woensdag 14 december 2011

Het Savannah effect in Engeland

Social Workers 'Sex up Abuse Claims to snatch children for adoption'

Sunday December 11,2011
By Ted Jeory

SOCIAL workers are regularly “sexing up” dossiers on problem parents to remove children into care and even to farm them out for adoption, a whistleblower reveals today.

The experienced social worker told a Sunday  Express investigation that council managers are frequently putting pressure on  him and colleagues to rewrite reports considered “too positive”.

They are  demanding “more dirt” on mothers and fathers to increase the chances of  securing court orders that place their children into care and which boost  councils’ Ofsted  ratings.The whistleblower said the worry of having  another Baby P on an authority’s hands had created a climate of fear that was  destroying innocent families.

The findings were last night described as a  “national scandal” by one MP who is now demanding a full Parliamentary inquiry  into
Britain’s child protection system.
We’re being pressured to go against what we think is right for families
The whistleblower

Lib Dem John Hemming will raise the  issue when he appears at the Education Select Committee on Tuesday.

The  committee’s chairman, Graham Stuart, has indicated he would talk to our  whistleblower in confidence.

The whistlebower said the behaviour of social  workers has been dramatically and “needlessly” changed since the full details  over the 2007 death of Baby Peter Connelly in Haringey, north
London, emerged  three years ago.

He said there is now a new culture of fear in which the  buck of responsibility is continuously passed up the managerial chain.

He  said people in desperate need of help with their parenting skills are instead  having their lives ruined by bureaucrats who fear being blamed for a highly  unlikely case of extreme abuse.

Courts sitting away from the public glare  are then increasingly being asked to make life-changing decisions based on  “biased” evidence, he claimed.

Latest figures show that social workers,  already overstretched due to Government cuts, are dealing with rapidly rising  caseloads with 42,700 children now on child protection plans.

Social  workers say this is largely due to political pressure after the Baby P  case.

David Cameron has said there are too many children in care and that  the adoption process needs streamlining, but critics say the real issue is  about why so many youngsters are taken into care in the first place.

The  whistleblower, a father who works for a large authority in the south of 
England, said: “We’re being pressured to go against what we think is right  for families.

“Personally, I’ve written reports and been told, ‘You are too  positive with this family, we’ll never get it to court unless you make it more  negative’.

“I’ve actually been told that.

“Although it goes against  what you feel is right, you feel under an obligation.

“Children need to be  in their families and we need to support them as much as possible and only if  there are great risks do you take a child out of a family.”

When asked for  an example, he said: “In order to get a child through to a child protection  conference, we’re told to make the situation look bad and worse than it  actually is.

“We don’t necessarily make things up, but we can change the  emphasis.

“It’s subtle. I had one child aged about eight. I’d prepared a report with the emphasis saying that the parents were prepared to make changes  and that their attitude was willing.

“But then I was told this was too  positive, we’d never get it through.

“I was told to bring out more of the  negative points,
so I had to concentrate on the lack of cleanliness of the  house. That put the parents in a bad light.”

He said these reports were  used to take children out of a family home and in many cases then placed for  adoption.

He added: “It destroys families. But the newer, younger social  workers see this as the norm, they just want to toe the line with their bosses  and that’s worrying.”

The whistleblower also  raised serious concerns about council-appointed psychologists who he believes  are biased in favour of their paymasters.

In particular, he said he had  doubts over what he said were nebulous concepts of emotional abuse and  “attachment theories”.

He said: “These psychologists create such a high  standard of for parenting that most of us would fail.”

MP John Hemming said: “I congratulate the Sunday Express in  unearthing this national scandal.  

“A number of whilstleblowers  have come to me to explain how expert evidence is at times sexed up and at  other times plainly wrong in the Family Courts.   “Taking the  wrong children into care on the basis of sexed up dossiers and meaningless  psychobabble results in other children being left to die such as Baby P. 

“Parliament must act to sort out the child protection system.”

Nishra  Mansuri, of the British Association of Social Workers, recognised the  whistleblower’s comments and said: “It’s a major concern. The cuts are  creating so much pressure for social workers that the right decisions are not  being taken.

“We’re storing up so many problems, but the odds are against  us.”

The whistleblower said auth­orities’ worries of another Baby P had created a climate of fear

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