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Social workers lying on oath

(36 Posts)
oscar126 Tue 24-Nov-15 23:42:53

It's not that unusual, in my experience, for allegations to be made about social workers, who have an alomost impossible job. However, in this case discussed here social workers changed a report which didn't say what they wanted it to say and then one of them admitted lying about it on oath. One of the social workers involved has since been promoted.

So AIBU to be really shocked by this, or is the shocking aspect of this that the SW were caught out?

Weathergames Tue 24-Nov-15 23:45:56

The latter...

BertrandRussell Tue 24-Nov-15 23:55:19

Who is behind the articles you link to?

Birdsgottafly Tue 24-Nov-15 23:57:24

The SWs were caught out.

I speak as a former CP SW.

Reports and outcomes are regularly manipulated to get the outcome that the SW/FSW wants.

However in some cases, children should be removed, but what you've got to to court with, won't be enough.

The regular updating of the Training, Law, policies and procedures was supposed to remove SW bias and the ability to sway an outcome, but it didn't happen.

I think if most people found out about the conduct that both SWs and Police could get away with, they would be shocked.

oscar126 Wed 25-Nov-15 00:01:10

Bertrand Good question! However, I have linked to the judgment (so primary source and without bias) and a blog commenting on the case.

Devora Wed 25-Nov-15 00:16:39

This is a really disturbing case.

AbeSaidYes Wed 25-Nov-15 00:17:40

Terrible situation RE the social workers and their behaviour but I think th decision RE the children is correct.

goddessofsmallthings Wed 25-Nov-15 05:35:11

You are not BU to be shocked, oscar, but high profile cases (of which this is not one) that have served to shine a light on the inadequacies of some social workers, managers, and directors, have done nothing to stop the abuse of process which blights many Children's and Adult Services departments.

The judge in this particular case has taken the unusual step of making his judgement public on condition that "the anonymity of the children and members of their family must be strictly preserved" in order to draw attention to the lies and shortcomings of those three social workers who were originally involved in the case.

In the judge's words "Those people are referred to and named in my December judgment but given the enormity of what they did and the fact they still work as social workers it is right that I should name them again so that practitioners and members of the public coming across them are aware of their shortcomings in this case ".

"Sarah Walker Smart the children's Social Worker lied twice to me on oath. I was told during this hearing that she has been promoted to Team Manager within this authority"*.

"Kim Goode, Sarah Walker Smart's then Manager, was the person who initiated the wholesale alteration of the original report and who attempted to keep the truth from the parties and me. At the time of the last hearing she was District Manager for the Isle of Wight. I was told during this hearing that she is still in post".

"Lisa Humphreys was Kim Goode's Manager. Her evidence was deeply unimpressive. She made a 'hollow' apology to the parents during her evidence; she regarded a social worker lying on oath as "foolish" and she failed to accept any personal responsibility for what had gone on under her management. At the date of the last hearing she was Assistant Director of Children's Social Care with Lambeth Borough Council".

The judge made the observation that "The parents' view of events are highly coloured by their own perspectives and emotions and are not reliable" and it seems to me that he could have equally made the same observation of the social workers he has publicly named and shamed.

If the parents came to believe that they were being set up to fail by the dishonourable conduct of these three social work practitioners, their apparent mistrust and hostility towards subsequent practitioners appointed by the same local authority who have attempted to work with them over the past year becomes understandable.

It should be noted that the parents and children in this case have outstanding damages claims for breaches under section 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998 and it's to be hoped that they will obtain justice during these proceedings.

Judges in the Family Courts are frequently called on to exercise the wisdom of Solomon, but while these courts continue to be shrouded in secrecy abuses of process and of power will continue unabated.

*Hampshire County Council

BrandNewAndImproved Wed 25-Nov-15 05:42:12

It's not surprising. It happened to my friends dm when we were teenagers. Her sw completely lied in court and twisted the help that they had given her to make it sound awful.

