have emerged emotional and psychodynamic issues specifically linked to adoption.

Schecter, Carlson, Simmons, & Work (1964) looked at adopted and non-adopted children in a psychiatric setting and found a much greater occurrence of overt destructive acts and sexual acting-out among adoptees. Menlove (1965) used a similar sample and found significantly more aggressive symptomatology among adoptees. Although several predicted differences were significant, adoptees had significantly more hyperactivity, hostility, and negativism, and significantly more of them had passive-aggressive personalities.

What then is the adopted child syndrome? On the behaviourial level, it it is an antisocial pattern that usually includes pathological lying, stealing, and manipulativeness. Fire setting is sometimes seen and promiscuous behaviour is common.

Typically, the child seeks out delinquent, antisocial children or adults often of a lower economic class than the adoptive family. Provocative, disruptive behaviour is directed toward authority figures, notably teachers and parents. The child often threatens to run away, and in many cases repeatedly does so.

Truancy is common, as well as academic under-achievement and, in many cases there are significant learning problems. There is a typically shallow quality to the attachment formed by the child, and a general lack of meaningful relationships. The child reports feeling “different” and “empty”.

Yet the parents of most children with the Adopted Child Syndrome exhibit a pattern of tension and denial surrounding the issue of adoption. It soon becomes apparent however, that communication about adoption is not simply absent; much worse, the parents are tacitly communicating a message that the topic is dangerous and taboo.

The child, sensing his parents’ insecurity and anxiety, is left to imagine what terrible truths they might be hiding. He feels an ominous pressure against voicing his feelings and curiosity. He senses that his adoptive parents would feel his interest in his birth parents was disloyal. He not only experiences a dread of the truth but also the stifling of his normal curiosity.

1988.

IDENTITY IN ADOPTEES.

Treadwell Penny, talks about Dr F.H. Stone, former consultant in child psychiatry at the Royal Hospital for sick children in Glasgow. Writing about the problems of identity experienced in adolescence by adopted children,
Stone says:

“When there are emotional problems, really basic problems connected with identification, something is likely to happen. Instead of the young person playing roles, he may very actively take on a particular favoured role, which he proceeds to live, and this role tends often to be the least in favour with the parents or other adults who care for this young person.

And so we see again and again in our clinics the parents of teenagers who come to us in utter
despair and say `Not only are we worried about the child, but the very things we have always been most afraid of: thats what he is doing’. If it was drugs then it was drugs; if it was promiscuity it was promiscuity; if it was failure to learn then it was failure to learn”.

Psychologist Erick Erickson. . . calls this a “negative identity”. One can readily appreciate the relevance of this to the adoptive situation, because here we see the danger, in the confusion or embarrassment of explaining to the child about the natural mother or father, of denigrating them either as people who abandoned him, who did not care for him, or who had certain attributes of personality or behaviour. The danger here is that this will backlash, and later on, especially in adolescence, this is precisely the mode of behaviour which the child adopts in his “negative identity”.

1988.

WHY DO ADOPTEES SEARCH?

Robert.S. Andersen asks; “What then about the question as to why the adoptees are searching? This question can be paraphrased thus: “Why are you interested in your mother, your father, your sisters, brothers, grandparents, cousins, nieces, nephews, ancestry, history, aptitudes, liabilities – in short why are you interested in you?”

This is the tragedy, that adoptees more often than not do not feel justified in living life as it is, but have to come out with socially acceptable excuses to justify their interest, needs, and their lives.

They cannot be honest with themselves or others because the conflictual forces, external if in the form of “how could you do this to your adoptive parents”, or internal if in the form of “she gave me up and I do not want to give her the satisfaction of knowing that it matters”, interfere with the living of life from their own original position.

Searching, is not simply an intellectual activity for the adoptee. There is an emotional component as well, and it is my belief that this emotional component is the most important part. If one genuinely wonders why adoptees search, I think that a comprehensive answer must include the following: On one level, adoptees search so they might see, touch, and talk to their biological mother – the search is an effort to make contact with one’s biological family. On a different level (the bottom line), it is something more than this. I think that the search is most fundamentally, an expression of the wish to undo the trauma of separation.

Adoptees either hope (unrealistically, but not necessarily unexpectantly) to relive the life that was lost at the time of the separation, or hope (more realistically) to heal the wound caused by the separation, and therefore provide a more solid base for their lives.

1991.

SEVEN CORE ISSUES OF ADOPTION.

Kaplan.S.; Silverstein. D.:

1.Loss: Adoption is created through loss. Without loss there can be no adoption.

2.Rejection: One way people deal with loss is to figure out what they did was wrong so they can keep from having other losses. In doing this, people may conclude they suffered losses because they were unworthy of having whatever was lost. As a result they feel they were rejected.

3.Guilt and shame: When people personalize a loss to the extent that they feel there is something
intrinsically wrong with themselves that caused the loss, they often feel guilt that they did something wrong or feel shame that others may know. (Silverstein).

4.Grief: Because adoption is seen as a problem solving event in which everyone gains, rather than an event in which loss is integral, it is difficult for adoptees, adoptive parents, and birthparents to grieve. There are no rituals to bury unborn children, roles, dead dreams and disconnected families.

5.Identity: A person’s identity is derived from who he is and what he is not. Adoption threatens a persons knowing of who he is, where he came from, and where he is going.

6.Intimacy: People who are confused about their identity have difficulty getting close to anyone, Kaplan says. And people who have had significant loss in their lives may fear getting close to others because of the risk of experiencing loss again.

7.Control: All those involved with adoption have been “forced to give up control” said Silverstein. Adoption is a second choice. There is a crisis who’s resolution is adoption.

1991.

THE BABY.

Unlike the adoptive mother the baby has experienced pregnancy. The child-in-the-womb has built up a a rhythmical biological bond with the woman who will not be his mother. Prenatal psychologists believe the adopted baby has to learn to separate from the mother he has known in-utro and form an attachment to the new set of parents. Some adoptive parents believe this too.

They feel that the newborn baby has already had intimate prenatal and birth experiences and possible
memories from which they are excluded. These parents interpret the babies cries or discomfort as pining for the birthmother’s smell, her touch, the sound of her voice or naturally synchronized rhythmicity. Such hypersensitivity and fear of rejection by the the baby may reflect the adopting parents own unconfessed preferences for a “natural child” of their own.

Arrival of an adopted baby revives the sense of having “stolen” a child they were not entitled to have. In addition, fantasies about the babies unknown conceptual and genetic history contribute to difficulties in falling in love with the little stranger who is to be part of their lives.

1991.

THE PRIMAL WOUND.

Verrier Nancy, 1991, believes that during gestation a mother becomes uniquely sensitised to her baby. Donald Winnicot called this phenomenon, primary maternal preoccupation. He believed that toward the end of pregnancy, the mother develops a state of heightened sensitivity, which provides a setting for the infants constitution to begin to make itself evident, for the developmental tendencies to start to unfold and for the infant to experience spontaneous movement.

He stressed the mother alone knows what the baby could be feeling and what he needs, because everyone else is outside his experience.

The mothers hormonal, physiological, constitutional and emotional preparation provides the child with a security, which no one else can. There is a natural flow from the in-utro experience of the baby safely confined in the womb to that of the baby secure within the mothers arms, to the wanderings of the toddler who is secure in the mothers proximity to her. This security provides the child with a sense of rightness and wholeness of self.

For these babies and their mother, relinquishment and adoption are not concepts, they are experiences they can never fully recover from. A child can certainly attach to another care giver, but rather than a secure, serene feeling of oneness, the attachment is one in which the adoptive relationship may be what Bowlby has referred to as anxious attachment.

He noted that “provided there is one particular mother figure to who he can relate and who mothers him lovingly, he will in time take to and treat her as though she were almost his mother. That “almost” is the feeling expressed by the adoptive mothers who feel as if they had accepted the infant but the infant had not quite accepted them as mother.

More Adoption ArticlesAdoption Crossroads HomePage

http://www.adoptioncrossroads.org/what_they_knew_&_didn’t_tell_us.html

CONTACT BETWEEN PARENTS AND CHILDREN IN LONG-TERM CARE: THE UNRESOLVED DISPUTE JUDITH MASSON*

CONTACT BETWEEN PARENTS AND CHILDREN IN LONG-TERM CARE: THE UNRESOLVED DISPUTE

JUDITH MASSON*

* Lecturer in Law, University of Leicester, Leicester LEI 7RH, England.

