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A tragic story of mums and babies

(13 Posts)
Greydog Mon 23-Jun-14 11:26:03

Has anyone else read this - www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-27943591
It has to be the saddest thing I seen. Poor babies, poor mothers

i noted in the today programme reporting of this and in this article that there is absolutely no mention of the fathers at all

bumpiesonamission Mon 23-Jun-14 12:53:16

It's a sad state of affairs but little will change unless the type of programmes they talk about are rolled out to all areas but then there is little £££ and it won't be prioritised over the need to protect lo in crisis at the moment.

I'm glad I'm on maternity leave from that work now!

phantomnamechanger Thu 26-Jun-14 17:33:55

Willie, sometimes the fathers do not know. My brother found out he had a 3 yr old when social services contacted him because the child was being removed from his mother because of severe neglect, and she had named DBro as father. She had got pg (deliberately lying/missing her pill) then left him. he did not know a thing till 4 years on. worse still, it transpired that she had already done this 2 times previously sad
he now has sole custody of the child having undergone DNA testing and having to undergo parenting classes, have his home vetted, interviews with him, his partner, her parents , his parents - all for SS to get a feel of the whole family environment this child would be in.
this was 4 years ago. we don't know how many more babies she may have had by now sad

I don't know what the answers are but its all very sad when things like this happen

BigArea Thu 26-Jun-14 17:37:46

I am prepared for a flaming for saying this, but I was musing recently over people being able to be banned from keeping animals as a result of neglect/cruelty, and the paradox of parents having a succession of children to abuse/neglect. Not suggesting sterilisation or anything but it's an interesting conundrum <dons hard hat>

Anomaly Sat 28-Jun-14 20:01:34

In effect the family court is 'banning' some women from having children. The article says that lots are taken into care when very young. Its the cycle that needs to be broken. Supporting these women so that they get the help they need to hopefully keep their child. So much more needs to be done in terms of early intervention and it would pay off financially too because it would reduce the numbers of neglected and damaged children.

tiggytape Wed 02-Jul-14 14:55:21

Everything is done to keep babies with their mothers or at least within their birth family but in a handful of cases, multiple children will be removed because no other solution can be found. It is very much the last option and each new baby / new pregnancy is assessed on its own merit. It isn't automatic that some women lose every child no matter what.

Some people however are unfortunately barely capable of looking after themselves let alone a baby and that is an ongoing situation for them not something that will change. Even if they are given help to improve their own situation, that isn't always enough to ensure they can make a big leap to be able to offer a safe and stable home to a child and the huge responsibility that brings . For some people that is a point they will not be able to reach.

A woman who will not leave a dangerous partner and who has children removed for this reason will not be allowed to keep future children until she demonstrates that she will put their needs first. Some women just cannot make that break and each child they lose makes them more dependent on their abusive relationship not less. The state has no power to force her to leave only to make sure a child doesn't suffer as a result. The same is true of women with decades of alcohol and drug dependency who cannot simply choose to stop. Some manage to break the cycle but, for people in such terrible circumstances that baby after baby after baby is removed, the chances of a sudden transformation is low and the problems that have led them to that point will still exist.

wannaBe Wed 02-Jul-14 15:17:45

so what should happen to these children who are left with mothers who are unable to look after them? and do people really think that they will just stop having babies because they've been allowed to keep one?

My dp grew up in the care system. His parents were under SS radar when his mother was pregnant - he was admitted to hospital when he was weeks/months old; she was pregnant again within months; he was disabled by the time he was six months old, and endured years of abuse before he was finally permanently removed at age seven. In the meantime she had had several more children, and it wasn't until the last one that the baby was removed at birth and adopted.

There may have been abuse/mental illness at play here but tbh knowing what I know that is irrelevant as far as I'm concerned when it comes to the welfare of innocent children. If there are programmes which could enable someone to be a competent parent then perhaps these could be followed but if someone's parenting is questionable to the point that there could never be 100% clarity as to whether they could leave the radar of the system then IMO it would most likely be better for the children to be removed to stable home environments as soon as possible to avoid maximum psychological/physical harm. After all, there is usually a reason not just a suspicion why a child is removed when older, by which time it's too late and the damage has been done.

I also think that in any kind of programme which would enable a mother to be a competent parent contraception should be a compulsory part of the deal. It's a matter of choice here, you abstain from having children until you are capable of looking after them, or they will be removed thus meaning the outcome is the same but with greater emotional impact both to you and potentially the child.

As for dp's parents, they'd better be glad they're not likely to cross my path any time soon.

Each of these cases is a tragedy. Heartbreaking. It would make far more sense to offer intensive support to these women to help them turn their lives around. Often that support is not available - it is treated as an expense instead of an investment which would save money in the mid and long term. Far more expensive and cruel to leave families stuck in these depressing cycles than to intervene effectively.

Tiggy, you say 'everything is done' but that isn't always the case. One poster on another thread said cases are allocated to whichever SW team has room - if you get the child in need team you may get help if you get the removals team they just wait until they have enough evidence to remove.

... in her local authority obv. not universally

Oodlives Wed 02-Jul-14 15:49:19

Edam , which thread was that?

PetulaGordino Wed 02-Jul-14 15:55:29

i think the fathers comment wasn't about whether the fathers are aware or involved - it's that the statistics talk about how many mothers multiple babies removed but nothing about how many fathers have had multiple children removed either from their own care or from the the mothers of their children

i suspect that the reason this is not reported is because it's not recorded, for obvious reasons such as that the father is unknown or not involved, or that it might be more difficult to match up the same father to different children if they had different mothers

but the fact that this is unknown is also very telling

tiggytape Wed 02-Jul-14 17:28:48

Each of these cases is a tragedy. Heartbreaking. It would make far more sense to offer intensive support to these women to help them turn their lives around.

When though?
The state does not wade into people's lives and tell them to give up drinking, leave an abusive partner or sort out a chaotic lifestyle.
Only when a women is pregnant can they interfere in such issues by acting to ensure the baby will be protected.
It is often far too late by then for the woman to also be helped especially in terms of becoming fit to be able to parent. SS has 6 or 7 months at most (and many women in this position don't seek antenatal care at all or until very late) to work with a woman at a vulnerable and emotional period - it simply isn't enough time to turn a situation from dangerous and concerning to verified safe and stable.

Then the baby is born. There is no way a baby can be left with a parent known to be a potential danger to that baby (even unintentionally) and you cannot just put a baby's life on hold for 2 years whilst the mother sorts herself out. The baby cannot be fostered out and then handed back to her 2 years later when / if she recovers and there aren't resources to offer supervised residential places to people unless the outcome is expected to be a positive one. It is also seen as unfair to deprive a child of an early adoption an early family life and early bonding by keeping them in a limbo state that will probably fail.

There is a chance that if a mother engages with the process, she will lose one child but be allowed to keep future children. Unfortunately some people are in far too deep to be able to change enough. The help they get in pregnancy comes far too late in their lives. And for others, the trauma of losing one child makes their situation worse and they are less able to be helped at all.

SS will always try to keep the baby with the birth family so when a baby is taken away it is either because the mother has nobody in her life at all or because everyone in her family is disinterested, unable to help or judged equally unsafe to care for a baby. This probably says a lot about the lack of support she has generally if not one person is able to step up and help her at such a terrible time. That in turn says a lot about how well she is likely to recover enough to become capable of parenting when she is already at such a low point and when not one person in her life can offer practical support over the longer term.

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