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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

PepeLPew Sat 05-Oct-13 21:12:11

I'm so glad people responded, it really helps to hear other opinions / voices. 'm quite a practical, let's get this done person; it's hard to hear the clock tick and worry that nothing is changing in the meantime. I also wish it was easier, like "we need a / b / c done" and then it would be a case of finding people who can fill these roles.

@LaurieFairyCake: that must be really hard, I can only imagine how stressful each visit / encounter might be.

I don't think I could be a social worker or a foster parent (at this time). But I am looking into teacher training. I have considered this in the past and maternity leave has made me re-think this option and provided a distance to my current job. I work in market research and I do actually enjoy my work and it's challenges - but I don't feel it's very useful. Im ashamed to admit that it pays much better than teaching...

ipadquietly Fri 04-Oct-13 22:36:19

Was I the only person who thoguht the OP's question was about children at primary schools?

pulledmuscle Fri 04-Oct-13 21:52:06

I feel similar to all the posters here, it is reassuring to know people havent become complacent or desensitised by the horrofic stories that appear time and time again. I remember jasmine becketts case, i mustve only been ten but i went to my room and cried uncontrollably, looking at my wallpaper and thinking of the sheer hell of the poor babys situation to be in such a state as to scrape the paper off to eat something.
I stopped giving to the nspcc after baby p's case, i would like to give but i never see any change to policies, just more paperwork instead of going out there and preventing the scum from continuing to abuse.

candycoatedwaterdrops Fri 04-Oct-13 20:07:04

I'm a student social worker and in our lecture on safeguarding this week, not a single person defended the poor practice in the above mentioned cases (and others). In every single SCR in the last decade and more, it has pointed out that SS failed in some way. It may not have been major but even little mistakes can lead to huge consequences. The system is the real problem and the lack of communication but that does not and never will absolve individual SWers of their responsibilities.

somewherewest Fri 04-Oct-13 19:44:04

Comment on another case from a while back, from a paper not exactly amongst the 'usual suspects' for blaming SS.

somewherewest Fri 04-Oct-13 19:33:58

Nothing's changing

That's the heartbreak of it. The exact same issues seem to come up again and again (particularly poor communication between different agencies and a tendency of those involved to prioritise the 'needs' of parents over children). I know someone will be along in a minute to accuse people of SS-bashing and to go on about how some children will die of abuse and neglect whatever we do, but would it be so easy to say that if the children in question were yours, or known to you?

candycoatedwaterdrops Fri 04-Oct-13 19:29:58

What upsets and appals me, too is Hamza's brothers and sisters, who continued to live in that house and experienced that abuse and neglect and the knowledge or suspicion that their brother was gone. Their lives are possibly blighted too.

Yes, my heart goes out to those children and also Daniel Pelka's older sibling who was forced to make up stories for Daniel's abuse marks e.g. how he 'fell' broke his arm and the sibling also passed food under Daniel's door but was punished for it. sad

thebody Fri 04-Oct-13 19:12:22

it shows that you are humane and can empathise.

thank god for those qualities as that's what keeps your babies safe and sound.

I remember being terribly upset by the Dunblane shootings as my older dss were the exact same age as the children who were shot.

I remember my parents crying over the Maria Coldwell case.

in my opinion these evil bastards have far too many chances and I really do hope there is such a thing as karma.

Hissy Fri 04-Oct-13 19:11:13

DS was born the same year as little hamzah, and I remember baby P, and all I thought then and now, is WHY? If you hate the child so much, why not abandon it? Give it up, put it up for adoption?

Anything'd be better than the torture those boys were put through. That poor girl too, Keira wasn't it? Terrible.

Daniel P's story made me feel physically sick.

Tbh, i'm furious at the SS system playing the 'naïve card. We all have instincts. We work in an area we have greater instincts.

These children were failed by every single person that ever met them.

Lessons aren't being learned. Nothing's changing.

This is England, this is 2013, this situation isn't acceptable that we have children being treated like this amongst us.

Someone needs to kick some serious SS arse, some serious educator arse, GP & police too.
children are being harmed by their parents, there's DV, there are courts that insist on contact between violent abusers and their children.

We have to send a message that says, if you fail to adhere to the rules of common decency, of civilised society, then you DON'T start off with an equal footing to someone that does.

Fair means fair in thé best possible sense. Fair does not always mean 50:50.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 04-Oct-13 19:05:07

What upsets and appals me, too is Hamza's brothers and sisters, who continued to live in that house and experienced that abuse and neglect and the knowledge or suspicion that their brother was gone. Their lives are possibly blighted too.

SparkleToffee Fri 04-Oct-13 18:54:13

These recent cases are terrible and break my heart. You are right since becoming a mum it makes it even harder to understand ...... Whenever my children are ill for some reason it always makes me think of those little children who are neglected.. It makes me worry who cleans them up when they sick, who sits up all might when they have a terrible cough, who cuddles them when they are hot and keep having nightmares ....

I know neglected children are treated harshly and without care all the time, but for some reason the being ill thing always makes me want to cry.

I think we can all do done thing by being vigilant to neglect. But apart from that I do also feel like I can't do enough .... Poor little things .

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.

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.

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!

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 ,

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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!

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