This article describes the development of the law and social work practice relating to access to children in care in England and Wales and examines the different approaches to such access by looking at the attitudes of social workers, guardians ad litem and the judiciary. The particular focus is contact betweenchildren who are unlikely to return to the natural family and their parents. Using Fox’s analysis of ideologies in child care the author concludes that ‘the-society-as-parent protagonists’ do not value contact where rehabilitation is unlikely and that such views were partly reflected in the Department of Health and Social Security’s Code of Practice on Access. The author then examines the research literature on success of fostering and well-being of children in care and concludes that there is little evidence to support a negative approach to access. Indeed, the most recent studies stress the poor consequences of failing to maintain contact between children in care and their families. The Health and Social Services and Social Security Adjudications Act 1983 gave parents who have had their access to children in care terminated a right to have this decision reviewed by a magistrates’ court. The court normally appoints a guardian ad litem who will investigate the case and make a recommendation to the court. In a small study of guardians, the author found that approximately half took the narrow approach to access and would not support it where there was no chance of rehabilitation. A study of reported access cases indicates that judges also took the narrow approach to access to children in care but not in cases following relationship breakdown. The author explains that this reflects the judge’s own interpretation of adoption law and also their support of local authority action. The author concludes that the changes introduced by the Children Act 1989 will make only a slight difference, for two reasons. First, there is still little belief that continuing contact is in the child’s best interests. Second, the security which children who cannot be rehabilitated are thought to need can only be provided by adoption, which under English Law almost always requires the severance of links with the natural family.

 http://lawfam.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/4/1/97

How To Kidnap A Child by The Barbaric Association of Social Workers

Congratulations! You have embarked on a great adventure. Kidnapping a child is probably unlike anything you have done before. If you are a first-time kidnapper you may be hesitant; perhaps you have lingering scruples. It is true you will probably do irreparable harm to the child. Children in care more often become involved in drugs, alcohol, and crime, become pregnant as teenagers, perform poorly in school, join gangs, and commit suicide.
But look at the advantages! You can be sure of reaching your targets and making lots of money. YOU call the shots! What could be more rewarding? And a little extra cash each month never hurts, eh?
Few people realize how easy abduction is. It happens 1,000 times a day, mostly by social workers! So if you’re thinking, “I could never get away with it,” wake up! Millions do. In fact many only realize the possibility when they become victims. Then they invariably say, “If only I had known how easy it is I would have done it sooner!” So don’t be caught off guard. Read on, and discover the exciting world of child kidnapping and extortion.
If you are a social worker the best time to snatch is soon after your victims have a new child or pregnancy. Once you have what you want, you will realize that the parents are no longer necessary .
A social worker should consider snatching as soon as they can. Once you have the child, you have pretty much won the game. You will always be at an advantage, who will believe the parents in a family court ?. . But hey, you have the kid. you wont be held accountable, and the family courts will protect you 100 %.
Surprise is crucial for an elegant abduction. Wait until the other parent is away, has just that minute given birth. Don’t worry about the child’s effects, there is funding for them.  The more you children you snatch , the better  your targets and cash flow. You also want to achieve the maximum emotional devastation the parents. Like the terrorist, you want to impress with how swift, sudden, and unpredictable your strike can be.
kidnapping the child without a court order  is illegal, but the police will turn a blind eye. The police will make the case a low priority, and if you are a social worker you will never be prosecuted. In the meantime claim to have established a “stable routine” and that returning the child (or even visits) would be “disruptive.” Anything that keeps the child in your possession and away from their parents works to your advantage.
Find superficial ways to appear cooperative. Inform the parents of your decisions (after you have made them). At the same time avoid real cooperation. The judge will conclude that the parents “wont co-operate” and leave you in charge. Since it is standard piety that parents should  “cooperate,” the easiest way to sabotage them reclaiming the child is to be as uncooperative as possible.
Go to court right away. The more aggressive you are with litigation the more it will appear you have some valid grievance. The judge and lawyers  will be grateful for the business you create. Despite professions of heavy caseloads, courts are under pressure to channel money to lawyers, whose bar associations appoint and promote judges. File a motion for forced adoption, and get a restraining order to keep the parents  from seeing their children. (A nice touch is to say they are planning to “kidnap” them or cause them emotional harm.) Or have them restricted to supervised visitation.
Going to court is also a great opportunity to curtail anything you dislike about the parents. If you think they may go to the press, get an injunction against them discussing it. Do they complain or report you ? Getting a court order is easier than you think.
False allegations of physical. sexual and emotional harm  are also helpful. Accusing a parent of  abusing their own children is very easy and can be satisfying for its own sake.
Don’t worry about proving the charges. An experienced judge will recognize trumped-up allegations. This is not important, since no one will ever blame the judge for being “better safe than sorry,” and accusations create business for his cronies. You yourself will never have to answer for false charges. The investigation also buys time during which you can further claim to be establishing a routine while keeping the parents at a distance and programming the children against them.
Abuse accusations are also marvelously self-fulfilling. What more logical way to provoke a parent to lash out than to take away their children? Parents naturally become violent when someone interferes with their children. This is what parents are for. The more you can torment them with the ruin of their family, home, livelihood, savings, and sanity, the more likely that they will self-destruct, thus demonstrating their unfitness.
Get the children themselves involved. Children are easily convinced they have been abused. Once the suggestion is planted, any affection from their parents will elicit a negative reaction, making your suggestion self-fulfilling in the child’s mind.
Dripping poison into the hearts of their children can be gratifying, and it is a joy to watch the darlings absorb your hostility. Young children can be filled with venom fairly easily just by telling them how bad their parents are as frequently as possible.
Older children present more of a challenge. They may have fond memories of the love and fun they once experienced with them. These need to be expunged or at least tainted. Try little tricks like saying, “Today you will be seeing your parents, but don’t worry, it won’t last long.” Worry aloud about the  parent’s competence to care for the child or what unpleasant or dangerous experience may be in store during the child’s visit. Sign the child up for organized activities that conflict with the parents visits. Or promise fun things, like a trip to Disneyland, which then must be “cancelled” to visit their parents.
You will soon discover how neatly your techniques reinforce one another. For example, marginalizing the parents and alienating the child become perfect complements merely by suggesting that the parents are absent because they  do not love them. What could be more logical in their sweet little minds!
And what works with children is also effective with judges. The more you can make the children hate their parents the easier you make it to get the forced adoption or the care order.
Remember too, this guide is no substitute for a good lawyer, since nothing is more satisfying than watching a hired goon beat up the child’s parents in a courtroom.
And now you can do what you like! You can warehouse the kids to paedophiles (or whatever).

The War of Attrition against Parents ( this is what is happening HERE and NOW )

