AIBU to be horrified by the Stolen Children of England

(1000 Posts)
LivingOnTheDancefloor Tue 29-Nov-16 22:30:18

I just watched a French documentary called "England's stolen children" and can't believe this is happening in England. Horrifying, scary, unbelievable, it is like a horror movie...

Basically, social services are taking babies from their parents based on suspicion that abuse might happen in the future, except that the decision is made based on ridiculous things.
A lady had her three children taken from her, including a breastfed baby because she went to the ER for a child's broken ankle and they judged that he must have been beaten by his parents (only based on the ankle). X years later the parents manage to prove the fracture was due to scorbut. And they found out the initial report from the ER says "no sign of fracture".
The judge admitted they shouldn't have taken the children and the parents were innocents. But the children were given to adoption so the parents will never see them again.
That is just one of the stories.
Some women are told while pregnant that their newborn will be taken as soon as he arrives (and thzney do it).
The documentary says it is due to the facts that counties have to reach a number of children given to adoption so they target poor/uneducated parents and find any reason to take their children.
And as fostering costs money to the state they prefer adoption.

AIBU to ask if you heard about it here in the UK? And if yes, what do you think? Could it be true or are they exagerating?

I am really shaken.

Sorry, no idea how to post links, and I am on my phone

OP’s posts: |
Spero Wed 14-Dec-16 17:10:20

Just popping in before my concert and see I will take the last slot. I will start a new thread for off rambling because I am keen to know what I have got so horribly wrong.

Please do join me here

Why conspiracy quaidorsy? Please read this, I am getting fed up of repeating myself.

I have emailed the producer and had no response. It may interest you to know that Bethany later came back and kept her baby. the BBC reported it, slightly less stupidly - video is at bottom of linked post to 'mums on the run'.

I watched the first ten minutes of the documentary and heard Bethany's mother allege that she was told her grandchild would be taken away and 'no reason was given'.

I stopped being interested then. That is not true. That is a lie. That is false. That would never happen. The reasons that I can glean is that Bethany had quite serious mental health issues. Her sister committed suicide at 16 years. Bethany abused alcohol and had got heavily drunk while pregnant.

She said she didn't realise she was pregnant and sobered up. That is probably true as she is now living with her child.

The video is at the bottom of this post

She was encouraged to run away by Hemming and his lot. I know because I have had messages over Facebook from women who have been sent to Genas. She could have lost her baby for ever. This is wrong, wrong, wrong and I have no patience with anyone who wants to say 'ooo! but maybe there is something in it'.

Manumission Wed 14-Dec-16 16:45:01

Yes, I do think maybe the battle-weary are hearing a whole spectrum of criticism and concern as ALL being more JH conspiracy stuff.

Manumission Wed 14-Dec-16 16:40:45

I was ignoring the extreme stuff like the email and our adulterous MP friend and just pondering what's led to the fairly widespread perception of something being 'not right'. There's no explanation for crazy smile

quaidorsay Wed 14-Dec-16 16:14:48

I think it is only partly that simple, manumission!

The documentary is worlds apart from the email received by Spero (which I think was about organised child abuse?) which is also a different issue from what Carol Woods spoke about in her interview (which I think is about a subtle form of social engineering?).

These issues can co-exist and we are all adults and most of us do not have weak brains which need protection.

The first 40 mins of the documentary was NOT dominated by Hemming or conspiracy and in fact a judge and an experienced social worker had discussed at least one of the serious issues Spero referred to - why did we move back to conspiracy?

Although i can see where Spero is coming from when she says that what Hemming says may cause panic, at the same time, by constantly bringing personal issues with Hemming and issues with the media and emails and threats, debate is closed down.

Saying this does not detract from the fact that the wider work by Spero and others is superb.

OlennasWimple Wed 14-Dec-16 15:56:41

Exactly Leanback. Without going into details, our DD was not the first of her birth mother's children to be adopted or fostered (note - not all have been adopted), but she made significant changes to her life and the risk factors in it and now has a baby that she is bringing up herself. Each decision is made on its own merits - there isn't an assumption that one child into care = all children into care.

