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To wonder about all the press on Social Services taking children away?

(459 Posts)
goldbracelet Thu 17-May-12 22:24:10

From good families and parents for no good reason. It is media hype or is there truth in it?

Talking with friends recently, some say they are careful about what they say to the GP for fear of what goes down on record. For example, they would think twice before saying something along the lines of, "I'm finding it hard to cope with my young children while sick with flu (or whatever illness)".

Amy social workers out there who could comment? Is it true that 95% of children are never returned to their parents once removed?

Scary. I can't believe this could happen.

WorraLiberty Thu 17-May-12 22:38:06

Not so much press, more one spammy poster on MN....

goldbracelet Thu 17-May-12 22:47:47

No, I've read several articles in the last few weeks. The Sunday Times, Daily Mail (I know), can't remember where others were posted.

Worra not sure where you're headed with that. Meaning my post?

DuelingFanjo Thu 17-May-12 22:52:28

it's really quite hard to have a child taken into care permanently. My mum was a sw in child protection.

if you were to say 'I am finding it hard to cope with my young children while sick with flu' who would you be saying it to? Unless Social workers are already working with your family I can't see why you would think they would even be aware of a comment like that.

IneedAbetterNicknameIn2012 Thu 17-May-12 22:56:57

My personal experience of SS is that they will do everything they can to keep children with you of you are struggling.

The people I know who have had their children taken from them would say that SS are evil, interfering wankers, who take children for no reason.

IMO most people who have lost their children will 'pretend' or maybe genuinely not realise, that they have done anything wrong.

goldbracelet Thu 17-May-12 23:00:21

Did anyone else read about the mum in Wandsworth? Ok I can't remember how SS ended up getting involved but when they did, they usedcomme ts like this given to GP, against her.

And I'm talking about things that most mums i know have said at some point to GP when babies are very young and they're in the depths of sleep deprivation. Examples: I'm finding it hard to cope, I feel really fed up, etc.

Not posting because I personally feel concerned about SS! More wondering if anyone else believes these stories in the press. Apparently SS are cracking down after high profile cases like, very sadly, Baby P.

goldbracelet Thu 17-May-12 23:02:30

A friend who is a SW says the same, that she would do everything possible to keep child with parents. And I know that she would.

Maybe I need to link to these articles .... Will see if I can find online

joanofarchitrave Thu 17-May-12 23:03:15

I'm sure there is a link between the press reports and people saying they are feeling afraid. Press reports are designed to elicit emotions.

This press article here states that a majority of looked-after children return home again, so that's at least 50%. A bit different from 5% - where is that figure from?

RightBuggerforit Thu 17-May-12 23:03:16

It's on the daily mail quite a lot. Some stories have been really scary, but that's the dm for you, they don't sell papers by telling it how it actually is!

RightBuggerforit Thu 17-May-12 23:03:49


Devora Thu 17-May-12 23:06:01

I don't believe there is an institutionalised conspiracy to rip children away from loving families in order to meet government targets, no. I don't believe it is 'too easy' to take children into care. I don't think social workers are generally over-zealous in taking children away from their parents.

I do believe that the system is under enormous strain, that there are not enough good social workers, that it is hard for good social workers to do their work well. I think mistakes get made. I also think that social workers who are inexperienced, unintelligent, gullible, cynical, prejudiced, undersupported or overstretched may make bad decisions.

Selks Thu 17-May-12 23:07:53

What 'press'? Other than a couple of threads started on here by the odd poster with an agenda I have seen nothing much in the media.

Some info for you OP -

- Social workers main aim is to keep families together. Much support and effort is given to that end.
- It is not easy to get a child into care. There is a lack of foster places for a start.
- It is not a social worker's individual decision to remove a child. It is done with a court order from a judge.
- Social services are not 'cracking down'. It is true that more children are coming into care now than before, but that is for two reasons - better understanding of child protection by other professionals e.g. teachers etc means more referrals to social services, and some children are not left in abusive homes for so long as previously before they are removed, which is a good thing.
The primary thing is the wellbieng of the child.

