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to wonder why on earth this child had not been removed from his parents?

(132 Posts)
Bogeyface Fri 18-Jan-13 22:37:27

Shaun Binfield, 45, and Sally Dent, 33, of Belper, Derbyshire, had both denied the charges and were convicted after a trial at Nottingham Crown Court.

Two-year-old Riley Pettipierre died in March 2012 after drinking Dent's prescription methadone which had been poured into a child's drinking beaker..............................The court was told that police found evidence of heroin and cannabis hidden around the house and scientific tests showed traces of both drugs in strands of Riley's hair.

Ms Coen said it was highly likely Riley had consumed heroin and cocaine in the months leading up to his death.

Quoted from

Why in the name of all that is good was this child still with these parents? He must have been a heroin addict at birth. Drug abuse should surely be a reason to remove the child at birth?

Mosman Sat 19-Jan-13 02:09:54

If over crowding is the only problem then one day you will be able to foster Bogeyface just make sure all the cupboards of food are available to all the children.
I probably will but not until my children have left home.

Bogeyface Sat 19-Jan-13 02:11:36

I am almost 40 and by the time that we have a room available for a foster child under the rules, I will be 55 (assuming they all bog off to uni!). I truly hope they would take me then smile

Mosman Sat 19-Jan-13 02:19:50

I would wait until all your kids are out of the house, from what I have seen you do not get rosy faced well behaved cherub's placed with you who just need a bit of love. The woman we know has had her house trashed from top to bottom, been burgled by the FC's friends, had knives held to her throat. You just do not want your children exposed to that I wouldn't have thought.

Bogeyface Sat 19-Jan-13 02:30:35

Thanks Mosman.

Sadly I know how awful it can be, but I would still like to try. I would prefer an older child than a baby, I feel that I could help them better.

Joiningthegang Sat 19-Jan-13 07:16:19


Firstly, there are many morr parents misusig alcohol than illegal drugs - you want to take their children too - many more children damaged by alcohol use than drig use.

Secondly - when were the outcomes for children in care any good? What are you planning to do with these children?

Chubfuddler Sat 19-Jan-13 07:23:35

Basically it sounds as if these were neglectful parents one of whom also happened to be an addict.

Plenty of loving parents are addicts. There are enough alcoholics on MN to prove that. Most of them would gladly die for their children. Kicking an addiction can be harder than that though.

Chubfuddler Sat 19-Jan-13 07:24:47

And I don't think the care system is the panacea some think it. There was a report on the care system recently called something like "the state: the worst parent in the uk".

ErikNorseman Sat 19-Jan-13 08:16:51

You can't remove children from parents without strong evidence, and being drug addicted is not strong evidence. I'm sure, if you think about it, you will actually be very relieved and grateful that as a society we can't remove children from their parents based on a hunch or a prejudice...

The care system is imperfect but the damage is usually does by the child's early experiences, then compounded by lack of permanence in foster care. I have known children grow up with one set of lovely foster carers from age 2-18 and still end up psychologically destroyed.

Ifyoucantsayanythingnice Sat 19-Jan-13 08:29:51

Blinkin hate threads like this, people commenting on addiction based on what they have read in the DM or the Sun

I work with drug addiction and specifically substitute prescribing. These parents deserve to be sentenced for manslaughter, they made a ridiculous decision which resulted in the death of their child

However..... They are not indicative of all parents who have struggled with drug addiction, services like the one I work for and social care work their butts off to identify and worK with families where children are a risk, we do not plonk people on methadone and leave them with it, we provide sructured and consistent support to address addiction and provide the psychosocial interventions people need. Some parents with drug addictions can prioritise their children and do and work hard to change and make their lives better.

Children cannot be removed simply because parents have had/have drug addiction issues as this does not indicate children are at significant risk. Do you have any idea of what children suffer in the care system?

Children can be at risk in violent relationships and when there are parental mental health issues. Would you advocate that children are removed from ALL parents with depression/abusive relationship/bi-polar?

Do your research and stop with the knee jerk reaction 'to remove the children' because of the stigma attached to drug use to a system that isn't working.

thesnootyfox Sat 19-Jan-13 08:30:59

It's sad. Parents needs are put above the children's.

Adversecamber Sat 19-Jan-13 10:06:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OhThePlacesYoullGo Sat 19-Jan-13 10:29:11

My parents were both addicts. I was abused in every sense of word. Nonetheless being in 'care', was really only marginally less horrid.

JohnBender88 Sat 19-Jan-13 12:00:59

My little girl spent her first week in neonatal. There was another little girl in the same room who spent 12 straight hours screaming in agony due to heroin withdrawal. Her mother came in for maybe an hour and then left again. From what I heard she got to take her home.

It makes me sick that there are so many couples who can give children a loving home and beautiful life but these addicts can pop them out like peas and are allowed to take their babies home due to it being their "human right".

Do the babies not have any human rights? The right to be brought up away from drugs, abuse and neglect?

Spero Sat 19-Jan-13 12:00:59

Horrible article in the times today about fathers who kill their children 'while there is no clear pattern, the central observation of experts is that the culprit tends to be middle aged and emotionally isolated'.

So on ops logic you would monitor all middle aged and emotionally isolated fathers as they have been shown more likely to murder their children after splitting up with the mother?

Life is complicated. You can't just isolate one factor or one group and say you lot aren't fit to be parents. That is potentially extremely unfair, to the parents and children.

