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This fear that social services will come and take your children...

(579 Posts)
willsurvivethis Fri 29-Jan-10 15:41:24 worries me!

There seem to be so many women out there who are afraid to seek help for depression and other problems out of fear that they will lose their children.

I have just asked MNHQ if they would consider doing something with this. Because surely if so many of us fear to lose our children something is going wrong somewhere! Surely we should all be albe to seek help with confidence?

What are your thoughts on this? I struggle with PTSD and even told my doctor that I tended to keep emotional distance from my ds when he's ill without even considering the possibility of that having repercussions.

NanaNina Mon 20-Oct-14 13:47:09

YEP - live with your eyes wide open (though god knows who Sheila Hendrix is) and with your mouth tight shut till you know what you're talking about

Au revoir.........

0justice Mon 20-Oct-14 12:28:29

@NanaNina, this is my parting gift to you, because of the sheer craic your replies have given me (it tickles me how some people don't even realise how their answers are presenting their selves) I couldn't leave without giving you something in honour of your true, blinkered SW attributes, which you wear like a badge of honour:

It's been...well, predictable.

For anyone joining/watching this thread interested in reading up some more on false accusations of MSBP/FII against mothers and wrongful findings of professionals, along with inappropriate interventions by social services, you will find this link interesting (and may well find evidence that can help your case should you need it)

I hope some of the information and links I have provided proof useful to some parents who find themselves in the unfortunate situation of inappropriate SS interventions. And even in the event that this doesn't prove to be the case, it never hurts for people to get all the angles of possibilities. Just remember,

"Live with your eyes wide open." ~ Sheila Hendrix

NanaNina Sun 19-Oct-14 22:20:36

Far be it from me to split hair OJ but this is what you said in a recent post:

"however social services have a role to investigate the family, and are in a position to defend families where necessary, such as where questionable medical evidence is being used against parents and to put a case that they are in fact loving, decent parents."

You still fail to understand exactly when social workers have a right to become involved with a particular case. In the SC case (which is the one we are discussing) it was the decision of the CPS to charge SC with the murder of her babies and sadly, very sadly the Jury found her guilty. Social Services had nothing to do with the case. I am sure you are someone who believes in the importance of a person's civil liberties, and social workers cannot simply intervene in a case with which they are not involved, anymore than anyone else can. JH tried to do this and was ordered out of the Court by a Judge in Birmingham County Court.

Do you understand the issue about significant harm and likely to suffer significant harm now - I do hope so.

Oh and as for your last link, you really are scraping the bottom of the barrel now. Of course this social worker had no right to post her comments on FB - she was extremely silly to do this and has rightly been taken to task. However she did not give any of the details of the case which is very fortunate.

So goodbye and good to know that someone knows when they are beaten.

0justice Sun 19-Oct-14 21:37:26

I just post links that come up, I have no idea who is behind the websites. It would appear that you are more into the conspiracy idea than myself because I have no links or affiliations or knowledge about John Hemmings and I don't know why you keep defaulting to these comments, other than that you like a good conspiracy theory. If you could have evidenced in some concrete way that any of the information I have put links on is "rubbish" I would have been perfectly open-minded to listen and prepared to be corrected. Likewise, I have no idea who Messrs Underwager or Tucker are, never heard of either of them.

You say you can't comment on the many anecdotal stories of parents having children wrongfully removed, not everything comes in B&W "evidence" the heart-rending tales of raw emotion and shattered lives are enough evidence in themselves. You can't prove many things but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

I haven't said anywhere that I hold all social workers guilty for the misdeeds of those that behave badly. In fact quite the opposite, I said there are some decent ones, but they do appear to be rather a minority. Likewise I never said I had any children removed from my care or that I had seen confidential court papers. Those are your words, and seemingly have come about for the same reason distorted reports containing lies often emit from SWs.

I also didn't say that SWs are in a professional position to question medical evidence, but they can certainly vouch for parents and fight their corner, and support them to get independent medical evidence to counter erroneous reports.

There is only so long you can dismiss all the different sources of stories of SS wrong-doing as hyperbole/unbalanced tabloid reporting/bitter parents with an axe to grind/dangerous buffoons...

Just as a last point before I leave this thread for good (you can lead a horse to water and all that):

"LA social services are quite rightly not allowed to give their side of the story because of the absolute need for strict confidentiality in these matters."

