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Social Workers warn of risk of another Baby P

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Social Workers warn of risk of another Baby P

Post by justagrannynow 1 on 26.05.10 7:16

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK-News/Social-Workers-And-Police-Feeling-Increasingly-Helpless-To-Intervene-In-Cases-Of-Child-Neglect/Article/201005415638387?lpos=UK_News_Carousel_Region_1&lid=ARTICLE_15638387_Social_Workers_And_Police_Feeling_Increasingly_Helpless_To_Intervene_In_Cases_Of_Child_Neglect


Social Workers Fear Another Case Like Baby P



6:17am UK, Wednesday May 26, 2010

Katie Stallard, West of England
correspondent



More than a third of social workers and police officers have
felt powerless to intervene in cases of suspected child neglect,
according to new research out today.




The charity Action for Children surveyed police officers
and social workers across the UK investigating suspected cases of child
neglect.

It found 37% had felt powerless to intervene, while 50% said there
was a need for earlier intervention.

Some 57% said they needed to be able to spend more time with
families, and less time filling out paperwork.

Sky News spoke to a mother of three young children who admits
neglecting her family.We agreed to conceal her identity to protect
theirs.

'Victoria' has MS. When her husband died in a road accident two years
ago she says she was unable to cope.

"I just ignored them,' she told us. "I was like a stranger, I wasn't
their mother. I didn't care.

"I was neglecting everything really, I was like, if you've got
problems go and sort it, and they'd have to sort themselves out.

"My daughter had bad hair lice and things like that. She really did
go downhill fast - that's when I though that's it now - I really have
hit rock bottom."

Eventually, she asked for help, and was referred through Social
Services to Action for Children, who now provide daily support services
for the family.

Case manager Peggy McKenzie described the scene that first confronted
her. "At the worst of it things were really bad - the children were
being severely neglected.

"They were turning up at school very grubby, they weren't having a
hot meal in the evenings, and their medical care wasn't being addressed.

"One daughter in particular had the worst case of head lice
infestation I've ever seen, which also resulted in her having a very bad
skin infection."

Studies suggest up to 10% of children in the UK experience neglect.
But cases of neglect can be very difficult to detect.

Hilton Dawson, chief executive of the British Association of
Social Workers
, explained: "Neglect is one of the most
pernicious and devastating things you can do to a child, but it can be
quite difficult to pinpoint and requires sustained effort over time, and
a multidisciplinary aopproach."

Mr Dawson cautioned heavily against any cuts to children's services
in next month's emergency budget, warning that social work is already
"cut to the bone".

He said there had been plenty of talk but little action in terms of
funding for child protection since the death of Baby Peter Connelly in
2007.

He told me: "All of the attention since Baby P has not produced extra
investment, it has not produced more social workers, it has not enabled
social workers to be better supported.

"But it has produced a great deal of extra work for social workers
and that needs to be reflected in the budget and spending reviews which
this Government is about to undertake."

____________________
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Re: Social Workers warn of risk of another Baby P

Post by Judge Mental on 26.05.10 18:46

I am a firm believer in children being taken away from parents in the very first instance. I do not believe that children should be left with parents who need the supervision of social workers or the police service.

There are thousands of people who are unable to have children of their own, and it is a tragedy that hundreds of thousands of children are denied the right to the the love and care that adoption could provide them with.

Why should a child live in a home where a parent is dealing with their own drug or alcohol problem? Why should a child be left at the mercy of parents with histories of violence or general inadequacy?

The fostering out of children whilst the parents get their heads and lives together is not any kind of option in my book.

I realise that this is a most unpopular concept, but we cannot continue allowing this to go on.

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Re: Social Workers warn of risk of another Baby P

Post by twinkle on 26.05.10 19:32

So you would say that the case highlighted in the article should have resulted in the children being taken away and adopted out?
The woman had lost her husband and needed support, how would taking her children from her help her get over that. Social workers aren't there to act like a swat team, move in and ship out the kids, they do actually provide an extremely valuble support network for vunerable families.

I think the article highlights to an extent the problems modern society is experiencing, and also the tremendous amount of pressure social workers are under.
As I have posted on another thread, neglect isn't an easy picture to see........it takes time for that picture to develop. The article doesn't highlight the amount of children who aren't in the system who should be though. Studies suggest 10% of UK children experience neglect, I would argue the figure is greater than that.
Problem's include poor parenting, lack of education in basic life skills. It has evolved through generations and it is getting worse. There is no quick fix to this and sadly agree cases like Baby P will be seen again.

