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Heart says this is fundamentally wrong, head says maybe not...

(46 Posts)
Inflames Mon 05-Sep-11 13:29:24

Obese Children to be Put Up For Adoption

What a sad story. And only place I can find more info is Daily Fail, which makes me doubt the accuracy to be honest....

AIBU to feel that it is not OK to remove children permenantly and with no contact, in this manner - but to think that actually there may be good reasons to save these children from a lifetime of health problems? Seems like there was quite draconian input to try to help but not the right kind of input if that makes sense? And the floodgates it could open for reasons to remove children....

FWIW I think Social Services and social workers generally do a good job in bloody hard circumstances while being universally slammed for doing too much or too little. But this story makes me feel very very uncomfortable.

Help me get down off the fence - there are splinters in my bum.

Itsjustafleshwound Mon 05-Sep-11 13:32:38

Surely there must be more to this story than merely the weight of the children ....

FagAshLill Mon 05-Sep-11 13:35:12

All this is going to do is slove a problem short term. I can see this being damaging to these children later in life which will come out in more destructive ways, ie, eating disorders, financial ruin - or getting close to it, low self esteem, feeling the pressure to be a certain size more than the rest of us do.

I dont think it's a good idea AT ALL.

Fatshionista Mon 05-Sep-11 13:37:32

I hate this. It's awful.

However I do think that there's more to this story than has been reported with the sensationalist title. Removed with no contact? Honestly?

seeker Mon 05-Sep-11 13:39:13

There will be more to this. As usual, journalists and parents can say anything they like but the social workers are bound by confidentiality, and can only make bland neutral statements.

kayb123 Mon 05-Sep-11 13:39:28

what a stupid idea, so does it also go the other way too, parents with children/teenagers with a eating disorder should be taken away too!!!, as it must be down to the parents not feeding them enough or im sure something just as silly ss will use as a excuse.. therefore cause harm to their bodies. god what is this world coming too sad.

FlabbyGleek Mon 05-Sep-11 13:41:30

According to someone I heard talking about this on the radio - there is a lot more to the story.

Apparently, the parents in their supervised contact continued to try to sneak unhealthy foods to the children and whispered encouragements to continue eating unhealthily.

I suppose it sounds innoccuous enough when you read they Daily Mail but I think the parents' behaviour is much more damaging/abusive/controlling then is being reported.

Here is a link from 2009 telegraph when this was first reported.

scrambedeggs Mon 05-Sep-11 13:41:52

there is more to it

there was a report about it on bbc radio this morning and it was made clear this is only one small part of the case

Psammead Mon 05-Sep-11 13:42:16

No contact seems drastic.

I can only assume that they recieved nutrition advice, excersise and sport advice etc.

Even so, and even assuming that the children are morbidly obese in the extreme, it seems unhelpful to deny them contact with their parents. There must be another issue.

I don't like the precedence this sets, either.

MmeLindor. Mon 05-Sep-11 13:43:29

Oh, I seem to remember reading about this a couple of years ago.

Birdsgottafly Mon 05-Sep-11 13:43:43

This is a one off case. The family seems to have had intervention for years. As there are children involved details cannot be publicised. They have 7 DC's but have only had 3 living with them at a time, which would indicate that they struggle.

Also it is in Scotland not in England.

To remove a child there has to be evidence of deliberate 'significant harm'. This is decided by the court not by SW's, they can push for the removal of the children but the judge has to agree that it is what is needed to protect the children from the decided 'significant harm'.

Inflames Mon 05-Sep-11 13:45:43

Thanks for the earlier article will have a look now :-)

Birdsgottafly Mon 05-Sep-11 13:49:00

This isn't just about body weight. The parents seem to have an obsession with food akin to a MH problem. They can refuse help or ignore what the court decides (as in what they should be feeding their DC's) but cannot keep their children if they do. It would seem that SS has worked with them for years.

Inflames Mon 05-Sep-11 13:55:06

It must be difficult for the SW's involved to not be able to share what that 'significant harm' may be, though aware that there will be more to the case than bring reported publically.

