Sunday, February 18, 2007

What is Wrong with "Child Protection"?

Home Educators are very scared of any suggestion that social workers should be allowed to use the fact of home education as a prime facie reason to demand entrance to the home to inspect the kids. It appears they may well be right to feel this way. First we heard of Prof. Southall's diagnosis of Munchausen's by Proxy by TV (he saw mum talking on a TV programme and diagnosed her that way - she very nearly lost her kids permanently until her estranged husband admitted he had poisoned the dogs) and now we hear this sort of story from the BBC.

"The MPs fear a rise in the number of young children being taken into care in England and Wales is linked to pressure on councils to increase adoption rates. Lib Dem MP John Hemming, who has tabled a Commons motion on the issue, said it was a "national scandal". "

Looks like we may need to enlist the likes of John Hemming, MP since surprisingly enough, we don't want the SS knocking on our doors pinching our very nice and easy to adopt kids, thank you very much.


Anonymous said...

The amount of misinformation floating around the internet on this and related subjects is alarming and I am sure that you would not wish to add to it. I'm pretty certain that the Southall-TV case you are referring to was the one involving Steven Clark, in which case your facts are wrong. Likewise, I would not allow yourself to become too alarmed by an MP's claims about adoption services. I refer you to a follow-up story, published in the Guardian on January 31 under the headline " 'Odious slur on social workers' challenged". This, and other articles and reference material relating to the frequently colliding topics of cot death, infanticide and child protection, can be found on this website:

I hope you find it helpful.

Anonymous said...

very interesting resource, thanks

Anonymous said...

This, and other articles and reference material relating to the frequently colliding topics of cot death, infanticide and child protection, can be found on this website:

Carlotta said...

Hi First Anon,

Thank you for some alternative theories on this. Will go check out the stories.

Problem is that people are alarmed by these sorts of stories, and there are unquestionably some errors where families do lose their children on unfounded grounds.

Would you therefore say that it is unreasonable for parents to worry that this sort of thing could happen to them?

Carlotta said...

Third Anon,

Thanks. Will go check it out.

Carlotta said...

Hi first anon again,

Actually, it wasn't the Steve Clark story I was referring to. It was another case where Prof made a false diagnosis of Munchausen's by Proxy, where the children were subsequently seen to have been injured accidentally.

In this case I am thinking of, the method of diagnosis was referred to as being ridiculous and cursory, though I think I may have conflated this with the Steve Clark case as I cannot remember if this diagnosis was made via TV or whether it was done through advising a colleague, but my memory of it is that he hadn't actually met the woman himself before making the diagnosis.

The mother very nearly lost the children , and it was only because the estranged father admitted to poisoning the family dogs that the diagnosis of MbP was proved false.

Carlotta said...

and of course, the Steve Clark story does appear to confirm that parents are not alarmist to be worried.

Every time any parent goes into A and E with an injury, they would be right to be very scared, I think.

Is this right? Does it stop parents using the emergency services as they should?

Adele said...

The fear of SS can undoubtedly lead families to avoid accessing services to which they are entitled for fear of what may happen, and this needs to change.

It is a paranoia that is not entirely without foundation, unfortunately, as SS have, on occasion, removed children from their families for no good reason. But wrongful removal of children is still very rare, thankfully.

My attitude to this is to be ever cautious but never worried. It *could* happen to our families, and it is important not to be niaeve about that, but, at the same time, it *is* extremely unlikely, and we shouldn't live in fear.

I do, however, believe it to be true that some authorities are removing young children from their families more hastily than they would otherwise have done in order to meet adoption targets. This is scandalous and horrific.

It wouldn't effect HE children though, as it is only under twos who are readily adopted. Older children wait forever as very few people want them. Hence the misguided introduction of adoption targets.

The whole situation is heart-breaking. :(