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getting together information and support for EVERYONE in the child protection system

287 replies

Spero · 21/01/2014 16:50

I am posting here, mainly because I am not sure what I am doing and I don't want to do anything against the rules or contrary to the site ethos.

In a nutshell, a lot of us have been contributing to various threads since before Christmas about the child protection system in the UK and all the controversy that has arisen since the case of Alessandra Pacchieri and the issue of 'forced adoption'.

We have perspectives from every part of the child protection system - there are birth parents, adoptive parents, social workers, lawyers etc and we think it could be a good idea to try to do something to bring us all together, to help people get access to information that is balanced and useful, particularly if they are facing care proceedings or worried they might be.

At the moment, we are thinking a blog could help, with different people providing short posts about their experiences and providing links to other sources that we know are credible and reliable. This could be very valuable for all of us - I am a lawyer for e.g. but I would love to know more about what doctors working in child protection are looking out for, and I would like to get more perspectives from birth parents about what they think is good or bad about the system.

We are also wondering if there could be a separate topic in 'Parenting' - Dealing with child Protection issues or similar, which could link to the blog, once we get if off the ground.

So sorry quite a lot of info there. Trying to précis

  1. We have a lot of untapped knowledge and experience and would like to pull it altogether to provide a good source of reliable and balanced advice
  2. We would like to start a blog, does anyone want to contribute or can think of snappy name?
  3. We would like to use the power of mumsnet to steer people towards our information and provide another platform for discussion and debate

4.What's the best way of going about this?

Any comments, thoughts welcomed.
OP posts:
NoseWiperExtraordinaire · 21/01/2014 16:57

Can I kick off with you mentioning on the other thread about exploring info to dismiss myths around emotional harm. YYY to that, and also in laymen's terms what constitutes "being at risk of" and explaining "threshold criteria".

Spero · 21/01/2014 16:59

Garp says the Family Rights Group already does some very clear explanations of the law, so we can link to that or find links to other resources.

I can explain 'risk' and 'threshold criteria' - it would be good to get a psychologist to do a short piece on 'emotional harm' - what it encompasses, why it is harmful.

If you listen to JH and IJ they seem to have no understanding at all of what emotional harm can mean and dismiss it as trivial.

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BeyondTheLimitsOfAcceptability · 21/01/2014 17:07

Whatever we end up doing, I'm in
Eating dinner atm though so

NoseWiperExtraordinaire · 21/01/2014 17:15

I reported the last thread with a plea for MN to help guide this in some way. Might have been overzealous there but I think when there's been a breakthrough in communication and debate has become positive after such a hard slog, it's important to seize that energy and run with it!

AnywhereOverTheRainbow · 21/01/2014 17:19


JH and IJ lack of knowledge about abuse issues (of any kind, not just emotional) is appalling. They have been reported since December for their posts and ideas to the relevant associations.

I would keep that out of the thread at the moment ;)

Just wanted to let you know that we are working on it :) Thanks

BeyondTheLimitsOfAcceptability · 21/01/2014 17:20

Good plan. Also, if anyone else is reading this, ideas start to come together as in speros op, towards the end of this thread

BoreOfWhabylon · 21/01/2014 18:34

Spero et al, you are all so fabulous! Flowers Wine Cake

I've reported Spero's OP to MNHQ, in the hope that they'll be along to answer her queries.

NoseWiperExtraordinaire · 21/01/2014 18:41

I appreciate where you're coming from Anywhere, and thanks Smile.

I think this is what has been so difficult for so many people. In some respects they (JH & IJ) have uncovered a lot of issues which DO exist, but are coming at it from the wrong angle, so we have a bit of truth mixed in with conspiracy, and driven by a lack of understanding about the effects of abuse and how the system works. A potentially lethal and heady concoction!

WestmorlandSausage · 21/01/2014 18:59

Yey found you all... sorry been at work all day but I see the seedling of an idea has started growing. Amazing!

I'm happy to help out in whichever way I can.

inlovewithgarp · 21/01/2014 20:11

Yes, am definitely in. As I said to Spero earlier - I will be very very proud to offer a voice to birth parents whose babies are removed at birth on "future risk of emotional harm" - I have been there, I have lived it, I have survived it and I have now won my case. All I needed - desperately - when my baby was removed was for someone to offer succint, concise, articulate, and - most importantly - accurate advice and to tell me how to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. I would be quite honoured to be able to do that for others.