Think it's the precedent it sets that is potentially frightening, as other posters have suggested.

mummylin2495 Mon 05-Sep-11 14:01:13

Sorry i didnt realise there wsa thread already and started another on the same subject.I have reposted asking people to diregard mine.

I am extremely shocked by this,i do think for the childrens benefit something has to be done ,but for the parents to be told they cant see the children again i think is wrong.But as others have said we dont know the whole story.

EricNorthmansMistress Mon 05-Sep-11 14:10:10

There is no way that this is the reason that the DCs have been removed. Confidentiality dictates that no details of the case can be shared with the public - so families can (and do) make up all sorts of crap to the papers. Please don't panic, this is scaremongering.

Inflames Mon 05-Sep-11 14:13:37

Maybe redressing the 'scaremongering' element of reporting would be one reason to open family courts more. Though - more splinters in bum - that in itself is fraught with problems.

Inflames Mon 05-Sep-11 14:16:16

The case does raise important questions though - around whether parents who have obese children and who fail to address this with maximum support deserve to have their children removed, potentially permanently. It's a widespread issue affecting thousands of families.

EricNorthmansMistress Mon 05-Sep-11 14:25:14

whether parents who have obese children and who fail to address this with maximum support deserve to have their children removed, potentially permanently

Child protection does not follow the principle of what parents are owed, or deserve. The children act sets out the rights of the child and the responsibilities of the parent. CP proceedings are not there to punish the parents, nor are contact arrangements. The outcome should be the child being protected, not the parent being rewarded or punished.

In this case I would be happy to assume that the children were at risk of significant harm through their parents' actions, of which the weight issue would have been a small part of the picture.

MmeLindor. Mon 05-Sep-11 14:29:44

According to the reports I read, the family were under observation from SW for two years. I would very much doubt that this decision was taken solely on the obesity issue, there must be more to it.

Inflames Mon 05-Sep-11 14:31:41

I think it's difficult to weigh up whether the potential harm to children emotionally by removing them is greater than the emotional and physical risks of them staying with parents. When i worked in mental health these were tough considerations when deciding on making a referral. There were some very obvious cases - and far more that fell right between the crack of remove / support / don't refer at all. Which is why I could never be a social worker, and why I think they generally do a great job in very emotive and difficult circumstances.

EricNorthmansMistress Mon 05-Sep-11 14:53:33

Social workers don't make these decisions alone. There are reams of experts who look at all sides before an ultimate decision is made by the court. It's as balanced as it can be.

WilsonFrickett Mon 05-Sep-11 16:22:30

As others have said, there must be more to this than meets they eye. I do think the culture of secrecy round family courts helps fuel the media being able to report on the more sensational aspects of cases, especially as SW's etc really can't say anything at all. There should be more open reporting, IMO. It is quite possible to do this while protecting anonymity (sp?).

kelly2000 Mon 05-Sep-11 16:38:29

I cannot imagine an anorexic or bulemic teenager being removed, and in the short term that is of far greater danger. Obesity is unhealthy in the longer term, but as of yet I have not heard of anyone under 16 dying from it, whereas they have died from anorexia (correct me if there have been cases)
I really do not agree with this general culture of barring children from seeing their parents when there has been no sexual or physical abuse (and I mean punching etc not giving them too many chips). A child has a right to have contact with their family so even if they are fostered that contact should be maintained. Plus for the older children it is not likely they will be put in permenant homes, so there is no reason to think their diets are suddenly going to improve if anything then I would think that the emotional strain of being denied contact witht heir family would lead to emotional eating/starving. Compulsive eating is an eating disorder just as much as anorexia.
This is why the family courts should be more open, so that they can be judged fairly, for all we know there is far more to this than the media are reporting. There is no reason to identify the children, just call them family X or something. If it was a criminal court case involving children they would be identified like this.

kelly2000 Mon 05-Sep-11 16:41:37

Can I also just say that if they are encouraging them to overeat (and I do not just mean chips on a friday as a treat) when they are dangerously overweight and health workers have told them to stop, then surely that is as bad as parents encouraging children to not eat when they are underweight.

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