The War of Attrition against Parents
How it Works
Child Trafficking is made possible, mostly as a result of the following procedures:
·        A process of selection.
·        Allegations against the parents mostly:
o       Allegations that either the parents or the child or all parties have psychiatric problems.
o       Allegations of mistreatment or abuse of the children.
o       Allegations of parental incompetence.
o       Allegations of neglect.
·        “Expert Evidence” on the family circumstances can easily be produced.
·        Some form of judicial procedure.
·        Inducement of financial hardship.
·        Induced psychiatric problems
·        Any Combination of the above measures.
The Selection
In 19th Century Britain, it was largely the economic factors which gave rise to child trafficking. Children were forced into workhouses or pauper orphanages. From there,  assuming that they had reached the required ages and were healthy enough,  they were sold to industry.
The selection process in 21stCentury Germany is based on conspicuousness: Anything which the Youth Organization can latch onto is part of the process: It may start with an application for assistance from a mother with a large family, a school report, a child with bruises or anything similar.
A system of checking for child maltreatment or abuse was introduced in Germany earlier this year and consists of compulsory periodic medical tests on all children up to a certain age. One might think that this would largely protect also the parents from the allegations of the local Youth Service. However, looking at the list of known measures available to German authorities under “How it Works”, this would only solve a small part of the problem.
The Allegations against the Parents
In 19th Century Britain, it was not necessary to make allegations against the parents, because there was a ready source of labor already in the institutions. The only theoretically possible allegation against the parents would have been, that they were poor.
In 21st Century Germany, it is necessary to make allegations against the parents. Anything in the list, which would put their fitness to raise children in doubt, will do. Most Youth Services produce vague allegations, wild suppositions or concocted lies, which are subsequently used to discredit the parents. Such “evidence” is all accepted by the family courts –  even if they know that the Youth Workers are perjuring themselves.
Expert Evidence
In 19th Century Britain there was a contractual examination of the candidate child at the time of sale, to establish his or her fitness for hard labor. If the child met with an industrial accident or died, there were plenty more replacements available.
In 21st Century Germany, it is usually necessary to recruit a specialist from the “usual sources” and ask him or her to produce the “right kind” of report. The usual sources will be the structures surrounding the Youth Service. The specialist will, in all but exceptional cases, be a psychologist or a psychiatrist.
The competence of these experts can be simply determined.  A questionnaire ( F2010P [4] ) was created, containing simple questions ranging from the important “did the specialist understand the tasking ?” to the trivial such as “did the specialist number the pages of the report ?”.  The analysis does not make the mistake of including specialist topics in the questionnaire, which would give rise to discussions. The requirements are, that the specialist clearly declares the state of the art, the methods applied and the reference works used for his or her report.
The additional question “was the report credible or not ?” has to be answered by aggregating the answers to the important questions. This does not answer the question “was the report right or wrong ?”. It could be that asking a specialist, who had written a muddled report, to repeat his work would produce a satisfactory conclusion. The courts in Germany are apparently not in a position to exercise this supervisory task. A vast accumulation of mistakes in the report would, in any case, preclude this. The other important question is “would it be possible to task a counter-expertise on the basis of the report, as it stands ?” is a “make or break” for the specialist report. Seven cases, in which the care of children is a topic, were analysed and the results plotted
In one case ( G04 ) there was a surpise score of 95% of the total points awarded.  This was a psychiatric report from the University Clinic of Tübingen ( Prof. Günter Klosinski and Dr. M. Clauß)  and it was all the more surprising because it is the best report seen in 6 years from any branch. It is hardly surprising that this report could be classified as “Credible”.  In the other six cases, the news was not so good, however: they exhibited most of the defects of all expert reports in Germany. One can only describe the standard of workmanship as utterly appalling. None of the reports ( G01-G07 ) with the exception of G04 could be classified as in any way credible. Furthermore, with the maximum score of 20% there is every reason to also gravely doubt the standards of specialist workmanship.
The judicial Procedure
The justice system in Germany has grave problems dating back to at least 1924. It is not the purpose of this paper to discuss all its defects – just enough to show it up as a flawed system.  A major credibility deficit is caused by the lack of separation of the judicative and the executive in Germany.
Judiciaries for the higher courts are chosen by political quotas. The vast majority of these judiciaries are card-carrying members of the political parties and many take part in active politics.  Active pursuance of commercial interests over and above the usual publication royalties is allowed, even encouraged. Poignant is the fact that Youth Committees boast a high proportion of court judges in their membership.  In short, it is a system just begging to be corrupted. For just a fraction of the transgressions a judiciary in Ireland or Britain would face instant dismissal.
On 14.10.2004 the Constitutional Court abrogated the Treaty Article covering the binding nature of the decisions of the  European Court of Human Rights [5]. Whilst German Judiciaries have never observed the Convention in practice, other than by accident, this declaration will make it easier to press for sanctions against Germany and to isolate her as a renegade state.
None of the reports could be classified as “Credible”. In all cases there was no reference to any lists of experts, so that it was not clear how or why (what qualifications and experience were needed) the expert was selected. In general no deadline for the delivery of the report was given. Only vague references or none at all to the regulations to be applied to the report were made. There were no supervisory check-marks laid down and in particular there were no acceptance tests defined. In all it is only possible to say that German judiciaries do not know how to task expert evidence. ( It is ironic that the same breed of people are sitting in judgement on contractual matters ).
It appears that the main aim of the exercise is to provide alibis for the court and for the Youth Services. The reports themselves, except for G04, bear all the hallmarks of  “desired result” expert evidence.
Apart form these pieces of expert evidence, the lack of professional competence is  also evident in the court judgements. (At present an evaluation scheme for court judgements is under development) At present, it can be said these court documents in Germany are mostly vague and lacking in the essential formalities. A common defect in civil cases is the apparent absence of an application, which would be essential to constitute a court at all. For criminal cases such student mistakes as the statement “The police thought … “ are very common. Evidence is introduced in the judgements, without any indication as where it came from. If there are cross-references, they are not summarized, so that a file can disappear at a later date ( and they frequently do) and nobody will be able to reconstruct the reasoning behind the judgement. German judiciaries as a general rule do not know the difference between facts, rationale and deduction. They lump everything together under the heading “Gründe” (grounds). The Work Quality seems to improve with increased notoriety of the accused. Ironically, therefore, top terrorists are more likely to receive a fair hearing ( as fair as can be in Germany, with her flawed Rules of Procedure ) than any normal person.
Anyone thinking that there must be national laws against perversion of justice is right: there are such laws. However, these are hardly ever applied, so that perversion of justice is  the perfect crime in Germany.
The Inducement of Financial Hardship
In 19th Century Britain, it was not necessary to artificially induce financial hardship on the parents to get their children, because poverty was sufficiently widespread for this purpose. In 21st Century Germany this is not the case, so a war of attrition has to be conducted against the selected parents, so that their children can be taken away from them.
The use of financial pressure as a weapon is well known (LLAMS-Model). This weapon has been systematically applied against the Himmel Family, living in Kornwestheim ( Baden-Württemberg, S. Germany )  for 13 years to try to get their son and daughter away from them. Rolf Himmel is an Undertaker and Regina Himmel is a part-time administrative assistant, who at the moment is not working because of the necessity to take defensive measures against the Youth Organization. They adopted the children (twins) in Poland in July 1994 at the age of two, and gave them an excellent home, with all the attention that they needed.
Although the Youth Office had accused the parents of an infringement of German adoption procedures, the adoption had been perfectly legal under polish law. Immediately on the couple’s return to Germany with the children, the Youth Office in Ludwigsburg accused the couple of buying the children. The purchase of children, may well be one of the “customs” in the structures around the Youth Offices of Germany but certainly not in a regular polish home for children, where the adoption had taken place. The Youth Office subsequently tried to allocate the children to another German family through the polish courts and finally tried to annul the adoption through the Polish High Court. They failed on both counts, but not before the Himmel family had paid a lot of money for polish attorneys for the legal battle.  In particular, on their own initiative, they obtained certificates from doctors,  psychiatrists and psychologists to counter the untruthful inputs from the District Administration in Ludwigsburg to the polish courts.
The District Administration Ludwigsburg has since taken Rolf and Regina Himmel through the whole gamut of persecution listed under “How it Works”.  Because of this, they have been forced into the permanent defensive. They have learned the major behaviour patterns of the Youth Service. For example, as soon as a child injures itself, be it in the school or in the home, they obtain an independent medical certificate to prove that they did not mistreat the child. Hardly a day goes by without some form of threat from the Youth Service. This of course has an economic effect on the parents, because while they are being kept busy by the District Administration in Ludwigsburg there is a net loss of working hours.
Sandra developed a school phobia and started running away from school. The District Administration used this golden opportunity and committed her to the closed section of the child psychiatry of the St. Lucas Clinic in the Catholic Liebenau Trust ( see below ). She was transferred after three months in June 2007 to the Evangelical Children’s home in Herzogsägmühle, from where she escaped ( she has not yet, at the time of writing, been found). The District Administration in Ludwigsburg, which now has the custody of Sandra, are now taking action to deduct a proportion of the costs of this incarceration (€4.000 ) from Rolf Himmel’s salary as an undertaker. He will not  be able to withstand that kind of economic squeezing.
Allegations of Parental Incompetence
Parental incompetence was certainly not a factor in 19th Century Britain for child trafficking. Poverty saw to that. In 21st Century Germany however, it is easy to allege – and just as easy for German courts not to ask what is behind the allegations. Gossip is always right for a hearing in Germany – if it comes from the ‘right’ side.
On the subject of incompetence, it should be borne in mind that the campaign against the Haase Family started with an expert evidence report. This report was also evaluated ( Fig. 2 – G05). It had the appearance of a good report at first sight, but on closer examination it was found to be a prefabricated cutting and pasting exercise, in which nothing fitted together. There was no adequate explanation of the methods used. There is an unnumbered bibliography for example, which is largely unused in the report and where it is cross-referenced, it is not clear why. There is mention of a questionnaire which was supposed to have been completed and signed by the mother. However, the specialist refers to it occasionally but did not include it in the report. The mother denies ever filling in such a questionnaire.  The fact that the specialist did not include the questionnaire in the report would tend to confirm this. It was only possible to award 20% of the marks to this report, making it the “best of the bad ones”. Because there were so many mistakes and omissions, it was not possible to classify the report as in any way “Credible”.
It is clear, also from the results of the other reports that, save for one case, the specialists were all massively incompetent. That these so-called experts should be assessing the parents’ competence just beggars belief. These reports also indicate what degree of competence is prevalent in the courts.
Induced psychiatric Problems
This section should not be confused with the entry in the list of allegations. This section is a measure of the psychological terror perpetrated against parents, in the hope that they will become psychiatric cases or commit suicide.
In 19th century there was certainly the same anomaly, some of it may have been deliberate and some of it caused by poverty.
In 1805 when Samuel Davy was seven years of age he was sent from the workhouse in Southwark in London to Mr. Watson’s Mill at Penny Dam near Preston. Later his brother was also sent to work in a mill. The parents did not know where Samuel and his brother were. The loss of her children, so preyed on the mind of Samuel’s mother that it brought on insanity, and she died in a state of madness.
This unfortunate woman must have felt bad enough but in 21st Century Germany they do the job much more thoroughly.
The Haase Family:
As Cornelia Haase was burying her daughter Lisa in January this year she said to SAM Television “I feel as though I am in a deep black hole” and explained how she felt. The Youth Office used this as an opportunity to taunt her with a renewed psychological attack. They wrote to the family court  saying,
“The psychic condition of Mrs. Haase gives rise to concern. It raises questions about her ability to be able to care adequately for her three daughters”
It should be said that Germany was roundly condemned by the European Court of Human Rights for its illegal actions against the Haase Family and was ordered to return the children. Of the seven children taken into care on the basis of an amateurish and highly defective report, only two have been returned. One has died.
The Himmel Family:
The Himmel Family was not in principle treated any differently: In the presence of a witness, they were told by the District Administration Office that they would never see their daughter again. In the closed section of the Catholic St. Lucas Clinic daughter Sandra was forcibly pumped with psycho drugs and locked up for 5 hours a day. At the Evangelical children’s home in Herzogsägmühle Sandra was told that she would never return home again and that her parents would give her up. All the abuses against the Himmel Family cannot be discussed here but a separate report has gone to some non-German members of the European Parliament.
Combinations of Measures
The Haase Family:
It is not necessary for the authorities to select just any one  measure from “How it works”, they can use any combination of measures as described in the LLAMS-Model up to a Total Sociological Attack (TSA).
The Haase Family lost 7 of their children in 2002 to the whims of a totally incompetent Youth Office and based on a thoroughly  amateurish expert evidence report ( Fig. 2 – G05). One of the children was confiscated at the hospital soon after birth.  It stands to reason that any court capable of accepting such  expert evidence quality, also puts the competence of its judiciaries and all the higher instances, that were called up, into question.
The perversions stretched to telling one of the trafficked children, that the parents were dead. This surpasses even what the Evangelical Children’s Home at Herzogsägmühle  told Sandra Himmel, i.e. that she would never return home and that her parents would abandon her.
The war of attrition against the Haase Family is perhaps the worst case of its kind in Germany, if not the whole of Europe. To go into all the details of this piece of savagery would be outside the scope of this paper (there is, however, much material on the Internet, in German [6] )  It would nevertheless be appropriate to look at an invoice for €1.423,26 which the Haase Family received from the City of Münster. That is a lot of money for a family in their situation.
Fig. 6. The Bill for Daughter Lisa’s Funeral sent to Cornelia Haase by the City of Münster, although she did not have custody of the child. Picture by courtesy of SAM the television channel.
Lisa took the break up of her family by the Youth Service hard followed by three years as the inmate of a children’s home, had left their mark. Lisa died in December 2006, they say of an acute Lung infection. However, the family doctor, with some logic, does not believe this. She had previously made two suicide attempts.
There are gruesome historical parallels to this, as reflected in Fig. 7.
Fig. 7 The Bill for the Execution of Journalist Erich Knauf which was sent to his Widow immediately afterwards. His ‘Crime’ had been to crack Hitler-Jokes in an Air-Raid Shelter.
The two invoices ( Figs 6 & 7 ) are separated in time by 63 years. The reader is left to contemplate the depths of barbarism to which the German official mentality is prepared to sink. This mentality does not reflect the spirit of the World Cup 2006, it is rather one of many Monsters that outlived the 1000 year Reich, and is still on the rampage.
Digressing slightly on the subject of Hitler Jokes:  German officials still protect themselves from criticism, publicity and insult by applying their infantile laws against insult and defamation – despite OSCE demands for their abolition. Not only is Germany retaining these ridiculous laws from the age of the monocle and duelling, she is, with approaching 180.000 cases per year, statistically at the top of Europe. The figure represents nearly 20% of all criminal cases. This fact, together with the numerous side jobs of German judiciaries, indicates drastic underemployment in the courts at the cost of the taxpayer.
Human Rights: the International Repercussions
Some Statistics
It is clear that Germany is a renegade state, which does not accept or observe the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. Her abrogation of the article in the treaty is official confirmation of this. The fact that she violates human rights in an exceptionally grave way is illustrated not only in this paper but also in the following statistics:
Fig 8. The Human Rights Statistics
Although Germany does not publish any statistics on  her human rights violations – not surprisingly –  some of these have been measured by the NGOs [7]. The offenses against Art. 6 of the convention on human rights have been  recorded in a data base. Because every process , that we have seen,  contains systematic violations of human rights, it was decided to produce a plot of the ‘pollution’ of each hearing by offenses against Article 6, otherwise there would just be a saturation of the data.  Not altogether surprising is that offenses against Art 6-1 ( fair hearing etc. ) occur most frequently. Whilst it would be appropriate  to measure this ‘pollution’ on an annual basis –  to show trends, leading hopefully to zero in a few years -, there is not yet  enough data to support this. At present there are only about 70 cases recorded.
It can be assumed the human rights violations would have been massive in 19th  Century Britain, there is, however, no sensible way of measuring them.
It is clear that state, which thumbs its nose at the convention is no partner for the EU. For that reason we are producing a basis for pressing for EU- and OSCE-Sanctions against Germany e.g. exclusion from  international human rights councils. The decisions of the family courts will need to have international restrictions imposed on their international acceptance, because such  decisions can only be classed as “unsafe and unsound”.
The Conclusion
Whether the German Youth Service backed up by the Justice actually does the right thing on occasions is unknown. That is the classic problem of the disingenuous – Nobody will believe them, even on the occasions when they are telling the truth. The huge defects in the system and the its eminent lack of professional competence suggest that this would otherwise be a matter of pure chance.
It is clear that Germany is, as far as the care of children goes, comparable with Britain in the latter half of Industrial Revolution. In other words there is a progress deficit of about 170 – 200 years in the attitudes to parents and their children in Germany. The primeval behaviour of the Youth Organizations would mean that there is an additional excursion backwards well beyond the 170-200 year point.  There are some very sick people in the Youth Offices, and there are quite a lot of social misfits who, thanks both to the lack of supervision in Germany and the lack of training, do not get discovered   On this point, the “viciousness factor”, the comparison with 19th Century Britain is redundant. In Britain of the 19th Century, there existed at least economic factors as an excuse for the excesses.
Although on an international basis, corruptibility would not necessarily mean that corruption is present in the system. In Germany, however, it must be assumed that there is a maximum of corruption present, mainly because the state organizations have an extraordinarily high corruptibility factor, due to the universal lack of supervision and the eminent lack of judicial independence in a broken-down justice system.
The international acceptance of the decisions of Germany’s  family  courts will have to be suspended until such time as Germany can guarantee human rights, proper supervision of departments, proper training of specialists as well as  judicial independence in her courts.
Peter Briody
“institut voigt”
18.11.2007
SkyPe:  “institutvoigt”
Tel:   07545 941980
Fax:  07545 941981
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The War of Attrition against Parents
How it Works
Child Trafficking is made possible, mostly as a result of the following procedures: ·        A process of selection.·        Allegations against the parents mostly:o       Allegations that either the parents or the child or all parties have psychiatric problems.o       Allegations of mistreatment or abuse of the children.o       Allegations of parental incompetence.o       Allegations of neglect.·        “Expert Evidence” on the family circumstances can easily be produced.·        Some form of judicial procedure.·        Inducement of financial hardship.·        Induced psychiatric problems·        Any Combination of the above measures. The Selection
In 19th Century Britain, it was largely the economic factors which gave rise to child trafficking. Children were forced into workhouses or pauper orphanages. From there,  assuming that they had reached the required ages and were healthy enough,  they were sold to industry. The selection process in 21stCentury Germany is based on conspicuousness: Anything which the Youth Organization can latch onto is part of the process: It may start with an application for assistance from a mother with a large family, a school report, a child with bruises or anything similar.    A system of checking for child maltreatment or abuse was introduced in Germany earlier this year and consists of compulsory periodic medical tests on all children up to a certain age. One might think that this would largely protect also the parents from the allegations of the local Youth Service. However, looking at the list of known measures available to German authorities under “How it Works”, this would only solve a small part of the problem.     The Allegations against the Parents
In 19th Century Britain, it was not necessary to make allegations against the parents, because there was a ready source of labor already in the institutions. The only theoretically possible allegation against the parents would have been, that they were poor.     In 21st Century Germany, it is necessary to make allegations against the parents. Anything in the list, which would put their fitness to raise children in doubt, will do. Most Youth Services produce vague allegations, wild suppositions or concocted lies, which are subsequently used to discredit the parents. Such “evidence” is all accepted by the family courts –  even if they know that the Youth Workers are perjuring themselves. Expert Evidence
In 19th Century Britain there was a contractual examination of the candidate child at the time of sale, to establish his or her fitness for hard labor. If the child met with an industrial accident or died, there were plenty more replacements available.     In 21st Century Germany, it is usually necessary to recruit a specialist from the “usual sources” and ask him or her to produce the “right kind” of report. The usual sources will be the structures surrounding the Youth Service. The specialist will, in all but exceptional cases, be a psychologist or a psychiatrist.   The competence of these experts can be simply determined.  A questionnaire ( F2010P [4] ) was created, containing simple questions ranging from the important “did the specialist understand the tasking ?” to the trivial such as “did the specialist number the pages of the report ?”.  The analysis does not make the mistake of including specialist topics in the questionnaire, which would give rise to discussions. The requirements are, that the specialist clearly declares the state of the art, the methods applied and the reference works used for his or her report. The additional question “was the report credible or not ?” has to be answered by aggregating the answers to the important questions. This does not answer the question “was the report right or wrong ?”. It could be that asking a specialist, who had written a muddled report, to repeat his work would produce a satisfactory conclusion. The courts in Germany are apparently not in a position to exercise this supervisory task. A vast accumulation of mistakes in the report would, in any case, preclude this. The other important question is “would it be possible to task a counter-expertise on the basis of the report, as it stands ?” is a “make or break” for the specialist report. Seven cases, in which the care of children is a topic, were analysed and the results plotted

