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How can children be overlooked so terribly?

(36 Posts)
PepeLPew Thu 03-Oct-13 22:29:37

I know it may seem dramatic but I’ve become really upset at the recent news regarding children’s wellbeing. I know it’s nothing new – but now I’m a parent (to a 9 month old) I am faced with a helpless baby every day: I get upset when I change her / when I make her food / when she smiles / when she cries. She remains my priority – but in the back of my mind I am thinking of what the children reported in the news have gone through.How they didn't understand why they are being abused and how to stop it. Those that are still facing the same situations. I literally cry when I feed her sometimes – especially at night ( yes – we still have a night feed : > ) because I feel so guilty that she is fed, warm, safe and allowed to get the rest she needs whilst others are not so lucky. Im so angry with the abuse of power and responsibility within the social system and I feel helpless.
Again – it sounds dramatic but I don’t know how I can be of any use other than charity donations, which feels like a payoff

Xiaoxiong Thu 03-Oct-13 23:39:33

Yanbu. I had a weep this evening when the BBC news website opened in my browser. I just looked down at 6 day old DS2 on my chest and cried sad

I have a monthly charity donation but it feels like a drop in the ocean. I wish someone from social services or one of the wise people on here could just say to me "here's how you could help: a, b, c..." But it's never that simple and I think there will always be children like this sad

70isaLimitNotaTarget Thu 03-Oct-13 23:41:44

I used to literally bawl when the "Miles is a very quiet baby" adverts were on as I held my PFB

PFB is nearly 14 now.
It doesn't get easier...............................

MurderOfBanshees Thu 03-Oct-13 23:43:14

You have a small baby, it's pretty normal to find news about children particularly hard. I know when DS was really little I had to avoid the news as I just couldn't cope with it, and I'm usually really good at compartmentalising.

Doubtfuldaphne Thu 03-Oct-13 23:46:58

I get really upset too. I often think about cases which have been reported and feel so sick and shaken up it gets me quite panicky
You do feel things more when you're a mum don't you?
It shows you have a heart

DizzyBlonde80 Thu 03-Oct-13 23:53:48

I have to look away and then feel awful for doing it.

vickchick Thu 03-Oct-13 23:54:59

Don't feel sorry for these children, feel compelled to make a difference. If a donation to a children's charity feels like it's not making a "real" difference, why not consider donating some time to an organisation that runs befriending or mentoring programmes for children in difficult situations? An hour or two a week can make a big difference to children and young people who need support and encouragement to overcome real adversity.

extracrunchy Thu 03-Oct-13 23:56:10

I'm with you. It's so awful being so powerless to stop it sad

DickCrack Thu 03-Oct-13 23:59:17

When I went back to work after having ds1 I found it really hard to deal with child abuse cases which hadn't touched me before having him (not that I didn't care before, I just coped). Ds1 is 5 now and I still struggle but I think that the drive to get it right based on what I know is right, iykwim, has made me a better practitioner.

WilsonFrickett Fri 04-Oct-13 00:16:58

Your first baby tears a layer of skin off you. Thats all. The stuff you are reacting to to still happened, but now you feel it more.

But, amazingly, you now have an opportunity to make a difference. To bring up a baby who will go on to bring up their own children carefully and lovingly. Apart from making donations to charity, it's the only way I can make sense of things like that - to hold my boy close, to love him, and to teach him how to be a father in his turn, if that's what he choses to be.

extracrunchy Fri 04-Oct-13 00:19:56

Wilson that's lovely smile

SugarMouse1 Fri 04-Oct-13 00:31:11

I think parents who neglect their kids ought to be shamed and punished harder and more often.
At the end of the day, we have all this hysteria about paedophiles, but neglect like this is a lot more common and angry mobs never seem to want to kill them?
Although, just remember, that many children with a bad start turn out fine, so there are happy endings sometimes, despite what people say!

Lottystar Fri 04-Oct-13 00:57:25

To say I'm pleased I came across this thread sounds wrong, but as a Mother to two beautiful boys (aged 18 months & 2 1/2) these recent stories in the news have made me feel bereft and sick to my stomach. I'm glad that it's not just me.

I am not an angry or violent person but I'd like to see the perpetrators treated in the same way they hurt those innocent, utterly trusting and dependant little ones. A mother hurting her child feels sickeningly wrong in any which way. Of course anyone hurting a child is abhorrent.

My husband and I have been discussing adoption for a long time. despite being blessed with our own children. If we can take one child from the horror of an unwanted home and the the instability of the care system I'll feel we'd have done something. We will wait until our boys are older as sensibly you have to have a number of years between the prospective siblings and it's something we feel strongly about . There are too many unwanted children and it breaks my heart.

Of course as others have said you can do other things to help, charity fundraising, voluntary work.

I just world like to see a bit of accountability in society too ... Social services, police, doctors, health visitors. All very busy, overworked individuals but these cases can't keep falling through the cracks and maybe local councils and govt need to think about higher funding of these areas.