Goldenbear Sat 19-Jan-13 12:56:04

YANBU, heroin addiction is not compatible with being a parent. There are whole heap of other problems that are often related to being addicted to that particular drug, you cannot have heroin in moderation- throw children in to that mix, it is a tragedy. DP had a circle of friends that all had what you would call privileged backgrounds, a man and woman from that group went from lighter drugs to heroin use- within a year she had dropped out of uni and was begging on the streets. He was equally desperate, they had to leave rented property as had no money. There lives fell apart. They also had parents shipping them off to rehab but they are still suffering 8 years on. I can't begin to imagine what things would've been like if you had a thrown a child into that mix!

I know of another case where the addicted mother was eventually murdered by the heroin addict boyfriend, luckily her three daughters had been taken into care after years of abuse prior to this. I know that their life improved considerably when fostered.

The fact is that this child at least would still be alive if he had been taken into care. Life in care or no life atall? My Dad was adopted as a baby and was very pleased about that as his mother tried to kill him by jumping a small height out of a hospital window when she was heavily pregnant as she didn't want him.

This is not a DM view - I just don't agree that our approach to children's welfare should be so defeatist. I read The Indepedent and The Economist so don't tar me with the same brush just because I happen to disagree with the attitudes that are ultimately letting children being victims rather than the priority!

Goldenbear Sat 19-Jan-13 13:06:56

Oh and I don't understand why people object to public outcry to these kind of news reports in the press. There should be outcry when a 2 year old boy dies in this way. Let's start objecting a bit more to children being treated like this and nothing being done about it rather than accepting 2nd best in opportunities for these children born to parents like this or death being better than going into care at 2 - I mean wtf is that about???

freddiefrog Sat 19-Jan-13 13:40:08

I'm a foster carer and my current placement is the child of an alcoholic and a heroin addict.

The only reason my FC was removed from their parents is because they were imprisoned.

IMO, my FC should have been removed from their parents' care years ago. It's not just the immediate concerns of neglect and abuse, but the effect on the child years down the line. Years of witnessing her parents' lifestyle, servicing their own addictions above the needs of their child has left my FC with a serious alcohol problem, a drug problem and completely wild and out of control. FC is completely messed up, and IMO, only a spell in a juvenile detention centre will get her clean and away from the people she calls 'friends' - drug addicts, sex offenders.

FC has been let down by the authorities all her life, social services just don't have the staff or cash to take every child like this into care. Mum and Dad were meeting her needs in so far as food and shelter, stuff like attending school and wearing appropriate clothing, but the emotional and mental damage has been devastating

Smudging Sat 19-Jan-13 13:57:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrsjay Sat 19-Jan-13 14:01:00

poor Rileysad I
have relatives who had their kids when their parents were both junkies and 1 was born addicted, I dont know why they were allowed to live there, there was grandparents invovled in the care of them but they remained with parents the parents had good days and bad days the bad days the kids were dirty and not fed very much on good days they were spotless at school on time and well fed,

morethanpotatoprints Sat 19-Jan-13 14:09:18

This poor child.

What I find surprising is once again there seems to be this stereotypical assumption about parents who are drug addicts.
I read an article in Cosmo several years ago where professional couples were admitting to holding parties where huge amounts of drugs were consumed. These were rich people living in great big houses who got together most weekends oh and took their dc for sleep overs.
So yes all parents who do this are the dregs not just the poor ones living in social housing.

Goldenbear Sat 19-Jan-13 14:21:17

That's the point though isn't- the care system is not good enough so we just resign those children to a shitty life. Well personally I think that kind of apathy towards solving these problems is not acceptable. Throwing out there remarks about it being sad but where are all these children going to go is giving up on them. 'Sad' doesn't really cut it does it?

Heroin is highly addictive, rapidly consumes your whole life, you cannot be a social heroin addict like you can be a moderate drinker therefore you cannot be a parent that is going to be good enough in those circumstances.

Ifyoucantsayanythingnice Sat 19-Jan-13 14:55:02

I would be the first to say that if a child isn't being cared for, that their safety cannot be assured, that the parents cannot provide the love, stability and security that child needs then other carers need to be found.

There should be an outcry when a child dies because parents and agencies failed that child.

That does not mean that I agree that sweeping statements can be made about a group of people within society.

A mother with PND killed her two children. I didn't see anyone calling for all women with PND to have their children removed.

All individual cases should be taken on their merits. The majority of clients on my caseload have turned their lives around, are accessing treatment and have happy and well adjusted children. I have a few with child protection involvement and a few whose children have been permanently removed. To be honest their lives as children were so shite I wonder could they ever have parented regardless of their drug use as adults.

Ifyoucantsayanythingnice Sat 19-Jan-13 14:58:15

I also worked with a couple who had used heroin for 10 years with no treatment, had worked full time, had no criminal convistions, had a lovely home and a lovely son who they adored.

How utterly terrible for them and that child if he had been removed at birth because that just what we do

Ifyoucantsayanythingnice Sat 19-Jan-13 15:03:16

I also agree with Goldenbear that the care system needs to be better, adoptions need to be faster and we should never consider leaving children in a terrible situation because where they go would only be marginally better.

Jamillalliamilli Sat 19-Jan-13 15:24:10

When you send a child to an only marginally better situation, you’re often sending them to somewhere the abuse is different and better hidden, not marginally better, but adults can feel better at no longer having to see what the child is facing.

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