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Can social services force a child to be vaccinated?

(35 Posts)

Bit of a theoretical question, based on a real life situation that I don't really know enough about for this to be anything but hypothetical, but was wondering about the legallity as well as the morals.

A friend of a friend has had her young children removed and put into temporary care and one is a baby. They have not had all their vaccinations (possibly due to neglect rather than empowered decision). Social services (apparently) are saying that part of taking care of the child is making sure their vaccinations are up to date.

Can social services do this against the parents wishes?

ArthurPewty Mon 03-Dec-12 11:23:40

yeah SS will see it as part of basic "good parenting", unfortunately.

ArthurPewty Mon 03-Dec-12 11:23:02

SS were harsh on us when they came and interrogated us, because we have deliberately chosen not to vaccinate the DDs...

That is why i would never ask children and disabilities into our home - after our experiences with child protection (false accusation, we were cleared in 11 days), i would never ever ask the judgemental cuntwads back in :/

lisad123 Sun 18-Nov-12 21:15:44

SS will see it as a basic need, unless they have done the research and can explain why. It's sounds like your friends family life was chaos and they were failing to meet basic needs such as basic health care, and keeping kids safe. sad

SamSmalaidh Sun 18-Nov-12 21:13:26

I mean it is seen as a basic of adequate parenting.

Injecting a child with a drug that can have harmful side effects is hardly the same thing as giving them a winter coat is it?

SamSmalaidh Sun 18-Nov-12 20:28:34

I expect that now that they know the children aren't vaccinated, they are just insisting it is done - same as if they realised they hadn't had dental treatment or didn't have appropriate winter coats.

Thank you saintly for the link. Don't know them that well at all but can pass into my friend who does.

Wonder if the whole vaccination thing is a deflection technique by SS to keep the spotlight off themselves!?

Yes we had a SS 'encounter' once. Can't say they were 'involved' though. In fact they were tripping over themselves not to be in case they had to part with any money I presume.

lisad123 Sun 18-Nov-12 19:31:59

Sadly not that new sad

It sounds dreadful starlight. So rather than providing them with support for their eldest, they're enforcing vaccination of the youngest.

I hope the family are getting support from someone. Actually it would be worth contacting The Challenging Behaviour Foundation They might not be able to help with the vaccination issue, but should with the rest.

I know they've been asking for help for years.

Perhaps him being 16 and a threat is massively different in terms of safeguarding from being 15 and a threat hmm

Yes, I think so as then they're putting their children at risk of being assaulted by an adult.

If he's an adult, adult care services should be involved.

Have you had SS involvement starlight. When they do the disability assessment they generally use the same forms and it's a question on there (although the SW didn't even ask me about it for ds1, she just skipped the question).

Whether children have been vaccinated or not is part of an assessment. BUt it's part of a wider assessment. So for example no-one in authority has ever had an issue with lack of vaccination for ds2 or ds3, because I can explain why that decision was made and have sound reasons for it which have generally been respected.

If it was a case of not getting around to it, and there was other evidence of a chaotic life then it could be used as part of a case for getting children removed.

Actually I don't know Laurie. Does that make a difference?

Is the oldest over 16 then?

lisad123 Sun 18-Nov-12 19:11:41

Yes they can and will. They do see it as neglect, wouldn't normally remove a child but as a bigger picture they might.
Unless they have removed under sec 20 which is volunteer order then SS would have to have applied for shared care order and can apply to court to force permission for jabs.

No, they didn't take them because they weren't vaccinated but because the parents couldn't keep them safe from their older brother.

That really doesn't sound like the full story
- they've taken all the kids apart from the one (presumably) hard to place?
- and they've taken solely because of non vaccination.

Something doesn't add up unless its massive incompetence (possible but unlikely)

CajaDeLaMemoria Sun 18-Nov-12 19:08:46

No. I was that child. parents didn't vaccinate me because they couldn't be bothered, social services and foster parents couldn't because it was their decision.

I'm 22 now and have just got over reoccurring whooping cough. I wish someone had bothered to vaccinate me.

The baby has had none because they haven't got around to it and don't think it is that important. The older two children don't have them up to date in particular the MMR because the parents believe it was the MMR jab that triggered their eldest child's disability, whose all-consuming aggression has led to the other children being removed (but not him hmm).

The parents have been told that they MUST have their children vaccinated to prove their parenting, or else SS will do it.

This is as I understand the issue, but I have to concede I don't know the detail.

The decision to not vaccinate would not be taken as neglect on its own.

There would be many reasons that a child would be taken into care and parental responsibility taken from the parent.

Only when the LA have a full care order would they act in the child's best interests (which is to vaccinate as its govt policy).

Vivalebeaver Sun 18-Nov-12 18:56:25

Yes they can. If they have concerns already then they can say that these are the steps you need to take to convince us you're suitable parents to keep this child. I've known conditions be vaccinations, stopping smoking, etc.

If conditions aren't met then social services will recommend the child is removed.

Which is a bit crap really when you think that if a middle class mother wanted to smoke and chose not to vaccinate that no one would remove her child. However it's supposed to demonstrate that they will put the child before themselves. But if you believe vaccinations are harmful it's a bit of a nightmare.

AngelsWithSilverWings Sun 18-Nov-12 18:51:30

When I adopted my children I had shared parental responsibility with the local authority until the adoption was finalised ( about 4 months after they were placed with me)

During that time I had no choice in whether to vaccinate or not. My local authority had the final say and insisted in all vaccinations being carried out.

For me it made it easier as think I may have struggled to make a decision about the MMR due to the debate that was raging at the time.

tethersend Sun 18-Nov-12 18:46:07

As others have said, it depends who has PR; but it is a very interesting question to ask if non-vaccination is in itself being cited as a sign of neglect. Is not vaccinating your child neglectful?

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