To the pp upthread who said that no one in the extended family was "offered the job" of bringing up a child being removed from its parents: Legally family members have to be considered as a guardian, but it is often possible to conclude quite promptly that none would be suitable, either because of their own risk factors (bearing in mind that many parents who have their children removed have had difficult or chaotic upbringings themselves) or because SS don't have confidence that the family members would be able to keep an appropriate distance from the parent(s). SS don't have to go "offering" around

conserveisposhforjam Wed 14-Dec-16 15:23:37

Is this a debate? It looks more like a group of preschoolers trying to get their heads around a relatively simple concept which is still a bit beyond them. 'Sharing' or something.


MagicChanges Wed 14-Dec-16 15:17:59

Following this thread with interest, as have "known" Spero for some years on MN and together with others have fought the nonsense that Hemming spouts about conspiracy theories. More seriously there is also the issue of Josephs and the Marie Black case, which is beyond shocking. Incidentally I'm very impressed at you early morning posters - I am a late riser but then I'm quite old............I often look at topics on the Transparency Project which I think Spero started or maybe it was the child which used to be called Child Protection Resource. Anyway Leanback you mention "risk of future harm" and of course many parents are totally unable to understand this and so talk of social workers "gazing into crystal balls" - I think one of the problems is their inability to understand abstract concepts, as most are concrete thinkers and can only understand what is tangible. I think you summed it up very well in your post and don't need "educating" but if you are interested you could go on to TP's site and and read the examples I have given of "likely to suffer significant harm."

I'm looking forward to the debate between Spero (in the red corner) and Offrambling (in the blue corner) I know where I'm placing my bet!!

conserveisposhforjam Wed 14-Dec-16 15:10:10

Some people have really apt usernames innit?

Leanback Wed 14-Dec-16 09:26:55

'risk of future harm' isn't just about the presence of a risk though. It's about assessing the capabilities of the parent to navigate that risk and to assess how willing they are to seek help if that risk presents itself. Someone with schizophrenia can make a perfectly good parent. But if they are refusing help from and support from others and are not willing to accept that their condition may pose a serious risk to their child later on, then any social workers involved are going to have legitimate concerns. I think that distinction between the risk being present and the risk being handled is what is often missed out when the media and others discuss the removal of children.

Spero Wed 14-Dec-16 08:47:08

Yes, it's that simple and that terrifying.
But what is now added to the poisonous mix is direct agitating and scaremongering from propagandists such as Hemming and Josephs, to the extent that parents now say they won't seek medical help for their children.

Ironically, failure to seek timely medical help is a very popular allegation on very many LA threshold documents.

I shall await off ramblings contributions with great interest. I am now off to court and then have a Christmas concert so may not be able to return until after 9pm, so please don't assume lack of further comment indicates lack of interest.

In an attempt to be helpful - if your 'sources' have any connection with Sabine McNeill I shall dismiss them without further consideration, given the vast amount of knowledge I already have about this woman's criminal activities.

Manumission Wed 14-Dec-16 08:18:49

It could be that simple; The system is currently in a high-caution phase, the concept of "risk of future emotional harm" is a double twister baffling to the man on the Clapham Omnibus and the secrecy of the family court is being chipped away so more snippets are reported and discussed.

I can see how people would put those things together and conclude something smells worrying.

I can see how it's a combination that would seem alien to people in other jurisdictions.

offrambling Wed 14-Dec-16 08:11:34

Just one more thing and then I really must go. Spero todayn 07:10, "and the focus is on removal rather than support". Exactly Spero, which is why parents are afraid to go to GP's, hospital, HV's, SS, etc.

Spero Wed 14-Dec-16 07:54:08

Then when you have finished work I shall await with interest your careful and evidence based dissection of what I assert.

Because all my assertions are based on many years now of hard work, travel, dialogue, reading, thought and direct experience of the court system over 17 years.

If I am wasting my time, I want to know. If things are corrupt as you allege, we all need to know and do something about it.

So I will look forward to hearing more from you. Start a new thread if this one fills up.

Spero Wed 14-Dec-16 07:51:13

Parents are allowed to speak in court!!! They are required to speak in court!!!! They give evidence and answer questions.

For goodness sake. If this is a distraction technique, it's very effective. But it shows you would sacrifice truth at then later of your theory. How does that help anyone, anytime?

offrambling Wed 14-Dec-16 07:49:31

If I had the time Spero I could pull your opinions, which you state as facts, apart. Unfortunately I now have to work, hope to speak again soon.

Spero Wed 14-Dec-16 07:48:57

Sigh. Liane Smith alleged she killed her children to protect them from corrupt system, from the first time she was arrested. That was always her case.