In one case ( G04 ) there was a surpise score of 95% of the total points awarded.  This was a psychiatric report from the University Clinic of Tübingen ( Prof. Günter Klosinski and Dr. M. Clauß)  and it was all the more surprising because it is the best report seen in 6 years from any branch. It is hardly surprising that this report could be classified as “Credible”.  In the other six cases, the news was not so good, however: they exhibited most of the defects of all expert reports in Germany. One can only describe the standard of workmanship as utterly appalling. None of the reports ( G01-G07 ) with the exception of G04 could be classified as in any way credible. Furthermore, with the maximum score of 20% there is every reason to also gravely doubt the standards of specialist workmanship. The judicial Procedure
The justice system in Germany has grave problems dating back to at least 1924. It is not the purpose of this paper to discuss all its defects – just enough to show it up as a flawed system.  A major credibility deficit is caused by the lack of separation of the judicative and the executive in Germany.   Judiciaries for the higher courts are chosen by political quotas. The vast majority of these judiciaries are card-carrying members of the political parties and many take part in active politics.  Active pursuance of commercial interests over and above the usual publication royalties is allowed, even encouraged. Poignant is the fact that Youth Committees boast a high proportion of court judges in their membership.  In short, it is a system just begging to be corrupted. For just a fraction of the transgressions a judiciary in Ireland or Britain would face instant dismissal. On 14.10.2004 the Constitutional Court abrogated the Treaty Article covering the binding nature of the decisions of the  European Court of Human Rights [5]. Whilst German Judiciaries have never observed the Convention in practice, other than by accident, this declaration will make it easier to press for sanctions against Germany and to isolate her as a renegade state.
None of the reports could be classified as “Credible”. In all cases there was no reference to any lists of experts, so that it was not clear how or why (what qualifications and experience were needed) the expert was selected. In general no deadline for the delivery of the report was given. Only vague references or none at all to the regulations to be applied to the report were made. There were no supervisory check-marks laid down and in particular there were no acceptance tests defined. In all it is only possible to say that German judiciaries do not know how to task expert evidence. ( It is ironic that the same breed of people are sitting in judgement on contractual matters ).  It appears that the main aim of the exercise is to provide alibis for the court and for the Youth Services. The reports themselves, except for G04, bear all the hallmarks of  “desired result” expert evidence. Apart form these pieces of expert evidence, the lack of professional competence is  also evident in the court judgements. (At present an evaluation scheme for court judgements is under development) At present, it can be said these court documents in Germany are mostly vague and lacking in the essential formalities. A common defect in civil cases is the apparent absence of an application, which would be essential to constitute a court at all. For criminal cases such student mistakes as the statement “The police thought … “ are very common. Evidence is introduced in the judgements, without any indication as where it came from. If there are cross-references, they are not summarized, so that a file can disappear at a later date ( and they frequently do) and nobody will be able to reconstruct the reasoning behind the judgement. German judiciaries as a general rule do not know the difference between facts, rationale and deduction. They lump everything together under the heading “Gründe” (grounds). The Work Quality seems to improve with increased notoriety of the accused. Ironically, therefore, top terrorists are more likely to receive a fair hearing ( as fair as can be in Germany, with her flawed Rules of Procedure ) than any normal person.    Anyone thinking that there must be national laws against perversion of justice is right: there are such laws. However, these are hardly ever applied, so that perversion of justice is  the perfect crime in Germany. The Inducement of Financial Hardship
In 19th Century Britain, it was not necessary to artificially induce financial hardship on the parents to get their children, because poverty was sufficiently widespread for this purpose. In 21st Century Germany this is not the case, so a war of attrition has to be conducted against the selected parents, so that their children can be taken away from them. The use of financial pressure as a weapon is well known (LLAMS-Model). This weapon has been systematically applied against the Himmel Family, living in Kornwestheim ( Baden-Württemberg, S. Germany )  for 13 years to try to get their son and daughter away from them. Rolf Himmel is an Undertaker and Regina Himmel is a part-time administrative assistant, who at the moment is not working because of the necessity to take defensive measures against the Youth Organization. They adopted the children (twins) in Poland in July 1994 at the age of two, and gave them an excellent home, with all the attention that they needed.