However they have more dc then spaces, it's not like they get bonuses for taking dc into care in fact it's another headache and pass the parcel until a long term placement or adoption happens. I don't believe they are children snatchers but if a social worker takes a dislike to you and your parenting then your fucked...

SuzanneL60 Wed 26-Apr-17 20:23:29

The impossible job Oscar ,is for a parent to EVER win an argument against a social worker, or other professional even when the lies are so blatant to be ridiculous. A particular judge made up such a bizarre scenario gleaned from fantasies of the supervising SS- no one dared to challenge her flights of fancy- when I tried was shut down by my own barrister! The plight of innocent or low risk parents who have children stolen for adopters is criminal yet no one seems to care much. the woes is me when a Daniel- Victoria or Peter case happens is a tragedy they fail to acknowledge as theirs.

Trifleorbust Wed 26-Apr-17 20:27:25

Of course they lie. People lie all the time. They presumably believe they are doing it for good reason. Not that that makes it okay. I just don't know why anyone is shocked.

sonyaya Wed 26-Apr-17 20:30:54


Suespiciousminds is a respected legal blogger.

Vroomster Wed 26-Apr-17 20:33:58

SuzanneL60 why are you dragging up all these threads about social services?

WayfaringStranger Wed 26-Apr-17 20:34:16

Humans lie. Some humans are bad and some humans are good. Some lie because they're negligent and some lie because they're intrinsically bad. Social workers are human, ergo some social workers will lie. Sadly, it's not shocking to me because I'm realistic.

WayfaringStranger Wed 26-Apr-17 20:34:37

Oh damn, zombie thread! However, my point still stand.

Birdsgottaf1y Wed 26-Apr-17 20:36:22

This thread is two years old.

sonyaya Wed 26-Apr-17 20:37:07

Apologies - didn't check before posting

FeedTheSharkAndItWIllBite Wed 26-Apr-17 20:53:17

Not shocked. Not because I ever had with sw in their professional capacity but because I'm related to two.

One is (in private) violent and imo a psychopath (or something). The other one is a really spiteful gossip... And definitely doesn't stick to the truth.

FeedTheSharkAndItWIllBite Wed 26-Apr-17 20:53:35

Shoot! Sorry blush

HarryPottersMagicWand Wed 26-Apr-17 20:55:12

Suzanne sod off and start a thread about SW instead of dragging up old threads ffs.

JanetBrown2015 Wed 26-Apr-17 20:57:14

If you lie under oath you can go to prison. Jeffrey Archer and Jonathan Aitken and many others are examples of people who lied under oath. It is contempt of court. If the judge isn't going to get them jailed I wonder if the parents or concerned citizens could mount a private criminal prosecution. People need to know it's not a joke or like fibbing to a neighbour. You don't ever not once ever lie in a witness statement or in court. If social workers not aware of that then their courses need to be changed so they have whole modules on this topic.

OlennasWimple Wed 26-Apr-17 20:59:24


JanetBrown2015 Wed 26-Apr-17 20:59:38

"My previous judgments explain these comments but in my experience it is exceptional to find a case in which there has been deliberate and calculated alteration of a report prepared by one social worker in order to make that assessment seem less favourable, by another social worker and the Team Manager; the withholding of the original report when it was ordered to be disclosed and the parties to the alterations lying on oath one of them twice, in order to try to cover up the existence of the original report. Those people are referred to and named in my December judgment but given the enormity of what they did and the fact they still work as social workers it is right that I should name them again so that practitioners and members of the public coming across them are aware of their shortcomings in this case."

SteamTrainsRealAleandOpenFires Wed 26-Apr-17 21:03:57

Head of SS/SW:- "Lessons will learnt/training will be offered/given"

Btw the way I'm not knocking all SW/SS who do their jobs brilliantly.

conserveisposhforjam Wed 26-Apr-17 21:06:31

Zombie zombie zombie...

Really shows you who doesn't RTFT innit?

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