The fact her partner killed himself has then been used by others to bolster that case, claiming he was murdered. It is but one more (crazy) example of her central, bogus theory.

She could not face what she had done - sacrificed the safety of her eldest child for the benefit of her sexually abusive partner. Easier by far to blame all this horror on external forces that were beyond your control. This is sadly common.

Leanback Wed 14-Dec-16 07:48:33

It would be quite dystopian wouldn't it if a parent can demonstrate they've made significant chances since their first child was removed and the second one was born and yet we decided that their past meant they couldn't keep the second child. There are many examples out there of women who have had one or two removals but have kept remaining children because of additional support. There's a programme running in the local authority to mine called strengthening families which is having a great success rate at the moment. They work with pregnant women who have had children removed previously and provide lots of services through pregnancy and up until the child is five.

Leanback Wed 14-Dec-16 07:43:24

The key words there off is that 'you feel'.

offrambling Wed 14-Dec-16 07:41:33

Another example of family court lawyers twists and turns (if only parents were allowed to speak in court, it would be quite easy really). " Liane Smith killed her children to save them from the horrible, evil corrupt UK system that murdered her partner. So a bit weird her Spanish defence wasn't running this?" But the partner died after the court case and sentencing.

Manumission Wed 14-Dec-16 07:34:45

I might pop them in the Amazon basket and choose one after Christmas. It's all very sobering, Solomonesque stuff.

Thisjustinno Wed 14-Dec-16 07:26:53

Exactly what Spero said. Some people are such terrible parents or such dangers that they should never be allowed to have children live with them.

For others there may be reasons why they couldn't parent 5 years ago but now may be able to. Not being with a particular partner, not drinking/using drugs anymore for examples. It always has to be about the circumstances around the particular child at the particular time.

Spero Wed 14-Dec-16 07:16:55

What I mean is, is current thinking that CP/SW has been refined so that it has outgrown the pendulum model? (Obviously to an extent the pattern would be historical fact.)

For greater understanding of this, read both the Ray Jones and the Sharon Shoesmith books about Peter Connelly and understand the role the media, Gov and police have played in promoting this very unhelpful pendulum model.

It is not the fault of the child protection system. It has largely been an understandable reaction to the 'blame and shame' re-actions of the media and politicians.

Spero Wed 14-Dec-16 07:14:38

Thisjustin how is it possible to be such bad parents that you have a child removed from its family permanently and yet other siblings remain at home?

Because child protection proceedings are about THE CHILD. It is perfectly possible for parents to be unable to parent a child. That child is removed and settles into a new placement. A few years later the parents say - we have made changes. And they have. But their child is settled in a new home. It is not necessarily automatically in that child's best interests to be moved again.

Also, some parents can cope with 1 or 2 children but not 4,5,6. So elder children may be removed and stay away because the parents can cope with a younger child.

There are lots, and lots and lots of reasons for this. You may not wish to accept it, but the vast majority of people who are taxed with making these awful decisions are trying to hard to do what is right for the child.

Often I accept, it is a choice about what is the least worst option. Often I accept parents get left behind in this analysis, which I don't think is right.

But it is NOT evidence of a deliberately corrupt system.

Spero Wed 14-Dec-16 07:10:58

Spero why do you admit there are injustices yet tell us we should give no credence to the possibility of injustice in this case? Maybe your eyes and ears are not as open as you want us to believe

Because there is a significant difference between the kind of injustices that arise from what Manumission correctly describes and what you assert.
There is undoubtedly a constant swinging of the pendulum from one extreme to another. We are now very firmly in the 'child rescue narrative' and the focus is on removal rather than support.

What you should be worried about is the reduction or even elimination of basic support for families. The statutory insistence that care proceedings must be completed within 26 weeks.

what instead you waste my time and yours upon are fantastical conspiracy theories, which would require an enormous number of professionals to be complicit. People like Carol Woods are paraded about for the benefit of this.

It doesn't benefit anyone else. It is a distraction. It means that the real problems don't get examined, let alone dealt with.

That's why I am angry and that is why I won't be particularly polite to people who promote this crap. I am sorry - I know a lot of it comes from real pain and real experiences. But it is dangerous, destructive nonsense and it must stop.

offrambling Wed 14-Dec-16 06:59:24

Thisjustin how is it possible to be such bad parents that you have a child removed from its family permanently and yet other siblings remain at home?

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