...except when it suits otherwise of course

NanaNina Sun 19-Oct-14 19:24:36

Spero - have you got the emotional energy for this???? JH as I'm sure you know is alive and well and still spouting his lies about conspiracy theories on YouTube as recently as Feb 2014. OJ claims to have no connections with JH but posts links under the name of PoundPupLegacy which I strongly suspect is JH's baby - one of the links is related to JH's rubbish about forced adoption of Slovak babies.

NanaNina Sun 19-Oct-14 19:09:42

OJ WHY do you claim to have no connections with John Hemming when your PPL link re Slovak children is more of his rubbish?

And what do you know of Ralph Underwager and Colin Tucker?

NanaNina Sun 19-Oct-14 19:02:52

Buy NoMary you cannot believe everything you read in the paper especially the Daily Mail and the redtops. The other thing is that when these sensational reports arise, we can only ever hear one side of the stord - the parents/step-parents whoever who have had their children removed.

LA social services are quite rightly not allowed to give their side of the story because of the absolute need for strict confidentiality in these matters.

NoMarymary Sun 19-Oct-14 18:50:19

My experience of SS and child protection is that they will do everything possible to support the family and keep the child with their parent, but having read some awful scandals in the papers I can understand why this is an issue. But it is not the norm.

fredfredsausagehead1 Sun 19-Oct-14 18:45:31


NanaNina Sun 19-Oct-14 18:25:57

Ah OJ I see an ally has brought you back to the thread. In response to your post of 17/10 - In relation to the Sally Clarke case/Prof Roy Meadow, you state that "social workers have a role to investigate the family and defend families where questionable medical evidence is being put forward....." Sorry NO - social services don't have an automatic right to intervene in such cases. And they certainly don't have the right to question medical evidence as they are not medically qualified. OK the medical evidence turned out to be fundamentally flawed but not before a Jury had found her guilty and a Judge had imposed a custodial sentence on her. I wonder - why didn't a social worker pitch in and think "This consultant paediatrician doesn't know what he's talking about - think I'll just pop along to the High Court and tell the Judge........"

You say Prof Roy Meadow has been "discredited" and I agree. In fact he was truck off by the GMC in 2006 and later a High Court decreed that professional experts should be immune from prosecution. The Appeal Court Judges (3 of them) overturned this ruling and said no such immunity should exist. However they could not agree on whether RM was guilty of "gross professional misconduct" - they were split 2 : 1 - the 3rd judge disagreeing with the first 2 that RM was guilty of gross professional misconduct - and finding that he was guilty of "some misconduct" but gave his evidence in the SC case (and others) in good faith. So all very inconclusive. However Meadow is now 81 years of age so I imagine is retired. I think he did a great deal of harm to Sally Clarke, Angela Canning and others and failed to advise Judges that he himself had invented the term MSBP - for suspect reasons if his ex wife is to be believed. I think his evidence was believed by so many courts because most people DO actually believe consultants.

You ask me how I account for the "many stories and blogs" of mothers being accused of MSBP/FFI "left right and centre" - unlike you I rely on evidence and having no knowledge of these "stories and blogs" I can't comment. You talk of seeing reports with distorted facts and convenient omissions - can I ask in what capacity you are acting when you are reading these reports. I ask because court reports are highly confidential and can only be seen by parties to the proceedings (in care proceedings) and of course the Judge. Maybe it's more that you've "heard" about them..........oh and you've talked to a family lawyer who says social workers tell lies - oh well that's got to be right then!

Can I clarify the issue of what you call the "potential for future harm" and you link it to MSBP/FII. The link is erroneous - I think you are talking about the words contained in the Children Act 1989 related to the request that a court give permission for a child to be removed from the parents. The wording is the child is suffering significant harm - OR is likely to suffer significant *harm. Evidence supporting this has to be given to a court before any Order is made to remove the child.

The reason that likely to suffer significant harm is included in the legislation is nothing to do with MSBP/FII. An example of where it can be used is where other children in the family have been removed following serious abuse and or neglect and that there is every likelihood that an unborn child will also suffer the same trauma unless he/she is removed from the parent at birth. OR maybe the mother is seriously mentally ill with a psychotic illness (meaning that she is out of touch with reality and doesn't realise she is ill, she's maybe hearing voices that are telling her to harm herself or her baby.) Such distressing thoughts are very common in psychotic illness both the mother and her unborn child need to be protected. Please note this does not mean that mothers suffering from severe mental illness will not have their children returned to them - in most cases they will, once their illness is controlled by medication. Many parents suffer from psychosis but it is well managed by medication and they are good parents. There are other examples but hopefully that will suffice.

