My Social Worker Is Stalking Me On Facebook – What Can I Do?

Researching Reform

As social workers increasingly take to social media to spy on parents and children going through family proceedings, Researching Reform takes a look at what families can do to protect themselves from online privacy breaches.

The news last week that family social workers have been breaking the law to gather information on parents going through child protection proceedings by collecting information about children from social media accounts has understandably alarmed families.

The revelation has left parents feeling more targeted than ever by social services, who they say are unjustly and aggressively removing children in order to compensate for shrinking budgets inside local authorities.

Fostering agencies in the UK made in excess of £41m profit in 2015. Last year, Britain’s foster care industry was valued at £1.7 billion.

The Chief Surveillance Commissioner’s annual report from 2014 also notes the way public authorities are behaving in order to claw back costs:

“In cash-strapped…

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Family court chief bans live tweeting, discussion about “transparency meetings”

‘However the minutes did not mention the judiciary’s publication of a controversial family court transcript in November which was taken down following concerns about the graphic nature of the document.’

Researching Reform

Members of the Family Division’s Transparency Implementation Group (TIG) were banned from tweeting during group meetings or discussing the meetings with others, at the TIG’s first conference on 15 December, 2021.

President of the Family Division Andrew McFarlane who chairs the group, said real-time tweets about the meetings and any conversations outside of the gatherings would be “unhelpful”, in minutes published on 5 January, 2022. The statement appears to be an attempt to stem public discussions about goings-on at the meetings.

In a section titled “Etiquette” members were told: “Live tweeting, or the discussion of specific details from meetings would be unhelpful as this could occur before firm conclusions had been reached, and could therefore impact on the group’s ability to have open, candid discussions or result in mixed
messaging.”

The minutes also outlined a proposal for four new sub-groups: press attendance and reporting; data collection; media engagement; and the…

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