Although the Youth Office had accused the parents of an infringement of German adoption procedures, the adoption had been perfectly legal under polish law. Immediately on the couple’s return to Germany with the children, the Youth Office in Ludwigsburg accused the couple of buying the children. The purchase of children, may well be one of the “customs” in the structures around the Youth Offices of Germany but certainly not in a regular polish home for children, where the adoption had taken place. The Youth Office subsequently tried to allocate the children to another German family through the polish courts and finally tried to annul the adoption through the Polish High Court. They failed on both counts, but not before the Himmel family had paid a lot of money for polish attorneys for the legal battle.  In particular, on their own initiative, they obtained certificates from doctors,  psychiatrists and psychologists to counter the untruthful inputs from the District Administration in Ludwigsburg to the polish courts. The District Administration Ludwigsburg has since taken Rolf and Regina Himmel through the whole gamut of persecution listed under “How it Works”.  Because of this, they have been forced into the permanent defensive. They have learned the major behaviour patterns of the Youth Service. For example, as soon as a child injures itself, be it in the school or in the home, they obtain an independent medical certificate to prove that they did not mistreat the child. Hardly a day goes by without some form of threat from the Youth Service. This of course has an economic effect on the parents, because while they are being kept busy by the District Administration in Ludwigsburg there is a net loss of working hours. Sandra developed a school phobia and started running away from school. The District Administration used this golden opportunity and committed her to the closed section of the child psychiatry of the St. Lucas Clinic in the Catholic Liebenau Trust ( see below ). She was transferred after three months in June 2007 to the Evangelical Children’s home in Herzogsägmühle, from where she escaped ( she has not yet, at the time of writing, been found). The District Administration in Ludwigsburg, which now has the custody of Sandra, are now taking action to deduct a proportion of the costs of this incarceration (€4.000 ) from Rolf Himmel’s salary as an undertaker. He will not  be able to withstand that kind of economic squeezing. Allegations of Parental Incompetence
Parental incompetence was certainly not a factor in 19th Century Britain for child trafficking. Poverty saw to that. In 21st Century Germany however, it is easy to allege – and just as easy for German courts not to ask what is behind the allegations. Gossip is always right for a hearing in Germany – if it comes from the ‘right’ side.
On the subject of incompetence, it should be borne in mind that the campaign against the Haase Family started with an expert evidence report. This report was also evaluated ( Fig. 2 – G05). It had the appearance of a good report at first sight, but on closer examination it was found to be a prefabricated cutting and pasting exercise, in which nothing fitted together. There was no adequate explanation of the methods used. There is an unnumbered bibliography for example, which is largely unused in the report and where it is cross-referenced, it is not clear why. There is mention of a questionnaire which was supposed to have been completed and signed by the mother. However, the specialist refers to it occasionally but did not include it in the report. The mother denies ever filling in such a questionnaire.  The fact that the specialist did not include the questionnaire in the report would tend to confirm this. It was only possible to award 20% of the marks to this report, making it the “best of the bad ones”. Because there were so many mistakes and omissions, it was not possible to classify the report as in any way “Credible”.
It is clear, also from the results of the other reports that, save for one case, the specialists were all massively incompetent. That these so-called experts should be assessing the parents’ competence just beggars belief. These reports also indicate what degree of competence is prevalent in the courts.
Induced psychiatric Problems
This section should not be confused with the entry in the list of allegations. This section is a measure of the psychological terror perpetrated against parents, in the hope that they will become psychiatric cases or commit suicide.
In 19th century there was certainly the same anomaly, some of it may have been deliberate and some of it caused by poverty.
In 1805 when Samuel Davy was seven years of age he was sent from the workhouse in Southwark in London to Mr. Watson’s Mill at Penny Dam near Preston. Later his brother was also sent to work in a mill. The parents did not know where Samuel and his brother were. The loss of her children, so preyed on the mind of Samuel’s mother that it brought on insanity, and she died in a state of madness.
This unfortunate woman must have felt bad enough but in 21st Century Germany they do the job much more thoroughly.
The Haase Family:
As Cornelia Haase was burying her daughter Lisa in January this year she said to SAM Television “I feel as though I am in a deep black hole” and explained how she felt. The Youth Office used this as an opportunity to taunt her with a renewed psychological attack. They wrote to the family court  saying,
“The psychic condition of Mrs. Haase gives rise to concern. It raises questions about her ability to be able to care adequately for her three daughters”
It should be said that Germany was roundly condemned by the European Court of Human Rights for its illegal actions against the Haase Family and was ordered to return the children. Of the seven children taken into care on the basis of an amateurish and highly defective report, only two have been returned. One has died.
The Himmel Family:
The Himmel Family was not in principle treated any differently: In the presence of a witness, they were told by the District Administration Office that they would never see their daughter again. In the closed section of the Catholic St. Lucas Clinic daughter Sandra was forcibly pumped with psycho drugs and locked up for 5 hours a day. At the Evangelical children’s home in Herzogsägmühle Sandra was told that she would never return home again and that her parents would give her up. All the abuses against the Himmel Family cannot be discussed here but a separate report has gone to some non-German members of the European Parliament.
Combinations of Measures
The Haase Family:
It is not necessary for the authorities to select just any one  measure from “How it works”, they can use any combination of measures as described in the LLAMS-Model up to a Total Sociological Attack (TSA).
The Haase Family lost 7 of their children in 2002 to the whims of a totally incompetent Youth Office and based on a thoroughly  amateurish expert evidence report ( Fig. 2 – G05). One of the children was confiscated at the hospital soon after birth.  It stands to reason that any court capable of accepting such  expert evidence quality, also puts the competence of its judiciaries and all the higher instances, that were called up, into question.
The perversions stretched to telling one of the trafficked children, that the parents were dead. This surpasses even what the Evangelical Children’s Home at Herzogsägmühle  told Sandra Himmel, i.e. that she would never return home and that her parents would abandon her.
The war of attrition against the Haase Family is perhaps the worst case of its kind in Germany, if not the whole of Europe. To go into all the details of this piece of savagery would be outside the scope of this paper (there is, however, much material on the Internet, in German [6] )  It would nevertheless be appropriate to look at an invoice for €1.423,26 which the Haase Family received from the City of Münster. That is a lot of money for a family in their situation.