Thank you Thanks

CatherineMumsnet · 21/01/2014 20:13

Hi Spero, thanks for posting - it's certainly very interesting. We'll review this when the rest of the team are back in the office in the morning. Please do keep the thoughts and opinions coming.

YoniMatopoeia · 21/01/2014 21:13

I'm in to help in any way I can. I have no expert knowledge, nor personal experience, but I can wave pom poms and bake cake. I am full of admiration for the good work that you are all doing.

Devora · 21/01/2014 22:35

I think this is a great idea, and would love to help if I have anything useful to offer.

edamsavestheday · 21/01/2014 22:40

It's a very positive idea and something truly useful that could come out of what are often very difficult threads. Understandably difficult, because people feel strongly about these issues, and often have very painful experiences.

A collaboration between people who have all sorts of different expertise - as professionals and as parents - could be wonderful.

HollyHB · 22/01/2014 00:21

It is often said that prevention is so much better than remedy.

Those who have come to the unwanted attention of social services can share how it happened so that others can learn how to fly under the radar so to speak. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Who to keep at arm's length, how to keep them at arm's length, what not to do, what not to say - because it will draw attention in ways that they will be regretted. Stuff like that.

Devora · 22/01/2014 00:33

I would agree with you that prevention is better than remedy, Holly. However, it sounds like you're suggesting we should be advising people (who may be abusing their children) how to remain undetected - you're not, are you?

sydlexic · 22/01/2014 00:56

I think it is very difficult, many SW have made the wrong call and DC have suffered. They now have less decision making to do they just tick boxes yes or no. A certain amount of yes answers means the action escalates. They are not allowed to make a judgement.

Spero · 22/01/2014 07:19

There is a thread in relationships right now where the op is being given the following 'advice'

  • record and video everything

-move house
-refuse to discuss past history with SW
-go to FASSIT and 'taken' for further advice.

Which in my view is simply a recipe for ensuring that her children are removed from her care extremely quickly.

We desperately need more balance and resources for parents to access which don't promote the baby snatching conspiracy message.
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Spero · 22/01/2014 07:21

Holly - 'fly under the radar'

this sounds very disturbing. Is this in tandem with Ian Josephs advice to 'think very carefully' before reporting even sexual abuse?

This is intended to be a resource to help parents and professionals understand and navigate all areas of the child protection system NOT to give abusive parents tips to stay out of the limelight.

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Spero · 22/01/2014 07:23

I really don't want this to descend into another babysnatching thread.

I have had years of this and its really tedious.

Worse than that, it doesn't actually help anyone at all.

what we want to achieve here is setting up a resource that might actually do some good for parents going through horrible stressful times, that might help to disseminate information that professionals need, about research, medical intervention etc, etc.

If there is anyone who wants to start arguing for targets for snatching babies etc, I would be grateful if you could start another thread.

Holly, you are clearly of this view so maybe another thread would meet your purposes better.

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Spero · 22/01/2014 07:30

I have had a PM from someone who wants to contribute and this is my reply

What I am thinking of at the moment is lots of short posts from as many different perspectives as we can get from anyone who is involved in any way in the child protection system - for e.g. , hello, my job is X. This is what I do, this is what would worry me, this is what would reassure me, this is how you the parent can help me do my job, here are some links to more information/blogs etc.

I don't want to censor anyone, there is no agenda here other than getting clear and accessible information easily available so parents are n't simply diverted to the FASSIT sites and other similar unhelpful resources.

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MrsDeVere · 22/01/2014 07:39

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Spero · 22/01/2014 07:42

MrsdeV - you have experiences from a number of perspectives, so it would be very helpful for others to be able to read about them and see how you dealt with it all.

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ThisIsMySpareName · 22/01/2014 07:44

I'll help if I can. I'm a performance manager for social care so can explain what we have to report nationally and hopefully try and de-bunk some of the 'adoption targets' nonsense.

Spero · 22/01/2014 07:49

That would be brilliant. It is the 'target' story that has gained so much traction and is causing so much fear.

OP posts:
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