Goldenbear Fri 04-Oct-13 07:42:34


I disagree that it is entirely due to you having a young baby. These children were murdered, what is shocking is that as a society we appear to be far more tolerant of this if these murders are committed by the parents. We are pre-occupied with the much smaller risk of children being harmed by a stranger and are too concerned with the rights of parents over children.

3littlefrogs Fri 04-Oct-13 07:53:57

I agree with goldenbear.

I was a health visitor back in the 70s. We all had to study the Maria Colwell report and were all told "this must never happen again".

Nothing has changed.

A colleague has been doing some agency work for a city SS dept. All the admin has been contracted out to agency staff. The stuff she has been typing up is nightmarish. There are nowhere near enough field workers, most of the time is spent filling in forms and attending meetings. Very little is actually done to separate children from abusers.

Local authorities have replaced senior qualified staff with bean counters whose job is to cut costs.

Some people should not have children.

LaurieFairyCake Fri 04-Oct-13 08:00:18


I look after a child in care who's siblings are still with the family and I wince whenever I have to see them and feel concerned for the tiny ones.

They are neglected and their needs aren't met. Instead time has been spent getting the 2 year old to call me , the social worker 'fucking bitches'

They think it's hilarious and it gives me the rage

FavoriteThings Fri 04-Oct-13 08:05:17

I think the thing you can do is look out for children and adults, especially the weaker ones. And yes, I too was a foster carer. That sort of thing is not able to be done by everyone, but people can also volunteer for all sorts of things, if they are able to do so later on in life.

It will still be a drop in the ocean, but at least we can probably all play a very small part at some stage in our lives.

MrsWedgeAntilles Fri 04-Oct-13 09:12:09

YANBU, it tears at me now in a way that it never did before. DS is a little bit younger than Baby P would be. When the case was all over the news DS looked very like the photos of Baby P that were in the papers. It brought it home to me in the most gut wrenching way.

FavoriteThings' is right, anything one we do will always just be a drop in the ocean but everything you do to make things better, even just for one child for a short time is worth it.

If any of you live in Scotland, and have the time, the Children's Panel are looking for members at the moment.

Xiaoxiong Fri 04-Oct-13 09:51:15

MrsWedge I just looked at the Children's Panel and that's exactly the kind of thing I wish they had in my area (Berkshire) - I'd sign up like a shot. I did some pro bono work for the NSPCC earlier this year before I left private practice and loved it but no idea how to keep that kind of thing going now I'm not in a big city firm anymore.

I wish we could be foster carers but we have tiny ones and live in staff accommodation with DH's job so I doubt we would be considered suitable at the moment. Also I honestly don't know how I would cope emotionally at the short-term nature of fostering but equally I don't know if adoption is for us.

Would more funding to SS and health visiting teams make a difference? Is this something we should be pushing our politicians to ring fence from funding cuts?

Fakebook Fri 04-Oct-13 10:04:56

The baby Peter story had the same effect on me a few years ago. I'd come home from work and cry because dd was coming up to the same age he was when he died. It was in every newspaper colleagues would bring in and talked about constantly on radio. I've never felt that kind of sadness before about any news story. I'd have weird dreams and wishes I was his mum and kept him from danger.

I can't listen to the MGMT song kids anymore, because it used to always be playing on the radio whilst the baby P case was running.

It's hard being a parent and hearing and reading stories like this, but it's important for people to know and perhaps notice any signs and help more children in danger.

MrsWedgeAntilles Fri 04-Oct-13 10:52:10

Xiaoxiong, that how I feel about the Children's Panel. I'd love to do it but I know I don't have the emotional strength to be useful at the moment. I'm hoping that as DS gets bigger I'll grow a bit more of a shell and have a go at it then.
I just thought I'd let people know about it in case they are better I am.

issey6cats Fri 04-Oct-13 11:22:29

it isnt just because you have a young child, my children are grown up with children of their own and i have cried buckets recently over the horrendous way these so called parents abused and murdered their precious little ones, so sad and heartbroken for those little ones who will never grow up to have the choice to lead their lives there just are not any words that are right ,

IceBeing Fri 04-Oct-13 11:31:44

Gosh I had been thinking of starting a thread exactly like this for the same reason.

What I just cannot get over is the fact that Hamzah Kahn wasn't looked for, for two years.How can it not be spotted that a child has died for nearly two years?

It makes me terrified that there are children going missing or being abused that noone even knows exist!

JazzAnnNonMouse Fri 04-Oct-13 17:15:13

I think news of this nature is always shocking and horrible but it's somehow more real when you have or are surrounded by children.

candycoatedwaterdrops Fri 04-Oct-13 18:07:56

I was very affected by Daniel Pelka. I sobbed reading his serious case review, he was very much an invisible as child, as were Hamzah Kahn and Keanu Williams. It tugs on my heart in a very painful way.

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