Fig. 6. The Bill for Daughter Lisa’s Funeral sent to Cornelia Haase by the City of Münster, although she did not have custody of the child. Picture by courtesy of SAM the television channel.
Lisa took the break up of her family by the Youth Service hard followed by three years as the inmate of a children’s home, had left their mark. Lisa died in December 2006, they say of an acute Lung infection. However, the family doctor, with some logic, does not believe this. She had previously made two suicide attempts.
There are gruesome historical parallels to this, as reflected in Fig. 7.

Fig. 7 The Bill for the Execution of Journalist Erich Knauf which was sent to his Widow immediately afterwards. His ‘Crime’ had been to crack Hitler-Jokes in an Air-Raid Shelter.
The two invoices ( Figs 6 & 7 ) are separated in time by 63 years. The reader is left to contemplate the depths of barbarism to which the German official mentality is prepared to sink. This mentality does not reflect the spirit of the World Cup 2006, it is rather one of many Monsters that outlived the 1000 year Reich, and is still on the rampage.
Digressing slightly on the subject of Hitler Jokes:  German officials still protect themselves from criticism, publicity and insult by applying their infantile laws against insult and defamation – despite OSCE demands for their abolition. Not only is Germany retaining these ridiculous laws from the age of the monocle and duelling, she is, with approaching 180.000 cases per year, statistically at the top of Europe. The figure represents nearly 20% of all criminal cases. This fact, together with the numerous side jobs of German judiciaries, indicates drastic underemployment in the courts at the cost of the taxpayer.
Human Rights: the International Repercussions
Some Statistics
It is clear that Germany is a renegade state, which does not accept or observe the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. Her abrogation of the article in the treaty is official confirmation of this. The fact that she violates human rights in an exceptionally grave way is illustrated not only in this paper but also in the following statistics:

Fig 8. The Human Rights Statistics
Although Germany does not publish any statistics on  her human rights violations – not surprisingly –  some of these have been measured by the NGOs [7]. The offenses against Art. 6 of the convention on human rights have been  recorded in a data base. Because every process , that we have seen,  contains systematic violations of human rights, it was decided to produce a plot of the ‘pollution’ of each hearing by offenses against Article 6, otherwise there would just be a saturation of the data.  Not altogether surprising is that offenses against Art 6-1 ( fair hearing etc. ) occur most frequently. Whilst it would be appropriate  to measure this ‘pollution’ on an annual basis –  to show trends, leading hopefully to zero in a few years -, there is not yet  enough data to support this. At present there are only about 70 cases recorded.
It can be assumed the human rights violations would have been massive in 19th  Century Britain, there is, however, no sensible way of measuring them.
It is clear that state, which thumbs its nose at the convention is no partner for the EU. For that reason we are producing a basis for pressing for EU- and OSCE-Sanctions against Germany e.g. exclusion from  international human rights councils. The decisions of the family courts will need to have international restrictions imposed on their international acceptance, because such  decisions can only be classed as “unsafe and unsound”.    The Conclusion
Whether the German Youth Service backed up by the Justice actually does the right thing on occasions is unknown. That is the classic problem of the disingenuous – Nobody will believe them, even on the occasions when they are telling the truth. The huge defects in the system and the its eminent lack of professional competence suggest that this would otherwise be a matter of pure chance.It is clear that Germany is, as far as the care of children goes, comparable with Britain in the latter half of Industrial Revolution. In other words there is a progress deficit of about 170 – 200 years in the attitudes to parents and their children in Germany. The primeval behaviour of the Youth Organizations would mean that there is an additional excursion backwards well beyond the 170-200 year point.  There are some very sick people in the Youth Offices, and there are quite a lot of social misfits who, thanks both to the lack of supervision in Germany and the lack of training, do not get discovered   On this point, the “viciousness factor”, the comparison with 19th Century Britain is redundant. In Britain of the 19th Century, there existed at least economic factors as an excuse for the excesses.
Although on an international basis, corruptibility would not necessarily mean that corruption is present in the system. In Germany, however, it must be assumed that there is a maximum of corruption present, mainly because the state organizations have an extraordinarily high corruptibility factor, due to the universal lack of supervision and the eminent lack of judicial independence in a broken-down justice system.
The international acceptance of the decisions of Germany’s  family  courts will have to be suspended until such time as Germany can guarantee human rights, proper supervision of departments, proper training of specialists as well as  judicial independence in her courts.

Peter Briody
“institut voigt”
18.11.2007
SkyPe:  “institutvoigt”Tel:   07545 941980Fax:  07545 941981email: briody@eucars.dewebsite: http://www.eucars.dePublic key: Auf Anfrage

http://www.eucars.de/Articles/ChildTraff/ChildTrafficking.html

Maternal Deprivation and Attatchment Theory

Bowlby Child Development

john bowlbyJohn Bowlby was a psychoanalyst (like Freud) and believed that mental health and behavioural problems could be attributed to early childhood. Bowlby’s evolutionary theory of attachment suggests that children come into the world biologically pre-programmed to form attachments with others, because this will help them to survive.

Bowlby was very much influenced by ethological theory in general, but especially by Lorenz’s (1935) study of imprinting. Lornez showed that attachment was innate (in young ducklings) and therefore has a survival value.

Bowlby believed that attachment behaviours are instinctive and will be activated by any conditions that seem to threaten the achievement of proximity, such as separation, insecurity and fear.

Bowlby (1969, 1988) also postulated that the fear of strangers represents an important survival mechanism, built in by nature. Babies are born with the tendency to display certain innate behaviours (called social releasers) which help ensure proximity and contact with the mother or mother figure (e.g. crying, smiling, crawling, etc.) – these are species-specific behaviours.

During the evolution of the human species, it would have been the babies who stayed close to their mothers who would have survived to have children of their own and Bowlby hypothesised that both infants and mothers have evolved a biological need to stay in contact with each other. These attachment behaviours initially function like fixed action patterns and all share the same function. The infant produces innate ‘social releaser’ behaviours such as crying and smiling that stimulate caregiving from adults. The determinant of attachment is not food but care and responsiveness. Bowlby suggested that a child would initially form only one attachment and that the attachment figure acted as a secure base for exploring the world. The attachment relationship acts as a prototype for all future social relationships so disrupting it can have severe consequences.

The Main Points of Bowlby’s Attachment Theory:


1A child has an innate (i.e. inborn) need to attach to one main attachment figure (i.emonotropy).

Although Bowlby did not rule out the possibility of other attachment figures for a child, he did believe that there should be a primary bond which was much more important than any other (usually the mother).

Bowlby believes that this attachment is different in kind (qualitatively different) from any subsequent attachments. Bowlby argues that the relationship with the mother is somehow different altogether from other relationships.

Essentially, Bowlby suggested that the nature of monotropy (attachment conceptualised as being a vital and close bond with just one attachment figure) meant that a failure to initiate, or a breakdown of, the maternal attachment would lead to serious negative consequences, possibly including affectionless psychopathy. Bowlby’s theory of monotropy led to the formulation of his maternal deprivation hypothesis.


2A child should receive the continuous care of this single most important attachment figure for approximately the first two years of life.

Bowlby (1951) claimed that mothering is almost useless if delayed until after two and a half to three years and, for most children, if delayed till after 12 months, i.e. there is a critical period.

If the attachment figure is broken or disrupted during the critical two year period the child will suffer irreversible long-term consequences of this maternal deprivation. This risks continues until the age of 5.

Bowlby used the term maternal deprivation to refer to the separation or loss of the mother as well as failure to develop an attachment.

The underlying assumption of Bowlby’s Maternal Deprivation Hypothesis is that continual disruption of the attachment between infant and primary caregiver (i.e. mother) could result in long term cognitive, social, and emotional difficulties for that infant. The implications of this are vast – if this is true, should the primary caregiver leave their child in day care, whilst they continue to work?


3. The long term consequences of maternal deprivation might include the following:

• delinquency,

• reduced intelligence,

• increased aggression,

• depression,

• affectionless psychopathy

Affectionless psychopathy is an inability show affection or concern for others. Such of individuals act on impulse with little regard for the consequences of their actions. For example, showing no guilt for antisocial behaviour.


44 Thieves Study (Bowlby, 1944)

John Bowlby believed that the relationship between the infant and its mother during the first five years of life was most crucial to socialisation. He believed that disruption of this primary relationship could lead to a higher incidence of juvenile delinquency, emotional difficulties and antisocial behaviour. To support his hypothesis, he studied 44 adolescent juvenile delinquents in a child guidance clinic.

Aim: To investigate the effects of maternal deprivation on people in order to see whether delinquents have suffered deprivation. According to the Maternal Deprivation Hypothesis, breaking the maternal bond with the child during the early stages of its life is likely to have serious effects on its intellectual, social and emotional development.

Procedure: Bowlby interviewed 44 adolescents who were referred to a child protection program in London because of stealing- i.e. they were thieves. Bowlby selected another group of 44 children to act as ‘controls’. N.b. controls: individuals referred to clinic because of emotional problems, but not yet committed any crimes. He interviewed the parents from both groups to state whether their children had experienced separation during the critical period and for how long.

bowlby 44 thieves graph resultsFindings: More than half of the juvenile thieves had been separated from their mothers for longer than six months during their first five years. In the control group only two had had such a separation. He also found several of the young thieves (32%) showed ‘affectionless psychopathy’ (they were not able to care about or feel affection for others). None of the control group were affectionless psychopaths.

