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Fathers video f 6 hour old being removed by social services allowed to be showed.

(27 Posts)
Inthebeginning Fri 06-Sep-13 07:47:22


I know it's the daily mail, and I shouldn't be reading such a rubbish paper but this is horrible.

Was it taken to court so that it could be shown because the social workers did it wrong? Or just because he should have freedom of speech?

I haven't watched the video but I think it is a very loaded article the way it's written. and it's the local authority -we-- are with

Wondered what other people think of it?

Inthebeginning Sat 07-Sep-13 22:03:33

Thank you all, sorry for not coming back earlier.
I think I found the article disturbing in the way it had been written, how it casts aspersions on why they had had their children taken away.Like all four were wrongly taken. (I know this is a raw nerve!)
Thank you for all discussing it, so that I can get it clear in my head.

PaleHousewifeOfCumbriaCounty Sat 07-Sep-13 21:33:35

It's hard to make sweeping statements as we are comparing LA to LA. each has its own resources and demographic issues.

Parsnipcake Sat 07-Sep-13 11:34:11

The reality is that SWs are pretty powerful. They do not need court permission to take a child into care, as the vast majority are voluntary arrangements. - not really voluntary as it is spelled out to parents that if they agree to voluntary it will help their court case and mean better contact arrangements, and if parents don't agree they are told it will go to court which makes them look unco-operative and often means less contact with their child - in my experience 3 rather than 4 sessions a week for a baby.

However, while I do see voluntary placement as often co-ercive, the standards for removing a child are very low. It has to be fairly horrendous to remove a child and in 11 years I have never seen a child removed who shouldn't have been - quite the opposite. Birth parents are given numerous chances to achieve very minimal standards of care and still can't do it, much to the detriment of their children. In the case of babies, there is usually lots of evidence and many chances ate given in the first few months, the system is genuinely aimed at returning children to birth family.
We should always behave in a way that could be scrutinised, but YouTube videos are not the right way.

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 07-Sep-13 10:39:28

I haven't watched the video. But I agree that SW (and other public service professionals) should always act in a way that could be recorded and would stand up to scrutiny. But I don't think that the father has the right to waive his anonymity when it results in compromising the anonymity of his children.

RumblyTum Sat 07-Sep-13 01:06:12

@parsnip, then you do an amazing and, to most of us, incomprehensibly difficult thing, for the sake of the children that are/will be ours (on this board). I cannot thank you enough.

PaleHousewifeOfCumbriaCounty Fri 06-Sep-13 22:54:09

People have some very unrealistic ideas about what kind of power spcial workers actually have.

motownmover Fri 06-Sep-13 22:48:46

I disagree with secret courts.

I think secret courts allow real stuff ups that ruin lives.

CocoCha Fri 06-Sep-13 18:54:00

But Social Workers can't remove a child without a court order, it's not their decision, it's for a Judge to authorise.

edam Fri 06-Sep-13 18:28:33

There have been some cases where judges have made damning remarks about SS removing children based on mere gossip, hearsay and prejudice. Clearly things sometimes do go terribly wrong. I don't know whether this one is a terrible miscarriage of justice or the only option. But it is, sadly, not unknown for SWs to be horribly ignorant about SN and biased against parents.

Parsnip, I'm glad that at least your local SS dept involves foster carers, which may make a horribly traumatic situation for adults and children at least a little more bearable.

LaurieFairyCake Fri 06-Sep-13 17:52:35

I'm concluding he is paranoid because he says they're trying to manipulate him using NLP techniques.

CocoCha Fri 06-Sep-13 17:17:50

3 children don't get removed for no reason. The parents are incapable of bringing up the baby so yes, remove at birth and place with a family who can bring up children.

Unpopular view but a learning difficulties and serious mental health issues do not make for even adequate parenting, let alone good.

lougle Fri 06-Sep-13 17:10:08

"Does anyone who watched the video feel that the social workers and police did anything unprofessional?"

I think it's also impossible to tell from that short clip. On the face of it, a 30 second cuddle followed by demands for the baby seems so harsh, but we don't know the events before that.

I think it's terrible that a person's learning difficulties can be a reason to have to relinquish their child. That's not to say there is any other way though. I look at my now 7 year old and dread the thought of facing that situation (she has SN).

hatgirl Fri 06-Sep-13 16:49:42

lougle I agree we absolutely can't conclude he is paranoid from the video. however, there is a long interview with him after the video on one of the links further up which is quite illuminating as to the views/ beliefs he holds about why what has happened has happened.

Most times social services do get it right, but I've had my faith in that shaken after witnessing some incredible unfairness and injustices in regards to parents with learning disabilities because of a lack of awareness and understanding by of some of my colleagues in child protection.

Does anyone who watched the video feel that the social workers and police did anything unprofessional?

lougle Fri 06-Sep-13 16:31:22

I'm not sure we can conclude he is paranoid from that video. I'd be more concerned if he wasn't reacting to his child being removed.

FWIW, I am of the view that most times SS get these things right, but even still, it's an awful situation for anyone to face.

LaurieFairyCake Fri 06-Sep-13 15:13:42

It doesn't look like the fathers paranoia is controlled enough by medication.

If we accept he is paranoid which is leading to his aggressive behaviour then the child shouldn't be with him.

lougle Fri 06-Sep-13 15:12:24

Whether necessary or unnecessary, it's just harrowing sad

Parsnipcake Fri 06-Sep-13 15:04:50

I am a foster carer. In most of my cases it's me who actually takes the baby, and while it's heartbreaking I work very hard to make it a safe experience for the birth mum ( though dad is often kicking off in the background rather than supporting her). While 'positive' is not the right word, most of my transitions have been ok, with birth mum definitely happier for me than sw or police to do the removal. I will not do it if I could be videoed and published, it's an intensely private and difficult thing. I am horrified by this decision. I do not think it leads to more openness.

