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To wonder why so many people think social services steal babies

(149 Posts)
Abbinob Sun 14-Feb-16 10:51:15

Recently the local police posted on fb about a young woman who had gone missing with her baby. The baby was in care when she's went missing with him.
Cue a hundred posts of how social services and their secret courts and forced adoptions and 'bonuses' for adoptions etc are to blame and that she had no choice etc.

MattDillonsPants Sun 14-Feb-16 10:55:09

I honestly think that during the past decades...from the early 90s and back...SS have had a bad reputation because the system was rife with abuse.

Children's homes full of paedophiles, bullying and services DID used to take people's children "because they were poor"

Have you seen Cathy Come Home? That was only the 1960s....the woman in it was off the kids went and there was nothing she could do.

That's VERY recent memory. People don't forget that quickly.

Sherlockmaystealyourpug Sun 14-Feb-16 10:57:58

Media scaremongering
Also I think having children removed is people's biggest fear
As they can't imagine hurting a child, it may be difficult to imagine anyone else doing that
So it is easier to blame the big bad social services then swallow the idea that people are capable of abusing children perhaps.
People who have had children removed sometimes struggle to reconcile this or to admit thier faults, and so it is easier/a protective strategy to say it was not thier fault and thier children were removed unfairly
I have worked with many adults who have had children removed from thier care, and only a few are able to say 'i made mistakes', these are often the people engaging with support, and making changes
It is so easy to villify those who have children removed and to villify the system; both views are unfair

GruntledOne Sun 14-Feb-16 11:03:30

I'm afraid it's a product of the activities of people like those idiots John Hemming and Christopher Booker. There are all sorts of ludicrous myths that they propagate about social workers targeting blond-haired blue-eyed babies, and about them having financial incentives for adoption - and they really are myths.

Sure, SS aren't infallible, and there have been some awful mistakes. The trouble is that that is what gets the publicity, not the hundreds of cases where they've saved children from horrendous neglect and abuse.

Sherlockmaystealyourpug Sun 14-Feb-16 11:03:38

I also agree with Matts point.
Some children's homes are still awful and awful abuse does still occur within them
Some are amazing
I have worked with many people my age, in thier twenties, who were treated awfully in 'the care ststem'.
And outcomes are still terribly poor for LAC. People see this, you hear a lot more about the poor care than the good (and that is not totally a bad thing as it should be exposed). But it adds to the idea that social services are totally terrible
So much needs to be improved and it is a complex issue.

IsItMeOr Sun 14-Feb-16 11:03:39

I think it's what Sherlock says - the idea of having our children removed is terrifying.

I think it often comes to the fore when mothers have PND, and as a result are not thinking entirely rationally - and that gives a chance for this fringe fear to become more central. It puts them off seeking needed help, which is a real shame, and has (very rarely) led to some great tragedies.

SaucyJack Sun 14-Feb-16 11:12:50

Forced adoptions do happen tho- and although to an objective outsider it is the best thing for the child, it's still bloody heartbreaking.

It's not just the Tracey Connellys and Magdalena Luczaks of the world it happens to either. Loving and well-meaning but otherwise chaotic and/or mentally incapable parents have their children taken and away and adopted.

I know someone it's happened to. They'll never ever ever see their baby again. It's like he's died.

GruntledOne Sun 14-Feb-16 11:16:11

Of course forced adoptions happen. They have to, when a parent is harming a child (whether intentionally or not) and won't do anything to protect them. That doesn't make them a bad thing.

mommy2ash Sun 14-Feb-16 11:17:34

I find that people who have had their children removed often think it was unjustly. This is either through a defence mechanism or because they truly thought they were doing no wrong in the first place. I've often read threads online where it was plainly obvious the children's basic needs were not being met or the parents were putting the kids in harms way but they couldn't see this at all.

I don't think anyone wants to admit I failed and my children had to be taken away. I've only once had involvement with ss. I was considered to be a person who had a family members children's best interests at heart and had to attend meetings and engage as an advocate. I thought the process was very fair honest and open. They worked with the family until things improved and they no longer needed involvement. There were some tough conversations to be had at the start though as again the parents didn't want to admit fault.

All of this isn't to say ss never get it wrong. I'm sure mistakes are made and being taken into care quite often isn't the best thing for children depending on where they are placed.

poppiesanddaisies Sun 14-Feb-16 11:20:01

It does happen - it's so rare I know, but there have been miscarriages of justice and this understandably terrifies people.

Also, I think once SS get involved it can be quite difficult to gain control in a way - their way or the high way sort of thing.

Abbinob Sun 14-Feb-16 11:20:33

I know they happen, I know someone its happened to as well. They had well over a year of chances, practical help etc before kids taken into foster care and another couple of years before the adoption. The children were suffering massively whilst she was being given chance after chance.she loved them yes and if is sad, but given how well the eldest girls is doing now it was cometely for the best. It's about the kids not the parents.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Sun 14-Feb-16 11:23:13

The same reason that when my two were tiny I would regularly wake up in the night in a panic and rush to their crib and check they were breathing. I was a non smoker as was Dh, the kids were EBF, they slept in our room until 6 months and on their back. The odds of cot death was tiny.

But losing a child (whether through death or adoption) is the worst possible thing that could happen. So I feared it.