So no, don't worry. Social services are not out to child snatch.

goldbracelet Thu 17-May-12 23:08:54

The 5% is a number my SW friend said in conversation. Have no idea is she's guessing or estimating but I'd imagine she has a good idea. Been a SW for several years.

fussbucket Thu 17-May-12 23:13:07

This happened to an old school friend. Her twins were taken into care within days of coming home from hospital as they had signs of healing bone fractures. They'd been premature and had spent most of their lives in hospital. Medical evidence very quickly showed that the breaks had almost certainly occurred during their natural birth. However, it took nearly a year to get the children back, during which time the parents were allowed 2 hours supervised contact three times a week. As the whole thing was covered by the blanket news blackout that all such Family Court cases are covered by, we were unable to create a stink about how slow SS were to get their paperwork done.
Can't stand the DM and its scare stories, but I KNOW this one is true.

goldbracelet Thu 17-May-12 23:13:49

Oh dear my intention wasn't to 'bash' social workers. I admire the job they do and know I could never do it myself. It must take so much out of you.

I can't find the articles online but The Sunday Times ran a story about 2-3 weeks ago, and there was a similar one in the Daily Mail. Also something in a Sunday paper supplement perhaps 4 weeks ago now. Sorry I haven't seen the MN posts you're referring to.

notforlong Thu 17-May-12 23:48:05

A neighbours child suffered a fracture and the child was taken due to this one incident. A medical reason was found.

The social worker could hardly speak English, so I fail to see how they could interview the parents fairly.

I could not believe the way this case wa handled, the mother and siblings were traumatised.

goldbracelet Thu 17-May-12 23:59:18

These are terrifying stories. I can't get my head around how SS could take away your child over a single incident. Don't they talk to extended family and friends of the parents? School teachers, neighbours?

BackforGood Fri 18-May-12 00:18:29

I have worked with dozens and dozens of children over the years, where all the professionals - except the SWs- just couldn't believe the parents were allowed to carry on "parenting" the children the way they were. IMVH (and no doubt unpopular on here) opinion, SC&H are FAR too reticent to think about the way these little ones are being damaged by some truely appalling parenting, and just continually try to keep children with their biological parents when the parents are clearly unfit to look after an animal let alone bring up a child. Of course, none of these professionals are allowed to report what actually happens to these dc, in the media. but the media love a good story where parents tell their side and tell of how their child was taken away by an over zealous soc worker.
That's not to say I don't believe mistakes never happen - sadly they do, and even 1 mistake like that described above, has devastating effects on the whole family, but it definitely is NOT widespread, nor, IMO does it happen often enough.

Sorry for rant blush - I've spent the last week dealing with a very damaged little girl who is still returned to her 'mother' and it just makes me so angry.

Devora Fri 18-May-12 00:23:44

I agree, BackforGood. Cases where children are taken into care for one fracture must be vanishingly rare in comparison to those where children are left languishing in truly horrific situations.

Which doesn't make it ok, of course.

lovelydogs Fri 18-May-12 00:31:18

I've read similar too, although in broadsheets not dm or here. They have targets, apparently, after baby p.

gingerchick Fri 18-May-12 00:38:40

FFS go away woman!

lovelydogs Fri 18-May-12 00:55:12

I'm recalling a similar article I've read, which specifically named that case. What's your problem?

Noqontrol Fri 18-May-12 00:56:59

There's always been targets, same as any government organisation, way before baby Peter. Doesn't mean your child is going to be taken away because you're struggling to cope with the flu though. Social workers are there to actually try and help, believe it or not.

cory Fri 18-May-12 08:01:41

THere have been cases, certainly, where children have been removed from their families because of medical conditions mimicking abuse. But then we're talking something that looks like serious, dangerous abuse, not just feeling a bit overwhelmed by flu. And I don't see how the SW can be blamed for that: surely the blame rests with ignorant medical professionals who failed to spot the real condition. If the SW are told by the consultant that a child is being battered by its parents, you can't really blame them for trying to save the child.

My children have one of these conditions, and I have to say ignorance seems less widespread than it did 10 years ago. I think internet forums like Mumsnet do a lot of good in spreading awareness.

Of the professionals we came across, we found SWs the most level headed and open minded, mental health professionals the second most approachable and male paediatric consultants the most difficult and most likely to jump to conclusions. But of course the sample size is small.

knowotumean Fri 18-May-12 08:12:19

OP yeah I don't know if it was a woman from Wandsworth but I heard a lady speaking on radio 4 recently about a similar experience. It sounded hideous. I think, but I am not sure, that the doctor was a young inexperienced GP and the notes she wrote/her observations were very alarmist-jumping to conclusions as poster above says, a referral got made and it sounded like the doctors initial judgment influenced all the subsequent assessments and it all spiralled out of control.
Also agree with posters who say social workers will generally do all they can to keep children with their parents.

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