Social Worker Struck Off For Belittling And Endangering Domestic Violence Victim

Researching Reform

A social worker has been struck off after an audio recording emerged in which he made degrading comments about a victim of domestic violence, and shared her whereabouts with the man convicted of assaulting her. The incidents took place within a child protection investigation.

The man had been accused of standing on the pregnant woman’s face and threatening to pour oil on her. She later escaped by jumping out of a window.

The social worker, who has not been named, called the woman a “pathological liar” and said she was “bi-polar”. The HCPC conduct and competence committee reviewing the case said the social worker’s tone in the recording was “wholly disrespectful” and “bordering on degrading”.

Of greater concern was the social worker’s decision to tell the man accused of abusing the woman, the location and times of meetings she would be attending, putting her and her unborn child at risk. He…

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Damning Judgment Reveals Another Council Illegally Removing Children From Parents

Researching Reform

A family court judge has called out a council for acting with ‘subterfuge and immediacy’ for illegally removing a child from her parents. 

The comments represent the latest within a growing number of judgments calling out councils for illegal and unethical behaviour in their practices of social care and forced adoption. 

Gloucesteshire county council finally apologised to the parents after a hearing in which Judge Stephen Wildblood set out an astounding list of errors, which included:

  • Failing to place the child, who was under two at the time, with her father in the event of removal from her mother, as set out in the care order
  • Taking 6 weeks to return the baby to the mother, who was breastfeeding at the time
  • Breaching their legal duty to give parents 14 days’ notice prior to removing their child
  • Failing to seek legal advice despite having a strong feeling that the removal…

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Emojis, Pen Pals & Plain English: The Judge Who Wants To Be Down With The Kids.

This made for emotional reading. Thank you for helping me see there is still some good in this world x

Researching Reform

The British legal system is famous for being slow when it comes to adapting to change, but occasionally individuals inside the system try to move things along.

Judge Peter Jackson has hit the headlines for publishing an unconventional Family Court judgment about a fourteen year old boy involved in a contact dispute. The judgment includes a letter addressed to the boy, known as ‘Sam’, in which the judge explains how family law matters are resolved, and the reasons behind his decision. Jackson even invites Sam to reply to his letter if he’d like to.

The inclusion of a letter to a child in a judgment, and the invitation to write back to a judge are highly unusual but clearly designed to empower children going through the court process.

Jackson Sam

This is not the first time Justice Jackson has tried to address child rights concerns inside the Family Court. In 2016…

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Empathy is more than a simple act of kindness, sympathy, prayer, or pity

Adoption Detective | A True Story by Judith Land

“Those who have walked in the shoes of another person, regardless of which side of the adoption triangle they are on, are often the ones who best understand the depth of emotion, pain, suffering, and state of mind that others are experiencing. If you know someone associated with an adoption, then you know that empathy is one of the most important life skills you can learn because the adoption world is littered with individuals in desperate need of urgent care that could be comforted by a universal appeal for assistance, compassion and empathy.” Judith Land

Empathy | Judith Land | Adoption Detective Empathy is about discerning what another person is thinking or feeling; experiencing emotions that match another person’s emotions; caring for other people and having a desire to help them. Compassion is an emotion we feel when others are in need, which motivates us to help them. Sympathy is feelings of pity and sorrow for someone…

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BBC One, Tonight: The Betrayed Girls

Researching Reform

Following on from Three Girls, Another documentary has been made about Rochdale and other towns where child sexual abuse seems to have been particularly high.

This time, the focus shifts away from child protection professionals, and instead looks at other people involved who knew about the abuse but did nothing to stop it.

Interviewees for the programme include social worker Sara Rowbotham, detective Maggie Oliver, Ann Cryer, Andrew Norfolk, Mohammed Shafiq and Nazir Afzal.

BBC One’s The Betrayed Girls airs tonight at 8.30pm. The programme is described as:
“[A] Documentary about the child abuse revelations in Rochdale and other towns. Featuring the harrowing testimony of the victims and the shocking truth from those who spoke out, this film reveals how it wasn’t just the professionals whose job it was to protect the girls who ignored their plight, but others did as well.”

You can watch a short trailer about the film here. 

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Question It!

Researching Reform

Welcome to another week.

A thought provoking article in Open Democracy has criticised the way government uses child safeguarding policies.

In the piece, Jen Persson, who is the Director of defenddigitalme, an independent, non-partisan organisation which calls for fair, transparent, and safe use of children’s data in education, says the government is using child safeguarding laws and guidelines as a way to access children’s private information round the clock. She also calls out the lack of transparency in relation to who is accessing this data, for what purpose and which government departments are being given the information.

Our question this week then, is this: have you had personal experience of government departments taking information from your children which you believed to be protected, in the name of safeguarding?

Questions

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