In a later paper, he reported that 60 children who had spent time apart from their mothers in a tuberculosis sanatorium before the age of 4 showed lower achievement in school.

Conclusion: Affectionless psychopaths show little concern for others and are unable to form relationships. Bowlby concluded that the reason for the anti-social behaviour and emotional problems in the first group was due to maternal deprivation.

Evaluation: The supporting evidence that Bowlby (1944) provided was in the form of clinical interviews of, and retrospective data on, those who had and had not been separated from their primary caregiver.

This meant that Bowlby was asking the participants to look back and recall separations. These memories may not be accurate. Bowlby designed and conducted the experiment himself. This may have lead to experimenter bias. Particularly as he was responsible for making the diagnosis of affectionless psychopathy.


Evaluation of Bowlby’s (1946, 1956) Attachment Theory

Bowlby’s ideas had a great influence on the way researchers thought about attachment and much of the discussion of his theory has focused on his belief in monotropy.

Although Bowlby may not dispute that young children form multiple attachments, he still contends that the attachment to the mother is unique in that it is the first to appear and remains the strongest of all. However, on both of these counts, the evidence seems to suggest otherwise.

  • Schaffer & Emerson (1964) noted that specific attachments started at about 8 months and, very shortly thereafter, the infants became attached to other people. By 18 months very few (13%) were attached to only one person; some had five or more attachments.
  • Rutter (1981) points out that several indicators of attachment (such as protest or distress when attached person leaves) has been shown for a variety of attachment figures – fathers, siblings, peers and even inanimate objects.

Critics such as Rutter have also accused Bowlby of not distinguishing between deprivation and privation – the complete lack of an attachment bond, rather than its loss. Rutter stresses that the quality of the attachment bond is the most important factor, rather than just deprivation in the critical period.

Another criticism of 44 Thieves Study as that it concluded that affectionless psychopathy was caused by maternal deprivation. This is correlational data and as such only shows a relationship between these two variables. Indeed, other external variables, such as diet, parental income, education etc. may have affected the behaviour of the 44 thieves, and not, as concluded, the disruption of the attachment bond.

Bowlby’s Maternal Deprivation is however, supported Harlow’s research with monkeys. He showed that monkeys reared in isolation from their mother suffered emotional and social problems in older age. The monkey’s never formed an attachment (privation) and as such grew up to be aggressive and had problems interacting with other monkeys.

Konrad Lorenz (1935) supports Bowlby’s maternal deprivation hypothesis as the attachment process of imprinting is an innate process.

There are implications arising from Bowlby’s work. As he believed the mother to be the most central care giver and that this care should be given on a continuous basis an obvious implication is that mothers should not go out to work. There have been many attacks on this claim:

  • Mothers are the exclusive carers in only a very small percentage of human societies; often there are a number of people involved in the care of children, such as relations and friends (Weisner & Gallimore, 1977).
  • Ijzendoorn & Tavecchio (1987) argue that a stable network of adults can provide adequate care and that this care may even have advantages over a system where a mother has to meet all a child’s needs.
  • There is evidence that children develop better with a mother who is happy in her work, than a mother who is frustrated by staying at home (Schaffer, 1990).

Bowlby PDF Downloads

Public Law Care Requests

Maltreatment of Mothers in care proceedings and Article 3

Maltreatment of Mothers in care proceedings and Article 3
I have linked this blog post to the European Court Judgment that the government use to justify the lawfulness of the maltreatment of mothers (particularly, but also fathers) in Public Family Law Proceedings.
The key part of the judgment is as follows:
2. The case of RK and AK
a. Article 3 of the Convention
The Court recalls that the Government have argued that this complaint falls to be dismissed for non-exhaustion of domestic remedies pursuant to Article 35 § 1 of the Convention since the applicants did not rely on this provision in the domestic proceedings. It does not rule on this issue since this part of the application must be rejected for the following reasons.
The Court’s case-law establishes that Article 3, which prohibits torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment cannot be relied on where distress and anguish, however deep, flow, inevitably, from measures which are otherwise compatible with the Convention, unless there is a special element which causes the suffering to go beyond that inherent in the their implementation (see, mutatis mutandis, Tyrer v. the United Kingdom judgment of 25 April 1978, Series A no. 26, p. 15, § 30; Soering v. the United Kingdom, judgment of 7 July 1989, Series A no. 161, p. 39, § 100; V. v. the United Kingdom [GC], no. 24888/94, § 71, ECHR 1999-IX). Child protection measures will, generally, cause parents distress and on occasion humiliation, if they are suspected of failing, in some way, in their parental responsibilities. However, given the responsibility of the authorities under Article 3 to protect children from severe abuse, whether mental or physical, it would be somewhat contradictory to the effective protection of children’s rights to hold that authorities were automatically liable to parents under this provision whenever they erred, reasonably or otherwise, in their execution of their duties. As mentioned above, there must be a factor apart from the normal implementation of those duties which brings the matter within the scope of Article 3.
In the present case, where it is not disputed that their child suffered an injury which could not initially be accounted for, while the Court does not doubt the applicants’ distress at events, the fact that they were mistakenly suspected of abuse, and their account of events considered to be unsatisfactory or false, cannot be regarded as constituting special elements in the sense identified above. It follows that this complaint must be rejected as manifestly ill-founded pursuant to Article 35 §§ 3 and 4 of the Convention.
Where the government lawyers err is in their argument that the trauma caused to mothers is “inevitable”. Other countries manage to do a better job in terms of protecting children whilst also not causing the same trauma to parents (particularly mothers).
posted by john ¶ 2:08 PM 0 comments 
Sunday, February 15, 2009

Child Contact

DIRECT CONTACT means meetings between the child/young person and birth family members and/or significant others, and includes phone calls, texting and emails.
INDIRECT CONTACT mean letters and cards from members of the birth family and /or significant others, usually through a third person.
•Contact is a key issue for children and they often have ambivalent feelings, both wanting it but feeling distressed at the same time. They often desire more contact with fathers and other family members, such as grandmothers and siblings, as well as with mothers, even if they are happy in their placement and do not want to return home.
•Parents also have these ambivalent feelings. Many desperately miss their children, want to have contact and find the experience distressing.
•The amount of contact between looked-after children and their birth families is increasing.
•Developments such as increased placement stability, open communication and improved relationships are often the result of additional interventions, not just contact between birth families and their children alone. However, contact may achieve specific and perhaps more limited and realistic goals, such as reassuring children about what is happening at home.
•Current practice assumes a strong principle, supported by legislation, that contact is generally beneficial and should be promoted, unless it is not in the child’s best interests. Decisions need to be made on the different aspects of contact, for example contact with family members. Contact must always be ‘fine tuned’, assessing and taking into account any risks.
•If the child has been abused, contact can allow abuse to continue if there is unsupervised direct contact or ineffective scrutiny of letters and cards.
•Foster carers are generally positive about contact but some report problems associated with it. In some cases these are serious.
Practice points
•Ask yourself if you have explored all opportunities for contact, either direct or indirect. Remember that children in foster care have a legal right to contact with their birth family and most children want to keep in contact, although they find it distressing at times. Also, remember that contact often helps children’s feelings of identity: being valued, respected and appreciated.
•Ask yourself if you have ‘fine tuned’ contact and consulted with the child about all the different aspects of contact, for example, with different family members. Remember not to treat it as a ‘blanket’ event and ask yourself if you have considered all the alternatives to direct contact when this is not possible.
•Remember to ask children about the contact they want to have with their brothers and sisters and other relatives, for example grandparents. You can also consider previous carers. Try and make contact arrangements because this can be very important to them.
•Remember that children who have been abused by their family members should be protected from risks posed by contact and that their rights to contact can be overruled in the need to keep them safe. Ask yourself if you and their carers have talked with them about how safe they feel and remember to look out for non-verbal signs that may indicate that the child does not feel safe.
•Remember that children who have been abused should not have unsupervised contact with family members who are involved in, or associated with the abuse. Ask yourself if you should scrutinise letters and cards. There must be a formal decision about every risk.
•Remember that most parents also want to have contact, although they may find it distressing, so make sure you talk with parents about how contact could be made less stressful.
•Research shows that contact by itself does not result in improved outcomes, for example, settled placements and reunification and you should consider additional interventions to achieve these goals.
•Think about the aims of contact between children and their families and whether they are being achieved. The value of contact may be as much to do with reducing distress, helping to keep in touch and to feel valued and respected, as with achieving other outcomes. What can you do to support parents with managing contact?
•Foster carers’ needs are also important when making arrangements, so things needs to be discussed in advance to tackle any problems.
What we know from research
Types of contact
Contact can be through meetings, phone calls or letters with specific members of the family. Meetings can be unsupervised or supervised by social workers, foster carers, other professionals and sometimes other family members or friends.
Contact can take place in a variety of venues. Meetings can take place at different dates and times, regularly or every now and then. However, making arrangements that please everybody and are in the best interests of the child can sometimes be complex and difficult.
Children’s opinions on contact
Contact is a key issue for children. They often spend a lot of time thinking about their relationship with their family and are often distressed by the thought of contact. Many children think about their families every day (2). When children in another study were asked to think of their two most important wishes for their future, a quarter prioritised seeing more of, or being reunited with, their birth family (3).
Children often want more contact with fathers and other family members, such as grandmothers and siblings, as well as mothers, even if they are happy in their placement and do not want to return home. Some want contact with particular family members, and not with others (17), while other children prefer indirect to direct contact.
Decisions need to be made around the different aspects of contact. You will need to consider the child’s wishes and feelings on the variety of contact options, such as indirect and direct contact as well as contact with different family members. Contact must always be ‘fine tuned’, assessing and taking into account any risks. (17)
Many looked-after children – 40 – 50 per cent – have contact with a family member at least weekly and only a minority, between one in six or seven children, do not have any contact with a member of their birth family (3).
Birth parent views on contact
Parents often have mixed feelings about having their children in care and this can affect the way they feel about contact arrangements. Feelings can range from relief to shame, and concern that they have ‘failed’, or can be mixture of all of these. Most parents desperately miss their child, want to have contact, and may often find the experience very distressing (2).
Parents often have difficulty in asking for help when their child returns home because of the associated stigma and the possible risk of losing their child again. When their child is accommodated at their request or as result of the child’s difficult behaviour they often welcome it, but they often resent compulsory intervention (3).
Contact and re-abuse
Direct, and even sometimes indirect, contact can allow abuse to continue. One study found that in situations where the child had been abused, and there was unsupervised contact with all family members, placement breakdown was three times more likely to occur, as well as re-abuse (17).
The relationship between contact and improved outcomes
Research (3) argues that contact between birth families and children does not, on its own, facilitate reunification or improve relationships. Additional interventions are also needed. Contact can, however, achieve specific and perhaps more limited and realistic goals, such as reassuring children about what is happening at home.
Other research knowledge (2) on the relationship between outcomes and contact is summarised by a series of linked reviews of studies about contact in fostering and adoption, mainly in the UK (50-53). When researchers reviewed the studies they did not find a clear relationship between contact and improved outcomes in areas such as placement stability and improvements in the child’s mental health. They did not always find that different factors had been considered in the research and queried whether imprecise definitions of contact and weak measures of outcomes had been used. They noted a failure to effectively consider the quality, purpose and setting of the contact and to use small self-selected samples.
Whilst a certain level of contact is needed if reunification is to be achieved, it is now uncertain whether contact as a factor by itself results in the improved outcomes previously thought to be associated with it.
Good outcomes, such as reduced placement breakdown, improved mental health in children and returning home, may be more a result of factors that preceded placement. Children who have direct contact with birth parents usually already have a good attachment to them, which precedes their placement and because of this they may be better adjusted, more likely to experience a stable placement and more likely to go home to their parents (54). More research is urgently needed in this area.
Current practice assumes a strong underlying principle, supported by legislation, that contact is generally beneficial and should be promoted as long as it is in the child’s best interests and does not increase risk (55). However in some situations there may often be dilemmas and concerns about contact.
Views of foster carers
Foster carers, whilst generally positive about contact, report some serious problems associated with it. These include drinking, serious mental health problems and violence from members of the birth family. They also express concern about more common problems such as unreliability and have worries about the impact of contact on the behaviour of the foster child, as well as their own children