You claim you have no connection to JH but I suspect you do, as some of your links are related to him, namely "poundpuplegacy" x 2. I never believe anything I read in the DM and quite how you think your publicationstoparliament link proves your point I know not. Bizarre.

Would you like my shopping list to help prove your point?

I have read MumbyLJ's written judgement on a particular case where he made the comments that you provide. That is his view and he is entitled to it, and I think the relevant case did encourage him to make that judgement. However we are all ordinary mortals and MumbyLJ just like Roy Meadow can be wrong..........or at least can be guilty of hyperbole.

Finally I do realise that social services will make mistakes - of course they will, just as all other professionals do - how many people die because GPs aren't aware enough of presenting symptoms of cancer, lack of care in A & E leading to death, administering the wrong medication etc etc. My sister died of lung cancer in 2006 because the GP refused to take her concerns seriously, but that was incompetence by one GP - I don't hold all other GPs guilty for this mistake. There does appear to be some confusion related to CAMHS and their views being erroneously accepted by social workers, especially in the field of disabilities such as those on the autistic spectrum. However I note you both yourself and Leighqt did have your children returned to your care, and they were not "forcibly adopted." I do accept though that the whole business must have been very distressing for you.

However what I will not accept is that there is a conspiracy for children to be removed from loving parents to get them forcibly adopted - social workers are damned if they do, and damned if they don't. I'm sure people like you will be up in arms about the children who sadly do die at the hands of parents/step parents where social workers have been involved. And the reason is certainly not as I think you've suggested "because they are too busy removing children for forced adoption." The problem is that no social worker (or any other professional) involved in CP cases can ever completely eliminate risk - ever. Even if you lived with the family you would have to stay awake for 24 hours of the day. While ever there are people who are sadly unbalanced enough to murder their children, nothing will change.

0justice Sun 19-Oct-14 10:13:38

@leighqt I am so sorry you and your daughter have been through this, it's incredibly unjust and causes the very emotional harm to your child that social services have accused you off (talk about hypocrisy of the highest order). This is exactly what I have been talking about. CAMHS have a lot to answer for too (hence the recent parliamentary inquiry) and if you look on the NAS (National Autistic Society) website and search on their "you need to know" documents you will see how around 70%+ of ASC families have been let down by CAMHS. It's that automatic blame culture again, sending parents on parenting courses or looking for fault by default, instead of just getting on and assessing a child for ASC (or whichever condition). You see, yours is yet another case where SS were happy to collude with CAMHS and assume the worst of a parent. SS are supposed to support families to stay together above all else other than serious harm to a child, and where the child is suffering or at immediate risk (which needs to be categorically evidence/proven) of suffering serious harm then they are supposed to use CP to remove the child but always with a view if possible to return the child at some point if the parents can resolve the issues. Are you sure you have BPD? Autism is often genetic and many females on the autistic spectrum are misdiagnosed with a range of other conditions, BPD being one of them. It might be worth insisting on a referral for yourself via your GP for ASC assessment (be sure it goes to a centre with autism expertise, especially in females as it presents slightly differently than in males). Autism is not a mental health/psychiatric condition. Even if you do have BPD, social services are supposed to support you to be the best mum you can (but of course that means them spending money) and avoid at all costs putting a child through the harrowing and life-changing (research the ill-effects on children who have been removed, especially if it's been done wrongly) experience of removing them from their mother. Back to that moral panic scenario. SS need to remember this:

"3.96 Lord Justice Munby also took the opportunity to make some very general – and important – observations about heavy handed interventions by local authorities in cases of this nature: of an attitude (which he considered [at para 50]) was ‘shared by too many other local authorities’: that they were not merely ‘involved’ with such families but that that they had ‘complete and effective control ... through [their] assessments and care plans’ [at para 51]. Of this attitude Munby LJ observed that ‘it needs to be said in the plainest possible terms that this suggestion, however formulated – and worryingly some local authorities seem almost to assume and take it for granted – is simply wrong in law.’ He continued:

52 Moreover, the assertion or assumption, however formulated, betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the relationship between a local authority and those, like A and C and their carers, who it is tasked to support – a fundamental misunderstanding of the relationship between the State and the citizen. People in the situation of A and C, together with their carers, look to the State – to a local authority – for the support, the assistance and the provision of the services to which the law, giving effect to the underlying principles of the Welfare State, entitles them. They do not seek to be ‘controlled’ by the State or by the local authority. And it is not for the State in the guise of a local authority to seek to exercise such control. The State, the local authority, is the servant of those in need of its support and assistance, not their master. ...