MrsGentlyBenevolent Sun 14-Feb-16 11:24:15

Sorry, but I have seen SS get involved/take away children as an over-reaction. One instance ended very badly, and when it hit the fan, SS dropped the child back with the family then tried to distance themselves and refused to admit fault. I'm not saying that's the norm, but they do make mistakes - and their mistakes have a much bigger impact than usual 'job mistakes'. It's very easy for me to see why SS are seen as the 'big bad', sometimes all they seem to care about is their targets, not the people they are meant to be caring for.

NeedsAsockamnesty Sun 14-Feb-16 11:24:21

Because in this world we have good and bad everywhere,in all jobs we have honest and dishonest.

This happens to be one where the stakes are so incredibly high and you see or hear a lot about the dishonest ones because face it normal people don't tend to witness much serious abuse or neglect and people do rarely admit it.

It's a very frightoning thing.

Fwiw over the years I've worked with a large number of wonderful ones a large number of adequate ones but a not insignificant amount of dishonest spiteful ones.

Finola1step Sun 14-Feb-16 11:25:34

I have worked with too many children who should have been taken into care at a young age unfortunately.

I know that ss do make mistakes. But I don't believe they "steal" children. In fact, quite the opposite. There are many, many children who sit just below the threshold for care proceedings but the social workers involved believe that it is best to keep families together at all costs. So extensive support is put in place to ensure that the family never cross that threshold. For years in some cases. Meanwhile those children just bumble along from one family crisis to the next.

AlanPacino Sun 14-Feb-16 11:28:54

It is irrational and it stops people access help they need. The bar for social services to take a child is so low, much lower than most people realise. Mistakes have been made, as with an service but I suspect most are the other way where children that should be removed, are left to suffer dreadful neglect.

SealSong Sun 14-Feb-16 11:29:10

It has to go through a rigorous legal process and court judgement before a child is removed. It's not done on the whim of a social worker, it's just not possible.

MrsJayy Sun 14-Feb-16 11:30:21

In the past I have worked with parents of children on child protection these parents all shout Ss are trying to steal their babies thats not the case Ss are damned if they do damned if they dont

Tiggeryoubastard Sun 14-Feb-16 11:30:21

I've just turned 50. Social services had a (rightly) terrible reputation on the 80's 90's. There were good social workers but not many, and the whole system enabled the ineffectual and the downright arrogant and evil ones. The cover ups were horrendous. I saw awful things through my work, and a lot came out in the papers. I can't remember exactly where, but there was a whole group of children removed from their parents, think it was in the north east, on suspicion of ritual abuse. There were no grounds to even suspect that. Look at Sharon Shoesmith, no remorse.
There was an old 'joke' in those days; what's the difference between a Rottweiler and social services? You'll get your child back eventually from a Rottweiler.
Instil not convinced by what I see and hear now professionally that lessons have been learned.

SaucyJack Sun 14-Feb-16 11:35:28

"it was cometely for the best. It's about the kids not the parents."

But is it for the best? I don't think anyone would argue that taking children from poor homes and placing them permanently with people who are better able to meet their needs is best- it's the permanent loss of contact with the bio parent that is controversial. If you became ill, and could no longer manage to care for your DC, would you honestly think it was best if you never saw them again?

And even if you did agree with that, I think you'd have to be pretty heartless not to have sympathy with someone who was facing losing their child- possibly through no fault of their own- who possibly hadn't even done anything wrong and was having a first baby adopted at birth as a "precaution".

It's not perfect system that's above criticism at all.

Viviennemary Sun 14-Feb-16 11:37:38

SS do seem to make a host of bad decisions. Leaving children in homes where they are obviously at huge risk and removing children and interfering when there isn't really a problem. I wouldn't trust them to make the right decisions I'm afraid.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Sun 14-Feb-16 11:38:03

Tigger - I remember the Rochdale one you're probably referring to, and there was also the one in Orkney. Lots of children removed, no evidence found of ritual abuse.

Gobbolino6 Sun 14-Feb-16 11:42:47

I think there are several things at play here.

1. Sometimes, SS make the wrong call. They must do, no human system is without error or even malice.

2. Most people who have SS involvement probably don't agree with it and also feel ashamed, so badmouth the system.

3. It's such an emotive and terrifying thing. Being aware that there are people out there who do have the authority to remove your children, however unlikely it may be, is scary.

Yes, SS are needed. Yes, they do a valuable job most of the time. But I can see how this fear arises.

NeedsAsockamnesty Sun 14-Feb-16 11:42:48

It has to go through a rigorous legal process and court judgement before a child is removed. It's not done on the whim of a social worker, it's just not possible

It's true it does but people do not often see that aspect or have much awareness of it but people talk lots and what they tend to talk about is when bat shit crazy threshold cases are made.

They end result may well be they fail. But it will still always be the SW tried it.

Potatoface2 Sun 14-Feb-16 11:44:15

tracey connelly and magdalena luczaks children didnt go into care though, they were killed by their services take children and they are in the wrong, they leave children with inadequate parent who they give a chance/advice too and they are in the wrong....there is no fine line....they either have no power or full on medium......everyone hates them, but everyone needs them....who would want to be one.........i think social services do a job with lack of resources...who has ever been worried about a child and not reported their concerns...most people nowadays dont want to 'get involved' and thats a major problem

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