RumblyTum Fri 06-Sep-13 14:57:38

Any professionals who have to deal with this every day deserve medals. I can't even begin to imagine.

hatgirl Fri 06-Sep-13 11:50:32

and listening further to the video i'm getting the impression that the father is a bit paranoid. He is claiming the social worker was trying to hypnotise him using NLP and hand gestures which is why he hit her hand. Theres the usual nonsense about social workers making money out of private fostering and people making a living out of stealing children hmm

Aside from that he also states that part of the problem is that social workers are lying about him being violent. He states he isn't violent and has only ever hit people in self defence. Or years ago when he was younger.

hatgirl Fri 06-Sep-13 11:39:51

Again, we don't know the full facts of the case and we only have one side of the story, however,

4posterbed they won't necessarily be awful parents. The mere fact that the mother has a learning disability and father has a history of mental health problems is enough 'evidence' for the social workers to say that the children are at a high risk of 'emotional harm' and 'neglect' even if it hasn't actually happened.

equally TheProsAndConsOfHitchhiking you are getting the father's interpretation of what has happened. He's hardly going to say actually we aren't able to cope as parents, we love our children but in all likelihood we wouldn't have been able to meet their needs? So much of what he says is about HIS rights rather than the actual children.

4posterbed Fri 06-Sep-13 11:02:38

I feel sorry for the social workers and police! No one wants another Baby P scenario and we don't know the full facts but they must be dreadful parents if they have already had 3 children taken into care.

Poor children to have been born to these people. Thank god for social workers, many more children would have to stay with unfit parents without their help!

TheProsAndConsOfHitchhiking Fri 06-Sep-13 10:39:27

The full video is Here followed by an interview by the Father explaining why his other children were took and also why and how he has been silenced. Interview starts at around 30 mins in.

It is just awful. sad

getagoldtoof Fri 06-Sep-13 09:12:40

hatgirl those inaccuracies are just odd, aren't they. Children's services social workers have no jurisdiction over those things!

No one reports on the good things that happen. I have children whose parents both have LDs. When we started working with them it was questionable whether they could manage, but a year later - they have made some fantastic changes and their children are very likely to grow up with their parents.

We would always rather provide services and support to parents who are having difficulty. The costs to children's services of accommodating children are astronomical. We sometimes need to use placements that cost more than half a million a yr.

Besides, research shows that parents with LDs are no more likely to abuse their children than the general population. However, these are vulnerable people, who may need support to parent. If they don't accept this or can't work with it, the children's needs come first and we get back to the question about threshold.

hatgirl Fri 06-Sep-13 08:29:06

my understanding is that they took it to court because everyone involved in the case (father/mother/child) is supposed to remain anonymous under the family courts. Releasing a video to the national paper's isn't really keeping anonymity but the father is claiming its his right not to be anonymous if he wishes.

I have my own professional experiences of this situation and there is a big debate over how children's social services view/treat parents with learning disabilities in comparison to other parents, which without knowing the full facts of this case we can't really judge whether they were right or wrong in this decision.

There are just so many inaccuracies though in the reporting of the case. For example a child protection social worker would have absolutely no power to 'section' the father. Equally social services have no control over whether someone gets their disability benefits or not.

They have had four children removed, presumably in four different court proceedings and potentially by four different judges. The one thing that strikes me is that they kept their eldest until she was 7 and she was removed 4 years ago. Now, again we don't know the facts of the circumstances around that, but it perhaps does demonstrate the shift in the risks social workers are prepared/ are allowed to take in the decision to leave children with their families pre and post Baby P. As a society we we demanded that baby p should never happen again (it does by the way, weekly across the country) and a perception of 'over zealously' by social services is the product of that.

People need to understand that as a society we can't have it both ways and that whist 99% of the time social workers will make the right decision, there will always be that chance that they get it wrong, either removing a child who isn't actually at risk, or making a decision to give the parents another chance to try and keep a family together.

End of rant!

getagoldtoof Fri 06-Sep-13 08:26:23

I didn't watch the video but have read the article. Was the person saying "don't make us get physical" a social worker? A social worker cannot 'get physical' - only the police can do this. This is an unfortunate thing to say!

I think the video should be available. It shows social workers (I am a cp sw), that we are accountable not only to the families we work with (rightly), but also to the national media (arguably, wrongly?). I have been recorded. It is important to me to practice in a way that I don't worry about being recorded - I have to follow the correct procedures, and I am entirely guided by my manager in carrying out these emotive tasks (e.g. removing newborn babies from their parents).

Before the family got to that stage, there would have been legal planning by the local authority where a team of legal advisors, social workers, a team manager and a service manager, will decide whether legal threshold is met to issue care proceedings. Threshold is complex but basically can only be if the authority can prove that child is suffering - or is at risk of suffering from significant harm. So not only have the social worker/s here agreed that, so have the local authority. If the police were taking police protection then and there - they too agree. If the courts had made an order - they too agree.

Although I'm sure you're all aware of this (in this section of mn), I wish it were more widely known. A sw doesn't just walk into a house and take a child away.

However, my point is that when children are removed the parents have every right to talk to who they wish about it. The press, their pals, whoever. If I know I have followed the procedures correctly - which I always try to - although what I/the local authority have done may seem unpalatable to many - by law, it had to be done.

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