53 This attitude is perhaps best exemplified by the proposition that ‘in the event that the parents were to disagree with the decisions of the local authority (which will always be based upon the opinion of relevant professionals) it would seek to enforce its decisions through appropriate proceedings if necessary’ (emphasis added). This approach, ..., though reflecting what I have come across elsewhere, reflects an attitude of mind which is not merely unsound in law but hardly best calculated to encourage proper effect being given to a local authority’s procedural obligations under Article 8 of the Convention ... . Moreover, it is likely to be nothing but counter-productive when it comes to a local authority ‘working together’, as it must, with family carers. ‘Working together’ involves something more – much more – than merely requiring carers to agree with a local authority’s ‘decision’ even if, let alone just because, it may be backed by professional opinion."

I wasn't going to post again here, but I couldn't not reply to you, good luck.

leighqt Sun 19-Oct-14 00:17:05

I needed some help with some behaviour problems my child was experiencing when she was 4, thanks to CAMHS and social services , it took a year to get her back. I was diagnosed with Borderline personality disorder and to ss that means "emotionally abusive", yes I am still slightly bitter but feel as if I/ we (my child and I) have been let down, We are now in the first stages of having a autism assessment, it could of been dne years ago, and saved a lot of heartache.

0justice Fri 17-Oct-14 17:41:31
0justice Fri 17-Oct-14 17:01:50

I did read your whole message (both of them). I have vaguely heard of John Hemming, but have no in-depth knowledge about him and am not in any way a follower or advocate of his views simply because I don't know enough about them. Any views he has which overlap with mine are coincidental. I understand what you are saying about cases such as Sally Clark, however social services have a role to investigate the family, and are in a position to defend families where necessary, such as where questionable medical evidence is being used against parents and to put a case that they are in fact loving, decent parents. However, irrespective of what level of respect social workers are viewed with by professionals, there is a fairly automatic blame culture with many social workers. I have seen and heard of enough inaccurate reports with distorted facts and conveniently omitted facts to know how they operate. I also spoke to a family lawyer who was under no illusions as to the lies SWs tell.

The moral panics series is about how the state has gone mad, it is hyper-aware to the extreme that the balance has tipped the other way. Did you not understand the article? With children being removed even for "potential for future emotional harm" (have you ever seen the Tom Cruise film "Minority Report"!) The state is too quick to intervene, too quick to falsely accuse, parents have too little respect. I've lived it and I know of others who have too.

Professor Roy Meadows, although discredited has been responsible for the conveniently renamed FII which is now used left, right and centre. MSBP/FII is disputed to even exist by some experts, but even if it does, it's incredibly rare. So how do you account for the many stories out there on blogs and forums of mothers being accused of it? So this is where the "potential for future emotional harm" comes in. If the mother denies it, she is resisting treatment and can't have her children back because she won't reform. If she admits it to get her children back, she has admitted to a dubious psychiatric condition she probably doesn't have, and will be forever held against her and ensure probable SS involvement for the duration of her children's childhoods.

The LA can and does pay professionals as expert witnesses, when they want to get a child adopted they will not want to back down. "Evidence" can be manipulated and cherry-picked and don't you think that these people are past masters at how to respond to cross-examination in court?

You ought to look further into Jan Loxley-Blount's work and experience, it is about a lot more than disappointment with the church. She suffered inappropriate SS involvement and it was only her connections which got them off her back.