Serious Case Reviews Findings For Your Area

Local area SCR evaluation Date of
evaluation
letter
Somerset Inadequate 24/07/2007
Lambeth Inadequate 23/08/2007
Derbyshire Adequate 17/09/2007
Durham Good 17/09/2007
Surrey Good 17/09/2007
Lancashire Good 04/10/2007
Sandwell Inadequate 04/10/2007
Derbyshire Adequate 22/10/2007
Lincolnshire Adequate 23/10/2007
Essex Adequate 26/10/2007
Staffordshire Inadequate 16/11/2007
Bury Good 19/11/2007
Shropshire Inadequate 26/11/2007
Bristol Adequate 27/11/2007
Barnsley Adequate 29/11/2007
Thurrock Inadequate 11/12/2007
Leicestershire Adequate 20/12/2007
Northamptonshire Inadequate 21/12/2007
Trafford Adequate 21/12/2007
Sheffield Good 27/12/2007
Bristol Inadequate 04/01/2008
Lincolnshire Inadequate 15/01/2008
Bury Adequate 22/01/2008
Hertfordshire Inadequate 28/01/2008
Walsall Good 29/01/2008
Hampshire Good 31/01/2008
Derbyshire Adequate 05/02/2008
Hampshire Adequate 05/02/2008
Havering Good 10/02/2008
Southend Good 19/02/2008
Doncaster Adequate 21/02/2008
Cheshire Adequate 26/02/2008
South Tyneside Adequate 26/02/2008
Suffolk Good 26/02/2008
Doncaster Inadequate 29/02/2008
Rochdale Good 29/02/2008
Northamptonshire Inadequate 03/03/2008
Northamptonshire Inadequate 03/03/2008
Derbyshire Inadequate 06/03/2008
Worcestershire Good 11/03/2008
Warwickshire Good 25/03/2008
Bromley Adequate 01/04/2008
Cornwall Inadequate 04/04/2008
Cornwall Inadequate 07/04/2008
Suffolk Inadequate 07/04/2008
Nottingham City Inadequate 11/04/2008
Hampshire Adequate 09/04/2008
Hampshire Inadequate 09/04/2008
Northamptonshire Adequate 10/04/2008
Cornwall Inadequate 11/04/2008
Herefordshire Good 14/04/2008
Hampshire Adequate 16/04/2008
Nottingham City Adequate 16/04/2008
Rotherham Inadequate 18/04/2008
Nottingham City Good 21/04/2008
Warwickshire Adequate 21/04/2008
Rotherham Inadequate 22/04/2008
Oxfordshire Adequate 23/04/2008
Southwark Adequate 24/04/2008
Havering Adequate 02/05/2008
Bolton Inadequate 06/05/2008
Peterborough Inadequate 14/04/2008
Birmingham Inadequate 25/06/2008
Birmingham Inadequate 25/06/2008
Birmingham Inadequate 26/06/2008
Nottingham City Adequate 26/06/2008
Durham Adequate 27/06/2008
Somerset Adequate 27/06/2008
Portsmouth Inadequate 03/07/2008
Tower Hamlets Adequate 18/07/2008
Shropshire Good 21/07/2008
Barnsley Inadequate 22/07/2008
Stockport Inadequate 22/07/2008
Tower Hamlets Good 25/07/2008
Manchester Inadequate 05/08/2008
Surrey Inadequate 05/08/2008
Surrey Inadequate 05/08/2008
Surrey Inadequate 05/08/2008
West Berkshire Adequate 05/08/2008
Devon Inadequate 08/08/2008
North East Lincolnshire Inadequate 11/08/2008
Bromley Adequate 12/08/2008
Birmingham Adequate 14/08/2008
Hertfordshire Adequate 14/08/2008
Kent Good 14/08/2008
Kirklees Adequate 14/08/2008
Rotherham Adequate 14/08/2008
South Tyneside Good 14/08/2008
Manchester Adequate 22/08/2008
Middleborough Inadequate 26/08/2008
Devon Inadequate 28/08/2008
Redbridge Good 29/08/2008
Plymouth Inadequate 02/09/2008
Bradford Inadequate 04/09/2008
Devon Adequate 04/09/2008
Norfolk Adequate 04/09/2008
Northamptonshire Inadequate 05/09/2008
Enfield Good 09/09/2008
Reading Inadequate 09/09/2008
Waltham Forest Adequate 09/09/2008
Barnet Good 16/09/2008
Coventry Adequate 16/09/2008
Coventry Good 16/09/2008
Hounslow Inadequate 17/09/2008
Kent Adequate 18/09/2008
Lambeth Good 18/09/2008
Salford Inadequate 18/09/2008
Wolverhampton Good 18/09/2008
Oxfordshire Inadequate 23/09/2008
Coventry Adequate 24/09/2008
Northumberland Adequate 26/09/2008
Bournemouth Inadequate 01/10/2008
Bournemouth Inadequate 01/10/2008
Liverpool Inadequate 01/10/2008
Thurrock Adequate 01/10/2008
Wakefield Adequate 01/10/2008
Leicestershire Inadequate 03/10/2008
Leeds Adequate 06/10/2008
Barking & Dagenham Good 17/10/2008
Manchester Adequate 17/10/2008
Manchester Inadequate 17/10/2008
Nottinghamshire Adequate 17/10/2008
South Tyneside Adequate 17/10/2008
Wigan Adequate 21/10/2008
Northamptonshire Inadequate 22/10/2008
Westminster Good 28/10/2008
Worcestershire Good 11/11/2008
Sandwell Adequate 31/10/2008
Croydon Inadequate 05/11/2008
Derbyshire Adequate 05/11/2008
Blackburn with Darwen Adequate 06/11/2008
Bristol Inadequate 07/11/2008
Nottinghamshire Adequate 07/11/2008
Ealing Adequate 11/11/2008
Newcastle Adequate 11/11/2008
Norfolk Adequate 19/11/2008
Camden Adequate 25/11/2008
Salford Inadequate 25/11/2008
Lancashire Inadequate 24/11/2008
Birmingham Inadequate 28/11/2008
Wokingham Inadequate 27/11/2008
Devon Inadequate 01/12/2008
Stockport Adequate 08/12/2008
Essex Inadequate 09/12/2008
Liverpool Good 10/12/2008
Hackney Adequate 12/12/2008
Somerset Good 19/12/2008<