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Re: Social Workers warn of risk of another Baby P

Post by Judge Mental on 26.05.10 21:44

twinkle wrote ............ 'So you would say that the case highlighted in the article should have resulted in the children being taken away and adopted out?
The woman had lost her husband and needed support, how would taking her children from her help her get over that.'

*******************************************************************************

This is a most unfortunate set of circumstances, twinkle.
The woman says, '"I just ignored them. I was like a stranger, I wasn't
their mother. I didn't care. I was neglecting everything really, I was like, if you've got
problems go and sort it, and they'd have to sort themselves out. My daughter had bad hair lice ..............'

I would not suggest for one moment that this woman's children were taken away from her permanently in the first instance. But I am quite sure that you knew that anyway.

I am referring specifically to cases such as Baby P which cannot be equated in any way to the case of this woman who was initially physically ill with MS and then became mentally ill through external circumstances. She did not intentionally try to harm her children. She had depression, which is one of the most horrendous things human beings have to cope with. MS is also one of the most terrible diseases known to man. Therefore, the woman in this case has as many rights to a support network as her children.

And I am sure you are as fully aware of that as the fact that I would be fully aware of this too.

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Re: Social Workers warn of risk of another Baby P

Post by twinkle on 26.05.10 23:11

You said, "I am a firm believer in children being taken away from parents in the very first instance"

First instance of what? Your post did read as though you were referring to first instance of Social Service involvement. As your post was also in response to the article it is easy to make the connection between your post and the topic. If I have misunderstood I apologise.

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Re: Social Workers warn of risk of another Baby P

Post by Judge Mental on 27.05.10 0:31

Apology accepted, twinkle. You must have misread where I stated, 'I am referring specifically to cases such as Baby P.'


'Social Workers warn of risk of another Baby P'

I was commenting on the article, and not on the woman high-lighted in the article. The woman's children were not being deliberately neglected and beaten as in Baby P's case. The deliberate evil atrocities were willingly committed against Baby P by two able-bodied adults. Not at all the same thing.

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Re: Social Workers warn of risk of another Baby P

Post by justagrannynow 1 on 27.05.10 7:33

What is absolutely vital is that children should be protected, and if the danger is coming from a parent/family member, for whatever reason, the child should be removed in the first instance. It is what happens afterwards that is the difficult bit.
Time was when a high percentage of children removed from home lost all contact with their family. It was not uncommon for such children to present as adults with emotional difficulties. They experienced an anger and resentment towards the system, holding on to the belief that their life prior to removal had been perfect, and any evidence to the contrary was a stitch up by the authorities. For the sake of their own self esteem they had to cling on to the perception that the couple who were responsible for their very existence had loved and wanted them, and they had been snatched from a wonderful life. Even mothers in jail for cruelty to that child were seen as victims of justice, despite evidence to the contrary. There were some successes, but for others it was a tragedy, not only to the person removed, but to any adoptive parents or carers who had provided all the care and love any child could have wanted.
It is because I have worked with such people and seen the pain caused with the best of intentions, that I would be reluctant to sever contact with a natural parent, and I think the system today of supervised access is the right way to go. Adoptive parents have to accept that their new baby/child comes with its own family, who probably include siblings, grandparents etc. Immature, single mums who feel trapped and resentful can mature and be helped to become someone who feels able to accept the responsibilities of parenthood. Mothers like the lady with MS would possibly feel differently towards her child of some practical help was offered to her. There are so many permutations and alternatives, but in the end, it should only be a few tragic cases such as baby P where long term removal from the natural parent is the right thing to do, and even then, possible contact with other family members should be continued whenever possible.

Short term removal of a child in order to carry out an assessment of a complex situation is preferable, IMO, to leaving that child at the risk of harm. Lesser of two evils and all that.

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Re: Social Workers warn of risk of another Baby P

Post by kangdang on 09.06.10 0:12

Not surprising that ss's are warning of another baby P...and A through to Z again. Anyone see channel 4's undercover docu last night on social services?

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Re: Social Workers warn of risk of another Baby P

Post by Laffin Assasin on 09.06.10 0:15

@kangdang wrote:Not surprising that ss's are warning of another baby P...and A through to Z again. Anyone see channel 4's undercover docu last night on social services?

It was a Top Twitter trend, allegedley.

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Re: Social Workers warn of risk of another Baby P

Post by kangdang on 09.06.10 0:31

Another one? Does anyone live away from twitter these days?

I shall be watching it on reply at some point over the next week, I did flick over several times during the ads and it looked rather interesting.

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