Your list of why social services need to be involved in families is all very well, but parents who are vulnerable or have issues that may affect their children need support to manage their parenting, not having their children removed and adopted. And you're right not all parents who had poor childhoods go on to become poor parents themselves - many will want to give their children everything they never had! Who is to say what is the ideal family environment anyway? This nanny state decides a prescriptive formula and if they decide a family doesn't conform they step in with the heavy-handedness. Many special needs children don't have the same needs as ordinary children, yet social services will misjudge those families as wanting when they haven't got a clue. I had an aggressive SW tell me my children didn't have a diagnosis they both had, because he was ignorant about the meaning in the diagnostic reports - who was he to question clinicians and professionals about something he knew nothing about? Yet that sort of SW will write on record something like "mother is deluded and inventing conditions" (MSBP alert) and no-one corrects these records or challenges it. Such reports get sent around as fact when they are full of errors and misrepresentations and they are automatically believed by others.

By the way, if you watch that video of the interview with the paediatrician, you will see that despite the fact that he successfully managed to support families being wrongly accused get their children back, there were a couple who didn't. That's families destroyed. And if you don't believe the state wrongly removes people here are some links about adults with special needs being wrongly removed, there are probably lots more about children but I just don't have the time to search:

Face it, the state gets it wrong, but the secret courts ensure that it doesn't get into the media about all the children this happens with, there are probably only anecdotal tales out there from parents that can attest to it.

It's been fun talking. This thread is taking too much of my time though so I may not contribute again.

NanaNina Fri 17-Oct-14 16:22:21

IF I have the emotional energy I might later give a detailed description of what actually happens when the LA seek permission from the Court to make an Order that prevents a child being returned to the care of the birth parents. I have been involved in dozens of such cases over some 30 years and given evidence and been cross-examined by lawyers for the birthparents for up to 4 hours at a time - I make no complaint about this. It is wholly right that evidence is tested in court and all professionals involved in the case have to be cross-examined. I can assure you that lawyers for birthparents fight their corner robustly. Having said that I don't believe that the adversarial model is the right one in care proceedings.

Oh and this old chestnut of other professionals just agreeing with the LA social workers - if only you knew! In fact in the main consultant psychiatrists and psychologists tend to view CP social workers as "lesser mortals" and are certainly not going to "roll over" (as JH once put it) to agree with the tell me I don't know what's going on - how many cases of care proceedings have you been involved in OJ - do tell!!!

NanaNina Fri 17-Oct-14 16:16:10

Oh god here we go again - many of us social workers, lawyers and barristers have spent many hours challenging John Hemming's conspiracy theory about "forced adoption" but as I said, he has been banned from MN. This hasn't stopped him though and quite why Nick Clegg allows him to put forward his ridiculous views is beyond me. He is very dangerous because he uses volunteers (with no legal training) to act as McKenzie friends in care proceedings who are there merely to offer moral support to the parents - they have no voice and can only speak if asked direct questions by the Judge. He even advises some birthparents to get rid of their legal representation and in this way he exploits the very vulnerable people who find themselves attempting to fight the LA's application for an Order on their child/ren. Naturally birthparents think he can help because he is an MP but of course he can't and has been severely criticised in a written judgement by WallLJ in a case where he accused the lawyers of altering the files, without a shred of evidence.

He was removed from a court in Birmingham after he had severely tried the patience of a Judge. I think most people regard him as a buffoon, which he is, but a very dangerous one. Again on his own admission he pays for birthparents to "flee the country" with their child when they are being investigated by LA social workers and in this way seems to me to be perverting the course of justice. He gives utterly ridiculous reasons why children were removed from birth parents e.g. "because the grandmother called the social worker fat........." oh and god only knows what else. I imagine you are very aware of JH and his conspiracy theory.

It sounds to me like you might be a parent who has been caught up in being investigated by social services and if so, I can see that this would be your motive for your views. I have read the links you gave. The first one is about the issue of mothers (Sally Clarke and Angela Canning) being falsely accused of being responsible for the death of their children, and given custodial sentences. I have read a great deal about these cases, and cannot imagine how dreadful it would be for these mothers to have their babies die and then to be found guilty of their death and given custodial sentences. However these cases were nothing to do with social workers - the CPS brought these cases to court based on evidence of medics - I think Professor Roy Meadows was involved and of course he was later discredited, and rightly so in my opinion. I fail to see how these cases support your view that social workers lie in order to get children forcibly adopted ???

The second one from Jan the "educated middle class lady" appears to me to be more a criticism of the church for their lack of support to the family. Again there is mention of the Sally Clarke case and Professor Roy Meadows, who of course been infamous for his claims about MSBY (now called fabricated illness syndrome I believe) and is extremely rare. Indeed there is only one sentence related to a social worker for omitting a relevant piece of information and later praise for the support that was given. How does this support your conspiracy theory ???

The third case (Sophie and her children) This is a distressing case but I think it's important to note that it was the paediatrician who raised concerns and alerted social services and the GP went along with the Paediatrician, as would be expected and the LA Child Protection Team would have to be involved because of the Paediatrician's concerns. You might not know anything about professional hierarchy but I can tell you that a GP will not discount the views of a Consultant Paediatrician and neither will a social worker, as they are not medically trained and have to take the concerns of the Paediatrician seriously. Again there is little criticism of social workers in Sophie's account. She rightly places the blame with the Paediatrician involved, and as far as I can see none of her children were removed from her care.

The link from the Guardian (my newspaper of choice) and not given to sensational reporting is interesting. However, I am at a complete loss to understand why you have included this as part of your evidence - it's an academic article about the issue of "moral panic" - did you not understand the article?

OK I'm losing the will to live here so will sign off...........oh and before I do, can I say that this term of forced adoption is so called because the vast majority of birthparents whose children are made subject to Orders by a Judge do not consent to the making of the Order. Why would they? Once a Judge is satisfied after hearing all of the evidence at the final hearing and makes an Order allowing the child to be placed for adoption (a Placement Order) if this is the LA care plan for the child's future, to consent to the adoption would be tantamount to the birthparents admitting that they did in fact significantly harm their child/children. I would say at this point that I have over the course of many years seen many very vulnerable birthparents who are simply unable to meet their child's needs and keep them safe. This can be for a variety of reasons:

1. They themselves experienced abuse/neglect in their own childhoods and so only have one "model" of parenting. This is the case for all of us but if we have been fortunate enough to have had loving nurturing parents we will bring up our children in the same way. Please note I am NOT saying all parents who suffered childhood abuse will go on to abuse their own children, simply that some of them do.

2. Parents who were abused/neglected in their own childhood are very unlikely to have any support from their own parents or indeed from anyone else.

3. Parents who are emotionally immature (because of their own backgrounds) and are simply unable to put the needs of their children first as their own needs were never met. There is often a huge gap between chronological age and emotional age and I have seen many young mothers functioning at a pre teen level trying to bring up children - not possible.

4. Mental health difficulties and Learning difficulties, financial problems, domestic violence, poor physical health, inadequate housing and a lack of understanding of a child's needs play a big part in child protection matters. There is often a combination of these factors.

I don't seek to condemn these vulnerable parents who are a very disadvantaged section of society, but children only have one childhood and deserve to be provided with the permanence and stability that every child deserves.

I'm sure you haven't read this long post OJustice but it's made me feel a bit better................

0justice Fri 17-Oct-14 10:31:47

I can't speak for the posts of others, but as regards myself, my only intention is to ensure the full story is out there. As I have said more than once, people may be lucky and get a decent SW (and when that happens it's great, and that's how the system is supposed to work) but that it is a risk you won't and people need to enter situations with their eyes open (forewarned is forearmed). Had I not had people that were able to warn me in time (and it turned out they were spot on with their warnings) things were heading down a route with SS that could quickly have turned out very differently than they did because I was naïve to what was going on in the background. It's very important the whole story is told. There will always be success stories, but what about the many people that are being falsely accused, with inappropriate interventions in their families and even having children removed? You can't say that's just collateral damage. And all those stories coming out about children that really are suffering abuse where SS don't intervene and there are tragic outcomes, those poor children suffered because resources were not appropriately targeted, which at least in part has to be because of SWs wasting their time pursuing innocent families. It cannot be underestimated the immense distress SS can and do cause to families (often causing the very emotional harm they are falsely accusing parents of, ironically). It's not always instigated by SS I have to say, there are other ignorant professionals who can start the ball rolling and put SS in the position where they have to investigate but unfortunately SS will listen to other professionals' opinions rather than parents - professional bias and professional defensivism. The system has to change, the system has to be accountable, otherwise the rotten apples will continue to tarnish it. This is why, to protect themselves, I advised in my post above "If you ever have to deal with social services, have a witness and record everything, secretly if necessary." then if things do (which hopefully they won't) go wrong, families are protected against SWs who are the rotten apples. I have been to a safeguarding workshop run by a national charity, which was for professionals and also parents. Us parents witnessed first-hand how the role play that was acted out for the attendees, which was (by their own admission in communications I had with them subsequently) deliberately left ambiguous, but which the CAFCASS professional there straight away went for the jugular and assumed the worst against the family and wanted the children removed and not one other professional present challenged this. This was a room full of professionals including social workers, police etc. There was one nice SW there, and I remember thinking, "why can't they all be like that, this is how they are supposed to be". Far be it from me to scare people off (I'm aware I am direct in my approach, but this is not hyperbole), but people can only make informed decisions or protect themselves if they do know the whole story.

It concerns me that reading this thread may prevent some people from getting help. I've had involvement from SS and it's been nothing but supportive.

I have a serious mental illness, and when I presented at A&E they did take my details and those of my children to pass on to SS, up the follow up calls from them were about asking if I was now getting appropriate treatment and there were no discussions at all about whether there should be further intervention or the children removed from my care. I have a child with SN and have had dealings with outreach due to his condition - again supportive, and I have a mental health social worker and support workers who help me manage my life.

My circle of friends and acquaintances includes a lot of people whose children have SN, and also people with MH issues with dependent children. What I've witnessed is a system that works to support both sets of people.

On the internet, you can find anything you want to support your point of view as conspiracy theories abound. When I was last ill. I spent hours researching on line anything that supported my psychotic view that the meds were poisoning me and that it was a conspiracy to cause brain damage. That information is certainly there, but it doesn't make it true.

I'm not saying SS get it right all the time, they're as human and fallible as the next person, but to say that there's a sinister motive to what they do is stretching it a bit and necessarily causing angst and distress to those people who may well benefit from their involvement.

0justice Fri 17-Oct-14 09:35:02

PS it may be convenient to say that the ex-SW was dismissed for gross incompetence (your convenient speculation of course), but it's well-known that whistleblowers often lose their jobs for speaking out:

And there are plenty more stories out there of respected clinicians being treated this way when they speak up about corruption and state abuse.

0justice Fri 17-Oct-14 09:11:06

@NanaNina - I think you would sound unhinged too if you had gone through what she went through. Personal appearances aside (never judge a book by it's cover) this again is deflecting from the issue.

0justice Fri 17-Oct-14 09:10:06

Please see my previous post on Thu 28-Aug-14 19:38:11. I am not John Hemming, and trying to find ways to ridicule me is just deflection from the issue. Your own career and experiences may not have led you to see just what is going on, but it is going on. That was just two videos, start Googling and you will see a lot more information out there. Dr Nigel Speight is a respected paediatrician. He has and is, supporting many families where children with ME/CFS are being threatened with wrongful removal because of the blundering dishonesty and ignorance of social services and other professionals, regarding the condition. The interview was in Holland, not Germany and therefore the subtitles were Dutch! Whether you think the ex-SW or the paediatrician are credible or not is your prerogative. But attempting to ridicule people giving evidence simply because you don't personally believe the problem exists, is no argument. Perhaps you'd care to take a look at this document by Jan Loxley-Blount of Parents Protecting Children: Jan is a respectable middle-class lady who luckily has connections, but many families are not so fortunate. It's all very well to cite laws and legislation, but I think we all know that often-times those laws are not followed. Secret courts means there is no transparency to proceedings. Social services lie, manipulate evidence and deliberately cherry-pick evidence that will suit their purpose, parents fighting the might of the state have a very tough fight on their hands and the LA can pay "expert witnesses" who will say what they want to keep the gravy train rolling.

Perhaps you'd like to have a look at this article in Autism Eye magazine: or read up on the moral panic series by Professor Vivienne Cree: and here is a mother's blog post about the difficulties families with ME/CFS children face: and as you can see this poor mother started getting accused of MSBP/FII and CP became flagged up and you will note the following paragraph: "M. How did you feel about the Social Services being contacted?
I was so frightened. I contacted the Tymes Trust, which is the longest established UK service for children and young people with ME and their families. I was given some advice personally from Jane Colby, Executive Director, and she got all the professional referral team to speak to me. I was informed that they had many families contact them for the same reason, because they had children with ME and were threatened by Social Services."

There are plenty of stories out there of families with children with invisible disabilities who have been targeted (and no doubt vulnerable single-mums and other groups too). And I recently took part in a Parliamentary Inquiry into CAMHS UK-wide. I just received a document which quotes parents comments, and among them are parents of adopted children who were let down by CAMHS. Social services falsely accuses parents, adopts their children out without telling the adopters they have special needs and puts the child's issues down to "attachment disorder" and the parents end up battling with CAMHS to get help for their child for attachment disorder when the child actually has either autism or ADHD. Have a look on Jan Loxley Blount's Parents Protecting Children Facebook page for information and stories. Social services are known as the untouchables and even when they are found in court to have wrongly got children adopted, it is irreversible. Bury your head in the sand if you want, but you have no idea what's going on.

NanaNina Fri 17-Oct-14 02:32:37

No the "social worker" wasn't American - it was hard to tell with the din of the traffic in the background. She looked and sounded very unhinged to me.

NanaNina Fri 17-Oct-14 02:26:54

Sambo95 - I'm glad to read your post. I am a retired social worker/middle manager with a career spanning some 30 years and this whole notion of "forced adoption" is absolutely ludicrous. I would only take issue with one of your comments - about social workers having the power to take children from their parents. I know this is what a lot of people believe, but it is NOT true. Social workers do not have power to remove children. IF they have evidence that a child is being significantly harmed then they have a duty in law to protect that child, and they can make application to a Court for an Emergency Protection Order (EPO) the parents will attend the court hearing and will have the chance to put their views to the court. IF the court make the EPO it only lasts for 7 days and IF the Local Authority then feel the child will be harmed if returned to the care of the parents they have to initiate Care Proceedings in the Court, and have to present evidence to the court. Again the parents who will be entitled to legal aid for a lawyer will attend the hearing and their lawyer can contest the LA application. IF the court agree with the LA, then they will make an Interim Care Order (ICO) which remains in place for 28 days but can be renewed on a monthly basis. IF the EPO is not granted the child is returned to the care of the parents. IF the ICO is not granted the child is returned home.

The only other people with power to remove a child is the Police under legislation - Police Protection Order (PPO) and lasts for 72 hours, after which time the social workers must make application for an EPO or return the child home.

OJustice - I have no idea who you are. I sincerely hope you aren't the liberal MP for Yardley - John Hemming who spouts off about forced adoption at any given opportunity, but he has been banned from MN.

Do you honestly expect anyone with a grain of sense to be taken in by the videos you posted. The so-called social worker was ridiculous - I sincerely doubt that she was ever a social worker and if she was "hounded out" (dismissed from her post) I would think it was for gross incompetence or something similar. How could anyone find this American woman (I think) credible - sorry but she sounded like a very strange person with emotional problems.

As for the video with the paediatrician with the German sub titles - I could barely believe it - he was talking about children being "taken for forced adoption" because of ME/CFS..........WTF ...........I've heard it all now. How utterly ridiculous.

0justice Thu 16-Oct-14 14:28:02

Have a look at this video regarding an ex-SW who was forced out of her job and hounded by SS/the LA for exposing what they were up to:

And this video by a paediatrician supporting falsely accused families of children with ME/CFS (substitute any invisible disability here of course):

Yes, you might be lucky and get a decent SW, but the risk is very high that you won't.

sambo95 Thu 16-Oct-14 02:51:16

I'm absolutely terrified of social services, probably something to do with the effects of depression, but as of yet haven't had any bad dealings with them. I have been treated for depressiom for four and a half years with suicide attempts and self harm, I had my son two years ago and didn't hear a peep about or from social services, just had a family nurse(like a health visitor for young mums) who gave advice and support. Bearing in mind since having my son I have told my gp and family nurse about how I feel and the demons inside, still nothing from ss. Just left my child's father after four years of domestic abuse and the only thing I heard from them was "were here to support you, you don't need to be worried as we're not opening a case as we're satisfied you're taking the necessary steps to protect and care for your son, the only time we will get involved is if we find out you have gone back to your ex or if your ex has seen your son". So obviously I've panicked that lies might be told about me seeing my ex to ss, but all in all they haven't been a problem for me, and Im classed as high risk also, having had my son at 17, past and current mental health issues, self harm and suicide attempts and an abusive relationship. Try not to be too afraid, have a little faith, but not too much, just don't be afraid of the unknown because aswell as having the power to take your children away, they also have the power to help and protect your children when there's nothing else you can do to protect them xx

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